September 14, 2009

14 Sep

It’s Monday and after a wonderfully restful weekend in Santa Cruz, I am back on the farm, with gratitude and energy for this week’s tasks. I had the opportunity in Santa Cruz to visit another organic farm and CSA program. The farm at UC Santa Cruz is similar to Fairview Gardens; it is an education center, a food source for their community, and a home to those who work on the land. When you travel I encourage you to visit other farms and bring back with you encouragement and inspiration. We would love to hear about your experiences. Check out www.localharvest.org.

I hope you enjoy this week’s harvest and recipes,

Jen Corey

Marketing Manager

Volunteer Needed: We are looking for someone to work with the Executive Director on our donor data base. Experience with Filemaker Pro is necessary and 3 hours/wk commitment is appreciated. Please contact Jenny Milan, Executive Director of Fairview Gardens at jenny@fairviewgardens.org.

Upcoming Events:

What: City Repair Project, A Street Corner Revolution; Slide Show & Talk with Mark Lakeman

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 7:00 PM

Where: Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery

Suggested Donation: $10

Description: Multidisciplinary, City Repair combines architecture, urban planning, anthropology, community development, public art, permaculture and ecological design in projects that transform public space.

Contact: Lynn Seigel-Boettner, SB Food Not Lawns and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network (805) 966 6522; Lynn@sbfoodnotlawns.org

What: Hope Dance films presents THE END OF THE LINE; Imagine a world without Fish

When: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7pm

Where: Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery

Suggested donation: $7

Description: More than just a doomsday warning, THE END OF THE LINE offers real, practical solutions that are simple and doable, including advocating for controlled fishing of engendered species, protecting networks of marine reserves off-limits to fishing, and educating consumers that they have a choice by purchasing fish from sustainable fisheries.

Reflections from a Fairview Apprentice:

My name is Lauren and I have been an apprentice at Fairview Gardens. I applied for the program with no experience in farming but with a driving interest to participate. I have lived and worked in metropolitan areas all my life where nature took a back seat to convenience. My goal in joining this apprenticeship program was to learn about the farming industry, meet new people with different perspectives and increase my knowledge of growing healthy and nourishing food.

Prior to the apprenticeship, I worked in theatrical production where I spent most of my time as a Stage Manager. This gave me a great understanding of meeting deadlines within a very specific time frame. I found a link between theater opening nights, CSA and Markets. Each event put on for the public’s well being, where the expectation is a desire for quality production and beneficial nourishment. Bringing this type of quality to our community is the link between the world of performing arts and local organic food that I most enjoy.

My experience at Fairview has been a valuable one. The people I have had a chance to interact with are full of energy, excitement and vitality. They have taught me so much in my time here and I will be forever thankful. I have truly recognized the abundance of what this planet can provide us with and how rich a relationship this can be when we take good care of the land, ourselves and our food.  I have been very lucky to have this experience and I will continue to share this knowledge with others.

I want to express gratitude to Toby (the farm manager), my fellow apprentices and all the people who work at Fairview an uplifting and enlightening experience. And, I want to personally thank you, our CSA members for purchasing our food and appreciating our hard work. Without you we wouldn’t be Fairview Gardens.

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Lettuce

Green Beans

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes

Peppers

Garlic

Summer Squash

Large Share

Lettuce

Green Beans

Strawberries

Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Peppers

Garlic

Summer Squash

Collards

Radish

Recipes: the following recipes are from Fields of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Annie Somerville

Ratatouille (My suggestion is to watch Disney’s Ratatouille after dinner. I loved it!)

Make this stew at the height of summer, when eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes couldn’t be better. As the vegetables slowly simmer together, their sweet juices soak up the flavor of the fragrant fresh herbs. You can use Greek oregano in place of marjoram, but taste it first—its strong, pungent flavor can overpower the delicate basil. Serve over creamy soft polenta sprinkled with grated Parmesan. It’s even better the next day, serve at room temperature with crusty sourdough bread and salty black olives.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium-sized red onion, cut into quarters and thickly sliced

Salt and pepper

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 medium-size Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced ¾ inch thick on a diagonal, about 3 cups

2 medium-sized bell peppers, cut into thick stripes and then triangles, about 2 cups

1 pound summer squash, cut into thick slices or wedges

2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, about 3 cups

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

½ tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram or Greek oregano

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, eggplant, peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper; sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant and peppers are just tender.

Add the summer squash, tomatoes, bay leaf, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Stew over low heat for about 20 minutes, until everything is tender.

Add the basil and marjoram just before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves four.

Tomato-Basil Tart with Smoked Mozzarella Cheese

We make this summer tart at the height of the season with fully ripe tomatoes and fragrant basil. The tastes couldn’t be better—the smoky cheese and the tasty black olives perfectly balance the sweetness of the tomatoes. It’s important to remove the juice and seeds from the tomatoes; the juice will thin the custard. Delicious served warm or at room temperature, this tart is just the right dish for a picnic or a light evening meal.

1 recipe Tart Dough (Jen’s suggestion à you can use frozen puff pastry if you do not know how or have the time to make your own dough)

¾ pound fresh tomatoes, seeded, drained, and cut into ½ inch pieces, about 1½ cups

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 loosely packed cup of fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

8 to 10 Gaeta or Niçoise black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped

Salt and pepper

3 large eggs

1 cup half and half or ½ cup half and half plus ½ cup crème frâiche

1 ounce smoked mozzarella cheese, grated, about ½ cup

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated, about 1/3 cup

Prepare the tart shell and follow the directions for prebaking it.

Toss the tomatoes with the garlic, basil, olives, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and a large pinch of pepper. Set them aside to marinate for 15 minutes, then drain off their juice.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Beat eggs in a bowl and add the half and half, a generous ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Combine the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and sprinkle them on the bottom of the tart dough. Spread the tomatoes on the cheese, then pour the custard over. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the custard is set and the top is golden.

Makes one 9-inch tart; serves six.

Sautéed Summer Beans and Cherry Tomatoes        

The keys to this simple summer sauté are the freshness of the beans and the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes. Use any variety of beans you like, just as long as they’re tender. For wonderful color and texture, combine two or three varieties with red and yellow cherry tomatoes. Toss with fresh marjoram, basil, or tarragon to highlight the delicious flavors.

Salt and Pepper

1 pound green beans, yellow wax beans, Romano beans, or any combination of fresh beans, about 4 cups

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 to1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry white wine

½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved, 1 cup

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, marjoram, or basil

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add ½ teaspoon salt. Trim the stems from the beans, leaving the tail ends on. Cut them in half on a diagonal of leave whole if small. Drop the beans into the water and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes, depending on their size. (If you’re using different varieties of beans, cook them separately, because their cooking time will vary.) Rinse under cold water and set aside to drain.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-size sauté pan; add the shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and the white wine; cook over medium heat for 1 minute, until the pan is nearly dry. Add the beans, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and herbs; sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, just long enough so that the tomatoes heat through without losing their shape. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

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