What’s in season

Every year we try some new veg to see if they like it at our farm and if our customers like them.
Three or four years ago we tried cucamelons and never looked back since. These little cute bird-size shaped berries taste like cucumbers seasoned with lime and look like miniature watermelons (hence the name). The are very prolific and a single raw of plants will supply enough for our VegShed, weekly box scheme, catering needs and also will go into processing, being fermented in brine. These seem to be particularly good!
We were surprised to receive customers’ questions about them “Please, what are these? How do we eat them? Do we cook them?” etc, etc. Apologies if you missed in the past the little cards and messages about how to enjoy cucamelons. We eat them raw, as a snack. You can slice them and add to leafy salads or make a bowl of sliced cucamelons, sprinkled with a garlic dressing (garlic, black pepper, salt, olive oil and lemon juice, a tad each) and enjoy as a starter. If you have lots, and if you are into fermented foods, we suggest you ferment them in a 2% brine (water and coarse salt), seasoned with celery leaves, bay leaves, pepper corns, garlic cloves and chilli. Keep them in airtight containers for about a week, before checking the flavour. If you are not used to fermenting vegetables, I would suggest you eat them raw. Recently I tested a pickling recipe and will have the first tasting at the Squash Festival on Sunday 29 September, so it could be another winner!
This year we tried white muli and pink autumn radish, but they both fell pray to the cabbage root fly and we are scrapping the whole lot. Next year will keep them covered with fleece and they are indeed very tasty refreshing veg in autumn and winter.

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