Week 9, Summer 2016

July 19, 2016

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Looking out at the fields, tomato harvest has started to increase, and those tomatoes are looking and tasting good. We are also picking the first solid batch of sweet corn this week. We planted five successions of sweet corn and each planting gives us about 10 days of harvest, so you can expect corn to appear in your boxes semi regularly until sometime in September. Here’s my yearly FSA (Farm Service Announcement) about worms in the sweet corn: there are worms in the sweet corn. We will cut the tips off to clean the ears up a bit, but you may still encounter some worms or worm debris. I am of the opinion that organic sweet corn is worth this minor inconvenience. Please join me in prayer that all may one day accept the imperfections in the sweet corn!

Thanks!

John Tecklin
Mountain Bounty Farm

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Little gem Lettuces – still so good for summer lettuce!
  • Scallions
  • Red slicing tomatoes – mostly Early Girl types
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Italian Parsley
  • Sweet corn (please see John’s note about worms above!)
  • Bok choy
  • Green beans
  • Beets

SMALL BOX:

  • Little gem Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Red slicing tomatoes – mostly Early Girl types
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Italian Parsley
  • Sweet corn (please see John’s note about worms above!)
  • Bok choy

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

This week’s box of fruit comes from Lee Family Farms. First off we have Grand pearl white nectarines and Grand sweet yellow nectarines. Followed by Elegant lady yellow peaches and Summer sweet white peaches. We top it off with Valley pearl green grapes. We hope you and your family enjoys all of them.

Enjoy,

Your fruit packing friends of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

FLOWER SHARE NEWS

As always the flowers are keeping us on our toes this week. So many different things coming out of the field right now that it’s difficult to keep up with all of the harvesting. We’ve had weddings the past 3 weekends and are looking forward to a little break from the weekend work for the next few weeks.

Last week we finished our seeding of all the fall biennials that we plant like campanula, delphiniums, dianthus and foxgloves. They will get planted in October and will overwinter and be some of our earliest flowers for our Mother’s Day bouquets.

This week we’re picking lots of dahlias. The first planting of them that are in the hoop house are going completely mad right now, so you’ll see lots of them in your bunches today. Also gorgeous ‘uproar rose’ zinnias, scabiosa stellata, amaranth, red cosmos and perhaps a few lemon yellow sunnies.

Have a great week!!

Angie Tomey
Web: littleboyflowers.com
Phone: 530-277-5877
Email: info@littleboyflowers.com

RECIPES

SUMMER SALADS

The Little Gems lettuces are a summertime treat, so crunchy and sweet! Their petite size is great for dipping or easy 2-person salads, but they’re also sturdy enough to toss on the grill! Here’s a few recipes to inspire your salad courses:

This one calls for cukes and basil but this week’s box calls for steamed beets and parsley in their place. It’s going to be delicious!

And here’s a few more fruity summer salads:

BOK CHOY & SCALLIONS

This recipe calls for leeks but your scallions will substitute nicely. This would be a great recipe to include your sweet corn too, if you can resist eating it by itself!

GREEN BEANS, CORN, TOMATO

Thanks to member Karen Jorgensen for this recipe last week:

I found this recipe that uses 5 of the veggies in this week’s box; though you might want it. Note there is a typo in title, it actually calls for red onions, not green.  I used the Wallas and cherry tomatoes instead of Roma’s.  Made it last night and it was Yummy!

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

 

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Week 8, Summer 2016

July 11, 2016

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,
It’s time to finally make one of those perfect summer salads: tomatoes, cucumbers, a bit of basil, tossed with olive oil, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, and some crushed garlic. The tomatoes are finally here and hopefully will slowly increase for the next few weeks and produce tons of delicious fruit until late October. Many of the cucumbers have been pretty ugly looking due to damage from cucumber beetles, but eating quality has still been very good. Despite their susceptibility to the beetles, we prefer these thin skinned Middle Eastern type cucumbers because they are so much more tender and tasty than typical supermarket cucumbers. Standard supermarket cucumbers are more resistant to cucumber beetles because of their thick skin, which usually needs to be peeled to eat them. They also ship and store better than the varieties we grow.  As always, our goal is taste. Hope you all enjoy these fruits of summer.

Thanks for supporting our farm,

John Tecklin
Mountain Bounty Farm

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Green beans
  • Basil
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Little Gem Lettuces
  • Rainbow Chard or Tatsoi
  • Walla Walla onions
  • Sweet corn! First little taste – much more to come!
  • Garlic
  • Red slicing tomatoes – many more coming soon!

SMALL BOX:

  • Green beans
  • Basil
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Little Gem Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard or Tatsoi
  • Walla Walla onion

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

This week’s CSA box is packed delicious and nutritious summer fruits:

  • Elegant lady yellow peaches
  • Summer sweet White peach
  • Grand sweet yellow nectarines, and
  • Valley pearl green seedless grapes.

All of these are grown with attention and care by Lee Family Farms in Reedley, CA.

Enjoy,
– Your fruit packing friends of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

FLOWER SHARE NEWS

The flowers are flourishing and we’re struggling to keep up with all of the harvesting and myriad of other chores but thankfully we have a few extra hands. Last week was the first week of our 4 week internship with our teenage interns who are helping out 3 days a week. They did awesome despite the hard work but we were easy on them and they got to do a lot of different things including getting a little lesson in floral design when we were doing some of our wedding prep last Friday. They’re keeping us laughing and we’re keeping them off of their phones. We’re all becoming fast friends. 

