CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #2 (8 January/10-11 January)


THE SECOND WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE The weather has been cool but we are happy to have the rain.  The weeds are trying hard to make their seed...and we are trying hard to ensure they don't! Please read on to find out about what's in your box and what's 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 items

Beans – Green and Yellow bush beans.  Just snap off their heads and steam them or add them to tomato sauce.  Great in salads too! Carrots – Mixed bunches of heirloom carrots.  The red ones are 'Atomic Red'. These are a wonderfully almost mint flavoured carrot but they need to be peeled!  THE PEEL IS BITTER. Celery – Celery is one of the vegetables you can really taste the minerals in.  This weeks celery is naturally salty and not very stringy.  The ample rain we have been having has made it very moist.  Celery is filled with Vitamins K, A, C, B2, B5, potassium. manganese, calcium and magnesium as well as many trace minerals 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 30 minutes.  Rinse and drain.  Rinse and drain.  Dress with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Garlic – This is biodynamically grown garlic.  Sprayed only with rain, seaweed brews and biodynamic preparations.  It is full of trace minerals, strong and sweet.  We are still putting the small heads into the boxes.  The larger heads store better and these will come in about three weeks! Onions – 'California Red'-  Great raw or cooked! Parsley – Bunches of Italian parsley. Potatoes – Bags of young, baby potatoes.  The variety is 'Desiree' and some have scab.  The scab is little more then visual annoyance.  They are fine inside.  These steam well!  Then add butter, salt and parsley.  They also make a good potato salad. Rocket – Bunches of rocket this week.  You can cut the leaves from the stem above the rubber band. Perpetual Gator – Bunches of this perpetual Spinach with a lemony taste.  Good cooked or mixed into a salad. 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’. 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 Broccoli – The last of the main broccoli heads from the current planting.  Broccoli ranks third in the list of heavily sprayed crops.   Enjoy this Summer broccoli that is completely pesticide and herbicide free! Capsicum – Even with the cooler weather, the capsicum harvest continues.  We are harvesting ‘Purple Beauty’, ‘Emerald Giant’, and ‘Corno di Toro’. To identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Chilies – By Request and availability–To see the varieties we are growing and to identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. 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 are rotated through the boxes.  We have lots of plants but the harvest has only just begun.  It might take awhile to get them into everyone's box. 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.

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING It is hard to believe that this is the week where we had seven consecutive days of 40+ temperatures last year!  We really love the rain and the cooler temperatures.  It is delaying the field tomatoes and we are worried about the possibility of early fungal diseases in them due to wet weather.  And the eggplant which started off so strong are not liking the cold.  Everything else is happy and thriving.  The corn has started tasseling.  If you want to know more about how a corn plant makes its succulent ear, read this post.

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

I have put photos of our New Year's Harvest Day on the internet.  We are going to have a spontaneous sunflower blooming open day.  Join our newsletter (right hand column button) or follow us on instagram and facebook to find out when.

Check out our ideas on Preserving the Harvest.  Some are very quick and allow you to enjoy this fresh produce throughout the year.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Rocket Pesto – 10 minute recipe. Delicious as a dip or with chicken, fish or lamb. Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil and Parmesan – 30 minute recipe that kids and adults love! Potato and Green Bean Salad – 25 minute recipe great to take for beach picnics! Black Rice, Rocket, Bean and Semi-Dried Tomato Salad – 20 minute recipe-Wonderfully textured salad with gorgeous colours and taste. Ministrone – Simple flavoured soup perfect for the cooler weather and using all the summer vegetables.

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

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.

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.