Today’s CSA Box – Week of January 22, 2018

 

 

*Click on produce above for more information and Recipes

 

Veggie Tips

Carrots:  These Nantes carrots are the sweetest this time of year, when the weather is the coolest.  We enjoy them raw, grated into salads, roasted with honey and thyme, as well as in soups and stews.

Oranges: Oranges are high in fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.  In addition to eating them raw, try them in savory salads or even stir fry, to add a hint of sweetness and acid into a dish.  In the Full Belly Kitchen, we make candied orange peel out of the rind, which we then add to sweet treats or jam.  

Dino Kale: Kale is one of the world’s healthiest foods.  It is actually a member of the cabbage family.  We love growing it here for many reasons, one of which is that it does not mind getting frosted!  Steam the leaves (after removing the tough stems) with a little bit of sea salt.  Add a squeeze of lemon and some goat cheese for an easy side dish.

Fresh Onions:  Fresh onions are much milder than a dried onion, and can be eaten raw in salads.  We use it often in pasta dishes as well, sautéed in plenty of butter or olive oil.

Potatoes:  When potato plants bloom, they send up a five lobed purple flower.  Marie Antoinette liked the flowers so much that she would put them  in her hair. Potatoes originated in South America, and have now grown to be the fifth most important crop in the world, right up there with wheat and corn.

Rutabagas: A rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Rutabagas are great for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.  See our Recipe of the Week. You can also make mashed rutabagas.  We peel them, boil them just like you would a potato and then mash them (also like a potato) with butter or olive oil and salt.  Add potatoes and have mashed potatoes with rutabagas — that’s the best. Just as puréed potatoes can be a great thickener for a soup, I think rutabagas are even better — they add a creamy texture to a soup.

News From the Farm | January 22, 2018

Full Belly has been investing in solar power for a couple of decades by installing roof-top solar panels on several of our big barns. The solar power that the panels generate is hooked into the vast electrical grid and is used to pump water for irrigation and to cool our fruits and vegetables.  Harvesting the huge amount of light that arrives from the sun every day isn’t an activity confined to the plants and crops that we are cultivating!

Last week, we completed another step in generating electricity from solar power, and this time it is off the grid and not on a rooftop.  Amon and Jenna (two Full Belly owners) recently acquired a parcel of land  on the west side of the Valley, just across the highway from the main farm, that had no power drop.  With the help of Sustainable Technologies, a company based in Alameda, we designed and installed a stand-alone system that will be able to power a pump and irrigation system on the property.

Since we first started to invest in photovoltaics, the cost per watt has declined significantly, making solar power very competitive with other forms of electricity generation. Economists who study this believe that solar power will soon become the least expensive form of power in the world. And in the case of our new property, because there was no hook-up to the grid to start with, solar power easily out-competed other options. Producing energy right there where we need it, and avoiding the loss of transmission to and from the grid made this small-scale system a very exciting prospect.

The 27kW system of 90 panels will power a 25hp pump and deliver water for a new 12.5 acre orchard. The 1,500 trees are arriving this week and will be planted in the first weeks of February. The solar will power an efficient drip and micro sprinkler system that will water the orchard when the sun shines. The trees will be planted into a diverse cover crop that will be used to improve the soil and make it better able to retain water.

Any scenario for reversing global warming includes a massive ramp-up of solar power and it is a positive sign that solar is currently the fastest growing part of the energy sector. While the production of solar panels themselves involves greenhouse gas emissions (now much less than in the recent past), once installed, they generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases or air pollution.  Our new stand-alone, off-the-grid solar installation means that we have shifted away from the electrical utility monopoly, producing the very electrical energy that we will then be using, and doing so in an environmentally sound way. During the next month, we will be planting a small almond orchard on this property.  Those of you who have become addicted to Full Belly almond butter, always in scarce supply, take heart — soon we will bring you almond butter irrigated using solar power!

— Judith Redmond 

New CSA Site

Full Belly is starting a new pick-up site in San Geronimo area this Thursday, Jan. 25th. The pick-up hours are 10am to 8pm. See our web site to place your order. Please help us spread the word and tell your family, friends and co-workers about this new CSA site – Thanks!