This week in your share you’ll be seeing some sunflowers, a dark version of queen anne’s lace called black knight, scabiosa, white zinnias, dahlias and lysimachia.

Hope you’re having a great summer so far!

Enjoy,

Angie Tomey
Web: littleboyflowers.com
Phone: 530-277-5877
Email: info@littleboyflowers.com

RECIPES

SUMMER CSA SALAD

This week’s box barely even needs a recipe– tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, basil, carrots, green beans, corn, sweet Walla Wallas, they’re all just screaming to be tossed together into a delicious fresh salad straight from the fields!

Or a quick pasta:

Or possibly a chilled soup?

CARROTS

This week’s recipe is a homage to the ever-sturdy carrot, of which you may still have a few from last week. Few vegetables last so long in the refrigerator bin yet remain so cheerily flavorful. Joanne Weir’s recipe for Carrot Soup with Anise from her book Kitchen Gypsy is a delicious turn. The slightly sweet nature of the anise seeds brings out the natural sweetness of the carrots. The cream and the additional layer of anise liqueur turn this soup into a main event worthy of sharing with friends.

Green Beans & Corn

Here’s a traditional Indian recipe for a side dish to go with that last soup recipe (it’s ok to just use 2 ears of corn, they’re so flavorful!):

If you get the small box, don’t fret, your corn is coming soon! In the meantime here’s a great Indian recipe for your green beans too (just use your cherry tomatoes):

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

 

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Week 7, Summer 2016

July 4, 2016

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Today, as I write this, it’s the 4th of July and we are harvesting for Nevada City, Grass Valley, and San Juan Ridge CSA members. Once we get into a harvest rhythm it can be hard to change the schedule. Years ago, we tried to adjust the harvest schedule around holidays and found that many more people missed their pickups when we changed to a different day of the week. Also, those darn veggies need to be picked when they are ready. I am sometimes surprised by how many people are surprised that we don’t have the day off too. But most of us don’t mind being nonconformists. In this America, farming is a pretty far out oddball activity anyhow! In the fall, when our work slows down, we occasionally take an extra day or two off and the crew will joke that such and such a day is our 4th of July or Labor Day!

We had hoped that the cherry tomatoes might be ready for this week’s boxes, but alas there aren’t quite enough ripe ones yet. Coming soon! All of the tomato plantings are looking very good, and it should be a nice long tomato season starting soon and extending through October.

Thanks for supporting Mountain Bounty,
John Tecklin
Mountain Bounty Farm

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Broccoli – I know, last week was supposed to be the last…
  • Green beans!!
  • Little Gem Lettuces
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Chioggia beets – These are the Italian heirloom candy-striped beets that taste a bit sweeter and less beety than red beets. The greens are also excellent. Moonshink Ink magazine is featuring this week’s recipes in an article about our Chioggias this month!
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Rainbow chard or Yukina Savoy (tatsoi)
  • Scallions
  • Zucchini

SMALL BOX:

  • Green beans
  • Little Gem Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Small bunch Chioggia beets – These are the Italian heirloom candy striped beets that taste a bit sweeter and less beety than red beets. The greens are also excellent. Moonshink Ink magazine is featuring this week’s recipes in an article about our Chioggias this month!
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic
  • Small bunch Rainbow chard
  • Zucchini

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

Friendly reminder to please leave your fruit share box assembled… do not flatten these boxes, only the veggies’!

From Wild River/Quinco farms in Marysville, Ca:

  • Dapple dandy pluots

From Ken’s Top Notch Produce in Reedley, Ca:

  • Summer sweet white peaches
  • Fire sweet yellow nectarines
  • Kay pearl white nectarines
  • Elegant lady yellow peaches

Enjoy,
– Your fruit packing friends of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

FLOWER SHARE NEWS

This week we have 3 15 year old girls starting a month long internship working with us on the farm- Sienna, Grace and Ashley. I just love the energy of young teenagers and I’m really looking forward to sharing this month with them. Mostly they will be spending their days working alongside me and my two employees completing the tasks that keep this little operation going like harvesting, bunching, bouquet making, weeding, watering, seeding and planting. We will also be spending some time diving into the nuts and bolts of organic flower farming from crop planning to floral design.

Big thanks to those members who have sponsored the girls for this internship!

Today in your bouquet you’ll be seeing the first of the dahlias! Yay for dahlias! Also poppy pods, zinnias, queen anne-lace, and cosmos.

Enjoy,

Angie Tomey
Web: littleboyflowers.com
Phone: 530-277-5877
Email: info@littleboyflowers.com

RECIPES

Chioggia Beets, Cilantro, Scallions

These candy-striped beets are sweeter and less “beety” than regular red beets, so kids and beet-resisters might enjoy them more! Their greens are more lush & tender too. They’ll lose their beautiful pattern if overcooked so go for quick-roasted, steamed, raw, pickled, or even quickly deep-fried to retain the pretty stripes.

Interesting factoid: beets with some white color are sweeter… about 30% of commercial sugar is actually made from white “sugar beets”, and 95% of those crops are genetically engineered to withstand use of glyphosate (Roundup)!

