Category: CSA Box

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

The beets are getting fat, we harvested 50 lbs of broccoli heads yesterday, and 50 pounds of sugar snap peas today. What does it all mean? It means spring has sprung baby! The nights and soil are warm, and the plants are beginning to pop like they’ve been drinking Spirulina flavored kombucha. This time is always exciting for us as farmers, as we love to see the fields bursting with produce (check out the photo of the single mutant-big romanesco below), but it also signals the beginning of the summer churn. From now on, we will be a in a race to keep up with our plant friends as they pump out their delicious goodies. The first set of zucchinni’s went in today, the tomato seedlings are 3 inches tall, and the peppers, eggplant, and okra are just popping up in the nursery. It is going to be a beautiful summer.

In other news, we are getting ready to celebrate the graduation of our previous class of Farmer Trainees (we got a bit late setting their graduation date). Invites have been sent out to all Growing Club Members, CSA Members, and past Farmer Trainees and we are grateful to celebrate the matriculation of another successful class. This class has had some real stars and we are excited to see where they take what they’ve experienced on our farm. Congratulations to Krysta, Cindy, Susan, Brooke, and Cecile!

We have also opened the application for the next round of our Farmer Training Program, which will start on May 8. Applications are due April 14 and can be found at the Farmer Training link in the menu above.

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.)

Notes for This Week’s Box

See the notes below about celtuce!

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya (arugula) salad mix
– 1 broccoli head
– 1 bunch mibuna
– 1  celtuce stalk
– 1 bunch radishes and leaves
– 1 bunch sweet peas
– 1 Chioggia beets

Herbs:
– 1 box watercress
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 2 lbs citrus fruit (oranges and lemons)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya (arugula) salad mix
– 1 bunch celtuce
– 1 bunch assorted kale
– 1 bunch Chioggia beets
– 1 bunch mibuna
– 1 bunch mibuna

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (oranges and lemons)

celtuce 

  Ingredients:
-1 qt water or vegetable stock
-3 TB high quality unsalted butter
celtuce stalk
-salt to taste
-1/4 of lemon squeezedHow to prepare:
With a sharp knife, peel the stalk so the light green translucent part is showing. (celtuce tastes bitter raw so make sure to cook it first!)
Next bring 1 quart of water or vegetable stock to a boil. Add the celtuce and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender when pierced. (Do no over cook the celtuce – because it will fall apart!) Remove the celtuce from the water or broth and pat dry with a clean towel. Heat 3 TB high quality unsalted butter in a saute pan, when the butter begins to brown, add the peeled celtuce and cook When it begins to brown add the celtuce and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on each side. Remove the celtuce from the pan and keep warm while you quickly cook the leaves, for about thirty seconds or until wilted. Place the wilted leaves on a plate, place celtuce stems on top of leaves. Add lemon to the remaining butter in the pan, swirl to warm through. Pour some of the lemon butter over the celtuce leaves and stem, add salt to taste,  and enjoy immediately.

Place the leaves on the plate, top with the celtuce stems, then add the lemon to remaining butter in the pan, swirl to warm through. Drizzle on some of the lemon butter and serve immediately, finishing with a touch of salt.

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip
Following a vata-balancing diet and routine throughout the winter, as it is Vata season. Vata qualities are dry, light, cold, rough, and Mobile. To pacify and help balance Vata favor sweet, sour, and salty foods. The diet should include plenty of fresh, warm, well cooked, and unctuous (oily) food as Vata is cold and dry.

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!
This morning I woke up to find the sun shining, and I finally had some sense that my world is coming back into order. It might just be that I’ve grown tired of the cloudy days and the rainy weather (4 months of clouds is far too long for this Socal born farmer), or it might be that the farm is coming out of a quirky adolescent stage. All winter we’ve been turning the farm upside down the new projects like the nursery, irrigation changes, bed extension and standardization, and mulching, and I’m beginning to finally see an end to these major renovations. We have also found our step with the new farmer training class, after an initial adjustment period getting used to the much larger class we took on this round.

