“The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.” -Franklin Roosevelt
Valley Roots "Regenerative Soil Farmer" (RSF) Program
With support from the San Luis Valley Conservation and Connection Initiative, the LOR Foundation (Livability Opportunity & Resiliency), and the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, and in partnership with the Mosca-Hooper Conservation District, Valley Roots Food Hub is pleased to promote and work with farmers growing food in living soils. You will see the RSF acronym throughout our online market associated with those producers, and the stickers in the box are to bring recognition to our food that is grown in living soils.
We are pleased to showcase so many quality roots crops grown in living soil in our CSA. The flagship carrots, the chioggia and red beets, the onions, and the yellow and purple potatoes: this is soil food, aka foods made possible by the innumerable communities of microorganisms that live in the soil and provide ideal habitats and nutrients for our farm crops. Look closely at the beets. See anything that might look like white mold? This is actually mycelium hyphae starting to grow around the root hairs. This is an indication that this food came from living soil and is, in fact, still alive itself! This mycelium is harmless and with a quick wash or rub of the fingers it will come off, indicating actually how fragile living soil organisms are.
Here's the box:
Fuji Apples, COG First Fruits Organic Farm, Hotchkiss, CO 1 pounds
Pink Lady Apples, COG Delicious Orchards, Hotchkiss, CO 1.5 pounds
Winesap Apple, COG Delicious Orchards, Hotchkiss, CO 2 pounds
Pueblo Roasted Green Chiles Milberger Farms, Pueblo, CO 2 lb bag
Spring Mix Heads Brightwater Farms, Monte Vista, CO 1 clamshell
Carrots, Bangor Juicing/Storage, COG Southern CO Farms, Center, CO 4 pounds
Onions, Sweet Spanish Yellow Aspen Produce Center, CO 3 pounds
Purple Potatoes, COG White Rock Specialties, Mosca, CO 5 pounds
Yellow Potatoes, COG White Rock Specialties, Mosca, CO 3 lb bag
White Agaricus Mushrooms Colorado Mushrooms Farm, Alamosa, CO 12 oz
Red Beets, COG White Mountain Farm, Mosca, CO 1 pound
Chioggia Beets, COG White Mountain Farm, Mosca, CO 1 pound
High Oleic Sunflower Oil, Non-GMO Colorado Mills, Lamar, CO 1 bottle
Quinoa, COG White Mountain Farm, Mosca 0.5 lb bag
Anasazi Beans Dove Creek Bean Company 1 pound
-the Winesaps have a darker skin, excellent for pies and cooking
-the Pink Ladys are larger with less dark skin
-the Fujis are smaller with less dark skin
-best storage conditions: 32-34 F (in the fridge)
-storage temperature 45-50 F and dark. They can get chill damage and then won't store as long.
-the purple potatoes are known to sprout first so use them first. Yellows will store longer.
Beets and carrots;
-storage temperatures of 32-33.8 F and high humidity
From Megumi's Kitchen: SLV Quinoa
I love quinoa! I love the nutty flavor, short cooking time… not to mention the amazing nutritional values!
So when I heard a few years back that the indigenous people of Andes, for whom quinoa has been their traditional staple, were having a hard time affording quinoa due to the high price resulted from its increased popularity world-wide, I was heartbroken. The pattern is not uncommon. But I was torn between my love for quinoa and wish to support our local growers on one hand, and not wanting to be complicit to the global food system that undermines indigenous people’s food sovereignty. Luckily, here in San Luis Valley, quinoa is in our local food system and I can choose to consume only SLV grown quinoa. Of course it may not be the perfect solution, and I am not up-to-date about the situation in Andes, but this story makes me appreciate SLV quinoa even more.
On that note, here are some tips in cooking quinoa…
1) wash well
People who do not like quinoa, often do not like the unique aroma. Washing quinoa well before cooking reduces the aroma. I wash quinoa changing water until the water is almost clear. Using a strainer to drain it makes it easier.
2) cook in 1:2 ratio
For example one cup of quinoa and two cups of water. This ratio gives quinoa nutty texture. Of course, you can adjust the amount of water to your liking.
3) boil the water first
Add the washed and drained quinoa into boiling water. This also helps with the nutty-ness.
4) after adding the quinoa, bring it to boil and simmer till all the liquid is gone
5) fluff it when it is done!
Now that the quinoa is ready, here are some easy dishes we can make with it:
Fried “rice” a la Quinoa
I was asked to prepare a “Chinese" dinner. But of course, rice does not grow in the Valley. As always want to show off the richness of the produce from the Valley, I wanted to serve something local while fulfilling my clients’ wish. So I tried fried quinoa and liked it very much! (oh, don’t ask me to do Sushi with quinoa please… :-)
green onions (chopped thin)
carrots (shopped small)
(finally chopped ginger — optional)
- in a frying pan, heat sesame oil
- add carrots and sauté till tender but still crisp
- add green onions (and ginger) and sauté only till the onion turns nice bright green
- season with salt and pepper
- mix in quinoa and continue sauté-ing
- season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce
Quinoa and Beet Salad
I cannot take credit for this wonderful SLV signature recipe. I had this dish at one of the SLV Local Food Coalition pot lucks, loved it, and asked for the recipe. If you have been to any of the SLVLFC functions, you might have had one version or another of this dish. You can prep it in advance… it tastes good on day 2 or even 3 too!
onion (finally chopped, or green onions)
something green (here I used kale — massaged with oil and salt, then chopped)
apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
garlic (grated or crushed)
- roast/bake the beets
place washed beets with skin on in a baking dish along with a few cloves of garlic.
pour water for 1/3 to 1/2 inch deep. cover with a foil. bake at around 400F for 45min to 1hr, until a folk goes in easily. it’s better to overcook than undercook.
set it aside to cool. then peel and cut into pieces.
- make the dressing
mix all the ingredients for the dressing. you could marinate the garlic overnight to take away the sharpness.
- mix quinoa, beets, kale, and onion. season with the dressing
- taste and add more dressing, salt, pepper, and/or honey to your liking
Quinoa and Strawberry Salad
As local food advocates, we might want to save our uncooked quinoa and this recipe until the strawberry season. Or better yet, buy more quinoa when strawberries are available locally to make this very flavorful dish. It is my recreation of a salad I had at a restaurant in Vancouver, Canada. (that we before I heard about the story of quinoa in Andes above.)
quinoa (1/2 cup before cooking)
baby salad leaves (or baby spinach)
8-10 strawberries (pears would do too, though less colorful)
5-6 cilantro (leaves go into salad... stems go into the dressing)
1-2 green onion
ginger (7-10 very thin slices)
roasted sesame oil
plum vinegar (other kind of vinegar will do too)
cilantro stems (chopped really fine)
walnuts (plain or sugar grazed)
- cook the quinoa, let it cool
- prepare strawberries (wash, take the green off, cut into halves or quarters)
- take cilantro leaves off the stems, wash, dry well
- chop green onions really thin
- dice ginger very fine
- wash and dry the salad leaves
- mix them all
- make the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients
- dress the salad right before serving
- sprinkle cranberry and walnuts if you'd like