Saturday, April 12, 2014

Greetings From the Ranch

Here is the list

haas avocado
purple carrots
dinosaur kale
bag of mixed lettuce
spring bunching onions
persian cucumbers
mexican squash
red potatos
This Cilantro Avocado Mandarin Onion Honey Salsa is versitile. Commonly, I see it on Salmon. I can imagine that it goes just as well with chicken or even pork? What is great, is that everything you need to make it is in this weeks box!

If you are looking for not so serious, add some apple and a little ginger to bring out the flavor in all of it
Healthy Kale and Carrot Juice Recipe from

Sunday, April 6, 2014

This Weeks Box 4/5/2014

Good Morning!

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Here is the list
Tangelos These are easy to peal. And they are sweet with a faint tart edge
Persian Cucumbers
Curly Kale
Snap Peas
Lemons "45 Uses For Lemons" I like number 4
Red Potatoes
Bunching onions
Bag of Lettuce
Red Bell Peppers
Rainbow color Beets

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This is Big Red. He has been around the farm for almost 10 years
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He has been a "ranch only" truck ever since he was rear-ended and then pushed into the back of another truck in an accident downtown.

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Works harder than anyone here. And never asks for anything in return.

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He takes a lot of punishment too. "Tocayo modifies shifter ball."

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Here is Tocayo having a wallet snack in the comfort of big red's luxurious bench seat.
Yep. Big Red

Cucumber Bell Pepper Quinoa Salad with Avocado
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Kosher salt
1 cup quinoa
1 garlic clove, pounded to a smooth paste with a pinch of salt
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
3 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red pepper, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1 small- to medium-sized cucumber, peeled and seeded, if necessary, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
2 to 3 ripe avocados, sliced
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Rinse quinoa under cool running water, lightly rubbing it between your fingers for a few seconds. Add it to the boiling water and cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa well and spread out on a baking sheet to cool. 2. Put the garlic, shallot, jalapeño, and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and whisk to combine. Taste; add more salt or lime, if necessary.
3. Put quinoa, red pepper, cucumber, and chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Drizzle about half the vinaigrette into the bowl and gently fold to combine. Taste; add more salt, vinaigrette, or lime juice, if needed.
4. Arrange the sliced avocado on a platter or individual serving plates. Season the avocado with salt and drizzle the remaining vinaigrette on top. Spoon the quinoa salad on and around the avocado. Garnish with cilantro, and serve immediately.

Beet and Potato Tart Tatin with Caramelized Fennel and Gruyere
makes a 7-inch tart
Buckwheat and Hazelnut Tart Crust
1/2 cup (70 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup (45 g) buckwheat flour
1/3 cup (40 g) tapioca starch
1/3 cup (35 g) hazelnut flour
2 teaspoons ground chia seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 tablespoons (110 g) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Combine the first seven ingredients in the food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse about ten times until the butter is the size of peas. Add the water and pulse until dough comes together. It will not form a ball. Simply press it between your fingers to see if it holds.
Transfer dough to your preferably cold surface and knead a couple of times. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, flatten it with your hands, and refrigerate for one hour.
(In this time, roast the beets and purple potatoes).
Dust your cold surface with a bit of superfine brown rice flour. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut a circle that is slightly bigger than your mold. The scraps can be saved for another time.
Transfer the tart base to a sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate the tart base for 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling
5 assorted colors baby beets (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium purple potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 springs thyme
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1.5 ounces (45 g) Grated Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Toss the slices beets and purple potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch salt and black pepper. Bake the vegetables for 30 minutes until potatoes are done (they take less time than beets) and remove them. Continue to bake the beets for a few more minutes until tender, about 10 more minutes. Set aside and cool while making filling.
Reduce oven temperature to 375F (190C).
Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the rest of the olive oil and cook the onions, fennel, garlic, and a pinch of salt until tender and slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and remove from heat. Set aside and let cool slightly.
Remove the tart crust from the refrigerator. Lightly dock it with a fork.
Place the roasted vegetables inside the tart mold tightly packed. Spread the caramelized onion and fennel mixture on top and sprinkle the Gruyere on top of that. Place the tart dough on top and tuck it into the edges.
Bake the tart for 30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The Calendula Crew!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This Weeks Box 3/22/2014

Here is the list

bag of salad greens
red russian kale
baby fennel
green onions
beets with greens

Save The Date!

