Spring Planting - Spring Weather ...lots of photos!

Spring Planting - Spring Weather ...lots of photos!

There are three weeks to go until we start harvesting for our CSA!!  Even though it has been a grey, cold Spring with lots of rain, most crops are growing well and thriving.  The greens and onions are loving the weather and we have managed to get on top of the weeds during the sunny days. And the polytunnel tomatoes are flowering and setting fruit.

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Spring 2016!!

Spring 2016!!

It's Spring time here in Australia.  The frogs have awoken.  The days are getting longer.  And when there is sun, the warmth is welcome!  Our seeding for the next season began in August.  Tantalizing seed packets arriving in the mail, the excitement of germination and daily growth,  the joy of seeing green manures incorporated and soil being readied for planting...Spring is definitely in the air!

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CSA Summer Share 2015-Week #12 (25 March/27-28 March)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #12 The last week of the Summer Share...Thank you for your support of our farm and growing endeavours.  You have been a vital part of our continued desire to grow nutrient dense food for our community in a sustainable way. We look forward to the next 12 weeks of our CSA season.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Tahlia Gregori, the intern that has been working with us for the past three months leaves next week.  She has been a fantastic intern and we wish her the best in her growing endeavours!

We have started harvesting the first of the Autumn broccoli crops.  If you did not receive any this week, you will next! All of the brassicas love the cool nights we have been having and the rain has been welcome, too.  We have also started harvesting our third zucchini planting.  We hope that it will be able to ward off powdery mildew and keep growing until the frost. The next corn planting will be ready next week.

The sweet capsicums are still coming on.  If you are receiving more than you know what to do with, you can slice them and freeze them to use in stir-fries and sauces through the winter!

We will have lettuce this week and next and then there will be a gap in the head lettuce.  We have planted many other greens so that this gap will hopefully not be felt in the boxes.  The lettuce seed does not like to germinate when it is hot.  We do several things to work around this but had three weeks of lettuce not germinate in the glasshouse.  The current lettuce seedlings are doing well but not even in the ground yet.

All of the Autumn brassicas are glowing and the parsnips and turnips are growing well.  The transition into Autumn is always softened by the great flush of Summer vegetables still enjoying the warm soil.  The bean picking Tuesday was not as heavy as summer weeks.  There will be more beans next week.

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.

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 Bok Choy Red Cabbage Capsicum Carrots Chilies Coriander Lettuce Spring Onions Sweet Potatoes Tomatoes Watermelon

Extras Broccoli Cherry Tomatoes Chilies –   'Pimiento de Padrons'. Eggplant Melons Zucchini

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

Roasted Sweet Potato, Sweet Capsicum and Carrot Soup - An internet find soup with delicious flavour Watermelon, Feta and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad - This is an adaptation of a fantastic Tassajara Restaurant recipe Broccoli, Capsicum, Carrot and Bok Choy Stir Fry - This recipe can include ay 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.

CSA Summer Share 2015-Week #11 (18 March/20-21 March)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #11 We started harvesting the leeks this week!  Perfect soup weather with the nights cooling down and the coming of the Autumn equinox. In France the 'Galeux d'Eysines' pumpkin is mostly used for soups, sauces and preserves such as pumpkin butter because the texture of the cooked fruit is very smooth. One of the tastiest pumpkins!

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING The next plantings of sweet corn and beans are not ready for harvest yet. The broccoli is heading up...unsure if it will be ready for next week but definitely the following.  The red cabbage is forming heads as well - Enter the Autumn brassicas! The third zucchini planting has many small fruit so we hope to able to start harvesting zucchini again next week.

Amidst tending the brassicas, curing sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes cured for a few weeks are sweeter then those straight from the ground!), harvesting all the potatoes and storing onions and seeding more greens and roots for Autumn, we are preparing areas of the farm for the green manure crops we LOVE!  These crops make a winter blanket, protecting the soil from the wind and rain of winter while providing all of the soil microbes roots to continue to feed on.  Then in Spring, they become the soil’s salad - a mixture of nutrient rich grasses, legumes and herbs which build the humus layer in the soil and feed the plants throughout the season. It is wonderful to watch the farm slowly transition from tired crops, to bare soil, to sprouting green growth.

Peter and I have been taking lots of pictures of the farm and posting them on instagram.  There are small thumbnails on our website home page.  You can click on these to see them bigger.

