Week 6 Summer 2015 (Fruits & Flowers Week 4)

June 30, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

What to report this week? It’s very hot and dusty, and the crew is working to keep things watered and cope with the challenging conditions. Things are growing so fast in the long hot days! Maybe I’ll have more to say when my brain cools off…

Thanks for all your support,
John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK: 

Things are in a little more flux this week than they have been so please remember that these lists are an approximate prediction of what will be in your boxes – we may have to make some last minute adjustments.

Please note: There are 2 sizes of veggie boxes, so always check that you are picking up the correct size. Both are brown but smaller boxes are narrower and have a sticker that says “SMALL BOX” on them. Fruit boxes are white.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuces
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Parsley OR dill
  • Carrots
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes!
  • Rainbow chard
  • Walla Walla onion
  • Cucumbers!

SMALL VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Green beans
  • Parsley OR dill
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes!
  • Rainbow chard
  • Walla Walla onion

RECIPES

Buttermilk Ranch Salad Dressing
Salad time! Make a big batch of delicious dressing and enjoy easy salads all week. This one makes use of the fresh herbs in your box this week too, and doubles as a great dip for raw or lightly steamed veggies like green beans, carrots, and cucumbers:
http://www.pbs.org/food/fresh-tastes/buttermilk-ranch-dressing/

Barbecued Walla Walla Onions
We love to eat our Walla Wallas simply BBQ’d with a brush of olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar… here’s a recipe with a scrumptious honey-mustard glaze:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/bbq-onion-steaks-with-honey-mustard-sauce-235354

Chard Stem Hummus
Here’s a hummus-like dip to make use of those chard stems, thanks to member Jacquie Bellon for sharing!
http://food52.com/blog/13337-a-genius-trick-for-lighter-smoother-hummus?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=4620814&utm_campaign=20150628_hybrid_sunday_digest


NEWS FROM SUNSET RIDGE FINE FRUITS

This week we are featuring Dapple Fire pluots from Wild River Fruit in Yuba City, Ca. They are a family farm of five decades! In addition to these delicious pluots, Wild River grows citrus, kiwi, and plums along the Yuba River. Check them out at wildriverfruit.com, they have great culinary uses for plots.

We also have some very sweet white nectarines called Arctic Jay and Sierra Rich yellow peaches from Ferrari Ranch in Linden, Ca. A lot of this fruit is soft and ready to eat so you may want to keep it in a cool place and eat it right up!

We endeavor to provide a combination of levels of ripeness in your boxes but we apologize if you received overly firm fruit in the last couple of weeks. We work hard to make sure you receive high quality fruit but please let Mielle know if you are ever anything less than satisfied with the produce you receive.

Have a great week!
-The crew at Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
www.gotmandarins.com


NEWS FROM LITTLE BOY FLOWERS

The fields are filling up with blooms and the weeds are going crazy. Our first block of early spring flowers are getting mowed down this week and the late fall block of flowers are getting seeded in the greenhouse. Additionally,  we’ve got a long list of tasks ahead of us: big field planting, wholesale orders to fill, wedding orders, staking dahlias, and of course the watering and weeding. Since I work only 3-4 days a week my work days are pretty jam packed. Thank goodness I have a few great helpers this year. Since we have 3 different sites, it can be a bit of a nightmare to manage all the tasks. Harvests always happen first thing in the morning and all the flowers get brought to our home site where my cooler and flower studio are. After harvesting, we prioritize from our list and launch into the rest of the work. Though we work hard and fast, we still enjoy lots of great conversation while working in the field together. Farm therapy, I like to call it.

In your bouquets today you will have bupleurum, zinnias, purple millet, dianthus, the last snapdragons, rudbeckia and crocosmia and maybe some more surprises…

Have a great week!
-Angie Tomey
www.littleboyflowers.com

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Week 5 Summer 2015 (Fruits & Flowers Week 3)

June 22, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Happy Solstice everyone! Every year at this time I marvel at the amazingly long days and the intensity that the height of summer brings to the farm. So many weeds, so much harvesting! And while spring plantings are finished, we are now on to fall. Even as one season peaks, we must prepare for the next. In the last couple weeks the crew seeded the bulk of the fall brassica family (broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower) into planting trays where they will grow in a semi-shady spot near our greenhouse until ready to transplant. And we are now in the time window for field seeding of carrots and beets for fall. We will do these seedings until mid-July and then start transplanting the fall brassicas, which need to all be in the ground by early August. All this before tomatoes have started to produce much! We may have enough Sungold cherry tomatoes and a few early reds to start harvesting for your boxes next week, with many more to come soon. Green beans are also starting next week. And the first corn will be ready in a couple of weeks.  Summer is so busy, dusty, and hot here that it can be hard to enjoy. I am trying to relish the early morning and evening hours when things are cooler and quieter. And of course all the amazing food and wonderful people that have gathered around the farm.

