Little things….

Hello Everyone

Sometimes little things are not recognised as important because they are so little. I was thinking that when I walked through the paddocks today and saw the following!

Sorry the bees are out of focus & only my shoe is in focus! However you can see one little thing which is great – that is the bees – and one bad thing -that is the snails. Both are little, but, my goodness the effects of them can be very big!

Some horrible little thing is causing these white spots on the spinach leaf, the orange & black bugs are up to no good I’m sure and the scribbly gum, of which we have a lot on the farm, gets its name of course from the marks the busy insects make under it’s bark.

Of course, the produce we have for you at the markets Saturday morning in Sydney at Carriage Works and Taylor Square is all excellent, tasty and brimming with goodness! On Sunday morning we will be at Peats Ridge Community hall at our local market. Go to Peats Ridge Road, Peats Ridge Public School grounds.

Have a healthy and happy week.

Keep an eye out for interesting little things in your life!! They can make a big difference.

Nancy

Wow – serious amount of spinach this week!

Hello Everyone

Great amounts of everything for the Saturday markets at Carriage works & Taylor Square BUT just look at the spinach! Thanks to Josh’s special fertile growing experiment we can fulfil the massive orders this week! Apparently Victoria’s floods mean they have less so we are in great demand! Excellent.

The smirking boss is justifiably pleased at the boxes of packed spinach in the cool room tonight ready to go in the morning at 4.00 am! The barely decipherable list on the cool room door is for the packers. It shows how much spinach there is this week compared to the rocket & other greens.

Kale & mixed greens still being packed 8 hours later by our persevering workers.

Everything you usually buy is available, fresh and abundant, all the greens, citrus, roots & shoots!

At the Delicious Awards Ceremony at Pier 1, Marriott Hotel, Monday night. Champions Mountain Organics didn’t win a national gong but has won a New South Wales one for best produce from the soil. Fantastic I think.

We had a good night out, interesting and with spectacular bits! Chefs whizzed up weird & wonderful delicacies from all the farmers produce. Wonderful salt of the earth farmers from all round Australia won awards (which you can see in this months Delicious magazine) mixed with chefs, food judges (including Maggie Beer who was standing very near) and magazine writers & wannabe’s and it was packed!

These ‘things’ that a farmer tried to con me were emu eggs, were pumpkin & mandarin yoghurt on a nest of light kind of crumble mixture (sorry chefs, forgot what it was called). Absolutely delicious.

Have a great week.

Nancy

All dressed up …..and somewhere to go!

Hello Everyone

We are off to the Delicious Awards on Monday night. We don’t know if we’ll get the top gong but we’ll get something. All very exciting and very rewarding for Michael and the business he has built up for so many years.

We got out the glad-rags to try on as we hadn’t had any use for them for quite some time.  should be a great night.

Needless to say the farm is going well with Spring weather now and everything growing gangbusters. There is heaps of produce, especially rocket, spinach & blood oranges.

make sure you get in early for the best choice at Taylor Square or Carriage Works markets on Saturday morning.

Have a healthy invigorating week!

Nancy

Sleet yesterday!

Hello Everyone

Not too much sleet but a bit of a surprise after quite a sunny day really. So Spring not quite here on the plateau yet!

I must tell you how good the blood oranges are. Sweet and delicious and not to be missed!

Despite the strange weather, the produce is well and healthy and will all be there as usual at Carriage Works and Taylor Square Markets on Saturday morning. Sunday morning we will be at Peats Ridge Markets at Peats Ridge Community Hall in the Peats Ridge Public School grounds on the main road.

The weather is forecast to be sunny & warmer over the weekend so see you there!

Have a happy & healthy week.

Nancy

 

Busy, busy!

Hello Everyone

With weather onside many seedlings going in, visitors to the farm, plenty of sales and lots happening we haven’t had time to scratch ourselves this week!

Sydney University Agriculture students came around midweek & got an insight into organic horticulture at the coal face. (Sorry to mix metaphors!) They were doing a unit on horticulture and probably learned a lot. Michael’s knowledge is really extensive.

Last of the hundreds of seedlings that went in this week. Well done workers!

Make sure you get down to Carriage Works or Taylor Square markets on Saturday mornings for lovely fresh produce.