All of these changes put some hep in my step today, and looking over the fields of gorgeous produce, I am feeling optimistic for the farm’s future. As we are the pioneers of modern urban farming in Los Angeles, we often find ourselves unsure of where we are heading and which direction to make our path, but for now we are held steady by the comfort of the beauty which we work to create and spread.

On a different note today, I’d like to share this video that was made at our farm by our friends at Kiss The Ground. They came by to the farm last week to ask me about soil, climate change, and the work that we are doing at Sarvodaya Farms, and made this beautiful video to share our message.

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.)

Notes for This Week’s Box

See the notes below about celtuce!

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 box yukina savoy
– 1  celtuce stalk
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 bunch collards
– 1 bunch mibuna

Herbs:
– 1 bunch bay leaves
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 2 lbs citrus fruit (oranges and lemons)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 celtuce stock
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 box yukina savoy

Herbs:
– 1 bunch bay leaves

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (oranges and lemons)

Storage Instructions
celtuce 
Both large and small boxes contain celtuce. If you’ve never eaten it before, don’t be intimidated by this delicacy!


  

Ingredients:
-1 qt water or vegetable stock
-3 TB high quality unsalted butter
celtuce stalk
-salt to taste
-1/4 of lemon squeezed

How to prepare:
With a sharp knife, peel the stalk so the light green translucent part is showing. (celtuce tastes bitter raw so make sure to cook it first!)
Next bring 1 quart of water or vegetable stock to a boil. Add the celtuce and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until tender when pierced. (Do no over cook the celtuce – because it will fall apart!) Remove the celtuce from the water or broth and pat dry with a clean towel. Heat 3 TB high quality unsalted butter in a saute pan, when the butter begins to brown, add the peeled celtuce and cook When it begins to brown add the celtuce and cook, turning occasionally, until lightly browned on each side. Remove the celtuce from the pan and keep warm while you quickly cook the leaves, for about thirty seconds or until wilted. Place the wilted leaves on a plate, place celtuce stems on top of leaves. Add lemon to the remaining butter in the pan, swirl to warm through. Pour some of the lemon butter over the celtuce leaves and stem, add salt to taste,  and enjoy immediately.

  Place the leaves on the plate, top with the celtuce stems, then add the lemon to remaining butter in the pan, swirl to warm through. Drizzle on some of the lemon butter and serve immediately, finishing with a touch of salt.

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip
Following a vata-balancing diet and routine throughout the winter, as it is Vata season. Vata qualities are dry, light, cold, rough, and Mobile. To pacify and help balance Vata favor sweet, sour, and salty foods. The diet should include plenty of fresh, warm, well cooked, and unctuous (oily) food as Vata is cold and dry.

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

Time flies when you’re farming. Although it feels like our new class of Farmer Trainees just started their time on the farm, they are now on their 7th week with us, which means new assignments for everyone as they rotate through our system. Every 6 weeks, trainees are switched to a new focus on the farm, either management of fields, nursery, or chickens. This past Monday, our teams switched to a new focus, and we, the farm managers, began training the teams for their new assignments.

Each time we start on a new training cycle, I realize the most difficult part of training is to remember what you know that most people don’t. Since my mom and I have been gardening enthusiastically for several years, and farming seriously for nearly 3 years, we often forget that what we know isn’t common knowledge (I’m sure this is a problem in other fields as well). We have to be conscious about the vocabulary we use, the assumptions we have, and the level of comfort we have with certain tasks. I know Lynn definitely gets some strange looks when she asks new trainees to dump buckets of rotting food waste into piles of horse poop. Not a big deal for us who are used to it (and really enjoy it), but definitely a big deal to someone used to office work.

All that said, I feel like we doing a good job with the training, and we are getting better as we go. We are continually tweaking the program and as we develop as urban farming model towards financial sustainability, I feel confident that we will soon have trained farmers and a farm model that will bring many new small-scale regenerative farms into Southern California.
Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Learning how to harvest garlic chives.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 head bok choy
– 1 bunch turnips
– 1  bag snap peas
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 swiss chard
– 1 bunch mibuna

Herbs:
– 1 bunch parsley
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 2 lbs citrus fruit (oranges from Sweet Tree Farms)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 head bok choy
– 1 bunch red radish/turnip
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 bunch carrot/potato

Herbs:
– 1 bunch watercress

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (oranges from Sweet Tree Farms)

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip
Following a vata-balancing diet and routine throughout the winter, as it is Vata season. Vata qualities are dry, light, cold, rough, and Mobile. To pacify and help balance Vata favor sweet, sour, and salty foods. The diet should include plenty of fresh, warm, well cooked, and unctuous (oily) food as Vata is cold and dry.

