CSA Autumn Share 2013 - Week #4 (23-29 March)


WHAT’S IN THE BOXThe following are the items being harvested this coming week.  Items and quantities in your box may vary depending on your harvest day and the harvest.  Please read the  Notes on the Share (below) to know which items we "rotate" through the boxes.  If the harvest of a crop is not enough for every member, we keep track of whom has received it and whom has not so as to keep the shares even.

The picture represents a full share box and is not exactly what every box will contain this week.  The boxes are completely governed by what is ripe and ready for harvest and how much of it there is.  We endeavour to divide the harvest fairly.

NOTES ON STORING THE HARVEST Please check out our Vegetable & Fruit page on the website to find tips on maximizing the life of your veggies.

NOTES ON THE SHARE Basil – We have a big planting that we are cutting from.  If you do not know what to do with the basil, you can make pesto and freeze it to add to pasta sauces and soups through the winter.  Field basil dies with the first frost and will return late November/Early December. Lemon Basil and Purple Basil – We have both.  If you would like a bunch, please email us.  The lemon basil is lovely in salad dressings, marinades and vegetable pastas...to mention a few dishes.  The purple basil has a subtle basil flavour and adds a great colour to many dishes. Beans – We are in between plantings...and unsure if our last planting of beans will produce.  It depends on how warm it stays.  We will divide the harvest of whatever is left in the planting we have been picking and hope that the last planting comes on.  This may be it until December though for beans. Beat Root – We are harvesting 'Ruby Queen', 'Golden Detroit' and 'Bulls Blood'. Broccoli – We have two varieties which are heading - 'DeCiccio' which have smaller heads and 'Marathon' which have large heads.  There may be green cabbage moth caterpillars, as this is organic broccoli. Cabbage – The heat two weeks ago brought on the next cabbage crop early.  All of the green cabbage 'Golden Acre' is ready for harvest! Capsicum – We are harvesting "breaking" capsicums. These are green or purple capsicums that have started to turn to red.  Leave these capsicums on your kitchen counter or in a bag with a banana to allow them to mature and turn to beautiful red peppers.  I have attached two photos to the end of this of one I did.  We are harvesting them "breaking" to keep the plant producing as they should produce for another three weeks depending on the weather. Please look at the capsicum post to identify varieties you are unsure of. Chillies - The harvest of ‘Padron’ chillies will continue to appear in some boxes. There are ‘Hungarian Hot Wax’,  ‘Long Thin Cayennes’ and ‘Thai Hot’ or ‘Bird’s Eye’ being harvested.  Please look at the pepper post to identify. Corn – We are harvesting the sixth planting of corn, a butter and sugar variety 'Polaris'. Corn is best the day it is picked and we pick it Saturday morning for farm pick up and right before the truck leaves for deliveries on Wednesday.  Try and eat it that day as the sugars begin to turn to starch instantly after picking...no matter how cold it is kept. The harvest may be less then last week.  We also have a planting of 'Ruby Queen', the red sweet corn which may be ready in a week, weather depending. Cucumbers – We are harvesting the third planting. There are small, round 'Lemon' cucumbers, small pickling cucumbers 'Sumter', medium size cucumbers 'Marketmore' and 'Straight Eight' and large Chinese climbing cucumbers 'Suyo'. Eggplant –  Please look at the eggplant post to identify.  We rotate the harvest. Garlic – Bulb in every box. Leeks – Harvesting 'American Flag'. We are cleaning out the first planting of leeks.  If you do not receive one, you will receive a 'California Red'  onion. Lettuce – Harvesting beautiful 'Perella Rougette' for everyone and a head of 'Freckles' for the full shares. Melons – The harvest in the third planting has slowed right down, with the coolness of the weather.  There are some huge French melons which we hope will ripen but it may just stay too cold to finish them off .  We are unsure of what the harvest this week will be. Parsley – Harvesting 'Italian Flat Leaf'. Parsnips – We have started harvesting big parsnips 'Hollow Crown'. If you receive parsnips, you will not receive turnips this week. Patty Pan Squash – The variety is 'Jaune Et Verte'.  They are scallop, small, round summer squash.  Delicious baked, grilled or stir fried.  We are rotating the harvest of these each week. Potatoes – Harvesting 'Desiree' and 'Nicola'. Radishes – We are finishing our harvest of 'French Breakfast' Radishes. Tomatoes – Romas and 'Marglobes', 'Principe Borghese' and 'Sun Gold'. We have finished the first planting of tomatoes and will be pulling the plants out in the next week.  There are still cherries, if you would like to come and U-Pick them to jar or have extra for Easter.  Available this Saturday, 23 March between 8-11am or email and make an appointment. They will be gone by next Saturday. Turnips – We have started harvesting our first planting of turnips, 'Scarlett Queen'.  The turnip tops are also very nutritious and tasty.  If you receive turnips, you will not receive parsnips this week. Watermelon – There are still a few watermelon in the field which we hope have ripened. Zucchini – Harvesting 'Nero de Milano' and 'Romanesco'. The zucchinis are slowing down and we are rotating the harvest.  We are also harvesting 'Golden Crookneck', a summer squash.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING The further effects of the hot dry summer are showing up.  Our next planting of carrots had just germinated when we had the heat wave in January. In order to get them through, we watered them frequently through that week.  Consequently, the carrots did not stretch down for water and they are all short and stubby.  The next planting has lovely long straight baby carrots.  As we search more through planting three, we will let you know what we are finding.

The heat wave in March caused our Autumn bok choys to all bolt (go to seed) before they were even baby bok choy.  We have seeded more which will be another few weeks.  That heat wave also caused very poor germination in our next spinach planting.  We have weeded the baby spinach that are there and have planted more.

The seasons are changing though with the cooling down of the nights and the loss of daylight.  The lettuces are loving it as are the brassicas!  And slowly the summer crops are fading out of the harvest.

ESKY'S Please keep putting out your esky's.  Peter is happy to put your vegetables in one to preserve the freshness of the food until you return home.  Leave them in the shade and leave a note if you think he would not spot it.  We have also been told that water frozen in juice bottles with card board on top in an esky is an excellent way to protect the tender greens and keep everything cold and crisp.  Thanks for the advice!

SEASONAL EATING - SHARING INSPIRATION Please keep sharing your inspirations.  True seasonal eating has lost its definition, due partly to the fact that the grocery stores and fruit and vegetable shops seem to have everything, all the time.  It is great to be a part of the re-awakening of eating with the season and I am enjoying compiling what that looks like for so many different families.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Tatsoi and Cabbage Stirfry (which works great with Broccoli, Zucchini, Capsicum, Summer Squash and/or Cabbage) Mashed Turnips and Potatoes Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables Ottolenghi’s Perfect Lettuce Salad with Radishes, Semi-dried Tomatoes, and Capers Roasted Parsnips, Beetroot and Carrots

You can also search by key ingredient on our website recipe page for many more ideas.