Posts Tagged ‘brassicas’

Cole Crops & Greens

Just because we’re approaching winter doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some fresh local produce. Along with delicious storage vegetables like winter squashes, pumpkins (pie, please!), and onions, we have a variety of winter brassicas and greens to offer. Up until Christmas week, you can find us at the Ukiah Saturday Farmers Market with our kales, collards, cabbage, some broccoli and cauliflower, and chard. Soon, we hope to have lettuce available. The sunny days in the 60s are helping the lettuce grow.

The Ukiah Saturday market is from 9:30am – 12 noon at Alex Thomas Plaza. See you at the market this December! P.S. Don’t forget to pick up a package of our exclusive Heritage Sausage – that’s our Dexter beef with Berkshire pork, yum!

Lacinato Kale, aka Dino or Tuscan Kale



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  • Skyphos Butter Lettuce
  • Ripbor or Red Russian Kale
  • Perfection Fennel or Hon Tsai Tai
  • Tyee or Tarpy Spinach
   Welcome back to the “winter” vegetable CSA. We hope everyone is enjoying the spring greens that were missed over the rainy winter. The spinach – two varieties called Tarpy and Tyee – are rapidly maturing in this warm weather, so expect to see quite a bit more in the next couple weeks. To keep your greens fresh for a few days in the refrigerator, we recommend you wrap them in damp dishtowels. This will keep them a tad moist, just like the misters in the produce case do at the grocery store.

One section of the Coyote Field is planted with brassicas (cabbage family crops).

The first planting of broccoli is just barely starting to go to head (flower), so expect some later this month. We are growing a lot of cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage at Heart Arrow Ranch and in Potter Valley. This past week alone, the kales have really taken off. Our chard is still quite small, but you can still expect some before the end of the CSA. Also, the beets have amazing greens and the roots should be sizing up this month. So, there’s a lot to look forward to. This week, it’s all greens, and we will have more harvests of arugula and radishes in the weeks ahead.

Here we are transplanting onions in Potter Valley

This week, the change to warm weather was marked by moving our sheep from the rangeland at Heart Arrow to irrigated bottomland in Potter Valley. We have them munching down the grass in a field where we plan to grow about 4 acres of melons and winter squash. The “natural lawn mowers” are quite happy helping us to remove all the organic matter so we can plant there on time.

Eat well,

Adam & Paula

A view of the sheep enjoying the rangeland at Heart Arrow Ranch a few days before moving to pasture in Potter Valley.

Spring Butter Lettuce & Parsley Soup

Adapted from, 5/12/10

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 big head of butter lettuce, cored, washed and dried
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup, loosely packed, Italian parsley leaves
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth or stock, hot
  • 4 tablespoons plain whole milk yogurt (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot set over medium-low heat, add the onion and sauté until soft (about 15 min.) Stack the lettuce leaves and cut them into ¼-inch wide slices.
  2. Add the cut lettuce to the cooked onions and stir gently until the lettuce wilts (about 2 min.). Season with salt and pepper, add the parsley and pour in the chicken stock.
  3. Increase the heat to high and when the stock boils, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and cool just slightly. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup thoroughly. If the soup seems too thick, add water to reach your preferred consistency. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
  5. Ladle into soup plates and top each portion with a spoonful of yogurt, if using, and a sprinkling of herbs. Serve immediately.

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Sometimes, people ask us, “What do you do when it’s raining?” As a matter of fact, we work! Regardless of what Nature feels like, there is some farmin’ to do.

Today was no exception. We knew the big downpour was coming, so the day before, we did as much vegetable transplanting as possible and dug out the trenches/culverts on the hillside to ensure no veg beds would wash away. We also had to make sure the equipment and tools were covered or put away so as not to get wet and rust.

It rained a lot! This morning, Adam and Alder dug some culverts to stop the erosion in the recently cultivated Pond Field. I harvested produce (cauliflower, lettuce, sugar snap peas, broccoli shoots, and green chard) for Head Start and made the delivery in Ukiah. While in town, I purchased 6 bales of wheat straw for mulch. The guys up-sized some summer seedlings in the greenhouse and cut seed potato in preparation for planting later. There was some lunch where we discussed techniques for growing potatoes and how to find more shareholders for the Live Power CSA (which you should join!).

