Thank You Nature!

kyler Darcy

Tree forts. Capture the flag. Riding bikes. Hide and go seek. Cutting through a new swath of wild land to get home before the sun goes down. Find a creek. Spend a whole summer hunting crawdads. Marvel at the dragonflies, the polywogs, moss, fish, mud, cattails and those really mean geese. Ponder the question of,”why does this root beer can float if it is made of metal?” Try to build a raft. Have your raft fail. Think about it for  day or two while skipping rocks and counting clouds. Build a better raft. Have that one fail too. Go to the library. Do some research. Try harder. And finally build a raft that floats. Then build a raft that floats you and a friend. Make a rabbit trap. You know the one I am talking about. The one with the carrot dangling under a box. Hide behind a rock for from lunchtime to dark.  Just like the Wily Coyote did on that cartoon. Sitting motionless for hours. Holding the string with a continuity of excitement and anticipation that only a child can so effortlessly maintain. Get completely skunked. As a result, come to the realization at the ripe age of 10, that cartoons are bullshit. And that they should be best left alone as much as possible.

sis image Go out out for a whole day with nothing but some curiosity and a boatload of energy to spend. Throwing rocks. Kicking cans. Exploring. Gathering various fruit from the trees that hang over the fences. Have a feast on top of the water tower. Have a fruit fight with the leftovers. Drink water from strangers water hoses. (It was ok). Yeah. It was all ok. Thank you trees. Thank you long dirt roads. Thank you big rocks. Thank you lizards. And even you, big black Labrador. I sincerely thank you. You used to chase me from your driveway and all the way down to Foss Lane. Thanks for teaching me to be aware of my surroundings. Thank you  for teaching me about real dangers. Thanks for teaching me how to anticipate those dangers and navigate them successfully. Thank you mom and dad for trusting that the world worked well enough for a 10 year old to go out and have a genuine worthwhile experience without an I phone or even a watch for that matter. Yet, he would still return himself home before dark and on his own volition. Most of all, thank you nature. For being there to help wash away  frustrations of the sometimes difficult and complicated world of humans. Always still. I have found that upon years of observation, as well as much close inspection, it is eminently clear that you do nothing uselessly. I’ve never seen you tire. You never ask for anything. You are pure service. Forever giving. The ultimate teacher for those of us lucky enough who have been educated instead of schooled.


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Farm Fresh Produce Feb 25th

Greetings Produce Lovers,


image courtesy of:

Well that’s a beautiful looking lunch! Yum.

This week you will be enjoying:

  • Lettuce mix
  • Red Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Chard
  • Large Red Beets
  • Small Kabocha Squash
  • Navel Oranges
  • Large Yellow Limes (yellow=ripe)
  • Large Haas Avocado
  • Fennel Fronds
  • Large bunch of Cilantro
  • Calendula and Lavender

What to do with all that aromatic cilantro? Why, Cilantro Lime Soup of course!

Fan of quinoa? Not a fan of quinoa? Try this recipe either way.

Here’s a simple combo for the beets and broccoli

I am a fan of steamed kabocha squash because it’s natural delicate flavor is delicious on its own. I’m also, however, a fan of deserts. Here’s a kabocha squash pie with a little lime in the crust for a refreshing flavor combo.

we usually add chard to an egg scramble, or mix it in with lettuce, or sauté it with veggies on hand. Here’s a recipe that highlights the chard, and who doesn’t love the complex flavor of caramelized onions!? Yum

If you’re up for trying pink salad check out this Potato-Beet-Celery Salad

Love pesto? Try a Fennel or Cilantro and Lime pesto this week. Toss the fennel or cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, cashews, and salt into the blender then use your delicious sauce to top fish, chicken, eggs, or veggies.

Marinade ideas that would be good on chicken, fish, potatoes, or veggies:

  • Orange, celery, lime, fennel
  • Orange, Calendula, Lavender
  • Lime, Fennel, Cilantro


From the Farm

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Farm Fresh Produce Feb 11th

San Diego is blessed today, both rain and sunshine in one day. We hope you are all enjoying the whims of the skies this season. Plants large and small are soaking up the water. Check out the river of alyssum thriving in the apricot orchard.


Your bag today is full of late winter farm freshness:

  • Calendula Flowers
  • Haas Avocado
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Bell Pepper
  • Chard
  • Pineapple
  • Easter Egg Radish
  • Naval Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Strawberries
  • Bosc Pear

This array of colorful items would make a fantastic and massive salad. Sweet or savory or indeed a combination of both.

The fruit in this bag recommends itself to an extravagant Valentine Celebration delight. Imagine this delicious variety of fruit mingled together in a wine glass – now pour champagne over the fruit and make a toast while the sweetness of the fruit escapes in the tiny bubbles tingling your taste buds. Sip the champagne then enjoy the fruit with a spoon.

Not a fan of champagne? How about a simply decadent honey yogurt drizzle over the grilled pineapple and pear.

Bake your avocado!


