Category: CSA Box

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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Please enjoy your box this week! I ran out of time today and did not have time to write a message. Enjoy your week!

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

A compost thermometer monitors a compost pile.

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 bunch collard greens
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1  box kabocha squash
– 1 box baby spinach
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Faimily Farms
– 1 box Asian stirfry mix

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 bunch parsley

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

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch mixed kale (red russian kale and lacinato kale) *not pictured
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat roots and leaves)
– 1 box Asian stirfry mix
– 1 box nopales
– 1 kabocha squash

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives *not pictured

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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today marks the last CSA distribution day of the year and the end of our first full year of CSA production and membership. Today also marks a major milestone for us, as we crossed the 10,000 lb mark for produce harvested this year (we harvested 10,026 lbs of produce from our farm to be exact). We also crossed another milestone by delivering 1,044 CSA boxes full of nutrient-rich, clean and healthy produce this year. Each of those numbers represents countless hours of loving work put into the farm by our staff, farmer trainees, and volunteers. Those numbers also have a broader ecological meaning, representing 10,000 pounds of food that was not imported into our community from far off regions, 10,000 pounds of food that was grown without the use of toxic compounds, and 10,000 pounds of food that have nourished bodies and delighted taste-buds.

My dad always told me while I was growing up that farming is the world’s most honest work, and I have come to see the truth in this statement. Ecological farming, which doesn’t rely on the use of mined petroleum, minerals, and fertility is truly honest work. We can only harvest what we sow, and the Earth can only give to us what we give to her. Each week as we pack our boxes of produce, I feel an immense joy seeing and tasting the integrity of our produce. With each bite you can taste the thoughtfulness and care we put into our fruits, vegetables, and eggs, and I hope that honesty comes through to our Members as well.

Here’s to a fantastic year and continued progress in 2017. Thank you all for your ongoing and righteous support. Happy New Year!

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Nopales beginning to flower.

Brooke showing the daikons some love.

Cover crops are growing tall in the orchard.

Yes we’re obsessed with daikons.

Susan keeping the soil on the farm.

Felicity, a farm volunteer, harvests swiss chard.

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
beet greens can be eaten just like swiss chard. Try it!

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch lacinato (dino) kale
– 1 sweet potato
– 1  box nopales
– 1 box baby spinach
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 box Asian stirfry mix

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 2 lbs assorted fruit (Hachiya persimmons, sweet limes, apples)

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat roots and leaves) * not pictured
– 1 box Asian stirfry mix
– 1 box nopales
– 1 sweet potato

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted fruit (Hachiya persimmons, 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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today the year comes to a close, and in the darkness of the solstice, we are given time to reflect on our lives, our work, and our relationships. At the farm, that means looking back to a year of continuous learning, steady growth, and deep friendships. We started this year at the farm in definite uncertainty. We had developed the farm on a property we did not own, we did not have enough customers for the produce we were growing, and we were overwhelmed with the amount of time and effort that running a farm required.

But that was last solstice. Since then, much darkness has lifted, and we have followed the shining luminescence of our dreams towards the creation of a truly community-centered ecological urban farm. Early in the year, much light was brought to the farm by our new farm team members, Katie and Lynn. Both Katie and Lynn were part of our Farmer Training Program at the end of 2015, and in 2016 they have become integral to the farms success and growth. They have both contributed to the farm in numerous ways as mentors, managers, trainers, farmers, and friends and we look forward to their continued growth in the new year.

At the start of the year, our Farmer Training Program was loosely organized and loosely managed. With the help of Katie and Lynn, the program has grown in many directions, bringing our trainees much deeper into the farm and giving them a variety of skills and understandings to not only be good farmers, but good ecological citizens. Many of our graduated trainees are now off in the world, creating gardens of goodness in schools, non-profits, backyards and farms. We are excitedly awaiting our next class of trainees, who will start with us just after the new year (applications to the program are open until Jan. 1, click here).

On a personal level, this year has been one of tremendous growth and change. On the surface, I have had to become much more organized and directed to keep the farm and all of its programs running smoothly. On deeper level, the farm has been the source of many answers to life questions that have nagged at me for years, and I feel like I am beginning to understand some of the underlying patterns that guide all life, whether bugs, plants, or people. The Training Program has also been a wonderful growth opportunity for me to finally learn how to interact and connect with people (sometimes an alien skill to farmers). As the sun rises past the solstice, I’m sure it will will continue to illuminate and enlighten.

