CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #1 (7 January/9-10 January)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #1 I apologise for the late arriving What's in the Box.  With the 40C day looming and rain fore casted for the next five days, we started early in the field to try and prepare the crops for the weather.  And then we lost power until after 9pm.

We would really like to hear how the box is working for you, what produce you like, what is harder to know what to do with and what meals were a highlight in your house.  If you are picking your box up, please do share with us.  If your box is delivered and you are home, please chat a bit with Belinda or Peter.

With the days heating up, please do leave a large esky out and we will pack your veggies into to help them cope until you get home.  Belinda and Peter do try and find a shady spot for the box but even in the shade, the greens wilt very quickly!


NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Heat above 36C does really effect crops.  The tomatoes, capsicum and eggplants can drop all their flowers, the cucumbers can just give up, the pumpkins which are starting to grow can get sun scalded as can the capsicums, tomatoes and fruit.  The melons, corn and zucchini seem to thrive.  The cloud cover in the late afternoon, the cool change and the rain falling now helps!There are melons growing well, with some about the diameter of a dessert plate, and the field tomatoes are ripening.  We have welcomed a new intern, Tahlia, who will be working with us through March.  The Autumn brassica plantings continue to be seeded as do more plantings of lettuce, basil, beans, corn, coriander, perpetual gator, rocket, spring onions and zucchini.

We were lucky to have the rain after the heat on Saturday.  Some of the apples and capsicums were scalded by the sun but most things recovered well with the cool change and rain.

We were excited to spy lots of native Australian bees today.  These blue banded bees are great pollinators and wonderful proof that the diversity within our ecosystem is growing!

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 itemsThai Basil – Wonderful on salads, vegetable dishes and meats.  Great mixed into a summer curry with lemon grass, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and soy. Beans – Green and purple French beans. Beet Root – Large bunches of tender beets. Carrots – Bunches of heirloom orange carrots. Green Coriander Seed –The fresh coriander seeds lend so many savory preparations a huge jolt of flavor and crunch.  They taste like a cross between fresh coriander leaves and dried coriander seed - bright and verdant but not as intense as the leaves.  They are citrusy and slightly nutty, and they pair very well with beans, lentils, rice, and roasted or grilled vegetables.Fresh coriander seed makes a great garnish on rice, in salads, on meats, in sauces. Mix it into marinades and dressings. Try it roughly cracked and with black pepper on any grilled meat or fish. Or sprinkle them on a salad of ripe tomatoes with salt and extra virgin olive oil.  You can infuse them in vodka for a wonderful cocktail.Crush them lightly and mix them with ripe peaches for a great salsa.  You can replace the dried coriander seeds in a curry but put them in near the end to retain their freshness. Cucumbers Fennel – You can use this as a main salad ingredient or carmelise it with butter and use it to stuff zucchini or as a base for risotto.  Great roasted too! Garlic – 'Australian White'. We put the smaller bulbs in the boxes first as the larger ones store better. Lettuce Potatoes – Wonderful boiled, roasted and mashed.  With freshly dug potatoes, the skin is very tender. English Spinach – Eat raw or cooked, with eggs or wrapped in fillo.


Extras Broccoli – The last of our Summer broccoli.  The crop will be back again in March. Capsicum – There have been a few green capsicums ready for harvest with many more smaller ones growing.  The coloured sweet capsicums come later in the season. Chilies – There have been a few 'Hungarian Hot Wax' and we have started picking the 'Pimiento de Padrons'.  These are wonderful fried.  We rotate the 'Padrons' through the boxes and the harvest has just started.  We give you a good size bag to make heating the oil worthwhile.  There is a recipe for them here. Peas Sugar snap peas or snow peas. Wonderful in a salad or a stir fry! Squash

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Green Beans and Potato Salad Spinach and Chicken CurryWARM ROASTED BEETROOT, CARROT AND FENNEL SALAD Ingredients 1 bunch beetroots, peeled and quartered 12 baby carrots, trimmed and peeled 1 brown onion, peeled and cut into wedges 1 fennel bulb, trimmed & cut into wedges 2 whole garlic bulbs, halved across salt and pepper 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar extra virgin olive oil 150g soft goats cheese, cut into thick slices crusty bread to serveMethod 1.  Preheat oven 200°C 2. Combine vegetables in a large baking dish and toss through sugar, vinegars and oil. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Roast covered for 35-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender. 4. Carefully remove foil and place goats cheese over the top. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until cheese becomes soft and bubbly. 5. Remove and serve immediately, with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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

Please note - Photo is a randomly selected full share box with the addition of padrons.