Monday, October 31, 2011

The Gift of Giving!

Let’s start with a big thank you to my very aware and cool neighbor, Rita. She brought me six arugula plants from her garden two lots away from my house. Rita is a German native who I now know doesn’t like horses but she noticed our garden. The gesture of contributing to our garden really means a lot to me. It was my first gift from someone else’s garden.

Sunday the girls and I (which means Allison as well, she is still a girl!), spent most all day in the garden. If you haven’t seen the video they put together then please check out. It is pretty funny but takes a couple minutes to watch. I thought Sunday was going to be a transition day but it turned out to be a day of picking a few hundred pounds of produce and not even getting close to planting new season veggies. We pulled over one hundred pounds of carrots. Come to BF tonight for the carrot soup feature – I had it and it was everything I hoped it would be. Chef John is very, very good.

In addition to our Carrot Soup feature at BeachFire, Farmer Allison put together an amazing vegetable soup for the family from all the fresh produce we pulled out!

Vegetable Soup ingredients.

The final product!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Check out this video put together by Farmer Paige!  A great glimpse into the magic that happens in the BeachFire Backyard Garden!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

BeachFire Backyard Eggplant Parmesan

The recipe below came straight from Farmer Dave's own table! We will be featuring a new recipe from time to time in an effort to encourage farm to table habits both inside and outside our restaurants! BeachFire is a full supporter of healthy, fresh eating every day, not just those days when we are lucky enough to have you in our restaurants!
The main ingredient preparing
for its debut!
If you have your own garden recipes to share, please e-mail them to us at,

BeachFire Backyard Eggplant Parmesan

Slice the eggplant into ¼” thick slices, you can peel it or not, we prefer the skin with all of the nutrients and vitamins.
Drizzle it with olive oil lightly, then dust it in flour.
Mix up three eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper and some fresh thyme.
Place the dusted eggplant into the egg wash and let stand 30 seconds to absorb the egg.
Pack each piece into seasoned bread crumbs, we use Progresso Italian herb breadcrumbs.
Place the eggplants on a baking rack and bake at 350 deg. F. for approximately 30 minutes.

6 each fresh or vine ripe tomatoes or (1 20 oz. can Pear tomatoes in juice)
Basil straight from the garden
to the pan.
1 each medium onion minced
2 oz. Olive oil
3 each clove garlic
8 each large basil leaves
Pinch Salt
Pinch pepper
¼ cup white wine (Riesling) and more for sipping
Provolone cheese sliced for layering later.

In a sauce pot add the oil and bring to a smoking point.
Add the garlic and the onion and cook until the onion is translucent in color.
Add the basil, seasonings and wine and simmer until wine is dry.
Add the tomatoes and 1 cup water.  Cover and reduce heat to a medium flame.  Simmer 30 minutes covered.

Remove lid and blend sauce.  Correct seasoning if needed.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole Assembly:

In a 9” 13” baking dish, lay down a thin layer of your fresh tomato sauce.
Lay down a layer of the eggplant.  Cut pieces to fill holes if needed.
Place a layer of provolone cheese down and another layer of the sauce.

Repeat this until all the eggplant is used up.

Finish with sauce on top and some cheese, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake at 350 deg. F. for approximately 30 minutes covered, remove cover and bake an additional 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, let stand approximately 20 minutes before cutting.

Fresh veggies used in the garden side salad
accompanying the main dish.

Cut and serve with some of the fresh sauce over top, parmesan cheese and a good glass of red wine, may we suggest a glass of our local Frisby Cellars Cabernet!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rain Boots to Rainbows?!

October 13, 2011

Holy Moly Stuff! Y does to take so long to write? I was prepping for the rain last time we talked. When it did rain I had all this super bitchen stuff to write about. Stuff like how I hadn’t worn my rubber mud boots in months. They still fit! It turns out that my growth spurt is not affecting the size of my boots. Actually I am shrinking because I don’t eat anything but great and healthy food. Thanks to the man!

The latest harvest!!
But the boot stuff and all was going to be cool. Here I meant to recreate “the feel of sinking into the freshly washed and naturally moved sediment that was just months ago preglacial spasmatic debris flow”, how beautiful.  We all were able to put on winter ware which was weird.  We went from “should we blanket the horses?” to “Where are their fly masks now?” in three days in October. I should be panning for gold with the Anaheim Germans who will be at Ladera’s Oktoberfest party but it is 102 right now and I not sure why they are wearing high-heels.  We went from the abnormally inspired winter-talk of last week to “I’m glad I had my shorts dry-cleaned last week”. This makes me think I am in not ready to go deer hunting. My Rainbows will get smattered with blood and dry a’ fore I e’er get them clean!

Anyway, the rain was nice. It gave us a month or more of free water for the pond. I also turned off the irrigation system for the first time. It was exciting – kind of like the first time you stole something and knew you would never be caught – but wait kids, it turns out we actually never stole anything, we just thought we did and now you think we were thieves but now know we are not. Rainwater is free! So we’ll pan for gold and use free water as the climatologists will be wrong and we will turn in to the latest water garden paradise. We should start planting redwoods now and we’ll have a lumberyard in 40 years.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The First Taste of Fall!

The garden is still pumping
summertime style.
Peas and corn have a love
The garden continues to produce – pun very much intended. I’m really thinking about winter. Rain is on the way already and I need to prepare much sooner than expected. This year I’ll keep track of the rainfall in a more accurate way with a journal. I haven’t kept a formal journal the last couple years but I can tell you that this is the third cool fall where rain started early. I hear little in predictions this year and I suspect that maybe the weather crew is a little bit bitten and afraid to make a call anymore.

I went to Ganahl and bought some lattice and lumber to put up some windbreaks. I spent four precious hours to put up 30 feet of fence. The photos here show where things are still happening and areas like the crookneck and zucchini patch where we took out easily 500 pounds of vegetables in the last three months but are just about done. I am actually looking forward to winter because I have to try some new things. I am not sure whether to cover areas or not. I suspect that I will need to but then how? Do I use little cloches or do I doo a hoop house or try to build a full on greenhouse? The weather is already starting to happen so it is time to get a move on.
The mighty tractor in action!
Boo! Here come the mighty
Tomatoes are going off extra
ripe for our new dishes!
The squash patch of 1000 pounds
is on its last leg.

The new water tank needs to go up. We’ll need a backhoe, a load of gravel and some plumbing. I already ran the electrical when I built the garden. While the backhoe is out we’ll dig a little larger area for a greenhouse and utility shed. While we’re at it we need to dig holes for trees. It is the season planting fruit trees and grape. I am heading out to De Luz to load up on plants on Thursday unless the rain gets too crazy…I took these photos right before the rain and I’ll take some right after to see the effect on the plants. Get ready for broccoli kids!