New season 🧄, plus 🥒 recipes to inspire and our first artisans for 2020

What’s News at the Market this Week?

Oh the glory of garlic!  So many recipes just wouldn’t be the same without garlic so we are fortunate that it is being harvested now at several of our farms.  

Are you an alliophile – a garlic addict? If so then you are in good company as Penny Woodward,  a renowned gardener and author with seven published books and countless articles – especially for Organic Gardener magazine –  is a confessed alliophile – so much so that she has written a whole book on it. I was fascinated to discover that “in Australia we’ve probably got over 100 different cultivars of garlic that work in different climates and different places …..  and worldwide, there are probably over 1000 different cultivars of garlic.”

To successfully grow garlic you have to know your cultivars and what is best for your climate.  Someone who knows heaps is Ian Willis from Sylva Lining Organics who has been growing garlic since establishing their farm in 2003.

Christmas is just a breath away or so it seems so this week some of our annual artisans and makers return as well as our CWA stall with all its Christmas goodies.

This week look out for:

  • EmuBeads  – Michele says:” making glass beads involves a conversation with the flame, the glass and the inclusions of precious and found metals. Metals oxidise between the layers of glass creating bubbles. It is the universe captured in a bead, the micro of the macro. Bead making is the journey of following my passion. 
  • Colours and Words – Chris Degenhardt artist and story writer says that over the years I’ve worked in diverse styles: pointillism, fractal abstract, stereoscopic imagery.This is reflected in my cards and prints. Most of my work depicts elements of the Tweed Valley flora and fauna.
  • CWA Stall

We have more artisans and makers coming each week in December. We hope you enjoy the variety they offer and easy shopping for that special gift.

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What’s GREAT at the Market this Week?

So refreshing no wonder cucumbers are a popular summer vegie! No vegetable continues to be grown and enjoyed for more than 3000 years unless it is versatile and popular so perhaps many of us have one thing in common with Emperor Tiberius.
According to Pliny the Elder, the Emperor Tiberius had the cucumber on his table daily during summer and winter. In order to have it available for his table every day of the year, the Romans reportedly used artificial methods of growing (similar to the greenhouse system). So even our greenhouses are not so original!!
Now those of you who have been reading this weekly newsletter for a while probably know that I am attracted to quirky facts so here are a some about cucumbers: 

  • Cucumbers can actually cure bad breath. A slice pressed to the roof of your mouth for 30 seconds allows the phytochemicals to kill the problematic bacteria! I challenge you … it certainly removed the lingering orange chocolate flavour from my mouth when I tested this “fact”. 😂
  • Pureed or sliced cucumber gives an almost instant relief to sunburnt skin. Just place some against the affected area (I haven’t tried this so can’t vouch for it but it may be worth a try).
  • There can be a difference difference between the inside of a cucumber  – cooler than the actual temperature outside. This is thought to be where the phrase “cool as a cucumber” came from (that definitely didn’t work on my cucumber but I do recommend lying down and placing cucumber slices over closed eyes for cooling and refreshing tired eyes).
  • Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
  • Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance 🤔.
  • The estimated total world production for cucumbers in 2017 was 83,753,861 metric tonnes, up 3.9% from 80,616,692 tonnes in 2016. WOW they are that popular!

 One of the most refreshing summer soups is chilled cucumber, yoghurt  and tarragon soup. It has been a favourite of mine for many years and is so very easy. Simply blitz in your blender about ½ to 1 cup of cold water or stock with chilled cucumbers plus a couple of handfuls of tarragon leaves and a cup of Greek yoghurt. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper or to taste. You can serve immediately or return to the fridge and chill for about 3 hours.
Cucumbers and tarragon are such a classic pairing and that is why I posted a recipe on our website in October 2016 for Cucumber, fennel, apple and sumac salad. It is still there but for some unaccountable reason the photo has gone missing.🤔
Another cucumber favourite is cucumber tzazki. Like the soup above it is delicious for dipping warm crusty bread or served with Middle Eastern dishes and spicy curries.