Monday, December 7, 2009
Looking for a unique food gift for someone in your life? How about a Massa Organics gift box of our great tasting farm products? Our Rice & Almond gift box contains one 2-lb bag of the "best brown rice" (Saveur magazine), one jar of our addictive almond butter, and a half pound of our delicious roasted almonds. We also have an Almond gift box, containing one jar of almond butter and one pound of roasted almonds. We sell both gift boxes on our website for $25 each. Happy Holidays!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Almond harvest starts in a day or two, so we're cleaning up the orchard one last time. Here, John is flaming the weeds in the tree rows with our industrial size flamer--we upgraded from what we now call the "homeowner" version a couple months ago. Here's a video of the homeowner flamer. The new flamer is at least 4 times faster, way more effective, and sounds like a jet roaring through the orchard. These flamers burn liquid propane.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Wondering what to do with wheat berries? Here's a nice recipe (and plug for Massa Organics) from 101 Cookbooks. Thanks Heidi! http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/arugula-pesto-wheat-berries-recipe.html
Friday, July 24, 2009
2. Cook and cool Massa Organics brown rice. Toss with olive oil, loads of lemon juice, tons of parsley, some chopped tomatoes and, if you like, toasted pine nuts.
3. Mix cooked Massa Organics brown rice with orange zest and juice, olive oil, maybe honey, sliced oranges, raisins or dried cranberries, chopped red onion and chopped almonds. Serve over greens, or not.
4. Cook Massa Organics brown rice in watered-down coconut milk (be careful that it doesn’t burn) and a few cardamom pods. While warm, toss with peas (they can be raw if they’re fresh and tender), chopped cashews or pistachios, a pinch of chili flakes and chopped raw spinach.
5. Toss cooked, cooled farro, wheat berries, barley or other chewy grain with chopped-up grapes. Add olive oil, lemon juice and thinly sliced romaine lettuce; toss again, with ricotta salata or feta if you want. (OK this isn't a rice salad, but we sell wheat berries too!)
6. Toss cooked Massa Organics brown rice with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.
71. Cook a pot of Massa Organics brown rice. While it’s still hot, toss with raw grated zucchini, fermented black beans, sriracha, sesame oil, sake and a touch of rice vinegar. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you have it, and pass soy sauce at the table.
Finally, don't forget the other rice salads we've posted on our blog in the past:
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
"I bought 5 lbs of whole wheat flour on my visit to Chico Farmers Market last week. It is superior to any flour I have ever used, and it makes a noticeable difference in the quality of our bread. I added toasted wheat berries too for added crunch--they too are delicious. I don't know if it is because the flour was freshly milled or because of the wheat variety you grow (probably both!) but it's fantastic."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I'm using hay as the third crop in our rotation of rice, wheat, and hay. The more crops you can have in an organic rotation, the better your weed control and yields of each crop will be. Weeds are our biggest problem in rice, so we're hoping that extending our rotation will help. Plus I feel more like a real farmer rotating crops like farmers used to do!
Here's a brief video of the swather mowing our hay.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The wheat crop is starting to "head," which is what we call it when the panicle emerges from the sheath. The panicle is the cluster of flowers where the grains will eventually form. In the top photo, the heads are just emerging. Rice looks very similar to this when it heads, and the Thai people call this stage "smiling rice." So we'll call it smiling wheat. In just a few days, the entire field will look like the bottom photo, with fully emerged heads ready to be pollinated by the wind.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Maybe we need a new slogan: Eat the rice that Willie Nelson eats!
In a related post on the Farm Aid Blog, they note that we are their first tweeting farmer.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I'm Mad and I Eat: "The rice was tender Massa brown rice. Probably not kosher in Chinese cooking, but it's the rice of the moment at my house, and it worked perfectly."
Rice Rice Baby: "It is so tender and fragrant, I think it will become the household staple, replacing white rice. (How does this hippie whole-grain mania take over at such a late age? Well, I can tell you it's because the rice is really good.)"
Rancho Gordo: "My long-winded point is that good brown rice (like Massa's), nopales, beans and some good sausages make a fine weeknight meal."
My Daily Diner: "...one egg, asparagus, red onions, and brown rice from Massa Organics. After tasting their brown rice, you really understand that all grains are NOT created equal."
Recessionista: "Not all rice is created equal. Nutty, healthful Massa Organics brown rice, grown on a fourth-generation family farm in Chico, CA, by former biologists, is both responsibly grown and good for you."
Eat, Sip, Ride: "My brown rice of choice is Massa Organics."
