And the seasons they go round and round...

We talk frequently about transition and ongoing changes at the farm—not to be repetitive 
but because these changes are in fact, the constant at the farm. 
Every day there is growth, some things wither and die while new things blossom. 
A simple but significant metaphor for our lives, the work at the farm 
keeps us focused on the flow of nature.
raspberry bushes going dormant after bountiful summer
a few golden raspberries still wanting to party
Did you know that 90% of all raspberries sold in the United States 
come from Washington, Oregon and California. We are lucky to grow our own at the farm. And more raspberry trivia: Raspberries can be either 
red, purple, gold or black in color. 
The golden ones are sweeter than the other varieties. Lucky us! 
Once raspberries are picked, they won't ripen any further, so even as we 
are past harvesting these gems for this season, 
we'll let the last few hardy ones do their thing!
Persimmons in the Orchard not quite ready, but soon!
At the same time that some of our bounty is past harvest time, 
we begin to look ahead to what will soon be ready to pick 
as well as what we will plant next at the farm.

But the chard and purslane planted in the Orchard bed are ready now!
Following the rhythm of the farm, we pay attention to these cycles.
While these transitions occur on their own, there are other changes that require 
our assistance. Knowing the summer squash 
was past its prime and needing to replenish the beds for winter planting, 
we recently set to work on the lower quad.  

Actually whether you plant a winter garden or not, 
fall should not really be viewed as the end of summer gardening season, 
but rather the beginning of a new garden for next spring
So much of what we doharvesting what's grown and our dedicated attention 
to the soil nowgoes a long way to improving next year's harvest, 
even reducing the amount of work next spring to prep the farm. 

While any seasonal change encourages you to stop and take stock,
 it seems like this time of year particularly inspires some reflection. 
As days get shorter and we hurry to harvest summer's bounty, preparing for winter, 
we appreciate what the farm has given us and make a commitment to give back. 
A wonderful book celebrating "the cyclical rhythms of nature" that came out in 2009 
(but is still relevant) is The Seasons on Henry's Farm
Worth the read to understand how "sustainable agriculture which mimics nature, 
and the life of an extended family that not only believes in 
the importance of stewarding the land but lives it every day. 
The author invites us to recognize our place in the cosmos, 
and to understand that growing good food does not mean 
destroying soil and water, and that we can eat well and live well, 
and still leave this earth a better place than we found it."

We try to do our part. 

The farm project is an important aspect of our business and our philosophy.
As is sharing the fruits of our labors with you, at our tables and in this blog.  

Let us know how you celebrate the change of seasons.
And follow us here to experience the next cycle for us at the girl & the fig farm project

Rhythm of the seasons

Imagery Estate Winery grapevines facing the farm
Regardless of the recent warm weather, it is fall at the farm.
As Halloween creeps up on us and the sharp golden light
of autumn afternoons remind us that dusk arrives earlier each day,
we harvest the last of the tomatoes, eggplant and basil that is still growing.
But the chefs are beginning to think of fall foods.
This colorful roasted squash salad, with mizuna,
candied walnuts, vanilla vinaigrette
has replaced summer's popular
tomato and watermelon salad at the girl & the fig.
The name pomegranate derives from medieval Latin pōmum "apple" and grānātum "seeded" 

Santa Rosa Press Democrat food writer Michele Anna Jordan reminds us 
And even though recently an "international food company 
planted acres of pomegranates in a way that has shifted the seasons,"
it lifts our spirits to see the red orbs plentiful at the farm this time of year.
We agree with Michele's sentiment when she finds 
pomegranates at farmers markets in October: 
"I enjoy the rhythm of the seasons that I have enjoyed since I was a child, 
when I received my first pomegranate ever on Halloween night.
pomegranate mid September at the farm. 
Interesting etymology fact:
Due to similar shape, the French term "grenade" for pomegranate gave its name to the military grenade. 

 Did you know that pomegranate aril juice provides 16% of an adult's 
daily Vitamin C per 100 ml serving and and is a good source of vitamin B5 
(pantothenic acid), potassium and natural phenols, such as ellagitannins and flavonoids?
In addition to these healthful properties, pomegranate juice 
can liven up a partywhen sweetened and thickened the juice 
becomes Grenadine syrupan ingredient in many cocktails!
our pomegranates at the farm now

"After the pomegranate is opened by scoring it with a knife 
and breaking it open, the arils (seed casings) are separated from the peel 
and internal white pulp membranes. Separating the red arils is easier 
in a bowl of water because the arils sink and the inedible pulp floats. 
Freezing the entire fruit also makes it easier to separate. 
Another very effective way of quickly harvesting the arils is 
to cut the pomegranate in half, score each half of the exterior rind four to six times, 
hold the pomegranate half over a bowl and smack the rind with a large spoon. 
The arils should eject from the pomegranate directly into the bowl, 
leaving only a dozen or more deeply embedded arils to remove."

no need for all that work to get to these arils!

Our chefs are right on track with the current "salad of the season" at the girl & the fig
shaved apples, pickled fennel, toasted pepitas, pomegranate-apple vinaigrette.

Here are a few of Michele Anna Jordan's favorite pomegranate recipes.
What do you like to do with pomegranates?