Purple reign

Purple reign

With Vallum’s Vicky Moffitt

The purple-sprouting broccoli at Vallum is insane. It’s like being in a virtual reality world down here in the garden, and it’s been a bumper crop this year.

The colours are amazing and we can’t do enough with it. We’ve sautéed it with chilli, put it in tarts with stilton and even worked it into sourdoughs. The most amazing use, however, is when we pop it on the Sunday lunch as the jewel in the crown; it sets the North Acomb Farm roast pork off a treat. We love it, and it turns the water a crazy shade of purple, which make us smile (simple things!).

The hard work begins now all across the site; getting the vegetable beds ready and generally sorting out before spring takes a firm hold and we can’t keep up.

Our first wedding is in April so there is much work afoot preparing, polishing and organising ready for the 2017 season. We do love a wedding! The yurts are nearly ready to go up, so from April the site is fully open with our shop back to seven days a week.

Of course it’s tricky, balancing slow winters with peak season and finding people happy to work when the work is there, but we have been lucky. The more Vallum grows the more it becomes like an extended family and we are so grateful to everyone who makes Vallum happen. We have never had so many youngsters applying for summer jobs – good for you, the youth of today!

The hens are laying and the multi-coloured free-range eggs (VERY free range eggs!) are on sale. We don’t know where the hens go / live / laugh / love, and in general we are full of optimism and team spirit for the crazy busy months ahead.

We have been enjoying Catriona MacDougall’s blog Cook Yourself Happier www.cookyourselfhappier.com – please check it out. She has great feelgood recipes which are accessible to thee and me.

I was very fortunate; Catriona knows the best places to eat and abducted me on a 48-hour road trip to Skye to eat at The Three Chimneys last week. It was a heavenly trip, if an insane drive, and yes, we laughed until we wheezed! Happy spring!

Vallum, Military Road, Newcastle, NE18 0LL
tel 01434 672 652, www.vallumfarm.co.uk

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