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 #7 (13 May/15-16 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #7 The harvest was for stew and the weather is complying with gale force winds, heavy rains and hail! Even though it is late Autumn, it feels like winter! We have waited to harvest the parsnips and turnips as the cold sweetens all of the root vegetables.  These are lovely roasted and also add a great flavour to stew!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING We have started picking the sugar snap peas.  The germination was not great and thus far there has only been enough for the full shares.  The snow peas were looking thick and strong and starting to flower.  The howling winds we have had this past week have snapped some of the pea stalks. We will have to wait and see how they get through the weather.We have also started harvesting cauliflower.  We are growing white, yellow/green and purple varieties. Cauliflower is an item we rotate through the boxes.  Unlike broccoli, the planting does not mature uniformly.  We keep track of whom has received it and whom has not to ensure everyone receives some.  While we try and keep track of which colour you receive, we can not guarantee that you will receive all three colours.

Cauliflower is also different from broccoli in that once we have cut the head, the plant is finished. With broccoli, we are able to cut the main head and the side shoots giving us many weeks of harvest.  We try and make the most use of the small space we are cultivating.  The cauliflower we are harvesting now was sown in January. It is in the ground for five months before it heads. The space they are taking up is only able to be used for quick Spring greens before being sown down with a summer green manure crop to prepare the soil for the nutrient hungry brassicas.  Although a popular Autumn vegetable, because cauliflower is not a very efficient space user for our intensive market garden, we cannot plant alot of it.

We are starting to think now about our season next year and planning all of the crops we are going to grow and how we will fit them into our 2.75 acres of cultivated land.  It really is a great organisational feat to work out the crop rotation, plan the many crops, when to seed them, when to transplant them, when they will be ready for harvest, all in hopes of having a varied box with a consistent number of items each week.  We will be sending out a survey in the next fortnight asking for your inputs into what you would like to be eating next year.  We also welcome any email comments you have.  We look at ourselves as your growers and really would like you to have your say in the planning process.

This sort of weather is the worst for all the crops above ground.  Think of how you feel after a day in strong wind...a bit wiped out.  The plants are the same.  The hail can bruise and rip leaves.  The wind has been relentless for the last 24 hours with hail falling through the night and again today.  We have row covered tender greens.  There is nothing else we can do but wait and watch.

Side Note - I apologise if anyone has tried to reach me via mobile phone.  My phone was stolen over the weekend.  If you need to contact us, please use Peter’s email petercarlyon@gmail.com or our home phone number 5988 5287. I should have a replacement phone by next week. Thank you.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only. 
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
Capsicum Carrots Celery Kale  If you are unsure what to do with your kale, Gourmet Traveler has over 20 kale recipes which look  perfectly seasonal and wonderful!! Onions Parsnips Potatoes Rosemary Spinach Turnips
Extras Broccoli Cauliflower Sugar Snap Peas Thyme

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Braised Kale Ingredients 150 grms curly kale (tough inner stalks removed and leaves coarsely torn 100 ml of rich veggie stock or veal stock 2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 tbsp olive oil Method 1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. 2. Add shallots and saute until tender and brown (about 3 minutes). 3. Add kale and toss until wilted, then add stock and toss just to combine. 4. Season to taste. Serve warm under a grilled steak, roasted chicken or fish.
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 #6 (6 May/8-9 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #6 The frost did not come last week but the cold nights have truly set in. With the rain and cold settling in, we try and take advantage of the dry weather when it is here!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Today, Wednesday, we sowed the last of the greens for the Autumn share.  We hope that the timing will be right and these tender young greens will be a welcome addition to the last few weeks of the boxes.  We are now done with all seeding for the CSA season! There is still more weeding to be done, even though the weed growth, along with the growth of all the plants, has slowed as the days get shorter and the nights colder.

