Tomato Processing

20141018_163145Following the final big tomato harvest, we prepare a large batch of spaghetti sauce and salsa! First ingredient is tomatoes, of course!

20141018_163319Loads of fresh crisp red onions!

20141019_110209Rinse tomatoes to prepare for hot water bath

20141019_131233Boil tomatoes for approximately five minutes

20141019_133320Next, immediately drop tomatoes into ice water, remove peel, and cut away unwanted portions

20141019_145953Puree tomatoes in food processor and pour into stainless steel bowls

20141019_154516Wash, chop, and add onions, garlic, peppers, parsley, etc… depending on sauce

20141019_174035Have plenty of bowls, cooking pots, and processing bath ready!

20141018_192742Sterilize glass jars in boiling water for at least 15-30 minutes, while sauce is cooking

20141019_173839Boil sauce until desired thickness is reached, evaporating much of the liquid

20141018_192836

The processing pot we use holds nine quarts

20141018_181905

Be prepared with clean/sterile lids and rings! Pour sauce into hot glass jars, using ladle and funnel. Wipe edge of glass with damp hot wet cloth before placing lid on top of jar.  Place back in water bath and boil heavily for at least 30 minutes.  Remove from pot and let cool.  Lids will seal themselves.

20141019_194004Two batches of tomato sauce…spaghetti sauce and salsa!!!

We prepared a total of 18 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 18 quarts of tomatillo salsa, and 12 quarts of red tomato salsa!!!

Comparison/Contrast

Sean Micklos

Organic vs. Industrial Farming

            “A healthy farm culture can be based only upon familiarity and can grow only among a people soundly established upon the land; it nourishes and safeguards human intelligence of the earth that no amount of technology can satisfactorily replace…” (Wendell Berry)

Biodiversity provides clean, consistent air and water, protection from floods and storms, a sustainable climate, and pollination of food crops. Agriculture is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. Corn is one of the most widely grown crops in the United States. It covers about 80 million acres and counts for more than twenty percent of crops grown in the US. Most of that corn is grown in an industrialized monoculture technique, which covers vast expanses of the same variety of corn. Organic corn grown with respect to biodiversity accounts for only a minute fraction of that acreage yet contains more nutritional value and is grown in a more sustainable manner than industrialized corn. Organically produced crops sustain the earth and provide healthier food for human beings than their industrialized counterparts.

Industrial monoculture covers vast expanses of land with a single crop. Being that the same nutrients are extracted from the soil, and the same crop is grown on that same plot the following season, the topsoil becomes depleted of the necessary nutrients for the crop being grown. Organically produced crops do not deplete the soil of beneficial nutrients for their growth because crops are rotated between different plots depending on the nutrients they require. This allows for the soil to regenerate between plantings of a similar crop. The establishment of cover crops or green manure between seasons replenishes the soil with organic matter and vitality. This also aids in the control of soil erosion. Industrial monoculture, on the other hand, often leaves the land barren between seasons, allowing the soil to erode through wind and other weather factors.

Industrialized monoculture applies synthetic pesticides and herbicides to control insects and weeds that compete with the survival of the crop. This destroys the biodiversity of the natural order because all insects and all vegetation are being eradicated to produce a single variety of plant. Weeds and insects are controlled without the use of synthesized chemicals when growing crops organically. Mulches, cover crops, and manual removal of weeds require more physical effort to produce a more sustainable and healthier organic product. This approach is unobtrusive in its acceptance of other species in that it provides for biodiversity to thrive. The toxic concoctions that indiscriminately pollute the industrial fields as well as the environment also leave a residue in the food found on supermarket shelves. Organic produce contains nutrients that are unpolluted by the products used to grow them.

How is life to continue when single varieties of a crop are grown, thus eradicating all other varieties of that crop, along with any competing species? The natural order is compromised by mankind’s encroachment upon the land for short-term profit-motivated endeavors that would not exist if not for government subsidies. To control the loss of biodiversity as a species is a very powerful position for mankind to be in. To create a complete monoculture is like putting all our eggs in one basket. If anything were to contaminate the survival of the only variety available, it would result in the extinction of that variety. If we continue along this path of synthetic chemical monoculture, the domino effect of losing biodiversity will inevitably lead to our demise. Why did organic agriculture become an “alternative”? Organic was simply the way crops were grown prior to the surplus of chemicals following WWII. This set us on an unsustainable course in the name of “progress” to initiate the industrial takeover of agriculture. It has been unrighteously subsidized to maintain a short-term profit-driven system rather than protecting the sustainability of life on the planet and the production of nutritious organic food.

