Author: rishi

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

As the weather has finally warmed up in the last two weeks, the farm crew has been.busy clearing beds of the remaining spring crops and planting in the main summer garden. In the last two weeks, we’ve transplanted over 200 tomatoes, a variety of peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers, and more. We also planted in our two-sisters garden (we can’t fit the third sister in our skinny beds) of corn and pole beans, which is really exciting since our corn planting last year did so well. Since we got a good start on them this year, we may even be able to fit in 2 or 3 crops of corn if we time it all right. This will be our 3rd summer season on this farm, and we are excited to see what will come with all of the additions we have made to our space in the last year (extensive trellising, extended beds, lots of compost. and plenty of seedlings from our very own nursery!).

Our graduated Farmer Trainee Krysta is also helping us to do some long-term plantings for the fall at The Growing Commons, our garden in Claremont. At that garden, we will be planting Growing Home landrace kabocha squash, sunchokes, and sweet potatoes. These crops don’t need much care all season, and we can just harvest everything at the end of the season for distribution throughout the winter.  Krysta has also been taking care of the now 63 trees and 10 grape vines planted at The Growing Commons, which are growing oh so beautifully. It’s only been a bit over year since all those plants were put in the ground, and it looks like we will already be getting a grape and pomegranate harvest this year.

I’m so excited for all this delicious produce and excited to share it all with you. Thanks to everyone who is supporting us in this adventure!

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This Week’s CSA Box

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

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 kohlrabi
– 1 bunch red mustard
– 1 zucchini
– 1 bunch kale
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch egyptian onions
– 1 broccoli
– 1 box microgreens
– 1 box lettuce with edible sunflower

Fruit:
– 2 lbs peaches

Herbs:
– 1 bunch flowering cilantro
– 1 bunch leek scapes

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 kohlrabi
– 1 bunch kale
– 1-2 zucchini
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch red mustard
– 1 box lettuce with edible sunflower

Fruit:
– 1 lb peaches

Herb:
– 1 bunch garlic chives

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 inch 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. 🙂

0
Description

is a type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the bottom. When ripe, it turns increasingly deep orange, and becomes sweeter and richer. It is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium; and it is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin E.
Although technically a fruit, butternut squash is used as a vegetable that can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, breads, and muffins.

In the Kitchen

One of the most common ways to prepare butternut squash is roasting. To do this, the squash is cut in half lengthwise (see pictures), lightly brushed with cooking oil or put in a thin layer of water and placed cut side down on a baking sheet. It is then baked for 45 minutes or until soft. Once roasted, it can be eaten in a variety of ways.

The fruit is prepared by removing the skin, stalk, and seeds, which are not usually eaten or cooked. However, the seeds are edible, either raw or roasted, and the skin is also edible and softens when roasted.

Recipes

Fresh butternut squash Pie

This recipe makes one deep-dish old fashioned glass pie pan. It generously serves approximately 5 adults, or can be cut into eight medium-size servings.
– Bake at 400*
– Pre-bake of the squash adds 1 hour to total preparation time.

Ingredients

2 cups baked organic squash (Butternut, Sugar Pie)
1 cup organic heavy cream (Humbolt, Straus)
½ cup local organic honey
2 eggs from organically pastured hens
1 teaspoon ground organic cinnamon
½ contents of a fresh organic vanilla pod (or 1 teaspoon extract)
½ teaspoon finely ground sea salt

Variations:
½ teaspoon freshly ground organic nutmeg
½ teaspoons organic ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon organic ground clove

Directions:

1 – Cut open the squash, remove the seeds and set them aside in a covered bowl (see recipe below for toasted seeds).

2 – Place the squash open-side up on a non-reactive (not aluminum) baking sheet, and bake in the oven at 350* until you can insert a fork in the flesh and it feels soft. During baking, water will evaporate and concentrate the flavor, and the sugars will develop a caramelized aroma.

3 – Let the squash cool just until you can take off the rind.

4 – Place the baked squash into a large mixing bowl and mash with a fork (or you can add the eggs at this step and use an immersion blender).

5 – When the consistency is smooth (and if there are any strings, you can draw two knives in an X pattern through the puree to cut the filaments), add the cream, honey, eggs, vanilla, salt, and spices.

6 – Pour the custard batter into a glass or ceramic pan, with or without a crust.

7 – Bake at 400* until the center is set and you can insert a toothpick or stainless steel knife into the center and it comes out clean.

