Sunday, June 28, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 3

Well what can we say about last Tuesday! The rain overnight on Monday filled the cistern and flooded our basement.  We got all the shares picked and then at 10.30am the heavens opened for about 30 minutes!
We had directed seeded 400ft of beans the day before, they are doing great and have already germinated.  We are however, a little concerned about the 500ft of carrot seed we planted. Time will tell if they washed away!

We have to store the ladybugs in our fridge!!
We also found we had a lot of aphids on our storage kohlrabi and our rutabaga/swede transplants. So after washing each individual transplant in water we put in a call to the Natural Insect control and purchased 2000 lady bugs. We released them under insect netting which is protecting the crops from the bad bugs in the hope the lady bugs will deal with any remaining aphids.

One of the best tips we can give for using your vegetables is to exchange ingredients for what is in your box.  i.e if you need onions use your salad onions if you need garlic use your scapes, if you are making slaw and need cabbage and carrots then use your napa cabbage and kohlrabi instead. 

This Weeks basket:
Napa/Chinese Cabbage - A few different recipes for your Chinese cabbage 
Radicchio - Our radicchio is not like the traditional red variety, it is large and green! It has a bitter taste to it but I have to say it is in my top ten vegetable list! The following recipes are a great way to cut the bitterness so that everyone in the family will enjoy it radicchio mushroom frittata. grilled baked radicchio
Turnips - Try roasting your turnips,
Radish - You could even roast your turnips and radishes together.
Scapes - We like to freeze some scapes for winter.  Chop your scapes into chunks place them in the food processor with some oil and blitz.  Then place into ice cube trays and freeze.  Then during the winter months these scape cubes can be added into soups, stews or spread over a pizza base.
Beets - Beets can be boiled, roasted on the BBQ Grilled beet burgers, another burger recipe beetroot burgers kale quinoa salad, Don't forget to use the tops as well beetroot braised beet tops
Peas - Hopefully we do not need to give any recipe suggestions for these! Will they make it home even??
Kale - Add it to a lasagna.
Parsley - If you do not want to use your parsley you can place it in a Ziploc bag and put it in the freezer and then just grab out what you need when you need it! Our you can try one of the 10 best parsley recipes.

Don't forget you can post your photos and recipes of your meals on our FB page or e-mail them to us.

Monday, June 22, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 2

It was a great week last week catching up on all the news from our returning members and meeting all our new members.  We look forward to catching up this week with our week 2 half share members.

At this stage it is a bit of a juggling act between, transplanting, weeding, seeding and harvesting and of course the weeds are huge after all the rain we have had.   We are now waiting for a gap in the rain so that our neighbours can start cutting our hay! We have everything crossed that it will be this week!

Some other great resources for recipes.
I really like the Well Fed cook books by Melissa Joulwan
One of our members also recommended the following website. Yummly

This weeks basket:
Scapes -
Salad Onions - Never sure what to call these! In England we call them Spring onions, in North America it seems to be green onions or bunching onions!  These can be tossed into salads, or cooked as a replacement to onions.
Spring Turnips

Chinese/Napa Cabbage
Chinese/Napa Cabbage - Is an amazing vegetable and can be cooked in so many ways.  You can use it in coleslaws, make rolls with it, kimchi, roast it or even grill it on the BBQ.
We roasted ours this week on the BBQ and finished with a mustard glaze.
Cut the cabbage in half and then quarter.  Brush lightly with olive oil.  For the glaze you will need 3 tbsp of mustard (we used Dijon) 1 tbsp of honey, 1tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, 2 garlic cloves chopped and 2 tbsp of chopped basil.  Mix the glaze ingredients all together.  Place your cabbage quarters on a hot grill/BBQ cook for 5-7 minutes on each side all depends on how charred you like it.  Remove cabbage from the grill brush with the glaze and Enjoy!
Lettuce - Why not try cooking your lettuce in these tartlettes
Kohlrabi -We kept insect netting on the kohlrabi this spring and the leaves are amazing so do not forget to add these to salad or a stir fry.  We have attached the Riverford Farms video on how to use Kohlrabi.  We just love it raw grated into salad.


Kale - Found a great recipe for Kale Pesto
Chard - You can always use your chard to make this secret greens tabbouleh recipe.
Radish - Not everyone loves radish raw but roasted they become sweet and juicy and are amazing as a side or tossed into a salad!

Monday, June 15, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 1

Getting ready for planting in our new hoop house.
Here it goes the start of our 6th CSA season.

A huge Thank You to everyone who has signed up for this years CSA at Strattons Farm and for choosing to support a local farm and to eat seasonally over the next twenty weeks!

It has been a roller coaster weather ride so far this year from a very hot May which effected some of our seed germination and caused some of our lovely Asian greens to bolt early, no rain for 39 days and then to cap it off a killing frost which now is nearly forgotten as all the plants have bounced back, been reseeded or replaced with spares we had available. Then we entered June.... and I think we have been making up for all the rain we did not get in May!  Weeding and transplanting has been fun in the mud!!!!
So here's hoping for a season of warm weather and regular evenings filled with rain, but a few days without rain would be lovely so hay making and weeding can start!  

Over the next twenty weeks we will include lots of recipes in the newsletters but do remember to read through some of last years recipes or if you find a recipe you love then please e-mail it in with a photo or you can post it directly to our Facebook page. We have also been adding recipes to our Pinterest page as well.  Our aim is to get the newsletter up and ready by Monday but please do not hold us to this! Between the two of us we do rather a lot at the farm, and some evenings all we want to do is crawl into our beds, but we will do our best to have the newsletter up a few days before the first pick up of the week.

Here are some great resources (books and websites) that we love using for finding different recipes from!  If you have a favourite book or website please let us know and we will add it into the newsletters.
This is also a great read on how to not get behind on your CSA vegetables.
Riverford Farms
Abel and Cole
Jamie Oliver
River Cottage
"River Cottage Veg everyday" by Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall
 "Jamie at Home"  by Jamie Oliver 

This weeks basket:
Mustard Greens This weeks is greenwave! Has a nice bit to it, can be eaten raw, cooked or turned into Pesto!
Lettuce - Why not try cooking your lettuce and trying a lettuce soup
Swiss Chard - Always feel a bit sorry for chard, everyone seems to want kale! Chard actually ranks higher in nutrient density than kale according to the Centers for Disease Control!
It can be eaten raw or cooked.  We really like the sound of this gratin dish.
Kale - Lemony kale just exchange the garlic for the scapes you have in your basket.
Turnips - These are spring turnips and you will get a mixture of white Hakuri and pink Scarlet queen.  These are delicious raw! Grated into salad, added to a coleslaw mix or of course you can cook them too.
Spinach - Do not wash spinach until you need it!
Garlic Scape

Garlic Scapes - The bunch of green curly things are scapes! It is never a very long season but one that lots of us get very excited about! Garlic gives us not only the bulb but also the flower head which is the scape, these are milder in flavour and it has been said that if you are unable to digest garlic, then scapes may be easier for you.  They can be roasted, added to stir frys, made into pesto or even pickled.
Pac Choy/Bok Choy - They do have a few holes in them! We covered everything but due to the high heat in May the flea beetles had already made camp in the soil!
Rhubarb - If you do not want to use it now just chop it up place in a ziplock bag and pop it in the freezer till winter.