Winter Blues and Growing Pains Necessary

I am keeping it short this week; the garage is just too cold for my fingers to write anything. Even though the sun is out now, the garage is not getting anything of that precious sun and it is outside warmer than inside. Who is to complain though: Frank, Ross and Antoinette spend Monday through to Wednesday in the immense cold and wet weather to harvest this week’s crops.  Just imagine having to wash kilos and kilos of greens in ice cold water on end! Not the greatest time of year to be a grower! 

However, we do appreciate what the cold brings; killing of insect pests in the soil and the air that have built up over the long hot summer, chilling the summer trees enough to bring about plentiful of blossoms later this year.  These are all very important aspects of the temperate climate we live in and the normal yearly cycle. Nature works pretty good! 

Overly wet weather also means we have to be careful with the soil; it is oh so easy to damage it by compacting the ground with tractor and/or equipment. It’s time for the soil to rest, many of the microbes have gone to sleep and overdoing it now would mean that next year’s crop will more likely be stressed and create more work for us to undo the damage.  We watched the speech on Ted this week from Graeme Saits.  His talk explains very clearly what I am talking about. If you have not yet seen it check it out. Here is the link: http://youtu.be/8Q1VnwcpW7E.  Really good stuff!

Growing Pains

As a result of the latest growing spurt, Frank and I, as well as Matt and Ross are starting to discuss how to manage the farm, CSA, the market stall and whatever else is involved. This is vital to ensure that we can take on the next season. We are facing all  new challenges that we did not dare to think about before. For example, will the packing shed - which is only 1 year old - cope with more CSA members. We have noticed that 3 people in the shed is one too many and confuses things too much! Mistakes get made. With how much can the chiller cope. At what stage is the truck to wellington too full for one delivery day! These are positive growing pains and we are excited to start thinking about the issues and possibilities for the coming year.

Pick up at Innermost and Te Aro

I Noticed this week that there were no distribution volunteer entries for the next 14 weeks of pick up at either the Innermost, nor Te Aro. Two people have put their names for ward for last night and next week at Innermost, and some feedback suggests that many of you are happy for the pick up to be self managed. We at the farm have no idea of what the distribution is like, and the change for mistakes etc, so its up to you all to decide what the best way of getting your produce is. If everyone makes sure they only take what is theirs (check your name is on the list), looks properly after the premises (keep it tidy, tidy up and lock up) and ticks off on the list, than that is fine with us. We probably have to change the key lock on a regular basis to make sure only curent CSA members are able to access the halls and the produce. Any feedback is appreciated on this issue.

Your CSA Shares this week:

Fruit Share: 2 kg Braeburn Apples and 500 grams feijoas.

Small Veggie Share: 1 kg Freshly dug up Moonshine potatoes (or 1 kg pumpkin), 1 bulb of Florence Fennel, either a bunch of leeks or some beetroot – around 350 to 400 grams, 1 large or 2 small Broccoli and a bunch of (250 grams) Heirloom Carrots*.   

Large Veggie Share: 1 kg Freshly dug up Moonshine potatoes (or 1 kg pumpkin), 1 bulb of Florence Fennel, either a bunch of leeks or some beetroot – around 350 to 400 grams, 1 large or 2 small Broccoli, 200 grams of kale, a bunch of red Breakfast radishes, a bunch of Rhubarb, a bag of Mizuna greens, 80 grams of parsley and (250 grams) Heirloom Carrots*.   

*Due to the extremely wet weather on harvesting day we had to stop harvesting more carrots as it was impacting too negatively on the soil and the crop!

Someone asked me what to do with the fennel tops and celery leaves. Anyone with some great recipe ideas?

Stay warm and healthy,

Josje and the farm team