After some administrative computer stuff, I joined Adam and Alder in moving the sheep and cows into a new pasture area in the rangeland. Herding the animals has gotten easier with three of us instead of just two. Cell phones help too. We took down the fence, put it up in the new place, and herded the ovines and bovines – all pretty much at the same time. It went pretty smoothly. No cows went wild, no sheep scattered. I think we are getting better at herding.

Later, Adam and I threw straw down in the gullies in the Pond Field to prevent any more erosion. So, we got a lot done despite the rain, some wind, and a short spell of hail. We did see the sun a couple times, as well as some rainbows! And of course, the daily chores – checking the meat chickens and egg layers, feeding the livestock guardian dogs, and watering the greenhouse – were taken care of.

I was able to take a few pictures of the spring vegetables when it was not raining.

We have a couple beds of broccoli and cauliflower flourishing at the Pond Field.

These are some beds of different lettuce varieties growing in the north section of the Coyote Field.

This is radicchio under the floating row cover. The birds like to eat it if they can get to it.

These are beets we transplanted a while ago. We usually sow beet seeds directly into the vegetable bed, but because the soil has been so wet these past couple months, we had to start them as seedlings in the greenhouse.

Cabbage! - up close and still growing in the south section of the Coyote Field. Many other brassicas and lettuce are growing in this section.

Here is more lettuce (left) and one of our plantings of peas (right), ready for trellising.

Driving down the hill at the ranch, I spotted a rainbow over the vineyard. You can sort of see the grapes to the right.

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We have diligently been seeding spring vegetable crops in our new greenhouse. For continual harvest through the spring, we seed a number of each vegetable every week or 2 weeks. Look at how well they are starting!

The Siskyou sweet onions have just started to pop through the soil.

This is one of several varieties of lettuce we are growing.

On this table we have basil, various brassicas, and beets (not yet germinating).

These seed potatoes are being allowed to sprout a bit before we plant them.

Here are more brassicas and chicory.

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February 2, 2010


Various Winter Squash
Firecracker or Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Farao Cabbage
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Mixed Beets


Despite the rain, we worked a bit on the greenhouse frame, although we need to weld back together one pole. We are also making little cold frames so we can get more spring veggie starts going. Cold frames are basically like cloches or mini greenhouses. Right now, the greenhouse at Adam’s dad’s house is completely full of spring seedling trays, most of them on heated mats. We have all kinds of brassicas, Asian greens, and chard started.

We are making the cold frames with cinder blocks and panes of glass. Simple, yet protective!

We have pulled out the broccoli that flowered way too early and are transplanting chicory in its place. Many crops, like the cabbage and kale, are also starting to flower earlier than they did last year. This may be because of the warm weather we had late fall. The peas and fava beans have started to flower for what seems like the third time since we planted them in the fall. Hopefully, the cold will not burn the buds again. More Brussels sprouts will be ready next week. Pray for a period of dry weather so we can seed and transplant more crops and maybe get some cultivation in!

broccoli flowering too early 😦

pea plant is starting to flower

FYI, next week we will be sending around short surveys. While we try to make ourselves available to the membership, the survey is a nice venue to formally receive membership feedback.

Lastly, we are planning out our spring, and we are raising CSA meat chickens again! We order our first batch of chicks soon, so if you’re interested, contact us.
Eat well!
Adam & Paula

Three C Salad
(from Cathy and Janie)


1 carrot
¼ head of cabbage
handful of currants or flame raisins
Annie’s Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette
(see homemade alternative below)
Caraway seeds (optional)
Walnut pieces


1.    Grate carrot into a large bowl
2.    Chop off about ¼ of a head of cabbage and slice into thin strips. Add to carrot.
3.    Throw in a handful of currants or flame raisins.
4.    Dress with Annie’s Shiitake & Sesame Vinaigrette. Toss all of the above.
5.    Throw in a couple pinches of caraway seeds if desired. Top with broken walnut pieces.

