What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Bok Choi, Butternut, Cilantro, Lettuce, pomegranates, potatoes, and Lemongrass/Kaffir Lime leaves
Bread this week: Pugliese OR Whole Wheat, your choice of one
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This week on the farm
Happy day light savings! It may be a drag for some who now don’t get home before sunset, but how nice was Mondays sleep in! I decided to not fight the drowsiness, went to bed at 9pm! Yes thank you!
Well this week is supposed to continue this rainy/chilly trend which gets me all excited about soups. I made some weekend ramen and it was hot and spicy, loaded with bok choi, spinach and turnips -really hit the spot! So now im on a soup kick and thought it might be a good time to add my Tom Kha soup kit. We will have bok choi, cilantro, and a little bag of lemongrass and Kefir lime leaves for you to use. (note- it is only 2 leaves, and the recipe calls for 10. Our tree is still small sorry! – find more at your local international market, or replace with lime zest/juice as noted in the recipe) It is such a simple and yummy soup for the cold days coming at the end of the week. I hope you like it!
Claire will be returning to work this Thursday, and I can say that first and foremost I will be glad to have her back! It has been so quiet here without her. The old guard heads to Santa Rosa every weekend, and Mondays I walk into an empty house. I cannot rely on my dad to greet the crew and get them going, nor my mom for helping with the flower pick or chit chat while we work. Not that Claire fills those roles either, but it is nice having her here to lean on. In addition, I have spent more time at the office computer in the last 10 days than I have in the past 6 years combined. The beginning of a new CSA quarter comes with a lot of communicating and processing-members adding, changing, or quitting. And while the work isn’t hard, I cant say I love how stagnant it is! I am ready to be back outside moving from field to field, job to job.
The oldies tell me how valuable it is for all of us to be able to move from one job to the next, and I do see the use, but I am quickly remembering why I left my job as a graphic designer to come run and play in the dirt.
As for news of the farm, we have been scheming about planting new stone fruit orchards for a couple years now, and it is looking like this will be the winter to do it! We will retire our old O’henry and Suncrest trees, and replace them with a fresh set. We buy rootstock trees (only the hardiest for GHP) and graft our own wood taken from the old orchard. This ensures that our fruit will remain the same even with a new orchard. Pop has told me that even though we are able to purchase ready to go Suncrest and O’henry trees from the suppliers, the varieties tend to change little by little over time, so a Suncrest from 2022 might not taste the same as ours that date back to 1978. The grafting of trees and passing on of fruit varieties is a truly fascinating subject. But that’s a newsletter from Jeff sometime. In addition to the peaches, are hoping to plant 10 more persimmon trees, and Pomegranate trees at the Back 10 to continue developing that space into a more diverse and natural place.
For Santa Rosa, we have purchased 15 heirloom apple trees to put in there. I think my dad dreams of having a little micro farm there to spend his years caretaking. Spending his foggy mornings pruning the Gravensteins, Arkansas Blacks, and Rome apples until Mom calls him in for his 4th coffee break. So it begins today with 15 apples for the Ranch and yet another of Jeff Mains dreams.
Have a cozy week!
TOM KHA GAI
1” piece ginger, peeled
10 Kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1½ lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1” pieces
8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
13.5-oz. can coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Chili oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges
Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger; cut lemongrass into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids Add chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges.
ROASTED BUTTERNUT & POMEGRANATE SALAD
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small butternut squash, halved, peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch half circles
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 head kale, shredded (or lettuce???-ali)
4 cups shredded brussels sprouts
arils from 1 pomegranate
1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
kosher salt and black pepper
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. On a baking sheet, toss together the butternut squash, 1 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking, until the squash is tender. Line a separate baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the pepitas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the cayenne, and a pinch of salt. Arrange in a single layer. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the pepitas are toasted. Watch closely! Meanwhile, in a large salad bowl, combine the kale, brussels sprouts, and pomegranates. To make the vinaigrette. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the shallots and sage, cook until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool slightly. Add the pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing to combine. Add the roasted squash, gently tossing. Top the salad with toasted pepitas, figs, if using, and cheese. Eat and enjoy!
THAI COCONUT CURRY w/ kaffir lime leaves & butternut
1 large butternut squash -2lbs approx
1½ cups water
10 kaffir lime leaves
7 cardamom pods (seed pods are better than ground)
1 heaped teaspoon grated ginger
4 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 heaped teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1c tomato puree
1c cooked chickpeas
3½ oz creamed coconut
1 bunch fresh spinach
Peel, de-seed, and dice the butternut squash into chunks of about 1.5cm (or ½ an inch) cubed. Larger chunks are fine, although you'll need to add extra baking time. Place the squash onto a baking tray and pop into an oven heated to gas mark 7 (425F/220C).
Bake until you can pierce a fork through the chunks. This may take 30 - 45 minutes. Whilst the squash is baking make the rest of the curry
Place the kaffir lime leaves and 350ml of water into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil. (Note: Count the kaffir lime leaves as you put them in and remember how many you used because you will have to remove them at the end of the cooking period. They are meant for flavour, rather than eating).
Take the seeds out of the cardamom pods and crush with a pestle and mortar (or alternatively chop repeatedly over and over with a sharp heavy knife until they look ground). Toss them into the pan. Peel and grate a heaped teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. Toss it into the pan. Peel and crush 4 large garlic cloves and add to the pan. Add the sea salt, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, Tomato puree, creamed coconut and chickpeas to the pan, stir together and allow all of the flavors to infuse. Let this simmer on the lowest heat for about 20 minutes and turn off the heat. (Don't add the spinach leaves right until the end - AFTER you remove the kaffir lime leaves.) Once the squash has baked, take the kaffir lime leaves out of your other pan.
When you are happy that all of the lime leaves are out, then roughly chop the spinach and mix in the curry pan along with the roasted squash. Add a little extra water if the sauce is too thick. Serve with rice, quinoa or millet or on its own as a stew.
FRESH LEMONGRASS TEA
4 cups water
2 cups roughly chopped lemongrass stalks
1/4 cup sugar Lime wheels for garnish
Bring the water to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan.
Add the lemongrass and boil rapidly for 5 minutes.Reduce the heat to low and simmer the tea for an additional 5 minutes.Strain the stalks from the liquid. Stir in the sugar until dissolved.Serve warm, or chill in the refrigerator and pour over ice.
NOTES: This recipe calls for roughly chopping the lemongrass stalks. So, what does that mean? Chopping is cutting food into bite-sized pieces using a knife. If something is to be finely chopped, the pieces should be smaller than bite sized, and for roughly chopped, the pieces should be slightly bigger.