Growing Community

When you think of farming you typically think of one crop in the field.  That was how I was taught to grow vegetables, and I would say every farmer grows the same way; but things are changing.  In my humble opinion, if a farmer is any good, she is always observing.  Over the years, I have seen people plant many different species of crop in the cover crop fields.  As an example you wouldn’t just grow vetch to increase nitrogen in the soil for your next crop, you would include a wide variety.  Many of us observed the benefits of a community of plants in the field, simply put increased yields, better results.  The cover crop we have this year has 8 different plants, and it is absolutely thriving!

I came across some research by farmers in ND where cover crops were planted individually and the last planting was all 10 varieties planted together.  The total seed of the last row was the same as the individual row, so no extra seed was planted.  It was a dry year.  Most of the single seeded rows did not survive, but the multi-seeded row grew extremely well.  This showed us that there is much more going on than simply sowing seeds for the crop to survive.  

Over the last couple of years, we have planted a multitude of vegetables in the same bed, for example lettuce, fennel, kale.  Although I don’t have the time to measure, my observation has been they all thrive.  For the coming fall all of our cabbages will be mixed.  That is 12 different varieties of cabbage planted in the same bed. Community is something that helps us all thrive, and apparently it is the same for plants!

Lorraine's Favorite Soapbox

The kids, we have to get to the kids!  That's what I keep telling people.  If we want to change the food world, then we have to share great food with kids and teach them how to cook.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard from adults that once a child has a connection with the farm, has the opportunity to participate in the cooking of the food, learns a little about it, suddenly they are vegetable fans!  Below is an email sent to us from one of the teachers at Clarendon Elementary in SF.  It is one of our drop sites, and the school has some pretty awesome Eatwell members on staff and as parents.  Unfortunately, Nigel and I are just not available to go into the classrooms, but we still love supporting.  If your child's class could use a CSA share to cook, play, learn let us know.  We would be very happy to donate a box.  Come on, let's change the world!

 

Hi Eatwell!

I am a subscriber to Eatwell and also a 3rd grade teacher at Clarendon Elementary.  My class cooks every Friday and I try to encourage my students to try new things.  You sent a box for our classroom this week.  We cooked it up today and the students loved it.  We made: brown rice, lentils.  On top, we served sautéed spring onions, garlic, spinach and kale.  We topped it with lemon juice and parsley.  On the side, as a dessert, we ate the Mandarins and raisins.  Thank you so much.  Children loved the greens... Even those who said they "don't eat them".  Suddenly they were eating seconds!  Thanks again.  I'm attaching a photo.  You can see the beets are in the oven for a taste this afternoon.

Jody Frandle, Clarendon Elementary

 

This Week's Box: April 17th - 22nd

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

*Mandarins - They will keep a day or two at room temperature and up to a week in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Spinach (or Lettuce) - Store in the bag, unwashed, in the crisper. Take out what you plan on using and wash as you go. Will last 3-5 days.

Oregano - Place in a glass of water and cover with a plastic bag. Change water often. Will last up to 5 days.

*Sugar Snap Peas - You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days. Wrap in a paper towel and then seal inside a plastic bag.

*Lettuce (or Spinach) - Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one week.

*Stir Fry Mix - These baby mixed greens can be stored by lining a storage container with paper towels, place the mixed greens on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels and lock the lid. Make sure there is plenty of space and the greens are not jam-packed in there. Will last up to one 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.

Dandelion Greens - Rinse well, wrap in a damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. If the towel is kept moist, greens can last up to one week.

Green Garlic - It is such a delight to have this back in our harvest shares. My favorite way to enjoy is to stir fry the chopped garlic in a skillet with some olive oil. Then stir in eggs for a delicious green garlic scrambled eggs. Store in the crisper. Will last at least a 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.

Leeks - These large alliums are rather mild in flavor and simply melt to perfection when sautéed. Use in soups, stir-fries, or in place of onions in other dishes for a delicious and more subtle flavor. Save the dark green tops for making vegetable stock! Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).  Will last at least a week.

