CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #3 (15 January/17-18 January)


THIRD WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE Summer Heat has arrived and we have tried to prepare the vegetables as best we can.  Crops are mulched, shade cloth is on the tomato polytunnel and the propagation glasshouse, irrigation is rotating.  In humid climates, fungal diseases can spread more quickly.  We will continue to spray herbal brews to strengthen the plants.  There are surplus cucumbers this week and another great bean harvest. U-Pick flowers has begun.  More information below.

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 – Big bunches this week...enough to make pesto! We have tried different methods to store the harvested basil...putting it in water or storing it in the cooler.  Neither is perfect.  We recommend storing it in water on the counter. Beans – Purple and yellow bush beans.  Just snap off their heads and steam them or add them to tomato sauce.  Great in salads too! Unfortunately, unless you cook them VERY quickly, the purple beans do turn green when cooked. Beetroot – ‘Detroit Red’ and “Golden Detroit’.  The golden beetroot are wonderful sliced like matchsticks and added to a salad or for dipping. Climbing Beans – Purple climbing beans this week.  These are flatter then the bush beans and great french cut. 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. Garlic – This is biodynamically grown garlic.  Sprayed with 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! Kale – Harvesting bunches of curly kale...before we till in the Spring planting.  Great as chips for a beach snack or mixed into a stir fry. Lettuce – Harvesting young lettuce heads 'Perella Rougette' and 'Freckles' before the heat of the week causes them to go to seed. Spinach –Harvesting mid-size English spinach.  Great cooked alone, in a pasta or raw in a salad. Spring Onions – Bunches of spring onions - Good for salads and stir fries. Tomatoes –We are still harvesting tomatoes from our polytunnel and still watching the green tomatoes in the field.  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– The first crop of Zucchini is slowing down and the second planting is just starting to flower.  The zucchini harvest may be a bit less in the next few weeks while we wait for the second planting to really kick in.

Extras Carrots – 'Cosmic Purple' bunches. 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. Chillies – 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 This week has seen us trying to catch up on the weeding and keep up with the harvesting.  The capsicums have started turning colour.  The first of the paddock sunflowers opened this morning.  The basil is really growing strong.  There are tiny ears of corn.  With the heat, we start very early, hide during the hottest part of the day and continue working in the evening.  Not only is it too hot for us to work in the afternoon, the plants do not like being messed with in high heat.  There are lots of pumpkins in the pumpkin patch and we have started our summer activity of tracking the tiger snakes that are part of our farm ecosystem.  We have written a post about that here.  If you come to U-pick flowers, please wear closed shoes.

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

We are going to have a spontaneous sunflower blooming open day.  Join our newsletter (right hand column button on the website) 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 Basil Pesto – 10 minute recipe. Light and Refreshing Cucumber Salad – 5 minute recipe that kids and adults love! Tahini Dressed Courgette and Green Bean Salad – A 15 minute recipe from the River Cottage cookbook Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad – A 20 minute recipe from the River Cottage cookbook. Kale Chips – Several different recipes for a great nutrient dense snack.

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

U-PICK FLOWERS We have a large assortment of cut and edible flowers planted all over the farm.  CSA members are welcome to come during the farm pick up times and cut a posy and pick some edible flowers.

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.