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eG Foodblog: Chardgirl - 21st Century Peasant


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Good Morning. It's raining. I'll get right to the photos!

All Breakfasts Served this morning:





As plans for (human)meals for the next few days come up, I'll let you in on them. One special highlight of the week will be Sunday: we're having a true Mexican/Michoacan goat roast in our yard with one of our goats. Don Miguel, a trained butcher/Birria cooker from Michoacan will cook for some of our food-industry friends from the SF Bay area. I promise many photos.

More about me later, the restaurants are calling, I've got to call the field with the orders, I'll be back in an hour or so.


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Whew! The restaurants are ordered, the field is called, and I don't leave to pick up (human) kids for another hour.

You better be serving some beans with that goat, Missy!!!!!

Yes, I"ll make my order by PM in a day or three. What would the best beans be for what Michoacanos living in CA be? Thanks for reminding me to make my order ahead! (disclosure: Rancho Gordo is my farmers market buddy: we both sell at the same market...)

Are those Anglo-Nubians (or are they called Nubians in the USA?)?

We have a few kinds of goats: Boer goats which around here are primarily known as meat goats... (see photo below); we have a few "Spanish" goats which I think are mostly mutts; we also have a few nubians which around here are dairy goats. We DONT milk them: no time! :raz: We got them from a neighbor who wanted her small goat herd to go to a home where they would live out their lives and not become instant tacos. Mr. Chard Girl (he's the goat person in the family, I just pet the babies) assured her they were safe here. We do slaughter and eat our meat goats, and gift them to our employees who are from goat ranches in Oaxaca and Michoacan in Mexico.

Our goats are not for making money: we have them for four reasons:

1) to clear the substantial forests of poison oak on our ranch

2) to teach our kids about raising animals

3) for our vegetable customers to have a chance to visit the babies a couple of times a year

4) Mr. Chardgirl has been a full time market vegetable farmer in one guise or another for over 20 years (25? 27?) and he's enjoying his new venture in goats!

I'm going to post the photos in another post for boring egullet image log in reasons... stay tuned for more goat photos.

I can't imagine how you can, with your busy life

Yes, we're busy, but so are lots of folks. It's now late late November, our 36 week CSA season is done, and "all" I have in my life is twice a week restaurant deliveries (I make the orders, do the invoicing etc), 1 farmers market a week (that's on Saturday, I'll take photos of my buddies and their offerings there!) and then the tiny job of homeschooling our two mini humans. Our kids are in fact nearly as tall as me: they are 8 and 10 years old, and I hope to involve them in cooking this week at least a couple of times if not more!

Another highlight for the week: HOW TO COOK CARDOON? That's one vegetable I'm not sure WHAT to do with! So sometime this week our friend Martin has promised to visit and make a cardoon/potato gratin with us. Photos and recipe are promised, of course.

For lunch today we'll all be out and about so I'm making a chilled salad of broccoli romanesco and celery root and couscous.

My busy life will make most (any?) attempts and gorgeous plating non existant. You all, we all, can visit the last blog for beautiful plating! :wink:

Photos on their way....

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This is a young boer goat, I think he's 75%. Well, he was. We aren't vegetarians, we keep the girls so they can make more goats and when the kids are 4-8 months old they are slaughtered and eaten. I don't take part in that at all, Mr. Chardgirl and the crew do this for parties and what not here at our home ranch.

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Funny you should say that. When my mother bred goats she had a doe that delivered quins, twice in a row. The second time a the press came over (small town etc) to take some photographs and wondered where why there were only three kids in evidence (I think that mum told him that the bucks went to 'good homes').

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Yes, I"ll make my order by PM in a day or three. What would the best beans be for what Michoacanos living in CA be? Thanks for reminding me to make my order ahead! (disclosure: Rancho Gordo is my farmers market buddy: we both sell at the same market...)

Flor de Junio!

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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I realized I made that granola with my daughter but I only ate about 3 tablespoons of it, so I had an early lunch:


the ingredients for the lunch... name those vegetables!


Ok, I didn't have any couscous after all, none in the cupboard. So I improvised with a bit of smoked salmon and left the grains out altogether. The celery root is mandolined then cooked up with garlic and pepper and served with feta cheese.

