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?

ft
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.

owl
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
Chard
Oranges
Eggplant
Bartlet pears
Grapefruit
Piece of rhubarb
Cabbage head
Onion
Fresh Russet potatoes “right from the ground”.
Tomatoes
Strawberries

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”.

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

This Weeks Box July 30th 2016

bartlet 1

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

Strawberry Caprese Bruschetta

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/butternut-squash—pear-soup

http://www.popsugar.com/food/Recipe-Roasted-Beet-Sandwich-Avocado-Goat-Cheese-Toasted-Almonds-3279835

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

This Weeks Box July 23 2016

tomatoes 2016

First tomatoes of the 2016 season…Let’s get this party started!!

Well. that 106 degree weather we had a few weeks ago, slowed us down a bit. But the tomatoes are finally rolling in. These are standard reds. “Hybrids”.. Not quite as colorful and complex as the heirlooms. But they are juicy. And packed full of a flavor that no grocery store can begin to match. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed growing and picking them for you!

mitty
Heirlooms on deck  “Mortgage lifter” tomato. Don’t worry you juicy gem, we know you are worth the wait.

The List
A few red tomatoes
Super sweet valencia oranges “fruit candy”! yum
Small green bell peppers
Beautiful green leaf or red leaf lettuce
Red onion
Large bunch of dyno and curly kale together in one bunch
Sprig of basil
“because the first tomatoes of the year must arrive with basil”!
Haas Avocado
Crookneck and green zucchini squash
Watermelon radish or turnip
“There is not enough of either to fill all the boxes. So half will get turnip. And half will get watermelon radish”.
Lemons
Four herbs for making herbed lemonade… holy basil, mint, sage and lemon verbena
“Hales Jumbo” cantaloupe.

Colin and I are making this zucchini fritter recipe for the ranch members, for lunch this Sunday. We will make sure to let you know how it went. I rarely follow “exact” directions though, so, I am already envisioning some basil and red onion in our cakes.

Orange Basil Mojitos

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

This Weeks Box 7/2/2016


Apples!

We picked our first apples this week. I have no idea what the two varieties that we picked are called. But one is a baking apple. And the other is tart and sweet. And appears to be an eater. We put the “eaters” in a bag . The “bakers” are loose with all the other fruits and vegetables. Baked apples stuffed with Oatmeal

Here is what is in the box

grapefruit

green onions

watermelon radishes

head of romaine

baking and eating apples

cantaloupe

zucchini

lemons

nectarines

fresh basil

avocado
big beet


Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

wp2

strawberries…http://www.recipeshubs.com/strawberry-avocado-salsa/38777
acorn squash..http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/sweet-roasted-acorn-squash-recipe.html
red potatoes
leeks…http://teaspoonliving.com/2014/09/potato-leek-soup/
white peaches
lemon
a few small green onions
chard or kale
small purple cabbage
2 avocados…http://www.recipeshubs.com/strawberry-avocado-salsa/38777


Tocayo checks out the micro squash

Be sure to check out the (Farm to Face Herbal Medicine Workshop) at the ranch this weekend .It is from 10:30 until 1 pm.

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

This Weeks Box 6/18/2016

webby

Good morning from the ranch…Uh Oh! Looks like we had some construction going on in the road to the produce shack last night. Better proceed with caution

quail

A little ways up the road, father quail plays crossing guard as his entire covey and mama cross the road into the north field.

kaya beastmaster

And then, we spot….”The Kaya!” She is slug whisperer of the Blue Sky Ranch. We watch in awe and wonder as she patiently and skillfully tames these feral snails. Just another crazy morning commute at the ranch!

Yellow peaches
Avocado
Hami Melon
Bunch Beets
Fresh Basil and Mint
Oro Blanco Grapefruit
Salad Mix
Chard
White peaches
Vidalia Onions
Zucchini
Valencia Oranges

Roasted Beet and Peach Salad

https://keepitupdavid.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/hami-melon-recipe/

https://thecreamline.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/zucchini-cantaloupe-salad-with-feta-and-mint/

 

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment

Thanks Again Nature.

kyler Darcy

sis image

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. Finding 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 direct. Get completely skunked. As a result, come to the realization at the ripe age of 10, that cartoons are bullshit. And should be best left alone as much as possible. Go out for a whole day with nothing but some curiosity and 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 for teaching me about real dangers. And how to anticipate 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 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.

Posted in This Week's Box | Leave a comment