Help us keep the CSA program running smoothly: A Review!

1. Please pick up your box only during the hours listed on our web site and sign-in sheet. We cannot guarantee the boxes past the designated pick-up times.

2. Please check the sign-in sheet for the items we have harvested for you and only take things listed with your name. Please sign your name when you pick up your items.  This can help us determine the owner of left-over boxes.

3. Do not leave a mess! Please nest the empty boxes in a stack.

4. Park in designated parking spots. Do not double park and do not block driveways.

5. Direct your questions to Full Belly, not to the host. Please don’t disturb the host.

6. Please notify us five days in advance if you would like to change your pick-up schedule.

Open Farm Day

You are all invited to join us at the farm on Open Farm Day, Saturday March 24th. Details will be available soon, for now we wanted you to get it on your calendar.

Add These Delicious Treats to Your CSA Box

We can deliver the following products with your CSA box to your pick-up site.  For additional information about any of these products email or phone us (800-791-2110).

Oranges – $8 for 5 lb bag  -OR-  $15 for 10 lb bag.

Candied Citrus Peel – $8 for a 4-oz jar.

Apricot Jam – This delicious jam is made from Full Belly organic Apricots plus a little organic sugar and lemon juice. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Peach Jam – Made from Full Belly organic peaches, plus a little organic sugar and lemon juice. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Tomato Jam – The only ingredients are Full Belly organic Early Girl tomatoes, organic sugar and organic lemons.  A nice short list of ingredients and a perfect balance between sweet and acid. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Marmalade – Bright and sweet, our marmalade is made with Full Belly Farm organic navel oranges, organic lemons and organic sugar.  We make our jams and marmalades in small batches to preserve the flavor and color of the fruit. $8 for a 9-oz jar or $90 for a case of 12.

Safflower Oil – Our organically grown safflower makes oil that is a deep, rich yellow color.  This oil is buttery and earthy in flavor.  It can be used in high-heat cooking.  Stored it in a cool, dark place, it will keep for a year after opening.  You can order 250 mL ($12) or  500 mL ($20).

Olive Oil – Organically grown olives pressed on a non-organic certified press.  $15 for 250mL  or  $27 for 500mL.

Red Tomato Sauce  – Made with Full Belly organic tomatoes harvested at the height of the summer when they are full of incredible hot summer flavor.  The sauce is made from Roma tomatoes. Other ingredients are organic salt, rosemary and oregano.  The bottles are shelf stable until opened — Refrigerate after opening. $12.00 for 24-oz bottle, $120 for a case of 12. 

Olives – Green olives, water & salt. $10 for a pint.

Pomegranate Juice – Unpasteurized and not diluted — this juice is just the pure product pressed from our organic pomegranates harvested late in the fall of every year.  This juice is an incredible source of vitamin C — it’ll cure what ails ya! The juice is frozen when we put it into your CSA box, but is likely to have started to defrost by the time you get it home.  Please store it in your refrigerator. $7 for a pint  or  $13 for a quart

Lard – Made with organic fat from our pasture-raised pigs.  Less saturated fat and less cholesterol than an equal amount of butter by weight. $9 for 16 oz. jar.

Whole Egg Pasta – Sent to you from our freezer.  Store it in your refrigerator and use within 5 days. $8 for 12 oz

Pizza Dough – For a 14-inch pizza. $6/ dough ball. Frozen when we ship it, use within 3 days.

Sesame Seeds – $5/ quarter pound

Walnuts – $12/ pound 

Cornmeal – Contact us for information about the  corn varieties that we offer as cornmeal or corn kernels. 

Sun Dried Peaches – $5/ half pound

Sun Dried Figs – $5/ half pound 

Wheat Flour –  Contact us for information about our heirloom wheat flour varieties, also sold as wheat berries. 

Veggie Tips

Carrots: These are sweet and crisp.  Have them ready to snack on instead of candy or salty chips.

Oranges: Washington Navels, full of vitamin C and fiber.

Green Garlic: See our Recipe of the Week.  Green Garlic is picked before the bulb forms and dries down to the cloves many people are more familiar with.  Green garlic is milder than dry garlic. 

