Archive | January, 2011

Plan a Thriving Garden

31 Jan

 Sign up Today for our next Urban Homesteading Workshop:

Planning a  Garden Throughout the Year

February 12 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.   $40.00

Click here to sign up on-line.

Our very own Farm Manager, Toby McPartland, will be teaching “Planning a Garden Throughout the Year”.  Learn basic intensive gardening strategies, crop planning and planting tips resulting in an abundance of vegetables that grow well in our climate.  The trick is not ending up with all 40 heads of lettuce in one week. Learn how to plan your thriving garden providing abundance throughout the year. 

Toby McPartland, Farm Manager


CSA Members Work Day BYOB

Bring Your Own Bucket

Saturday 02/26/11

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Please come to the farm and help us apply compost.  We have the compost but we don’t have the machinery to spread it .  Bring gloves, a hat, water bottle, bucket, shovel, rake, wheelbarrow or just your self.  No need to RSVP just come out if you can.  Bring your muscles, big or small and help Fairview rebuild its soil fertility.   

Sneak Peek:


Blood Oranges

Green Garlic                






This Weeks Recipe:

101 Cookbooks

 Turnip Green Tart

It’s convenient for me to make enough dough for two tart shells in one shot, so that’s what I call for here. You can always freeze the extra dough or shell for use later in the week/month. They seem to keep fine in the freezer, well wrapped, for a few weeks, but not much longer than that. Green garlic is also great in the filling in place of the garlic clove – a couple tablespoons (chopped).


Cornmeal Tart Shell:

2 1/4 cups / 9 oz / 255 g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g spelt flour
scant 1 cup / 4.5 oz medium coarse corn meal
3/4 teaspoon fine grain salt
1 1/4 cups / 10 ounces / 280 g unsalted butter, cut in cubes
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup / 60 ml – 3/4 cup / 180 ml cold water

Turnip Green Filling:

1/4 lb. / 4 oz turnip greens, or spinach greens, de-stemmed
1 small clove of garlic
2 large eggs + 1 yolk
3/4 cup veg. broth
1/4 cup / 60 ml heavy cream
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt (more if broth unsalted)
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons herbs de Provence (opt.)
gruyere cheese & a bit of crushed red pepper flakes, for topping

special equipment: tart pans – 9-inch (23 cm) round, 8 x 11 inch (20 x 28) rectangle, or equivalent.

101 Cookbooks

 Start by making the tart dough. Combine flours, cornmeal, and salt in food processor. Pulse in butter, 20+ pulses, or until the mixture resembles sandy pebbles on a beach. Add the egg yolk and 1/4 cup water. Pulse, trickle in more water if needed, just until dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured countertop and gather into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape each into a ball, press into 1/2-inch thick disks, and wrap in plastic, or place in baggies. Chill for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.

When you’re ready to line the tart pans with dough, place one of the dough disks on a lightly floured surface and roll out until the dough is large enough to line your tart pan. I usually eyeball it – you can see in the photo the dough is about 1/6 – 1/8 inch thick. Dust underneath with flour to discourage sticking throughout the rolling process. Carefully transfer the dough to the pan. Don’t worry too much if you get a tear or hole, you can patch those up later with scraps. Work quickly to ease the dough into place, taking care not to stretch the dough. Press it along the bottom of the pan, out to the walls, and against the sides. Trim any excess dough – I use the palm of my hand against the edge of the tart pan to cut off any extra dough, alternately you can roll a rolling pin across the rim of the pan for a clean edge. Chill in the refrigerator for thirty minutes or so while you roll out your extra tart shell. Double wrap that one in plastic and freeze it for future use.

You’re going to partially bake the tart shell before filling it, so pull the shell out of the refrigerator, dock it with a fork, making small holes along the bottom of the shell. Line the shell with parchment paper and fill to the rim with pie weights or dried beans, bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the pie weights and finish baking for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is dry and just barely starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

To make the filling: Chop the greens and garlic in a food processor. You can do this by hand as well, but in this case the processor makes quick work of this. Add the eggs and yolk, pulse. Then the broth and cream. Lastly, incorporate the salt, mustard, and herbs. When you’re ready to bake, fill the tart shell and bake for 30 minutes or so, or until the center is set, and has firmed up to the touch. About 2/3 of the way through I like to sprinkle with a bit of gruyere cheese. I can’t help but zap the top of most tarts under the broiler for a minute or two just prior to pulling it out of the oven – it browns up the top nicely, and lends a rustic look to it. Finish with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes if you don’t mind a bit of heat.

