December 30, 2015

Healthy Juices for 2016 Part 2

We hope you enjoyed our first round of Healthy Juices for 2016 Part 1 and are ready for round two! We've done our best to include juices for everyone, from the newbies to the die-hard green juice lovers. Check out the recipes below and let us know if you try any of them!

Refreshing Kiwi, Apple and Fennel Juice
Refreshing-Kiwi-Apple-Fennel-Juice-Lead


This light and refreshing juice with kiwi, apple and fennel is a perfect way to ease into juicing if you've never tried a juice before. The kiwi and apple are slightly sweet and the fennel only gives a slight kiss of flavor. Get the Refreshing Kiwi, Apple and Fennel Juice Recipe here.

Sunrise Juice
Sunrise-Juice-Aerial


Packed with vitamin C, this sunrise juice is the perfect juice for when you're feeling under the weather, need a little pick-me-up, or want a simple, fresh juice to make. Add in the ginger if you want a little bit of kick to your juice or are fighting a cold. Get the recipe for the Sunrise Juice here.

Clean Green Juice
Clean-Green-Juice


Simple and with only a few ingredients, this juice is easy to make and a great way to get some fruits and veggies for the day. This has a mild "green juice" flavor. Get the Clean Green Juice recipe here.

Purple Power Juice
Purple-Power-Juice-650-353


This juice with beets, carrots, apple and pear is a great way to play around with varying flavors and see what kind of juice profile you like. Add more pears, apple or ginger if you don't want to taste the beets at all, or stick to just one apple and pear each with no ginger to taste the earthiness of the beets and carrots. We promise you'll like this juice even if you aren't sure about the beets -- adding apples and pears masks the flavor and you can't even taste it! Try the Purple Power Juice by clicking here.

Lean Green Gravenstein
Lean-Green-Gravenstein


Bok choy seems like it might be an odd choice in a juice, but it actually complements the pear and apple fantastically. In the recipe, we used Gravenstein apples, but any apple will do. This is a great green juice to try if you're new and leery about dipping your toe in the green juice pool. Get the Lean Green Gravenstein Juice here.

How To Add Juicing Fruits and Vegetables To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. On the second page of customizations, you’ll find “Produce by the Case” and can stock up if you want a larger batch of produce for juices. 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.

December 28, 2015

Happy New Year

From the Fields - Thaddeus

Another year – three hundred and sixty degrees around the sun, back to the beginning of the cycle of seasons. The winter is a dangerous time of year for fresh fruit and vegetable farmers. With no crops to tend to, no fires to put out, no broken equipment that needs to be fixed RIGHT NOW, no crops screaming for irrigation water – we get bored. A friend of mine calls this time of year SAD – Seed Acquisition Disorder – because this is the time of year when wild ideas of what to grow are easily agreed to. I have to keep reminding myself, “What we did last year was a big deal. We were really busy and had a ton of problems – keep it simple.” But that just isn’t any fun.


Everyone’s favorite planting-schedule topic are the new varieties – new tomatoes, new greens, we need a blue tomato, new melons, this really cool variety of broccoli. Did you see that winter squash write-up in the newspaper? Do you know how many different Asian greens there are? Check out this amazing eggplant! Ever heard of a Cipollini onion? Chinese long beans are amazing! Why did we stop growing seeded watermelons? I am not going to lie: I love it, but every winter, it gets me in trouble next year.


This is the season that I think of my mom the most. She loved this part. As a child, I have fond memories of the winter. Our living room was warmed by a roaring fire that was the only source of heat for the house. The concrete, slab floor covered in burgundy rectangle tiles held the heat well. While my brothers and I would be playing a game of “let’s see who can keep our butt on the fire the longest,” our mom was sitting at the dining room table clearly working on a project. The table was covered in seed catalogues and each one had strips of paper sticking out of it marking the selection. On a piece of paper (mind you this was before computers), mom had a list going in her impeccable hand writing. Each catalogue had a center piece that tore out and served as an order form and envelope. Mom would fill this out for each catalogue, cross out the selection on her master list, calculate the price and insert a hand-written personal check. At the end of the process, a stack of envelopes filled with orders would go to the post office. Mom loved it. She loved trying new things, and there were lots of gems she found along the way.


