September 21, 2009

21 Sep

Walking the farm is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable parts of my day. I love to see how orchards are developing and what new crops are being planted. Over the last few months I have been watching the pomegranate hedges with great anticipation. There pomegranates planted all over Fairview. On the farm trees have multiple purposes; most for food and shade, some separate the farm from the road, others are used to hide structures, and others are for beautification. The pomegranates started as small green lanterns and grew in to brilliant red ornaments all over the farm. A few have cracked in their ripeness and birds have enjoyed the nourishment of the seeds. This week we will get to enjoy them as fall’s pomegranate harvest begins. High in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants and packed with stain power. If you remove the seeds in water and then strain them, you will prevent your hands from turning purplish-pink.

Hope you get a change to walk to the farm this week.

Jen Corey

Marketing Manager

Pre-used Paper Needed: Every day we print reports, documents, and newsletters on blank paper. Although we recycle, I feel it is not enough. We could be using “pre-used” or “scratch paper.” I am asking CSA members, to collect paper at home and work that has only been printed on one side and donate it to the farm. We take white or colored paper. Bring it by the paper bags or box loads. Drop off any time at CSA pick-up or the farm stand and it will make its way up to the office. Thank you in advance.

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

When: TOMORROW, 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.

What: Carbon Economy Series Santa Barbara presents Soil Food Web and Compost Technologies with Dr. Elaine Ingham

When: October 30-November 1, 2009

Where: Training at Orella Ranch, Gaviota Coast, north of Santa Barbara

Description: Restoring the Soil Food Web is essential to rebuilding soil health and productivity…In this course, you’ll look at the elements of a healthy soil food web, learn how to analyze and improve your own soil, and learn how to make composts and extracts to strengthen the Soil Food Web.  The Soil Food Web course provides knowledge and research findings for those at the grass roots level of working with soils.

For more information about registration go to:  www.CarbonEconomySB.com

Reflections from a Fairview Apprentice: Fancy Fechser-Deleon

I came to Fairview as a romantic and a willing student.  Prior to working at Fairview, my experience was with small-scale educational gardens.  Shortly after the apprenticeship began, I quickly realized that my prior idea of farm life was a bit unrealistic.  Farming is not for the faint hearted.

I recall the first few weeks – cuts on my hands, calluses, sun burns, and subtle aches and pains throughout my body…did I mention that we start at 6:30 am?  I remember trying to bunch carrots, radishes, and chard.  I dare not mention how slow my bunching skills were.  The very skilled workers beside me were lapping me.  Luckily this wasn’t a job interview, for had it been, I would not have started my first day as a real farmer.

One may ask, “Why continue?” Well, eventually the initial side-affects of farming wear off and you begin to find yourself in a routine.  You pick up the vital techniques that your skilled mentors have acquired throughout the years such as, always stay covered.  Face the sun in the early morning and turn your back to the sun after mid-day. The knack of planting seedlings with one hand and how to minimize the times you bend over or squat when harvesting vegetables.

At Fairview, you learn to look at seasons and cycles in a different way.  I would go home for a weekend and return on Tuesday awestruck by the amount of growth that took place in just a couple days.  Javier, one of the long time resident-farmers at Fairview, would teach us to look at farming as though it were poetry.  When he’d notice us getting a little fatigued he would stop and remind us of our surroundings and to just take it all in – the sounds, the smells, the colors. 

The apprenticeship at Fairview Gardens has shown me how truly rewarding it is to take part in cultivating the land.  I credit my time at Fairview for revealing the deeper connections between the food I eat and farming.  For the first time in my personal daily food system, I am the producer and the consumer.  For the first time in my life I truly know how much work it takes to get food to the restaurants and markets that we enjoy every day and I deeply appreciate my meals more. 

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Pomegranate

Summer Squash

Green Beans

Arugula

Corn

Carrots           

Cherry tomatoes

Tomatoes 

Large Share

Pomegranate

Summer Squash

Green Beans

Arugula

Corn

Carrots           

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Recipes:

Arugula Salad with Pomegranate, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes

You will love the combination of the spicy arugula with the tart juicy pomegranate and sweet corn and tomatoes. All from your CSA share. This salad is from Head Farmer Toby, enjoy!

Toss your arugula with pomegranates seeds, corn cut off the cob, and halve the cherry tomatoes. Add avocado and crushed walnuts if you have it. Dress it with white wine vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Smoky Corn Salsa (Bon Appétit | August 2009 by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen)

Make a batch of this versatile sauce, then serve it all week. You can spoon it over grilled fish, chicken, or pork—or use it to fill quesadillas. Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, quartered, seeded
3 ears of fresh corn, husked
1 bunch green onions, trimmed
4 tablespoons (about) olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon bottled chipotle hot sauce
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Prepare barbecue (high heat). Brush bell peppers, corn, and green onions with some olive oil. Grill vegetables until well charred in spots, turning occasionally with tongs and removing pieces as they brown, 5 minutes for green onions, 10 to 15 minutes for bell peppers and corn. Cool slightly. Cut bell peppers and green onions into 1/3-inch pieces. Cut corn off cob.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy small skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cumin; sauté until garlic begins to sizzle but does not brown, about 30 seconds. Pour into large bowl; mix in lime juice and hot sauce. Mix in vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely; mix in cilantro. 

Cold Soba Noodle Salad

This was a free form recipe I came up with and I think it turned out, so I wanted to share it with you. The dressing is packed with intense flavors, so only a limited amount of oil is necessary.

Ingredients

1/4 cup fresh citrus juice, lime, orange, or grapefruit (mix and match or choose one)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil (it’s potent, so you won’t need much)
a splash of soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
a few cloves of finely chopped garlic

a little bit of grated ginger
1 big handful of green beans, trimmed, cut diagonally and parboiled (they are tender and best if still crunchy)
2 big handfuls of shredded peeled carrots

Corn cut off of 1 large cob (don’t let the worm slip in!)
1 small handful sliced green onions

1 jalapeno finely chopped or a good size pinch of dried red pepper flakes (omit if you don’t like spice)
1 package soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles) follow package instructions and be sure to not over cook)
salt and pepper to taste (won’t need much because the sauce is very well seasoned)

 Mix dressing and veggies, leaving noodles to the side. Chill for a few hours and then toss before serving. Lots of room to improvise, so try adding celery, napa cabbage, or peas. If you do not like soba noodles, try with whole wheat linguini.

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