Prep time: 950 min – Cook time: 60 min

Organic Farming News

EcoFarm 2011

Last week was the annual EcoFarm Conference in Northern California.  During the conference news spread of the alarming decision the US Government made.   Toby McPartland, our Farm Manager was attending a seminar, when they asked farmers to leave the room and write a letter outlineing their consernes over the controversial decision for the USDA to allow GMO Alfalfa. 





*Please contact Secretary Tom Vilsack directly if you’d like to express your concerns about the USDA’s decision.  Washington Office:400 N. Capitol St., NW, Ste. 359
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 720-3631

EcoFarm Attendees Criticize USDA Decision to Allow GMO Alfalfa

Organic farmers and dairy producers at national conference voice outrage about potential for bio-contamination
Pacific Grove, Calif. January 28, 2011- News that the USDA had approved the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa was greeted with a collective dismay and condemnation by the more than 1,000 attendees from 34 states at the Ecological Farming Association Conference, the largest organic farming conference on the West Coast. “We are appalled by this decision,” said pioneering organic farmer Larry Jacobs, President of Jacobs Farm-Del Cabo. “This is a sad day for the future of sustainable agriculture.”

Genetic engineering is not allowed under US organic standards. The organic label assures that consumers are not exposed to genetically engineered organisms through their food choices. According to Don Huber Ph.D., emeritus professor at Purdue University, the commercialization of genetically engineered alfalfa could result in the contamination of organic and conventional alfalfa within five years. Such contamination threatens organic markets and diminishes non-contaminated, non-GE seed options for organic producers.

In an official statement yesterday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa.” Alfalfa is the fourth-largest U.S. field crop grown annually on about 23 million acres in the U.S. and is the primary forage crop for dairy production.

“As an organic farmer and an organic dairy processor, the decision to deregulate genetically engineered alfalfa is devastating for our industry and it could put our business at risk,” said Albert Straus, President and owner of Straus Family Creamery. “Since 1994, I’ve been committed to organic principles. We are the first and only dairy brand to achieve Non-GMO Project verification for all of our products.”

“Alfalfa is an essential feed for our dairy cows and provides the essential forage in the diet of organic cows,” he continued. “With the potential contamination of organic alfalfa, this could significantly harm the organic dairy industry.”

Sustainable food systems advocate Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, agreed with farmers’ concerns. “It’s hard to understand why the Obama Administration would put the organic industry at risk for the sake of an unnecessary and soon-to-be obsolete product like Round-up Ready alfalfa. This is a bad solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, since 93 percent of alfalfa hay is grown without any herbicide at all.”

EcoFarm President Thomas Wittman added, “The ruling by the USDA Secretary disregards the organic farmers, the dairy industry, and the environment, and I am confident that the decision will be reversed in court.”

The USDA announcement was delivered from the podium at the conference, energizing EcoFarm attendees to mobilize their constituency and question the Obama Administration’s commitment to the health and welfare of the American public.


It’s Fairview Popcorn time!

24 Jan

CSA Pick Up Day

One of my favorite moments during the week is CSA pick up time.  I love watching everyone come together in the afternoon to weigh and bag their share of the harvest.  You can be sure to hear giggles from under the trees as kids play or learn new recipes from other CSA members, while everyone gathers up the week’s fresh produce.  If you can make the time to walk around the farm or take some carrot tops up to the goats, I highly suggest it.  Just a few deep breaths of farm fresh air will do wonderful things for your mind and mood. 

Some of you may wonder why we ask that you stick to a certain Tuesday or Thursday for your CSA pick-up day.  The reason is simple; produce is harvested the day before and morning of your CSA pick-up day.  A total number is given to the farmer’s and they harvest an allotted amount of food.  When you arrive on a day that you have not signed up for we end up short of produce for other CSA members that are already signed up for that day.  We do ask that you stick to the day you have signed up for and that your measurements are accurate so that we can meet the needs of every CSA member.  If anyone would like to change their day permanently please email

Please recycle your paper bags by bringing them to your CSA pick-up time for other CSA members to use.  Thank you for all of your support and see you on the farm!


Fairview Gardens

Family Share


Our next Urban Homesteading Work Shop is:

Planning a  Garden Throughout the Year

February 12  9 am to Noon  $40.00

With some basic intensive gardening strategies and some planting tips you can grow an abundance of vegetables on the land that you would put 5-6 parking spaces. The trick is not ending up with all 40 heads of lettuce in one week. Learn how to plan your garden to provide abundance throughout the year. 

Click here to sign up on-line via PayPal

Fresh Popcorn cooking tips!

If you have an air popper your all set.  If you don’t here is how to pop your fresh organic Fairview Gardens popcorn on the stove.

