Archive | July, 2009

July 27, 2000

27 Jul

Dear Friends,

I have a confession. I love magazines. I think it is the short interesting stories, the colorful layout and the idealistic pictures. They pass time when I feel like resting but the chatter of my mind has not yet caught up with my body. Unfortunately, I do not agree with the amount of paper used to produce magazines that are typically a one time read. This means I relish the opportunity for airport flipping, doctor’s waiting rooms and grabbing one off a friend’s coffee table. The popular People magazine has passing interest, but the cooking, the food, and the travel magazines draw me in like a comfortable couch. Last week as I sat in the doctor’s office I picked up the August 2008 edition of Food and Wine. I loved what I read and saw and decided I would share a few recipes with you. Can you believe I think about you all even when I am in the doctor’s waiting room?

As you think about preparing your produce this week, think about building community with your food. Invite family over for a meal, prepare a meal and drop it off to a friend in need, or cook with your kids and teach them about eating wisely. Think about the photos in magazines and instead of pressuring yourself to create a picturesque scene fit for a glossy page, feel inspired to welcome friends, family, and your kids into your home with how you set your table with your food as its center piece.

Fondly thinking of you always,

Jen Corey

Local Events:

What: Hope Dance Films presents “FRESH, the movie

When: TOMORROW Tuesday, July 28th at 6pm (reception), 7pm (film)

Where: Goleta Valley Community Center (5679 Hollister Ave)

How much: suggested donation of $5 to $10

For more information and to see a trailer go to http://www.freshthemovie.com/

What: Gopher’s Unlimited with Thomas Wittman

When: August 8th

Where: Goleta Library and Fairview Gardens

How much: $35

For more information call (831)335-2400 or visit their website at http://www.gopherslimited.com/

This is a three hour presentation that includes basic biological information of our major vertebrate garden pests that leads to clues of how we can effectively control them without resorting to poisons.   The main focus will be on gophers, moles, voles and ground squirrels with basic material on raccoons, opossums, skunks, wild pigs and deer.  This includes (if possible) a trapping and pest sign identification session in a nearby pest infested area.  The demonstration is set up in advance with traps.  After the indoor lecture portion, the group convenes at the demonstration site at Fairview Gardens and animal signs are read and traps are set and checked. 

Sneak Peak:

Small Share

Strawberries

Squash or Cucumber

Lettuce

Green Beans

Corn

Tomatoes

Shelling Beans

Garlic

Large Share

Shelling beans

Strawberries

Squash

Cucumber

Lettuce

Garlic

Corn

Tomatoes

Green Beans

Recipes: from the August 2009 edition of Food and Wine (http://www.foodandwine.com/)

BLT Bread Salad (created by Joy Manning)

4 servings

Three ¾ inch thick slices of rustic white bread, cubed (4 cups)

3 ounces soft silken tofu

¼ cup basil leaves

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

½ small shallot, coarsely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 thick slices of bacon (4 ounces), cut crosswise into ½ inch strips (can use meat substitute)

1 head of lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (about 5 cups)

1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cup yellow pear tomatoes, halved (feel free to use your heirlooms)

  1. Preheat the oven to 250º. Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the bread cubes are dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the tofu with the basil leaves, canola oil, Champagne vinegar and chopped shallot and puree until very smooth. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and reserve.
  3. In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels and let drain.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the toasted bread cubes, with the bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Add the basil dressing, toss the salad until evenly coated and serve.

Linguine with Tomatoes, Baby Zucchini and Herbs (created by Andreas Viestad)

4 servings

“This dish makes you understand the less-is-more approach of Italian cooking,” says Viestad about his pasta tossed with a raw tomato-and-zucchini sauce.

1 pound tomatoes, cored and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 small red chile, seeded and minced

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

12 ounces linguine

3 baby zucchini, thinly sliced

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

  1. In a large bowl toss the tomatoes with the basil, parsley, garlic, salt, chile and olive oil.
  2. In a large pot of boiling slated water, cook the linguine until al dente; drain well. Add the linguine to the bowl along with the sliced zucchini and toss. Add the ¼ cup of grated cheese, toss again and serve in bowls, passing more cheese at the table.