This is the last week of beans.  The tomatoes were pulled out last week.  The large basil crop was also pulled out.  The capsicums are coming to an end as are the eggplant.  Peter pulled out all of the chili plants in hopes to save them from the frost only to find in the morning that there were not that many chilies on them! This is the last sweet corn planting and you will see that some of the ears have spotty germination.  Exactly what we would expect for late season corn.

The green manure crops have started germinating and growing.  The sunny days we have had, coming after a good soaking rain have helped them.  Slowly the farm will start to become a blanket of green.

There is more extra broccoli this week as the third planting has ripened at the same time as the second.  While both of the plantings may be finished with the main heads by next week, we will still harvest side shoots.  It may take them a bit of time to grow though so there may be no broccoli next week.  The first planting of cauliflower has tiny growing heads.  They love the cold nights which help to sweeten the cauliflower and form a tighter head.

We were going to make this week a stewing vegetable box.  But with the extra broccoli, more bok choy ready for harvest and fennel, we have saved the turnips and parsnips for next week.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  

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

Bok Choy Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Coriander Corn Fennel Mesclun Potatoes Silver Beet Spring Onions

Extras Beans Cabbage Chilies Chilies Eggplant

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Roasted Fennel Warm Dip - We love this warm dip with a crusty sourdough and a side salad for crew lunch!  Perfect for a cold, wet afternoon. Thai Salad Dressing - This goes well on the mesclun topped with roasted thai tofu or fried calamari or chicken fingers. Fresh Corn Salsa

Broccoli and Fennel Risotto

This risotto is based on Jamie Oliver's basic risotto recipe (which spells out the method to acheiving a wonderfully textured dish really well).  It would be good with a leek and any mushrooms you can forage too! Ingredients

1 head fennel, top removed, cut into small pieces

1 cup broccoli stems and flower- ettes, cut into small pieces

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic

1 ½ cup Arborio rice

4 to 5 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup dry white wine

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method

1. Heat the stock.

2. Lightly steam the broccoli and then cut into smaller pieces.

3. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and butter, add the shallots, garlic and fennel and fry very slowly for about 15 minutes without colouring. When the vegetables have softened, add the rice and turn up the heat.

4. The rice will now begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the vermouth or wine and keep stirring — it will smell fantastic. Any harsh alcohol flavours will evaporate and leave the rice with a tasty essence.

5. Once the vermouth or wine has cooked into the rice, add your first ladle of hot stock and a good pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a simmer so the rice doesn't cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 15 minutes. Taste the rice — is it cooked? Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Don't forget to check the seasoning carefully. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, add some boiling water.

6. Remove from the heat and add the butter, broccoli and Parmesan. Stir well. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes. This is the most important part of making the perfect risotto, as this is when it becomes outrageously creamy and oozy like it should be. Eat it as soon as possible, while the risotto retains its beautiful texture.

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 #5 (29 April/1-2 May)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #5 Autumn time is when we bring in the “storage” crops that have been growing all season, some for the past 9 months.  It is a time of celebrating the season and being thankful that for the Spring and Summer tasks and weather that brought about this harvest of storage crops.  All of the potatoes, onions, pumpkins and sweet potato have now been harvested in anticipation of a frost.

Autumn is also when we sow the green manure crops which protect the soil through winter and then become the hummus that feeds the plants next season.  Peter was able to sow large areas of the farm last week with many of the mandalas being hand sown.  Perfect timing to take advantage of the rain we have had.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING In looking through photos of last season, this Autumn is very different.  It has been colder and that coming behind a cooler, wetter summer has left many of the warm weather crops that were still thriving at this time last season already finished.  We can only hope that the green manure crops have been planted with enough time, and warmth left in the soil to germinate and begin growing before the limited daylight hours of May, June and July arrive.

The last sweet corn planting was not quite ready for harvest this week.  the ears are not as grand as summer but we hope to include them in next weeks boxes.

