December 22, 2007

Week 16

One of the prime original objectives of this dream we’re all embarked on was the restoration of community that seemed to be disappearing with our fast paced, specialized no front porch e-world.
The first thing is to intentionally restore a connectedness between farm and urban families. We’ve got a long way to go, but I think as you read the guest editorials and hear our farmer’s thoughts and hearts, enjoy their products, and respond with your ratings and comments, that’s coming along quite nicely. These are farms, not factories and farming is thankfully still more art than science, relationship than machinery. You’ll see as the nuts and bolts of the website get tightened up, our attention turn to more of that connectedness.
The second thing that I’m so stoked about is the interaction going on between you all at the pick-up sites. It seems the more subscribers at a drop the better the community. You are all out of the box thinkers. Sensibly health minded. Quality of life prioritizers. That hit me between the eyes a few Saturdays ago when I drove the delivery truck (genuinely my favorite part of this whole deal) I got to visit with each of you, observe your verve and motivation. Later that same day, I was scheduled to ring the Salvation Army bell in front of the huge retail establishment here in town. I watched folks coming out with take-out pizzas………………I gave you permission to slap me if I ever started going negative so suffice it to say I thought of you all home chopping and slicing and stir frying fresh organic veggies and it suddenly became a nice warm evening. There were three bells there and it took no more effort to ring all three and start singing Christmas carols and that kettle really started singing as well. Thanks for the motivation and the encouragement you all are in this endeavor.

The core driving economic and moral principle of this enterprise is “the only two entities that matter are the family that produced it and the family that eats it” We were convinced that both could benefit dramatically from an efficient collection and distribution system and this too is playing out nicely. Every single item in your box was either delivered to our place in harvest containers by the farmer or we picked it up at their place. As the dream grows, this gets easier and your value increases.
Now comes add-ons. It’s kind of hard to eliminate processing and pack-aging from a gallon of milk as an example. Bear with us as we feel our way through this and seek how to execute the best strategy for all of us. The Add-on section of the Web site is greatly improved now but nothing like it will be in another couple weeks. The vacation part is also a ton clearer, so the mix-ups should be solved.
All of us are smarter than any of us so if you see a solution or a local farmer or anything that will better satisfy the previous principle, let us know. That’s what family does.

Peace on earth good will toward men
A healthy robust community, whether in our towns, our state our nation or the world and the positive results there of can only be enjoyed if we’re willing to do the hard work of getting along with each other. Treating one another with dignity and honor. May your hearts be filled with joy and peace and love throughout the year

Eat healthy! Vernon

That is a question you may be asking yourself and the answer is probably Yuma, Arizona or Mexico. It is winter time and local, fresh leafy greens are hard to come by right now. We have one grower, T & D Willey who does a great job of growing the winter greens. However, there may be times when, due to weather, he cannot get into the fields to pick, or he is not harvesting them a particular week. As you know our commitment to you is that we will provide you local, fresh produce and so some weeks the leafy greens may be missing from your box.
What you will still find is great value, and perhaps more of an adventure. There are winter vegetables that many of us are not familiar with and would not select at the super market because we don’t know what to do with them. This newsletter is a resource and we try to provide you with information on different items each week, but the space is limited and what may be unusual to you may be very common, and a favorite of someone else. Your computer can be a great tool in learning about different fruits and vegetables, and how to prepare them.
Many of the winter vegetables lend themselves very well to stews and soups, and isn’t it the perfect weather for them? They also work well in casseroles. Many of these dishes can be made ahead and warmed up for hearty dishes another night of the week. Have fun, look at each new food as an adventure!

Beets are a versatile vegetable. They can be served hot or cold, pickled, roasted, juiced, deep fried or eaten raw. Store your beets unwashed in the crisper and they will keep for two to four weeks. Leave about 1 inch of the stem attached to prevent the beet from “bleeding”. Don’t peel beets until after they have been cooked. Wash beets gently under cool running water, taking care not to tear the outer skin. Leave the stem and root attached to be removed after cooking. For the best flavor beets should be baked, instead of boiling or steaming. Simply preheat your oven to 350º, place the beet in a pan with about an inch of water, cover the pan tightly with foil and bake until tender, about an hour. The skin will easily rub off under cold running water once they are cooked. You may want to wear rubber gloves to prevent staining of your hands, but if your hands are stained use a little lemon juice to clean them.
This week’s beets are Chioggia which has lovely red and white concentric rings when sliced. Show them off.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Satsuma Mandarin Oranges
M & K, Caruthers
-Braeburn Apples
Ridder & Son, Watsonville
Troy Huckabay, Kingsburg
-Red Onions
John Tobias, Hollister
Doreva Produce, Livingston
-Red Cabbage*
-French Breakfast Radishes
-Lovely Dill
-Nanpes Carrots
-Red Milano Turnips*
-Red Butterhead Lettuce
-Chioggia Beets
-Collard Greens*
T & D Willey, Madera
*Denotes Abundant Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

For those of you who may be interested in researching grain mills you may do some comparisons at
From there search “grain mills”.

Stir-Fried Broccoli and Carrots Serves 6
2 Tbsp Oil 2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup broccoli flowerets 1 cup carrots, sliced thin
1 small onion, cut into rings ¾ cup chicken broth
1 tsp seasoning salt 1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp cold water 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can water chestnuts, drained
Heat oil, add garlic, broccoli, carrots and onion; stir fry for 1 minute. Add broth and seasoning salt, cover and cook about 3 minutes. Mix cornstarch and water, stir into vegetables. Cook and stir until thickened, about 10 seconds. Add water chestnuts and mushrooms. Cook and stir 30 seconds.

2 oranges, peeled & sliced
2 cooked beets, sliced in thin rounds
1 red onion sliced paper thin
salt, to taste
2 to 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces black olives, pitted
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint or cilantro
Slice oranges into 1/8 inch slices, removing all of the pits. Layer the sliced beets, the orange slices and onion, sprinkle lightly with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with olives, and chopped fresh mint or cilantro.

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