Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We Need Boxes

Lots of our drop points have zero empty boxes for our driver to pick up each week. So it's time again to remind everyone to please return your reusable carton; dispose of it only if it's gotten dirty. We don't want to be filling our landfills up with cartons that can easily be resued time and again! So please, return your box when you pick up your fresh share each week; or transfer your produce into your own bags and leave the empty carton behind.

Thanks!

4th of July Delivery Change

We're switching our July 4th deliveries to July 3rd. That's only a week away, next Wednesday. So please mark your calendars, if you normally pick up on Wednesdays, we're shifting all deliveries to Tuesday in one marathan harvest/delivery day so that our crew and you, our loyal subscribers can one and all focus on celebrating the day.

Farm News




So I’m nervous about posting our blackberries on the harvest ticket, I’m really surprised how slow they’re ripening, and despite our pre-dawn heroic efforts, we’re barely able to find enough to put in our large shares. I’m pretty sure we’ll be in blackberry heaven next week for all.

Tomatoes are here! Yeah!

What’s up with the non existent apricot shares? Yup, got ripped off AGAIN. So we care for our apricot trees, water, prune, feed and weed all year. And at the last minute, every year for 4 years now, they’re stolen. Every last ripe one. We have ONE tree of unripened fruit left. I’ll tell you, it’s beyond discouraging, because in a way, our property rights are confiscated if we can’t grow and care for a crop without pretty much certain 100% theft.  Whomever picks, does it at night and can’t tell between ripe and unripe, so they strip pick (which means they pick every last one and sort later.) (And since all those apricots were destined to go into our CSA boxes, each and every CSA member got ripped off (again) this year as well.  We should either fence the front parcel or give up the 1000 or so trees that are planted there. We’re debating the ($) dilemma.

Ok, here’s a copy block of an email I sent off to a loyal egg buying subscriber:

Sorry we didn’t fill your egg order this week! We had no idea what the demand for our eggs would be, and have more orders than we can fill. I have asked our software developer to put new orders on hold, but we’re having a software issue. Either we’re “sold out”, or we’re “not.” We’re neither. We HAVE eggs, just not enough to fill any new orders. Ha ha, you should have seen us last Wednesday, literally I was standing in the chicken coop waiting for eggs to be laid. Everyone’s tapping their feet in the barn and I’m calling out, “Got one! Got another!” I’ve been farming for a long time, but you know, I’ve never actually seen an egg being laid. So that was a first. I fumbled with my I-phone camera feature, and every time an egg  popped out,  I missed it.



Another thing that is interesting, I was unaware---we have dozens of nice nests but one favorite one that is made out of plastic that the hens actually stand in line for. We may increase egg production if we provide more of those nests. I just had preferred the old fashioned wood nests, but the hens like the ugly plastic one. Who knew?  As the truck drove out on Wednesday, we were putting the last of the eggs that had been laid those last 20 minutes in cartons for delivery. We could have waited another hour and filled all orders, but decided that wasn’t a good idea to delay any further.



So we will continue to increase production, and will rotate those that don’t get their full order…until through attrition or increased production we are even again. You shouldn’t miss out for a while now.



And no new orders, I promise!



Thanks for referring your friends to us; that means a lot to me and I’m truly appreciative. Of course, jeez; they can’t have eggs. We just ordered another 50 baby chicks, but they won’t be in production for 6 months.



Donna




Harvest Ticket June 26-27 2012



Farm Tour and Work Party

Date: June 30th, this coming Saturday
Time: 9-12
Address: 2120 Rainbow Glen Road, Rainbow, CA

Bring: closed toe shoes, sunscreen, hat, water, and if you'd like to get your hands dirty: gloves and work boots.

Leave at home: Your pets! We have a fragile balance, an armed truce really, between our dwarf goats, llamas, chickens, farm cats Rudie and Samie; and Tyson the farm dog. Let's not disrupt the apple cart by bringing along Fido. We LOVE your dog, I swear we do, and would thoroughly enjoy meeting him, but there's a whole boatload of other species out here that are suspicious of  their own extended animal kingdom family members, much less yours. So let's make it easy on all of us, and nix the play dates between our animal kingdom and yours.

Sara is excited to show you a little about her edible flower plantings, and what she picks and how. Not all flowers are edible, not by a mile, learn which flowers Sara loves and how easy they are to grow!

Meet  Couscou and Dreamie, our chicken facility llama body guards. Now that we have them in the compound, we haven't had a single chicken attacked. Great job guys! We provide the treats!

 Get a chance to pet our baby goats and offer your treats from home. Goats will eat just about anything, but please no junk food! They're worse than farmer Donna's teenaged son; they'll eat MacDonalds until they burst if you offer it. But please stick to crunchy granola bars, crackers, chips, toasted bread, and air popped popcorn. (We'll provide some, too!) Gracie likes bananas but none of the others do. Carl eats clothes and critical paperwork, but prefers food. For those that arrive at 9:00 sharp, you'll get to see us milk. We don't sell our raw goat's milk, but we do enjoy it here on the farm, and love making cheese, butter, and more from our Nigerian dairy goat's milk.