As the years add up, I can’t help but notice that I once was my mother’s son on this topic, and now I have been weathered into a more conservative point of view. Having done this for 15 years now, I have noticed that I have my list, my proven performers, narrowed down by year after year of mini disasters rooting from the wrong variety. I now look at others with caution. “Why fix something if it isn’t broken” I ask myself. I step back, take note, and remind myself our farm was built on new varieties, and we must never stop trying, but the plots don’t need to be as big when we experiment. A blue heirloom tomato, pink and black cherry tomatoes; Gai Lan; Komatsuna (a Japanese mustard spinach) and pea shoots are on the list for next year. If you have any ideas that you think I might like, share them on our Facebook page. Happy New Year and know we are making a plan for your seasonal selection of vegetables right now.

Also, make sure to follow us on Instagram (farmfreshtoyou) and (farmerthaddeus).

Healthy Juices for 2016 Part 1

Ugh, the holidays are almost (finally) over and we're ready to get back on track health-wise. Are we the only ones who overindulged in 10,000 different Christmas cookies chased with glasses of egg nog? Anyway, we're ready to start our mornings with some fresh juices or at the very least eat something green for the day. There are juices here for everyone, from the newbies to the die-hard green juice lovers. Check out our recipes below and be sure to check out our Healthy Juices for 2016 Part 2 for another round up of delicious, healthy juices.

Kiwi and Pear Green Juice
Kiwi-and-Pear-Green-Juice


While kiwi, pear and celery might sound like a strange combination for juice, we promise you'll love this juice even if you aren't a fan of "green" juices. This juice is slightly sweet and totally refreshing! Get the recipe for Kiwi and Pear juice here.

Refreshing Turmeric Tonic
Refreshing-Turmeric-Tonic


Still trying to kick that winter cold? We love drinking this turmeric tonic from Bon Appetit to prevent or get over colds during the holiday season when everyone is in close quarters. The turmeric and ginger give this tonic a slight kick that we love. Try the Refreshing Turmeric Tonic now.

Get Your Greens On Juice
Get-Your-Greens-On-Juice


This healthy green juice with kale, apples, parsley and lime is good, but not for the faint of heart. (We like it, but it's definitely a potent green juice). Get the recipe for this Get Your Greens On Juice here.

Get Well Juice
Get-Well-Juice


We adapted this healthy, cleansing juice from Bon Appetit. Drinking this ginger and turmeric juice when we have a cold instantly makes us feel better! Try the recipe for our Get Well Juice here.

Do you have any favorite ingredients you like to juice? Also, don't forget to check out our Healthy Juices for 2016 Part 2!

How To Add Juicing Fruits and Vegetables To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. On the second page of customizations, you’ll find “Produce by the Case” and can stock up if you want a larger batch of produce for juices. 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.

December 23, 2015

Good Luck Foods for the New Year

According to tradition -- and superstition -- there are certain foods that will bring good luck to the New Year. Read on for five of our favorite lucky foods (who doesn't need a little more luck in their life?).

Hoppin'-John


Hoppin' John
Serves 4
Hoppin' John is said to be good luck because the black-eyed peas represent coins. Either way, this dish with creamy, buttery black-eyed peas and steamed rice is delicious, lucky or not. We used Llano Seco beans and couldn't believe how mild in flavor they were.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (we used Llano Seco black-eyed peas)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, diced
3 cups vegetable, chicken or beef broth (we used 1/2 beef and 1/2 chicken)
bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, removed from stems and minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups steamed white rice
2-3 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Soaking the beans overnight not only reduces the cooking time, but results in a more evenly-cooked bean.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes, until softened. Add the beans, broth, bay leaf, thyme and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 25-30 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve over steamed white rice and garnish with green onions. (Hot sauce would be good, too).


Homemade-Buttermilk-Cornbread

Homemade Buttermilk Cornbread
Makes one 8x8 pan
Cornbread gets its lucky reputation from its gold color, but we're mixing it up and using a unique cornmeal that results in blue cornbread because blue is a lucky color. And gold is soooo last year. Sweet, buttery and the perfect texture, this cornbread is delicious with a little honey drizzled over the top or alongside Hoppin' John.

INGREDIENTS:
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal (we used Full Belly)
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square pan.

Melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Pour the butter and sugar into a large mixing bowl and add the eggs. Beat until blended. Combine the buttermilk and baking soda and add that to the bowl. Mix in the cornmeal, flour and salt and stir until blended. Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.

