Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 16

The weather has been amazing this last week.  We have been busy putting some parts of the market garden to bed and other parts are still producing lots of lovely vegetables.  Thank you to everyone who has filled out the survey on winter vegetables.  If you do have the time it is a very short survey and we appreciate your input.  If you have not received an e-mail about winter vegetables then please check your spam mail as well!
For those who are picking up at Lolly Lodge this week please remember pick up is at the back of the parade of shops in the staff parking lot and not in the front parking lot.

This weeks share
Sweet peppers
Hakurei turnips - This weeks turnips are the white round ones that remind me of ping pong balls! Again these can be eaten, raw, stir fried, made into soup or even roasted or you could even try smokin turnip layers.
Pac Choy
Braising greens - We have been asked what is in the braising green bunch? It is made up of kales, mustard greens, pac choy and leafy Asian greens.  Great raw or cooked.  If cooking you will lose some of the bitter taste that it has if eaten raw but they really have a nice balance of sweet and bitter.
Watermelons - Last week! We hear the cheers! I think we are still in shock at how many watermelons we have had this year!!
Celeriac -With this weeks celeriac why not try a smokin neeps and tatties hash!
Swede/Rutabaga - As Brits we like to call a Rutabaga a Swede! So we have found some great swede recipes for you.
Potatoes - This weeks potatoes are Dakota Pearl and they are stunning!
Acorn squash10 different ways to eat Acorn Squash
Cauliflower - Last minute update! They seemed to have appeared over night.  We are rather excited about this as cauliflower like broccoli has been hard to grow in our soil but everything seems to have come together this year!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 15

Happy First Day of Fall

The weather this last week has been crazy! From a frost warning on Thursday which had us covering sensitive crops and digging the last of the sweet potatoes out, to high winds with hot and humid temperatures by the weekend! But as we welcome fall will we be getting back to normal temperatures for this time of year?  We have sorted our seed garlic for seeding and will shortly finish the last of the bed prep and then the chore of cracking bulbs and seeding will commence.  
Our green manures are doing great this year.  Lots of beds have been seeded. We also did some seeding just before the temperature dropped and we are happy to say the seed has germinated! 
Shortly you will all be receiving a survey about winter vegetables.  We would like to get an idea of what you would like as this will help us this year in what we offer but also in planning future winter vegetable boxes.  

This week's basket:
Watermelon - Yes they are still with us! Do remember you can freeze your watermelon in chunks.
Tomatillos -  if you don't fancy making anymore salsa why not try this stew.  If you do not eat meat you can replace the meat with kidney beans.  Do remember you can roast your tomatillos and then freeze them for winter stews and soups.
Tomatillo, sweet potato and pork stew.
1lb of pork stew
One batch of tomatillos roasted.
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed or you can use normal potatoes
3 medium onions diced
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 heaped tsp of cumin
2 Tbsp of paprika
2 Tbsp of chopped chili
2 litres of stock vegetable, pork or chicken.
Salt and pepper to season
Saute the garlic and onion in a large dutch oven till soft
Add in the cumin paprika and chili stir to coat then add the pork stir to coat for several minutes, add the potatoes and stock bring to a boil cover and simmer gentle for 1 1/4 hours or until the pork is tender.
Sweet Peppers - We are hoping to get a another couple of weeks of these as they are doing really well in the hoop house.
Cabbage want something different to do with cabbage then try these roasted cabbage steaks.
Celeriac also called turnip-rooted celery or knob celery is a variety of celery cultivated for it's root.  Can be eaten shredded raw into a salad, added to mashed potatoes or what is rather nice is Jamie Olivers recipe for smashed celeriac.
Sweet potatoes - We are so excited to be able to add more sweet potatoes to this weeks boxes.  We did find on the last two rows the voles had chewed a few but over all we have had a much better yield this year.  Sweet potatoes do make great soup!
Garlic - The Garlic is cured. This weeks garlic bulbs are red russian and tibetan.
Braising greens - These can be eaten raw, added to soups or stir fry.  This is our first time growing these and they have grown really well in our greenhouse so hoping you all enjoy them as much as we enjoyed growing them.
Turnips - These stunning golden turnips can be eaten raw, roasted, added to mash or made into soup.  The tops can also be eaten as well.
Turnip Soup.
4 turnips chopped
2 medium onions diced
1 1/2 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
2 cloves of chopped garlic
2 Tbsps of curry powder.
Saute onions and garlic in a little oil until soft, add curry powder and turnips saute for a few minutes then add stock.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or until turnips are soft, season with salt and pepper.  Blend soup and serve.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 14