We have also had two broccoli plantings ripen at the same time.  As they are the same variety, seeded three weeks apart and planted into soil prepared the same way, we are really unsure why.  This means that you will receive extra broccoli this week, but possibly no broccoli in three weeks.  The best laid plans are still completely subject to nature.

Next weeks box should be good for stewing, with turnips, carrots, onions, rosemary and parsley.  We hope to be able to start harvesting baby parsnips as well! There will also be mesclun!

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only.  

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

Beans Bok Choy Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Garlic Leek Onions Parsley Pumpkin Silver Beet Sweet Potato

Extras Chilies Eggplant Summer Squash Tomatoes Japanese Turnips Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Broccoli and Leek Soup - This recipe comes from a CSA member and last year work share volunteer Heidi Sze.  She is a dietician and blogs at ‘Apples Under My Bed’ . As she is eating the seasonal veggies from the box each week, check her website for other great recipes. She also has some great photos of and thoughts about the farm throughout her blog posts - current and back as far as November 2013!! Creamy Pumpkin Soup Broccoli Fritters- In addition to the ingredients listed, this recipe lends itself to any left over capsicums, spring onions, herbs or spinach you may need to use up. Broccoli, Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry - This works well with onions, carrots, capsicum and bok choy too!

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 photo -The full shares received pieces of 2-3 kilos.

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #4 (22 April/24-25 April)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #4We are sad to say that this is the last week of tomatoes.  The cold, wet weather we have had and the light frosts of the past week have finished the tomato and cucumber season.  We have row covers on the beans so we hope to have more next week but this is the last planting for the season.  We have one final corn planting which is still to ripen. The zucchini are finishing as well. The boxes will look much more Autumn-y now.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING

We have spent the week clearing out huge sections of the farm and preparing them for green manure crops.  We sow a mixture of grasses, clovers, vetch and legumes.  These protect the soil through the winter, keeping the nutrients from leaching out and providing habitat for soil microbea.  In the Spring, they grow high and produce a great biomass which we incorporate back into the soil.  This becomes the hummus layer that our crops feed from throughout the growing season.

There is still the last corn planting standing tall.  Once the tomatoes are removed, most of our tall summer crops will be removed.  It has been cold, windy and raining this week.  We have had hail as well as heavy rains.  The brassicas are all still standing!

We have planted more lettuce seedlings and have them protected with row covers.  We also have a mesclun planting that is growing well.  If the sun continues, it may be ready next week.  If not, the following.  There is more bokchoy coming and fennel.

Farm pickup is 2-5pm Fridays and 8-11am Saturdays. Box pickup is available at other times by appointment only. 

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 itemsPurple Basil Beans Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Onions Pumpkin Silver Beet English Spinach Spring Onions

Extras Beetroot Chilies Eggplant Lettuce Summer Squash Tomatoes Watermelon Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Lentils, Monastery style - This recipe comes from my very well used copy of Diet for A Small Planet Pumpkin and Autumn Green Cannelloni

Spinach and Feta Pie - A Jamie Oliver recipe that is easy to make, travels well and liked by our farm crew and children. Pasta with Broccoli and a Lemon Basil Sauce Jamie Oliver's Beef Stew - If you still have turnips left over from last week and you are a meat eater, this is a wonderful slow cooked stew.

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 photo -The full shares received pieces of 2-3 kilos.

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #3 (15 April/17-18 April)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #3 Our What's in the Box photo helper has returned to school.  These are the last weeks of tomatoes until December!  We hope you are enjoying them as much as we are!!
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING

The farm had its first light frost on Sunday night.  Peter turned irrigation on at 4am to protect the frost sensitive crops...sweet potato, beans, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant and lettuce.  All fared well but there is a natural resignation to the cold, damp nights in the zucchini, cucumber and tomato.  The capsicum and eggplant are slowing down considerably with the cold.  We are currently picking the last bean planting.  And we hope that the last sweet corn planting will ripen in the next few weeks.  Enjoy these crops now as we will not see them again until next December.

