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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.