Winter is a great time to be growing food in the Illawarra. We get a rest from many of the pests and weeds that hassle our crops throughout the summer and due to our mild climate, we don’t have frost to contend with. This means that our greens, roots, brassicas and herbs are relatively stressed free, creating the tastiest and healthiest veg you’ve ever eaten!

As always, we encourage our customers to keep an open mind when it comes to some of the less-conventional vegs. Many customers have been introduced to their new favourite veg through the Green Connect box!
But we understand that there are some things that people just don’t like, or they may grow some veg at home and do not want to double up. Therefore, we have an ‘exclusion’ system, where you can select up to three things from the lists below that you don’t want in your box (you can do this week to week or ongoing). Your exclusions will be taken out of your box and replaced with something else. Send your exclusion requests to
fairfood@green-connect.com.au

Seasonal Flowering Veg

Broccoli, cauliflower, green cabbage, Chinese cabbage, Snowpea
Broccoli, Cauliflower and Cabbage are the rock stars of the winter months. While growing them does present serious challenges with pests (aphids, whitefly, and white cabbage moth caterpillar- just to name a few) There’s nothing more satisfying than picking a tight head of Broccoli or Cauli, or growing a cabbage so it’s a struggle to carry up the hill!

Snow Peas have been a real crowd pleaser when they’ve made it into the boxes in the past. We grow peas predominantly as green manure (the nitrogen they fix into the soil helps subsequent veggies to grow), but this season we’re going to invest more energy into growing it more productively.

Leafy Greens

Oak lettuce, silverbeet, rainbow chard, kale (green curly leaf and red Russian), rocket, joi choi, boy choy, endive, fennel,
We’re already noticing the colouring in our greens deepening which comes with the cool change. One of the fun things about winter is getting a bit more creative with our selection of salad and cooking greens while continuing to provide the staples of silver beet, kale and lettuce.

 

Oaklattuce

 

 

Roots, starches and alliums

Potatoes, Carrots (Dutch and purple dragon), beetroots (golden and purple), radish (red cherry and daikon), pumpkin, leek, spring onions, onions, kohlrabi, Jerusalem artichoke, arrowroot, turnip (white Japanese), swede
Carrots are one of the products we grow that our customers can never get enough of, but we always struggle to grow enough! There are some carrots in the ground which are shaping up to be stunners towards the end of the season, but there will be a bit of a gap throughout June.

Luckily though, winter is home to a huge range of root and starches to fill your heavy soups and stews.

Herbs

Parsley, dill, Coriander, rosemary, bay leaf, mint, lime leaf, water celery, chilli, coriander, Red-veined sorrel
We often get feedback from our customers about how much they love the flavours of our fresh herbs. It’s true that herbs are one thing where the difference between a bunch picked that morning, and a bunch sitting on a supermarket shelf really shows. Parsley, dill and coriander are consistent producers throughout winter but will be joined by a diverse range of herbs listed above.

fresh mint Green Connect

Fruit

Apples, Pears, Banana’s, Oranges, Mandarins, Lemon, Kiwi-fruit, grapes, nectarines, plum, peaches, passion fruit, tamarillos, guava, babaco.
Those of you who get our mixed boxes, or our fruit box, will know that we purchase our fruit in from organic suppliers through the Sydney market. This makes it a little bit more difficult to gaze into the crystal ball and predict what will be available over the next few months. But as a rule of thumb in Eastern Australia is that winter is a citrus season. Therefore oranges, mandarins, lemonades, tangelo’s and grape-fruits will be at their best. This doesn’t mean that the apples, pears and kiwifruits of autumn won’t be available, and we will rotate these fruits, as well as Banana (which seems to be available all year round) through the mixed and fruit boxes.

Some of our very own fruit is starting to ripen upon the trees which will add a bit of variety to our larger mixed boxes. Yellow cherry guavas, tamarillos, babacos, and lemons will all be available this season for the first time!

Tamarillo Green Connect