  • Chioggia Beet Carpaccio Salad with Farmer Cheese
    6 beets, tops cut off
    Lettuce or arugula
    Extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
    1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
    1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallions
    1 Tbl cilantro leaves
    4oz fresh farmer cheese (or ricotta)
    Dressing:
    3 Tbl lime juice
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp cumin seeds, toasted & ground
    4 Tbl olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Peel beets and slice into 1/8″ rounds. Toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, place in a single layer on baking sheets, and roast until tender (about 25 minutes), rotating position of trays halfway through.Cool the arrange slices in a spiral pattern over a bed of lettuce or arugula.

While the beets are roasting, dry toast the pumpkin seeds 8-10 minutes, and the cumin seeds 1-2 minutes (until fragrant)– you can do this in a cast iron in the hot oven or stovetop. Grind the cumin seeds and combine with the dressing ingredients.

Place dollops of the farmer cheese around the plate and drizzle on the dressing with a spoon. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds, scallions, and cilantro over everything. Serve.

  • Candy-Striped Beet Chips with Cilantro Scallion Pesto
    Peel beets and slice 1/8 inch thick with a mandoline or very sharp knife (use the stems as handles). 
    Pour at least 3″ of high heat oil into a medium sized heavy pot. Heat the oil to 350F. Fry the beets, in batches, for about 2 minutes, until golden. Flip them around in the oil frequently so they cook evenly. First the slices will float to the top, then they will shrink and start to curl around the edges as they lose their moisture, and finally they will begin to turn golden. Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle with sea salt while they are still hot.

Pesto can be made from any combination of ingredients! Check out this article that lays it all out for you: How to Make Pesto Out of Anything

  • Quick-Pickled Chioggia Beets (also great for green beans & carrots!)
    1/2 cup mild vinegar – Rice, champagne, or apple cider
    1/2 cup water
    2-3 Tbl cane sugar
    2 tsp salt
    Pickling spices (1 stick cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 6 peppercorns)
    3 medium Chioggia beet peeled and sliced very thinly across the grain

In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pickling spices to make a brine. Bring to a boil. Add the beets and remove from heat, allow to cool to room temperature. Place beets with brine in a jar and refrigerate.

And a few more recipes for the luscious greens:

Broccoli, Carrots, & Scallions

It’s the 4th of July, let’s eat some deep-fried food!

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

 

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Week 6, Summer 2016

June 27, 2016

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Thanks to all who came out to the farm festival on Sunday. Despite the heat, the event was a success! It was probably our best attended farm event in several years. The farm slide, straw bale fort and face painting booth were very popular. The fire breathing dragon, however, only attracted the bravest kids and adults. It’s always great to get folks out to the farm and share what we are doing.Dragon

In the fields this week, we continue with many farm chores like tying up tomatoes, seeding, transplanting, and of course weeding. The weeding battle has started to shift in our favor, but will continue for the rest of the season. This week we’ll pick the first bulbing onions of the season, the Walla Walla sweets. Last year we had an incredible bumper crop of these fatties. Those of you who were members last summer may remember receiving them in your boxes for over two months. This year it’s the opposite and we’ll be lucky to have two weeks’ worth. Luckily, the main season onions are looking good and should be ready to harvest starting in late July or early August. In the meantime, for your allium pleasure we will have more scallions, garlic, and perhaps a few early leeks.

This week’s boxes are the final purely “spring” boxes of the season. Summer’s heat is upon us and green beans and cherry tomatoes may be ready for next week. At the same time, the greens and brassicas (broccoli/cabbage family) are less happy about the heat and waning quickly. Corn and melons are just a few weeks away…

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin
Mountain Bounty Farm

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Broccoli – last harvest until the fall.
  • Kale
  • Lettuces
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla sweet onions
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Arugula
  • Oregano
  • Basil

SMALL BOX:

  • Small Broccoli – last harvest until the fall.
  • Small bunch Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla sweet onion
  • Small Napa Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Arugula
  • Basil

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

In the box this week we have a beautiful and delicious variety of Ice princess white peach. Also:

  • Crimson lady yellow peach
  • Kay pearl white nectarine
  • Emerald gem pluot green
  • Ebony rose Pluot black
  • Honey blaze yellow nectarine

All of these come from Ken’s Top Notch Produce farm in Reedley, California. We hope you enjoy all of these treats.

Enjoy,
– Your fruit packing friends of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

FLOWER SHARE NEWS

Last week’s heat pushed nearly everything into bloom and we’re swimming in blooms right now (finally!). It’s been a bit of a stressful, late spring for me so I’m super excited to see so many flowers opening up and ready to send out into the world. Crazy enough we still have some of the early spring flowers like sweet peas still hanging on whereas usually they are long finished by this time. I imagine after this week of high nineties, we will be pulling them out. This week we’re planting the second half of our late season field which is full of dahlias, lisianthus, rudbeckia and asters right now. We have another huge planting of zinnias to put out as well as the rest of our chrysanthemums. Besides the weekly tasks of planting and harvesting we have to continually keep up with the weeds as well as stay on top of the greenhouse seedings. Lots to be done! We’re looking forward to having our 3 interns who start next week!

This week your bouquets will be abundant with all kinds of gorgeous blooms from godetia to zinnias, grasses and queen anne’s lace and maybe the first sunflowers and the last of the sweet peas.