Change-Your-Mind-Chard


Change-Your-Mind Chard
Serves 2-4 as a side
Chard, collard greens (see recipe below) and any other green food/dish represents money and is said to bring wealth. Ka-ching! This method for cooking chard is so delicious, we're positive it will change your mind and turn you into a chard lover (if you weren't already).

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 bunch chard, washed, stems and leaves chopped
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the sesame oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the chard and toss to coat in oil (we use tongs to maneuver all the chard). Saute the chard 1-2 minutes, depending on your preference (see note). Add in the soy sauce and toss to coat. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Note: Depending on how wilted you like your chard will change the cooking time. If you're new to trying cooked chard, we recommend cooking for less time because this will keep the chard crunchier.

Red-Lentil-Salad

Red Lentil Salad
Serves 4
Lentils are said to be good luck because (you guessed it!) the round shape represents coins. Either way, we like this red lentil salad with goat cheese because it comes together in minutes. The salad can be served as a side dish, but would also work well over rice or lettuce.

INGREDIENTS:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup red lentils
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add in the fennel and coriander seeds and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Set aside to cool.

Bring 1-2 cups salted water to boil. Cook the red lentils just until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the lentils. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a side dish or over rice or lettuce for a more substantial meal.

Sauteed-Collard-Greens


As we said, collard greens are said to be good luck because it represents the Benjamins. The red wine vinegar pairs nicely with the collard greens in this delicious side dish and would be great with the Hoppin' John.

Sautéed Collard Greens
Serves 2 as a side

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable or chicken broth, or water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 bunch collard greens, leaves torn from stems, rinsed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the collard greens and broth or water. Cover and cook 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and continue cooking until the water has evaporated if needed. Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

What are your favorite good luck foods to eat? Have you ever made any of these traditional New Year's foods?

How To Add Good Luck New Year's Ingredients To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. On the second page of customizations, you’ll find “Produce by the Case” and can stock up if you want a larger batch of produce for juices. 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.

New Year's Cocktails

New Year’s Eve is almost here and some of us are still scrambling to find just the right cocktail to welcome in 2016. Whether you are throwing a large soiree or laying low with your bestie, we have a recipe that is just right for your occasion.

Apple-Spice-Margarita

Spiced Apple Margaritas
Serves 1
If you are a margarita guy or gal, but would prefer something with a seasonal and festive variation, try out these simple apple margaritas with honey, spice and everything nice! This drink is perfect for entertaining a small group of friends that would appreciate a fun twist on a classic standby.

INGREDIENTS
2 ounces tequila
2 ounces apple juice (we used Solana Gold)
1 lime, juiced (approximately 1 ounce) 1 ounce honey simple syrup (see recipe)
dash of cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS
To make the honey simple syrup: Combine 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the honey dissolves. Remove from heat.

Combine the tequila, apple juice, lime juice and honey simple syrup in a cocktail shaker or glass and shake or stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon. Garnish with a lime wedge if desired. Cheers!

Winter-Sangria

Winter Sangria
Serves 4
Looking for a festive New Year’s drink to serve a crowd? This Winter Sangria is one of our favorite drinks for holidays or large get-togethers. Filled with Cara Cara oranges, pears and Satsuma mandarin juice, this sangria is citrusy-sweet and oh so delicious!

INGREDIENTS
2 cara cara oranges, sliced
1 pear (we used red), peeled, seeded and chopped
1 bottle red wine (we used Malbec)
1 cup fresh-squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice (approximately 1 pound mandarins)
3 ounces Triple Sec
ginger ale, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
Put the orange slices and pears in a pitcher. Pour the wine, Triple Sec and Satsuma juice over the top. Stir and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
To serve, pour sangria over ice-filled glasses. Top with ginger ale and stir to combine (if you want yours sweeter, add more ginger ale).

Mimosa-Meets-Mojito

Mimosa Meets Mojito
Serves 2-3
Looking for a way to dress-up a Champagne toast with your new sweetheart? Well, we set a mimosa and mojito up on a blind date and it was a match made in heaven! Basically, it tastes like a stronger mimosa with a hint of mint, but this cocktail would be perfect to ring in the New Year (or, you know, brunch whenever).

