Happenings on the Farm!

Laguna Farm Newsletter

Laguna Farm News and Recipes

Thank you for supporting local agriculture!
June 20, 2017
Dear Members,
Recently the Sonoma West Times & News published an article about growing practices at the Highway 12 strawberry farm.  I encourage you to
read the article for yourself
so you have a better understanding of the issues it brought to light.  Over the years, I have made it a practice to refrain from talking critically about the growing methods or business practices of other local farms.  In fact, I go out of my way to work cooperatively within our agricultural community since we buy seeds together, share equipment, refer customers to each other and trade produce.  However, today I feel compelled to speak out.
     It’s no secret that diverse and sustainable agriculture is under extreme pressure in Sonoma County.  Our cost of living requires that we pay higher wages to workers who can find jobs in industries like hospitality, viticulture, construction and landscaping.  The cost of food is not rising as fast as expenses.  In the 11 years since I’ve been at Laguna Farm, our berries have always been $3.00 a basket, and I can’t see raising this price.  In fact, I often drop the price to 2 baskets for $5.00 just to move them out of the farmstand .
     I believe people have a right to know how their food is grown.  With this information they can make their own decisions about what to buy, how much and how often.  We all make choices about what is best for us, our families, the workers, our environment and our conscience.  When I read the happy jump inflatables Sonoma West Times & News article about the growing practices of the Highway 12 strawberry farm and learned that while the farmer consistently claimed the berries were not sprayed, in fact they were.

Strawberries top the “dirty dozen” list, making it especially important that consumers source them organically.  While this farmer appears to have broken trust with consumers, I want to assure our customers that we remain as committed as ever to growing your food without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides – or misleading information.

     Please read through to the bottom of this newsletter to learn how you can reach out to our Santa Rosa neighbours this Saturday and promote Laguna Farm and local agriculture
Eat well,
- Jennifer Branham-Burns
Tuesday Produce Boxes:
Salad, Beets, Yellow Onions, Gold or Purple Potatoes, Dino Kale, Cucumbers or Zucchini.
Thursday Produce Boxes:

Salad, Beets, Radishes, Gold or Purple Potatoes, Dino Kale, Cucumbers or Zucchini.

Pickled Beets a Summer Refreshment!

There are many ways to pickle beets.  After boiling or roasting your beets until tender, you could bake a quick brine.  Alternatively, you could ferment your beets in a mason jar.  For fermented beets, simply cut and roast enough beets to fill a quart mason jar.  Add the cooked and cooled beets to the jar and cover with4 Tablespoons whey, 1 Tablespoon sea salt, 2 cardamom pods and filtered water. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for 3 days before putting in the refrigerator.  Here are the step by step instructions inspired by Nourishing Traditions.

Juice Boxes:  
Carrots, Beets, Cucumbers, Raspberries, Nectarines, Kale, Lemons
Cinnamon Nectarine Smoothie!
     During the heat of the summer months, I like to add spices, seeds, nut milks and frozen fruit into my smoothies.  It makes the drink more of a meal and satisfies my thirst for something sweet and frozen.  Here is a recipe and photo by
The Pantry of Eden. As with all smoothie recipes, feel free to adapt to the recipe as you please.
1 medium ripe nectarine, pitted and chopped
1 pitted Medjool date
1/4 cup ice cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened almond or hemp milk
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Farm Sign
Downtown Santa Rosa Walk Campaign
Join Laguna Farm at the Church of the Incarnation this Saturday at 9:00 to walk the surrounding neighborhoods. We want to get the word out that we have a neighborhood CSA pickup at the corner of Mendocino and Cherry Street downtown.  If you would like to hand out invitations to the neighbours here, show up at 9:00 6/24 and join us!  Hit reply if you need more information.
Laguna Farm  | (707) 823-0823 | jennifer@lagunafarm.com | www.lagunafarm.com



Happenings on the Farm!

Laguna Farm Newsletter

Thank you for supporting local agriculture!
May 18, 2016
Dear Members,
We happy to say that the first of the spring carrot crop is being harvested. They sure are a funny looking bunch as our carrot crop was slowly growing during some pretty cold days. Rather than pushing down further into the chilly earth, some decided to fork off and stay near the surface.  These carrots are still your tasty Laguna Farm carrots that you have been craving and will be in good supply during the coming months.  New to the farm store is cucumber and zucchini squash.  Soon these summer veggies will be filling the CSA produce boxes.  Juicers, expect cucumbers moving forward along with several ideas on how to pair this juicy and hydrating veggie.
Be well,
Jennifer Branham-Burns
Produce Box:  
Salad Mix, Fennel, Bok Choy, Yellow Onions, Shiitake Mushrooms, Chard, Carrots on Tuesday, Beets on Thursday.

This is a stir-fry box if I’ve ever seen one!

