We are starting to feel the changing of the seasons on the farm. The days are getting shorter but there is still plenty of work to be done.
The last of the pumpkins have been brought in for storing and we are now gradually pulling out the plants to make way for the broccoli. I decided to trial some brussel sprouts this winter, it’s a first so it will be interesting how they go. Some say Auckland isn’t cold enough for them to grow but let’s see shall we..
As the seasons change this means we will be seeing the end of some herbs like the beloved basil. This will bring a tear to the eye of some customers but it will only be for a few months when we will be seeding it again. The cucumbers recently finished, not due to the weather. Some pukekos came in and wiped out the whole crop over a weekend. So we decided to pull them out rather than try and fight against them. Nevertheless, when I see any pukekos I grab the closest stick and whack it against the steel bars yelling and screaming at them to stay away from my vegetables!! That’s me playing fair.
A lot of vegetables are coming back into season again like the kale, rocket and pak choy. We also picked the first lot of fennel and leeks last week which went down a treat at the markets. It is so rewarding seeing the reactions we get from our customers when something appears on the stall again. These reactions and the lovely comments we receive every week motivates us to continue producing high quality fresh vegetables and herbs.
We are just about prepared for winter, there’s just a few more weeks left to try and get as much vegetables in before growth basically stops in june/july. I am freaking out about the lettuce at the moment as we have been having trouble with getting some of the seed to germinate due to the intense heat we had in February/March. So this week’s job is to seed an extra double lot to make sure we have plenty in winter. It just goes to show I have to be on the ball all the time as every season is different to the last. This is what makes me love my job though. It’s never boring!
We have a huge range of fresh leafy greens for sale at the moment. Kale is always a big hit due to its ‘superfood’ status. But the other greens that can’t be forgotten about are the watercress and rocket. I love the bitter flavour they give, they taste great in sandwiches with any leftover meats. Yum! And if you haven’t already tried watercress soup, you really must. See below for our go to recipe (it’s my sister, Amy’s recipe and it’s incredible)
Melt a knob of butter is a large saucepan. Saute 2 onions, 2 leeks and about 5 cloves of garlic (all chopped) in the butter until soft.
Add 4 medium sized potatoes cubed, 4 rashers of bacon chopped, and a few sage and thyme leaves. Add enough stock of your choice to cover the vegetables (we used Beef). Simmer until potatoes are almost cooked. Add 2 large bunches of watercress and cook until watercress has just wilted through.
Blend soup in a food processor or blender and return to saucepan. Season to taste. You may like to add more stock at this point if you like a thiner soup.
Enjoy a bowl with a thick slice of freshly baked bread!
You could leave out the bacon and use a vegetable stock for a vegetarian version of this dish.
We find at the markets in autumn and winter it is all about leafy greens so this year we are trialling a few different veges like collard, mustard leaves, purslane as well as a few different types of Chinese vegetables like Joi Choi and Choy Sum. It will be interesting to see what our customers think of them.
We are looking forward to the months ahead as the seasons change and we can’t wait to share our bounty with our customers!
We’ll see you at the markets. We are there every weekend rain, hail or shine.
Thank you for reading,