This Weeks Food 6/7/2019

The farm stand will be open Saturday from 9:30 til 2 pm. We will be digging up some fingerling potatoes, a variety of summer squash, lots of lettuce and a variety of other fresh vegetables and herbs. Come on down and load up or text ahead. We will pick it for you.

Harbinger….{A person or thing that announces or signals the approach of another}. When you’ve farmed continuously for over a decade, all that there is consists of a chain of harbingers. Holding hands across the seasons from one point, around and back to the same point, and around again, and again. Can you guess what this lonely sun golden cherry tomato is a harbinger of?

If you guessed this, you are probably not too far off. Early cherry tomatoes tend to indicate a heavy fruit set for the main tomato crop in the garden. A good tomato year would be just fine with me.

Cucumbers are just about to blossom. There won’t be fruit for a few weeks. The summer squash is finally blowing up. We have some new varieties this year. We also have some volunteer crosses that came out nice. Peppers don’t do much in the ground until right about now. The warmth of this last week has them blossoming and making tiny fruit. We are particularly excited about a hybrid pepper we decided to grow. It is called Big Jim. Its basically an improved Hatch Chili that can get a foot long. Imagine the peppers you see being roasted at the fair. These are those but a little bigger.  Folks really liked all the Poblanos last year. We also Jalapenos and a few other peppers this year. The butternuts are way ahead this year. They are already growing fruit. Spaghetti and Delicatta are just getting started. We also planted Blue Hubbard and my favorite “Pink Banana”. Egplant might end up in the bags pretty soon too.

Here is the list of contents for this weeks CSA

Spring onions

Bunch of edible flowers

Big head of broccoflower


A few summer squash


Head of romaine

Head of green lettuce

Butternut Squash

Here is a recipe for Garlic Roasted Cauliflower with Summer Squash

Grilled Spring Onions

Cilantro Butternut Squash Soup

One last announcement. I wish I had more time to talk about how much I loved this film. I don’t think I have endorsed a farm film since I told people to watch “The Real Dirt On Farmer John”. That was probably 10 years ago. The Bigest Little Farm is playing at the Landmark now.


The farm stand will be open tomorrow 9:30 til 2 pm

What We Are Eating This Week 5/16/2019

Farm stand will be open Saturday 9:30 til 2pm tomorrow!!

Here Is what the CSA is eating this week.


Spring Onions

A few Baby Squash

Swiss Chard

Fennel Fronds

Purple Cauliflower or Broccolini

Bag of Red Leaf Lettuce Mix with Radish Sprouts

Multi Color Beets

Green Romain Lettuce

A few

A few months ago, we had unusual weather in Alpine. We have trays of vegetable starters at the farm. But I also care for starters at home. These starters were out in the open on a late February night and they got completely dusted with snow. Not having much experience with how to get compact snow off of tender baby plants, I did the best thing I could think of. Fortunately, we don’t have carpet in that room. Otherwise, Rachel probably wouldn’t have been laughing so hard when she saw how I was attempting to resuscitate the veggie babies in front of the fireplace.

I wanted to share this because I think it is funny and rare. But also, I think its important that you know that your food often goes through some extraordinary circumstances before it ends up on your plate. I once had an entire flat of seed grown heirlooms slide out of the back of the truck while on the way down to the farm. A nice couple saw the whole thing, quickly scooped them up and chased me down Alpine Blvd until they could get my attention.

The flat in the bottom front of the picture is the fennel in your share this week. So is the Romain right next to the fire. The spring onion too!

Fennel Frond Recipe for Pesto

Swiss Chard with Onions

We appear to be in the midst of some more unusual weather as of late. The farm stand been closed due to rain every 2nd or 3rd week since January. The weather report is calling for 5 days straight rain for Alpine starting Sunday. Once this unseasonable rains lets up for the summer, Our hours and days will be consistent again. Lets make the farm stand happen tomorrow ok?

We are going to open the farm stand tomorrow 9:30 til 2pm. We have all kinds of good stuff. We will also have a limited amount of summer squash and baby bok choy.

We hope to see you there.

