Thursday, January 29, 2015

Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

coffee
Photo provided by Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

There is nothing more satisfying than waking-up on a chilly January morning to the smell of really good coffee brewing. But honestly, coffee is a favorite beverage around the farm in every season. This is why we are very excited to offer Farm Fresh To You customers two delectable organic coffee varietals from Pachamama, a farmer-owned coffee cooperative based in California.

pachamama farmers
Photo provided by Pachamama Coffee Cooperative
 
Pachamama’s member-cooperative represent tens of thousands of families in Peru, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Ethiopia. Buying organic coffee directly from farmers means better quality coffee, a better life for the farm family and a healthier environment.

pachamama coffees

This week we are offering organic French roast, a tried-and-true dark roast that is well known for its bold, strong and smooth flavor and a single-origin, medium roast coffee from Nicaragua that has a bright and complex flavor.

alexa marin
Photo provided by Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

Farmer Highlight 

Pachamama has been working closely with Alexa Marin, whose farm was devastated last year by the coffee rust, “La Roya”. La Roya destroys the coffee tree, leaving a skeleton of a plant that was once a lush plant covered in cherries. Coffee, unlike annual crops, takes 4 years to be a producing plant. As a single woman with two grown sons, it would be easy to stop farming. However, on a trip to Nicaragua last year, Pachamama sampled 20 coffees and Alexa’s coffee was among the best. At Pachamama they have been actively raising funds to help Alexa replant in order to create a thriving family farm.

pachamama farm 2
Photo provided by Pachamama Coffee Cooperative

How To Add Pachamama Coffee to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kale & Apple Soup


kale 
This time of year, kale harvests are underway and the vitamin packed leafy green is a winter staple in Farm Fresh To You boxes. Cool temperatures call for warm soups, so we wanted to share this cozy and healthy Kale & Apple Soup from The Kitchn.

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

kale and apple soup
Photo by Sara Kate Gillingham



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Broccoli and Kale Pasta Salad

kale and broccoli pasta salad

We are a few weeks into the New Year and healthy eating habits and work-out routines are still a hot topic around here. So, in the spirit of sticking with healthy resolutions, we wanted to share another produce packed recipe from Holly that doesn’t scrimp on flavor.

This recipe features Baia’s spinner style pasta made in small batches by Italian artisans in Oakland, CA. Baia pasta follows traditional pasta-making techniques that give it a great texture and authentic flavor. Add it to your next produce delivery when customizing your Farm Fresh To You box in our Farm Stand Market! Learn more at the bottom of this post.

ingredients for broccoli and kale pasta

By Holly of Buttercup and Bourbon
After a month of eating whatever buttery sweet cookie and cake in sight, I decided it's time for that annual New Year cleanse. If you are like me, jumping head first into only eating leafy greens and quinoa isn't the easiest way to kick off clean eating. So I give you a great alternative to ease you into a new diet for this year, a light and green packed pasta salad! In collaboration with Farm Fresh to You's organic produce and their new offering of California artisan-made pasta from Baia Pasta, this salad is the right combination of healthy and hearty to keep you full and focused on kicking off the year with clean eating.

greek yogurt and herb dressing

The mixture of Greek yogurt, lemon, and herb dressing to top off some amazing organic produce and pasta ensures not only satisfied taste buds but also a happy tummy, enjoy!

Broccoli and Kale Pasta Salad
INGREDIENTS:

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 2 cups chopped broccoli
• 1/2 cup kale, (chard or spinach would also work), chopped
• 1-1/2 cups organic durum wheat semolina Baia Pasta, Spinner shape
• 1/2 cup unsweetened plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup light coconut milk
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
• 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
• Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Bring an inch of salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the broccoli, cover, and steam for 3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Remove broccoli from pot, drain, and rinse under cold water until cooled to room temperature. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
 

Cook pasta according to package instructions to al-dente texture. Drain the pasta and spray with olive oil. Then spread the pasta out on a baking sheet to cool to room temperature.
 

