Week of November 15th

My dear Community,

It’s cold enough in Buellton overnight now that all of our summer crops are put to winter’s rest. Luckily, we’re still cashing in on late tomatoes from our Goleta farm. It always feels like a tough transition when strawberries are no longer available for CSA boxes but it won’t be long before we get sweet tangerines to add some color and sweetness.

We will be making boxes next week- the week before Thanksgiving. If you know you will be out of town or would like to put your box on hold, please do so now. This really helps us plan for harvesting as everything will be a little hectic from now until then. We will take our annual break the last two weeks of December to spend time with family and loved ones. We’ll be back in the new year to kick everyone off on the right foot.

We make it really easy to give the gift of organic vegetables. Gift health to someone in your life. You make the payment and add a personal message and we’ll do the rest. You can even add extras, like a loaf of bread, olive oil, or a cut of locally pastured meat to complete the package. 

Speaking of locally raised meat. We have a limited quantity of beef and lamb from San Julian in the store. I’m doing my best to keep up a stock, but because of recent closures in FDA facilities, it’s harder and harder for smaller businesses to process meat.

Sending love from our family farm to you.

Be good to each other. 

CSA Contains:
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
ROMAINE LETTUCE
RED ONIONS
GARLIC
BUNCHED SPINACH
MINI SWEET PEPPERS
ARUGULA
SPAGHETTI SQUASH
BROCCOLI
BIG BOX ADD: CHERRY TOMATOES, GREEN LEAF LETTUCE, LACINATO KALE, FUJI APPLES, GARNET STYLE YAMS

JUST the BASICS:
BUNCHED SPINACH
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
ROMAINE LETTUCE
BROCCOLI
MINI SWEET PEPPERS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CILANTRO
FENNEL
BUNCHED SPINACH
VALENCIA ORANGES

FRUIT EXPANSION: FUYU PERSIMMONS + APPLES
LETTUCE of the WEEK: GREEN LEAF
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTERS from WOLFE FARMS (possibly just shiitake. as the cold weather comes in the mushrooms slowed way down)

Continue reading “Week of November 15th”

Week of November 8th

My dear Community,

This is the first box in a while without fruit. John Givens Farm is mainly a vegetable farm, even though we planted an orchard and try to grow (and eat) as many strawberries as humanly possible in a calendar year. We still have some pears and apples for our fruit expansions but will be looking to Avila soon to get some fresh picked apples for the cooler season. I’m also looking forward to our yearly dose of tangerines from our local source right here in Goleta. 

As we get ready for the last holidays of the year,it feels like the last few months are a blur. Personally, I’m setting an intention to slow down like nature seems to do. During fall and winter it feels like we need to get a little extra sleep even in the midst of the chaos and the holiday push. Sending you an extra nudge to nurture yourself and enjoy the last bits of this year. Here’s wishing you get more time and inspiration to cook at home with all the delicious food from our farm. 

A friendly reminder: if you know you’re going to be gone for Thanksgiving, please don’t wait to put your box on hold. Go ahead and log into your account now. This information will be super helpful as we plan for staffing and harvest Thanksgiving week. We will also be taking our annual break the last two Wednesdays of December (20th and 27th) to reboot and spend some serious quality time with our families.

Be good to each other. 

CSA Contains:
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
RED TOMATOES
RED BELL PEPPERS
BUNCHED SPINACH
GREEN ZUCCHINI (last week for this item)
BROCCOLI
YELLOW ONIONS
YAMS (GARNET STYLE)
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
BIG BOX ADD: RED LEAF LETTUCE, GREEN BEANS, ORANGE KABOCHA SQUASH, ITALIAN PARSLEY, APPLES (from our orchard)

JUST the BASICS:
BUNCHED SPINACH
CARROTS
RED TOMATOES
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
GREEN ZUCCHINI
RED BELL PEPPERS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
ITALIAN PARSLEY
FENNEL
BUNCHED SPINACH
VALENCIA ORANGES

FRUIT EXPANSION: PEARS + APPLES
LETTUCE of the WEEK: RED LEAF
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTERS from WOLFE FARMS (possibly just shiitake. as the cold weather comes in the mushrooms slow way down)

Continue reading “Week of November 8th”

Week of November 1st

My dear Community,

We are finally winding down on a lot of crops. This will be the last week for melons, cucumbers and strawberries, and zucchini and bell peppers are close behind. As temperatures plummet during the night in Buellton we’ll look to our Goleta farm for the bulk of our bounty. The land that never freezes and allows us to cultivate food all year round. I grew up with four distinct seasons, so I have deep gratitude for eating freshly picked produce all year. 