This Weeks Share 5/9/2019

Here is what we are eating this week

Red Russian Kale

Eureka Lemon

Fat Sweet Carrots

Spring Onions

Purple Cauliflower

Rainbow Chard

Small Bag of Arugula

Loose Red Lettuce Mix

Green Romain Lettuce

A Couple Beets with greens

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena makes an extraordinary all natural cleaner.

Lemon Verbena makes a good substitute for Lemongrass in a curry or an Asian soup.

Its as calming as Peppermint as a hot tea. We like to crush the fresh leaves and keep them in our water bottle throughout the day.

Roasted Purple Cauliflower

White Bean Carrot and Kale soup Yum!! Put a couple spring onions in there. You will be glad you did.

Farm Stand will be closed today and tomorrow. We will definitely be open next week if weather permits.

Have a great week!

This Weeks CSA Share 5/2/2019

Good Morning!


One member commented that the bags this week looked like there was soil at the bottom and fresh veggies were just growing out of the top. Spring greens certainly are about as fresh as it gets!

The cauliflower and the red Romain is a new addition to the shares this week. We have for you an Asian cauliflower lettuce wrap recipe that you might find helpful. You also might like the coconut curry lettuce wrap. We harvested more Brussels sprouts leaves for you this week. I just want to remind you that they can be used for anything collard greens are used for. They are a bit more tender than collards. They will not need as long of a cooking time. There are a handful of recipes out there for Brussels sprouts leaves specifically. We suggest using your favorite Brussels sprouts recipe. Our last bowl of Brussels greens consisted of firing up a cast iron skillet, adding coconut oil, whole mustard seed, sun-dried tomato bits and finely chopped Brussels leaves. Stirred that for a few minutes, splashed about an ounce of good beer over the greens, turn off the pot, put on the lid and let everything steam for 5 minutes. Served over a bowl of rice and eaten with chopsticks was very satisfying! I probably ate half of mine that night. Warmed the rest of the rice and greens in a bowl the next morning, fried an egg and plopped it on top of the greens for a quick breakfast.

Swiss chard pesto pasta

Here is the list

Carrots bunch
Eureka lemons
Red Chard
Brussels sprouts greens
A healthy amount of both red and green Romain lettuce

*Make sure to take extra care cleaning the red Romain and the Brussels sprouts leaves.

I wanted to say a few things about the farm stand. Its been going absolutely great. Whether you are a CSA member in North County Coastal or an avid Alpine based farm stand shopper, the success and the benefits that the stand brings to the energy and vitality of the farm should make you happy to know that you are a part of what is happening with local food in the Alpine community. The best way I can describe the dynamics as they are is that we cannot do the farm without the support of the CSA customers. But the extra energy and the valuable interaction with the Alpine Community through the stand is making the farm better so that we can offer a better CSA.

Some of you have been with us long enough that you know our farm used to attend the local markets. For a small farm, doing markets is a huge endeavor that requires fees licences, permits inspections. To attend a single market requires one long day of harvesting and packing. The next day, you load everything into a car and you drive to the market to sell your wares. All the while hoping that the plants back at the farm are doing ok. After the market, you pay your fees and your percentage to the market manager, itemize everything you sold and head back to the farm to unload equipment and the vegetables that didn’t sell. We don’t do farmers markets anymore. Mainly, because for a small farm, doing a market takes up so much time and energy for so little pay, that it just isn’t kind to the farmer or the garden. All those markets closed down a long time ago anyway. Kensington, Lakeside, Julian….all closed for one reason or another.

After 2013, we have done nothing but restaurants and CSA. One thing I always missed about the markets was the face to face interaction with the loyal and enthusiastic locovores of the community. That interaction is one thing the farm stand is bringing back. Having neighbors visit the farm two days a week has been one of the best things that could have happened here. Seeing neighbors walking up the street toward the farm stand on the old Alpine Ranch, pushing their strollers with their dogs in tow has been a sight for sore eyes. It just makes sense to do things this way. The feedback has been extraordinary. When we started the stand a few months ago, I was really surprised to see that the vegetables I thought everyone liked were not nearly as popular as I would have expected at the stand. And things I thought weren’t as sought after would fly off the table. The instant feedback has been so valuable.

