Grapes

The bunches have formed and it appears there is quite a bit of fruit out there. Sadly, it is obvious that we have a lot of powdery mildew, so I doubt we will get any fruit to harvest. I did a quick reading and found products we could spray that are acceptable for an organic crop, including sulphur. Nigel was always opposed to using sprays, even if they were approved for certified organic crops. I did see two products that are strains of bacillus (bacillus subtilis, and bacillus pumulis). This is interesting because a few years ago we had pretty good results spraying the stone fruit with old raw milk and whey. What I learned in the soil class I took with Elaine Ingham is the good bacteria can crowd out a fungus, virus etc.  This year, with as much rain as we had, I doubt there would have been much we could have done to prevent this from happening.  Certainly more reading and research is needed.

THIS WEEK'S BOX: JULY 17TH- JULY 23RD

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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

*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.

*Peaches- Peaches are climacteric, which means they continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. After ripe, refrigerate as necessary to prevent spoiling. Will last up to a week.  

Cabbage- Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week. 

*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.

Onion- Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

*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

Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Verbena

Bubble and Squeak

Smashed Cherry Tomato and Plum Croissants

Fettuccine with Zucchini

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

Shopping list for: Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Verbena

Olive Oil

Shopping list for:  Bubble and Squeak

1 TB Butter

4 slices Bacon, chopped

Shopping list for:  Smashed Cherry Tomato and Plum Croissants

4 Croissants, split

3 TB Butter

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Shopping list for: Fettuccine with Zucchini

4 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup Pine Nuts

1 lb fresh Fettuccine

1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

Shopping list for all recipes:

8 TB Olive Oil

4 TB Butter

4 slices Bacon, chopped

1 cup Pine Nuts

1 lb fresh Fettuccine

1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

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.

Roasted Potatoes with Lemon Verbena

One of our members sent me an email a week or so ago, telling me he roasted our potatoes with some of the lemon verbena.  And apparently, it is quite the delicious combination.  

Here is the photo he sent me.

The recipe is pretty straight forward.

Ingrediants:

Potatoes, well washed, skins left on, cut into chunks

Small amount of Lemon Verbena, chiffonade (stack the leaves, roll if you can and slice thin strips)

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions: 

Roast in the oven preheated to 450 F until brown, and tender all the way through.

 

Bubble and Squeak

Recipe from BBC Good Food

I think of this dish more in the winter when it is colder here.  But then I remember most of you are living in winter, on the bright side you aren’t suffering through 108-degree weather!  In any case, this recipe is designed to use leftover potatoes and cabbage, but I am setting it up to make this a start to finish recipe.  Of course, if you have used your cabbage and potatoes for something else and you do have leftovers, by all means, repurpose!

1 TB Butter

4 slices Bacon, chopped

1 Onion, finely sliced

1 Garlic clove, chopped

Shredded boiled Cabbage

400 g cold, crushed boiled Potatoes (or cold leftover Mashed Potatoes)

 

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, allow it to get nice and hot, then add the bacon.  As it begins to brown, add the onion and garlic.  Next, add the cabbage and let it color slightly.  All tis will take 5 to 6 minutes.  Next, add the potato.  Work everything together in the pan and push it down so that the mixture covers the base of the pan - allow the mixture to catch slightly on the base of the pan before turning it over and doing the same again.  It’s the bits of potato that catch in the pan that define the term “bubble and squeak”, so be brave and let the mixture color.  Cut into wedges and serve.

Smashed Cherry Tomato and Plum Croissants

Recipe from the website Simply Beautiful Eating

Once again the google trick worked and when I googled cherry tomatoes and plums I found this beautiful website.  This recipe is simple, and a great way to use cherry tomatoes and plums in a way I would have never thought to try.  Check out Debi’s website simplybeautifuleating.com for some truly gorgeous photography!