A note about flower longevity. Some flowers will naturally fade before others. When making up your bouquets I try to compose them of a nice blend of short lived flowers (dahlias) and longer lived flowers (zinnias). In order to help your flowers last longer, make sure you change your water once or twice, keep it full, and remove dead and dying blooms. Recutting the stems may help. Most importantly keep them out of the sun.

Enjoy,

Angie Tomey
Web: littleboyflowers.com
Phone: 530-277-5877
Email: info@littleboyflowers.com

RECIPES

Walla Walla Onions

These sweet onions are so easy to love. Bbq them with your zucchini and a dash of balsamic for an easy delicious side dish, or try these recipes:

More BBQ inspiration for this week’s box:

Napa Cabbage

We gave you a recipe for kimchi a couple weeks ago, but this one is even easier. It’s a delicious way to get probiotics into your diet and preserve the bounty of your summer veggies:

These protein salads looks great:

And another salad you can make from this week’s box, replace the red onions with your sweet walla wallas:

CSA-inspired beverages

Try adding some of the stone fruits from your fruit box this week too!

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

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Week 5, Summer 2016

June 20, 2016

Harvest Festival June 26RSVP on Facebook

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

In addition to our myriad normal farm tasks this week, we are preparing for this coming Sunday’s farm festival! We’re building a straw bale fort, setting up slides made from rolling conveyor tables (kids and the young at heart ride down these sitting in a farm harvest crate), making a piñata, watering down some of the dust, and gathering all the other kid activity stuff. Personally, I am most excited about the fire breathing dragon.

It will a warm day so please bring sun hats and water bottles. For those of you who haven’t yet visited our Birchville Road fields, many of the activities will be under a Giant oak tree that has plenty of shade. The fields are full of lush produce, so come check it out! Please see the poster below for more details.

Hope to see you there,

John Tecklin
Mountain Bounty Farm

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Rainbow chard
  • Little gem lettuces
  • Fennel
  • Savoy cabbage “Alcosa”
  • Middle Eastern Cucumbers
  • Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Garlic
  • Yukina Savoy – this is a close relative of Tatsoi, a tender Asian green. You can eat it raw or very lightly sautéed, like bok choy
  • Radishes
  • Dill
  • Scallions

SMALL BOX

  • Rainbow chard—smaller bunch
  • Little gem lettuce
  • Small Fennel
  • Small Savoy cabbage “Alcosa”
  • Middle Eastern Cucumbers
  • Italian flat leaf parsley
  • Garlic
  • Small bunch Yukina Savoy – this is a close relative of Tatsoi, a tender Asian green. You can eat it raw or very lightly sautéed, like bok choy

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

Happy Summer Solstice all. This first day of summer kind of launches us into more and better summer fruit. The hot days and warm nights are what peach and stone fruit farmers need to have in order to ripened and sweeten their fruit.

For week 3 of the Summer Fruit CSA we have a great variety of fruits from Ken’s Top Notch Produce located in Reedley, Ca. The yellow peaches are Crimson Lady, the white peaches are Ice Princess. The yellow nectarines are called Honey Blaze, and white nectarines are Ice Princess. The pluots are called Ebony Rose.

The Patterson Apricots in the box are from Blossom Hill Farm located in Patterson, Ca. We hope you and your family enjoy all these tasty fruits of the California summer.

Enjoy,

-The fruit packing crew of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

FLOWER SHARE NEWS

Yay, It’s flower time!!

Though the flowers have been a little late to come on this year, we are starting to get buried in blooms. All the flowers that are happening now were planted in February. We start all the blooms in our greenhouse and then they get transplanted out into the field. I do have a few hoop houses that we use mostly for our overwintered crops like ranunculus and anemones, though I do have the dahlias and chrysanthemums planted in one of them right now, as well as an early planting of zinnias.  For the most part, by mid-summer it gets too hot in those hoop houses for the flowers.

Other flower news is that we have three 15-year old girls participating in our month-long internship on the farm this summer: Grace, Ashlee, and Sienna. They start work in July and will be helping out 3 days a week plus doing some wedding work with us on the weekends. I’m really excited about passing on some of my wisdom about running a business, organic farming, greenhouse management, crop selections and floral design.

We have 2 sponsors so far who have committed to paying the $400 stipend for two of our participants so we are still looking for one more sponsor for Ashlee. If you’re interested, send over an email and I’ll give you some more information about our program.

See you at the Farm Festival this Sunday!!!

Thanks for your support,
Angie Tomey
Web: littleboyflowers.com
Phone: 530-277-5877
Email: info@littleboyflowers.com

RECIPES

FENNEL
I visited Italy all too briefly many years ago, where I had one of the best meals of my life. It consisted of mostly small plates of individually prepared vegetables, one of which was a savory braised fennel. Try your hand at it, at the second link below.

  • Learning To Love Fennel: A Personal Journey
    “There are VERY few things I won’t eat: olives, Nutella (I know, I know), and up until about a month ago, fennel. One whiff off those wispy little fronds was enough to send me running in the other direction. I thought I’d tried it every way: raw, roasted, sautéed in as much butter as I could use to mask its flavor. There was one cooking preparation, however, that until recently I had never tried…”

SAVOY CABBAGE – “ALCOSA”
From Martha Stewart: Savoys have a more delicate flavor than basic green cabbages, and many cooks like to use them in recipes that call for green cabbage. The cabbages also stand out for their distinctive nubby leaves, which hang a bit loosely from the head. Because the leaves are broad, they work well as wrappers for ground meat and other stuffings.

