22 May 2010

Ripening and storing Kiwi fruit

For the past couple of weeks there has been kiwi fruit in the FIG food boxes and it's needed a little ripening!

Kiwi fruit picked when very ripe can tend to go mushy quickly, so leave these harder Kiwi fruits on your kitchen bench to ripen naturally or, if you want to ripen them more quickly, place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple.

Best if stored separately to other fruit and can be placed in the fridge when soft, to keep for a longer time...

Knowing when to plant what in our gardens

Central Coast Biodynamic farmer and FIG supplier, Michael Champion, spoke at this week's Permaculture Central Coast meeting on local food systems, Slow Food and so forth.

One thing he said (and repeated) was that if you want really fresh, nutritious food, the best thing to do is to grow it yourself.

Some of us are beginner gardeners and don't know what's in season and when to plant what. The following link may help you in determining what to plant at this time of year.

Gardenate lists which seeds to plant at various times of year and whether they are to be sown directly in the ground or raised in seed boxes for a few weeks. Click on the names of the vegetables and up comes growing and cooking information. You can also subscribe to Gardenate and have a list emailed to you at the beginning of each month for sowing tips.

The Central Coast, we've found, can be divided up into two of Gardenate's zones - both sub tropical and temperate, depending on where you live and if you experience frost in your area. Sometimes we read information for both zones.

Don't forget that some of our members would like to start up a seed swap within FIG so let us know if you would like to join in.

17 May 2010

New times worked well!

The new hours, on trial from today, worked well. FIG members rolled in steadily instead of bursting through the door in an almighty rush, seemingly at once! It's not official yet, however if the co-op days continue as they did today, we will no doubt adopt 2.30-5pm as our new hours.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions; we really take them on board so appreciate your efforts in thinking how to improve and streamline FIG.

It's great to see so many volunteers rostering on, however many of you are forgetting to sign off before leaving. Please look up the attendance sheet in the red folder on the desk and date/sign your name... thank you! If you haven't volunteered as yet, please add your name to the roster in the red folder for a day you can assist.

At present, FIG requires SIX people to help set up between 1 & 2.30pm each week, with an extra one, perhaps two, to help process the bulk fruit/vegie orders when they arrive. Pack up requires two extras every week and we'd like an extra one person to assist David and more people to train for the desk job. Today we had the most numbers of boxes going out we have ever had in FIG history, and it worked as well as it did because of all the volunteers who attended today. We even had one of our farmers volunteering again today, as if she doesn't already have enough to do! A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE.

The next FIG management meeting may be held one week earlier as the normal day falls on a public holiday. Up for further discussion will be the membership fee structure and whether we introduce a tiered fee for the coming new FIG year (from 1t July) - ie, one lower fee for members who are able to volunteer and one higher fee for those who cannot volunteer for whatever reason. We would really like member imput on this and hopefully your attendance at the meeting. Watch out for confirmation of date; it will be advised as soon as possible to all members in an email.

See you at the co-op...

13 May 2010

Trial of new co-op hours

At the meeting this week it was decided to trial a change in hours, to hopefully reduce the huge rush of people queueing at the desk from 3 until 4pm each week.

The new hours will be 2.30pm until 5.00pm, with volunteers required from 1pm to help set up.

Members who normally turn up to collect their FIG box between 5-5.30pm haven't been forgotten, as we will be packing up and cleaning during that time and are willing to pack your box, if you cannot get there earlier, so it will be ready for your collection.

Please note this is a trial, and all comments appreciated.

02 May 2010

FIG updates 2nd May

Lani, one of our original core group members, gave birth to a dear baby boy today. Mother and baby are well! Our warm congratulations go to Lani and family...

With this warm weather, why not get planting and pop some more winter vegies in? Diana will be along with her organic seedlings tomorrow, and if you cannot see what you are looking for, leave a note for her with any special requests or orders.

We've been advised by our free range egg farmer tonight that the egg order for tomorrow is short so we will need to refund a few members or move your egg order over to the following week. We apologise for the shortage but chooks being chooks and Autumn THE time for moulting and going off the lay, we have to understand such vagaries of nature, and the consequences of eating in season. FIG refuses to support poultry practises which use unnatural means to keep a hen laying throughout the year and in conditions which could only be described as cruel, and trust that our members will understand.

The next FIG meeting is Monday 10th May, due to start after packing up for the day. All members are very welcome to join in on the discussions and decision making. In fact we would really like your regular input, so please come along if you're able.

See you at the co-op...