February 18, 2015

What’s in the box this week?

Standard Shares include

  • Mini Red Romaine Lettuce – Most varieties of lettuce exude small amounts of a white, milky liquid when their leaves are broken. This "milk" gives lettuce its slightly bitter flavor and its scientific name, Lactuca sativa, derived from the Latin word for milk.

  • Rainbow Chard – Chard is one of the hardier leafy greens, with a harvest season typically lasting longer than kale, spinach, or baby greens.

  • Tokyo Turnips – The star of this week’s recipe!

  • Beets Roast beets and potatoes together Place 4½ lbs scrubbed beets in a large pot filled with salted water. Bring to a boil, and immediately reduce to a simmer, cook about 50 minutes.  Meanwhile, fill another large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt, return to a boil and add 4 lbs potatoes, peeled and halved crosswise. Cook for 10 minutes and drain immediately.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Drain beets and peel immediately. Cut each beet in half and add to a large bowl along with potatoes, 2 cloves  unpeed garlic, a couple of small bunches of fresh thyme, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil; toss to combine. Place beets and potatoes in a large roasting pan; transfer to oven and cook until golden and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately. YUM!

  • Carrots – Make a carrot ginger dressing – Cook 1 chopped carrot in boiling water until soft; reserve ½ c cooking water, then drain. Purée the carrot, reserved water, 2 tbsp each rice vinegar and chopped peeled ginger, and 1 tsp each sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil in a blender. Season with salt.

  • Calendula Flowers – Use these delicious edible flowers for a salad garnish.  Calendula has a very particular aroma and flavor in addition to having anti-inflammatory properties.  CSA exclusive!

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

Broccoli, Spinach, Carrots, Beets, Red Russian Kale



Almond blossoms are such an extraordinary sight.  They portend the magic of spring and the awakening of the bees.  A lush green orchard floor (the telltale of a small organic almond orchard) in contrast with the gnarly dark bark, bright white/pink blossoms, blue sky, and whispy white clouds paint a picture that stops a body in her tracks. 

We’re in the process of building the world’s best chicken coop, drawing on our experiences in building our 3 other pasture coops.  It began with the demolition of a former mobile home trailer at the hydraulics lab at UC Davis.  After fixing the axles and stripping the decking, we’ve begun welding and re-enforcing the frame upon which we will build our 600 sqft chicken palace.  Stay tuned for pictures of the progress and new flock.

As I type our drilling company is finishing a second test hole for our well.  We’re eagerly awaiting the results of the electronic log to get a sense of where the gravel layers are and how much water we might be able to draw.




Ginger Miso Soup with Tokyo Turnips (Serves 3-4)

What a great light, nourishing soup!  If you are unfamiliar with kombu, it is a member of the kelp family.  It is a versatile pantry ingredient that provides dishes with umami flavor, nutrients, and minerals.  Mildly salty and subtly sweet, kombu contains glutamic acid (the basis of monosodium glutamate, or MSG), which enhances flavor and tenderizes proteins.   Dried kombu can be used to make broth, or dashi, as well as added to beans to make them more digestible, and eaten in salads.  You will most likely find kombu in local grocery stores in the ‘international foods’ section, but if not, it is readily available at Asian grocery stores.  Don’t forget to use those turnip greens in the soup!  Thank you to Love and Lemons for the recipe.

For the dashi (broth):

  • a piece of dried kombu, about 2x3 in

  • 4 c water

For the soup:

  • 4 c dashi

  • 3-4 tbsp white miso paste

  • 1 tsp grated ginger

  • ¼ c chopped scallions

  • ½ c sliced shiitake mushrooms

  • 4 small turnips, quartered

  • ½ bu chopped carrots

  • ½ c firm tofu cubes

  • optional: add 4 oz. cooked soba noodles

  • optional: 1 c chopped turnip greens

  • a few tsp soy sauce or tamari

Make the dashi: gently rinse the kombu piece. Place it in a medium pot with 4 cups water. Gently simmer for 10 minutes. Don’t let it boil, or the kombu flavor will turn bitter. Once the kombu piece is soft, remove it and bring the water to a boil for just a few minutes.

Reduce heat again and add 1 cup more water. In a small bowl, stir the miso paste together with some of the hot dashi water (until it’s not clumpy), then stir to incorporate it into the soup broth.

Add the ginger, scallions and shiitakes, turnips and carrots and simmer on low until the turnips are soft and fork-tender (about 35-40 minutes).  Note: If your soup is too thick, add 1-2 cups more water until it is a thinner consistency.

Add the tofu and cooked soba noodles. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding a few teaspoons of soy sauce if you like.  Add chopped turnips greens (or any other greens you like) during the last 10 or so minutes of the simmering time - just long enough for them to wilt.

Store leftover soup in the fridge for 3-4 days (like most soups, it gets better after it sits for a day or two).


Pics of the week

Almond blossoms.

Sean harvesting winter spinach. (Next week's box!)

Clover supervising the trailer demolition.