Lorene is Back From The Big Woods

I’m back! Aranda did a great job for me in my absence and I appreciate it, and I didn’t want you to forget about me, so I thought I’d best take my writing job back. That, and I kinda missed it. I know Aranda filled you in on my latest college adventure, taking my daughter off to Humboldt State University; I am so proud of her! It wasn’t an easy letting go, there were a lot of tears and a lot of fears. At first Jordan was threatening to come back with me, but by the end of my stay she was ready for me to leave. I used a little reverse psychology. I started behaving like a controlling mom, and it worked brilliantly; she was pushing me out the door! heh heh heh

Arcata was awesome, and although the college orientation kept parents way busier than I thought (for goodness sakes, I wasn’t the one going off to college, why did I have to be in class all day!?) I managed to get in a few exploratory runs and go to the Arcata Farmers Market! I love discovering Farmers Markets everywhere I go. And, I have to hand it to the small town; they had the most amazing market!! They had everything from plants, to a cotton weaver, to gorgeous all-organic produce, and, it was fun to meet a few bee keepers, one who even stole my name! Check out these pics I took of my day at the market:

It was fun to have the Dry Farmed Tomatoes and corn from New Moon Organics out of Arcata the week after I got back. Some of the corn had worms –as I warned– and I guess I learned my lesson; not a lot of y’all are fans of little wormies in your corn. It is true that stores usually do this kind of trimming for you, and we try to handle the produce as little as possible, feeling like keeping in husk is best, so I apologize for the lack of prepping your corn. My bad. We’ll do this for you in the future when there is worm issues. Of course the organic farmers always like to tell you this is a good sign -and it is!- that there is life on your corn, bugs and things can’t live on pesticide laden produce, and they also understand it’s not aesthetically pleasing.
Hey Rose Ranch will be back. I have just been playing phone tag with Chef and Farmer Rose recently. He’s been juggling Farm and Restaurant and I’ve been juggling college student, work and my own little food venture! I am happy to report that I have been cleared by the health department to prepare crepes, salads and sandwiches (and a few other odds and ends) at my little tent-store off our warehouse in Sonoma :-) . I’ve still got quite a lot of work to do, and hopefully I will be writing soon about our opening.
Did I also mention that the Sonoma Spring Brewery is going to be our new neighbor? They’ll be brewing special batches of brew right next to our warehouse, and their tasting room right next to us; we share a wall, and they are really excited that I’ll be able to serve their patrons food. I was talking with one of the owners today about possibly extending their Growler Club to Planet Organics customers, or at the very least their bottled brew. I’d love to get a show of hands on how many folks may be interested in Planet Organics offering local Sonoma brew. I can vouch that it’s super tasty!
Alrighty, that is it for my first week back! I hope you have a great weekend.

~Lorene

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Off to College & Rose Ranch

As I write this, my daughter (and eldest child) Jordan has finished packing the last of her things for her first year of college. It is also her birthday today!

I can’t believe that just yesterday she was born and this weekend I am taking her off to college. How did that happen so quickly!? And that is exactly how it feels.

I don’t think the reality has quite set in yet that she isn’t going to be living here. Jordan was just a year old when I started Planet Organics. She spent a good deal of her childhood in a warehouse surrounded by organic food, organic farmers and a great group of people who work at Planet Organics – and still do! We are all going to miss her feist, her great sense of style, her wonderful sense of humor, and her goofiness. And we don’t need to talk about the things that we won’t miss! If you have a teenager, roll your eyes if you know what I’m talkin’ ’bout! :)

So I will be out next week. I guess I am hanging on to her as long as I can! I’ve rented a little place on airbnb.com and I’m going to help her settle into her dorm room, let her give me a tour of the campus, take her out for a few meals, and then be on my way… back to my own life and work here at Planet Organics.

That being said, as promised, I went out and shot a video at Rose Ranch because it is that time of year again and Steve Rose is excited to bring you more of his amazing harvest. Remember, he is CCOF certified and Biodynamic certified – he doesn’t fool around!

You can see what we are bringing you from Rose Ranch HERE:

Mixed Veggie box: $25
1lb mixed heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch of mixed Chard and Kale
1lb mixed summer squash
1lb mixed sweet peppers
1/2 lb lemon cucumber
1/2 lb regular cucumber
.25lb Thai hot chili pepper

Mixed Sweet Peppers: $4.99
1lb bag

Mixed Summer Squash: $2.50
1lb bag

Tomatillos & Chili’s: $10.50
1lb Tomatillo
1/2 lb mixed specialty HOT peppers

And his incredible fresh pesto of course!

In my absence I have my awesome office team taking over for me! Aranda will be putting the box together for you next week and she’ll also take my place here. I will try to send some pictures of my college adventures for you! I’m always available when i am away, so I will work with Steve for another mix of veggies the following week, and you can always feel free to reach out with ideas, suggestions or comments: lorene@planetorganics.com

My daughter asked me – kind of jokingly-  if Planet Organics would deliver to her while she was in college. Humboldt State is a little out of our delivery area, but it made me think to tell you:

If you have children, or know of friends or relatives that have college students within a 50 mile radius of SF, Planet Organics will happily deliver to any campus, dorm or student housing. They’ll thank you for it!

Cheers!  See you on the other side of this life milestone…!
~Lorene

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Amelia’s Killer Zucchini Bread

Well folks, it’s that time of year again: The annual abundance of that delicious summer veggie, the zucchini. It even has it’s own holiday: National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (August 8th so start getting ready). 
You can grill it, saute it, chop it up and add it to marinara sauce, eat it raw, grate it in everything and of course bake the scrumptious Zucchini Bread.  Not all zucchini breads are equal and this one from our friend Amelia is a true winner.  Not only is she a pretty amazing baker of homemade goodies, she is also a fantastic photographer.  Our photos of her recipe are not half as amazing as what she would have done but it was hard to take pictures of something while drooling over it.  So here it is, Amelia’s Killer Zucchini Bread:

Get two bowls to mix your wet and dry ingredients separately making sure one of them is large enough to mix it all together at the end. Amelia swears the key in this is the Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour so don’t substitute with anything else.  It really does the job and having eaten 5 slices of this bread in one day, the verdict is in that this is totally true!

Dry Ingredients:

3 Cups Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
3 tsp Cinnamon

Use a whisk and blend all the dry ingredients completely.

Wet Ingredients:

3 eggs
1/2 cup Vegetable or Canola Oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cup grated zucchini (about 1 large zuke or 3-4 small-med zukes)
*Amelia suggests adding a crookneck squash in the mix which we didn’t do in this batch but plan on it very soon!
3 Tbsp Butter (We used the Straus European-Style Salted Butter because it doesn’t burn as quickly due to low moisture levels)


Mix all wet ingredients together.  Then add dry ingredients and blend together with spatula.  Add walnuts if desired.

Optional:
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
1/4-1/2 cup of Honey to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325 F degrees.  Grease loaf pans with butter and paper towel and pour mixture in to each of them.  When oven is hot place on racks, uncovered for 45 min-1 hour or until knife comes out of the center clean.
Makes two 8×4 loaf pans

Take out of oven and allow to cool. Drizzle honey over the top if desired (it’s super good!!) and slice and smear pat of butter on the slice before serving.  Now eat the whole loaf and don’t share ;-)

Thanks Amelia for the great recipe!!

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