Have a healthy, happy week.

Nancy

Rapt in Rapa!

A beautiful sight! Plated Chimi di Rapa for you to salivate over! As we said, more good news.

The first picture was sent to Michael by Emily, his best Chimi di Rapa Afficionado from carriage works Market. The Chimi di Rapa was cooked last Saturday evening resulting in Emily’s nona wanting to make Michael an honorary Italian!

The second photo is an instagram from Monty Koludrovic – Pan fried schnitzel with Rapa flowers as “makeup” as served at The Dolphin Surry Hills.

All the usual fresh produce will be at Carriage Works and Taylor Square markets on Saturday morning in Sydney. Be there early to get the best choices!

Have a happy, healthy week,

Nancy

Special announcement!

We are excited to announce that we have been selected to be the State winner for 2016 Delicious Produce Awards from the Earth for our Cimi di Rapa in particular.
We are still in the running to win the national prize so watch this space!

It has been a wet and very muddy week, sloshing about ankle deep, but the produce is undamaged.
There is plenty of rocket & spinach, broccolini and broccoli, large & small cauliflowers, new season red shallots and all at Carriage Works and Taylor markets on Saturday morning.

The advantage of the rain is that it has made conditions perfect for another flush of late season pine mushrooms. Don’t they look amazing?! Get them at Taylor Square market.

Have a happy & healthy week.
Nancy

‘So, was that winter?”*

Hello

Last week… heavy frost, this week rain, warm nights and Friday set to be the hottest July day ever.

So this is climate change and yet another challenge for us farmers growing outside in ‘natural’ conditions.
But the baby spinach has come good and the rocket is booming along; the blood oranges loved the frost and now the warm weather has really improved their flavour. Look out for juice or buy a few to make your own.

All the citrus is pumping and we have a range of the “weird and wonderful” for marmalades and preserves.

The rain has also created the right conditions for the local pine mushrooms (saffron milk cup “lactarious deliciousus”). They usually start in May but it was too warm and dry then so another climate change hiccup brings them to us in July!

If you haven’t tried them we will have plenty especially at Taylors Square market.

We will have plenty of broccolini, a real delicacy; also great winter veg, normal broccoli, caulies large and baby, cabbage and beautiful sweet swedes.

And we still have pumpkin… Queensland Blue for roasting and Jap for soups and mash.
Have a good week and see you at the market.
Cheers
Michael

Brrrrr, Blood oranges & Bergamots!

Hello

Winter has hit with a vengeance with freezing blustery winds and when the wind drops we have heavy frosts as you can see from the photos which were at 9.00 this morning! 1C overnight!

Frost is good, putting colour & flavour into the blood oranges so we’ll have them on offer at both markets on Saturday morning.

The frost also put all the pests into hibernation so we don’t have to worry about them unless the weather warms up.

But the frost has kept the growth slow, so although we have our usual delicious range, the early bird shoppers will have the best choice at Carriage works & Taylor Square.

Michael’s message is “If you snooze, you may loose” (Oh dear, Dad joke!)

 

The frost makes for tricky picking as we can only pick in the sections where the sun has melted the frost. Once the frost is melted the leaves are excellent.

The Bergamots are a rare and strange fruit from our neighbour Tim. A lot of chefs are chasing them along with my customers who have had them in past years.

The bergamot has an aromatic flavour. The dried fruit is used to give Earl Grey tea its distinctive bitter, spicy, lemony, flavour!

Have a healthy, happy week.

Nancy

Heavy frosts & sunny days

Winter has hit with a bang making a slow down in growth as temperatures plummet to zero overnight.

However we will still will have our usual range but come early as there is less spinach & rocket to see us through to the end of the market time.

New celery is coming through as are the peas.

 

Josh is busy (as always) also creating a new composting system to free up more space for growing at the top of the paddock which gets all day sun.

It will add even more nutrition to the soil which has been worked on for all the years on the farm. We now have eight compost beds so there is better rotation.

 

We are also experimenting with direct-seeded mustard. The results you’ll get to eat in due course!

Be early at Carriage Works market or Taylor Square markets on Saturday in Sydney.

Have a healthy, warm, happy week.

Nancy