4 Croissants, split

3 TB melted Garlic Butter, make your own by melting the butter and adding fresh garlic

1 TB fresh chopped Parsley

2 cups Cherry Tomatoes

4 Plums, sliced in half

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Additional butter for grilling

Brush croissants with the melted butter and top with parsley.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Spread tomatoes and plums in a large cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until nicely caramelized.  Heat a large skillet with 1 TB of butter, medium to medium high heat.  Add croissants and pan fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Remove from pan and top with caramelized tomatoes and plums.  Serve warm.

Fettuccine with Zucchini

Recipe from NYT by Florence Fabricant

You might have some parsley leftover from last week, but if you don’t a little basil would be a nice substitute.  Even a small amount of lemon verbena would work, which would give it a very citrus fresh flavor.

1 lb Zucchini, diced

Salt

4 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/2 cup minced Onion

1 cup Pine Nuts

3 cloves Garlic, slivered

1 lb fresh Fettuccine

Freshly ground Black Pepper

3 TB minced flat leaf Parsley

1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese

Place zucchini in a colander, toss with salt and set aside to drain in sink or over a bowl 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 3 TB oil in a heavy sauce pan, add onion, pin e nuts and garlic and sauce over low heat about 10 minutes, until onion is soft and nuts start to brown.  Rinse and drain zucchini and add to pan.  Saute about 20 minutes, until tender.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta, cook pasta about 3 minutes and drain, reserving about 1 cup pasta water.  Add pasta to sauce pan, cook over low heat about 5 minutes, to blend ingredients, adding pasta water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold in parsley (or basil or lemon verbena), cheese and additional olive oil and serve.

 

This Summer’s Sauce Parties

Sauce Party #1 is just around the corner, and I think out of all the events that happen on the farm, it is the sauce party that connects people.  It’s usually hot, hotter for having close to 100 people cooking tomato sauce all day.  But magic happens in that communal cooking, in the sharing of recipes, lunch, and cocktails (thinking of you Ted - Manhattan Man).  It is pretty serious work for all of you.  

Last year it was so obvious that most of you have become hard core canners and the operations you are setting up have become quite impressive (and huge!).  This year we have reduced the number oftickets rather significantly to accommodate you the Eatwell canners.  I think we used to open it up to well over 100 people, now we are down to just 80.  If you haven’t gotten your tickets, I strongly encourage you do that, because I think this year we are going to book out once people realize this.  Also, we grew more San Marzanos this year and they really do make the best sauce EVAH!  Get your tickets, bring up some friends, make a year’s worth of sauce, and more importantly let’s all celebrate the amazing man I was lucky enough to love and marry! For ticket inquiries, email organic@eatwell.com or check your Friday email for the parties link.

 

Community and the CSA

Nigel and I always felt that growing community was essential to all that we do.  A couple of months ago, he was talking to me about learning that a community of plants in the pasture made for a much healthier crop.  Somehow growing multiple varieties mixed together just worked better, probably because the plants work together in a system. And just like humans, they also can compete and fight, but with the right mix and good plant communication, the pasture would be rich, full and beautiful.  

The past few years, we’ve tried growing our CSA community by opening up the events to the public.  We learned from you that visits to the farm were key in making a solid connection between members and the land. It made the difference between you simply being a customer and becoming an invested share holder of the farm; Eatwell became your farm.  So it made sense to us to have more people here, sharing in the events alongside our members. Of course,  it would help us grow the CSA. The funny thing is that isn’t how it works.  What I have learned over the past couple of weeks is that it’s not just about getting people to the farm, it is actually about us having the chance to really connect with one another.  Opening the events to the public, which made them much larger affairs, meant we didn’t have the time to really visit with existing members.  That doesn't translate into CSA growth.  I think a big part of why it didn’t work is because you are the best ambassadors, and when you bring your friends and family they share your experience.  Often they “see the light” and become members because of it.  They are invited into the community and at least temporarily become a part of it. I now realize that maybe a better focus of attention is making sure all of our CSA members have that serious connection to the farm. ALL of you should know deep inside this is your farm,. This is your place to come to visit and be with the land. I want every member to not just open a box of produce, but to open a box of the bounty that is your family farm, even if you don’t get to visit often or ever. I have heard many beautiful stories over the past couple of weeks and they all confirm this concept for me.  Yes we need more members so don’t stop the evangelism, but more importantly I want to make sure you each and everyone of you feel this connection.

