Eat Good Food

Join Our Chicken CSA!

chicken csa

Raised among the riches of a West County Gravenstein apple orchard, the chickens we offer to our Chicken CSA members are the same ones that we serve here at SHED. If you’ve tried a chicken dish in our Café, you know the spectacular chicken-i-ness of their flavor and the richness of the meat. You may not know that they can only be purchased via this CSA.

Produced by Parade Farming Co., the hens are Poulet Rouge/Freedom Ranger chickens. Freedom Ranger birds were derived from an American and European heritage breed in the 1960s to meet the high standards of the French Label Rouge program.

In keeping with Parade’s old-school farming practices, their chickens are moved around the property in sync with the natural cycles of the season, integrated with the rhythms of the farm’s heritage hogs and sheep.

Parade harvests their hens in small batches every week, and personally delivers fresh birds that are never frozen or shrink-wrapped in plastic.

The Chicken Club is a month-to-month membership that entitles members to four birds a month. The chickens weigh approximately six pounds and come with head and feet attached (unless you’d like us to remove them for you). They cost $36 each, totaling $144 for the month. You’re encouraged to split the CSA share with friends, family, and neighbors! Pick-up is each Saturday after 12pm noon.

Do something delicious for yourself and your family. Join the Chicken CSA today!

Hungry? Learn how simple it it so to cook the roast the perfect bird.

Artisan Producers, Farming, Foodshed

Fabulous Farro: In Praise of Locally-Grown Grains

Found in the tombs of Egyptian pharoahs, farro is a delicious, sustaining grain surely once intended to provide nutty, chewy goodness well into the afterlife. A staple in the Mediterranean diet, farro nourishes and informs many Italian dishes, where it is used like arborio rice, adds tooth to soups and crunch to desserts, or forms the basis for salads.

And it was while in Italy in 2009 to attend a Slow Food convivium that Canvas Ranch farmer Deborah Walton first tasted farro. Imagine her surprise upon returning home to Two Rock to discover that farro used to be a regular crop for her land near Tomales Bay.

Walton did what anyone would do: She planted it. As a cover crop.

But, as fava bean lovers will be quick to tell you, cover crops are often delicious in and of themselves. So Walton and her husband, the painter Tim Schaible, undertook the labor-intensive work of separating the grain into a new product for their farm.

Today, SHED purveys Canvas Ranch farro as well as other heritage grains that are enjoying a new vogue with North Coast farmers. "Grains are the logical next step," Walton told Food & Beverage International. "We're really moving totally local, from vegetables and meat to grain and breads and beer."

High in fiber, magnesium, and vitamins, farro is mercifully low in gluten, making it an acceptable choice for those with gluten-intolerance (though it is still not recommended for those with celiac disease). We're excited to be tucking a pound of Canvas Ranch's farro into our CSA this month.

While it was the norm 100 years ago, there aren't many grains now grown locally. Growing our own wheat, as just one example, makes the area foodshed more resilient. When Canvas Ranch started their program, we jumped aboard, and have sold it from our first day in business, glad to support this effort. We are also proud to work with Front Porch Farm, which grows much of the grains that we mill in-house. We buy wheat and rye from them as well as flint corn, which is an heirloom hard corn typically used for polenta. 

We also act as the drop-off point for the Mendocino Grain Project's CSA. Founder Doug Mosel has been a real leader for the local grain and legume movement in Northern California. He's trying everything, from garbanzos to lentils to barley and rye as well as wheat.

Press Democrat columnist and cook book author Michele Anna Jordan has been following the grain story closely and well. She has a marvelous selection of recipes that showcase farro's versatility. As this month's CSA box also includes fresh feta cheese and a nice clutch of farm herbs, we offer a reprise of her farro salad suggestion.

Michele Anna Jordan's 
Spring Salad with Farro, Lemon, Scallions, Feta, and Herbs

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 cups farro

—Kosher salt

—Juice of 2 lemons, plus more as needed

3 scallions, white and green parts, very thinly sliced

1 cup minced fresh herbs (any mix of Italian parsley, oregano, marjoram, thyme and chives)

8 ounces Bulgarian or French feta, drained and crumbled

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

—Black pepper in a mill

Put the farro into a strainer, rinse under cool running water, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add water to cover plus 3 inches, stir in 3 tablespoons kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that forms on top. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the farro is tender but toothsome, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Drain, transfer to a wide shallow serving bowl, drizzle with lemon juice and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover with a tea towel for up to 2 hours.

To finish the salad, add the scallions, herbs and crumbled feta and toss gently. Drizzle with olive oil. Taste for acid balance, adding a bit more lemon if it is not tart enough or a bit more olive oil if it is too tart. Correct for salt and season with several generous turns of black pepper. Toss gently and serve at room temperature.

Artisan Producers, Foodshed, HomeFarm

Feeding Body and Mind

Community Supported Agriculture — and Art!

Winter comes and fields go fallow. With many farmer's markets shuttered for the season, getting fresh, locally-grown food becomes more difficult — and more important — than ever.

Which is why we're excited to announce our new CSA program, launching January 2014. 

The notion of a CSA is grounded in long-term support. Farmers gravitated to the concept from the Slow Money movement, which looks for sustainable ways to keep small growers in business.

Your monthly CSA crate will feature whatever is growing fresh at our HomeFarm (think: greens in winter), as well as such treats from SHED as freshly milled polenta or heirloom beans, a jar of our house-made pickled vegetables, a fresh loaf of bread from the ovens, an excellent cheese, or some olio nuevo squeezed from our own olives. However it's compiled, each crate offers $70 worth of products.

To make it easy to join, we've created a three-tiered system for you to choose from:

Three Months Get three months' worth of items for $210 and enjoy a free non-alcoholic drink from our espresso or fermentation bar upon pick-up. Plus, get 10% off the price of our weekly SHED events.

Six Months Get six months' worth of items for $420, enjoy a free non-alc drink upon pick-up, receive 10% off our events, and get a 10% storewide discount on any SHED product that might pique your interest that day.

12 Months Subscribe for a year at $840, enjoy all the other perks, and come out to our HomeFarm in 2014 for a tour and luncheon. We'd love to host you!

Community Supported ART

We're thrilled that the 10 smart women of the 428 Collective have chosen SHED as the spot in which to launch their new CSA program for the arts.

Please join us on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 10am to 1pm for a free kickoff party to learn the details. The short version is that for $500 (if you join before Dec. 31), you'll receive 10 pieces of limited-edition, signed, original art over the course of 2014. Five percent of proceeds are to be donated to the Imaginists, an innovative local theater company.

The whole thing is a gas. Come on down and join both CSA programs at the same time. Feed body and mind in the New Year.