This Weeks Box

“Bulls Blood” bunched beets with greens on
“Garnet” sweet potato
Meyers lemon
Russet and red potatoes
one small green zucchini
a small broccoli head
lettuce mix with spinah, lettuce and chard
Naval oranges
Zutano avocado
a handful of local black walnuts
Pasilla pepper
ripe yellow limes

Here, at Blue Sky Ranch, we carrot bout you and the food we offer  you.

I really miss carrots. Especially our carrots. I found myself in whole foods yesterday. Buying carrots. Jeez Louize! 3.75 for a bunch of 5 carrots? That’s 75 cents a carrot. Talk about some motivation me to get some carrots to harvest stage. They were good. They came from Suzies’ Farm. And I am pretty happy with their food usually. But they weren’t ours. And it isn’t the same. But honestly, we are still a few months away from our next carrots. And that is not going to do. Either next week, or the week after, we are going to start getting carrots for the CSA from the farm in Ramona. I could write whole chapters on my ideas and experiences around sourcing food from outside the ranch. Carrots to me, are a window, a transporter and carrier of the life and character of the soil environment they are grown in. If the soil lacks complexity and vitality, the carrot will reflect this in how it impresses our tastes buds and in the way it nourishes our bodies. Carrots do not lie. There are only a couple other pieces of land in San Diego that I will source carrots for the CSA.

No more storage beets. We are pulling freshies out of the dirt. It has been almost 6 months since we had beet greens. All is right with the world again!

As much as I am interested in natural medicine, healing and nutrition, I generally stay away from advertising too much of my own opinion here. My main function as the farmer is to care for the raw ingredients and then connect them with you. But I want to share this bit of information about how vitamin C drastically increases the bodies ability to absorb iron in food. I think I have read enough and been taught enough about this by people who I trust to tell me about these things. Basically, food based vitamin C acts like the key that unlocks the bodies ability to absorb and assimilate Iron. Like my herb teacher used to say, “You are not what you eat. You are what you assimilate”. Big difference there. So, look it up. If you want to learn a bit about it. There is all kinds of good articles on the subject. Thanks for letting me share that with you.

Here is a solid beet greens recipe. Hope it is to your liking.

Caldo De Pollo. Is a Mexican soup that loves Chayote squash. I lived in Mexico for about a year. And It was not unusual for me to eat Caldo De Pollo 3 times a day. It is about as close to the perfect dish as I ever experienced. It fits a CSA box so well because of it’s flexibility in regards to ingredients. It is a perfect “garbage pail” dish. One that you can throw a lot of things into, and be glad you did. Here is a recipe that you can work from. But there are many out there. The basic ingredients in a Caldo De Pollo “in my opinion” are water, potatoes, chicken and squash. Cilantro is almost always present. And it is quite common to find celery, green beans, pieces of corn cob, carrots, onion and tomato. Any type of greens, like chard or kale go nicely as well. If you are in a hurry, crock pot is the way to go. When I have a little time, I will just throw some water and a few pieces of chicken in a pot. Unless I want to eat Caldo all week. Then, I throw in a whole chicken. Once the chicken is boiled, add the cubed vegetables and simmer to your desired consistency of the vegetables. Like regular chicken soup, Caldo is a willing recipient of rice or cooked pasta.. Caldo is best enjoyed on a rainy day with warm tortillas or bread.

Beet Apple Chayote Salad with Avocado and Orange Wedges

The key with this salad is to get the veggies cut or processed as small as possible. Grating will work. But the texture is not as good as spirals or julienne. So, if you do not have a fancy food processing machine, cut the fruit and veggies matchstick size, and you cannot go wrong. Once you process the apple, beet and chayote, add orange wedges and squeeze half a lime in it. Then chill in the fridge for a half hour. Plain yogurt will make it nice and creamy if you eat dairy. The beets do eventually turn everything pink. But that is what beets do. It is their job to turn everything pink.

Roasted Yam, Walnut and Arugula Salad

Speaking of salad. The salad mix this week, is pretty robust. Be prepared for some spiciness. As we did add some of our wild arugula to the mix.

This variety of broccoli is called Waltham. It is an heirloom variety that first, offers a medium to small sized head. That is what we are eating this week. But later, after pruning off the head, the plant makes lots of tiny little side shoots of broccoli. There is nothing like a stir fry with tiny Waltham broccoli shoots.



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