Iced Basil-and-Lemongrass Tea (created by Marcia Kiesel)

6 servings

Marcia uses whole berries to give her chilled herb infusion a lovely pink hue.

3 large lemongrass stalks, coarsely chopped (perhaps try Lemon Verbena, it grows wild in Santa Barbara and Goleta)

1 cup chopped basil leaves and stems

½ cup chopped mint leaves

1/3 cup tarragon leaves

4 whole berries, lightly crushed, such as raspberries or strawberries

2 quarts boiling water

3 tablespoons agave syrup or 2 tablespoons light honey

Lime wheels, for serving

Place the lemongrass, basil, mint, tarragon, and berries in a large, heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water, cover and let stand for 1 ½ hours. Strain the tisane into a pitcher and stir in the agave syrup. Pour into 6 ice-filled rock glasses, garnish with the lime wheels and serve.

July 20, 2009

20 Jul

Thank you for spreading the word about our CSA program. Since my last email I have had 6 new sign ups and am thankful for your efforts. Please continue telling friends, family, and coworkers about joining our CSA for the Summer Season.

Today I thought I would share with you a few thoughts about the origins and growth of CSA’s from a cookbook titled, “From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce.”

“Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is part of a growing social movement that engages urban and rural citizens in taking responsibility for the land on which their food is grown. In it’s simplest terms, CSA consists of a partnership between agricultural producers and consumers. Consumers, known as shareholders or members, provide enough money in early spring to meet a farm’s operating expenses for the upcoming season. In exchange, the members receive a portion of the farm’s produce each week throughout the season. Members receive only what is grown on the farm and in season. If a farmer has a crop failure, or if heavy rains or a cold spring delay the onset of planting, members may not receive particular crops, or may find that they are eating cool weather crops for longer than usual. If a farmer has an abundant harvest, members reap their share of the bounty. As a result, farmers and consumers share in the risks and benefits of farming. CSA first came into practice in the early 1960’s in Germany, Switzerland, and Japan. As a response to concerns about good safety and the urbanization of agricultural land, groups of consumers and farmers in Europe organized themselves into cooperative partnerships in order to fund farming operations. These original CSA farms were founded on the basis of a strong consumer commitment to paying the full costs of ecologically sound and socially equitable agriculture.    In Japan, mothers troubled about the rise of imported food and the loss of arable land started the first projects in 1965. Community supported agriculture came to the United States in 1986, when two farms stated on the east coast. Since that time, community supported farms have been organized throughout North America, most notable in the Northeast, the Pacific coast, the Upper Midwest, and Canada. There are now an estimated 1,400 community supported farms in North America.”

Fairview Gardens began its CSA program in 1988. We are grateful for the support of our community and seek to build community through the distribution of excellent fresh produce and by bringing people to the land to learn and meet the people who grow their food. I have felt an increased bond and connection to this farm since I began working here. I love eating produce grown and harvest by men and women I care about and work with. I love eating eggs from chickens that I help care for. And I love share our produce with you during CSA pick up, at the Farm Stand, and at the Farmer’s Market. In a society where we are becoming increasingly disconnected from the food we eat, I am grateful we are able to be connected to the land and the people who grow our food. During these busy summer days I encourage you to take a self guided tour, even if you have before, and see how much has changed in the fields and breath in the quiet fresh farm air. I have learned that in the midst of work and family and busy schedules it is important to linger and pause in peaceful places. The Farm is that place for me and I hope you get to experience it as well.

With gratitude,

Jen Corey

Upcoming Events:

What: Hope Dance Films presents “FRESH

When: Tuesday, July 28th at 6pm (reception), 7pm (film)

Where: Goleta Valley Community Center (5679 Hollister Ave)

How much: suggested donation of $5 to $10

Why: We are sponsoring this event and Toby, the Fairview Gardens Farm Manager will be speaking. I loved the film and was impressed by the quality of the message. I will send a reminder next week. Please spread the word. This is a great film.