Apples (Hidden Star Orchards) - Apples last much longer if they are placed loosely in the bin of your refrigerator. Wrapping them in brown paper from grocery sacks will also help to keep in the moisture of the apple. Keep apples slightly apart from each other. Lasts up to 2 months. 

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Fried Egg on Toast with Salted Herb Butter and Radishes

One-Pot Mujadara With Leeks and Greens

Cod with Herbed Pea Relish

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

Shopping list for: Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

1/2 Avocado

1 Spring Onion, if you have one left from a previous share, you can also use any chives you have left from previous share

1/3 cup Yogurt

1 or 2 TB Mayo

Start with 1 TB Vinegar or Lemon Juice, I used Sherry Vinegar in mine, but I think I would have preferred lemon juice

Olive Oil if you want to add it

Shopping list for: Fried Egg on Toast with Salted Herb Butter and Radishes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for drizzling

4 slices of bread, toasted

4 Olive Oil - basted fried eggs

Shopping list for: One-Pot Mujadara With Leeks and Greens

1 cup Brown or Green Lentils

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 cup Long-Grain Rice

1 1/2 tsp ground Cumin

1/2 tsp ground Allspice

14 tsp Cayenne

1 Bay Leaf

1 Cinnamon Stick

Shopping list for: Cod with Herbed Pea Relish

2 TB chopped Shallots

2 TB Capers

2 TB Lime Juice

2 TB Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

4 Cod Fillets (approx 6 oz each)

1 TB Olive Oil

Shopping list for all recipes:

1/2 Avocado

1 Spring Onion, if you have one left from a previous share, you can also use any chives you have left from previous share

1/3 cup Yogurt

1 or 2 TB Mayo

Start with 1 TB Vinegar or Lemon Juice; plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for drizzling

Olive Oil if you want to add it; plus 3 TB Olive Oil

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

4 slices of bread, toasted

4 Olive Oil - basted fried eggs

1 cup Brown or Green Lentils

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3/4 cup Long-Grain Rice

1 1/2 tsp ground Cumin

1/2 tsp ground Allspice

14 tsp Cayenne

1 Bay Leaf

1 Cinnamon Stick

2 TB chopped Shallots

2 TB Capers

2 TB Lime Juice

1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

4 Cod Fillets (approx 6 oz each)

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.

Cod with Herbed Pea Relish

Recipe found in Cooking Light

The original recipe uses frozen pea, but I was thinking fish with oregano, and serving peas on the side, when I found this combo.  Sounds delicious.

1 cup chopped Peas

1 1/2 TB chopped fresh Oregano

2 TB chopped Shallots

2 TB Capers

2 TB Lime Juice

2 TB Olive Oil

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1/4 tsp Salt

4 Cod Fillets (approx 6 oz each)

1 TB Olive Oil

Combine chopped peas, oregano, shallots, capers, lime juice, 2 TB Olive Oil, 1/4 tsp salt and red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over cod fillets.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high.  Add 1 TB olive oil and cod; cook 4 minutes per side. 

 

One-Pot Mujadara With Leeks and Greens

Recipe byMelissa Clark NYT

1 cup Brown or Green Lentils

2 Leeks, white and light green parts only, roots trimmed

2 1/4 tsp Salt, more as needed

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 stocks Green Garlic, minced (original recipe calls for 2 cloves minced)

3/4 cup Long-Grain Rice

1 1/2 tsp ground Cumin

1/2 tsp ground Allspice

14 tsp Cayenne

1 Bay Leaf

1 Cinnamon Stick

4 cups trimmed and chopped Stir Fry Mix

Place lentils in a large bowl and add warm water to cover by 1”.  Let soak.  Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise; run under warm water to release any grit.  Thinly slice leeks crosswise. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.  Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes.  Transfer half the leeks to a bowl to use for garnish and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt.  Stir garlic into the pot with the remaining leeks and cook until fragrant.  Stir in rice and sauce 2 minutes.  Stir in cumin, allspice and cayenne; sauce 30 seconds.  Drain lentils and stir into pot.  Add 4 1/4 cups water, 2 tsp salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick.  Bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes.  Rinse greens in a colander and spread damp leaves over lentil mixture.  Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until rice and lentils are tender and greens are wilted.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.  Serve sprinkled with reserved crispy leeks.

