This Weeks Box 5/19/2012

                  Hi everyone. As most of you know, I spend most of the day harvesting vegetables on Friday. Today was no different. The thing I like the most about harvesting is that you can lose yourself.  Sometimes I am more like a bee than a farmer. I just kind of float from row to row. Picking the bigger plants so the smaller ones can fill in. Pulling off outer leaves to make space for the inner ones. By the time I am done, the garden has been thinned out, weeded, plants pruned, You guys have your food picked and I am in a state of inspired gratitude. Lately it is really comforting to see the bigger picture of this community farming thing that we are involved in. The days are getting less linear. It is less important to see where the cycle begins or ends. I can say from my own experience, the plants possess an extraordinary intelligence.  All plants do. But the family of plants here at the ranch in particular. They have a way of making themselves so appealing and irresistible. I love how they know exactly what would be pleasing and appealing to us. The way they can inspire me to take care of them, propagate and spread their genetic energy. The way they can influence me to tell you with all my heart that they are here for our benefit, our health our own personal enjoyment and ability to thrive . Am I really the only one deciding my individual actions in the gardens or is it more of a collective of subtle influences. And this play of subtle, yet powerful influences,  does it stop with me and the plants? Aren’t I just as much a bee for you guys? Satisfied to do my part, rarely looking up to see the whole interplay. Aren’t the plants just as much of service to you as you are just as much serving the growth and propagation of these plants through your participation as well as your comments to friends and family about “these extraordinary vegetables you get from the your farm”. These comments we make have a ripple effect that might be impossible to measure.
                    I want to make it clear. This is not a top down, trickle down process that is happening in this little CSA we are a part of. It is happening to us. We are happening to it. It is happening.
When you get your box tomorrow. Take a little extra time and ponder the beauty and intelligence of this food. It sounds strange, but I am truly humbled by a bunch of rainbow chard every single time. Magenta, yellow, that deep deep red, orange, white and countless in between. Chard is chocked full of blood building iron, with veins like rivers reminding us of our own arteries and the very blood that flows through them. Take an extra minute and take out something that you never eat raw. Put a piece in your mouth and taste it. Really taste every part of it. Accept it. It’s OK, It is safe. I know it is a strange concept but there is zero chemicals in this food. The wells are crystal clear and the guy who takes care of your plants before they get to you, actually knows and appreciates every person who eats them.
                    This is a really good box of food this week. Nothing fancy and nothing new. Just good. Real good.
Ok. Here is what is in the box
mandarine oranges
fresh oregano
speckled butterhead lettuce
another random lettuce head
bunch of baby beets
chard
green onions
young fennel
gold nugget tangerines 
greenhouse cucumbers
sweet baby carrots
avocados
1 sweet lime
pink lemons
white potatoes from storage. “these are not the new crop that is coming up”
The sweet lime is in the box so that it does not get mis identified. All I can say is that it is a weird fruit.
Did anyone try that Chard Stuffed Mushroom recipe last week?
Seriously good!!
These baby beets can be sauteed in a little oil or butter with garlic and a little dried or fresh herb . The little bunch will make two servings. They will go well on a bed of grain for sure.
Everyone should have gotten some of the speckled butter head lettuce. This stuff rocks. Especially the tender middle of the head. Now I know why they call it butter head lettuce. This truly lettuce at it’s best.
   
  Fennel Mandarine Avocado Salad
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 fennel bulb (sometimes called anise),  top half of stalks cut off and discarded
  • 1 firm-ripe California avocado
 Directions
Whisk together vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until salt is dissolved, then add oil, whisking until combined well.
Cut peel, including all white pith, from orange. Halve orange lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin slices. Halve fennel bulb lengthwise, then cut crosswise into very thin slices. Halve, pit, and peel avocado, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Toss orange, fennel, and avocado with dressing to combine. 
Here is a Green Onion Potatoes recipe
Try substituting the fresh parsley for oregano

Next week, I can say it looks like we are having strawberries and baby bok choy too.

Here is a berry preserving tip that a little bird sent me 

When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part
vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts
water.

Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse
if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the
vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores
and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and
voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go
almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth
and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they’ll stay
fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.

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One Response to This Weeks Box 5/19/2012

  1. Melissa says:

    I have just finally figured out a way to post comments! (Make an account, who would have thought >.<) First, I want to say, loquats! Thank you so much I haven't had a good one in years! I grew up with a loquat tree and have missed them ever since my parents moved.Second, thank you for all your hard work and reflection. Starting this CSA, as corny as I realize this will sound, has been life changing. It has inspired me to not only eat healthier but explore a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle and while not one yet, it is a step I am looking forward to possibly taking.I also found it interesting you would mention the iron in chard, my whole life I have struggled with iron deficiency and the doctors have never quite found a way to fix it and then voila! I start eating more veggies and its fixed. Thank you Taj and thank you chard!

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