Tuesday, October 28, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 20

So here we are at week 20 and the last week of the Summer CSA 2014.  This has been our largest CSA since we started, both in length of season and also the amount of families we have fed, since we started our CSA in 2010 (we spent our first year in 2009 just focusing on learning how to grow and attending a farmers market).  What can we say but a huge thank you from us to all our members for their support this year.  We hope you have enjoyed this years CSA as much as we have growing all the vegetables for you.
Once again a huge thank you from us to you for your support this year and choosing to keep your food local this season.

Please do take the time to fill our your survey that we sent out with your e-mail at the weekend. The survey also includes a summation of the growing year which is not in the e-mail.

We have already had several members ask about next years CSA.  Registration will open again at the beginning of December. 

Are your two farmers putting their feet up now the season is over? No! As of next week we start our Fall boxes for four weeks, this is our first year running these boxes so we are looking forward  to expanding on these over the coming years.  Then in December, we hope, if all stores and grows well to start offering our bulk vegetables boxes.

This weeks baskets:
Napa Cabbage - Have found an amazing list of lots of different recipes you can try with your napa/Chinese cabbage.
Beets - This week everyone gets a bag of beets.  We are in the middle of bringing crops in from the field so it was easier for us this week to just bag your beets.  We have put holes in the bag but you should still store them in the fridge.  Why not try a heart beet soup.
Radicchio - Does have a bitter taste to it.  We grow a variety called sugar loaf which we have found is not as bitter as the red radicchio.  Radicchio can be eaten raw in salads, grilled on the BBQ and then cut into chunks to create a warm salad adding feta cheese, mushrooms etc to the mix, shredded into stir fry or even made into a radicchio and mushroom frittata or added to risotto
Swiss Chard or Kale  - is another one of those greens that most people have a bit of a love hate relationship with.  We have found some tasty recipes for a chard and onion tart and chickpeas with swiss chard and carrots
Watermelon Radish
Golden Turnips - This is a great soup recipe which uses root vegetables.  So you could use a mixture of turnips and carrots.
Butternut Squash - We have managed to get enough together for the last week, after we had a small visit from a rat over night who has chosen to have a good gnaw through some of our squash that we had on the tables in the greenhouse! Something totally different to do with your butternut squash squashage Paella
Parsley - Great added to winter stews or you can just place into a Ziploc bag and freeze until you need it.
Spinach - Please remember we have not washed the spinach as it does store better.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 19

Mud, mud, glorious mud!! I think the only animals on this farm that are enjoying all this rain and mud are our pigs! 
We finished the garlic planting last week and final count was 3004 cloves! We are feeling slightly nervous about the garlic patch as a mole seems to have moved in to the beds! Not much damage has been done to the beds though, he seems more focused on the newly prepared ones, rather than the ones we have planted!! 
Apart from all the mud, field clearing continues, along with the harvest of crops to be stored for our Fall Baskets which start the first week of November.  If anyone is interested in signing up for November weekly or bi weekly baskets please contact us for a registration form.
This week we say goodbye to our Group A half shares and then next week is the end of our 20 Week Summer CSA! We have to be honest we are not sure where the last 19 weeks have gone, it really seems to have flown by this year.
To all our half shares who have their last pick up this week, if you have time we do appreciate your feedback and the survey link is attached in the e-mail that went out on Sunday.  
A huge thank you from us to you for your continued support and we hope you have enjoyed this years CSA and eating seasonal vegetables as much as we have enjoyed growing them for you.

This weeks box:
Carrots - Why not try a sweet dish with your carrots this week! We are going to be trying this one and replacing the sugar with half the amount in honey carrot halwa
Parsnips - This has been a crop we have seeded each year and has never germinated.  Germination was not fantastic this year but 100% better than any other year!!!   They do take a really long time to grow (think we will try seeding a little earlier next year to see if we can get them bigger) and they are much tastier after a really heavy frost. So even though they are heading out in the boxes this week they are not huge and the quantity is alot less than what we would like. But if we can do it this year here's hoping for a better crop next year.
Kale - If you do not want to eat your kale and want to keep if for winter then just place it in a Ziploc bag straight in the freezer.  Kale is really nice to add to any stew or soup over the long winter evenings.
Potatoes - This weeks potatoes are Gold Rush. We have found some really yummy Winter potato dishes for you to try.
Turnips - As I write this newsletter I am in the middle of cooking a potato dauphinosie. What I like about this recipe is it has a couple of variations one using turnips and one using celeriac.
Acorn Squash - Here's a great recipe for stuffed squash.
Swede/Rutabaga - If you have not guessed we love to cook and eat swede so have found this amazing recipe that we will be cooking this week for spiced swede cakes
Leeks - We have found this great recipe for Cottage and Roots pie it uses leeks but also if you are struggling with the celeriac or turnips this is a great recipe to use those vegetables in too.
Chinese white radish Moo/Mooli or Daikon - When I worked in South Korea this was one of my staples, I love this radish! It's crispy, peppery, spiciness and sweet flavour is just amazing eaten raw, added to stir Fry, salads or you can make one of my favourites which is radish Kimchi.

