May 25, 2021

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Red Onions, Green onions, Cabbage, Collards, Carrots, Asparagus, Apricots and sun tea mix (peppermint, spearmint and Lemon Verbena)

 

Bread this week: Walnut OR Whole Wheat- your choice of one

 

Summer Quarter Starts Today: NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST

  • Is your name on the list for your order?

  • If your name is not on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you.

  • If you think your name should be on the list and is not, call us at 530-787-3187 or send an email

  • Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so the drop host knows who forgot their box and can give you a call.

  • If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received payment from you

  • If next to your name it says E-MAIL or CALLED, it means we gave you a call and have not heard from you, we would like to know your intensions-we did make you a box for this week only

  • Do we have your order correct? If not give us a call

  • Is your phone number correct? If not give us a call

  • Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (humus@cal.net)

 

~SPECIAL ORDERS~

 

Royal Apricots

12# case

 

~Firsts: $45                      ~JAMMERS (Softer fruit, for making Jam or eating immediately) $35

 

This Week on the Farm   

There was discussion around the table this morning about what to write in the newsletter for the first newsletter of the new quarter.  In honor of both the new members who have never read the news from the farm and of our old friends who have supported us through all our adventures these past years, this morning we are going to bypass the larger events of the world around us.  For it is clear that the world is still turning out its share of everyday miracles on the farm.  The sun still rises each morning over the Great Central Valley of California, the soil and climate are still among the most favorable on earth to agriculture and the pursuit of a healthy human lifestyle.   The sun still sets to the west as the full moon rises to the east, back splashing in glorious colors the stray cloud forms that happen to be hanging around to the west.  Sights like those can penetrate even the densest mental fogs that can settle over our day-to-day lives, even though it may take an act of will to stop, sit, and concentrate on what is being given to us at that moment.

Speaking of gifts, there will be a big full moon hanging out tonight, and with the sky as clear as it is, moonrise should be spectacular.  And as a bonus to all the insomniacs among us who cannot be asleep right after midnight tonight, there is a pretty full lunar eclipse coming our way.  And on to the gifts from the farm….feel free to remind us at any time that although the newsletter is useful, the purpose of the weekly box from the farm is to enjoy in a more informed way, the bounty from the land.  

On occasion I try to do a description of the items in the box and in my excitement about some item, end up telling the lengthy story of that item to the detriment of all the other wonderful histories and processes that have gone into each of the fruits and vegetables in your box.  Today, I am determined to brush on each item and so will leave it up to Wikipedia to fill in the details for those who must know more.  The apricots are the most difficult to brush over, so I just want to say that they have a long and storied history in California, especially in the Santa Clara Valley, now magically transformed into Silicon Valley.  The variety you have is mixed up in all that history, coming from trees of an age lost to history planted on the banks of Putah Creek west of Winters.  You can enjoy this connection to early California picked to be eaten now.  The red burger onions are about the best that Good Humus has ever grown.  They have some heat, which differentiates them from the Stockton Sweet onion that I grew for years, always comparing them with my Dad’s onions from his garden.  These are the best that I have found since the Stockton Sweet seed and plants became unavailable.  The little green onions are our newest way to spend countless hours in pursuit of the best way to fill our hours with mindless hand labor.  But few others make the attempt organically, and so we try.  The cabbage is a variety called Tendersweet, which says it all as far as I am concerned, but we are still finding the best way to grow it , so the size is variable.  The asparagus comes from an organic farm that is country next door, meaning that I can look out the window and see it a few miles away.  I tried asparagus years ago, and am willing to forego the various pleasures of hand producing a perennial grass, but cannot resist the springtime pleasure of seeing it in our box.  The collard greens are sometimes known as summer kale, known for being summer hardy.  While they are stretched to their limits by our particular summer, we are able to harvest them until late in the spring, when they finally give up the struggle, send up a seed stalk, and retire into old age.  As a note, all of our greens are protected by our patented predacious insect army of voracious killers of all sucking and chewing ravagers of tender greens.  We do our best to keep them at work through creation of year round habitat and food sources, and any mistakes in that regard are our own.  Last but not least, the carrots are demanding princesses, as al gardeners know, but once they like you they are fabulous for small farms.  Great tasting, used all the time, growing for a long season, they are a staple in our box at this time of year.  I hope you enjoy the food from this box whether it is your first or just one more in a long line stretching back to when we were all a lot younger.  Have a great week ~jeff

