Nov 4, 2014
Thank you for a fabulous season!
It's been wonderful to have your support this year. BOCA loves you! We'll be in touch!
A few roots
Frog's Leap Persimmons and Pom's
PYO Herbs..and more!
Oct 28, 2014
Jorge has done an incredible job this season. His hard work, focus and sensitivity when handling our lil veggies contribute greatly to our success, and I wanted to acknowledge him for his efforts this season. Jorge grew up farming in Mexico, and it's obviously in his blood. When we work side by side, Jorge will complete about 3x the amount of work I can... within any timeframe. I greatly appreciate his hard work.
a few tomatoes and peppers
root veggies: beets and turnips
a few squash
FROG'S LEAP Persimmons
Oct 21, 2014
As the farm winds down and heads back into its quieter dormant state, I wanted to remind each of you of the bounty of this season, and the glory of the swing of the 18 weeks we've been together at the farm.
Dear BOCA shareholders:
I think you will find "The Carbon Underground" website fascinating. To visit, please click on the link below. I found it highly educational.
It discusses how regenerative farming practices can help reverse climate change (and bring a whole host of other benefits too) while industrial agricultural practices have the opposite effect.
Here is one quote from the site:
"But if stabilizing our climate and improving our health weren’t reasons enough to farm in a regenerative manner, let’s add greater food security and reduced water needs. Healthy soil is not simply a carbon sink, it’s a water sponge. Therefore it keeps soil moist, even in times of droughts. So we can produce more food, with less water, during the droughts which seem to be occurring more often and with greater severity."
I did not appreciate fully the huge role that agricultural practices have in climate change before visiting The Carbon Underground site and also reading this essay from Organic Bytes
Hope you all find these enlightening too.
Oct 14, 2014
Future Farmers in action? Maybe/probably not! But hopefully the experience and satisfaction of harvesting food in the sunshine, of the open space and colors and smells, the delicious flavors from the field, will stick with these kids for years to come.
MORE MINI GOURDS!
Late Season Tomatoes!
Oct 7, 2014
We're in that sweet moment of chilly mornings and scorching afternoons.
Notice how our fruits (tomatoes, especially) are more concentrated and flavorful at this time of year! Their skins are becoming more thin, so it's a PERFECT time to make sauce.
Here is a photo from pre sunrise this morning:
Butternut and Spaghetti Squash
Sugar Pie Pumpkins!
Pick your own HERBS!
Sep 30, 2014
It's wild that we're 3/4 through our season. With this recent wild rain and hail, the farm has really transformed into a fall landscape. See below...
Below is a report about the essentiality of small-scale farming, thanks to BOCA member Beth Mattei.
As reported by N. Meyer at HealthWorks and other news outlets in Dec. 2013:
U.N. Report Says Small-Scale Organic Farming Only Way to Feed the World
Quoting from the article: "Even as the United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive and corporate-dominated farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the United Nations is once against sounding the alarm about the urgent need to return to (and develop) a more sustainable, natural and organic system.
That was the key point of a new publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled“Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security and a Changing Climate,” which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world."
Here is one key message of the report:
"The world needs a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a "green revolution" to an "ecological intensification" approach:
This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, mono-culture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers. We need to see a move from a linear to a holistic approach in agricultural management, which recognizes that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agro-ecological system that provides quite a number of public goods and services (e.g. water, soil, landscape, energy, biodiversity, and recreation."
Here is a link to the article, which also includes links to the report and other resources:
It is nice to be a part of the small-scale organic solution by supporting BOCA's CSA program!
Please share this report with interested policy makers, scientists, farmers, teachers, friends and family you may know.
This Week's harvest:
Sep 23, 2014
Now that the school year has started I don't get to spend as much time out at the farm as I wish I could! The days are literally becoming too short.
Sep 15, 2014
Tomato Mania!!! Whoohoo!
Well, it FINALLY happened! We're buried in tomatoes. Much later than ever before! Thanks to all for your patience :-D
One of the delights of being a CSA gardener is the unpredictable nature of each season, and the exciting challenges that arise from things being different every year.
