This Weeks Box 9/27/2015


Here is what is in this weeks box

Romaine lettuce
assorted peppers
Along with the regular bell peppers and jalapenos this week, everyone got at least one or two of these Cubanelle peppers You can treat them just like a bell pepper.

Armenian and Persian cucumbers. If you have not learned about the Armenian cucumbers yet, check out the link. Armenian and Persian are the two cucumbers that can be comfortably eaten with their skin on. Take a close look at the Armenian this week. Did you  know that they are closer, genetically to the Honeydew melon than the cucumber?

Jujubees. I thought it was a joke when I first read it. But apparently, it is true. One of Jujubee’s  active ingredients, “Jujubocide”, can be used to treat both insomnia and anxiety. You might not want to eat these first thing in the morning! They are a good source of anti oxidants. And are supposed to be a powerful immune stimulant. Jujubocide! Ha Ha. I love it.

butternut or spaghetti squash

black eyed peas

I am most excited about the black eyed beans this week. Here is how to cook them…. First, boil them in water with a little salt for 2o minutes or so. Then take them out and let them cool. Chop the beans in about 4 or 5 pieces. If you do not cut them, the string along the spine will be distracting as you are trying to eat them whole. If you cut them, you do not notice the string. And everything chews perfectly. Very important…Cut each bean in a few pieces after boiling. From this point, you can do just abut anything. We just put a piece of bacon in the iron skillet with some coconut oil, garlic, celery seeds and tomato sauce. We sauteed for 20 minutes. And served it with some candied butternut, cucumber salad and bread. It turned out to be way more of a “soul food” experience than any of us were expecting. These beans are hearty, meaty and full of rich flavor. You do not have to do anything fancy to have some of the best beans ever here. You do have to love them as you are cooking. There is no other way.  You must cook them with love.  They are expecting you too.

brown onion
summer squash

Ok. So, that is the list. Now. I want to take a minute and talk about the tomatoes. We had a very unfortunate year for tomatoes. I will not go into the gruesome details of failure. But I love so much. And I know most of you do too. I am so grateful the early commercial varieties did produce some earlier on, because if they did not, we would have gone practically without any tomatoes at all. We put some more cold tolerant varieties last week. They have names like “Glacier, Oregon Mist, Siberien and Manitoba”, Feel free to hold a point on a successful late tomato harvest. Heaven knows we have put in enough work in order to get a return. Thank you all for your patience on the matter.

Before we say goodbye Here are a couple things to look forward too….

Corn has a few weeks to go.

We still have a few more sets of watermelon and cantaloupe to harvest before it gets too cold for them to survive.

We have some promising heirloom pumpkins that are starting to take shape. We planted for sweetness and flavor. These will take the place of the spaghetti and butternuts. I am personally looking forward to a different type of hard squash flesh.

9:27 pumpkin

Fuyu Persimmon. Next week if things go well.

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This Weeks Box 9/5/2015

I was talking with a member as she was unpacking her CSA yesterday. We both ended up having a good laugh over the idea that this might be the most “Mexican” box we ever had!

Cactus Fruit

This week, we just put a few red ones in the box. To get you ready. But they are coming in season, and we hope to offer a few good helpings of them in the near future. This week, we picked red ones. But when we go out to the big fields in Ramona, we harvest Yellows or #4 in the picture above.  We will make sure to find some good recipes for these before we dump them on you. This year, I think I would like to use the dehydrator and make some caactus candy. I had some from Trader Joe’s. Only thing is that a little bag cost me 7.50. I think we can do better than that. Did I mention they are basically, a super food. And one of the best diabetic foods you can eat?

Kabocha or Acorn Squash


We have everything we need in the box to make this amazing salsa verde. And whether you are in the roasting or the cooking camp, it is going to turn out great.


Yellow Watemelon
Persian cucumbers
Summer Squash

Coming Soon>>>


Our first corn planting. Soakin up the rays!!


Blue lake Bush Beans….. Please Hurry!?


Jujubees. MMMnn. Fruit Candy.

