CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #12 (17 June/19-20 June)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #12 Thank you for supporting our farm and helping us grow as growers!!! It is the last week of our CSA season...even though there are crops for next season already growing.  It has been really helpful to read the surveys that have come back thus far.  It has also been quite heart swelling reading some of the comments.  Peter and I really love growing food and feeding local families.  We are thrilled that so many of you enjoy the food and hope that we can refine our service to better suit your families.  We will take the time during Winter to share the results as they do affect how and what we will grow next season. If you have not yet done so, please do take the 5 minutes to fill out the survey.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING This weeks box includes crops especially planned for this week.  We have also been cleaning out the fields, harvesting what is left of some crops and dividing this between the members.  One of the things I love about our CSA is that their is no food wastage on our farm.  If things are no longer of high quality for the box, we either feed them to the chickens or compost them.

We had planned to have Brussel Sprouts, celeriac, romanesco broccoli and raddichio in the boxes these last few weeks.  The brussel sprouts are filled with aphids.  I am sure they are lovely but they way off the quality we like to have.  While the celeriac stalks are lovely, and their taste would add alot to a stock, the roots (which is the part you eat), are not fully developed.  We have a few ideas why and will try again next year!.  the raddichio is just now starting to form heads.  We may end up with 200 heads ready in three weeks! The romanesco broccoli is slowly forming heads but again, it looks as if we will be harvesting this through the Winter.  We apologise for not being able to include these crops this year.

The pea crop this Autumn has been very disappointing.  The peas we have harvested have been wonderful.  But the germination was about 50% and of that, the crop was very damaged by winds resulting in very small harvests each week.

We also had a lovely braising mix and more spinach planted for these last few weeks of boxes.  The cool Autumn has not allowed for these crops to grow at the speed that they did last year.  They too will be ready in the deep winter.

We appreciate how the lack of these crops affects the diversity of the boxes and also appreciate you being along with us in this growing adventure.  Our boxes are a direct representation of what is growing well for us, here on this farm during each season.  We enjoy sharing that story with you.

With the solstice this weekend, our sunlight hours will slowly increase each day.  Happy Winter!

THE FARM WILL BE CLOSING FOR WINTER ON SATURDAY 20 JUNE AT 11AM.

This week, the boxes will be ready earlier for Farm Pick Up. Please come on Friday from 11am - 5pm or Saturday from 8am-11am.

Any boxes left on the farm on Saturday 20 June after 11am will be donated to families in need.

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

Apples Baby Red Bok Choy Broccoli Carrots Fennel Garlic Kale Leeks Onions Pumpkin Tatsoi Thyme Turnips

Extras Cabbage Celery Lettuce Radishes English Spinach Rosettes Snow Peas Sugar Snap Peas RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Sesame Salmon with Honey Bok Choy - This recipe is great with tatsoi too! Tatsoi and Cabbage Stir Fry Fennel and Radish Salad Warm Kale and Roasted Vegetable Salad Fennel, Lemon and Thyme Roasted Chicken

 I found the following on the internet, which includes great photos.  I altered the recipe slightly as per below.

Ingredients 2 lemons 1 whole fennel 2 cloves garlic salt pepper olive oil Method 1. Preheat oven to 180C. Slice lemon and fennel root. 2. Crush garlic and combine with 1 tbsp fresh thyme, salt and pepper.  Gently separate the skin of the chicken breast from the meat (without removing it).  Place 2 tbsps butter, some of the fennel leaf fronds and the herbs in between the skin and the meat. 3. Salt and pepper chicken and rub it with olive oil. Put the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. 4. Add fennel root, lemon, and thyme to the cavity of the chicken. 5. Add the leftover fennel fronds and lemon on top of the bird around in the roasting pan. 6. Bake until the internal temperature reaches 65C degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before carving (temperature should now be 75C)

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.

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #11 (10 June/12-13 June)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #11 As the constellation of the scorpion rises high in the sky, winter is here!  We had rain, hail and sunshine harvesting!!  Next week is the last CSA box of the season.  Please make sure to leave something for us to put your vegetables in (BIG basket, BIG esky, bags, etc) as we will not be leaving the crate.  Please also ensure that crates are left out for us to collect - Thank you!

