CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #6 (6 May/8-9 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #6 The frost did not come last week but the cold nights have truly set in. With the rain and cold settling in, we try and take advantage of the dry weather when it is here!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Today, Wednesday, we sowed the last of the greens for the Autumn share.  We hope that the timing will be right and these tender young greens will be a welcome addition to the last few weeks of the boxes.  We are now done with all seeding for the CSA season! There is still more weeding to be done, even though the weed growth, along with the growth of all the plants, has slowed as the days get shorter and the nights colder.

This is the last week of beans.  The tomatoes were pulled out last week.  The large basil crop was also pulled out.  The capsicums are coming to an end as are the eggplant.  Peter pulled out all of the chili plants in hopes to save them from the frost only to find in the morning that there were not that many chilies on them! This is the last sweet corn planting and you will see that some of the ears have spotty germination.  Exactly what we would expect for late season corn.

The green manure crops have started germinating and growing.  The sunny days we have had, coming after a good soaking rain have helped them.  Slowly the farm will start to become a blanket of green.

There is more extra broccoli this week as the third planting has ripened at the same time as the second.  While both of the plantings may be finished with the main heads by next week, we will still harvest side shoots.  It may take them a bit of time to grow though so there may be no broccoli next week.  The first planting of cauliflower has tiny growing heads.  They love the cold nights which help to sweeten the cauliflower and form a tighter head.

We were going to make this week a stewing vegetable box.  But with the extra broccoli, more bok choy ready for harvest and fennel, we have saved the turnips and parsnips for next week.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  

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

Bok Choy Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Coriander Corn Fennel Mesclun Potatoes Silver Beet Spring Onions

Extras Beans Cabbage Chilies Chilies Eggplant

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Roasted Fennel Warm Dip - We love this warm dip with a crusty sourdough and a side salad for crew lunch!  Perfect for a cold, wet afternoon. Thai Salad Dressing - This goes well on the mesclun topped with roasted thai tofu or fried calamari or chicken fingers. Fresh Corn Salsa

Broccoli and Fennel Risotto

This risotto is based on Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe (which spells out the method to acheiving a wonderfully textured dish really well).  It would be good with a leek and any mushrooms you can forage too! Ingredients

1 head fennel, top removed, cut into small pieces

1 cup broccoli stems and flower- ettes, cut into small pieces

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ cup Arborio rice

4 to 5 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup dry white wine

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat the stock.

2. Lightly steam the broccoli and then cut into smaller pieces.

3. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and butter, add the shallots, garlic and fennel and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

4. The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

5. Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice — is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don't forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

6. Remove from the heat and add the butter, broccoli and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.

You can search our recipes by looking for the key ingredients on our website recipe page

Please note - Photo is a randomly selected full share box.