GO BEARS!!!

Thank you for a successful fundraising for the BEST basketball teams on the planet...Mount 
Shasta High School BEARS!!!

Mountain View Organics will be donating 5% of this Monday's farmers' market sales
to the Mount Shasta High School Boys' Basketball team!!!

3:30-6PM in Mt. Shasta!!!

Buy your fresh organic produce from our stand and support our BEARS at the same time!!!

This week’s highlights include fresh picked sweet corn & melons!!! See you at market!

GO BEARS!!!

Jeff & Ute

Markets!!!

Mount Shasta Farmers' Market
Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market
Halona and Galia melons are a big hit at market!!!
Halona and Galia melons are a big hit at market!!!
Mary helps out at market
Mary helps out at market
Ken and Mary come to the Mount Shasta Farmers' Market
Ken and Jeff unload at the Mount Shasta Farmers’ Market…
Sean and Ute represent Mountain View Organics at the first "Lovin' Local Mid-week Market" at Country Organics in Redding...Owners, Bob & Mandy carry our produce
Sean and Ute represent Mountain View Organics at the first “Lovin’ Local Mid-week Market” at Country Organics in Redding…Owners, Bob & Mandy carry our produce…
Mandy of Country Organics
Mandy of Country Organics
Mandy with Ella and Rylee at Country Organics
Mandy with Ella and Rylee at Country Organics
Bob and Rylee of Country Organics
Bob and Rylee of Country Organics
Ella and Rylee with Mandy and Bob at Country Organics
Ella and Rylee with Mandy and Bob at Country Organics
Growing cucumbers for Roots Juice Bar in Redding
Growing cucumbers for Roots Organic Juice Bar in Redding
Sean offers samples of lemon cucs and melons at Country Organics
Sean offers samples of lemon cucs and melons at Country Organics
Happy to be valued by the good people of Country Organics in Redding!
Happy to be valued by the good people of Country Organics in Redding!

 

 

Melon Harvest and Grape Juice!!!

Galia Melons
Galia Melons
Grapes ready to harvest
Grapes ready to harvest
Ivan the Terrior helps out
Ivan the Terrior helps out
Grapes pre-ground before pressing
Grapes pre-ground before pressing
Grapes being pressed
Grapes being pressed
Skye takes note on how to build a press
Skye takes note on how to build a press
Arend Thomas shares his press
Arend Thomas shares his press
Juicy grapes
Juicy grapes
There's Ivan again!
There’s Ivan again!
Yield 4.5 gallons off of first year production,,,sweet!!!
Yield 4.5 gallons off of first year production,,,sweet!!!

Abundant Goodness

field of green cucs
field of green cucs
Sunflower in cucumber field
Sunflower in cucumber field
lemon cucumbers
lemon cucumbers
Striped Armenian Cucumbers
Striped Armenian Cucumbers
Tomatoes and Basil
Tomatoes and Basil
Halona Melons
Halona Melons
Galia Melons
Galia Melons
Jade Star Watermelon
Jade Star Watermelon
Sharlyn melons
Sharlyn melons
Red Zeppelin onions
Red Zeppelin onions
zucchini
zucchini

 

Sean
Sean
Buster cools down in his water bowl...think he'll be a swimmer?
Buster cools down in his water bowl…think he’ll be a swimmer?
Winter Squash
Winter Squash
Buster sneaks a yellow starship
Buster sneaks a yellow starship
Best Friends:  Daisy and Buster
Best Friends: Daisy and Buster
Grapes ripening
Grapes ripening
Stormy Day
Stormy Day
Purple Mountain Majesty
Purple Mountain Majesty

 

 

Harvest is On!

Harvest has begun, mainly summer squash…with more crops to follow. Farming takes precedence to discussion. Photos coming soon…All is well!

Helpful hints for working in the fields:

     –cover head with wet scarf and wide-brimmed hat
      –hydrate inside & out…drink water and sprinkle yourself with a hose
      –change shoes often
     –protect skin
      –wear gloves
      –take breaks
      –eat & drink well
       –be nice
      –work in cool morning & evening hours
      –take naps
       –coconut oil in hair under scarf protects hair from sun damage
      –Epsom salt baths relieve tired muscles

Your body is your best tool…take care of it!