P.S. If you’d like to read more about all of The Growing Club’s work this year, please read our Annual Report
And If you’d like to support what we do, and get a tax-deduction, please consider Making a Donation to The Growing Club or becoming a Growing Club Sustaining Member.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Cilantro grows in the nursery.

Farm interns and a farm volunteer learn how to harvest lemongrass.

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

mung bean sprouts need to be cooked before eating. Please steam, blanch, or saute them before consuming.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch carrots
– 1 bunch collards
– 2 heads bok choy
– 1  bunch Napa cabbage
– 1 box mung bean sprouts
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch sweet potato
– 1 bunch moringa pods

Herbs:
– 1 bunch lemongrass
– 1 bunch parsley

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

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 Growing Home Kabocha *not pictured
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon *daikon greens pictured
– 1 large head bok choy
– 1 box mung bean sprouts
– 1 bunch napa cabbage
– 1 bunch moringa pods

Herbs:
– 1 bunch lemongrass

Fruit:
– 1 lb assorted fruit (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. 🙂

Ayurveda Tip of the Week

Drinking hot water regularly is a simple Ayurvedic recommendation. Boiling the water for ten minutes stimulates agni (digestive fire) directly, allowing food to be processed and absorbed more efficiently during the meal. Taken between meals, it can provide effective support in flushing out water-soluble toxins from the dhatus (body tissues).  Following this tip will allow a strong immune system this season. – Jennifer Vivanco       (Ayurveda Educator- Ayurveda Practitioner Student)

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

During my time at the Navdanya Farm in India, I always heard farmers talking about how they woke up long before the sun came up. One week while I was there, a group of farmers came to stay at the farm for an Organic Farming Training the farm was hosting. The farmers all stayed in the room next time mine. Around 4am, I was woken up by noise from outside, and found all the farmers milling around outside, taking walks and drinking chai. I remember laughing, thinking how funny it was that all these guys were drinking chai so early in the morning/ I also remember thinking that these were true farmers; the early risers, ready to meet the soil as soon as the sun peaked through.

When I began growing food several years ago, it was this story that always made me feel a bit like an impostor farmer, because I couldn’t get up early enough in the morning. This year, I feel like I have finally started to develop this characteristic farmer trait. I can easily wake up before the sun rises, get myself ready, and be out the door toward the farm. I definitely feel a bit of pride at this new development, even if it took me 5 years to develop it.

Still, as the days have grown shorter, I find the darkness finally has a hold on me. The last few weeks, I have found it progressively harder to shake myself out of bed in the morning on Wednesday to get to the farm early and start the CSA harvest. Nevertheless, I woke up today in complete darkness, went out to feed the chickens in darkness, and got my farm gear on before the sun even began to peak out a bit of light. While that’s pretty good, I’m going to make it my resolution to wake up a bit earlier next year to fully earn the title of Farmer. Maybe by this time next year, you’ll find me drinking chai with the chickens at 4am.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Stunning carrots

Farmer Manju washes beet greens.

Morning dew falls on sugar snap peas.

A hard-working compost pile.

Farmer Rishi teaches a Farmer training class about water cycles.

Misty mornings.

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
beet greens can be eaten just like swiss chard. Try it!

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch red mustard greens
– 1 bunch collards
– 1 large head bok choy or yukina savoy
– 1  bag of sugar snap peas
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch Napa cabbage

Herbs:
– 1 bunch chives
– 1 bunch parsley

Fruit:
– 1 lb pomegranate
– 1 lb apples

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch beets (eat the leaves like swiss chard)
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch daikon * not pictured
– 1 large head yukina savoy or bok choy
– 1 delicata or other assorted squash
– 1 bunch napa cabbage

Herbs:
– 1 bunch cilantro

Fruit:
– 1 lb 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. 🙂

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Welcome to December! Although I am not a cold weather person (I’m not even a California cold weather person), I have been enjoying the fresh mornings on the farm and I love being able to spend the whole morning on the farm and not break a sweat. This week marks our Farmer Trainee’s 12th week on the farm, and they have been keeping everything running smoother than a train on buttered tracks. Next week, our trainees will move into their last 6 week rotation on the farm, completing their rounds through the various tasks we have setup for them to learn. It has been such a joy to have all 6 of them around, and we are looking forward to their final weeks with us.

