Balance

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This photo of the ladybug on a squash leaf for some reason grabbed my attention. When I see ladybugs, I think about how we hope and try to provide opportunities for nature to find it’s own balance here on the farm. Nigel always felt that spray, even organically approved sprays, meant we would throw nature out of balance. The ladybugs eat the aphids. If we spray, we kill the ladybugs and the aphids will return. Seeing ladybugs always makes me happy because it shows we are doing something right. We walk a fine line in life, and the best we can hope for are enough ladybugs to keep us balanced.

 

Pumpkin Party 2017!

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Ok folks, this is the last big event of the season! So please mark your calendars, get your tickets, and come on up to the farm. I would love to see you. Since last year we had to cancel, I am hoping for a good turn out this year. I will be checking in with Jose to find out the status of this year’s crop, but the bit that I have seen is looking good. I would like to do a bit of a harvest market, pumpkin carving, face painting, picnic lunch, with a dessert potluck (I know- kind of a long sentence). I am wondering if any of you know someone who would be interested in face painting?  Also, if any of you have something you would like to sell, we are hoping to setup tables for people to vend.  Let me know at 530-554-3971. 

Tomato Sauce Canning Party

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Now that we are marching to the end of the season, I find myself saucing a lot. Last year, I invested in this beautiful all metal Squeezo, which I absolutely love! My BayLeaf Kitchen friends came up on Sunday and we had a saucing day in the house. It is a lot of fun sharing the work with a small group of women, particularly when there is a great lunch and champagne, but I digress. The point is, just look at that sauce! It is as delicious as it is gorgeous. So I am just reminding you all there are still tomatoes to order for saucing, Jose says loads, actually! Once you start making your own sauce, it is really hard to go back to store bought.  I keep mine extremely simple; I use San Marzanos, cut the butt off, slice them in half, and put them on a baking sheet. Then, I’ll cut side up and roast for about 30 minutes at 425 F. It should be bubbling, a little shriveled and completely soft. I put them into a chinois to drain the extra juice, then I run them through the food mill.  When the farm provides such delicious bounty it is hard to pass this up, so get your orders in, do a batch once a week, and before you know it you will have the larder filled!

 

Happy Hens

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Last year, our friend and neighbor George came in with his special seeder and planted 15 acres of pasture for us. I have been waiting for some time to get our chickens on to this lush pasture and finally it has happened. It is a lot of work for the guys to pull up the stakes and fencing,setting it up in a new spot, hooking the tractor to the houses, and moving the girls. Clearly, it is worth it! This extra effort is what keeps our land fertile, helps break pest cycles and makes the hens happy. 

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In the one photo you can see how much the girls have eaten in less than two weeks. It is extraordinary how fast they go through lush green pasture. You will see a difference in the color of the yolks as well. Every week, the guys go in and pull the houses forward a bit because the girls don’t roam too far, and we want to make sure they always have enough fresh greens to eat.

 

This Week's Box: September 18th- 24th

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CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

*Items in Box for 2


*Basil - Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water; then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for 4-5 days.

*Arugula- Wash and dry well. Wrap with a damp paper towel and store in a glass container in the fridge. Lasts up to 5 days.

*Red Kale- Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Lasts up to a week. Wash well before use. 

Peppers- Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as moisture decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage is needed. Lasts up to one week. 

*Radishes- Store radishes in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator and they should keep for at least a week. If your radishes have leaves attached, it is best to remove them, as they tend to leach moisture from the root.

*Tomatoes - Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

*Plums- Store ripe plums in the refrigerator. This will keep them in top shape and prevent fast deterioration. Place them in an open plastic bag - not a sealed one. Plums stored in the refrigerator will last two to four weeks.

*Sweet Potatoes- Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate ‐ sweet potatoes don't like the cold. Lasts up to 3 weeks if stored properly. 

Potatoes- Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Should keep for a week or more easily. If you want to store them for longer, say 2 or 3 months, keep them between 45-55 degrees, again in a dry place out of the light.
 

