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View of farm fields
UC Santa Cruz Farm CSA
Week 3 - June 21 and 24

What's in the Box?

Strawberries - Albion
Blueberries - Mixed
Plums - Santa Rosa
Avocados - Bacon
Basil - Aroma
Beets - Chioggia
Kale - Red Russian
Lettuce - Panisse and Breen
Dry Beans - Vermont Cranberry or
Black Turtle


Box Pickup: 12-6:30 Hay Barn (Tues/Fri); or 2:30-5:15, West Side Feed (Tues only)
bouquet of roses and other flowers
Photo courtesy of Liz Birnbaum
The 10-week Flower Share begins next week with the June 28 / July 1 CSA box.
It's not too late to sign up! If you would like to receive a fresh bouquet with your share contact or 831.459.3240
Notes from the Field

Welcome to the latest riff on the theme of “Notes from the Field!” The latest batch of apprentices are being put through their paces learning how to get all these delicious crops out of the ground, and into the hands of eager CSA customers. It’s so wonderful to get to chat with some of our CSA shareholders and hear how much you all look forward to the beginning of the season. Berries have been (as ever) incredibly popular, and seem to be particularly appreciated by some of the “mini-CSA’ers” that accompany their parents on share pick-up day. I hope at least some of the berries make it home for adult consumption!


Harvest season continues apace, with some crops taking their first tentative steps into the limelight (chioggia beets – gorgeous, stripey and delicious), while others are reaching their peak performance (the beautiful blueberries) and will begin retiring from the stage in a few weeks for a well-earned rest. 


We are incredibly excited about our flower CSA which starts on June 28. A few shares are still available, so sign up soon if you would like to receive flowers as this addition to our CSA program has proved very popular!


We have been carefully tending to some of the gorgeous blooms that are due to grace the first bouquets of the season. The stock looks and smells amazing, while the zinnias are getting ready to dazzle us with a great display of color. So much so in fact that we have had to pinch off some of the nascent flower buds to make sure that we don’t have an early crop with nowhere to go! Flowers are of course a wonderful, in fact essential, addition to any productive farm or garden. They provide a banquet for our vulnerable and much loved pollinators, who in turn help to pollinate the tasty fruit and veggies that frequent your veg and fruit CSA boxes. The CSA flower blocks at the farm are a fantastic bee habitat and are buzzing with life. It’s a complete joy to watch them at work. We are also proud to be supporting the growing “slow flower movement" ( In contrast to many of the flowers sold in the US all the flowers in our CSA are seasonally appropriate, organically grown and of course local, produced right here on the farm! So If you think you would like to add a little extra color to your life in 2016, then sign up for one of our flower shares and we will gladly provide you with a dose of floral happiness every week. 


We hope you enjoy your produce as much as we enjoy producing it!

– Laura Vollset

1st Year Apprentice
bunch of chioggia beets
Recipes by Crop
Recipe PDFs are available on our website, indexed by crop.

Newsletter archives are also available.

Candy Cane Beet Salad

This amount serves six as one of a couple of starters, or four if you have less food.


  • 3 medium chioggia beets, sliced 1/16th to 1/8th inch thick (a mandolin is useful here) 
  • 1 orange, zested and then supremed, (in other words remove peel and pith) juices reserved
  • ¼ cup roasted or steamed edamame 
  • 2 oz. soft goat cheese 
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • salt and pepper


Whisk the reserved orange juice, lemon juice and a pinch of salt together until salt dissolves. Continue to whisk while drizzling in olive oil.
Toss beets with dressing.
Arrange all of the remaining ingredients on a platter and top with extra dressing and fresh black pepper as desired.


Creamy avocado pesto…a healthier alternative!

A lightened up pesto without any added oil! The secret is using an avocado
to get a creamy texture.


  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 large ripe bacon avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water, plus more if necessary
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • sea salt, to taste

  1. Add basil, avocado, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse for 20 seconds or until pesto is chopped. Add in water and process again until completely smooth. You may need to add more water to get it to your desired consistency; I like mine a little on the thicker side. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
  2. Store in an airtight container or sealed mason jar and refrigerate. Pesto is best if used within a few days, otherwise you can freeze it for several months.


Storage Notes
  • The basil is coming to you this week with the root system intact. You can place the plant in a vase of water on your counter or in a plastic bag in the fridge. Either way, keeping the roots on the plant increases the shelf life of the herb. To avoid leaf browning in storage don't wash or wet the leaves until just prior to use.
  • The dry beans in your share are either Vermont Cranberry or Black Turtle. Both are heirloom varieties grown out and saved on the farm last fall. Black Turtle, with it’s rich flavor and meaty texture is a variety widely grown throughout Latin America. Vermont Cranberry has a delicious sweet flavor and a long history of cultivation in New England. Both can be cooked in soup or as side dish. We appreciate and enjoy the history and stories that accompany heirloom dry beans and have a whole new crop in the ground this summer that you will hopefully get to enjoy this fall!
  • We recommend that you pull the greens off the beets for storage. The greens are delicious sauteed and have a flavor that is similar to chard.
  • The avocados in your share are a variety called Bacon. Bacon avocados are oval-shaped and have smooth, thin skin. Their flesh is pale yellow-green, and it is less oily than Hass avocados but equally as delicious, with a buttery and creamy texture. Store them at room temperature on your counter until they ripen up.
  • If your strawberries and blueberries make it home, we recommend storing them in your fridge in a cloth or plastic produce bag.
Copyright © 2016 UC Santa Cruz/CASFS, All rights reserved.

UC Santa Cruz
Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

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UC Santa Cruz Farm · 1156 High Street · ATTN: CASFS · Santa Cruz, CA 95064 · USA

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