This Weeks Box 7/5/2013

The List
a few small ears of corn
pink lemons
speckled trout and lil gem lettuce
summer squash
bell peppers
lemon cucumbers
Friday is picking day for the CSA. 
 Before I talk about Friday, I have to talk about Sunday, which is the biggest and most important day of the week around here. Sunday is when the residents and off property members of the community get together for a day of “projects”.  What I love about Sundays is that this day is not about the farm, or me or the CSA. Projects are about the land and the community as a whole. When you show up for projects on Sunday, you never know what is in store for the day. You could be fixing a roof or editing a website. You might be running the kids Sunday program or cleaning a gutter. Sundays are pretty exhausting, but there’s always good meals, extraordinary people and an opportunity to do and experience things and situations you would never choose for yourself.
I wake up Monday in a full on a carom shot from Sunday with great momentum into the new week. There is morning meditation, running the puppy and then breakfast in the orchard, Right now, breakfast starts at the plum trees and ends at the grapefruit tree near the the outdoor shower. In between the plums and grapefruit involves watering the greenhouse and checking on the community garden. 
  Running the puppy includes going by each garden and orchard on the property and making notes in my pocketbook as well as making any necessary irrigation adjustments.

Breakfast in the orchard… A peach will do! 

Now it is 7am and I sit down to answer emails that I have not even had a chance to address since Thursday night. Next, I make my seed orders, order compost, materials and whatever services are needed. 8:30 am I have my regular meeting with my very special mentor. This is the same meeting I have had for 4 years. Minus a few days that she has been out of town or one of us has been ill,  we have had the same meeting at the same time on the same day about 200 times. 9:30 am, feed the puppy print out the Barona Casino Restaurant order and start harvesting. 2:00pm grab a handful of chard, “always a handful of chard” and some other random veggies for lunch. 3:00 finally! I get to address the garden issues I have been seeing and making notes about since Thursday. I get a solid 2 1/2 hours to fix irrigation, apply compost tea, weed etc…..5:30pm, start harvesting veggies for  dinner. Monday is the one night I cook for the community. This makes for a great test kitchen. Many of the farms own recipes have evolved from those Monday night meals. 
Tuesday is 
 Volunteer day. Volunteers show up at 8am and start on farm and land related projects. Right now our core group consists of 5 volunteers. Each one is a gem and we are so lucky to have them. There is Hanna, who is “fearless” gardener, a permaculture designer and teaches holistic hormonal health. Carlos is down for anything. He teaches surfing to children and is a certified nutritionist with interest in herbology and other methods of healing. Jade and Nate are partners. They are biologists. Both have worked here locally. Jade with the parks and Nate as a consultant to SDGE on the Sunrise Powerlink. Yes, SDGE actually hired on of the good guys. Go figure. Jade is a world traveler, into cool stuff like natural fermenting and knows just about every native plant here at the ranch. Nate. There’s probably nothing Nate can’t do. He has a natural spiritual based positiveness that is absolutely infective. Jonda is Jades mom and is really the glue for the whole group. She has a natural gift of service that mother Theresa would admire! This week, Nate brought his dad, who was in from Syracuse to volunteer. Hanna brought her husband Dustin for the first time. So we had 7 this week. Actually, make that 8. Because we always have our Allyson. She just works on a different day though.  Many of you already know Allyson and that she is responsible for getting the boxes to the pick up sites on Saturday as well as being the farms cheerleader, marketer and other behind the scenes stuff. Allyson is a scientist, is into things like brewing beer and creatively finding ways to promote commerce and coopetition between local farms and businesses.
Tuesday  is a real recharge for me. Even though it takes a lot of energy planning the projects and being there for the education part, it is totally worth it for me. If it were up to me, every day would be volunteer project day. 

After the volunteers leave, it is time to load up the truck and make the Barona delivery. I am usually back from the delivery by 2:00pm. Grab a handful of chard, some random veggies and fruit and have lunch. 3:00 pm is really wide open. Tuesday after 3:00pm is really the most free part of the week as far as work goes. If I am fairly caught up with regular farm chores, this is the one part of the week that I can work on stuff I have been fantasizing about. Lately, my passion has been planting more medicinal herbs in the community garden. The volunteers have been helping with this too. My most recent dream is to start something like a “4 seasons” herbal CSA. People would sign up for a season. Every quarter they could receive a basket of herbs, lotions, salves, tinctures and formulas that are specific to the season that we are in. For example, if we were in winter, there would be elderberry cough syrup made from our own elderberries etc…Safe “in season” medicine from our own dirt. Truly healing from the ground up! Tuesday afternoon is usually spent at Home Depot and/ or the nursery picking out supplies for Wednesday

