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Week 17 from Valley Flora!

Beet Box -

Week 17 from Valley Flora!
Thanks for eating locally from our family farm!
View this email in your browser
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What's Cookin' at the Farm...
  • Cover Crop Season
  • Valley Flora Back on the Road!
  • Special Order Sweet Peppers
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What's In Your Share This Week:*
  • Red Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Fennel
  • Rainbow Chard
On Rotation:
(Some locations will receive it this week; others in a future week)
  • Nothing this week...
*Harvest Basket contents may vary between pickup sites in a given week depending on what's ripe and ready on the farm. Don't worry - if something is on the list but not in your tote, you'll get it soon!

The VF Crystal Ball - What might be in your share next week...
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Cauliflower?
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
Cover Crop Season: Second Spring
September and October are our biggest, most important months for cover cropping. We grow cover crops in the summer as well - heat-loving species like buckwheat and sudan grass and phacelia that get tilled into our soil as green manure throughout the summer. But right now is the moment that matters the most, when we seed most of the farm into overwintering cover crops that will protect our soil through the winter and give it a boost of organic matter and nutrients in the spring. It's a bit of a dance because a lot of the farm is still covered in cash crops that have to be removed before the cover crops can be seeded in their stead. It means that we are using every sunny, dry moment between these early September storms to harvest winter squash, dry beans, popcorn, and potatoes and get them into storage. Once the cash crop is cleared, the drip lines rolled up and the crop residue disked in with the horses, we broadcast various cover crop mixes of our own making and then roll them in with our horsedrawn cultipacker (a big heavy set of metal rollers that packs the seed into the soil and gives good soil-to-seed contact for higher germination). Most of our cover crop mixes include three to four different species, including a grain or grass for high biomass production (rye, oats, triticale) and legumes for nitrogen fixation (clover, peas, vetch). What gets planted where depends on where various cash crops are going next season in our extensive crop rotation on the farm. It's a really fun puzzle to solve each year.

Over the past few years I've also been doing more and more inter-seeding of cover crops among cash crops. Our field of fall and winter Brassicas is notoriously hard to get into cover crop before it's too late (mid to late October is the deadline for successful germination on most species). We'll be harvesting from that field from now until next May, leaving no window to broadcast seed. The solution has been inter-seeding, where I drill in a few lines of cover crop between the cash crop rows before the cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage plants fill in completely (see pictures above and below). They grow up together and then once the cash crop has been harvested the cover crop continues to grow and fill in, providing important cover through the winter.

I love this work, knowing that it's the most important thing I can do for the soil health of our farm, and because it's all about harnessing up the team and falling into rhythm with my horses. And then, like magic - and with a little help from some well-timed rain - the whole farm turns from brown to various shades of green again as it grows its coat for winter in a beautiful second spring.
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Valley Flora Back on the Road!
You may or may not remember that the timing chain broke on our delivery van way back in early June. What you probably didn't know is that we've had to rent U-hauls every week all summer to get the food delivered. But hallelujah, we finally got our van back last night, a big relief after too many stressful and expensive weeks in mechanical limbo. It seems like there's always something each season - be it irrigation pumps, walk-in coolers, or vehicles - but after this ordeal we're hoping we've paid our break-down dues forward a few years :). We're happy to be back on the road again.
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Special Order Sweet Peppers!
Pepper fans! It's
your moment! Sweet peppers are available right now and they won't be around forever, so get yourself some peppers to freeze, roast, pickle, and eat like popsicles! They are super easy to put up for winter: just chop and freeze, no extra steps. You can email Bets, the Grand Poobah of Pepper Production, and give her your NAME, PICKUP SITE, PHONE NUMBER and the QUANTITY and TYPE of PEPPER you want! They are $22 for 5 pounds, and you can choose from Stocky Red Roasters (that's the red Italian type pepper in your share this week) or a mix of her various roasters: Stocky, Gypsy, and Glow (the orange pepper in your share).
 