I was wrong.

Last week’s newsletter wasn’t the hardest, this week’s is. I feel lost in front of my computer, what do I write about?  My entire life has been turned upside down. Don and Thora, Nigel’s parents, flew back to England on Monday.  They were with me for the past 5 weeks, by my side every step of the way, giving me the chance to continue running the farm while they sat with Nigel.  They made countless cups of tea, washed dishes, cooked food, did daily loads of laundry. Together we learned how to care for the dying, thingsnone of us would ever want to know.  This has been a tragic journey for them.  Originally they were booked to fly home Sunday, July 2nd.  Nigel left up leaving us that Saturday, so they changed their flight and then asked me what kind of service or remembrance I was planning on.  

 

My plan has always been to hold a memorial next summer close to Nigel’s beloved solstice and our wedding anniversary, so I hadn’t thought about a small gathering that would happen now. I realized they were right, we had to do something. I thought we could put together something small; the crew, us, the immediate family here, a few close friends.  Then I was thinking about how important all of you have been to Nigel and maybe I should just let the CSA know and if they want to come up great.  I was reminded that the CSA alone could be a couple thousand people, so I quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea.  Putting the small list together jumped to 200 people almost immediately, and I can assure you, there were many important people I forgot and many more we just couldn’t invite. But that was Nigel– he was a man who touched so many lives, making a “small” list was simply impossible.

 

It was a beautiful day with many close friends. We got to hear a lot of great Nigel stories.  This was one event I didn’t cook for at all, from start to finish.  Thank you Paige for feeding us all weekend.  It was nicer than I could have imagine, having that task so lovingly taken off my “plate”.  And thank you Lizzie for putting the beautiful flowers together, such a gorgeous representation of the beauty Nigel has created around our farm.  And Jan, thank youfor managing the pit. Our future promises some excellent kalua pork, cooked in Nigel’s banana leaves.

  

Truly there are many people to thank, including Ms. Amie Bailey for all the delicious Humphry Slocombe ice cream, always Nigel’s favorite food group, and Annie and George for the pork, Nigel’s second favorite food group.  

 

Many donations have come in for the Care Share fund. Thank you all for your generosity. I am encouraged that we will turn this into a beautiful way to honor Nigel’s life work. A big part of this project is finding the best ways to get our healthy food to those who need it. Perhaps a working with some clinics or specific practitioners who could accept boxes to give to patients who could benefit from a share might be an option. If you have any ideas please let me know.  

 

This Week's Box: July 10th- July 16th

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

*Strawberries- Refrigerate fresh strawberries in containers. Do not rinse until ready to eat. Strawberries don’t like to be wet. Keeps 2-3 days. Freeze in a zip-tight bag for longer storage.

*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.

*Peaches- Peaches are climacteric, which means they continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. After ripe, refrigerate as necessary to prevent spoiling. Will last up to a week.  

Collards- 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. Do not wash until ready to use. Will last up to a week.

Cabbage- Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week. 

*Parsley - Place in a glass with an inch of water in the fridge. Change water often. Can also be stored in a closed container in the fridge. Lasts up to one week.

*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.

