Weekly Farm Update, November 23, 2012

Hi everyone,

summer is in the air, and according to the calendar starting in a week or so.

First of all, we like to thank everyone who replied to our previous 2 newsletters about the organic egg situation and the organic-ness and variety of the produce in the baskets! It has truly been hart warming to read all your emails and your trust in us as the grower to make the right decisions!.  

In short everyone agrees that the eggs and produce should be as true to real organic as possible, in every sense of the word.  You also say that sometimes it might be better to choose for our neighbours’ spray free produce if an alternative has to come from too far away or is not available (it has to make economic sense ) as long as we let you know what is spray free and what is organic.

It was also great to read that most of you enjoy the seasonal produce we grow, and have a great understanding for the difference in seasonal variety.  This week we added a central Wellington office to our weekly drop off’s and it shows that Wellington is going through a truly remarkable growth spirt.

Earlier this week we were visited by our Bio-Gro Inspector. This is a daylong visit where both Frank and myself walk around with the inspector showing what we grow/farm and especially how we manage it, and then sit around the table going through receipts for inputs and spray diaries for the different crops. Generally this is always an interesting day, where we can openly discuss (and challenge) any issues that affect our operation and we always look forward to the day. 

This year the best comment of the day was when the inspector saw Frank’s spray diary for our fruit trees (we do not spray our veggies) as he commented that he had “not come across such a good spray diary”, i.e. virtually no horrible/harsh sprays.  We do spray regularly (after rain), but with only very ‘soft’ (natural) sprays; products that the commercial pip fruit industry does not know about or believe in.  Frank, on the other hand, with his 15 years background of organic pip fruit research and consultancy, has worked passionately on ways to produce quality fruit the natural way.  Managing the orchard as we have over the last 3 years, gave him the ideal opportunity to first trial and now manage the orchard for pure nutrient quality; I dare to say a first in New Zealand. Healthy soil, healthy trees and healthy people!  I am sure that everyone who attended the farm day in September got a feel for the health of the trees as it made everyone happy and joyful just walking through the rows; the trees looked good, but also the soil and the undergrowth; lush green grass! For more information on Frank’s background see our website http://wefs.co.nz/about-ecodynamics.

Another remark made was the complexity of our truly mixed operation; mostly the inspectors see properties with one main or a few crops or animals.  There is everything and more; a lot to get your head around!

With the complexity in mind, the meat from our cow that we processed a wee while ago has been credited with very positive comments from CSA customers as well and it seem quite a few of you are keen on more!! I am in the process of organizing another one, and I hope we can have it ready prior to Christmas. We’ll keep you informed. 

Your CSA Share this week:

Fruit Share:  800 grams of Navel Oranges and 800 grams of Tangelo’s.

Small Veggie Share: I kg Potatoes, 2 Bak Choy, 400 grams of Carrots, 200 grams of Frisee Endive, and 800 grams of Broad Beans (all organic).

Large Veggie Share: I kg Potatoes, 2 Bak Choy, 400 grams of Carrots, 200 grams of Frisee Endive, 150 grams of Salad Mix, 150 grams of mixed Chard, a bunch of Radishes (150 gr) 130 grams of Rocket, 500 grams of Rhubarb and 800 grams of Broad Beans (all organic).

Enjoy and have a great week,

Josje and the farm team