Note: some honey browns on the surface more than others, and if you increase the amount of honey, the top will certainly brown more, reflecting any hot spots in the oven (rotating the pie 180* in the oven after fifteen minutes of baking may ensure an even baking process).

Toasted butternut squash Seed Snack

Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, an element the body uses for internal organ tissue, and new cell generation needed in growing and healing.

1 = Briefly rinse the seeds in water, removing any strings. Lightly salt the seeds while they are still wet, and mix in the salt.

2 – Spread the seeds out on an enamel-coated pan, or on a silpat so the seeds will not stick.

3 – Bake at 250*, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are crunchy and delicious! (The water can be evaporated for a while at the lower temperature 250*, then the temperature can be raised to 350* for ten minutes to finish the roasted flavor).

Further Reading
0
Description

A sunchoke is a tuber, like a potato, and is often prepared and eaten as a root vegetable. Light brown and bumpy on the outside and white inside, the sunchoke looks somewhat like a small potato or ginger root. It is native to North America and was cultivated by Native Americans prior to the arrival of European settlers. Also called a Jerusalem artichoke, its name can be a source of confusion because the plant is not closely related to the artichoke; rather, it is a member of the same flower family as the sunflower. With a nutty, somewhat sweet flavor, many cooks enjoy adding bits of the crunchy, raw vegetable to salads or salsas, while others prefer them roasted or mashed.

In the Kitchen

There are many recipes that showcase this tuber on its own or with other ingredients. Eaten raw, it is crunchy and very slightly juicy, like water chestnuts or jicama, and is often a welcome addition to salads, crudite platters, and fresh salsas. When cooked, it may be simply tossed with oil and salt and roasted, or boiled and mashed like potatoes. Sunchoke puree is another popular dish, and the tuber is a favorite soup addition, particularly in Europe.

The tuber has been embraced by the home cook and famous chefs for its unique flavor, and as part of a culinary movement to eat locally grown, seasonal ingredients. Many recipes that don’t specifically call for a sunchoke may benefit from the addition of the root’s texture and flavor. Its taste is frequently described as something between an artichoke heart and a sunflower seed.

Recipes

Easy Roasted sunchokes
Crispy jerusalem artichokes with Aged Balsamic

Further Reading

Why You Might Want to Take It Slow With sunchokes

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today the crunch, crunch underfoot from dried up leaves and branches finally turned into a softer and quieter squish, mush, goosh with the first penetrating rain of the season, along with (hopefully) sustained cooler temperatures. For the warmth to have lasted this long is really quite disheartening for me, as I worry about how quickly the weather is changing year after year (although I have been eating homegrown papaya in my breakfast oatmeal all this month). Still, I am grateful for the rain, and beginning to begrudgingly put on my sweater and socks (and shoes, did I mention I bought and am wearing shoes?????). Today, we worked with a limited farm crew, as many of our farmer trainees and volunteers have already left for Thanksgiving breaks.  The day was beautifully slow, and I actually got to harvest some of the veggies since we were missing some people. Every moringa stem we picked left us showered with water still held up their canopies, leaving us ready for a warming tea break. After rejuvenating our bodies, we head out again for more harvest. Walking the fields, the farms current state of utter beauty leaves one short of breath. Every bed teases with it’s winter bounty, from lettuce to broccoli to daikon. I am relishing these few weeks of relative calm at the farm. Without the strong heat and longs hours of daylight, every plant grows much slower, which means less maintenance, less planting, and less clearing for us. I tell our current farmer trainees they are lucky to have gotten accepted into the fall class, which is so much slower and gentler than the rush of spring and summer (I also tell trainees in our Summer class that they applied during the hardest season). I wonder if our Fall Trainees will think farming is fun and easy and if our Summer Trainees think farming is all sweat and itch and exhaustion. I guess only our staff know the full truth of the full season.

CSA Members: This week you all have received a basket of sunchokes (aka jerusalem artichokes). If you are unfamiliar with sunchokes, please see the link below for suggested use and recipes.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Cecile taking care of the babies

Cecile taking care of the babies

Fields full, customers ready?

Fields full, customers ready?

Susan and Cindy, mother hens of the flock.

