There's much I love about the blessing of having the wonderful folk of FIG, supply us with beautiful, fresh produce to nourish us all through our week. But one thing I've really been appreciating of late is the opportunity to try some less common produce that I definitely never found when shopping in a mainstream environment for our fresh fruit and veg.
The nettles that have been coming are wonderful! I must tell you that I was so keen to try them the first week we decided on nettles, that I promptly ripped the bag open, plunged my hand in and brought it straight back out of the bag covered in stings! OOOOPS! Yes, I did know they sting - and yes, I SHOULD have watched this video about how to handle nettles BEFORE I plunged my hand into the bag. We've been enjoying our nettles juiced in our morning green juices. They add a wonderful Autumn zing to the juice!
this recipe with them.
so much goodness in the turnip green. The flavour is slightly spicy and we have been juicing them into our green juices, which adds a nice little spice to the mix. The turnip greens are like mustard leaves, in that, in terms of flavour, you really do need to use them sparingly unless you LOVE alot of spice. They can be a little bitter, but they balance well when accompanied with other greens. You can use the turnip greens, or "turnip tops" as they are known in the UK, either raw or lightly steamed.
Japanese Raisins' at the Mangrove Mountain Country Markets! They were delicious, and now we are madly saving the seeds as we eat the fruit, to see if we can grow our very own Japanese raisin tree!
23 May 2011
It's been a few weeks since Easter and we've all been rather busy, running the co-op and ensuring, to the best of our abilities, that it goes along as smoothly as possible - and haven't returned to update the blog. Dearie me!
Our special Easter week co-op at Jilliby went well. Whilst there was a reduction in numbers due to the distance some of our members would need to drive, and no public transport, we still had orders for at least a third of our usual number of boxes and many of those commented on the beautiful surroundings, the peaceful valley and the great hall - and put forth the suggestion that co-op was held there every week! One of our Wyong members was overdue in having her baby and wasn't sure if she'd make it there that day. She did, but perhaps driving over that fairly short piece of rutted and corrugated road stirred up something more than a desire to get some land for her family and live out of town, as the very next day her baby was born! Congratulations to all.
The weather is growing colder as one would expect at this time of year and the more sensitive produce is slowing down or stopped for the year. Our Kirkconnell growers had 15 cms/6 inches of snow last week, and I think we were feeling the affects here on the Coast at the time.
Cold, frosty weather is good for sweetening up the oranges, we're told, so look out soon for yummy Navel oranges in the FIG boxes. We've already been enjoying mandarins, lemons and limes for a while now.
We've been trialling some potatoes from south of Sydney and they've been great, although a bit more expensive that what we normally pay. As with the produce from Kirkconnell, the potato farmer delivers to the Sydney organic markets and our driver collects them early Monday morning and then delivers it all to us. It's a great system and means no extra fuel or time is spent obtaining their vegetables. One trip does it all! For those of you keen to eat within a 160 km radius (as per the "100 mile diet"), both the Kirkconnell and Southern Highlands farms scrape in within that distance from Ourimbah.
This week we are going to be trying some Pink Lady apples from the Kirkconnell region as well. We've had some of their Gala apples and also a few Fujis, and Pink Ladies, a favourite of many, will be in the boxes today and tomorrow.
We're also hoping to have a few dragonfruit on the extras table to try, although they aren't grown locally. Kel will again be supplying his beautiful coriander and purple radishes and those superb turnips. Turnip leaves and nettle recipes will be posted here shortly.
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See you at the co-op...