NINTH WEEK OF THE SUMMER SHARE There is a chill in the air - much different to late February last year. Autumn does feel like it is coming. We are still harvesting melons. We have planted many heirloom varieties that you usually do not see in the grocery store because they do not "travel" as well as other varieties. We also "slip" pick them which is the plants way of saying the fruit is ready. We are in between sweet corn plantings - Sweet corn again next week. Zucchini will begin to be a rotated item. More about that below. Watermelons will be ready next week.
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 – Purple bush beans. These lovely beans do turn green when cooked. Beetroot – Gorgeous bunches of 'Detroit Red' and 'Ruby Queen'. Carrots –Harvesting 'Royal Chantenay'. Celery – We are harvesting our second planting of 'Tall Utah'. The tops were burned by the intense heat in January. The stalks are still succulent and moist. These are huge heads. If you have extra, you can make stock now to use for winter stews. Chillies – To see the varieties we are growing and to identify what you receive, please go to our Capsicum and Chillies post. Coriander – Bunches with the roots for making pastes. 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. Mesclun – Bags of mixed baby lettuces, tatsoi, silverbeet and mustards. 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. 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 ‘Black Russian’, ‘Rouge de Marmande’, Brandywine, Marglobe and ‘Ox Heart Red’.
Extras Eggplant – We have begun 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 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. Zucchini– Harvesting 'Nero di Milano', 'Romanesco', and a stuffing zucchini 'GreyZiti'. Our second zucchini planting is being challenged by powdery mildew. This is greatly reducing the harvest consequently we will be rotating zucchini through the boxes.
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Tomato Salsa – 5 minute recipe Black Bean Burritos – Although you soak the beans overnight and then cook them for 1 1/2 hours, the rest of the meal takes 20 minutes and my children LOVE them! Celery Gratin – Preparation 15 minutes. Cooking 30 minutes. Thai Salad Dressing - 5-10 minute recipe Beet and Carrot Salad - 10 minute salad
FARM NEWS Late summer is a bit cooler then last year. The pumpkins are finishing - we have built a mouse-proof room to store them in this year. The watermelon are ripening. The growth of summer is slowing down.
We sowed parsnips and leeks in the Spring which are ready for Autumn harvest. Turnips have been sown. We are continuing to plant brassicas - broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage. We are also sowing Asian greens, spinach and silverbeet. Our carrot plantings are growing well. We still have more bean plantings too. The third sweet corn planting will be ready next week and there are three more plantings growing. We have sown snow peas for Autumn.
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.