CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #1
Welcome to the Autumn Share! Autumn is the season where we continue to enjoy all the fruits of our Spring and Summer work, prepare the soil and our bodies for winter and plan next year's season. This weeks box is extra full. That happens sometimes when crops come on sooner or later then expected. The box quantity does vary from week to week as we always harvest crops when they are perfectly ready for consumption.
SWEET CORN - This is best eaten TODAY to enjoy the sweetness of freshly picked sweet corn. There may be corn borers (caterpillars) in the tops of some of the ears. They love it as much as we do! Although they make a mess, you just need to cut off the top of the ear and there is still plenty for you to enjoy. Don’t Panic - It’s Organic!!
Our wonderful Summer Intern Tahlia leaves on Wednesday when we will be joined by Trent, our Autumn intern. Tahlia heads back up north where we expect to hear all about the wonderful things she is growing in her tropical climate.
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING
For the sake of the new CSA members who have joined the Autumn Share, below is a run through of what is growing now. All of the produce in the weekly box is grown by us on our farm. We do not supplement the box with food from other growers.
Our what's in the box is normally not this long...I do hope you enjoy the detail. I’m going to think through each growing area so this list is in a random order.
Autumn Peas - The first crop of Autumn peas is just reaching the lowest point on the trellis. We are still about 5 weeks away from any harvest.
Kale- The Autumn kale is looking fabulous and should start appearing in boxes in the next few weeks.
Cabbage - There may be more red cabbage next week. The green cabbage is growing well but still not close to heading.
Broccoli - We have six broccoli plantings in the ground at various stages. This week there are great heads. That planting will then send out side shouts. There may not be broccoli every week but expect it throughout the Autumn Share.
Cauliflower - The first of the cauliflower plantings may start heading in a few weeks. We have white, green , purple and Romanesco broccoli planted and all are growing well!
Beans - We are picking the second to last bean planting of this season. It’s top leaves were lightly frosted a few nights back. The beans are definitely a warm season lover so enjoy these while they are here.
Zucchini and Summer Squash - We are picking our third planting of both of these warm season squashes. The plants do not like the cold dew filled nights and will succumb to powdery mildew at some point in the next month.
Lettuce - We try and have lettuce each week but had a seeding fail in the glasshouse. This leaves a gap in our lettuce plantings. We have planted other greens to help fill that gap which will start next week.
Eggplant - Our eggplant crop was infested with Red Tomato Mites. We were able to use a predatory mite to almost completely eradicate the bad ones (fantastic!!). The eggplants are healthy looking now with many flowers and small fruit but I am not expecting to have a huge eggplant harvest. These are rotated through the boxes and we still have many members who have not yet received them once this season.
Capsicum - Our capsicum crop has been growing strong and there are many large fruit still on the plants waiting to turn to red and yellow. There are also many flowers and smaller fruit growing. These plants should continue to grow until the cold really settles in.
Tomatoes - The tomato plants are succumbing to fungal disease. We are still getting big harvests but are expecting for these to dwindle in the next fortnight.
Sweet Corn - We are harvesting our 5th sweet corn planting this week with one more planting after that. We are hoping that the 6th planting will pollinate well, even though the temperature is getting colder.
Brussel Sprouts - We are growing our first brussel sprouts this year. We hope to harvest these after a good frost (June) as they are noticeably sweeter after a frost.
Parsnips - Our first planting of parsnips did not germinate well and then died in the heat of January. We re-seeded and have a strong crop growing now. They will be much smaller then last years though. Parsnips are also much sweeter after a frost so we have no plans to begin harvesting these soon.
Leeks - We have started harvesting leeks and these will continue to appear in the boxes throughout the Autumn Share.
Carrots - We should have carrots every week. We have had great crops this year. Some of the coloured carrots have very brittle tops so we will be bagging these in the weeks to come as opposed to bunching them.
Spinach - We have great crops of English spinach growing which will appear in the boxes throughout the Autumn Share.
Silver Beet - We have four different varieties of silver beet growing. All of the plantings look wonderful!
Celery - The celery this week is glorious. We have two more plantings growing which we hope will be just as wonderful.
Celeriac - We are growing this very tasty root this year which makes wonderful Autumn soups.
Spring Onions - We have one or two more weeks worth of Spring Onions in the field. We have not planted any more as we have so many storage onions.
Brown Onions - Our crop of these wonderful storage onions is drying in the store room. The onions grew really well this year and we will be getting these into the boxes throughout the Autumn Share.
Garlic - Our garlic was harvested in December and is still hanging from the rafters. We will be planting next seasons crop in the next fortnight which will give us a good idea of how much garlic we have left for our CSA members.
Beet Root - We have several beetroot plantings growing at various stages of being ready for harvest. We did have some huge beet root a few weeks ago but have moved into newer plantings with smaller roots. We hope to continue having enough beetroot throughout the Autumn Share.
Turnips- The turnips are growing really well. We have several varieties. The first to harvest will be the smaller Japanese Turnips which are great roasted or stewed.
Fennel - We had to harvest the fennel small this week as they have started to bolt (go to seed). I hope that the next plantings growing will form larger bulbs as the weather cools down.
Asian Greens - We will continue to have Asian Greens throughout the Autumn Share. Unlike lettuce, they do not mind a frost and love the cool weather. Bok Choy is higher in nutrients than broccoli and great raw and cooked.
Pumpkins - We have many varieties of pumpkins which will appear in the boxes through Autumn. We have not yet done our big pumpkin harvest as we like to let the skins harden in the cool nights which helps the pumpkins to store better.
Potatoes - We are slowly harvesting all of our potatoes. We wait until the tops die down which allows the potato skins to protect the potatoes better.
Sweet Potatoes - Our first crop has been harvested and went into the boxes last week. Although we have two more plantings, sweet potatoes really like the warmer weather and will succumb to the lightest of frosts. We are hoping that they keep growing longer to form larger tubers.
I may be forgetting some crops, but this should give you a great overview of what is growing for the Autumn Share. This is the time of year when we till crops in and sow green manure crops to cover the soil and protect all of the soil life through winter.
The tomatoes are starting to succumb to summer disease. We are still picking though! The cherry tomato crop is still producing for “Pick Your Own” during farm pick up times! Please bring your own containers. Limit a 1 kilo bucket per family. I imagine that this will only continue for a few more weeks.
Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only. Cherry tomato picking is only available during farm pick up times.
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 itemsBeans
Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon
Central American Black Beans
Fennel Salad with Rocket and Orange - An internet find that is easy and delicious
Bok Choy, Broccoli, Capsicum, Carrot Stirfry - This recipe can include any protein source - tofu, chicken, beef, mung bean sprouts. We made it with onions, capsicum, carrots, broccoli and bok choy and it was delicious!
Bok Choy Salad - Crispy and delicious with roasted veggies and crunchy Asian noodles
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 2 kilo pieces).