hello, farmy friends
We’ve entered the Hungry Gap, that time of year when many winter crops start to bolt, most spring plants are still babies in the ground and even though we’re pining for warmth the weather is still decidedly fickle. It’s also sometimes called ‘winter’s long shadow’, a darkly poetic description of the season.
It’s lucky then, that we can be assured of fresh, locally grown vegies even now: our talented teams of vegetable growers like Xai + Yer, Valley Fresh Farm, Joau + Kou, Huski Greens, Neng + Nhia and Rockhill Estate are clever enough to keep us fed with careful crop placements and planting calendars. It’s all about brassicas, greens, herbs, leeks, rhubarb, chard, spinach and the end of the winter’s root vegetables at the moment. Look out for broad beans in the coming weeks.
Also in abundance now is purple sprouting broccoli. Dee from Lia’s Farming Produce was keen to point out her big bunches of the stuff recently, along with some fabulous soft, curly kale bunches – quite different to the usually ridged kale varieties.
hazelnuts, duck eggs + cakes
Attending from their Hagley farm this week is Hazelbrae Hazelnuts. Whole roasted nuts, hazelnut oil, chocolate-covered rounds and yummy hazelnut butters (including a cocoa version) are definitely worth foraging the market for. They also sell a hazelnut flour – not quite a meal, it’s actually the ground up by-product of the oil extraction process, so it’s drier and (perhaps obviously) less oily. Advice came recently from one lovely customer to absolutely “use it in a Jewish chocolate cake recipe!” We might try experimenting with something like this.
Fork It Farm is back on rotation this week, with fresh pork and charcuterie. The terrine we ate recently is a real winner, but then, so are all of their free-range pork and beef charcuterie options (really – try them all!). Lately, Kim and Daniel have also been bringing duck eggs down with them – and these huge eggs, with their higher fat and protein content, are the best for using in cakes! (Cough cough, hazelnut chocolate cake, anyone?)
FYI: No Georgetown Seafoods this Sunday, unfortunately. They’ve had boat troubles, but no doubt they’ll be back with us very soon.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been enjoying a bit of time in the garden lately, and perhaps have prepared some beds for spring planting. Plants Direct and Valley Fresh Farm both have a huge range of vegie seedlings like heirloom lettuce varieties, brassicas and greens. We’ll be planting tomatoes before you know it!
The Grub Hub has been humming lately, this week is no exception: baozi (steam buns) from Deep End Farm; ruben, chicken and pork burgers from everybody’s meat hero The Woodfiery Redhead; exceptional curry plates and traditional egg rolls from Lucky Sri Lankan Kitchen; gao bao buns from Seoul Street; Amelia and her Flipped Egg team grilling the ultimate breaky burgers; and burritos are back, thanks to Pacha Mama. Settle that sweet tooth with a Yeastie Beastie doughnut, too.