Bouncing Back after the Storm!

It’s amazing how fast one forgets how strong the wind was last Monday night and the intensity of the rain the next day; On Monday we lost the roof of the greenhouse, the plastic is in tatters as it was just one storm too many this year. Luckily the plastic roof was blown onto the rhubarb plants outside which we just harvested last week (good timin!).  It left all the seedlings inside pretty unharmed; except for the germinating broccoli and kohlrabi trays which the birds found very appetizing. We will have to do those again!  The plastic roof (24 by 8 meters) lasted this time around over 7 years, which is very good as we used to lose it at least every 2 years before that. A testament to the all the trees and shelterbelts we planted over the years and that are now mature enough to break most of the winds. Anyone interested in helping us putting a new roof on in the next week or two, please let us now. It needs to happen on a very calm and dry day as we will be juggling a very big piece of light plastic onto an awkward long and half round structure.

Tuesday was the day that it rained and Frank looked like a drowned cat mid afternoon after a long morning harvesting in the rain. He was so cold, wet and stiff; he had trouble getting home safely! Luckily, a hot bad does wonders!  It does mean that this week’s CSA share is a bit less than we had planned as it was just getting too wet to harvest the carrots and leafy stuff; the soil becomes a mud pool with everything slipping away between your fingers and/or the fork and the young leafy greens blowing away out of the crate or your hands while you cut if off the plants!! A good thing is, like I said in the beginning of this piece, how quickly one forgets these days, especially if the next few are so nice, clam and sunny as today’s! Pity I have not yet organized the new plastic for the greenhouse, as today would be almost perfect (maybe a bit too windy).

This week is the last week of the apples as we have now completely emptied our chiller. The last few crates are gone to the juicer. In the last few weeks we have run out of 1 litre bottles of juice and those of you subscribing to those will receive a 2 litre bottle fortnightly, until we are stocked up again with small bottles.

For the next 4 to 6 weeks we will have oranges and kiwifruit mainly in the fruit shares, until we tart harvesting our fresh strawberries (middle-end November). This will also be the time we expect cherries. Last week Frank’s assessment was that especially the early varieties are doing well, I have not yet heard what his assessment is after this week’s weather. We will wait and see. 

In the veggie department you can expect broad beans in the next few weeks, fresh greens, kohlrabi.  Last season’s pumpkins and potatoes are coming to an end.  Next week we are also expecting enough asparagus to share between everyone.

It’s great to see that our broadbean plants have survived the big storm; they can be prone to falling over. This will mainly happen when over fertilized. Beans and peas are fertilizing plants by themselves and one does not need to give them anything extra. As part of the Leguminose family they play a big part in the ecological garden; in contrast to all other crops, they give back what the others take!  They fix Nitrogen from the air and store it in their root system. Once the beans/or plants are harvested, we turn the plants back into the soil to create a healthy fertile soil for the next more demanding crop (eg broccoli). Fertilizing (broad) beans defies the whole broad bean life form and creates plants with weaker, longer stretched cell structures that are more susceptible to wind damage and pest and disease (chocolate disease for instance – sounds yummier than it is!).

Kilbirnie and Greytown PickUps

We are looking for a new place to host our Kilbirnie Pick Up due to the recent closing down of Heidi's Green Village Op Shop. Heidi, thanks for hosting this for the last 6 months or so; it was very handy and you were very helpful!

With our Greytown following growing, we are starting a PickUp in Greytown, at the corner of Jellico and East Street. We are hoping to start delivering our veggie crates from next week onwards.

In other news:

Monsanto - a Nobel Prize Winner ????

In an obscene development, a Monsanto executive is winning this year’s 'Nobel Prize of agriculture' -- the prestigious World Food Prize -- for creating GMOs. Receiving it legitimizes the sort of rampant genetic modification Monsanto pioneered, and helps validate a ruthless business model that impoverishes farmers and monopolizes our food. If that wasn't baffling enough, the founder of Syngenta, the same biotech giantjoining Bayer in suing Europe to keep selling bee-killing pesticides, will also win the prize. The ceremony is in less than two weeks, so we need to act now.

Please join us in telling the World Food Prize Foundation not to reward Monsanto and bee-killer Syngenta’s outrageous practices. http://action.sumofus.org/a/world-food-prize-monsanto-syngenta/?sub=mtlm

The Manawatu Harvest Festival

is only a few days away, Saturday 19 October, 10am to 4pm at Te Manawa Museum, Palmerston North.

There will be 3 Living Economies speakers during the day:
1:00 pm: Helen Dew, Seed saving - in the Atrium Stage
2:00 pm: Phil Stevens, Saving pools - in the Atrium Stage
2:45 pm: Sonia Corbett, Cooperative home ownership project - in the Art Gallery

What’s on this year:
Free entry
Over 70 exhibitors,
Fabulous food,
Loads of artists,
Down to earth speakers,
Demonstrators, from cheese making to homemade cleaning
products,
Huge kids zone, making and creating things, puppet and magic
shows.
There’s something for everyone.
It’s going to be a great day out. Bring your family and friends.

All the info is on www.harvestfestival.co.nz.

Schedule of all speakers for the day
www.maifarm.org.nz/stalls_exhibitors/speakers/speakers-timetable/
They will talk for about 20 minutes and answer your questions.

Your CSA shares this week:

Fruit Share: Apples (final week of our apples), Oranges.

Small Veggie Share: 1 kg Potatoes or Pumpkin for potato free shares, 1 cauliflower or 1 cabbage (or half of a big one), bunch of baby Carrots, either some Pak Choy or Bunch of Rapini, a Salad Mix or a Lettuce. Please note that due to the bad weather, the portions got a smaller than planned.

Large Veggie Share:  1 kg Potatoes or Pumpkin for potato free shares, 1 cauliflower or 1 cabbage (or half of a big one), bunch of baby Carrots, either some Pak Choy or Bunch of Rapini, a Salad Mix or a Lettuce, a bag of Perpetual Spinach, 400 - 500 grams of Beetroot, a bag of Red Russian Kale, a Squash and 1 Leek. Please note that due to the bad weather, the portions got a smaller than planned.

For crop information and recipe ideas go the the Our Crops page on this website or click here.