INGREDIENTS
1 cup fresh-squeezed Satsuma mandarin juice (approximately 1 pound mandarins)
2 ounces rum
large handful mint leaves, removed from stems
sparkling white wine

INSTRUCTIONS
In a blender or food processor, combine the Satsuma juice, rum and mint leaves. Blend until combined. Strain. Pour the juice mixture into ice-filled glasses about halfway; top with sparkling white wine. Cheers!

Pomegranate-Jalapeno-Shrub-Cocktail-Vertical

Pomegranate Jalapeno Shrub Cocktail
Serves 1

We adore anything that makes whipping up a delicious cocktail effortless, and shrubs are perfect the perfect/easiest last-minute holiday cocktail out there. Although the pomegranate and the jalapeno make for an unlikely combo, rest assure that they have great chemistry together. Not sure what a shrub is? Well, it is a syrup made from fruit and vinegar. The vinegar preserves the fruit, which is then used to mix cocktails or mocktails. And the best part is that it comes from Happy Girl Kitchen located in Northern California, which is one of our favorite boutique businesses. They work closely with area farmers and use organic produce for all their products.

INGREDIENTS
2 ounces happy girl kitchen pomegranate jalapeno shrub
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
1-2 oranges, squeezed
lime juice (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Combine pomegranate jalapeno shrub, vodka, triple sec, orange juice and lime juice if using. Stir to combine. Add ice and serve.

How To Add These Items 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.

December 21, 2015

Winter Leaves

From the Fields - Thaddeus

Farm News

The air is brisk and refreshing – big breaths let me fill my lungs in a refreshing way. There are millions and millions of leaves on the farm. They are everywhere just not on the trees. The lawn in front of the house is covered in the brown leaves from shade trees. The apricot orchard is littered with a beautiful, yellow carpet of leaves, and the fig orchard has big brown leaves. Between the leaves, our cover crop is beginning to poke through. The oak trees on the hills are mostly naked, but there are pockets here and there that still have rusty brown leaves. I wonder what it is about those trees or that soil or that spot on the hill that makes them different from the rest?

Farm News

The mandarins and lemons still have their leaves. They always have leaves and if they don’t, then somebody killed them. The leaves are still different. They are a darker green than normal and more sturdy. The largest difference is that there is no new growth. The tender neon green new growth will not be back until the spring. For now, the trees have one mission: stay alive. As frost comes in, we monitor how cold it will get and may choose to turn on the irrigation to warm the orchard up a degree or two, but we really don’t have much control over this part. All the control we had was when we selected the location of the orchard.

Farm News

Every December, I am struck by the crisp colors of the apricot trees. Their bark is a fresh, new color, a color that has clearly not seen direct sunlight, but was hidden and protected over the summer by leaves. Now, for the first time being, the bright, rusty red color of the branches stands out and shouts the most beautiful fall colors. Beyond them, the hills too are beginning to paint a new picture. The oak trees stand tall and dark, but beneath them, the golden, dry grass is beginning to show the new green of fresh grass.

Farm News

Our farm is slowing down. It works out well with the holidays. Our most hardy crops like butternut, leeks, carrots and kale are still being harvested, but they are not growing very much. The harvest is tricky. We don’t want to have people working in the rain and mud, so we work around the weather schedule trying to harvest when we can to be sure the cooler has enough product to fill the rainy day orders.

I can’t believe it is already Christmas. The end of the year is knocking at the door. I hope you all enjoy your holiday season, and thank you so much for your support this year.

December 14, 2015

Get Well Juice

Get-Well-Juice


We adapted this healthy, cleansing juice from Bon Appetit. Drinking this ginger and turmeric juice when we have a cold instantly makes us feel better!

Ingredients:
(makes 1 juice)

1 2-inch knob turmeric, peeled
1 2-inch knob ginger, peeled
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
sparkling water (to serve)
dash cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons honey (optional)

Directions:

Blender/Food Processor Directions: Finely chop the ginger and turmeric and place in a blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1/3 cup water and honey (if using). Blend until smooth. Strain and pour into a glass. Add in the apple cider vinegar and sparkling water and stir to combine. Enjoy!

Juicer Directions: Pass the ginger, turmeric and 1/2 lemon (with the peel on) through the juicer. Pour into a glass and stir in the apple cider vinegar, honey (if desired) and sparkling water. Stir to combine. Enjoy!


