March 1, 2017

Adopt a Young Fruit Tree Today!

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Ever thought of trying your hand at growing Farm Fresh fruit? If you answered yes, then you are in luck. We have a limited supply of young Black Jack Fig and Blenheim Apricot trees up for adoption in your online farm stand. These young whippersnappers will be delivered to your door in either 10” x 4” x 4” pot (Black Jack Fig) or wrapped in burlap or craft paper at the base (Blenheim Apricot).

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Left: Young Black Jack Fig, Right: Full Grown Black Jack Fig

Black Jack Fig

The Black Jack Fig is a large, elongated purplish fruit with beautiful strawberry red flesh. It is a good producer with especially sweet, juicy fruit. The sweetest figs develop when the day time temperature regularly exceeds 95 degrees F. Figs thrive in most soil types, as long as it is well-drained. These little ones will grow to about 25' tall with a canopy of about 15’ in diameter.

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Figs need warm soil for their roots to start developing and it is recommended that they be planted in growing zones 7-9. Simply plant your young fig tree in full sun and water weekly during the hotter months. Drought stressed trees will not produce fruit, however, too much water can kill a young tree. Make sure to fertilize them in spring after their first year of growing with an organic fertilizer that is lower in nitrogen and high in phosphorus, potassium and calcium. Trees should begin to fruit within 1-2 years of planting. Pruning should happen during the winter months.

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Left: Young Apricot Tree, Right: Full Grown Apricot Tree

Blenheim Apricot

The 'Blenheim' is California’s most popular apricot tree, and for good reason! Apricots produced by the 'Blenheim' are considered to be the most succulent and flavorful. It will need well-drained, moderately fertile soil and you can expect your first apricot harvest on year 3.

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Simply remove the cover at the base of your tree and plant in the ground just up to the node. Make sure to plant in full sun and give it a good watering. Once your tree is established, water weekly during the hot months and fertilize the tree once per year in the early spring just prior to bud break. Your Blenheim Apricot tree will grow 8' tall and the canopy will be 6' in diameter. This tree is generally difficult to grow in late frost areas. Recommended for growing zones 7-10.

How To Add A Young Tree 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.

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

February 16, 2017

4 Tips for Enjoying Cream-Top Milk

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If you’ve already purchased Straus’ milk, then you have probably noticed the solid cream top that gathers at the opening of your glass container. The cream in organic milk floats naturally to the top because it is not homogenized (the process of breaking down the fat molecules in milk so that they stay integrated). Most people are unsure how to properly use or incorporate this new found gem. And yes, you heard me right, it is a delicious gem nugget, and we want our customers to know that there are several tasty ways to enjoy it.

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Berries & Cream

Scoop out the cream and add a dollop to your morning bowl of berries for a delicious breakfast splurge. For an extra sweet treat, add little sprinkle of sugar or drizzle of honey.

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Coffee & Cream

Now this is the real deal, not the skim fat milk or non-dairy creamer at your office, this is really adding a bit of cream of your coffee. One blissful teaspoon of cream in your coffee will add a heavenly richness to your cup of morning Joe.

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Butter Your Toast with Cream

Obviously most people consider bread and butter a classic combination - and you won’t get any argument from us on that. However, butter is simply a cream that has been over whipped. So feel free to slather a spoonful of cream and a drizzle of honey on your morning toast for a yummy alternative to butter.

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Incorporate the Cream

Some people want that cream to be dispersed back into their milk. Not such a bad idea because that cream will add a richer flavor to your milk. To mix the cream back into the milk - poke it with the end of a spoon handle to push the cream back into the bottle, then give the bottle a good shake. Of course, this is a little more challenging with a full container. Shaking the milk before each use is recommended.

February 8, 2017

Farm Fresh Dairy Delivered To Your Door

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Photo provided by Saint Benoît Creamery

We are excited to announce that our members can now add farm fresh dairy, including milk, half & half, whipping cream, sour cream, butter and yogurt, to their scheduled deliveries. We have to admit it is kind of a warm, nostalgic feeling to have your milk bottles delivered to your doorstep. We hope you try these top quality dairy products from some of California’s finest family-owned dairies including Saint Benoît Creamery and Straus Family Creamery.

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Benoît de Korsak (far right) with his son on the farm

Saint Benoît Creamery

Benoît and David de Korsak, two French brothers, founded Saint Benoit Creamery in 2004. Dedicated to the European concept of “terroir,” (meaning “food from a place,” reflecting the local foodshed, its customs and flavors). Saint Benoît uses only local ingredients, from the fruit preserves to the honey. The success of their products is in unique simplicity: creamy, organic milk and French-style yogurt made from pasture-fed Jersey cows’ milk, packaged in reusable glass containers.

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Photo provided by Saint Benoît Creamery

All of the yogurt fruit-spreads are made from whole, locally-grown organic fruit and handcrafted by their partner farm Lagier Ranches. They use the whole fruit peel and all, so look for the little bits of zest floating around in the Meyer lemon yogurt.

It may interest you to know that cows’ milk naturally varies according to the season. For example, at some points of the year the cows’ milk contains more carotene, and therefore the cream layer is a buttery-yellow color. At other times of the year, the cream is whiter. Because their cows are pasture-fed, this greatly affects their milk. In the hot summer months, the ladies get pretty thirsty and drink more, producing a lighter color milk.

Truly, we can't say enough good things about this artisan product. If you are looking to support a small, local, land-loving family farm that produces delicious, organic dairy products - then consider adding Saint Benoît milk and yogurt to your next delivery.

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 Albert Straus, photo provided by Straus Family Creamery

Straus Family Creamery

Straus Family Creamery was founded in 1994. It is a family-owned and operated business, dedicated to making the highest quality and minimally processed organic dairy products. Their dairy and creamery are located in the small town of Marshall on the Northern California Coast and were the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River and the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States.

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Straus’ certified organic milk comes from their own farm and from eight other organic local dairies in Northern California. The first thing you'll notice when you pop the top of the reusable glass bottle of their cream-top milk is the beautiful aroma. Their organic milk is pasteurized and non-homogenized, and you can really taste the difference in the cows’ diet. Their cows graze on the sweet grasses that grow in the unique, coastal climate of the Tomales Bay region in Northern California. This is reflected in the full, rich flavor of their organic milk, organic cream and all of their other organic dairy products.

Straus Family Creamery organic butters are made in a 1950's butter churn with organic cream, no coloring or additives are ever used. This old-fashioned style of making butter takes a lot longer. With a high butterfat content (85%) and very low moisture, you’ll love using their butter for cooking and baking because it doesn't burn as easily as other butters.

We definitely appreciate the extra effort and can taste the difference and the quality.

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Once you drink up your delicious milk products, remember to return your milk bottles for a deposit credit. Just thoroughly rinse the bottles and place them on your front porch for pickup by 8pm the night before your next Farm Fresh To You delivery.