Susan and Cindy, mother hens of the flock.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch medium daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 large head black summer pac choi
– 1 basket sunchokes
– 1 Waltham butternut squash
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch moringa greens
– 1 bunch moringa pods
– 1 bunch yard long beads

Herbs:
– 1 box thyme
– 1 boxsage

Fruit:
– 1lb pomegranate
– 1 lb guavas

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 large head black summer pac choi
– 1 basket sunchokes
– 1 Waltham butternut squash
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch moringa greens
– 1 bunch moringa pods

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives

Fruit:
– 1 lb pomegranate

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

For me, the last week has been all about affirmations. Last week, my mom and I attended a conference focused on urban farming called Grow Local OC. The conference aimed to promote local food production in Orange County and I was invited as a panelist. During the conference, much of the conversation focused on high-efficiency soil-less farming systems such as hydroponics or aquaponics, as well as indoor growing. I have always been somewhat averse to these kinds of systems, finding them to be full of whizz, but not much bang. I feel like these farmers think too little of themselves. Instead of trying to understand the incredibly complex technology of soil, they dumb everything down to pipes, pumps, and lights. Easy to understand, but not very smart. These hydroponic growers promoted how “efficient” and “productive” their systems are, politely ignoring their heavy reliance on electricity (coal generated), external fertilizers, and plastic infrastructure (very eco). Still I sat and listened, and on Friday we went on a tour of four soil-less urban farms in OC. I was not impressed. The farms had a number of obvious problems, from a heavy reliance on external inputs (electricity, labor, nutrients) to obvious nutrient deficiencies. The indoor “farm” we visited just grew microgreens (do those even count as food?), but had required literally millions of dollars of investment.

In contrast, today I walked into our farm started by my mom and I. The only money we had to start the farm was the little I had saved working at gardens the previous two years. With no investors, no pumps, no nutrient solutions in plastic bottles, we have developed a farm far more advanced than any we visited. Each day, I walk into our farm to find the fields brimming with most luscious, vibrant, and healthy produce you can find in Southern California. Every single bed fully planted, every plant full of life, and every person smiling. The refreshing morning dew collected on their leaves, the health of the soil and the food we grow is unmistakably, undeniably visible in each plant. And we do it all with technology that is far more complex that LED lights (what light is more technologically advanced than the sun?) and electronic pumps (again, the sun? pretty advanced pump).

Even more beautiful and affirming was my realization today that all of the farm’s current vibrance has been the handiwork of our trainees. Our current class (Brooke, Elinor, Cecile, Krysta, Cindy, and Susan) has melted into the farm like butter into toast. They have been filing all the gaps and making everything better. Krysta and Cecile have been delivering baby plants from our nursery every week like seasoned midwives, Susan and Cindy have been caring for the chickens like their own children, and Elinor and Brooke have been watching over our bountiful fields as if they were born into farming. I can’t wait to see what all of these special people do when they complete our program!

My hope for the future is that more people (maybe even all people?) can come to understand the magic of soil, plants, animals, insects, birds, and people. We have all worked together in a balanced way for many thousands of years, and it’s not so difficult or strenuous for us to live that way again. In fact, it’s quite fun, quite beautiful, and quite tasty.

If you read this far through this post, I appreciate your determination. Maybe you should apply for our Farmer Training Program? Applications are due Jan. 1!

Special note for CSA Members: You will notice that as we transition to colder temperatures, your boxes will contain more and more greens. This is the nature of winter, where the focus is on leafy greens and root vegetables. There will be plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, and other meatier vegetables soon, as we are just getting them in the ground.  This is also a great time of year to hang dry some of the basil you have been receiving as it is coming out of the ground very soon.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Bins out to be filled. CSA harvest in progress.

Bins out to be filled. CSA harvest in progress.

Beauty is a radish.

Beauty is a radish.

Brooke and Elinor harvesting our beautiful salad greens.

Brooke and Elinor harvesting our beautiful salad greens.

Susan with the last of the rampicantes.

Susan with the last of the rampicantes.

Cecile, master of swiss chard, picks through the chard forest.

Cecile, master of swiss chard, picks through the chard forest.

Elinor + arugula = good salad.

Elinor + arugula = good salad.

Celtuce interplanted with pak choi.

Celtuce interplanted with pak choi.

Cecile walks the fields.

Cecile walks the fields.

radish peek-a-boo!

radish peek-a-boo!