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

I’m a little crunched for time today, since I have to prepare for a presentation tomorrow at the Farm Blitz Conference in Claremont. I did want to mention to everyone that The Growing Club received a wonderful award today from both the California Senate and California Assembly, recognizing our work in the field of waste management at our farm. As many of our know, our Composting Program at the farm diverted nearly 30,000 lbs of food waste from landfills last year. Compost Queen Lynn is truly a queen and we are so happy that her efforts are being recognized at a government level. I’ll be uploading some pictures of the award to our Instagram @thegrowingclub soon, so follow us and check it out! Enjoy your fresh produce this week, the radishes are really delicious!

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.)

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon greens
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1  bunch turnips
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 head bok choy
– 1 bunch lacinato kale

Herbs:
– 1 bunch watercress
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch broccoli
– 1 head bok choy
– 1 bunch red radish/turnip
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 bunch beets

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip
Winter is considered vata season. Winter means dampness, cold, wind, and dryness these conditions can imbalance your constitution. To pacify and balance your body you can eat heavier, oilier, and a more substantive diet. Favor sweet, sour, and salty foods. Eating seasonal vegetables that are well cooked, warm soft foods, that are well spiced will help keep you balanced.

 

 

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

The past week, the sun has sent us our first signs of spring. For the first time in months, we were able to wear shorts and t-shirts to the farm, a strong indicator that tomato season is coming soon. This season is always an exciting time on the farm, as we move from the low growing plants that hug the Earth for warmth, to the tall-lanky fruit bearers that spread out and up to stay cool. Last week, we seeded the first of our summer crops (three tomato varieties, basil, artichokes, and zucchini) in our new nursery, and we are all excited for them to popup and get planted into the field. We have a strong feeling that this is going to be our best summer season yet, as we have now had two years to trial varieties to see which ones grow, taste, and look best. We have a beautiful line up of veggies for our CSA members from tomatoes to peppers to beans to specialty vegetables you won’t get anywhere else (say ohboi for on-choy!).

The upcoming season will also be a time of intensive learning for our Farmer Trainees. So far, they have experienced a relatively laid back time on the farm, with all the crops growing slowly, no sweat dripping off their brow, and less of the churn of the summer season. As the weather heats up, the churn will start to turn and we will be definitely be sweating it out to grow our food. I predict lots of compost, bed clearing, seed planting, and transplanting in their future, which should make for a great educational experience for all of them. Part of the farmer “training” is definitely learning to push your body through the extremes, working outdoors in the coldest and hottest weather, and we will soon be putting our trainees through the Southern California test!

P.S. I have finally gotten around to updating these updates to include the Farm Journal entries of the new class of interns. Please take the time to read the trainee’s journal entries and learn about their experience on the farm. We have some very young participants in the program this time as well (children of a long-time Growing Club member) and I think you’ll enjoy their thoughtful entries (look under Poareo Family).

2nd P.S. If you don’t follow her already, my mom has been posting some tips and recipes on her Instagram for preparing some of the unusual parts of farm vegetables. Follow her @pearlspage to see her videos.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Lynn balances organic material on her way to the compost pile.

Found a baby possum hiding in the hay.

Tyler enters farm data into the computer.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch mixed kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 box celtuce
– 1 box spinach
– 1  bunch radishes
– 1 bunch tat soi
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, beets, turnips)
– 1 box pumpkin

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 box spinach
– 1 bunch mixed kale
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch root medley (beets, turnips)
– 1 bunch mibuna

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip

Ghee is all time favorite medicine, and it easy to make.  It is nourishes all of the bodies tissues, and it is rich in flavor. Ayurveda recommends consuming ghee in the winter for warming the body, but it’s an all year medicinal fat.
High quality butter, it is a great source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin K and is great for teeth, hair, skin and nails.