 

Fried Egg on Toast with Salted Herb Butter and Radishes

www.bonappetit.com

I’m always looking for quick, but tasty ways to make a breakfast or lunch. This would be great for both. The recipe mentions, when you have some herbs threatening to go past their prime, preserve them by making herb butter, which just happens to be an excellent landing pad for a perfectly fried egg.

3/4 cup mixed tender herbs (parsley, dill, chives, ect.)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more for drizzling

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced trimmed mixed radishes

4 slices of bread, toasted

4 Olive Oil - basted fried eggs

Pulse 3/4 cup herbs in a food processor until finely chopped. Add butter, lemon zest, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pulse to bring together.

Place radishes in medium bowl; drizzle with a little lemon juice and add a pinch of salt. Toss to combine. 

To serve, spread toast with herb butter and top each with a fried egg. Scatter dressed radishes over top along with a few sprigs of herbs.

 

Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Farmhouse Kitchen

Recently I made a delicious Eatwell version of a Green Goddess dressing and enjoyed it for days.  I love baked potatoes, and am so happy with a big fat spud and a fresh simple salad.  Soooo I didn’t measure, because I was making it up as I went along, but here is a good approximation.  ALSO, change it up to fit your taste buds, taste as you add things.

1/2 Avocado

1 Green Garlic, use as much of the greens as are tender

1/4 bunch of Parsley, I love parsley and probably used 1/2 bunch at least

1 Spring Onion, if you have one left from a previous share, you can also use any chives you have left from previous share

1/3 cup Yogurt

1 or 2 TB Mayo

Start with 1 TB Vinegar or Lemon Juice, I used Sherry Vinegar in mine, but I think I would have preferred lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil if you want to add it

Put the avocado, garlic, parsley, yogurt and mayo, vinegar or lemon juice into the blender.  Did you know you can use a regular mouth mason jar on your blender?  I do this all the time for salad dressing, that way I am making it in the container it will be stored in.  Blend until smooth.  Taste, add salt and pepper, and decide if you want more mayo or some oil, or more acid, or maybe you want to put the other half of the avo in there.

Wash your spinach or lettuce, chop up some radishes, add some dandelion greens, and maybe a few bits of apple or mandarins, and way you go.  Toasted nuts or some sunflower seeds are always a great addition.  

 

A Note From Your Bookkeeper

Hi Lorraine here, your Farm Bookkeeper!  I went to the post office the other day to pick up a package, the seeds Nigel had ordered earlier in the week.  It was a $2,900.00 order.  I was prepared for a large box, made sure my front seat was cleared.  Ready to lug out this big box.  Stood in line, patiently waiting my turn, got to the counter, asked for our package and was stunned when the mail person came out with this little bitty box.  My first question was, where is the rest of it?  She looked at me, we looked at the label, it read 1 box of 1.  Holy smokes, this little box contained nearly $3,000 worth of seeds!

I always laugh when people pronounce they could grow things for far less money in their garden!  How could tomatoes cost $4.00 a lb?  It's only a few seeds and little water, right?  That Romanesco we all love so much, one packet of seeds is $842.00.  Amazing how it all adds up.  I always love to sit with Nigel and go through the seed catalogs; "Why don't we grow this?"  "Oooh let's get some of these!"  But then the bill comes in suddenly you realize those little itty bitty seeds are worth their weight in gold, literally!

