Monthly Archives: January 2012

This week’s box in picture

This box has lemons, lacinato kale, salad reds and greens, cabbage, cauliflower, rutabagas, rapini.  For the rest of  the story of this week’s box, click here for the newsletter.

–posted by Steven

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Farm Log 1/21 to 1/28, 2012

Here is our weekly report of what was sown and what was harvested during prior week.

Sown

Crop

Variety How Sown
Carrot babbette, purple dragon sown in outside trenches
Chicory rossa di verona, indivia di taglio, bianca riccia broadcast in oustide beds
Lettuce flashy troutback, galactic, bambi, galactic merlot, red salad bowl, gree summer crisp, outredgeous sown in flats, greenhouse
Turnip ( grown for tops) rapa di foglia broadcast in outside beds
Watercress broadcast in outside beds


Harvested

Crop

Variety (if recorded)

Kale siberian, red russian, lacinato
Broccoli
Cauliflower casper
Cabbage farao
Tatsoi
Lemon eureka
Beet kestrel, golden
Herbs blue tuscan rosemary, sage
Chicory rossa italiana, catalogna pugliese, catalogna punterella
Nettle stinging
Turnips hakurei
Pea Shoots dwarf grey
Spinach bordeaux
Micros chery belle radish, celery, blood sorrel


–posted by Steven

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Newsletter for Jan 31/Feb 3, 2012

News from the Farm

First, yes, there will be boxes this week, and….

Marge says she’s got eggs.  Look for them starting today.

So, I’m not sure whether to credit our unusually mild January, the hoop houses, neither or both, but I believe this is the first time we have ever had 4 weeks of CSA boxes in January.  We are planning to have boxes every week in February as well.

Linda has received a scholarship to attend the EcoFarm conference this week in Asilomar.  This is really fortunate for us, as we simply weren’t going to be able to attend otherwise.  EcoFarm is one of the best conferences anywhere  for organic and sustainable farming.  She’ll be there Wednesday through Saturday, but we’ll still be doing the usual boxes and deliveries.   We can expect a trip report when she returns.

As reflected in an earlier blog post, we are trying a side-by-side comparison of two bed refreshing techniques – traditional top-dress compost and sheet mulching with cardboard.  Of course, we will share the results here, as well as in your boxes.

The new ridge bed development we were tracking on this site has been on the back burner for the last week, as Jesús and Felix have been a bit under the weather.   We are hoping they feel better soon, and, by the way, get back to work!

This week is the first time we have put rutabagas in the box.  Actually, it’s the first time we have ever harvested rutabagas.  They are pretty small, nothing like your grandma’s back from the old country.  We didn’t really aim for that – we probably should have put them into the ground earlier.  The tops however are wonderful.

If you would like to get espelette flakes (see this week’s recipes), just put a small spice jar with your name on it in your box this week, and we will return it next.

–Steven & Linda

What’s in the Box? (picture here)
X
  • Lacinato or Red Russian kale
  • cauliflower
  • Farao cabbage
  • either rapini OR tatsoi
  • Eureka lemons
  • salad reds and greens
  • rutabagas with tops
Recipe of the Week
X
This week we offer a couple of  ideas for cabbage we use here at Lindencroft.   The cabbages from you box will keep for several weeks, so if you want to wait until you’ve had us fill your spice jar with espelette flakes, that should work well.
X

Mexican Cabbage Slaw

We got the idea for this from Mexican Cabbage Salad on Epicurious, but presented here is Linda’s variation, to conform to the season.
Serves about 6-12
X
Ingredients
X
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar (we used apple)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • hot pepper flakes, to taste

Procedure

  • Combine everything and chill for 30-120 minutes.  It will keep for several days, getting more flavorful.

Espelette Shrimp Tacos

Here a wonderful thing you can do with that slaw you just made.