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Oven Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes

All-The-Tomatoes & Pasta Salad

Roasted Pepper Soup

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for Oven Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes

1 cup cooked Quinoa

2 tsp Olive Oil

8 pitted Black Olives

Shopping list for All-The-Tomatoes & Pasta Sala

8 oz. dried whole-grain short pasta

1 tsp whole caraway seeds

3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp harissa paste

1/3 cup lemon juice

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tahini (optional)

Shopping list for Roasted Pepper Soup

2 Tb Olive Oil

3 1/4 cup sliced Onions

3 large cloves Garlic

1/4 cup dry White Wine

2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock or Broth

2 TB chopped fresh Thyme

Creme Fraiche

Shopping list for all recipes

3 1/4 cup Onions

1/4 cup dry White Wine

2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock or Broth

2 TB chopped fresh Thyme

Creme Fraiche

8 oz. dried whole-grain short pasta

1 tsp whole caraway seeds

6 garlic cloves

2 tbsp harissa paste

1/3 cup lemon juice

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tahini (optional)

1 cup Quinoa

2 TBS +2 tsp Olive Oil

8 pitted Black Olives

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Oven Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes

Recipe from the Quite Good Food webpage

Lilly made this for dinner the other night.  She added feta, which was delicious, and we all thought some toasted walnuts would also make a great addition.

4 large, ripe Tomatoes

1 cup cooked Quinoa

2 tsp Olive Oil

8 pitted Black Olives, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh Basil, chopped - Lilly added more

Salt to season

Pepper to season

Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and set aside.  Use a small knife and spoon to carefully scoop out the seeds of the tomatoes. Put the cooked quinoa, olive oil, olive, basil and garlic in a mixing bowl and mix well to evenly distribute everything. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remembering that the olives are salty so you won’t need much salt.  Spoon the filling into the tomatoes, pressing it down with the back of a spoon as you go so that the tomatoes are quite firmly packed.  Put the stuffed tomatoes, and tomato tops in a roasting dish and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until fragrant, soft and a little caramelized around the edges.  The tomatoes will collapse if overcooked, so don’t overdo it.

All-The-Tomatoes & Pasta Salad

As fall is inching closer, I have been celebrating each and every tomato-inspired meal knowing this summer tomato indulgence will soon be over and give way to more warming fall foods.  Bay Area cookbook author, Heidi Swanson visits us at the farmer’s market and shared a beautiful late-summer salad on her Instagram a few weeks ago that has had my mouth watering ever since.

Recipe from Martha Steward Living December/January 1994, Adapted from Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks

1 bunch kale, loosely chopped

8 oz. dried whole-grain short pasta

1 tsp whole caraway seeds

3 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp sea salt (fine grain if available)

2 tbsp harissa paste

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup water or almond milk

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tahini (optional)

1 basket cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Lots of fresh basil, torn or sliced thinly

Optional: can be served along with herb flowers, thinly sliced lime leaves, torn olives, chopped toasted almonds, cooked black or French lentils

Arrange chopped kale in large serving bowl. Cook pasta in salted water per package instructions, drain, and shake off additional water.

Make dressing by toasting caraway seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant, just a minute or two, tossing regularly. Transfer to mortar and pestle and crush seeds. Add garlic and salt and crush into paste.  Work in the Harissa, followed by lemon juice, then water, then adding nutritional yeast and tahini (if using).  Taste and add salt as needed.  

Just before serving our 1/3 of dressing over the kale and toss well.  Add the pasta, another 1/3 of dressing, and toss again.  Arrange tomatoes and basil on top of the kale-pasta, and give a gentle toss.  Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with suggested extras if using.  Enjoy!