How To Add Juicing Fruits and Vegetables To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. On the second page of customizations, you’ll find “Produce by the Case” and can stock up if you want a larger batch of produce for juices. 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.

December 10, 2015

Know Your Farmer: Flatlands Olive Oil

susan and colin flatlands olive oil


Every now and then we come across a farm product that is true to the old-school philosophy of producing slow food; where variety, taste and quality outweigh quantity and convenience - we love that! Meet Susan Ellsworth and Colin Dixon of Flatlands Oil & Mill, a husband and wife duo that are bucking the agricultural trend to go big on acreage and small on olive varieties. In fact, they are going in the complete opposite direction.

flatlands owl


Dixon and Ellsworth are located in Winters, CA, where they are continuing the tradition of organically farming and milling their olive oil alongside their mentors and friends, Mike and Dianne of Yolo Press. Their grove includes sixteen varieties of olives, a wide range of perennial and annual crops, hedgerows, an owl and an active habitat that help to promote a healthy and diverse ecosystem for their orchard. Olive trees tend to be drought tolerant and can survive years of little water, creating oil that is bolder and more full-bodied, with even more of those good polyphenols. These trees require few fertilizers and minimal pest management, which make them an ideal crop for sustainable farming.

harvesting olives


Dixon and Ellsworth are committed to making olive oil that tastes the way it used to; it can be an ointment, an elixir or a food, but it should never be bland. One thing that may surprise you to learn is that olive oil doesn’t get better with age. Combinations that make oil appetizing, peppery and good for you, break down in the presence of light, heat and oxygen. Flatlands believes in getting oil to their customers that is as fresh as it can be. That's why each bottle is marked with the date harvested.

tasting flatlands olive oil


We are excited to now offer the Leccino Olio Nuovo olive oil, which is bright green, unfiltered and with just enough spice at the finish to guarantee that it has those good polyphenols. The oil is bold, as all Nuovo's are, yet balanced with Leccino's traditional fruitiness. While this oil is great for cooking, consider ways to use it that will feature its fresh flavor: dipping, dressings or toss it with pasta, garlic, herbs and your favorite salt.

Flatlands extra virgin olive oil


How To Add Flatlands Olive Oil 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.

December 9, 2015

Who's Your Main Squeeze: Eureka or Meyer?

Eureka-Lemon-Meyer-Lemon

Some of you may have noticed a recent addition to the lemon options when you customize your box: it's Meyer lemon season! Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross between a Eureka lemon (the typical lemon you most likely eat) and a mandarin. Because of this, Meyer lemons are sweeter than Eureka lemons and have little to no seeds. Though you can swap out either lemon for a recipe, there are some recipes that are better for each specific lemon.

Eureka-Lemon

Eureka Lemons
Eureka lemons have a more tart flavor than Meyers and are good for salad dressings, marinades, or any recipe that calls for zesting (you can use Meyers too, but Eurekas have a thicker skin). Try Eureka lemons in some of these recipes:

Watercress Salad with Avocado and Hearts of Palm
Clean Green Juice
Fennel Salad with Mint Vinaigrette

Meyer-Lemon

Meyer Lemons
As we said above, Meyer lemons are sweeter than Eurekas -- so sweet some people even enjoy eating them raw. We like putting Meyer lemons in water because they have less seeds. They're also delicious squeezed over pasta with garlic and butter or olive oil. Also, because they have a thin skin, you can add sugar and candy the rind for a delicious treat. Try Meyer lemons in some of these recipes:

Meyer Lemon Risotto
Persimmon Lemon Bars (Meyer lemons are our favorite option for lemon bars!)
Kohlrabi, Apple and Hazelnut Salad
Candied Meyer Lemons

How do you like to use your lemons? Do you have a preference between Meyer and Eureka?

How To Add Meyer and Eureka Lemons 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.

December 3, 2015

Farm-Inspired Holiday Gift Ideas

'Tis the season for gift-giving, so we've rounded up some fun, farmy gift ideas that you can get conveniently delivered right to your door. The only thing you have to do is wrap it and give it to your favorite foodie!

Gift Baskets 
Gift Baskets

Our gift baskets are made with a collection of some of our favorite artisan farm products. You'll find delicacies like wildflower honeycomb that is sustainably gathered from the hills of northern California, flavorful, Candystripe fig jam and heirloom tomato sauce from our farm and hand-crafted goats milk soaps made by a mother-daughter duo at Chivas Skin Care. The baskets themselves are made of recycled paper with recycled paper stuffing inside. We've curated three different gift baskets, sure to delight your family, friends and coworkers.

