Days of heavy rain followed by a few amazing days with sunshine and warmth – it has been all over the place lately. In the Netherlands we have a saying “April doet wat hij wil”, meaning that indeed the month of April just does whatever it feels like, and although its spring on the other side of the world, it has been the same kind of unreliable weather here. Leaves are colouring up and starting to fall of the trees and it the sunny autumn days are bringing warmth and kindness to everyone.
The heavy downpours from last week had their effects on some of the crops of the field – we lost a whole plot of Asian greens which were just ready for harvest and we have now given up on more tomatoes. The chestnuts were harvested in the rain and should be left out to dry a bit. Any mould can be easily wiped off; with a thick skin the mould cannot enter the nut (unless it is cracked) and is safe to eat.
Just as the weather was improving and Frank managed to get some more soil ready for transplanting on Monday , the rain was back on Tuesday and so were the puddles! Now we need some more dry days to finish all the transplants.
We have started harvesting a new lot of carrots and as usual we start small before they become bigger again. Sanne has been in charge of harvesting the beetroot and she could not stop talking about how great they look : I think it is her new favourite crop!.
One of our CSA members emailed us this week with her feedback on the CSA. Natalie writes: “Just to show everything gets used up from my share! A weekly roast up of veggies in my share , this week onions , beets , carrots add home grown potatoes , garlic , rosemary n sage add a slosh of olive oil n balsamic . Yum !! Baby carrots blanched and bagged up for the freezer, great for winter slow cooker. Fennel (eek!! ) thank goodness for Jamie Oliver's love of fennel. Slice fennel and fresh lemon in food processor on a fine slice add chopped fresh parsley, mint , and coriander , a splash of olive oil salt n pepper . Fab fresh salad add more salad greens. I used the fennel salad on top of sliced onions in the slow cooker with pork steaks on top, veggie stock, garlic , shallots , new potatoes . The fennel salad if left for a day marinates and becomes like a pickle. I really enjoy the diversity of my csa share , it's made me realise that I've bought week after week the same choices form the supermarket regardless of growing seasons . I've now created a couple of raised veggie gardens to supplement my csa share with herbs , greens, and what takes my fancy. I'm very appreciative of all your hard and rewarding work . Cheers Natalie “.
I appreciate Natalie's comment about our CSA seasonal diversity and supermarkets as I can see this happen really easily!
Masterton Car Boot Sale Easter Raffle
Anthony Sutherland, from Wrigley street, Masterton (pictured above) was the winner of our raffle. Anthony was very happy to win our CSA share and try it out himself - who got to know the CSA through some friends.
Solar panels for Aro Valley Community Centre
CSA member Hadleigh Tiddy has asked us to send out the following message, which we’re very happy to do.
Help us power the Aro Valley Community Centre with Solar!
Community centres like Aro Valley do great work in organising positive programmes and bringing people together but have limited funds and are burdened by expensive energy bills. Furthermore, people can often feel powerless to tackle the big environmental issues that we face today. We think Solar panels on community buildings provide an inclusive, viable and visible step towards local solutions - empowering people and catalysing change.
The Wellington City Council has agreed to match-fund every dollar we can put towards this project, which means we only need to raise $4500 to do it! We've set up a pledgeme campaign here: https://www.pledgeme.co..nz/projects/1994
And for every donation by a WEFS customer, I'm offering an exclusive WEFS-member reward!!! I (Hadleigh) will personally take people's veggies for that week from the centre to their front door at 5PM (or arranged time). Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your reward.
Frank on Ecological Growing and the Link between Soil and Food Quality
Antoinette (editor in her previous life), with the help from computer wizz Matt, has recently made valuable improvements to our website, making it run smoother and easier to find topics. It has been tricky to put Frank's concepts of our farming methods into words; he is a great speaker with lots of knowledge about sustainability whereby (as in everything else in life) everything is connected - the web of life!. To solve our problem of summarising his view into two paragraphs on our website we have decided to make little clips to capture his views on the way we grow, live, connect and hopefully inspire others. Here is the latest one:
Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Conference 2014, Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th May
Frank has also been invited to speak at the upcoming biodynamic annual conference in Palmerston North. All who are interested in biodynamics are welcome at this conference. The organisers have aimed to make this conference practically orientated and relevant to a wide spectrum of people. Whether you have been using biodynamics for a long time or know little about it, there should be plenty to interest you. The quality of biodynamic products is increasingly recognised around the world and biodynamics offers practical, inexpensive and efficient solutions to many challenges of today’s farmers and growers. For more info see http://www.biodynamic.org.nz/conf.html.
For everyone going to the Permaculture Hui that is starting tomorrow in Island Bay, Wellington, have lots of fun and inspirational moments!
From Josje and the Farm Team