It’s easy to make ghee at home. Good quality ghee can be made from organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter.

To make ghee, use 1 pound of butter. Slowly melt the butter in a pot, using a low flame, once the butter has melted you can bring the flame to medium. Let it simmer until till you see the lactose forming on the top, it looks like a foam and floats on top of the melted butter. Start removing the foam with a slotted spoon until you only see the golden brown liquid. Then you can strain it with a fine sieve or cheese cloth. Now you have lactose free ghee for cooking 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Although I’ve been enjoying the rainy days and cool weather on the farm, I am feeling ready for the longer and warmer days of spring. Last week, I placed our seed orders for our Summer Season, and am so excited for the bountiful fruits of summer. We’ve been hard at work all fall and winter making some major upgrades to the farm, including a beautiful new expanded nursery setup, new irrigation systems, extending beds, and new beds. We are oh-so ready to fill the fields with tomatoes, zucchinis, peppers, eggplant, and more.

Planting work on the farm has also been very slow with cold weather, with many of our current crops having been in the fields for over 3 months. I’m hoping it will warm up so we can get the new interns some practice in starting seeds, clearing beds, and transplanting, as these are some of the primary skills they need to learn while on the farm. I know once the season gets going, we will be very quickly turning over beds to warm weather crops and they will keep us busy all the way till fall.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Organic material waiting to be composted.

A chicken enjoys the fully grown cover crop.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch mixed kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch collards
– 1 bunch large daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1  bunch nopales
– 1 bunch broccoli greens
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, turnips)
– 1 bunch mustard greens
– 1 box pumpkin

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives
– 1 bunch watercress

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms
– 1 bunch broccoli greens
– 1 bunch Daikon (eat roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, turnips)
– 1 bunch nopales

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)

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. 🙂

Jennifer’s Ayurveda Tip

Ghee is all time favorite medicine, and it easy to make.  It is nourishes all of the bodies tissues, and it is rich in flavor. Ayurveda recommends consuming ghee in the winter for warming the body, but it’s an all year medicinal fat.
High quality butter, it is a great source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin K and is great for teeth, hair, skin and nails.

It’s easy to make ghee at home. Good quality ghee can be made from organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter.

To make ghee, use 1 pound of butter. Slowly melt the butter in a pot, using a low flame, once the butter has melted you can bring the flame to medium. Let it simmer until till you see the lactose forming on the top, it looks like a foam and floats on top of the melted butter. Start removing the foam with a slotted spoon until you only see the golden brown liquid. Then you can strain it with a fine sieve or cheese cloth. Now you have lactose free ghee for cooking 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This week I am really feeling the desire for balance. One of the most important lessons I have learned from studying ecosystems and human cultures as part of ecosystems has been the importance of periods of balance and continuity. As we all know, any type of routine allows for some ease to life. You know what’s coming, you know what you need to do, you know what the result will be. In a routine, there is safety and comfort, and long periods of routine can create balance where every participant in an ecosystem knows there role and works together with the system to create balance (of course, routine can also cause stagnation and close us off to change which may be for the better).

Right now, however, my life as an urban farmer is going through a period of turbulence. Working as we at The Growing Club do, challenging dominant systems, whether they be economic, political, or cultural, opens our lives to much disturbance from the systems that dominate these spheres. Of late, that pressure has come from the local political system and local economic systems that are attempting to arrest the growth of our little community-centered farm just at the point when we are ready to bloom. What this means for me is that my mind is scattered in many directions, trying to manage our organization and our farm, each of which are attracting significant interest from organizations, foundations, and universities across Los Angeles, as well as trying to fend off the forces which threaten our work.

