May 3rd, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Strawberries, Snap Peas, Green Garlic, Bok Choy,
Bread this week: Barbari OR Round Lavain your choice of one
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This week on the farm
What is it like to be a farmer raising a family on the land in rural California? I’m not sure what it is would be like not to live in a rural lifestyle. What is it like to live in the “city”? I certainly grew up in the suburban Bay Area, playing on the streets at night with the other kids on the block. I rode my bike to school with my neighborhood friends; I walked to the grocery store with my mom because we didn’t have a second car. I was a Girl Scouts, selling cookies door to door, or down at the doors of the local Safeway store. I mowed other neighbor’s lawns to make money. We went on summer vacation as a family, car camping visiting the National Parks and as I got older our family went on back packing trips up into the Sierra.
Our kids didn’t have much of that experience growing up; they played in the fields with each other making swords out of the used wood lying around and wacked heads off of bull thistle. They didn’t get an allowance, if they wanted to make money they had to make something to sell, and give the farm a cut of the cost of supplies. We didn’t go on summer vacations, as summer was the busiest season for us. Girl or Boy Scouts was too much to add to an already full schedule, we did sneak in swim lessons for maybe the first two kids, but there were many excursions to the creek with other farm kid friends. Our life here on the farm has been all consuming, full of work beyond possible completion each day or season. I would take the kids to Bodega Bay with some of my farm friend mom’s and their kids and have a mini vacation. I must admit that I felt we were depriving our kids of the childhood that I remember; it somehow felt like they were missing out on a “normal” family life.
Now that our kids are adults, and some having kids of their own, and having these grandkids visit the farm, it is a bit easier to set back and see what we have as our “normal”. As a grandparent it has been eye opening to see these kids explore the farm. From loving to pick and eat fresh strawberries from the plants, to knowing what it means to be in mulberry season, to beginning to face rattlesnake season and what that means as far as being careful. They love to ride the four wheeler around the farm to see what is going on, or watch pop-pop drive the caterpillar tractor, or play in the muddy Rio in the middle of the farm, or see how many lady bugs they can have in their hands at one time…the list goes on and on, and of course the market is a high light. But what I see in them, that I think my kids also had, but I couldn’t see it because I was too wrapped up in raising them, was the freedom to explore and discover the wildlife, the mechanics of the farm, the constant changing of the weather and how it affected us all. I will never forget one summer night when we have a bunch of apricots out on drying trays and it started raining. We all jumped out of bed, and ran out in our underwear to stack the drying trays so that the rain wouldn’t ruin the drying apricots. It was a wild night! I think what it has given them is that chaos is part of our life, that there is a daily routine that is unknown until that day begins with the sunrise. And then it changes just hours have passed because something broke, or with the warm weather ripened a crop overnight, or we got a big order and all hands on deck are needed to put it together. Change is the constant around here. Being able to change with a good attitude is necessary, that is where the Good Humor Man comes in to our farm name. You need Good Humor and good humus to farm, and ice cream treat helps too.
As Jeff and I are starting to transition the farm to our children, it has becomes apparent that we have devoted our lives to building this farm. We worked together, side by side raising the barn and our children in the barn. Needing to learn just about everything from how to change diapers to how to unplug a septic tank! I think both Jeff and I will tell a story of how we had some of the best deep philosophical conversations while harvesting zucchini on Sunday mornings most of an entire summer. Our relationship was around the farm the kids, and marketing our produce, fortunately our thoughts and values were pretty close and decisions agreed on weren’t usually hard to come to. We make a good team, able to allow the other their individual “ways” at times. I see this in some of our farming friends too, and I see their kids back at their farm, integrating into the business, bringing their own gifts, knowledge and love that builds the farm to the next incarnation. Our family is participating in a yearlong pilot program with FarmLink for Farm Succession. It has been really helpful to open up the communication between us all on so many levels, and it is asking Jeff and me to say what we want for next year, and the next five years. And it is pushing the envelope for the kids to say what they want this farm to look like, and how they will work side by side into the next generation of Good Humus. It is clear that with this life come many sacrifices and our kids have seen and lived these sacrifices. Yet as I watch our grandchildren, it is also very clear the value of raising children on a farm. Having a life time of learning, and one’s own exploration of the community we live in be it local people or the wildness of nature, or living in the constant need to let go and learn to ride the wild bull of chaos each day or season or the adjust to the yearly changing markets, or a new produce manager…again.