An excerpt from the flyer: FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, the Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy. FRESH is a call to action; it means to inspire its viewers to positive change, not scare them into a terrified complacency. We will bring together farmers, activists, chefs, and policymakers, all working to create a more healthy, tasty, and sustainable future. Please join us, not just as part of an audience, but as part of a movement to better our food system, and to bring about a new vision, a new paradigm, a new reality, one that works for everyone.

Sneak Peek:

Small Share:

Strawberries

Squash

Cucumber

Lettuce           

Green Beans

Garlic

Corn

Tomatoes

Large Share:

Shelling bean

Strawberries

Squash

Cucumber

Lettuce

Garlic

Corn

Basil

Tomatoes

Green Beans

Recipes: From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce

Green Beans with Tomatoes and Basil

1 ½ pounds green beans, cooked

1 garlic clove, diced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespook chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Cut beans into 1-inch lengths; set aside. Saute garlic and onion in oil in skillet until spoft. Add tomatoes salt and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Stir in basil and green beans. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 3 mintues. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

Blender Aioli

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon soy sauce

2-3 medium cloves garlic, chopped coarsely

1 egg

1 egg yolk

¾ cup olive oil

½ cup vegetable or corn oil

Put the lemon juice, salt, soy sauce, garlic, egg, and yolk in a blender. Whirl on high speed until smooth. Combine the oils and with the blender running on medium speed, drizzle them very gradually into the egg garlic mixture, stopping as soon as all the oil is added. Sauce should be creamy and thick. Serve with ray or steamed vegetables or gilled meats or fish. Makes about 2 cups.

Ten Minute Zucchini Pizza

6 medium zucchini

Olive oil

¾ cup pizza sauce

½ cup finley chopped basil

1 ¾ cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese

1/3 to ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut zucchini lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Pat dry and brush both sides with olive oil. Arrange side by side on baking sheet or pizza pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake 7 minutes or until just tender when pierced with a fork. Top generously with pizza sauce. Sprinkle basil, Mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Return pan to oven and bake until sauce is hot and bubble and cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes. Six serving.

July 13, 2009

13 Jul

We are now at half way through the Summer CSA Season and our tomatoes are soon to start flooding out of our fields. This year we set our sights on raising our CSA numbers to 300 members, but due to the staff changes and building projects we were not able to put as much energy into advertising as we had hoped. We have approximately 230 CSA Summer members and would like to see 70 more join for the second half of the Summer Season. I am coming to you as my main source of advertising. Most of you have heard about our CSA program through a friend, coworker, or family member who told you about the farm and the benefits of eating locally grown organic produce fresh from the field. We are asking that you continue inviting people to join our CSA. I will have brochures at the picnic table for you to take and ask that you spread the word. The cost for the small share is $20 per week and a large is $36 per week. The share would be pro-rated (i.e. 6 weeks left means a newcomer would pay $120 for a small and $216 for a large). We hope to advertise in the Independent and NPR, but would appreciate any other connections you may have. Please let me know as soon as possible and tell potential members that they can call or email me with their questions or concerns. Thank you in advance.

Pickles:

My grandfather made a lot of tsukemono, Japanese pickles. My favorites were his pickled cucumbers, cabbage, and daikon. We ate them with most dinners, as a side dish along with rice, of course, and this opened the gateway for my love of all things picked, cucumbers, olives, capers, peppers, and the list could go on. I crave the salty tangy that makes my mouth water even as I sit at my desk and think about them.

I have always loved pickles and tonight I decided I would share my love with you. After a little bit of internet research, I have learned that pickling is a method of preserving food through fermentation. There are two main types of pickling; one process uses vinegar and the other uses salt. The process of fermentation either limits bad bacteria or encourages the production of good bacteria, both of which being beneficial to your health. (http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/pickles/index.html) Pickles can be sweet, spicy, sour, salty, or a combination of many flavors. They have been around since 2400BC and in 2001 New York City celebrated the first annual International Pickle Day (http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/_ptime.htm). This week a CSA member and friend of mine, Kelly Soifer, shared with me a recipe for “Refrigerator Pickles” (see below for the recipe) which inspired this brief look into my love for pickles. As you wonder what to do with your veggies this summer, I suggest, try pickling one week and see what you learn.

