This Weeks CSA Share and Farm Stand Hours

Here is what is in the CSA this week

Zucchini
Beautiful big beets with perfect greens for saute
Spring onions
Bag of large leaf arugula
Potatoes
Red Russian Kale
Basil
Celery
Chard
A few mini butterhead type lettuce

The hot fire of a grill does certainly bring out the earthy sweetness of a beet. This weeks beets are a good size for grilling.

The celery we grew this spring is super aromatic and strong in flavor. Wonderful for a soup or roasting or chopping up for fresh eating in salads. Not so wonderful as a raw stick to be used as a delivery system for say, peanut butter or hummus. Commercial growers use tubes that they put over the celery in order to blanch the lower stems. This results in a less nutritious product. It also increases bug and insect problems. Since we don’t use insectiside and our intention is to provide nutrition that cannot be acquired through a regular grocery store, we grow our celery like we do.  We tried this celery soup recipe with some basil. Yum!

The Farm Stand will be open today Saturday 9:30 til 2 pm

We will have everything we had last week. We might pull some peppers.

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Here is what is in the CSA share this week

New red potatoes
A few apricots
Summer squash
Romaine lettuce
Arugula
Beets
Giant spring onions
Carrots
Cauliflower or Cabbage

We are about to experience a two or three week gap in our carrot harvest. Carrots are one of the staples that we try to have in the shares every week. After harvesting potatoes, onions and beets, it was clear that we should harvest up whatever carrots are in the rows in honor of a root veggie roast opportunity.

Its no secret that arugula loves apricot. Arugula loves apricot almost as much as it loves  goat cheese…..and nuts…and vinaigrette.

The farm stand is open today Saturday 15th 9:30 am til 2 pm

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This Weeks Food 6/7/2019

The farm stand will be open Saturday from 9:30 til 2 pm. We will be digging up some fingerling potatoes, a variety of summer squash, lots of lettuce and a variety of other fresh vegetables and herbs. Come on down and load up or text ahead. We will pick it for you.

Harbinger….{A person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another}. When you’ve farmed continuously for over a decade, all that there is consists of a chain of harbingers. Holding hands across the seasons from one point, around and back to the same point, and around again, and again. Can you guess what this lonely sun golden cherry tomato is a harbinger of?

If you guessed this, you are probably not too far off. Early cherry tomatoes tend to indicate a heavy fruit set for the main tomato crop in the garden. A good tomato year would be just fine with me.

Cucumbers are just about to blossom. There won’t be fruit for a few weeks. The summer squash is finally blowing up. We have some new varieties this year. We also have some volunteer crosses that came out nice. Peppers don’t do much in the ground until right about now. The warmth of this last week has them blossoming and making tiny fruit. We are particularly excited about a hybrid pepper we decided to grow. It is called Big Jim. Its basically an improved Hatch Chili that can get a foot long. Imagine the peppers you see being roasted at the fair. These are those but a little bigger.  Folks really liked all the Poblanos last year. We also Jalapenos and a few other peppers this year. The butternuts are way ahead this year. They are already growing fruit. Spaghetti and Delicatta are just getting started. We also planted Blue Hubbard and my favorite “Pink Banana”. Egplant might end up in the bags pretty soon too.

Here is the list of contents for this weeks CSA

Spring onions

Bunch of edible flowers

Big head of broccoflower

Cilantro

A few summer squash

Chard

Head of romaine

Head of green lettuce

Butternut Squash

Here is a recipe for Garlic Roasted Cauliflower with Summer Squash

Grilled Spring Onions

Cilantro Butternut Squash Soup

One last announcement. I wish I had more time to talk about how much I loved this film. I don’t think I have endorsed a farm film since I told people to watch “The Real Dirt On Farmer John”. That was probably 10 years ago. The Bigest Little Farm is playing at the Landmark now.

 

The farm stand will be open tomorrow 9:30 til 2 pm

What We Are Eating This Week 5/16/2019

Farm stand will be open Saturday 9:30 til 2pm tomorrow!!

Here Is what the CSA is eating this week.