Kale and Mizuna: They say it is good to eat vegetables of all different colors — purple, green, red, etc.  Our kale this week provides some purple and the mizuna provides some green.  The mizuna is mild and delicious raw in a salad; lightly steamed for a side dish of greens; added to pasta; or in a miso soup.  

Butternut Squash: Even the seeds can be roasted and snacked on — this squash provides a hearty winter pack of nutrition and energy.  We have lots of recipes for the Winter Squash on our web site

News From the Farm | January 15, 2018

The first week back from the Full Belly break brought more than it’s share of CSA mix-ups, culminating when one of our drivers delivered CSA boxes to the wrong site!  By the time our office staff found out, the driver (who was filling in for the regular staff) was long gone and members were wondering where their veggies were.  Luckily, one of our kind and generous members volunteered to ferry the boxes back to their correct location, while in the background the host (who was out of town) offered support and encouragement. So we got it all straightened out, but the adventure really brought home to us the way that this CSA program relies on the contributions of so many people — the wonderful hosts who allow our members to pick up veggies at their homes or businesses, and our members who have patience learning how it works and who cooperate and collaborate to make it a success.

Thank you to all of you, and a special thank you to the heroes of our first week in 2018, member Jenny Postich who drove our CSA boxes to their correct location, and Danville Host Kerri Heusler who was able to provide up-to-date intelligence using her porch camera, from her remote site out of town. [Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Cauliflower: Some ideas on how to cook the cauliflower  — Gratin or roasted.

Carrots: See Recipe of the Week

Oranges: from our orchard of Washington Navels, filled with vitamin C, fiber and potassium.

Arugula: Use this as a green salad, or one of the ingredients in a salad, with an oil and vinegar dressing.  It can also be lightly steamed or sautéed to go over pasta or with a quesadilla.

Bok Choi: This is one of many versatile Asian greens that goes well with sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, and a touch of sesame oil for flavor.  Steamed or sautéed bok choi makes a great vegetable side dish.  Also good added to miso soup.

Leeks: Make some leek-potato soup or if you don’t have all of those ingredients on hand, make some delicious braised leeks. In many recipes, leeks can be used in place of onions. 

Spinach: Here’s a recipe for spinach pie.  It uses leeks as well, and is a very rich, satisfying winter dish.  Although it is called a pie, it does not have a crust. Our spinach flan recipe doesn’t have a crust either.  The arugula and bok choi could be added to either of these recipes.  Both of them use milk or 1/2 and 1/2 plus eggs.

Tokyo Turnips:  The greens on these turnips are delicious — and the turnips themselves are quite mild. Our recipe for Turnips and Greens Soup uses the turnips, the bok choi, and one of the leeks could be substituted for the onion.

News From the Farm | January 8, 2018

With short days over the winter break, many of us were able to enjoy sunrise, sunset, and incredible clear starry skies in between, reminding us of the mysteries of our planet, as well as of human nature.  Here’s hopes for a peaceful and healthy year in 2018.  We will do our best to spread that spirit.

During the last few weeks of 2017, a few things happened on the organic policy front that are worth noting. We will discuss one of those things in this article, having to do with the welfare of organically raised livestock. Full Belly is home to a flock of sheep, several pigs and as of 12/10/17 a delightful group of 8 healthy piglets!  While many of our CSA members and farmers market customers have let us know that they would rather we not include farm animals in our production system, we have decided that the animals are an important element of our healthy farm, and we treat the farm animals with care and respect.  One of the most active responsibilities during the break, was the pressing daily need to care for the chickens, sheep, pigs, cows, goats, cats and dogs that make the farm their home. [Read more…]

New CSA Site

Full Belly is looking to start a new pick-up site in San Geronimo area. This is a proposed site with the start date and pick-up hours yet to be determined.  This will be a Thursday pick-up day. See our web site to place your order. Please help us spread the word and tell your family, friends and co-workers about this new CSA site – Thanks!

Veggie Tips

Your box this week is full of several kinds of nourishing greens.

