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SRJC Shone Farm CSA Newsletter             

                                              September 24, 2014

potatoes - new
Sungold Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes
Slicer Tomatoes
Purple Basil


What Fall Means


Yesterday was the official autumnal equinox, meaning the sun was directly overhead at the equator and everywhere on Earth received equal hours of light and dark.  Now, just one day later, our hours of sunlight are already decreasing and darkness is increasing.


Today is also the start of our fall CSA, and we're excited to include the first watermelon of the year!  While most people think of watermelon at the 4th of July, it really takes a long time and a lot of heat to grow them.  In Sonoma County, they are more of a fall crop - along with tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. 


pumpkins - shone 

We also picked our first baby pumpkins over the weekend!  We're gearing up for our annual fall festival, which will be Saturday October 11 from 11 AM - 3 PM.  It's a fun time to bring your family and friends and come visit the farm.  We will have wine and olive oil tasting, children's games, farm tours, and you can pick pick your own pumpkin from the patch!



We're also thrilled to see a little RAIN after a dry, dry year!  Hopefully this is a sign for a nice wet fall and winter. 





You think you know what potatoes taste like, right?  Well now try Shone Farm potatoes.  Seriously - they're good.  While organic potatoes from the store taste different than regular potatoes, our potatoes taste different than organic store bought potatoes.

They are something that many CSA members comment about - those potatoes are soooo good!  So what makes our potatoes so darn good?  Magic fairy dust?  Not quite - since potatoes are a root vegetable, the soil they're grown in really affects their flavor.

Large commercial potato farms are generally grown in light soil because it's easier to dig them up.  Our soil is not as light.  Therefore it has more complex minerals in it, which adds nutrients and different flavor profiles.  So, in short, the Shone Farm terroir is what makes our potatoes so tasty - and we bet you thought terroir just affected grapes!


We are in our prime tomato season, so we're sharing slicer tomatoes as well as cherry tomatoes with you this week.  They both taste great and can work in similar dishes, but they also shine in different ways.

Slicer Tomatoes:

  • Good in salads
  • Perfect in sautéed dishes, like curries or pasta sauces
  • They really shine in bruschetta & tomato caprese

Cherry Tomatoes:

  • Good in pasta sauces
  • Great in salads, grilled on skewers, or slightly roasted in the oven
  • They really shine in cold pasta salad with mozzarella and basil

Storing tomatoes:

Tomatoes store best on the counter, not in the fridge!  Most tomatoes should last about 2 weeks on a counter before starting to mold.  Sometimes there are brown spots on tomatoes, which are often just "sunburn" spots from the sun.  These are simply cosmetic blemishes and are still fine to eat.  However, black spots, soft squishy texture, or mold are signs that they need to be tossed.

Canning or saucing tomatoes:

If you are interested in purchasing a larger amount of tomato "seconds" for canning, sauce, or salsa, please e-mail Lynn -  Now is the perfect time since we have a surplus.

Purple Basil

This week's basil is not the typical green Genovese basil we normally give, but it is also not a purple Thai basil, which has a different flavor.  This week's purple basil tastes a lot like Genovese basil and works great for a different color combo in bruschetta or caprese salads, or even just chiffonade in regular salads.  Because of it's pretty color when fresh, it actually doesn't make the best pesto.  While it would taste just fine, it would turn a slightly brown color.  So think of ways to use it fresh this week!





This week's box lends itself to quick, easy side dishes, salads, and appetizers:




1 slicer tomato, chopped

Handful of cherry tomatoes, de-stemmed and cut in half

2 stems of basil, leaves removed, then chiffonade

2 cloves garlic, minced

Olive oil


Sliced Italian white bread or baguette


Prep all the veggies; then combine in a bowl.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil and salt.  Serve over toasted baguette or Italian bread as a delicious appetizer.


Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary & Garlic

This is a classic flavor combination and will really showcase how delicious Shone Farm potatoes are!


1 ½ lb potatoes,

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary


Olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary; toss until the potatoes are well coated.


Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip at least with a spatula during cooking to ensure even browning. 

Tip:  Do not flip the potatoes too early.  When the potatoes are ready to be flipped, they will "release" from the pan.  If you try to flip them and they are stuck to the pan, give them a few more minutes.  This will prevent the delicious crunchy skin from sticking to the bottom and burning.


Watermelon, Goat Cheese & Basil Salad


1 small watermelon, or half of a large one, diced

3 leave of basil, leaves removed and then chiffonade

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Sprinkle of goat cheese


Prepare the produce.  Then combine everything in a large bowl.  Add more or less olive oil, basil, salt, and pepper.  Then top with a sprinkle of goat cheese.  Serve by itself, or over lettuce.


Roasted Potatoes and Apples in Dijon Mustard Sauce


2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 -2 apple, cored and cut into large dice

1 lb potatoes, washed, patted dry and diced in 2-inch pieces


Preheat oven to 400º F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.


Mix garlic, mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the apples and potatoes to the large bowl mixture, and toss to coat.  Then transfer to the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.


Add apples to potatoes and mix around on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes and apples are tender. Serve hot and top with feta cheese if desired.  This is a great side dish with green salad and sausage.



Eat Good. Do Good.