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.