CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #9 The eggplant and capsicums were composted last week and we have harvested the last of the sweet corn (which Friday members received last week). With winter upon us, our warm weather crops have finished.
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING The cold seems to have settled in, even though we have been lucky with some sunshine the past few days! Peter and I walked through the remaining crops over the weekend and talked about the slowed growth due to lack of sunlight. The final planting of mixed greens may not be ready for the last week of our CSA...just three more weeks to go!
There is more kale, silver beet, rocket, spinach and hopefully lettuce still to come. We also grew Brussel Sprouts this year for the first time. These plants were hit early on by aphids but are still growing and we are hoping to be able to harvest these once a true frost has sweetened them. We have had a light frost which killed the tops of a late season basil crop experiment. We harvested our first head of Romanesco broccoli this week too. With its incredible fractal spirals and great green colour, this is a wonderful winter crop.
The importance of light is one of the big differences between biodynamically grown food and organically grown food. Organically grown food may still be grown with nitrogen boosting "fertilisers" - even though these will come in the form of a natural product. In biodynamics, manure may be applied to fields but this is usually done before the green manure crop is sown. When the green manure is tilled in, the goal is for the digestive powers of the earth, which include soil microbia, to convert the inherent proteins of the grass itself into the hummus layer in the soil. Plants then use extensive root systems to tap into this hummus layer to feed themselves and they also rely heavily on sunlight which is converted through photosynthesis into plant energy. If the plant itself is fed through fertilisers, it may not make an extensive root system or need to use as much sunlight to grow - the nitrogen will force feed the plant.
Our days are continuing to shorten as we head towards the Winter Solstice. The sun today though is still warm and wonderful!
Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only. If you are running late, please do ring to avoid disappointment.
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.