Monday, August 25, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 11

The heat and humidity has returned over the last few days, which has meant running sprinklers for the meat chickens on pasture, filling wallows for our pigs and running the sprinklers on some of our crops. Our heat loving crops however are loving the change in temperature, sweet peppers are going red and the tomatoes are still ripening.

We are still in the middle of a battle in our greenhouse between farmer and animal!! Some thing is still being very insistent on removing seeds from seed trays and replacing with oats!!

This week we have started lifting all our onions to cure.  We are not over joyed with our onion crop this year and we are wondering if it is the change in compost that we used.  We have always used composted horse manure and this year we used a certified organic compost. All our other crops have done really well with the new compost but I think next year we will be heading back to the composted horse manure for onions.

What is in this weeks basket?
Tomatoes - We hope you are enjoying the bounty this year. Looking back over our records this year has been the best year we have ever had on the farm for tomatoes!
Tomatillos - Do remember if you don't want to make salsa these are great roasted, made into chili sauce or you can even freeze them to use at a later date.  This weekend I will be making a tomatillo and pork stew so will post the recipe next week as we still have a few weeks to come of these!
Eggplant - They are still doing really well so we have found nine different ways you can try them this week!
Sweet peppers
Beans - We are having an amazing bean seasons so far this year and we still have more to come!!  So we have added two additional recipes this week for beans in case you are running out of ideas!
This is the one I am looking forward to trying this week, it is from Melissa Joulwan's book Well Fed and it is coconut almond green beans
Last week I made a modified Ribollita Soup and have included the recipe for you all!
1lb of fresh beans chopped into 1cm slices
1 onion chopped
4 carrots grated
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
4 stalks of celery sliced
6 tomatoes chopped into chunks
2 litres of stock chicken or vegetable
Then some sort of greens! I used cabbage but you can use kale napa cabbage etc.
salt and peppers
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, garlic and celery and saute for about 10 minutes then add the carrots and chopped tomatoes and a little thyme and saute for another 5 minutes then add your stock simmer gently for 45 minutes, season with salt and peppers then add your shredded cabbage/greens and beans and cook for another 15 minutes.
Michael gave it the thumbs up! "Sooooo Sweet!!"
Hot Peppers - Please remember we do not include hot peppers as part of your box.  We don't feel it is fair as not everyone enjoys hot and spicy food.  Hot Peppers are something that we grow and we leave in a basket for you to help your self to.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 10

We have certainly seen some rain and heat this week but the cold nights have continued! Michael has been wondering if we should have grown rice this year rather than vegetables?

One of our chores this week was to clear out the greenhouse and plough it ready for transplanting and direct seeding our winter crops.  I have been left a tiny corner to continue with the seeding but we managed to get three full length and two short beds into the greenhouse which did bring up the conversation of maybe needing another greenhouse!!

This weeks basket!
Sweet Peppers 
Beans - They are back and are amazing.  Some of the beans are going to be large, they are a jumbo borlotti bean variety and we cooked with them this weekend and they are not at all stringy!
Watermelons - These are certainly going to be watery but not sure how sweet! We have had enough rain but not enough heat and I think these need the balance of each.  Our other melons have been slow to grow and I think this is purely down 

to not having the heat we had last year to bring them along.
Zucchini - They are starting to slow and we hear the cheers! We may get another one or maybe two weeks out of them.
And as per previous weeks help your self to hot peppers!

Eggplant and green bean curry ~ Taken from Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall's book "VEG Everyday".

Ahead of time either stew your tomatoes or roast them in the oven and blend into a thick sauce.
Curry Paste! You can make this as hot or as mild as you like.
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves
1.5tsp ginger powder
5-6 medium chillies
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp of tamarind paste
Place in a blender and blend till a paste.  You can use all of this or just a little!
Cut the eggplant into 2 inch chunks and saute in oil until they are lightly browned.  You may need to do this in batches.  Place the cooked eggplant to one side add a little more oil to the pan, add the paste and fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Add the eggplant back to the pan and stir until coated in the spice mix. Add your tomato sauce (about 300ml) and one can of coconut milk.  Simmer partially covered for 10 minutes then add your beans and simmer until they are tender about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with toasted almonds.