October 2015

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Description

Fuyu Persimmons are one of the most delicious fall fruits around. Fuyu Persimmons are native to Asia, where they are highly valued for their sweetness and medicinal value. Fuyu Persimmons are usually eaten when they are hard and crunch, although when they are also delicious when they turn soft and squishy.

Eat your fuyus as soon as the color turns completely orange. If you want to eat them soft, let them sit our a little longer and eat them only when their flesh has become soft.

In the Kitchen

Fuyu persimmons have a strong fall flavor and can be made into delicious desserts. Cut up persimmons into cubes and toss them with cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and walnuts for a easy and delicious treat.

Persimmons also make delicious sweet breads, see the recipe below.

Recipes

Whole Wheat Persimmon Bread

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Description

Many people enjoy eating radishes, but few people know that radish leaves are also edible. The leaves we include in our CSA are usually from Japanese radishes, also known as daikon, which have longer leaves with thicker stems. These leaves have a slightly spicy and strong flavor and can be used in salads or can be cooked. Radish leaves are thought to be very healthy, and are known as a cleansing vegetable in many Asian cultures.

In the Kitchen

In a salad, mix 1 part of radish leaf with 3 parts of lettuce or other milder tasting leaf. The radish leaf will add a nice zing to the salad much like arugula.

Cooked radish leaves make a great addition to any meat dishes. Simply chop the leaves up and add them to the very end of any recipe. The leaves are very tender and don’t take much time to cook, much like spinach. You can also sautee radish leaves by themselves with some garlic, onion, and salt.

Recipes

Rustic radish soup

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Description

If you don’t like cucumbers, you haven’t tried Japanese Cucumbers. Unlike American Cucumbers, which are bland, water-y, soggy and generally flavorless. Japanese cucumbers, on the other hand, are very crisp, mildly sweet, and have a pleasant cucumber flavor. Enjoy these cucumbers fresh or pickled, they are always delicious.

In the Kitchen

Cucumbers are best eaten raw or pickled. You should try eating at least one fresh as a snack. Cut them into strips and then dip them in hummus or your favorite vegetable dish. You can also use raw cucumber to garnish any other dish. Try grating your cucumbers on top of soups, meat dishes, or as raw slices in sandwiches.

Cucumbers, of course, also make excellent pickles, especially when they are super fresh like the ones in your CSA box. Try the recipe below for raw lacto-fermented pickles.

You DO NOT need to remove the skin from these cucumbers. The skin is very thin and delicious.

Recipes

Lacto-Fermented Cucumber Pickles
Lacto-fermented Cucumber Relish

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Description

french beans or green beans are the common European fresh eating bean. This is the bean you may be used to eating in green bean casserole, as canned beans, or as pickled beans. When french beans are freshly picked, they are very crispy and sweet, and taste delicious just eaten raw.

In the Kitchen

green beans can be cooked in all manners of ways. green beans are great sauteed, stir-fryed, steamed, boiled or even raw. To eat green beans raw, just eat then straight or dip them into your favorite sauce or hummus.

We prefer our green beans cooked stir-fried so they maintain their crisp texture and sweet flavor, but cook them however you like best. You can also try making pickled green beans (see recipe below).

Recipes

Garlicky green beans With Pine Nuts
green beans With Mushrooms and Crispy Onion Rings
Green Bean Salad With Walnuts, Fennel, and Goat Cheese
Lacto-fermented “Pickled” green beans

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Description

moringa pod is the seed pod of the moringa tree. Both the leaves and the seed pods of the moringa tree are edible and highly nutritious. Though the leaves are commonly eaten throughout Southeast Asia, the moringa pod is most popular in the South of India.

In the Kitchen

To eat the moringa pod, cut it into 4 to 5 inch long strips. Cook these strips by boiling or steaming them until they are soft. To eat the softened moringa pod, hold one end between your fingers and then squeeze the inner flesh out with your teeth. The outer skin is very fibrous and inedible. Only the soft, center flesh is eaten. In South India, moringa pod is usually cooked inside a lentil or bean soup, where it absorbs the spices and flavors of the soup. It is then picked out of the soup to be eaten. Add moringa pod to any of our favorite soups and eat the same way.

