WEEK ELEVEN OF THE SUMMER SHARE The days are getting shorter and although we have had some heat this past week, the nights are cool- Autumn. Plants such as capsicums recognize this time and they ripen quicker, trying to produce seed for next year. There is sweet corn again this week and yes, those may be big, fat corn borers on the top of the ears. This is organic corn and their damage is easily cut off with the rest of the ear to enjoy. We have tried to include a little 'Tiny Tim' pumpkin. These are ornamental-just a little Autumn gift. We will be sending confirmation letters for the Autumn share by the end of the week. Please look for them in your email and respond - Thank you.
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
French Beans – Green bush beans. These plants struggled through the extreme heat in January. Although they recovered, the yield has been affected. Beetroot – Gorgeous bunches of 'Detroit Red' and 'Ruby Queen'. Carrots –Harvesting 'Royal Chantenay','Solar Yellow' and 'Cosmic Purple' - all heirloom varieties. Capsicum –The capsicums all sense that Autumn is here and are ripening much faster now. There are heaps of coloured capsicum, sweet and filled with vitamin C. Chillies – Harvesting 'Hungarian Hot Wax' and 'Cayenne Long Thin'. To read about how hot they are and identify which you may have received, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Sweet Corn – Yes, those may be big, fat corn borers on top of your ears of corn. This is organic corn and they love it too! They are usually only on the top of the ear. You can just cut that off and the rest is fine. We have tried to remove the ones we saw but their evidence may still be there. Cucumbers – We are growing several varieties of cucumber. One is noticeably bitter. Test your cucumber. If it is bitter, peel it, slice it and place it in a colander with salt for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain. Rinse and drain. Dress with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. We do have surplus cucumbers available for only two more weeks if you would like to make pickles. Garlic – This is biodynamically grown garlic. Sprayed with seaweed brews and biodynamic preparations. It is full of trace minerals, strong and sweet. Lazy Lettuce – These quick growing, thickly seeded baby lettuce plantings are helping us make it through the gap in our lettuce harvest. The leaves are not as small as mesclun but wonderful and colorful. Melons – Harvesting green flesh ‘Edens Gem’ and ‘Green Nutmeg’ and orange flesh ‘Carmes de Noir’, ‘French Chantenais’, ‘Hale’s Best’ and ‘Hearts of Gold’. Red Onions – Good for salads and stir fries. Curly Leaf Parsley Radishes – Bunches of 'Champion' radishes. Tomatoes –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 'Tommy Toe', ‘Black Russian’, ‘Rouge de Marmande’, 'Marglobe' and ‘Ox Heart Red’.
Extras Eggplant – Harvesting the larger variety of eggplant 'Florida Market'. This is the classic purple eggplant. 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 bagged. Pumpkins – 'Jack Be Little' We tried to get one of these in each box. They are ornamental and just a fun little Autumn gift. Also harvesting 'Sweet Dumpling'. These are a great little squash wonderful for stuffing (recipe below) or roasting with the skin on. Watermelon – Harvesting 'Sugar Baby' watermelon.
FARM NEWS Our late summer interns have been with us for five weeks now. In addition to hands on learning about harvesting, weeding, soil blocking, seeding, storing the harvest, compost making, biodynamic planting and biodynamic preparation application, they are very keen to leave the farm with a guide of what they can plant in each season and how to rotate those crops in order to maintain soil health. They are making a test plot with a guide to the tools they will need, how they will prepare the soil, how they will seed crops, what crops to seed, the projected yield and how they will market their crops. We are thrilled that they are so keen to get growing!
The Autumn crops are all growing well. We are continuing to transplant broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, fennel and lettuce from the greenhouse and have begun to plan the areas for the overwintered crops like garlic and broad beans. In the field, we are direct sowing Asian greens like bok choy and tatsoi, spinach, Autumn root crops like beetroot, carrots and turnips, silver beet and rocket. Same news really as last week.
We have had some crop failures - Our second planting of celery turned woody. last night was ther first substantial rain we have had this year. Irrigation can not substitute for a good soaking rain. The celery turning is a result of the lack of rain. Our third celery planting is growing well and does not show signs of water stress. We also lost our first Autumn planting of fennel. The night before planting it into the ground, slugs came and ate almost the entire planting...over 200 seedlings. As we start things from seed, we just had to move on and wait for the second planting which will be transplanted this week. These things affect the diversity of the weekly boxes but we have planted extra crops so they should not affect the number of items each week.
FARM PICK UP SCHEDULE To accommodate those picking up their Mountain View Farm milk, Farm Pick Up times are Friday afternoon from 2pm-5pm and Saturday mornings from 8am-11am. Please contact us if you need to arrange to pick your vegetables up outside of these times.
Please note – Photo is of a full share box.