Veganic Community Radio

rhonda radioRhonda Dunlap interviews Stephanie about veganic farming and gardening on KAFM Community Radio, Grand Junction, CO.

Listen or download our discussion here.

Rhonda’s monthly show, Fresh Cafe, explores the benefits of fresh, plant-based foods.  When she isn’t talking about veganism on the radio, she writes and blogs.  Check out Veg as well as her raw food “cook”book, Guide to Super Raw Foods.

Q&A: Does organic produce have a greater risk of E. coli?

Question from Linda Middlesworth in Sacramento, CA:

Someone has told me that organic veggies have a greater risk of ecoli, etc. because they have an easier time entering the plant at the root through fecal manure!!   HELP!!
Answer by Greg Litus
The issue of E. coli, salmonella, listeria or other human killing pathogens is not directly related to organic agriculture or fresh produce.  All those pathogens come from animal sources.  In most cases it comes from industrial animal production that has either contaminated crops through the direct application of manures or composts.  However, it can come from wild animals if food handling procedures are not stringent.  It may also come from poor hygiene practiced by agricultural workers, improper storage or cross contamination from other animal sources.  The listeria contamination that killed 30+ people in Colorado did not come from the cantaloupes.  It apparently came from the fact that the growers delivered overripe melons to a local feedlot.  Waste from that feedlot contaminated the truck and that contamination was carried back to the packing shed at the cantaloupe farm.  Poor cleaning procedures allowed the listeria to spread “onto” other fresh cantaloupes, not “into” them through root uptake.

Plants grown organically do not have a greater propensity than conventionally grown produce to take up bacteria though their roots.  However, because of the use of manure based composts, animals incorporated into the production systems and less focus on GAP (good agricultural practice) standards, animal based pathogens can enter some plants through their roots.  Lettuces root, for example, do allow bacteria in through their roots.  However, for that pathway to become a serious concern the soils would have to be heavily contaminated with those pathogens.  Because many of those pathogens thrive only in oxygen deficient atmospheres, healthy soils do not typically contain high concentrations of them.
That is the short version of pathogens in fresh produce.  At Animal Place our veganic systems are inherently less likely to contain contamination from any animal source.  However, because wild turkeys and other birds frequent the farm, their droppings are always a concern for us.  We ask that anyone who eats fresh produce wash that produce before eating.  In addition we only ship produce that passes a visual inspection for cleanliness.  Further, all our greens, root vegetables and any other vegetable that can be washed is cleaned using potable water in well maintained stainless steel sinks that are sterilized on a regular basis.  I think you will find that many small growers are moving toward a similar system because it maintains the high quality of the produce and establishes a standard of excellence.  Of course, we have shown through the our CSA and produce sales that animals or animal products do not belong in vegetable production.  When all forms of animal agriculture are eliminated I suspect that the pathogens that find their way to produce will be nearly eliminated as well.

Box #22: Blue Pumpkins

Animal Place Newsjamie

Animal care director Jamie London will be speaking next Wednesday at the sanctuary along with Marin Humane Society captain Cindy Machado on how to recognize animal abuse in farmed animals. To attend, call 530-575-7984. Date is October 23rd from 3-5 pm at our Grass Valley sanctuary.

What’s inside:

Crown Pumpkin – don’t let the pretty color fool you!  This isn’t a front porch pumpkin…it’s more like an eating-pumpkin, to be used in the same way as butternut squash.

Green Tomatoes – try out the Southern fried green tomatoes recipe below or try out some raw recipes.

Radish Medley – French breakfast radishes are new this week, along with plenty of purples, pinks and watermelons.

Mini Cucumbers – the last of the seasonfrench breakfast

“Golden Acres” Green Cabbage

Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes


Mixed Beets

Rainbow Chard

Anaheim and Bell Peppers

Cortland Onions


What’s Happening on the Farm

This is our last farm season and our last CSA harvest.  Thank you so much for your support!

Special thank you’s to:

Each and every CSA member, our biggest farm supporters.  Assistant farm manager, Andy Gustafson, for eight months of dedication and great ideas.   Rebecca Wolf, farm intern for five months, always cheerful and energetic no matter how tough the task.  Kim Waits, farm intern, for jumping in with enthusiasm for our final two months.  Tom Maher, second season volunteer and potato digger extraordinaire.  Greg Litus, my husband, whose big, gentle hands can tirelessly fix anything, grow anything, build anything and carry anything.  Gayle Evans, for creating a beautiful flower garden for our beneficial insects and sanctuary visitors.  Michael Johnson, our dear friend, volunteer and farm donor.  Mary Rodgers, for support and promotion at the Sacramento Vegetarian Society.  VegFund, for supporting us through their Merit Award for three seasons.  And Kim Sturla, Animal Place’s director, for making this dream possible at the beautiful sanctuary.

