December 8, 2020

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Chard, carrots, parsley, kohlrabi, Quince, Mandarins, Spaghetti Squash


Bread this week: Asiago or Puligese-your choice of one



NOTE: Saturday Delivery of December 26 will be delivered on Tuesday December 22




This Week on The Farm

This week you will have mandarins and carrots in the box. It’s officially winter, even if the temperatures are not really reflecting it. Walking out into the fields now, the air is crisp in the mornings; the trees are starting to look a bit bare, and our world is so much quieter than it is in the summer months. Maybe it is because our minds are a bit quieter, and the rush is now replaced with the respite, but winter on the farm is always pretty still. Much of the native vegetation becomes dormant, a hedgerow of tangled sticks and grasses, with the occasional splash of Toyon for green. The animals all get a little shaggier, but easier to hear as the crunch along in the brush, trying to find some morsels to fill their bellies.

The citrus crop has become such a large part of our winter routine now, starting with our mandarins and lemons, then the grapefruit, tangelos, and oranges to follow. This means lots of time in the often wet trees picking and lugging the fruit to the shop, and boxes and boxes of heavy fruit being sent out to the Co-ops and CSA members. More so than ever I appreciate the feeling of satisfaction I get by bringing quality produce to the community. I think it is due to the dark months that often bring illness both physical and emotional which is less obvious in the sunny summer months. Of course this year that feeling is doubled due to our current reality. So citrus is an exciting crop for me, not only does it bring a natural immunity booster for everyone, it is also incredibly sweet and delicious. Often the most nutritional items take a bit more work to make totally delicious, or kid friendly. Not citrus, it is one of those things that everyone seems to love. I know I do. When I lived in Brooklyn and Boston my mom would send me packages of winter citrus from our good neighbor and citrus grower John and Gretchen Ceteras up in the Capay Valley. And I would get so mad at her, because it ruined my ability to eat any citrus from the grocery stores. NOTHING compared to the taste of the citrus from our valley in California. Nothing!!! But our citrus crop has not always been our winter staple. I was 8 years old when the original citrus orchard was planted in April of 1997. The planting was a part of that year’s CSA Farm Visit day. Before the planting we had one lonely Washington Navel orange tree that my grandpa Ted gave us that would keep the spring air filled with sweet smelling blossoms. That day of the farm visit not only did our CSA members help us plant our citrus orchard, but also helped pay for the purchase of the trees with the enticing potential of getting bags of oranges in the next few years. I know a few families that were here for that day of planting that are still CSA members, or children of those families are members. I could name names, but you know who you are! Well those trees took a long time to come into production into a good tasty orange, in fact it has only been this way for 8 years or so. In true Good Humus fashion, Jeff tucked those trees in, with hopes high for making his millions with his award winning fruit. Surprising to some, things did not go as ‘Ol Papa Main thought they would. In fact, Jeff watched those trees grow and mature, putting off big leaves, grow some more, and produce some more leaves, until the 16th year of the citrus trees existence. We had been told that it takes citrus trees years to develop a good flavored fruit, but in the 16th year of their lives that my dad and my brother walked through those trees, looked at their big bushy orange-less branches and said “well, maybe I’m not a citrus farmer Zach, next year let’s pull all these trees out.”

Can you guess what happened in the next year of the Good Humus Citrus grove? That’s right, more oranges than you could imagine. Those trees had to have had ears, because upon hearing of their imminent removal, they decided they could no longer hang out, soak up the sun, and enrich themselves on the poor farmers’ compost. It was time they did what they were supposed to. So, maybe this is the 24th year of our Citrus Grove, or maybe it’s just the 8th, but either way we are so happy to spend three months every winter sharing their bounty, eating and drinking the incredible flavorful oranges, tangelos, lemons, and grapefruit.

