Archive | January, 2010

John Givens Farm

30 Jan

As we support our other local farms in the area, we look to John Givens Farm which provides our area with an abundance of organic produce. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of produce from this farm in your share. We continue to be grateful for your interest in supporting the Fairview Gardens Foodshed idea and hope we are able to connect you with other farmers and farms in our area. Here is some information about John Givens Farm from their website: 

John Givens started John Givens Farm in the Goleta Valley under the “Something Good” label in 1980 with 1 acre. Over the years, John Givens Farm grew slowly to its present size of 180 acres in 12 locations stretching over 30 miles. Our goal is to provide fresh, local, organic produce of excellent quality all year long. Our seasons for many items are extended due to the diverse microclimates on our land. We use innovative methods for cultivating produce, such as nurturing tomatoes in cold frames in the winter, which dramatically extends their availability into the cooler months. We plant many varieties of produce every week of the year. This gives us timely arrivals of seasonal products with extended growth terms.

We at John Givens Farm believe that diversity of crops creates a more sustainable farming ecosystem, while greater biological variety provides a healthier diet for its consumers. Our fertilizer program includes composting, cover cropping, and major and minor mineral additions that provide mineral and microbiological enhancement to the crops while providing you with tastier produce and better shelf life. We harvest daily to provide the freshest produce for your table. We attend neighborhood and short-distance famers markets to distribute locally and to interact directly with the consumer. We ship all around the country and we deliver to regional stores. What we would like to do, however, is distribute more produce closer to home, saving fuel costs from transportation and from refrigeration on several levels. This would naturally leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet.

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An article about Fairview Gardens

29 Jan

from John Quimby

CSA member and farmer John Quimby wrote an article and created a podcast about our farm and CSA program. Check it out:

http://www.dunncreekfarm.blogspot.com/

January 25, 2010

26 Jan

On Saturday the blue skies started to appear after a week of stormy weather. The water quenched our thirsty soil and has encouraged growth of many seedlings around the farm. Our farm crew has worked with intensity in preparation for this rain (sowing seeds and planting seedlings) and in the midst of the storm to harvest for your CSA week. When I clomp through the muddy CSA area, it is a good reminder of the work our crew had to do to harvest in the rain. Thank you for braving the weather and coming to pick up your share this week.

Last week Toby and I traveled to Assilomar State Park to attend the Eco Farm Conference. It was an incredible experience to be surrounded by 1600 like-minded men and women, whom are all connected to organic sustainable agriculture. It was inspiring to meet veteran organic farmers in their 80’s who have been caring for the land and their customers long before “organic” and “green” became words of the 21st century pop-culture. I have 20 pages of notes and reflections I kept while at the conference which is of course too much to pass on to you. Instead a few highlights for me regarding Food and Farm Justice:

1. Francis Moor Lepay spoke of her most recent idea she calls, “Liberation Ecology.” She said that the we must make a fundamental change in how we see the world. Our society acts off the fundamental premises of “lack,” not enough goods (food or parking spaces) and goodness (kindness and support). She called us to have the courage to start from a different premise, the premise of “possibility,” let it infuse the way we see. Human beings are plenty good enough and as we align with nature, we can feed the world even with our leftovers. There is enough. We can shift our “spiral of powerlessness” to start the “spiral of empowerment.”

2. Wes Jackson explained a 50-year Farm Bill that he and Wendell Berry wrote for the New York Times that added larger, more sustainable end goals: protect soil from erosion, cut fossil fuel dependence to zero, sequester carbon, reduce toxins in soil and water, manage nitrogen carefully, reduce dead zones, cut wasteful water use, preserve or rebuild farm communities.

3. Barbara Finnin (City Slickers Farm), Nikki Henderson (People’s Grocery), and Anim Steel (the Food Project) discussed the importance of youth in our vision for planting the future of agriculture. They spoke about community activism and developing ways to get fresh organic produce in communities where there are more liquor stores than grocery stores. Each are working on this mission of health accessible food for everyone as well as establishing local jobs, partnerships between local organizations.

4. Gary Hirshberg from Stonyfield Farm Organic explained our need to correct a fundamentally flawed relationship between humanity and the earth. We have been living under the myth that he earth is the subsidiary of our economy, the earth has infinite resilience, that there is such a thing called waste, things don’t exist if it doesn’t come out on an accounting balance sheet. Organics is a solution, the truth to each of these myths. But unfortunately, organics is still only 3.5% of agricultural production. Gary urged us to consolidating economic power and use it as political power to put pressure on our congress people to stop subsidizing the parts of our industry that are making people and our planet sick.

