November 27, 2018

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Butternut, Kale, Turnips, Sunchokes, Spinach, Cilantro, and Carrots

What’s in this Week’s FRUIT BOX: Mandarin Oranges, Apples, Pomegranates, and Meyer Lemon

 

 

NO DELIVERY SCHEDULE

December 25 and 29

January 1 and 5th

 

WREATH MAKING CLASS

December 1 from 10-4

I have to tell you this is the most fun day of the creative year. We walk the garden clippers in hand and get the opportunity to cut greens from our farm and garden landscape. I will teach you how to make a wreath and you will go home being able to make more wreaths as gifts. Together we start the holiday season, eating lunch together, chatting with your friends and basically having a day of holiday craft and potential gift making. It is more than a class; it is a very fun day together at the farm. Sure hope we will see you this coming Saturday. To sign up go to Sacramento Natural Food Coop: sac.coop/cookingschool

 

HOLIDAY GIFTS AND TIME TO FILL THE PANTRY

Just one more week to place your holiday special orders! We have a fig jam that is new this year; I used the Adriatic figs that were too ripe to take to market and made a yummy jam. We are also offering a Market Basket with fruits and veggies as a fun new gift idea.

Please send us your orders by December 4 so we can pack them and deliver to your drop sites on December 11 and 15.

 

CSA box as a Holiday Gift

A CSA Box of Combined Fruit and Veggie

Market Basket of Fruits, Veggies, a Jam & Bread

6 Weeks CSA Box of Veggies and Bread

A chance to give a CSA box to a friend or relative that lives in the area, so they too can experience fresh, healthy veggies weekly.

 

 

This Week on the Farm

We came back from a Thanksgiving visit with Marty and Peggy my brother and sister-in-law, and pulled into a changed farm.  Coming in the driveway, we saw at the end of it a blast of yellow leaf welcoming us home.  During the 3 days we were gone, the farm had changed magically.  The green grass and ground cover was greener, glowing really, vibrant with the transformation of

a new rain.  Cooler days finally brought out the masses of yellow and accents of red that precede the falling of the leaves.  The ground is now spongy underneath our feet as we got out of the car.  The north wind was gone and the dampness left the leaves hanging heavily on the branches.  So, so very different. 

            This time of year is so different from the other seasons for us.  Winter is ghostly and withdrawn, sleepy inside and crackly hard outside.  Spring is an explosion, a geyser of form and color that is sudden and overwhelming.  Summer is yes, brutal and demanding, requiring utilization of every resource available to survive emotionally and physically.  Each of these is its own season, very certain of its presence and impact, and not really connected to any other season.  But Fall is so different.  Here on the farm it is truly connected at both ends, a sliding transition out of the heat and gasping dryness of summer and into the cold outer stillness of winter.   The shorter days and longer slanting rays of the sun spread their arms around the heat and slowly let it filter away.  The increasing moisture and all-reviving rain softens the dry cracked ground and swells and opens the leaves curled into a protective fetal position by the summer heat.  At the other end of Fall, the colors of the leaves predict the dropping of the year’s foliage and the stark silhouettes of winter.  Slowly the droning of insects and airplanes, the whuff, whuff of the large birds passing deepen in tone, become more quieting than neutral.  Fall always seems anticipatory out here, an expectant time, waiting for something.  Everything… smoke, birds, cats, leaves…is literally hanging around, waiting.  We all know something is coming, and that this time of the year, beautiful in its own right, cannot last.  And so as I walk through this transition time of the year, it is always tinged lightly with nostalgia and a sense of the impermanence of my and all existence.  It is with great relief that I greet the end of the summer, and I too hang around anticipating the coming of the inner lights and outer darkness of winter.

