New: potato-free CSA shares, carrots and onions.

Hi everyone,

With Frank being a real Dutch-y, grown up on soup and potatoes, the first thing that always pops up when making up the weekly harvest shares is potatoes; a veggie share without them goes against his natural instinct. At home too, he is not the same if there are no potatoes on the dinner menu at least 4 out of 7 days. His body is adjusted to and needs this type of carbohydrates to sustain his active life on the farm. Having CSA members that could do without has been troubling him, but here they are CSA shares without potatoes. Email me with the word “potatoes” in the reference line to indicate your preference. 

This is our first major expansion to our system for a while as we tried to keep things as simple as possible and the main reason we feel comfortable to bring this on now is because of the support we feel we have from our current and long standing CSA members, the steady growth of the CSA (getting over our minimum of 60 active members), and the support we have on the farm to get it all done every week.

This week we had the pleasure of hosting Sarah, our CSA member from Innermost Gardens, for a few days, who came and helped with daily farm work. Back in Wellington she emailed back this morning. “Hi Josje, Sarah picking apples
I didn't really get to say goodbye. Thanks for having me for the last couple of days. Was a great experience, although incredibly hot! Glad to be back in Wellington with cooler temperatures and a bit of a breeze though it’s still hot here. Was nice to do some physical work, good to get to see how the farm works, and to do a cycle of harvesting, packing and a little transplanting. It’s so constant huh? From seed to bag is always in motion. I can see how your lives are so involved in the process”.

Sarah herself is a very keen gardener and permaculturist and has been involved in developing/mamaging Innermost gardens and other great projects in the Wellington region.  At the moment she is getting ready for a new urban permaculture course that she is running in Wellington from February 23 till June 1st. For more information about this contact Sarah on

Thanks for your replies regarding our Autumn CSA which starts Thursday the 14th of February 2013.  It looks like almost everyone is staying on. Next week will be the last of the 13 ‘hot’ weeks of our Summer CSA.  We have been pretty pleased with the produce and although there is always room for improvement, we think it is getting better year after year. This week we harvested our first lot of early season apples (Discovery) and next week we will have carrots and onions back. Just a reminder that summer is the time of plenty and the shares are larger than large sometimes (this week we had trouble getting everything in as the Chinese cabbages are taking up a lot of space), over the course of Autumn this will slowly change again until we arrive in winter when it is much harder for us to share around.

Did you know that Chinese cabbage is very versatile and that the inner white leaves are great for salades and the outer greener leaves wonderful in stir fries. It has a mellow flavour and suites everyones taste I would think: young and old.

Discovery Apples

Discovery ApplesThe Discovery is one of earliest apple trees to fruit and has therefor the huge advantage of producing apples very early in the season. Commercial growers in the UK rely almost entirely on the apple variety Discovery to start the UK apple season. In comparison to modern varieties like our Braeburn and Pacific Rose it is way more resistant to black spot and needs less sprays to keep clean. It is easy to maintain. This heritage variety originated in Essex, UK in 1949.

It is a very cripsy apple with a sharp and juicy taste. Once picked it doesn't keep for long, maybe a week at the most. It is a great apple for making apple juice.

Your CSA Shares this week:

Fruit Share: 1 kg of plums (Fortune or omega) and 1 kg of early season Discovery apples. All Tree Ripened. From the tree straight into your bag!!

Small Veggie Share: 2 pak choy, a Frissee endive, a Chinese cabbage, 2 kohlrabi and 500g courgette

Large Veggie Share: 2 pak choy, a Frissee endive, a Chinese cabbage, 2 kohlrabi, 500g courgette, 1kg Agria potatoes (from Bas), 500g tomatoes, 180g butter beans, 200g choho oriental spinach leaves and a broccoli.

Some Notices:

  • It was 31 degrees yesteray and today is a scorcer too. The irrigator is working overtime and Frank and Matt lare so dark you would think they were born in Fiji.
  • Also, working in the fields is a great job to loose weight. It is too hot to eat much and anything you drink goes straight out through all your pores!   
  • Matt pointed out to me that I made a mistake last week in the newsletter: only the large veggie share had tomatoes. Apologies.
  • The meat is ready for sending out early next week (the plan is Tuesday the 6th of February).  Let me know if you are home or not.
  • Juice missing again this week. Just to let you know that the juice will be missing again in your bags this week.  We have run out over summer. Luckily we still have juicing apples in our chiller but have to wait till Mela, the processor here in town can process them. This is their down time and they were doing repairs and maintenance to their juicer which meant we have to wait until they can make more juice for us.  They have indicated to us that we can bring the apples early next week which would mean we have fresh juice next week.

Catch you next week,