Alternative Dressing:

Whisk together in a bowl:
3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon mint (chopped)
1 tablespoon basil (chopped)
1 ½ tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper

** Please email ( any recipes you might like to share with the rest of the CSA membership. If its ingredients match the week’s harvest, we will include it in the newsletter. Thank you!! **

baby lettuce

the deluge of water caused this second planting of cauliflower to rot

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Newsletter 2.3

December 15, 2009


  • There is no CSA delivery Saturday, December 26 and Tuesday, December 29th. Deliveries will resume Saturday, January 2. The CSA has only this one week off between now and the end of April.
  • If you are using the baskets, please label your basket(s) with your name. We ordered more baskets, but the basket company did not ship them when promised, so we do not know for sure when they will arrive. Thanks for bearing with us.


Butternut Squash
Collard Greens
Flashy Trout Back Romaine Lettuce
Cauliflower or Broccoli


With the rain has come a little warmth compared to last week. It’s tougher weeding the wet soil, but we’re still able to do more planting. That includes cover cropping a couple areas of the ranch where we hope to grow more vegetables in the future.

The broccoli and cauliflower must be harvested when they are ready, so that is why you will get one or the other. They are highly perishable, especially in this wet weather. The Brussels sprouts have a bit more maturing to do, but many of the cabbage are starting to get full heads.

oliver Brussels sprouts

We have also been planting more lettuce where we have harvested spinach. Along with many of the greens, we have to cover those crops with row cover – woven, breathable blankets – to protect them from birds and/or light frost. Last week, unfortunately, we learned that this does not protect the crops from bears (not that we expected it would). We don’t usually see signs of bears in the vegetable garden, although one morning, we found the bed of red Russian kale trampled down. About 60% of the plants were thrashed. The paw prints on the row cover appeared to be bears, and the following evening, we spotted two of them outside the deer fence and not far from the garden. Since then, in the evening before heading home, we drive by the garden to make sure they have not returned. And for extra measure, we yell and bark wildly out the truck window to scare away any creatures that may be hanging near the garden in the dark. Farming in close proximity to nature is a delicate balance.

Eat well!
Adam & Paula

Pulling back the row cover, you see the damage done. The trampled and torn leaves were fed to the pigs.

Martha Shulman’s Collard Greens w/ Barley or Farro (from the New York Times website)

This recipe calls for farro, but barley may be substituted. Farro with anything is comfort food, and the combination of farro and collard greens is particularly hearty and nutritious. The time required to cook the farro or barley will depend on how long it has been sitting on your shelf. When it’s less than a year old, farro softens nicely. The older it is, the longer it will need to cook. Soak the farro or barley if you aren’t sure how old it is.

1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed, leaves washed
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin oliv oil
½ medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ cups farro
½ cup dry white wine
2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water, or 1
quart each
¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Cut the collard greens into strips one inceh wide after stripping the stems.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic and the rosemary, and continue to cook for another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the faro or barley, and mix for a couple of minutes. Add the white wine, and stir until it has reduced by half. Add the stock and/or water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir in the collard greens, cover and simmer 45 minutes, or until the farro or barley is tender. Drain any water remaining, and return the mixture to the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle a little feta over each serving if desired.

Serves 6

It will keep for two or three days in the refrigerator and reheats well.

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red express cabbage

red express cabbage

lacinato kale, broccoli

lacinato kale, broccoli

red Russian kale, Lincoln leeks

red Russian kale, Lincoln leeks

spinach, beets, Swiss chard

spinach, beets, Swiss chard

collards, Brussels sprouts, tendersweet cabbage, Napa cabbage (under cover), red romaine lettuce (under cover), tadorna leeks, cassius cauliflower, bolero & napoli carrots

collards, Brussels sprouts, tendersweet cabbage, Napa cabbage (under cover), red romaine lettuce (under cover), tadorna leeks, cassius cauliflower, bolero & napoli carrots

Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage

red romaine lettuce. you can see how the recent rain has brought forth the weeds!

red romaine lettuce. you can see how the recent rain has brought forth the weeds!

zucchini and lemon cucumbers still in production

zucchini and lemon cucumbers still in production

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