Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 7

Garlic harvest is nearly done and we have been spending our evenings cleaning, bunching and hanging the garlic to cure which is going slightly faster this year as we have additional help.
Along with Alex's help over the last week, we have to say another BIG THANK YOU to our  CSA members who have been out to the farm on hands and knees and getting stuck in to all the hand weeding. 
Seeding and transplanting continues at the farm and with this hot weather we have been getting over the last few days and possibly for at least another week we are hoping it will help bring on the eggplant, field tomatoes, hot peppers and cucumbers as they are a little slow this year).  Our solar water pump is back up and running and is busy every evening watering in our direct seeding and transplants. 
Alex prepping beds for seeding.

This weeks basket feels like summer is here!
Garlic - For anyone who has not used fresh garlic before please remember it will have a high water content as it has not been cured.  You will also notice that the skins are slightly thicker.  When using fresh garlic you are actually better to add it at the end of cooking rather than at the start as it is more likely to burn.
Salad Onions - Apart from adding them to your salads you could also try these pancakes.
Zucchini - zucchini salad with mint garlic red chilli lemon.
Thai Basil -  Thai basil has a more peppery and anise flavour to it. Why not try a Thai Basil Pesto
Kale - You can use any type of kale for this pilaf. kale pecan cranberry pilaf. or try this lemon maple kale salad dates almonds
Onions - This week we have some lovely fresh Gladstone onions, they are amazing to cook with.
Carrots - Moroccan carrot salad.
Beans - beans with crispy garlic
Sweet Peppers - You will either have purple, red or light yellow!
Cucumbers - If you get the white ones they are called silver slicer and they will need peeling.The green cucumbers you can leave the skin on.
Eggplant - We are hoping that we are going to have enough for everyone this week.  I have told a few members about a ratatouille recipe we cook and I have managed to find the recipe by Hugh Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  That is if you can bare to cook down your tomatoes!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 6

Everyone had been wilting under the heat of the weekend but thankfully the vegetables got a good watering on Sunday evening with the huge storm we had along with the unplanned rain showers this morning just before we started picking!
Alex has rolled up his sleeves and is getting stuck into weeding and harvesting along with helping with animal chores.  He will shortly be helping us with our garlic harvesting and also with some of the Fall transplanting.  Michael and I are also getting used to having an extra set of hands to help with our work load.  
We also have to say a huge THANK YOU to two of our CSA members who put together a 'Canadian" Food Package for Alex which included Butter tarts, maple syrup, Canadian beer and lots of other food goodies. 

This weeks box:
Salad Onions
Fennel - 15 fabulous fennel recipes.
Red Cabbage - Do remember that cabbage will store in a cool dark place if you are not ready to use it this week.
Red cabbage braised with apple bacon and balsamic vinegar
Red cabbage slaw recipe
Beets - How about trying a beet bourguignon
Carrots - We are thinning carrots this weeks so everyone has baby carrots.  They are actually looking really good, so all being well they will be making more of a regular appearance in the vegetable boxes.  Please remember that with carrots this young all you need to do is wash the skins, no need to peel.
Peas - This year has been an amazing season for us for peas.  It is looking like this will be the last week for them.
Beans - Grilled courgette/zucchini tomato and bean salad
Zucchini -You can also grate your zucchini and place into freezer bags and freeze for winter cooking.
Chard -Love this idea of making meatless meatballs with your left over greens!
Tomatoes - The hoop house tomatoes are starting to ripen, so we are excited to have a small taster in the boxes this week.  Please remember to return your tomato tubs please.

Monday, July 13, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 5

Wagon seven of hay! Just second cut to go!
It has been all go at the farm over the last week and with the heat arriving, the heat loving crops are starting to take off! We could do with a little bit of rain only because our solar pump has not been happy and we are still waiting for a new pump to arrive! Fingers and toes crossed it arrives sooner rather than later!!

This Friday we will have another Brit joining us at the farm! So another accent for everyone to get used to!  Alex is an agriculture student from the UK and we thought it would be better for him to give you a blurb about himself, so here it is!

"I am a twenty year old agriculture student who is studying for a foundation degree in agriculture in Plumpton, East Sussex.  I have just finished my first year of a two year course and I am looking forward to going back in September.  I am not from a farming background however for the last five years I have worked on a small local farm after completing two years work experience there.  It was working at Hengest Farm that inspired me to pursue a career in agriculture and it has become a real passion of mine.  As well as studying and working I am also a keen member of the National Federation of Young Farmers and I have taken part in in a number of competitions with them such as stock judging and fence erecting.  I am looking forward to my trip to Canada as it will be an amazing opportunity to learn and gain experience in different aspects in farming".