Have a Great Week!~Annie
SESAME GINGER CARROT NOODLE STIR FRY WITH BOK CHOY AND CRISPY TOFU
The Ginger Sesame Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon each: dark sesame oil and corn starch
1 teaspoon each: brown sugar or honey, Sriracha, and neutral flavored oil.
2 inch piece of ginger, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Juice from 1 lime
The Crispy Tofu
Enough oil to cover the bottom medium sized frying pan
16 ounce package of medium tofu, cut into squares
1 teaspoon soy sauce
The Carrot Noodle Stir Fry
5 large regular carrots
1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
A few handfuls of bok choy
Cilantro, lime, and sesame seeds, to garnish
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together all of the Ginger Sesame Sauce ingredients. Heat a medium-sized frying pan (cast iron works great) over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Working in batches, if necessary, fry the tofu on all sides until it is brown and crispy. Remove the tofu from the pan and place it into a small dish. Toss with the soy sauce, tofu, soy sauce. While the tofu is frying, use your spiralizer to make noodles from the carrots. You could also use a julienne peeler or cut the carrots into long, thin strips with a sharp knife. Heat the oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrot noodles and bok choy and toss a few times. Cover and let the noodles cook for about 2 minutes. Just when the noodles start to soften, add the Ginger Sesame Sauce and toss to coat. Once the sauce thickens (in about 1 minute), remove the pan from the heat and stir through the crispy tofu. A few handfuls of baby bok choy, Serve topped with any or all of the garnishes. Cilantro, lime, and sesame seeds, to garnish
Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette
2 stalks of green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed, some chopped and some left whole
6 white button mushrooms, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/4 cup torn mint or small mint leaves
In a small saucepan, combine the green garlic and olive oil and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the garlic is very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely. Strain the oil into a small bowl; transfer the green garlic to a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and dill and slowly whisk in the reserved oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss the snap peas with 3/4 cup of the vinaigrette. Transfer to a platter and scatter the mushrooms on top. Garnish with the mint and serve with the remaining vinaigrette.
Strawberry Vodka Lemonade
4 medium strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 ounces vodka
3 ounces lemonade
Sliced strawberry, for garnish
Gather the ingredients. Muddle the strawberries in the bottom of a tumbler or old-fashioned glass. Add ice, followed by the vodka. Top with the lemonade. Garnish with strawberry slices laid out in a fan. Serve and enjoy.
Asian Vegetable Stir Fry with Sugar Snap Peas and Bok Choy
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 -2 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 cups sliced red bell peppers
1 1⁄2 cups sliced green bell peppers
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 1⁄2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted and drained
6ounces cooked pork tenderloin, thinly sliced green onion, sliced for garnish in a small dish, whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside. In a large wok or skillet heat add a small amount of vegetable oil and heat over medium high heat. When a drop of water sizzles in the pan add the onions and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the peppers and peas. Cut the bok choy in fourths lengthwise and then in 1 inch lengths. Add to wok and stir-fry until the bok choy begins to turn dark green, about 3 minutes. Add drained mushrooms, sliced pork if using and sauce. Cook just until warmed through.
Sai Thooma Mei Gajrun- Carrot Stir Fry With Green Garlic
Source: Shobhas Food Mazaa
1 lg bunch Green garlic
2 Green chillies
3-4 tbsps Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tbsp Kasoori methi
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Red chilli powder
Handful Coriander leaves
Scrape the carrots and cut into small pieces. Cut the tomato and the green chillies into small pieces. Separate the white part of the garlic and dice it. Chop the greens and keep them separate. Heat oil in a pan and add the white part of the garlic. sauté it a bit. When it changes the color add the green chilies followed by the spice powders, salt and kasoori methi. Maintain low flame so that the spices are not burnt. Tip in the tomato pieces. Cover and simmer until tomatoes are soft. You can add 3-4 tbsps of water. add the carrots, garlic greens and coriander leaves. Save some garlic and coriander for garnishing. Cover the pan and cook on low flame. After 2 minutes open the lid and give it a stir. Check the salt and add if required. cover and simmer for 3 more minutes. If the carrot pieces are bigger cook for 1 minute or until done. Finally add the remaining green garlic and coriander. Serve it with rotis or bhakri.