From the Land 4.24


The spring season is coming to a close. Please make sure you are up to date on your CSA share payments. If you have questions about your account you can email us at or call us at (928) 350-1401. You can also ask us when you pick up your share on Wednesday.

Note from Crooked Sky Farms:
To all Crooked Sky Farm CSA members. Many of you  who have been with us in years past know that this is our planting season. Share lists at this time will be a bit repetitive so we really do appreciate all your support while we are getting ready for all your summer treats. Here is a preview of all the wonderful treasures you have to look forward to coming soon:

Coming soon…
End of April-summer squash
Beginning of May-various cucumbers
End of May-purslane and basil
Beginning of June-tomatoes 
Mid June-eggplant, okra and peppers
End of June or early July-various melons, corn
We are also happy to announce that we have listened to all your requests and have planted 1500 fruit trees! Just a few examples include the following: 
Thank you again for supporting your local farmer and helping to keep Arizona healthy,  happy and thriving.
Warm Regards,
The Crooked Sky family


food for thought

full share: kale, eggs, salad mix, grilling onions, choice of swiss chard/beet greens or Siamese Dragon stir fry mix, cabbage, red potatoes, and grapefruit!

partial share: Kale, eggs, salad mix and grilling onions!


veg of the week

grapefruit: Citrus Paradisi 

Grapefruit is a subtropical fruit first cultivated as a hybrid in Barbados in the 18th century. The tree usually grows to about 20 feet tall. The fruit’s pulp comes in white, pink or red. Usually the redder the pulp the sweeter it is. The top producers of grapefruit are the US, China, South Africa and Mexico.

Uses: Grapefruit is wonderful in a variety of dishes but is not limited to its edibility. To scent your home, simmer a cup of grapefruit with half a cup of water on the stove. To scent your laundry mix grapefruit and water and spray after washing and before you hang it out to dry. Placing grapefruit rinds around your garden will help deter cats and other animals. For a skin exfoliant in the shower, mix two tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil in a cup of grapefruit juice. The sugar will scrub your skin and the grapefruit juice will tighten it. For a simple healthy snack, cut a grapefruit in half and slice the pulp in each half, making it easier to get at with a spoon. Drizzle honey on each half, eat. In Costa Rica, grapefruit is cooked to reduce its sour taste and sometimes eaten with dulce de leche.

Nutrition: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and pectin fiber. Studies show that grapefruit can help lower cholesterol and burn fat. Grapefruit seed extract, GSE, is sold in natural foods stores and taken for its antimicrobial properties.

To store: Grapefruit can keep in the pantry for about a week or in the fridge for two to three weeks. Grapefruit can keep for up to a year in the freezer. To freeze, remove seeds and rind, then place in a mixture of 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water boiled.


Svalbard Global Seed Vault
By Alex Deck

Its comforting to know that seeds from all over the world are being stored in a secure seed vault in Norway. The Svalbard Seed Vault is located on Svalbard, 810 miles from the North Pole. Construction was funded entirely by the government of Norway and began in June 2006. The first seeds began arriving in 2008. 

Seeds are stored 390 feet into a sandstone mountain called Spitsbergen. The entrance to the vault is 430 feet above sea level. Spitsbergen was chosen for its lack of tectonic activity, making it a secure place in case of a natural disaster. Local coal fuels refrigeration units that keep the temperature at 0 °F. The bank is so well insulated that even if the refrigerators failed it would be several weeks before the temperature rose to 27 °F, the temperature of the surrounding bedrock permafrost.

The facility has the capability to hold up to 4.5 million different kinds of seeds with 500 seeds each. In July 2012 the number of seeds in the vault numbered around 750,000. 



Broiled Grapefruit

  • 1 pink or red grapefruit, halved
  • 1 T light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C plain low-fat yogurt
Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat. With a paring knife, loosen grapefruit segments from membranes and pith.
Sprinkle grapefruit with sugar and cinnamon. Broil on a baking sheet until tops are slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
Top with yogurt, and garnish with more cinnamon.
Shaved Fennel with Grapefruit

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 grapefruit
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/4 C slivered cerignola or other big green olives
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 C fennel fronds, chopped

Using a mandoline, slice the fennel into thin shavings.

Cut the bottom and top off of the grapefruit. Using a knife, cut the peel off of the sides, following the curve of the grapefruit and being careful only to cut away the peel and bitter pith. Hold the fruit in 1 hand over a bowl and cut the flesh of the grapefruit away from the membrane to release a wedge. Repeat until all segments are released.