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, coconut milk, lemon juice, honey, garlic, parsley, dill and mint. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
 

In a large serving bowl, combine the broccoli, chopped kale, pasta and dressing. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges and a sprig of fresh herbs, enjoy.

broccoli and pasta salad with herb yogurt dressing

How To Add Pasta and Produce to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add beans to your delivery.


Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

butternut squash mac and cheese with thyme

The holidays have passed and we have welcomed 2015 with open arms. It is the opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to incorporate healthy changes. To start the year off right, we want to share this healthier spin on macaroni and cheese from one of our CSA members, Holly.

Find a new favorite staple with Baia pasta. This spinner style pasta goes the extra mile by using the finest organic flours milled from grains grown in the United States. Made in small batches by Italian artisans in Oakland, Baia pasta follows traditional pasta-making techniques that make it taste authentic. Add it to your next produce delivery when customizing your Farm Fresh To You box in our Farm Stand Market! Learn more at the bottom of this post.

ingredients for butternut squash mac
By Holly of Buttercup and Bourbon

Nothing says comfort food like macaroni and cheese, but with the New Years and many healthy resolutions in place, here is a produce packed spin on this favorite cheesy classic. Partnering once again with the good folks at Farm Fresh To You, this recipe utilizes their organic seasonal produce and California artisan-made pasta from Baia Pasta.

butternut squash cheese sauce

Roasted butternut squash mixed with thyme, nutmeg and Parmesan cheese melt into a delicious side dish that will be a great addition to any post-holiday meal or a new comfort food to add to your recipe book, enjoy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 (3-4 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1-inch cubes
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
• 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup half and half
• 1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, plus additional for topping
• 3 cups organic durum wheat semolina Baia Pasta, Spinner shape
• Sprig of thyme for garnish

 
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 425º. Prep and cut the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil to the mixing bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper, stir to combine. Spread the squash on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 35 - 45 minutes, turning once halfway through the roasting time.

Reduce oven heat to 375°. Allow the butternut squash to cool to room temperature. Place in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Remove the pan from heat and add the flour, thyme, nutmeg, and salt to the onion mixture, stirring to combine. Place pan back on the burner over medium heat; add butternut squash puree and half and half, stirring constantly. Add the Parmesan cheese and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook the pasta according to package instructions to al dente texture. Drain and place cooked macaroni in 9x9 casserole dish. Pour the butternut squash cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to combine. *Note - If you wish to cook in individual portions, fill small ramekins with the mixed pasta and sauce to the top and follow the same baking times below.

Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and bake the mac and cheese for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Let cool for 5 minutes after baking and serve topped with a sprig of thyme.

Enjoy!

butternut squash mac and cheese

How To Add Pasta and Produce to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add beans to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

Friday, December 19, 2014

How to Make Dried Orange Ornaments

decorating the tree
Ainsley helps to decorate the family Christmas tree

Each year we try to make something natural and eco-friendly to add to our tree decorations. This year we landed on citrus ornaments, which make such a cheerful and fragrant addition. Although we chose oranges this year, lemons and grapefruit would also work well. 

Dried Orange Slices

This is a very simple craft to do with your little ones and will make a colorful impact on your Christmas tree.

Making Dried Orange Ornaments
Imogen Prepares to Thread the Orange Slices
DRIED ORANGE ORNAMENTS

Makes 20 Ornaments

WHAT YOU NEED:

5 oranges
1 sharp knife

needle & thread
baking Sheet
oven

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.Using a sharp knife, slice oranges thinly, you should be able to get 5 nice slices per-orange. Lightly dab off any extra juice with a towel.


Arrange orange slices on a baking sheet and put into oven for two hours.
Reduce oven heat to 140 (that is as low as mine goes) and remove the orange slices from the baking sheet and place directly on rack. 