Capay Organic Gift Basket All of the products in this basket were grown on our farm: Aprium jam, Candystripe Fig jam, Blenheim Apricot jam, Roasted Pistachios, Quartered Heirloom Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomato Sauce.

Small Farm Gift Basket This gift basket contains a collection of our favorite local artisan products including wildflower honey comb from the rolling hills of northern CA, organic sundried peaches from Good Humus farm, organic almond butter and sundried tomatoes from Full Belly farm, goat milk soap from Chivas farm, organic California grown raisins, delicious pickled carrots from Pick-A-Peck, Omnivore salt, two jams from our Capay Organic farm (Candystripe fig and aprium) as well as our home-grown organic pistachios.

Pachamama Coffee Gift Basket The Pachamama Coffee Cooperative it is a unique global cooperative that is wholly-owned by small-scale coffee farmers from around the world. Sample the flavor of six different gourmet coffee selections from all over the world. This is a great gift for your coffee-loving co-worker.

Please note: The exact items in the gift baskets could change depending on availability. Please check the descriptions when you log in to customize your box.

Sustainable Food Wraps
Bees Wrap

Wrap sandwiches, cheeses, vegetables or cover a bowl with these sustainable, natural alternatives to plastic wrap for food storage. Not only are these Earth-friendly, but we offer a variety of colors and they are pretty, too! Use the warmth of your hands to soften the wrap and create a seal. The wrap holds its shape when cool. Wash in cool water.


Olive Oil Gift Set
Stonehouse Cutie Gift Set

These Stonehouse California Olive Oils are awesome! This company prides itself on being part of the farmer’s market revolution, producing delicious award-winning olive oils while maintaining good and sustainable farming practices. Any foodie is sure to love this Cutie Gift Set sampler, which contains five 1-oz bottles of Stonehouse’s bestselling olive oils including their House Blend, Roasted Garlic, Blood Orange, Persian Lime & Hot Chili. And if you still have a few more foodie friends to check off your list, we also have a Stonehouse Olive Oil & Vinegar Gift Set, which any home cook would appreciate.

Holiday Wreaths from Creekside Farms
Creekside Farms Wreath
For more than 25 years, the Umbarger family has owned and operated Creekside Farms. They pride themselves on growing their floral bounty naturally without the use of harmful pesticides. In addition, they believe in taking the extra time and care to hand-harvest their herbs and flowers for their wreaths. We think that their natural beauty makes a lovely holiday gift.

Farm Fresh To You eGift Cards
Farm Fresh To You box

With our Gift of Health eGift Cards, giving a unique and healthful gift is simple.You choose the gift amount and they select the organic produce box that best fits their needs. Give the gift of organic, fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables delivered to their door!

Spicy Pickled Products from Pick-A-Peck
Pick-A-Peck Pickled Vegetables
This family-owned company prides itself on their "super-secret" processing method that keeps their veggies extra crunchy. These all natural pickled asparagus spears, carrots and green beans have a spicy kick to them! Any of these veggies will make the perfect complement to a Bloody Mary, tacos, salad - but are simply amazing enjoyed straight out of the jar too! Do note that the longer they sit, the spicier they get.

Shrubs
Grapefruit Sage Shrub Cocktail

Who doesn't enjoy a festive cocktail/mocktail during the holidays? Buy your friend or loved one a tasty shrub to make the perfect cocktail. Shrubs are a very old-fashioned way of preserving fruit with vinegar and spices. With fun, sassy flavors like Grapefruit Sage, Peach Lavender and Tomato Cinnamon, these drink enhancers are sure to be the delight of the party! Add it directly to sparkling water with a 1:5 ratio or add some alcohol to get the party started. They also make great sauces and would be delicious in a vinaigrette. Try all our different flavors and check out our Ever Tried a Shrub Cocktail blog for other cocktail ideas.

How To Add Holiday Gift Items 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.

December 2, 2015

Unique and Specialty Citrus Fruits


It's citrus time! These bright, refreshing fruits are an especially fun treat when it's dark and cold outside. Plus, with all the Vitamin C, eating citrus is a great way to stay healthy through the winter months.