Onion- Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

*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

Gallette au Chou French Cabbage Gallette

Easy French Ratatouille

Crispy Potato Cake with Garlic and Parsley

Plum Tarts with Honey and Black Pepper

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

Shopping list for: Gallette au Chou French Cabbage Gallette

7ozs thick cut smoked bacon

2 eggs

3 shallots

3 cloves garlic

7ozs plain flour

250ml milk

Shopping list for: Easy French Ratatouille

2 eggplants

3 bell peppers

1 ½ to 2 TB olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

3-4 sprigs of thyme

Shopping list for: Crispy Potato Cake with Garlic and Parsley

6 garlic cloves

1 stick of butter

Shopping list for: Plum Tarts with Honey and Black Pepper

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package)

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon honey

Shopping list for all recipes:

13 garlic cloves

1 stick of butter

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package)

¼ cup sugar

1 tablespoon honey

2 eggplants

3 bell peppers

1 ½ to 2 TB olive oil

1 bay leaf

3-4 sprigs of thyme

7ozs thick cut smoked bacon

2 eggs

3 shallots

7ozs plain flour

250ml milk

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.

Gallette au Chou French Cabbage Gallette

Via Lavenderandlovage.com

 

 

1/2 cabbage, roughly chopped

2 TB olive oil

7ozs thick cut smoked bacon, cubed

2 eggs

3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped

bunch of parsley, finely chopped

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

7ozs plain flour

250ml milk

Heat oven to 350F

Steam cabbage for 3 minutes, drain and put to one side. Smear the olive oil over a deep pie dish and place in the oven.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, bacon, shallots, garlic, parsley and seasoning together. Add the flour and milk and blend to a smooth thick batter.

Remove the hot pie dish from the oven and pour half the batter in to the dish, then pile on the cabbage, packing it down with your hands before pouring the remaining batter over the top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and firm.

Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

 

Easy French Ratatouille

Via Thekitchn.com

2 eggplants

2 onions

3 bell peppers

6 zucchini

4 tomatoes

1 ½ to 2 TB olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves

1 bay leaf

3-4 sprigs of thyme

¼ cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons

Extra basil for garnish

Salt and Pepper

 

Peel the eggplants, if desired, and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Dice the onions and roughly chop the peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. The vegetables will be cooked in batches, so keep each one in a separate bowl.

Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large (at least 5 1/2-quart) Dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have also softened, about another 5 minutes. Transfer the onions and peppers to a clean bowl.

Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt until the zucchini has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the onions and peppers.

Rinse the eggplant under running water and squeeze the cubes gently with your hands to remove as much moisture as possible. Warm two teaspoons of oil in the pan and sauté the eggplant until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables.

During cooking, a brown glaze will gradually build on the bottom of the pan. If it looks like this glaze is beginning to turn black and burn, turn down the heat to medium. You can also dissolve the glaze between batches by pouring 1/4 cup of water or wine into the pan and scraping up the glaze. Pour the deglazing liquid into the bowl with the vegetables.

Warm another teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, and whole sprigs of thyme. As the tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.

Add all of the vegetables back into the pan and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bring the stew to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours. Shorter cooking time will leave the vegetables in larger, more distinct pieces; longer cooking times will break the vegetables down into a silky stew.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before taking the ratatouille off the heat, stir in the basil. Sprinkle the extra basil and a glug of good olive oil over each bowl as you serve.

Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to 3 months. Ratatouille is often better the second day, and it can be eaten cold, room temperature, or warm.

 

Plum Tarts with Honey and Black Pepper

Via Bonapetit.com

 

 

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-oz. package or half of 17.3-oz. package), thawed according to package directions

1 pound red plums, apricots, or peaches, pitted, cut into ½” wedges

¼ cup sugar

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

 

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut pastry into six 4” squares, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Top with plums, leaving a ½” border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper.

Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through, until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

DO AHEAD: Tarts can be baked 4 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature.

 

Crispy Potato Cake with Garlic and Parsley

Via Bonappetit.com

 

 

4 TB unsalted butter, divided, plus more for pan

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 lbs small potatoes, peeled, sliced ¼”thick

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 TB duck fat or unsalted butter

½ cup fresh parsley leaves

 

Preheat oven to 350. Generously butter cake pan; set aside.

