This Weeks Box 2/5/2016

foggy morning
Morning adorations to one of my favorite solar bodies! It never ceases to amaze me. The infinitely novel ways the sun continues kiss kiss our lucky hilltop every single morning. Just another day in an eternal love affair that never ever gets old.

This weeks box is a little lighter than the last. I am happy to welcome a few new arrivals.

pilly
Pink lemon

Kabocha Squash

Here is the list
asparagus
oro blanco grapefruit
a younger salad mix from a fresh cut row of mesclun
gold nugget tangerines
zutano avocado
chard or kale
celery
bunch of fresh lavander, sage and rosemary.
young broccoli shoots or baby bok choy
pink lemons
tangelos

calander
Fresh calendula is one of the healthiest things you can ingest It has a carroty, sweet flavor. Calendula and rosemary flowers are generously a part of the mesclun salad this week. Eat your medicine every day.
rosemary cat research fu

http://www.marthastewart.com/316655/sauteed-bok-choy-and-broccoli

http://www.dailyunadventuresincooking.com/recipe/balsamic-roasted-kabocha-squash-recipe/

http://moderngirlnutrition.com/2013/12/04/roasted-kabocha-squash-with-sea-salt-and-rosemary/

https://www.specialtyfood.com/news/article/lavender-honey-roasted-butternut-squash/

http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/recipe/creamy-lemon-rosemary-salad-dressing/

Every project day we have, there manifests about 20 minutes of complete silence. Where no one speaks or even thinks of speaking.

We’re ALWAYS! looking for recipes. Please do not think that your recipe is not good enough to share. Send em in.

sunset

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This Weeks Box 1/28/2016

blue sky

purpel

Here is the list…..

galia melon (honeydew/cantaloupe cross)
broccoli shoots
big broccoli heads
bag of lettuce mix
bunch of kale
small, young white potatoes
naval oranges
limes
butternut squash
head of cauliflower
tangerines
oro blanco grapefruit
passion fruit  “Careful…very tart”

We got these Galia melons from a member of the San Diego backyard fruit exchange. We did not believe it at first, when she said she had so many melons in the middle of January.  But, apparently, freak melons in January is one of the benefits of growing 6 blocks from the beach. I got to sample one, It was ok. Compared to our amazing melons this summer. But considering it is the middle of January?, it’s heaven. I would just wait as long as possible for it to get really ripe, because it did not seem super sweet.

If you want to check out the site on facebook, Here it is..https://www.facebook.com/groups/backyardfruit/

Last year, I saw a woman trade her whole Suzies Farm CSA box for a live chicken! Yeah. It is real. Real people trading real stuff for what they want.

cabbage

We will start putting these beauties in the box next week. I forget the seed name. But they are the pointy head type of cabbage.

Also, we just planted a boatload of strawberries. June bearers and everbearers. So cross your fingers and hold a point. I want lot’s of berries in my box this spring!!

Baked Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe.



Butternut Squash and Broccoli Lasagna

broccoli parmesan fritters

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters

Here is a super fast and healthy way to get some fruits and veggies into your system with juices and smoothies.

 

 

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This weeks CSA Box 1/21/2016

purp cab
I am a big, awkward, leafy plant. And I have an amazingly beautiful purple orb inside of me. And it is dying to get out. No. Seriously.

I am grateful and pleased to announce that The Blue Sky Ranch Community has been approved by UCSD to begin providing our excess fruits and vegetables to the Triton Food Program on campus.

The primary goal of the food pantry is to provide free food to UC San Diego students who are experiencing food insecurity. As cost of living and college expenses increase, students are facing difficult decisions as to how their money will be allocated.

The idea of helping starving students was a bit of a no brainer. But when I watched the one minute video describing the nature of the program, the rack of top ramens and chef Boyardee directly behind the student pantry worker just about knocked me out of my chair. Yes. Please yes!! Take our misshapen and excess fruits and vegetables. Something. Anything alive for God’s sake.