Finger Limes:
These unique microcitrus aren’t like any limes you’ve ever tried! They’re often called the “caviar of citrus,” because when you open them up, they’re filled with tiny caviar-like spheres. The skin of these finger-shaped limes can range from purplish or greenish black, to a light green or rusty red. To eat these fun gems, slice off the end and squeeze out the juicy lemon-lime flavored pearls. They taste like a cross between a lemon and lime and are slightly tart. They are delicious as a garnish in cocktails, sprinkled across salads or even made into in a citrus curd!

Buddha's Hand:
Though this citrus looks slightly like a sea-creature, they make a great centerpiece for your table – and it smells great too! Mostly used for decoration and for its lovely scent, the Buddha’s Hand can also be zested and used in lemon bars, herb salts, salad dressings or martinis. No matter how you use this citrus, it’s sure to be a topic of conversation.

Pink Variegated Lemons:
These beautiful lemons are yellow and green striped on the outside with a lovely pink center, yet taste like a regular lemon, but with fewer seeds. Use them like you would a regular lemon and make lemon bars, pretty up a glass of water, or make pink lemonade!

Kumquat:
A Centennial Kumquat (or Orange Kumquat) is similar to a Nagami kumquat, but rounder. (The size is similar to a Mandarinquat). The flesh of the kumquat is sweet and the inside is tart, the opposite of what you would expect with citrus. You eat the whole thing, skin, seeds and all when enjoying a kumquat. The kumquats come in a variety of colors, including a variegated yellow and green striped kumquat that's ready to eat. Try our candied kumquat recipe below.


Candied-Kumquats

Though kumquats are a delight to eat as a snack, peel and all, they're also delicious candied and used as a garnish on cupcakes, drinks or on a cheese plate.

Candied Kumquats
serves a crowd

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
4-6 kumquats, sliced and seeded

Directions:
Bring the sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan. Add the kumquats and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until the kumquats turn translucent. Let cool and serve.

How To Add Specialty Citrus Items 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.

November 30, 2015

Crisp Fall Colors

From the Fields - Thaddeus


I love the change in seasons. I understand that our seasons may not be as extreme as many of the seasons on our planet, but I still love the crisp fall that settles over Capay. The peach and apricot trees are turning amazing colors. Their leaves are an array of oranges, reds and yellows that change by the day until they fall from the tree in a poetic dance to the ground where they mingle with the lush, green shoots of cover crop that are emerging from the soil. More stiff winds are sure to come in the next weeks, leaving only bare branches that are amazingly vibrant with a deep-red color. Soon Ricardo and his team will walk through the orchard with pruning shears, bringing order to the branches that grew this way and that over the summer, setting the trees up to produce the ideal amount of flowers in the spring and fruit in the summer.



Below the stone fruit orchard, the whistling of harvest crews picking kale carries in the cold air across the farm. The harvest crews are in full swing. Kales, chards, beets, radishes, lettuce, carrots and cauliflower stand ready to be picked, and our team is working just as fast as they can to get them out of the field.



The kale plants that have just been harvested look a bit different. With the largest leaves trimmed from them, their thick trunks are exposed. On top of these trunks, a small bouquet of baby kale leaves remains. These will grow hopefully before the inevitable aphid crop moves in and with any luck, we will be able to get one more harvest from these plants.

Beyond the field, the creek’s wildlife is bustling with activity of the local flock of wild turkeys who are around more than usual. It is funny to me how they show up and leave without notice. The acorns of the oak trees are on the ground and mostly eaten. The oak leaves are still hanging on to trees, but are deep brown in color. Below the trees, last season’s grass remains yellow, but below it, the effects of the first rain can be seen in the bright green grass sprouts that are emerging from the hills. It will not be long until the color of the hills is painted green with the next season of grass.



Our Satsuma mandarin trees are in full production. The crisp nights have helped to turn the color of the fruit orange. They taste great, and our mandarin crew is picking them just as fast as they can. The office is busy with planning for next year. Fields are being selected for all the crops we plan on growing. My trusty old Excel sheet that holds the history of each field is up on my computer screen. First, we select fields that are ready for a rotation of tomatoes. Then, we find homes for the peppers, eggplants and melons. After those crops are settled, we are sketching out a plan for the winter squash and next fall’s vegetables. Everyone is busy.