However, each time I encounter one of these rough patches that drain my energy, I find that we come through stronger, with clearer direction and (somewhat) renewed spirits. All the drama keeps life pretty interesting too. We’ll see what the future holds for the little farm that could.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Spring

New nursery beds being built

Cleaning the chicken coop.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 large bok choy
– 1 bunch large daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1  bunch nopales
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms
– 1 bunch root medley (beets, carrots, turnips)
– 1 bunch pea greens

Herbs:
– 1 bunch mint
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch mixed mustard greens *not pictured
– 1 bunch bok choy
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, turnips, beets) *not pictured
– 1 bunch pumpkin *not pictured

Herbs:
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit

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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Hope you all have stayed safe and dry despite the wet and wild weather. The new interns usually come to the farm, rain or shine, freezing or sweltering. That’s just the nature of farming. However this week, Mother Nature gave us a few surprises! As many of you are aware, LA is experiencing its wettest winter in years, with 14.33 inches of rain since October, or more than 200% of average! The rain keeps on falling, but the farm keeps on growing.

On Friday, even though the rain descended in torrential spurts, it did not stop interns from assembling seed tables, taking down beds, organizing seeds, and planting. The new interns are a great addition to the farm, and it is amazing to see the diversity of personality and interests that enrich the farm.

Regrettably, flood-like conditions and pouring rain caused interns and staff to stay home on Monday. Despite the unusual events, the interns are still in high spirits and are learning more each week. It is empowering to see the old interns teaching and instructing the new interns – demonstrating the knowledge they have acquired over their internship. It is great to see how far they have progressed in just a few short months. I look forward to seeing the growth we will have over the coming weeks, with both plants and people.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Ice ice baby.

Frosty arugula.

Farm intern Cheryl, teaches other interns how to tell when a daikon radish is bolting.,

Freshly harvested carrots wait to be cleaned.

Susan, an intern, listens to Manju teach about different harvesting practices.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 large bok choy
– 1 bunch large daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1  bunch sweet potato
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms
– 1 bunch red mustard
– 1 bunch pea greens

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 large daikon radish
– 1 bunch bok choy
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, turnips, beets) *not pictured
– 1 spinach box *not pictured

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit

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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This week has been been all about change at the farm. This Monday, we had our new team of Farmer Trainees start their official time at the farm, and it has been exciting, joyful, and disorienting to have so many new faces at the farm. Our graduating class has been doing a great job of helping to train the new class in learning all of the regular farm maintenance tasks, while our staff has been working on a more managerial level to make sure we still get things done that need to be done. Our team and I are looking forward to a rich and rewarding next 18-weeks with the new trainees, and hope we can make their experience on the farm both educational and fulfilling.

We are also making some major changes to the physical structure of the farm. For the past several weeks, we have been working on a major revamp of our irrigation system. Our current system was setup somewhat haphazardly during our early months at the farm, and I realized it was time to give everything an upgrade. The new system should be much easier for us to use and more effective in delivering water when and where we want it. We are also getting ready to (finally) put in fruit trees and California natives throughout the farm to provide perennial habitat areas and attract a diversity of pollinators and beneficial insects. Putting in more trees has been our dream since we first arrived on the farm and now that we have long term security, we are finally getting to it. Lastly, we are moving and expanding our nursery area to make room for expanded vegetable seedling production and to start sprouted lentil and micro-green production. This expanded nursery will help us keep our growing beds full, and we hope to use part of it to make seedlings available to our members and community. All of these improvements will make the farm and our training program much more rich and immersive, as we continue to walk towards our goal of a true model ecological urban farm.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

It has been so cold on the farm, Brooke exchanged her uniform of shorts for…pants!

We welcome the warm morning sun.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch root medley (beets, turnips, carrots)
– 1 bunch broccoli heads
– 1 large daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1  bunch sweet potato
– 1 bunch yukina savoy/bok choy
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 bunch swiss chard

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 bunch lemons

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted fruit (Cara Cara oranges and apples from Sweet Tree Farms; sweet limes from The Growing Home)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 large daikon radish
– 1 bunch bok choy
– 1 box Growing Home Kabocha *not pictured
– 1 bunch root medley (carrots, turnips, beets)
– 1 bunch broccoli *not pictured

Herbs:
– 1 bunch lemons

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted fruit (Cara Cara oranges and apples from Sweet Tree Farms; sweet limes from The Growing Home)

Ayurveda Tips for a Health

By Jennifer Vivanco

Winter cold increases your vata, it is necessary to maintain a balance among the 3 doshas throughout the year to stay healthy. Vata dosha is the energy that controls bodily functions such as heartbeat, blinking, breathing and blood circulation. If this dosha is not balanced, you can experience fear, anxiety, colds, joint pain, and insomnia. Spices that are hot can pacify your Vata and can provide you with the warmth and energy required for the cold winter seasons. You can season your foods with spices like cloves, fennel, black pepper, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, oregano, basil, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric to beat the cold. Use chilli powder, cayenne pepper, and horseradish in moderation.