Friday, March 20, 2009
Being organic almond farmers means that we can't use herbicides to kill weeds around our trees and sprinklers. We've tried several methods to kill the weeds, but no method is perfect. Our current effort involves using a propane torch to flame the weeds. The flames don't actually burn the weeds, but instantly boil the water out of the plant, which causes it to die in about 24 hours.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
John's Massa Organics Almond Butter Dressing
(serves about 8-10)
¼ cup Massa Organics Smooth Almond Butter
3 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 teaspoon fresh wasabi
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
John served it on a shredded cabbage, kale, julienned carrot, and cilantro salad. It was topped with our sliced Almonds.
John has two blogs:
Friday, February 20, 2009
At a 2007 fundraiser for CUESA, the organization that runs the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, Paul Aranstam of Americano Restaurant made Arancini with our rice. Here we are with chef who was serving them:
Need A New Way To Use Leftover Rice? Try Making Arancini
By J.M. HIRSCH | Associated Press
February 19, 2009
Arancini may sound like a species of spider, but they are an incredibly easy and delicious way to use leftover rice.
The term, which is Italian for "little oranges," refers to small balls of rice that are stuffed with cheese or meat (or both), rolled in egg and breadcrumbs or flour, then fried until crisp on the outside and meltingly soft inside.
Arancini traditionally are served as appetizers, especially as bar food, but also would make a fine side. Cubes of mozzarella are the conventional choice for the cheese, but anything that melts well would be fine. Likewise, just about any cooked or cured meat can be used. Roasted chicken, bits of grilled beef or sausage, crumbled bacon or slices of prosciutto all are great.
Here's how it works — no recipe needed.
Because it is so thick and sticky, leftover risotto is best, but just about any rice will do. If using risotto, use your hands to shape about 1/3 cup of it into a bowl in the palm of one hand. Place small pieces of your fillings inside, then cover with a bit more rice and shape into a ball.
If using plain leftover rice, for each cup mix in 1 teaspoon of softened butter and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 15 seconds, or enough to just barely melt the cheese and butter to form a sticky rice. Shape the arancini as described above. If you have trouble getting the balls to hold together, you also could mix an egg into the rice.
Once the rice balls are formed, roll them in a lightly beaten egg, then in either all-purpose flour or fine breadcrumbs. In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 365 F. A few at a time, fry the rice balls for about 1 minute a side, or until lightly browned all around. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Arancini are best eaten right away. Keep the batches warm in a 200 F oven as you fry others.
If you don't have leftover rice on hand and decide to make some specifically for arancini, consider adding a few strands of saffron, which is a traditional ingredient that gives the rice balls a bright orange color.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Opportunity for cultural exchange was everywhere at this year’s Terra Madre, which hosted 7000 people from 153 countries. We spoke with rice farmers from Madagascar, India and Thailand, learned about the wild almond groves in Uzbekistan, and ate sausage made near the tiny Portuguese village where Greg's grandfather was born.
We did bring back a few nuts-and-bolts ideas that will be directly applicable to our farm. We learned about some interesting grains that we could experiment with, such as einkorn, one of the earliest cultivated forms of wheat with a more easily digestible form of gluten than modern wheat, and fonio, a small-seeded millet from Africa.
From a philosophical perspective, there was even more to take home — some of it new, and some a confirmation of what we already believe. For example, one of our farm goals is to grow and market our rice without harming small farmers in other parts of the world. This means that we won’t be exporting our rice cheaply, but it also means that we won’t grow Basmati or Jasmine rice, because we wish to avoid stealing the genetic heritage of generations of small Thai or Indian farmers who developed those varieties. Growing those varieties here in California would impact the ability of Asian farmers to export their rice to the more lucrative US market. Our discussions with some farmers from Madagascar who grow pink rice confirmed this for us. Conversely, there are other grains — such as Red Fife wheat from Canada — that are so close to extinction it would in fact be beneficial to grow them and increase the seed supply and demand.
In the minds of some Americans, Slow Food seems to have an elitist membership and message. However, we found the international organization to be remarkably populist. Their mission of “good, clean and fair food for all” resonates with us, though the implementation of that ideal is difficult at best. There is plenty of “good” food at farmers’ markets everywhere. But “clean” food is becoming scarce in today’s globalized food system. Even on a local scale there are problems: we learned this week that a fungicide used on non-organic almonds and grapes in California is directly linked to a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease. “Fair” food may be the most difficult to achieve, as making good, clean food available at a fair price to everyone in the food chain (including farmers) is a real challenge.
The trip to Terra Madre was a whirlwind — and much too short. We left our five children at home, split between two babysitters, so we had little extra time to spend on vacation! But we feel very privileged to have been part of this “gathering of the peasants of the world.”
We are most grateful to Slow Food San Francisco and CUESA for making our trip possible.
Greg Massa and Raquel Krach