Community Building and Upcoming events:

Look forward to the re-opening of the Farm Stand next Monday, February 1st! Please stop by next week and spread the word.

CSA Carpool/pick up share: contact CSA member and volunteer Stephanie Christoff at skchristoff@gmail.com for more information or click on this link https://fairviewgardenscsa.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/csa-carpooling/

Sneak Peek: spinach, kale, lettuce, baby bok choy, carrots, beets, cauliflower, and apples

Recipes (all recipes from CSA member Jane Higa and my mom’s cookbook: Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen):

Tom’s Mom’s Harvard Beets with Beet Greens

Ingredients:

2 bunches of beets with plenty of nice greens

¾ cup fresh orange juice

¾ cup water

3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons toasted, skinned, and finely chopped hazelnuts (you can try other nuts if you want)

  1. Separate the greens from the beets. Discard the stems and wash thoroughly and dry the beet greens. Peel the beets, cut them in half, and thinly slice them into half-moon shapes 1/8 inch thick.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, water, brown sugar, vinegar, and zest. Once the sugar has melted add the beets to this mixture and cook, covered until tender, but still retaining a little crunch, about 20 minutes. Stir in the dissolved cornstarch and simmer a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, then cook the greens until wilted, about 3 minutes, stirring in the garlic halfway through. Season with salt and pepper.

On the plate: Arrange the wilted beet greens on 6 salad plates. Arrange the beet slices over the greens. Garnish each salad with toasted hazelnuts.

Chilled Miso Spinach

1 pound spinach, washed well and stemmed (since you don’t have a pound of spinach in your share try this miso vinaigrette on your kale as well)

For the miso vinaigrette:

3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon light miso paste

½ teaspoon soy sauce

¼ cup peanut oil

½ teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

2 tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach (or kale… remember that you need to cook kale a little longer) and cook until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Drain the spinach and immediately plunge it into a container of ice water. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the spinach and chop it finely. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, miso, and soy sauce. Whisk in the oils. Toss half of the vinaigrette on the spinach and let sit for half an hour to marinate.
  2. (read on or see below for a more simple way to serve this dish) Squeeze the vinaigrette from the spinach. Put a piece of plastic wrap on a work surface and spread with the sesame seeds. Form a log of spinach and place it in the center of the bed of seeds. Roll up the spinach in the wrap, twisting the ends and tying them in knots. You should have a log about 1 inch in diameter. Chill the log in the freezer for a half and hour.

On the plate: Unwrap the log and slice it into eight 1-inch-thick slices. Drizzle each slice with some of the remaining vinaigrette and serve. Another, simpler way to serve this dish is to dress the cooked, chopped spinach with as much vinaigrette as desired and serve it in small mounds, sprinkled with the sesame seeds, either warm or cold.

Japanese Pickles (for those who have left over cabbage… try this one)

For the pickling brine:

6 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons water

4 ½ tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

  1. Mix the vinegar, water, sugar, and ginger together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  2. For picked red cabbage, thinly slice enough red cabbage to make 1 cup, using a mandoline or a sharp knife. Place the cabbage in a heatproof, non-reactive container (stainless steel or Pyrex) and pour the boiling pickling brine over it. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Drain before using as a garnish (or side dish, like my grandpa did).

A step ahead: The picked cabbage will hold for a week, refrigerated and covered.

Fair Hills Apples

19 Jan

Fair Hills Farm began in 1992 when Nancy and David Rydell purchased 100+ acres of land in Paso Robles, California. Our first apple orchard was planted in May, 1992 in the Estrella River basin which offers a unique climate with hot sunny days and cool nights that are perfect for growing apples, stone fruit, and grapes. Fair Hills Farm is committed to being the preferred supplier of organic produce. You can find Fair Hills Farm at the most Farmer Markets in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Please visit http://www.fairhillsapplefarm.com for more information and for their Huel Howser segment. In your CSA share you will either be receiving Fuji’s (a dense flesh that is sweeter and crispier than many other apple varieties) or Pink Lady’s (a vivid pink apple grown in Australia that is crisp and sweet). Hope you enjoy Fair Hill apples and look to support them at the Farmer’s Market.

