CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #7 (13 May/15-16 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #7 The harvest was for stew and the weather is complying with gale force winds, heavy rains and hail! Even though it is late Autumn, it feels like winter! We have waited to harvest the parsnips and turnips as the cold sweetens all of the root vegetables.  These are lovely roasted and also add a great flavour to stew!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING We have started picking the sugar snap peas.  The germination was not great and thus far there has only been enough for the full shares.  The snow peas were looking thick and strong and starting to flower.  The howling winds we have had this past week have snapped some of the pea stalks. We will have to wait and see how they get through the weather.We have also started harvesting cauliflower.  We are growing white, yellow/green and purple varieties. Cauliflower is an item we rotate through the boxes.  Unlike broccoli, the planting does not mature uniformly.  We keep track of whom has received it and whom has not to ensure everyone receives some.  While we try and keep track of which colour you receive, we can not guarantee that you will receive all three colours.

Cauliflower is also different from broccoli in that once we have cut the head, the plant is finished. With broccoli, we are able to cut the main head and the side shoots giving us many weeks of harvest.  We try and make the most use of the small space we are cultivating.  The cauliflower we are harvesting now was sown in January. It is in the ground for five months before it heads. The space they are taking up is only able to be used for quick Spring greens before being sown down with a summer green manure crop to prepare the soil for the nutrient hungry brassicas.  Although a popular Autumn vegetable, because cauliflower is not a very efficient space user for our intensive market garden, we cannot plant alot of it.

We are starting to think now about our season next year and planning all of the crops we are going to grow and how we will fit them into our 2.75 acres of cultivated land.  It really is a great organisational feat to work out the crop rotation, plan the many crops, when to seed them, when to transplant them, when they will be ready for harvest, all in hopes of having a varied box with a consistent number of items each week.  We will be sending out a survey in the next fortnight asking for your inputs into what you would like to be eating next year.  We also welcome any email comments you have.  We look at ourselves as your growers and really would like you to have your say in the planning process.

This sort of weather is the worst for all the crops above ground.  Think of how you feel after a day in strong wind...a bit wiped out.  The plants are the same.  The hail can bruise and rip leaves.  The wind has been relentless for the last 24 hours with hail falling through the night and again today.  We have row covered tender greens.  There is nothing else we can do but wait and watch.

Side Note - I apologise if anyone has tried to reach me via mobile phone.  My phone was stolen over the weekend.  If you need to contact us, please use Peter’s email petercarlyon@gmail.com or our home phone number 5988 5287. I should have a replacement phone by next week. Thank you.

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

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
Capsicum Carrots Celery Kale  If you are unsure what to do with your kale, Gourmet Traveler has over 20 kale recipes which look  perfectly seasonal and wonderful!! Onions Parsnips Potatoes Rosemary Spinach Turnips
Extras Broccoli Cauliflower Sugar Snap Peas Thyme


Braised Kale Ingredients 150 grms curly kale (tough inner stalks removed and leaves coarsely torn 100 ml of rich veggie stock or veal stock 2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 tbsp olive oil Method 1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. 2. Add shallots and saute until tender and brown (about 3 minutes). 3. Add kale and toss until wilted, then add stock and toss just to combine. 4. Season to taste. Serve warm under a grilled steak, roasted chicken or fish.
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.