August 24th, 2021
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Ambrosia Melon, Plums, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Basil, Jimmy Nardellos, Potatoes and Garlic (with a bonus of squash for some)
Bread this week: Lavain OR Jalapeno Cheddar, your choice of one
NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST
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NO CSA DELIVERY TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 14TH OR SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18th
This Week on the Farm
“Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated.”From When Women Were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams
After the market on Saturday I went to pick up a book at Avid Reader for Claire, and just happened to ask about any new books from one of my favorite authors; Terry Tempest Williams. I bought two of her books, and spent the rest of my weekend recuperating from one of the biggest markets ever, by floating in our hammock in the middle of the garden and reading. At the same time as I was wrapped in the hammock cocoon, Jeff and Ali were preparing for a presentation to a committee of the State Legislature about this current drought we are in and how it has affected our ground water. Community for Family Farmers (CAFF) asked us to share our story of our drastic decline in our water levels.
“I speak for both my father and myself in being honored to be asked to give our testimony in front of the committee today as representatives for our local and regional communities of citizens, businesses, advocates and farmers. These contributors are all participating in the reinvigoration of a local food economy which supports regional food production, distribution, and consumption. We are aware that our testimony will not begin to describe the breadth or the depth of the physical and psychological damage being done to our local farming and food communities by this drought, but we feel that it is important that we appear before you today as our story is a relevant part of a broader crisis”.
I continue reading my book: “If you do not address the environmental situation you address nothing…And until the village people understand the problem, the problem will not be solved.” Wangari Maathai spoke about the problems of Africa that are shadows for the rest of the world. “To plant a tree, you must get your hands dirty. When women go to college, so often they go back to cities for white-collar jobs and forget where they come from. It is the country people, the village people who hold the Earth’s health in their hands”.
“After eight years on the east coast, I returned to my family’s farm to continue my parents work in land stewardship and food production. I had lived in New York City as well as Boston and found myself yearning to be a part of something that gave back to our planet and the people residing here in a positive manner. I wanted to connect myself to the community that I grew up in, which is led by entrepreneurs who are motivated to reinvest their profits into a future for us all. A community of people who can see what is happening around us and are working to re-imagine how we produce. My time away made me realize how unique small family farms are, the impact of the work they do, and how important it is to invest in their survival. I returned to Northern California with the dream of continuing our work for a second generation, but today that future is being threatened. It is being threatened by this drought, climate change, and investment agriculture pushing for profit today without any regard to what tomorrow will bring. The same Agricultural practices that led to the destruction of Southern California's watershed are here in Hungry Hollow, and they will not notice when my well goes dry. It appears that my future here on this land is dependent on the action of our leadership to prioritize the needs of the small farmer”.
This past week we had a representative come out from the Yolo County Water District to show him the well logs that we have dating back to 1970’s and to tell him of our increasing declining water levels. At this meeting we were told that a pipeline is being constructed, bringing water from the current irrigation ditch which is supplied by Cache Creek to farms that are currently not receiving ditch water up the Hungry Hollow area. They told us our best plan is to invest in being part of this pipeline for the future of our farm.
Jeff told the committee: “Today, we feel like a farm under siege. Since our domestic well went dry, we have been relying on our agricultural well for all the water for home and farm. In 1987 our water stood at 100ft below ground. By the end of the 2012-2016 droughts the water level in our well had dropped to 181 ft, and following this winter’s drought, in the two months of April and May the level dropped an additional 26 feet in 2 months. We have been unable to avoid the correlation of diminishing water resources for our farm with the severe drought conditions prevalent in the last decade. Projections of increasing likelihood for multi-year drought have caused us to re-examine the future of our farm. But the greatest disappointment has been the denial of a water crisis by an aggressive multi-national investment agriculture culture. Since the initiation of the California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) legislation and in the middle of a period of intermittent drought, the investment in thousands of acres of large land parcels has multiplied manifold in the dry, unirrigated hills to the north of us and directly over our supplying aquifer. It has been impossible not to notice the lowering of our water table from the combined extraction of these massive pumps irrigating almonds, olives, grapes, and pistachios for international markets. As an indicator of the recognition of a looming loss of groundwater in our area, and of the priorities of our new neighbors, a private proposal to provide water to hundreds of acres to be developed for olive production through a pipeline carrying extremely low quality water from a Cache Creek diversion canal during years when it is available is being floated to a governing local water agency. It has been suggested to us that the most prudent course would be to invest in the pipeline project to insure the farm’s survival.”