With thanks,
John Tecklin

Billy moving lettuce to the barn where it will be washed and put in the cooler.

Billy moving lettuce to the barn where it will be washed and put in the cooler.

 

The 2015 Mountain Bounty crew.

It’s a little bit like herding cats, but we got everyone in one place — the 2015 Mountain Bounty crew.

IN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK 

Due to the dynamic nature of farming, we sometimes make last-minute decisions to change an item in your box, so this list may be slightly different from what you actually receive.

Please note: There are 2 sizes of veggie boxes, so always check that you are picking up the correct size. Both are brown but smaller boxes are narrower and have a sticker that says “SMALL BOX” on them. Regular boxes have a MBF logo sticker. Fruit boxes are white.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Cilantro
  • Walla Walla onions
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Dino Kale

SMALL VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla onions
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage
  • Dino Kale

RECIPES

Beet & Goat Cheese Arugula Salad
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/beet-and-goat-cheese-arugula-salad-recipe.html

Chicken and Cabbage Tacos with Cilantro Cream
(Substitute our smooth green cabbage for red cabbage)
http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/september-2007-chicken-and-cabbage-tacos-with-cilantro-cream

Thai Peanut Zucchini Noodles
http://www.scalingbackblog.com/savory-bites/thai-peanut-zucchini-noodles/


NEWS FROM SUNSET RIDGE FINE FRUITS

This week we are featuring a variety of fruit from D.E. Boldt, located in the town of Parlier. This small organic farm has stayed within the family since 1912 and is now run by David and Dorothy Boldt with the help of their three sons. They are a CCOF certified grower whose priority it is to make the smallest possible impact on the environment.

First we have Bright Princess peaches, a late ripening variety of yellow peach that has great flavor. We also have Hiromi Red plums, a delicious red flesh fruit that is packed with health promoting vitamins and minerals. Lastly we have our first round of nectarines, called Grand Bright Yellow. Chop up a little bit of each to make a wonderful fruit salad!

Each week our goal is to find the highest quality fruit for you and your family. It is important to us not only to find growers who are organic, but those who are sustainable as well. We hope you enjoy this weeks’ bounty of California grown organic fruit!

~The fruit crew at Sunset Ridge
www.gotmandarins.com


NEWS FROM LITTLE BOY FLOWERS

Happy Summer Solstice! The longest day of the year has come and gone and slowly but surely the days will get shorter and shorter. Yay! I’m over the hump. Well, almost. The next four weeks are critical for me to get all the rest of my seeding and plantings done before the days get too short for the crops to mature. I’ll also start the seeding of all of my overwintered biennials like delphiniums, dianthus and foxgloves which will get put out in the field in September.

The fields are brimming with flowers. The early spring crops are on their way out but all the main season flowers are happy and coming into bloom. My first round of sunflowers is opening up as are my zinnias, cosmos, bells of ireland, various grasses and snapdragons.

After our morning harvest today we will be planting the 4the round of sunflowers into the field. We usually plant between 8 and 10 rounds of sunflowers, each 2 weeks apart from each other. My favorite sunflowers to use are the Pro Cut gold but I also grow the Starburst lemon yellow and panache varieties. You’ll be seeing the Pro Cut gold sunflowers in your bouquets today.

That’s all for now, have a great week and enjoy the bright colors of summer!

A few tips for keeping your flowers fresh:
Keep changing your water every few days so your flowers stay fresh. Some flowers are shorter lived than others so also remember to pull the ones out that expire before the others.

Angie Tomey
www.littleboyflowers.com

 

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Week 4 Summer 2015 (Fruits & Flowers Week 2)

June 16, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,
This week a couple of crops deserve special mention: Broccoli and Walla Walla onions. You may have noticed a very generous helping of broccoli in your boxes last week. That is the CSA principle in action: your share of the harvest. Probably due to the sudden heat after a long cool period, the last three of our four spring successions of broccoli have come on strong and closer together than we might wish. We have so much beautiful broccoli right now and so now’s the time to revel in it! Broccoli can be a challenging crop to grow in our climate since it prefers steady cool temperatures. There is a reason why most of this country’s broccoli is grown near Monterey Bay where high temperatures rarely get above the 70’s. In fact, very few farmers in the central valley or foothills grow broccoli at all. But we have a strong affinity for broccoli, and we also know that it is a very popular “staple” vegetable, so we’ve worked hard to find varieties that can handle our climate and figured out how to grow it well. There will be more big harvests this week and then next week will likely be the last of it until fall.

