South Coast Farms Pumpkin Patch

The other Saturday Dave and I took a mini field trip down to San Juan Capistrano, in Orange County California. We went to the “pumpkin patch” hosted by the farm that we receive our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) packages from, South Coast Farms.  It is pretty amazing that just a few streets from downtown San Juan there is this farm.

At first glance, you will see a food stand with fresh produce from the farm.  Behind the produce stand was a little pumpkin patch, with various activities including making cider, a craft table and learning how to wash rags with a washstand.

The pumpkins picked varied in shape and size and a lot had really beautiful stems–which may sound odd, but a good stem really adds a special touch to a jack-o-lantern.  Dave grabbed a wheelbarrow and we picked up four pumpkins (special order for the padres) afterwards we had our turn at making cider.

Cider PressApples


 

 

 

 

 

 

The owner’s kid showed us how it worked, and we crunched up apples into mash then squeezed all the juice out. It was sooo sweet and delicious.  As we went to check out and buy the pumpkins we also picked up some apples from the produce stand.  Overall it was really fun and the house on the property was beautiful, there was also a little garden area that you could walk around that showed a natural eco-habitat for California.

Best,
Rachell

 Photos:

Map: South Coast Farms


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Blue Cheese-Walnut Green Beans

Community Sponsored Agriculture continued…

As you may know, Rachell and I participate in a community sponsored agriculture project by South Coast Farms.  The program itself is a GREAT way to support our LOCAL farmers and a good way to reduce our (chemical) footprint, not to mention the added benefits from eating healthy.  Enough with the rant, if you’re still reading than its safe to say you’re intrigued.

So every other week we are scheduled to pick up a box of fresh “organic” produce.  Really fantastic.  Prior to delivery, South Coast Farms sends out a reminder email along with recipes for the produce delivered.  It’s nothing big, but I feel that it’s an interactive way to get involved with the community and support your craft (I applauded them for the effort).

So the other night we decided to have a go with it: Blue Cheese-Walnut Green Beans. YUM!

Participation with our CSA supports local Californian produce, reduces emissions used to transport foods from out of state and (being organic) reduces the chemical output of the agriculture industry.  Yes, I know, the steak may very well offset any reduced emissions from the local veggies but the point is to acknowledge local farms with fresh seasonal produce and a GREAT meal!

Blue Cheese Walnut Green Beans

*Tender-crisp green beans tossed with creamy blue cheese and topped with toasted walnuts pair well with grilled steak or chicken.

4 servings, about 1 cup each | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts , (see Tip)

Preparation:

Bring green beans and water to a boil in a large skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the beans are just tender, 3 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Add oil, salt and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Transfer the beans to a large bowl and toss with blue cheese until well coated. Sprinkle each serving with walnuts.

Nutrition:

Per serving : 163 Calories; 12 g Fat; 3 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 8 mg Cholesterol; 10 g Carbohydrates; 6 g Protein; 4 g Fiber; 302 mg Sodium; 233 mg Potassium; 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving; Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 2 fat

Tips & Notes:

Toast chopped or sliced nuts, stir constantly in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.