The cherry tomato crop is still producing for U-picking during farm pick up times!  Late summer is a great time to see the farm with late blooming sunflower rows, 2m high corn stalks, Autumn brassicas, beans, Autumn peas germinating, the pumpkins ripening, chickens in the buckwheat green manure crop...It looks fantastic and abundant!  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.  U-pick 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
Basil Beetroot Capsicum Carrots Chilies Leeks Potatoes Pumpkin Silver beet Spring Onions Tomatoes

Extras Cherry Tomatoes Chilies –   'Pimiento de Padrons'. Coriander Eggplant Lettuce Melons Radishes Silver beet Watermelon

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Carrot and Leek Soup Creamy Pumpkin Soup Breakfast Slab Pie - This is a hearty silver beet pie recipe that works great for afternoon picnics, breakfast in the car, Saturday dinner. It is from from Deb Perelman who shares loads of great food at www.smittenkitchen.com

PASTA WITH SWEET CAPSICUMS I find that sometimes the simplest of recipes allow each ingredient to be savoured. Ingredients 2 sweet capsicums sliced thinly into strips 2 cloves of garlic olive oil fresh basil leaves, ripped roughly salt and freshly ground black pepper Shaved Parmesian cheese Pasta of your choice (penne, bowties and angel hair really hold the flavours of this sauce) Method 1. Prepare pasta according to instructions 2. Put a generous jug of olive oil into a fry pan over moderate heat. 3. Add crushed garlic and sliced capsicums.  Fry until the capsicum is soft and slightly carmelised. 4. Add to pasta with fresh basil, salt and ground pepper and parmesian cheese.

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 except fot the whole pumpkin (full shares received 1/4).

CSA Summer Share 2015-Week #10 (11 March/13-14 March)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #10This is the time of year of making big compost piles and planning the green manure crops for winter.  And then there is the huge harvests still to come of storage onions, sweet potatoes, potatoes and pumpkin.  The weekly harvests and plantings for the Autumn share and there is still plenty of weeding to keep us busy!

We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING We have been bringing in parasitic wasps to combat the many caterpillars in the crops at this time of year.  Even though they work on the eggs of the corn borers, you may still find the caterpillars in the tops of your corn.  Although they can make a mess, it is usually pretty simple to just cut off the top and have the rest of the untouched ear for yourself!

The cherry tomato crop is open for U-picking during farm pick up times!  Late summer is a great time to see the farm with late blooming sunflower rows, 2m high corn stalks, Autumn brassicas, beans, Autumn peas germinating, the pumpkins ripening, chickens in the buckwheat green manure crop...It looks fantastic and abundant!  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.  U-pick is only available during farm pick up times.

Our third zucchini crop is flowering.  We hope that the cooler nights still allow the fruit to set so that we can keep having it for another month!

Although the tomatoes have slowed a bit with the cooler nights, the plants are still healthy and producing.

The second cucumber planting is succumbing to powdery mildew so there is quite a reduction in cucumbers this week.  It is hard to say how long the planting will continue for.  The third planting was really hit by the winds last week and although it has begun to flower, we are unsure if it will bear fruit.

We welcomed a new intern to the farm last week! Sapote Hudd heralds from NSW.  She will be with us through Autumn.

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 – Green and/or Yellow. Capsicum Carrots Chilies Celery Corn Cucumbers Lettuce Onions Parsley  Potatoes Radishes

Tomatoes 

Extras Cherry Tomatoes Chilies Eggplant Melons Pumpkin

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Cream of Celery Soup Carrot and Radish with a Moroccan Dressing Lentil 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 except fot the whole pumpkin (full shares received 1/3).

CSA Summer Share 2015-Week #9 (4 March/6-7 March)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #9We will open the cherry tomato crop up to U-picking!  This is the last week we will harvest cherry tomatoes for the boxes as the crop will be available for you to U-pick during farm pick up times.  Late summer is a great time to see the farm with late blooming sunflower rows, 2m high corn stalks, Autumn brassicas, beans, Autumn peas germinating, the pumpkins ripening, chickens in the buckwheat green manure crop...It looks fantastic and abundant!  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.  U-pick is only available during farm pick up times.

We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING Our first zucchini crop which has been producing since November succumbed to powdery mildew.  The second crop is as well.  We have a third crop planted but it has not yet started producing so there may be a few weeks of no zucchini. The cooler nights and heavy evening dews do bring powdery mildew.  The cooler January did not help with this.  We are seeing the mildew in the melons, cucumbers and zucchini crops.

