Frank talked about all of you on national radio!

Hi everyone,

This week is not over yet, but already proving to be another great one.  Tuesday evening Frank and I dropped in at the Sustainability Trust building in Forresters Lane to be part of Wellington Local Food Week.  It was the launch evening of the event with short presentations by a variety of local entrepreneurs to showcase their local business. As well as pouring our delicious new season’s juice, giving away apples and CSA brochures, we networked with a fantastic crowd of around 150.

Frank’s presentation was one of the last ones, and although Matt and I had ‘instructed’ him to promote the CSA, by the time it was his turn Frank and Josje’s Wairarapa Eco Farms had already been positively mentioned and/or shown on a slide a number of times, so Frank went off on his own accord with a very entertaining story that only Frank can do (but without any mention of CSA or how to participate or join).  Anyway, it was a tremendous evening and most people did get the gist of things.

We were one of the last to leave, after Frank was interviewed by the national radio reporter for their Midday Rural News.  To listen to their podcast version click here (Local Food Week content starts 4mins 20sec in).  Frank talked about all of our great CSA members (you!) supporting our farm by eating local, seasonal and organic food. If it wasn’t for your support over the past year and longer we would not have been there. Really!!!

Two new pickup locations ready to go!

Over the past few weeks we've been working on getting two new Wellington pickup locations up and running. Success!

Please let us know if you'd like to start picking up your produce from either of these new locations:

19 Tory Street, Wellington (just off Courtenay Place) - Thurs 5.30-6.30pm
(for more information about the 19 Tory Street community space have a look at their website or check them out on Facebook)
We still need a few more numbers to make this pickup location work, so let us know a.s.a.p. and share the word with people you know who live or work in the city centre. We hope to start delivering to 19 Tory Street from Thursday, the 18th of April but this is dependend on numbers.

Village Green Op Shop, 29 Coutts Street, Kilbirnie - Thurs afternoon before 5pm; Fri from 9am
(take a look at the Village Green Op Shop website or check them out on Facebook)
We have 3 members so far keen to start using this pickup point, so we'll go ahead and hope it grows further! The op-shop is well worth checking out and Heidi has a lovely vision for the space to be used for community talks and film nights and to host classes relating to food growing and a host of other topics. We will start delivering to Kilbirnie from next Thursday, the 11th of April. Please give us at least a few days notice if you wish to switch pickup locations.

Matt has created a Google map showing all the pickup locations and also updated the more detailed list of pickup locations and times on our website.

Chicory

One aspect of CSA farms and local food is that you get to eat what we grow and in autumn one of those is chicory. This week I received a number of emails about bitter greens and chicory.  Chicory is very much a European crop and pretty rare in New Zealand. Sometimes you find a little box of Witloof in a specialised shop or upmarket supermarket but that is it!  I understand completely that many of you have trouble with this beautiful vegetable (by the way – thinking back, as a child I would have never ever thought that I would say this one day) and I look forward to Autumn just for this.

Chicory is also very much an autumn crop and does not grow as well any other times of the year, so that is why it has been in the shares for the last couple of weeks.  It is great crop for both the human digestive system and the digestive system of the soil and we need in our crop rotation to keep our soil healthy.  However, do not be afraid, Frank assures me he has run out and next week will probably be the last week you receive chicory in your harvest shares, for at least the next couple of months. 

What is happening on the farm?

  • We are picking and juicing large amounts of apples for the CSA and for shops over the Lower North Island.  This new season’s juice is wonderful - possibly the best batch so far!  If you like some with your share just let us know by email.
  • Today we are planting out over 2000 strawberry plants for upcoming spring and summer.
  • Frank has sown 30 beds of root crops for winter last week (different types of carrots, beetroot, parsnip etc). With the current CSA numbers in mind this should get us pretty far.

Coming Up

  • Farm Day and PYO apples –Sunday 28 April from 11-3. More info to follow.
  • ANZAC day pick up is on Wednesday the 24th of April, not on ANZAC day itself.
  • We are talking to Will from Bucky Box (an IT company) who specializes in software for CSA’s with the idea to automate and streamline the CSA a bit further so we can deal with the current growth (this week 92 Jippee) from an office point of view and be organized for our optimal number of 200 members.

In your CSA shares this week:

Fruit Share:   1.2 kg each of Braeburn and Pacific Rose Apples, 380 grams of Iona Table Grapes.

Small Veggie Share: 1 kg Moonshine Potatoes (or a bunch of Radish), 1 Frisee Endive or 1 Chicory, 1 kg of Courgette, 1 Broccoli, and either 450 grams of Tomatoes or 275 Cherry tomatoes, or 1 Capsicum, and one sprig of Bay Leaves.

Large Veggie Share: 1 kg Moonshine Potatoes (or 1 kg Squash), 1 Frisee Endive or 1 Chicory, 1 kg of Courgette, 1 Broccoli, and either 450 grams of Tomatoes or 275 Cherry tomatoes, or 1 Capsicum,  2 Kohl Rabi or 1 Pak Choy, 150 grams of Mizuna salad Greens, a bunch of Radish, 200 grams of Green Beans, a bunch of Basil and a sprig of Bay Leaves .

Hope you can deal with the last week or two of Chicory (try my recipe from the newsletter last week, if you haven’t. Maybe the kids do not like it, but that means there is more for the adults – with ham and cheese it’s really great! No joke).


Have a great week,

Josje and the farm team.

Ps. We do appreciate feedback on the crops we grow (both positive and negative) and on the workings of the CSA as much as possible and I love to hear if there have been people enjoying the chicory as much as we do, or are we the odd one out?  Only with your feedback can we make this CSA into a true success story.