Category: CSA Box

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.

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Cindy and Cammi happily picking through the eggplant bed.

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

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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. 🙂

Farm Update

Hello Growing Club Members & CSA members!

This week I feel like I’ve finally been able to settle back into the farming routine after being distracted by the home renovations for several weeks. There are still some renovations going on, but I have been able to catch up on a lot of farm work and bring my focus back to the our farmer trainees and the plant beings in the fields. Our new class of farmer trainees is being trained by the outgoing class, many of whom will finish their time on the farm this week. Although many of the trainees in our graduating class came in with very limited gardening experience, we have seem these trainees grow over the past 4 months, and I am confident that they have gained a strong footing in gardening to guide them in their future projects. Our new class is starting off to on a good foot as well. We’ve made a number of adjustments to the program for this session, and will be introducing much more structure to the training program with this class, including a stronger curriculum along with research assignments, prepared handouts, and guest teachers. We are hoping these additions will bring more focus to the program and create a more enriching experience.

In the field, this week has a been a struggle. I’m realizing more and more how dangerous the increasingly unstable weather is. Last Friday, we transplanted several hundred starts of pac choi, yukina, and kale into fields, expecting the temperature to stay cooler at least for a few days. The 100 degree+ weather over the weekend literally killed those plans, and we lost about 40% of those transplants. Not fun. I see more of a detrimental effect when the weather is cool at night and swings to a scorch by midday. The plants (and the farmers) seem to perform the worse during these temperature swings. Weeks like this really frighten me because I understand how fragile our entire agricultural system is. We are able to withstand these swings much better than others since our soil is so rich, but industrial farms won’t be able to respond these beatings well. Hopefully the weather stabilizes a bit as we move into winter and we can usher forth the bountiful greens of winter better.

CSA members will notice these weather fluctuations in the boxes, as we rely on sturdier plants such as nopales, moringa, yam leaves, and amaranth for the remainder of the “famine” season. Thankfully, we have such diversity to draw on during these more difficult times.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

This week I thought I’d share some photos of the gardens at The Growing Home. Though the spotlight has moved away from our original ecological garden, it remains a dynamic and beautiful space that we are so happy to call home.

Ingrid and the watering team make sure the seedlings are germinating.

Ingrid and the watering team make sure the seedlings are germinating.

Picking bush beans that have been so prolific recently

Picking bush beans that have been so prolific recently

Playing hide and seek in the yard long beans. Look at that beautiful trellis!

Playing hide and seek in the yard long beans. Look at that beautiful trellis!

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 bunch water spinach*
– 1 bunch moringa pods + moringa flowers*
– 1 bunch yam leaves**

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

Fruit:
– 1.5 lbs pomegranate **
– 3 lbs 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!

The last few weeks have been quite a whirlwind, but now I can see that the storm is starting to settle. The farmhouse restoration is coming to an end, with just a few projects left to be completed. Our summer class of the Farmer Training Program is now coming to a close, with most of the interns finishing up their required days in the next week or two. This week our new class of Farmer Trainees has begun, and we have another wonderful class of farmers-to-be. This class is another all-female cast, and Cindy, Susan, Krysta, Brooke, and Cecile all started working together on the farm this past Monday. We immediately got their hands in the ground planting new starts, seeding plugs in the nursery, harvesting, turning over beds, and managing the chickens. Their is a lot to learn at the farm, especially now that we have a number of systems in place to keep the farm running smoothly. I’m sure our trainees are up for the task. As for the fields themselves, we are moving further and further into the cool season, with tall, aspirational plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans making their final appearances for the year, and ground-hugging, dew loving plants like broccoli, kale, bok choi, komatsuna, mizuna, and lettuce taking root in their place. With a little luck and some cooperation from the weather spirits, we’ll have a very abundant fall and winter season, just like we did last year. The beauty of fields full of green, happy vegetables in the fall is always a blessing to behold and we’re all looking forward to the weather cooling down after so many months of heat. It will be a great time to visit the farm once this wave of heat passes, so I hope to see many of you who have never been by to the farm sometime soon!

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Farmer Trainee Journal Entries

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

Farmer Trainee Journals will be back next week with our new Farmer Training Class!

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 zuchinno rampicante
– 1 bag eggplant
– 1 bunch amaranth
– 1 bunch yard long beans*
– 1 bag green and purple snap beans
– 1 basket sweet peppers + jalapenos*
– 1 bunch yam leaves*
– 1 bunch Egyptian green onions*
– 1 bunch water spinach **
– 1 bunch moringa greens + moringa pods **

Herbs:
– 1 bunch basil
– 1 bundle lemongrass *

Fruit:
– 1 lb mixed stone fruit*
– .5 lb jujube from The Growing Home

*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!

 

It has been another extremely full week for us at the farm and especially the farmhouse.  We have made tremendous progress with the farmhouse which, with the help and guidance of our friend and Club Member Russ, is looking so beautiful. Russ flew down from Seattle and has been staying with us the last three weeks to help whip this house into shape, and he has done an incredible job of transforming it into a warm home for us. We are so grateful for his willingness to bring forth this dream with us.  As for the farm, it is chugging along even with our attention diverted mostly to the home. The weather is transitioning us to more fall crops, which means lots of greens and root vegetables. We are excited for the rest of the cooler temperatures, as we are weary of the heat the constant work of summer at the farm. Hope you all are enjoying your week and will enjoy this week’s bounty.

Until next week,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

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 zuchinno rampicante
– 1 bag nopales (cactus pads)*
– 1 bag long sweet peppers + a few jalapenos*
– 2-3 eggplant*
– 1 bunch yam leaf
– 1 bunch sorrel*
– 1 bunch yard long beans
– 1 bunch water spinach*
– 1 bunch moringa **
– 1 bag bell peppers **
– 1 bunch amaranth**

Herbs:
– 1 bunch mint*
– 1 bunch basil

Fruit:
– 1 lb mixed stone fruit
– 1 lb Growing Home mango*

*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. 🙂