May 17, 2008

Week 37

On the fruit farm, what we’ve experienced weather wise this year has been text book perfect. Plenty of chilling in the winter. Plenty of rain through mid February to get deep moisture. Then like a switch was thrown, the rain stopped right at bloom time to give us a disease free fruit set. Since then, we’ve had consistent cool weather so our sizing is excellent. Now we’re getting the heat we need to put some sugar in the stuff. My guess is that we get a year like this about every 15. Truth is, I’ve got a great memory, it’s just not very long but I can’t remember a year like this ever. In any 15 years, you’re going to have 4 with hail damage from slight to total. 5 with inadequate chilling. 5 with a wet bloom. And I haven’t mentioned frost and wind damage. Labor shortages…..
BUT on any of the other 14, we would call this normal. NO, NO, NO, NO, NO! Normal is frost, and wind and rain. We describe perfect as normal and any deviation from that as abnormal. It carries over into our every day lives. You get the picture I’m sure. We really need to be rejoicing when our families’ all healthy, the bills are mostly paid, there’s groceries in the pantry and the car starts in the morning. Folks, an attitude of gratitude is the basis of a healthy life every bit as much as Organic nutrient dense produce. Let’s start celebrating what every-body else calls normal and accepting deviations from perfection as the NORMAL challenges of life.
Well, we’re in the thick of the early harvest. 4 in the morning ‘til midnight next few weeks and then we’ll go to just ½ days (12 hours is half a day isn’t it?) Part of my original spiel was NO stickers. What I want to do is just a field run bunch of Organic fruit for you guys. A range of sizes the way they come off the tree. Right now, Organic fruit is really valuable but I still want to give you an abundant amount so what we’re going to do for a bit is focus on the cosmetically challenged stuff. Great to eat but with a slight blemish. I can give you 3X the amount and you’re not selling it you’re eating it. Down side, there’ll be some stickers for a bit, but it’s what our family eats. My own dad in the middle of the orchard would hand me the “split pit” to eat and say “these are the best”.
Next week you’re going to get Ginger Balakian’s squash. She grows 27 different kinds, so who knows which kind will be in your box, but you’ll be tempted to just leave it on the counter or paint a picture of it it’s so pretty.
Lots of the veg guys were frozen out a month ago and that’s contributing to the very tight supplies. That should ease over the next couple weeks as the new plantings come on line.
On the web, you’ll see Seasonal #2 stone fruit at a really incredibly cheap price. I want you to have all you want for smoothies and Ice Cream and just sharing with your friends and co-workers. I believe this will be one of the truly great benefits of being part of this. It’s what I do and you’re now insiders. Wait for Zee Lady’s July 5th for canning. I’ll let you know the week before. EAT HEALTHY!!

This will be old news to some of you but we have many new subscribers so this week we are including some information about your tools on the website. It will be a good refresher for everyone.
If you are going to be out of town or simply do not want to receive your produce on any given week you have the ability to place yourself on vacation. When you do so you will not be scheduled for delivery that week. The requirement on vacation stops is that they must be set a minimum of 10 days prior to the scheduled delivery. That means the delivery day does not count in the 10 days. When you login and select Set Your Vacation Weeks it will be immediately obvious to you whether or not you can still set a date for vacation because if you can it will be available on the list of delivery dates shown to you. This view will give you dates going out a full year so as soon as you know you are going to be gone get that vacation scheduled.
We do not have the ability to schedule your vacations for you, only you can do it. Once you are inside that 10 day window your order will be charged and processed. If you find out at the last minute that you are going to be gone you may have someone else pick up your order for you.
Many subscribers use the vacation system to schedule delivery on an every other week basis. If you have vacation scheduled, and decide you want your delivery, simply go to “Edit This Week” before 9:00 on Monday and make the change.

You may see other subscribers picking up eggs, chicken, extra fruit, etc. at the delivery site and wonder how you can too. Once again, login and look at the right hand side of your screen. You will see your “Subscription Dashboard” and the date of your upcoming delivery. Under that you will find a bar that is titled “EDIT THIS WEEK/ADDONS”. When you select that you will be taken to a page that will show you the items that you may purchase in addition to your box of produce. We are in the process of making improvements to this area of the site so the look may change but the function is the same. Simply enter the quantity you would like to purchase and Add to This Week’s Delivery. The cost of those items will be added to your charges on Monday morning and we will deliver them with your produce that week.
Your account page is your private area. No one else can view it, change it, or cancel your subscription. Not even us. Take some time to login and look at all of the different areas available to you. If you ever have questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Seasonal Stone Fruit
The Peterson Family, Kingsburg
-Green Leaf Lettuce*
Grimway Farms, Bakersfield
Hans Wilgenburg, Dinuba
-Crookneck Squash*
-French Breakfast Radishes
-Red Spring Onions
-Bloomsdale Spinach
T & D Willey, Madera
*Denotes Large Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

Don’t forget about us when your credit/debit card expires and you get a new one. Login and find the EDIT button under your User’s billing information. Select EDIT and enter the new expiration date.
In the same vein, if your card is canceled because it has been lost or stolen you must enter your new card number. Thank you, in advance, for keeping your card information updated.

Oatmeal Cookie-Fruit Pizza Preheat Oven to 350º
Cookie Crust
2 Tbsp butter ¼ cup honey
½ cup light brown sugar 1 egg white
1/3 cup applesauce 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour 1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ cup old fashioned oats 1/3 cup nuts (optional)
Cream the butter, honey, and brown sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add egg white and combine. Mix in the applesauce and vanilla. Mix together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add to sugar mixture stirring just to combine. Gently stir in oats and nuts. Spray a 12 inch pizza pan with Pam or cover with parchment paper. Spread the batter on the pan and bake until lightly browned, 30-35 minutes. Let cool.

8 ounces cream cheese 1 cup powdered sugar
Cream together until smooth. Spread on cooled cookie crust leaving a ½ inch border around the rim.

Slice seasonal fruit (peaches, nectarines, apricots, etc.). Place on top of cream, in pattern or randomly.

2/3 cup sugar 3 Tbsp cornstarch ¼ cup waterBring above ingredients to a boil and cook until clear. Drizzle on top of fruit to give a shine to the pizza. A cup of mashed fruit may be added to the glaze for color and flavor. Chill. Slice into wedges and serve.

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