Backyard Bounty all-Tasmanian Vegie box: 7th October

Organic and $40 boxes this week have a real seasonal delicacy for the first week of October – spring garlic from Tasmanian Natural Garlic & Tomatoes. Garlic is generally planted in autumn as it takes quite a long time to mature – it can then be harvested in a number of different ways from spring through to summer as it moves through its reproductive and growth cycle. spring_garlic_fried_eggs_4In spring, a garlic looks like a leek or spring onion (to which it is very much related). As the days get warmer, the plant puts the energy from the sun into producing the scape, a central stem that carries the flower. The garlic flower contains garlic seeds, called bulbils (garlic can be grown from these but it is much quicker to grow from shooting cloves), which left to their own devices would be scattered by natural forces thus making more garlic! The scapes and bulbils can both be eaten – if left on the garlic head the scape will die back anyway ready for the final harvesting of the mature bulb, which the plant, having finished its reproductive cycle, stores the energy it needs to survive the winter. Luckily for us, the shoots, scapes, bulbils and bulbs (either freshly dug “wet” or hung to dry for winter storage) all contain the same delicious garlic flavour; by cycling through the various phases of the garlic life-cycle we can enjoy locally grown garlic for almost the entire year, without having to resort to imports or jarred concoctions!

We’ve also got the first cherry tomatoes of the season from Brandsema, Turners Beach – who use introduced insects in their hot-houses to control the pests (like aphids) that tend to plague tomato plants – and fresh thyme, which combined with the fresh garlic and 14543773_10154719322181337_1827013265622290820_oCorey’s delicious stoneground sourdough sounds like the perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday bruschetta before school goes back…

We anticipate that Tassie Pride will have capsicums ready for some boxes next week, and Premium Fresh should start picking asparagus next week also, meaning we can finally give everyone asparagus at the same time! Newry farm have given us just enough for the $30 boxes to have a taste of this spring-time delicacy this week, along with some delicious rhubarb – something that’s been a prized commodity this season! We also welcome on board the new owners of Pegasus Sprouts this week – Tom & Toni – and we’re quite excited about a new product coming from their tiny but very productive operation just before Kingston which we’ll be featuring in weeks to come.

Here’s the full list of what’s in this week’s box: