April 27, 2021

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Beets, Cabbage, Escarole, Spring Onions, Mulberries, Ruby Red Grapefruit and Kale

Bread this week: Whole Wheat or Garlic Parmesan - your choice of one

 

 

READY FOR THE NEW QUARTER?

We will be sending out summer quarter renewal forms next week, but you can always get a jump on it by emailing us back the attached form or letting us know your intentions.

 

NEW DELIVERY OPTION FOR 47TH STREET DROP

 

A message from John Boyer who delivers to the downtown Sacramento area.

 

Greetings East Sacramento! Delivery to your door is available from the newly created Trips for Kids chapter of Sacramento. For $5 a week we will bring your veggie box to your door with optional kitchen waste pick up for community and school garden composting. It’s a win win for you and our veggie loving community! Contact John Boyer @ (916) 342-0813 for how to sign up. All proceeds go to Trips for Kids. To learn more about Trips for Kids visit https://www.tfksac.org/

 

 

 

This Week on the Farm

I think spring is here, the weather, the trees, the flowers and the veggies all say so. At least the ones we have gotten in the ground. It’s funny, I feel like for the first three to four months of the year we feel like we are on top of things. We feel like we have gotten everything important done, and on track for the coming seasons. Then sometime around, oh just about now, we panic. We realize the weeds are taking over, the transplants are still in the greenhouse (not in the fields, where they are supposed to be at this time), and the time for it all to get done is slipping away. It seems like no matter how much we plan, organize, and “stay on top of things”, we almost always find ourselves behind. We do our day to day and the weeks just slip by, only the changing of the seasons informs us of our shifting responsibilities.

               During the winter we cram as many projects in to the weeks as possible. Fixing tractors, putting up a new greenhouse, getting a new cooler, fixing the broken cars, the list continues.  Spring brings the planting, fixing beds, transplanting, weeding, thinning, pruning and then summer…. Summer mostly brings exhaustion, but we don’t really feel that until fall. When we finally stop and let our bodies rest from the seemingly endless days of summer.

               We are trying to figure out ways to make life a little simpler here on the farm, ways that we don’t have the feeling of complete exhaustion when September comes. Do we cut out flowers, some larger row crops like zucchini, maybe not doing so many types of tomatoes? We have talked about the possibility of what we can do to make it easier, but it’s hard to change something that you are still trying to perfect. We finally had an amazing crop of tomatoes last year, how can we not try again? Zucchini is one of our best selling crops, how can we cut it in half? Flowers bring happiness and help us when there are no veggies to sell, we can’t leave them behind.  I feel like we are finally figuring things out, how do we change it all now?

               I mean yes, we have an issue with timing, as in we don’t have enough. We have a major labor shortage which puts strain on everyone here. But somehow we get through it, we work together, we struggle together, and eventually September does come around and we have made it through.

So much happened last year, so many hardships, personal and work related. Things that we never anticipated, and honestly never thought we could handle, but we made it through. Not to say I ever want to go through those experiences again, but I learned from it, and I know not only myself, but I feel like I know the farm a little better because of it. I know what I can’t do, what I can (but maybe don’t want to) and above most everything, I know what I need for myself to stay sane. I think that in most jobs, there is always work that needs to be done, always an excuse to continue working long after the working hours have ended. Some people, (most of my family in fact) can handle that; last year I learned that I cannot. I needed to find things to break up the days, to make sure that I can wake up in the morning and do it again. To me, I think that was one of the most important things I learned last year.

So as the mulberries arrive, announcing the official start of the fruit season, we prepare for the marathon.  Soon enough the apricots will be here and there is no stopping until the last peach has been plucked from the highest branch.  Until then we will have our heads in the trees and our hands in the weeds, waiting for the leaves and the cooling of the weather to let us know when it’s time to rest. So I hope you have your time for yourself and have a great week. ~ Claire

 

 

Balsamic Roasted Beets

3 beets peeled & diced (about 3 cups)*

1 TBS olive oil

½ tsp sea salt

1 TBS balsamic vinegar

1 TBS honey (maple syrup for a vegan version)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a large baking sheet or dish, set aside. Peel and cut 3 beets into 1” cubes. Toss beets with 1 TBS olive oil and ½ tsp sea salt. Spread onto a greased baking dish in an even layer. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. After 15-20 minutes, stir and bake for 10 minutes more or until beets feel soft to the touch. Mix together balsamic vinegar and honey. After 30 minutes (or when beets are soft to the touch), remove beets from the oven and add the honey/vinegar mixture to the baking dish. Stir until all the beets are evenly coated. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, stirring once half way through. Roast until the balsamic/honey mixture coats the beets (and isn’t runny). Remove from the oven and serve warm or store and serve later over your favorite salads.

