CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #4 (22 January/24-25 January)


FOURTH WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE...what a HOT one! We are happy that the extreme heat of last week has broken and are still assessing the losses from the five consecutive days of heat above 40 degrees.  The first corn planting is almost ready.  Here we are in the middle of summer...and sowing crops for Autumn.   We had a surplus of beetroot this week with us needing to pull up a whole planting that was in the way.  We have added beetroot recipes to help you work through the extra.

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

Thai Basil –Bunches of this delightful 'Asian'  basil which has a pronounced licorice or anise flavourThe flavor is peppery and warm, and although there is a difference between Thai basil and common sweet basil, they can be substituted for each other in most recipes. Delicious mixed with coriander and spring onions to create a Thai flavoured dish. Beans – Yellow bush beans.  Just snap off their heads and steam them or add them to tomato sauce.  Great in salads too! Beetroot – Surplus beetroot this week!  Harvested ‘Detroit Red’, 'Ruby Queen' and 'Golden Detroit’.  The golden beetroot are wonderful sliced like matchsticks and added to a salad or for dipping. We have added a few more beetroot recipes and their are ideas for relishes and pickling in our preserving post. Celery –Harvesting huge heads of crisp, slightly salty celery! Climbing Beans – Purple climbing beans this week.  These are flatter then the bush beans and great french cut and/or added to tomato sauce. Coriander - Wrap in a paper towel and store in the crisper drawer to enjoy for longer.  The roots are as good as the stalks and leaves! 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! Lettuce – Harvesting Cos lettuce heads 'Parris Island' and 'Freckles' both of which made it through the heat beautifully. Our head lettuces show signs of being tip burned. Potatoes –Harvesting 'Cranberry Red'.  These have a slightly pink tinge inside, do not require peeling and are great roasted, mashed or boiled.  Lovely all around potato! Pumpkin –'Red Kuri'  is an early variety which can be roasted skin and flesh!  It has a lovely nutty flavour and is great mixed into salads, as a roasted side, and/or mixed into a Thai Green Curry! Some of these pumpkins were sunburned by the intense heat last week.  This has marred the skin but not the flesh inside.  We roasted it without peeling and found it fine! 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 second planting is producing as is the first.  New varieties coming in a few weeks.Extras 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 Even with early starts last week, the heat of the day saw us finishing work at lunchtime.  Plants are like people - they do not like being messed with when it is that hot.  We lost about 50% of the second parsnip planting with the plantings just burning.  The second celery planting got tip burned and we are waiting to see if the centers will recover.  Some of the head lettuces were tip burned too and others bolted to seed from the heat.  The capsicum and eggplant managed to hang on to their flowers - last year in this heat they dropped them all.

We have apples, pears, tomatoes and pumpkins that were all sunburned.  In the apples, pears and tomatoes, this creates a spot on the fruit which begins to rot.  These fruits are lost.  We harvested the 'Red Kuri' that were sunburned and these spots have not affected the flesh nor the flavour of the skin.  Although they are not picture perfect, they are still delicious!

The first corn planting is almost ready and we have started harvesting eggplants with many more on the bushes.

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

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 Beetroot Quinoa Chocolate Cake – This is a Heidi Sze recipe.  Heidi is a local dietician and one of our lovely volunteers.  Her blog (www.applesundermybed.com) is her diary. She writes about food, travel, cooking, life...her life. Heidi has written a post about re-connecting with your food which mentions her time on Transition Farm.  We were the great and lucky recipients of this cake for morning tea! Creamy Beetroot Dressing – 5 minute recipe for a long lasting salad dressing Beet and Carrot Salad – A 10 minute recipe that is a farm lunch favourite. Thai Curry Paste and Thai Baked Tofu – A 30 minute recipe from the Moosewood cookbook. Bean Salad – Another Heidi recipe.

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 Our apologies for the late arrival of the What's in the Box this week.

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Please note – Photo is of a full share box.