Heat 2 TB butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 4 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add remaining 2 Tbsp. butter to skillet. Once butter is melted, add potatoes; season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until beginning to soften, 6–8 minutes. Add duck fat and continue to cook potatoes, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown in spots, 15–20 minutes longer.

Transfer potatoes to prepared cake pan, pressing down firmly and evenly (this will help potatoes hold together when you turn the potato cake out). Bake potatoes until crisp on top, 12–15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert potato cake onto a plate, season with salt and pepper, and top with parsley and reserved garlic.

DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be sautéed and arranged in cake pan 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill; bake 10–15 minutes longer to warm through.

 

In Loving Memory of Nigel Walker

By The Boys, Eric & Andrew

These past couple of days have been the toughest of our lives but have also shown the impact our dad has had on the world. The outpouring of support shows how a community can be built and how he has brought a diverse group of people together over everyone’s desire for healthier food.   

Growing up on the farm we have been with him while he has been working night and day to make sure the farm runs smoothly. From the early morning drives to the market to driving out to the pump at midnight and every time in between.  While most kids were just learning basic math, he was teaching us how to use a credit card machine at the farmers’ market. He made us go to a Spanish immersion school so that we could learn to communicate with the crew on the farm and it has been an invaluable tool.  He taught us the value of taking care of the farm crew as they are a big reason the farm has been able to succeed and will continue to succeed. When additional was help needed with anything from packing the CSA boxes to planting, we were sent out to help the crew and learn some of the skills. 

Following his dreams of farming has given us a unique start to our life that we would not trade for anything in the world. He showed the guts to try out new things that were big risks and he proceeded to the next idea when the last one reached the end of its course. When the many seed magazines came in, he spent hours looking through to find a new, exciting and unfamiliar variety.

Every day of his life dad was learning about ways he could improve what was being done on the farm and wanting other people to learn also through the stories in the newsletters and tours around the farm.

Dad has always said that it is not his farm but the members’ farm and it will continue being so.

Without your support, our dad's dreams would never have been attained.

Thank you for your continued support.

This Week's Box: July 3rd- July 9th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

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

*Items in Box for 2

Strawberries- Do not rinse until ready to eat. Strawberries don’t like to be wet. Keeps 2-3 days.

Chard- 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. Keeps 2-3 days.

Peaches- Peaches are climacteric, which means they continue to ripen after picking and should be stored at room temperature, away from sunlight and heat until they give softly to the touch and have a sweet aroma. After ripe, refrigerate as necessary to prevent spoiling. Will last up to a week.  

*Collards- 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. Do not wash until ready to use. Will last up to a week.

*Cabbage- Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week. 

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 about a week.

Zucchini - Store zucchini unwashed in a perforated or loosely closed plastic bag for up to one week. Don't wash or cut up the zucchini until ready to use. To freeze zucchini for later use, wash and cut into 1-inch chunks before freezing in a zipper-topped freezer bag.

*Radish- 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.

*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.

*Onion- Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

*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. 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.

How Do I Write This One?

Through tears.  I am sure this will be the hardest newsletter I will ever write.  Our family has been greatly comforted by the outpouring of love from everyone.  Reading the many stories has put smiles on our faces, but they bring more tears as well.  I think for Nigel’s parents it has shown them, in a very real way, the impact their son has had on our world here in Northern California.  For me personally, I know what great a man my husband was.   We both knew what a great team we made, and how much of an impact we had and would have “once he was better”.  

 

It is hard to come to a full stop after so many years.  Nigel and I are both fighters, so it feels almost impossible to be at the end of this road.  It’s like running full speed and you are expected to stop immediately because the road came to an abrupt end.   Instead you run right into a solid wall of pain.  

 

Nigel’s was a life that was cut far too short.  He really had such passion for our land, our crew, our community, and the right way of doing things.  He kept researching farming techniques, equipment (and sailing) right until the very end.  Some of his most clear words near the end were strawberries, lavender and tomatoes.  It was so obvious his mind was still working the farm, even as his brain was taken over by cancer.

