CSA Spring Share 2013 - Week #5 (7 November/9 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 PICK UP SCHEDULE Next week the deliveries will be back on Wednesday 13 November. Farm Pick Up times are 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. There may be more next week.  The harvest is wrapping up, though. *Beetroot - We had our first explore into the beetroot plantings.  There were enough baby beetroot bunches for the morning delivery boxes. The first two plantings of beetroot are starting to bulk up.  These may continue as a rotated item as we wait for a bit more consistent warmth to help them grow. Broccoli - Harvesting 'DiCiccio' and 'Greenbelt'.  There are either bunches of smaller heads or one or two medium size head.  See the "notes on what's growing"  below about the brassicas. *Carrots - These are bunches of baby carrots 'Little Fingers'.  The afternoon deliveries, full share and Saturday's boxes received these this week. These are very tender and only need a little scrub with your hands.  You can roast  or steam them whole or have them raw.  First carrots of the season! *Cauliflower - This week finishes the two overwintered cauliflower plantings, "Green Macerata" and "Purple Sicily".  We have a Spring planted white cauliflower planting that is starting to head up.  See the "notes on what's growing"  below about the brassicas. 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 'Marvel of Four Seasons' for the half shares. The full shares received a green head of  'Buttercrunch' *Radishes  'Champion', 'French Breakfast' and 'Purple Plum'.  Those who did not receive them last week, should have received them this week. Silver beet – Bags of baby silver beet and baby spinach.  These are lovely tender greens good eaten raw or cooked in an omelette or as a side. Spinach – Bags of English Spinach.  This has a wonderful flavour and would be better cooked then raw.  Lovely as a side or mixed into a slice, soup or omelette. Snow Peas – These are wonderful raw or slightly steamed.  Sweet and tender! Sugar Snap Peas –H–The half shares received some 'Sugar Anns' 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!

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING We talked about the bugs last week, I am happy to say that the aphids are happily in check with lacewings, lady bugs and hover flies all in huge populations.   The caterpillars in the Brassicas (Bok Choy and other Asian Greens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, rocket) have not yet found that balance.  We have a huge infestation of a moth which burrows in leaves after hatching...and not just the brassica family's leaves.  We have spoken with two other local growers who have the same infestation resulting in leaves that look like they have been shot. We have tried this year to have Spring broccoli plantings on both sides of our farm.  The side of the farm that did not get battered by the winds is fairing better then the other.  Plants that have been stressed find it harder to defend themselves.

We are working to increase the beneficial bugs in the new land but may have to till in the first broccoli planting to try and bury eggs.  Last year we had a similar problem that remedied itself by Autumn with huge harvests of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage.    In the meantime, the bok choy this week looked more like bug choy.  We included the red bok choy in some of the boxes.  While the green still had lovey stems, there wasn't much left of the leaves.   We are not sure how the white cauliflower heads will turn out.  If there is too much bug damage, we will till the crop in.  The cabbage looks good and will be ready for harvest next week.  We have another broccoli planting which is young (maybe ready in December) and it looks healthy so far.  And the 'Romanesco' is heading up and looks healthy.  The Spring heads of Romanesco are smaller then the Autumn heads.

We have noted that most people really like Broccoli.  The brassica family is one of the more difficult plant families to follow as it can have a detrimental effect on other plants.  Consequently, we do not have huge plantings in the Spring, opting to have more in the Autumn when the bugs are not such an issue.

We harvested the first zucchini's from two plants starting to produce in the polytunnel.  There are 50 plants in there and the others have not even started to flower yet.  But they are full of buds!  The field planted zucchini are also full of buds as are the cucumbers.  There are many more green tomatoes in the polytunnel and the plants are now over a meter tall.

There are lots more peas to come, including shelling peas.  And hopefully more beetroot and carrots.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Broad Bean and Quinoa Salad Ottolenghi's Herb Pie - This recipe is in Jerusalem  and was also in his Guardian column. You can use different greens and any herbs you have around.  We substituting the green onions with the green garlic. Bok Choy, Broccolini and Chicken in a Spiced Sauce - This works well with the snow peas too.

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.