Growing Strong in 2017


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This Weeks Box 12/1/2016




Here is what we are eating this week!

Bunch of tender, cool weather kale.
Large pomegranates “these are the late fall fruits. Black, sweet kernels”
Large bag of lettuce greens…red romaine, green romaine and red sails mix.
Fuyu persimmons
Lavender bunch
A small bell pepper or two
Bunch of young, tender chard.
Bok choy
Purple and white corn
A tomato or two

I don’t know how they did it. Our last planting of tomatoes is still with us. I always feel grateful to be able to put fresh tomatoes in the CSA shares in December.

We have a freak plot of corn that is ready to pick. We are calling this one time hybrid cross…”Who’s your Daddy?”  We planted an indigenous, black “Oaxacan” corn to close to a bi color, white, sweet corn. Well, they both got to know each other pretty well via pollen and wind. Now we have corn with half kernels purplish and the other half, yellowish white. Last week would have probably been the best week to harvest the corn for peak freshness and tenderness. I think everyone will be happy with it. Even though we are harvesting it a few days past its prime. And I am confident that the kids are going to get a kick out of the colorfulness of it.

I have received great compliments on the salads and greens this last month. I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree that this seasons greens have been stellar. With all the holiday munchies floating around, I like to eat salad and greens at least a few times a day just to feel normal. I feel like chard in particular, knows my inside intimately. She knows exactly how to cleanse, balance and reset my system. I am not surprised that Hippocrates would prescribe chard and chard alone for a handful of physical ailments!

We are certainly glad to have ripe lemons back on the trees. We are always suggesting the lavender lemonade for a calm relaxing drink.  I was fortunate to try a rose lemonade while in the town of Julian this week. I highly recommend it. If you have some fragrant roses in your yard that you do not use pesticide on, try drying out a hand full of petals and then use them to make a simple syrup for lemonade. If you have no access to roses, middle eastern “and other” stores carry rose water. You can use that too.

Carrots are a week or two away. Once they are here, we have them for many months.

Have you ever grilled your fuyu persimmons? It is pretty amazing. Use any dressing you like. I make a dressing of lime, agave syrup and coconut oil. But, crushed pepper, soy sauce, sesame oil, pineapple juice and fresh ginger is pretty divine too.


2016-10-31-18-28-29This batch of persimmons were done indoors on on a particularly dark and cold evening, right after daylight savings. I prefer the outdoor grill. The stripes that the barbeque makes are just cool. I think we put ginger powder, cinnamon, honey, avocado oil and walnuts on these..We had a few guests that night. Everyone was thrilled about the grilled persimmons.

Kale Cesar Salad with Pomegranate





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This Weeks Box 9-24-2016


Good morning from the ranch! Here is what we are eating this week>>>

Pomegranate…These are early season they are a little bit hit and miss. Most of the fruit we sampled were ruby red inside. But some were still only pink. Still good, but more tart than sweet. We could not wait though. So, let’s get the pomegranate party started.

Summer Squash…Everyone got a mexican squash. Those are the green and white striated ones. Plus, we put a few small zuch’s, crooknecks or yellows in the bag too.

Oranges…These sweet little babies are still hanging on. The rains surely did them some good. We will serve them as long as we have them. Who knows how long this run is going to last!!

Acorn SquashHere is a traditional recipe We got these from one of our Partners in Ramona.

Limes…We think we have some of the best limes in San Diego.  Next time you are in your favorite Mexican Restaurant, mention us. We will be happy to talk to them about getting our limes in their kitchens.

Asian pear
…juicier and sweeter. Compliments of the season.

Bell peppers…One of my favorite shoulder season veggies. They start late in the summer and hang on laet into fall when most of the other summer stuff has stopped



Romaine Lettuce.  Soon, look forward to the more delicate cool weather lettuces.

Dinosaur Kale. Dinasour for sure. Our trusty Italian kale has been producing for over 9 months!!


Thanks on behalf of all the plants, humans and animals at the ranch for your constant thoughts of rain.

Pomegranate Pear Avocado Salad


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This Weeks Box 8/27/2016

good morning from the ranch
Good morning from the ranch. Anyone feeling the the first hints of fall in the air?? Dare we whisper the “F” word yet?

