CSA Summer Share 2014 - Week #2 (14 January/16-17 January)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #2We would really like to hear how the box is working for you, what produce you like, what is harder to know what to do with and what meals were a highlight in your house.  If you are picking your box up, please do share with us.  If your box is delivered and you are home, please chat a bit with Belinda or Peter.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Another 40 degree day this week has caused our lettuce planting for this week to bolt - go to seed.  There is no lettuce in the boxes this week.  There is another planting for next week which looks fine.  It also sun scalded capsicums and apples, burned half of a new celery planting, burned parsnip babies and caused much of the fennel to bolt.  We have harvested what fennel did not bolt and it is in the boxes this week.  We try not to put things like fennel in the box two weeks in a row but if we did not harvest it now, we would have lost the planting.  We have included a great recipe for a warm dip that is really good.  

Heavy rain was forecasted for much of last week and while we received some rain, we did not receive what we thought.  We spent time pruning the field tomatoes to try and give them good airflow to make it through the wet and the humidity.  The field tomatoes are starting to ripen and the plants look good.  The rain came today, Tuesday and as I write this, it is pouring.  We tried to get most of the harvesting done early and then spent the afternoon weeding the pumpkin crop.  There are many small pumpkins forming and the plants look healthy!

We welcomed a new work share volunteer this week, Paul.  Paul is from this area and has spent the past months wwoofing on interesting farms up north.   We really enjoy the diversity the work share volunteers and interns bring to our farm and are also very thankful for their help.  

There are boxes of cucumbers and zucchini available for preserving.  If you are interested, please email us at petercarlyon@gmail.com.

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 – Big enough bunches to make pesto. Beans – Green French beans. Celery – This biodynamic celery is packed full of minerals.  The natural salts celery is known for are really tasted!  We enjoy it with this beetroot dip if you have any extra beetroot from last week. 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 fruit and leaves of wild cucurbits have been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for thousands of years, as emetics and purgatives and to treat liver disease. More recently, researchers have shown that cucurbitacins can kill or suppress growth of cancer cells. Luckily, the cucumbers we eat have been "tweaked" a bit to make them not so bitter.  If you peel these, the bitterness is removed.  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. There are extra cucumbers this week.  We have cucumbers with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper for snacks.  We also love bread and butter pickles throughout the year.  There is more information in this preserving post. Fennel – You can use this as a main salad ingredient or carmelise it with butter and use it to stuff zucchini or as a base for risotto.  Great roasted too! Garlic – 'Australian White'. We put the smaller bulbs in the boxes first as the larger ones store better. Perpetual Gator Silver Beet – This is a wonderfully versatile silver beet - great raw and cooked.  It has a lemony taste that adds a lot of flavour to a variety of dishes. English Spinach – Eat raw or cooked, with eggs or wrapped in fillo. Tomatoes –  There are five varieties in the polytunnel - all heirloom. 'Rouge de Marmande', 'Marglobe', 'Druzba', 'Oxheart' 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 Beans – Purple French beans. Carrots – Bunches of heirloom orange carrots. Capsicum – There have been a few green capsicums ready for harvest with many more smaller ones growing.  The coloured sweet capsicums come later in the season. Chilies – There have been a few 'Hungarian Hot Wax' and we have started picking the '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. Potatoes – 'Cranberry Red'.  Wonderful boiled, roasted and mashed.  With freshly dug potatoes, the skin is very tender. Radishes – Bunches of 'Purple Plum' radishes - great raw in salads or roasted! Squash – 'Golden Crookneck' and/or 'Bennings Green Tint'(also known as Patty Pans - We like them baked.  Here is the recipe.)
RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Spinach and Feta Triangles Fennel and White Bean Warm Dip Pesto! Celery Gratin Spinach Pie - Quite like the triangles above but a different presentation

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.