Friday, May 22, 2009

Farmer's Market Tomorrow

Green String Farm, along with many other local and regional farms, will be at Walnut Park tomorrow to kick off this season of the Petaluma Farmer's Market! We're excited to get out there and share our food with people who may not have heard of us.

Tomorrow Allie, Chris, and Phil will be there hocking our veggies from 2pm to 5pm, so why don't you swing by and say hi?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Easy lunch for a hot day

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the Farm Fair yesterday! All of us interns got to strut our stuff and share some of what we've learned in our time here. We all had a great time despite the heat, and we hope you did too.

I want to share a couple recipes that I just got typed up today -- right after we had them both for lunch. They're sooooo easy and delicious, perfect for a hot, lazy Sunday. =D

Savory Wilted Chard

These hearty greens are wilted pretty quickly, and then they're braised briefly with a flavorful dressing. We like chard for this dish because it requires minimal preparation (no tough stems to remove), and because it seems to hold its shape after wilting better than kale or spinach. Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon hot mustard -- dijon is nice
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoons flavorful red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shoots green garlic, chopped
  • 1 cayenne pepper, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon honey
  • cooking oil, to cover bottom of pan
  • 1 lb swiss chard, sliced horizontally into 1-inch strips
  1. Combine mustard, soy sauce, wine, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, pepper, and optional honey in a small bowl and beat until combined.
  2. Brush oil on a wide pan or pour out a small amount, just enough for a thin layer, and place over medium-low heat.
  3. When oil is heated (you can tell because it will "shimmer" slightly) add a large handful of chard. Cook until the chard begins to wilt, about a minute, and then stir until the chard has lost considerable volume.
  4. Push chard to the outside of the pan, apply more oil if necessary, and add another handful of chard to the center of the pan. Cook this next batch as before.
  5. Repeat the previous li, being sure the stir the already wilted greens occasionally to avoid burning, until all the chard has been wilted.
  6. Stir in the mustard mixture, boost the heat to medium-high, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened to your liking.
  8. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately. You can also let it cool to eat at room-temperature -- this is best if you've added the optional honey, otherwise it might taste somewhat sour.

Tomato Couscous

The tomato sauce we sell at the Green String store is an unflavored, no-funny-business sort of product, so you can just as easily make pasta sauce as soup, or, my favorite, a big pile of tomato-infused couscous. If you keep your pantry stocked, you can make this dish in less than 10 minutes. You can also class it up a bit by sweating some leeks or green garlic in the pan before adding the sauce, but it's delicious without it too. Serves 2-4
  • 1 pint tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • leaves from 1 or 2 sprigs dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • (optional) 1 dried cayenne pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cups quick-cooking couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • (optional) grated Parmesean cheese or nutritional yeast
  1. Place tomato sauce, vinegar, oregano, salt, and optional cayenne in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add couscous and briefly stir to combine. Cover and turn off heat.
  3. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and add olive oil, pepper, and adjust seasoning. Serve and top with nutritional yeast for an umami taste or Parmesean for something more traditional.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Farm Fair

On Saturday, May 16, the interns of Green String Farm are putting on a special event to cap off three months of living, learning, and working on the Petaluma farm. Everyone is invited to the Farm Fair, which will feature workshops, hands-on projects, incredibly fresh food, and more.

The interns and other members of the Green String community will share some of the knowledge we've gained from the farm in quick, hands-on workshops. Most of the workshops will be one hour long and repeated throughout the day, so participants can rotate through the different workshops and get a complete experience. You're encouraged to join in on as little or as much as you'd like; come for the whole day, or just stick around for an hour or two.

The event will run from 11am to 5pm. We'll accept donations to help offset the cost of the event, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. We're just excited to get people out for a fun day on the farm! Below is a schedule for the day:

All Day (11am - 5pm)

Adobe brick making: Join Miguel Elliott of Living Earth Structures at any point in the day as he demonstrates how to make traditional style adobe bricks using earth from on site. The bricks will be used to build an earthen bench at a workshop the following week.
Family day: Join intern Jenny for arts and crafts, games, and fun lessons about gardening, farming, and nature. Kids of all ages can come and go throughout the day.

Hourly (11-12, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5)

Farm tour: Intern Mark will lead one-hour walking tours of the farm. Participants will see our different crops and animals, and get an insight into Green String's farming practices. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a bit of a hike!
Compost and compost tea: Intern Phil will discuss the basics of compost and compost teas, focusing on beneficial microbes and a do-it-yourself approach.
Plant life cycle in an hour: Intern Sean will give you a condensed version of Growing Plants 101, beginning with seed-starting and ending with harvesting.

Lunch! (12-1)

We're making a ton of pizza with homemade dough and different veggies from the farm. You haven't truly lived until you've tried intern Chris's arugula pesto pizzas! We'll also have plenty of salad fixings available.

Afternoon (3pm - 5pm)

Greenhouse building: Intern Chris will share the Green String method for building a very simple mini-greenhouse. The group will begin with scrap wood and a roll of greenhouse plastic, and end up with a small greenhouse very similar to those that we use at the farm to start seeds for most of the year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Outstanding in the Field Dinner

Outstanding in the field is having a dinner at Green String on July 2nd.  Though i've never been to one of their events, I hear that they do a good job.  The idea, generally, is that they pick a farm and a chef, and have the chef cook a dinner at the farm, which is served at long tables in the fields where the food was grown.  The chef we're paired with is Chris Lee, of Eccolo in Berkeley.  He's a good guy and a great cook, and we're excited to have him to the farm.  
If you're interested in attending, check out the Outstanding in the Field website, where you can buy tickets and get an idea of what they do (and also of their other events - they have quite a few planned throughout Northern California this spring).

May Newsletter

It may be a few days late, but hey, better late than never. The May newsletter is now online for all to see. Check out the web version or the PDF, or drop by the farm store to pick up a printed copy.

You can also join our mailing list if you'd like to have future newsletters emailed to you as soon as they're ready by sending a message to

In this issue, we answer mind-boggling questions such as: What's in the farm store? What's new at the farm? What the heck is compost tea? What do you do with these tiny artichokes? What about fava beans? And how do I make strawberry shortcake?