September 18, 2018

Know Your Farmer - Cru Chocolate

Know Your Farmer

Growing connections from cacao farms to chocolate loving communities

With passion, craftsmanship, and creativity, two engineers turned entrepreneurs have brought the first bean-to-bar business to the Sacramento area. Cru Chocolate was founded by Karla McNeil-Rueda and Eddie Houston in 2016, and we are grateful to have them join our community.

Know Your Farmer
(Photo credit Rachelle Lerude)

Their seemingly simple name, Cru, implies “highest-quality” chocolate, referring to their meticulous process of hand sorting, roasting, stone-grinding, and aging chocolate to perfection in their food-certified home kitchen. Each bar comes from the collaboration of hundreds of people across the Americas.

Know Your Farmer - Cru Chocolate

With an emphasis on creating small-batch, single origin craft chocolates, their direct trade cacao and organic sugar creates an artfully designed chocolate bar wrapped in colorful labels in honor of Central American tradition. Cru celebrates complexity of flavors and diversity of textures inherent and indicative of each origin. Honduras single origin chocolate has bright citrus and espresso notes, whereas the Dominican Republic single origin chocolate has smooth and nutty with a subtle tart cherry note.

Know Your Farmer
(Karla McNeil-Rueda, Founder. Photo Credit Cru Chocolate)
Karla grew up in Honduras on her family’s farm, where they cultivated cacao beans. Jumping into the craft chocolate movement just two years ago, Karla created Cru Chocolate to celebrate the rich culture of cacao with customers, strengthen her connection to origin, and empower woman-entrepreneurs in the cacao industry. Her vision of success includes working with people she admires, creating products she cares about and making a positive contribution to the world.


Chocolate has been used as a food of connection and enjoyment for thousands of years. Cru Chocolate brings a unique experience to the customer, offering several single-origin bars, cocoa nibs, and roasted cocoa beans. Now all you have left to decide is which chocolates to add to your farm box. Better yet, add a couple for a side-by-side taste comparison of the alluring flavors of Central America.

Know Your Farmer - Cru Chocolate


How To Add Cru Chocolate Products 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 2:00 p.m., 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.

Header photo credit Cru Chocolate

September 5, 2018

DIY Mason Jar Butter

butter-ingredients

There is nothing better than homemade butter. OK there may be something better, but right now all I can think about is rustic bread smothered in creamy, delicious butter. If people knew how easy it is to make this staple, my guess is that everyone would do it. First off, this is a perfect task to give the kids. A guaranteed 10 minute job that produces crowd-pleasing deliciousness. All you need is a Mason jar, some heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of freshly chopped herbs. It is important to use a whipping cream that has a good amount of fat, such as Straus' organic whipping cream, which can easily be added to your next Farm Fresh To You delivery. Not a member? Click here to get started.

MASON JAR BUTTER

INGREDIENTS:
1 Mason jar
heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
herbs (optional)

DIY-Mason-Jar-Butter (no text)

DIRECTIONS:

Fill the Mason Jar half-way full with heavy whipping cream. Screw the lid on tight and start shaking. After 2 minutes, you'll have whipped cream - but don't stop there.

After another few minutes, you will start to hear that a lump has formed inside. At this point, add a pinch of salt and herbs to your Mason jar and shake for another minute or so.

Remove the solids from the jar. The remaining liquid is buttermilk. We like to save that and use it for french toast or creamy salad dressings.

Place the solids into a small bowl. Rinse the butter with cold water and use your hands to squish it into a ball. Discard water and repeat rinsing.

At this point you have butter. Serve and enjoy!

Note: The butter should be used within 3-5 days.

Click here for a print-friendly version of the recipe.



How To Add Whipping Cream and other Farm Products To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. The 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.

August 13, 2018

Fire Landscape

Fire Landscape

Farm News

A huge red fire ball looms over the farm late in the afternoon. As it sets to the west, it disappears behind the thick layer of smoke, but it is still light. The haze of the days and the inability to see the hills that normally surround us have become normal this summer. Somewhere a fire burns, taking decades of brush and undergrowth and turning it to ash. We are reminded that as far away as it is from our farm, it really is not that far away from any of us.

The fires have not affected the crops, but they have taken a toll on the morale of the people. Generally, there is some reprieve from the intense summer heat in the beauty of this place, the hills. The fresh evening breeze provides a much needed reset each day. Through the thick air and haze, we have only memories of the summer hills, but we are sure they are still there.

The good news is that whatever is burning now will not burn again for many years. We talk about the last time this place or that place burned, and there is often no memory of it −10, 20, 30 plus years without a fire. In the not so distant past, lightning strikes would routinely light up these place one at a time, here and there. They would burn a bit then run into a place that burned a few years ago and put themselves out, creating a patterned quilt of wild lands ripe for a fire mixed with recently burned places that could not be burned by the most talented of fire starters. We are good at putting small fires out. Now, it is all ready to burn and as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow and that summer will give way to fall, wild areas will burn. Now they burn so large that all we can do is watch, in awe, of the amazing force our environment delivers.

In the haze the farm moves on, keeping pace with the earth’s run around that red fire ball in the sky. The summer crops are slowing to their main stride of harvest. The planting window for our precious fall vegetables has arrived. Into the ground, we tuck kale, chard, collards and lettuce transplants. From the hot soil, carrot seeds pop from the ground. Satsuma mandarins exceed the size of a golf ball, but are still a deep and dark green. The canal runs at its brim bringing water to all our crops.

When the haze does not completely bury the sun in the evenings, a spectacular sunset rich with colors is delivered. For a moment the image is so intense, so lucid and pure that we forget about all of it − only seeing the beauty of the world.

Make sure to find us on Instagram @farmfreshtoyou and @farmerthaddeus.