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,
Founder/Director, The Growing Club
(Please click each item below for a larger photo, description, and preparation instructions.)
Notes for This Week’s Box
– 2 lbs assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 1 lb assorted citrus fruit (Blood oranges and lemons from Sweet Tree Farms)
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
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 🙂