As we approach the holidays, keep us in mind for the gift of giving health. Pair a gift certificate from us with an awesome local cookbook, like this one from Elizabeth Poett @ San Julian farms or this fun family cookbook by Shawn Stevenson @ model health show. Set someone in your life up for success and off on the right foot in the new year. Find the page to access our gift certificates here and we’ll email a personalized message to the giftee along with instructions on how to start up their box. 

A few notes about the holiday season you’ll see on repeat in the coming weeks: if you know you’re going to be gone for Thanksgiving, please don’t wait to put your box on hold. Go ahead and log into your account now. This information will be super helpful as we plan for staffing and harvest Thanksgiving week. We will also be taking our annual break the last two Wednesdays of December to reboot and spend some serious quality time with our families.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
RED TOMATOES
ROMAINE LETTUCE
LACINATO KALE
BABY SPINACH
CARMEN and/or RED BELL PEPPER
ENGLISH CUCUMBER
GREEN ZUCCHINI
STRAWBERRIES
CANARY MELON
BIG BOX ADD: RED LEAF LETTUCE, LEEKS, CARROTS, GARNET YAMS, FENNEL

JUST the BASICS:
STRAWBERRIES
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CUCUMBERS
LACINATO KALE
BABY SPINACH
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
ITALIAN PARSLEY
CELERY
BABY SPINACH
STRAWBERRIES
CANARY MELON

FRUIT EXPANSION: CANARY MELON + STRAWBERRIES
LETTUCE of the WEEK: RED LEAF
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTERS from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of November 1st”

Week of October 25th

My dear Community,

As we roll through these last weeks of what feels like summer, we continue to cash in on all the bounty it has to offer. Weekly cantaloupe seems eternal, but as everything is starting to cool down in Buellton, the end is on the horizon. We planted extra strawberries this year and they too are starting their dormant cycle.  Head to the CSA store to add asian pears and apples picked the morning of or day before you receive them. It’s hard to say that about fruit you get from the store.

As a mom and someone who finds themselves generally busy and overwhelmed, I continue down the path of fast-food options. Not the kind you drive through  to order in your car. I’m talking about whole food, wholesome recipes that are quick and easy from start to finish. There are nights where I absolutely relish the meditative practice of spending time in the kitchen to prepare a meal. But most nights I’m just trying to get something healthy on the table. These are the kinds of recipes that have inspired the blog this week. Please feel free to email me any recipes you have used in the past that continue to work as a quick and nutritious meal and we will add it to our files. Thanks in advance!

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
CARROTS
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
RED BELL PEPPERS
GREEN ZUCCHINI
BABY SPINACH
STRAWBERRIES
CANTALOUPE
ROMAINE LETTUCE
BASIL
BIG BOX ADD: RED BUTTER LETTUCE, PEARS, MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES, RED ONIONS, LACINATO KALE

JUST the BASICS:
BABY SPINACH
CARROTS
STRAWBERRIES
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
GREEN ZUCCHINI
ROMAINE LETTUCE

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CILANTRO
CELERY X2
BABY SPINACH
RED BELL PEPPERS

FRUIT EXPANSION: PEARS + STRAWBERRIES
LETTUCE of the WEEK: RED BUTTER
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTERS from WOLFE FARMS

My Favorite Green Smoothie

(I halved and froze an avocado for this smoothie – but warning it’s a lot less sweet in a good way. I also used water and a vanilla protein powder instead of almond milk. This recipe felt good for inspiring you to make your own version.)