Another huge benefit to having the market at the farm is that we don’t have to over harvest. We pick a small amount. And we pick more as the produce sells. Some days the farm stand is slow. Instead of twiddling my thumbs in a parking lot in the city, I can play with Tocayo,  plant tomatoes, feed the chickens, work on irrigation or whatever is needed. It’s truly been a blessing.

Alpine internet consists of a sign on a fence or a tree. Its effective. People show up. They call. Eventually, we had to take down the signs. Too many folks were telling their neighbors and friends. We couldn’t keep up. We’re reverted back to to the thing we were in the beginning. A little food speak easy between neighbors and friends.


This Weeks Share 4/25/2019

Above is a sneak preview of this weeks Vitality Kit!

Last weeks CSA was a little disappointing for me. The two most important things to me is that the share was smaller than usual. And we did not get a newsletter out. I always tell people that there will be times we don’t get the newsletter out. It was a busy week last week. We had extra duties. Plus, Rachel was out of town most of last week. We had some new members get their first share last week. I just wish things might had gone smoother. Now, we are back on track. I really like the looks of our share today!


Here is the list


Russet potato

Bunch wild arugula

Some giant lemons


Red and Curly kale bunch

Red and Iraqi chard bunch

Big head of red leaf lettuce

Spring onions

Bunch baby beets

Small bag broccoli

Medium turnip

Why baby  beets you ask?? Well, this time of year, the soil is warm enough that we do not have to start the beets in the greenhouse. We can direct seed them in the rows. When you direct seed, you sow more seeds than you need in order to not have gaps in your row. When the plants get big enough, you thin out a portion of the plants in order to give each beet the room it needs to grow. That is how and why we end up with baby beets.

We would like to suggest a roasted root vegetable dish for this weeks share. Here is a basic recipe posted in the NY Times
The recipe is simple and easily altered.

If one intended to keep things simple this week, they might make a big salad with Arugula and Radichio. Then they might make a nice pot of cooked garlicky greens with the chard and Kale. The rest of the items appear to qualify for the veggie roast. Except maybe the broccoli. But broccoli is an easy one. It’s just my opinion. But if eggs could choose their favorite vegetable and cheese, it would be Parmesan and broccoli of course!

Have a great week.



Farm Stand Open 4/12/2018

FARM STAND IS OPEN …..FRIDAY—2:30pm to 5:00 pm  SATURDAY—-9:30 to 2:00pm

Here is what we will be harvesting this week

Iraqi Chard Bunch 2.00

Spring Onions Bunch 1.50

Eureka Lemons .50 Each

Six Packs of Farm Fresh Eggs 3.50

Carrots Bunch 2.00

Black Radish Each 1.50

Arugula Bunches 1.50

Rhubarb Chard Bunch 2.00

3 Kinds of Kale Bunch 2.00

Broccoli Bag 3.00

Cabbage Head 3.00

Brussel Sprouts Leaves Bunch 2.00

Green and Red Head Lettuce 2.00

Spring Salad Mix with Edible Flowers Bag 3.00

This Weeks CSA Share 4/11/2019

Take a good look at the above image of tomatoes. Close your eyes and hold the image in your mind and say YES! You’re looking at a picture of a single weeks haul of tomatoes from the best tomato year the CSA ever had. Following that season, we had a couple disappointing tomato years. Then, we had a couple average years. Last year was a pretty good year even though we were late getting planted. For those two bad years after that first bumper tomato crop, I fervently and passionately gave a weekly play by play on the progress of the seasons tomato crop. As if somehow my display of concern and intention could somehow magically put sauce in your freezers or canned fruits on the shelves. Now, don’t think we didn’t have tomatoes. We did. But the work and time in didn’t match the output. My feeling is that if you aren’t complaining about what to do with all the tomatoes in your CSA bag by late August, I’ve failed. You see, to me, an overflowing tomato harvest seems to represent everything magical, jubilant and bountiful about the summer season. They are voluptuous and generous. A fat beef stake tomato symbolizes the image of cups running over.