This week we begin harvesting Walla Walla sweet onions. As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, I’m pretty excited by these onions. They were seeded last September, transplanted in February, and are now large and juicy. They are so mild you can eat them raw. Recently we have been enjoying some of the earlier ones sliced, coated in olive oil, and grilled. A very good addition to a burger or tacos. I have also been known to make deep fried onion rings with them as a special treat. We went big on the Walla Walla planting and they are fat, so you can look forward to them in your boxes for the next couple of months. Walla Wallas only store for a short time because they are so soft and succulent and you rarely see them in stores because they don’t ship very well. You will notice that the first couple of weeks you receive them they will be especially tender and then as they dry a little in our barn they will start to get slightly more pungent and more like a “normal” onion you would find in the store. Who knew that the humble onion could be so beloved?

A quick note about the regular vs new small boxes: When you examine the lists of their contents, some weeks the small box will have fewer items, and some weeks it will have a similar number of items, but smaller quantities. Please rest assured that we are designing the contents of the boxes very carefully with the following goals in mind. We want the regular box to continue to be our standard generous box and the new small box to serve the needs of those who need a bit less. The small box will be about 2/3 the size of the regular box.

Thanks for your support,
John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK

Due to the dynamic nature of farming, we sometimes make last-minute decisions to change an item in your box, so this list may be slightly different from what you actually receive.

Please note: There are 2 sizes of veggie boxes, so always check that you are picking up the correct size. Both are brown but smaller boxes are narrower and have a sticker that says “SMALL BOX” on them. Fruit boxes are white.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuces
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Zucchini
  • Basil – check out how to keep it fresh in the recipes below
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Walla Walla sweet onions
  • Garlic
  • Yukina Savoy – similar to Tatsoi, a gorgeous dark green Asian stir fry green, but grows more consistently here, and it’s even prettier! Please see recipe below.

SMALL VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Yukina Savoy – see above
  • Walla Walla onion
  • Garlic

RECIPES

Tatsoi Sauté with Quinoa and Onion
http://www.healthyeating101.com/tatsoi-saute-with-quinoa/
Substitute the Yukina Savoy for Tatsoi (they are almost identical), add more of it than the recipe calls for, since it cooks down so much. Also, I would ignore the red sweet pepper, since those are out of season right now. Perhaps add zucchini instead.

Simple Grilled Broccoli
http://mywholefoodlife.com/2014/03/15/super-simple-roasted-broccoli/

How to keep basil fresh 
http://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-way-to-store-basil-192880

Walla Walla Onion Chutney
Definitely skip the optional food coloring, but otherwise this looks like a great relish.
http://www.harvardcommonpress.com/onion-chutney/

Indian Saag– a delicious recipe to cook up lots of greens.
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/indian-saag/


NEWS FROM SUNSET RIDGE FINE FRUITS

For the second week of summer fruit we have Patterson apricots from Blossom Hill in Patterson, CA. Apricots are low in calories and rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. They make great apricot bars! http://whiteonricecouple.com/recipes/apricot-bars/

You will also find Vista peaches from Ferrari Farms in Linden, Ca. Remember to eat the softer ones first and allow the firmer fruit to ripen up for a couple days.

For the last variety of fruit, you will be getting a surprise! You will either receive Sweet Heart cherries from Ferrari Farms or Black Splendor plums from D.E. Boldt. Both are sweet, delicious, and grown by excellent farmers!

Enjoy,
-The crew at Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits


NEWS FROM LITTLE BOY FLOWERS

It’s a fast and furious time here on the farm as the weather heats up and everything starts going crazy- weeds, flowers, work. This time of year is when I hit a wall and often ask myself why I do this crazy work. It’s always good to revisit that question and this mayhem this past week has pushed me to do just that.

With a huge wedding this past weekend, the start of my CSA, large wholesale orders to fill and planting, seeding, weeding and watering, I just about lost my marbles. Today I’m feeling more optimistic as I woke at 5 am to start my harvest before the heat settled in. My field was just gorgeous in the morning light with all the textures and colors blending together to create an incredibly complicated and captivating landscape of richness. As I harvested queen anne’s lace, a flock of goldfinches flitted in and out of the plants around me gathering seeds from the swollen umbels. I took a deep breath and felt my uneasiness melt away. This is why I do this work.

Today we’re harvesting gorgeous godetia, an early spring planted flower that is in the Clarkia genus, a relative of the common wildflower called ‘farewell to spring’. We’re also picking a few gorgeous grasses, explosion grass and ruby silk, bells of ireland, the first zinnias of the season (queen red- lime), cosmos, rudbeckia. larkspur and sweet peas.

Enjoy the beauty!
-Angie Tomey

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Week 3 Summer 2015 – First Fruits & Flowers Delivery!

June 9, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Crew Alex with S15 week3Dear Farm Members,

It looks like summer is finally here this week. I both welcome the heat and dread it. I loved the cool May and now we hear it was the coolest ever recorded. And that was coming after the warmest and driest winter ever. It seems like every few months we are breaking another weather record. Other than head-scratching and optimism, all I can do as a farmer is continue to build adaptability into our systems. We need to be ready for drought, flood, heat and cold. So far our extremely diverse farming model seems to be working: we continue to plant many different successions of many different crops. If we are diligent, a good portion of our crops are always thriving. So far, anyhow!