Ingredients:
1 medium banana (previously peeled, frozen and quartered)
1/2 cup mixed frozen berries
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
1 heaping Tbsp natural, salted peanut butter
1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 cups fresh spinach
(Find the full recipe and inspiration here at Minimalist Baker)

Paleo Pizza Bowls

(I’m going to use real cheese, but I like the option to use a nutritional yeast based “cheese” sauce)
Ingredients:
cheese sauce:
3/4 cup raw cashews no need to soak
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water or plain dairy free milk
2 Tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1-2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
pizza bowls:
2 Tbsp olive oil divided
1 lb sweet Italian sausage meat or ground meat of your choice*
1 medium onion thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms thinly sliced
2 red bell pepper thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup pizza sauce or marinara sauce, no added sugar
1 tsp Pizza Seasoning or Italian seasoning blend
1/4 cup sliced black olives optional
Crushed red pepper optional
Fresh chopped basil or parsley optional
Sliced tomatoes
(Find the full recipe and inspiration here at Paleo Running Momma)

Creamy Zucchini and Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh mushrooms chopped
One large zucchini chopped
One medium onion chopped
Two cloves garlic minced
Several sprigs of fresh thyme or one tablespoon of dried thyme
Two bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. ghee
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
(Find the full recipe and inspiration here at Paleo Leap)

Dark Chocolate Chunk Zucchini Blondies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup nondairy milk
2/3 cup coconut sugar
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax + 4 tbsp water)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 60g chopped Simple Hu Dark chocolate
(Find the full recipe and inspiration here at Hu Kitchen)

Week of October 18th

My dear Community,

If you’ve had an egg subscription with us a full year you are probably aware that we have a major decline in egg production as we head into the cooler months- yes, eggs are seasonal too! I was so focused on the rainy season I had a lapse in getting new chicks so we are really feeling the seasonal swing. I like to give my chickens rest when they are ready for it. I just saw one of our newest chickens lay her first egg today, so hopefully we will keep the operation running through the winter, even if on a smaller scale. It’s time to really vibe with the season and make shifts in your meals as nature intended. This also allows us to experience a full spectrum of nutrition as well as different protein sources.

Speaking of nutrition through food, I keep coming back to this thought: every bite you put into your mouth is more powerful than anything you will ever find in a prescription bottle. So choose wisely. Food is also more efficient, better and less expensive than medication with nothing but positive side effects. Especially when it comes to preventing or managing certain chronic conditions. Using farm fresh, organic produce and including lots of fresh herbs in your kitchen can have profound effects on your health. Nutrient dense whole foods and phytonutrients can protect the body and the risk of chronic disease. Plant foods play into a healthy gut microbiome which we know is linked to better health outcomes. Proper nutrition helps regulate our blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of many chronic diseases. Nutrient rich food can also positively influence mood, mental health and the list goes on. 

Wishing you and yours all the health and vitality from our humble box of fruits and veggies.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
GREEN ZUCCHINI
GREEN CURLY KALE
CARROTS
YELLOW ONIONS
RED BELL PEPPERS
CANTALOUPE
STRAWBERRIES
BIG BOX ADD: ROMAINE LETTUCE, BABY SPINACH, CHERRY TOMATOES, BARTLETT PEARS, BASIL

JUST the BASICS:
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
GREEN ZUCCHINI
CANTALOUPE
STRAWBERRIES
CARROTS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLES
GREEN CURLY KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CELERY X2
BARTLETT PEARS
BABY SPINACH
ITALIAN PARSLEY

FRUIT EXPANSION: STRAWBERRIES + PEARS
LETTUCE of the WEEK: ROMAINE
MUSHROOM MIX: Shiitake + Oyster from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of October 18th”

Week of October 11th

My dear Community,

October heat waves seem to be the norm now. Even though it was quite hot for us, it was a great push for the crops on the farm. Summer crops get a chance to hold on a bit longer and our winter crops get a boost. As the days get shorter and the weather inevitably gets cooler, the winter crops seem to slow to a crawl. We rely on a little extra sunshine this month to keep everything on schedule. We’re rolling right along into cooking season, in time for fennel to hit the scene. Fennel is (in my opinion) an underrated flowering plant species in the Apiaceae (carrot, celery) family with an anise flavor. It contains potassium, magnesium, and other nutrients with an antioxidant effect. It may have various health benefits, such as digestion support, it may be anti-inflammatory and promote healthy skin. Just another addition to your box of farmaceuticals. Using the CSA box as inspiration to eat “outside the box” will help you get a much-needed variety of vitamins and minerals the body needs. We also have lots of garlic, onions and herbs in our CSA store if you’d like to add a boost of flavor and nutrition to your experience. 