Roasted Pepper Soup

Recipe from SmittenKitchen, shared on the Eatweller’s Slack by CSA Member Erin, who made it with the Lunchbox Peppers and highly recommends it!  You could use a little Serrano instead of the Red Pepper Flakes. Adapted from the NYT 9/21/05

2 Tb Olive Oil

3 1/4 cup sliced Onions

3 large cloves Garlic, crushed

1/4 cup dry White Wine

12 large Red Bell Peppers, cut into 1” pieces

2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock or Broth

2 TB chopped fresh Thyme

1/4 to 1/2 tsp Hot Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and White or Black Pepper

Creme Fraiche for garnish

Thyme Sprigs for garnish

Put oil in large pot.  Add onion when oil is hot.  Cook onions until they begin to soften and take on color.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Add wine and cook down quickly and on high heat, until only one tablespoon is left.  Add peppers, stock, thyme and red pepper flakes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes.  In food processor or with an immersion blender, puree mixture in until smooth (if a food processor, in batches).  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Soup can be served warm or chilled.  Serve topped with a dab of creme fraiche and a tiny sprig of thyme.  Do ahead: Cover and chill overnight or for as long as 2 days or freeze, whisk well before serving if thawed.

Learning To Be A Farmer

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Where do I start, how do I begin? It is a daunting and overwhelming challenge for me. As Connie’s last project on the farm, she helped me work on structuring an idea for a project Nigel had planned on doing for some years now.  We have a 1,000 foot strip at the North end of the farm. Nigel intended to plant two rows of trees, as part of his permaculture project. I have been interested in growing Pineapple Guavas because they produce a crazy amount of fruit, and you can harvest into December. I also want to add a row of Persimmons. On a farm walk some weeks ago, we discovered Nigel had planted about 6 persimmon trees, three varieties, down the row with the mulberries. They are now producing fruit, which tells me we can grow them on our farm. The idea is to do one row of pineapple guava and one row of persimmons. When the time comes, I plan on enlisting the help of y’all by making this a planting party, actually it will be a couple of planting parties.  The nice thing about this project is it is on a small strip, therefore, a rather manageable first attempt. The more I read about the pineapple guava, the more excited I become, and ultimately the closer I feel to Nigel.  So stay tuned, I will be writing more on this project as I learn more!

I Need Baking Physical Therapy

“Physical therapy attempts to address the illnesses, or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives.” — Wikipedia

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This morning, I am baking the Plum Torte one of our members posted on Slack. It got rave reviews from a couple of you, so I thought I would give it a try. I don’t bake much. For some reason when I started cooking a thousand years ago, I got stuck at dinners.  I feel completely comfortable in the kitchen around my stove. Everything is an easy flow for me, like a fish swimming in a peaceful stream. This morning I was trying to figure out why I don’t have the same experience baking. I realized the movements are a little different. Physically, it isn’t the same thing and the thought came to me that I need some Baking Physical Therapy. I need to learn to be comfortable with baking movements like mixing the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the mixer bowl, etc. This led me to understanding why others struggle in the kitchen, it isn’t just not having a zillion recipes in your head, it is how comfortable we are with our movements. So, if I may offer a couple of tips to help all of us in our culinary journeys and growth:

 

#1 Read the recipe all the way through and scan ingredients just to/ This gives me the information I need regarding timing, task order, tools and ingredients

#2 Get your tools out and in a convenient place to get to when you need them. It is a bummer when you are right in the middle of pouring out a thick sauce and you have to stop to go find a scraper.

#3 Get your ingredients out and organized. Again read the recipe instructions, quite often it is helpful to prep things like onions, garlic, or vegetables, by chopping before you get to your cooking.  I am an enormous fan of pinch bowls in all sizes!

#4 Remember to preheat that oven if you are putting anything in it, and along the same line if you need a big pot of boiling water, get that going before you start on everything else.  If the water comes to the boil before you are ready you can pop a lid on it, turn the heat down to low, and it will wait for you.