HERBS
Parsley is such a nutritious herb, very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Italian flat-leaf parsley is more flavorful than the more bitter common curly type. You can use much more of this blood-cleansing powerhouse if you mince it very finely… sprinkle lots of it over salads, eggs, pasta, or anywhere you want a savory and nutritious boost.

YUKINA SAVOY & CHARD

  • Sauteed Chard Agrodolce
    “Agrodolce is Italian for sour-sweet flavors typically created with vinegar and sugar. It’s a perfect counterpoint to sautéed greens in this quick and simple side dish.”

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

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Week 4, Summer 2016

June 14, 2016

Mark your calendars for the return of our fabulous Summer Farm Festival on Sunday, June 26… it’s a super-fun family event!

Harvest Festival June 26Click here for more info.

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

This week’s farm theme is “weeding forever.” For the duration of my 22 years of farming, there has always been a period during the season (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer!) when the weeds go on a winning streak. It can be a little scary. I try to impress on the newer farmers that it’s kind of like with zombies: they come after you, it’s a total nightmare, you fight back, and eventually the good guys win! Typically the weeds are in retreat by sometime around mid-July. But they never really go away…

We battle weeds in a variety of ways. We start with flaming; using a 30” wide, five burner propane torch to kill very small weeds that have germinated before our crop seed comes up. The beauty of flaming is that is doesn’t disturb the soil, which means that other weed seeds stay down below and can’t make it to the surface. Our next tool is a 1950 Allis Chalmers model G tractor. This unique spider-looking creature was only made for a few years and is highly sought after by small organic farmers like us. The G is very small, very light, and has the motor mounted behind the driver which allows us to see what we are doing and make precise adjustments.  I converted our G to run on an electric motor. The G reduces hoeing and hand weeding by 50-75% depending on how well we time its use. And then we do a lot of hoeing. Finally, on crops that are more closely spaced or for a variety of other reasons, there is hand-weeding. We do a lot of hand-weeding too. The result: fields full of beautiful and easy to harvest Organic produce!

Enjoy!
John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX

  • Scallions
  • Lettuces
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower – Cauliflower is difficult to grow in our climate, we aim for cauliflower once in the spring and once in the fall, and we see it as a bonus if it works out. Success!
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Dino aka Lacinato kale
  • Cucumbers – we grow mostly fancy and delicate Middle Eastern types – no need to peel like the tough and waxed cucumbers from the store. This week’s varieties: “Adam”, “Amiga”, and “Diva.”

SMALL BOX

  • Small bunch scallions
  • Small lettuce
  • Small bunch beets
  • Garlic
  • Small cauliflower! – Cauliflower is difficult to grow in our climate, we aim for cauliflower once in the spring and once in the fall, and we see it as a bonus if it works out. Success!
  • Carrots
  • Small bunch Dino aka Lacinato kale
  • Cucumbers — we grow mostly fancy and delicate Middle Eastern types – no need to peel like the tough and waxed cucumbers from the store. This week’s varieties: “Adam”, “Amiga”, and “Diva.”

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

As we get into our second week of fruit we want to give some storage tips to help make your fruit last longer. The most important thing is to pick up your fruit CSA as soon as you can, and then get it to cold storage at home as soon as possible. Ripe fruit is already in the beginning stages of breaking down, so the sooner you can get the fruit into cold storage the better. Firm fruit can be left out at room temp for a while to help it soften, but watch them closely.

Peaches are probably the fruit we prize the most and try to include every week. We think that the perfect peach is the best fruit of summer.  But they are a delicate and fragile piece of fruit. They are the hardest fruit for us to pick, pack and deliver to you in the “just right” condition. We stress over and work hard to get you peaches that are just slightly soft to the touch. Hang time on the tree is key for a peach to ripen and flavor up properly. Picked too early and there is no flavor and they do not ripen/soften correctly. Picked too late or too much hang time on the tree and the fruit goes bad very quickly.  We work with all growers to monitor each crop and variety of peaches to try and get it just right. The window to get in and pick at just the right time is a couple of days one way or the other.  We want to provide you with peaches (and other fruits as well)  that are just right. We know that we will not always get it perfect. We are working hard to limit that experience.

The fruit share is comprised of 7 pounds of organic fruit. Because we try to get you ripe fruit and not rock hard fruit, we know that some pieces of fruit will not hold up. Therefore we intentionally load up your boxes with extra fruit to 8+ pounds each week to try to compensate for fruit that may ripen too quickly. If you are ever dissatisfied with the quality of your box, please send Mielle an email and we are happy to give you a refund.

In the box this week we have Sweet Scarlett Peaches and Zee Diamond Nectarines from Feather River Farms in Yuba City, plus Patterson Apricots from Blossom Hill Orchard.

Enjoy.

-The fruit packing crew of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

RECIPES 

Click recipe titles for links to the full recipes.

