Even the weeds are wilting!

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Hello Everyone

Back on deck for a New Year. We hope you enjoyed the celebrations you wanted to. Michael had a peaceful time watering and catching up on a lot of lost sleep! (The wasp stings controlled with phenergan in desperation!)

2017 weather has started with a challenge! The first week was good although not enough rain and now it is unspeakably hot. If I was a seedling out in this all day even with water on my roots, I’d want to die!

Unwatered weeds!   

 

Lovely, lush produce!

However with good management, we do have good, fresh produce for you. There are loads of tomatoes and remember to get your basil to go with them. No more baby spinach but lots of other leafy greens. Bokchoy is crisp & crunchy, zucchini are growing triffid-like as you watch them and squash a gorgeous yellow!

 

These are left after picking as too misshapen. See how many leaves shrivel with the heat.           

 

Benoir picking tomatoes.

There are lovely purple beans which you can eat raw (children love to snack on them) or just blanched quickly, when they go a bit greener. There’s purslane, massive, juicy, sweet watermelon and kale.

Have a cool week if you can and eat well!

Nancy

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Pests, (and I don’t mean children just before Christmas!)

Hello Everyone

Last week we lost lots of baby spinach due to the heat and them not getting enough water pretty much. Well, not lost obviously, but died or leaves shrivelled. This week the rocket is smothered in a nasty pest that we think has come in through the compost. Michael has contacted those wonderful older gurus of his that know and it seems to be the Sciarid Fly. Wikipedia, if you care to look, calls them ‘a family of flies, commonly known as dark-winged fungus gnats. They are a pest of mushroom farms and commonly found in household plant pots. One of the least studied of the large Diptera families, probably due to the small size of the insects and difficulties with identification. Currently 1700 species are described but an estimated 20,000 species probably are waiting for discovery.

Great! Who is looking for a research job out there?

Michael is dealing with these invaders organically but the bottom line is, get in early to the markets for rocket or readjust your recipes for different fresh greens!

20161206_094902[1]The flies burrow into the ground to lay their eggs in the soil and the larvae hatch & eat the roots of the plants. This is what the poor rocket looks like!

Other than that all is going well. We got 12ml rain which was better than nothing and the plants leaves sucked it up but not really anywhere near enough. Feels like February weather doesn’t it?

There is lots of lovely other produce as usual at Taylor Square & Carriage Works Markets on Saturday morning so enjoy the food!

Have a peaceful week,

Nancy

The process….!

Hello Everyone

I thought I would just do a quick trip down the process lane as some people new to farming information may not know. So bear with me!

IMG_20161201_092241191   This picture shows 3 of the main processes. On the right is the weedmat covering old beds so that the nutrients stay in the soil and promote bio-activity. The black matting heats up too so the weeds die! The rows next to that are the very young seedlings growing away, watered from underground drip line to save evaporation on these very hot days and will probably ready for Christmas . In the middle the seedlings are bigger and should be ready before Christmas and the plants on the left are ready for picking now.

 IMG_20161201_092641715 This next photo is from the other end of the same paddock.

IMG_20161201_092849417This is before beds are prepared for planting. Dolomite is the white powder you see spread on the right to balance the acidity in the soil.

 

IMG_20161201_092835160 Salad ready for picking!

IMG_20161201_125716159IMG_20161201_125816823 And if you get to Carriage Works market in Sydney, at the very beginning, you can get some Brazilian cherries. Started last week and probably finished in a couple of weeks as they are ripening fast with all this very hot weather. There’s only one tree, so not that many!

Taylor Square market is on Saturday morning too, of course.

Have a great, healthy week. Eat lots of greens to keep well as the ‘silly season’ starts!

Nancy

Great produce for healthy living

Hello Everyone

Hasn’t it been a hot few days? So glad we have got a couple of cooler ones now. Mozzies are out in force along with every insect that could hatch it feels. The pollinators are working overtime thank goodness on the next crops that need them.

20160721_075316   IMG_20141218_083610342   IMG_20141218_084053867                  

Because of the very hot weather the quantity of produce is a little down although the quality is just as good as always. Anything not up to scratch has been discarded.

There are lots of different green leafed plants for you too eat – a sure way to stay well nourished in the vitamin dept! As I understand it, green leaves, especially darker ones are incredibly good for you. Who does not want to feel energetic and well?!

Remember that dark green leafed edible ‘weeds’ are prolific because they are healthy! They’ll help you be healthy too. So why not try some Horta mix?

IMG_3432   IMG_20141023_111054808_HDR   IMG_20141106_110232081

There’s beetroot for your root vegies and some pumpkin still left. We are moving on to Valencia oranges as navel season is finishing. If you find Valencia’s a bit sharp then what about squeezing them over your fruit salad instead of eating them as is? Or mixing them up with something else, like nectarines?