The cup has my homemade chai with milk. I don't drink coffee at all: I'm a 100% tea kid, my whole life. Mr. Chardgirl, and my parents, and his parents, and my sister-in-law, and I think all my friends everywhere are ALL coffee drinkers, but not me. I demanded a taste from my father at age 4 and he poured some black, no sugar or milk into my kiddie tupperware cup (1969) and it tasted FOUL. I've never looked back.

I'll try to post my chai recipe later tonight after the mom phase of my day fades a bit.

I'm off with to art lessons, park visits with skates, well, no, it's raining. We'll find something to do. A walk in the rain at the least.


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Wow, that goat is cuter than a puppy. :biggrin:

The granola looks great....so it's peanut oil, honey, cinammon, oats, and...

Could you share the recipe (please)?

Have fun in the rain! (I miss it!) :smile:

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What sorts of produce do you produce, meanwhile?

What DONT we grow? We don't grow asparagus or mangoes or ginger. :biggrin:

We grow many many vegetables seasonally, we grow many varieties one can't get in the supermarkets. IE chioggia beets, 5 kinds of radicchio, purple plum radishes, watermelon radishes (my favorite), erbette chard, and so on. One of our 'signature' crops is broccoli di cicco, a sprouting broccoli that's sweet but is sometimes confused with rapini, which we also grow.

Also: turnips, arugula, parsley, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, pumpkins, peppers and chiles, leeks, cipollines, potatoes, kale, chard, fennel, escarole, dandelion greens, cauliflower, 3 colors of carrots right now, borage leaves, and wild arugula. That's what we have THIS WEEK. We do all the summer stuff in summer: san marzano tomatoes, many kinds of eggplants, etc etc.

We only sell to 1 farmers market, one large CSA (the veggie box thing), and to restaurants in San Francisco. More on that later too.

Now I'm truly out the door...


for photos nearly all taken by Mr. Chardgirl of our vegetables...

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Welcome to blog world!

How old are your kids? How do they play into the food planning? My oldest (15) and youngest (10 today) are now taking an active part in cooking and meal planning. Will they hate you at the end of the blog? Mine were mighty glad when we could eat dinner after my blogs without having to take pictures first.

And, should you need RecipeGullet help, I'm your person, just PM me.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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How exciting, the first eG foodblog from someone I know. I am still enjoying tomato sauce and slow roasted tomatoes from the 30 lbs+ I picked at chardgirl's farm this year. Her broccoli di cicco and corno di toro peppers were the highlight of my summer vegetable consumption.

So, is everything you eat picked that day? Ever break down and eat wilted old greens you find in the back of the crisper :laugh:

Any plans to eat out this week or will this be all home cooked?

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ohhhhhh.... cute cabrito and i'm sure tasty.

funny one of chufi's posts and yours mentioned chioggia beets - maybe johnnybird would eat and enjoy that if i could find them :unsure: .

thank you for blogging and i'm sure some wonderful vege will make their appearances.

as far as your homeschooling - do you work with your local library for resources ?

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.


Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Yeah, baby! :raz:

Nothing gets me hotter than food at it's source. :cool:

Chardgirl, with all that specialty produce you must be doing some biz with certain restaurants, or is that the job of brokers to whom you sell? Are you tight with the Jamaican and/or Middle Eastern places that serve goat dishes?

edited to add: if I just read slower I would know the four reasons why you have goats BEFORE typing embarrassing posts here. Heel, johnnyd, heeeeel!

Edited by johnnyd (log)

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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This is very cool.

I have a brown thumb, but I lived on 150 acre farm for a year and managed to grow three small rows of silver queen corn, peas that I trained to climb up the corn stalks, tomatoes and yellow squash. I was shocked that I managed to grow and produce wonderful tasting vegetables. I wish I had some property here for a small vegetable garden.

I know that the vegetable on the right (my other left :rolleyes:) is romanesco broccoli. Is the other one celeraic?