I think that reveling in that notion is my theme this year!
And I'm lucky that as a CSA, all of you wonderful people are along for the ride no matter what. It wouldn't be as much of a delight if I were relying on the $ from selling tomatoes at the market, for example. So thank you for your patience and support!
Truly, it's been a fundamentally different year. Toms took forever to ripen. Winter squash showed up earlier. Melons were more tasty than ever.
Me and many of my farmer friends rely on all kinds of methods and techniques to boost our gardens each year: planting by the moon cycle with biodynamics, or different seed starter mixes, and applications of various organic fertilizers. There are variables and inputs that we can obviously control, but being open and patient about all the unknowns and unexpected and inevitable variations from what I, in my 5 years growing consider "normal" is always a challenge. A lot like teaching- we can curate situations and challenges and provide resources and support... But as much as we want to control the educational outcomes of our students' learning, there are delightful suprises, new challenges, unique perspectives that push us to be nimble and flexible every day.
Sweet lil peppers
PYO Herbs, Dahlias
Sep 8, 2014
Last week we sent you home with a few ears of heirloom corn...A friend told me that she thought her corn needed "braces," which I found hilarious. She was of course referring to the fact that on her ear of corn a bunch of kernals were simply missing, and the rows of kernals weren't straight. I am happy that our first ever round of yellow corn was a success, and athough the heirloom corn was less consistent and "normal" looking, I thought it was a good reminder of both the challenges and possibilities in organic corn production. Across the board, heirloom seeds produce the most interesting and flavorful results, but in terms of consistent production, modern, organic hybrids are the way to go. A few of you may remember when BOCA was planted with mostly heirloom seed...the veggies were interesting, yet our production was inconsistent. That's not to say that propagation and sustaining of heirloom seed isn't extremely important... the balancing act between viable, non-GMO and healthy seed and consistent/abundant production is a real challenge! Head to the Heirloom Expo this week to learn more!
One can't think of organic corn production without wondering about issues relating to GE / GMO's...our shareholder Beth Mattei has shared thoughts on GE Foods.
I was delighted when Lizzie invited any of us to submit to the newsletter. I had thought of writing a poem one day while picking flowers at BOCA and submitting it, and perhaps I will, but today I feel I have a more important item to convey. I have been spending the last few years doing what I can to help raise my own and others' awareness of the risks of genetically engineered foods. I feel the BOCA newsletter would be one more logical place to do that and I am grateful for the opportunity.
I am on so many organization's email lists receiving updates and information about GE foods that I am having a hard time at this moment to offer just one item for your consideration so as not to overwhelm you. Ultimately, I am choosing this link to offer you as it is well-organized, easy to use, easy to digest, and done by authors that I feel are credible. It is entitled, "GMO Myths and Truths: An Evidence-Based Examination of the Claims Made for the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Engineered Crops". Here is a link to the report:
By way of background, I first heard about GE foods from a former farmer at Copia but didn't pay serious attention to them until my spiritual teacher from India happened to give his insights into the many levels of disharmony these foods create on human cognition, health, the environment, etcetera. I have since spent countless hours reading studies, watching documentaries, attending lectures, and advocating for GE food labeling via Prop 37 in CA, I522 in Washington state and in the recent attempt to pass a labeling law in the CA state legislature. FYI: I am not an "anti-science" person and I do my best to keep an open mind towards this issue. What I have found repeatedly, first hand, is that many people accept as fact the claims made by the industry which makesbillions off these products and who pour tens of millions into pro-GMO PR campaigns while ignoring factual evidence disproving these assertions. The organic farmers, consumers, mothers, concerned scientist, etcetera who typically make up those with legitimate misgivings about GE crops may not be well funded, but we are doing our best to get the word out to those who are open to listening.
