Finally – The SWIM SUIT ISSUE!
Not from us of course,
But we have something better - pics of lots of sexy skinny naked French models – yes, see them here.
…skinny as French beans. In fact, they are French Beans and you’ll be seeing them crisp and ready to eat in your shares this weekend.
Food is really sexy.
It doesn’t seem that way as we work through the beginning of the week (and by “we”, I mean Cyndy) – learning what food is likely to be ready for harvest; doing the calculations to see what works within the budget, estimating sizes and how many will fit in each share; calculating possible overages, and estimating alternatives. It’s just food. It’s even a burden. Work.
Then it arrives on Thursday afternoon as Jon and our big yellow van return from our partner farms. Off the truck, it’s mostly in boxes and crates and some storage containers we swap out with the farms – not pretty; holding promise. But starting about 4:00 p.m. the spectacle starts to come alive for the team.
Every Thursday evening, my phone buzzes as Cyndy and Lu and Alicia, and Sophie and Maria start sending photos of the beauty as they unpack and prepare the food for you.
They’ve seen it before; zuchinni, beets, kale, beans, and all. But each week, it’s a new artwork and it’s beautiful and earthy and fun. Work? Yes (you can’t believe how much work goes into preparation) but also gorgeous. Plus there are bugs and everyone gets a kick from bugs and slugs (and tonight, a tree frog in the bananas).
One reason we arrange the food on the Farm Share and Market table is so you can experience the beauty and the bounty. We don’t have the fancy stage lighting the big stores have, but it still looks pretty good, right?
Growing your own food.
Food that’s still growing is fun to look at also. We started our VG-1 recirculating hydroponic tower three weeks ago and look how the plants are exploding. I love this thing. No need to water, it waters itself four times a day from the reservoir.
And after three weeks, the VG-1 has only depleted about two gallons of precious water. All I do is check the pH every couple of days and add a bit of vinegar to adjust the acidity to make the plants happy. You can see they are happy.
Now my Jackpot tomatoes are also happy.
They take a lot more water, but jackpots are so well drained the plants are clearly more productive than they would be in traditional soil containers. Yes, I have to water them EVERY day. But those are probably the most relaxing 15 minutes of my day.
Got pics of your urban farms? Send them along. We can’t get enough.
Last week Kim Erickson told us how one of their irrigation systems was broken and they were hand watering.
This week, watering isn’t a problem thanks to mother nature. They were out harvesting our food in sloppy conditions today.
It has been so terribly dry we were in desperate need of rain. Still can’t find the mystery leak in the primary irrigation system so spent the last week hauling around temporary pumps and sprinklers.
Fortunately, mother nature decided to chip in today and we’ve already had over 2″ of rain and there is more on the way. Unfortunately, it came just in time for harvesting. Our workers were troopers. They donned their rain gear and waded out into the fields.
This band of showers is ushering in another “cold” front and the lowest forecasted temperatures for February. It seems very unlikely we will see temperatures low enough to damage any of the crops or even the delicate tropical fruit bloom this spring.
Punxy Phil predicted an early spring and the cypress trees agree with him. The ones in my front yard started budding a couple weeks ago. Of all the quirky old-timer weather prediction methods that I’ve ever heard it does seem that the cypress trees are fairly accurate predictors. They just don’t bud until after the last frost. I hope they’re right this year.
Fortunately, we had some early cold back in October and November. It was enough to signal the trees to bloom. Right now we have bloom, and even small fruit on all the fruit trees.
It’s far too soon to make any predictions but the first step to a good harvest is a good bloom and the mangoes, lychees, and avocados are all making a strong showing. See the beautiful blooms here.
Next steps are good pollination and protecting the blossoms and small fruit from fungus attacks. Some of the early mango varieties are already set and the fruit are about the size of a green pea. Now we will anxiously and impatiently wait for them to grow.
Important Facts of The Week
(you can use to impress your minions).
Average distance the food in your Farm Share traveled this week: 44.75 miles. Avg. distance of the farms: 26.9 miles.
Sapote and Sapodilla are in season and delicious.
Carambolas will be around until a freeze occurs.
French Beans are both yellow and green.
Grow your own grass.
Marco Rubio has Poland Springs water and we have Jon Albee.
And Jon has put together a soil formulation that makes your wheat grass seeds explode in brilliant and nutritious green blades. You can (and should) get your own kit. Each kit has three trays so you can have grass growin’ for the next several weeks. Plus, he’s paired it with the Lexan manual juicer for an additional discount. Come in and get yours at the patio market. You can have grass like this.
- 2 c. cooked white beans such as Great Northern, Cannellini or Navy (can also use 1- 15oz can drained and rinsed well)
- 1 green onion cut into thin slices white and green parts
- 1 head of Kale such as Curly, Red Russian, or Lacinato finely chopped
- ½ c. Extra Virgin olive oil divided, plus more to finish dish
- 1 tbs coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼ c. grated Romano cheese such as Locatelle
- This is a great hardy side dish. I like it with simply roasted chicken. But truth be told, this is regularly a staple main dish for me many-a-night.
- The key to this dish is to fry the beans and keep them intact (crispy on the outside and soft on the inside). The only way to do this is to “flip” the sauté or frying pan. Do not stir or use a utensil to do so.
- In a medium sauté or fry pan pour ¼ c of oil or a bit more into pan followed by course black pepper.
- When oil heats up, toss in beans. Let beans start to sizzle. Immediately start to flip beans. Continue to flip periodically incorporating pepper throughout.
- Once beans are just starting to get browned and crispy, toss in green onion. Continue cooking and periodically flipping pan until onions start browning and beans are nice and crispy.
- Remove beans and onion to a dish to reserve. In same pan add remaining ¼ c. of oil then toss in chopped kale. Sauté quickly just to wilt but retain their bright green color, then add back bean/onion mixture.
- Flip pan to incorporate all then remove from heat.
- Place onto serving plate, sprinkle with grated cheese and drizzle with good olive oil.