CSA Autumn Share 2014 - Week #6 (7 May/9-10 May)


WEEK SIX OF THE AUTUMN SHARE WARNING: Your box contains STINGING NETTLES.  With heat, the sting subsides and you are left with a highly nutritious crop, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and one of the highest sources of digestible iron in plant form. Kitchen gloves will protect you from the sting, which contains formic acid (the same as an ant bite)  while you remove the leaves from the stems. You need only to lightly braise or put the nettles into hot water to eliminate the sting.  The formic acid dissolves in heat and is no longer present.  You can add nettles to soups, tarts, omelettes, spanikopitas, teas - anywhere you would use herbs and spinach.

Your box also contains Cayenne Long Thin Chili Peppers.  These peppers received a Scovilles rating of 30,000-50,000 whereas the Hungarian Hot Waxes only received 5,000. THESE ARE HOT! Please use care in handling and preparing.  They do have a wonderfully well rounded flavour and make excellent chili pastes.

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.  We envisage that many of the vegetables you are receiving this week will last for two weeks with careful attention to storing upon arrival. Although we do wash all the greens after harvest, we are washing to take the heat out of the plants and wash away some surface dirt, not to prepare them for consumption.  We also spray a seaweed/herb brew about every ten days.  While this will not harm you, it does have a taste. We do suggest washing your produce prior to eating.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX The following are the items harvested this week.  Items and quantities in your box may vary depending on your harvest day and the total harvest of each crop.  The boxes are completely governed by what is ripe and ready for harvest and how much of it there is.  We endeavor to divide the harvest fairly. 1/4 share: 5-7 items   1/2 share: 8-10 items   Full Share: 10-12 items

Beetroot Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Chilies Coriander Garlic Brown Onions Potatoes Pumpkin Silver beet Stinging Nettles Turnips Turnips
Extras Cauliflower Rhubarb Zucchini
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Roasted Japanese Turnips & their Balsamic Greens Onion and Nettle Tarts Vegetable, Nettle and Quinoa Soup Beet and Carrot Salad Thai Curry Paste Roasted Pumpkin, Kumara and Coriander Soup - This is a delicious recipe from the cookbook "My Darling Lemon Thyme".  Emma Galloway, the author, chef and a mother, has a fantastic blog by the same name with lots of whole food recipes.  Her cookbook showcases her desire to create family friendly, vegetarian recipes for food intolerances such as no gluten. We have found lots of cooking inspiration on her blog and in her cookbook!!
In the past week, all of the potatoes and sweet potatoes were dug from the ground, we sorted through the storing onions and the remaining garlic and put them in the store room.  The sweet potatoes are being “cured” in the glass house which allows the starches to convert to sugars and makes the tubers sweeter.  All the pumpkins are in the store room too.  We built a room in the packing shed to protect these crops from the cute field mice who are also trying to find cosy places to spend winter….so far, the room seems to be working!  It is great to have the packing shed and all of it various uses...garlic drying in the spring, cool area for washing in the summer and Autumn crop storage.  It changes with the seasons and sits so beautifully in the field.

The fields are being prepared for sowing cover crops.  the cover crops provide winter protection for the soil life, keep nutrients from washing away in the winter rains and will add valuable humus material to the soil next Spring.

The frost was a month earlier this year compared to past years.  Although we lost a few weeks of lettuce and the pea crop was injured by the frost, many of the other greens are still thriving and growing.  The cold loving crops do not mind the change in temperature.

We harvested the first heads of cauliflower this week.  This is a rotating item as the cauliflower crop never comes on all at the same time.  We have green cauliflower, purple and white heads all growing well.  As they mature, we will get them into the boxes.  We record who has received them and who has not - so please trust that it may take some weeks but you will get one.

The high winds over the weekend kept blowing the 100 foot cloches we have protecting the young plants off.  But there does not appear to be any damage - to which we are thankful!

With the frost also came the end of daily harvesting.  We, Peter and I, are having weekend time free of irrigation and harvesting commitments. We start seeding in late July and with that comes the three or four times a day commitment of nurturing seedlings which continues through summer with crop irrigation.  We look forward to this time when the farm slows down and we have flexibility. 

FARM PICK UP SCHEDULE To accommodate those picking up their Mountain View Farm milk, Farm Pick Up times are Friday afternoon from 2pm-5pm and Saturday mornings from 8am-11am. Please contact us if you need to arrange to pick your vegetables up outside of these times.

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Please note – Photo is of a full share box.