CSA Member Updates
Due to a tech error I think this post never quite made it out to you all, but for you diehard CSA members, here it is:
If you haven’t seen my post about Queensland Fruit Fly making an appearance on the farm, go ahead and check that out so that you know what to do if any affected fruit makes it through to your boxes. My policy is that no affected fruit will leave the farm but it is very difficult to tell from the outside if fruit has been damaged (depending on the extent), however it would be terrible to see the rest of my harvest go to waste if the majority of it is still totally fine.
This week you’ve got a bunch of Bramley apples (the large green ones). They are a sour ‘cooking apple’ which are great eaten fresh or sliced into salads if you like the tartness. Otherwise they are a popular variety for crumbles, pies, pastries, baking etc because they cook so well.
I had some feedback that the Julie white peaches you got two weeks ago were a little flour-y. That’s a result of having kept them in the chiller for a 12 day ‘holding period’ in an effort to reduce the risk of any QFF affected fruit leaving the farm. It’s a shame that the quality of some of the peaches was down but I am feeling reasonably confident that the situation is under control. We have only seen two flies in our male-attracting traps since the initial sighting and I have put out a few ‘bait’ sprays (in accordance with the Organic Standard of course) to control the female population.
It’s that part of the season where plums begin to dominate the harvest (made worse by small nectarine/peach harvests as a result of leaf curl). Luckily, the Mariposas are excellent this year and Greengages are a special delight. Part of our fruit fly mitigation strategy is to keep fruit in the chiller long enough that any potential fruit fly larvae will be dead. This means perhaps less variety in each box but it’s a small price to pay
As promised, this week brings a medley of plums but don’t underestimate the humble plum (or ‘plumbles’ as I like to call them). Each plum brings a new flavour/texture combo that suits the varied palettes of our CSA community. The Angelina should be eaten first (a relatively firm fragrant morsel), to allow the greengage time to fully soften to a greeny-yellow caramel-flavoured delight. Finally, the Mariposas can be eaten firm for those that enjoy the tart/bitter skin or left until the colour deepens and the flavour develops into sugary juicy goodness – you should be well acquainted with them now.
The CSA updates have been a bit thin lately as Sam and I prioritise harvesting, grading, irrigation, maintenance, pest management… and I figure it’s better to deliver fruit without an accompanying update than be composing emails while it falls on the ground! Speaking of pest management, I have been doing my best to manage an outbreak of Queensland Fruit Fly and racking my brains about the best way out of the old rock/hard place situation.
Queensland Fruit Fly has been spotted on the farm. Please notify us if you receive any affected fruit and we will replace it. If you find any affected fruit that you bought from us, please advise us ASAP. You can use the contact form on our website, send a text message or find us at the Castlemaine or Coburg Farmers Markets.
As some of you may have heard from Grow Great Fruit (who established and maintained the orchard prior to me) I have chosen not to renew my lease at the end of this financial year. What that means is that the orchard, all it’s associated infrastructure and machinery and the business are being made available.
This box represents the close of apricot season for another year…The kangaroos have just started to get into the apples and pears so fingers crossed that Maka’s presence…We are on constant lookout for any signs of fruit fly as it is established in Bendigo
This week you’ve got a healthy amount of yellow peaches and white nectarines plus what is the last of the Pizzaz plums (finally) and possibly the last of the apricots – there might be just enough left to get a few out on the next regional delivery.
I think I say this quite a lot this time of year but it’s been a big week! Sam and I managed a few days off over Christmas/NYE which meant picking up the slack this week. It’s a strange year with most varieties ripening early and some completely out of the general order that i’ve seen in the past.
This week brings the last of the cherries for the season. Unfortunately I overestimated their longevity in the chiller so there may be a few dodgy ones in there but they are still delicious!