This Weeks Box 9/28/2013

The List
bunch of green onions
large red beet
summer squash
romaine lettuce
bell peppers
persian cucumbers
very hot santa fe peppers
I am going to go out on a limb and say that we appear to have peaked and our next heat wave probably will not be as hot as our last. This is good. Our favorite little cold weather crops are beginning to wake up and stretch their tiny little bodies in the greenhouse. This is also good. I will take some greenhouse pics for next weeks post. Everyone loves baby pictures. Right? AAww, how cute, he’s only got one leaf. Isn’t it precious?!
 I for one, am in a state of relief. And gratitude. Kinda got my butt kicked in that heat wave a few weeks back. I was feeling like the dust bowl image we put in the newsletter two weeks ago. Well, after a couple watermelons and a few open window nights with no ac and things are looking pretty cool. The farm has some good opportunities this year. Cooler weather will help us kick it into the next gear and start to take advantage of some of those opportunities.
Dear Fall, thank you. I really missed you. Welcome. Thank you and everything about you.
 Right now, we are knee deep in our first serious attempt to save enough seeds for the farm. After attending a few online and one in person seminars,  it is clear that this will add value to the uniqueness of our CSA. It will also save money
We picked up Tiger Tiger and Blind Lady Ale House as customers this summer. We are looking forward to have chefs out for their first visit. It feels good to see “Blue Sky Ranch Tomato Soup” on the menu in a San Diego eatery.
This Summer, we started a pilot program for an office CSA with a  downtown San Diego company. It went over really well. It is one large box per week that gets put out in the lunch room for everyone to partake in. The employee response to this experiment has been overwhelmingly positive. If you think your office would be interested in a weekly produce box, give us a holler. We are able to handle a couple more offices between the farm and downtown.
Our fearless volunteer crew made it through summer without jumping ship. Pretty amazing. There were a couple Tuesdays that I would have loved to do anything but sweat out in that field. And would have if it had not been for the crew showing up because they said they would. Thanks Guys.
Harmony is a member who picks up at the farm. She works for a large business consulting firm. She has been offering her unique services to the farm once a week in the afternoon. This can only mean good things. Something that came up in our meetings is the reality that a small CSA farm is never going to make a whole bunch of money. But we are in a niche that by design lends itself to be open to service work from members and the community. My biggest challenge for the future is going to be finding ways to stay out of the way of earnest efforts by others to benefit the CSA program while protecting what I consider to be the most important part of this little CSA. That part has never changed. This CSA has always been about my effort to share with the local community this super clean, super organic, nutritious and energetic food from a piece of property and its people and plants that literally saved my life when I was in the midst of a health crisis. It was the medicine I needed then and my belief in its efficacy is the strongest medicine that I have to offer now. 
I was at the Del Mar Fair promoting the farm a few months ago. Most the other San Diego farms were there. We were all talking. The biggest complaint these other CSA farmers had was about turnover and complaints. I had no idea. I felt like an alien. One farm said that they spent all their money on advertising because 50% of their CSA customers were new every 6 weeks. Our group resembles nothing like this. When it came my turn to spill my guts, I had to excuse myself. I was so proud of this group. I had nothing to say.
“Datura Inoxia” a commonly uncommon site here at the ranch lately.

Swiss Chard with Orange and Bacon
Orange Scented Swiss Chard Saute
6 cups Swiss Chard, stemmed and chopped into bite size pieces
3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Fresh Ginger, minced
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons Dried Cranberries
1/2 teaspoon Orange Zest
1/4 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Water
Rinse leaves with cold water. Remove spine from greens, chop the leaves into bite-size pieces by hand or cut with a knife, set aside.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and sauté until aromatic about two minutes. Add red pepper flakes, salt, cranberries, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup and sauté for an additional minute. Add the Swiss chard, use tongs to turn to coat. Pour water over the Swiss chard and cover. Let steam for additional two minutes, chard is done when leaves begin to soften, and the color begins to darken and intensify. Serve immediately. Yum!
 Hey Guys, the apples came from Tim at Ramona Organics. They are pretty good. He said the variety is a pie/eating apple. I know that there are basically three categories of apple. Eating apples, pie apples and pie/eating apples which means either for eating or for pie. If they seem to tough for you or the kids, here are a few recipes that will make them really tasty.

lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed apples
We bagged and labeled the hot fresno peppers so that there is no confusion. Be careful with these little suckers.  

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