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Summer 2014 CSA: Hyper-Local, Über-Seasonal, Extra-Fresh

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Sign up for a 2014 Natural Trading Co summer harvest box, and get ready for 24 weeks of the freshest, most delicious, good for you-good for the community-good for the earth weekly treasure chest of organic veggies.  This year, our season runs from May 19th through October 31st.  Choose a family box (recommended for 3-5 people), or a small box (for 1-3 people).   Whole season prices for boxes are $840 or $35/week (family), and $600 or $25/week (small).  3-payment installment plan available only prior to start of the season. Pick-up sites span Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Lincoln, Newcastle, Auburn, Truckee, and Tahoe.

For an extra bountiful share, add on our popular organic, pasture-raised eggs or tomato share, in addition to wheatgrass, pea shoots, and sunflower greens.  Mid-season sign-ups are welcome – CSAware will automatically pro-rate late subscriptions.  We can’t wait to start sending veggies your way, reserve your spot before we run out of shares!  We had to close the Winter CSA this past season due to an overwhelming interest in new subscriptions.

And yes, we’ve decided to take the CSA in a slightly different direction this year with the passage of new California legislation AB-224 regulating community supported agriculture.  Read more here

And for those of you who would like to help get the word out about our Summer CSA, here’s a printable flyer to post in your community space.

Give Thanks

Sorry! We are SOLD OUT.  Thanks for your support and Happy Thanksgiving.

Reserve one of our limited numbers of Thanksgiving turkeys – organic, pasture-raised, heritage-breed.

A beautiful celebration of the farm’s harvest and a special way to give thanks for the plentiful year, these Narragansett turkeys were lovingly raised on the farm with a humane and conscientious attitude. We allow our animals to behave naturally – ensuring social interaction, comfort, physical, and psychological well-being. All our birds graze on grass, seeds, and bugs outside, all day, every day with access to protected shelter. We move them regularly to ensure they always have access to fresh pasture, and we supplement their food with non-GMO organic feed.

Place your $25.00 deposit today and taste what turkey should taste like.

Winter (CSA) is coming

Sorry!  We are at capacity and CSA sign-ups are closed for the season.  Thanks for your support.  And stay tuned for details on Summer 2014 CSA starting mid-May.

Enroll. Now. Community Supported Agriculture is a way in which people can directly support a small, local farm while getting a weekly supply of fresh, organically grown products. For city dwellers, becoming a CSA member provides a connection with nature, a convenient, safe, and reliable source for healthy, high quality vegetables. Each week, Natural Trading Co. subscribers receive a box of freshly picked, organic, seasonal produce. Each week’s box is carefully designed to provide you with a week’s worth of fruit and vegetables.

Get ready for 12 fresh, local, organic weeks of winter wonderfulness spanning October 29 to January 30, with a break the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. $294/season for a beautiful box of greens, shoots, roots, and fruits. We grow amazing winter vegetables – countless varieties of kale, various collards, mucho lettuces, Asian greens, rainbows of chard, delectable carrots, beets, cauliflowers, cabbages, and broccoli. We’ll also be filling boxes with mandarins, winter squash, persimmons, pears, and apples among other things. Just add eggs and you are all set.

Our pick-up sites are tentatively set for Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, Granite Bay, and the Farm on Tuesdays; and Truckee on Wednesdays.

Normal Food

A few weeks ago, a group of Early Head Start kids and their families came to visit us at the farm.  On their tour, wee hands harvested tomatoes, dug potatoes, and giggled at the antics of the piglets.  We’ve been packing CSA boxes for local Head Start programs for a few years now, and we’re so happy to be a part of this community so dedicated to the healthy development of young children.  I know a farmer and his daughters who refer to responsibly-raised, unprocessed, seasonal, local farm food as “normal food”; and what we typically label as conventional food they call “the other stuff.”  What an idea right?  A generation of little ones whose norm is veggies, fruit, grains, milk, eggs, and meat from a farmer or gardener they know (maybe themselves) – that’s what I’m holding in my heart.  EHS_2

A Medley of Spuds and a Sacramento Food Bash

THIS Saturday, June 22, we will be at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op’s 40th Anniversary Bash from 12-4pm.  We will have a market booth, amid entertainment, food, and beverages.  It’s free and open to the public!

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Meanwhile, summer harvest is in full swing here at the farm.  We could talk for hours about all the beautiful and delicious bounty coming out of the fields, but for now you can learn a little bit about our potatoes, since all of our varieties are now in circulation to CSA members and markets.

Whether you eat many pounds of potatoes, or just a few french fries perhaps, they are an enormously important aspect of history and modern food.  Over the course of 7-10,000 years of domestication, people have created over 1,000 subspecies and about 5,000 varieties of potatoes (3,000 of which exist only in the Andes).  This diversity has led to potatoes being a staple of diets worldwide, and it was the initial lack of diversity in the European crops that made it vulnerable to disease, and which ultimately led to the terrible Irish Potato Famine.