#5 Practice, practice, practice!  Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, we all do, ALL our lives. I still make (typically really stupid) mistakes, most often it is because I allow myself to get distracted.  Embrace your time cooking almost as a meditation, allow your mind to focus on your task and let go of the day, preferably with a glass of nice wine and some good music. 

 

I know your day is long, and often making dinner is not at the top of the list of fun things to do when you are tired, but trust me, if you can take a moment and a good deep breath to let the day go, dive in with a smile on your face, you will most likely find it becomes your special time.  

 

As Jacques Pepin always says, “Happy Cooking!”

Missing Nigel

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One morning last year, I was sitting at my computer writing the newsletter. The sun was beginning to rise, and looking out our sliding doors the world was beautiful. Nigel and the boys had just left for his radiation treatment in SF.  “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” by Colin Hay was playing on the stereo. I remember thinking how we are just waiting for our real life to begin after all the treatments were finished and Nigel was better.  A little more than a year later, I sit at my computer doing work, hearing the same song, realizing never did it occur to me that the real life would be a life without him. I know I have to keep going, I know this is my life now, but to be honest I am just so broken. Nigel and I met rather late in life, but we knew right away that we were always destined to be together, so it is impossible for me to understand how or why he was taken from us so soon. This man who gave so much to all of us, who was so open, and willing to share his knowledge, his passion, his love and his farm. It makes no sense to me. For all of you members who had the chance to meet him, especially those of you who knew him well, you know what I am talking about. How does this make any sense? Seriously, why him? There just is no bright side to this, but it is my life now. So I will take a deep breath, after the tears, listen to more music, and get back to work.  Tonight, it’s reconciling our checking account. And just to be clear, I have no option but to continue his work. He is in me, this was our life, and I will keep moving forward. Now, it is my life, and honestly, I have so many of you to thank for that. You really do make it worthwhile, you were always the reason Nigel lived this crazy life, and your love and support is why I will live this crazy life, because you have got my back.

This Week's Box: September 11th- 17th

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CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

*Items in Box for 2

Melon - Leave at room temperature until they have reached desired ripeness - eat 'em! Last 1-4 days depending on ripeness to start.

Zucchini - Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage. Do not wash until ready to eat. Lasts 4-5 days.

*Basil - Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water; then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for 4-5 days.

*Nectarines- Store at room temperature until ripe — this usually takes 2 to 3 days. A ripe fruit will yield a bit when pressed gently. To speed up the ripening process, place in a paper bag and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Storing ripe stone fruit in the crisper drawer will prolong its eating life — it should keep for up to a week when refrigerated.  

Grapes- Store, unwashed, in your refrigerator's fruit drawer. They last up to a week. 

*Peppers- Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as moisture decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage is needed. Lasts up to one week. 

Radishes- Store radishes in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator and they should keep for at least a week. If your radishes have leaves attached, it is best to remove them, as they tend to leach moisture from the root.

*Tomatoes - Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

*Plums- Store ripe plums in the refrigerator. This will keep them in top shape and prevent fast deterioration. Place them in an open plastic bag - not a sealed one. Plums stored in the refrigerator will last two to four weeks.

*Sweet Potatoes- Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate ‐ sweet potatoes don't like the cold. Lasts up to 3 weeks if stored properly. 

Potatoes- Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Should keep for a week or more easily. If you want to store them for longer, say 2 or 3 months, keep them between 45-55 degrees, again in a dry place out of the light.
 

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Potato, Sweet Potato, & Onion Latkes

Purple Plum Torte

Liz’s Fresh Tomato Coctel de Camarones

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for Purple Plum Torte

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder 

1 cup granulated Sugar, plus 1 to 2 TB (depending on sweetness of plums)

1/2 cup (8 TB) unsalted Butter

2 large Eggs

2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

Shopping list for Potato, Sweet Potato, & Onion Latkes

1/4 large White Onion

1 large Egg

2 TB All-Purpose Flour

Vegetable Oil

Shopping list for Liz’s Fresh Tomato Coctel de Camarones

1 medium onion (or a couple of those purple torpedo onions are great!)