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This Weeks Box 8/28/2015

Garnet Yams Steam em and drizzle some coconut oil, lime and honey on em. Thai Butternut and Yam soup

Sweet Corn We got this corn from Tim, in Ramona. Along with the onions and yams this week. I just couldn’t wait for corn any longer. Our first planting is only 2 feet high. So I harvested up some yams and onions while I was out there too. This “all white” sweet corn is pretty darn sweet. I have a feeling that our first harvest of bi color corn will be amazing too. Corn is one of those plants that is really hard to screw up. Which is great, because this farmer screwed up a few crops this year. “Big confident smile”.

We pretty much have all the ingredients necessary for this grilled corn salad

Black-bean-butternut-squash-millet stuffed Poblao peppers. I feel like I am hitting the jackpot with these recipes tonight. Either I am getting lucky, or google is just getting smarter and smarter every day. I cannot wait to eat these stuffed peppers. From the looks of it, we could probably get away with sticking some grilled corn up in there too.

Peppers We put exactly two big Poblano, 2 small Bell, and 2 small Jalapenos in the box. I have been getting reports about the heat that our little jalapenos are packing this year. I have to say that I agree. Take some caution. And make sure to wash your hands after preparing anything with jalapeno.

Melons There are a lot of melons floating around this week.
There is a honeydew/cantaloupe cross. It has rough skin, with yellow color. Or, you might get a sugar baby watermelon. There is regular honeydew. And there is the Canary melon. Canary is easy to identify because it’s smooth skin is truly, canary yellow. I liked the flavor of the Mississippi cob melon a little more than the sugar baby. We expected the sugar babies to be prolific with large grapefruit sized fruit that would fit easily into the box. Instead, the plants were kind of stingy with only one or two melons per plant. And they were at least the size of a bowling ball too.

sugar baby

The Sugar Babies really are a gorgeous dark green though. For next year, we already ordered seeds for a yellow variety of watermelon. As well as an orange flesh variety called, “orange sunshine”.

jumpin melons

Maybe you have to watch the whole thing unfold on a daily basis. But stuff like this just makes me laugh out loud.

jumpin watermelons 2
I have planted stuff above the wall and had it cascade down to the next level, like a waterfall. But these guys are climbing up from down below. Like salmon going upstream. Right? I just love em. Can’t wait to eat em too. These are those heirloom ones. Yum.

Sapote  Here is the scoop on Sapote. Put it on your counter and forget about it. It will get soft like an avocado after 10 days or so. There is no glamorous way to eat one of these suckers. If you figure one out, please share the video with us all. We would all love to see it.

In my years of searching for rare fruit instructional videos, I have come to the conclusion that no normal people post youtube videos on how to eat rare fruit. last year I posted a video of this one girl eating a sapote. She was a hoot. I cannot seem to find that gem though. Here is this guy

Passion fruit Should we have a passion fruit eating contest here at the farm? One of our volunteers can open, shotgun and spike a passion fruit in under 4 seconds. Yep.

Confused Tangelos I need to explain this. See, it is not Tangelo season. But every once in a while, a tree will put out a crop of what is called “sports”. A sport is a rare, “in between season”, setting of ripe fruit. When our Tangelo’s “sport”, the fruit never gets reddish orange they they do get in March. Sometimes they even stay partially green. The flavor is much more mild. And they are super juicy. Each fruit bag got three. So, enjoy.

Butternut or Spaghetti squash  Now check out this Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein recipe Allyson sent in. So unique and delicious.

Pot in pot cooler 1
Pot in Pot technology explained

This is one of the coolest hacks out there. It is an ancient way of keeping vegetables cool without electricity. This one guy put a huge amount of effort into reintroducing this technology back into parts of Africa, where they desperately needed a way to preserve their crops before bringing them to market.  I have tested this. And it truly keeps produce significantly cooler.

So, here is what I want. I want these at each CSA pick up location before the beginning of summer next year. All it takes is two big clay pots. They have to be clay. A lid can be fashioned. And the rest is sand and water. I would love it if everyone could keep their eyes open for big clay pots. And even better would be something like these….