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The Farmstand is Open for Summer Hours!
 
Every Wednesday & Saturday (rain or shine)
9 am to 2 pm

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries & Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Please bring your own bags and u-pick containers!

Directions to the Farm
For Recipes & Cooking Inspiration:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.
Copyright © 2019 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 16 from Valley Flora!

Beet Box -

Week 16 from Valley Flora! Napa Cabbage & Cipollinis!
Thanks for eating locally from our family farm!
View this email in your browser
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What's Cookin' at the Farm...
  • Mid-September Bounty!
  • Ratatouille Time
  • Sweet Peps - Get 'em Before They're Gone!
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What's In Your Share This Week:*
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Dill
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Melons
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Beets
On Rotation:
(Some locations will receive it this week; others in a future week)
  • Zucchini
*Harvest Basket contents may vary between pickup sites in a given week depending on what's ripe and ready on the farm. Don't worry - if something is on the list but not in your tote, you'll get it soon!

The VF Crystal Ball - What might be in your share next week...
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Corn?
  • Parsley?
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes
  • Celery?
  • Fennel?
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
Mid-September Bounty
This is always one of my favorite totes of the season: when the napa cabbage shows up alongside the sweet peppers and the cipollini onions. If you haven't had cipollinis before you're in for a treat. They are by far the most pungent onion we grow, so be prepared for a cry-fest when you cut into them. And though the tears will be flowing mightily, don't be deterred: get them cut up and into a frying pan with some olive oil. Cook them down until they're soft and carmelized and then behold the wonder! How can something that was making you cry 10 minutes ago turn into something so richly sweet!? (I thought only young love was like that.) So be warned, chances are you'll find yourself leaned over the pan spooning them into your mouth with abandon, screw the rest of the recipe you were following that began with "sautee the onions..." 
Semi-flattened gold cipollinis, mil grazie Italia!
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Ratatouille
Speaking of recipes you should or shouldn't be following, there is one thing that you really should be making right now, and that's ratatouille. I'm a half-beat behind in suggesting this because the zucchini is pretty much over as of this week, but it doesn't really matter because you can make ratatouille with any combination of late summer veggies, like for instance eggplant :), and also tomatoes, peppers, onions, even corn.

Ratatouille was a late summer staple in our house when I was growing up. My mom would make a big pot of it from the garden harvest and then freeze the leftover for winter meals. We usually ate it atop polenta, but you can team it up with pasta, any kind of grain or rice, alongside chicken or fish, with eggs, or eat it straight. If it's your first time making it, you might want to follow a recipe but you can also free-form ratatouille pretty easily. Also keep in mind that you if you're shy on zukes but rich in eggplant this week, just substitute. You might need more tomatoes than you have in this week's tote (the tomato yields have been disappointing for us this year), but those are pretty easy to come by in early September. Maybe your SunOrange cherry tomato plant is pumping out little candy bomb fruits by now? Yes? Toss them in!
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Special Order Sweet Peppers!
Pepper fans! It's
your moment! Sweet peppers are available right now and they won't be around forever, so get yourself some peppers to freeze, roast, pickle, and eat like popsicles! They are super easy to put up for winter: just chop and freeze, no extra steps. You can email Bets, the Grand Poobah of Pepper Production, and give her your NAME, PICKUP SITE, PHONE NUMBER and the QUANTITY and TYPE of PEPPER you want! They are $22 for 5 pounds, and you can choose from Stocky Red Roasters (that's the red Italian type pepper in your share this week) or a mix of her various roasters: Stocky, Gypsy, and Glow (the orange pepper in your share).
 
-->
The Farmstand is Open for Summer Hours!
 
Every Wednesday & Saturday (rain or shine)
9 am to 2 pm

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries & Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Please bring your own bags and u-pick containers!

Directions to the Farm
For Recipes & Cooking Inspiration:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.
Copyright © 2019 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

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