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed OR 1.5 lb frozen bay shrimp

1 8oz bottle clam juice

2 juicy limes, reserving 2 wedges for serving

1 juicy lemon 

1/2 tbsp Mexican hot sauce, to taste

1 medium cucumber, chopped (or try with this week’s zucchini instead)

2 medium avocados, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Tortilla chips (optional)

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Purple Plum Torte

Original Recipe from NYT by Marian Burros. This recipe was shared on our CSA Slack, by member Diego, and mentioned on the other side of this newsletter.

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder 

Large pinch of Salt

1 cup granulated Sugar, plus 1 to 2 TB (depending on sweetness of plums)

1/2 cup (8 TB) unsalted Butter, softened

2 large Eggs

12 smallish Plums, halved, and pitted - this is tricky with our plums as they do not pit easily, so I am trying to cut as much off of the pit as possible

2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 F.  Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  In a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color.  Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Spoon batter into an uncreased 9” springform panand smooth the top.  Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it.  Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar.  Bak until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake coms out free of batter, about 45 to 59 minutes.  Cool on rack.  Once cool, leave it covered at room temperature overnight as this cake is e even better on the second d day, when those plum juices further release into the cake around it.

Potato, Sweet Potato, & Onion Latkes

Recipe from Martha Steward Living December/January 1994

10 oz Potatoes, peeled

10 oz Sweet Potatoes, peeled

1/4 large White Onion, peeled

1 large Egg, room temp

2 TB All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Salt, or more to taste

1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

Vegetable Oil, for frying

Grate potatoes and onion using the largest holes of a four-sided grater.  Combine ina small bowl; add egg, flour, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine.  Heat 1 TB oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into the pan, and cook until golden brown around the edges, about 3 minutes more.  Continue cooking latkes in batches until batter is used up.  Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Liz’s Fresh Tomato Coctel de Camarones

Recipe by CSA Member and site host, Liz Young

Working at the farm changed me and I can no longer let a summer go by without canning at least 60 lbs of Eatwell tomatoes!  I don’t think I have bought many canned tomatoes or sauce, if any, from the store in the last 7 years because I now religiously dedicate a couple of summer days to canning them.  Since I wasn’t able to make it to any of the sauce parties this summer (boo!), I ordered a couple of 20lb boxes to come with my CSA delivery.  In addition to roasting and saucing tomatoes, I also like to can them whole.  I end up running the discarded skins through the food mill and out comes bright crimson/fuschia tomato deliciousness.  Since paring with pasta is the obvious and usual choice of what to do with the leftover tomato sauce from canning, I decided to do something different, something cool and refreshing.  Mexican-style Shrimp Cocktail sounded like just the right thing!

 

1 medium onion (or a couple of those purple torpedo onions are great!)

6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons kosher salt, more to taste

1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed OR 1.5 lb frozen bay shrimp

1 cup tomato puree/sauce

1 8oz bottle clam juice

2 juicy limes, reserving 2 wedges for serving

1 juicy lemon 

1/2 tbsp Mexican hot sauce, to taste 

3 large or 4 smaller radishes, chopped 

3 or 4 lunchbox peppers, chopped

1 medium cucumber, chopped (or try with this week’s zucchini instead)

2 medium avocados, choppe

1 heirloom tomato, chopped

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup basil, chopped

Tortilla chips (optional)

 

Cut onion in half.  Cut one half into large chunks and dice the other, setting aside diced pieces for now.  Fill a saucepan with water, add large onion chunks and chopped garlic, and salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then add shrimp and turn off heat.  Let sit for a minute until shrimp are cooked (or if using frozen, until they are heated).  Drain and let shrimp cool, removing and discarding onion and garlic.

 

In a separate bowl combine tomato puree, clam juice, lime and lemon juice, and hot sauce.  You can start with the 1/2 tbsp of hot sauce (or less if you are sensitive to heat.  If you LOVE spicy and have one of those Serrano chilis left from last week, remove the seeds and membranes and dice one and throw it in!)