 

Visiting Old Friends

Several months ago, we moved Helen May and Bandito just down the road to our friends George and Annie's farm.  Being responsible for those two was more than I could handle with everything going on with Nigel.  Reluctantly, and with a decent amount of sadness, I asked George and Anne if they would like to take our cow and bull calf and fortunately, they were really excited about that.  Yesterday, I was over at their place and got to visit Helen May and Bandito.  It was wonderful to see how peaceful and happy they are out in the walnut orchard, lots of luscious grass to graze all day.  Bandito has gotten huge and is now bigger than his mom.  And Helen is very close to giving birth again, her 4th!  I miss having cows on the farm, but the sad reality is, with Nigel in and out of the hospital, there is no way I can care for them.  They have a much larger grassy space than we can provide and in the summer they will love being under the trees. 

Strawberry Crop Update

On Monday afternoon, Jose and I walked the new and last year’s strawberry beds. The new planting, last August, has the biggest berries whereas, the previous years planting are smaller but more flavorful. We were concerned that after the weekends rain the ripe fruit would be damaged. The new crop has firmer fruit and very little damage. The older crop we will have to be picked and removed from the field. Leaving that crop will harbor disease from the rain splashed crop.

When will we have the first berries to pick? Hopefully for next week’s boxes. We planted four varieties as an insurance policy. Each seems to have it’s pros and cons. ‘Petaluma’ likes it cool, resists the rain damage, but probably will not be happy when it turns hot in the summer. Likewise ‘Albion’ likes the heat and fruits a little later in the spring.

The crop is nice and weed free thanks to a little hand weeding and the woven plastic mulch, of which, some is almost tens years of reuse. It is expensive to buy and only makes economic sense on a few crops such as Eggplant, Basil and Strawberries.

This Week's Box: April 10th - 15th

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

Mandarins - They will keep a day or two at room temperature and up to a week in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Chard (or Green 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. Chard does well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

*Spinach (or Lettuce) - Store in the bag, unwashed, in the crisper. Take out what you plan on using and wash as you go. Will last 3-5 days.

Garlic Chives - Store in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic. Should last 3-5 days.

*Sugar Snap Peas - You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days. Wrap in a paper towel and then seal inside a plastic bag.

*Dill - A delicious mediterranean herb that is well suited to our climate. Store in the fridge. Should last up to 7 days.

Lettuce (or Spinach) - Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one 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.

Green Kale (or Chard) - Refrigerate in a plastic bag, do not wash until ready to use. May keep for up to a week.

*Green Garlic - It is such a delight to have this back in our harvest shares. My favorite way to enjoy is to stir fry the chopped garlic in a skillet with some olive oil. Then stir in eggs for a delicious green garlic scrambled eggs. Store in the crisper. Will last at least a week.

*Carrots (Terra Firma Farm) - These come from Los Pablos at Terra Firma Farm in Winters. We grow amazing tasting carrots here on our farm but the germination is sporadic because our soil is a little too heavy. I covet the field next to us as it has a nice sandy area. Forgive me. Store in the crisper wrapped to prevent drying out. Should last at least 7 days.

*Leeks - These large alliums are rather mild in flavor and simply melt to perfection when sautéed. Use in soups, stir-fries, or in place of onions in other dishes for a delicious and more subtle flavor. Save the dark green tops for making vegetable stock! Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).  Will last at least a week.

Beets - Cut the tops off to keep beets firm (be sure to keep the greens!) by leaving any top on the root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making the lose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top. Keeps for several weeks.

*Apples (Hidden Star Orchards) - Apples last much longer if they are placed loosely in the bin of your refrigerator. Wrapping them in brown paper from grocery sacks will also help to keep in the moisture of the apple. Keep apples slightly apart from each other. Lasts up to 2 months. 

