September 8, 2009

8 Sep

Last night I felt the break in the heat and I am so thankful for cool breeze that wafts through the farm. We all took short days yesterday, and I headed to the beach. I am learning how to surf. Who knew that a Santa Barbara local would take so long to finally get out on a board? We ate fresh farm veggies and watermelon, and a few non-farm beverages and snacks J. It was a perfect day. I hope you enjoyed the sunshine, a Labor Day BBQ, and good conversation with friends and family. This week we have a wonderful harvest share.

I am including two limericks from a former CSA member and another narrative from one of our apprentices and hope you will enjoy their perspective of life on the farm.

Rested and ready for fall produce,

Jen Corey

Marketing Manager

Two Limericks in Tribute to Fairview Gardens

Fairview Garden’s a mighty fine place

To serve as our produce-buying base

            You sell veggies galore

            (of some fruits we’d like more)

Fragrant blossoms to put in a vase

For organic you make a great case

Some leaves look like fine patterns of lace

            Varied products don’t bore

            They’re all fresh from the core

And you serve us with plenty of grace

With gratitude for 17 years of delicious and healthful eating

Farewell from Tonia Jauch

Goleta, CA –August, 2009

A message from a Fairview Apprentice: My Story

Hello everyone my name is Connor Lynch and I am an apprentice here at Fairview Gardens. You may have seen my around in the fields or occasionally helping out at the CSA pickup. I have been working here at Fairview for almost five months now and so far have learned a ton. It seems like every time I am on the farm I learn something new from one of the farmers, the apprentices, and the staff or just from opening my eyes and seeing something a new way. To be honest I thought I could become a world class farmer in just five months but I am realizing more and more that the learning is never truly complete. I guess that is what drew me to farming in the first place though.

Besides just planting sunflowers and Kmart bought strawberry plants in my backyard my first real experience in gardening was at my boarding school in Montana. I had been at the school for about six months when I was placed in the gardening program. I quickly became in enthralled with the greenhouse and as spring began the ever changing garden outside. The thing that probably fascinated me the most was soils and how complex it was. It became my personal mission to try and make the best compost for the soil in the garden. My teacher, Cara, was amazing and that little plot of land became a very calming and safe place for me at the school.

When I came home to visit from school I was required to do some community service so I chose Fairview because I wanted to learn more about how a real garden operated. It was there that I met Toby McPartland the farm manager who encouraged me to applying for the apprenticeship. After going back and forth on email it was decided that it was a good idea for me to join Fairview for the season. And I guess the rest is history. I would like to say that I have settled into the steady rhythms of farm life, but to be honest things still surprise me everyday. As I said before, I have gotten honest with my self and realize that I have along way to go. However, I can’t begin to describe how much I have learned and how I have been changed by what I have seen and done.

I will be leaving the farm a bit earlier than the rest of the apprentices due to the fact that I have to start my junior year of high school at Laguna Blanca so I will be missing the farm. I already have a hard time going away on trips because I miss the delicious food so much. This coming year I hope to continue learning and more about agriculture and the environment as a whole as well as working on some of my other passions such as art and running. I hope you have enjoyed learning a bit about me and I look forward to seeing you all around the farm at some point. Enjoy your delicious food!!

Sincerely,

Connor Lynch 

Sneak (not so sneaky for Tuesday pick up members) Peek:

Small Share  

Cherry tomatoes

Peppers

Lettuce

Lima Beans (shell and boil 20 minutes)

Tomatoes

Arugula/Radish

French Beans

Spaghetti Squash (see below for recipe)

Large Share

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Lettuce 

Lima Beans (shell and boil 20 minutes)

Tomatoes

Arugula/Radish

French Beans

Spaghetti Squash (see below for recipe)

Kale/Collards

Sumemr Squash

Garlic

Mint    

Recipes:

French Red Pepper Soup (from CSA member and my mom Jane Higa)

Here is the recipe for the wonderful red bell pepper soup.  It was the contribution of Mary Blackwood Collier in the cookbook called:  The Art of Dining:  Santa Barbara Artists and Their Food.  According to Mary, “This wonderful soup is the very first ‘recette’ I learned in Paule McPherson’s French Bistro Cooking Class.  I have made it regularly ever since, to serve hot in winter and cold in summer, for everything from dinner parties to school lunches.” This recipe “serves 8 handsomely.”

2 T butter

2 large onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

6 cups chicken stock

6 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

1/2 cup cream or half and half (optional)

Melt the butter and add the onions, carrots and oregano.  Cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, peppers, salt and pepper.  Cook uncovered for about 2 minutes at a medium high heat.  Puree the soup in a blender or food processor.  Although it may be served as is, it is much more elegant when pressed through a sieve, skin and pulp discarded, rendering a beautifully smooth soup.  Taste for seasoning.  The soup is perfectly delicious without the cream but certainly a bit more finished with it.  If you add the cream and are serving the soup cold, do so just before serving.  When serving it hot with the cream, bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, and add ROOM TEMPERATURE cream slowly. 

Before serving, garnish with your choice of:  a dollop of sour cream or a tsp of the cream you did not put into the soup, a slice of avocado, a spring of fresh oregano, chives, parsley or anything else you think would look pretty.  You can also garnish with shrimp that has been marinated in grated ginger for no longer than 30 minutes and then quickly stir fried in a little oil.

Note from the mom who is always a bit rushed (and perhaps not as elegant)….whenever I have made this soup I have not taken the time to strain it and have found that I like the more rustic texture….and have always received rave reviews!  I also tend not to add the half and half or cream.

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (from Nikki and David Goldbeck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine)

Spaghetti squash is fairly new on the market and worth getting to know. The cooked squash breaks up into thin strands, making it much like spaghetti in both shape and use.

2 small to medium spaghetti squash (about 2 to 2 ½ pounds each)

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon oregano

Pepper

2 cups tomato sauce

A few thin slices of mozzarella or provolone cheese

Cut squash in half lengthwise and steam for 15 minutes until barely tender. Scoop out seeds. Using the prongs of a fork, gently loosen squash pulp from skin. Pour off any liquid that accumulates and pat surface dry.

Preheat oven to 350º to 375ºF.

Combine ricotta with shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, and seasonings.

Fill cavity of squash with cheese mixture. Top with a little of the tomato sauce and some cheese slices. Bake for 15 minutes until cheese is hot and gooey. Serve with remaining sauce. As you eat, pull squash strands loose with a fork and mix with cheesy topping.

Serves 4.

Click on these links for a few good Indian Lima Bean recipes:

http://enjoyindianfood.blogspot.com/2009/01/lima-beans-usal-2.html

http://enjoyindianfood.blogspot.com/2008/03/tittori-parsi-lima-beans.html

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