Thankfully the end did come rather quickly.  Nigel had been doing quite well for the last couple of weeks; eating, drinking, we had his pain under control.  Everything changed Friday night, but he slept through most of it and quietly and without any warning he just stopped. I had the feeling he quietly went down, down into the ground that is his beloved farm.  So I hold onto the fact that his energy lives on with us, all around the farm.  

 

How do we honor such a man?  Nigel and I do not follow any religion, so there will not be a service.  His children and I have decided to wait on a full memorial to honor his life until next summer.  Quite frankly, I need the space of time to do something I feel is worthy of him.  I want to be fully present and not so overwhelmed by grief.  He deserves something special and impactful and I can’t even begin to think about the specifics of an event like that.  In the meantime I am making the Care Share a fund in honor of his memory, and hope to really get that launched.  I am hoping it will have grown tremendously so that next summer we can celebrate the work we are continuing in his honor.  And it gives our family from England a beautiful reason to all come together here at the farm one more time.  

 

I do know that Nigel impacted many of your lives and lots of you will want to have an opportunity to celebrate his life.  We have more summer events coming up and I can assure you that all of them will be perfect times to do that.  I know this will be a summer filled with stories and memories and probably quite a few tears.  Please come to the farm and do that.  It was truly Nigel’s greatest joy to have his CSA members sitting around a campfire, just hanging out, talking, sometimes playing music, watching kids get excited about burning marshmallows.   Please know that we always considered this your farm as much as it is ours, if you want to come up to camp any time this summer just let Noelle know ahead of time.  The farm is here for you to connect with and enjoy.  

 

Cameron and I will have so much on our plates the next few months.  I would like to enlist your help with the newsletter by asking for some stories from our members.  Your stories about your experiences on the farm, or cooking meals from the box, how you came to be a part of Eatwell would make a lovely addition to our newsletter and help us with our social media campaign.  Pictures if you have them are really great!  We will try to keep stories relevant to the season, so we might hold onto some until the appropriate time, but please feel free to email them in - organic@eatwell.com.

A Tribute to Nigel

By Alix Wall, a member of Eatwell’s CSA for 11 years.

Nigel Walker, the farmer who many Bay Area parents credit with getting their children to eat turnips and radishes, and whose lavender display brought a bit of Van Gogh’s Provence to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market where he was a mainstay, died Saturday, July 1. The founder of Eatwell Farm was 56.

Born in Leicester, England on December 24, 1960, Walker was the grandson of a farmer. The eldest of three boys, he was the only one of them who liked to spend time with his grandfather as he worked the land.  He studied farming at Writtle Agricultural College in Essex. Though the school taught conventional farming, Walker fulfilled his practicum at an organic farm. He also studied in Israel, working on organic farms there and learning about drip irrigation.

    When he met his ex-wife Frances at a farming conference in the U.S., he decided to stay, and moved to California in 1992.

He established Eatwell Farm in 1993 on 105 acres in Dixon (near Davis), quickly putting it on the map with its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes. It has around 900 members today, and many of them say belonging to a CSA has positively impacted the way they eat, especially in introducing foreign vegetables to their children.

    The farm grows numerous varieties of fruits and vegetables (Eatwell is especially known for its heirloom tomatoes; Millennium Restaurant in Oakland has offered an annual multi-course meal showcasing Eatwell’s tomatoes for over a decade); wheat; lavender and chickens.

    Walker, his twin boys Eric and Andrew, and later, his wife Lorraine, whom he married in 2011, were fixtures at the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) farmers’ market at the San Francisco Ferry Building from its inception, and in fact, until Walker got sick, he was known to never miss a Saturday, “not after his twins were born, and not after our wedding,” said his wife Lorraine.  

    Walker fancied himself a horticulturalist, rather than a farmer, speaking often about how as long as the soil was treated in the right way, vegetables would grow without the need for additional compost or other fortifications.  “What I’ve really come to understand is that if I make sure the crops have everything they need, then all the vegetables I plant look after themselves,” he told Bay Area Bites in 2014.

