Feb 5, 2019

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Beets, Watermelon Daikon, Lettuce, Cilantro, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Oranges, & Collards.

What’s in this Week’s FRUIT BOX: Mandarins, Tangelos, Oranges, Meyer Lemons and Walnuts


 

Spring Quarter

February 26 to May 21

Payment Is Due February 22

Some Dates to remember:

NO DELIVERY April 16th & 20th

Plant Sale & Family Picnic at the Farm April 13

Hats & High Tea May 11

Mother’s Day Garden Tour May 12

 

 

This Week on The Farm

Like all good farmers, we are working to right ourselves in our duties after a blast from the life that constantly challenges our resolve to be the best farmers we can be.  The longer I farm the more I realize that a farming career is really the act of continuing in the midst of all that diverts attention and energy from the farm.  For it was one of my earliest understandings that the farm takes 100% of everything you can give, and that life will at all times be at odds with that requirement.   Some farmers sacrifice family and friends, some sacrifice the quality of the farm, and then some find a balance in between and learn to live with the knowledge that they are not all they can be to their friends and family, nor are they doing all they can to create maintain and develop their own best farm on the earth.  Some turn bitter, antisocial hermits upset at the human world around them that takes them from their farm.  Some remove themselves from active farming due to increasing age and inability to cope with the demand to do it all, and move on with their lives.  And a few find the balance, or something approximating balance.   The key to a long career in farming is in finding a balance that allows the farmer to accept their efforts on the farm, imperfect though they be, and to remain attached, imperfectly, to family and friends who make up the social world around us.

            One week ago last night, life rose up in the midst of our farming when Annie’s Mom passed away in her bed downstairs in the farmhouse.  As we each passed into mourning and our own understanding of the death of a loved one, there remained the recognition that the life of the farm, and therefore our lives, continued.   So, at that moment we fell together as a family to join others at work to bring the CSA box to our community.  It may have been therapeutic or it may have forced denial or it may have just been a blank, but the bottom line is that a fine farm family and their co-workers reaffirmed that as we move through the events of life, a belief in farming as a way of life means that farm life goes on, the farm abides, and we continue in some fashion to play our part.

            None of this detracts from the very real sense of loss and the grieving process that we each feel in our own way as we go about our daily work.  The empty chair in the sunroom, the light that stays on in her bedroom, the pantry items that she requested, the newspaper that carried her favorite crossword,  all the hundreds of ways that she impacted our lives are still alive in us and we live with them.  The walking around in a world at odds with our loss, the mechanical completion of a given task, the unbidden tears, the sudden memories of a smile or a conversation all are with us.  As dulled as our senses may be to the world around us, there is no denying the life of the farm and our required participation in it.  The birds sing and flutter as we pick in the flowering quince after the passing rain, the great horned owl hoots in the redwood as we go to sleep, the new green grass rises from its prone position in the drying wind, the peach buds turn fuzzy, people come to work, the orders come in with the condolences and understanding, and the vibrancy of life just cannot be denied.

             I am betting that May, who was raised on a farm and died on a farm, knows that today.  Through it all, life on the farm goes on, and so do we.

Maysel Ann Heasell January 14, 1921- January    28, 2019

Have a good week ~Jeff

 

 

 

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Preserved Lemon

5 beets about 1 pound

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 cup French green lentils

1 carrot finely dices

½ small onions finely diced

Aromaticts-1 bay leaf, 4 parsley branches, 2 thyme sprigs

1 Preserved Lemon or 2 teaspoons lemon zest

1/3 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped mint, plus mint sprig for garnish

Preheat the oven o 350 degrees. Peel 4 of the beets and cut them into small cubes. Set the last beet aside for garnish. Toss the cubed beets with the oil, season with salt and pepper and bake on a sheet pan until tender about 35 minutes, stirring once or twice. Meanwhile put the lentils in a pan with water to cover, add the carrot, onion, aromatics and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, but still a little firm, about 25 minutes. Drain well. Cut the preserved lemon into quarters and scrape off the soft pulp. Chop the pulp finely and stir 2 teaspoon into the dressing, finely chop the remaining skin. Toss the lentils with the toasted beets and the vinaigrette, the preserved lemon or lemon zest, parsley, and mint. Peel the remaining beet and finely grate it. Put the lentils on a platter and garnish with the grated beet and springs of mint.