Edited by Swisskaese (log)
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Oh hurray, home! I lived for a long time in Pacific Grove and Carmel, so you're right in my old neighborhood. I'm also a longtime CSA member, and volunteered selling my farmer's stuff at the farmers' market this past summer, so I know I'm going to love your blog.

The world's best celeriac recipe is one I got from Paula Wolfert's new Southwest France book, and involves a puree of 2 parts celeriac to one part apples, simmered in milk until tender, then pureed, with a little cream if you like. That's it. We;ve been eating it steadily for the past month, even my husband, a non-vegetable person. Cardoon, though, that's another story. It's hard to make then taste like anything.

Beautiful romanesco!

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I am truly astounded by the variety of produce and the scope of your business, How many acres do you have? Your husband's pictures are truly beautiful, even though I've only made it through "F" so far.

Do you make recommendations to restaurants, or do they just ask for what they want? How many CSA boxes do you do each week, and how do you decide what goes in them? Lots of details, please.

And thanks for blogging.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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funny one of chufi's posts and yours mentioned chioggia beets - maybe johnnybird would eat and enjoy that if i could find them :unsure:

He might actually. My husband HATES beets but he actually likes roasted chioggias in a salad. Another friend of mine who hates beets asked me to order him a bunch from my farmer after having a salad of them at our house. My favorite early winter salad is roasted chioggia beets, mezuna, goat cheese and marcona almonds, with a lemon, olive oil and sumac dressing. It's the easiest thing but I'm constantly asked for the recipe.

I have a couple of bleeding heart radishes in the fridge that I need to use up. Probably some asian slaw or something. I also have a monster tatsoi :smile: . It's really tough to get back to the supermarket once our farmer's markets shut down.

I like to make a celeriac remoulade using yogurt instead of mayo -- very nice and refreshing.

By the way, in Lebanon they eat raw goat's liver like sashimi. They cut it into 1/2 inch cubes, and eat it with pita, dipped in salt and middle eastern pepper mix. With arak. For breakfast. (It's actually very good!)

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Hello Chardgirl! I'm really looking forward to your blog, I grew up in the south Bay Area and lived in Watsonville near Martinelli's for a couple years. I miss the smell of candy in the air in late summer from all the strawberries and other fruits ripening althought I don't miss the rank smell the ocean brings at times though!

I didn't realize goats were slaughtered so young. Do the kids have any attachment issues? Is it difficult to realize you are eating something so cute??? I imagine with the kids growing up on the farm that it is just a fact of life and normal in their experience.

I'm curious, you are in Watsonville and Rancho_Gordo shows his location as Napa, those are quite a drive apart...what farmer's market do you both go to? Where is it located?

Another question (sorry if this is too many!) have you always been in farming? If not, how long have you been in the farming way and what did you do in your prior life?

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Another highlight for the week: HOW TO COOK CARDOON? That's one vegetable I'm not sure WHAT to do with! So sometime this week our friend Martin has promised to visit and make a cardoon/potato gratin with us. Photos and recipe are promised, of course.


Glad to see you're blogging, chardgirl. This will be a fun week! The beautiful misty morning photos of the goats eating breakfast brings me right to the coast.

If the cardoons are still growing it would be interesting to see a photo of them. I've read that they look like a huge thistle plant but I'm not sure if I've seen one. Alice Waters mentions that sometimes the stalk is covered for part of the growing season to promote tenderness as the plants get larger. Is this something you've seen or tried?

Also, can you describe where your stand is up at the Ferry Building (in SF)? Are you in the front or back? It would be fun drop by and visit the next time I'm there buying Rancho Gordo beans among other things!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've made this cardoon recipe a couple of times, it is really good.

(I linked to print.google.com -- but the recipe is from Gray Kuntz' Elements of taste.)

Times like this I really wish I lived in California, even if it is far away from our beloved princess Stephanie* :wink:

*Rancho Gordo reference

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I also think the veg pictured are celeriac and romanesco

You eat the young leaves of cardoons, blanched, othrewise they are bitter. You Blanch them like celery by earthing up or wrapping newspaper round them. Problem is the slugs and snails love them as well.

Once blanched you can treat them a bit like chard or celery.

Edited by jackal10 (log)
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