I have another wonderful announcement this week, which is that we have now officially sent out over 1000 CSA boxes this year! I just had time last week to reconfigure some our spreadsheets to figure out this number, and I was really surprised that we have put out so much vegetable goodness this year. Those 1000 boxes represent thousands of hours of our hard work, effort, prayer, and hope. I hope to also be making an announcement in a month or so that we have broken the 10,000 lb mark for produce harvested as well (we are at 9400lbs so far). Quite an accomplishment for a farm that’s less than 1/2 an acre, wouldn’t you say? I’m sure we’ll be putting out even bigger numbers next year, from pounds of food grown to hungry stomachs satisfied to smiles produced!

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Red Ace beets filter the morning sun.

Sunami, a volunteer, shows off his ninja skills while building a compost pile.

Tyler harvest and bunches swiss chard while out in the field.

Farmer Rishi inspects a bed of daikon radish.

Unlike many commercial kitchen sponges which don’t decompose, farm-grown luffas are durable and return to the soil after they wear out.

Brooke, a farm intern, trellises young sugar snap peas with cotton string.

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
mung bean sprouts MUST be cooked. Please do not eat mung bean sprouts raw.
– We started using a new salad spinner today, and the salad mix got a little damaged since we are new to using the machine. Please eat salad promptly as it won’t last as long this week.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 bunch moringa pods
– 1 bag moringa leaf
– 1  box of sugar snap peas
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 box mung bean sprouts (do not eat raw)
– 1 bunch water spinach

Herbs:
– 1 bunch of parsley
– 1 bunch lemongrass stocks

Fruit:
– 1 lb pomegranate
– 1 lb Satsuma mandarins

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 large head yukina savoy *not pictured (use just like bok choy)
– 1 bag moringa leaf
– 1 bunch moringa pods
– 1 bunch fingerling potatoes from Weiser Family Farms

Herbs:
– 1 bunch parsley

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.

moringa greens
Store extra moringa greens by laying the whole stems flat on a cookie sheet or tray. Store in a cool place until the leaves begin to shrivel and fall off the stems, (about 3-4 days). You will know the moringa leaves are fully dry when the leaves are crispy you can crunch the leaves into small bits in the palm of your hand. Discard or compost the stems and store the leaves in an airtight container. You can also grind the leaves into a powder using a blender or mortar and pestle. Dried moringa leaves can be added to smoothies, stews, soups, or sauces. (Do not overcook, as it will affect vitamin levels!)  The powder has almost no flavor and will add protein and vitamins to any dish.

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

Farmers’ Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

Today the farm glistened white with little magical crystals scattered across the soil and leaves of plants. Although the weather stations tell us that the low temperature is in the low 40s, the farm tells us a different story. A hundred feet from the nearest building and away from the radiant heat of asphalt streets and concrete sidewalks, the temperature drops much lower and the moisture of the air freezes into clear gems. As the day warms, those crystals melt, and the farm’s soil soaks up what was previously air moisture. Elsewhere (on concrete, asphalt, and compacted soils), this daily rejuvenation of water is lost to the air, available to no plant and no soil microbe.

Although this quantity of water may seem minuscule, it is the difference between an ecological farm such as ours and the common industrial-efficient farm. We take the time to care for the small details and microbes. On a tour of the farm last week, a student from Cal Poly Pomona asked about the mini-ponds around our farm, “How can such a small pond make any difference?” I responded in question, “If you were an insect, where would you find fresh drinking water in our urban areas?” Who, in their busy lives, takes the time to give water to wildlife? It’s the least we could do after we’ve drained all the wetlands, channeled all streams and rivers with concrete, and built malls over ponds and lakes. (I’m all for tearing down Walmarts to put in water storage lakes, who’s with me?)

Our farm does grow incredible food, but really we are trying to demonstrate the value and importance of our connections to the living beings we share this Earth with, from the microscopic protozoa to our friends and neighbors. To be good at any task, one must understand all its nuances. To be good at farming one must understand the nuances of Earth and it’s boundless connections and diversity. That’s where the flavor is.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Cindy, a farm intern, smiles for the camera between farm chores.

Salad greens display a kaleidoscope of colors.

Susan, a farm intern, harvests yukina savoy.

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.

img_9280largecopy
Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 large head black summer pac choi
– 1  box of snap peas
– 1 Waltham butternut squash
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 bunch yukina savoy
– 1 bunch yard long beans

Herbs:
– 1 bunch of holy basil
– 1 bunch garlic chives

Fruit:
– 1 lb pomegranate
– 1 lb sweet limes

img_9290smallcopy

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch daikon radish (eat the roots and leaves)
– 1 Sarvodaya salad mix
– 1 bunch swiss chard
– 1 large head black summer pac choi
– 1 bunch collard greens
– 2 beets

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. 🙂