Sweet potatoes from Cudgen
I mentioned a couple of weeks back about how I’d made contact with Ken and Lyndal Small, who farm certified organic Sweet Potatoes in northern NSW. They’ve been farming the land there for the past 25 years. I’m pleased to announce that in week 28 we’ll be receiving our first direct consignment from them. The Smalls can provide us with the best quality organic sweet potatoes around, at a great price to boot. I’m excited about being able to offer them on a regular basis in all our boxes and wholesale lists.
There are tons of things you can do with sweet potato. Try it in curries, soups or even roasted and added cold to salads. One of my favourites is to make wedges.
Sweet Potato Wedges
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C
Slice up your sweet potatoes into wedges
Drizzle on some olive oil
Dust with paprika, pepper and a bit of salt.
Get your hands in there and make sure all the oil and spices are mixed around to cover all the wedges.
Place in the oven for 40 minutes or until brown
This is a great and simple way to cook all the winter roots, so throw in some of your spuds to bulk it out if you like. You can also try carrots and why not throw in some quartered onions and whole garlic gloves while you’re at it.
Welcome back Block 11
Week 28 sees the return of red onions to Food Connect, this time from Greg Kocanda of Block 11 organics. Greg and his wife Katie farm 10 hectares out in Canowindra, in the Lachlan Valley between Cowra and Orange. They have supplied Food Connect in the past but not for some months, so it’s good to have them back in the picture. As well as the onions, Greg is also bringing us his broccoli.
We’ve not had red onions at Food Connect for nearly 10 months so we’re really looking forward to them. They’ll add a splash of colour and an extra dimension to all those yummy winter stews and bakes. Alternatively, why not use them in a salad to freshen up that more solid winter fare.
Rough and ready navels
Anthony drops by on a Friday afternoon each week to deliver us his navel oranges. Anthony’s oranges have become a regular box feature in the past month or so, with the exception of week 27 when I gave them a break and used lemonades instead. You might have noticed that his oranges are often far from the shiny faultless orange specimens that you’ll see in the supermarkets. Anthony’s oranges are usually marked on the skin with blemishes and scuffs, sometimes all over. This has absolutely no effect upon the fruit quality. The marks are caused by a naturally occurring fungus that lives on citrus skin. There is a commercially available product, Copper Oxychloride, which can be sprayed on the fruit to inhibit this fungus. All conventional citrus is repeatedly sprayed with this product. However, it is also one of the allowed chemical sprays under organic guidelines, meaning that most organic oranges have been repeatedly treated with the stuff. Anthony explained to us that he minimises the use of Copper Oxychloride and only uses it on newly formed fruit. This is at the stage when the new fruit is only about the size of a marble, a good 8 to 10 months before it is harvested. Standard organic procedure would see Anthony repeatedly spraying throughout the ripening process. However, he chooses to leave his oranges to do their own thing. The initial treatment inhibits the fungus a little, so that he can still produce something sellable. The finished product looks a bit rough and ready but is far closer to what a naturally grown real orange should look like.
Here at Food Connect we value Real Food like Anthony’s oranges. We aren’t fooled by the artificial gloss of standard oranges. We know the truth behind the disguise. Those perfect fruits in the shop are only possible through continued spraying, all for aesthetic reasons. I honestly think that Anthony’s scuffed oranges are the best tasting I’ve ever tried! I hope that you agree.