The Blue Sky Ranch spring work party will be on May 17th. Projects will start at 9:30am and go until 12:30pm. After projects we will retire at the picnic tables under the pine tree and have some healthy food and drink.  Bring a friend. Bring your the family. Kids are welcome. Hope you all can make it! 

Vegan Creamed Chard
10 to 12 cups finely chopped chard (big parts of stems removed and see
other recipe below for an idea.)

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews
1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 whole freshly squeezed lemon
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons Herbamare (or other spices you enjoy)

Chop the chard in small pieces and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions and garlic.
Sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened and beginning to change color. Add
them to a blender along with the cashews, vegetable broth, lemon juice, nutritional
yeast, and spices. Blend until smooth and creamy.  Place the sauce and chopped
chard back into your large skillet and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until chard
has softened and sauce has thickened. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly
ground black pepper.

Chard Stems Recipe:
Slice you stems nice and thin, almost like cutting a bell pepper.  Sauté with a littloil and water till almost soft.  Flavor with nutritional yeast and tamari and enjoy
along side your creamed chard.

Why eat chard you ask….
Chard is so good for you! It is packed full of anti­oxidants and vitamin­ c. They also
have good things like beta­carotene, vitamin­E (anti­inflammatory). All these great
vitamins help support healthy eyes, immune system, heart and your bones.
So eat more CHARD!!!!

Do you know who picked your veggies this week? Yes you do!
Taj, Jade and Nate 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

This Weeks Box

The List

red peppers
romaine lettuce
gold nugget tangerines
purple scallions
purple cabbage
persian cucumbers 

I haven't always been a farmer. I used to run my own roof construction company. I ran myself ragged for 75 hours a week. I Worked with toxic materials and even some pretty toxic people. Half the meals I ate manifested themselves through the drivers side window of my truck.

My first exposure to farm fresh food happened  7 years ago. It was a Saturday afternoon. I and a friend were on a mission to cook the best meal of our lives. She said that in order to do that, we needed greens from this one particular farm booth at the Poway Farmers Market. She made a bee line to a farms booth way in the back corner of the parking lot. The sign said "La Milpa Organica" A young couple, "David and Maria" were tending the booth. There was a very large line of people at the time. But strangely, David and Maria appeared utterly undaunted by a line of humans that might have rattled even the most experienced retail pro. Instead, they moved with slow but intentional, "zen like" precision. All the while, smiling genuinely and making eye contact with every word. These two had a confidence and a manner about them that was attractive. Naturally, I was curious to know what was behind that. 
We finally got to the front of the line and we ordered our greens and a bunch of carrots. I experienced sticker shock when I realized we just payed 5 dollars for 1/4 lb of mesclun and 3 dollars for a small fuggly looking bunch of carrots.

Remember Rene Zellweger's famous phrase of affection in the movie Jerry Maguire? Let's just say, La Milpa Organica had me after the first bite of mutant carrot. I was theirs. Needless to say, the meal was pretty amazing. Something about the food from that farm had an instant and profound effect on me. It was different. It made me feel different. I remember how two days later, I was actually sad about getting to the bottom of a bag of lettuce. It was like withdrawal. And worse, I had to wait 5 more days to go back there and see if I could get more.

I showed up alone. It was bright and early the following Saturday morning. I got a refill on my greens and I also got a chance to chat with David for a little while. We chatted a bit and then he would help a customer, and then we would go back to talking. At some point, a young woman who was also probably new to farmers markets, ordered a bag of greens. She asked, "by when should I eat this?". His straight faced answer, is as clear to me today as it was 7 years ago. This lettuce is still alive. We just cut it. I suggest you eat it right now.  Something clicked in me when I imagined the implications of what this young man just said. Something inside needed him to mean what I imagined he might be meaning by this statement. 

After visiting the farm booth for a few more Saturdays in a row, it was quite clear to me that this group of people from La Milpa were operating on a whole other level of appreciation and understanding about food. I could not get enough of their food or their attitude about food. One morning, out of the blue, David told me that I needed to go see Barry at the farm. "He's my uncle and he really likes to talk about food and farming". Three days later, I met Barry Logan. He was standing on the edge of a field of lettuce... and he was barefoot. I would describe Barry as half tree, half Mexican Indian. A real life organic farmer. I did not want to stare, but if I had, I am sure I would have seen the  roots growing out of the bottom of his feet. After knowing Barry for two minutes, It was clear and obvious that this man was the source-well of the jedi like understanding of food, farming and nature that I had been picking up from the rest of the farm crew. "Why don't you walk with me", he said. Just leave your shoes by that tree if you don't mind. And so began my informal initiation into the world of Community Supported Agriculture.