 

Mama's Asian Chicken and Rice

"Chunks of boneless chicken breast simmer with an Asian-inspired sweet, tangy orange sauce, and are served over hot cooked rice with a sprinkling of green onions."

1/3 cup warm water

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken, cubed

2 cups water

1 cup uncooked white rice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

Chopped green onions for garnish

In a bowl, stir together warm water, brown sugar, orange juice, soy sauce, ketchup, white vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, five-spice powder, and orange peel until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat, and cook and stir the chicken until the outside is golden brown and the inside is no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover the skillet. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the chicken and sau

ce are simmering, bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the rice aside and keep warm. Whisk the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl until smooth, and stir into the chicken and sauce, a few teaspoons at a time. Let the chicken and sauce cook for about 2 minutes to thicken, and then serve over hot cooked rice, sprinkled with green onion. Serves 6 from Allrecipes

 

Bok Choy & Wild Mushroom Miso Soba Bowl

Soba (そば or 蕎麦?) is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup. It takes three months for buckwheat to be ready for harvest, so it can be harvested four times a year, mainly in spring, summer, and autumn. Soba is typically eaten with chopsticks, and in Japan, it is considered acceptable to slurp the noodles noisily, especially common with hot noodles, as drawing up the noodles quickly into the mouth helps cool them.

1 package (9oz) soba noodles

1 package dried wild mushrooms or 8 oz shitake, oyster or mushrooms of choice

1 leek cleaned and diced

3 garlic cloves diced

3 small bok choy-use the thick stalk and all

Sesame oil

2 – 3 tablespoons organic miso

4 cups water

2 – 4 oz. cubed tofu,

Garnish

2 scallions, sliced

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Sesame seeds

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook your soba noodles according to package, rinse under cool water, set aside. Sauté leeks, garlic and mushrooms (if using fresh mushrooms, slice into strips, sauté them in a bit of sesame oil and splash of tamari for about 5 minutes over medium high heat, add miso, stir to remove any clumps and continue to keep the soup warm over low heat. If you are using dried mushrooms: in a small saucepan, warm 4 cups of water over medium heat (do not boil), add dried mushrooms, lower heat and let simmer, uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes. Steam your bok choy. Tofu can be steamed with the bok choy or added to the soup to warm. Build your bowl by adding half the bok choy and soba noodles to your serving bowl, ladle 1/2 of the miso broth and mushrooms over top. Top with cubed tofu, scallions, cilantro sprigs and sesame seeds. Serves 2.

 

Steamed Kale with Daikon Radishes

Daikon radishes are native to Asia, are generally more mild than red round and French breakfast radishes, which can often have a bit of a spicy bite. We know that red daikon may be one of the vegetables that you wouldn’t purchase if you bought all of your vegetables in the store. In Japan, China, Korea and other Asian countries, daikon it is a staple part of the diet. It has very few calories but provides 27% of the daily needs of Vitamin C.

2 cup water

1/2 lemon, cut in 3 pieces

1 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup miso

1 cup diced daikon

1 cup carrots

2 cup chopped kale (or chard could be substituted)

Put water, lemon, ginger and miso in a saucepan and bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve the miso. Add daikon and carrots and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add kale, stir and simmer 3-5 min. Remove lemon pieces. From Full Belly Farm archive recipes

 

Orange-Almond Cake

2 large seedless navel oranges
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups ground almonds (see note)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt
powdered sugar

Preheat an oven to 375°. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Wash oranges then put them whole in a saucepan; cover with water by an inch or two and bring to a boil. Cook until soft enough that the tip of a sharp knife slides easily into the center, about 35 minutes. Drain oranges and let cool completely, then cut into chunks and remove any oddball seeds. Purée oranges in food processor or blender, peel, pulp, and all. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until thick and lemon-colored. Sprinkle in ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, pinch salt, and orange purée, and then beat until completely blended. Pour into prepared cake pan and bake until browned on top and no longer jiggly in the center, 50 minutes to an hour. Let cake cool in pan, and then run a knife around edges to loosen and remove side of pan. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar and serve. Note: for the best flavor, grind whole roasted, unsalted almonds yourself (you'll need about 2 cups) in a food processor, but don’t run the motor so long that it turns to paste.