There was a great turnout at the Sierra Harvest farm potluck at Mountain Bounty last week. Thanks to everyone who made it out, it’s great when folks can come see the reality of the farm. This next Saturday June 13th is the first Nevada City Farmers market. I hope to see you there.

Thanks for all your support,
John Tecklin

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

IN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK

Please note: There are 2 sizes of veggie boxes: small veggie boxes are brown with a “SMALL BOX” sticker, and regular veggie boxes are brown with a MBF logo sticker. Fruit boxes are white. 1 Flower Share = 1 bouquet.

Due to the dynamic nature of farming, this list may be slightly different from what you actually receive.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Turnips
  • Dino Kale
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Scallions
  • Fennel – we are on a campaign to encourage people to explore the delights of fennel. Check out the easy grilling recipe below, or simply slice thinly into a salad. My kids love to munch it raw or marinated in sweet rice vinegar (come to think of it they’ll eat just about anything in sweet rice vinegar).

SMALL VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Dino Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Scallions
  • Fennel

RECIPES

Vegetable Bouillon
From 101 Cookbooks: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/homemade-bouillon-recipe.html

Grilled Fennel
http://www.food.com/recipe/grilled-fennel-on-the-bbq-anise-in-french-247703

Spicy Napa Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/spicy-napa-cabbage-slaw-with-cilantro-dressing-243168

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

NEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT SUNSET RIDGE FINE FRUITS

Sunset Ridge is coming out! We are proud to announce that we are officially certified organic and now go by the name Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits! Over the last few years we began planting different varieties of citrus as well as many varieties of plum, apple, and pear which led us to the decision to expand our company name.

With the not-so-cold winter and lack of rainfall, many cherry growers experienced early harvest paired with low yields this year. After searching all over the valley and foothills, we finally found regional organic cherries for you this week. These cherries are called Lapin Verde and come from Ferrari Ranch in Linden, Ca. They are sweet and delicious and we hope the season will last until next week.

We also have organic Patterson apricots from Blossom Hill in Patterson, Ca. We have been buying from this farm for years and love the fruit. Lastly, we have Sweet Scarlet peaches- a sub acid yellow peach that is bursting with flavor. These peaches are from an organic family farm called Feather River in Yuba City, Ca.

Enjoy!
-The crew at Sunset Ridge

~
Mountain Bounty Farm
14579 Blind Shady Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
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Week 2 Summer 2015

June 1, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

crew harvesting spinachIN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK

Due to the dynamic nature of farming, we sometimes make last-minute decisions to change an item in your box, so this list may be slightly different from what you actually receive.

Please note: There are 2 sizes of veggie boxes, so please make sure you are picking up the correct size. Smaller boxes are narrower and have a sticker that says “SMALL BOX” on them.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Dill
  • Zucchini
  • Red Russsian Kale
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Bok choy
  • Savoy (ruffled) cabbage
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Spinach

SMALL VEGGIE BOX:

  • Lettuce
  • Beets
  • Spinach
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Radishes
  • Savoy (ruffled) cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini

RECIPES

Radish + Butter Sandwiches
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017323-radish-sandwiches-with-butter-and-salt

2 servings:

1/2 baguette
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, like Maldon
1 bunch radishes, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 small handful arugula
1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh garden herbs, like chives or tarragon

Slice the baguette lengthwise and then crosswise, creating four quarters. Spread butter on the tops and bottoms of each quarter and sprinkle with salt. Pile sliced radishes onto the bottoms, then lay the arugula on top of them and sprinkle with the herbs. Top the sandwiches and press them down firmly.
Serve as is, cut into small sandwiches for hors d’oeuvres, or wrap for lunch.

Toasted Quinoa Saute with Lemony Cabbage and Dill
http://www.marthastewart.com/962202/toasted-quinoa-saute-lemony-cabbage-and-dill
4 servings:

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed well
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 head Savoy cabbage (about 1 pound), cored and thinly sliced lengthwise, divided
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 ounces pitted large green olives, such as Castelvetrano or Cerignola, halved (about 3/4 cup)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Low-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, for serving (optional)

Bring water to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Stir in quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Uncover, raise heat to high, and cook until water evaporates and quinoa is dry and tender, about 5 minutes (stir frequently to prevent scorching).

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown in places, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining cabbage.

Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Return sauteed cabbage to skillet, add quinoa, and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is toasted and crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chickpeas, olives, and lemon zest and juice, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in dill, and serve with yogurt.