The beans are still going strong as is the sweet corn.  And we have begun harvesting pumpkins!  This week there are Pottimon and Butternuts.  The larger pumpkins are still ripening in the field.  We also had a look at the sweet potato crop.  We will begin harvesting those in about two weeks and then cure them to allow the sugars to fully sweeten.  The leeks are looking great!  And there are plenty of carrots.  The storage onions are beginning to dry and we have parsnips and turnips growing.  The first of the Autumn broccoli crops looks to be a few weeks away from harvest. And the Autumn peas have been planted!

We will be sending a letter in the next week to confirm your interest in the Autumn Share which starts in April and goes through until June.

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 Basil
Beetroot
Carrots Chilies Corn Cucumbers Garlic
Lettuce Onions Potatoes
Pumpkin

Spinach
Tomatoes
Extras
Cherry Tomatoes
Capsicum
Chilies
Coriander
Eggplant
Melons

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS

EGGPLANT IN A THAI GREEN CURRY      

This fantastic Thai green curry recipe features eggplant and red pepper (carrots make a great substitute if these are not in season).  You can add cauliflower, zucchini, beans…really any other stir fry vegetables you have in the fridge.  The homemade green curry paste is what makes this dish such a lovely combination of distinct flavours, so don’t be tempted to substitute the store-bought variety. Top the curry with fresh basil.

Ingredients

1 can good-quality coconut milk

3 Asian eggplant (the long thin ones), sliced diagonally into 1cm thick rounds

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces

1/3 cup fresh Thai or sweet basil

1/2 cup stock (I use chicken)

Green Curry Paste

3 stalk fresh lemongrass, minced

250 grams green chilies, sliced (if you can’t find Thai chilies, jalapeno will work)

1 shallot, sliced OR 1/4 cup diced red onion

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup of fresh galangal OR fresh ginger, sliced

approx. 1 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves & stems

1/8 cup coriander seeds, roasted and ground

1 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground

1/2 tsp whole white pepper, ground

2-3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp palm sugar or brown sugar

1 tbsp lime juice

Method

1. Place all ‘Green Curry Paste’ ingredients together in a food processor, blender, chopper, or pestle & mortar. Add up to 1/4 can of the coconut milk, enough to help blend ingredients (reserve the rest for later). Process (or pound) well to create an aromatic Thai green curry paste. If you don’t have a food processor or chopper: try using a blender, or finely mince all ingredients by hand and stir together well.

2. Heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2-3 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste. Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (1 minute), then add the vegetables which take the longest to cook like carrots and cauliflower. Stir for 2 minutes coating with spices.

3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Simmer 6-10 minutes (until the carrots start to tender).

4. Set aside 1/4 cup coconut milk, reserving it for use later (the thick cream is best). Add the rest of the coconut milk to the curry, plus the eggplant and beans (if using). Stir everything together, cover, and simmer another 7-8 minutes, or until eggplant is tender enough to pierce with a fork.

5. Add the bell pepper. Cover and simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until everything is well cooked.

6. Remove from heat and gently stir in the 1/4 cup reserved coconut milk. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not salty or flavorful enough. Add more lime juice if too salty or sweet for your taste. Add more sugar if not sweet enough. More chili can also be added.

7. Serve with a generous amount of fresh basil and or more coriander.

 

BEET AND CARROT SALAD

This is a quick recipe (10 minute) that we make alot for farm lunches.

Ingredients

2 large beets grated

2 large carrots grated

100 grams feta crumbled

1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method

1.  I use a food processor to grate the beetroot and carrot.

2.  In a bowl, crumble the feta.  Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and coriander.

3.  Add beetroot and carrot and mix roughly.  Serve over lettuce or as a side.

 

MINISTRONE

...if you find that your fridge is starting to stockpile old veggies, Make Soup!

I have been told that every region in Italy has its own ministrone.  Keep that in mind when you are making this, substituting and adding anything you feel works. I have written the straight recipe from Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn.

Ingredients

220 gms dried borlotti beans

50 gms butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

15 gms parsley, finely chopped

2 sage leaves

100 gms pancetta, cubed

2 celery stalks, halved then sliced

2 carrots, sliced

3 potatoes, peeled

1 tsp tomato paste

3 roma tomatoes chopped or 400 gm tin chopped tomatoes

8 basil leaves

3 litres chicken or vegetable stock

2 zucchinis, sliced

220 gms shelled peas

120 gms green beans, cut into bite sized lengths

1/4 cabbage shredded

150 g small pasta

6 tablespoons pesto

grated parmesian cheese

Method

1. Put the borlotti beans in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight.

2 Next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly under water.

3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, parsley, sage and pancetta.  Cook over a low heat, stirring once or twice, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.

4. Add the celery, carrot and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, basil, and borlotti beans. Season with plenty of freshly ground pepper.