Oh Yeah! Anyway. Feel free to shoot us an email if you get a lead on some cheap or free clay pots. I have a feeling they are going to be big though. So, the bigger, the better.

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This Weeks Box 7/ 25/ 2015

baby carrots
pasilla pepper
summer squash
salad mix
valencia oranges
oro blanci grapefruit
passion fruit
Hey guys. It feels great to sit down and  give a little farm update. making these posts is actually one of my favorite parts of doing this work. So I am glad that things are starting to level off enough for me to get back here more often. I sure wish all of you could be here today. The water last week did some amazing things for the plants. Sometimes I feel a little guilty because I am often the only one around here to experience the grace and beauty of all this. If I could package and put the feeling I get from being on the land on days like this, we would be the biggest CSA in the U.S.

We have a few new things in the box this week. So I want to make sure we cover those. The most unusual one is probably the okra. This has to be the very first time we had okra. First of all. Don’t panic. Okra is easy. You just cook dickens out of it. And it is good. okra has a flavor profile that is very hearty and savory. And the right recipe will make you a fan forever. If you are not already. This is basically the recipe that made me fall in love with okra.  And like the author, I came across it while eating at a mediterranian restaurant.

Next, we have the nectarines. Now, these are not from here. They are from an organic orchard in Julian. I swapped a crate of tomatoes for these. And after you taste them, I think you will agree that we made  good deal. Here is a recipe that makes me happy. You do not have to use mint. Basil is amazing in this one too. And vanilla ice cream substitutes the ricotta quite nicely.

grilledpeacheswithricotta Recipe: Grilled Peaches with Ricotta Cheese

Here is a barbecue sauce that can be made with nectarines.

The lettuce is back!

Now that tomato and basil are here for the summer, I feel like we can do just about anything. Check out this caprese crostini with pesto!

caprese crostini with pesto

At the last CSA work party and potluck, our Ms Stacey knocked everyone out with the most flavorful passion fruit bread.

This is it:

  • 250g (approximately 2 cups) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 200g (approximately ¾ cup) superfine sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup passion fruit pulp (I pushed the seeds and pulp through a sieve then added back 2 teaspoons of seeds)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and grease and line a loaf tin.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  4. Pour the yoghurt mixture into the dry ingredients and mix to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until a skewer inserted comes out clean. If you find the cake is darkening too much for your liking, simply cover it with a piece of foil half way through baking.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before removing the cakes from the tin.Who needs a shovel, when one can dig with his face?


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This Weeks Box 7/11/2015

Good morning. I sit here, happily typing with purple hands. Why? Cuz mulberries! That’s right. Mulberries are back. It takes a significant amount of time to pick enough mulberries for the CSA. But it is so worth it. For one, I get a mulberry for every 10 I pick for the CSA. And two,  I get so many sweet complimentary emails from customers during mulberry season. I save them in a special file. And I read them when I need a boost. I have to warn you though, these are magical mulberries. And I suggest you put your CSA box in the trunk for the drive home. Because if you leave the box on the front seat, they will mysteriously disappear by the time you get home.

The List

tomatoes. woot! woot!
baby carrots
summer squash
white and purple potatoes
lemon thyme
cantaloupe woot!
mulberries woot! woot! woot!
valencia oranges
pink lemons

Thyme Fries when you are having fun with purple and white potatoes

I am not much of a fry person, but these purple potatoes love to be cut up super thin and fried in coconut oil until they get crispy. Take em right out of the pan when they are done, and put em on a paper towel. grind a little sea salt on them and sprinkle fresh chopped thyme allover them.

Cantaloupe mulberry popsicles

 Roasted zucchini and carrots

This was Tocayo’s first time in the garden 2-1/2 years ago. He still will not lie down anywhere except on a bed of carrots. I guess some things always stay the same.

