Thank you!

Hi everyone,

After a great week away from home we’re straight back into our weekly responsibilities. Thank you for not making it too hard on Matt. I was a little bit afraid that I was going to come back to 100's of emails, but it is not too bad at all!

It was a great feeling that we were able to go away and not even think for a moment about the crops, our animals, the weather, the CSA or the kids (maybe sometime about the last one). All these need everyday attention and cannot be shelved for one day or even one week. Fortunately everything and everyone was in very good hands and it is wonderful to finally be in the position that we are able to do this - and I hope a bit more often.  We definitely would not like to wait another 4 years for a one week holiday!

 I can remember other times that we have been away for a few days. You come back and the place looks like a jungle: plants shot up, grass grown heaps. But not this time around. It all has become dryer and browner. The beautiful summer weather is starting to take its toll and sucking up the last bits of water from the soil at our home place. Luckily we have enough water in our Masterton market garden; the struggle there is to get it around quick enough to keep all plants happy.   

What is happening on the farm

In the next two weeks we start harvesting our commercial apple varieties (Braeburn and Pacific Rose) and we are looking for fundraising opportunities into schools (fresh apples and/or bottles of apple juice). Email me on if you know of a school or parent teacher organization keen on a healthy apple fundraiser and promote healthy eating in schools. We have material ready and it is all ready to go.

Sauerkraut? I am sure you have heard of it. We have a first lot ready and are planning to have more ready over autumn and winter. 

Sauer kraut is a wonderful product made through the process of adding lacto bacteria to cabbage with as result that it actually enhances the quality of the original product (the cabbage). Especially in winter when there are fewer vitamins rich fresh produce around sauerkraut is a very healthy and yummy alternative.  Back in the Netherlands we have grew up with it, just like we eat broccoli here and it is great to finally taste freshly made sauerkraut again instead of the canned supermarket ones. It does taste different; the real deal!   For more detailed information on the quality aspects of sauerkraut and other fermented produce check out this wonderful website from the Western A Price Foundation:

Sausages? What was the deal there? One CSA members emailed me asking about the ingredients of the sausages as the labels suggested MSG’s. Please be assured that they are MSG and gluten free.  Due to a misunderstanding between the butcher and me he put his standard (award winning) label on. “For some reason (I think by the sound of it) while your order was portion packed (onto trays I believe), the staff have used our standard beef sausage label, which of course will have incorrect ingredients listed on it instead of as per your order.  If on the barcode there is the no. 57 included there, & if the label states the sausage is an award winner, then they have clearly put our standard beef sausage label on instead.  I guess it was so you had dates & weights on it etc“.

Rachel, one of our new members in Wellington emailed me a picture of a salad she made. She wrote: “I made this with the cabbage and kohlrabi last week, based on an Ottelengi recipe. Was honestly one of the simplest but tastiest salads I've ever eaten, really fresh and crunchy.” She added:"the recipe book I based it from was Ottelenghi's Plenty. I recommend it as a great vege cookbook ( we are not vegetarian but since receiving your veges they def take centre stage!!)

Pick-up becoming too BIG?

It is wonderful that the CSA is doing so well. However, with growth come different challenges. During last nights pick up in Aro Valley there were 3 A bags missing. If you are one of the three people who missed out please let me know -today if you can. We can bring you a new bag tomorrow at the Hill Street market or organise something else.  I have been calling around to find out if the shares have been dropped off somewhere else by the courier, and like to know if anyone spotted 3 extra A bags?

Both Aro Valley and Innermost have grown pretty big lately and I am planning to go through the member's address list to see if it is worthwhile starting up a drop off point somewhere else in the city.  If anyone from these groups has any suggestion, please let know. Maybe you like to offer your garage/porch as a pick up location. We are looking for safe, dry places that are centrally located and easily accessible. There must also be room to store the plastic veggie crates for a few days (can be stacked up).  Think about it.

Matt has added March to the volunteer rosters for Aro-Valley and Mt Vic Innermost. To roster yourself in or to check who is on go to:

In you are new to the CSA and unsure how this works email me on or have another look at the distribution protocol I sent out when you first joined. 

In the meantime, I will start collecting sauerkraut recipes to put onto our crops page.

This week’ CSA shares:

Fruit Share: Apples and Pears (not sure of the quantities)

Small Veggie Share: 400 grams carrots, 1.4 kg potatoes or 200 grams of beans, 150 grams of garlic, a bag (200 g) of Red Russian kale and a bag (150g) of salad mix.

Large Veggie Share: 400 grams carrots, 1.4 kg potatoes or 200 grams of beans, 150 grams of garlic, a bag (200 g) of red Russian kale, 1 kg of courgette, 2 Florence fennel, 1 large or 2 small pack choy, 500 grams of tomatoes,140 grams of basil, and a bag (150g) of salad mix.

Have a great week,

Josje and the farm team