For a basic and adaptable stir fry sauce, gather the following ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon sugar

4 teaspoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons dry sherry or rice wine

From here, for an incredible stir fry, chop your onions, mushrooms, fennel, carrots or beets, and bok choy.  Keep them separate in small bowls.  Heat your favorite oil in a large pan on medium-high. The general stir-fry rule is 1 pound protein to 2 pounds produce.  I suggest chicken or tempe. Cook your protein in the oil.  Remove then add mushrooms and onions to the pan. Cook until caramelized then remove and add to the bowl of protein. Add your beets or carrots to the pan and stir-fry until just soft then remove and add to the bowl of protein and onions and mushrooms.  Finally, stir-fry your fennel and bok choy together.  Once they are tender, add all the vegetables and protein back into the pan and incorporate with the stir fry sauce.  Serve over noodles or rice and enjoy!

Juice Boxes
Fennel, Cucumber, Chard, Carrots, Beets, Strawberries, Oranges, Bok Choy.


Hydrate with cucumber!
Last summer, I experimented with a recipe that incorporated fennel, cucumber and lime. the result is a refreshing juice that is slightly sweet and very hydrating.
Juice 1 large cucumber, 2 fennels, fronds, bulb and stem, and squeeze in 1 lemon or lime.  Pour over ice and enjoy!
While I love to suggest juicing celery, it is currently out of season.  I can suggest other green veggies like bok choy, fennel and cucumber to take the place of celery.
Laguna Farm  | (707) 823-0823 | jennifer@lagunafarm.com | www.lagunafarm.com



Happenings on the Farm!

Laguna Farm Newsletter

Green garlic and juicing without a juicer

Thank you for supporting local agriculture!
February 23, 2016
Dear Members,



It feels like early spring at Laguna Farm as we are harvesting asparagus, green garlic, tender saute’ greens and baby spinach.  We are at the end of the carrot crop and may not see the new carrots for several weeks.  What is exciting is the very small basil plants peeking out of the soil in the green house.  Every year, Nacho does his best to start these plants early.  I hope we don’t get a late frost that will kill this tender, savory annual! True to winter, we are bringing in citrus from Healdsburg. Beautiful navel oranges, Meyer lemons, limes and grapefruit are being harvested by Gerardo and available in the fruit share, juice box and in the farm store.


The first thing Nacho and I did when we took over operations at the farm over 5 years ago, was plant fruit trees.  Hoping this investment would pay off in time, we filled the holes in the orchard with apples, pears, plums and persimmons.  While some of the trees lived and thrived, several died from being ravaged by gophers.  Additionally, our irrigation was not reliable and with the lack of water the trees were stressed and didn’t thrive.  Last week we headed out to the nursery and purchased more trees to replace those we have lost. There is symbolism in planting fruit trees. It symbolizes a desire to tend the land long-term.  It symbolizes generosity to those who come after us.  It symbolizes hope for the future.  As farmers who focus mostly on annuals, it feels good to put some deep roots down.
Be Well,
Jennifer Branham
Produce Box:  

Salad Mix, Carrots or Turnips, Broccoli, Green Garlic, Saute’ Greens, Sweet Potatoes.


Green garlic a rare and delicious find!

One of the many benefits of buying direct from the farm is the ability to find green garlic. Very different from the white head of cloves that is common to every produce stand, green garlic actually resembles a leek!  Here are a few ideas on how to enjoy your green garlic:  Green garlic pesto, saute’ turnip greens with green garlic, green garlic toast!

Juice Boxes
Carrots, Apples, Meyer Lemons, Beets, Baby Greens, Celery, Kale, Tangerines, 


Green juice in a blender
One of my main goals with the CSA juicing box is to show members how easy it is to make fresh, nutritious juices daily.  From my silly “juice cubes” that I swear by, to encouraging you to use the equipment you have at home without the need to buy fancy gadgets, my hope is that you will add at least one fresh juice or smoothie to your day.  The video attached shows you how to make a simple green juice in a blender.  I hope you enjoy!
Laguna Farm  | (707) 823-0823 | jennifer@lagunafarm.com | www.lagunafarm.com



Happenings on the Farm!

Laguna Farm Newsletter

Thank you for supporting local agriculture!
February 16, 2016 
Dear Members, 

Over the past few weeks we have been promoting our “refer a friend” program, where we offer current CSA members a $5.00 credit on their account when a friend or family member mentions their name upon joining our CSA.  It has been fun seeing the new signups and drawing connections between our current and new members. Consistently, word of mouth is the #1 way people find out about Laguna Farm.  We appreciate you spreading the word and truly value your ongoing support of local agriculture.

The other day I got a call from a photographer wanting to take photos of farmers working in the rain.  Stories about the weather are always well read, so if Sonoma County is experiencing a rain or drought or unseasonably cold or hot weather, we get a press call asking for comment.  I explained to the disappointed reporter that our employees are harvesting most of the winter crops from hoop houses where we control the water flow and stay out of the elements during the storm.  

Be Well,
Jennifer Branham
Produce Box:  
Salad Mix, Carrots or Turnips, Chard or Kale, Yellow Onions, Broccoli, Celery, Cilantro.
What to do with a big bunch of cilantro.