Meanwhile the cool loving crops are thriving.  The next broccoli planting should be ready for its first harvest on Friday.  It is a big planting with many heads looking like they will be ready at the same time.  This might mean lots of broccoli all at once.  The first cauliflower planting is starting to head.  The root crops are glowing.

We have harvested the pumpkin crop and are curing them for long storage.  This week you will receive ‘Butternut’.  Your fruit may have damaged skin.  The inside is fine though.  We use these first as they do not store.

We planted the garlic crop for next season this week and now know what we have left for the rest of the season.  The storage onions are also drying and plentiful.  Onions are one of the most heavily sprayed crops and because they bulb on top of the ground the spray residue is very high in the onion.  Enjoy these unsprayed, biodynamic onions which should store in a cool dark place for months.

The cherry tomato crop is still producing for “Pick Your Own” during farm pick up times...with the threat of frost and the crops natural waning, get them NOW.  Please bring your own containers. Limit a 1 kilo bucket per family.

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 items

Beans Capsicum Carrots Coriander Garlic Leeks Kale Onions Potatoes Pumpkin Silver Beet

Tomatoes Japanese Turnips

Extras Broccoli Celery Cherry Tomatoes Chilies Cucumbers Eggplant Lettuce Summer Squash Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Pumpkin and Spinach Curry - This recipe is an internet find.  I love the homemade curry powder! – 30 minute prep and cooking Roasted Japanese Turnips and Their Balsamic Greens

Carrot and Leek Soup

Warm Kale and Roasted Pumpkin Salad Chunky Potato and Leek Soup

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 coriander which missed the photo.

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #2 (8 April/10-11 April)

CSA AUTUMN SHARE WEEK #2Another What's in the Box photo from our school holiday helper Miss Maya!!  The boxes this week reflect the slow transition from Summer crops into Autumn...the weather as I write heralds that transition as well...howling wind and rain! The brassica crops are glowing, the tomatoes are slowing down, and the zucchini and summer squash are succumbing to disease.

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!!

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 WHAT'S GROWING The cherry tomato crop is still producing for “Pick Your Own” during farm pick up times. I recon this is their last week so come and enjoy them.  Please bring your own containers. Limit a 1 kilo bucket per family.

Today we pulled the tomato crop out of the polytunnel.  The plants were transplanted in October and have been producing since December.  They have done a great job!  We will sow a green manure crop into the polytunnel now to protect the soil through the winter. Many other areas of the farm are being cleaned out in preparation for green manure crops and a winters rest.

We have finished harvesting the first broccoli crop's main heads but will continue harvesting side shoots.  The next broccoli planting has started forming heads as well.  The cauliflowers are beginning to show signs of heads forming...probably still three weeks before we will begin harvesting these.

With yesterday's weather, we are unsure how much longer the tomato harvest will continue.  Enjoy these last weeks of tomatoes!

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 Beans Beet Root Red Cabbage Capsicum Carrots Onions Pumpkin English Spinach Sweet Corn

Tomatoes Watermelon 

Extras Bok Choy Broccoli Cherry Tomatoes Chilies Eggplant Summer Squash Japanese Turnips Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Pumpkin and Spinach Curry - This recipe is an internet find.  I love the homemade curry powder! – 30 minute prep and cooking Quinoa Roasted Veggies, Marinated Chickpea Salad Sweet Corn, Chicken and Pumpkin Soup Roasted Japanese Turnips and Their Balsamic Greens Watermelon, Feta and Pumpkin Seed Salad

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 approx. 2 kilo pieces).

CSA Autumn Share 2015-Week #1 (1 April/2-3 April)

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 Bok Choy Broccoli Capsicum Carrots Celery Fennel Garlic Lettuce Parsley Rocket Sweet Corn

Tomatoes

Extras Cherry Tomatoes Chilies Eggplant Pumpkin Silver Beet Summer Squash Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Pasta with Fennel, Rocket and Lemon Central American Black Beans Ministrone Soup 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).