5.  Add stock and bring slowly to a boil.  Cover and leave to simmer for 2 hours stirring once or twice.

6.  If the potatoes have not broken up, roughly break them up with a fork against the side of the pan.  Taste for seasoning and add zucchini, peas, beans, cabbage and pasta.  Simmer until the pasta is al dente.

7.  Serve with a dollup of pesto and Parmesan.

Source – Slow Cooking by Joanne Glynn

 

ROASTED POTTIMON PUMPKIN

The wonderful nutty flavour of the Pottimon pumpkin skin lends itself beautifully to pumpkin wedges

Ingredients

'Pottimon' pumpkin, deseeded and sliced into wedges (DO NOT Peel)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tsp mustard seeds

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Remove and discard seeds from pumpkin. Cut pumpkin into 4cm thick wedges. Combine oil, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon and ginger in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add pumpkin. Toss and rub to coat.

2. Place pumpkin in a single layer, on prepared tray. Roast for 25 minutes. Turn pumpkin. Roast for a further 10 minutes or until tender.

3. Remove from oven when toasted.  Top with coriander and serve with yogurt (with a bit of harissa mixed in)

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 except for the whole pumpkin (it depended on the size).

CSA Summer Share 2015-Week #8 (25 February/27-28 February)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #8 In addition to a very full harvest day, we did an application of Biodynamic 500 last night and Biodynamic 501 this morning.  Back to back applications of bd500 and bd501 can help invigorate plants at the end of their growing cycle.  We are hoping this helps them to ward off insect attacks.There may be caterpillars in the corn.  This is un-sprayed corn and the caterpillars like it as much as we do. They are usually only in the top of the ear.  You can simply cut that off and enjoy the rest.

We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING
I was happy to see that the capsicums are starting to turn red and yellow - sweet capsicums are on the way!  The fruit have been on the plants for a long time waiting to turn.  Some have been sunburned, others eaten by caterpillars.  There are still lots of capsicums there - and some are huge.  Seeing them changing colour is exciting.

Pumpkins - we will start to harvest a few varieties of pumpkin next week.  And the first crop of Autumn broccoli looks only about two to three weeks away from harvest.  The long sunsets are a sign that the seasons are changing and seasonal eating is too.

Farm Pick Up times are Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 8-11am.  Pick up 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 Carrots Cherry Tomatoes Chilies Celery Coriander Corn Cucumbers Lettuce Onions Potatoes Tomatoes Zucchini

EXTRAS Basil Capsicum 'Pimiento de Padrons' Eggplant Kale Squash

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 Summer Share 2015-Week #7 (11 February/13-14 February)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #7 We had our first big tomato harvest with the field tomatoes really coming on! There are big bags in everyone's box.  There may be caterpillars in the corn.  This is un-sprayed corn and the caterpillars like it as much as we do.  They are usually only in the top of the ear.  You can simply cut that off and enjoy the rest.We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.

NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING With Autumn, comes weather perfect for fungal diseases.  Our first plantings of zucchini and cucumbers have started succumbing to powdery mildew.  Some seasons you can keep these away but the cold, damp summer we have had has been perfect for spreading these diseases.
We have also seen an increase in pest bugs in the tomatoes and cucumbers.  We are doing what we can to try and curb the population...including hand collecting to make biodynamic insect peppers.
We are back harvesting beans!  There are more plantings coming on too so this is not the last of them!  The sweet corn is also continuing.
The brassicas are looking great in the field with the kale set to be planted this week.  We have also introduced a wasp which lays its eggs into the eggs of the white cabbage moth.  The wasps nymph then eats the baby caterpillar emerging from its egg cell.  Predator bugs that are working with us!  Once out in the world, the wasps feed off of nectar, highlighting again the value of having lots of flowers in the vegetable garden.  We keep trying to provide an ecosystem for all of these creatures to breed and be happy! Farm Pick Up times are Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 8-11am.  Pick up is available at other times by appointment only.  There may be more boxes of cucumbers available for preserving.  If you are interested, please email us at petercarlyon@gmail.com. We will be finishing with the first planting soon and the second planting is smaller.  If you are thinking about preserving, now is the time.

