CSA Spring Share 2013 - Week #4 (30 October/2 November)

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.  If you did not receive it this week, expect it in the next one or two weeks.   "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 DELIVERY/PICK UP SCHEDULE Due to Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November, next week, we will be harvesting on Wednesday 6 November for Delivery on Thursday 7 November.  We chose to change the delivery day as opposed to harvesting on Monday and not delivering until Wednesday. We apologise for any inconvenience.

With the arrival of Mountain View Farm milk, yogurt and grass fed beef on Fridays, we have also changed our Farm PickUp times to Friday afternoon from 3pm-5pm and Saturday mornings from 8am-11am.

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 *Artichokes – There are two varieties being harvested 'Green Globe' and 'Purple Jesi'.  The 'Purple Jesi' have thorns on the tops so be careful.  These are easily cut off before steaming or grilling.  The artichokes are still producing.  But we are not sure for how much longer. Broad Beans – We have been wading our way through the blown over broad beans to harvest the pods - such a delicious food of Spring. Broccoli - Harvesting 'DiCiccio' and 'Greenbelt'.  There are either bunches of smaller heads or one or two medium size head. *Cauliflower - We are harvesting heads from an Autumn sown crop of 'Green Macerata'.  This is an heirloom green cauliflower...but with heirloom seeds, sometimes they grow "untrue" to their parent.  Such is the case with this planting.  The heads being produced are either true green cauliflower or a broccoli-flower.  Both are delicious!  The broccoli and its broccolini work great in a stir fry. We are also harvesting from an Autumn sown crop of "Purple Sicily", another Italian heirloom.  We grew this in the Autumn and produced cauliflower that was purple.  But the same seed overwintered has produced small heads of purple broccoli-flower.  Still delicious.  It works well added to a stir-fry, steamed or baked! These plantings have almost finished. Fennel – Harvested beautiful young fennel.  The flavour of this is milder then full size fennel.  Delicious sliced thinly in a raw salad or roasted (with artichoke hearts). Green Garlic – This is a treat for all of us who grow and use our own garlic.  By this time in Spring, our garlic stash is either used up or sprouting.  And so we sneak into the garlic patch and thin out the small bulbs that will not amount to much later.  They are so fresh, sweet and full flavoured - not quite as pungent as matured garlic!  Use them like Spring onions - tops and all.  Do not cook them very long if at all.  I like to mix them into stir fries at the very end and use them raw in salads. Lettuce – Harvested 'Green Mignonette' for the half shares. The full shares received a green head of 'Crisp Mint' or 'Green Mignonette' and Brown Mignonette'.  The outside leaves of the lettuce are tip burned.  We think this is due to the wind effecting the available moisture.  The inside "hearts" appear fine. Mibuna –F– With a mild, spicy flavour, this Asian green is good raw ( mixed into salads) or braised in a stir-fry. This is the last of this planting. Parsley –  We overwintered parsley to have nice big bunches for the Spring.  But unfortunately, we did not plan our crop rotation quite right and it was in the way of the summer crop planting.  It has been tilled in.  These bunches are very young Spring planted parsley.  We need to mulch the planting before it gets too big to help it grow better through the summer heat.  To do so, we need to clear all of the leaves that are around the plant, leaving just the ones growing up.  These are small bunches. There will be big bunches of parsley again as this planting matures. *Radishes  'Champion', 'French Breakfast' and 'Purple Plum'.  Those who did not receive them this week, should next week as the 'Purple Plums' are just coming on. Silver beet – Bunches of young, tender 'Perpetual Gator'. With its slightly lemony taste, it is good raw or cooked. Snow Peas – These are wonderful raw or slightly steamed.  Sweet and tender! Sugar Snap Peas –F–The first planting of these had enough for the full shares this week.  Like the Snow Peas, you can eat the pod and all.  They are succulent and sweet.  I honestly do not know anyone with children that actually ends up with any leftover to cook - They all get eaten straight from the bag! Tat Soi – Asian green nutritious raw or cooked. This is the last of this planting.

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING This week saw the planting of our eggplant and capsicum crops.  We usually row cover these with a fabric covering to give them extra warmth but the wind this year is tearing the fabric.  So Peter made 100 foot plastic cloches using steel hoops and greenhouse plastic.  The mature seedlings that we have been nurturing since late July in the glass house, are very happy in their little poly tunnels.  And we are so happy to see the seedlings standing up straight and growing strong even through the wind and heavy rains we have had.  We have put the first field zucchini crop under these little poly tunnels and will use the tunnels for the first melon crop which will be planted out in about a week.

The glass house looked like a theatre after a show.  Cleaned out!  But the emptiness lasted for less then a day with the starting of the watermelon crop and the second melon planting, the second tomato crop, more lettuce, celery, parsley and Asian greens.

The first planting of beans has germinated.  The celery is growing well. The Autumn parsnips have germinated.  The first planting of corn is in.  The carrots are about one to two weeks away from baby carrot bunches.  The beetroots are about the size of a twenty cent piece.  Cabbages are almost ready and we may start to see some 'Romanesco' Broccoli in the next few weeks.  There are more pea plantings in flower and another crop of broccoli that is starting to form heads.

A note on carrots - carrots overwinter well in our climate.  Any left still as the soil warms in Spring begin to grow new roots...they actually become quite hairy!  And then the root changes from this sweet, succulent food to a hard woody stem and the plant sends up a flower to produce seed.  This usually happens about mid September.  The carrots are no longer edible.  Carrot seed need soil temperatures of about 17 degrees to germinate.  We seeded our first planting of carrots on the 19 August.  It took three weeks for the seed to germinate.  The carrots are a bit thicker then a pencil and about as long now.

The beneficial bugs are increasing which is great as the "pests" are really causing damage to the greens.  We do harvest plants with insect damage believing there is still more then enough left for you.  This week though, we left a braising mix planting in the field as the bug damage was so extensive.

We will send a newsletter out with photos in the next week.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Broad Bean and Quinoa Salad Quinoa and Mibuna Salad with Lemon Pistachio Dressing - I found this recipe on the internet and liked the fruit and nut combination.  It would work well with any of the greens. Warm Artichoke Hearts and Fennel Leek and Silver Beet Tartlets - These would be lovely with the 'Perpetual Gator' and the green garlic

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.