CSA Spring Share 2013 - Week #11 (18 Dec/21 December)


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.  A "*" next to an item indicates that this is something that is being rotated through the boxes.  "F" indicates that this item is in the full share box.   "H" indicates that this item is in the half share box.

CHANGE TO THE PICK UP SCHEDULE To accommodate those picking up their Mountain View Farm milk, Farm Pick Up times are Friday afternoon from 3pm-5pm and Saturday mornings from 8am-11am. Please contact us if you need to arrange pick up times outside of these times.

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.

NOTES ON THE SHARE *Basil Beetroot Bunch in every box Carrots Bunch in every box *Cucumbers –We expected to have more cucumbers this week but the cool weather slowed them down.  There are loads of babies on the plants. Fennel This is the last fennel planting until Autumn.  Everyone received two or three bulbs.  We also have excess fennel.  If you would like some in your Christmas box, please request it via email. Garlic We have almost finished harvesting the garlic.  The shed roof is filled with hanging garlic.  We will continue to sort through, reserving our seed for next year and counting what we have harvested.  We are expecting to be able to continue to put garlic in the boxes through Autumn! Lettuce – Harvesting 'Red Iceburg', 'Red Romaine" and 'Lollo Rossa'.  These are beautiful, succulent heads. Parsley – Bunch of curly parsley in every box. Radish –F Shelling Peas – The sugars in these plants begin to degrade into starch after harvest - so try and eat them tonight! Fresh peas are so delicious.  We like them raw in salads as well as very lightly steamed.  They freeze well, too.  Shell and blanch them for 1-3 minutes.  Remove from water and cool quickly in ice water. Drain and then freeze. Sugar Snap Peas –F Bags for the full shares this week. *Summer Squash – 'Golden Crookneck' and 'Patty Pan'.  Here is a recipe for 'Patty Pan' squash, which look like small oval greenish/white gourds.  They are delicate and delicious. The Golden crookneck are so sweet steamed with butter, salt and pepper. Tat Soi – The ANDI rating for tat soi is 824 - higher then spinach and broccoli! (ANDI stands for "Aggregate Nutrient Density Index." An ANDI score shows the nutrient density of a food on a scale from 1 to 1000 based on nutrient content. ANDI scores are calculated by evaluating an extensive range of micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidant capacities.) The same caterpillar we have been fighting is still present.  There is damage on the leaves but we hope there is still plenty left for you to enjoy. Zucchini – Great harvest of zucchini is continuing.

Extras Capsicum –The capsicum harvest has begun.  The cooler, wetter weather this week have slowed the capsicum and chilies down.  Still,  we harvested some 'Purple Beauty', 'Emerald Giant', and 'Corno di Toro'. To identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Chilies – By Request and availability–To see the varieties we are growing and to identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Pimiento de Padrons –Delightful "sometimes hot, sometimes not" chilies that are wonderful fried as a Tapas style entree.  They have a lovey full flavour great for pizzas and stir fries too. These are rotated through the boxes.  We have lots of plants but the harvest has only just begun.  It might take awhile to get them into everyone's box. Tomatoes –We have started harvesting tomatoes.  With the cold, there are not many turning colour.  The flavour of tomatoes are better ripened away from direct sunlight so we do harvest ours before they are fully ripe.  We leave them on the kitchen counter to ripen which should take about three to four days.  The natural sugars in tomatoes are lost if they are refrigerated.  We are currently harvesting heirloom varieties 'Black Russian', 'Rouge de Marmande' and 'Ox Heart Red'.  There are many more in the poly tunnel so we hope that this is just the beginning of the crop. Japanese Hakurei Turnips –These are lovely, tender, subtle flavoured turnips.  They are sometimes called salad turnips because you can eat them raw.  They are also delicious thrown into a stew or fried in duck fat.

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING Thank you to all those members whom have filled out the survey.  We have had about 30% of our CSA members answer the seven questions so far.  This is very helpful in planning our crops for Late Summer and Autumn and for helping us plan our box sizes.

We have based what we are growing on surveys done last year and on research from CSA's in America.  We value all of the feedback we receive.  In addition to trying to grow nutrient dense food, free from chemicals, we are also trying to refine our CSA to cater to our community.   Most of the Summer share crops are all ready seeded and growing.  There will be more plantings of the quick crops such as summer greens and radishes.  Your responses really help us in the planning of the Autumn crops, which we began seeding this week and for next year's Spring season.  If you need the survey email resent, please let us know.

The sweet corn is knee high and growing strong.  There are already many pumpkins formed and growing bigger.  The potatoes are flowering, as are the field tomatoes.  There are heads forming on the next broccoli planting.

Next weeks Christmas box will contain potatoes, baby rocket, mesclun, perpetual spinach, carrots, peas, zucchini, beans (we hope) and more.  The cooler weather of the past two weeks have slowed the beans down but the next few days are predicted warm so hopefully the beans will grow! Those people that have requested extra herbs will receive bunches of thyme, sage and rosemary in their Christmas box.

This was a big planting week with the second crop of cucumbers and zucchini going into the ground. This will ensure a steady supply through the summer and early Autumn.  We also direct seeded more basil, spinach, spring onions, carrots, beetroot, lettuce, melons, the first of the Autumn broccoli, parsnips and early winter brussel sprouts.  We did our last application of biodynamic 500 which helps increase the soil life.  We also did an application of biodynamic 501 which helps the plants use light and also helps them to draw up minerals.  The 501 increases the "sweetness" of crops ready for harvesting and also tightens the plant's pores to assist with resistance to fungal diseases.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Carrots and Peas in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce Pasta with Yogurt Sauce, Peas and Chillies Parsley, Fennel and Spinach Soup

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

WHAT'S IN THE BOX EMAILS Expect the What's in the Box email before noon on Wednesday's.  If you do not receive it, please let us know so that we can work out why.

Please note - Photo is of a full share box.