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch medium daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch yard long beans (a few boxes have beans mixed with young moringa pods
– 1 bunch mixed squash (rampicante or butternut)
– 1 box Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch cucumbers
– 1 bunch water spinach
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch beets

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 1lb pomegranate
– 1 lb guavas

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 box mixed squash (rampicante or butternut)
– 1 bunch yard long beans (a few boxes have beans mixed with young moringa pods
– 1 bag cucumber
– 1 box stir fry mix
– 1 box mixed salad greens
– 1 bunch swiss chard

Herbs:
– 1 large bunch garlic chives

Fruit:
– 1 lb pomegranate

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This week we sing the swan song for the summer vegetables, the last of which will be coming out in our next few farm days. I always feed a little bad cutting down the vines of rampicante squash, the trusty steeds that form the base of our CSA for so many months. But the seasons change, and the same plants that once flourished in our fields start to look raggedy, their leaves yellowing and browning, some branches dying off and looking sad. So we move on, convincing our Farmer Trainees that cutting down these plants is the right thing to do, event if it is star-performer like the rampicante. Luckily, we have prepared well for the fall and winter season, and many thousands of plants are ready and waiting to be planted from our nursery into our rich planting beds. Broccoli, caulifower, cabbage, parsley, mibuna, kale, spinach, and more sit waiting patiently, growing in their tiny pots, craving the open sky and the cool breezes of the fields. It won’t be long before these vegetables fill our mouths with sweetness and stuff our CSA boxes.

With the transition of the seasons, also comes a transition in the the learning and work for our farmer trainees. Tasks that were imperative in the summer, now become occasional or optional, and new tasks fill their daily routines. There are no more fast growing vines like pole beans, cucumbers, or squash to trellis. Daily harvesting of squash, okra, beans, zucchini, tomato, eggplant, and peppers, is now reduced to just a few items and even those will soon stop. Instead we take up new tasks, like the continuous planting of hundreds and thousands of small bok choy, lettuce, and spinach transplants. With some of our extra time, we work on infrastructure projects, like an upgrade of our irrigation system (long in the planning). And we do everything more slowly, adjusting to the cold air and our numb hands.

Special note for CSA Members: You will notice that as we transition to colder temperatures, your boxes will contain more and more greens. This is the nature of winter, where the focus is on leafy greens and root vegetables. There will be plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, and other meatier vegetables soon, as we are just getting them in the ground.  This is also a great time of year to hang dry some of the basil you have been receiving as it is coming out of the ground very soon.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

CSA boxes being packed up for distribution.

CSA boxes being packed up for distribution.

Susan shows off her daikon radish find.

Susan shows off her daikon radish find.

Beautiful red radishes being washing and prepped for our salad mix.

Beautiful red radishes being washing and prepped for our salad mix.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch medium daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch yard long beans (a few boxes have beans mixed with young moringa pods
– 1 box nopales
– 1 box stir fry mix
– 1 box mixed salad greens
– 1 bunch zucchini + cucumber
– 1 bunch swiss chard

Herbs:
– 1 large bunch basil
– 1 bunch lemongrass

Fruit:
– 1 box jamun
– 1 lb guavas

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch medium daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch yard long beans (a few boxes have beans mixed with young moringa pods
– 1 box stir fry mix
– 1 box mixed salad greens
– 1 bunch zucchini + cucumber
– 1 bunch swiss chard

Herbs:
– 1 large bunch basil

Fruit:
– 1 box jamun

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Raindrops fall as blessings from the sky, and we stand in awe as fields of fertile soil become bounteous with the blessings of our mother Earth. This week our prayers of longing were answered and answered sternly. I watched from my bed as the rain hammered down on the rich ground of our home, and as the sky finished each sentence with a flash of light and a roar of thunder. Our mother is so beautiful in her most angry and terrifying moments. I counted the lightning bolts as the clock ticked from 3am to 4, from 4am to 5, thankful that the dry season’s reign was ending for the year. All hail the glorious broccoli, she rises up from her hot slumber, ready to fill bellies and delight tastebuds.

Due to the strong rain, we closed the farm on Monday. We like to give the earth some time after strong rains like what we had to adjust to the dramatic change before we dig into her with our manipulations and goals. This morning I came to the farm, hoping to see a resurgence of growth from the beautifully oxygenated, alchemical power of rainwater and I was not disappointed. All the residents of the farm were standing up tall, singing the praises of the sky and the clouds and the wind as much as us.  Our trainees got straight to it, now that they’ve become somewhat accustomed to the motions and rhythms of the farm. Babies in the nursery were watered and fed, chickens let out to scavenge the earth for grubs and worms, and the weekly harvest began in earnest. This season is the one we wait for each year. No sweat dripping from our brows, no over-eager plants to trellis, just easy picking close to the soil. Eat your fill friends. Let your desires be fulfilled by the daikon radish, be mesmerized by the chioggia beet, and pickle every carrot you see.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

The chickens are enjoying their fresh wheat grass, which they are now getting daily.