Steamed or Roasted Beets with Beet Greens & Tahini
http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016819-steamed-or-roasted-beets-and-beet-greens-with-tahini-sauce
4 generous servings:

1 bunch medium or large beets (3 to 4)
1 large bunch or 2 smaller bunchesbeet greens (about 3/4 pound)
Salt to taste
1 plump garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed
¼ cup sesame tahini
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
2 to 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cut greens away from beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub beets with vegetable brush. Choose a cooking method:

  • To steam beets, place in a steamer above 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover. Turn down heat to medium. Steam small and medium beets for 30 minutes and large beets for 40 minutes, until you can pierce the beet to the middle with a knife or skewer. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • To roast, preheat oven to 425ºF and place beets in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole). Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (3 ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (8 ounces) 50 to 60 minutes, until they are easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish.

When beets have cooled, cut away ends and slip off skins. Slice in rounds or cut into wedges or half-moons.

Choose a cooking method for the greens:

  • To blanch greens, add to salted boiling water for about 1 minute, just until they wilt. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess moisture, taking up the greens by the handful.
  • To steam, place in steamer for 2 minutes, using tongs to flip the greens over top to bottom halfway through, until wilted.

Rinse cooked greens with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely.

To make sauce, purée garlic cloves with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, or put through a garlic press. Transfer to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk in sesame tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, beginning with smaller amount. The mix will stiffen up. Gradually whisk in up to 1/4 cup water, until sauce has consistency of thick cream or runny yogurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice.

Line a platter with the beet greens and arrange beets on top and around greens. Drizzle on tahini sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Advance preparation: Steamed or roasted beets and blanched or steamed greens will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Keep separately in covered bowls. Do not dress until just before serving as the tahini sauce will stiffen up over time.

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Week 1 Summer 2015- starting up!

May 26, 2015

 

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

07_littlegemDear Farm Members,

Welcome to the 2015 Mountain Bounty Farm summer season, our 18th summer of farming here in the Sierra Foothills. Thank you for joining with us again in this cooperative food adventure we call Community Supported Agriculture. Things are looking great in the fields, and I encourage everyone to drive by our Birchville Road site and take a walk around. Come admire the long rows of brilliantly colored greens and tomatoes already head high and bursting out of the hoophouses! We have another stellar crew this year, with many familiar faces from the past.

Once again I am humbled and grateful to be a part of such a great working team.  One new thing we are excited about right now is designing the new smaller CSA boxes, which presents a fun challenge. I’m also getting excited about the overwintered Walla Walla onions, which are abundant and starting to make bulbs. Our main season onions are also looking great. Last year we got many requests for more onions and that was just the excuse I needed to go big on the plantings. I am, I admit, a little obsessive and weird about Onions (along with a few other veggies…). Onions are such a common food that they can almost be overlooked. And watching them grow, they take forever. Maybe the difficulties and patience required to grow them make them seem so special and valuable. And onions are so important to every meal!

I’m looking forward to a great season and serving you all up more of the best produce possible.

Thanks for your support,
John Tecklin


IN YOUR BOXES THIS WEEK 

Please note: There are now two veggie box sizes, so please make sure you are picking up the correct size box. 

The regular boxes are the same as we have used in the past, the new smaller boxes are narrower and have a sticker that says “SMALL BOX” on them!

Each week in the newsletter we will post this list of what is in boxes, however, sometimes due to the amazing and dynamic nature of farming, we will make last minute decisions to change the makeup of the boxes.

Fruits and Flower shares start in 2 weeks, on June 11.

REGULAR VEGGIE BOX:
  • Sugar snap peas – Enjoy these laborious-to-pick treats! Eat the whole thing in the shell! They can be eaten raw or cooked and are delicious either way.
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Lacinato aka Dino Kale
  • Rainbow chard
  • Salad turnips – we love these raw, sliced and marinated in sweet rice vinegar for a few minutes, but also check out the recipe below.
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Cilantro
SMALL VEGGIE BOX:
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Lacinato aka Dino Kale
  • Baby bok choy
  • Salad turnips

RECIPES

Farro Salad with Snap Peas:
http://www.doitdelicious.com/recipes/make_it/farro-salad-with-snap-peas-and-parmesan

Japanese Turnips with Miso 
Serves 4, from Gourmet Magazine, 2009

1.5 Tablespoons miso
1.5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
1.5 lbs  Japanese salad turnips (this is the type we grow) with greens
1/2 to 2/3 cups water
1 Tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)

Directions:

  1. Stir together miso and 1 Tablespoon butter.
  2. Coarsely chop leaves. Halve or quarter turnips depending on their size, and put in a 12-inch heavy skillet along with water, mirin, remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then boil, covered, 10 minutes.
  3. Add greens by handfuls, turning and stirring and adding more as volume decreases. Cover and cook 1 minute.
  4. Uncover and continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until turnips are tender and liquid is reduced to a glaze. Stir in miso, butter and cook 1 minute.

