May 24th, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Beets, Kale or Collards, Lettuce, Asparagus, Peppermint, Red Onion and Apricots
Bread this week: Rosemary Focaccia OR Whole Wheat your choice of one
Summer Quarter Starts today: NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST
Is your name on the list for your order?
If your name is not on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you.
If you think your name should be on the list and is not, send an email
Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so the drop host knows who forgot their box and can give you a call.
If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received payment from you
If next to your name it says E-MAILED or CALLED, it means we gave you a call and have not heard from you, we would like to know your intensions-we did make you a box for this week only
Do we have your order correct? If not give us a call
Is your phone number correct? If not give us a call
Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (email@example.com)
~number 1’s 12# for $48.00 (last longer and prettier)
~JAM Box12# for $38.00 (perfect for eating right away or making jam)
Please place your order by 5pm Friday evening so we can have your order ready for Tuesday May 31st.
This week on the farm
Welcome to the new quarter and to everyone. Summer quarter in California is a season of tomatoes and basil and cucumbers in salad, potatoes and onions and garlic, apricots and peaches and grapes with juice dripping off the chin. Each year on the Farm this moment comes at us with a rush, and we put away our wintertime habits and pleasures and prepare to meet summer loads one day at a time.
This year was no exception. On Thursday last we finally started our transplanting of tomatoes, peppers and basil. We knew we were late but it felt good to hook op the transplanting machine that saves our backs for yet another year and to see the carefully inserted rows line out across the field. On Thursday, it was also good to look at the old apricot orchard that we are caring for that I wrote about last week and see that summer fruit pick, our 47th annual, would start the next morning, Friday morning. It was also good to think about the Sunday morning trip that Ali, Eric and I would be taking, the last of three trips to Oregon to pick up the old(er) tractors and equipment we purchased last winter. Just to be sure you know the quality of this equipment, I can say that it has been around long enough to work out the kinks, acquire a rust patina, and to have a series of weld-on, homemade remodels. Just what I was looking for! But I get ahead of myself.
As we stood looking at our first thousand feet of carefully tended basil plants finally in the ground but whipping around a little bit in the rising north wind, little did we know that back toward town, a Driver Under the Influence was in the process of shearing off the one power pole that feeds electricity to the whole of Hungry Hollow and the Capay Valley, starting a four acre grass fire, and running for his life from his burning car across a field laced with fires from arcing, snapping high voltage lines. While we were happy that he made it out alive, we were suddenly faced with a transplant job to finish with transplants in the ground needing water, and not a drop on the farm or in the vicinity. Luckily the PGE hotline assured us that electricity would be restored by 6 PM. Buoyed by this news, we continued putting transplants in the ground. At 5:30 we got an update that power restoration would not happen until 2AM. So about dark on Thursday we finished for the day by placing irrigation pipe ready to turn on as soon as power came on. About dark, the poor guys that would be doing the repairs through the night in a driving north wind decided that public fears be hanged, they could not finish before 6AM. By this time, warming coolers and freezers, bed without showers, and liquid at a premium all took a back seat to thoughts of the overnight loss of our entire summer crop of basil and peppers. Well, having been through this stuff before, and knowing we and plants are resilient, and that others would worry a lot more than I do, I fell asleep. But Zach, worried that PGE might not be able to have power restored when they said they would, got up and on his own initiative called a neighbor with a water truck and asked for some help early in the morning. In true neighbor fashion, they said sure, we will be there. Friday morning found our Farm squarely facing the first true summer day with wind gusts up to 40MPH. Watering transplants with a garden hose from a truck, listening to PGE set back restoration to 10 and then 1PM. But in the middle of the hose watering, the miracle of PGE power was restored, lights went on, coolers hummed to life, and water gushed from the well.
By Saturday afternoon, everything was transplanted and watered with minimal losses, we had performed our promised appearance at the Davis Farmer’s Market, and we were setting the stage for Sunday’s last equipment trip to Oregon. As I sit here Tuesday morning, bringing the Farm experience to life, having survived the trip over the hump, I can’t help but contemplate the incredible combination of perseverance, luck and community that are required to raise and hold a small family farm. On this first day of the new quarter, I want to welcome all of you to our world, and the products of that world that are so healthy in so many ways. Have a great week. ~Jeff
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Apricots, and Pistachios
4 medium organic golden and/or red beets
3-4 ounces herb goat cheese, crumbled
⅓ cup dried apricots, chopped
⅓ cup roasted pistachio pieces
3 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F/176C degrees.
Scrub beets well, dry, and coat with a little olive oil. Place beets in an ovenproof pan, cover with foil, and roast for 40-45 minutes, or until knife tender. When beets are cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and cut into slices. Place beets on a serving platter, sprinkle with goat cheese, chopped apricots, and pistachios. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and balsamic vinegar and mix well. Drizzle over beets. Serve immediately.
GRILLED ASPARAGUS AND APRICOTS WITH BALSAMIC GLAZE
1 pound asparagus
4 apricots ripe
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1/4 cup walnuts finely chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or coconut sugar
Heat a bbq up to high heat. Be sure the grill is very hot for apricots to grill without cooking through. Make balsamic glaze by combining balsamic vinegar and chosen sweetener in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a low simmer over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes until mixture has reduced by half, and is sweet and lost it's acidic bite. If you accidentally over-reduce the mixture, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is a good consistency for drizzling. In a small dish, mix together olive oil and honey, and stir to combine. Cut or break the tough ends off the bottom of the asparagus, and cut the apricots into halves. Use a brush to coat asparagus and halved apricots with honey-olive oil mixture. Season lightly with sea salt and black pepper. Grill the asparagus and apricots. Place apricots on high heat area of grill. Only lightly grill the outside, 2-3 minutes total, to prevent apricots from cooking through and becoming too mushy. When the asparagus is grilled to your liking, and apricots are grilled, remove from heat. Drizzle balsamic glaze and garnish with walnuts.
Kale and Beet Salad With Tahini-Lemon Dressing
2 bunches Kale (stems removed, shredded)
3 medium beets (peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 tbsp. water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay a large sheet of aluminum foil across a baking sheet. Place the beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, on top of the foil sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray, tossing to coat. Lay another long sheet of foil on top, sealing the edges tightly, to enclose the beets in a foil packet. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the beets are fork tender. Remove from foil packet and place into a bowl to cool. Wash the kale and remove the thick stems running down the middle of the leaves. Slice the leaves into thin shreds and place in a large bowl. In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves a few times until minced. Add the remaining dressing ingredients, pulsing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour half the dressing over the kale, massaging it into the shredded leaves for 1 to 2 minutes with your hands, until fully coated. Let sit for at least twenty minutes to marinate and tenderize the leaves. once the beets have cooled, add to the kale along with the raisins, walnuts, and remaining dressing (or a little less, per your taste). Toss to coat and season with additional salt and pepper. Divide onto four plates and serve immediately.