Soil Born CSA Newsletter: The Digest

November 26, 2014

Every Week
Mixed Mushrooms (Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms)
Butternut Squash
Cured Onions
Purple Sage
Red Pontiac Potatoes
Red Russian Kale
Rainbow Chard

Every Other Week
Mixed Mushrooms (Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms)
Butternut Squash
Dino Kale


“Once you start cooking, one thing leads to another. A new recipe is as exciting as a blind date. A new ingredient, heaven help me, is an intoxicating affair.”- Barbara Kingsolver



Farm News

By  Alicia Baddorf

The Farm on Hurley Way is now under a rejuvenating cover crop, with the exception of some winter greens being grown by Antonio in some otherwise dormant areas. After a year at Hurley, I am working a couple of days a week again at the American River Ranch.

It’s good to be back, especially this time of year. I evaded the summer season of nonstop tomatoes and irrigation pipe-moves in 100 degree weather and am now enjoying the quietness and beauty of fall / winter on the farm. I’m also grateful to be around more people at this site. I loved hanging out with Paige and the farm cats, Patches and Marbles, at Hurley, but more frequented by the public, the ranch can offer some surprise inspiring interactions with the community.

Today I joined the farm staff for the CSA harvest, and at around 6:45am, a woman, her two daughters, her mother-in-law and her daughter’s friend walked into the packing shed, eager to give a helping hand with the harvest. Sometimes as farmers, we enjoy keeping our heads low and working in solitude, but the family was an absolute delight. Victoria, the mother, grew up on a farm in Belarus. Talking to her about the joys of working hard outside, it became apparent that we shared the same feeling of mental and physical fulfillment as a result of farming.

On top of that, it was fun to hear about farming in Belarus! Victoria’s mother-in-law is a farmer in Belarus and is visiting the U.S. for 6 months. She has been yearning to get back to the land during this 6-month farming hiatus, so the family decided to spend the day at Soil Born. Many of the vegetables that we harvested today were foreign to her, as most of the diet in Belarus is meat and potatoes. When Victoria suggested that she grow kale in Belarus, she was cynical, saying that no one would know what it is or how to prepare it! Fair enough. Maybe an Eat More Kale Campaign is in order in Belarus?

I also got to work with the three girls. Sophia, a fourth-grader, brought incredible enthusiasm (not to mention an impressive work ethic) to the farm. She carried piles of turnips that you’ll find in your boxes down the long field rows, helped me distribute potatoes to the CSA boxes, and helped pack 171 pounds of collards into boxes for the food bank (among other tasks).

Sophia’s older sister, Violeta (V), and her friend, Brauni, also showed a refreshing level of curiosity about the farm, and worked hard in the field too! I was totally clueless about farming when I was in high school, so it’s inspiring to work with teenagers who aren’t afraid to get some dirt under their fingernails.

V has already spent some time working at her grandmother’s farm in Belarus, and this summer, Sophia will also help out. I am grateful that we can provide a starting point for them in farming, and that the work they do here will inspire them to continue growing their own food as they grow older!


digest 2014 11 26 a and p

Paige and I show off beautiful winter squash at one of the last farm stands of the year.


Featured Veggie: Mushrooms

digest 2014 11 26 mushrooms

This week you are lucky enough to get a pack of mixed mushrooms from Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms, located in Sloughouse.

The first name I think of when discussing mushrooms is Paul Stamets. A mycologist for over 40 years, Paul has discovered several new species of mushrooms, and pioneered a number of techniques in the field of mushroom cultivation. He discusses in length the role that mushrooms play in bioremediation (i.e. toxin cleanup) and as medicinal resources.

Mushrooms have antibacterial and antiviral properties, as well as immuno-modulating and anti-inflammatory properties that help the immune system respond to disease without going into overload.

As a note, Paul recommends cooking your mushrooms, because most of the nutrients are locked up in  tough chitin-like cells which are the building blocks of the mushrooms.
To get a load of Vitamin D from mushrooms, lay them out, gills up, in the full sun for 2 days. This will increase the amount of Vitamin D!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Featured Recipe: Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash & Wild Mushroom Stuffing



Dates and Notes

Important Farm Stand Reminder:
Our Farm Stand Season ended last Saturday, Nov. 22.  We look forward to see all of you when we will reopen on May 23, 2015.  



digest 2014 11 26 apprentice program

Farm Apprenticeship Program
The farm apprenticeship program at Soil Born Farms offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a hands-on educational experience in sustainable agriculture at an urban community farm. Combining intensive field experience, focused classroom sessions  and educational farm visits to a diverse array of organic farms, this residential program prepares beginning farmers for employment and farm entrepreneurship.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015 organic farming apprenticeship soon. Applications are available to download on our website. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to visit the farm and volunteer.

To apply go to
About us> Job Opportunities


#WeAreSoilBorn Campaign
Help Spread the Love and Support our Harvest Fundraising Drive
As part of our Harvest Fundraising drive, we are asking for "Selfie help" through our #WeAreSoilBorn campaign. Our plan is to capture and convey, through photos, who our supporters are. If you took a "Soil Born Selfie" at one of these locations, or if you want to take one at home, please use the hashtag #WeAreSoilBorn and your image could appear in one of our upcoming social media posts or printed materials.



digest 2014 11 26 family

We got some help with the CSA harvest from a local family.

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