We grow a handful of potato varieties here at the Natural Trading Co.  Although the healthfulness of potatoes is sometimes debated, the truth is that they provide nearly everything a human body needs to be healthy, aside from vitamins A and D.  So a healthy human diet could be merely potatoes and milk or butter.  Some researchers believe that the Purple Majesty might soon be described as a “super food” (AKA really healthy), as it has very high levels of antioxidants.  The Desiree has red skin, light yellow flesh, and a creamy taste – ideal for mashing or sauces.  The Nicola is waxy and golden yellow inside and out.  The waxy quality means less starch and more moisture, making it ideal for potato salads.  Also…boil, mash, roast, or fry!  German Butterball, a staff favorite, is a golden, buttery russet-type and the red-skinned Sangre is excellent for baking and boiling.

Don’t forget to visit us at the farmers’ markets to try these tasty treats:  Truckee and Roseville on Tuesday, Tahoe City on Thursday, and Auburn and Rocklin on Saturday.

Cooking Outside the Box

slt_logo-sm-266x180We are taking part in an upcoming benefit for Slow Food Lake Tahoe, Cooking Outside the Box, on June 5 at Dragonfly Restaurant in Truckee.  Guests will learn recipes for seasonal vegetables, many of which are found in a weekly CSA box (Community Support Agriculture). Enjoy a diversity of tastes and wine pairings as Dragonfly’s chef and owner Billy McCullough creates dishes using fresh, organic produce from our farm.  Cooking Outside the Box is a benefit for Slow Food Lake Tahoe, which supports good, clean, fair food. Cost is $35 for Slow Food members, $40 for non-members, Wednesday, June 5, 6-8 p.m. at Dragonfly Restaurant, 10118 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. For reservations call Dragonfly directly at 530-587-0557 and for event details visit http://www.slowfoodlaketahoe.org.

Chicks, Ducklings, and Poults – Oh My!

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We’ve been so busy here at the farm transplanting, seeding, weeding, and hatching I haven’t had a moment to announce the birth of our first hatchery chicks, ducklings, and poults (baby turkeys).  Well here are our month-old babies.  If you’re a backyard homesteader or small-scale farmer interested in raising heritage poultry, we have plenty of birds to fill out your flock.

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Our proud Delaware daddy crows his excitement for the launch of the Natural Trading Co Heritage Poultry Hatchery.

This Wednesday, Bryan will be heading off to EcoFarm, one of the nation’s largest organic farming conferences in beautiful Asilomar on the coast of California.  He’ll be there learning about all the newest fangled things in organic farming so we can deliver the best tasting veggies, fruit, eggs, and meat to your table this coming year.  We’re proud to say that our heritage turkeys were chosen to be featured on the Friday night dinner menu!  For those of you lucky enough to have one of our turkeys this Thanksgiving, you know what a treat they’re in for.

Bryan will also be at the conference at the Sustainable Poultry Network booth with Jim Adkins, sharing his newest fangled knowledge of and experience with heritage poultry.  We are very excited to be launching the Natural Trading Co heritage poultry hatchery this spring.  For those of you with farms, homesteads, or even just a small backyard and a yearning for the most delicious eggs and meat you’ll ever taste – we’ll be selling day-old chick, ducklings, and poults (or baby turkeys), in addition to 16-week-old chickens and ducks later this spring.  We hope you’re as impassioned as we are about preserving our agricultural tradition by raising heritage birds like Delaware and Chantecler chickens; Narragansett turkeys; and Welsh Harlequin, Magpie, and Dutch Hook Bill ducks.  We’re doing our best to promote and encourage sustainability by selling poultry locally, raising animals that can reproduce naturally, and preserving genetic diversity.

Order your pasture-raised, heritage Thanksgiving turkeys!

November 22 is quickly approaching – remember to order your pasture-raised, heritage Thanksgiving turkeys from NTC!

If you want to feel good about the meat that you eat, this is it.  These turkeys are part of our heritage breeding program raising Naragansett and Standard Bronze turkeys. These birds are very well cared for, free to roam the fields by day, and fed organic feed.  When you purchase this breed, the demand is made for heritage birds – you are doing something very positive, very cool.

The turkeys range from 7-12 pounds and cost $7.50 per pound for holiday deliciousness.  They’re available for pick-up at the farm, farmers’ markets (Roseville Tuesday, Auburn Saturday), and Truckee delivery Wednesday, November 14.  Place your $25.00 deposit online and we will be in contact with you about size and delivery preferences.  Thanks for your support!

A Real Farm

Our effort to bring animals to our vegetable farm is going fantastic. Our worthy intention is not only to bring back endangered heritage breed animals, but to integrate animal and vegetable farming. They go hand in hand. It wasn’t’ so long ago that every farm was this way; pigs, chickens, eggs, veggies, a milk cow~ A Real Farm. Farming with animals brings nutrients to the soil, feeds animals their natural feed, making healthy animals, fertile soil & successful farmer. It is a closed holistic model. It was only in the early 1900′s, with industrialization, that  money became the real issue and it seemed to developers that growing a  mono-crop or keeping mono animal (like growing just lettuce, or raising just cattle)  was the answer for optimal capital gains. Well, this idea has brought very serious disease, death, animal abuse & misuse, loss of topsoil, unhealthy plants & animals in general, unhappy farmers, & devastation to our beautiful planet; imagine 2,400 pigs on a half acre, acre after acre. Read more

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