Chili-Lime Snap Peas:
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/chili-lime-snap-peas

Other tips:
5 Ways to Cook with Bok Choy
http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/5-ways-with-bok-choy/

Mountain Bounty Farm
14579 Blind Shady Road, Nevada City, CA 95959
(530)292-3776
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Summer Week 24 – Nov. 3 & 6 – Last week!

November 3, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

THIS IS YOUR LAST BOX FOR THE SUMMER 2014 SEASON. Please bring back any boxes you still have. Bring a bag to transfer veggies from the box, so you can leave it there. THANKS!
To sign up for the Winter Season:
http://mountainbountyfarm.joincsa.com/members/types
Sign up by November 13 to be on the first delivery Nov. 20!

 

This is it, week 24, the last of our summer season. Once again we have exceeded our own expectations and had another best ever season. I doubt we can continue getting better each year forever, but it’s been a good run. The quality and amount of produce coming out of our fields this year have been amazing. The quality of the people doing the farming this year has been beyond amazing. I am so grateful to be a part of this farm dream team. Sadly, some treasured people are moving on. Maia, Jake, and Phoebe are heading to the Bay Area to catch up with significant others and urban adventures, Ross is off into the great unknown, and Emma is going back to her trail crew in Big Bend National Park. There are some very hard goodbyes coming up. Hopefully some of these fine folk will find their way back here before too long. The rest of us – Myself, Angie, Cory, Missy, Abby, Aaron, and Mike – will hold down the fort in 2015. We are hoping for a wet winter and looking forward to the slower pace of the next couple months.

Emma gathered data about the value of our shares this year. Average box values this season were up from last year’s high of $31/box. This season, the boxes were worth an average of $36 each, for a total box value of $864. Since we are charging $26.75/week for a total of $642 (Truckee/Tahoe members pay an additional $3/box for delivery), this season you received a 25% discount on your veggies. Of course we are committed to the CSA farming system for so many other reasons than dollars and cents, but we like to check and see how the box holds up in comparison to other ways of shopping for your food.

Later this week or early next week we will be sending out the annual online survey. Please continue to help us by giving feedback about how the CSA experience worked for you. Every year we make significant changes (hopefully improvements!), based on what we hear from you in the survey.

Remember to sign up for the winter share; it starts the week after next. Since we have had such a bumper harvest lately, we have enough produce for the first box of the winter share right here at Mountain Bounty. The remainder of the winter boxes will be coming from our friends at Riverdog Farm in the Capay Valley near Davis.

Thanks for sticking with us another year!

John Tecklin

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:
PLEASE NOTE – we are having a serious late season battle with aphids, a common problem every fall. Since organic sprays are not very effective and we don’t like to spray anyhow, they are on all the greens this week to varying degrees. We carefully sort and double wash everything, but still some aphids will probably get by us. Please wash your greens under running water leaf by leaf. It’s easy to do and very effective.

Butternut squash – we had to give this out for two weeks because it is so popular
Potatoes
Onions
Leeks
Radishes
Celery
Lettuce
Spinach
Red Russian kale OR collard greens
Baby bok choy
Tomatoes – unbelievable, but we’ve got them til the end!
Free choice: arugula


RECIPE
Recipe from 101Cookbooks.com – Read the full post at:
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/homemade-bouillon-recipe.htmlHomemade Bouillon
This recipe requires a food processor. I have a 8-cup / 2 liter / 2 quart model, and needed every cubic inch of it. I found the best approach if you are tight for space in your food processor is to add a few of the ingredients, then pulse a few times. The ingredients collapse and free up more space for the next few ingredients. If you don’t find yourself using much bouillon, I will suggest making a half batch of this. And for those of you wanting to do a version with no salt, freeze the pureed vegetables in small amounts – say, ice cube trays, just after pureeing them. Introduce salt in whatever amount you like later in the cooking process.

5 ounces / 150 g leeks, sliced and well-washed
7 ounces / 200g fennel bulb, chopped
7 ounces / 200g carrot, well scrubbed and chopped
3.5 ounces / 100 g celery
3.5 ounces / 100g celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 ounce / 30g sun-dried tomatoes
3.5 ounces / 100g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
9 ounces / 250g fine grain sea salt
1.5 ounces / 40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
2 ounces / 60g cilantro, loosely chopped

Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Then add the parsley and cilantro. You may need to scoop some of the chopped vegetables on top of the herbs, so they get chopped. Mine tended to want to stay on top of everything else, initially escaping the blades.

You should end up with a moist, loose paste of sorts. Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access in the coming days, and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month. Because of all the salt it barely solidifies making it easy to spoon directly from the freezer into the pot before boiling.

Start by using 1 teaspoon of bouillon per 1 cup (250 ml), and adjust from there based on your personal preference.