Turn slices once after about an hour to keep them from curling or sticking. Turn off oven and leave overnight. 

The following morning, remove slices from oven. Use a needle to thread a string through the orange slice. Tie in a knot to make a loop.

And that’s it! With minimal effort, you have 20 all-natural rustic ornaments to adorn your tree with. And since you made them by hand, you get bragging rights when guests visit for the holidays and comment on your lovely and unique tree ornaments.

To find this craft and other seasonal recipes, visit our website.

We want to wish everyone a safe and healthy holiday season!

Orange Slices Ornaments

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Yolo Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yolo Press Olive Oil
Yolo Press Organic Extra Olive Oil

We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Yolo Press extra-virgin olive oil and it's finally here! We have a very limited supply of this local treasure to offer to our Northern California Farm Fresh To You customers. This would make a great gift for the holidays but we understand if you would prefer to keep it all to yourself.

Mike and Dianne
Diane and Mike Madison

Yolo Press is a small, family-run farm in Yolo county that was started by Diane and Mike Madison. The farm originally specialized in growing flowers, however, Mike was seeking another crop that worked well with the flower-growing operation, and they settled on planting an olive orchard.

Harvesting Olives
Colin and Susan (apprentices of Diane and Mike)

Turns out, olives were a great idea and Mike eventually bought his own olive-oil press to turn out some of the best organic olive oil around. The oil that we are offering our Farm Fresh To You customers is a blend of Tuscan varieties, primarily Frantoio and then combined with Leccino and Pendolino. It has a good balance of fruitiness and pepper on the back of the throat, indicating that it's chock full of those good polyphenols.

The produce building at Yolo Press
The produce building (built by Mike) houses the olive oil press and Dianne's jam kitchen.

Enjoy this extra-virgin olive oil with bread, drizzled over pasta or use it to cook your favorite meal. With the shortage of Italian oils this year, get the good stuff from close to home.

How To Add Yolo Press Olive Oil to Your Delivery:
CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.



Monday, December 8, 2014

Rain!

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
The first storm took three days to delivery three quarters of an inch.

In one week, the lingering Capay fall was flooded by winter. The pitter-patter of rain drops on the roofs was a welcome sensation. The monitoring of the rain gauge in the equipment yard was an exciting event. The first little storm took three days to deliver three quarters of an inch – enough to only wet everything. There was one sunny day, then the next system moved in from the west, first stacking up over the coastal foothills and then flooding the farm with showers.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
In two days we received two and one quarter inches of rain!

This storm was much more exciting. In two days we received two and one quarter inches of rain. By this time, the ground was saturated. All of this water hit the trees and plants followed them down to the soil and then began the slow and methodical journey down, down, down, ending in the creek. The furrows in the fields were filled with water.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
The sediment trap near the event site. Finally enough water to cause runoff!

The sediment traps filled with water. Every low spot on the farm turned into a small pond. Below all of those points was a steady stream of rain water brown with sediment that was working its way towards the creek. This is the kind of event that adds water to our reservoirs. This is the moisture that will be used to water our crops next summer.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Every low spot on the farm turned into a small pond.

The entire farm is enjoying the forced changes that rain brings. The office bustled with the chatter of people at work, who can’t work because of the rain.

The cover crops that had been sitting in the dry dirt waiting have sprung to life. They have popped up in the neat lines in which they were planted. Soon they will make the whole field green, and the soil will no longer be visible. The leaves of the fruit trees have been washed from their branches and lay on the ground ready to be incorporated into the soil again – their trees stand tall and bare.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Our tractor, rigged with our ripper and ring roller, grounded while we wait for the soil to soak up the rain. 

This last storm was a step in the right direction, but we will need many more this winter to adequately quench the thirst created over the last two years. Let’s us hope this is only the beginning of a wet few months.

Your Farm News in Photos - Rain!
Follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus)!

You can follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus). We post pictures and captions of what is going on with our farm each week.