They have just gotten approval to receive and distribute the fresh produce. And we will be the first suppliers of all natural fruits and veggies!

The list

small jicama
large cauliflower head
limes
broccoli
purple garlic
lettuce mix with a side bag of arugula and mizuna if you like your salad spicy.
red and russet potatoes
2 small haas avocados
2 tangelos
1 medium mexican squash
1 chayote
2 naval oranges
bunch of cilantro
brown onion
green bell pepper “maybe our last peppers of the season”

Pickled Cauliflower with Turmeric and Spices

Curry Pickled Cauliflower - Easy Healthy Pickle Recipe

Broccoli Cauliflower Au Gratin. The healthy version

Broccoli Cauliflower Au Gratin. The southern version

Jicama Chayote Salad with Orange Lime and Cilantro

Ingredients you will need to make this salad. It is all in the box.

Here is the Caldo recipe from a few weeks ago. We got a lot of good feedback on this soup. Remember, you can simply swap out chicken for beef. And now you have Cald de Res. Or just use vegetable stock for a nice veggy soup.

post1
Have an amazing week. Don’t forget to look up once in a while.

 

 

 

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This Weeks Box

“Bulls Blood” bunched beets with greens on
“Garnet” sweet potato
Meyers lemon
Russet and red potatoes
one small green zucchini
a small broccoli head
lettuce mix with spinah, lettuce and chard
chayote
Naval oranges
tangelos
Zutano avocado
a handful of local black walnuts
Pasilla pepper
ripe yellow limes
sapote

Here, at Blue Sky Ranch, we carrot bout you and the food we offer  you.

I really miss carrots. Especially our carrots. I found myself in whole foods yesterday. Buying carrots. Jeez Louize! 3.75 for a bunch of 5 carrots? That’s 75 cents a carrot. Talk about some motivation me to get some carrots to harvest stage. They were good. They came from Suzies’ Farm. And I am pretty happy with their food usually. But they weren’t ours. And it isn’t the same. But honestly, we are still a few months away from our next carrots. And that is not going to do. Either next week, or the week after, we are going to start getting carrots for the CSA from the farm in Ramona. I could write whole chapters on my ideas and experiences around sourcing food from outside the ranch. Carrots to me, are a window, a transporter and carrier of the life and character of the soil environment they are grown in. If the soil lacks complexity and vitality, the carrot will reflect this in how it impresses our tastes buds and in the way it nourishes our bodies. Carrots do not lie. There are only a couple other pieces of land in San Diego that I will source carrots for the CSA.


No more storage beets. We are pulling freshies out of the dirt. It has been almost 6 months since we had beet greens. All is right with the world again!

As much as I am interested in natural medicine, healing and nutrition, I generally stay away from advertising too much of my own opinion here. My main function as the farmer is to care for the raw ingredients and then connect them with you. But I want to share this bit of information about how vitamin C drastically increases the bodies ability to absorb iron in food. I think I have read enough and been taught enough about this by people who I trust to tell me about these things. Basically, food based vitamin C acts like the key that unlocks the bodies ability to absorb and assimilate Iron. Like my herb teacher used to say, “You are not what you eat. You are what you assimilate”. Big difference there. So, look it up. If you want to learn a bit about it. There is all kinds of good articles on the subject. Thanks for letting me share that with you.


Here is a solid beet greens recipe. Hope it is to your liking.

Caldo De Pollo. Is a Mexican soup that loves Chayote squash. I lived in Mexico for about a year. And It was not unusual for me to eat Caldo De Pollo 3 times a day. It is about as close to the perfect dish as I ever experienced. It fits a CSA box so well because of it’s flexibility in regards to ingredients. It is a perfect “garbage pail” dish. One that you can throw a lot of things into, and be glad you did. Here is a recipe that you can work from. But there are many out there. The basic ingredients in a Caldo De Pollo “in my opinion” are water, potatoes, chicken and squash. Cilantro is almost always present. And it is quite common to find celery, green beans, pieces of corn cob, carrots, onion and tomato. Any type of greens, like chard or kale go nicely as well. If you are in a hurry, crock pot is the way to go. When I have a little time, I will just throw some water and a few pieces of chicken in a pot. Unless I want to eat Caldo all week. Then, I throw in a whole chicken. Once the chicken is boiled, add the cubed vegetables and simmer to your desired consistency of the vegetables. Like regular chicken soup, Caldo is a willing recipient of rice or cooked pasta.. Caldo is best enjoyed on a rainy day with warm tortillas or bread.