Be good to each other. 

CSA Contains:
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
RED ONIONS
CARROTS
RED BUTTER LETTUCE
FENNEL
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
STRAWBERRIES
CUCUMBERS
GREEN BEANS
RED BELL PEPPERS
BIG BOX ADD: ROMAINE LETTUCE, BI COLORED SWEET CORN, FINGERLING POTATOES, BABY SPINACH, BROCCOLI

JUST the BASICS:
RED BUTTER LETTUCE
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
GREEN BEANS
CUCUMBERS
RED BELL PEPPERS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GALA APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
ITALIAN PARSLEY
CELERY X2
BABY SPINACH
FENNEL

FRUIT EXPANSION: STRAWBERRIES + YELLOW PEACHES
LETTUCE of the WEEK: ROMAINE
MUSHROOM MIX: Shiitake + Oyster from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of October 11th”

Week of October 4th

My dear Community,

It’s been a busy week on the farm. The weather is starting to cool down but we’re still harvesting summer and fall crops while planting for the winter. As the temperatures drop, Buellton will transform into mostly cover crops and our farm in Goleta will carry us through the winter time. If you’ve ever lived anywhere besides California you know how amazing it is that we have fresh produce available year round.

As Monday rolls around again, I consistently need a reset to keep myself focused on meal planning. It can feel so easy to get off track some weeks. Setting an intention at the beginning of the week really helps me refocus. Remembering how food makes me feel and gives me the energy I need keeps me on track and makes sure I include plants in most of my meals. Diets have never resonated with me, but finding joy in connection with the farm and feeling good in my body set me on a journey of health. I hope our recipes inspire you to eat more plants and have an amazing week.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
CUCUMBERS
GREEN ZUCCHINI
RED BELL PEPPERS
STRAWBERRIES
CARROTS
ROMAINE LETTUCE
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
SPAGHETTI SQUASH
CILANTRO
GREEN KALE
BIG ADD: RED LEAF LETTUCE, CANTALOUPE, BI-COLORED SWEET CORN, MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES, GREEN BEANS

JUST the BASICS:
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CARROTS
STRAWBERRIES
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
GREEN ZUCCHINI
SPAGHETTI SQUASH

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CILANTRO
CELERY X2
BARTLETT PEARS
ITALIAN PARSLEY

FRUIT EXPANSION: STRAWBERRIES + BARTLETT PEARS
LETTUCE of the WEEK: RED LEAF
MUSHROOM MIX: Shiitake + Oyster from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of October 4th”

Week of September 30th

My dear community,

When I stepped outside this weekend I could feel a distinct shift in the air. There was a certain smell, a crispness. Can you feel fall in the air? We are nearing the end of summer crops, but not this week. We’ll continue to bask in all the glory that summer has to offer. We’re fortunate enough in this climate to reap summer’s rewards a while longer. Then there will be one day as we approach winter where the temperature drops and freezes all those colorful crops, and winter begins. It’s fascinating to stay connected with mother earth and flow through these cycles by paying special attention to what your body craves as the days get shorter and toying with the idea of getting some extra sleep. Leaning into the subtleties of the body can help us stay healthy as we roll into the colder and shorter daylight seasons. 

We’re sending a box of colorful summer fruits and veggies your way to get you through your week on the right foot.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
CARROTS
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CUCUMBERS
GREEN ZUCCHINI
STRAWBERRIES
CANTALOUPE
GARLIC
BUTTERNUT SQUASH
BASIL
BIG BOX ADD: RED BUTTER LETTUCE, HASS AVOCADOS, BARTLETT PEARS, ITALIAN PARSLEY, CELERY

JUST the BASICS:
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CARROTS
STRAWBERRIES
HEIRLOOM TOMATOES
GREEN ZUCCHINI
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CILANTRO
CELERY X2
CANTALOUPE
LIMES

FRUIT EXPANSION: BARTLETT PEARS & STRAWBERRIES
LETTUCE OF THE WEEK: RED BUTTER
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE & OYSTERS from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of September 30th”

Week of September 20th

My dear Community,

As we approach the fall season, we are savoring the last of our summer crops. I hope you’ve been enjoying all the colors that the season brings. I’m happy to have strawberries back in our boxes this week. The ones from our farm have set the bar for all berries. 