January 18, 2010

19 Jan

Dear CSA members,

I wanted to give you an update about the Fairview Farm Stand. I am working with volunteer and CSA member Marty Camp to re-invent the interior design of the Farm Stand. We had hoped to re-open this week, but will most likely be finished during the next week or two. Please take a peek through the green and white awning to see our progress. We are using recycled fence slats in combination with old Fairview signs to add a cozy rustic atmosphere. I hope you love it and will enjoy the changes we are making.

Jen Corey

Sneak Peek: lettuce, carrots, mustard greens, cilantro, butternut squash, apples, broccoli, turnips, and collard greens

Recipes from the cookbook collection of CSA member and friend Leslie Hui:

Farro Soup with Greens (from Outstanding in the Field; a farm to table cookbook, by Jim Denevan)

1 cup semipearled faro
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small dried chile, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bunch of kale, chard, mustard greens, or cabbage, coarsely chopped
About  6 cups Chicken Stock or low-sodium broth
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, for serving (optional)

Place the farro in a pot, cover it with cold water, and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the farro is just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the carrot and leek and another pinch of salt and continue cooking until the vegetables begin to soften, another 10 minutes. Move some of the vegetables to one side of the pot and add the garlic and chile to the open space. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Mix the garlic into the vegetables and add the tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste begins to caramelize and become sweet, about 5 minutes. Add greens, season with salt, and stir to combine. Cook until the greens wilt and release some of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer.

Add the farro and its cooking liquid along with enough of the remaining stock to cover the ingredients. Simmer for 20 minutes, adding more stock if necessary to keep the ingredients covered with liquid. When all the vegetables are tender and the flavors have combined, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and cover the pot. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Offer the cheese for grating on top if desired.

Butternut Squash Pizza (from Chez Panisse Vegetables; by Alice Waters)

1 butternut squash (about 1 pound)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic
Pizza dough for 1 pizza
1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
12 sprigs parsley
20 sage leaves
1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Slice off the top of the squash about 1/2 inch under the stem and slice just enough off the bottom to remove the remnants of the withered flower stem; be careful not to cut into the seed cavity. Split the squash in half crosswise just above the bulge. Stand each half end up and carefully cut away all the skin. Cut each portion in halt lengthwise and scoop the seed and fiber from the lower half with a spoon. Cut the quarters crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. The upper portions will yield half-moon slices, and the lower sections elongated C shapes.

Brush the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange them in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 30 to 60 minutes, checking from time to time. The roasting time will vary according to the sugar and moisture content and the density of the squash. It is done when lightly browned and tender to the touch.

Meanwhile, peel and chop fine the garlic and add to about 1/4 cup olive oil. When the squash slices are done, remove from the oven. Put a pizza stone in the oven and boost the heat to 450F to 500F.

Roll out a circle of pizza dough, brush with the olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and Gruyère. Arrange the slices of cooked squash over the cheese. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheeses have melted.

While the pizza is baking, chop the parsley leaves. Fry the sage leaves briefly in hot olive oil, then drain them on an absorbent towel. When the pizza is done, garnish with the sage leaves, the chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon.

This is a very rich pizza, and is best served in small portions, as an appetizer.

Makes one 12-inch pizza.

Lemons from Hilltop and Canyon Farms

13 Jan

Our lemons this week came from Hilltop & Canyon Farms in Carpinteria.

Hilltop & Canyon Farms is the certified organic collaboration of husband-and-wife team Robert Abbott and Tessa van der Werff. They specialize in avocados, citrus, organic field flower bouquets, heirloom shell beans, and specialty vegetables. Robert’s family has been farming the same Carpinteria land since 1923 and were pioneers in the local avocado industry. Most of the farm is still planted in avocados — some trees are seventy years old and going strong. As organic growers, they rely heavily on home-made compost, mulch and more mulch, humus teas, and cover cropping. You can find them at most Santa Barbara Farmer’s Markets, and at the Ojai market on Sundays.

January 11, 2010

11 Jan

Fog rests on the farm in the morning and life feels so peaceful. Last week was a wonderful beginning of CSA this year. It was so nice to see old friends and new faces. One of my favorite aspects of our CSA program is that I truly feel like our farm is being supported by a strong community. Families, friends, and neighbors all coming together to support a similar vision of eating well, organically, seasonally, and locally.

I enjoyed seeing veteran CSA members showing the ropes to first-time members, sharing recipes and secrets of how to get giant lettuce into the bags. I encourage you to create a space in your day for pick-up to be a part of our Fairview community: walk the fields, share recipe ideas, feed the goats and chickens, and meet new friends.