In a large saute pan over medium heat coat with extra-virgin olive oil and add the fennel. Season with salt and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the fennel is warm and coated with the oil. Remove from heat. Toss in the grapefruit segments, olive slivers and juice and sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Grapefruit and Mixed Green Salad with Pistacio Crusted Goat Cheese Rounds
From spoonforkbacon

pistachio crusted goat cheese rounds:

  • 4 oz goat cheese, sliced into 1 ounce portions and partially frozen
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 C crushed pistachios
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 8 cups mixed greens, loosely packed
  • 2 grapefruits, cut into supremes
  • 1/3 C pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz jicama, julienne
  • 1 recipe, champagne vinaigrette

Preheat oil to 375°F.

For goat cheese rounds: Dredge partially frozen discs into the flour and shake off excess. Next, dip discs into lightly beaten egg and finish in crushed pistachios until fully coated. Freeze rounds until fully frozen, about 30 minutes. Fry each round for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.

For salad: Place mixed greens, grapefruit, nuts, and jicama into a large mixing bowl and toss together with vinaigrette. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among four plates and top each with a pistachio crusted goat cheese round. Serve.


From the Land 1/11

announcements As you know, we’re implementing a couple changes at CSA. If you have a partial share, you’ll pick up your four items at the table in the corner, next to the fridge (not the center table). If you have a full share, make sure you get all eight items (from both tables). If you have a dairy share, please make sure you return your jars every week! Our providers depend on receiving the same amount of jars back each week so they always have enough. Put your jars in the hanging jar holder in the slot with your name. This will help us keep track of who is returning their jars. At the end of the day, we’ll note who did not return their jars and charge a jar deposit appropriately. Thanks for your cooperation! food for thought
chioggia beets, carrots, fennel, dill, daikon radishes, oranges, spinach, and red potatoes from Crooked Sky!

veg of the week
chioggia beets: Beta Vulgaris

Yes, we featured beets just a month or so ago, but these lovely sweets are worth talking about again, especially because we’ve been getting “chioggias”. These beautiful striped root veggies were recently listed on Sunset magazine’s “top ten feel-good foods”, due to their high content of fiber, potassium, iron, folic acid, and betacyanin (the antioxidant that gives them their rich pink color).

Beets tend to be one of those vegetables that a person either loves or hates. I’m in the “love” category, but apparently even President Obama hasn’t gotten over what was probably an early canned-beet trauma. My suggestion to those poor souls who think they don’t like them: eat them anyway, because they’re so good for you! Try to like the “dirt” flavor, or try to cover it by pickling your beets! Slice them thin, try them cooked or raw, and my guess is that you’ll discover that you really (maybe secretly) like them! Be aware: some people are more sensitive than others to the tannin in raw beets that can cause a dryness or slight burning in the back of the throat. If you find this is true, don’t worry – it only lasts a couple minutes. And next time, try cooking them, as the tannin doesn’t survive heat. Chioggia beets are sweeter and milder than other red beets, so they may be a good place to start. Below are some recipes that specifically call for chioggia beets, created or posted specifically by people who “hate” beets. Enjoy!

These days, it seems every food product claims to be healthy. “Greenwashing” refers to the marketing spin used to (often deceptively) promote the perception that a company’s practices are environmentally friendly. This greenwashing trend is seen on egg cartons too: they claim to be “free-range” or “organic”, but beware – these eggs are not all created equal! Unfortunately, most of these hens are raised on “organic” farms in which they hardly see the light of day, have only 1 1/2 square feet of living space per chicken, or who’s “access to the outdoors” includes only a small screened-in porch. Not all free-range claims are deceptive though; many farms obtain a true standard by raising chickens that have full access to the outdoors and are therefore able to scratch and peck for their own grass, weed seeds, bugs and worms, supplemented with high quality organic grains if necessary. The difference in cost is reflected in these eggs also: one should assume that there is a drastic difference in quality between a $1.99/dz and a $5.50/dz, even if both claim to be “free-range”.
Cornucopia Institute recently investigated the practices of over 100 “free-range” egg farms, and created a scorecard documenting these practices. They rated them from “5: exemplary; beyond organic” to “1: ethically deficient; industrial organics/no meaningful outdoor access and/or none were open enough to participate”. They also included “private label”: those produced for grocers or distributors with the aim of increasing their presence in the organic marketplace. As to be expected, the “5”s are small, diverse farms that provided to their hens ample pasture or movable houses that rotate pastures. They sell mostly locally or regionally, usually through farmers markets, cooperatives, or CSAs. On the other extreme, the “1”s are industrial-scale producers that provide the bare minimum of outdoor access, which can mean a small door or a covered concrete porch that actively discourages the chickens from going outside. Unfortunately, there are some recognizable names on the list, including eggs commonly found at local supermarkets under their organic brand, or even at local natural foods grocery stores. You can visit to view the scorecard.
While none of our local farms were part of the study, we strive to provide eggs in the CSA Store that meet the “beyond organic” category. We know that providing chickens with quality access to the outdoors, the opportunity to scratch and peck for food, and eating lots of fresh greens, grass and bugs makes happy hens that lay high quality eggs.
Besides the treatment of the animals, what are the benefits of an ethically-produced egg? We know they cost more, so is it worth it? Mother Earth News did a nutritional analysis of eggs. Their 2007 study revealed that, compared to supermarket eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contained 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene! A more recent study also revealed a presence of 4 to 6 times the amount of vitamin D. Check out the study at
beet carpaccio
adapted from
for salad:

  • 1 lb chioggia beets, trimmed (and peeled if desired)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted pistachio nutmeats
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup radish greens or other microgreens
for dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar or honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and white pepper
Thinly slice the beets with a mandoline slicer.  Place the slices into a bowl and toss with 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Set aside. (The lemon juice will help preserve the color of the beets when you cook them, so let them sit at least 10 minutes while you prep everything else.)
Make the dressing: Mix together vinegar, sour cream, tarragon, and sugar with a wire whisk or in a food processor until well-blended.  Slowly add the olive oil, while whisking constantly.  (This creates an emulsion).  Add salt and white pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Bring water to a boil in a large pot that has a steamer tray.  If you like, add salt and a splash of lemon juice to the water.  Once boiling, place beet slices on the streamer tray (it’s alright if they overlap slightly).  Cover and steam for 5-6 minutes, or until tender yet firm.  Briefly shock the beets in an ice bath, then drain.
Layer the beets and onions on four small plates.  Sprinkle with pistachios and feta cheese crumbles.  Make sure the dressing is well-stirred, then lightly drizzle over the salad.  Top with radish greens.
dirty beets
adapted from
Get yourself some beets. Any sort of beets will do, but the chioggia beets are nice and mild, though any sort of baby beets will be pretty sweet as well. Get yourself some other sort of root vegetable. Purple potatoes make a dramatic dish, as do turnips. Dice all of the vegetables. The more you hate beets, the smaller the pieces of beet should be. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the beets and whatever vegetables you’ve diced. Cook until the veggies have shrunk a bit and look a little crispy and caramelized. Eat.
halibut with roasted beets, beet greens, and dill-orange gremolata
adapted from
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
  • 3 medium (1 1/2- to 2-inch) beets with green tops attached; beets trimmed and scrubbed, beet greens very coarsely chopped (4 to 6 cups)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 4 6- to 7-ounce halibut fillets or mahi-mahi fillets (about 1 inch thick)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Mix dill and peel in small bowl for gremolata. Place beets in medium pot; add enough water to cover beets halfway. Cover and cook on rolling boil until just tender. Uncover and drain. Cool beets slightly. Peel and cut into 1/4- to 1/3-inch-thick slices. Place beets in medium glass bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon gremolata, and shallots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss well. Toss beet greens in another medium bowl with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Spread beet slices in single layer on half of prepared baking sheet. Mound beet greens on other half of baking sheet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; place fish fillets atop beet greens. Brush fish with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle fish with 2 tablespoons gremolata.
Roast fish and vegetables until fish is just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Divide fish and vegetables among plates. Sprinkle with remaining gremolata and serve.
chilled beet, orange and dill soup
adapted from
  • 1 bunch beets, cooked and julienned. Reserve cooking liquid.
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 cups finely diced unpeeled English hothouse cucumber (about 1/2 large)
  • Additional chopped fresh dill

Combine half of beets, half of reserved beet liquid and half of orange juice in blender. Blend until smooth. Blend in half of buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped dill. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining beets, beet liquid, orange juice, buttermilk and 1 1/2 tablespoons dill. Season with salt and pepper. Chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Garnish soup with cucumber and additional dill. Ladle into bowls.