BEETS & DIPPING

I helped cater a wedding yesterday and this beautiful dip was on the appetizer table with crudite (raw veggies for dipping). It’s a great way to add iron from the beets to an already nutrient-rich dip:

Here’s another delicious dip for raw veggies:

Whenever I use cauliflower, broccoli, or other tough veggies like green beens on a crudite platter, I always give them a quick blanch to make them more digestible, brightly colored, and nicer to eat:

  • To blanch, immerse vegetables in boiling water briefly, then shock (see below). I usually salt the water heavily so that the vegetables take some on, helping their flavor stand out. The water should taste as salty as the ocean!
  • To shock blanched vegetables, plunge them immediately into a bath of ice water. This important step stops the cooking process and keeps them bright and firm.

SCALLIONS, GARLIC, AND SALADS

CAULIFLOWER

“Adding puréed cauliflower to an appetizer-sized soufflé gives the dish the heartiness to be a vegetarian main when served with a salad:”

KALE

Here’s a link to a blog by an inspired vegetable-lover who has something to tell us about kale, including her recipes listed below:

  • How I Learned to Love Dino Kale
    Kale Salad with Apricots, Avocado, and Parmesan
    Easy Turkey Chili with Kale
    Spiced Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Kale Whole Wheat Pockets
    Braised Lentils and Chard Topped with an Egg (I use kale!)
    Savory Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with White Beans and Kale

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

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Week 3, Summer 2016 | First week of summer fruit boxes!

June 6, 2016

Mark your calendars for the return of our fabulous Summer Farm Festival on Sunday, June 26… it’s a super-fun family event!

Harvest Festival June 26Click here for more info.

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,
This week on the farm, we will be planting out our final tomato succession of the season. We plant this late succession to make sure that you have plenty of tomatoes in the fall when the earlier plantings (coming soon!) begin to wind down. Tomatoes require a lot of ongoing maintenance since they grow so quickly. All of our tomatoes are trellised by placing steel t-posts every second or third plant and then tying horizontal strings every week to push the plants up into a hedge. This way we can keep the tomatoes neatly up and off the ground and also walk between the rows to harvest.

Later this week, we will also seed many trays of broccoli, cauliflower, and kale for the fall. I’ve probably mentioned this multiple times in past years, but I am continually interested in how seasons overlap. Just as summer is barely beginning, we are already preparing for fall.

Thanks for your support!
John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX:

  • Garlic – see last week’s newsletter for notes on the garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Hakurei salad Turnips
  • Bok choy
  • Basil
  • Zucchini
  • Green cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Spinach

SMALL BOX:

  • Garlic — see last week’s newsletter for notes on the garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Hakurei salad Turnips
  • Bok choy
  • Zucchini
  • Green cabbage

FRUIT SHARE NEWS

Welcome to the first box of our 18-week summer CSA fruit share. We will be bringing you a variety of fruits from the foothills and the valleys this summer. First up are Rainer Cherries from Mountain Sweet Farm in Oregon House. We are fortunate to get ahold of these cherries because the cherry harvest season was hammered by spring rains. Enjoy…we don’t know yet if we’ll be able to locate more.

Next we have Patterson Apricots from Blossom Hill Orchards in Patterson…great for eating, drying, etc. We also have Springtime yellow peaches, Arctic Mist White Nectarines, and Roseanne Pluots from Feather River Farms in Yuba City.

Enjoy these tastes of summer!

-The fruit packing crew of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
(916) 663-9158
www.gotmandarins.com

RECIPES

Click recipe titles for links to the full recipes.

HAKUREI SALAD TURNIPS
These are one of those specialty crops that you will probably only find in your CSA… because farmers know what’s good to eat! These turnips are sweet and tender, nothing like their strong-flavored winter cousins. I love to eat them sliced and plain– they’re sweet and crunchy like a cucumber. This link has a few suggestions for using them in recipes along with their mild greens:

Here’s another Japanese-inspired recipe that also looks tasty:

Or try them pickled, always a hit:

BOK CHOY
Either of these recipes would be a great side dish with an Asian-inspired meal, perhaps the Kung-Pao Chicken in the first link (or sub tofu for vegetarians).

CABBAGE
Fermented foods are a great way to add probiotics to your diet, and are delicious and easy to make with all kinds of produce from your CSA box. Once you learn the basic method, you can add all kinds of different veggies and seasonings.

Here’s a couple more inspirations for your head of cabbage this week:

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

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Week 2, Summer 2016

May 30, 2016

We hope you can join us this Thursday for a Sierra Harvest Potluck at our Birchville fields, and mark your calendars for the return of our fabulous Summer Farm Festival on June 26!

  • Click here for more info about Thursday’s potluck
  • Click here for more info about our Summer Farm Festival on June 26

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Last week we harvested this year’s garlic crop. It was a fun process, check out the photo below and video (Click here for the Youtube video link). The good news is there is a lot of it. The bad news is it’s not a great quality crop. So it goes with farming. Each season we experience mostly awe inspiring successes, and a portion of…some other stuff. Now the garlic is drying, heaped up on about 50 pallets in a shady spot. In about two weeks we will trim off the tops and start giving it out in your boxes. You will see a bunch of it that is shaped differently than you may have seen before, the bulbs are more open and don’t have their outer skins. Much of it matured surprisingly early and was affected by a deformity called “witches brooming,” that separates the cloves. Both of these issues may have been caused by how we stored the seed garlic prior to planting. We thought we were being smart storing it in one of the coolers, but we may have over chilled it. While maybe not as attractive to look at, and not long keeping, this garlic is easier to peel, still tastes great, and there should be plenty of it to last through the summer months.

garlicThis week, summer weather is finally upon us and the abundance of greens continues…

Thanks for your support,

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX:

  • Carrots
  • Scallions
  • Fennel – for all you fennel doubters out there, just try slicing it fairly thinly into a salad, you’ll be amazed.
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce
  • Dino aka Lacinato aka Nero di Toscano Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Arugula
  • Spinach – spinach has a short season here is the spring and fall. We love and admire this spinach, Enjoy it while you can!