Adding a vata pacifying tea to your diet may help keep the body at balance during the winter season. Try the CCG tea:

Ginger, a potent stimulant, relieves phlegm and mucus from the lungs, relieves gas, and encourages sweating and the elimination of wastes through the skin. Cumin synergizes well with ginger, performing most of the same functions; it cleanses the blood also. While ginger and cumin have a heating tendency, coriander is cooling. It provides the cooling balance to both herbs while performing most of the same actions; it is also a diuretic.

Ingredients:
1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1/4 tsp roasted coriander seeds
1/4 tsp grated dried ginger
2 cup boiling water

Directions:
Warm a teapot by rinsing with hot tap water.
Place seeds and ginger into the warmed pot and cover with boiling water

Jennifer Vivanco is currently a student of Ayurvedic Medicine at Southern California University of Health Sciences studying under a group of Ayurvedic Medical doctors. She will be graduating as an Ayurvedic Educator April 2017 , and as an Ayurvedic Practitioner April of 2018. Ayurveda is the science of life, which teaches us how to keep the body, mind, and spirit at balance and in health.

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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Boy oh boy what a busy past two weeks it has been. I was hoping to get some rest during this cold and rainy season, but the farm and farm politics have been keeping my schedule and my mind full. One of the reasons I got into farming was because I was hoping to live a enjoyable and relaxing life, but that doesn’t seem to part of the deal for us urban farmers. In the past month, we received word that the large empty lot next to us was going to be developed into 14 gargantuan townhomes that threatened to cast shade over our vegetable fields. As soon as we received the letter, our whole team went into a frenzy to figure out how we could limit this development so it would not pose an existential threat to our gardens. We researched, organized, and rallied, and put together a plan for how we could legally oppose the development. Luckily, Pomona’s zoning codes were written in our favor, and not the developers. Last night, many of our neighbors, supporters and our team showed up to the Pomona Planning Commission Meeting, and spoke our against the proposed development. The response from the commissioners was loud and clear; development of empty and barren land is a good thing, but development which does not take into account the will and well-being of the neighborhood is not development, but profiteering. We are hopeful that this project will no longer pose a threat to our Pomona garden.

On much brighter note, the past two weeks we have been interviewing new applicants for our Urban Farmer and Composter Training Program. We at first we were worried that we would not receive enough applications, but it turned out everyone was waiting to turn in their application at the last moment. We received an incredible 19 applications for our program, most of them from incredibly talented, diverse, and determined people. Each applicant who made it through the initial review round was asked to come in for two interview days on the farm, and we had a wonderful time meeting each of them. The problem, however, was deciding how to choose 9 people from such an incredible pool of applicants. After much deliberation, we have made our decisions and will be announcing our new Farmer Trainees within the next week. We are all so excited to have another class of trainees coming through our program, and again sad that some of the current trainees time on the farm is coming to a close.

P.S. Although I didn’t get time to publicize last week’s Weekly Farm Update, it has been published. See below for last week’s Farm Update. Krysta took some great photos last week that you should all see.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Smiles in the rain.

Prospective interns help with new irrigation lines for the farm.

Farmer Rishi teaches others about irrigation on the farm.

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch beets (eat roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch collard greens
– 1 bunch daikon radish
– 1  box kabocha squash
– 1 bunch yukina savoy
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch mixed kale (red russian kale and Lacinato)
– 1 bunch bok choy

Herbs:
– 1 bunch onion chives
– 1 bunch lemons

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted fruit (cara cara oranges, sweet limes, apples)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch mixed kale (red russian kale and lacinato kale)
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon radish
– 1 bunch bok choy
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Faimily Farms *not pictured
– 1 bunch mibuna *not pictured

Herbs:
– 1 lemons

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted fruit (cara cara oranges, sweet limes, apples)

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. 🙂