November 25, 2015

Winter Squash Storage Tips

Winter-Squash-Storage-Tips

Do any of you have an overabundance of winter squash at your house right now? Sometimes getting through all the delicious winter squash can feel like a challenge. But not to worry, we have some tips on how to use and store your squash for winter.

One of the ways we like to store our winter squash is to freeze it. You can do this with a variety of winter squash, like butternut, delicata and red kuri. If you use red kuri (shown below) or delicata, you don't have to peel it!

Winter-Squash


Freezing Directions:

For Delicata or Red Kuri Squash
Rinse and scrub the squash. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds to save for roasting later. Slice the delicata into 1/2-inch slices and spread on a baking sheet. Cut the red kuri into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Try to leave some room so they can freeze easily. Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen.

For Butternut Squash or Pumpkin
Peel the squash. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds to save for roasting later. Cut into cubes and spread on a baking sheet. Try to leave some room so they can freeze easily. Place in the freezer overnight or until frozen.

No need to cook the squash before you freeze it. Note, if you do, it speeds along the process of the dish you add it to.

Frozen-Winter-Squash

Once frozen, dump the squash into an airtight container to store in the freezer. To use, throw the frozen cubes directly into whatever you're cooking without thawing first. Thawing first will make your squash mushy. Here are some recipes you can make with the frozen squash:

Roasted Squash Salad with Goat Cheese
Butternut Squash and Potato Curry
Crockpot Chili (This recipe doesn't call for squash, but it would be a delicious addition! Just add the squash in when you add in the bell peppers and carrots)
Delicata Squash, Kale and Shiitake Rice Pilaf
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Seeds

Store-Winter-Squash

Another way we like to use our squash is to peel it (for butternut), cut into cubes and store in our fridge for up to a week. You'll find you are much more likely to use the squash if you have it pre-cut and ready to use.  They are wonderful in the recipes mentioned above, or you can roast them on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and salt at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown. We love roasted squash as a healthy, quick side dish. Or, you can substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin in this Homemade Pumpkin Bread.

Do you have any recommendations for using winter squash? Let us know in the comments below!

How To Add Squash 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.

Thank You at Thanksgiving

From the Fields - Thaddeus
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There are many things that I love about my job - the beauty of the farm, toiling with Mother Nature, watching things grow - but there is one thing that I love most about my job, and it is the random places I run into all of you. 

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It generally happens one of two ways. For some reason, I am at a home that I haven’t been to before (a friend of family most often), and I see a Farm Fresh To You box in the house or the newsletter on the fridge. The second way is I am walking down a street I have never walked before, and I see Farm Fresh To You boxes neatly stacked on porch waiting for their driver to pick them up. Bumping into Farm Fresh To You customers at your homes is the without a doubt the thing I love most about our work. It makes the produce we grow and the service we provide real – thank you!

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It is the season to sit down with loved ones, enjoying each other and giving thanks. For many families, including my own, food makes this list. For this farmer, all of you, my most valuable customers, make this list. I am so thankful for all of you and the support you offer our farm family. You may not know how amazing you are and why I am so thankful for all of you, so here is a short list.


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1. You have made a choice to trust us to feed you and your family on a routine basis. The routine part of this is huge. The routine part enables me to make a planting schedule that goes through the year and that I am confident we can sell. The routine part allows us to provide work for our farm team through the year, and it enables us to develop delivery routes that provide stable work for our driving and packing team. Your routine support of our farm (and I mean every delivery) is the backbone of our existence.


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2. You are the best supporter of local produce. Every week our team finds the best local selection possible and every delivery you support that selection. When you receive a Farm Fresh To You delivery, you support, dollar for dollar, local and organic produce in a way that you could not do at a retail store, even if you tried.

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3. You care about how the food system affects you AND others (even if you don’t know it!). Farm Fresh To You customers know they are getting healthy food, but they may not know they are creating healthy work environments for our family of employees and healthy places to live for the many living things that are part of our farm’s ecosystem.


employees at farm

The second group of people I am thankful for is our family of employees. What we are doing is pretty amazing. We have successfully created a vertically integrated food system, literally from the fields of our farm to the doorsteps of our customers. We could not do this without the talented teams of people that make every part of our food system work in harmony. These folks are of the heart and soul of our company, and I am proud be able to work with them.