CSA Summer Share 2015- Week #6 (11 February/13-14 February)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #6 We are half way through our CSA season!!  We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.
The heat is back which is great news for the second melon planting, watermelons, red capsicums, eggplants, sweet corn and beans!  I feel like this next bean planting has taken ages and I am really missing these wonderful warm season vegetable.  Peter thought they would be ready today but had a test pick and they still are not.  If we try and pick them too young, we damage the plant.  So we will see what Friday brings.  We do have three more bean plantings after this one...with the last one being seeded this week!The first melon planting is finished now.  We have tried something different with the second which is looking good so far - we used weed mat to try and keep the weeds down.  The melon plants do not like to have their roots disturbed so pulling weeds is not a great option.  We weeded the first crop three times and it was still overrun with large weeds which shaded the plants and fruit.  This did not help seeing it was a cool wet season so far.  The second planting is virtually weed free and full of forming fruit.We are picking from our second corn planting now and planting our third zucchini planting.  The first zucchini planting is slowly sucumbing to powdery mildew.  It did fantastic though seeing it was badly hit by frost in November!

Farm Pick Up times are Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 8-11am.  Pick up is available at other times by appointment only. 

There may be more boxes of cucumbers available for preserving.  If you are interested, please email us at petercarlyon@gmail.com. We will be finishing with the first planting soon and the second planting is smaller.  If you are thinking about preserving, now is the time.

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 itemsBasil – Big bunches of Italian Green basil, perfect for pesto.  You can make pesto without the cheese and freeze it for use throughout the winter.  You can add the cheese once it has thawed. Carrots – Bunches of heirloom orange carrots 'Little Fingers'. We have cleaned out a planting and will be starting on a new planting on Friday.  Some of the bunches for Wednesday did contain "Ugly" carrots.  These carrots are still very tasty and nutrient dense! Celery –  'Tall Utah'.  There is a great recipe for celery soup (link below) tried by one of our CSA members. Chilies –  'Hungarian Hot Wax' . On the Scoville scale (the measurement of how hot a chili is) these rate at 3500-10,000 (The Thai Hot Chillies rate at 30,000). Corn –  Sweet Corn...best eaten on the day you receive your box. Cucumbers – We are growing three varieties of cucumbers in this first planting.  Two have dark green skin and small warts (some with little bristly hairs).  These are "classic" cucumbers with cool flesh and slightly bitter skin.   The third variety is one we are trialling.  It has a lighter green colour and the skin is very smooth.  This does not have the bitterness of the other two. All three have the wonderfully cooling flesh we all love in this summer vegetable. Lettuce – 'Freckles' or 'Summer Harvest'. Onions – These are 'Cream Gold'.  They are a wonderful onion with a full flavour and store well. Potatoes – 'Exton'.   With freshly dug potatoes, the skin is very tender. We find a light wash is all they need before cooking.

Tomatoes –  We are harvesting the following varieties - all heirloom. 'Rouge de Marmande', 'Marglobe', 'Druzba', 'Oxheart', 'Jaune Negib' (a yellow tomato), 'Grosse Lisee' and 'Black Russian' (which is black).   Tomatoes are best left out of direct sunlight and out of the refrigeration.
Zucchini – 'Black Beauty' and 'Costa Romanesco'.

Extras Capsicum – Purple and green capsicums.  The purple taste like the green and turn green when cooked.  The red, yellow and orange sweet capsicums come later in the season. Cherry Tomatoes – We are growing four different cherry tomatoes this year - 'Black Cherry', 'Sungold', 'Little Yellow Bee' and 'Tommy Toe'. Chilies –   'Pimiento de Padrons'.  These are wonderful fried.  We rotate the 'Padrons' through the boxes and the harvest has just started.  We give you a good size bag to make heating the oil worthwhile.  There is a recipe for them here. Eggplant – We have just started harvesting the first of the eggplant.  These are 'Long, Thin Purple' great in stir fries and barbecued.  The plumper eggplants are forming on the plants and we may start harvesting them next week. Melons – We are harvesting 'Eden's Gem' and 'Early Hanover' both a honey dew and 'Hearts of Gold' and 'Hale's Best' cantaloupes. Radishes – 'Cherry Belle' Squash – 'Golden Crookneck' and/or 'Bennings Green Tint'(also known as Patty Pans - We like them baked.  Here is the recipe.)

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

Please note - Photo is a randomly selected full share box.