Today’s CSA Box – Week of October 23, 2017



*Click on produce above for more information and Recipes

Veggie Tips

Pomegranates: The best way to de-seed a pomegranate is to cut it in half, and submerge it in a large bowl of water.  Gently remove the seeds into the water with your fingers.  The pith will float to the surface of the water and can be easily skimmed off, and the seeds will remain at the bottom of the bowl.  Pomegranates are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. You can eat the seeds plain, or add them to salads, oatmeal, muffins, or on top of cooked winter squash.

Mizuna is a delicious brassica, and is also called Japanese mustard.   Since it is so hardy, try it raw with a strong salad dressing like blue cheese or caesar.  It can also go into a stir fry, is great with cooked grains like barley or wheat berries, and can even go in pasta (substitute it for spinach or kale). 

Green Kabocha Squash is exceptionally sweet ~ similar to a butternut squash except a bit drier in texture.  This squash can be cut into chunks and steamed, or halved, de-seeded and roasted with olive or coconut oil and a bit of salt.  Kabocha squash packs a serious nutritional punch, and is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K and potassium.  The skin is edible once cooked!

News From the Farm | October 16, 2017

Gifts that keep on Giving

Believe it or not there are just six short weeks (shorter because the daylight seems to be slipping away!) until Full Belly Farm takes its winter hibernation break. The farm goes into its light slumber from December 10th through January 8th – “light” because there are always home projects on the list, attending to all of those things that got left on the back burner during a busier-than-ever summer. Somehow the past nine farm months have been packed with more things than we can remember –weddings, garden tours, summer campers, school visits… oh and yes the picking and packing of thousands and thousands of boxes of produce.

Before the break starts we have another long list of “finishing up” projects: picking 3 tons of olives, pulling stakes from 15 acres of tomatoes, sowing cover crops, spreading compost before the winter rains start, and most importantly –selling all of our fall crops and all of the wonderful things we have been “putting” away for you this summer –jams, dried fruits, nuts and lots of fried flowers!

We have an idea to do a “re-gifting” project with you, our loyal and dedicated customers. We will be offering three gift boxes from the farm for the holiday season and for each box purchased we will donate $5 worth of CSA credit to the Charlotte Maxwell Cancer Clinic. This cancer clinic for low-income women has been so appreciative of the produce that Full Belly Farm and you have donated over the past 10 or more years. Healthy food is vital to those fighting the disease, so these are gifts that keep on giving.

The three gift boxes will be:

#1. The Sampler Box for $45 – includes 1.5 lbs of our stone milled whole wheat flour, 1 lb of walnuts, half pound of sundried peaches, 8 oz jar of Marmalade,  250 ml Orange Syrup, a beautiful pomegranate and recipe ideas for all of the ingredients!

#2. The Yarn Gift Box for $35 (+ tax) – includes three skeins of our beautiful yarn from Full Belly sheep, knitting needles, patterns for knitting the yarn, and a lovely photo description of the sheep project here at the farm.

#3. The Wreath Box for $40 (+ tax) – includes a beautiful dried floral wreath of our choosing, handmade here at the farm by our amazing floral women. All of the flowers in the wreaths are organically grown!

To receive your gift boxes we will need orders by November 25th. The boxes will be delivered during the week of November 27th to December 2nd to your CSA site. We can also ship your order directly to your gift recipient in a large flat rate USPS box for an additional $20!

Veggie Tips

Broccoli: Our first broccoli of the fall season is always a hit. Don’t be afraid to eat the stem as well. Once the skin is peeled off you can serve raw in a salad, roasted or stemmed with the rest of the broccoli. Once washed I love cutting the broccoli into big pieces and roasting in the oven. 

Pomegranates: You know it’s fall time when the pomegranates start to roll in. These are often enjoyed as a snack, but have the potential for much more. Cut them open and de-seed them in a big bowl of water. The seeds will sink to the bottom while the white pith floats to the top. Once separated these treats can go in salad, on top of desserts or over a bed of roasted winter squash. 

Red Kuri Squash: This squash is excellent when prepared in a soup as it has a nutty flavor and creamy texture. However, you can also cube it with the skin on and roast it in the oven. It can be kept simple with salt and olive oil to bring out the flavor or mix it up with some fun ingredients like cardamom. If your not sure what to do keep your squash on the counter, you have plenty of time to think about it.

News From the Farm | October 16, 2017

Last week Judith wrote a brief thanks for all who participated in this year’s Hoes Down Harvest festival. I would like to start this week’s Beet with a bit more if you can bear with me.  After a week of picking up the last of the remnants of the festival and putting them all away, there is a lingering sweetness for all of us here about the whole experience.  For those of you who attended, perhaps you have your own best moment, but there are a few for me that I would like to share. 