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Fresh Dill Sauce

How to Make Sautéed Greens

Mandarin Creamsicle Pudding

Roasted Beets, Leeks and Carrots

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

Shopping list for: Fresh Dill Sauce

1/2 cup Mayonaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt

2 TB Cream Cheese

1/2 cup chopped Scallions, white and green part

1 tsp grated Lemon Zest

2 TB freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

1 cup seeded, grated Cucumber

Shopping list for: How to Make Sautéed Greens

Oil

Juice from 1/2 a lemon or spoonful of vinegar, sherry, red wine, or apple cider

Toasted Nuts and/or handful of fruit

Shopping list for: Mandarin Creamsicle Pudding

2 1/2 cups Milk

1/4 cup Cornstarch, FYI organic cornstarch is available

1/4 cup Sugar

4 Eatwell Egg Yolks

2 TB Butter

2 tsp Vanilla extract

Butter

Orange Juice or Honey or both

Shopping list for: Roasted Beets, Leeks and Carrots

2 TB Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Fresh Thyme Sprig OR if you have it use Eatwell Thyme Salt in place of fresh thyme and salt!

Shopping list for all recipes:

1/2 cup Mayonaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt

2 TB Cream Cheese

1/2 cup chopped Scallions, white and green part

1 tsp grated Lemon Zest; plus 2 TB freshly squeezed Lemon Juice; plus Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup seeded, grated Cucumber

Oil

Juice from 1/2 a lemon or spoonful of vinegar, sherry, red wine, or apple cider for greens

Toasted Nuts and/or handful of fruit

2 1/2 cups Milk

1/4 cup Cornstarch, FYI organic cornstarch is available

1/4 cup Sugar

4 Eatwell Egg Yolks

2 TB Butter; plus more for the topping

2 tsp Vanilla extract

Orange Juice or Honey or both

2 TB Olive Oil

Fresh Thyme Sprig OR if you have it use Eatwell Thyme Salt in place of fresh thyme and salt!

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 Beets, Leeks and Carrots

Recipe from Full Plate Farm’s CSA Blog

Amazing what you find when you google a few ingredients together.  I originally was thinking something with beets and leeks. Then stumbled on this simple recipe that also included carrots, how perfect can you get!  Thank you Full Plate Farm.

2-3 Leeks, leafy ends removed, cut on the bias into 1-2” pieces

1 bunch Beets, pealed, cut into quarter

6 Carrots, halved or quartered lengthwise

2 TB Olive Oil

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Fresh Thyme Sprig OR if you have it use Eatwell Thyme Salt in place of fresh thyme and salt!

Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss the vegetables lightly in olive oil and roast at 350 F for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, turning them every 30 minutes or so, until the beets and carrots are tender.  Remove from the oven and season with lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.

 

Mandarin Creamsicle Pudding

Farmhouse Kitchen

When I was a kid I loved creamsicles.  But I also loved a very simple dessert my dad would make for us when my mom was at her citizenship class, vanilla ice cream with a splash of OJ.  Thinking back on those flavors, I came up with the idea of a vanilla pudding using our mandarins as a topping.  Made it last night, and I loved it!

2 1/2 cups Milk

1/4 cup Cornstarch, FYI organic cornstarch is available

1/4 cup Sugar

4 Eatwell Egg Yolks

1/4 to 1/2 tsp Salt

2 TB Butter

2 tsp Vanilla extract

Mandarin Topping

3-4 Mandarins, zest before you peel because you will add it to the pudding

Butter

Orange Juice or Honey or both

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan add the cornstarch, sugar, salt and gently mix.  Add the cold milk, stir well, turn on the heat and begin to cook.  I have a tendency to walk away from the stove so I keep the heat rather low and come back to the pot often to stir well.  You can cook it on medium high, but stay with it and stir often.  The most important thing is once it begins to bubble, you need to be there stirring and ready to turn the heat down to low.  Cook a couple of minutes longer until it is nice and thick.  Remember stir, stir, stir!  Turn the heat off and add the zest, butter and vanilla.  Mix in well, then pour into serving bowls.  I use small mason jars.  For the mandarin topping, cut the mandarins in half so you have complete circles and you can easily get the seeds out.  Heat a skillet that is big enough for the mandarins, melt a couple of TB of butter and add the mandarins.  I added orange juice for this cooking process, just enough to keep the pan from drying out.  Cook a couple of minutes over medium low, then gently flip the mandarins over.  If you need to add more butter and or OJ go for it.  You want to end up with a lovely syrup to drizzle over everything.  Once the mandarins are very soft and you have the right consistency of syrup, taste and decide if you want to add a bit of honey or sugar or leave it as is.  When you have it the way you like, top pudding with mandarins halves and syrup.  Chill before serving!  

