At this time of year there may be conversations in many households up and down the country: “Shall we, shall we not? Maybe, maybe not? Do we really need to?” It’s of course about whether or not to have sprouts on the Christmas menu. 

It really is a remarkable vegetable in that it almost resembles marmite: you either love it or hate it. One of our long-standing Farnham Community Farm members says she intensely disliked sprouts. When she started getting them with the weekly veg share, she had an idea.

Shred them, fry them with some onion and a chilli or a few chilli flakes, and here is a tasty dish ready to eat. Now she really likes sprouts.

Sometimes it just takes a slightly different approach, a bit of a twist on an age-old recipe and what many think is an unappealing vegetable can suddenly be made into a lovely accompaniment to a meal. 

Farnham Community Farm has also grown a very handsome type of squash called 'Crown Prince'. It really looks the part, with its beautiful shape and blue-grey skin – the “crowning glory” in terms of looks. And not just in terms of looks. Its contrasting bright orange flesh has a sweet, nutty flavour and is extremely versatile.

A crown prince squash
A crown prince squash (Farnham Community Farm)

It can be used in anything from a risotto to soup, or added to a tray of roasted vegetables. You almost can’t go wrong with it. On top of that, it keeps really well. When stored in a cool and dry place, with a good flow of air, it can be kept for three to six months.

Our latest addition to the veg bags will be oak and applewood smoked garlic. The garlic was grown on the farm and then hand-smoked to give a unique flavour. That will certainly spice up a few meals!

Although festivities have not yet started, you may already be thinking ahead to the new year. Wondering what to do in order to compensate for a few too many roasted potatoes, those delicious chocolates or that large glass of wine…

Well, why now come and join us? There is always plenty going on and enough to do. Help is always appreciated, even if it’s just for an hour or two. And if you would like to try out our veg shares: well, who could say no to a bag full of fresh goodness?!

Meanwhile, wishing you all happy and flavoursome celebrations!

Marlies van den Hurk

Farnham Community Farm