Try a new traditional stuffed pepper recipe


If you’er not typically a fan a radishes try shredding them and adding in a touch to your favorite salad or sandwich. Rachel remembers enjoying a grilled tuna wrap seasoned with radishes when dining at True Foods Kitchen in Fashion Valley. The mouth waters at the combination of seared tuna squeezed with lemon, chard, avocado, romaine, bosc pear, sliced easter egg radish, and a sprinkle of calendula petals wrapped up in a tortilla. The combination of savory, sweet and spicy is too much to resist.

Wondering what else to do with those calendula flowers other than put them in vase and admire them? Sprinkle them on salads – all kinds of salads. Here’s one that combines the calendula and your bosc pear:

We love epicurious recipes as they have been tested by professional chefs as well as home cooks as evidence by the reviews that accompany each recipe. Too bad they have so many ads 😦

From the Farm

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Growing Strong in 2017


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This Weeks Box 9-24-2016


Good morning from the ranch! Here is what we are eating this week>>>

Pomegranate…These are early season they are a little bit hit and miss. Most of the fruit we sampled were ruby red inside. But some were still only pink. Still good, but more tart than sweet. We could not wait though. So, let’s get the pomegranate party started.

Summer Squash…Everyone got a mexican squash. Those are the green and white striated ones. Plus, we put a few small zuch’s, crooknecks or yellows in the bag too.

Oranges…These sweet little babies are still hanging on. The rains surely did them some good. We will serve them as long as we have them. Who knows how long this run is going to last!!

Acorn SquashHere is a traditional recipe We got these from one of our Partners in Ramona.

Limes…We think we have some of the best limes in San Diego.  Next time you are in your favorite Mexican Restaurant, mention us. We will be happy to talk to them about getting our limes in their kitchens.

Asian pear
…juicier and sweeter. Compliments of the season.

Bell peppers…One of my favorite shoulder season veggies. They start late in the summer and hang on laet into fall when most of the other summer stuff has stopped



Romaine Lettuce.  Soon, look forward to the more delicate cool weather lettuces.

Dinosaur Kale. Dinasour for sure. Our trusty Italian kale has been producing for over 9 months!!


Thanks on behalf of all the plants, humans and animals at the ranch for your constant thoughts of rain.

Pomegranate Pear Avocado Salad


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This Weeks Box 8/27/2016

good morning from the ranch
Good morning from the ranch. Anyone feeling the the first hints of fall in the air?? Dare we whisper the “F” word yet?

Well, we ran into this guy down at the Barona gas station. This guy apparently is aware that Thanksgiving is still a couple months away.

Since we are on the topic of birds, In my 10 years at the ranch, this is without a doubt…the first daytime owl ever.

Okay. Here is what we are eating

Valencia oranges
Big cucumber
Bartlet pears
Piece of rhubarb
Cabbage head
Fresh Russet potatoes “right from the ground”.

Why does the skin on the oranges and grapefruit sometimes soft and a little mooshy???  Because it is mooshy. The Valencia oranges and the Oro Blanco grapefruit trees would have been completely stripped and shipped if we were a large commercial outfit. We like to keep a few trees loaded for a few months longer than that. This allows us to extend the season of these fruit. The mooshyness comes from a slight amount of water loss in the fruit as it sits on the tree through the hot summer. The water loss also contributes to some of the sweetest and flavorful oranges and grapefruit. I have to cut my orange juice with about half water because the fruit is so syrupy sweet. Rest assured though, that these fruit are not “old” and they are not mooshy because they sat around in a crate for a long time. They are fresh picked like everything else. They are already mooshy before we pick em.

The key to making okra work in a stew is to steam it for 45 minutes before adding it in the the rest of the ingredients. Okra adds a meaty gaminess as well as a thick consistency to a stew like no other vegetable. An even better method for getting the okra really soft is a pressure cooker like this one. pressur
14 minutes in the pressure cooker and okra will do anything you ask of it.

Cut bell peppers, onion, squash, tomatoes and eggplant. Add oil to the pan and saute everything for 15-20 minutes. Add okrah, tomato sauce, spices add 1 can of veggie broth. cook on low for at least an hour. Stirring and checking every 15 minutes to make sure liquid level is sufficient.

The middle eastern version of  such a stew calls for a lamb shank. Beef shank works well too. But meat is not necessary for a wonderful and flavorful stew.

Serve over rice with fresh dill. There are many Ratatoulie recipes out there that use all the vegetables in the previous recipe except okra. French style Ratatoulie loves to be served over pasta or gnochi

Pear Strawberry Pie

Jade Tomtoes
Ms Jade tying up the “maters”.

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This Weeks Box July 30th 2016

bartlet 1

Summer squash
A few tomatoes
Gigantic butternut squash
Cantaloupe Melon
Persian cucumbers
Bartlet Pears
White onion
A couple small bell peppers
Sprig of Rosemary
Beets with Greens

Strawberry Caprese Bruschetta—pear-soup

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