            Annie and I, and assorted friends and family have been writing this newsletter about the goings on of the farm and our farm life for25 years, and the course of those writings catalogues the passing years and attitudes and dreams and awarenesses and insensitivities of our lives.  As I think back on the topics that excited me at this time of the year when our parents were alive, when the farm was new, when we first felt the stir of the deepening ecology here, when our children, one by one entered the picture, I feel more surely the time that has gone by.  As I finish my 67th year and Annie enters her 66th, we are definitely in the Fall of life, in the time of anticipation of what is to come and in the middle of the one season of our lives that is defined by transition.  As I look back on the vitality and liveliness that have characterized so much of the newsletter contents, I give thanks for having had the chance to be part of all that.  But the passing of time insures that it will not be a real representation of our experience of the week on the farm to insist on the maintenance of that fervor… of that summer of our lives.  The process of moving through time necessarily changes our outlook, perspective and understanding of what is happening around us on the farm.  I think it can continue to be a valuable perspective as long as Annie and I are able to remain active and conscious in our dealing with the season of transition.  At the same time, for any organism such as a small family farm to remain vital and responsive to the spring and summer of existence, a renewal of energy and purpose and force is necessary.  It is my hope that you all will be able to participate with us in this transition through the generation of this farm.  It is my further hope that the chronicles of that successful, sustainable farm life can continue to come to you through the various authors of This Week on the Farm.  Have a good week.  Jeff

 

Sunchoke-Kale Hash with Farro

Comfort food is rarely healthy, or vegetarian. This soul-satisfying winter hash is both. The recipe from combines crispy sunchokes, silky oyster mushrooms, tender kale and chewy farro.

3/4 cup farro

2 1/2 pounds sunchokes, cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt

1 pound Tuscan kale, tough stems discarded

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil blended with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 small red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, halved if large

Freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover the farro with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the farro. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the sunchokes with water and add a pinch of salt. Boil until the sunchokes are tender, 10 minutes; drain. Slice the sunchokes 1/4 inch thick. Fill the large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the Tuscan kale and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the kale and let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the kale leaves and then coarsely chop them. In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the red onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. In a nonstick skillet, melt the butter in 2 tablespoons of the blended oil. Add the sunchokes in an even layer and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the sunchokes, reduce the heat to moderately high and continue cooking until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Push the sunchokes to the side of the skillet. Add 1 more tablespoon of the oil and the oyster mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil along with the farro, kale and onion and cook, stirring, until hot. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Make Ahead The recipe can be prepared through Step 4 one day ahead; refrigerate the components separately.

 

Spinach Persimmon Salad

Dressing: 

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2T orange marmalade

1 t toasted sesame oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Salad:  adjust amounts to taste

5 quarts Spinach (I use less)

3 firm Fuyu persimmons, sliced

3/4 cup glazed pecans (toss pecans in iron skillet with a little sugar until melted and coated.  Wash pan immediately.) From Better Homes & Gardens 2003

 

Golden Spiced Squash

2 teaspoons curry powder

1-teaspoon ground dried turmeric

½ teaspoon cumin seed

¼ teaspoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom

1 onion peeled and chopped

1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1-½ cups chicken broth

3 cups peeled, cubed winter squash

In a 12-inch frying pan over high heat, stir curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and cardamom seeds until fragrant 20-30 seconds. Add onion, bell pepper, ginger, and ½ cup broth; stir often until liquid has evaporated 5-8 minutes. Add remaining 1-cup broth and the squash. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until squash mashes easily, about 15 minutes. Uncover, return to high heat, and stir until liquid has evaporated 4-8 minutes. Remove from heat and mash mixture with a potato masher, add salt to taste.

 

Salad of Winter Squash, Pomegranate and Chicory

1 small butternut or any other winter squash 1 ¾ pounds

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons lemon juice-fresh

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

½ cup oil

1 medium curly chicory rinsed, dried and cut into slivers

1 large pomegranate, seeded or about 1 cup seeds

Peel off skin, halve squash and remove seeds. Cut into 2 inch sections. Cut flesh into thin julienne strips. Drop into boiling salted water, return to boil, and then drain at once. Drop into bowl of ice water and drain. Spread on paper towel to dry. Combine ginger, salt, lemon juice and vinegar in jar and shake to blend. Add oil and shake again. Combine ¾ of dressing with squash. Toss and refrigerate until serving time. To serve, toss remaining dressing with chicory, add squash and pomegranate seeds and mix gently.