Growing food without chemical means that we have to get a bit creative how we manage weeds, fungal diseases, soil fertility, and pests.
One of the ways we keep pests at bay is through ‘companion planting’. Companion planting is the art of strategically planting specific vegetables and herbs together in a way where they each complement each other productivity.

Planting Basil among our cherry tomatoes is a classic use of companion planting. As anyone who has ever handled a fresh bunch of basil knows it got an incredibly strong scent. This sent masks the smell of the tomato fruits and therefore helps to hide them from the dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly.

There’s no flavour that symbolises summer quite as basil does. We’ve had it growing alongside the cherry toms since September, but it did absolutely nothing in the dry conditions of early summer. But this rain has our basil booming – just in time to join other Mediterranean favourites of rocket, eggplants, tomatoes and zucchinis on your dinner tables.


Cal Champagne

Green Connect Farm Manager

NEW PICK UP HUB: We are delighted to welcome onboard Taylor’s Healthy Grocers in Thirroul as our newest pick-up hub.  Taylors is a great health shop that has anything from Organic dry goods, fresh produce, toiletries and cosmetics. They also have a great range of eco cleaning produce, take away containers and keep cups.
If you would like to change your pick up location, just email Kristin on [email protected]
There will not be any additional delivery fee for Taylor’s at the point and pick up will be available on Thursday between 12.30 pm-5.30 pm


How to care for your Basil:

Basil is so great but can go wilted and brown quickly.  I like give the basil a rinse and wrap it up in some paper towel and store it in an airtight container.

You can also freeze basil: wash and dry the basil first, pick off the leaves and blitz them in a food processor or blender together with olive oil. Start by adding 1-2 tbsp and see how you go. You want the consistency to be thick but not too chunky. Place the basil in ice cube trays or small containers and make sure there is a thin layer of olive oil covering the basil. Store in the freezer and add to your pasta sauces, stews or pesto.

You can also make the Pesto and then freeze it, again just make sure that the pesto is lightly covered with olive oil.

Roasted Pumpkin and Green Bean Quinoa Salad in Thai Peanut Dressing

2 cups pumpkin, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups water or 1 can coconut milk
1/2 pound green bean, trimmed
1 red pepper, diced
2 spring onions, sliced
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup coriander, chopped
1/4 cup peanut sauce
1/4 cup coconut milk

Toss with the pumpkin in the oil and salt and pepper, place in a single layer on a baking pan and roast in a preheated 200C oven until tender, about 20 minutes, mixing midway through. Meanwhile, bring the quinoa and water to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes, before removing from heat and letting sit covered for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch the green beans in boiling water until they just turn a dark green and plunge them into cold water. Toss everything into the mixture of the peanut sauce and the coconut milk and enjoy.

Basil Oil

Basil oil is so simple to make and great to have on your salads or even a nice toasted sourdough with some fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. Its simple to make and will last for about 7 days in your fridge,

200 ml Olive Oil
1 bunch of fresh basil
Salt and pepper

Bring a medium-size pot of water to boil and add a generous amount of salt.  In the meantime prepare an ice bath ( bowl of ice cubes and water)to refresh your basil in. Once the water is boiling add your picked basil leaves and blanch (cook) for about 2-3 minutes. Fish up the basil with a slotted spoon and dunk it in the ice bath.  Squeeze the basil in your hands to get rid of any access water. Add the basil to a blender or mixer and start to slowly add olive oil as you are mixing it until you have a consistency that you are happy with. Please note that some Virgin Olive oils can be very strong and easily overpowering, so go slowly. Season with salt and pepper.

Kristin Watson, Fair Food Coordinator