SMALL BOX:

  • Carrots
  • Scallions
  • Fennel
  • Lettuce
  • Dino aka Lacinato aka Nero di Toscano Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

RECIPES
Click recipe titles for links to the full recipes.

This week’s box could make for some yummy taco accompaniments:

If you don’t yet love fennel, this recipe is sure to turn you over:

  • Roasted Fennel with ParmesanAlthough slices of raw fennel are plenty delicious and sweet, roasting it with strong aged cheese is a sure-thing for just about anyone!

And, here’s a great recipe to use the same concept to add to a delicious warm grain salad:

~
Mountain Bounty Farm

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Week 1, Summer 2016

May 23, 2016

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

Dear Farm Members,

Welcome to Mountain Bounty Farm’s 19th summer CSA season! We have been planning, planting, and tending the fields and greenhouses since early January to bring you this season’s bounty. Once again, we have a wonderful crew with eight veterans returning from past seasons, and five new interns that joined in early April to round out the group.  It’s an exciting time on the farm, full of promise. Perhaps that’s how farming is – always something growing, changing, always lively!

After several years of drought, it’s amazing how a winter with average rainfall can refresh our local water supply. While many parts of California are still in historic drought mode, here locally, and for this season, it looks like we have plenty of water. And the nice, cool, “normal” spring means perfect greens weather. The fields, and really our whole area, are so lush, green, and lovely right now.

So what to expect from the farm this season? Coming soon: carrots, more lettuces, broccoli (lots!), cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, garlic, cucumbers, and many other greens! And starting a little later, toward late June or very early July: cherry tomatoes, basil, green beans, and bulbing onions. Starting a little after that, toward later July: main season tomatoes, corn, melons, and eggplant. All of these crops come on in many waves so they overlap and appear and reappear over the long season. Every year our plan is to grow each crop for the longest season it can be grown well in our area. We then have a diverse list of crops from which to harvest each week. Our CSA boxes are designed carefully each week, based on what we have, and on feedback from our surveys about what people want. Due to their popularity, certain veggies have come to be considered as staples and will be in the boxes very regularly. These staples include lettuce, carrots, bunched greens like kales and chard, broccoli, onions (or leeks, scallions, garlic), sweet corn, potatoes, zucchini, and of course ample tomatoes of all kinds! Other crops will rotate through either based on a shorter season (spinach and celery for example), or more limited popularity (eggplant and fennel for example). We grow many, many beautiful and delicious varieties of each vegetable so prepare yourselves for six months of feasting!

Your Farmer,
John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK

REGULAR BOX:

  • Rainbow chard
  • Potatoes – Believe or not, these are from last fall’s harvest! They have kept very well in the cooler and we have been eating them all winter. Still had a bunch, they still taste great, and thought, why not?
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Zucchini
  • Napa cabbage – Oh so big and lovely right now. Perfect for salad with creamy tangy dressings or easy to make your own kimchee (see recipe below).
  • Salad turnips – if you are new to Mountain Bounty, you are in for a treat with these. Try them raw in a dish of rice vinegar.
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Dill

SMALL BOX:

  • Rainbow chard
  • Zucchini
  • Napa cabbage – Oh so big and lovely right now. Perfect for salad with creamy tangy dressings (and maybe the dill?) or easy to make your own kimchee (see recipe below).
  • Salad turnips – if you are new to Mountain Bounty, you are in for a treat with these. Try them raw in a dish of rice vinegar.
  • Lettuce
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Dill

RECIPES

HOW TO MAKE EASY KIMCHEE
Makes 1 quart
INGREDIENTS

1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage

1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)

Water (see Recipe Notes)

1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons seafood flavor or water (optional, see Recipe Notes)

1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks

4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Equipment

Cutting board and knife

Large bowl

Gloves (optional but highly recommended)

Plate and something to weigh the kimchi down, like a jar or can of beans

Colander

Small bowl

Clean 1-quart jar with canning lid or plastic lid

Bowl or plate to place under jar during fermentation
INSTRUCTIONS
Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.

Salt the cabbage: Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.

Rinse and drain the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.

Make the paste: Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).

Combine the vegetables and paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.

Mix thoroughly: Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!

Pack the kimchi into the jar: Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.

Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.

Check it daily and refrigerate when ready: Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it’s best after another week or two.

Recipe Notes

  • Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
  • Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can.
  • Seafood flavor and vegetarian alternatives: Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavor. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, I like using 3/4 teaspoon kelp powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or simply 3 tablespoons of water.