Lily says this weeks carrots are 'yummy'! 
As it poured with rain on Saturday we spent most of the day covering our sensitive crops with row covers/ fleece as the weather  network had warned of a cold evening!  The thermals have been dug out along with the toques for Sunday morning and we did have a patchy frost over the field but all in all everything looks pretty good!
We have started our harvest of sweet potatoes, so far we doing pretty well with our battle against the voles! I should not speak too soon mind as I can imagine they are out there now munching on the other rows that are covered by fleece.

We also have a huge request! To all our CSA egg customers please remember to return your cartons! We are running very low here at the farm.  For those of you who do return them, "Thank You" and if anyone would like to collect cartons for us we are happy to take them off your hands!

This weeks box
Sweet peppers
Celery - it is still holding on and we did not want to see it go to waste so it should be good for fresh eating still, juicing or chop into chunks for freezing to use in winter. At this time of year we enjoy a celery gratin from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Everyday Veg book. You will need to scroll down the link page to find the gratin recipe.
Voles have been munching of the potatoes!
Sweet potatoes -  So far the sweet potatoes are looking pretty good, please remember we have not cured them! They will keep for a while!  We still have some more to dig out.  We have never tried hasselback potatoes before and found this great recipe which we tried on Saturday which was just yummy! We also made rutabaga hasselbacks using the same recipe just cooked on a slightly higher heat.
Cucumbers - Thinking this may be the last week for them! 
Leeks - We have had an issue with leek moth this year! We have cleaned the leeks up as best we can but still keep a look out for the little worms!  At this time of year we love the following dish with leeks and kale Great for lunch or as a side dish.
Kale - We don't like to give out too much kale as we know it is a love hate relationship for many with this vegetable! We have had a few requests to have kale back on the menu and now the flee beetles seem to have died back and the kale has bounced back we are adding it to this weeks boxes.  
Watermelons - Yes they are still here! We cleared the field last week with the threat of a frost and they are all stored in our super cold basement.  Looking for something different why not try watermelon gazpacho
Onions - These are not storage onions so please use them sooner rather than later. 
Pac Choy - Is great in stir fry's or in a steam boat.  A steam boat is pretty much anything goes! We use chicken or beef stock for our boats and then will saute onions, garlic, hot peppers for the base, allow it to simmer in the stock adding in pac choy or napa cabbage shredded, oyster mushrooms add some more texture to the soup with either fish or meat for protein. You can use soy sauce, coconut aminos or Thai fish sauce to give it a bit of a lift. We have even added some zucchini or cucumber noodles just before serving.
Broccoli or Napa Cabbage - It's an either or this week as we don't have enough broccoli to do a full run this week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 13

Not sure where the last week has gone! We have spent this week clearing crops that have come to their end and harvesting watermelons, we seem to have a lot this year! Also moving our last batch of meat chickens out onto pasture, moving Christmas turkeys to the training pen before they go out into the big house on the field, stacking wood for winter and transplanting winter greens, ooh! and lets not forget Friday nights thunder and lighting storm and the rain on Saturday! Apart from all that it has been a pretty normal week around the farm!

This weeks basket:
Tomatillos - Pork and tomatillos go so well together I found a different type of stew using both!
Tomatoes - It is looking like this will be our last week but we have had an awesome run this season.  We are in the middle of clearing the hoop house to allow us to get our final planting and transplants of winter greens in.
Beans - They just keep on coming
Sweet peppers - Can also be sliced and frozen for winter stews
Eggplant - Are starting to slow down, we hear the cheers of "finally"! We have had another good crop this year.
Watermelon - Why not try something different with your watermelon this week! I found this very tasty watermelon and feta salad.
Broccoli - We have broccoli! grown without sprays or chemicals! I think we have come to the conclusion that we will not grow this for early season but will do it for the fall.  It has also taken lots of soil building over the last few years to get this far! So for all our long standing customers thank you for hanging on in there and we have finally done it, fingers crossed we can do it again next year!! They may be small but they will be perfectly formed! We took the row covers off yesterday and trust me we are really pleased we did! We are hoping that you should not have much cabbage white worm on them but we still recommend soaking the heads in cold  salted water.
Chinese/Napa Cabbage - You do have napa/chicnese cabbage again.  When you are faced with a colder wetter season you do adjust your seeding to accommodate and these  have grown really well this season.

