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Me! Your Neighborhood Farmer.

Long before I became a farmer, I became a food lover.  I understood the importance of food through mom’s homemade meals and baking with my grandma.

Family functions focused around everyone bringing their signature dish or beloved family treat. When my family got together WE ATE! Sheesh. Food for days….but all in one night lol.

My relationship with the food I ate strengthened through each garden I grew and every farmer’s market I attended. Shopping at the Santa Monica farmer’s market in my California days was a staple in my routine. Planning meals around all that farm fresh produce opened my eyes to a new way of cooking. 

But there was something even more eye-opening than the beautiful sea of vibrant, produce-filled market tables – getting to know the people and the stories behind those tables. 

Each week, I learned about family farms spanning generations. I got to know farmer families, their kids, their lives. How most traveled 2 and 4 hours to get to the Santa Monica market weekly. And I learned about varieties of produce and tried veggies I’d never heard. 

By getting to know my farmer, I got to know my food. I got a glimpse of the place it was grown and the life the farmers’ led. 

Now I’m a farmer. It’s my turn to pass those experiences on and develop those connections in my own community.
And I want to help you love your veggies & be a part of a like minded community. 

I’m honored to share my journey, my family, and my farm with you because you trust me to help provide for yours. I take that seriously

 

The Hereford Farmer’s Market opens tomorrow May 7th!

Come see us and our wide variety of farm fresh goodness. We are harvesting today so you can have the freshest food possible!

We will also bring a huge variety of our organic, farm raised transplants for your home garden. 

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Check out some tips and tricks for your weekly Farmer’s Market haul!

 

Arugula                  

Arugula has a peppery, slightly bitter flavor. It is stronger than most lettuces, so it’s often paired with other greens. Mature arugula has sturdy leaves, whereas baby arugula tends to be more tender and milder in flavor. Young arugula is a favorite salad ingredient at Oak Spring!

Hotter weather makes for spicier leaves.  The young arugula right now is PERFECT in Lisa’s opinion!

To store: Arugula is highly perishable and will only last about 2-5 days. Store in the fridge inside a perforated plastic bag. If you decide to wash it first, be sure to spin the leaves dry before placing them loosely into a Green Bag with a dry paper towel to absorb the moisture. 

To use: Most of our customers choose to eat our washed arugula straight from the bag. Arugula pesto is great with pasta and freezes well. 

To freeze: Blanch leaves in boiling water or steam for two minutes, followed by soaking in ice water. Remove from ice water and drain well. Freeze “balls” of arugula on a cookie sheet in individual portions. When frozen, pop them into a Ziplock bag.

 

Bok Choy                    

Bok choy, which may be written as bok choi, bok choy, or pac choi, is a traditional stir-fry vegetable from China. Choy grows in elongated, upright heads of dark green leaves with large, white stems.The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems can be used like celery or asparagus. We chop the whole head, stir fry the stems first, then add the leaves last. Bok Choy is a great smoothie ingredient too!

To store: Cut off any yellow leaves. Store wrapped loosely in plastic bag in the refrigerator.

To prep: Wash and removed any damaged yellowing leaves. Cut off the root tip — about an inch worth. If the stems are thick, cut the leaves from the stems and cook them separately a few minutes before you add the leaves.

To freeze: Cut the stems from the leaves and chop to desired size. Store those separately. Cut the leaves into ribbons or squares or keep whole. Store separately from stems. Bring salted pot of water to a boil. Boil the leaves in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds.Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the leaves and squeeze out moisture. Place in ZiplocK freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Put in freezer. Blanch the stems separately for 2 minutes. Douse in ice water and drain before packing into separate Ziplocks.

Chard                                

Swiss chard has expansive, pocketed leaves with stems in a spectrum of colors: red, white, green, yellow. It is actually in the beet family but doesn’t develop a bulb. Its leaves are more tender and delicate than other greens. Eat small leaves raw in salads and blanch or steam larger leaves. You can freeze chard for recipes later

To store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Remove the thicker stems by folding the leaves down the center and cutting out the stem. Stack several leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch wide ribbons.

To use: Add uncooked greens to a mixed green salad. Steam stem pieces 8-10 minutes, and leaves 4-6 minutes. Or sauté greens until tender in a large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Serve cooked chard alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Chard also goes great in stir-fries or in any recipe calling for spinach.

To freeze: Lisa’s quick freeze method. Wash and fill Ziplock. Squeeze or suck out air with straw. Done. Traditional method: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and freeze.

Cilantro                         

Cilantro looks like parsley, but has a strong smell and flavor. It is used in ethnic cuisine — Asian, Indian, and Mexican (especially salsa). Since it doesn’t stand up to much heat, it is usually added to a dish right before serving. This plant grows in cool weather conditions, so you won’t see it in the heat of the summer months.

To store: For short-term storage, stand upright in a container with an inch of water. Then cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

To prep: Chop the stem and leaves with a butcher knife. The stems can be eaten too. To freeze: Not recommended fresh BUT it’s easy to combine in a food processor with water (and a touch of lemon juice) and freeze in ice cube trays. Also can make cilantro pesto, it freezes nicely.

Radish

To store: Remove radish leaves if they are still attached. Store the unwashed greens in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. Store radish roots unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week.

To prep: Scrub radishes well. Trim off the stem and rootlets.

To use: Eat radishes raw with a sprinkle of salt. Grate radishes into slaws and salads. Try small young radish leaves in salads or scrambled eggs. Blanch whole radishes in boiling, salt water for 5-10 minutes, or steam them until just tender, 8-12 minutes. Top with butter, salt, and pepper or with a vinaigrette. They’re also great grilled and pickled.

To freeze: Blanch for 3 minutes, then dunk in ice water for 3 minutes. Drain. Pop in a freezer bag and freeze. The radish greens can be blanched as well — but only for 2 minutes.