This weeks share also includes a few exciting new items: corn, garlic, and if today’s sunshine nourished our crops enough, tomatillos for everyone.  

SNEAK PEEK

Small Share

Strawberries

Squash

Cucumber

Fennel

Lettuce

Basil

Garlic

French Beans

Corn

Large Share

Strawberries

Radish

Avocado

Squash

Fennel

Cucumber

Lettuce

Garlic

French Beans

Corn

Tomatillo

Basil

RECIPES

Fresh Refrigerator Pickles (from CSA member Kelly Soifer, http://www.cooks.com)

 3 large cucumbers

 1 bell pepper (green or red)

 1 onion

 1 tablespoon salt

 2 teaspoons celery seed

 1/4 cup granulated sugar

 1/2 cup white vinegar

Wash and scrub cucumbers. Slice into a medium sized bowl, leaving peel on, about 1/8″ thick. Wash and remove seeds from pepper; remove skin from onion and scrub well under cold running water. Finely chop the onion and pepper; add to cucumbers. Sprinkle with salt and celery seed. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.

In a small saucepan, bring vinegar to a boil then remove immediately from heat. Stir in sugar, stirring until dissolved. Allow to cool, then pour over cucumbers (after they have been sitting for 1 hour, as above).

Mix well; cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.

p.s. Kelly added Chioggia Beets which made her jar pink and did not use bell pepper…experiment as you desire

Pickled Green Beans (from One United Harvest; Creative Recipes from America’s Community Supported Farms)

4 lbs. green beans

1-¾ tsp. crushed red pepper

3-½ tsp. mustard seed

3-½ tsp. dill seeds

7 garlic cloves

5 c. water

5 c. white vinegar

½ c. canning salt

Wash beans and remove ends. Cut beans into 2 inch pieces, divide among several pint jars. Put ¼ teaspoon of red pepper, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon dill seeds, and 1 clove of garlic into each of the jars. Combine water, vinegar, and salt and bring quickly to a boil. Pour boiling liquid over beans, leaving ½ inch in headroom. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Grandpa Higuchi’s Namasu (from my memory of my grandfather’s pickles)

4-6 cucumbers thinly sliced

½ cup rice vinegar

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. grated or finely chopped ginger

Combine and marinate over night. Enjoy cold with a soba noodle stir-fry or broiled fish and rice.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (from http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Tomatillo-Salsa-102586)

1 ½  lbs fresh tomatillos

5 fresh serrano chiles

3 garlic cloves, unpeeled

½ cup fresh cilantro

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat broiler. Remove husks and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. Broil chiles, garlic, onion and fresh tomatillos on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Purée all ingredients in a blender. Salsa can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Also good with chopped avocado, lime juice, chipotle pepper, or jalapeno for added excitement.

July 6, 2009

6 Jul

A reminder: Our CSA Potluck is this Saturday, July 11th at 12noon to 3pm. Tuesday pick-up members bring a main dish or a salad. Thursday pick-up members bring a dessert or a side dish. Fairview will provide beverages. Please remember that every CSA member must bring their own plate, utensils, cup, cloth napkin, and a set to share with a friend who forgot. Bring your kids and meet us at the farmhouse. We are looking forward to being together and getting to know each other.

A quote: “Over the years, I‘ve been amazed to hear of all the different types of people who started to cook for the first time – you’d think it would mostly be twenty-year-olds at university, but that’s absolutely not the case. It’s kids, teenagers, middle-aged people, men, women, singles, marrieds, working-class and posh people – all sorts, who come across cooking for whatever reason. And the one thing that I hear over and over again when it comes to those who discovered cooking after, say, the age of thirty, is that they wish they’d started earlier. Well, here’s your change.” (Jamie Oliver, Cook with Jamie) Jamie Oliver is come of my favorite chefs and he inspires me to cook, to experiment and be elaborate, or to stay simple and highlight three flavors I put in a dish. As you hit a mid-ish point of your Summer Season CSA share, I encourage you to cook and explore with the same enthusiasm as you did during week one. We are coming into the peak of our summer crops and I hope you are ready with enthusiasm.