  1. Heat 3 tbsp of Vegetable Oil or Coconut Oil in a large pot, sauce pan or wok.  Set heat to Medium or Medium High
  2. When Oil starts to smoke or one kernel starts to pop it’s ready.
  3. Add 1 cup of kernels to pot shaking as you add them then place lid on but don’t stop shaking the pot.
  4. Keep shaking the pot over heat as popcorn is popping.
  5. When popcorn stops popping or lid starts coming off, remove from heat.
  6. Season to taste, ENJOY!

Fairview Gardens Organic Popcorn


Sneak Peek:


Blood Oranges

Green Garlic               


Green Cabbage          



Beets/Carrots/Broccoli (one of these items will be available)

If you have a delicious dish you would like to share please email it to: and we will feature it in our blog!


Intro to Beekeeping this Saturday!

17 Jan

Beekeeping Classes 


Our first Class in a year-long  series of Urban Homesteading courses, is this Saturday January 22 at Fairview Gardens.  CSA member’s receive a 10% discount, student’s receive a 15% discount.  Sign up for both classes, Introduction to Beekeeping and Care of the Hive, and receive a 15% discount.  Take your Homesteading skills to the next level, see you on the farm this Saturday.


Instructor for all Beekeeping Classes:

Paul "The Beeman" Cronshaw

















Introduction to Beekeeping

January 22     9 am to 5 pm     $85.00 Click here to Register on-line via PayPal

This beginning beekeeper’s class will introduce participants to the respectful and organic ways of keeping honeybees at the beginning of a new beekeeping season. It is designed to build basic beekeeping skills; topics covered include the honeybee society and biology, equipment, starting colonies, and spring management requirements. Overall focus will home in on the unique challenges and benefits to beekeeping in Santa Barbara County.

Care of the  Hive

June 11     9 am to 5 pm     $85.00 click here to register on-line via PayPal

The second workshop deepens the knowledge and understanding of the honeybee, and builds on the concepts learned from the first workshop. The participant will explore what the bees are doing and what need to do in response to the particular time of the year. Topics covered will include harvesting some hive products (honey, pollen and propolis), fall management practices, crop pollination practices, and identification and management of pests. Part of the class will be held in an apiary so protective equipment will be required. 

Click on Honey Jar to Visit the Beeman’s Photo Gallery




















CSA Sneak Peak:



Lacinato kale 








Recipes of the Week: 


Glazed Carrots and Turnips


  • 3/4 pound turnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the vegetables in a skillet just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add enough water so that it comes halfway up their sides along with the butter and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then adjust the heat to maintain a simmer. Cover the vegetables with a round of parchment paper just large enough to fit the inside diameter of the pan, or with a lid set ajar. Simmer the vegetables until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cover and raise the heat to high. Toss the vegetables frequently in the pan, as the liquid evaporates to a shiny smooth glaze. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Turnip Mash

Makes 2-4 Servings
1 lb Turnips
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/4 cup Mandarin Orange Juice
1 tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 Tbsp Butter

Remove Turnip greens and set aside. 

Peel and cut turnips into cubes.

Steam turnip cubes for approx. 35 min.

Drain turnips and mash, then add in all remaining ingredients, mix well.

Put turnip mixture into a glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 6 minutes.

**Don’t throw away those turnip greens! They are exceptionally rich in vitamin A, and are also an excellent source of vitamins C and E-all powerful antioxidants.

To Sauté turnip greens rinse greens until they are clean.  Chop them up (add onion or minced garlic if desired) saute in pan with 1 tsp Olive Oil for about 5 minutes. 


Join Fairview Gardens CSA any time and we will Pro-Rate your membership.

Click here to sign up today!

Last Week's CSA

Mandarin Madness

10 Jan

A Letter From our Farm Manager:

It was so nice to see so many of you last week and to meet those of you that are new to the program. Welcome back! The Fairview staff is excited and thankful for another year of collaboration with you.

We certainly received a lot of rain during our short break, with over 16 inches falling on our fields. Having spent most of my life on the Central Coast and having thus experienced many droughts, it is hard to complain about too much rain. But when more than our average annual rainfall comes in less than two weeks, well, it presents certain challenges to us farmers and really makes me think through how we will farm next year.

We started this year off in a similar manner to January 2010, unfortunately with the cancellation of our farmers markets and the temporary closure of our farm stand. It will probably be 4-6 weeks until we are back on track. Spinach, carrots, beets, arugula, cilantro and radishes were seeded just before the rains but never germinated, possibly washed away or buried. Radishes and turnips that were already in the ground split due to the saturated soils and a field of kale and chard was flooded, killing the plants. On a much brighter note, the strawberries and garlic faired very well and are growing beautifully and the fruit trees seem to be thriving with all the overhead watering they received.