Carrots

Spring Onions

A few Baby Squash

Swiss Chard

Fennel Fronds

Purple Cauliflower or Broccolini

Bag of Red Leaf Lettuce Mix with Radish Sprouts

Multi Color Beets

Green Romain Lettuce


A few

A few months ago, we had unusual weather in Alpine. We have trays of vegetable starters at the farm. But I also care for starters at home. These starters were out in the open on a late February night and they got completely dusted with snow. Not having much experience with how to get compact snow off of tender baby plants, I did the best thing I could think of. Fortunately, we don’t have carpet in that room. Otherwise, Rachel probably wouldn’t have been laughing so hard when she saw how I was attempting to resuscitate the veggie babies in front of the fireplace.

I wanted to share this because I think it is funny and rare. But also, I think its important that you know that your food often goes through some extraordinary circumstances before it ends up on your plate. I once had an entire flat of seed grown heirlooms slide out of the back of the truck while on the way down to the farm. A nice couple saw the whole thing, quickly scooped them up and chased me down Alpine Blvd until they could get my attention.

The flat in the bottom front of the picture is the fennel in your share this week. So is the Romain right next to the fire. The spring onion too!

Fennel Frond Recipe for Pesto

Swiss Chard with Onions

We appear to be in the midst of some more unusual weather as of late. The farm stand been closed due to rain every 2nd or 3rd week since January. The weather report is calling for 5 days straight rain for Alpine starting Sunday. Once this unseasonable rains lets up for the summer, Our hours and days will be consistent again. Lets make the farm stand happen tomorrow ok?

We are going to open the farm stand tomorrow 9:30 til 2pm. We have all kinds of good stuff. We will also have a limited amount of summer squash and baby bok choy.

We hope to see you there.

This Weeks Share 5/9/2019

Here is what we are eating this week

Red Russian Kale

Eureka Lemon

Fat Sweet Carrots

Spring Onions

Purple Cauliflower

Rainbow Chard

Small Bag of Arugula

Loose Red Lettuce Mix

Green Romain Lettuce

A Couple Beets with greens

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena makes an extraordinary all natural cleaner.

Lemon Verbena makes a good substitute for Lemongrass in a curry or an Asian soup.

Its as calming as Peppermint as a hot tea. We like to crush the fresh leaves and keep them in our water bottle throughout the day.

Roasted Purple Cauliflower

White Bean Carrot and Kale soup Yum!! Put a couple spring onions in there. You will be glad you did.

Farm Stand will be closed today and tomorrow. We will definitely be open next week if weather permits.

Have a great week!

This Weeks CSA Share 5/2/2019


Good Morning!

 


One member commented that the bags this week looked like there was soil at the bottom and fresh veggies were just growing out of the top. Spring greens certainly are about as fresh as it gets!

The cauliflower and the red Romain is a new addition to the shares this week. We have for you an Asian cauliflower lettuce wrap recipe that you might find helpful. You also might like the coconut curry lettuce wrap. We harvested more Brussels sprouts leaves for you this week. I just want to remind you that they can be used for anything collard greens are used for. They are a bit more tender than collards. They will not need as long of a cooking time. There are a handful of recipes out there for Brussels sprouts leaves specifically. We suggest using your favorite Brussels sprouts recipe. Our last bowl of Brussels greens consisted of firing up a cast iron skillet, adding coconut oil, whole mustard seed, sun-dried tomato bits and finely chopped Brussels leaves. Stirred that for a few minutes, splashed about an ounce of good beer over the greens, turn off the pot, put on the lid and let everything steam for 5 minutes. Served over a bowl of rice and eaten with chopsticks was very satisfying! I probably ate half of mine that night. Warmed the rest of the rice and greens in a bowl the next morning, fried an egg and plopped it on top of the greens for a quick breakfast.

Swiss chard pesto pasta

Here is the list

Carrots bunch
Eureka lemons
Cauliflower
Celery
Red Chard
Brussels sprouts greens
A healthy amount of both red and green Romain lettuce

*Make sure to take extra care cleaning the red Romain and the Brussels sprouts leaves.

