This week’s organic boxes include not one but two offerings from home-growers – Shauna has earned a free vegie box for some lovely home-grown rosemary, and we’ve also been able to include some beautiful home-grown meyer lemons from Kiarla (which are also in the budget boxes). Backyard Bounty started with the idea of trading home-grown produce for home-made preserves, and we still love to include home-grown produce in our boxes and in our home-made preserves where we can – if you’ve got an excess of something you’ve grown yourself we’d love to hear from you!
The centre-piece of this week’s box is a box of gourmet white oyster mushrooms from the Cygnet Mushroom Farm – like the Shiitake these mushrooms have an Asian background but are a versatile ingredient, with a meaty texture suited to a variety of different cooking methods and brimming with flavour. We’re also very happy to see the return this week of bunched beetroot and carrot from Richmond Farm (one of our favourite inclusions) and silverbeet also makes a welcome return this week from northern growers Dendra Market Gardens. Looking forward, we’ve just had word that asparagus season starts next week and we may even have tomatoes and capsicums available for the 30th also!
It’s been a difficult season for produce and juggling availability over this particularly lean transitional period between winter and spring has been challenging this year, but seasonal eating is all about coming up with creative ways of cooking with a limited range of ingredients during the lean times, and really celebrating the diversity and abundance of fresh produce during summer and autumn. I confess when it comes to cooking I always find myself rushing out of the starting gates each new season, running out of inspiration in the middle, and generally just hitting my stride as the specialities of the season reach their end. I suspect that the wisdom of age is partly about learning to recognise and accept the rhythms and cycles of nature – the renewed joy of outdoor cooking every summer interspersed with the warm comfort of early night-fall and the glow of a warm fire – and whilst the journey of eating with the seasons rather than the weekly specials is a fairly new one for us (what’s a few years really?), I always feel just a bit more whole knowing where my food is coming from – be it from a grower who I’ve just collected the week’s produce from, or simply going up to collect the days eggs from the chickens.