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING

While there are still green manure crops to sow, the ones Peter put in four weeks ago have germinated but are moving at a snails pace compared with the ones we put in six weeks ago (which are already well past our ankles).  Our days are almost at their shortest and even with sun, the air is decidedly cold.  The next five weeks, growth slows right down on the farm, waiting for longer days to resume again.

Slow Living magazine has featured CSA’s in their next edition ‘The Future of Food’ which comes out Wednesday 10 June.  We have written an article about our CSA.

Please look for the survey we are sending out this week and take the five minutes to complete it to help us grow better for you!

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  If you are running late, please do ring to avoid disappointment.

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

Beetroot Carrots Garlic Kale Leeks Onions Parsnips Parsley English Spinach Rosettes Sweet Potato

Extras Broccoli Cauliflower Coriander Lettuce Pumpkin Radishes Snow Peas Sugar Snap Peas RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup Pumpkin and Spinach Curry Roasted Beetroot, Carrots and Parsnips Winter Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Sugar Snap Peas KALE CHIPS

This recipe comes from a CSA member Nadine Jolley.  We love kale chips for morning tea and crumbled on the spicy parsnip soup!

Ingredients

One bunch Kale

Two tablespoons of olive oil

Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast

One tablespoon sweet paprika

Two teaspoons turmeric

Half teaspoon of sea salt (we use pink salt)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 120 - 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper (to make clean up easier)
  3. Make a dressing with the oil, yeast, paprika, turmeric and salt and set aside.
  4. Wash and dry kale, then tear the leaves from the stems and place in a large bowl. (Don't discard the stems, you can add to a veggie stock or to the compost)
  5. Pour your prepared dressing over the leaves and massage the dressing into the leaves until they are coated evenly.
  6. Place on your baking tray and evenly spread out without overlapping the leaves to ensure an even cooking time. Then place in oven to cook for aprox 30 minutes until crisp.
  7. Let cool slightly before serving as they will crisp up a little more.

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 with the inclusion of a whole pumpkin (the full shares received about a 3k piece).

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #10 (3 June/5-6 June)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #10 Today Peter is disassembled a 60m greenhouse.  We are hoping to be able to put this on rails-allowing it to move through the paddock- and use it throughout the growing season.  It will help with crops like tender greens and lettuce in the Autumn, early peas in the Spring and eggplants in the Summer.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING
I feel the lack of celery in this weeks box.  We have 100 feet of celery planted but it is still not ready for harvest.  I checked the celeriac we have planted hoping that maybe it would be ready but it too is not quite there.

This is our second season growing through the month of June and the weather has been very different to last Summer and Autumn making the timing of things different as well.  It is great to have more data to help us better plan for all seasons in the future.

We have topped the brussel sprouts in hopes that they will be in the last weeks box.  The final broccoli planting should be ready for harvest next week.  The side shoots have finished on the other plantings.

The white and green cauliflower are almost finished as well.  There are still heads to harvest in the purple cauliflower and we are hoping more romanesco will be ready in the next few weeks too!  We have only harvested two heads so far-more are forming.

There are still rows of young greens in the field.  They are slowly growing.  There are also more beetroot, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, parsnips and pumpkin.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  If you are running late, please do ring to avoid disappointment.

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 itemsCabbage Carrots Kale Leeks Parsley Potatoes Pumpkin Radishes Rocket Turnips Extras Broccoli Cauliflower Mixed Baby Lettuce Lettuce Rhubarb Sugar Snap Peas
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS You can search our recipes by looking for the key ingredients on our website recipe page

BAKED EGGS WITH ROCKET, YOGURT AND CHILLIES

From the much-loved Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ cookbook.

Ingredients

4 large eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch Arugula

1/2 cup Greek yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/2 tsp kirmizi biber*

(or a mix of chilli flakes + sweet paprika)

3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter

6 sage leaves, shredded

salt

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 165°C.