I may be preaching to choir, but perhaps if we forward these types of information to our friends, family members and associates who may be unaware, we can be of benefit to their health and the health of our food supply and our environment. Thank you!
p.s. If you want to take real world action on this issue: Oregon currently has a proposition on its ballot that would require labeling of Genetically engineered foods in the state. If you would like to learn more about Prop 92 and possibly donate, volunteer or help spread the word, go to
THANK You BETH!!
Sep 1, 2014
The little acts of kindness that have been occuring since the quake have been delightful, like little sprouts shooting out of the fractured earth. The multitudes of aftershocks and dramatic aftermath, both physical and emotional, have been overwhelming, but the care and generosity that are spreading is remarkable!
I heard so many of you expressing how happy you were that when many groceries were closed that you had a farm to get food! Some also mentioned that the routine of coming to BOCA was helpful and calming! Happy to be here for you all.
I greatly appreciate Carrie Strohl's idea to have a donation box for the food bank at BOCA. Please look for her setup and donate your unwanted items to the food bank!
Here are 2 simple, late summer ideas...
Still feeling shaken up? How about a cocktail...
build in an ice-filled glass
2 oz Aperol
3-4 oz dry Prosecco
1 oz Club Soda
Garnish with an orange wheel
In today's box..
A few Cukes
Aug 25, 2014
I hope all of you are safe and sound and picking up the pieces after Saturday night's shaker. i must say that I was absoultely disoriented and terrified, and am very grateful that both home and office are pretty much fine. I have been out to BOCA a few times these past few days. It is wonderful to have a place that is absolutely earthquake safe, so beautiful, and peaceful. I hope you all can find peace in our farm community and open space tomorrow!
Here are a few recipes for sweet treats, as I think we all should treat ourselves after this weekend's trauma!
Berry Scones with creme fraiche and lavender
One of our members, Lauren Asher, has shared the following about her life and practice. Note the discount for BOCA members. Enjoy!
Hi, my name is Lauren Asher and I am a member of BOCA. I just opened up my own Therapeutic Bodywork business in Napa at REV Yoga (301 Post Street off of Silverado Trail) and wanted to tell you a bit about myself and my work (and the discount I will be offering for BOCA members for through September 2014)
As I child I was quite active, taking jazz, ballet and modern dance classes throughout middle school and high school. With knees predisposed to injury, I needed regular maintenance to stay out of pain and began to see a Rolfer in high school. It was through those sessions that I first became interested in bodywork and its healing potential. After graduating from Connecticut College with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and a Minor in Dance, I moved to Davis, California in 2012 took the 100-hour introductory Massage Therapy course at Massage Therapy Institute in Davis. Afterwards I continued on with an 100 hours of training in a variety of areas with classes such as Acupressure, Chair Massage, Cranial Sacral Balancing, Massage for Seniors and Myofascial Release. After my 200 hours of training I began working at a locally owned and operated therapeutic bodywork business in Woodland. Spring of 2013 I moved to the Napa Valley and continue with my training, taking Neuro Muscular Therapy courses and honing my bodywork expertise through my experience with a variety of clients needing help with various injuries.
I now have a total of 264 hours of training. I specialize in therapeutic bodywork for injury rehabilitation and prevention. Therapeutic bodywork is a manual therapy using massage techniques (Deep Tissue, Cross Fiber Friction, Myofascial Release, Trigger Point Therapy) to address specific muscular problems. I work together with my clients to aid them through the healing process, to alleviate pain, discomfort or hindrance of motion that may be occurring due to injury and/or predisposition from repetitive use. In addition I practice full-body Deep Tissue and Swedish massage, which increase circulation and decrease muscle fatigue. I offer three types of sessions, 75 minute ($85) therapeutic full body (or specified areas) massage with a focus on one or two areas, 45 minute ($55) ‘targeted’ therapeutic session ideal for ‘problem’ areas that need attention and a 55 minute ($65) relaxation massage. Appointments are available online through REVyoga.com or by phone (707) 266-6114. For the next two weeks (through the end of September) I am offering a $15 discount to BOCA members on their first 75-minute appointment ($70 for the first appointment made in September).
