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.

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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?

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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!

Hello Everyone

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

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!

We do provide sanctuary!

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!

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!

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

Those long green things!

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!

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!

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

Look what was on my wellie this morning!

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

Blown Away!

Hello Everyone

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.

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!!

 

 

Have a happy & healthy week.

Nancy

Plenty of everything seasonal.

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.

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!

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

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