Using moringa pods:


 

 

Recipes

Here is a website that lists a variety of recipes using drumstick:
http://verygoodrecipes.com/drumstick

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Hello CSA members!

What a week it has been. We have been working very hard keeping up with the farm and with our new expansion in Claremont. Yes, if you haven’t heard we are expanding to a new site at the Claremont Friends Quaker Meeting, just a few miles from our farm in Pomona. At this new site, we are taking over the landscape of the Meetinghouse, replacing the water-guzzling lawn with a Holistically Designed Orchard that we will harvest from for our CSA. That’s good new for you (as long as you stick around for a year or two 😉 )! We are having several work parties at the orchard site, so look out for the announcements on The Growing Club’s Facebook page.

For this week’s CSA box, we are heavy on the green colors. Our first harvest of french/green beans came through really well, so you’ll get to enjoy those for the next few weeks. The cucumbers are also busting, so we included some extra for you all this week. This week also debuts our first winter green, daikon radish leaf. We are harvesting the leaves now and will get the roots in about two weeks. Next week we will start harvesting some more winter greens as well, probably red russian kale and cilantro.

Enjoy this box!

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

Vegetables:
water spinach
moringa leaf
moringa pod
green zucchinni
zuchinno rampicante
– suyo cucumber
yard long beans
french beans
– daikon radish leaf

Herbs:
– lemon basil

Fruit:
fuyu persimmon

Extra:
– Pickled Rampicante

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 to 2 inches of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂

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Hello readers,

I’ve decided to just write about something that I wanted to put forth into the world for this week’s post. Something that I have been thinking about recently that I felt inclined to address. Possibly something that I needed to type out to remind myself. It may not make sense but let’s see how it goes.

As someone who is constantly involved with food in most everything that I do, I often dwell on numerous things surrounding this sensitive and overwhelming topic. When we look at it in a simple and broad perspective, food is really just something we ingest to sustain our bodies in order to stay alive. Although ignorance is bliss and it feels so easy to think this way, my over analytical mind cannot bear to leave it at just that. Because it’s actually so much more. Food affects many, many things. There are numerous times even within just a week where I find myself wondering why food has become such a heated issue. I wonder why there are arguments and sparring opinions about various diets. I wonder why people get offended at even the slightest mention of something that counters their beloved food choices. I wonder why this matters at all. Why are we all so defensive against challenging evidence? Food philosophy varies from person to person, and what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” can be a thousand different things. Chemicals, pesticides, GMOs, processed, organic, raw, free-range, grass-fed, vegan. What does it all even mean? So much surrounds our food that it can be quite dizzying. The more I educate myself, the more I struggle with an inner debate. I can go on forever about food in its entirety. Books, documentaries, internet research, personal experience, and the experience of others continually point me into confusing and never-ending directions of what a “proper” lifestyle is. Factor in ethics, the environment, spirituality, physicality, and so on and we’d be here for days. But I am thankful for this. I am fortunate that I lead a life of privilege by being able to wonder where my food comes from, how it’s made, and having a choice and say in what I eat. I am thankful that I have the ability to think about all of these things instead of just eating to survive, which so many out there must do.

One thing I am definitive about is this: there is no perfect diet. There are no rules to food consumption. However, when given the opportunity, eat with mindfulness. Eat with gratitude. Eat food that really makes you feel good, and eat food that nurtures the Earth. This is something that I’ve grown to understand even more whilst being at the farm.

We can get caught up in the whirlwind of food finesse, and ultimately that does more harm than good. A sustainable, wholesome lifestyle comes naturally when you start listening to your body and it’s ok not to be on that level in a single day. Any change is still change, and that’s enough for now.

Hello Farm-lovers!

I wanted to write about my own growth this week–both in knowledge and confidence.  First, knowledge: I am learning things every day at Sarvodaya, things large and small, and it’s not always easy to tell what is more important.  I’ve learned how to store the produce we harvest in the fridge so that it doesn’t get weird, how to lay and hook up drip tape, what size to harvest rampicante, what a moringa tree even IS, and so much more.  One of my goals in working on the farm was to learn the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know about growing food and I’m well on my way.  Maybe the biggest thing I’ve learned is that observation, intuition, and ancestral knowledge are some of the greatest tools a farmer can use.  Plus Rishi’s Friday talks about different terms and systems are hugely helpful.

