March 2nd, 2021

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Chard, leeks, lettuce, beets, Tango Mandarins, Oranges, Cilantro

Bread this week: Rosemary Focaccia or Walnut-your choice of one

 

Spring Quarter Started: 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, call us at 530-787-3187 or 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-MAIL 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 (humus@cal.net)

 

 

NEW TO YOUR DOORSTEP DELIVERY OPTION IN DAVIS

If you would like a to your door delivery, we now have that option at our Davis locations.

It will be $20 per month or $5 per week. Let me know if you are interested and we will put you in contact with the Delivery Company.

 

 

This Week on the Farm

Ali and I took a walk this morning to look at the blooming apricots and peaches and to discuss what we needed to be thinking about for the upcoming fruit season.  The characteristic sweet floral smell of an apricot orchard in bloom greeted us as we walked through the hedgerow and windbreak leading into the orchard and found the apricots in full bloom.  The weather we have enjoyed has been nearly perfect for apricot blooms.  The dry north windy air has been a real protector to the vulnerable apricot flowers.  Brown rot fungal spores exist in all conditions of the orchard, lying quietly in the soil, the dead wood, the air, the flowers and the buds.  But it is only with the addition of free water for 24 hours or longer that those spores can burst into the fungal growth form that is so deadly to apricot flowers and green shoots.  So we discussed the chances of rain in the next two weeks which is the high danger, red alert time.  Ali took a set of pictures as we moved on through the white clouds of apricot blossoms and into the sparser hot pink peach blooms.  Picking small flowers we carefully took it apart until we saw the swollen ovary of the bloom with its long pistil still white and alive, waiting for one tiny grain of pollen to lodge at its tip.  As we pulled off the protective cover of the sepal jacket we disturbed the pollen carrying anthers nestled up close to the pistil in these completely self-sufficient little propagation chambers for the next generation of apricot trees.   Seeing that before us, Ali and I could envision the fully ripened apricot that starts as that ovary in that chamber containing all the genetic material for a

 

juicy apricot so loved by birds and we humans alike and containing the pit that we all reject for eating and cast off into the weeds and soil, right where that tree wants it.  Because it is all about propagation, right?

We could, at the same time, see a darker future for our blossom.  If rains come and stay in this relatively warm spring, that same chamber will fill with water and humidity.  The fungal spores lodged there germinate and begin the process of growing on the living tender parts of the flower, turning it to a medium for life and propagation of the fungus, rotting it and preserving conditions that without the drying of the north wind and sun, will promote its growth through the bottom of the ex-flower and into the soft living circulation layer of the twig which bore the flower. 

Which will it be this year?  Will the beautiful combination of the dry Mediterranean climate of the Central Valley of California and a dry, warm, breezy spring reward our efforts, or will the vagaries of climate and fate bring an extended damp time that brings us to pruning off dead wood filled with fungal spores during what should be harvest time?  We don’t know, and that is what drives farmers to worry the night away, or to use every tool at their disposal in an effort to increase the chance of a bountiful harvest, or perhaps to endeavor to understand how and why all this exists together in one big seething, chaotic, and integrated mass of life.  Each week will bring us closer to knowing whether we will be climbing the ladders with buckets for golden apricots and red and yellow peaches, or with pruning shears.  At any rate, welcome to Spring!  Have a great week ~Jeff

 

 

Roasted beets, chard, chickpea and coconut curry

1 onion or leek roughly chopped

3-4 beetroot peeled and cut into wedges

A handful of chard, washed and chopped

1 x400g tin chickpeas

2 cloves garlic, crushed

5cm ginger, grated

1tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

I tsp sea salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

400g tin coconut milk

preheat the oven to 200'C or gas 6.
Mix the onion/leek, beetroot and chickpeas in a roasting tin with the garlic, ginger, spices, oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 40 mins until veg is becoming tender.
Add the chard and pour the coconut milk over the veg. Give it a good stir and return to the oven for 10 mins.
Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve with rice, bulgar wheat, or naan and scatter with fresh coriander.

 

Spaghetti with Red Chard, Mushrooms, and Leeks

2 servings brown rice spaghetti (4 ounces)

1 tablespoon ghee butter

2 cloves garlic

1 leek, cut into thin slices

2 cups sliced white mushrooms

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch chard, leaves removed from stems and cut up

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package. While pasta is cooking, heat up ghee butter in a large pan on medium-low heat. Add garlic and leeks, and cook for about 4 minutes. Add in mushrooms, cooking for an additional 3-4 minutes until mushrooms become soft. Transfer mixture into a bowl and set aside. In the same pan, add the olive oil, and let it heat up for a minute or two on medium-low heat. Add chard, and cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes wilted. Add back in the mushroom mixture along with noodles, and toss with Parmesan cheese. 

 

Charred Leeks with Orange Sherry Vinaigrette

Leeks

3 leeks

3 tbsps olive oil

Salt and pepper

Vinaigrette

1 cup orange juice

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1 Clove garlic, smashed

3 tbsps sherry vinegar

3 tbsps olive oil

Salt and pepper

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Orange segments, for garnish

For the leeks: Heat oven to 375 F. Trim the root ends, then remove the green tops and any tough, damaged outer fronds. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse in cool water to remove the sandy soil they grow in. Pat dry and place on a roasting pan cut side up. Drizzle olive oil over the leeks, season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, 15-20 minutes.

For the vinaigrette: In a saucepan, add orange juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer until liquid is reduced by half, 5 minutes. Finish making the vinaigrette by removing the garlic from the reduced orange juice and whisking in vinegar, then olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Assemble the dish: Arrange the leeks on a serving platter, drizzle several tablespoons of the vinaigrette (reserving the rest for another use), and garnish with cilantro and orange segments.

 

Moroccan Salad with Cilantro Orange Dressing

For the salad

1/2 cup bulgur, uncooked

1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup pistachios

1 orange, peeled and cut into sections

2 cups baby spinach leaves

For the dressing

1 orange, peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed

2 tablespoons water to adjust consistency

Cook the bulgur according to package directions, adding the dates and salt just at the end of the cooking time. This helps soften the dates a bit and gives the bulgur good flavor. Cool the bulgur for 20-30 minutes for a cold salad. In a food processor, combine all the dressing ingredients except the cilantro. Puree until smooth, removing any pieces of orange that can’t be broken down any further. Add the cilantro to the smooth mixture, pulse a few times, and set aside. Toss the cooled bulgur and dates mixture with the other salad ingredients. Drizzle or toss with the dressing. Serve immediately.

 

Beet and Leek Fritters with Yogurt and Lemon

3 medium beets peeled and shredded

3 leeks trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced

1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour or use all purpose flour

1 egg well beaten

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp yellow mustard seed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

olive oil for frying

for the sauce

1/2 cup yogurt

juice of 1/2 lemon

Toss the shredded beets, leeks, egg, flour, spices, and salt and pepper together in a bowl.

Blend the yogurt and lemon to make the sauce.

Coat the bottom of a cast iron or other heavy skillet with olive oil. When the oil is hot, drop tablespoons of the beet mixture into the pan, flattening them out into rounds. You should hear a strong sizzle when the mixture hits the pan, or your oil isn't hot enough.

Cook until golden and tender, about 3 minutes per side.

Drain on paper towels and serve hot with the lemon yogurt.