Beet Apple Chayote Salad with Avocado and Orange Wedges

The key with this salad is to get the veggies cut or processed as small as possible. Grating will work. But the texture is not as good as spirals or julienne. So, if you do not have a fancy food processing machine, cut the fruit and veggies matchstick size, and you cannot go wrong. Once you process the apple, beet and chayote, add orange wedges and squeeze half a lime in it. Then chill in the fridge for a half hour. Plain yogurt will make it nice and creamy if you eat dairy. The beets do eventually turn everything pink. But that is what beets do. It is their job to turn everything pink.

Roasted Yam, Walnut and Arugula Salad

Speaking of salad. The salad mix this week, is pretty robust. Be prepared for some spiciness. As we did add some of our wild arugula to the mix.

cat22
This variety of broccoli is called Waltham. It is an heirloom variety that first, offers a medium to small sized head. That is what we are eating this week. But later, after pruning off the head, the plant makes lots of tiny little side shoots of broccoli. There is nothing like a stir fry with tiny Waltham broccoli shoots.

 

 

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This Weeks Box 12/31/2015

persimmons
meyers lemons
cabbage head
fresh garlic
big russet potato
bag of salad mix
bunch of kale
tangelo
bell pepper
big ugly beet
big haas avocado
tomatillos
zucchini
brown onion
cilantro
yellow caribe pepper “about as hot as a jalapeno”

Sometimes I look at a CSA box and ask myself, “is this a soup box, a salad box, an individual recipe box, or a burrito box?” I am thinking burrito this week. But maybe that is because I have been anticipating eating at Los Panchos since I got a gift certificate this Christmas.

Here is how breakfast went down this morning. We diced up the russet potato real fine and fried it in a few tablespoons of coconut oil. Then we chopped up 1/2 of the yellow pepper, 1/2 of the bell pepper,  1/3 of the brown onion and the whole zucchini. Sauteed those in a little oil as well. Mixed in the potatoes and seasoned the mix with some taco seasoning. Smeared the inside of a corn tortilla with a spoon-full of avocado, loaded it with the taco mix shredded a little bit of the cabbage over the top of the taco and added a few sprigs of cilantro on top. Added a squeeze of lime in each bite and spoonful of green salsa that we made with the tomatillos last night. Next time we make those tacos, I hope we have some eggs or black beans laying around.

Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

Here is the persimmon recipe again, since they did not make it in the last box  Brie Chicken Grilled Cheese With Persimmons

dt

This is Deer Tongue lettuce. And it is in the mix this week. I guess if I had to have an animal tongue in my mouth, a deer tongue would do. Or maybe a unicorn?

Here is a nice kale chip recipe if you want to save 7.99 on a bag of kale chips this week.

 

 

 

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The List

Red Potatoes
Bunch of Curly Kale
Bag Of Lettuce Mix
Persimmons
1/2 Head of Cabbage “green”
1 Big Chayote Squash
Cindarella Pumpkin.
Avocado
Oranges
Herb Pack for Lemonade
Meyers Lemons
Sapote
Tangerines


With the cucumbers being done for the season, these Chayote Squash does a nice job filling that void With it’s neutral flavor, a nice snap when eaten raw and a very refreshing quality from the high water content. Not at all unlike a firmer and seedless cucumber.

I went to the the internet for recipes on this.  There are lot’s of interesting Chayote soups and salads online. But instead what I want to share is my best recollection of a salad I had down in Sinaloa Mexico. It was very simple. The squash was cut matchsticks size. The the oranges were cubed. There was a little bit of chopped cilantro. There could have been a diced jalapeno. And even some finely chopped onion. But that is up to you anyway. The sauce was probably just lime. But if I make this again, I will use a little honey too. And maybe some chopped avocado.


