Feed aggregator

Solar-Powered Produce!!!

Beet Box -

Solar-Powered Produce!!! Solar at last on the farm!
Thanks for eating locally from our family farm!
View this email in your browser

What's Cookin' at the Farm...
  • Solar Power at Valley Flora!
  • Meet your VF Farm Crew
  • New Produce this Week
  • Strawberry U-pick is open!

What's In Your Share This Week:*
  • Stir-fry Mix
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sunflower shoots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Fennel
On Rotation:
(Some locations will receive it this week; others in a future week)
  • Broccolini
  • Asparagus
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Tokyo Bekana Pac Choi
  • Cilantro
*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...
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Pac Choi
  • Cilantro
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Snap Peas?
  • Broccolini or Asparagus
Solar-Power at the Farm!
As of this week, we are officially running on solar power at Valley Flora! It's been a long-awaited project - a decade-long dream - and yesterday we not only started making our own power to run the walk-in cooler, the freezers, the lights, the greenhouse fans, and the irrigation pump (all of our core infrastructure), but we were actually sending power back to the grid as well! What a feeling to harness all that hot sun that's usually beating down on the barn roof making us sweaty on a packout day and to turn it into electricity instead: the hum of our walk-in, the whir of the greenhouse fans, the cycling of the pump, all thanks to the generosity of the sun.

It took ten years to get here, but this past 18 months the dream started to become a reality thanks to a combination of factors. Solar technology has gotten twice as affordable and twice as efficient in the past decade. In winter of 2018 a farmer friend and tireless renewable energy advocate put us in touch with a Spark Northwest, a non-profit in Seattle that provides grant-writing assistance to small businesses for renewable energy projects. With their help we applied for a federal and a state grant and were fortunate to receive both. We also received a Wild Rivers Coast Alliance small grant and a number of generous individual donations from CSA members and friends of the farm. All together these funds got us close enough to the project budget that we were able to give Sol Coast the green light to do the installation this past month and flip the switch on the inverters this week!

I want to express my deepest thanks to everyone who chipped in to make this happen at the farm, and to all of you who have cheered and voted for the project along the way. As farmers we are feeling the unnerving effects of climate change directly (more extreme weather events, hotter and drier summers) and we want to be a pro-active part of the solution. Solar feels like a huge step in the right direction and we couldn't have done it without the support of Oregon Department of Energy, USDA, Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, Sol Coast, Kyle Electric, Coos Curry Electric Co-op and so many of you! Thank you for being part of positive change!
And this is how your VF farm crew feels about our new solar panels!
Meet your Farm Crew!
Pictured left to right:
  • Zoë, that's me, always the biggest spaz in the photo.
  • Shelli Thompson, seasoned farmer who we are so lucky to have join us this season from Washington to round out our harvest crew and run the farmstand!
  • Amelia Clements, Flower Farmer extraordinaire logging her third year at Valley Flora!
  • Bets Harrison, matriarch of it all, the reason Abby and I exist, and tomato-pepper-cuke-zuke-basil-hot sauce-jam lady! Thanks, Ma, for moving here 40+ years ago and bringing us into this world on Floras Creek.
  • Roberto Sierra, 9-year Valley Flora veteran who works so hard he makes the rest of us look lazy, and who is amazingly good-natured about putting up with all us ladies, day in and day out.
  • Abby Bradbury, Salad Queen of 22 years, growing you the best salad mix this side of the Milky Way! #EatMoreSalad!
Not pictured is Evan Kramer, our dedicated Saturday delivery driver who is on vacation celebrating his birthday this week! Happy Birthday Evan!
New Produce
Fennel: Bulbing fennel is one of my personal favorites. It has texture like celery and a mild anise flavor. Slice it up thinly and eat it raw in salads or you can cook with it. Great on pizza, in pasta sauce, sauteed with butter, in soup.

Strawberries: Most of the time the strawberries don't even make it home from the CSA pickup, but if they do, and if you are a delayed gratification type and want to make them last, they will keep for a number of days in the fridge in an airtight container. If you leave your berries on the counter they will continue ripening (and getting even sweeter) but will also have a shorter shelf life.

Sunflower Shoots: Another staple in our micro-mix line-up, these are the shoots of sprouted organic black oil sunflower seeds. Nutty flavor, great texture, awesome in salads, on sandwiches and by the handful! We packed them into cello bags this week after one member reported that her pea shoots were limp in the Bio-Bag last week. Please let me know if you had the same problem so we know whether we should continue to use the Bio-Bags or not. The last thing I want if for anyone to get sad-looking produce!

Stir-Fry Mix: The bagged greens are a mix of baby kale and mustards that make a great addition to stir-fries. You can also steam them or add them to your salad. The mustards have a little kick to spice things up.

Note: Saturday members might receive cilantro and Tokyo Bekana pac choi, a lime-green, frilly-leaved type of pac choi that is wonderfully tender and mild. Both were slated for next week but with this heat it might try to bolt on us so we might start harvesting it for the end of the week. Just FYI in case you get a bunch of cilantro and a big lofty light green, white-ribbed head of pac choi on Saturday!
Strawberry U-Pick is Open!
We've opened the gate to the strawberry patch and you're in for a treat. The berries you're getting in your Harvest Basket this week are a little sample of the big, bodacious, crimson red, startlingly sweet berries that await you in the u-pick field. Production is still ramping up so we only have 5-6 beds open for u-pick right now but that will increase as the berries hit their full stride in the coming weeks. If you're coming a long distance to pick in these first few weeks, we strongly suggest coming in the morning because the beds will get picked out before noon. Also keep in mind that our strawberry season goes for 4+ months and they become more abundant as the summer rolls on. I always tell folks that if you want to pick to fill your freezer, plan on coming a little later in the summer when there's more fruit and the June strawberry fervor has died down a little. We do have buckets you can pick into and boxes you can take fruit home in, but we still suggest bringing your own u-pick containers if you can.

We picked yesterday to fill orders and CSA totes and it was pure delight. We were all a little giddy, which is saying something when you're stooped for three hours straight...


The Farmstand is Open for Summer Hours!

Every Wednesday & Saturday
9 am to 2 pm
Rain or shine!

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

Please bring your own bags and u-pick containers if possible!

Directions to the Farm
For Recipes & Cooking Inspiration:
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
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 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp


Subscribe to Valley Flora aggregator