Grow Lightly News

 No. 4 April 2015

  • See you at the Shop!

    After its first month of trading, the Grow Lightly Shop at Korumburra now has heaps of new friends and many regular customers. For many of our visitors, it has been an eye-opener to see the range and quality of vegetables and fruit grown locally in southern Gippsland – including avocadoes, heritage apples, mushrooms, babacos and other sub-tropical fruits, and every type of leafy greens.  There’s just no need to buy produce transported hundreds of kilometres from interstate or overseas – southern Gippsland produces top-quality food, and much of it is now in the Grow Lightly shop.

Tiny ‘jewel’ capsicums and cherry tomatoes are in season now – as are quinces, pears and other autumn fruit. Susan Davies is one of the many volunteers staffing the Grow Lightly Shop three days a week.

Besides fresh produce, the Grow Lightly Shop stocks many other local food lines, including olive oil, nut butters, preserves, eggs and cordials.
PLUS – you can now have a coffee or tea and biscuits as you shop!
What: The Grow Lightly Food Hub shop
Where: Next to the children’s playground and car park at the Coal Creek Heritage Village, Silkstone Road, Korumburra
When: Open Friday 10-3, Saturday 10-3, Sunday 10-1.

From my garden

It's raining now (wonderful), we have lit the fire and a grey butcher bird is singing its heart out on the verandah; but before the rain started, here is what we picked: quinces; nashis; apples; Illawarra plums; Davidson plums; riberries; kiwiberries; cape gooseberries; tomatoes - huge ones, named Mrs Marotti for the Italian woman who brought the seeds to Australia, and half a dozen different sorts of cherry tomatoes; dried beans for eating or planting - lima, borlotti (two kinds of climbers, both with an interesting history), Lazy Housewife, Giant of Stuttgart, Purple King; little Spookies pumpkins; a few apple cucumbers and a couple of zucchini .. Isn't autumn magnificent?
Some of it will finish up in the shop or the vegie bags. Maybe even in your kitchen.


What’s in season in the shop?

Reed avocadoes – huge, locally grown and long-keeping – are something you’re not likely to see in the supermarket; but the Gippsland Food Forest supplies them to the Grow Lightly shop. There are also some amazing heritage apples in stock – again, very different and delicious. Say the names: Adams's Pearmain, Bramley’s Seedling (a cooker), Cornish Aromatic, Cox’s Orange Pippin, Freyberg, Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Gravenstein, Jonathan, Maiden’s Blush (cooking, dessert AND cider), Snow Apple, Tydeman’s Early Worcester. That's only some of them!  
Summer vegies including eggplant, capsicum, cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini are still around - but not for much longer as the weather cools. Autumn brings passionfruit and quinces, chestnuts, kiwiberries and many varieties of pears. Soon the pumpkins will be out in force, ready for wonderful soups.
At this time, our growers are pulling out and composting the remains of summer vegie plants, and putting in their winter crops – broccoli and cabbage, garlic, leeks, broad beans, lettuce, peas, and several types of onions.
What should I do with -
Quinces are wonderfully fragrant; and though rock hard and virtually inedible when yellow-ripe, they develop a deep ruby-red colour with a splendidl, unique flavour as a result of poaching – cooking gently for a long period, with a bit of added sugar.
Prepare poaching liquid by placing water, say a cup of sugar for four quinces, a vanilla bean, half a lemon and a couple of cloves in a large heavy-based saucepan. Bring liquid to a rolling boil. Peel, quarter and core the fruit, adding quinces immediately to poaching liquid to prevent discolouration. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 1½ hours, or until the quinces are tender and ruby red. Serve quinces with a little of the warm syrup along with cream or vanilla ice-cream.
Unlike other nuts, chestnuts have a short shelf life, and they must be cooked. You can store whole chestnuts in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks or freeze them for up to 3 months. Defrosted chestnuts are not suitable for roasting, but they are fine for use in soups and purees.
Before you cook chestnuts, by either roasting or boiling, a small slit or cross should be made in the skin or they will burst. If cooking over an open fire keep one whole, as when this explodes you know the others are done! Once cooked, peel off the tough shell and the papery thin skin underneath. Peel the nuts whilst hot (it's impossible to peel a cold chestnut) to ensure the complete removal of the inner brown furry skin, called the 'tan', which is bitter.


Alice’s Food A-Z – buy it soon at the Food Hub.
This stunning book by Alice Zaslavsky – former MasterChef contestant and the host of TV quiz show Kitchen Whiz – will be available in April, and you’ll be able to buy it at the Grow Lightly Shop. Packed to the brim with funny food facts, clever cooking tips and kid friendly recipes, this is a book for the fact-hungry, food-obsessed or those who like to mess about in the kitchen. Buy the book -and you can buy lots of the ingredients at the same time!

What is the Grow Lightly Food Hub?
Grow Lightly is a not-for-profit community organisation, based in Korumburra, which works to encourage the growing and eating of local food. For close to ten years it has been supplying weekly boxes and bags of fresh organic fruit and vegetables, using an ever-expanding network of volunteers to pack and distribute bags to households in southern Gippsland. The aim is to give people access to high-quality local food, and to encourage small-scale organic horticulture in the local area.
The Grow Lightly Food Hub has been our base since late 2014. You'll find it just past the children's playground next to the Coal Creek car park, in Silkstone Road Korumburra. As well as the Food Hub shop, it is a location for packing of weekly vegie-bags, food-related workshops, film viewings, discussions, cook-ups, our Coal Creek Farmers Market stall and activities run by the South Gippsland Shire Council  Sustainability Unit. 
Please support us – through the Community Rewards Program!
As a non-profit community organisation, Grow Lightly is part of the Michael’s IGA Supermarket Community Rewards program. Funds raised through this program have helped equip the new Grow Lightly Food Hub at Coal Creek.
 But this program will only continue to support us if you in turn help us by shopping at the IGA stores in Leongatha and Korumburra, and ensuring that your Rewards Tag nominates Grow Lightly Connect.  You can make sure this happens by filling out this form and dropping it into one of the three Michaels IGA stores.
Thanks so much - and see you soon at the Food Hub!
AND at the COAL CREEK FARMERS MARKET, Saturday 11 April!
Copyright © 2015 Grow Lightly Connect, All rights reserved.

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