Have you ever thought about how food gets onto grocery store shelves? Why are some brands stretched across the aisles with little competition? Even stores that seem to promote local food usually do it in the packaged foods aisle. Small farms have been quietly pushed out of your grocery stores, possibly without you even noticing. Wholesale outlets that we used to rely on are now requiring insurance practices that focus more on “cleanliness”(read: monoculture) than the realities of farm life itself. Focusing on heavy amounts of paperwork, removing animals and compost from the scene and totally disconnecting from what a working farm should be. 

It’s small farms that generally pay more attention to the soil and the ecosystem of the farm instead of only trying to crank out as much crop as possible for the bottom line. We live in a world that depends on the diversity of microorganisms in the soil.  When an ecosystem is working properly then the health of the farm translates to the health of your body.

Thanks for supporting our CSA program. A work of the heart. And it continues to be a reliable outlet for produce on our farm.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
RED BELL PEPPERS
GREEN ZUCCHINI
STRAWBERRIES
CANTALOUPE
RED ONIONS
CHERRY TOMATOES
DELICATA SQUASH
BIG BOX ADD: BASIL, HONEYDEW MELON, CARROT, ROMAINE LETTUCE, STRAWBERRIES

JUST the BASICS:
GREEN LEAF LETTUCE
CARROTS
STRAWBERRIES
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
DELICATA SQUASH
RED BELL PEPPERS

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
CILANTRO
CELERY X2
HONEY DEW MELON
LIMES

FRUIT EXPANSION: STRAWBERRIES + ASIAN PEARS
LETTUCE of the WEEK: ROMAINE
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTER from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of September 20th”

Week of September 13th

My dear community,

We’re diving headfirst into melons this week. With an abundance on the farm comes an abundance in the box. Enjoy them along with our last days of summer. We’re also loading you up with my favorite tomato- mountain magic and some smaller cherry tomatoes. Make sure to sort through them, eat any split ones immediately and store the rest on your countertop. The split tomatoes just signify that they are ready to be eaten and always are the sweetest.

A lot of people have asked what kind of magic we put in our vegetables to make them taste so good. The magic of the farm is in our soil, our composting system and constant crop rotation. Keeping the soil microbiome diverse and healthy is the key component in the success and flavors of our food. Not to mention John’s long history of experimentation and growing varieties that work well in our climate.

Speaking of extremely delicious – we’re putting corn in the boxes this week. There’s a possibility that there’s currently or was a worm towards the top of the corn. If you see any damage at the top, just cut it off and enjoy the rest. Eat it knowing we didn’t shower your food and the earth with dangerous pesticides.

We won’t have any bread available this week. Our baker is spending much deserved time with family but she’ll be back next week to stock us up.

Be good to each other.

CSA Contains:
BI COLORED SWEET CORN
CARROTS
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
GREEN ZUCCHINI
ROMAINE LETTUCE
RED BELL PEPPERS
CHERRY TOMATOES
LEEKS
WATERMELON
CANTALOUPE
BIG BOX ADD: RED BUTTER LETTUCE, CARROTS, DELICATA SQUASH, ENGLISH CUCUMBER, GARLIC

JUST the BASICS:
ROMAINE LETTUCE
CARROTS
BI COLORED SWEET CORN
MOUNTAIN MAGIC TOMATOES
WATERMELON
GREEN ZUCCHINI

JUICE FEAST:
CARROTS x2
ROMAINE LETTUCE
GRANNY SMITH APPLES
LACINATO KALE
ENGLISH CUCUMBERS
ITALIAN PARSLEY
RED BELL PEPPERS
WATERMELON
LIMES

FRUIT EXPANSION: ASIAN PEARS + PEACHES from GIVENS ORCHARD
LETTUCE of the WEEK: RED BUTTER LETTUCE
MUSHROOM MIX: SHIITAKE + OYSTER from WOLFE FARMS

Continue reading “Week of September 13th”