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.
NOTES ON THE SHARE Basil – Small bunch in every box. Beans – We are harvesting bush beans 'Strike' (green) and 'Royal Burgundy' (purple). Broccoli – Last week we started harvesting 'Marathon' a summer broccoli variety. The heads are lovely, tight, big and we have found green caterpillar worms inside them. We have cut the broccoli into florets, remove the worms we can and then soaked the florets in salted water for about ten minutes. Any remaining worms have floated to the surface. The planting still has more heads growing. We will continue to divide the harvest. Carrots – Bunch of ‘Deep Purple’, ‘Scarlet Nantes’ and ‘Atomic Red’. The ‘Atomic Red’ are lovely carrots but their peel has a bitter after taste. If you peel them, they have a taste almost like peppermint. We have included some recipe ideas that use lots of carrots in case you have a stash! Celery – We are harvesting 'Tall Utah' and the smaller 'American Stringless'. Chillies - The harvest of 'Padron' chillies will continue to appear in some boxes. There are 'Hungarian Hot Wax', 'Long Thin Cayennes' and 'Thai Hot' or 'Bird's Eye' being harvested. Please look at the pepper post to identify - The 'Cayennes' and the 'Thai Hot' look similar but their heat rating is very different. Cucumbers – We are growing long cucumbers and short cucumbers. The shorter are sweeter and apparently "burpless". We are also growing a variety called 'Lemon'. They have a lovely flavour and are yellow and round. This week each box should receive at least two or three cucumbers. Eggplant – The eggplant harvest has begun. Please look at the eggplant post to identify. We will continue to rotate these through the boxes. Lettuce – We will harvest 'Freckles' this week once the mesclun planting has finished. Mesclun – Everyone last week received the mesclun mix and there is still some left in the planting. We will finish the harvest of this planting and then move into the next lettuce planting. Nectarines – White fleshed 'Goldmine' and orange fleshed 'Fantasia' - Just a little taste of the stone fruit we are beginning to harvest. Onions – 'Spanish White' is this weeks variety. Parsley – Bunch in every box. Patty Pan Squash – The variety is 'Jaune Et Verte'. They are scallop, small, round summer squash. Delicious baked, grilled or stir fried. We are rotating the harvest of these each week. Potatoes – We are harvesting 'Royal Blue' this week. They have a lovely red purple glow to the skin and a white inside. Rocket – There is another Rocket planting which we think will be ready soon for harvesting...depending on the weather and how fast it grows. Not sure if it will make it into Tuesday's box but will definitely be ready for Thursday. Baby Silverbeet – There will be a small bag of baby silverbeet in each box. You can add it to your salad or have it alone. It looks wonderful mixed with beans. Spinach – We are continuing to harvest 'Perpetual Gator'. This was sold as a spinach that withstands heat...it is actually a really delicate silver beet, wonderful raw and cooked. I am enjoying the slightly lemony flavour which makes it so light and refreshing. Works well with eggs, in salads and in filo pockets. Sweet Corn – We are finishing the first planting of corn 'Max'. The second planting is 'Ruby Queen'. The ears are blush red and sweet when picked early - and the old-fashioned rich corn flavour comes when it is allowed to fully ripen to a deep red. Thyme – Bunch in every box. Tomatoes – We will continue to divide the harvest. Zucchini – We are harvesting zucchini from two plantings now and still do not have the glut of zucchini that many home gardeners have. It is just not a zucchini year on our farm this year!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING We have harvested Nectarines from three trees today. While not all of the fruit is completely ripe, they are really yummy. Whilst fruit is not in this years Summer Share, we thought we would put some in each box this week just to give everyone a little taste. We hope to be able to offer more fruit next year. We leave them in a bowl on the table to ripen, eating them when they are just soft to touch but still firm.
This week has seen the big planting of the Autumn Share brassicas with 22 new beds being formed through the new land. These seeds were started in a shade house to protect them from the intense heat and sun that we had in the beginning of January. We also direct seeded the first plantings of turnips, another parsnip planting, more radishes, carrots and beetroot. Next week we will continue our plantings of spinach, coriander, rocket and spring onions. We have been experimenting with intensive market gardening techniques such as direct seeding five or six rows per bed to take advantage of the rich, prepared soil. We have had some great success and other not so successful combinations. I will include photos of both in a post this week. By using these techniques, we believe we can make the best use of our soil and water resources and allow areas more time to be fallowed and cover cropped.
The next planting of sweet corn is a red variety 'Ruby Queen'. This is so pretty and also sweet! The natural sugars in sweetcorn begin to turn to starch as soon as it is picked. We do not harvest the sweetcorn until Saturday morning for pick ups and for deliveries, until all of the boxes are packed and ready to be loaded into the truck. It is best eaten the day you receive it. We steam the cobs for about 4-7 minutes...we take it off the stove one minute after the kernels bead.
We will try and stop harvesting the capsicums this week and see if those remaining on the plant start to turn red. If they do start to turn, they will be picked before they have completely turned red so that the plant will continue to produce more fruit.
The first melon planting got completely taken over by the couch grass on the new land. Still there are some melons starting to ripen and we will look through to see what we can find. The second planting is doing really well and almost completely weed free...the difference between being rushed to plant in the Spring on our new land and having time to prepare the land before the second planting! The watermelons are also looking really great!
ESKY'S Please keep putting out your esky's. Peter is happy to put your vegetables in one to preserve the freshness of the food until you return home.
AUTUMN SHARE The Autumn Share runs from 1 March - 31 May. If you would like to continue being a part of Transition Farm's CSA, you will need to email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org and confirm your intention. On the 3rd of February, we will start adding the names for those people who are on our waiting list, so please express your interest before then. Thank you!
U-PICK FLOWERS We have cosmos, zinneas, scabiosa, fever few, snap dragons, calendula, nasturtiums, statice, helichrysums and many other flowers growing. Every member is welcome to come and U-pick some edible flowers and a bouquet each week on Saturdays from 8am-11am. If you have not been to the farm yet, this is a great chance to walk around, see your food growing and leave with a wonderful posy.
SEASONAL EATING - SHARING INSPIRATION Please keep sharing your inspirations. True seasonal eating has lost its definition, due partly to the fact that the grocery stores and fruit and vegetable shops seem to have everything, all the time. It is great to be a part of the re-awakening of eating with the season and I am enjoying compiling what that looks like for so many different families.
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Spinach and Chicken Curry Pasta with Broccoli and a Lemon and Basil Sauce Summer Vegetable Stock - you can use the Perpetual gator stems in this too! Roasted Cherry Tomatoes with Quinoa and Feta Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes and Chicken Kebabs
You can also search by key ingredient on our website recipe page for many more ideas.