Makes roughly 3 1/2 cups.

~
Mielle, CSA Manager
Mountain Bounty Farm
14579 Blind Shady Road
Nevada City, CA 95959
530.292.3776  info@mountainbountyfarm.com

www.MountainBountyFarm.com
www.facebook.com/mountainbountyfarm

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Summer Week 23 – Oct 27 & 30

October 27, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

YOUR LAST BOX IS NEXT WEEK, NOV 3 & 6. Please plan on bringing any boxes you have from the season. Bring a bag to transfer veggies from the box, so you can leave it there. THANKS!

As promised, here’s the tomato report. As of this week you will have received tomatoes for 18 weeks straight. We started giving them out on week 6 of the season which was at the end of June. The first week was a basket of sungold cherry tomatoes. The next couple weeks were sungolds along with some early red tomatoes, and from then on it’s been 2.5-3 lbs. of tomatoes in every box. I thought they would be done by now, but they are still ripening and very tasty! So we are on track to have a few for next week, which is the last week of the summer season, for a total of 19 weeks. By then end of next week everyone will have received over 40 lbs. of tomatoes plus 4 baskets of cherry tomatoes.  In response to your feedback, we put a lot of time and energy into trying to get tomatoes as early as possible and to lengthen the amount of time we could put a large measure (2.5-3 lbs.) of tomatoes in your box. We were fortunate to have such a great tomato season.

Today I had an inspiring moment while giving a farm tour to a group of children from a home study program in Truckee. A four year old girl walked up to the radicchio rows and proclaimed, “This is where salad comes from.” I hope you all get to make some great salads with that gorgeous radicchio.

 

Next week is the last week of summer season. Don’t forget to sign up for the winter shares!

Also, if you are interested in heritage breed pork, please see the note below from Mountain Bounty field manager Cory Jones.

 

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Butternut squash

Sweet potatoes – our first ever offering! Some of the skins are a bit bruised from our harvest. They probably won’t store for a long time, but they still taste great

Onions

Carrots – so good right now

Beets

Lettuce

Cilantro

Dino kale

Radicchio

Fennel

Tomatoes!

 

PORK NOTE:

Hi Fine Folks, This is Cory Jones from Mountain Bounty Farm.  I hope this email finds you well. I just brought seven beautiful pigs in to be processed earlier this week. They should be ready in a couple of weeks. These are Heritage Berkshire pigs that were fattened up under a grove of black and blue oaks in rotational paddocks where they were fed a diet of organic grains (no soy), our cull vegetables, and many windfall acorns. This will be exceptional meat as the addition of acorns to pig diets results in a certain nuttiness and a higher amount of omega-3 fatty acids. I will be selling the pigs in whole, 1/2, and 1/4 portions. They will come frozen in vacuum sealed packaging ready for your freezer. Please call or email me for additional information or to place an order.

Here is a good article about pigs raised in forest ecosystems similar to how I am raising them here at Mountain Bounty (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/dining/preaching-the-gospel-of-the-forest-fed-pig.html?_r=0). Thank you and have a wonderful day.

Best,

Cory Jones

530-721-7035

corwynleejones@yahoo.com

 

RECIPES

–todays recipes are adapted from the food blog “kitchn”

Fennel and Radicchio Winter Salad with Pecans

serves 6

Olive oil
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 med-large fennel bulb
1 small head radicchio
1 small head lettuce
Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces pecorino cheese

For the dressing:
1 lemon
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a medium skillet over moderately high heat. Add the chopped pecans and cook, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until they smell toasted and are developing dark spots. Set aside to cool.

Trim the fennel bulb of the top and stem end. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and slice it finely. Cut the radicchio in half lengthwise and remove the core and stem end. Finely slice the radicchio as well. Chop the lettuce crosswise into bite sized pieces and toss with the rest of the vegetables in a large bowl.

Taste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Shave in the pecorino cheese. Toss the cheese into the salad, and add the cooled pecans and toss those in as well.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and toss with the mixed salad. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Roasted Sweet Potato Slices with Cilantro Pesto

Serves 6. Makes 2 cups pesto.

For the sweet potatoes:
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chunky kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pesto:
2 bunches cilantro
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup shelled pistachios
4 cloves garlic
1 hot pepper such as jalapeño or Thai, optional
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
Salt to taste

Heat the oven to 450°F. Slice the sweet potatoes in rounds about 1/2-inch-thick. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender and slightly browned.

While the sweet potatoes are roasting, make the pesto. Roughly chop the cilantro and blend both leaves and stems with the coconut, pistachios, garlic, hot pepper (if using), and lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and blend until smooth. Add the rest, if desired. Taste and add salt (or more garlic, or more acid) until satisfied. If desired, thin the pesto with water to make it spreadable.