 

How to Make Sautéed Greens Without a Recipe

Recipe from food52.com

  1. Wash greens thoroughly. Prep will vary depending on the type of greens you select — for younger greens, simply trim the ends off, but kale or chard may need de-ribbing.
  2. Add a healthy amount of oil to a sauté pan over medium heat, about 2 tablespoons for larger bunches of greens. Warm the pan and, once the oil is hot, toss in chopped or sliced alliums (Leeks or Green Garlic), and allow them to cook just before the point of browning.
  3. Start adding the greens in batches — the pan should be borderline full but not overflowing. Once the greens start cooking down, continue to add more. A good trick for speeding the cooking process and softening the greens, without adding additional oil, is to spoon a few tablespoons of water or broth into the pan, allowing for a nice partial steam.
  4. Now it’s time to embellish. Add acid, like the juice from half a lemon or a spoonful of vinegar (sherry, red wine, apple cider). Throw in a handful of toasted nuts, or a small handful of fruit.
  5. Serve as a side, throw in some protein at the last minute, or toss in pasta for a meal.

Fresh Dill Sauce

Recipe by Ina Garten

This recipe uses a good amount of dill and parsley.  I would suggest adding some of the garlic chives as well.  Serve this as a companion sauce for salmon, roasted, poached or even smoked!  You could also use this sauce as a thick and creamy salad dressing.

1/2 cup Mayonaise

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Plain Yogurt

2 TB Cream Cheese

1/2 cup chopped Scallions, white and green part

1/2 cup minced fresh Dill

1/4 cup minced Parsley

1 tsp grated Lemon Zest

2 TB freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 cup seeded, grated Cucumber

Place everything BUT the cucumber into a food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Puree for a few seconds, until well mixed.  Add the cucumber and puree for another few seconds, until combined.  Pour into a container and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to develop.

Fancy Tangerines

We are now coming to the end of tangerines. The crop was a big one. We are really growing these at the limit of their range, so we have a yield 50% of the years. I know they have seeds, which the kids may not like, but seeds are needed to reproduce. Our citrus has done well for us this year, but only the west half of the field. The farm is very flat, laser leveled by a previous owner, so his water would flow well. Over the years, from observation only, that slight fall protects the western half of the citrus from the extremes of frost. Our pomelo, grapefruits, valencias and lemons are planted in that sweet spot.

Excited about Pasture

IMG_0236.jpg

For the last 8 years, growing pasture as the basis of fertility at Eatwell Farm has been my goal. I would now go as far as saying, if I concentrate on the pasture then the vegetables grow themselves. That statement has seen my journey in organic agriculture in the last 36 years, and yes it has been that long, make great strides.

It all started out with lots of compost and manure. Stinky, and hard work to spread. Some crops needed more nutrients than the compost could supply, so we had to use pelletized chicken manure or guano from Chile. We are getting ready to plant peppers here in ten days and 'normally' we would add extra applications of compost plus bags of organic materials. Basically, we would be replacing chemical fertilizers with their organic equivalents. This is how corporate organic has succeeded, because it is really not that difficult. 

Back in the pasture....my grandfather always knew to grow a pasture before a cash crop, where he needed as much fertility as possible. There are some great books on this, 'Fertility Pastures’ by Newman Turner from the 1940s. The big change has come about because of the work of a group of soil scientists, almost all ladies, over the last 40 years. With modern microscopes, and some now less than $500, you can observe the soil microfauna and learn what to do to grow your own fertility. 