A tomato starts off as a wee yellow flower. After a visit from a bee or two it gives way to a little green marble. The stem above the marble then grows hundreds of tiny clear hairs. These are called Trichomes and they have a very important job in protecting the plant. At the end of each of those glossy strands forms a tiny ball of essential oil. Within the essential oils are constituents that deter pests, and help resist disease. Eventually, the stem, leaves and fruit are covered with these essential oils. They form a barrier to bacterial, fungal, and viral infection in addition to trapping water and reducing evaporation. How thoughtful, wouldn’t you say?

Now, there’s one more likely constituent suspended in that mysterious essential oil on the end of the trichome. And that constituent has properties that impart a particular intoxicating effect on human beings. This particular action I am describing hasn’t been exactly proven scientifically. But I have it on good authority that this “Ambrosia Fragrante De Tomates” manifests a maternal and almost hypnotic affect on humans of the gardening type. Granted, I cannot prove these things I am telling you about. I can say this, I knows what I knows.

So for those of you who are new to the CSA, If you don’t hear much talk about the tomato progress in the next few months until July, Its not because we aren’t fully engaged in tomato projects. We’re not just engaged, we’re in undivided and attentive service. My PC doesn’t do Emojis. But the heart one goes here *

There are a lot of green things in this weeks share. Lots of salad Chard and Kale

When the shares are greens rich, I always try to remind folks about making pesto with chard and chips with the kale. To simply saute all these greens might be kind of tough for some.

I think this bunch of Brussel sprout leaves is going to fun to cook with.

We made our bunch of Brussel sprout leaves the same way I make our Brussel sprouts. Chopped and sauteed with garlic and tomato with a little Parmesan and a shot of wine or beer if you have it. I expect that any Brussel sprout recipe will convert just fine. Enjoy

Here is the list…

Eureka Lemon

Bunch Carrot

Russet Potato

Ruby Chard

Spring Onion with glorious greens

Curly Kale

Brussel Sprout Leaves

Lemon Verbena

Broccoli Sprouts

Lil Gem Lettuce Heads

Salad Spring Mix with edible flowers.

Here is a Quiche we made about two weeks ago. It did have turnips and they were wonderful. Unfortunately, we didn’t get turnips in the share this week. The quiche did have broccoli, spring onions, carrots and chard. All of which are in the share this week. Like soup, quiche is a great catch all meal for using as many vegetables as possible in one dish. These days, google is so good with finding recipes that all one needs to do is type in the list of vegetables they might like in the dish and then just type “quiche” at the end. Try it. You’ll see!

Sunday projects yesterday. Have you noticed the days getting bigger and longer? Don’t you just love love this side of the equinox?

Farm Stand Is Open This Weekend. Rain or shine!

Good morning. It’s supposed to shower on and off a few times tomorrow morning. But, considering that we were not open last week, we will stay open for regular hours today and tomorrow.


As you can see, we have an abundance loose leaf and head lettuce.

We will also have:

Fat turnips
Fat Kohlrabbi
Red Radishes
Green onions
Snap Peas

And More!!

Farm Stand hours are 2:30 to 5:00pm Friday

9:30 to 2:00pm Saturday

Hope to see you there!!

This Weeks CSA Share 2/7/2019

Red, Russet and Yellow potato
A few Sprigs of fresh Dill
Cherry Belle and French Breakfast radish
Italian “Dino” kale
Swiss chard
Small bunch of parsley
Loose leaf Iceberg lettuce
Loose blend of 4 lettuce varieties with edible Calendula added for visual “bling”.

It’s not the biggest share of the year. It isn’t the smallest either. This weeks share is super fresh and full of vitality.

Grandma used to buy only iceberg lettuce. When I was a kid, it seems like that was all there was to choose from in many grocery stores. Iceberg, straight home from the store in its tight plastic mesh wrapping was not visually impressive. I remember having to peel off the first few outer leaves and throw them away due to their extreme limpness.  Indelible in the senses is a feeling of repulsion at the sight of the oxidative rust that would form on the areas where the bleach white lettuce ribs had cracked for some time. My grandma’s idea of dressing was Best Foods mayonnaise. Go ahead. It’s okay to cry. I know I did a few times. Toppings included one of those light pink tomatoes. Chopped up and hard as a rock with the faintest expression of the remembrance of a semi good yet still mostly nominal tomato that I might have had once from a time before. I could go on.