 

Fresh Apricot Chicken

1.1 lbs chicken breast, boneless and skinless

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon thyme

1 bunch green onions, about 5-6

14 oz ripe apricots, about 10-12 small ones

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ -1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch

2-3 teaspoons cold water

1 bunch parsley

a few sprigs fresh thyme, optional

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chop the chicken breasts into mouth-sized pieces. Chop the onions into rings. Zest the lemon. Remove the stone from the apricots and slice each apricot half into 2-3 wedges, depending on their size. Heat the oil in a large pan/stewing pan and fry the chicken pieces until lightly golden on all sides but not yet cooked through about 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle the chicken with the dried thyme and add the green onions, apricot wedges, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, ½ tablespoon of the sugar, and stock. Stir carefully, cover the pan, bring to a boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the apricots are tender but not completely mushy. If you would like the sauce to be thicker, mix together the cornstarch with about 2 teaspoons cold water, the slurry should be thick yet pourable. Whisk the slurry into the sauce and let bubble a couple of times until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste the apricot chicken and add more sugar or lemon juice to your liking. The dish should taste sweet-sour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stir in the chopped herbs and serve with rice.

 

Tangy Collard Green Coleslaw

8 cups shredded collards

1 cup shredded carrots

½ cup chopped green onions

½ cup Mayonnaise

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shred collard greens. Stack the leaves and roll them tightly into a cigar shape. Hold tightly. With a sharp knife, shave off each end into ¼-inch shreds. When the thick center vein is reached, rotate the roll and shred the other side. Unroll the remaining veins and tear or chop off any large remaining pieces next to the vein. Discard the thick center vein. toss together collards, carrots and onions in a very large bowl. Stir mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a measuring cup or small bowl. Mix well. Drizzle over the salad and toss until the collards are well coated. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Can be made up to a day ahead. Keeps well up to four days.

 

Grilled Asparagus & Red Onions with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar

2 medium red onions, peeled

1-1/2 pounds asparagus ends trimmed

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the grill to high.

Cut onions in half from root to tip, then cut the halves into ½-inch slices. Pull the slices apart and place them into a disposable grill pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Prepare the asparagus: Place the spears in a baking dish and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the pan of onions on the grill, along with the asparagus spears (be sure to place spears perpendicular to grates so they don't fall through). Set the asparagus dish next to the grill (do not clean). Cover and cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Open the cover and, using tongs, turn the asparagus. Cover and cook 1 -2 minutes more, until the asparagus spears are nicely browned and tender-crisp. Remove the asparagus from the grill and place back in the baking dish. Stir the onions, cover, and continue cooking for about 15 - 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until tender and caramelized. In the meantime, transfer the asparagus spears to a cutting board and cut into 1½-inch pieces. Place back in the baking dish and toss with finished grilled onions. Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to serving platter and serve hot or room temperature.

 

Vegan Asparagus Soup

2 tablespoon olive oil divided

1 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

2 pounds asparagus ends trimmed and chopped

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups vegetable broth

1-2 cups unsweetened almond milk or vegan half & half

1 lemon juiced

Grilled bread & chives for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F and place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and roast for 10-15 minutes until the asparagus slightly softens. Heat remaining olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper, then cook with the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Pour the vegetable broth and almond milk, bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the roasted asparagus into the pot. Uses an immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s smooth and creamy. You can also do this in batches in a blender. Stir in the lemon juice and serve with grilled bread and chives, if desired.

 

Sun Tea

Put tea into tea ball and then into a clean glass container (4 teabags for a 2-quart container, 8 tea bags for a gallon container). Fill with water and cap. Place outside where the sunlight can strike the container for about 3 to 5 hours. Move the container if necessary to keep it in the sun. When the tea has reached its desired strength, remove from sun and put it in the refrigerator. You may or may not want to remove the tea bags at this point. The tea will probably taste more mellow than what you are used to from using boiling water. Because you didn't use boiling water, you should refrigerate the tea and drink up.