This Weeks Share 11/18/2020

Here is what we are eating this week:

Satsuma Tangarines

Storage Onion

Honey Dew Melon

Bag of Sweet Peppers

A few Bell Peppers

Green Tomatoes

Brussel Sprouts

Mexican Zucchini Squash

Eggplant

Fuyu Persimmon

Don’t be afraid of the green tomato, it wants to please. Green tomato salsa is an easy way to go. Fried green tomatoes are a little bit more work but they are so rewarding. Especially with the right dip. We make a southern influenced Rummage relish “Chow Chow” with green tomatoes every year.

Check out this Green Tomato Stew with Coconut milk. I made this earlier in the week. It only took a half hour start to finish.

Check out Zilly doing QC while I am packing CSA bags. Making sure I don’t accidentally give a member one less green tomato than another.
She’s such a Virgo.

This Weeks Share 10/23/2020

Happy Fall!

Here is what we are eating this week

Limes
Chinese Broccoli
Asparagus
Valencia oranges
Multi color sweet frying peppers
Artichokes
Spaghetti or Sucrine Du Berry squash
Eggplant
Bell Peppers

None of the peppers in this weeks share are hot. We have a mix of Hungarian frying peppers, Bell peppers and a few of the mini sweet peppers. 

Thanks to the recent cool weather, we have finally been able to get some cold weather crops sown out in the seed trays. Bok Choy, Chard, Kale, Beets, and all the other fall green stuff we love. This weekend, we will be direct seeding carrots, radish, arugula and assorted herbs in the garden rows. Since it is so late in the season, and everyone is craving lettuce, we will probably break down and purchase lettuce starts so that we can get some lettuce back in the shares before the end of November. I am so looking forward to a salad!

Is anybody sick of squash yet? Well, maybe not everybody. But some of us are! The reality is that it is still producing, so we need to put it in the bags. I want to share with you some of the things we do with the Rampicante squash. Its prolific this year. And I don’t think we have done a great job acquainting everybody to it. When they are greenish white and young, you can pretty much treat them like zucchini. But when they are brown like a butternut, you can do some other interesting stuff. I like to deal with them as two separate parts.

When I have a big honker to deal with, I cut up the neck into medallions. I might saute’ those and then drizzle some Alfredo or pesto. Or, like in this case, I can just stick them in the fridge for another day.

I cut the swollen part in half just like a butternut. In this case, we flavored each half differently. One side got a honey, curry coconut oil and lime glaze with hot dried hot pepper sprinkles. If you want to get a little decadent, pour a little thick coconut milk inside after removing from the oven. The other half got pesto.

Make sure to roast the seeds or save them for planting next year.  

Say Hello to Lord Hildebrand and some of the fine ladies. This fine guy was the runt of a batch we hatched in spring. When hatching chicks, we just naturally seem to want to refer to them all as girls. Lord Hildebrand actually started out as Hildegard.



Say Hello to the bantams, a Silkie who thinks she’s a bantam and “Tony”, the meanest bantam rooster ever. He tried to crack the lens on my Iphone camera right after this pic. In case, you aren’t sure, Tony is taring directly at us. Yeah. He’s pretty intense. At least the girls will be safe with Tony at the ready.

Within a few months all 10 of our girls will be laying. I don’t know if we will have enough eggs to sell individual packs. To start, I expect that we will just add a handful of eggs to each share until we see how many eggs we are really dealing with on a weekly basis. Based on the breeds we appear to have we should end up with 4 egg colors.

This Weeks Share 5

Here is What we are eating this week

Loquat
Head Lettuce
Wild arugula
Summer Squash
Long Beans
Lemons
Yams
Baby Bok Choy
Chard

I like a lot about long beans. As a grower, I appreciate that they are easy to harvest as they are grown on a fence or trellis so you are able to simply stand and drop them in a basket as you pull them from the vine. They are durable and they last long. As an eater, I love that they have no string, they are easy to cook and due to the fact that they are about a foot long, It only takes a few beans to make a quick individual side dish.

If you want some beans with your eggs and a dollup of yogurt for breakfast, saute beans, garlic and tomato in coconut oil. Add curry powder, a squeeze of lemon. If you want to get even richer and decadent, add a few tbsp of coconut milk and basil. Slice a grapefruit and sit down for the best breakfast. You can do the same recipe with chard instead of beans. I experience a unique blend of pride, gratitude grace and joy when my first meal of the day is something this simple yet special. Not a lot of people get to eat like we do. So I try an make it special whenever I can.

