This will probably be the last week for the luscious Ambrosia melons. But have no fear, the French are on the way. Charentais and Petit Gris de Rennes melons will be showing their faces next week and the San Juan, Wrangler and Zatta melons are going strong. We have some Cranes still ripening on the first planting and the second row is beginning to show signs of ripening. And as always we will have our Sugar Baby, Sunshine and Little Baby Flower watermelons. Maybe a New Orchid or two as well. Watch for them at the farmers markets. Get there early if you want Crane melons or Sunshine watermelons, they are very popular. Tastes will be available for most of the melons. The sweet, dog days of summer! Get them before they are gone.
Spring time is time for fava beans. But what do I do with them? There are many ways you can use favas. Grill them whole until charred and sprinkle with fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. http://www.marthastewart.com/349105/grilled-fava-beans
Recently the Santa Rosa Press Democrat featured an article about couples working together. Reporter Diane Peterson interviewed one of our fellow vendors from the West End Farmers Market in Santa Rosa and his wife. The discussion in the article was how couples are able to work together and the challenges and rewards that presents.
Corrie and Janet have worked together for over 30 years of their 35 year marriage. Starting in about 1985 Janet joined the dental practice that Corrie started as the only dental hygienist. Together they worked as partners in the practice, each bringing their skills and special talents to the enterprise while raising their three children, leading 4-H groups, coaching high school and travel softball and , of course, farming.
When Corrie sold the dental practice in 2008 Janet continued on part time as a hygienist to ease the transition. In 2010 they sold their 1120 acre almond, walnut and prune ranch in Tehama county and began farming their Sonoma County property full time.
The skills they had learned in the dental office have held them in good stead in the world of farming and farmers markets. The ability to communicate with customers, deal with sometimes demanding people and work together with each one specializing in an area of the operation, trusting the other to do their job well, are all skills they used in the dental office. They use their experience with infection control in their office every day as they oversee food safety on the farm. Planning and record keeping also are essential in both endeavors.
Both Corrie and Janet earned biochemistry degrees from UC Davis and bring their scientific backgrounds to problem solving on the farm. Long years of dealing with pests on a large farm have taught them that staying ahead of the problem is important. Using organic techniques requires careful observation and encouraging the balance in the natural world to keep pests and diseases from getting out of control. Similar to dentistry, prevention is key. Strengthening plants so they can resist diseases and pests is somewhat akin to prevention in dentistry.
As many of you have discovered we are now featuring fall produce from both my sister’s farm in the foothills, Burgeson Family Farm, and from our farm. My sister, Dayna, and her husband, Adrian, grow wonderful Satsuma mandarins which will be here before Thanksgiving but they also grow a variety of citrus and unusual fruits. This week we have; Kaffir limes, Bearss limes, key limes, quince, Fuyu persimmons and pomegranates from their farm.
We have tomatoes, tomatillos, melons, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, potimarron squash, sucrine du berry squash, golden and green acorn squash, baby blue hubbard squash, New England pie pumpkins, Jack-o-lantern pumpkins, Tuscan (dinosaur) kale, Winterbor kale, Portugese Trochunda kale, Swiss chard, Marvielle de 4 seasons lettuce, Gentelina lettuce, a small amount of summer squash including Trombetta de Albenga and eggs from our small flock of pasture raised, organically fed chickens.
So what do you do with…Quince
Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with a seasonal produce guide with not only quince recipes but recipes for persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins and more. Here is the link: http://www.marthastewart.com/274208/quince-recipes/@center/276955/seasonal-produce-recipe-guide
With the official start of fall we are finding ourselves frantically transitioning to the next crops. As we plant starts of onions, broccoli, lettuce, leeks, cabbage, etc. we are harvesting the last of the melons, tomatoes and squash. Our new melons this week include the last planting of Petit Gris de Rennes and Charentais. We will also have the first of the Amarillo Oro and Rugosa di Consenza melons, bright yellow melons with sweet, white flesh. Our winter squash is almost ready. See you at the last Fairfax Market of the season tonight.
It must be the height of summer! We are harvesting melons like mad. Tuscan, Ambrosia, Charentais, Petit Gris de Rennes, Northern Arizona and watermelons; Sunshine (yellow), New Orchid (orange), Sugar Baby and Little Baby Flower (red). We will have free samples tomorrow at the Petaluma Eastside Farmers Market Tuesday morning from 10-2 at Lucchesi Park. Vote for your favorite!
For all of you who have been asking about our heirloom and specialty melons, they are finally beginning to arrive. The first in line are the Ambrosia, Tuscany and Retato Degli musk melons. Orange fleshed and heavily perfumed with a small seed cavity and thin rind Ambrosia is one of our favorites. Tuscany and Retato Degli are new this season and appear to be a delicious melon with lots of variations in size and shape, true heirlooms. They are also orange fleshed and heavily perfumed with a slightly firmer texture than Ambrosia. Too bad you can’t smell them on the computer. Come to Fairfax on Wednesday night or Santa Rosa on Sunday morning and get some aroma therapy.
We are happy to announce that we will be attending the West End Farmers Market this Sunday, August 11th from 10-2. While we will miss the Glen Ellen Farmers Market and our regulars there we are happy to finally be in our home town. We look forward to seeing all our friends and aquaintances who have wanted us to be in a Santa Rosa Market. Celebrate the end of National Farmers Market week with us. We will continue to attend the Petaluma Eastside Farmers Market on Tuesday mornings from 10-1:30 and the Fairfax Farmers Market on Wednesday evenings from 4-8pm.