2. Place the rocket and olive oil in a large pan and sprinkle over a little salt. Sauté on a medium heat for a few minutes, until the rocket wilts and most of the liquid has evaporated.

3. Transfer to a small baking dish (or leave in the pan, if ovenproof) and make four deep indentations in the cooked rocket. Carefully break an egg into each hollow then place in the preheated oven to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until whites are set.

4. While the eggs are baking make your garlic yoghurt and chilli butter. First, stir the garlic through the yoghurt and season generously with salt. Set aside.

5. In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add a pinch of salt and the kirmizi biber (or chilli flakes and paprika) and fry for a couple of minutes until the butter starts to foam and take on a golden red hue. Add the sage and cook for a few more seconds. Remove from heat.

6. When your eggs are ready to your liking, take them out of the oven. Spoon on a large dollop of garlicky yoghurt and pour over the hot chilli butter. Serve immediately.

* a spice with a sweet aroma and varying levels of spiciness, can be found in Turkish grocers

RAW TUSCAN KALE SALAD

Ingredients

1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)

2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs

1/2 garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch

1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1. Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

2. If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

3. Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Source: 101 Cookbooks -- Adapted from the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino recipe in Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

IRISH STEW

This is a recipe from Matt Moran chef and co-owner of ARIA Restaurant.  It was printed in the AGE.  Thanks to Peter’s mother, we had it over the weekend - Fantastic!

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 2 hours

Ingredients

1.5kg lamb neck chops

50g butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 celery sticks, roughly diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

400g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

2 litres chicken stock

1 tbs celery salt

1 bouquet garni

400g kipfler potatoes, peeled

½  cabbage

100g butter

1 tbs chopped parsley

Method

1. Preheat the oven to ­150C.

2. Place the lamb chops in a saucepan, cover with cold water and season with a good pinch of salt. Bring the saucepan to a simmer; skim any impurities that float to the surface. Drain the lamb and set aside.

3. Using a heavy-based ovenproof saucepan, melt the butter and add the chopped onion, celery and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and gently cook the vegetables for 5 to 6 minutes without any colour.

4. Add the blanched lamb, potatoes and chicken stock. Bring to the simmer and skim any impurities and fat from the surface. Stir in the celery salt and bouquet garni, cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.

5. Remove from the oven, the lamb should be tender. Leave the stew to cool for about 30 minutes then carefully remove the lamb chops. Remove the bouquet garni and discard.

6. Blend the vegetables and stock together using either a hand blender or liquidiser until smooth. Strain into a clean saucepan and return the lamb chops to the sauce.

7. Place the kipfler potatoes in a saucepan of cold, salted water, then bring to the boil until tender.

8. Shred the cabbage. In a clean saucepan, melt the butter and add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and stir together, cover with a tight- fitting lid and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

9. Warm the stew and stir through the chopped parsley and serve with the boiled potatoes, cabbage and a pint of the dark stuff.

Please note - Photo is a randomly selected full share box with the inclusion of a whole pumpkin (the full shares received about a 3k piece).

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #9 (27 May/29-30 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #9 The eggplant and capsicums were composted last week and we have harvested the last of the sweet corn (which Friday members received last week).  With winter upon us, our warm weather crops have finished.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING The cold seems to have settled in, even though we have been lucky with some sunshine the past few days! Peter and I walked through the remaining crops over the weekend and talked about the slowed growth due to lack of sunlight.  The final planting of mixed greens may not be ready for the last week of our CSA...just three more weeks to go!

There is more kale, silver beet, rocket, spinach and hopefully lettuce still to come.  We also grew Brussel Sprouts this year for the first time.  These plants were hit early on by aphids but are still growing and we are hoping to be able to harvest these once a true frost has sweetened them.  We have had a light frost which killed the tops of a late season basil crop experiment.  We harvested our first head of Romanesco broccoli this week too.  With its incredible fractal spirals and great green colour, this is a wonderful winter crop.