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This Weeks Box 5/27/2012

bobcat at eucs
The name wildcat canyon is all finally starting to make sense now babybob
The youngster closebabybob
And a close up.

Okay! Now, back to food.
Here is what we are eating this week.
multi colored carrots
summer squash
bag of lettuce
spring onions
red and purple potatoes. “right from the ground”
large cantaloup
meyers lemons
a few limes.
haas avocados

From time to time, I like to make an announcement about how we box our food for you. We call it field washed. We give the veggies a rinse right after pulling them out of the ground. This knocks off the field heat and cools them down. It cleans them off mostly. And it helps keep them from wilting while they are in the CSA box. Any further processing and cleaning would take significant man hours. And most of our customers have always agreed that they would prefer that we spend our time farming. Thanks for understanding!

Potato salad “hold the mayo”

peach salsaAvocado peach salsa

5 Tips for getting more out of your CSA Box by Kate Mcdonough. Author of “The City Cook” The first time I purchased a CSA membership I smugly congratulated myself for a case of culinary doing good while doing well. I could feel good about supporting a local farmer because by pre-paying for my fruits and vegetables the farmer got income early. And I’d do well because every week I’d get really wonderful ingredients. While both of these were true, once the season started I got humbled. I hadn’t anticipated the challenge of planning meals around what the farmer harvested instead of what I wanted to cook. Or how to work with a share’s uneven quantities (Parsley? Again? And what am I supposed to do with only these two small beets?). And having to spend more of my grocery budget filling in the ingredient gaps for essentials like onions or garlic. And then there was the boredom: weeks of zucchini and yellow squash when what I really wanted was red peppers and tomatoes. CSA newbies can get discouraged by expecting the same food we’d buy at the farmer’s market but delivered in a different way, only to find that it’s more like having to cook from what we grow in our back yards. Certainly for the urban home cook who has never grown a potted tomato plant, this is a radical concept. But we shouldn’t give up nor feel enslaved to a box of vegetables. Here are a few ways I’ve learned to enjoy cooking from a CSA share: 1. Most of us usually plan a menu, sketch a shopping list, and then buy our groceries. That’s because we cook from the recipe, not from its ingredients. With CSA cooking we need to start from the opposite direction, planning your meals after you pick up your share. At first this can seem limiting and even annoying. But all it really means is cooking with what’s in season, and it’s a good habit to have even without a CSA share. 2. View a week’s fruits and vegetables in both major and minor recipe roles. For example, one of the most common CSA complaints is that shares include lots of lettuce; more than you can eat before it rots. That’s easy to happen if we only use lettuce in a salad. But if you add it to pea and lettuce soup, or make lettuce wraps, or add it to stir fries, you can quickly use up that lettuce. Likewise that other CSA bounty: zucchini. Use it with pasta or in risotto, in gratins and lasagna, shredded into fritters, in a sweet tea bread, or in soup. One of my favorite uses for the uniquely tender and sweet zucchini that comes in my CSA is raw in a simple salad with curls of Parmesan and a squeeze of lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil, served in a way that Italians call zucchini carpaccio. 3. If you get something in small amounts, treat it as a kind of garnish. For example, those two small beets can be cooked and cut into matchsticks and tossed with a salad. Or store them carefully because next week you may get more, as often a crop will arrive gradually and the first time you get a little of something may be a prediction of more to come. Be supple. 4. Freezing and canning can be a solution but unless you have a huge freezer or lots of storage space for all those glass jars, think about which ingredients make sense to preserve. Plus if you’re going through all the effort of pickling and canning, you may need to buy more of an ingredient than your share will provide as I found to be the case with both strawberries and sour cherries. Also you can freeze foods both raw or after they’re cooked. For example, that overload of zucchini can be shredded and frozen, but it may be a better idea to make zucchini and rice soup or loaves of zucchini bread and freeze those instead. Being used to buying my produce in more “normal” amounts, I wasn’t prepared for my share’s uneven quantities, from tiny to huge. But it’s the harvest that determines how much you get. So your week’s share may include beautiful basil, but not enough to make a full portion of pesto. That means you need another use for those two stems of fragrant green leaves, such as adding them to Caprese salad with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Or else make your pesto by supplementing your CSA basil with more bought from the farmer’s market. Be ready for your share to increase as the summer goes on. At the start of most CSAs, the first deliveries can seem skimpy. But by the end of the harvest, things will be coming at you in full force and you’ll go from one shopping bag to three. This may be the best time to do your freezing and canning. 5. A final choice: give it away and share. Make jars of red pepper jelly, bake a spicy pumpkin bread, or share some cold borscht made with golden beets and a sprig of CSA dill. Or simply hand over your eggplant overflow; its amazing flavor just may inspire a future CSA member.

