Farm News, Box Contents, Recipes
Dear Farm Members,
Thanks for all your feedback on the early season survey! Please know that we take all your comments to heart and really appreciate your support. 91.5% of respondents gave us an overall rating of 5-thrilled or 4-pretty great, and an additional 7.5% said “just fine.” These results are similar to past surveys. We are trying very hard to make the best possible farm happen for you and it thrills us to hear that most of you are happy with the quality and selection of the produce.
In the section where people could comment on individual crops, most of the veggies got a dominant response of “just right.” There were a few veggies that stood out where a large number of people wanted more or less in their boxes. 30% or more of people wanted more broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, basil, and zucchini. And about 30% wanted less cabbage, fennel, and salad turnips. However, in all these categories, half or more of respondents said the amount was just right. So what are we going to do with this info?
First I need to make a disclaimer that no matter what we plan to put in the boxes, there is going to be some variation from season to season due to weather, pests, and other factors out of our control. Nevertheless, it’s great to know which veggies are obviously more and less popular so we can emphasize or deemphasize them when we have a choice.
I’d like to share a little more info about two crops as a way to help you all understand how we may approach these issues our planning process. We know that people want more spinach. Unfortunately, spinach has a short season here in the spring and the fall. It doesn’t like heat at all and it also doesn’t like too much cold. What we can do is possibly increase the planting sizes and plant some spinach in our greenhouses to extend the season a bit both earlier and later. This may give you a couple more weeks of spinach and more quantity in each bag you receive. On the other hand, it looks like many folks want less cabbage. Cabbage is a great crop for us farmers because it is much easier to grow than fussier crops like cauliflower (which only succeeds about 60% of the time in our climate and only for brief time frames in spring and fall). So while cabbage may be less popular it is more reliable – which is very important because we need to have lots of produce for you every week! So our approach to cabbage could be to consider planting it two times instead of three times in the spring and when confronted with a choice of what to put in the boxes (sometimes we have more items than can fit) we might choose to put extra broccoli or spinach in the boxes instead of cabbage.
Hopefully this gives you some idea about how we are constantly trying to grow CSA boxes that work for everyone. This fall we will send out another survey and then we’ll spend a bunch of time over the winter adjusting our plans accordingly. Thanks for helping with this process!
Mountain Bounty Farm
IN YOUR VEGGIE BOXES THIS WEEK
- Little gem lettuces
- Red onion
- Sweet corn – more coming soon.
- Little gem lettuce
- Cucumbers or Corn
- Red onion
- Small bunch Celery
FRUIT SHARE NEWS
This week’s CSA fruit share contains Bartlett pears from a five generation farm, Steamboat Acres in Courtland, CA. The Neuharth family has been growing along the banks of the Sacramento River for over 100 years.
We also have O’Henry yellow peaches, Fire Pearl white nectarine, Summer Sweet white peach and Honey Royale yellow nectarine. These fruits come from LeeFamily Farms out of Reedley, CA.
Enjoy, keep your fruit refrigerated.
Your fruit packing friends of Sunset Ridge Fine Fruits
FLOWER SHARE NEWS
Angie is out of town attending her grandmother’s funeral, so no news this week. Her crew is putting together beautiful bouquets for you!
Our delicious strong-flavored celery is perfectly highlighted in this salad. Try cilantro and finely minced regular onions from your CSA box if you’re out of parsley and scallions:
Use the flavorful celery leaves in place of the parsley, and pair these kebabs with the salad and baba ganoush below for a Middle Eastern-inspired meal:
Here’s some interesting CSA beverage ideas:
CUKES & TOMATOES & EGGPLANT & ONION
Here’s an interesting take on salad:
And here’s one of my favorite ways to enjoy eggplant:
- Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush
Roast the garlic alongside the eggplant if you use the oven.
From Piece of My Heart cookbook
Grill, or preheat oven to 400 ̊ and prick with a fork:
1 large eggplant (about 1#)
If using oven, roast for about 40 minutes, until thoroughly cooked. Cut in half while still warm and scoop out flesh (should be about 1-1.5 cups). Discard most of the skins, but reserve some for the charred flavor.
Combine in a food processor:
Cooked eggplant flesh
1/2 head roasted garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 Tbl tahini
1⁄4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Turn on machine to purée while drizzling in through the top:
2-4 Tbl olive oil
Adjust lemon, salt and spices to taste.
Fresh parsley, mint or cilantro
Olives or fried capers
Roasted red bell peppers or tomatoes
You may substitute organic yogurt for all or some of the olive oil.
Mountain Bounty Farm