I make sure to get to bed early Tuesday night because Wednesday is all day garden day. All week I am making notes about what needs to be done in the garden. Wednesday is when it all that gets done.
I could spend pages describing what happens Wednesday! The work wraps up around 5:30 -6:30pm so that I can shift gears and head to Ocean Beach for herbalist training school
Thursday is transition day. It starts early with emails and correspondences that have not been addressed since Monday. Loose ends get tied up. Tools put away and open circles closed. We shift from input to output. It is time to move from tending to harvesting. I make my CSA assessment walk around noon. A rough CSA pick list gets made. If there is not enough food on the property to fill a CSA box, A Ramona farm pick list is made. Right now, we are not needing anything from Tim. But there are times of the year where we could not do without him. Thursday afternoon, I either head to the other farm to pick up veggies to fill the gaps in our list, or I go to the avocado packing house where we acquire the actual boxes we use for the CSA.  Then I pick up any necessary supplies. Late Thursday afternoon is business accounting and customer management.
Here we are back at Friday. As you might be able to tell, each of the days of the week is it’s own special event. Friday is hard work. It is also the most peaceful. Borderline “holy” you might say. Friday has the least communication of the week. I schedule no deliveries and rarely seem to receive a visitor. I have worn the same groove of behavior and attitude into this part of the week that the universe now seems to conspire to protect and hold space for this one day. The morning starts the same as all the other days. Morning meditation, run the puppy, breakfast in the orchard. Load up the crates and head out to the gardens.
Finally, made it. TGIF Baby.  It is just me and nature and it is time to get uncivilized. Nature is  ” as Henry David Thoreau put it, “a prairie for outlaws”.  Citis, an old Latin word, means city. When you leave the city and head into nature, You become under the all encompassing inevitable law of nature. When you go into the wilderness, things happen. Things that by default, civilization does not like or understand. That is why they are trying to cut it all down, wink! wink!
In these hours of harvesting quietly amongst the rows of food under the shade of Toyon, wild Tobacco and Oak plays out my own silent and secret kinesis. Unlike television, nature does not steal time. It amplifies it. As long as I can remember, nature has offered a healing. A fresh start if you will. A place to come and wash off the ridiculous world of adults and start fresh. If you spend enough time in nature, you realize that you must eventually move out of the mind and into the heart if you want to get anywhere. Lately, here at the ranch. Sunflower has been the “ambassador” of this essential yoga of helping to open up the number one nature sensory organ. The heart. Why does Sunflower do this so well? I cannot say. It just does. If you want to see what I mean, try sitting alone quietly with one. If you do not have access to a sunflower, send me an email. I would be happy to arrange a visit. If that does not work for you. Scroll down one post and spend some time perceiving the image of our first sunflower of the year. You might be surprised what even that might do. And remember to perceive, don’t look. If you have to look, look with your chest. Cuz that’s where your heart is! Peace, and have a great week!

Ok. Here are some recipes!

Grilled Corn, Onion, and Whipped Cilantro Goat Cheese Quesadilla

Grilled Corn Onion and Whipped Cilantro Quesadilla

Cucumber Basil Sandwich

good bread toasted
mayo or anything you might like to spread

Grilled Summer Squash with Pesto and Balsamic Syrup

Take a couple slices of good whole wheat bread and toast lightly. I like to let it cool a bit so that the lettuce doesn’t wilt as much. Spread some mayo on the bread. – See more at:

Some CSA cookbooks to check out:

From Asparagus to Zucchini
“A guide to cooking farm fresh seasonal produce”

From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce
Ever wonder how you’ll ever be able to use all your vegetables? From Asparagus to Zucchini answers the question of what to do with your armloads of greens, exotic herbs (and the never-before-seen vegetables), with recipes that are as concise and doable as they are appealing. Created for and by Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members, the book is an indispensable tool for anyone who wants to eat seasonally and locally.
Organized by vegetable—fifty-three in all—each section …

Farm Fresh and Fast
“Easy recipes and tips for making the most of local seasonal foods”

Farm-Fresh and Fast: Easy Recipes and Tips for Making the Most of Fresh, Seasonal Foods
Bursting with strategies, techniques, and more than 300 original recipes, Farm-Fresh and Fast is a new cookbook for both seasoned and beginning CSA members and farmers’ market shoppers. Produced by Fair Share CSA Coalition in Madison, Wisconsin, Farm-Fresh blends culinary know-how with practical recipes and resourceful techniques to teach local food lovers of all skill levels how to make the most of fresh, seasonal produce. Farm-Fresh follows the coalition’s first cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini,

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