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This Weeks Box 6/6/2016

The list

2 heads of lettuce
large leek
large haas avocado
bag of salad mix
persian cucumbers
mixed squash
small fennel head


To me, leeks and fennel exist in a small aristocratic class of the vegetable world. Like royalty, it takes considerable time and attention to raise them properly. When done right though, They are unmistakeably complex in their flavor and aroma. They have an inherent ability to round out and deepen the flavors of other aromatic vegetables if not overused. Yet they can be flexible and quite versatile and can partner with a variety of different foods.

First, I will share my favorite way to get these regal delights into my own belly. And then I will put up some links to recipes I have either already done. Or want to do.

Roasting is my favorite way for both of these vegetables. When I roast leeks or fennel, I always look to see if I have some onions and cabbage that I can wedge and roast along with them. I recently had both fennel and leeks with turnips, onion and cabbage wedges altogether. I used a few tablespoons of coconut oil and a spoonful of butter in the roasting pan. Drizzled a little honey and balsamic vinegar over the top. Sprinkled some fresh basil, peppercorns and parmesan. Lastly, stuffed some medjool dates evenly throughout the pan.
Cover tightly with foil. And bake for 2 1/2 hours at 275 degrees. Come back. Peel the foil off. Sprinkle a little more parmesan and roast on the top rack in order to caramelize the tops of the veggies and make the cheese crispy. I find that hese roasted veggies go well with a rice pilaf. Rissoto or couscous.

The reason I like this soup recipe for fennel and leeks is because it calls for a pur’ee and to use the fronds as garnish. And since the fennel bulbs are pretty small, this recipe allows you to use the stems in the soup as well as the small bulb since they get saute’d and blended anyway.

Here is a recipe from a woman who used chard, fennel and leek from her CSA to make risotto.

And lastly…leek fennel and swiss chard tart from “The Four Seasons”

squash blossoms

Squash blossoms are on their way. And so are those little micro squash. We have 5 variety of squash about to come on the scene. As the squash plants move into production. We pick them almost daily. Because we prefer to harvest them super small with the blossom still in tact and attached. The smaller squash are more tender and nutty tasting. Plus, we try to put enough that you can make a handfull of stuffed squash blossoms on the side. So, starting next week, you will see more and smaller squash with their flowers on.


Well. Here is our last and final shot of the potato foliage. No more space between the rows. Just a sea of green with 4 different color blossoms.  I say this is our last shot of the foliage, because soon the leaves will start to die back in order to give the last of the plants nutrients to the tubers underground.

The potatoes underground are mature enough that we will do a small harvest next week so that everyone can experience the flavor and texture of new potatoes right from the garden.

speckled trout

A couple stars of the box this week. Speckled Trout lettuce. Go ahead and splurge on the expensive salad dressing this week. Or make something special with the ingredients of the box this week. Cuz lettuce is abundant in the boxes lately.

avocado cilantro lime dressing

Lastly…All hail to the brave and intrepid volunteers and members who refused to take notice of the rainy weather and showed up to our quarterly work party. Here is some images that some of you regular work party goers might appreciate.


Anyone remember this work party?


Or this one?


Well. Great job guys. Cuz check out the results of your work!


And here we are closing the circle. Harvesting the flowers of our labor. So cool!


Just a random crazy beautiful day at the ranch

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