Broiled Zucchini with Yogurt-Dill Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup plain yogurt

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill

1 small clove garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1-2 zucchini

1 tablespoon olive oil

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat broiler. If using the main compartment of the oven (as opposed to a separate broiler compartment below), place a rack about 5 inches from the broiler element.
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, dill, garlic, and lemon juice. If necessary, thin with water to a pourable consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Trim ends off zucchini. Cut in half crosswise, then lengthwise into 4-6 spears. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place zucchini in an oven-proof skillet or pan and broil, flipping occasionally, until slightly charred and tender but not mushy, about 10 minutes. Remove from broiler.
Serve zucchini warm or chilled with yogurt-dill sauce.

Sauteed Hakurai Turnips and Braised Greens

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch Hakurei turnips

1bunch leafy greens (such as chard, choi, or spinach)

2 teaspoons oil, divided

1/2 cup water, apple juice or white wine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Cut the greens from the turnips. Wash and tear all the greens into large pieces and remove the stems. Cut the turnips into bite sized pieces. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sautee the turnips stirring or tossing occasionally until they are crispy outside and tender inside. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a warm plate. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the washed and wet greens, and add to pan in batches. Stir and mix as they wilt. Add the wine or other liquid and cook until it is mostly evaporated. Plate greens and arrange the warm turnips on top.

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LAST WEEK 24, Summer 2015

November 2, 2015

Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes

This Thursday is your LAST SUMMER VEGGIE BOX!
Next week starts our Winter deliveries. If you’re not already signed up and payments arranged, please call right away so you don’t miss out!
Dear Farm Members,

Very appropriately, we are entering our final week of the summer season with a good solid rain. Finally. Now we will be able to do a little more seeding of cover crops, and then finish a few cleanup chores. After the fields are put to rest, we will spend a solid week talking over how the season went and beginning to make plans for next year. Please help us to continue refining the farm by giving us your input: CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO SURVEY​Don’t forget to include your contact info at the end for a chance to win a free week of veggies!

Pulling off a farm season a Mountain Bounty is a big enough project that it can be hard for me to grasp. Getting to the end seems almost impossible. I have mixed feelings of relief, satisfaction, and a tinge of sadness. I look forward to a couple of slower (and non-dusty!) months coming up, and will also miss the bustle, excitement, and all the laughter of the busy season.

I would like to recognize, with gratitude, all the contributors who have made this season happen. First, you the farm members, through your belief in us and in making a direct connection to your food. Thank you so much for keeping the farm alive! And thanks to the farm crew: Missy, Cory, Abby, Rachel, Maia, Mike, Aaron, Jordan, Christina, Alex, Billy, Molly, Sonya, Erica, Catherine, Mielle, and Jason! These are the folks who continue to amaze, impress, teach, entertain, and throw their whole hearts into doing this work. I also want to thank my family for their unending love and support. Angie, the boys, and my folks help in so many ways.  Finally, a special thank you to Steve Beckwitt, who has hosted an important piece of the farm on his land for the past 18 years. His generosity and good humor are so appreciated.

As a final tidbit: Mike made this time lapse video last week of our early Thursday morning CSA box packing:​ https://youtu.be/8AxOGgp0xAo

Thanks, everyone, and we’ll see you next spring (if not next week with the first winter box, which will be coming from us)!

John Tecklin

IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK
We have 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. Due to the dynamic nature of farming, this list may be slightly different from what you actually receive:

REGULAR BOX:

  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Baby bok choy
  • Lettuce
  • Radicchio – This is the gorgeous Treviso type that’s been our favorite for the past few years, it looks kind of like a very red romaine lettuce or bok choy.
  • Kale
  • Mixed herb bundle
  • Onion
  • Radishes
  • Potatoes
  • Salad turnips
  • Beets

SMALL BOX:

  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Baby bok choy
  • Lettuce
  • Radicchio – This is the gorgeous Treviso type that’s been our favorite for the past few years, it looks kind of like a very red romaine lettuce or bok choy.
  • Kale
  • Mixed herb bundle
  • Onion
  • Radishes

​RECIPES

​Roasted Balsamic Radicchio
Such a delicious way to enjoy radicchio!

STIR-FRIED SESAME BABY BOK CHOY
Serve with Kung-Pao Chicken or Sweet and Sour Pork… yum!

SMOKY CHILI WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH

I love this recipe from my cookbook, it’s so great for the wintertime and comes together quickly if you use canned beans. Makes 4 servings, and it’s kid-friendly if you don’t make it too spicy!

Preheat oven to 425˚. Combine in an oven-safe dish or pan:
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1”chunks
2 lbs roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
2-3 Tbl olive oil
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
Roast these for 45 minutes until soft, stirring once or twice. Set aside.
Combine in a large pot:
1 Tbl olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1-3 jalapenos, seeded & diced¼ tsp salt
Cook over medium-low heat about 10 minutes, until onions begin to color.
Add:

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
Cook for about 3 more minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
Add the roasted squash and tomatoes, and:
2-4 chipotle peppers, seeds removed and diced
1 Tbl chili powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp dry oregano, rubbed between palms
½ tsp salt
Simmer for 10 minutes, then add:

2 cups cooked black beans
(canned ok)
Juice of 1 lime
Cooking water from beans, as needed; or broth, or water

. Adjust salt, lime, and chilis to taste.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, onions, cream, avocado chunks, etc.

​~​
Mountain Bounty Farm

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