March 5, 2014

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Kabocha SquashMarket customer tip: After scooping out the flesh from your squash, roast the skins in the oven on a cookie sheet.  Once they’ve slightly cooled, spread them with avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt for a tasty treat.  They’re also great spread with ghee and some sea salt.  If you want to take it in a sweeter direction, use ghee and a blend of cinnamon and sugar on top!  Yum! This item comes from our friends at Riverdog Farms.
  • Ruby Streaks Mustards The star of this week’s stew!
  • CauliflowerThe best way to store cauliflower is in the refrigerator in a plastic or paper bag.  Store cauliflower with the stem-side down to prevent any moisture from collecting in the florets and possibly causing the head to spoil.
  • Arugula This Mediterranean-region type of lettuce grows so plentifully in the wild that it was not cultivated until recently.
  • Cherry Belle Radish Store radish loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper of the fridge or, if you're lucky enough to have one, loose in a root cellar. Like any root vegetable, they want a cool, dark, dry environment.
  • Green GarlicThe origin of garlic is unknown, though it is believed to have come from somewhere near Siberia, and then spread to the Middle East and Europe.  Mentioned in the literature of the great ancient world kingdoms – Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome – garlic has a long history that has always been tied to the working class.
  • Spring Onion Historically used for asthma, onions inhibit the production of compounds that cause the bronchial muscles to spasm, and also relax these muscles.

Egg Shares include eggs from our certified organic, pasture-raised, happy hens.


Don’t forget – you can always add extra items to your order at our Online Market.

Vegetable Forecast: Baby Kale Mix, Arugula, Mustards, Radish, Onion, Garlic, Navel Oranges



We’re happy to report that we have leased additional property nearby that has access to a well and reliable water!  It’s a few less acres than we had planned for this season, but it’s good quality soil that has been organically managed for years.   And, the lease from our generous landlord comes with the management of a few acres of organic almonds and peaches, which we will farm for our CSA members.   The water crisis is by no means over, but we have found a way forward that will help us to survive as we put into action plans to secure our long term sustainability.


Stewing hens return! Keep an eye out at market, on our blog, and facebook page.  Stock up while they’re in stock!


Pic of the week The cover crop that has sprouted at our property in Esparto.  We seeded 30 acres of a mixture of oats, barley, daikon, peas, and beans to help build soil and biology as we transition the ground to organic certification.




Chickpea Stew with Orzo and Mustards Greens

This stew is delicious, easy to put together, and versatile.  And, very easy to tweak –throw any veggies in the pot, and it will be probably be tasty! In fact, some diced purple top turnips from this week’s box would be a nice addition.  Thank you to The New York Times for the recipe!

  • 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb or 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • Several stalks spring onions, chopped
  • 1 young garlic stalk, chopped
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 2 c chicken or vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, or cooked dry chickpeas
  • 1 c of canned tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 1/2 c whole-wheat or regular orzo
  • 1 qt loosely packed baby mustard greens or spinach (about 5 oz)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, more as needed

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, fennel or celery, and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper and rosemary, if using, and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, if using, or water, plus an additional 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.


Once the mixture is boiling, add the chickpeas, tomatoes and orzo. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer 10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Uncover and stir in the greens, letting them simmer until soft, about 2 minutes.


Add more water if you want the mixture to be more souplike, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with chopped scallions (if desired), grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.