This week's Harvest
Greens : Kales, chards and collards
(and fruit share peaches too!)
Sungold Cherry Toms
PYO Flowers! Herbs!
Aug 19, 2014
This weekend I noticed that the light ever-so-slightly shifted into the warm glow of late summer/early fall....everything seemed basked in a slightly deeper hue of gold. Fall is my absolute favorite time of year, so I relish in the early signs of the seasonal shift!
Speaking of shifting, I (lizzie) will be returning to teaching this fall, and my first full day of school is next Tuesday! Some of you met Aman earlier in the season- he'll be setting up and covering CSA pickups until week 20 (11/4). I'll generally arrive to BOCA around 4 or 4:30, so I'll still get to visit with many of you!
Greens (Kales mainly, and chard)
Tounge of Fire Beans
PYO Herbs, LOTS o FLOWERS!!
Aug 12, 2014
CORN IS HERE!!!
(and tomatoes...and sweet dumpling squash!)
I am preparing to read part of Michael Pollan's book Omnimovre's Dilemma with my 7th Grade class this fall, during our study of American food systems.
Aug 5, 2014
One of our members shared a hilarious lil blurb from the New Yorker, perfectly satirizing our small farm culture!
Check it out here for some laughs...what do you think? Accurate? Hilarious.
Recipe ideas this week...
Pick Your Own
Cilantro, Basil, Dill, Parsely, Mint
Sunflowers! Zinnias! Dahlias! And more!
Jul 29, 2014
Today's harvest is a bountiful one, featuring many new items!
One of my favorite squash, Delicata is ready today. Hard squash are really the rockstars of the fall harvest, but Delicata are sweet and delectable year round. I have tried each of these recipes and they are all amazing!
Also coming out of the ground today is the first round of BOCA papas... our beautiful heirloom potatoes. I used to not be the biggest potato fan (except French Fries, of course!) But eating potatoes fresh out of the ground was a revelation. Potatoes from the grocer have generally been in storage for months. The chemistry of the tubers changes in storage, especially in terms of the sugar content. Fresh potatoes are creamy, sweet and incredible in every way! I hope you enjoy them today. Here are a few lovely potato recipes:
We picked FOUR tomatoes yesterday! Just like every year at BOCA, our tomatoes dragggg along, taking forever to ripen. But when they arrive...they are HERE with a bang and will carry us all the way to November 4th!
Potatoes: Mix of Varieties, Picked today!
Green Bell Peppers!
Maybe a few Eggplant
Pick your own
Sunflowers, Zinnias and Dahlias
Herbs: Basil, Dill, Cilantro and MINT!
Jul 22, 2014
This morning I watched as various pollinators buzzed and hummed around our community garden. Bumble bees and honey bees dipped around the anise hyssop. A sweet hummingbird clicked as it darted in the dahlias. A dusty moth perched on a white garlic chive blossom.
It's wonderful to see so much of this pollination happening. We are thrilled to have a BOCA bee hive out at the end of our field. Our bees are doing very well, and even produced a little bit of honey this past season!
Our beekeeper Rob Keller has embarked on a very admirable project, and we're thrilled that its home will be at BOCA Farm. Rob is focused on preserving and improving our own local stock of bees. A lot of problems facing bee populations, he believes, stem from bees being imported or tranplanted into regions that aren't their native habitats. Here is more information about his project, as well as an opportunity to support his amazing work.
This week we have more of the delicious bounty of last week! By next week we're hoping for corn and maybe even a few melons!
2 Kinds of Beans
Pick Your Own...
ZINNIAS!! also a FEW sunflowers and bachelor's buttons
Jul 15, 2014
Preservation of the season's bounty takes time and discipline... but always is worth the effort. Personally, I always hoard my preserves until the last minute, ie just tapping into last season's tomato sauce now! But for those of you who are better at rationing off your stockpiles, here are some ideas of how to extend the season with what we currently have in the boxes...mainly cukes and BASIL:
- Last year I made pesto with BOCA Basil and then froze it in ice cube trays. Then I put the little cubes in baggies and just grabbed a cube when I wanted the summery flavor.