    Walker never stopped innovating, using his own fields as his laboratory.  When he saw that the organic feed he was using to feed his chickens came from China, he knew he could do better.  “How could I call our eggs local when the feed was coming from China?” he wrote on his blog in 2008. He leased an additional 40 acres next to his farm to start growing wheat for the chickens. This also meant building silos on his land to store it, and selling wheat berries at the market. The market stall features a cast-iron hand-grinder where customers can grind the wheat berries into flour themselves.

Marcy Coburn, executive director of CUESA, first met Walker about ten years ago, when she toured Eatwell as director of communications for the Ecological Farming Association known as EcoFarm.  “We saw his biodiesel truck, and his water pump using solar power,” she said. “He’s always been such a seeker of new and profound technologies that would have a greater impact not only on conserving environmental resources but on the farming side. He set the pace for so many farmers in terms of that.”

    Eatwell is one of the farms that has been at the Ferry Building’s farmers’ market since its inception, and several people noted that the prime spot it held was no accident.  Coburn noted that Eatwell and the market really grew up together, and Walker made his presence felt by not only never missing a Saturday, but in numerous other ways as well.  “He really held not only himself accountable but the other farmers and CUESA accountable too,” said Coburn. 

    She recalled conducting a seller’s meeting when she was brand new on the job; whether to open more markets was the topic of discussion.  “In the time he had been at CUESA, sales had dropped for him and he really felt that adding more markets could dilute the same pool of people and not add to the success for farmers,” Coburn recalled. “He’s so smart, and he just spoke from the land, from his personal experience from what he’s seen. He’s really an advocate for farmers, but not afraid to challenge when things needed to be challenged.”

    Elianna Friedman, the founder of a non-profit that teaches cooking skills to kids, was inspired to found Bay Leaf Kitchen while having lunch at Eatwell. A CUESA staffer at the time, Friedman had been invited to the farm for lunch with her colleagues. She recalled, “I was in awe of how much they know about how food is made and how it’s produced,” she said. “I knew it would take me years to learn everything they know, and I thought that kids should meet them and experience this.”

    By the time Friedman asked if they would host her summer camp, she suspected the answer would be yes. They are hosting seven sessions of kids this summer.  “Nigel was always the first to volunteer or try a new program or demo,” she said. “Anytime you went to him to ask him something, he’d be down for it, and he was always happy to do anything educational.”

    While Lorraine didn’t have any farming experience when she met Walker, she said his passion for building community around the farm was infectious, and she brought the link between the kitchen and the field, which is why they worked so well together as a team.  “I had the home cook’s perspective, and he really encouraged me in that area and pushed me into a bigger role on the farm,” said Lorraine. “One of the greatest things about him is that compared to a lot of farmers, he empowered everyone on the farm to do their job and make it their own.  She continued, “It took a long time to get his guys trained to think for themselves, and have enough confidence in their abilities to make decisions, but the fact that Eatwell has been doing what it’s been doing without both of us this past year, is a testament to Nigel.”

    In February of 2012, Walker was diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow. The CUESA community rallied around him, holding a fundraiser for him at Tacolicious.  “The support given to me in my time of need was enough to make a grown man cry,” he said then.  During his illness, Walker started a program to allow CSA members to donate their boxes while on vacation to cancer patients. His wife intends to continue this, and hopes to obtain funding for it, allowing it to grow.

    While Walker was able to beat the cancer into remission in the fall of 2013, it returned in 2014. During the past three years, he ran the farm despite undergoing numerous treatments and hospitalizations at UCSF. He continued to look at the glass as half full, but the cancer returned to his brain in May.  Walker was also known for treating his crew like family; many of them have been with him for many years. As to Eatwell’s future, Lorraine and the crew are determined to keep it going as a legacy to her husband.  “He made me promise that I’ll never miss a market, and I won’t cancel events at the farm,” she said.