Much love,

Farmer Steph

farm collage text

Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes – by Biscuits & Batches


  • 2-3 Green Tomatoes
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/3 C. cornmeal
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 C. non-dairy milk + 1 t. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C. partially ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 Olive Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil or non stick spray.
  2. Slice tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices and set aside.
  3. Mix flour, cornmeal, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne in a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a a bowl and mix together.
  5. In a blender or grinder pour in flax seeds and grind (about 5- 10 seconds) until 3/4 of the seeds broken up. Do not grind into a powder! Pour ground flax onto a dinner plate.
  6. Take slice of tomato and dip in milk mixture, then in flour mixture, then again in milk mixture (lightly so not to wash off the flour mixture), then in the flax grounds. Place on oiled baking pan. Repeat with each tomato slice. Once all the tomatoes are on baking sheet lightly drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes. Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Flip tomatoes half way through cooking time.



Box #21: Crunchy Celery

Animal Place News

You can now watch education director Marji Beach’s presentation on The Humane Myth, presented at the World Veg Fest in San Francisco.

What’s inside:

Celery – Did you know that celery leaves make a great garnish for just about anything?  Check out the recipe below.

Radish Medley – watermelon, pink beauty, plum and icicle.radish blondie andy

Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes

Butternut Squash

Delicata Squash

Mixed Beets

Rainbow Chard

Mixed Tomatoes

Bell Peppers

Cortland Onions

Summer Squash

Green Cucumbers

Magical Celery Bisque – by Honest Fare

Coop+prep time: 35 mins. Serves 4-6. Freezes great! Vegan. Reserve a little of the raw chopped celery for adding on top of each bowl of soup for some nice and fresh crunch!


  • Entire large cluster of celery
  • Half a white onion
  • One clove of garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or some red pepper flakes)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • 3/4 container silken tofu (or more if you like it creamier)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water


  1. Dice celery (including the leaves), garlic and onion. Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan or soup pot and sauté celery, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper until celery begins to break down a bit (about 6-7 minutes). Add water, cover, reduce heat and cook at a simmer until celery is very tender and falling apart (about 15 minutes).
  2. Spoon all the celery mixture into the food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one). Add the cayenne pepper, silken tofu and puree away until nice and smooth. Add a bit more water if it seems too thick.
  3. Serve it with some raw diced celery and celery leaves sprinkled on top!



Box #20: Mmmm…Butternuts!

Animal Place NewsVeganPicnicFlyer2013c-2-791x1024

Come hang out with your farmer Steph and Animal Place’s Toni Okamoto, Social Media & Outreach Coordinator at:  drum roll….

Sacramento Vegan Fall Fest, on Oct 19!  This event is co-sponsored by our CSA pick-up host and incredible supporter, Sac Vegetarian Society.  Music, speakers, arts & crafts, educational activities, games, kids’ activities, community groups at the Sacramento Valley Conservancy–managed Camp Pollock, a beautiful 11-acre spread w/a historic 1924 stone lodge, just two miles from Downtown.

What’s inside:

Russian Banana Fingerling Potatoes

Butternut Squash – see recipe below!

Delicata SquashOrganic-Seeds-Nutterbutter-Winter-Squash-01

Red Beets

Rainbow Chard – try out the recipe below, substituting chard in for the kale

Sungold Tomatoes

Rainbow Bell Peppers

Cortland Onions – these are great yellow storage onions

Green Cucumbers


Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan – by Oh She Glows

Yield: 4 servings (as a side)


  • 0.9 kg -1.13 kg (2-2.5 pound) butternut squash
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup de-stemmed and roughly chopped Lacinato kale

Almond Pecan Parmesan “cheese”:

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/8th tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400F and lightly grease a casserole dish with oil.

2. Peel the squash. Thinly slice off the bottom and top and then slice through the middle lengthwise to make two halves. Remove seeds & guts with a grapefruit spoon or ice cream scoop. Chop two halves into 1-inch chunks and place into casserole dish.

3. Add minced garlic, parsley, oil, and salt into casserole dish and stir until well combined with the squash. Do not add the kale yet.

4. Cover casserole dish with a lid (or tin foil with a few holes poked) and bake at 400F for about 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, process the parmesan ingredients together until chunky (or just chop by hand and mix in a bowl). Make sure to leave lots of nut pieces for texture. I used a mini processor and it worked great with minimal clean up.

6. After about 45 mins (or when squash is just fork tender), remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350F. Stir in the chopped kale and sprinkle the parmesan all over the squash. Bake for another 5-8 minutes, until the nuts are lightly toasted. Watch closely so you don’t burn them. Remove & serve!

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 1.44.33 PM

Box #19: Herbalicious

Animal Place News


What’s inside:

Fresh thyme and rosemary, for all your roast-able veggies this week!

German Butterball or Russet Potatoeskim peppers vertical

Delicata Squash

Eggplant – just enough to add to a sautee.  That’s it for this season!

