Our Blog

Farmers’ Note

Hello Growing Club & CSA members!

As I walk through the fields, I am struck by the absolute beauty of the farm that our community has conjured together. The vegetable fields are full of luscious produce, the fruit trees are setting their fruits (and more fruit trees are being planted), the chicken pasture is chest high in grass, the nursery is full of cute baby plant people, and to top it off, we have the most stunning flush of California poppies gracing our farm. After some months of turbulence and change, I am finding some peace in the gifts of our collective work and imagination. I am also full of gratefulness to all of those who support our farm: the Growing Club members who donate to our work on a monthly basis and are the base of support of our organization; the CSA members who enjoy our produce on a weekly basis; the Farmer Trainees who bring fresh eyes and willing hands to our soil. We have created a magical garden of enchantment that continues to surprise and astonish.

This month, this farm has also has a list of good news to share. First, we were successful in our grant application to the Fruit Guys Community Fund. We will receive $5,000 for a project to install fruit trees and perennial California native plants throughout the farm as an ecological hedgerow for attracting beneficial lifeforms and growing fruit. The fruit trees have already been purchased (see some photos on our Instagram) and are being planted now. Second, we flew by the 1,000lb harvest mark this month, harvesting 1,244 lbs of food from the farm (and we have two days to go!). We are on track to break last years 10,000 lb annual harvest record already! Third, our now 28-week Urban Farmer and Composter Training Program application is now open. The application is due by April 14, with the new class starting on May 8. Tell your friends, co-workers, nephews, nieces, cousins, and grandparents to apply! We are looking for those yearning to make a difference.

Until next time,

Farmer Rishi
Founder/Director, The Growing Club

Photos of the Week

Farmer Trainee’s Journal

This week’s CSA Box

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

Notes for This Week’s Box

See the notes below about celtuce!
Tip: Use the swiss chard stalk the same way you would use celery in soups and stews.

Large Box

Vegetables:
– 1 bunch beets
– 1 lettuce heads
– 1 broccoli head
– 1 bunch radishes
– 1  bunch chrysanthemum greens
– 1 bunch magenta spreen
– 1 bunch collards
– 1 head cauliflower

Herbs:
– 1 box parsley
– 1 garlic chives

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

Small Box

Vegetables:
– 1 head broccoli
– 1 bunch red russian kale
– 1 head lettuce
– 1 bunch beets
– 1 bunch chrysanthemum greens
– 1 head cauliflower

Herbs:
– 1 bunch garlic chives

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

Chrysanthemum Greens 

If you aren’t sure how to eat this tasty Asian green, click on the links below.
Chrysanthemum Greens with Sesame Seed Dressing
Quinoa with Chrysanthemum Greens, Preserved Lemons, and Toasted Walnuts
Other Crysanthemum recipes

Magenta Spreen

Use just like spinach! Magenta spreen is high in vitamin C and E.  The underside of the leaves and top of the new leaves are covered in a fine pink dust. Resist the temptation to wash it off as it is full of calcium and protein.  It contains even more protein than kale, which contains more than the recommended daily intake of protein.
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.