March 9, 2021
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Kale, Lettuce, Bok Choy, Tangelos, Green Onions, Spinach, And Parsley
Bread this week: Whole Wheat or Walnut-your choice of one
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
Last week for the first time since fall I took up the hoe and cleaned weeds out of my craspidia flower bed. Yes, there were a lot, mostly tall very healthy weeds I was removing. That night when I got into bed my body was complaining all over, in fact so much so, it was hard to go to sleep. Sunday I mowed the lawn…which had not been mowed since last fall (no comments from the peanut gallery) and again I went to bed early, as I was so pooped out from pushing the mower through thick lush taller than it should be grass. It turned out to be a bad hair cut looking like a shorn sheep with the light green of the under grass left, as the grass was so tall. This brought me to the thought that something is changing here, and I could jump to the conclusion that it is me. I thought better of that and realized that slowly, moment by moment, day by day, without really realizing it spring is creeping up on us like a stealth cat crouching low, sneaking up on that unknowing bird. Jeff spent all day yesterday on the tractor cultivating all of our spring crops and last night went to bed with an achy knee. He realized that when cultivating he uses just the right leg for the tractor movements-lifting the back cultivating bars, turning the same direction at the end of the beds each time and such. It just again made me think that we are getting ready for the big pounce of what spring time brings to us on the farm. Our bodies have been in hibernation, not doing the hard physical work of summer time. Last fall I know that we were all so exhausted from the season, and from the increase demands, along with the unknown stresses because of COVID, I saw in the eyes of everyone here that look of “I don’t think I can do that again” look. In the first years of farming I would say to Jeff “I’m not going to do another season again!” And yet every spring without thinking there I would be getting ready to make the leap into the new season.
How is it that we as farmers can be at the edge of the cliff, done in, spent and then come spring forget where we were just a few months earlier? The winter hibernation, able to sleep longer each night, with more time to dream and go deep into the sleep subconscious time helps. This winter, as you know, did not give us much hibernation time which comes from dark dreary rainy, foggy days. This winter we were out in the fields planting, cultivating and harvesting a huge crop of citrus. Ali and I started cutting bulbs earlier it seems, but the stems on the daffodils, anemones and ranunculus were much shorter than we had hoped for. A Puzzle- farming brings new challenges and questions each year that keeps an inquisitive mind moving. Just as that creeping cat, slowly steadily moves forward, I think so does the effects of Climate Change inching its way into our lives. We do not irrigate the winter bulbs knowing that the winter rains will give them what they need. But this year it didn’t and the bulb will bloom no matter how tall it is, doing what it does every year around the same time. We realized that it seems that we need to put out drip irrigation lines on our bulbs to be ready for a winter watering if necessary so the bulb can grow before it blooms. These mysteries keep us going, trying to solve them, understand them, and find answers to them.
Last night for the second time in the COVID isolation we got together with our best family friends, Paul and Dru Rivers/Muller from Full Belly Farm. Our families grew up together, we would gather once a week for singing or go camping together in the few moments in the year when we could get away. Our kids are all similar in age and now have their own kids similar in age. It was the most wonderful gathering, celebrating Amon, their oldest son’s birthday. We had our masks on and ate outside in the chilly evening, but that didn’t matter because we were all together. Watching the kids run like wild banshees around us in circles, being normal regular farm kids. It made me see what a huge hole we have been living with, not to be able to be together, and watching our kids grow up together. We were going to bring out the guitars and have a sing, but it had been so long that we just had too much to say in catching up with our lives. It was so deeply satisfying to see Amon and our son Zach who are 6 weeks apart in age talking all night long laughing, sharing stories as if these separating times of life had not existed, and there they were best friends again as in childhood, while their kids Nolan and Hazel just one day apart in age were creating those same friendship bonds of childhood.
