CSA Summer Share 2013 - Week #1 (31 December/3-4 January)


THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE What a week it is with lots of gorgeous produce! It is a bumper first bean crop with the harvest being about 30% more then our expectation.  There are surplus beans in every box.  We have also been waiting for our summer broccoli planting.  Usually these plantings come on over a period of weeks but these heads have all came at the same time!  We believe they will store in your fridge for two weeks.  Consequently, there is extra broccoli in all the boxes too.

With surplus beans, broccoli, cucumbers and zucchini, this is a great week to check out our ideas on Preserving the Harvest.  Some are very quick and allow you to enjoy this fresh produce throughout the year.

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.

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. 1/4 share: 5-7 items   1/2 share: 8-10 items   Full Share: 10-12 items

Basil - Great bunches of very full flavoured basil. Beans – Green and Yellow bush beans.  Just snap off their heads and steam them or add them to tomato sauce.  Great in salads too! Beetroot - 'Detroit Red' and "Golden Detroit'.  The golden beetroot are wonderful sliced like matchsticks and added to a salad or for dipping. Broccoli - Two to three heads of un-sprayed broccoli.  Broccoli ranks third in the list of heavily sprayed crops.  We had a huge moth problem in the Spring but planted this broccoli in a more protected area of the farm.  Enjoy this Summer broccoli that is completely pesticide and herbicide free! Carrots - Bunches of 'Atomic Red" and 'Scarlett Nantes' Coriander – Big bunches good for marinating prawns for the grill, making salsas and mixing into salads! Cucumbers - The cucumber plants are really taking off.  We are taking orders for boxes of cucumbers for making pickles.  There is a recipe on the website.  First in - Best Dressed! Garlic - We are still putting the smaller heads in the boxes as the larger ones store better.  While the outsides are dried, the inside is still wonderfully juicy! Lettuce - Harvesting Oak Leaf Perpetual Gator – A perpetual Spinach with a lemony taste.  Good cooked or mixed into a salad. Spinach – English Spinach - good raw or cooked.  Add to your salads or pastas! Zucchini – Great harvest of zucchini has continued.  This may be a good week to share with you this article on what to do with the glut of zucchini!

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 – To identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Peaches– These are from our second tree to ripen this year.  With the wet Spring, they are very juicy!  They need to sit and ripen on the counter!  These are really good grilled too. 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 come in bags with enough to make heating the oil worth the effort.  They are rotated through the boxes. 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 and wonderful grilled with zucchini, sliced and put onto a bed of spinach. Tomatoes –We are harvesting tomatoes from our polytunnel.  With the cold Spring, our field tomatoes are still lagging behind.  The tomato's flavour is 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', Brandywine, Marglobe and 'Ox Heart Red'.

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING The field tomatoes are really lagging behind.  The current harvest is coming from the polytunnel we added this year.  While we have four hundred feet of field tomatoes planted, we only have 200 feet on room in the polytunnel.  The tomato harvest is being divided.

The other summer crops are really going for it now!  For those who have just joined our CSA, this weeks box has quite alot of surplus produce...the boxes are not normally this BIG!  We had extra cucumbers, beans, broccoli and zucchini!  The great part of being in a CSA is that you receive the surplus in times of bounty and you also may have a light box when we have crop failures.  We certainly prefer a surplus!! but are also mindful that you may feel daunted by the amount of produce.  Please let us know if you would prefer not to receive surplus.

We are taking orders for boxes of cucumbers for making pickles.

I am putting photos of yesterday's harvest day and of all the food growing on the internet tonight.  If you do not receive our newsletter,  you can view them on our website www.transitionfarm.com (where you can also join our newsletter).

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Roasted Beetroot Salad with BoatShed Cheese Persian Feta - This recipe comes from Tamara Newing,  one of our CSA members and the artisan cheese maker behind BoatShed Cheese - Mt Martha, Victoria. Szechwan Green Beans - 15 minute recipe that kids and adults love! Pasta with Broccoli and Lemon Basil Sauce - 15 minute recipe great to take for beach picnics! Mango Salsa - 5 minute recipe that is great with grilled chicken or fish, breaded chicken or fish or chips! Beetroot and Cream Cheese Dip - 5 minute recipe great for summer snacks!

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

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 to pick your vegetables up outside of these times.

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.