We were surprised when so many of our CSA members ordered our cage free, free-ranged, llama protected, heirloom,  soybean-free-organically-fed, humanely raised, rainbow chicken eggs. We've ordered more baby chicks, and can't wait to introduce you to our newest chirping additions.

For the few of you that would like to get your hands dirty, we can always use the help!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oven Roasted Root Veggies

Ingredients:
4 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
2 turnips, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 TBS Rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 TLS grapefruit zest
1/2 TBS lemon zest
1/2 TBS orange zest
California olive oil to coat
Salt and pepper to taste

Process:
Preheat oven to 375. Toss carrots and turnips with rosemary, olive oil and salt until vegetables are well covered.

Place on baking sheet and roast in oven until tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Place in mixing bowl and toss with zest.

Season to taste with salt and pepper

Barbequed Turnips with Garlic



Now that grilling season is upon us, I'm throwing all kinds of things on the grill to see what works. Actually, for me, anything  grilled with garlic can't be bad, but since I already had the grill hot for the main dish, I thought I try this out.

Ingredients:
Your turnips sliced no thicker than 1/4 thick
California olive oil to cover
Salt and pepper to gaste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
grated zest of 1 Eureka lemon

Process:
Cook garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until garlic sizzles, then reduce heat and cook garlic until it's golden, 2 minutes. Transfer to mixing bowl, combine parsley and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Combine California olive oil with salt and pepper and then cover your cut turnips with your seasoned oil, grill until tender; probably 2 minutes per side.

Stir in parsley/garlic and top with lemon zest.

Fava Beans and Rosemary with Chives







Thanks to Chef Adriana Flemming for this recipe:
Ingredients:
Fava beans blanched and peeled
1/2 tsp. finely chopped rosemary
1/4 cupe olive oil
salt to taste
3 sliced kumquats, seeded
1 TBS finely chopped chives
1 TBS lemon zest (use the Eureka, not the Pakistani)
1 TBS lemon juice (use the Eureka, not the Pakistani)
Warm pita chips

Process:
Put blanced and peeled favas into blender with olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in chopped rosemary and lemon zest.
Put in central serving bowl, garnish with chives and kumquats, and arrange warm or toasted pita bread around the outside.

Adriana mentions that this simple puree is also a great compliment to fish,m scallops, and squid.

Herb Saving Idea

We love growing and cooking with herbs, and know that herbs are expensive in the grocery store, so we try to grow plenty for our subscribers. Herbs are natural flavor enhancers, and it's been shown that strong flavors tend to satiate us faster...meaning that using herbs in the kitchen can be part of a healthy weight control plan. The more commercially common flavor enhancers: outright chemicals like MSG, sodium, and all sorts of fats are extensively used in factory produced foods because they're the cheapest way to encourage you to overeat. Why sell you 6 ounces of something when cheap additives can encourage you to eat and buy, 14?  Herbs are expensive, but yours are in your box each week, so we're eager to have you use them!

At left is a fun way to dry your excess herbs right in your kitchen. We bought the base wreath at Michael's for a couple bucks with floral wire that they sell in a nearby aisle. Just wire your herb bunches right to the wreath and hang until dry. You can use your dried herb right off the wreath, or seal in air tight containers once dry and replace with new, fresh herb as they arrive in your kitchen.

Harvest Ticket June 5-6 2012


Click on the images to enlarge for easier viewing.
This has been a fun week, and our boxes reflect the excitement. Our Spring mix salad bags are getting more diverse as we add more spicy baby leaves to our mix; along with Sara's selection of the farm's edible flowers.

Fava Beans this week! The photo at the left is a shot of favas just off the barbeque, which is one great way to prepare them. Others enjoy favas mashed, pureed and spread on crackers as high fiber, healthy appetizer. You can also shell and cook them like peas or lima beans as well.
Here's a link to Fava Bean nutritional facts:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4322/2

Favas are not beans, actually at all; but a member of the pea family, which explains why they're grown in the cooler season, rather than in the summer with real beans. Here in Southern California, Favas are planted in late September. The fava is a staple of Mediterranean cuisine, but is only showing up in chef's recipes in the last decade or so here. they're high in fiber (a single serving provides 85% of the RDV) and they're high in iron (30% of a day's requirement).

You'll also find turnips in the large shares; my favorite way to enjoy them is like mashed potatoes; a spicier, more complex potato that's for sure!

And our sprout mix is quite diversified with three distinct kinds of sprouts; an Italitan mix, radishes and the grain, amaranth.

We're at the end of 2012's avocado harvest; we're still including the last of the fruit out in the grove, but they sure are small and unimpressive.