Chefs day out a big hit!

Earlier this week we had a surprise visit by 2 well known chefs from Wellington, enjoying a beautiful day away from their kitchen and in the country side - the wild winds had not yet arrived and the weather was stunning, so calm and sunny.  The mood was set for a great occasion.  Frank took some time to show them around the garden and pick all sorts of fresh greens for them to chew on. They were amazed by the event and blown away by the intense tastes and textures of the different crops. They happily tried anything Frank handed to them: the sweet bitter taste of our endives and chicories, the deep anis-y taste of the fennel, the fresh lemony French Sorrel, crunchy salad greens and hot as hot mustard lettuce. 

While winter is the season for root crops and everything starchy to keep you healthy and nourished through winter, spring is the season full of fresh new energy and the garden shows that as everything likes to shoot up and bring and sustain new life. These mainly leafy green crops are full of activity and energy; they are energizing foods. I love waking up in the mornings and hear the birds chirping away in mass.  It’s time for them to partner up, build nests and bring new life into this world. The ducks are sitting on eggs and our ornamental cherry trees are flowering leaving a pink carpet of petals on the ground with this week’s winds.  You can feel the energy of new things to come everywhere.

A typical Spring thing like Asparagus is ‘Rapini. Rapini is becoming one of our trademark veggies as no one else in New Zealand seems to know it or grow it. The funny thing is that it just wants to. John and Roberto, our visiting chefs were overwhelmed by the taste of our Rapini, and the interesting different flavours of the different varieties.

RAPINI: also called raab, broccoli rabe, cime de rape, rape and brocoletti. Broccoli raab is a leafy mustard green. Its leaves and buds have a mustardy bite much like turnip greens.  It is widely grown in Italy and a favourite under our Italian friends at the market. For more information and recipes click here.

Back at home that evening Frank got some texts thanking Frank for the surprise experience and are keen to stay in contact, start using our crops in their restaurants and promote the CSA and RSA (Restaurant Supported Agriculture).  They are keen to come back with a group of chefs and have a farm tour experiencing real food!

This last minute visit was a great experience for us too; we forget how special/different our crops are from a lot of supermarket bought veggies. I always walk straight past them in the shops and do not give it any attention.  The pre-packed salad mixed I once or twice tried were such a disappointment that I never went back! We have been so lucky! (and spoiled).

Last week I wrote about becoming a proud peasant and Serena, a new CSA member emailed me the following quote:

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. “ -- Masanobu Fukuoka

And that is so true in so many ways!

In you CSA shares this week 

Fruit Share: 1.5 kg apples and 800 grams of kiwifruit

Small Vegie Share:  Over1 kg Potatoes (or pumpkin), a green cabbage or cauliflower, a salad mix, a bunch of rapini  and pumpkin

Large Vegie Share: Over 1 kg Potatoes (or pumpkin), a green cabbage or cauliflower, a salad mix, a bunch of rapini, a bag of spinach, a bag of cavalo nero kale or Mizuna greens, a bag of mustard lettuce 400-450 grams of carrots, 400 grams of Daikon radish or a bag of watercress and extra piece of pumpkin.

I better run out (again) to water the young seedlings outside: the wind it hitting them hard and the little plant cells dry out so fast in this weather. Luckily the greenhouse is still standing, a few trees down. But all in all we can't complain. Hope you survided it well too!

Healthy Eating,

Josje and the farm tream