Working at our base at the Earth Trust in Little Wittenham doesn’t just provide a stunning landscape to admire, it also provides us as a co-op with a little community of like-minded farmers, entrepreneurs and start-ups to tap into.That’s because we’re part of the Earth Trust’s Farm Step initiative.
As well as Cultivate, other businesses in the program include Brightwell Bees, Coopers Oxford Pork, Hedgecraft, Norton and Yarrow Cheese and The Little Salad Company. We’re already a huge fan of Brightwell Bees honey as our other blog post will attest to, so when Matthew at The Little Salad company got back in touch to say he was harvesting his salad again we were excited by the prospect of trying more super local produce.
Matthew operate his business, The Little Salad Company, in the field next door to the old Cultivate market garden and grows his seasonal salad leaves in polytunnels. His company don’t use herbicides or pesticides and believe in growing in tune with the seasons. It’s actually possible to harvest the same plant up to eight times across the growing season, and this means that in summer they’ll be harvesting a variety of lettuce leaves from frilly lollo rosso to red oak leaves and in the autumn there’s an abundance of the spicier leaves like rocket, mizuna and mustard (a big hit at our weekly market stops). Winter and spring bring the bitter leaves like chicory and the gentler lambs lettuce.
The stuff from The Little Salad Company exceeds any mixed salad you’ll find in the supermarkets – it’s fresher, tastier and keeps really well. And, because they grow more than 40 varieties of leaves, there’s so much flavour variety. It’s so tasty we often skip the salad dressing and just add a little salt, cucumber and fresh kohlrabi and, when they come in season, local tomatoes. We’re so pleased we’ve now got the chance to stock this great product again and support another one of our lovely, like-minded neighbours. Find out where you can get some here.