April 7, 2020
What’s in this Week’s Box
VEGGIE BOX: Green Garlic, Lettuce, Toscano Kale, Radish, Grapefruit, Oregano, and Beets.
VEGGIE Plants FOR Sale
ORDER DUE APRIL 14TH
If you would like to make a veggie plant order we are attaching the Plant Sale availability list so you can see what we have growing and you are welcome to make orders. Fill out the form and mail back to us in with your check and we will add your Plant Order to the Tuesday April 21 and the Saturday April 25 deliveries. Happy Gardening.
This Week on The Farm
I spend a lot of time doing deliveries. That means a lot of time in the van, which means a lot of time listening to the news, and boy is the news scary right now. I imagine there are a lot of people who are similarly inundated with the news, the ominous, stressful, and anxiety inducing daily updates. So today, I would like to share some of the positive and inspirational things that I have seen around me in these last few weeks.
There has been an incredible outpouring of requests for CSA memberships, at every single farm I know. Our communities are looking for local, fresh, organic produce to help them boost their family’s immune system, as well as a way to avoid busy grocery stores. It is heartwarming to see our community look to local farms for security and comfort, and it feels so fantastic to be able to work to provide it. A few weeks ago, we had a member organize the purchase of a box for a family in need. Going above and beyond to help get that security and comfort to someone who could not afford it on their own. Bravo.
The farmers market is completely empty. I have been going to the Davis Farmers Market since my first days in this world, and I have never seen so few people shopping. But, we are selling out before closing time because many shoppers are buying for neighbors, friends, and family. My flowers are being sold in twos, and threes, and so often I hear “my elderly neighbor loves your bouquets” or something to that effect. Every vendor I talked to doesn’t quite know what to say, because somehow we are selling out, but the market is totally dead. It’s all because of the generous shoppers, buying for his or her little community. Bravo!
Outside of the farm I am seeing people offering up spare TP, masks, sanitizer, wipes, bed sheets, almost anything you can think of to those who are without. I am continuously impressed with the generosity of people in times of disaster, and try to look to those acts of kindness and togetherness for hope.
When times are exceptionally hard, people can have an incredible amount of empathy, and suddenly cities rise up and come together to support one another and care take the community. I find it fantastically contagious, filling my heart with pride and hope - pushing out the fear and darkness. ~Ali Main
It is encouraging to me, as I step into my 45th year of farming to view all the messages of hope that are circling us all. There have been so many ups and downs in those 45 years, that it has been hard to imagine there could be anything as vast as our newest challenge. But if the positive messages that I hear through all the noise are any measure of the magnitude of the challenge that draws their response, then I can find a hope that we may all “hang together”, part of a saying that served us well in another time and place. So, in the same vein, a little more to add to the positive message from the farm. It seems as if we have been fighting weeds forever, but during it all we have continued to plant and to care for the trees and shrubs that bear our perennial fruits. It is just our response to tough times, to keep on planting as if there is a time after this rough moment, and sure enough, it comes along. As we look over the farm, the apricots have set a large crop that will even require thinning, we have piles of compost ready to be spread over the summer fields, we have nice spring crops of lettuce, carrots, beets, greens, radishes, turnips, broccoli and cabbage, onions and garlic coming in soon, and last year’s rookie of the year winner, the Persian mulberries, are loaded. I also took a fling this year and made a second order of potatoes that just arrived and which we will plant to augment and extend ato season. We have always emphasized staples when at all possible, knowing that potatoes and carrots and onions and lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes are a big part of a healthy American diet. The summer crops look vibrant in the greenhouse and we will planting them as soon as the ground dries, somewhere in the second half of April.