Red Pear and Sungold Tomatoes

Mixed Tomatoes

Rainbow Bell Peppers

Yellow and Red Storage Onions

Green Cucumber

Watermelon Radishes

What’s happening on the farm:

We’re a hopin’ and a prayin’ that some of fall crops will mature in time for your last boxes.  We’ve covered the broccoli and cabbage with an agricultural fabric to protect them from the harlequin bugs and aphids, whose populations were very difficult to control for this family of crops this spring.  Yesterday, our trusty volunteer Tom uncovered them to apply our homebrewed microbial tea in an effort to encourage their growth and overall health.  You’ll know how this all works out in late October, when you open up your last box.  We hope that you see broccoli and cabbage!

Nacho Potatoes – by Keepin’ It KindScreen shot 2013-10-01 at 12.30.46 PM

Ingredients for the potatoes

    • 2 cups golden potatoes, chopped into bite-size pieces
    • olive oil spray
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • salt and pepper to taste
for the bean mixture
    • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
    • 1 15oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 cup corn kernels (I used frozen and thawed)
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons Hatch green chilies
    • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • juice of 1/2 a lime
    • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
    • salt and pepper to taste
for the nachos
  • 1 cup Cadry’s Cauliflower Queso
  • 1/2 cup tofu sour cream
  • salsa (use your recipe of choice, or store-bought)
  • guacamole (use your recipe of choice, or store-bought)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños


  1. Ahead of time, you can prepare your Cauliflower QuesoTofu Sour Cream and the guacamole and pico de gallo (if you’re not using store-bought). I bought the pico de gallo and for the guacamole, I just mashed an avocado with some lime juice, cilantro, and a tablespoon of the pico de gallo.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread out your potato chunks and lightly spray with olive oil (or drizzle about 1 teaspoon of oil over them). Add spices and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to fully coat each piece. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, flipping once.
  3. If you made your queso ahead of time, reheat about half of the recipe in a small pot over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. If you just made it and it’s still warm, then you can skip this step.
  4. While your potatoes are in the oven, cook your beans. In a large pan, combine the vegetable broth, Bragg Liquid Aminos, and garlic. Heat the pan over medium heat and add your black beans. Cook the beans in the liquid until the liquid begins to simmer, about two minutes, before adding the corn, the bell pepper, the chilies, the liquid smoke, and the spices. Turn the heat to low and cook the beans, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has cooked away and the beans are fully cooked (hot, but not mushy). Squeeze in the lime juice, stir in the cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  5. To assemble the nachos, place all of the potatoes on one large plate, or split them up into 3-4 individual servings. Top the potatoes with as much cauliflower queso as you would like. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of the black bean mixture over the cheese. Add the sour cream, pico de gallo, and guacamole on top of the beans. Top with sliced black olives, green onions, and chilies. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Box #18: Some Like It Hot

Animal Place Newsturkey

Please help us get the word out about the Thank the Turkeys event this November.  Guests will feed the turkeys, enjoy a tasty vegan meal, meet the animals, and bid on silent auction donations!

Alongside your boxes this week, we’ve left flyers for you to distribute to your friends and communities.  Thank you!

What’s inside:

Red Anaheim Chili Peppers – One dozen!  These are the ripe version of the green chiles from a few boxes ago.  They deliver a medium sweet heat, and roasting improves the flavor.  Check out these instructions from UC Davis to dry and store the peppers for use later, or use the recipe below to make fresh red chili sauce.  Mmmm, it’s fajita time!

Delicata Squash – not sure how to use them?  One yummy, no-frills method is to split them in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and roast until tender.blondie beans

Lettuce – You’ll find either a Romaine, Butterhead, Green Leaf or Little Gem head of lettuce.

Purple & Green Beans

German Butterball Potatoes

Mixed Tomatoes

Rainbow Bell Peppers

Summer Squash

Walla Walla (Spanish) Onions

Green Cucumber

Fresh Chili Sauce – by FatFree Vegan Kitchen

12 New Mexico (Hatch) chili peppers (may substitute Anaheim or poblano), 3-6 inches in length
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and finely diced (add more or less to taste)
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth or “no-chicken” broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon lime juice

Wash the chile peppers. Wearing plastic gloves, cut out the stem and cut a slit down the length. Use a spoon (a grapefruit spoon works best) to scrape out the seeds and membranes. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and set on top rack of oven. Broil, turning every minute or so, until peppers are blackened and blistered on all sides. Remove from baking sheet and place in a paper bag. Fold top down and allow peppers to steam until cool enough to handle. (Alternately, wrap in a damp kitchen towel to steam.) When peppers are cool, remove the skins and discard. Chop the peppers fine and measure. You should have about a cup but a little more is fine.


Cook the onion in a non-stick skillet until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and chopped peppers (including jalapeno) and cook for another minute. Add all remaining ingredients except salt and lime juice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Place half of the pepper mixture into a blender, and pulse to blend slightly. Pour it back into the pan and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the lime juice and salt to taste.

Serve over grilled tofu or tempeh or as a sauce for burritos, tacos, fajitas, or enchiladas.

Servings: 6

Yield: 1 1/2 cups


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