The importance of light is one of the big differences between biodynamically grown food and organically grown food.  Organically grown food may still be grown with nitrogen boosting "fertilisers" - even though these will come in the form of a natural product.  In biodynamics, manure may be applied to fields but this is usually done before the green manure crop is sown. When the green manure is tilled in, the goal is for the digestive powers of the earth, which include soil microbia, to convert the inherent proteins of the grass itself into the hummus layer in the soil.  Plants then use extensive root systems to tap into this hummus layer to feed themselves and they also rely heavily on sunlight which is converted through photosynthesis into plant energy.  If the plant itself is fed through fertilisers, it may not make an extensive root system or need to use as much sunlight to grow - the nitrogen will force feed the plant.

Our days are continuing to shorten as we head towards the Winter Solstice.  The sun today though is still warm and wonderful!

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  If you are running late, please do ring to avoid disappointment.

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 itemsCapsicum Carrots Garlic Kale Leeks Onions Baby Parsnips Pumpkin English Spinach Baby Silverbeet and Beetroot Greens Sweet Potato Sweet CornExtras Broccoli Cauliflower Mixed Baby Lettuce Sugar Snap Peas

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Roasted Cauliflower Cauliflower Gratin - from Martha Stewart Spicy Roasted Parsnip Soup Warm Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad Heidi's Winter Pasta Cauliflower Casserole with CheddarYou can search our recipes by looking for the key ingredients on our website recipe pagePlease note - Photo is a randomly selected full share box with the inclusion of a whole pumpkin (the full shares received about a 3k piece).

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #8 (20 May/22-23 May)

DSC_6284-w600

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #8

The sun for three days was a welcome change to the wind, rain and hail of last week!  In sorting through photos of last season, late Autumn this year has been colder and wetter.  This has really slowed down the growth of some of the root crops - we were expecting Japanese turnips for everyone but there are still many little ones in the field.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING
Many of the green manure crops sown in the past three weeks have germinated and are growing. Next season’s garlic has also shot up!

The lull in broccoli has begun this week.  The last planting of the season is starting to develop heads.  And we were able to harvest quite a few side shoots from the first three plantings.  But the main heads from these plantings are done.  Broccoli will be a rotated item until the last planting comes on.  The cauliflower harvest continues with the purple heads almost ready for harvest.

We did a late lettuce planting which we have protected from hail and frost with row covers.  The heads are small, due to the lack of sunlight.  But we should have some on Friday and maybe next week too.

The snow peas are full of flowers and still growing.  We hope they continue!  We have another planting of peas in the ground but with the early cold this season, we are unsure if they are going to go dormant for winter and then flower in early Spring!

We were able to do another application of biodynamic 500 tonight and hope to have the chance to do 501 in the next few days.  501 helps plants make the most use of the limited light at this time of year...we are approaching 9 hours of sunlight a day!  Most vegetables need 10 to actively grow.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  If you are running late, please do ring to avoid disappointment.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 itemsBeetroot – 'Detroit Red' or 'Chioggia' Capsicum – Yellow and Red capsicums.  Some of the capsicums may be 'breaking' a term which means they are just starting to mature and change to red or yellow.  If you leave them out of refrigeration or put them in a bag with a banana, they should fully turn. Carrots – 'Little Finger' orange carrots. Cabbage – 'Green Acre' Fennel – ‘Zefo Fino' Leeks Pumpkin – ‘Musquee de Provence'

Extras Bok Choy Broccoli – Side shoots. Cauliflower –   'Snowball' and 'Green Macerata'. Coriander Eggplant – We have pulled the eggplants out but harvested all that was on them. One CSA member did tell us that the eggplant they received a few weeks back was bitter.  These are late season eggplant - we suggest cutting them and salting them to pull out the any bitter juices before cooking them. Lettuce – 'Perella Roughette' Onions – 'Cream Gold' is a wonderful storing onion.  The flavour is pungent and sweetens well if you caramelise. Parsley – 'Italian Flat Leaf' Silver Beet –   'Ruby' Japanese Turnips – ‘Little Tokyo'

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Chucky Potato and Leek Soup Chocolate and Beetroot Brownies Beetroot and Cabbage Kraut Roasted Fennel and White Bean Warm Dip Ministrone SoupYou 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 with the inclusion of a whole pumpkin (the full shares received about a 3k piece).