Our Annual Spring Work Party
Is a great way to acquaint yourself with our land, the farmers and the volunteers.
We have narrowed down the dates for our spring work party to two possible days in May. Saturday, May 10th. And Saturday May 17th. If you happen to be set on going, now is the time to let us know if you would like to come but can only make one of these dates. Whichever date gets more requests will be the date we announce next week. Projects will start at 9:30am and go until 12:30pm. After projects we will retire at the picnic tables under the pine tree and have some healthy food and drink. Kids are definitely welcome. Hope you all can make it!

Please wear close-toed shoes (no sandals!), and bring a hat.  Our well water is some the best tasting water right out of the tap. But you should bring some sort of drinking container.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

This Weeks Box 4/8/2014

Here is the list

salad mix
baby carrots
haas avocados
green onions
red and white potatoes
snap peas

We grow this food. We do this work  for you. Because you asked us too. Life gets hectic and sometimes we might forgot why we are in a CSA in the first place. This is the cleanest, tastiest, nutrient dense food available to the public in all of San Diego. It is more than a meal. It is our vitality kit. It is that little extra bit of energy for the week that makes all the difference. There! I bragged.

Happy 1 year anniversary buddy! Tocayo walked onto the ranch exactly 1 year ago today.

Oohh Romanesco  How I long to cook you in a pot with some butter. We will eat you. Ohh yes. We will be eating you.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Farm at Blue Sky Ranch is looking for recipes!

We're working on changes to our website, including - by popular demand - a recipes page.  But we need your help populating it!  What is your favorite recipe, using ingredients you find in your weekly farm box?  Share it with us!

Send us your recipes by choosing one of the following options:

  1. Email the Farmer

    Email us a link to your favorite recipe, or write it out in full text.  We'll do the rest!
  2. Post it to our Facebook Wall

    If you just can't wait to share that favorite recipe, consider posting a link to our Facebook wall.  We'll check back periodically and compile them all for the website.
  3. Send us a Private Message in Facebook
    If you prefer to send us a private message with your recipe, feel free to do so.

Like us on Facebook
The List 
orange bell peppers
purple and orange carrots
multi color beets
salad mix with arugula spinach, pea tendrils and edible flowers
gold nugget tangerines 
green onions
 baby bok choy
 just enough snap peas and tomatoes to make an awesome salad. Unless you set your box on the front seat of your car. In that case, the snap peas and cherry tomatoes most likely disappeared.
Check out those amazing green onions!!
Got room in your pickle jar? Stick a hand full of small beets in with the remaining pickles. In a week or so, you will be glad you did.
Our grilled Baby Bok and Green Onions Recipe 
It is real easy. Marinade: Start with 1/2 cup of soy sauce. Add some fresh or powdered ginger. You would be surprised how much fresh ginger you can put on this dish and not have it be overpowering. Besides, it is so good for you. And it really helps in digesting the meal. Add some coarse pepper. Add a spoonful of something sweet, like agave or honey. Add 3 tbsp of olive or coconut oil. Add juice of 1/2 a lemon. I like to put the zest of the lemon in the marinade too. You do not have to though. 

Prepare: Take out you onions and bok choy. Cut them in half longwise so that you have 2 symmetrical pieces of each whole. Check the image above for clarification on how to cut. Put the cut veggies in a tray or dish and pour the marinade, "which is basically fresh made teriyaki" allover the veggies. 

Take the veggies out to the Grill: Turn the heat on high. Cook them with the top downfor about 1 minute at a time on each side. Do not leave the grill for any reason. You would not want to get distracted and than come back in 5 minutes to find nothing left except little crunchy pieces of black carbon on the grill.

Goes great with wild rice or quinoa.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

This Weeks Box 2/15/2014

Can you spot the imposter in this image?

I think this image sums up everything weird and unusual about this particularly extraordinary winter season we are having. Oh well. At least we have some good food growing in the fields lately. Enjoy the bounty this week.

sweet potatoes
green onions
persian cucumbers
this the very last of the zucchini for a while
red bell peppers Still?!
multi color beets with greens
bag of salad greens
"new season" haas avocados
new white potatoes

This recipe let's you cook sweet potatoes and potatoes together to make hash browns

One Handed Recipes for New Moms: Beet Smoothie •