Grilled Bok Choy with Lemon Sauce

Japanese Yam Fries

Squash is here, tomatoes are close. Cucumbers little tendrils are beginning to climb the fence. Peppers are close. Eggplant too. Basil is here and getting more abundant.
The garden looks good

This Weeks CSA 4/30/2020

Here is what we are eating today

Oro Blanco grapefruit

Cauliflower

Salad head or salad mix

Lavander

Storage onion

Storage winter squash

Tangelos

Eureka and Pink lemons

Winter squash will be Acorn, Butternut or Spagheti. We are almost out of these for the season. Fortunately, we have this new seasons crop in the ground already. We sowed some interesting french varieties this year. We can’t wait to start roasting those.

The citrus in this weeks share came from Blue Sky Ranch. As many of you know, I used to run the CSA on that land. Just like here, Blue Sky has pristine deep water wells and they practice all natural regenerative farming practices. They grow some of the most vital food in San Diego and we are super privileged to have it.  This week, we added a few sprigs of lavander officionalis. This Lavander is not just the ornamental and aromatic variety. This particular cultivar is medicinal grade. Feel free to look up lavender benefits on your own. To generalize, I’m just going to tell you that it is noticeably soothing and relaxing. There are hundreds of lavender lemonade recipes. Sometimes, to start with a simple syrup is nice. I like this recipe, it makes a small batch and muddles the lavender instead of heating.

I was looking for a pic of some lavender in the farm archives. Turns out, this is Pride of Madera. Oh well. Tocayo looks cute anyway.

A couple things about soup and salves. The salves are a product that came out of a series of herb classes we did called Farm to Face. Everyone knows the benefit of farm to fork. But we wanted to raise the awareness about the benefits of growing the medicines you use in your herbal products. Hence “Farm to Face”! This Calendula salve has proven the most useful and practical preparation to come out of that series. It is an all around owie balm for kids. It is great for sunburn, diaper rash, chapped lips and really, just any kind of lubrication. My hands are in the dirt daily, so it acts as kind of a bag balm for me. We were thinking that with all the hand sanitizing happening, folks might appreciate some relief. Just rub it into your hands at night before bed. As for the soups, they are mostly excess veggies from the farm. It is vegan and low salt.

We have a handful of new folks. So, I want to mention some mundane stuff.

#1 We only field wash our veggies. We do not clean them. We feel that the more time we spend growing food, the better.  So wash that lettuce well.

#2 Sometimes, we put a very small amount of something in each persons share. Or we might even put partially damaged items in your share. Why? Here is why. We are not a food aggregator. We are a farm. We grow most of what you get. I don’t think it is up to me to decide if you are going to want to use something or not. I would rather you get everything we have available and then you decide. I hope that makes sense. We don’t want to impress you. We want to feed you!

#3 If you are signed up and receiving shares at a location, you are in total control of your account. You can put a share on hold, make a payment and you can check to see when your next share is scheduled for. Of course, we are always happy to help if you have a question or are not sure about something. Always feel free to go to your account first if possible

#4 If you don’t like what you are seeing in the shares, give it a month or two. The variety is always changing. We are about to start getting heavy with the green stuff. Chard, Kale, Bok Choy etc…And summer stuff is already in ground. Tomatoes, Peppers, Cucumbers and melons are all growing now.

#5 Starting next week, please bring back any mason jars and rings you have lying around. We love doing the soups. So bring what you have and we will put a crate at each pick up location.

Thanks for the opportunity to catch up a bit. We are super grateful to be able to continue to work so that you guys can get something made with love and intention right now. I consider myself very privileged. Rachel and I are holding a point for a time soon, when all of you who want can come down to the farm for a visit when the farm stand is able to open back up.

 

Until then, eat well.

The Farm

This Weeks CSA Share 3/28/2020

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Good Morning. Here is what we are eating this week:

Bag of mixed greens with edible flowers and microgreens
Lavender
Pink Lemons
Home canned vegetable soup
Chard
Oro Blanco grapefruit
Broccoli
Russet Potatoes
Mineola Tangelos
Mandarin Oranges
Kohlrabi or Cabbage

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Thanks to Blue Sky Ranch for subsidizing our CSA Bags with this delicious organic citrus. Like Alpine Ranch, Blue Sky also has super deep wells that pump fresh water from granite aquifers. Citrus grown on natural water wells doesn’t have all the treatment chemicals that manifests from municipal water. This ultra pure citrus is like gold if you can get it.

