August 13, 2019

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Squash, Marvel Stripe Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Potatoes, Satsuma Plums and Cucumbers

What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Globe Amaranth, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias, Tuberose, Celosia, & Cockscomb

What’s in your FRUIT BAG? Grapes, O’Henry Peaches, Elephant Heart plums and Figs

 

 

FALL QUARTER BEGINS AUGUST 20

PAYMENT IS DUE NEXT WEEK August 13

 

Fall quarter begins in just a few weeks. The summer is flying buy! Please fill out the attached form and send it back with your payment. Please send it back via e-mail or snail mail it really helps us keep your orders straight, even if you are not planning to continue please let us know too. The price is as follows

 

Veggies $220         Fruit $195             Bread $40                  Flowers $105

 

 

This Week on the Farm

We are over the summer hump and on our way to fall. Our CSA Fall quarter starts next week, figs are here, eggplant is sizing up, tomatoes are coming in and Jeff is doing ground work getting ready to plant our fall plantings. I have placed my orders of tulips, Dutch iris bulbs, ranunculus and anemones and just received a box of my fall flower seeds in the mail and finalized my order in for October arrival of fall plugs such as snapdragons, godetias, canterburry bells, dianthus and feverfew. We have put in our last summer plantings and they are up and looking good, so we are working hard to get everything in place to get the fall going. It is true we are all draggy around here, tired during the mid summer dog days, but mustering the energy to keep the crops harvested and planting for the next season.

The Adriatic and Mission figs have started, and Jeff just came in from the trees pretty excited about the gift they bring. The figs don’t take much care, Francisco makes sure they have lots of water, but they really don’t have too many needs, and they do what they know how to do and that is make figs. Figs are believed to be indigenous to western Asia and distributed by man throughout the Mediterranean area. Remnants of figs have been found in excavations of sites traced to at least 5,000 B.C. We know the fig grows best and produces the best quality fruit in Mediterranean and dryer warm-temperate climates and our climate matches what they know as home. The Adriatic or Strawberry Fig, comes from central Italy, it is a smaller with a greenish skin and a strawberry colored flesh that’s so sweet it’s almost like jam at peak ripeness, is one of the most luscious of figs but rarely encountered fresh, even at farmers markets, because of this fragility. So you are the lucky ones that get these little gems in your fruit box, they may look a bit bruised but that is because their skin is so thin, eat them as is or try the goat cheese and fig recipe in today’s newsletter. These trees do not produce the first early crop, but start now and can keep pumping out fruit for a month and a half.  

We are also harvesting the Satsuma Plum; this was the plum that my grandmother grew in Santa Rosa. While visiting Santa Rosa a few months ago I went to the Luther Burbank Gardens and bought a book that was written about him.  He was an amazing contributor to fruit and flower varieties, and we have his Santa Rosa plum, Elephant Heart Plum and Satsuma plums here on the farm. He introduced over 800 new plants in his lifetime, more than 100 were plums, prunes or plumcots.

Some of these were imported fruits, which he introduced in his catalogs, but most were new fruits, the result of his unceasing experiments with hybridizing. In 1883, the first of many plums were imported to California from Japan and Burbank ordered a dozen so-called “blood plums”. Two of these were very successful: one he called the Burbank and the second was a plum with red flesh that Burbank called the Satsuma, “in honor of the province whence it was derived.” Also the Elephant Heart Plum that is in your fruit box came from the Japanese imports and Luther’s hybridizing. These plums are so good just cooked up and eaten as dessert, I did that a few weeks ago, and could not help myself from thinking of my mom, she loved stewed fruit, and I got to thinking that was the easiest, probably cheapest dessert my grandmother could make for a large family. My grandmother was born about the time that Luther started his large experimental Gold Ridge Farm in Sebastopol and his new phase of lifework hybridizing. I just have to wonder about the fruit trees in her garden, and if she purchased them from Luther Burbank, I know she had many of his varieties growing in her garden, and my mom talked about how good the Green Gage Plum (a Luther introduction) was although the tree was long gone.

The other gift of nature is the Bronx grapes that is now ripen and you will most likely see in the fruit bag (some have Thompson Seedless). These vines were given to us by the Lider Ladies who owned and ran a Grape rootstock and grafting business in Dunnigan many years ago. These grapes are from a cross that was made in 1933 at the Cornell Biological Field Station in Geneva, New York, with the Concord grape and the Thompson grape creating the Bronx Grape. The Bronx has the robust flavor of the Concord grape and the texture of the Thompson grape. As the Bronx ripen, they change from slightly tart, firm, pale green grapes to a grape with a honey-like taste, delicate skin and a rosy pink color and when ripe they have a light, musty and floral perfume. The grapes are highly vulnerable to splitting as their thin skins fracture with even the slightest piercing making them very limited in production. Again you are among the special few that are able to taste the delight of this grape. Such is the beauty of California, the central Valley, and this farm, trying to keep history alive, producing the best tasting fruit as possible, and the love of growing it. May you stay cool in your hammock with someone dropping grapes into your mouth while being fanned during this hot spell, (At lease in your dreams). Have a Great Week~Annie

 

 

Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad

Creamy avocados and juicy peaches get a kick of spice thanks to Fresno chiles.

