Weekly Farm Update, October 18, 2012

Hello everyone,

Another week closer to Christmas!  For most of us this means week 10 of the Spring CSA Season and only 3 deliveries left!  It also means that I will be sending our regular CSA members invoices for the summer season, which runs from the 15th of November 2012 till the 7th of February 2013.

Last year we introduced the concept of CSA holidays and for all of you new to the CSA this means that if you go away for a while and unable to cope with your weekly share we will hold it or give you a credit for these week(s) that you are away. 

Being the summer season and the best growing season of the year, we prefer that you either gift your share to someone who might be interested in trying our CSA, use it as a Christmas present for family member, or share your subscription with friends keen to take over your subscription when you are away.  Around Wellington and Palmerston North CSA members have come up with great ways to deal with holidays and for us this is the best solution, as we are unable to hold the crops from growing and wait till you are back!

Anyway, if you like to put your share on hold while you are away, please let us know as soon as possible and we will stop your order and your account! Email me on csa@wefs with the weeks in question and I will adjust your invoice and our delivery sheets.

We are very near to our 70th CSA member and this is great progress.  Over the last 3 months (which is kind of strange as it was winter which is always hard) we have doubled our active CSA membership and thank you all for spreading the word.  At the moment, through your worth of mouth, we are growing with 2 new members every week.

Amber, one of our new members this week writes:  “Hi Josje, Well we had a delicious dinner tonight!  Wilted baby silverbeet and spinach with olive oil and garlic and potatoes mashed with butter, yum!

Thanks for leaving the box outside our door, guess it was an early start!  The cress was a nice surprise – which stream did it come from?  Think we might have it in a yummy soup with the cauliflower…

We loved getting the box, it was very exciting and a neat way for us to cook new things – we’re very happy to have joined!”

A great way to move into summer, sun and cherries!

Summer brings wonderful crops and one of them is of course our beloved cherries. We expect a lot of them this year as last year were so disastrous: no single fruit!  During the farm day we have questioned if the bees were doing its thing well enough in this part of the property and Frank is pretty sure by now that they have. So far it is looking good. Thank you bees!!

Cherries are an extremely seasonal crop.  Like asparagus only available in short part of the year, but much, much more unreliable due to its precious thin skin which can be damaged easily and when it does due to hail, heavy rain and/or winds it is doomed for another year.  The cherry needs it skin, even just a thin one, to protect its juicy and fleshy fruit.  And then it is so very sweet that birds come in thousands once they have been discovered!  I cannot think of another fruit that is so seasonal and so tender.  Flowering in the end of September and harvested by the end of January, flowers only once and after that you will have to wait another year for another go!. 

From now on we pray to the weather gods and are getting ready for a bountiful cherry harvest!   Our Fruit Share’s will mainly consist out of cherries if all goes to plan and cherries will also be available in our online farm Shop as an additional fruit option if you like extra.

Our 1 acre organic cherry orchard is a vital part of the Wairarapa Eco Farms; it creates ecological diversity in the total farm design plan and, in good years, provides us with a cash crop.  

The orchard has its own micro climate and generally enjoys cold winters and hot summers, creating the ideal spot for quality organic cherry production.  Sufficient winter chill is necessary for good bud initiation and the heat of summer gives us high sugars and sweet fruit.  Yummy!!!

Our harvest season starts at the end of November with the variety Early Burlat, followed by Dawson, Stark Crimson, Noir de Guben, and runs in to the New Year with Lapins, Summit, Bing and Stella. 

Coming back to asparagus, Jos our organic partner grower from around the corner is harvesting his first crop. Still small this year, but with 10.000 crowns planted a few years ago we foresee a regular supply of organic asparagus soon.

This week we are introducing watercress which comes from a biodynamic farming couple in MikiMiki (just north of Masterton). Their property borders the Tararua national Park and the cress grows along natural springs on their farm.  Cress is a wonderful salad plant and we will have this regularly when in season.

Your CSA Shares this week (sorry lost the amounts):

Fruit Share: Braeburn Apples, Oranges and Kiwifruit.

Small Veggie Share: potatoes, either a cabbage or broccoli, bag of baby beets, watercress and pak choy.

Large Veggie Share: potatoes, either a cabbage or broccoli, bag of baby beets, watercress and pak choy, mustard lettuce, daikon raddish, either mizuna or rocket salad greens, a lettuce and bunch of spinach.

Here’s to wholesome food, grown and eaten with love!

The farm team – Frank, Josje, Matt and Albert!