By the way, there is a great story in the weed fields we have been looking at for 4 months. As nearby farmers and neighbors have been watching us gradually disappear into our weeds, they have naturally been curious about this departure from best farming practices. I had a farmer friend stop by in his truck, a nice guy that I like a lot, and as we talked along, I saw a sideways glance at the field, and an innocent, “So, how are you doing this year?” I had to tell him that we are getting by ok, not a lie, but when a farmer asks you that particular question, you know he is stretching to find out if you are actually surviving. At least I took it that way. And to put the icing on the cake, a neighbor out walking her dog yelled across the way the first thing that came to her mind after exchanging hellos, “Sure are a lot of weeds!” Well, it sure has been a challenge, but we have again earned our local name, “The Hippie Farm”. I never earned that title when I was young, being too hard at work, but finally, we have earned it…thanks to our weeds. ~Jeff Main
A hallmark of spring add delicate garlicky flavor to spring and early summer dishes. Green garlic is simply immature garlic and looks like a slightly overgrown scallion or green onion. We plant the garlic close and then pull when thinning the garlic crop and. To use, trim off root ends and any tough part of the green leaves. Chop or slice white, light green, and the first few inches of the dark green leaves (as long as they are tender). Use as you would green onions or garlic, noting that it is stronger than green onions but milder than the garlic.
Pasta with Roasted Beet Sauce
Here’s a wonderful recipe for your beets – maybe a little too involved for a school night, but worth the trouble. This recipe is enough for 2 or 3 people. If you don’t have all the seasonings, don’t worry, go ahead anyway!
3 medium-sized beets, cleaned and cut into a small dice
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 sprigs thyme
3 cloves garlic-use the green garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon vermouth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus for garnish
1/4 cup cream or milk
1/2 pound pasta (penne is good)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Mint leaves, for garnish
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the diced beets and cloves of garlic with 1 tablespoon oil, thyme sprigs and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Check for doneness at the 30-minute mark. Transfer roasted beets and garlic to a food processor. Add the balsamic vinegar, vermouth, half of the cheese and the remaining oil. Pulse until it’s as smooth as you can get it. Transfer beet mixture to a small saucepan. Add the stock and cream and bring to a light simmer. Add the remaining cheese and another pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low. Toast the poppy seeds in a small skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to skillet. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Give it one more taste. Season accordingly. Serve pasta garnished with a good sprinkle of the poppy seeds and the mint leaves. Garnish with cheese. Meal or course brunch, buffet, dinner, lunch, pasta, side
Kale with Cannellini Beans
1 ½ to 2 pounds kale or mixed greens stems and ribs removed (use your beet greens too)
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 plump garlic cloves minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
½ cup dry white wine
1 1/3 cup cooked cannellini, rinsed well if canned
Freshly grated Parmesan
These tender greens cook in their entirety within minutes, look absolutely stunning and are so delicious. Soak them in a bowl of water for 15 minutes, then rinse. Simmer the kale in salted water and cook until bright green and tender, about 7-10 minutes. Drain reserving the cooking water, and chop the leaves. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the oil with the garlic, pepper flakes and rosemary for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is reduced to a syrup sauce. Add the beans, kale, and enough cooking water to keep the mixture loose. Heat through, taste for salt and season with pepper and serve with a dusting of Parmesan. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
Oregano Pesto with Capers & Olives
Serve with cold beets, fresh egg noodles, or spread on toast, then covered with tomatoes. You could eat it with most anything.
1 small sliced country bread
2 tablespoons aged red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove-coarsely chopped
Sea salt and ground pepper
¼ cup oregano leaves
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons pitted Greek olives
½ olive oil
Remove the crusts from the bread, and then soak it in vinegar on a plate. Pound the garlic with ½ teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth, and then work in the oregano, capers, nuts, and olives until you have a coarse puree. Add the bread and the olive oil and work until the pesto is well amalgamated. Season with pepper taste for vinegar and add a little more if you think it needs it. The pesto will be very thick.
Tangy, tart and a little bit sweet, vitamin packed grapefruit sparkles in winter. Try it paired with three of our favorites-avocado, ginger, and goat cheese for a fresh take on the juicy gem.
Mix together chopped avocado and grapefruit. Add minced Serrano pepper. Drizzle with orange juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Toss to combine, and serve as an appetizer with chops or as a relish spooned over grilled chicken or fish.
Peel grapefruit and cut into thick slices. Brush with butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and ground ginger. Broil 3 inches from heat for 2-3 minutes until brown sugar is melted and
slices are heated through. To with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with candied ginger for a sweat tart treats.
Goat Cheese Toasts
Add a new crostini topper to your appetizer arsenal. Mix together goat cheese and a little honey. Spread on toasted baguette slices. Layer on thin slices of salami and grapefruit sections. Top with a drizzle of honey and a bit hit of freshly ground black pepper.