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Thanks to Greg, the Ranch Rototiller is getting a well earned overhaul. New carburetor, seals, ignition, tires and oils. Woohoo!

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This week is looking warmer and dryer. We are moving as quickly as we can to get the spring plantings in. The shares are not going to be giant for the next few weeks. But they will not be as small as they have been in previous years around this time.

 

 

This Weeks CSA Share 11/21/2019

Farm Stand is Open Tomorrow 9:30 til 2pm

Good morning. Here is what is in the CSA shares this week.

Butter Lettuce
Pomegranate
Celery
Bell Peppers
Microgreens
Oranges
Pumpkin Squash
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Green tomatoes

 

The tomatoes aren’t the prettiest in late November. They still beat the pants off what you can get at the store. For halfway ripe tomatoes, put them in a paper bag in the warmest part of the kitchen to ripen up.

We added a few green tomatoes to the bags. The idea of making fried green tomatoes was intimidating to me. Growing up in California and having no southern influences in my life, the first reference to fried green tomatoes I ever experienced was in the name of the movie. Honestly, I thought the idea of frying green tomatoes was a joke until a few years ago.

Now, I have them a couple times in spring before the first tomatoes ripen. Often, a new tomato plant will set more fruit than you know it can mange to carry to ripeness. This makes for a fine excuse to prune a few bushes for a batch. I also have them a couple times in late fall, early winter when I know the plants will not be around much longer and that the first frost will likely damage the remaining green fruit.

Choose a simple fried green tomato recipe online and as long as you follow the recipe, you will be very satisfied. If you have some experience making fried green tomatoes, here is a most decadent and creative truly southern Recipe.

Bell Pepper Babaganoush


Kombucha
Jalapeno Persimmon jam
Lacto Soda
Fermented Spicy Ketchup
Beet Kvaas
Fermented Olives
Plum preserve
Sour Kraut
Fermented gardiniera
Mango salsa
Chow Chow
Pomegranate Meade made by Greg and Cass at Alpine Ranch

Like I said, I wish I could spend hours sharing our ferment and preserve recipes. If i did that, I wouldn’t have time to provide the food. And that is where I think my best talent lies. Hopefully, you might get an idea and look into it. Fermenting is such a satisfying way to process excess CSA food. Nancy does a fermented foods class at the main farm house at Alpine Ranch. I promise to give everyone a heads up when she schedules her next class.

 

 

 

 

 

This Weeks CSA 10/3/2019

Farm Stand Is Open TOMORROW Saturday 5th 9:30 til 2pm


Passion Fruit close to being ready!

Here is what is in the CSA this week.

Golden Honeydew Melon

Parsley

White Sapote

Big Eggplant

Tomatoes

Butternut Squash or Spaghetti Squash or Sucrine Du Berry or Delicata

Bell Peppers

Bag of Chile Peppers, Tomatillos and Green Tomatoes for Roasting

Limes

Summer Squash

Now is a most energetic time of year. Crippling heat has subsided. We can once again do more than simply water the garden and sweat while harvesting copious amounts of summer produce. We move into action. Early fall season in southern California is a magical time where a farmer can do almost anything. The greenhouse is full. We replace tired out Squash and Tomato plants with rows of young baby Bok Choy and Lettuce. We seed Broccoli and Candy Cane Beets while still harvesting Jalapenos and Melons from the current production field. Spring holds a hand while summer reaches through the membrane of fall to caress winters coat. The circle completes here.  The snake eats its tale. If summer is bounty, Fall is wholeness.

I want to tell you about three new items you might have received and maybe have been wanting to know more about.

Rachel found the Rampicante Squash seeds on the Baker Creek website. This Squash is an old world Italian variety. Rampicante is basically a cross between a summer squash and a winter squash. It’s slightly orange inside like a Butternut and is prepared like a summer squash.  This squash is so rare that I have found no recipes online. It works in any summer squash recipe. It’s firmer and nuttier than regular summer squash.