In 1990, I came to California for the first time and attended a couple of farming conferences. I heard Elaine Ingram speak. She said she was starting to understand the incredibly complex life in the soil. Jump forwards to spring two years ago and our Lorraine attended a week long class on soil biology. I have been watching and learning on YouTube. It has been fascinating with Jose and I experimenting and observing in the field all the time.

Basically, the plant exudes sugars, proteins and carbohydrates, particularly when they are impacted by grazing whether that is a bison on the plains, wilder beasts in Africa or my mower. The grazing shock needs to be short, the animals are moved on by predators. The plants exude their stuff, the soil bacteria and fungi grow like crazy. They feed the next level which poop out nutrients right next to the plant roots. One big circle of growth, which the farmer needs to keep moving at a pace. We have built soil at an astonishing rate over the years. There is much more to this, particularly adding a great variety to the pasture.

Look for videos on YouTube by Gabe Brown, Elaine Ingham, Allan Savory and more.

 

 

This Week's Box: April 3rd - 8th

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

Mandarins - They will keep a day or two at room temperature and up to a week in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Spinach - Store in the bag, unwashed, in the crisper. Take out what you plan on using and wash as you go. Will last 3-5 days.

*Lettuce - Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one 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.

*Red or Green Kale - Refrigerate in a plastic bag, do not wash until ready to use. May keep for up to a week.

Chives - Wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keeps about 1 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.

Green Garlic - It is such a delight to have this back in our harvest shares. My favorite way to enjoy is to stir fry the chopped garlic in a skillet with some olive oil. Then stir in eggs for a delicious green garlic scrambled eggs. Store in the crisper. Will last at least a week.

*Spring Onions - Spring onions are onions harvested at the immature stage, when they have just begun to form their bulb and are still green on top. Their flavor is a little milder since they haven't yet fully developed. Spring onions should be kept in a closed container, to prevent drying out, in the refrigerator and should last a couple of weeks.

*Beets - Cut the tops off to keep beets firm (be sure to keep the greens!) by leaving any top on the root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making the lose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in an open container with a wet towel on top. Keeps for several weeks.

*Raisins (Capay Canyon Ranch) - Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Refrigeration is recommended in hot environments. Should last several weeks.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Minestrone

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Tacos

Sole Florentine

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

Shopping list for: Minestrone

A good glug of Olive Oil

3 - 4 Carrots, diced

32 oz Eatwell Chicken Stock, you can easily substitute any good Vegetable Stock

Tomato Sauce -I used 2 pint jars of homemade, but you could use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 can Beans, you can use a white bean, garbanzo, kidney whatever you like

Salt and Pepper to taste - I used Eatwell Rosemary Salt

1 Bay Leaf

Shopping list for: Warm Red Cabbage Salad

15-20 Walnuts, enough to make 3/4 cup, shelled

2 tsp walnut oil

1 crisp red apple

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 TB balsamic vinegar

2 1/2 TB olive oil

3 to 4 oz goat cheese, broken into large pieces

1/2 tsp marjoram, finely chopped

Shopping list for: Tacos

Several Cups of Soup

1 TB Cumin

1 TB Chile Powder

1 tsp Coriander

Chilis, jalapeños, chipotle, or chili pepper flakes (optional)

Sour Cream, Hot sauce, Grated Cheese

Rice

1 Pork Chop

Shopping list for: Sole Florentine

3 TB Butter

4 TB All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup Cream

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

White Pepper, to taste

2 TB Parmesan Cheese, plus a bit extra for the top

Bread Crumbs

1 lb Petrale Sole

2 TB Butter for frying

Glug of Olive Oil

All Purpose Flour

Shopping list for all recipes:

2 Glugs of Olive Oil; plus 2 1/2 TB olive oil

3 - 4 Carrots, diced

32 oz Eatwell Chicken Stock, you can easily substitute any good Vegetable Stock

Tomato Sauce -I used 2 pint jars of homemade, but you could use a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 can Beans, you can use a white bean, garbanzo, kidney whatever you like