A note from Toby:

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoyed your 4th of July with family and friends.  The fields are looking great and we are looking forward to another successful week of farming.  It looks like there may be some white corn ready for next week and the tomatoes and peppers are not far off.  Enjoy the Flageolet Beans; they are certainly a rare treat.  I recommend cooking them for about 20-25 minutes with some garlic and onions in the water (no salt, salt makes the skin tough).  Enjoy a burrito with sautéed radish and squash.

It was not a great year for the stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots) at Fairview and we knew last winter that this would be the case.  Stone fruits require a certain amount of chill hours, which we did not receive.  Chill hours are the total number of hours during the dormancy period below 45 degree.  If the chill factor is not met, flowering and fruit may not occur, foliation could be delayed and fruit quality affected.  Most stone fruit varieties require between 900-1200 chill hours, although varieties have been developed for our milder climates that range from 400-800 hours.  Some people have mentioned they had a great year with their backyard stone fruit, which is a great reminder of how many different microclimates we have in the SB area.

We successfully completed the construction and permitting part of phase IV of our farmer housing project by the July 1st deadline.  One more big phase to go, a huge fundraising campaign and a remodel of the farm stand to meet EHS standards.  And the farm keeps on farming.  Thank you to everyone that participated with phases I-IV.  We certainly could not have done it with out your assistance.  We have some major projects still on the near horizon and will provide a sneak peek of these in the coming weeks.

Cheers,

Toby McPartland, Farm Manager

 A Sneak Peek:

Small Share:

Flowers

Shelling Beans

Strawberries    

Radish 

Carrots                                   

Squash

Plums

 Large Share:

Flowers

Shelling Beans

Strawberries    

Radishes                     

Carrots                       

Avocado        

Squash

Plums  

Fennel

Cucumbers

A few recipes: dedicated to my favorite chef (all from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie)

Thoughts on Zucchini: “Zucchini can be cooked in lots of different ways: boiled, stewed, friend, roasted, even sliced into slabs and grilled.” They go well with just about anything and love to be cooked or dressed in olive oil…. Zucchini are best friends with mint garlic and chilli.” -Jamie

Simple Sautéed Zucchini with Chili and Lemon

4 small zucchini

Olive oil

1 dried red chili, crumbled

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of ½ a lemon

A knob of butter

Slice your zucchini with a mandolin slicer or sharp knife so they’re just under ¼ inch thick. Heat a large frying pan over high heat and pour a good splash of olive oil.

Drop the zucchini slices into the pan and fry for 2 minutes with chili and garlic until the zucchini begin to brown. Season well with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice and butter and cook for another 2 minutes. When the lemon juice has evaporated, take the pan off the heat and divide the zucchini over the plates and serve.

Spiced Plum Chutney

1/3 cup sugar

½ a cinnamon stick

1 star anise

6 large red ripe plums, pitted and chopped

A strip of orange zest

A pinch of ground cumin

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Pour the sugar in a saucepan and add just enough water to dissolve it. Place on the heat, drop in the cinnamon and star anise and bring to the boil.

Simmer the syrup until it reduces right down and the bubbles start to get bigger. As soon as the syrup starts to turn golden, add the chopped plums, orange zest and cumin and turn the heat down low. The plums will release heir sticky, sweet juices and after a few minutes the sauce will cook down to a thicker consistency. Take the pan off the heat, season the chutney with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

The Best Whole-Backed Carrots

1lb 10oz young bunched carrots, different colors if possible, washed and scrubbed

Olive oil

Herb or red wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A few springs of fresh thyme

3 cloves of garlic crushed

Preheat your oven to 400F. Toss your carrots with a good glug of olive oil, a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper, the thyme springs, and the garlic cloves. Place in a roasting pan or earthenware dish, cover tightly with foil and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until just tender. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes until the carrots have browned and caramelized nicely.

 Thanks for the inspiration Jamie. With gratitude,

jen