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Week 2 from Valley Flora!

Beet Box -

Week 2 from Valley Flora!
Thanks for eating locally from our family farm!
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What's Cookin' at the Farm...
  • A Historic First Week!
  • What's in the Box?!
  • Beauty, Always...
  • Tamales This Week!
  • Update on Strawberry U-pick
What's In Your Share This Week:*
  • Scallions
  • Baby Spinach
  • Kohlrabi
  • Head Lettuce
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Collards
  • Pea Shoots
On Rotation:
(Some locations will receive it this week; others in a future week)
  • Broccolini
  • Asparagus
*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...
  • Asparagus or Broccolini
  • Braising Mix
  • Chard or Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Strawberries?!
  • Cilantro?
  • Sunflower Shoots
  • Hakurei turnips?
  • Strawberries? (Come on sun!)
A Historic First Week!
You did it, you set a new CSA record at Valley Flora: no mix-ups in the first week!!! I didn't get a single call or email reporting that someone's salad had gone missing, or that there was an extra tote at the end of pick-up hours. Thank you all so much for smooth sailing in the first week!

The only issue we saw at pick-up locations was that a handful of folks didn't take their salad shares home. We hate for you to miss out if you're signed up for Abby's Greens, so be sure to grab your salad this week if you ordered it. Remember, all salad share members are listed on the cooler lid and anyone who is signed up for a full pound share has a bag labeled with their name on it inside the red salad cooler.

Thanks again for a great first week!
What's in the Box!?
A few notes on new items this week:

Pea Shoots: In the last couple of years we've gotten into micro mix and shoot production in our greenhouse. I started for selfish reasons: I wanted to have tasty sunflower and pea shoots and micro mix in my own salad bowl year-round, and it gave me an excuse to plant seeds every month of the year (I guess you could say we have an addiction to growing things around here). The shoots and micro mix turned out to be a great product popular with both chefs and our farmstand customers alike, so they've become a staple offering. This week you're getting a bag of pea shoots. I love mixing them into my salads, but you can also use them as pretty garnish or quick-saute them. We've bagged them into compostable Bio-bags. I like that these bags are not plastic (they're made out of non-GMO corn), but they do have a weird feel to them (especially when wet) and I've noticed that things wilt in them in your fridge (doh!). I suggest you double bag your pea shoots or transfer them into an airtight container to keep them perky.

Baby Spinach: Lovely little tender spinach leaves bagged into the clear ziploc

Kohlrabi: Plum-purple and a little alien looking! Peel the pretty skin with a veg peeler or knife and enjoy raw as veggie sticks (great with a little chili, salt and lime like Mexican-style jicama, or dredge through your favorite dip). You can also cook kohlrabi, but I find it loses some it's crispy, juicy appeal in a stir-fry.

Collard Greens: The flat-leaved bunch of greens in your share is a Southern staple. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to cook a mess 0' collard greens all day with ham hocks and black-eyed peas. I don't really know why collards are traditionally boiled for hours since they are wonderful lightly steamed, just like kale or chard. You can also roll them up, slice them thinly, and make a raw salad with an assertive dressing. Or steam whole leaves lightly and use them for wraps or sushi rolls (move over tortillas and seaweed).
Beauty, Always...
Many years back, my mom, Bets, put words to a principle that has always guided life at Valley Flora, since before it was Valley Flora: Everything we do has to be at least 51% art. That is to say, this is a working farm where function is important, but form and beauty are also essential and non-negotiable. If you were to boil it down, our deepest motivation for doing what we do here on this land is our desire to spend our lives amidst the natural beauty of this valley, and perhaps to paint a bit of our own beauty on the canvas it provides us.

A friend of ours works for an organization called And Beauty for All, which is dedicated to "Bringing Americans together and healing our wounds by embracing natural beauty and human design in ways that revitalize our communities and renew our environment." She asked me to write something inspired by the farm for their blog, which you can read here. It is moments like those with my draft horses, in the fold of these hills along the creek, that I feel so lucky to have drawn this card.

My 8 year old daughter Cleo wants to be an artist when she grows up, and more specifically, an artist who lives on a farm. I hope she does with all my heart. May the love of beauty live on (and may she find someone to live on that farm with who wants to do all the hard work, hah!).
Tamales THIS Week!
Tamale members, your first dozen are coming this week! Tamales will be frozen, packed into marked blue coolers and labeled individually with names. Double check the label on your bag before you take your dozen home! Enjoy!
Strawberry U-Pick Update
Me-oh-my is the world excited for strawberry u-pick to open! We have been patiently waiting for the berries to ripen up so that we have enough to satisfy everyone (CSA shares, farmstand customers, restaurants, stores, and u-pick...). Opening day is coming soon - possibly even this Saturday if they ripen enough - but PLEASE CHECK OUR WEBSITE before you come! I am updating about the u-pick status there, as well as on Facebook. It's agonizing when a mini-van pulls up to the farmstand and a whole load of kids pile out with their buckets ready to pick and we have to break their hearts. One upbeat boy - upon learning that he couldn't pick strawberries - said, "Don't worry, Mom, we can get some kale instead!" He then proceeded to pick a bunch of kale from one of our farmstand coolers and ate it on the spot like an ice cream cone. If only the adults could handle the let-down so well! :)

Keep an eye on our website and know that once u-pick starts it's looking like it will be a great year in the berries.

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.
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