When sweet potatoes are cooked through, spread on a platter and top with pesto. Serve immediately.

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Summer Week 21 – Oct 13 & 16

October 13, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

Have you signed up for our winter CSA yet? Do it today!

With perfect fall weather, the farm is rapidly shrinking. That is, about 2/3 of the fields are now planted to winter cover crops, and it should be ¾ by the end of this week. For those of you not familiar (or who haven’t yet read one of my rants!), cover crops are a cornerstone of our farming technique. We do plant some warm season covers in between summer crops or following spring crops, but most of the cover crops are cool season and seeded between late September and late October. This year we are planting our favorite varieties of oats and vetch as cool season covers. Cover crops help in a whole bunch of ways: covering and protecting the soil from winter rains, building soil organic matter when we till in their vigorous growth in the spring, and adding nitrogen to the soil through the action of bacterial colonies that attach to their roots and “fix” nitrogen by gathering it from the air and transforming it into a plant available form. Cover crops also can out-compete and suppress weeds, attract beneficial insects, and take up soil nutrients to protect them from leaching during winter rains. And they are just so darn gorgeous. Often our cover crops grow waist or even shoulder high. People always ask me about what is my favorite vegetable. Today: cover crop, even though it’s not a vegetable! When the cover crops are planted on time and, later, growing green and lush I feel like I’m doing the best possible thing I can for the soil and the farm. With $2500 worth of seed and lots of work to get everything cleaned up and seed in the ground on time, it’s a big effort, but I can’t think of anything more important.

 

Thanks for your support!

John Tecklin

 

This Week’s Veggies:

Spaghetti squash
Onion
Carrots
Spinach
Beets
Napa cabbage
Cauliflower
Lettuce
Fennel
Tomatoes
Cilantro

 

Recipes

We’ve been lucky enough to offer our members lettuce almost every week of the season(!), in addition to lots of other salad goodies. So we’ve put together some tasty salad dressings in the hopes of helping you keep your salads inspired, interesting and delicious.

Cilantro Lime Dressing 

The Garden Grazer
1 cup packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth.
Sesame Ginger Vinagrette
NYTimes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, finely minced
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce or aminos
1 tsp brown sugar
5 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp sesame oil
Combine ingredients.
Lemon Tahini Dressing
Food 52
1/2 cup tahini
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
2/3-3/4 cups water (as needed)
Whisk all ingredients together, starting with 2/3 cups water and adding more until you reach a desired consistency.
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Summer Week 20 – October 6 & 9

October 6, 2014

Dear Farm Members,

LAST FRUIT IS THIS WEEK!

Please sign up for our Winter Season! Online signups happening now.

photo

Mountain Bounty goes solar! We are happy to announce the recent installation of a large solar array at our home site on Blind Shady Rd. Pumping water and cooling vegetables takes a fair bit of electricity, so we are excited to zero out our power bill and make a contribution to reducing the use of fossil fuel energy. Actually we have been in the business of capturing solar energy all along. I was reminded of this the other day when my 3 year old son asked me what tomatoes where made out of. He gave me some blank looks when I started trying to explain photosynthesis to him. Of course I don’t really understand how it works, but I am still completely enchanted by the idea that plants can use water, air, and sunlight to create themselves.

This week we’ll be planting next season’s garlic, a momentous step in every farm season. Garlic is the annual crop that links us to the future, encouraging us in our unending optimism that we will be able to continue to plant, tend, and harvest. Let’s hope for a nice wet winter so that garlic can thrive!

Thanks for everything,

John Tecklin

 

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOX THIS WEEK:  Wow another fat Mountain Bounty box!

Delicata squash

Lettuce

Tomatoes

Leeks

Carrots

Potatoes

Chard OR kale

Broccoli

Cabbage

Scallions

Basil

FRUIT – Apples, Pears, Pomegranates

RECIPE

Leafy greens and Leek Frittata

From Sprouted Kitchen blog

Serves 4

  • 1 leek, halved and cleaned
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, kale, or collards,  stem and ribs removed
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • sea salt + pepper

Preheat the oven to 375′. Warm 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil in a pan over medium heat. Slice the leek into thin half moons and add it to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes until well softened.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream well with the cayenne and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the leeks into the bowl.

Warm another 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil and sauté the greens with a small pinch of salt until wilted, about 3 minutes, maybe a bit longer for collards. Allow them cool slightly, releasing the steam pockets. Add the greens to the egg bowl along with half the feta and stir everything to mix.

In an 8″ pan, preferably non-stick, warm the remaining Tbsp. of olive oil over low heat. Add the egg mixture to the pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining feta and cook for about 5 minutes until the edges start to look cooked. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until you jiggle the pan (with a mitt, it’ll be hot) and the center of the frittata is slightly soft. It will set as it cools. Slice the frittata into wedges and serve with warm buttered toast.

 

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