Salt and Pepper to taste - I used Eatwell Rosemary Salt

1 Bay Leaf

15-20 Walnuts, enough to make 3/4 cup, shelled

2 tsp walnut oil

1 crisp red apple

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 TB balsamic vinegar

3 to 4 oz goat cheese, broken into large pieces

1/2 tsp marjoram, finely chopped

Several Cups of Soup

1 TB Cumin

1 TB Chile Powder

1 tsp Coriander

Chilis, jalapeños, chipotle, or chili pepper flakes (optional)

Sour Cream, Hot sauce, Grated Cheese

Rice

1 Pork Chop

3 TB Butter; plus 2 TB Butter for frying

4 TB All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup Cream

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

White Pepper, to taste

2 TB Parmesan Cheese, plus a bit extra for the top

Bread Crumbs

1 lb Petrale Sole

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.

Sole Florentine

The Farm House Kitchen

 

Bag of Spinach, washed well

3 TB Butter

About 4 TB Chives, finely minced

4 TB All-Purpose Flour

1/3 cup Cream

1 tsp Salt

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

White Pepper, to taste

2 TBParmesan Cheese, plus a bit extra for the top

Bread Crumbs

1 lb Petrale Sole

2 TB Butter for frying

Glug of Olive Oil

All Purpose Flour

Salt

To cook the spinach, heat some water (enough water to cover the bottom to about 1/2" up) in an ovenproof skillet and cook until done.  It doesn't need to be mushy or completely soft.  Drain the spinach over a bowl, keeping the spinach water.   Wipe out the skillet, then put it back on the heat - medium low for now, add 2 TB butter and a good glug of olive oil - this is for the fish, so you are letting the pan heat up slowly while you finish up the spinach. In a good sized sauce pan melt 3 TB butter, then add the flour, stir well, cook until just turning the slightest bit golden.  Add the cream, whisk well.  Slowly add a little bit of the spinach water until you have a very thick sauce.  Add the salt, nutmeg and pepper if you are using it, chopped chives and the Parmesan cheese. Add the cooked spinach.  Stir it all in and if it seems too thick (pasty), you can add a bit more of the spinach water. Now - on to the fish! Rinse your filets and dry off with a paper towel.  Turn the heat up on your skillet to a good medium.  Turn the broiler on in your oven.  On a large plate mix some flour and some salt and pepper if you like.  Dredge the fish in the flour, then gently place it into the heated skillet.  Fry on both sides until a lovely golden.  It shouldn't take too long, Petrale cooks very quickly.  When the fish is done remove it from the skillet, and set aside for the moment.  Pour out any butter/oil left in the pan into a little bowl and save for the topping.  Spoon the creamed spinach into the skillet and spread evenly.  Place the fish on top. Grate on some Parmesan and sprinkle with some breadcrumbs, then pour over any of the butter/oil that you have left.  Pop it under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes and done.  Enjoy this dinner with a salad of lettuce, slices of roasted beets, finely chopped parsley and chives.

Tacos

Farm House Kitchen

To make the pork tacos I took several cups of soup and added about 1 TB Cumin and Chile Powder, and about 1 tsp Coriander.  You could easily spice it up by adding chilis, jalapeños or chipotle, or chili pepper flakes.  Mix it all up well, put the pork or whatever meat you want to use right into the newly seasoned “soup” and slow cook until the meat is tender.  You can do this on low on the stove top, or in a slow cooker.  Again I used my Instant Pot so it was done in pretty quickly.  Top your tacos with chopped lettuce, sour cream, hot sauce and a little grated cheese.

For the Rice, this is the perfect time to use up some that you have leftover.  I always put a good amount of butter in my Mexican Rice, then I added a small amount of the seasoned soup, just enough to get it heating.  Heat up on a medium low temp, and once it is warmed through you can decide if you want to add more of the soup for more flavor.  

Use the cabbage for a light slaw.  Mandarin slices and some grated beet make delicious additions and make for a slaw that goes well with this taco dinner.

 

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