October 5, 2009

5 Oct

Dear CSA members, 

Fall is here. I may have said it before, but now… I am convinced. My allergies are stirred up by the wind over the weekend and I find myself sipping a good amount of tea and honey. If you are finding the change of seasons affecting your allergies, I suggest introducing local honey into your diet. I am not a doctor or a scientist, but I hear from friends that local raw honey can help with seasonal allergies. You can pick up local San Marcos Farms honey at the Farm Stand if you want to try it out.

Pumpkins and popcorn have arrived! Please see the recipe section for tips on popping your own popcorn and toasting pumpkin seeds.

Also, I am happy to introduce you to our new Education Coordinator Shelley Gillespie. I asked her to tell you a bit about herself. She will be around the farm part time, so hope you enjoy getting to know her or even pick her brain on a tour.

Looking forward to wearing my scarves,

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.

Meet Shelley:

I first found my passion for sustainable agriculture in Costa Rica where I co-founded a small, organic coffee farm (Sol Colibrí Coffee) that grew over eight years of dedication into an operation that processed, dried, roasted, exported and direct-marketed our coffee crop.  I have since worked for a collective CSA in Seattle, and on a family-run vegetable farm in Washington State. I received my BA from the Evergreen State College where I was a participant in the Practice in Sustainable Agriculture program. I am a creative writer with an interest in food crops native to the Americas, and enjoy getting around town by bike. Encouraging others’ enthusiasm, knowledge and thoughtfulness about all dimensions of growing and eating locally-produced food is one of my favorite endeavors.

I started at Fairview Gardens earlier this year in March, co-leading the educational tours with Tiffany Cooper. After spending three months in Spain this summer, I have returned to lead educational tours and outreach. In Spain I continued to be involved with sustainable agriculture and I had the opportunity to sell organic produce with two pioneering organic farmers at the Zaragoza farmers’ market.

I want to invite you as members of the Fairview Gardens CSA program to help me spread the word about our fabulous tours, tailored to both school groups and curious adults. Your help is greatly appreciated. This is an excellent opportunity to educate others about sustainable agriculture, local organic farms, and in particular the history of our farm. If you are part of a church group, book club, garden club please consider inviting your group for a guided tour of Fairview Gardens.

After months of a farm filled with kids during our summer farm camp, we miss having the curiosity and laughter of children. Tours are age-specific and would be beneficial for elementary school to college students. You can “cut and paste” this note into an email and pass it along to educators who may be interested:

Fairview Gardens Farm-to-School Tours allow students of all ages to recognize where food comes from while making the connection between food and well-being. On a tour I gave in May, a young girl had the thrill of tugging a carrot out of the ground, washing it, and eating it right in the field. She’d never seen a carrot growing before. While eating the carrot, she learned about the benefits of its nutrition for her body. This is the kind of experience we offer with farm-to-school tours. The Fairview Gardens outdoor classroom reinforces curriculum and offers an exciting, dynamic field trip. To schedule a tour please contact: Shelley@fairviewgardens.org.

Thank you and savor the flavors of early October!

Shelley Gillespie
Education Coordinator

Upcoming Events:

What: Fresh Greens; dance to the new green beat… SBCC Adult Education Class presented by The Sustainability Project; taught by CSA member and architect John Kelly

When: Tuesdays in October 2009, 5:30 – 7:00 pm

Where: The Faulkner Gallery, SB Central Library

Description: How can we thrive in a world of economic uncertainty, peak oil, and climate change? Hear personal stories about simple, affordable, everyday sustainable lifestyles and share your experiences with green living. Visit green homes and gardens.

Discuss how our ongoing crisis is an opportunity to create the next major green movement. For more information about each class see attached flyer or go to


Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Pumpkin (Take pictures of your jack-o-lanterns and email to post at the Farm Stand.)



Cherry Tomatoes

Summer Squash          



Large Share

Pumpkin (Take pictures of your jack-o-lanterns and email to post at the Farm Stand.)



Cherry Tomatoes

Summer Squash






Recipes (Send me your recipes. I love having CSA member contributions!):


This corn is harvested when the kernels are hard and dry. Take time popping out the kernels while watching a movie (I like The Boys of Baraka, it has nothing to do with farming, but it’s still worth watching.) or at the beach during sunset. Heat oil in a good size saucepan. If you put a few in the pan, you will know when its ready because 2 will pop and then you can throw the rest in. Cover your pan, giving it a shake regularly so it doesn’t burn. When the popping slows down, you will know they are done; about 3 ½ minutes.

Fun seasoning variations:

  1. Parmesan with cracked pepper and other dried herbs is nice and savory
  2. Sugar for kettle corn
  3. Furikake (my favorite) which is a Japanese seasoning you can get in the Asian section of the grocery store.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Similar cooking method. Rinse pulp off seeds and dry overnight. Heat oil over moderate heat. Add seeds and stir constantly. You won’t need to cover the pan since the seeds won’t start jumping out like the popcorn. Seeds will puff out a little when they are done; about 5 minutes. 

Creative uses for your seeds:

  1. Season with chili or cayenne pepper, lime and salt and keep in a bowl at work for a healthy snack
  2. Add to salads and use for crunch instead of pine nuts or croutons
  3. Great as a topper of soups and chilies

Toasted Pita Sandwich (from CSA member Betsy Austin)

Simply drop sliced tomatoes, sprinkled with herbs or seasoning into whole wheat pita bread, add slice of cheese and drop into your toaster, either once or twice. Up pops a toasty melted yummy veggie sandwich! Enjoy. 

Poblano Corn Pudding (courtesy of CSA member Leslie Hui, from Food Network Chef Guy Fieri. See http://www.foodnetwork.com)


3 poblano peppers

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

2 cups whole milk

3 eggs

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 cup grated sharp white Cheddar

4 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed, about 4 to 5 cups

4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups panko bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the poblano peppers over the flame of 1 of the burners on the stove to roast. Cook, turning often with tongs until all of the skin is blistered, about 15 minutes. Add the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for about 15 more minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, transfer to a cutting board, peel the skin off, remove the seeds and stems, dice, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions and the salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, and then set aside to cool.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan just until it starts to simmer, about 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then slowly add the scalded milk. Whisk in the sour cream and then fold in the cheese, corn, peppers, onions, herbs, cayenne. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch buttered baking dish and set aside. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and add the panko. Toss to coat the bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Pour the bread crumbs over the pudding and bake in the preheated oven until the bread crumbs are golden, the pudding is set and bubbling around the edges and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. 8 to 10 servings


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