The Hayfort….

 We have been doing this structure for nearly all 30 years of the festival. Every year the builders request more straw bales- this year nearly 600 bales of straw were arranged safely to provide tunnels, climbing and scrambling, pirate lookouts, interior dark places and tight squeezes- designed to be too small for big folks- in fact parents aren’t allowed inside- it is a place to be brave and fearless- always remarkable for me how we as a species like to climb to the top, how we are explorers at heart and how our children have such stout hearts to navigate dark passages. [Read more…]

New CSA Pick-Up Site Started Oct. 11th

Full Belly started a new pick-up site in San Francisco at the Last Minute Gear Shop on 24th Street near So. Van Ness Avenue. This is a Wednesday pick-up and the hours are 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. 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!

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).

Pumpkin Tea Cake – $10 for a 1 lb. loaf. This amazing tea cake is made with FBF Butternut squash, FBF eggs, organic canola oil, organic sugar, FBF Frasinetto flour, organic cinnamon, organic cloves, organic nutmeg and salt. It should be kept refrigerated and used within a week, or it can be frozen.

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 ($13) or  500 mL ($25).

Fermented Dill Pickles – Made with Full Belly Farm organic cucumbers, water, salt, organic garlic, organic spices, organic grape leaves and organic tarragon.  If you like dill pickles, you will be really glad to have found these — they are some of the best. $8.00 for 1 quart.

Red Tomato Sauce and Jubilee 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 Jubilee Sauce is made from our beautiful orange Jubilee Heirloom Tomatoes.  The Red Sauce is made from Romas. 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. Please specify Red or Jubilee when ordering. 

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.

Bone Broth – (frozen beef & pork combination) – $15/ quart

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

Pie Dough – For a 9-inch pie.  Frozen when we ship it, use within 3 days. $5

Pizza Dough – For a 14-inch pizza. $6/ dough ball 

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 Tomatoes – $4/quarter pound 

Sun Dried Figs – $5/half pound 

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

Cotton Bags (11.5 x 12.5 inches) – $8 for 5 bags 

Veggie Tips

Green Beans:  These can easily be cooked in a skillet with a bit of water.  The beans are good when they are cooked crisp-tender.  Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, lemons, sesame seeds or mix them with other vegetables.

Greens: Spinach, Dino Kale and Mizuna.  The mizuna is a light Asian green that needs very little cooking.  The dino kale can be cooked in lightly salted water.  When it is tender, drain the water and add a dash of oil, lemon or vinegar and salt or tamari.  Our recipe of the week is a great way to use the spinach.

Lemon Verbena: We serve lemon verbena tea at a lot of our farm dinner events — It’s good cold or hot.  Remove the leaves from their stems and bruise or cut them up and then steep them with some water and honey or sugar.  Adding some mint leaves makes the tea really special.

News From the Farm | October 9, 2017

It’s hard to know quite what to say about the experience of having 5,500 people sweep through the farm over the weekend to set up a Festival and then take it right back down. The Hoes Down Harvest Festival was on Saturday 10/7.  It left us with many memories to share. This is truly a very special community event.  We had over 600 volunteers doing their shifts as best they could, coming to the Hoes Down to do their part to help.  There are families, many of whom are CSA members, that have been coming to the Festival for decades, so that it has become a family tradition for them and from our point of view, the Hoes Down wouldn’t be the same without them.  We want to thank all of our CSA members who came and helped out in so many big and little ways.  We truly appreciate all of you.

These kids made friends with a very special scarecrow.

We got a lot of dishes very dirty, and ran out of cleaning up steam on Saturday night.

Veggie Tips

Red Beets:  We have a great archive of beet recipes

Bok Choi: Bok choi can be used like other greens. The great thing about it is that the stem will provide a bit of contrasting texture and crispness compared to the leaves.  Bok choi is a type of Chinese cabbage.  It’s good with a bit of garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and even a dash of sesame oil if you have some on hand.

Stir Fry:  These are the tender greens that we harvest out of the beds, giving the remaining plants room to grow.  There are leaves of baby red Russian kale, chard, karinata kale, arugula, mizuna and dino kale.  If the leaves are very wet when you receive them, you might want to let them dry a little bit before putting them into the refrigerator.

News From the Farm | October 2, 2017

The boxes changed quickly this year, from themes on tomatoes, melons, eggplants and peppers to a preponderance of chard, arugula, radishes and winter squash.  It’s as if we mark the seasons as much by what we eat as by the weather.  Hints of Fall first made themselves known with a change in the quality of the light and sun, both more gentle than before.  In a flash, the temperatures might rise again — we can’t say goodbye to hot weather, but the days are shorter and there’s a Fall smell in the air.  It’s enough to make one believe that the summer may soon pass on its way as Autumn comes around.