 

In another bowl, combine peppers, diced onion, radish, zucchini and/or cucumber, heirloom tomato, and avocado.  Pour tomato concoction and chopped herbs over veggies and toss to coat. Add salt, pepper, or hot sauce to taste. Place it fridge for 30 minutes (or stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill quickly).  

 

If you have them, break out the margarita or martini glasses to serve, lined with a lime wedge and eat the coctel alone or with tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Parties & Events

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Our pumpkins are coming along rather nicely.  There are an awful lot of squirrels running around the farm so keep your fingers crossed they don’t decimate this year’s crop. If all goes well we will have a nice pumpkin party this year. It is the last event of the season, your final chance to come up with a group to have some fun on the farm. Nigel and I always found it rather amusing that the adults seemed to have more fun than the kids! Separate from actual farm events, I wanted to mention Wilderness Tora’s Sukkot On The Farm will be at Eatwell again this year.  I am really looking forward to the celebration of the harvest and to actually have the opportunity to experience it all. If you are interested tickets are available at wildernesstorah.org.

Saying Farewell To Connie

We met Connie at the annual California Farm Academy tour and dinner hosted here for its students. Shortly after she finished up their courses, she came to work here, taking over our herbs. When Emily left, Connie moved into the position of CSA manager. It was a role she wasn’t fully comfortable taking on since she feels more at home out in the field, but she did, including managing all of the events. This is no simple task. There are many pieces to making sure everyone’s share, eggs and extras end up on the right truck on the right day. Seasons change, produce changes, egg production goes up and down, members come and go.  There is just a lot, all the time.Yet, the biggest challenge Connie faced was doing much of this work on her own, during the worst of Nigel’s illness. We were gone so much of the time she was here, and I will never be able to thank her enough for the care and attention to detail she gave this job.  Never did we have to worry about tasks getting done. Everything I asked of Connie, she did and did it without mistakes. She always asked what else she could do to help. During such a hard time in our lives, it was an enormous comfort knowing the CSA was in good hands.  

 

With all of our CSA managers, one of the best things has been watching each one grow in their own special way. I know it was a stretch for Connie to take on the task of managing the events since she has always been a quiet person. The events are a pretty big deal here, but she did such a great job, all the way through our first big Sukkot on the Farm, with 300 people attending, and Nigel and I rushing off to the hospital.  That says a lot about a person.  

 

This coming weekend, Connie is packing up her car and moving back to the family farm in Illinois. I will miss her immensely.  The farm made it through an incredibly challenging time because of her calm and steady way of handling things, and for that, I could never thank her enough. Thank you, Connie, we all wish you the best of luck, and truly hope you come back to visit! 

P.S.: Connie was usually the one taking pictures, so I couldn’t find any good shots of her. Fortunately, while we were walking the farm last week I snapped this one!

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Rose Hips

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Walking the west side of the farm, you will find our mostly native hedge row. This includes a brambly rose that right now is covered in orange and red rose hips. The bushes are really lovely, but besides their beauty if made me think about all the benefits and uses of rose hips. Could this be something we could harvest? Or perhaps if anyone of you is interested in harvesting for yourselves, it could be another reason to come visit the farm? Rose hips are commonly used in jams and jellies, liqueurs, oils, dried for tea.  They are incredibly high in vitamin C. Rose hip oil is commonly used in skin care.  Something to consider for the future.  Would love to know if anyone has any interest in them? Text me 530-554-3971 or comment on Slack.

This week's Box: September 4th- 10th

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CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

*Items in Box for 2

Melon - Leave at room temperature until they have reached desired ripeness - eat 'em! Last 1-4 days depending on ripeness to start.

*Zucchini - Does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage. Do not wash until ready to eat. Lasts 4-5 days.

Basil - Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water; then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for 4-5 days.

