A Few Words From Dan...

Well, the in-basket for my small farm newsgroup is filling up a lot quicker these days.  Must be time to start thinking about spring planting!  Truth be told, we’ve not only been thinking a lot about it for a while, we’ve been actively doing something about it.  We have that luxury out here in SoCal.  Unfortunately, many of our farming brethren aren’t blessed with relatively mild weather conditions we have here.   Yeah, I know, we’ve had more than our fair share of rain lately but it’s not as bad as digging yourself out from several feet of snow, or so I would imagine.

So, even though spring is still several weeks away, we’ve been able to actively plant potatoes in the Bakersfield area for a few weeks now, and will be doing so well into March.  We are also working feverishly to get our Tehachapi fields ready for, among other things, our onions crop, scheduled for a mid-March planting date. And can a guy get some help on a water pump in the middle of the desert?



This week at the farmers' markets you might notice there is a new potato on the stand: the German Butterball.  We had them in the past, but this might be the best looking crop we have ever grown.  They are a round to oblong tuber with lightly netted skin (the skin kind of looks like a Russet) with a deep yellow soft buttery flesh.  They were the first place winner at Rodale's potato "Taste Off".  Like a Yukon Gold, they are creamy and you can use them for just about anything.  How can you go wrong when "butter" is in the name?


 I don't know about you, but in the Winter all I want to do is stay inside and eat something warm and comforting. And what is more comforting than potatoes and cheese? Answer: nothing.  Check out this recipe for gratin using German Butterballs.  It is worth staying in for.


 Potato Gratin

  • 4 pounds of German Butterball Potatoes
  • 2 cups heavy cream, plus some to cover
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • 2 sprigs each fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves, cracked
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Halve the potatoes and toss them into a large baking dish and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, put the cream, butter, herbs, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, to infuse the cream with flavor. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the hot cream mixture through a strainer over the potatoes, (discard the herbs and garlic), if there is not enough cream to go 3/4 of the way up the potatoes then pour some additional cream on top to make up the difference. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and top begins to brown. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

*Copyright Food Network and Rachel Ray


Here's Our Stand!

After a busy day at the Farmers Market last Sunday, we stopped by our local Whole Foods Market in Venice.  We were there to participate in their Buy Local Campaign, talk to the customers, and sample our crops.  Displayed beautifully was our fresh harvest of Romanesco cauliflower, Chioggia, Gold, and Bulls Blood beets, sunchokes, brocolli, and all our colors of heirloom potatoes and carrots.  We sampled, we talked farming, nutrition, cooking, and shared many recipes. 

The energy and excitement was amazing and that ancient connection between farmer and eater was really going on.  It was great to see familiar faces and friends we see weekly at our Certified Farmers Markets as well to meet new interested people who want to know where their food comes from.  

Our props to Whole Foods and their customers for understanding that eating local means food that tastes better, is more nutritious, better for the environment, benefits the local economy, and builds a sense of community.  

Here at Weiser Farms we feel very fortunate to farm in this wonderful unique place on earth and especially to have the love and support of such a great, diverse, receptive community.  Thank you!

 If you didn't get the chance to see us, you can now find our produce at various Whole Foods markets in the Los Angeles region.


**And a special thank you to Daniel Beaman, who was kind enough to spend the day with us, taking all these beautiful photos!


Weiser Family Farms featured on Modern Marvels

Did everyone get a chance to see the Modern Marvels episode on potatoes last week?  It was very entertaining and informative.  You wouldn't even need to be a potato farmer to enjoy it.  If you missed it, never fear, The History Channel will be showing it again.  If you do get a chance to see it, make sure to pay attention to the early segment where Nancy Silverton buys her potatoes at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.  Check out the "celebrity farmer" showing her the product.


Coming To A Farmer's Market Near You...