This is organic Iceberg growing on our farm. Iceberg is a completely different entity when grown with care and intention. We have been harvesting the dark green outer leaves every few days in order to keep her from heading. some of the outer leaves are larger than a hand. We packed the loose outer leaves in your share in a way that the the leaves were not bent or damaged. We know they will make a great salad. But we think you will find them possibly superior to Romaine as a wrap. These leaves don’t just wrap. They roll!

This winter, I met the real Iceberg! And now, the world spins a little more smoothly. Its never to late to change the memories of the past with our choices and actions of the present.

We grow many varieties of vegetables that you cannot find in stores. They might not grow as fast. Maybe they are not suitable for shipping or whatever. It is important that everyone remember that we are not just growing food to be rebellious to the conventional food system or to be sure that our food has no chemicals. We are not simply doing this to adhere to the ideal of keeping things local or  just to promote community for that matter. And we certainly aren’t doing it for the money. Remember also, that we get to eat food that 99.99 percent of people cannot get if they tried. Imagine if you got to visit Noah’s ark. But you only visited the first floor. That’s what you get at the grocery store. First floor produce. I want to visit all 4 floors. I want to experience strange beasts of vegetables.

This weeks salad mix consists of 4 varieties. Red Oakleaf, Black Seeded Simpson, Lil Gem and Rouge. All 4 of these varieties are strangers to the grocery store. Welcome them. Know that you are eating a strange, over extravagant, fragile, misunderstood or simply forgotten beast of a vegetable.

As you all know, it rained most of last week. Veggies love the rain. But the splashing under their leaves makes them extra dirty. We wash off most of the dirt after harvest. But we only field wash. Please take a little more time to was the veggies this week.

Thank you.

This Weeks CSA Share

Here is what we are eating this week

Bok Choy
Young Chard
Meyers Lemons
Sweet Potato
Fuerte Avocado
Head Lettuce
Bunch Parsley
Candy Cane Beets
Low Heat Jalapenos

Beets and Sweets Recipe
This recipe for Chioga “Candy Cane” beets can easily be modified. If we had carrots in the share this week, they would definitely find their way in here as well. We have done this recipe and added bacon. We have also made a similar Beet and Sweet recipe with Meyer lemon Honey and Dill!

Sweet Potato and Kale Hash with a Fried Egg on top!!

Quick Pickle Jalapeno Recipe
We bought these jalapeno seeds as “Coolapeno” Supposedly, these peppers are the lowest heat Jalapeno available. I can certainly say that these peppers aren’t actually cool. But compared to some of the jalapenos we have grown, they are extremely mild in heat. We have been halving and removing the seeds. Then we use them just like a mildly spicy red or green bell pepper.

Fuerte Avocado is not nearly as common in the stores as Haas. I am glad we were able to get

Bok Choy….We made a simple sauce with one Meyers lemon, soy sauce and pepper. Put a little oil in the pan, start turning the Bok Choy over while drizzling sauce over it. When you think its half way done, cut the heat, slap a lid on it. If you want to get a little fancy with the sauce, you can add things like honey, fresh ginger or powder, crushed peppers, fish oil, cilantro etc….

Beet green recipe

I started out trying to make Babaganoush. But after roasting three small eggplant, in the oven, the flesh of the fruit shrank to the volume of less than 1/2 a cup. Still craving a creamy dip, we found a dusty can of chick peas in the back of the pantry. Roasted Eggplant Hummus

These Meyers Lemons are special. We can buy organic, local lemons from Blue Sky Ranch almost anytime. Meyers have a season. And it is upon us. These fruit are getting harder and harder to find in the store. I saw some at the Barrons Grocery Store in Alpine today. But they were small and kind of old looking. They also were not organic.