This weeks basket:
Cabbage - 10 different ways to eat Cabbage
Salad onions - Replace your onions with your salad onions
Kale - Kale and chicken salad
Zucchini - Raw zucchini salad
Beets - One of our CSA members sent me this amazing recipe for beet pesto, kale and goat cheese pizza! We made it at the weekend and it was amazing.  As ever I did make a few modifications as I used what I had rather than buying in other ingredients.  For the pesto I used scapes instead of garlic, pecans instead of walnuts and I replaced the cheese with pumpkin seeds! We did not use mozzarella as we make our own cheese so I just topped the pizza off with cherve. 
You can also use any type of pizza crust for this. We made an almond meal one. The recipe for our Pizza base is - 2 cups of almond meal, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp of olive oil, 1/2tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp of sea salt.  Mix the base together.  Wet your hands and then press the base out on a pizza plate.  Bake the base in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until golden.
Fennelfennel cabbage slaw or another alternative is to top your pizza off with fennel.  Thinly slice the fennel and cook in a little olive oil until soft. You can also add onion and garlic if you wish.  For the sauce we use scape pesto but you can also use tomato or basil pesto.  Spread sauce over base, then fennel, season with salt and pepper add your cheese and bake in the oven for another 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.
One of our CSA members sent in this recipe for Lemon Fennel Slaw and has given it a thumbs up!
Beans - Just a small amount this week! summer salad with beans, beets and goat cheese.
Chinese Cabbage or Radicchio

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

CSA Newsletter ~ Week 4

Linda weeding the chard bed
The heat has finally arrived which means that haying has started at the farm! 
Always a comforting feeling when you stack hay knowing that you have feed for the animals for the coming winter.  
A huge THANK YOU to Kevin who came out on Monday at 6.30am and helped unload three wagons of hay with us and another THANK YOU has to go out to our members who have been out to weed over the last few weeks it is greatly appreciated.

This weeks basket

Spring Turnips
Radicchio - Our radicchio is long and green we grow this one as it is not as bitter! Here are a few recipes from Martha Stewart!
Roasted Radicchio with White Beans, Figs and Walnuts
Being figs are out it might be a good match the sweetness of them with the bitter and the nice creaminess of the beans should work real nice.
Loosely adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 4
1/2 pound white beans (such as cannellini or flageolet), soaked overnight in water
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for finishing
2 heads radicchio, sliced into 2″-thick wedges
1/3 cup caramelized onions (here’ how)
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup dried figs, sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Drizzle balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Drain soaked beans and place in a large pot. Cover with fresh water, add bay leaf and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to simmer. Cook on low, covered, for about 30 minutes until beans are tender. Remove bay leaf and garlic (you may smash the garlic with the back of a knife and stir into the beans). Season the pot with Kosher salt to taste. Keep warm. Beans can be cooked a few days ahead of time and stored in their cooking liquid.
Heat oven to 450. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over radichio gently toss to combine. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and spread out on baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes until tender and charred in some places. Set aside.
Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. In a large skillet, combine beans, roasted radicchio, mustard and caramelized onions. Heat, stirring occasionally and adding spoonfuls of bean cooking liquid to bring everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with walnuts, dried figs, lemon zest and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Enjoy warm.
Scapes - These are the last scapes of the 2015 season. You will find at the end of the veg list a recipe for your scapes and parsley that one of our CSA members sent in.
Swiss chard - We cooked this last night and it was amazing! A 10 minute sauteed rainbow chard.  All I did was use my scapes instead of garlic cloves.
Beetroots - Beetroot and Zucchini salad
Fennel - Is great eaten raw or cooked.  If you fancy trying it raw here is a great salad recipe which will also use some of your parsley. Fennel black olive orange salad
Parsley See recipe below.
Zucchini - They are at the baby stage at the moment. 

It is always a bonus when one of our CSA Members is a Chef! A huge thank you to Chef Chris for this recipe:
Aglio Olio
First wash, dry scapes and parsley………put in a food processor and add ¼ cup of olive oil.
Transfer the paste onto plastic wrap.

Roll into a sausage type package.

Freeze and cut a chunk off to add to pasta before serving or in meatloaf, or in potato salad, or in burgers, or add to your steak marinade…. Etc. Tastes delicious! And you know what’s in it!