..In my hammock I was the observer of a father and daughter crafting together a speech, doing their research, finding their voice together, telling their story of past present and future of who we are and what we are made of. And yes, it was quite a vision to see them growing, finding the strength to do something that they didn’t want to do individually, but together they had the courage to speak our truths about this farm, and so many others just like us. Terry Tempest Williams was with me, telling her story of how “The courage to continue before the face of despair is the recognition that in those eyes of darkness we find our own night vision. Women blessed with death-eyes are fearless.” The Hopi elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water. See who is in there with you and celebrate. ~ Annie Main
Source: Tasting Table Test Kitchen
About 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream, warmed
1½ pounds Tomme d'Auvergne, rind removed and cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ pound Gruyère and ¾ pound fresh mozzarella can be substituted for Tomme d'Auvergne)
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the potatoes in a medium pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add enough salt so that the water tastes salty, like the ocean, and bring a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain. Immediately pass the potatoes through a food mill or ricer and return them to the pot. Set the pot over low heat and stir in the garlic, butter, cream and about half of the cheese. Once the cheese has melted, stir in the remaining cheese. Continue stirring until the potatoes can be stretched with a spoon like melted mozzarella. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Soak the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Prepare the sauce: Whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Heat the vegetable oil in a 10" cast iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, or until the oil is shimmering. Add the potatoes and fry, turning every minute or so, until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 4 to 6 minutes). Add the garlic, scallions, and Serrano pepper to the pan; sauté for 60 seconds until the garlic is fragrant. Pour in the prepared sauce and toss well. Cook, turning the potatoes frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the potatoes have soaked up the sauce.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the diced plum and basil leaves. Fill the shaker with ice; add the gin & simple syrup. Place on the shaker lid and shake for 1 minute. Pour into a glass filled the sliced plum. Fill glass to the top with seltzer and garnish with lime wedge
1 1/2 pounds Jimmy Nardello
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, wine vinegar (red or white),
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped basil leaves
About 1 tsp. kosher salt
About 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Heat a grill to medium-high (400° to 450°). Grill peppers, covered and turning occasionally, until softened and lightly charred, 7 to 12 minutes, transferring to a medium bowl as done. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull off pepper skins that come off easily (no need to remove all of them), pull off stems, and swipe out seeds with your hand, working in a strainer over a bowl to catch juices. Finely chop peppers, and then return to bowl with juices. Stir in oil, vinegar, and marjoram. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Eggplant stir fry cucumber
Source: Luda huang from The recipes Home
1 pound of cucumber peeled and cut into slices of the same size
1 lbs eggplant peeled and cut into same size pieces
2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil
3 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons Red chilli minced
1/2 tsp pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, add minced garlic and cook 20 seconds. Then stir in the add cucumber, Red chilli, eggplant and Cook for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally. add salt, and cook 4-5 minutes, stirring every 20-30 seconds, or until vegetables are barely starting to soften. serve warm. Sprinkle with green onions
Saucy Burst Tomato Basil Chicken
Source: Little Spice jar
1 ½ pound of chicken breasts (cut thicker breasts in half, horizontally)
1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt AND garlic powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
Oil, for cooking
Tomato Basil Pan Sauce:
24 ounces (1 ½ pound) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup tomato puree (see notes)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon EACH: salt AND red pepper flakes (less or more to taste)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup packed basil leaves, julienned
Cooked pasta, for serving
CHICKEN: Combine the salt, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken on a cutting board in a single layer and season evenly on both sides with the seasoning. COOK CHICKEN: Heat a big swish of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken in a single layer and cook the chicken for roughly 3-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. If all the chicken does not fit at once, repeat this process; do not overcrowd the pan or the chicken won’t brown. Remove the chicken to a plate. TOMATO BASIL SAUCE: Turn the heat source off. Add the tomatoes and alow the pan to cool down for 2 minutes. Add a swish of oil if the pan is dry. Turn the heat back on to the medium heat setting. Add the tomato puree and allow the tomatoes to start sizzling and softening for a couple of minutes. Then using a wooden spoon and fork burst any tomatoes that need a little help. Scrape the pan to lift all the fond. Cook for roughly 12-15 minutes or until the tomatoes soften and become a chunky sauce. Season with the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt, and ½ the basil at this point and continue to cook the sauce for another 2 minutes. If at any point the tomatoes start to dry out, add a small splash of water, I didn't need to. Add the butter and allow it to slowly melt into the sauce while you stir. Once the butter has melted, nestle the chicken breasts back into the sauce so they can soak up that flavor. Sprinkle with the remaining basil on top. Serve over pasta, cooked rice, cauli-rice, or with crusty toasted bread on the side.