Help yourself to hot peppers and parsley

Last week while chatting to Wendy and Mark two of our CSA members they told us about their sunflower that they are growing with no chemicals or fertilizers as of last Thursday evening the sunflower measured 10.5 feet tall as you can see from the photo is it huge!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 12

It has been hot and humid as we leave August and enter September!
Last week we got all out onions lifted, beds hoed and seeded down to oats, peas and clover.  We also started prepping other areas of the garden for next year.  We have hauled a lot of horse manure this weekend, Michael has harrowed the areas and we are just getting ready to seed it all down to oats and peas.

This week's box is a little taste of summer and fall all together.  We still have lots of summer vegetables but as we come into September we will start adding in more fall type veggies into you boxes.  
Over the next few weeks you will see tomatillos again as they have done really well in this cooler summer, sweet peppers, eggplant, tomatoes (this has been a best year to date for yield) and more cucumbers.  

Sweet Peppers
Lemon Cucumbers
Cucumbers - I was lucky enough a few years ago to be given the opportunity to work in South Korea and I totally fell in love with their food.  If you are feeling a bit bogged down by the cucumbers why not try this amazing salad.
Cucumber Namul - Koren Cooking by Young Jin Song
Vegetable oil
spring onions finely chopped
1 garlic clove chopped
1 tsp of sesame oil
sesame seeds, and seeded and shredded red chili to garnish.
Cucumber Namul
Thinly slice your cucumber and place in a colander.  Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 minutes.  Drain off any excess liquid and transfer to a clean bowl.
Coat a pan with oil and heat over a medium heat. Add the spring onion, garlic and cucumber and quickly stir fry together
Remove from heat, add the sesame oil and toss lightly to blend the ingredients.  Place in a shallow serving dish and garnish with the sesame seeds and shredded chili before serving.

Leeks - Why not try a different take on the traditional leek and potato soup. We will over the remaining weeks, as we add leeks to your boxes, give you a few different ways to enjoy them but we thought we would start with the classic soup first! If you are not in the mood for soup then remember leeks can be sliced into 1cm chunks placed in a Ziploc bag without blanching and straight into the freezer to be used during winter.
Swede/Rutabaga - In England we call them Swede in North America it seems to be a Rutabaga. What ever it's name it is not waxed!! This did freak me out seeing these waxed in the store a few years ago! I think due to the cooler weather and rain they are huge!!!!!!!
Swede with onion and sage - Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
50g butter
1 swede, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1 large onion chopped
12 sage leaves finely shredded
sea salt and black pepper
Heat the butter in a wide pan over a medium heat,  Add the swede, onion, half the sage and some salt and pepper.  Stir well.  When the vegetables are sweating nicely, cover the pan and reduce the heat a little.  
Cook, stirring from time to time, for 40-45 minutes, until the swede is tender and the onion is sweet and caramelised.
Stir in the remaining shredded sage, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve.
Watermelons - After this week we are hoping for at least one more week of watermelons. 

Potatoes - This week you have Estima.  We have given everyone 3lbs after having such a good yield.  We do not wash your potatoes as they keep longer if the dirt is left on them.  Potatoes can be stored in a cool dark place if you are not going to use them straight away.  Please remember they have not been cured so you will find you just need to wash the skins before using, you will not need to peel these potatoes.

Kohlrabi - This will be the one and only week of kohlrabi.  We are very sad about this.  For the fall seasoning we like to grow a storage variety and this year it seems to have struggled with all the rain.  It has split and with the continued rain that has sat in the slits it also rotted.  We have managed to salvage some. You may find them looking a little odd like the one in the picture but please do not be put off by it's ugliness, you will find plenty of juicy flesh inside these for eating. 

Onions - We are doing bags of onions from now on.  We won't be giving them out every week as you will be getting larger quantities in one go.

At both the farm and at pick up points you will have the additional options of help yourself hot chilies and also some lovely fresh sage.