The chickens are enjoying their fresh wheat grass, which they are now getting daily.

Our daikon radishes are sizing up! Lynn harvests baby daikon for the CSA.

Our daikon radishes are sizing up! Lynn harvests baby daikon for the CSA.

Cecile harvests the swiss chard that is growing so majestically.

Cecile harvests the swiss chard that is growing so majestically.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– Zucchinno Rampicante or Zucchinni
– 1 bag eggplant and cucumber
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 box Sarvodaya salad mix (arugula, lettuce, swiss chard, radish)
butternut squash & corn
– baby daikon radish (the whole thing is edible, roots and leaves – big daikon coming next week)
moringa pod

Herbs:
– 1 bunch basil
– 1 bunch garlic chives*

Fruit:
– 1 box VERY RIPE white sapote
(If you’ve never had sapote before you are in for a treat. Just eat all the flesh and skin, don’t eat the seed. It is a little messy.)
– 1 box jamun and mixed guava

Small Box

Vegetables:
– Zucchinno Rampicante or Zucchinni
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans
– 1 box Sarvodaya salad mix (arugula, lettuce, swiss chard, radish)
butternut squash & corn
moringa pod
– 1 box Sarvodaya stir fry mix

Herbs:
– 1 bunch basil

Fruit:
– 1 box VERY RIPE white sapote
(If you’ve never had sapote before you are in for a treat. Just eat all the flesh and skin, don’t eat the seed. It is a little messy.)
– 1 box jamun and mixed guava

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

The sun is getting lazy as we move into the winter season. Each day we wake up to find the darkness has come earlier, but we still get dressed, pack our pruners and breakfast, and head to the farm. There is an unspeakable beauty to our abundant farm in the fog of the fall. Not just in the lush plants, and the swaying trees, and the haze that makes each leaf glisten, but in the morning shivers we share as we move to find feeling in our hands and in the soft clouds of our frozen breaths. To stand in awe in all of the beauty that surrounds us, and think back to just two years ago when none of it all existed, when it was just a dream we hadn’t fully thought out, makes me so grateful for the world’s willingness to change. The soil doesn’t fight back when you spread compost on it, refusing to accept the blessing. The earth sings when we spread our mulch, dancing at the sight of a insulating blanket. The butterflies don’t refuse to migrate in when you plant flowers for their pleasure, they call in their friends. The creation of a garden in our saddened urban lands is truly a blessing for everyone. Thank you all for being a part of this adventure which challenges the basic tenets of our increasingly structured, organized, chaotic world. Wishing you all a beautiful fall and happy tummy.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

This week I’m happy to share some beautiful photos from one of our new Farmer Trainees, Krysta. Krysta has a blog where she writes about food, farming, cooking, and more. Check it out here! And enjoy her photos below.

img_9033copy

Cindy and Cammi happily picking through the eggplant bed.

img_9007copy

The team sets up a sprinkler line to germinate a bed of carrots.

img_8998copy

Farmer Katie picks through a bed of bush beans.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Vegetables:
– 2 pieces mixed summer squash (zucchino rampicante or zucchinni or young butternut)
– 1 large or 2 small ears sweet corn
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans*
– 1 bag mixed salad greens with radish
– 1 bunch young swiss chard**
– 1 bunch water spinach*
– 1 bunch moringa leaf & 1 bunch moringa seed pod*
– 1 basket jalapenos

Herbs:
– 1 bunch lemongrass*
– 1 bunch basil*
– 1 bunch garlic chives**

Fruit:
– 1 bag guavas
– 1 basket jamun*
– 1 lb pomegranate*

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today the weather decided to be winter. It seems like more and more seasons are not patterns of weather that last for several months, but instead are daily or weekly occurrences. Today and tomorrow are winter, but three days from now might be summer or spring. As a farmer, I find this new pattern very worrying, because it makes planning on the farm very difficult. Last week, we transplanted a 150 or so red russian kale plants on a cool day, expecting cooler weather to follow. Instead, the weather shifted to 90+ degrees and we lost about a 1/3 of those plants. Thankfully, we still have enough to fill all our CSA members boxes, but I am a bit worried for the future.

