We have a surprise! We are teaming up with Farm Cart Organics and becoming one of their drop off locations in Santa Barbara! To celebrate, we interviewed Katherine Lesh, one of the Founders of Farm Cart on how Farm Cart is making a positive impact on the coastlands. Plus, we added an Ethiopian recipe from our very own founder Brittany! No need to wonder what your next dinner plans are...we got you.
Can you tell us about how The Farm Cart first began?
My father, Tom Shepherd, has been farming organically forever in Santa Barbara county. He was organic before organic was even a thing. My family did lots of farmers markets, provided the best salad mix to local restaurants, and they had a produce stand in Carpinteria where my mum and grandma worked. They closed the produce stand in 2006 and after a demand to bring it back, my husband and I re-opened it in 2012. I had no business experience, and I opened it not really knowing what would happen. I worked at The Farm Cart six days a week for basically three years straight. At that time, we were pregnant with our daughter, Chandler, and I stepped back from working most farm cart shifts to operating our ever-growing farm box business from home. I would do the ordering, blog posts, emails, and all that fun stuff while getting to raise our daughter!
What's your favorite part about providing local and organic goods to Santa Barbara? What is your favorite client story?
It feels really good to offer a rad service that's making a difference in farmer's lives & the customers that get the boxes. I always hear how our farm boxes have shaped the way people eat, and how they'
e learned to like new foods that they wouldn't otherwise reach for at the grocery store. And of course, helping out the farmers and moving a decent amount of produce for them is always a good feeling. Farming is hard, and we're here to tell the story and help them out.
What's your greatest challenge and success in running your business?
Right now, growth has been really hard. As soon as you think you've created a system and are moving forward, you grow and need to adjust. To deliver more boxes you need more vehicles, more people to pack, farmers need to produce more, and sometimes they don't have the land. It really is just crazy. I'm just so proud of what I've learned getting here! We have an awesome team right now, and I'm basically feeling like I am just about to conquer the world going on our 7th year this month.
What is your go-to meal to whip up in the kitchen?
The perfect meal for me is something with lots of simple components. Like salmon, sweet potatoes and a half of an avocado or salad would be a great meal. I now have two kids, so I also figure they will like at least one of the items I make (haha). Also, I like to make a roasted chicken at the beginning of the week, and then you'll get enough meat for three meals and bones to make a broth. Or make a big batch of soup to drink all week -- because we get hella busy and it's so convenient having good, healthy & hearty things available.
When you're not at the Farm Cart, what do you and your family do to rest and unwind?
My husband is a total surf addict, and we're always at the beach. Most nights, we'll go down to the beach for at least 30 min so Jason can surf and I can play on the beach with my kids. These warm summer nights are sooo nice and the best time is going down at five with dinner just as everyone is leaving. We can watch the sunset and unwind after a long day. It's good for everyone's soul!
Below is one of Brittany's favorite Ethiopian recipes using the produce that you will find in a Farm Cart box! It’s delicious! Check out our Terra Tote -- the perfect bag to carry all your organic fruits and veggies!
Dinich Alicha --- Potatoes and carrots in onion Turmeric Sauce
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Medium Red Onions - finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves - crushed
1 Teaspoon Turmeric
3 Medium Carrots - peeled and cut at a diagonal
4 White Potatoes - peeled and quartered lengthways
1 Jalapeño - seeded and sliced.
Place a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and onions and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in turmeric, carrots, and salt and cook for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of hot water, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add jalapeño and cook for 2 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!