 

Caramelized Cabbage & Onion Pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 small head green cabbage, shredded (about 4-5 cups)

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, plus extra as needed

3-4 slices vegan bacon of choice, chopped (optional)

1/2 teaspoon smoked

8 ounces pasta of choice

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Small splash red or white balsamic vinegar, (optional)

4 tablespoons chopped parsley, or as desired

Heat the oil or butter in a large, roomy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion. Cook, stirring every now and then, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are gently browning. Add the cabbage, 1 cup vegetable broth, smoked paprika, and vegan bacon if using. Continue cooking the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring often, or until the onions have darkened and the cabbage is very tender. If the vegetables get at all dry, add a few extra splashes of broth. While the onions and cabbage caramelize, cook the pasta according to package instructions.  When the pasta and vegetables are both ready, drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Once again, if the mixture gets a little dry, add an extra splash of broth. Warm all ingredients through. Taste, and then add salt, pepper, and/or vinegar to your taste. Serve the pasta right away with chopped parsley on top.

 

Grapefruit, Onion and Olive Salad

2 grapefruits
10 black olives, without pit
1 spring onion
basil
1 red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper

Peel off the skin of the grapefruits and roundly slice them. Thinly slice the olives. Chop the spring onion and fresh basil. Thinly slice the onion. Use a nice platter and place the grapefruit slices. Add the onion in the middle. Sprinkle with spring onion and basil. Pour olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

 

Red Quinoa, kale and grapefruit salad

10 oz. chopped kale 

1/2 cup uncooked red quinoa

2 grapefruits any variety,

1 large ripe avocado

1/2 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons dijon mustard

salt and pepper to taste

First, rinse and cook the quinoa according to the package directions. This should yield around 1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa. You can do this step the day before you plan to serve this salad as you want the quinoa to be chilled before adding to the salad. Juice one of the grapefruits. This should yield around 1/3 cup or maybe a little more juice. Combine in a jar with a lid with the olive oil, mustard, and a little salt and pepper. Replace the lid and shake well so that the dressing is well combined. Taste and add a little more salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Segment the remaining grapefruit and chop into bite sized pieces. Remove the skin and seed from the avocado and chop into small, bite size pieces as well. In a large bowl, toss everything with the dressing just before you are ready to serve.

 

Beetroot and Kale Soup

6 medium beetroots, peeled, halved

3 carrots, peeled, halved

1 red onion, peeled, chopped

Half a stick of celery

16½fl oz stock (chicken or vegetable)

A large handful of fresh kale

For the kale and almond crumble

50g whole almonds

A large handful of fresh kale

Add the beetroot, carrots, onion and celery and stock to a large pan. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for twenty minutes, or until the beetroot is tender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a large handful of fresh kale, cook for five minutes. Leave the soup to cool slightly, then carefully transfer to a power blender, or whizz with a stick blender until the soup is very smooth. To make the kale and almond crumble, place the whole almonds and kale (make sure it is very dry) into your (clean) power blender or food processor, blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Serve the soup, sprinkled with some of the kale and almond crumble.

 

Mulberry Lemon Gin Fizz

2 tablespoons mulberries

juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons sugar

2½ ounces gin

Ice

club soda

1 tablespoon mulberries (garnish)

lemon slices (garnish)

In a heavy glass or cocktail shaker, muddle together 2 tablespoons of mulberries, lemon juice and sugar until berries are mashed fine and sugar is dissolved. Add gin and muddle again. In the bottom of a 12 ounce glass, place remaining mulberries and lemon slices and top with ice. Strain mulberry-gin mixture through a fine mesh sieve and pour over ice. Top off with club soda.