[Read more…]

CSA Flowers

CSA flowers are gone for this year. We appreciate and Thank You for supporting our CSA flowers. We hope you have enjoyed the beautiful variety of flowers this year.

Veggie Tips

Eggplant:  We have a great archive of 25 different eggplant recipes.

Mizuna: We are growing both green and red mizuna. You can lightly steam this in a pan using the water that stays on the leaves when you wash them.  Then add a little sesame, or olive oil, or soy sauce and you have a delicious side dish. Mizuna has a very mild flavor, so much so that it can be eaten raw as a salad green.  It is a great addition to pasta, or miso soup as well.

Hard Squash: We grow many varieties of hard squash and they become a staple of our meals in the fall and winter.  We make a lot of soups with them, but they are also a great vegetable to use when you want a quick and easy meal — just bake them until soft.  Hard squash does not need to be refrigerated!

News From the Farm | September 25, 2017

No Funding for Healthy Soils or Water Use Efficiency in the Cap and Trade Budget Deal

Several weeks ago, California’s legislature made decisions on how to spend $1.5 billion out of the account that has been collected from our cap-and-trade program. To the dismay of a wide network of partners, the deal completely eliminated funding for the new Healthy Soils Program and Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program that had been funded by cap-and-trade dollars in the past.  This is a huge setback for these trailblazing efforts.

The Healthy Soils Program was in its first year of funding for practices like the use of compost, cover crops, hedgerows and improved fertilizer management on farms and ranches.  The funded practices all sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  In it’s first year of funding for these soil management practices (2017), this program will cost $7.4 million (a drop in the $1.5 billion budget).  [Read more…]

CSA Flowers

Your CSA flowers this week are a mix of Dragon’s Tongue and Quinoa. Note: Please do not take flowers unless you have ordered them as an add-on to your CSA box.  The flowers at your pick-up site are only for people who have flowers listed for them on the sign-in sheet.  Thank you!

News Feed

Sales of organic agricultural production continued to increase in 2016, when U.S. farms produced and sold $7.6 billion in certified organic commodities, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Results of the 2016 USDA Certified Organic Survey show that 2016 sales were up 23% from $6.2 billion in 2015. During the same year, the number of certified organic farms in the country increased 11% to 14,217, and the number of certified acres increased 15% to 5.0 million.

California, with $2.9 billion in certified organic sales, continued to lead the nation in certified sales, accounting for 38% of the U.S. total. It also had the largest share of certified organic acres and farms.

Veggie Tips

Basil: Pesto comes to mind right away, but basil is an herb that adds wonderful flavor to many meals. It’s great with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes, pasta salad, in sandwiches, on pizza, or in your stuffed peppers.

Radishes: Our radish seeds were planted only three weeks ago! When the weather is warm, the radishes can keep growing so fast that we have to scramble to make sure that we use them all before they go right past.

Winter Squash: Acorn, butternut, delicata, red kuri and triple treat pumpkins are winter squash, or hard squash that we grow. If you need to get a meal on the table quickly, you can simply bake one of these squash (cut it in half to make it bake more quickly), and take it out of the oven when it is soft all the way through, ready to serve.

News From the Farm | September 18, 2017

Top Ten Reasons to Join Us at the 30th Annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival: 

Once again that time has come, when the air starts cooling down, the sun stays hidden for just a bit longer, and farmers feel some weight lift off their shoulders as the Summer season comes to an end. Fall is coming, a time when pumpkin patches start popping up, farms stay dark just a few minutes longer and the season of tomatoes and summer squash comes to an end. As people search out their Halloween decorations, and farmers pull out their mud boots, Full Belly gets ready for the Hoes Down Harvest Festival. 

This celebration is a chance to get out to the country and experience some good old-fashioned family fun. Although there are countless reason to come to the Hoes Down, I have done my best to pick the top 10!

#10: The Vendors! The farmers’ market features fresh fruits and veggies, the crafts area offers great crafty gifts from our artists and herbalists, and you can try your luck at our Silent Auction. [Read more…]

CSA Flowers

Your CSA flowers this week are a mixed bouquet of Broom Corn, Celosia & Globe Amaranth. Note: Please do not take flowers unless you have ordered them as an add-on to your CSA box.  The flowers at your pick-up site are only for people who have flowers listed for them on the sign-in sheet.  Thank you!

Tule Elk in the Capay Valley

This beautiful photo is from a group of tule elk that live in the Capay Valley and are under study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. DFW is monitoring the elk population’s size, movements and demography, and they use melons from Full Belly to feed and briefly trap the elk so that they can collar them.  The Cache Creek herd is the oldest free ranging tule elk herd in California and was established in 1922 with 21 elk from Monterey County.