CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #5 (29 January/31 Jan - 1 Feb)

FIFTH WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE We are still harvesting some tomatoes from our polytunnel – and FINALLY the tomato plantings out on the farm are starting to ripen.  We have some Capsicum turning to red which makes their flesh sweeter.  We have started harvesting eggplants. And we have included some Nectarines in your box this week.

The Full Share have ‘Atomic Red’ carrots – these need to be peeled to turn a bitter taste into a sweet one!

SUNFLOWER OPEN DAY - FARM TOUR With the sunflower field in full bloom, we will be giving a farm tour this Saturday at 9:30am.  This is open to anyone.  Please email us to receive further information and/or let us know you are coming so we have an idea of the numbers.

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 – Large Pesto bunches of basil this week. French Beans – Yellow and green bush beans.  Just snap off their heads and steam them or add them to tomato sauce.  Great in salads too! Capsicum – We are harvesting ‘Purple Beauty’, ‘Emerald Giant’, and ‘Corno di Toro’. To identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Some of the 'Corno di Toro's' have started turning red.  These are sweet capsicum! Carrots –Harvesting 'Atomic Red' and 'Solar Yellow'.  If you remove the 'Atomic Red peel, the taste is sweeter. Chillies – To see the varieties we are growing and to identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. 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. There are surplus cucumbers.  Expect a few extras. Garlic – This is biodynamically grown garlic.  Sprayed with seaweed brews and biodynamic preparations.  It is full of trace minerals, strong and sweet.  This is the last week of the little heads! Lettuce – Harvesting Cos lettuce heads 'Parris Island' and 'Freckles'. Red Onions – Bunches of red onions - Good for salads and stir fries. The tops are edible too! Radishes – Bunches of 'Champion' radishes. Rocket – Bunches of young rocket.  There are signs of caterpillar damage but there is still plenty left for you to enjoy. English Spinach – Big bags of English spinach.  If you still have your pumpkin from last week, you can try a spinach and pumpkin curry.  This is also wonderful for spanikopita! Tomatoes –We are still harvesting tomatoes from our polytunnel.  The field tomatoes harvest is just beginning.  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.  There is surplus this week and every box has some extras.  New varieties coming in a few weeks. Check out this article on what to do with the glut of zucchini!

Extras Climbing Beans – Purple climbing beans this week.  These are flatter then the bush beans and great french cut and/or added to tomato sauce. Eggplant – We have begun harvesting the larger variety of eggplant 'Florida Market'.  This is the classic purple eggplant. Nectarines – ‘Goldmine’ are the white fleshed variety and ‘Fantasia’ are the yellow flesh variety.  We wait until the fruit is ripe to harvest.  These should be ready to eat. They will store best in the fridge if you are not going to consume them today. 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'.  The Golden crookneck are sweet steamed with butter, salt and pepper.

NOTES ON WHAT IS GROWING We picked the first of the ‘Marglobe’ and ‘Tommy Toe’ tomatoes yesterday from our 300feet of field tomatoes.  The start of the harvest is always a bit slow and then it increases.  We are looking forward to giving you more tomatoes in the coming weeks.  We have also been holding the green capsicums on the bush in hopes that they will start to turn red.  The 'Corno di Toro' variety have started turning.  These are the long, thin capsicum. We have been checking the first corn planting daily...watching and waiting. And the melons are also nearing full ripeness.

We are continuing to seed and plant a mixture of greens to keep a steady supply, even through the heat.  It has been hard to germinate the lettuce seed with temperatures above 30 so we may have some gaps in about four weeks - The adventures of trying to keep variety in the box.  We have also continued with our seeding for the Autumn Share.  Broccoli, several varieties of cauliflowers, Romanesco broccoli, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts for early winter!

A lovely local lady, Lorraine, makes our gleaning program so easy. When we have excess, we call Lorraine and arrange to deliver it to her. She either passes it on to 'Second Bite' who then distributes fresh, nutritious produce to people in need. Or she works with "Connections", an organisation that trains disabled people to work in commercial kitchens, and turns 30kilos of cucumbers into pickles for the local brotherhood kitchen. Or she gathers some other lovelies together to top and toe 20 kilos of beans and quick freezes then for future brotherhood cook ups. This week she will be pickling beet root at connections. Read more about gleaning here...http://transitionfarm.com/index.../csa-program/gleaning/

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 Creamy Pasta with Roasted Zucchini, Goats Cheese & Basil Spinach and Feta Pie – This is included in one of Jamie Oliver 30 minute dinners with Cucumber Salad and Tomato Salad. Good Old French Bean Salad – Another Jamie Oliver recipe - twangy and mustardy.

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.

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Please note – Photo is of a full share box.