Garlic is a must for it’s anti bacterial properties as well as its sumptuous flavour.

Get to Carriage Works or Taylor Square markets early on Saturday morning in Sydney for the best range from the stalls. Remember we do Peats Ridge market this Sunday at the Public School community Hall & in the grounds, Peats Ridge Road, NSW 2250.

Have an uplifting week!

Nancy

Photographing the photographer!

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Up the paddock this morning to catch Michael being interviewed ‘in situ’ by Regional Development Australia. Always a rush on a Friday as so much picking to be done and a hot day so you have to beat the heat and get everything into the cool of the shed as fast as possible. However, he collected his thoughts and did a good interview on the spot as the pickers got on picking.

Everything is growing well on the farm. Loads of good salad & vegies for you to stock up with at Carriage Works and Taylor square Markets on Saturday morning.

Have a healthy and happy week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I cannot load any of the pictures, sorry. There must be something wrong with the set up again.
Please look at the Champions Organics Facebook where the photos uploaded with no problem![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

We do provide sanctuary!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello Everyone

Michael took the photos today and there it was, a lovely green frog hanging out in a secure place where it won’t get sprayed and there’s plenty of food![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3228″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Of course, with the good balance of rain & sun growth is great. Well, weeds too of course! But they provide loads of benefits for insects, flowers to attract bees, hiding places for bug eaters and enormous fun for tunnel making for Boris, the jack russell, catching rats & rabbits![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3231″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here’s some of the full boxes on the ute, picked this morning at 7.30 am, ready to go back to the shed for washing & packing.

Loads of salad, all sorts of green leafed plants – which is real food of course for top health – baby spinach, Horta mix and so on.

Make sure you get to Carriage Works or Taylor Square markets in good time for the best selection on Saturday morning.

Have a great healthy and happy week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Those long green things!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello Everyone

All the produce is ‘going gangbusters’ as Michael would say. He can’t complain about the weather and we have had good combinations of rain & warmth.

Everyone on the farm is at full stretch preparing seedling beds, planting seedlings, tending to seedlings, watering seedlings and picking, washing & packing them when grown![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3219,2480″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This week we are particularly promoting the cucumbers and zucchini as perfect food for this warmer weather. Have you tried grating zucchini into a salad? Cucumbers are good in lunch boxes too – a nice crunchy chunk for children![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3222″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Of course zucchini go with almost any dish this time of the year so make sure you get some. This picture was taken of a box already in the cool-room, which is why the colour is a bit weird, as its such a hot day today.

Did you know Michael puts buckets of cold water in the cool room before they pick so the salad can be plunged straight in when it comes in from being picked by about 9.30? Excellent produce management here!

Have a happy & healthy week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Look what was on my wellie this morning!

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3212″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello Everyone

Remember when I was banging on a couple of weeks ago about little insects? Well here is a whoppa! So glad this Goliath stick insect eats gum leaves! Hard to imagine that its wings are folded in there too!

Michael stopped the truck on Wisemans Ferry road yesterday to make sure the little echidna, trundling across the road, made it to the other side before being squashed by a car. Phew!

Make sure you get to the Carriage Works or Taylor Square markets on Saturday morning as there’s loads of lovely fresh produce for you.

Have a happy, healthy week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Blown Away!

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This is the windiest Spring we can remember, as usually August is the windy month. It means a lot more watering and we have to be even more careful with the picked leaves as they can wilt so quickly in the wind. It’s really the same effect as a 30C degree day.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”1975″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Can’t believe how much good produce we have! There’s lots of spinach and rocket; mini cos and soft leaf fancy lettuce; bok choy, kale, some broccoli and cauliflowers.

So heaps for all at Taylor Square & Carriage Works Markets on Saturday morning. You may not even have to get up at the crack of dawn to not miss out!!

 

 [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”1871,1917″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Have a happy & healthy week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Plenty of everything seasonal.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hello Everyone

Everything is going ‘gangbusters’ as Michael would say! The top of the far paddock is showing the results of the hard work Josh has put in with massive soil improvement this year. That part was cleared of bush some years ago but was mostly sand from the sandstone ridge behind it. Lots of well balanced, very rich compost (done a different way too) and other compost and the result? Fantastic quality growth of all the greens.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3197,3198″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Some things have gone to seed (as everything does eventually) but the quality has been fabulous.

So, at Carriage Works & Taylor Square markets this Saturday, be early to fill your bag with good food and therefore good health!

The weather has been positive, with some rain and plenty of sunshine and predators have not been able to have much effect on the plants. The predators predators have been very active too![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3199″ img_size=”large”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Thank you to all the hard workers this week, filling in for sick people and working hard. Good picking this morning.

Have a great week.

Nancy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type=”image_grid” images=”3193,3191,3187,3188,3189″ img_size=”medium”][/vc_column][/vc_row]