White Sapote is a soft tropical fruit that ripens like an avocado does. There used to be a video of a seemingly normal person giving an informative review of the White Sapote on Youtube. That video appears to have been removed. Apparently, one must be at least, slightly bizarre and moderately eccentric in order to have a White Sapote video up on Youtube. Here is the least bizarre and eccentric video I could find. Watch as he eats a pile of Sapote off the back of his little car! For those of you who have not met me, I am kidding. They are all funny and cute videos. This one is short and to the point. He describes it well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSWV3ajsNzk&app=desktop

Sucrine Du Berry is another rare Italian Squash from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We are extremely pleased with the flavor and texture of the pumpkin like flesh. We have done a blended Thai Curry soup. We made on desert style with honey and Creme Fraiche. Now that Halloween is around the corner, we will wait a few weeks until the persimmons come in and we will make a persimmon pumpkin pie with Sucrine Du Berry.

https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/thai-curried-pumpkin-soup/

We put a brown bag in your CSA this week. Its a lot of what you need to make a stellar roasted pepper salsa

From the top left- Chimayo-Hatch-Jalapeno-Poblano
From Bottom left- Cayenne-Tomatillo-Green Tomato

The Cayenne and Jalapeno are hot. The Chimayo and Hatch are medium. The Poblano are mild to medium

Peel the Tomatillos, slice the green tomatoes, cut an onion and place everything on a baking pan with a few cloves of garlic. If you want to roast a red or yellow tomato and a few bell peppers from your CSA bag, go ahead. Turn on the broiler and broil until everything is good and blistered. Turn everything over and do it again. Let everything cool and then pull off as much skin from the peppers as you can. Its no biggie if a few of the peppers don’t want to give up the skin. Do not spend too long on one pepper. Definitely take your time to get all the skin off the Hatch peppers. Hatch skin is super thick and waxy. The rest just add texture and complexity. Some folks don’t remove the skins at all.  Remove as many seeds as possible but don’t fret over a few.

Here is what my first batch of roasted salsa looked like. The next batch had more peppers and I burnt everything a little more. Don’t be afraid to burn the veggies a little bit. The flavor is amazing.

Once your roasted veggies are cool. You can either put them in a blender or you can chop them finely. We chose to chop finely. Then, we put everything in a bowl and we added sea salt, lime, cumin powder and dried oregano.

Have you ever just thought you couldn’t do something and you never even asked yourself why? Roasted Pepper Salsa was one of those things for me. For some reason, I thought I needed some kind of fancy barrel roaster like they have at the fair. This style of salsa has never been my favorite to eat from the store. It’s my favorite to make at home now.

There is a middle eastern stew that you can make and it uses over half the items in the bag. We make it vegetarian. I am sure it would love some lamb or beef as well.

In your favorite cooking oil, saute big chunks of Eggplant, Zucchini, Onion, Tomato, Bell Pepper. Steam a few peeled potatoes on the side. Once the veggies are browned, add the chunked steamed potatoes. Pour in veggie or beef stock. Add chopped parsley. Sprinkle in some curry powder or 7 spice. If you prefer more of an Italian stew, chop in some fresh basil and a few dashes of balsamic vinegar. Want a french stew? Try herbs de provence. Warning!!! THIS IS COMFORT FOOD. Serve with salad and Ciabatta, Pita or Baguette.

Enjoy!

 

This Weeks CSA Share Contents and Farm Stand Hours.

Farm Stand is open tomorrow 9:30 til 2pm

Here is what is in the CSA this week

Apricots
Spring onions
Carrots are back!!
Beets
Red butter lettuce
Summer squash
Butternut squash
Basil
Bell Peppers
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Eggplant
Apples

Persian Eggplant Stew

Curry Thai Butternut

Apricot Basil Grilled Cheese

We are about 85 percent planted for summer. Pretty soon, it will be too hot to plant. We are in a good place to be almost 100 percent planted out by next week. Ramon and his son have been helping me every Saturday for the last 5 weeks. I am really looking forward to spending some more time sharing our personal recipe experiments at home as well as listing all the new foods coming up. Much progression has transpired in the last 6 weeks. I wish all of you could transport yourselves right to the garden and pass some quality time with us in the garden rows. There’s so much I want you to know about how this summer season has gone. For now, the food in the bags will do the talking for me.

Thanks for eating. It’s your most important job in this relationship! We appreciate it.

 

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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