The last week has been cool, but the sun is out and a slight breeze is beginning to dry out the soil. Fortunately, it looks like we might have at least another week with out more rains, which should give us enough time to prepare our fields for future harvests. This means we can begin turning the soil and plant our next succession, while getting back on track with our planting plan.

Time for me to get back outside and in to the soil. I wish you all a beautiful start to your week and we’ll see you out on the farm.

Cheers, Farmer Toby

Fairview Mandarin's


Sneak Peek:

Standard Share

Salad Mix       

Turnips (Tuesday)

Beets (Thursday)  

Lacinato kale           






Recipe of the Week:

Mandarin Vinaigrette               


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup mandarin orange juice


  1. In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, mandarin orange juice and water. Cover the jar and shake well. Remove lid, poor contents into a small pot and warm on the stove just long enough for the honey to dissolve. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Mandarin Orange Almond Salad

  • 2 cups organic baby spinach
  • 1 cup organic salad mix
  • 2 mandarins peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, for crunchy almonds toast them on a backing sheet for a few minutes.

Upcoming Events:

Sign up to attend our first Urban Homesteading Course.

Introduction to Beekeeping

January 22                9 am to 5 pm                        $85.00

This beginning beekeeper’s class will introduce participants to the respectful and organic ways of keeping honeybees at the beginning of a new beekeeping season. It is designed to build basic beekeeping skills; topics covered include the honeybee society and biology, equipment, starting colonies, and spring management requirements. Overall focus will home in on the unique challenges and benefits to beekeeping in Santa Barbara County.

Email or Call Mark for more info: 805.967.7369

The Urban Homesteading Series
Time Cost
January 22 Introduction to Bee Keeping 9 am to 5 pm $85
February 12 Planning a Garden throughout the year 9 am to 12 pm $40
February 26 Composting and Worm Bins 9 am to 12 pm $40
March 26 Intensive Gardening: Lasagna Beds and More 9 am to 5 pm $85
April 16 Do it Yourself Greywater systems 9 am to 5 pm $85
April 30 Sheet Mulching – Lazy man’s Gardening 9 am to 5 pm $85
May 15 Wild Fermenting #1 9 am to 5 pm $85
May 21 Backyard Chickens 9 am to 5 pm $85
June 11 Beekeeping: Care of the Hive 9 am to 5 pm $85
June 18 Container Gardening – Gardening for small spaces 9 am to 12 pm $40
July 16 Introduction to Permaculture 9 am to 5 pm $85
July 23 Preserving the Harvest #1 9 am to 12 pm $40
August 20 Preserving the Harvest #2 9 am to 12 pm $40
September 17 Preserving the Harvest #3 9 am to 12 pm $40
September 24 Soap Making 9 am to 12 pm $40
October 15 From Yard to Skillet – Processing your own chickens 9 am to 5 pm $85
October 22 Composting and Worm Bins 9 am to 5 pm $85
November 12 Holiday Craft Fair: Make your own gifts 9 am to 5 pm TBD
November 19 Grow your own Bread 9 am to 5 pm $85
Sign up for both beekeeping classes and receive a 15% discount.
Students with valid student ID receive a 15% discount.
Current CSA members receive 10% discount

Join Fairview Garden’s CSA any time.

Sign up today and we will pro-rate your membership accordingly. 

Click here, and we’ll see you on the farm!

If you have any extra paper bags please bring them to your CSA pick up for other’s to use. 

Thank you!

CSA Started Today!

4 Jan
CSA Started TODAY January 4, 2011

 Sign up for CSA now by clicking here.


Sneak Peak CSA Week 1 :

  • Lettuce

  • Beets

  • Carrots

  • Arugula

  • Garlic

  • Lacinato Kale

  • Collards

  • Celery 

  • Cilantro

  • Butternut Squash

  If you are interested in starting a CSA Pick-UP location email us:

  It is so easy, let us bring the farm to you!

Current Pick Up Locations:

Kunin Wines 28 Anacapa St

Wheelhouse Bikes 528 Anacapa St

The Bren School at UCSB

AppFolio, Goleta Ca



  Farm Stand Update:

Due to the large amount of rain we received in

December the farm stand will be closed through the month of January.

Please support our Booth at the Farmer’s Market’s:

  • Wednesday, Santa Monica 
  • Saturday, Santa Barbara
  • Sunday, Goleta