    In addition to Lorraine and his sons Eric and Andrew, Walker is survived by his parents Don and Thora Walker, his brothers, Michael and Edward Walker, his daughter, Eleanor Walker, and his stepson Cameron Ottens.

Donations in Walker’s memory can be made to Eatwell’s Care Share program. It gives its farm boxes to cancer patients and others diagnosed with a serious illness.

 

So Many Lavender Products

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Since we just had the big Lavender Harvest, we have so many great products to share with you all. Our favorite two include the hydrosol and essential oil.  

Hydrosols are typically a good pH match for our skin and so really nice for rehydrating. The lavender, in general, is good for burns, so the hydrosol spray is also good to spray on a sun burn.  

The lavender essential oil has many applications; it is good for just about everything.  I use it liberally on Nigel’s head, and his wrists, particularly when he is obviously agitated.  It definitely seems to help calm him down.  Lavender EO is also the perfectfirst aid product because you can use it on burns or put a drop or two on minor scrapes and cuts. 

We also have wonderful Massage Balm, Sugar Scrub, Salve, lavender bunches and Sachets. The balm and the sugar scrub are great for dry skin (we can thank the summer heat for that). I love how smooth my skin feels afterwards.  It does the best job of getting rid of all the grime (you know, sweat and farm dirt).  When I use the sugar scrub I only rinse it off, gently brushing off away the sugar, and then I pat dry to allow the oil to absorb into my skin. And afterwards I am refreshed and glowing.  Think I am way over due for a treatment now!

 

And I almost forgot one of the most popular ways we use lavender, and that is in the Lavender Salt! I guarantee if you use our Lavender Salt on a steak or hamburger, everyone will love it and no one will know what your secret ingredient is!  

 

You can order all of these products as add on items to come with your CSA share.  Saves you the trouble of shopping in the store and you get to support the farm.

An Update on Nigel

I realize some of you aren’t aware of Nigel’s current condition.  We did send an email out about it, but I know that not everyone always has a chance to read the emails.  About 3 1/2 weeks ago Nigel was admitted to UCSF. Many tests were run and the conclusion was the cancer has once again attacked his brain.  Because this happened before (a year ago, almost exactly) and he had the full course of radiation then, he has had his lifetime limit. There are no drugs currently available that will slow the cancer and radiation is not an option. When they sent us home we were told he had one, maybe two months left.  

 

These past weeks have been, well really there are no words to describe how it has been.  We have all learned a lot, mostly about how to manage pain. That is something we have gotten quite good at. We have learned that marijuana extracts do a much better job of managing pain and seizures than the prescribed narcotics.  Once we switched Nigel to a CBD extract (almost exclusively), his seizures stopped and the bouts of intense pain he suffered through have stopped, at least for now. He is much more talkative, although most of time, what he says doesn’t make a lot of sense.  It is quite obvious that the thoughts going through his mind are about the farm. We hear him say things about lavender, tomatoes, chickens, or today he told me “he is doing an excellent job”.  Don't know who “he” is, but I am happy to know the work he is dong is excellent. He rolls his eyes when we ask too many questions, but then tells us it’s ok.  The greatest gifts are the big smiles we get from him many times a day.  

 

Watching him obviously working things out in his head, it is impossible to imagine he will not be with us someday soon. I still can’t believe it.  How is it possible that someone so strong, so full of passion for his life will be taken like this?

 

Many of you have sent us cards, emails and text messages.  I want to thank you all, they all mean so much to me.  I share them with Nigel when I can, mostly I have him look at the pretty pictures and tell him how much his CSA family loves him.  I let him know that all of you have told him that he has made their lives a little better. It would be great if some of you are able to keep him company. His parents have been here for 3 weeks now, but have to fly back to England soon. Cameron and I spend good portions of the day working, so we are not always free to go and sit with him. If you would like to visit Nigel please text me. My number is 530-554-3971.

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