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 itemsLemon Basil Beans – Green and Purple. Beetroot Carrots Chilies Corn Cucumbers English Spinach

Tomatoes
Zucchini

Extras Capsicum Cherry Tomatoes Chilies –   'Pimiento de Padrons'. Eggplant Lettuce Onions Potatoes Squash

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS Szechwan Green Beans - Our kids LOVE these! Herby, Peanutty, Noodley Salad - A River Cottage recipe Pimiento de Padrons- With a big harvest this week, many of you recieved these lovely peppers that make a great tapas style dish.LEMON BASIL DRESSING This is great on a salad, or served over freshly steamed beans.  Add garlic and it makes a wonderful marinade for zucchini, chicken or fish. Ingredients 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar or sherry vinegar ½ cup flax seed oil, grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil 1-2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard 1 shallot finely diced 1 tsp of one or a combination of fresh lemon basil ¼ tsp salt Method 1. Add all ingredients EXCEPT oil to the vinegar and gently whisk. 2. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a stream.

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 Summer Share 2015- Week #6 (11 February/13-14 February)

CSA SUMMER SHARE WEEK #6 We are half way through our CSA season!!  We have had several members let us know how the box is working for them and send through recipes that they have enjoyed.  We really appreciate the feedback (as we start planning for next season in April) and the tested recipes are a great addition to our newsletter!  Please email or talk to us on the farm. We really do want to know what you are enjoying and what you find more challenging to work with.
NOTES ON WHAT'S GROWING
The heat is back which is great news for the second melon planting, watermelons, red capsicums, eggplants, sweet corn and beans!  I feel like this next bean planting has taken ages and I am really missing these wonderful warm season vegetable.  Peter thought they would be ready today but had a test pick and they still are not.  If we try and pick them too young, we damage the plant.  So we will see what Friday brings.  We do have three more bean plantings after this one...with the last one being seeded this week!The first melon planting is finished now.  We have tried something different with the second which is looking good so far - we used weed mat to try and keep the weeds down.  The melon plants do not like to have their roots disturbed so pulling weeds is not a great option.  We weeded the first crop three times and it was still overrun with large weeds which shaded the plants and fruit.  This did not help seeing it was a cool wet season so far.  The second planting is virtually weed free and full of forming fruit.We are picking from our second corn planting now and planting our third zucchini planting.  The first zucchini planting is slowly sucumbing to powdery mildew.  It did fantastic though seeing it was badly hit by frost in November!

Farm Pick Up times are Friday 2-5pm and Saturday 8-11am.  Pick up is available at other times by appointment only. 

There may be more boxes of cucumbers available for preserving.  If you are interested, please email us at petercarlyon@gmail.com. We will be finishing with the first planting soon and the second planting is smaller.  If you are thinking about preserving, now is the time.

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 itemsBasil – Big bunches of Italian Green basil, perfect for pesto.  You can make pesto without the cheese and freeze it for use throughout the winter.  You can add the cheese once it has thawed. Carrots – Bunches of heirloom orange carrots 'Little Fingers'. We have cleaned out a planting and will be starting on a new planting on Friday.  Some of the bunches for Wednesday did contain "Ugly" carrots.  These carrots are still very tasty and nutrient dense! Celery –  'Tall Utah'.  There is a great recipe for celery soup (link below) tried by one of our CSA members. Chilies –  'Hungarian Hot Wax' . On the Scoville scale (the measurement of how hot a chili is) these rate at 3500-10,000 (The Thai Hot Chillies rate at 30,000). Corn –  Sweet Corn...best eaten on the day you receive your box. 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 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. Lettuce – 'Freckles' or 'Summer Harvest'. Onions – These are 'Cream Gold'.  They are a wonderful onion with a full flavour and store well. Potatoes – 'Exton'.   With freshly dug potatoes, the skin is very tender. We find a light wash is all they need before cooking.

Tomatoes –  We are harvesting the following varieties - all heirloom. 'Rouge de Marmande', 'Marglobe', 'Druzba', 'Oxheart', 'Jaune Negib' (a yellow tomato), 'Grosse Lisee' 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 Capsicum – Purple and green capsicums.  The purple taste like the green and turn green when cooked.  The red, yellow and orange sweet capsicums come later in the season. Cherry Tomatoes – We are growing four different cherry tomatoes this year - 'Black Cherry', 'Sungold', 'Little Yellow Bee' and 'Tommy Toe'. Chilies –   '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. Eggplant – We have just started harvesting the first of the eggplant.  These are 'Long, Thin Purple' great in stir fries and barbecued.  The plumper eggplants are forming on the plants and we may start harvesting them next week. Melons – We are harvesting 'Eden's Gem' and 'Early Hanover' both a honey dew and 'Hearts of Gold' and 'Hale's Best' cantaloupes. Radishes – 'Cherry Belle' Squash – 'Golden Crookneck' and/or 'Bennings Green Tint'(also known as Patty Pans - We like them baked.  Here is the recipe.)

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.