So to close the story, I wanted to share my conversation with Paul that I had last night which was about how we are navigating slowing down, being able to get away from our farms to get that break from the constant tugging and pulling from all the directions while working. I told Paul how great our Santa Rosa house has been for Jeff and I to be able to remove ourselves from that daily tugging. Even our crew notices how happy and relaxed we are on our return! We talked about how hard it has been for everyone this last year and how we going to move into another season? Paul said that what keeps him going is the possibilities of new ideas, new concepts that can be brought to the farm. Changes from learned failures, or just plain ‘ole desires to do it differently. Each spring brings not only a new season of possibilities to doing it “right this time”, but it brings those dreams from the dark winter’s nap out into the light. The search for new crops, new flowers varieties can be tried and trialed, the opportunity to put drip hose on the winter bulbs to see if that makes a difference. The ideas, new dreams to unfold are the carrot that keeps us moving forward as that sun silently moves higher and higher in the sky bringing us more light to shine on those new possibilities to come. Enjoy the rain while it lasts! Have a great week~Annie Main
Bok Choy and Kale Fried Rice with Fried Garlic
For the Fried Garlic:
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
For the Fried Rice:
3 cups day-old cooked jasmine or short grain rice (see note)
2 cups chopped kale (about 4 ounces)
2 cups chopped bok choy (about 4 ounces)
1 Thai bird's eye chili, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
For the Fried Garlic: Transfer garlic to the bowl of a food processor or mini food processor. Pulse until garlic is very finely chopped but not a paste, about 12 short pulses, scraping down sides as necessary. Set aside 2 teaspoons and toss remaining garlic with a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over a heat-proof bowl. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring. Garlic should maintain a gently bubble. If bubbling vigorously, reduce heat. Cook until garlic is light golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes, then immediately strain. Transfer garlic to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Reserve fried garlic and oil separately. For the Fried Rice: Heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add the kale and bok choy, season with salt, and stir-fry until the vegetables are bright green and barely wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon garlic oil in the wok over high heat until smoking. Add reserved raw minced garlic and bird's eye chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add rice and stir immediately, breaking up any large chunks and adding remaining garlic oil as necessary to prevent sticking. Season rice with salt and white pepper, then add soy sauce. Return kale and bok choy to rice and toss to combine. Transfer to warm serving bowl and sprinkle generously with fried garlic. Serve immediately.
Bok Choy Chicken
6 oz (170g) boneless and skinless chicken breast, cut into thin pieces
2 tablespoons oil
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and sliced into pieces
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper
1 teaspoon wine
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Marinate the chicken with the ingredients in Marinade for 10 minutes. Combine all the ingredients in the Sauce in a small bowl, stir to blend well. Cut the bok choy into pieces. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a wok until the oil becomes hot. Add the chicken and quickly stir-fry until the surface of the chicken turn opaque or white. Dish out and set aside. This step seals in the juice in the chicken so the texture is tender and velvety smooth. Heat up the remaining oil in the wok until hot. Add the ginger into the wok and stir-fry until aromatic. Add the chicken back into the wok and do a few quick stirs. Add in the bok choy and stir to combine well. Transfer the sauce into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the bok choy is cooked but remain crisp. Do not overcook. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed white rice.
Parsley & Green Onion Hummus Pasta
1 15oz. can chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 fresh lemon, or 1/4 cup juice
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 green onions
1/4 bunch fresh parsley
8 oz. pasta
Drain the chickpeas and add them to a food processor along with the olive oil, juice from the lemon (about 1/4 cup), tahini, garlic, cumin, and salt. Pulse the ingredients, adding a small amount of water if needed to keep it moving, until the hummus is smooth. Slice the scallions (both white and green ends) and pull the parsley leaves from the stems. Add the green onion and parsley to the hummus in the food processor and process again until only small flecks of green remain. Taste the hummus and adjust the salt, lemon, or garlic if needed. Cook 8oz. of your favorite pasta according to the package directions. Reserve one cup of the starchy cooking water, then drain the cooked pasta in a colander. Return the drained pasta to the pot with the heat turned off. Add about 3/4 of the hummus to the pasta and stir until the pasta is evenly coated (add more hummus if needed). Add the reserved pasta water as needed to keep the mixture smooth and saucy. Serve immediately.
Spinach, Arugula Salad with Fennel, Tangelos and Citrus Vinaigrette
For the roasted fennel
1 bulb fennel, core removed, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the citrus vinaigrette
1 teaspoon tangelo zest*
juice of 1/2 a tangelo*
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds (the dill-looking ends to the fennel)
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon stone ground dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the salad
2-3 cups arugula
2-3 cups spinach
1 tangelo, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted (Optional)
Preheat oven to 400℉. Place sliced fennel on a parchment lined baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing one or two times during baking, until the fennel edges are golden brown and caramelized.
While fennel is roasting, make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, combine tangelo zest, tangelo juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, shallot, fennel fronds, honey, dijon, salt, and pepper. Slowly stream in olive oil, whisking until combined. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Once fennel is finished roasting, let cool for 5 minutes or so. To assemble salads, toss spinach, arugula, tangelos, pumpkin seeds, and roasted fennel in a large mixing bowl. I like to add a couple pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper at this point. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette and toss. Serve with extra vinaigrette!