Have a great week ~ Ali


Spaghetti Squash and Chard Sauté Recipe

One 3 to 4 pound spaghetti squash

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 teaspoon chili pepper flakes

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 large bunch of chard, center rib removed, chopped

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 Bake the spaghetti squash: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Use a very sharp paring knife and poke the spaghetti squash all over, at least an inch deep, about 12 cuts. Place the squash in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for one hour. Remove from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Then cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, Scrape out the spaghetti squash strands: Use a fork to scrape the inside flesh of the squash into long thin strands. Place the spaghetti squash strands in a large bowl and set aside. Heat oil, sauté garlic, chili pepper flakes, rosemary: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat.  Add the garlic, chili pepper flakes, and rosemary and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown. Add spaghetti squash, then chard and parsley: Add the spaghetti squash to the pan and toss to coat with the oil and garlic mixture.  Add the chopped fresh chard leaves and parsley and toss with the spaghetti squash.  Cook until the chard leaves have wilted, a few minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle on vinegar. Add the grated Parmesan and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Vanilla & Mandarin Roasted Quince

1 pound quince

3 mandarins, peeled

2 Tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 – 3 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey/rice syrup/barley malt)

Boiling water

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Peel and core quince, cut each into eight wedges.

Arrange quince in a single layer the base of a rectangle baking dish (9 x 13 in / 20 x 23 cm). Add mandarin pieces and coconut oil. Drizzle over vanilla and syrup.

Pour in boiling water until fruit is just submerged. Cover pan with foil and crimp to seal. Bake 90 minutes covered, then remove foil and stir gently. Bake a further 60 minutes until liquid is syrupy and fruit has turned a gorgeous rosy color, gently stirring every 20 minutes or so, turning the fruit to keep it from browning. Serve with Greek yoghurt or vanilla ice cream or porridge or just eat straight from the baking dish.


Curried Roasted Carrot Hummus

2 medium carrots, sliced

1½ teaspoons onion powder

1½ teaspoons curry powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

3 tablespoons lime juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

In a skillet bring the first four ingredients (through garlic) and ¼ cup water to simmering. Cook, covered, over medium-low 10 minutes or until carrots are tender. Transfer carrot mixture to a blender or food processor. Add chickpeas and lime juice. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro; cover and pulse until just combined. Chill, covered, until ready to serve. From Forks over knives.


Sweet Potato Soup with Cannellini Beans and Chard

8 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth

2 leeks (approximately 6 ounces), thinly sliced

2 to 3 large sweet potatoes (2 pounds), peeled and uniformly cubed

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 pound chard, leaves and stems, chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup juice)

2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato powder

Chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

Bring the water or broth to a boil in a large soup pot.

Reduce heat to medium and add the leeks. Cook for about 8 minutes until soft. Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more, until tender.

Add the beans and cook for 2 minutes more.

Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the chard so that it wilts. Stir in the lemon juice and sun-dried tomato powder. Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley if desired, and garnish with a fresh lemon twist and a sprinkling of lemon zest. From Forks over knives.


Chard and Kohlrabi Stir Fry

Vegetable oil

½ pound pork mince

1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dried chilies

Black pepper

Vegetables, two big handfuls. For this recipe I used chard, kohlrabi, carrots, edamame, onions, white cabbage, bean sprouts and wild garlic

3 tbsp hoisin or sweet chili sauce

Noodles, one nest per person

Sesame oil

Start by getting all your vegetables ready. This stir fry is ready in no time once you start cooking it. I like to peel the carrot and kohlrabi into strips, keep most of the vegetables quite chunky and chop the chard stalks and leave separately. Add the dried noodles to a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Put a plate over the bowl to cover the noodles and leave them for 6-7 minutes. Heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan over a high heat. Add the pork mince. Break the mince up and keep everything moving. When the pork is cooked add the soy sauce, chilies and black pepper. Fry for another minute or so until the pork is well mixed with the chilies and soy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Return the wok to the heat and add a little more oil if needed. Add all the vegetables and give everything a good stir. I like some of the vegetables to catch on the bottom of the pan so I stir it regularly but not all the time. Check on the noodles. If they’re ready, drain them and then mix them with the sesame oil to stop them sticking. If they’re not ready keep them in the hot water for a few more minutes. Once the vegetables have softened return the pork to the pan with the hoisin sauce and 2 tbsp water. Allow the sauce and water to boil and reduce slightly before serving everything up with the noodles