It is not every day an exotic, sweet fruit wants to drink with you.

Here is more about this cool Sapote drink recipe from Liquid Culture Project

  • 2 oz. brandy
  • 1/2 oz. orange-brandy liqueur (Gran Gala, Grand Marnier)
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1/2 of a white sapote
  • 3/4 egg whites
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • nutmeg (for garnish-ish)

Muddle sapote in the bottom of a shaker tin. Combine all other ingredients in tin and dry shake. Fill shaker with ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled glass. Grate nutmeg to taste.

Grilled Baby Bok Choy 4
Grilled Baby Bok Choy “or Cabbage

Grilled Persimmons
Slice the persimmons like you are making big tomato slices for a sandwich.  Drizzle coconut oil, meyers lemon juice and  balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses
on top of the persimmons. Throw them on the grill like they are hamburger patties. It does not take long at all for them to cook and to get that nice striping. Eat em plain as a side dish, over rice or in a sandwich.

IMG_5366
Brie Chicken Grilled Cheese With Persimmons

Herb Infused Lemonade made with coconut sugar

We put a fresh herb pack in the box this week. As well as a good variety of lemons and limes. Here is a good, herbed lemonade recipe to work from. You might switch the sugar that is suggested in the recipe for honey. Or maybe just half and half. The herb combination we have put together has been tested and enjoyed many a time. It is lavender, holy basil, lemon verbena, garden sage and spearmint. These herbs have more volatile oils than the regular basil used in the recipe above. This is why you do not need nearly as much of these herbs to get the same herbal kick. I prefer to use half the herbs in the simple syrup, and half I put inside a tied off muslin cloth and throw it right into the finished lemonade. Steeping the fresh herbs as well as putting them in the syrup makes for a more complex herbal flavor with a little more life and vitality infused into it.  Just make sure to bruise the herbs thoroughly before using them either in the syrup or fresh.

 

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This Weeks Box 12/12/2015

It is a good food box happening this week. Let’s get right into it.

Jicama
Bag of Lettuce Mix
Meyer Lemons
Zutano Avocado
Fresh Local Black Walnuts
Bunch of Greens. “Either Kale or Chard”
White Onion
Fuyu Persimmons
Cinderella  Squash
Naval Orange
2 Mexican Zucchini Squash
2 Pasilla Peppers
Tangerines
Last Pomegranate of the Season
Some local, multi flower honey

Let’s start with salad.

Spinach Salad with Fuyu Persimmons, Jicama & Avocado with Miso Dressing Recipe
A fresh spinach salad, with sweet persimmons, Jicama and Avocado is paired with a salty-sweet miso dressing. Recipe

Staying on the topic of salad, we can add to what we already have here, by opening up to a Mediterranean influence. So keep the recipe above, drop the dressing. And bring in some orange segments. Some pomegranate. Those walnuts. And maybe some feta cheese. For dressing, I like to use a few items already going to be in the salad to start. Say, 1/2 an orange and a persimmon. Chop them both up and drop them a blender. a tablespoon of honey. 1/3 cup olive oil. A pinch of Meyers lemon rind, a pinch of course black pepper. And 1/4 cup of cider vinegar. Or the vinegar you like.  Now, if you go all the way with this salad, you have used almost half of the CSA box to do it. So remember to keep it sustainable. Keep all the chopped fruit, nuts and veggies in one container. Whenever you want salad , pull some greens out of the bag, splash them on a plate, a bowl or a take away container for work, put a few couple spoon fulls of the chopped ingredients on top. And then drizzle the dressing you made earlier over it.

Still on the topic of salad! Let’s add some cooked things to salad with Salad with Roasted Pumpkin and Creamy Pumpkin Vinaigrette.

Pepper Onion and Zucchini Frittata

Enjoy!

 

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