Simply Scratch has my go to recipe for cilantro pesto. As promised, the cheese and almonds really do balance out the cilantro flavor giving us a perfect substitute for summer basil. If you are not a huge fan of cilantro, I suggest making this recipe and possibly freezing it for your next potluck or gathering.  The cilantro fans in your life will forever love you for it. 

Juice Boxes
Carrots, Apples, Oranges, Beets, Celery, Cilantro, Ginger, Kale or Chard
Thanks Wellness Mama_

Soda that is good for you!
We are having fun at the farm learning about naturally fermented soda that is void of high fructose corn syrup and full of probiotics. After making a ginger bug, we added the culture to a large jar of lightly sweetened water enhanced with Meyer lemon.  After fermenting for couple of days, our naturally fermented ginger ale was fizzy and ready to drink.  
The ginger in your juice box is plenty to get you started in brewing up naturally fermented soda.  
The blog:  Wellness Mama has easy to follow, step by step instructions.  Let me know if you like to make fermented sodas and we can swap recipes and suggestions.
Laguna Farm  | (707) 823-0823 | jennifer@lagunafarm.com | www.lagunafarm.com


Happenings on the Farm!

Laguna Farm Newsletter

Thank you for supporting local agriculture!
December 15, 2015
Dear Members, 

         During the week leading up to Christmas, Laguna Farm closes for the week.  It is our intention to let the fields rest from harvest during the coldest and darkest days of the year and also to encourage our employees and owners to take the time with family. As a result, we will not make CSA boxes on the 22nd or the 24th, nor will we charge you for them.  In keeping with this tradition, we will not be at our Santa Rosa or Sebastopol Farm markets on the weekend of the 26th.  We know this is a long time to go without our lovely salad greens, roots and winter squash, so we encourage you to stock up and see us the week of the 28th leading into the new year.  
         The frost hit us hard on the farm and we lost most of our cauliflower as a result.  Frost is expected during this time of year and we supplement your CSA boxes with organic fruits and vegetables sourced from other California farms.  Your Satsuma tangerines graciously took the place of the cauliflower as we never short your CSA as a result of frost damage or crop failure. At Laguna Farm, we feel that by purchasing items that we are not able to grow at Laguna, we support other area farms, diversify your share and keep you as a member will the full value of your box year round. In return, we ask that when you go on vacation you continue to support your farm by finding someone to take your produce or even donate it to Food For Thought or The Ceres Project. They are happy to come and gather the produce left behind at the end of the week and bring it to individuals in need.   
Be Well,

Laguna Farm Carrots ready for the CSA
Bumper Carrot Crop
Produce Box:  
Salad Mix, Cooking Greens, Satsuma Tangerines, Potatoes, Carrots, Leeks, Butternut Squash.
Carrots Three Ways:
Produce boxes have seen quite a few carrots over the past several weeks.  We have a bumper crop and want to get them harvested and in your bellies before the floods wash over their field. Here are a few ways to enjoy the abundance.
Raw Carrots:  Remove the tops immediately to keep your carrots fresh.  Our carrots are so fresh and tender, there is no need to peel them.  Just eat them raw and enjoy!
Roasted Carrots:  If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
Carrot Ginger Soup: In a 6-quart pan, over medium high heat, add 1 T butter and 1 peeled and chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp. Add broth 3 cups broth and 1 bunch carrots, and 1 T ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Don’t fill the blender more than half way, do it in batches if you have to. Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender*. Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender. Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.
Juice Box:
Beets,Chard, Celery, Apples, Satsuma Tangerines, Carrots.
Satsuma Tangerines can be put in your blender peeled as they have few seeds!

Tangerine Carrot Juice for a morning refresher

We like to consume extra vitamin C during the winter months to ward of colds and boost the body’s immune system.  

Recipe:  Juice one bunch of carrots through your juicer then blend with three Satsuma Tangerines. The tangerines give the carrot juice an extra bit of sweetness that is wonderful for a morning refresher.
Laguna Farm  | (707) 823-0823 | jennifer@lagunafarm.com | www.lagunafarm.com


Juicing With A Blender

You don’t need a juicer to make fresh fruit and vegetable juices.

fennel lime cucumber juiceAre you trying to pair down your appliances or simplify your life?  Perhaps with this “how to” post on juicing with a blender, you can reduce the number of small appliances you use on a daily basis.  With a high-speed (or even an inexpensive blender) soft fruits and vegetables can be chopped up to the point of releasing their juices and strained through a sieve or cloth to slowly strain the pulp from the juice.  This is basically what your traditional juicer does for you, only now you can do the same thing with your blender.  

For my fennel, lime, cucumber juice simply add 2 bulbs of trimmed fennel to the blender along with one whole cucumber (skin and all) with a peeled lime or lemon.  

Add about 8 oz cold, filtered water and blend until smooth.

 Once the fruits and vegetables are blended well, pour the mix into a cloth produce bag and let the juice strain through the cloth.  Squeezing the pulp from the juice takes about a minute.  

Add the juice back into the blender along with several cubes of ice.  Wizz it up one more time and you have a refreshing juice made with your blender!