One way to participate in the community is by carpooling or trading pick-up days with another member. Please click on https://fairviewgardenscsa.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/csa-carpooling/ to see the link about how to reduce your carbon footprint and save time. There are a few local events this month that I also encourage you to check out. Please scroll down to see upcoming community events.

With love from the farm,

Jen Corey, Marketing Manager

Upcoming Events: 

What:  Hopedance Media and the Santa Barbara Permaculture Network present a showing of “Our Seeds: Blong Yumi”

When: Wednesday, January 20; 7PM
Where: Santa Barbara Public Library, Faulkner Gallery, 40 East Anapamu Street
Cost: $7 donation
Description: A small crew comprising Seed Savers Network directors took a hundred and sixty hours of footage in eleven countries. It is a David and Goliath story where resilience and persuasive logic triumph over seemingly invincible corporate agribusiness. The Film encourages viewers to work in solidarity with indigenous farmers around the world to restore traditional farming and plants to their rightful place as highly important assets of local communities and indigenous peoples.
For more information contact: (805) 962-2571,margie@sbpermaculture.org, http://www.sbpermaculture.org
 
What:  2nd Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap hosted by Santa Barbara Food Not Lawns
When: Saturday, January 23, 2010; 10 AM – 2 PM
Where: Alameda Park, 200 East Sola Street, Santa Barbara, CA
Bring seeds, plants, cuttings, and garden knowledge to swap. If you don’t have these, then come get seeds. Seeds to sow. Seeds to grow. Seeds to harvest. Seeds to save and share next year.
For more information contact: Heather Hartley (heather@sbfoodnotlawns.org) or Lynn Seigel-Boettner (lynn@sbfoodnotlawns.org)

Sneak Peek (Standard and Family): Lettuce, Napa Cabbage, Bunched Onions, Lemons/Apples, Arugula, Spinach, Beets, Broccoli

 

Recipes (“From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce”  collaborated by the Madison Area Community Supported Agricultre Coalition):

Please email your recipes to csa@fairviewgardens.org to have them included in an upcoming newsletter.

Chinese Cabbage Stir-Fry New Basics Cookbook (with a few of my suggestions

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 head Chinese Cabbage (also known as Napa Cabbage)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari (can also use Mrs. Braggs)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
(I suggest adding other veggies to this recipe. Try onions, potatoes, carrots, turnips, celery, or anything else you may have in your vegetable drawer. For a little spice add red pepper flakes or sriracha hot sauce. Serve over rice.)
 
Toast sesame seeds in dry skillet or hot oven several minutes, tossing occasionally; set aside. Rinse cabbage, drain and pat dry. Cut leaves crosswise into ½ inch slices. (Chop other veggies and set aside.) Heat Oil in large skillet or wok over high heat until it ripples. Add garlic and ginger. Cook one minute stirring.  (Add misc. veggies and cook until almost done, a few minutes, stirring often.) Add cabbage and stir-fry until wilted and dark (bright) green, 2 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, (hot sauce/red pepper flakes), and sesame oil. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

 

Beets are high in nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, and also the carotenes.

  • No need to peel, only scrub clean; trace minerals lie just below the surface of the skin.
  • Grate into most any salad, cooked or raw.
  • Cube beets into veggie soups or stews.
  • Serve steamed beets sliced at room temperature tossed in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper, or use a simple vinaigrette.
  • To bake: cut off leaves and wash roots. Bake at 350ºF for 1-2 hours or until easily pierced with a fork. (I chunk my beets and roast for shorter cooking time. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.)
  • Try beet greens steamed or sauteed.

Pasta with Fresh Spinach, Walnuts, and Gorgonzola Cheese (Tony Mason, member of Vermont Valley Community Farm)

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
¾ to 1 pound fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and shredded (chopped)
¼ to 1/3 pound walnut pieces
6 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot cooked pasta of your choice
 
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add garlic and sauté until golden. Add spinach; toss and cook until wilted. Stir in walnuts and cheese; toss until well combined. Season with pepper to taste. Serve over pasta. ( I recommend tossing sauteed garlic, walnuts, pepper and cheese with hot pasta, saving some pasta water. Then add spinach to wilt fresh leaves. Add a touch of pasta water at the end to smooth out sauce. If you don’t like Gorgonzola cheese, try goat cheese.)