- 50 things to make with PESTO!!
- When it comes to fermentation, Sandor Katz is my main squeeze. His book WIld Fermentation is easy to read/understand and full of cool recipes. Highly recommend!!
- Fascinating Pickle Facts!!!!!!!!!!!
- Brigit's Ice Water Pickles:
ice water pickles
6 1/2 C cold h2o
1 C white vinegar
1/2 C salt
1/4 C sugar
1 T pickling spice
1 clove garlic
2 or 4 cardamom seeds
fresh dill or fennel seeds optional
(I always add more spices & garlic)
1/2 inch slices or spears
place cucumbers directly into large jar. pour in liquid and spices to top. keep in fridge up to a month.
Kales: Dino and Russian
Pick your OWN
BASIL, DIll, Cilantro
A FEW Zinnias!
Jul 8, 2014
We are at the cusp of the summer explosion and it's hard to be patient! When I walk the field and admire the peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes and melons all progressing beautifully I have to take a deep breath and remember that when they hit, they'll be here for good, and that the tender greens and magical/bitter/brassicae flavors of the beginning of our growing season won't last for long! This year has been a little strange, with a few blasts of heat right off the bat sending our basil, squash and dahlias up early and pushing our cilantro to bolt earlier than ever. Every single season is different- we expect the same items to be coordinated in ripeness each year and they never are- so we go with the flow and make new recipes with what's ready, when it is.
Today BEETS are making a comeback! We'll have gorgeous chioggia (striped!) beets. Enjoy!
4 Kinds of Summer Squash (and a few blossoms)
3 Kinds of Cucumbers
2 kinds of Radishes
a few jalapeños
Pick Your Own
Dahlias and Cardoon Flowers
Dill, Basil, Cilantro (bolting!) and Italian Parsley
Jul 1, 2014
For the past two weeks, Dandelion Greens have been among the leafy foliage appearing at pickup. Dandelion is one of the superstars of the veggie world. As bitter as they are beneficial, these glorious greens are high in calcium, iron, and PACKED with antioxidants. Dandies also have AS much protein as spinach. As an anti-inflammatory, many health risks are quelled by dandelion.
Their bitterness is calmed by cooking, yet blended raw into a smoothie is one of my favorite ways to enjoy this beneficial botanical.
Other favorite preparations include spicy dandelion sautee, pesto, and Asian or Southern flavors. The bitterness tends to be complimented by ingredients like goat cheese, egg yolk, and potatoes. YUMMY!
This week's basket will include:
Red Russian Kale
Mini Heirloom Cabbage
Four Kinds of Summer Squash
Cucumbers: Armenian, Lemon and Pickling
Pick Your Own
Jun 24, 2014
It’s been a productive and busy spring, with plenty of warm sunshine and long, dry days. More than ever we are seeing bees buzzing and birds fluttering around the garden. It’s satisfying to be able to support an environment that is balanced and to contribute to sustaining biodiversity.
A few weeks ago, our neighbors (the Napa Valley Horseman's Association) hosted their 75th anniversary celebration. Part of the day included rides around BOCA. The scene transported me to a differernt era...
Today we'll launch into our third CSA season, and we couldn't be more thrilled to dive right into a bountiful harvest! We’ll see you from 3:30 to 6pm today. Eggs for both 10 and 20 week subscriptions will be ready for pickup today.
Today's box will include:
3 Kinds of Summer Squash
Mini Pearl Onions
Baby Russian Kale
Young Dino Kale
Purple and Green Frilly Mustard Greens
Mixed Heirloom Cucumbers
Bunched Mint and other herbs
Pick Your Own….
Recipes for this week:
Stuffed Squash Blossoms (btw they are amazing served stuffed and RAW, too!)
Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche and Cilantro (keeping it fraiche)
We are honored to grow food for our community of shareholders, and greatly appreciate their dedication to BOCA Farm and local agriculture.
Have a great week!