Bok Choi/Tat Soi/Joi Choi:  You will get one of these in your box. We grow all of these Asian greens and in general, they can be steamed, stir-fried, stewed, braised, or added to dumplings or soups.  The stems are often juicy and crisp — a delightful contrast to the leaves. 

Karanata Kale: This is a cross between red mustard and red kale, one of our favorite greens.

Mizuna: A mild Asian green that can be eaten raw or lightly cooked.

Spaghetti Squash: Also known as vegetable spaghetti, with a mild flavor that pairs well with hearty ragu, curry or bolognese sauce.  Cut the squash in half and bake it face-down at 350°.  You can add a little water to the pan to prevent the squash from drying out.  Once soft (45 minutes or so) you remove it from the shell with a fork.

Salad Mix: This will store the least well of all of the wonderful greens in your box — so you should consider using it first.  We recently purchased a spinner so that we can send you your mix a little bit dryer than in the past.  If it is too wet when you refrigerate it, it doesn’t store as long.

News From the Farm | December 4, 2017

Your CSA box this week is the last for 2017.  Our CSA deliveries will start again in the week of January 8th. Frankly, we hope that you really miss us — We are YOUR family farmers and your source of fresh, local, organic veggies.  We try to create a surprise, a challenge and an inspiration each week. Should we put leeks in the box?  Or maybe our members would rather see something different and unusual, like the tat soi… Should we put broccoli in again?  It’s a staple kind of crop — people know what to do with it, maybe they would like another week of broccoli?  We want to be the muse that inspires your daily meals!  These vegetables that we send you didn’t come from a faceless, nameless wholesale supplier, they didn’t come from a factory, they came direct from our fields, harvested by hand, by people that care, that show up at dawn every morning motivated by the challenge of keeping the crops healthy and by the beauty of stewarding the few acres of land that we are so lucky to call home.

During the next few weeks, there may be some deep cleaning in barns and offices, and there may be some crops that require harvest.  Certainly the pigs, cows, sheep and hens will get all the care that they need. There may be some meetings, planning and analysis of the year 2017. But the rhythm of marketing, harvest, packing and delivery is going to be on hold for a few weeks. Only a small crew will be on hand and with the cold short nights, the growth of most of the crops in the field will slow to a winter pace.   [Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Broccoli: There are lots of recipes for broccoli on our web site

Carrots:  We grow a variety called Nantes — our gold standard for carrots, especially sweet and crisp when the weather is cold.  If you start by eating one when you pick up the box, you may be lucky to get many of them home with you!

Watermelon Radish, aka Watermelon Daikon: Our friends at The Fruit Guys have shared a recipe for Watermelon Radish Citrus Salad.  This radish is an heirloom Chinese daikon that is good raw, roasted or quickly pickled.  Roasting it will enhance its sweetness and temper some of the spice.  See our Recipe of the Week for information about making quick pickles.

New Potatoes:  We are harvesting our potatoes before their skins have set, so if you see some scuffed-looking potatoes, don’t worry, they are not old!  New potatoes, no matter what size are creamy and tender. Because they haven’t been cured, they won’t last as long as regular potatoes and should be refrigerated.  They can be steamed and served with herb butter, or roasted with other root vegetables.

Kohlrabi: This sputnik-shaped vegetable can be eaten both raw or cooked. Peel back the outer layer to find the center of the of this delicious and crisp vegetable. Try slicing very thin, drizzle with olive oil and sea salt to add to your salad or even eaten raw! If you want to cook it try roasting or even add it to soup. 

News From the Farm | November 27, 2017

Full Belly Farm has donated 5 CSA boxes per week to the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic (CMC) since 1992.  This program is sustained through the generosity of our CSA members who donate their boxes when they leave town, or purchase an extra box during the holidays, as a gift. We have little bit of additional information about this program on our web site

This year, Full Belly is donating $5 to CMC for every Yarn Gift Box, Sampler Gift Box or Wreath purchased by our CSA members through Thanksgiving. That donation of $400 worth of produce will supplement the donations of CSA members. 

