Weekly Farm Update, 1 November, 2012

Hi everyone,

What a nice and sunny week we have had so far, so welcome after the wind of the past weeks! A pity that our whole family got hit by a hard hitting and fast moving tummy bug knocking all but one out for a day last Tuesday.  Luckily Matt and Albert were on deck to take over the ship and make sure everything kept moving forward.  This week we are also joined by Justus, an energetic young man from the US; just in time for summer CSA and lots of yummy cherries! 

Missing a day in the week is not very helpful (last week it was Labour Day) as we have still the same amount of work that needs to be done but one day less to do it in! The tricky bit of growing! I say away with Public Holidays and illness (at least until Christmas)!

Last Tuesday my plan was to visit our pick up points in and around Wellington to see how they are getting on with the increased numbers of CSA shares that arrive every week. I am sorry I could not make it, and Vanessa I'll do my best not to make it a miss next time.

Cherries for Christmas

I am asking Frank every couple of days how the cherries are looking. Full anticipation I say: “Are there still cherries in the trees?” I have been disappointed in the past a few years too often. In the beginning everything looks great, but closer to the picking day; either the weather or the bees have brought down the harvest forecast.  I think, though, this year around, it looks good and I have to be careful that I do not wait too long with not getting things organized. It is a bit like hurricane Sandy, where people think they have been warned too often in the past and now when the hell really gets loose, they are not organized enough/ they do not take it seriously! So, I have to take the harvest seriously now and get into cherry mood. No time for illnesses in the family! Let’s hope it’s all behind us. 

The picture here shows a wonderful bunch of cherries, still green and imature but on its way to become divine! 

Matt is working on a webpage to order your extra cherries for Christmas, so keep an eye out for that.

Eggs

Thanks you all of the replies to the egg food situation. All of the replies so far indicated that you like our eggs to be REAL organic and that we should stay away from MBM.  We have a new lot of eggs in our incubator (54 at a time) and are increasing our stock slowly but surely to enable us to supply the demand for our eggs.  So far we have mixed results with our incubator that we bought a few months ago, and we have to see how many turn into females and how many into males of course!   

This week “Straight Furrow” (Vol 71, no 42, page 1), a weekly rural  magazine, covered an article on the possible fact that manure from New Zealand poultry broiler sheds and egg layers contains genetically modified GM material (GM maize, corn and soya bean). Even worse, one of the tests showed that next to the GM material, a common systemic herbicide in the GM material and a synthetic plant hormone, and a major ingredients in the famous Agent Orange, called 2,4,D was found.  Next to the fact that it should not be there it shows that genetically modifying seeds with the purposed of using less pesticides has to contradictive outcome in that farmers now have to use even harsher products than they would have in the first place! More information on this article in Straight Furrow can be found at http://straightfurrow.farmonline.co.nz/news/nationalrural/.

Interesting Lecture on Raw Food

On a more positive note Victoria Butenko is coming to New Zealand. Victoria is an award-winning author of “Green for Life”, “Green Smoothie Revolution” and other popular books. For more information on Victoria go to www.rawfamily.com/.  She is giving a lecture on Green Smoothies for Nourishment and Detoxification.

Time : November 7, 2012 from 6.30- 9.30 pm at the Wellington Central Baptist Church, 46 Boulcott Street. To register see http://www.purewellbeing.com/.

Invoices for the Summer CSA

This week I will be sending out the last invoices for the Summer Season that starts after next week. Please let me know shortly if you like to change your share. For anyone interested in free range real organic eggs, there might be a few egg shares becoming available, so if you are keen let me know asap.  As always we appreciate if you pay at the beginning of the season. This will help us pay for the extra labour required for the picking and harvesting of our cherry crop.

Work Opportunity

We are looking for people interested in selling our cherries in Wellington on a Sunday market and/or during the week at a public stand.  Contact Josje on csa@wefs.co.nz for more information.

CSA Shares this Week

Fruit Shares: 1.5 kg Braeburn Apples, 800 grams of Kiwifruit and 3 oranges.

Small Veggie Share: 1.2 kg potatoes (from Bas), around 300 grams of Pak Choy, a bunch of Chard, 400 grams of Florence Fennel, and either a bag of Baby Spinach or Kale,.

Large Veggie Share: 1.2 kg potatoes (from Bas), around 300 grams of Pak Choy, a bunch of Chard, 400 grams of Florence Fennel, either a bag of Baby Spinach or Kale, a bag of Rocket, Beetroot, Salad Mix, and Mustard Lettuce and a bunch of Baby Leeks.  

We are going through (too) many plastic bags for all the leafy crops at the moment, but that is the time of late spring when root crops from winter have been eaten or are too old to pass on and the summer crops are still a few weeks away.  Although we are getting better at having more variety over the year and through the seasons there are still times when its gets tricky.  This is a challenge for us as CSA growers wanting to do things as ecologically as possible, cutting emmision costs etc., and a challenge for us cooks in the kitchen. I have learned to enjoy seasonal cooking and make the most inventive meals that all the family will eat. I enjoy the challenge by keeping things as simple as possible and sometimes watch inspirational 'natural cooks' like Jamie Oliver and Hugh... on TV.  It is funny too, because I was realy having enough of all the rootcrops over winter and looking forward to spring greens, and then it comes in masses for a few weeks. Next week we will have broad beans on the menu for a change and next year we should have asparagus coming out of our ears by the end of November! Something to look forward to I imagine! 

Enjoy cooking, and if you have any problems coming up with ideas for these healthy spring greens, follow the links by clicking the blue coloured crops above or enjoy a seminar about green smoothies with Victoria Butenko.

Josje and the growing farm team of YOUR farm.