I wanted to say a few things about the farm stand. Its been going absolutely great. Whether you are a CSA member in North County Coastal or an avid Alpine based farm stand shopper, the success and the benefits that the stand brings to the energy and vitality of the farm should make you happy to know that you are a part of what is happening with local food in the Alpine community. The best way I can describe the dynamics as they are is that we cannot do the farm without the support of the CSA customers. But the extra energy and the valuable interaction with the Alpine Community through the stand is making the farm better so that we can offer a better CSA.

Some of you have been with us long enough that you know our farm used to attend the local markets. For a small farm, doing markets is a huge endeavor that requires fees licences, permits inspections. To attend a single market requires one long day of harvesting and packing. The next day, you load everything into a car and you drive to the market to sell your wares. All the while hoping that the plants back at the farm are doing ok. After the market, you pay your fees and your percentage to the market manager, itemize everything you sold and head back to the farm to unload equipment and the vegetables that didn’t sell. We don’t do farmers markets anymore. Mainly, because for a small farm, doing a market takes up so much time and energy for so little pay, that it just isn’t kind to the farmer or the garden. All those markets closed down a long time ago anyway. Kensington, Lakeside, Julian….all closed for one reason or another.

After 2013, we have done nothing but restaurants and CSA. One thing I always missed about the markets was the face to face interaction with the loyal and enthusiastic locovores of the community. That interaction is one thing the farm stand is bringing back. Having neighbors visit the farm two days a week has been one of the best things that could have happened here. Seeing neighbors walking up the street toward the farm stand on the old Alpine Ranch, pushing their strollers with their dogs in tow has been a sight for sore eyes. It just makes sense to do things this way. The feedback has been extraordinary. When we started the stand a few months ago, I was really surprised to see that the vegetables I thought everyone liked were not nearly as popular as I would have expected at the stand. And things I thought weren’t as sought after would fly off the table. The instant feedback has been so valuable.

Another huge benefit to having the market at the farm is that we don’t have to over harvest. We pick a small amount. And we pick more as the produce sells. Some days the farm stand is slow. Instead of twiddling my thumbs in a parking lot in the city, I can play with Tocayo,  plant tomatoes, feed the chickens, work on irrigation or whatever is needed. It’s truly been a blessing.

Alpine internet consists of a sign on a fence or a tree. Its effective. People show up. They call. Eventually, we had to take down the signs. Too many folks were telling their neighbors and friends. We couldn’t keep up. We’re reverted back to to the thing we were in the beginning. A little food speak easy between neighbors and friends.

 

This Weeks Share 4/25/2019

Above is a sneak preview of this weeks Vitality Kit!

Last weeks CSA was a little disappointing for me. The two most important things to me is that the share was smaller than usual. And we did not get a newsletter out. I always tell people that there will be times we don’t get the newsletter out. It was a busy week last week. We had extra duties. Plus, Rachel was out of town most of last week. We had some new members get their first share last week. I just wish things might had gone smoother. Now, we are back on track. I really like the looks of our share today!

 

Here is the list

Carrots

Russet potato

Bunch wild arugula

Some giant lemons

Radichio

Red and Curly kale bunch

Red and Iraqi chard bunch

Big head of red leaf lettuce

Spring onions

Bunch baby beets

Small bag broccoli

Medium turnip

Why baby  beets you ask?? Well, this time of year, the soil is warm enough that we do not have to start the beets in the greenhouse. We can direct seed them in the rows. When you direct seed, you sow more seeds than you need in order to not have gaps in your row. When the plants get big enough, you thin out a portion of the plants in order to give each beet the room it needs to grow. That is how and why we end up with baby beets.

We would like to suggest a roasted root vegetable dish for this weeks share. Here is a basic recipe posted in the NY Times
The recipe is simple and easily altered.

If one intended to keep things simple this week, they might make a big salad with Arugula and Radichio. Then they might make a nice pot of cooked garlicky greens with the chard and Kale. The rest of the items appear to qualify for the veggie roast. Except maybe the broccoli. But broccoli is an easy one. It’s just my opinion. But if eggs could choose their favorite vegetable and cheese, it would be Parmesan and broccoli of course!

Have a great week.