On the brighter side, today saw the debut of the farm’s first root vegetables of the fall, with baby daikon radish coming out of the ground and into all of our small boxes. The baby daikon whole plants can be eaten in their entirety and they have a pleasant, mildly spicy flavor that will go great in warming soups and stir fries. You can also pickle the daikon leaves by massaging them with salt and putting them in jars like sauerkraut. Large boxes got the first of the sweet corn harvest (only a few ears were ready this week), which is coming along beautifully.

Our new class of Farmer Trainees seems to be settling in comfortably into the farm’s rhythms. We have developed a number of new systems for them to make learning on the farm easier and clearer, and we are working through our grant from Tri-City Mental Health to further develop our curriculum for them. I know they are enjoying growing, caring for and harvesting the food we all eat, and I am thankful to have such a great group with us.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Lynn's beautiful compost makes the farm go round. This pile was just finishing up.

Lynn’s beautiful compost makes the farm go round. This pile was just finishing up.

Brooke harvests the beautiful wall of yard long beans.

Brooke harvests the beautiful wall of yard long beans.

Cecile with a box full of baby swiss chard.

Cecile with a box full of baby swiss chard.

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

Want to see the farm through the eyes of our Farmer Trainees? Read their weekly blog posts below.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Vegetables:
– 1 Zucchino Rampicante
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans
– 1 bag baby sautee mix (napa cabbage, beet greens, swiss chard)
– 1 bag mixed salad greens*
– 1 bunch water spinach*
– 1 box nopales
– 1 bunch baby daikon (eat the root and leaves!)

Herbs:
– 1 bunch lemongrass
– 1 bunch basil*

Fruit:
– 1 box jamun
– many guavas*
– 1 lb pomegranate**

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

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 inch 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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Okay, so we got to it a bit late, but we did IT! We successfully grew sweet corn this year and harvested our first ear! They will be going into CSA boxes next week, and hopefully the week after also. Organic sweet corn is very hard to find because many times little caterpillars end up in the ears eating the kernels. Conventional farmers spray pesticides to kill off this caterpillar, but of course we did no such thing. So yes, your ear of corn may come with a worm or two. Just pick it off and enjoy the corn. The corn we grew is an open-pollinated variety called “Who Gets Kissed?” that was developed specifically for small-scale organic growers like us. It has done great in our fields, and we are so happy that we can actually SAVE THE SEED and grow it again next year. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Today, our new Farmer Trainee class met for their first sit-down class session and we discussed the main ideas behind our farm, specifically viewing the farm as a whole, functioning ecosystem where each element is intimately connected to and affecting every other element. During the class I realized how different our training is from the type of schooling I grew up with. Trying to understand a whole system, and all the connections between the elements of a system is contrary to anything anyone learns in school (unless maybe they attend a Montessori or Waldorf type school). When your mind has been trained to reduce, zoom-in and concentrate for years and years, it really is difficult to backup and see the whole picture (which is a scary picture to see today). Although we call our program a “farmer training,” my secret goal is actually to trick people into seeing the world as an ocean of connection. Only then can we see and understand structural problems and come up with effective solutions, whether it is in the fields of our farms, the classrooms of our schools, or the halls of government.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Our first ear of sweet corn. Coming in the CSA next week!

Our first ear of sweet corn. Coming in the CSA next week!

Ingrid and Brooke working on the harvest this morning.

Ingrid and Brooke working on the harvest this morning.

Happy cabbage seedlings growing in the nursery.

Happy cabbage seedlings growing in the nursery.

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

Want to see the farm through the eyes of our Farmer Trainees? Read their weekly blog posts below.

This week’s CSA Box

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

NOTE: We are trying to get around to update vegetables descriptions. In the mean time, for items without a provided description, feel free to Google uses and recipes.

Vegetables:
– 1 Zucchino Rampicante or Zucchini or butternut squash
– 1 bag eggplant
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans**
– 1 bunch bush beans*
– 1 box baby swiss chard
– 1 box mixed salad greens*
– 1 bunch water spinach*
– 1 bunch moringa pods + moringa leaves

Herbs:
– 1 bunch parsley*
– 1 bunch basil

Fruit:
– 1 box jamun
– a couple guavas
– 1 lb pomegranate*

*LARGE VEGGIE BOX ONLY
**SMALL VEGGIE BOX ONLY

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 inch 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. 🙂