Well, we ran into this guy down at the Barona gas station. This guy apparently is aware that Thanksgiving is still a couple months away.

Since we are on the topic of birds, In my 10 years at the ranch, this is without a doubt…the first daytime owl ever.

Okay. Here is what we are eating

Valencia oranges
Big cucumber
Bartlet pears
Piece of rhubarb
Cabbage head
Fresh Russet potatoes “right from the ground”.

Why does the skin on the oranges and grapefruit sometimes soft and a little mooshy???  Because it is mooshy. The Valencia oranges and the Oro Blanco grapefruit trees would have been completely stripped and shipped if we were a large commercial outfit. We like to keep a few trees loaded for a few months longer than that. This allows us to extend the season of these fruit. The mooshyness comes from a slight amount of water loss in the fruit as it sits on the tree through the hot summer. The water loss also contributes to some of the sweetest and flavorful oranges and grapefruit. I have to cut my orange juice with about half water because the fruit is so syrupy sweet. Rest assured though, that these fruit are not “old” and they are not mooshy because they sat around in a crate for a long time. They are fresh picked like everything else. They are already mooshy before we pick em.

The key to making okra work in a stew is to steam it for 45 minutes before adding it in the the rest of the ingredients. Okra adds a meaty gaminess as well as a thick consistency to a stew like no other vegetable. An even better method for getting the okra really soft is a pressure cooker like this one. pressur
14 minutes in the pressure cooker and okra will do anything you ask of it.

Cut bell peppers, onion, squash, tomatoes and eggplant. Add oil to the pan and saute everything for 15-20 minutes. Add okrah, tomato sauce, spices add 1 can of veggie broth. cook on low for at least an hour. Stirring and checking every 15 minutes to make sure liquid level is sufficient.

The middle eastern version of  such a stew calls for a lamb shank. Beef shank works well too. But meat is not necessary for a wonderful and flavorful stew.

Serve over rice with fresh dill. There are many Ratatoulie recipes out there that use all the vegetables in the previous recipe except okra. French style Ratatoulie loves to be served over pasta or gnochi

Pear Strawberry Pie

Jade Tomtoes
Ms Jade tying up the “maters”.

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This Weeks Box July 30th 2016

bartlet 1

Summer squash
A few tomatoes
Gigantic butternut squash
Cantaloupe Melon
Persian cucumbers
Bartlet Pears
White onion
A couple small bell peppers
Sprig of Rosemary
Beets with Greens

Strawberry Caprese Bruschetta—pear-soup

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This Weeks Box July 23 2016

tomatoes 2016

First tomatoes of the 2016 season…Let’s get this party started!!

Well. that 106 degree weather we had a few weeks ago, slowed us down a bit. But the tomatoes are finally rolling in. These are standard reds. “Hybrids”.. Not quite as colorful and complex as the heirlooms. But they are juicy. And packed full of a flavor that no grocery store can begin to match. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed growing and picking them for you!

Heirlooms on deck  “Mortgage lifter” tomato. Don’t worry you juicy gem, we know you are worth the wait.

The List
A few red tomatoes
Super sweet valencia oranges “fruit candy”! yum
Small green bell peppers
Beautiful green leaf or red leaf lettuce
Red onion
Large bunch of dyno and curly kale together in one bunch
Sprig of basil
“because the first tomatoes of the year must arrive with basil”!
Haas Avocado
Crookneck and green zucchini squash
Watermelon radish or turnip
“There is not enough of either to fill all the boxes. So half will get turnip. And half will get watermelon radish”.
Four herbs for making herbed lemonade… holy basil, mint, sage and lemon verbena
“Hales Jumbo” cantaloupe.

Colin and I are making this zucchini fritter recipe for the ranch members, for lunch this Sunday. We will make sure to let you know how it went. I rarely follow “exact” directions though, so, I am already envisioning some basil and red onion in our cakes.

Orange Basil Mojitos

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This Weeks Box 7/2/2016


We picked our first apples this week. I have no idea what the two varieties that we picked are called. But one is a baking apple. And the other is tart and sweet. And appears to be an eater. We put the “eaters” in a bag . The “bakers” are loose with all the other fruits and vegetables. Baked apples stuffed with Oatmeal

Here is what is in the box


green onions

watermelon radishes

head of romaine

baking and eating apples





fresh basil

big beet

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