Ingredients

  • corn tortillas
  • Mexican cabbage slaw
  • 4-6 uncooked medium shrimps for each taco
  • Espelette flakes or other chili flakes, to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional:  sliced avocado, hot sauce

Procedure

  • coat the shrimp lightly with olive oil, pepper flakes, salt and pepper
  • you can let them stand for 30-60  minutes to let the pepper flavor soak in
  • grill the shrimp on a barbeque, taking care to not overcook them
  • heat the tortillas on an open burner, fold,  add shrimps and slaw
  • garnish with hot sauce and/or avocado to taste

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Permaculture Sheet Mulching

Today we used a permaculture method for readying beds for planting.  We are in the upper bed of our greens garden (also known as the Gather Garden – since there is where we grow much of the specialty greens for Chef Sean of Gather Restaurant in Berkeley.  In this first picture, you see Hailey raking unsifted compost over a recently harvested lettuce bed.  She’s raking the compost right over whatever was left in the bed – weeds, bolted lettuces, whatever.  You can also see in this photo behind Hailey a bed that is nearly finished being refreshed in our traditional no-till way – by removing all of the crop remains and weeds, applying a think layer of sifted compost/native soil mix, and raking it smooth.

Here you can see how that sifting is done.  On a frame of 1/2″ hardware cloth, we dump aged compost and our native “soil”.  Yup, that light stuff is our native soil – it is pure, white sand.  We make the mix for this application pretty rich – about 1/3 sand to 2/3 compost.

Here Quinn is finishing the operation.  As you can see, this is quite labor intensive.  The finished mix is carried down to the beds in 5 gal. buckets.  You saw how it was used in our traditional no-till beds in the first frame.  Now, back to the Sheet Mulching:

Hailey has been laying down the cardboard atop of the unsifted compost.  Mandy is spraying it down until it is wet all the way through, and  Quinn has been dumping the sifted compost/native soil mix on top.  It then gets raked smooth.

This is the last step before planting – Hailey and Mandy are spreading straw over the beds.  We are using old, rain-soaked straw that has seen prior duty as potato mulch and who knows what else.  You can also use leaves, which is pretty common in permaculture.

What’s next?  Planting, which we will show you in a future post.  We plan to plant the same crops side-by-side in this bed so that we can compare the two techniques.  It should be interesting!

–posted by Steven

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Recipe for CSA Subscribers

Since we are giving you so much cauliflower, here’s another recipe that sounds really good.  It’s from the Fine Cooking website.

Cauliflower with Brown Butter, Pears, Sage & Hazelnuts

by Andrew Carmellini

This dish has the advantage of cooking on the stovetop, freeing up valuable oven space for other dishes.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets about 3/4 inch wide
  • 1/2 cup toasted, skinned, chopped hazelnuts (see tip right)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large ripe pears, cored and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Tip: To toast hazelnuts, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for 14 to 18 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly browned. While still warm, rub them against each other in a clean dishtowel to remove the papery skins.

Procedure

  • In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter until light brown and bubbly. Add the cauliflower, hazelnuts, and sage. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is browned and crisp-tender, 6 to 7 minutes more.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pear slices and parsley. Gently toss to combine and warm the pears. Season to taste with more salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.

For more tips, a video, credits, etc., please visit the Fine Cooking webpage for this recipe.

–posted by Steven

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This week’s box in picture

This box has collards, red and golden beets with tops, Siberian kale, a couple of cauliflower, tat soi, and a few lemons.

–posted by Linda

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Farm Log 1/14 to 1/20, 2012

This is the first of our weekly postings of the basic Ins and Outs – what was sown and what was harvested during the last week.

Sown

Crop

Variety

How Sown

Arugula Direct sown into hoophouse
Cabbage Farao Sown in flats, greenhouse
Cauliflower Symphony Sown in flats, greenhouse
Chervil Transplanted into outside beds
Chicories Scarola Transplanted into outside beds
Fennel Transplanted into outside beds
Flowers Penstemon (Rocky Mountain, James, Desert Beardtongue, Grandiflorus) Sown in flats, stratified
Lettuces Flashy Troutback, Galactic, Bambi, Galactic Merlot, Red Salad Bowl, Green Summer crisp, Outredgeous Sown in flats, greenhouse
Mizuna Ruby Streaks Direct sown into hoophouse
Rapini Direct sown into outside beds
Rossa di Verona (chicory) Transplanted into outside beds
Turnips Hidabeni,  Hakauri Direct sown outside

Harvested

Crop Variety (if recorded)

Arugula

Broccoli

Carrots

Napoli

Cauliflower

Collards

Fennel

Kale

Red Russian, Siberian, Lacinato

Lemons

Micros

Celery, Red Fire Orach, Blood Sorrel

Pea Shoots

Rapini

Spinach

Stinging Nettles

–posted by Steven

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