Grapes- Store, unwashed, in your refrigerator's fruit drawer. They last up to a week. 


Cucumber- Cucumbers can be wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room. Lasts up to a week in the fridge. 

Peppers- Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as moisture decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage is needed. Lasts up to one week. 

*Radishes- Store radishes in a plastic bag in the crisper of the refrigerator and they should keep for at least a week. If your radishes have leaves attached, it is best to remove them, as they tend to leach moisture from the root.


*Tomatoes - Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

*Plums- Store ripe plums in the refrigerator. This will keep them in top shape and prevent fast deterioration. Place them in an open plastic bag - not a sealed one. Plums stored in the refrigerator will last two to four weeks.

*Potatoes- Store in a cool, dry, dark place. Should keep for a week or more easily. If you want to store them for longer, say 2 or 3 months, keep them between 45-55 degrees, again in a dry place out of the light.
 

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Essential Chopped Tomato/Serrano Salsa

Purple Plum Torte

Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

Tartiflette Toastie

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for Essential Chopped Tomato/Serrano Salsa

12 or so sprigs of Cilantro

1 large clove Garlic

1 small White Onion

1 1/2 tsp fresh Lime Juice

Shopping list for Purple Plum Torte

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 cup granulated Sugar, plus 1 to 2 TB (depending on sweetness of plums)

1/2 cup (8 TB) unsalted Butter, softened

2 large Eggs

2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

Shopping list for Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

3 TB fresh Lemon Juice

1 small Shallot, chopped

1 clove Garlic

1/3 cup loosely packed Dill

1/4 cup loosely packed Parsley

2 TB loosely packed Tarragon

1/2 cup Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped

Shopping list for Tartiflette Toastie

1 TB Olive Oil

2 slices Bacon or a slice of Cold Ham, cut into small strips

1 to 2 TB Heavy Cream or Creme Fraiche

1 large, thick slice Bread

3 to 4 thick slices (about 1 oz) semi-soft or semi-arid Cheese, such as Brie or Cheddar

Shopping list for all recipes:

12 or so sprigs of Cilantro

2 large clove Garlic

1 small White Onion

1 1/2 tsp fresh Lime Juice

1 cup All-Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder 

1 cup granulated Sugar, plus 1 to 2 TB

1/2 cup (8 TB) unsalted Butter, softened

2 large Eggs

2 tsp fresh Lemon Juice

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

3 TB fresh Lemon Juice

1 small Shallot, chopped

1/3 cup loosely packed Dill

1/4 cup loosely packed Parsley

2 TB loosely packed Tarragon

3/4 cup of Olive Oil

1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped

2 slices Bacon or a slice of Cold Ham, cut into small strips

1 to 2 TB Heavy Cream or Creme Fraiche

1 large, thick slice Bread

3 to 4 thick slices (about 1 oz) semi-soft or semi-arid Cheese, such as Brie or Cheddar

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO TE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Cold Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill

Recipe by Andrew Zimmern

So a few weeks ago, our Andrew was working the market and actually got to chat with Andrew Zimmern while he was filming at the market.  Cool as a cucumber, our Andrew, said it was “no big deal, just another one of those TV chefs”.  Their Dad would be so proud.  So I couldn’t resist including this recipe.

2 1/4 lb Cucumber, halved and seeded 1/2 cup finely diced, the rest coarsely chopped 

1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt

3 TB fresh Lemon Juice

1 small Shallot, chopped

1 clove Garlic

1/3 cup loosely packed Dill

1/4 cup loosely packed Parsley

2 TB loosely packed Tarragon

1/2 cup Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground White Pepper 

1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped

 

In a blender, combine the chopped cucumber with the yogurt, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, dill, parsley, tarragon and the 1/4 cup olive oil.  Blend until smooth.  Season with salt and white pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.  Season the soup again just before serving.  Pour the soup into bowls.  Garnish with the finely diced cucumber and red onion and drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.

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