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoon pure honey

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 ripe but firm peaches cut into wedges

2 avocados, pitted and cut into wedges

1/2 cup fresh mint, torn if large, plus more for garnish

1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

 Whisk together lemon juice, oil, honey, shallot, and chile in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add peaches and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour. Just before serving, add avocado and mint and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with pistachios and garnish with mint. BY DAWN PERRY

 

Japanese Zucchini and Onions

"Zucchini and onions are stir fried with sesame seeds and teriyaki and soy sauces."

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 medium zucchinis cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Ground black pepper

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground pepper, and serve immediately. Recipe By: Michelle B Allrecipes.com 8/13/2019

 

Chinese Eggplants with Garlic Sauce

2 long tender Asian eggplants

Pinch of salt for salty water

3 tablespoon cooking oil + 1/2 tbsp. if needed

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 green pepper, cut into small pieces

1tablespoon light soy sauce

1/2 tsp. sugar

1teaspoon salt or to taste

Cut the eggplants into one bite size. Throw them in a large pot with water, add pinch of salt and marinate with a weight for 10 minutes. Transfer out and drain slightly (do not over dry, just pick the eggplants up). At the mean time, heat up wok and 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the eggplants in wok and fry over middle fire. Stir from time to time but do not move the eggplants frequently. When they are softened, transfer the eggplants out and keep some oil for frying the garlic. If there is no oil left, add around 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Add garlic in, heat over slow fire until aromatic. Add garlic in, heat over slow fire until aromatic. Add green peppers and return the eggplants, add light soy sauce and sugar. And sprinkle salt at the last.

Stir-Fried Potato and Eggplant (地三鮮)        

To introduce you to a stir-fry potato dish I want to share a recipe from the Dongbei or the Northeast region of China. The dish is called Di San Xian (地三鮮) or Three Elements from the Earth. It is a stir-fry dish made from potato, eggplant and bell pepper. They are all ingredients commonly available in the Dongbei region and this dish is very popular in home-style cooking. 

12 ounces potatoes

12 ounces eggplant

1 green pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 cups vegetable oil

Sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine (紹興料酒)

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetarian stock or water

Peel the potatoes and cut into irregular pieces about the size of a chestnut. Soak them in water and set aside. Remove the stem and cut the eggplant into the same irregular pieces as the potatoes. Set them aside. Cut the bell pepper into irregular shapes of about one-inch square. Set them aside. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok until just about the smoking point or about 375° F. Drain the potato pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Drop them into the hot oil and fry until golden brown or about 10 minutes. Remove from the oil and set aside. Fry the eggplant pieces until they are just beginning to brown or about 7 minutes. Remove from the oil and set aside. Remove all but one tablespoon of the oil from the wok. Return the wok to the heat and add the minced garlic and stir-fry until fragrant or about 30 seconds. Add the pepper pieces and stir-fry for about one minute. Add the fried potatoes and eggplant pieces to the wok and stir-fry for about 15 seconds. Add the sauce mixture to the wok making sure the cornstarch is completely mixed in the liquid. Continue to stir-fry until the sauce thoroughly coats all the ingredients or about 30 seconds. Plate and serve immediately.

 

Stuffed figs with goat cheese

Recipe for fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese, roasted and topped with date honey. Simple and scrumptious appetizer, all natural finger food.

12 fresh figs

4 oz soft goat cheese for vegetarian use cheese with a vegetarian rennet

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup date honey or you may substitute regular honey

Make a batch of date honey in advance of this recipe for best flavor, or you may substitute regular honey. Preheat oven to broil. Trim off stems of figs and cut an "X" in the top of each fig 1/3 way through. Place the figs on a greased, parchment or silpat-lined sheet tray. If they are a little wobbly, you can shave a bit off the bottoms of the figs so they stand upright. Place goat cheese in a plastic or piping bag and massage with warm hands until softened. Cut a tip off one of the bottom corners of the bag and pipe the cheese into each fig, dividing your 4 oz. cheese evenly between the 12 figs. Lightly brush the figs with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Broil the figs for about 4 minutes or until you can see little brown bits on the goat cheese. Date honey or regular honey should be gently warmed in a small saucepan at this point, it should be easily pourable and warm but not hot. Remove figs from oven and drizzle with warm date honey. Serve warm or at room temperature.