dutch carrots

Dutch or baby carrots – the sweet, skinny ones with the leaves on that are traditionally picked to thin carrot crops – are one of my favourite vegetables.  They’re so sweet and crunchy and handy to snack on that  I can often be seen walking around the Fair Food warehouse munching on one.

Wayne from Peninsula Fresh Organics in Baxter has grown a lot of dutch carrots this season and when we got the chance to get a bulk delivery of them I jumped at the chance.  This week you’ll find Wayne’s dutch carrots in Gourmet, Intolerant, Small and Large Mixed boxes and also in the Fruit and Veg extras section.

To open your eyes to the difference between organic and conventional carrot growing techniques Wayne has done a great comparison on his website.  Here it is…

Organic Carrot Growing at Peninsula Organics

Organic carrot ground is rested and turned pre-planting to form a loose friable bed.

Seed is sown and watered.  The carrot uses natural biology to grow at its correct pace, giving it natural flavours and textures.  They will be hand weeded two to three times as they are a slow growing crop.

A Typical Conventional Carrot Growing Regime

Conventional carrot ground is prepared and formed into a loose friable bed.

A pre-plant artificial fertiliser is added.  The carrots are seeded and then sprayed with Nemacur (Ethyl 3-methyl, 4 pheny-phosphoramidate) to kill Nematodes, a ground parasite.  Also, Stomp (pendimethalin) and Afalon (Linuron) to control weeds.  Some weeks after emergence, Gesagard (Prometryn) and Fusilade (Fluazifop-P) are sprayed to kill the remaining weeds.  Another application of artificial fertiliser is banded between rows.

As the carrots grow, they undergo a weekly to fortnightly spray programme of insecticides and fungicides such as Hymal (Maldison), Rogor (Dimethoate) and Diathane (Mancozeb) until one to two weeks before harvest.

The artificial fertiliser will speed up the growth of the carrots up to 4 weeks faster than an organic carrot grown at the same time of year.

Carrot info from – http://www.peninsulafresh.com/content/about-us

 Schulz Milk Back in Store

Fans of Schulz Milk will be pleased that Full Cream and Low Fat milk is available again in our webstore.  The listeria contamination of the 22nd August has been investigated – 2nd and 3rd samples of the same batch and subsequent batches of milk were found to be free of listeria.   With new testing and controls  in place Fair Food is confident everything has been done to ensure a clean and healthy milk supply and we are very keen to support Simon Schulz’s farm at this key time.

For those of you who are interested after this email I’ve included Simon Schulz’s full Facebook Post about the listeria scare and the developments at Schulz Organic Farms since.

Have a great week

Chris

Simon Schulz’s full Facebook Post (27th August)

Hello All,

As you are well aware we are reeling from a positive test of Listeria monocytogenes and E.Coli found in our Organic Full Cream Milk dated the 22/08/13. We have since had each production of our milk tested and none returned a positive to Listeria including our second and third re-test of the batch dated 22/08 full cream.

However we are still required to recall the Use by 22/08 Full Cream as there was still a positive Listeria result in the first test. In the mean time we have conducted over 50 tests (well above what is required) both product and environmental test and none have come back positive. The reason this product was released before the test results came to us was a matter of shelf life. It took 9 days for the registered lab to inform us of the results leaving a matter of days before its batches expiry. We are currently in discussions on how to allow this to be far shorter without compromising the shelf life too much.

Because of all the clear results we have received and the clear in house environmental swabs we have also done, we have not pin pointed a source however we have had some experienced people come through and pointed to a few possibilities of contamination points. The main one found being around returned milk crates, where they are stored and the inadequacy of their cleaning. This has been rectified as our new crate washer (previously manual cleaning) had arrived a few days after the milk test had been sent. We have asked that each of our customers take care in the storage of these crates at their premises to try and prevent them getting dirty. I understand that this is sometimes very difficult and our new washer has had great success in rectifying this issue.

The other possibility is that the Registered Lab may have contaminated the sample to begin with or the result was a false positive. However regardless of this being a possibility we have continued down the path that we are at fault and that we will do everything we can to not allow this to happen again.

What we are going through now in regards to testing is what’s deemed as a clearance program as directed by DFSV and FSANZ. The program has a range of rigorous testing over 12 production days (however not required to test each day) and a failure at any point involves restarting the program. We will be holding each tested day’s production until a clear result comes through. For each day we are not required to test we will do so in house however this will change the life of the product by 1-2 days. Our Yogurt and Quark will be tested for each batch and not release until clear for the next 4 weeks as reassurance.

After we have been given the all clear with this clearance program we will return to (depending on DFSV approval) our testing program with a slight alteration where by the test we resend to the registered lab will be held until results are in. This will prevent the need to a recall.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who has consumed my products with the trust that we have done so safely. My prayer to God is that you remain healthy and that you are not affected by this contaminated batch of milk. Please forgive us and know that we are doing all we can to produce a pure and safe product.

God Bless

Simon Schulz

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