Cauliflower or Broccoli - This is week four and we are really making up for all the years we have struggled to get these to head up at the farm! Last Saturday when we picked we found one that weighed in at 2lbs15oz
Arugula - Is a great spring and fall crop. The leaves are very peppery and make an amazing salad, pizza topping or you can even turn it into pesto

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 18

We hope that everyone had a restful Thanksgiving with friends and family.

This last week has seen our first really heavy frost at the farm, blue spotted salamanders and a huge chunk of our garlic planting completed! As of this evening 2321 cloves are in and we have about another 1000 to go! This is our largest garlic patch ever! Compared to some this is tiny but each year we keep enlarging the patch. I did suggest to Michael we should aim for 6000 next year!! If we do that, we might have to have a CSA garlic party! 

Thank you to everyone who filled in the winter vegetable CSA survey. Once our 20 week summer CSA ends we will running a Fall CSA Box for November. You will be able to choose a weekly or bi weekly box and in December we will be offering bulk vegetable boxes.  These bulk boxes depend on how well the greens do in the greenhouse, along with our cold storage! If all goes well we will offer more bulk boxes in January and February.

Everyone who has said yes to extending will shortly receive an e-mail with a registration form with all the in's and outs of how the November shares will work. We hope to have this done and updated on our website by this weekend!

Watermelon Radish
This weeks basket:
Golden Turnips
Watermelon Radish - These can be eaten raw in a salad or roasted
Sweet peppers - This will be the last week of these.
Spinach - Yes the leaves are huge, but very sweet and tender.  We do not wash the spinach as it keeps longer.  So wash as you need it.
Mustard greens

Monday, October 6, 2014

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 17

Chewed pac choy!
I think we can say that the Fall weather has returned to the farm this weekend!
We are thankful that we re-covered some of our crops on Saturday as we did get another light, patchy frost across the farm!
The most damage we received was to our radicchio and pac choy not due to the weather but due to either a skunk or raccoon that has felt the need to walk over our fleeces pull them apart and have a bit of a nibble on the crops!
Even though it is the long weekend coming up, vegetables still need to be harvested and we will still have a Saturday pick up at the farm!

We may be a little sluggish on Saturday as we have a rather long day on Friday as it is Turkey day which starts really early and ends rather late!

Thank you to all who have filled out the winter survey so far! Please do remember that if you want to continue after the 20 weeks whether it be bi-weekly or weekly you do need to leave your name at the end of the survey  The survey is anonymous so we really have no idea who fills it in.

When it gets this cold we tend to make soups, curries and stews so we have added some of these recipes this week, along with a few different ideas! Enjoy!

This weeks basket
Carrots -  Baked whole carrots
Beets - Why not serve your beet roots for dessert Chocolate beetroot cake
Swede - A great way to use up your root vegetables is to make a large pot of root vegetable stew
Kale - Found a great recipe for Mashed winter vegetable stew which helps to use up your kale!
Leeks - Something to do with all the turkey left overs! Turkey and leek pie.
Turnips - We have the sweet, tender hakurei turnips again this week why not try a a little spice this week and cook a spiced turnip and chickpea dish.
Lettuce - How about a chicken and squash salad? The recipe says to use a butternut but you could use any type of squash for this recipe.
PotatoesButtery herby potato cake or a bubble and squash!
Beans - You could always add your beans to the cauli coconut curry or try this bean cooking dish!
Squash - You will either receive this week a bright orange Kuri squash or a spaghetti squash.
Cauliflower - Yes we have cauliflower again this week, very excited about this! Why not try a Cauli Coconut Curry
Mustard Greens - Mustard greens are great for juicing, making pesto or you could even try a calabrese mustard greens