This week, we heard from one of the CMC volunteers and decided to share her note with you. [Read more…]

Veggie Tips – Friday & Saturday Boxes

Cabbage: Napa Cabbage is another type of Chinese cabbage. For some ideas on how to cook it, check out Early Morning Farm’s blog post on 6 things to do with the napa cabbage in your CSA box!

Joi Choi: Joi Choi is a type of Chinese cabbage high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. The easiest way to cook it is to sauté a bit of garlic in hot oil, add in the cleaned bok choi (leaves and stems), and cook for 5 – 8 minutes, until the leaves are bright green and the stems are nearly translucent.

Cilantro: Cilantro is great as a garnish, but you can also add it to the food processor with some yogurt, lemon juice or red wine vinegar, salt and pepper to make a flavorful salad dressing or sauce for meat. You can also make a great salsa verde with cilantro!

Veggie Tips – Tuesday & Wednesday Boxes

Dear loyal Thanksgiving week members,

All of you who are getting your CSA box some time between Friday 11/17 through Saturday 11/25 are going to receive our special Thanksgiving box.   Note that we are including 1/2-lb of walnuts in the box.  We are packing these in a zip lock bag.  If any of you have a nut allergy, we apologize, please let us know so that we can keep track of that for future reference. We usually put our nuts and sun dried fruit in your CSA boxes once or twice a year, usually around the holiday season.

Carrots – Included in this week’s Recipe of the Week.

Dill – Great with the potatoes, or perhaps as a substitute for the cilantro in our Recipe of the Week.

Potatoes -These freshly dug new potatoes are creamy and delicious. Since they are new potatoes, the skin hasn’t set. If they appear scuffed, don’t worry. 

Rutabagas – We have rutabaga recipes on our web site .  Rutabagas add a wonderful flavor to soups or roasted roots.

Walnuts – Ready for breakfast yogurt or chocolate chip cookies.  It is also easy to toast them on a baking sheet in the oven, or a pan on the stovetop.  The toasted walnuts can be sprinkled over salad.

News From the Farm | November 20, 2017

Today’s Indian Summer Sunday was delightful here on the farm. The morning started with a slight frost and a haze drifted over the valley creating a crisp chill to the air all day long. Grape, pomegranate, pear, and walnut leaves are turning gold, reds or brown, falling to blanket the ground with a carpet of mulch.  The light frost signals that a year has turned. Crops have been harvested and stored. We have put aside an abundant harvest of winter squash, dried flowers, peaches, tomatoes, apricots, walnuts, grains, jams, sauces, oils, and seeds. In the age-old rhythm of seasons and farm, this crisp morning marks an end, the turning of fields to rest and the slow metabolism of low sun and colder days. It is so welcome here.

The prediction has been for rain to fall through the coming week, so after breakfast, household responsibilities needed attention—scrubbing the chimney of last year’s soot, and cleaning gutters. Then a couple of unfinished fields called to be planted ahead of the rain. Each year, planting cover crops and wheat with our grain drill is an enjoyable pre Thanksgiving activity that marks our slowing down. In this time we plant rain fed crops that thrive in the cold weather. We also put the farm to rest in the closing of a year. [Read more…]

Veggie Tips

Dear loyal Thanksgiving week members,

All of you who are getting your CSA box some time between Friday 11/17 through Wednesday 11/22 are going to receive our special Thanksgiving box. Note that we are including 1/2-lb of walnuts in the box.  We are packing these in a zip lock bag.  If any of you have a nut allergy, we apologize — please let us know so that we can keep track of that for future reference. We usually put our nuts and sun dried fruit in your CSA boxes once or twice a year, usually around the holiday season.

Carrots – Included in this week’s Recipe of the Week.

Rutabagas – We have rutabaga recipes on our web site.  Rutabagas add a wonderful flavor to soups or roasted roots.

Sugar Pie Pumpkin

Collards

Walnuts – Ready for breakfast yogurt or chocolate chip cookies.  It is also easy to toast them on a baking sheet in the oven, or a pan on the stovetop.  The toasted walnuts can be sprinkled over salad.

Potatoes – These freshly dug new potatoes are creamy and delicious.  

Dill – Great with the potatoes, or perhaps as a substitute for the cilantro in our Recipe of the Week.

Leeks