So my own little raised bed gardens at home are doing so much better than they were a few months ago!  I’m not even totally sure what it was, but at some point recently I assimilated a bunch of knowledge and was able to grow more.  My soil is better–that’s a big one, but I also used some tall tomatoes to shade a sad looking brussel sprout which might do ok until winter.  I planted a sapote pit and a jamun pit and have wonderful miniature trees coming up.  I saved my first tomato seeds (jury is still out on the success of that one).

Another huge jump in personal growth is my confidence in a few things.  One, that this is really something I love to do and want to do and need to do.  Being on the farm three days a week has cemented the idea that this is great for me and wonderful for the world.  It’s also raised the confidence in myself that I can do this.   I realized that there’s a lot of things to know and understand, but none of it is secret (although most of it is mysterious to me) and there is an everlasting journey of growth to do in my relation to the earth.

That’s all for now,

Katie

Rishi speaking for the Growing Home at Repair Cafe

Hi y’all,

I’d like to speak about Rishi’s talk a few weeks ago at the Repair Cafe.  First off, the venue.  The Repair Cafe is a really cool spot in Pasadena dedicated to waste nought.  The day we were there for the Growing Home workshop there were women with sewing needles, folks fixing bikes, and a barber giving haircuts.  Check it out if you haven’t!

The subject for Rishi’s talk that Saturday was titled, “Drought Resilient Gardening”. The important take away after hearing Rishi speak is not just about using less water, but actually reusing the water we already have.  The past four years that I’ve been living in LA I’ve been led to believe that we are in a water shortage.  After hearing Rishi, I realize it’s not a shortage problem, but more of usage and and re-usage problem.  Think about it.  Majority of water consumed in the household (70%) is for outdoor use. However, if we think more about increasing our water use (which adds nutrients to the water and/or recycles the water back into the ecosystem) versus our water consumption (which pollutes the water and damages the ecosystem) we could possibly solve this problem with the same resources we have today. This means adding compost to our pillaged soil, building swales to save rainwater and grey water from our homes and yards, and planting native vegetation and saved seeds.

 

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Hello CSA members!

Hope you all are doing well this week. With all of our Farmer’s in Training, we have been keeping up on the farm chores real well, and are lining up quite a selection of winter vegetables. We have lots of kale planted, along with swiss chard, peas, a variety of different asian bok choys and mustards, radishes and more! The first thing you all will see will probably be the radishes. As for this week, we continue with the last of the summer vegetables. I’m really enjoying the japanese cucumbers. They are a variety I haven’t had before, and they are just so crunchy and fresh tasting. Try eating them raw with some lemon juice and salt sprinkled over them. Enjoy your vegetables and your week!

This week’s CSA Box

(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)

Vegetables:
yam leaf
moringa leaf
moringa pod (the super long bean like object)
– mixed heirloom eggplant
– mixed peppers
green zucchinni
zuchinno rampicante
– suyo cucumber (the long and spiny one with the ridges)
yard long beans

Herbs:
– thai basil
lemongrass
keffir lime leaf

Fruit:
– Persimmon
jamun
– Guava

Flowers:
– CA native sunflowers

Storage Instructions

Leafy Vegetables
In case your greens are wilted by the time you pickup your box, please follow these instructions:

– Fill a small bowl or tub with 1 to 2 inches of water
– Cut a 1/2 inch of the bottoms of the stems of your leafy greens
– Place greens, with stems down, into the bowl of water
– Leave the greens in the bowl overnight and by morning they should be rehydrated

Wrap your rehydrated greens in a towel and store the in the fridge. Summer greens like water spinach, moringa, and yam leaves don’t last long either way, so eat those as soon as you can.

Herbs
The best way to store your herbs so that they keep longer is to cut the stems a little and place them in a glass filled with about an inch of water. Cover the leaves loosely with a bag and keep them in the refrigerator. Replace the water inside when it gets cloudy. This works great with basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, and many other herbs.

Please feel free to share your recipes with us and also any storing tips you may have. 🙂