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Pasture-raised chickens in Tuscon really pasture-raised - Tri-State Livestock News

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Tri-State Livestock News

Pasture-raised chickens in Tuscon really pasture-raised
Tri-State Livestock News
TUCSON — When you go to the grocery store and see those eggs labeled cage-free, organic and pasture-raised, have you wondered what the terms really mean and whether the chickens that provide the eggs are really raised under the conditions described ...

Boulder's Black Cat Farm gets county OK on its meat processing ... - Boulder Daily Camera

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Boulder's Black Cat Farm gets county OK on its meat processing ...
Boulder Daily Camera
Boulder County officials have issued a clean bill of health to Boulder's Black Cat Farm, which provides farm-to-table produce and meat to two popular Boulder restaurants, following a brief investigation prompted by a tip that raised questions about its ...

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The production, sale, and consumption of local food brings significant economic and health benefits to communities. But the next step is securing greater accessibility for all, including underserved populations - Greenville Journal

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The production, sale, and consumption of local food brings significant economic and health benefits to communities. But the next step is securing greater accessibility for all, including underserved populations  Greenville Journal

It's a cool morning at Bio-Way Farm, a small certified organic operation in Ware Shoals. Chris Sermons, the farm's owner, instructs his new helpers how to ...

Your Final Week from Valley Flora!

Beet Box -

Your Final Week from Valley Flora! The last one!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser




In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • The Last Week!
  • 2018 CSA Sign-ups
  • Tamales this Week
  • Farmstand Still Going - This Week and Next!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Green Cabbage
  • Bulk Kale
  • Celeriac
  • Delicata Squash
  • Red Potatoes
  • Hakurei Turnips?
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Parsnips
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
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.

 
The Last Week!
This is it! Your final CSA delivery for 2017 couldn't come on a more beautiful December week (cold, but oh that full moon and crystal clear sky.....!). I am always surprised by the lingering abundance at this time of year; the totes are not only replete but also colorful. We've managed to "eat the local rainbow" for another  season, from before the longest day of the year until almost the shortest day (happy winter solstice to all!). And for those of you who are embarking on the winter CSA adventure with us starting in January, the seasonal fare will continue!

A ginormous thank you to everyone for showing up to support our little local family farm this year. For suffering through the ugly potatoes with us and enjoying one of the best sugar snap pea years we've had in a decade. Every season is a roller coaster ride for us, but this year was particularly challenging at times, starting with the eleven feet of rain we got last winter. That cold, wet spring was the hardest we've endured and by June I already felt like I'd had the stuffing punched out of me. Then, on cue, we had our bizarre-o string of little disasters in a single week: the pump burning up - twice; the electric tractor croaking; a car crashing through our farmstand; a trip to the ER with our daughter. I mumbled more than once, "If ever there was a year to quit, this would be it..."

But buoyed up by the encouragement and generosity of all of you, we didn't quit. And then the peas came on in all their glory, followed by big fat ears of corn, sweet peppers, tomatoes and all the rest, and sure enough happy farm amnesia overtook us and we forgot all about our early-season woes. That's the beauty of living by the seasons; they're always changing and you're always forgetting :)

The thing we never forget though is how lucky we are to be supported and cheered on by a community of folks like you. I say this every year, and I'll never get tired to reminding you: we wouldn't be here as a farm without you, our CSA members. You're the bedrock of our farm financially and the source of our greatest farming inspiration (my passion for keeping your Harvest Basket colorful and diverse each week is what drives all the crop planning, trials and experimentation at Valley Flora).

Happy winter to everyone. Cross your fingers for a kinder one this year, and I hope we can count you among our 2018 CSA members next season (more on that up next)!

XOXOX!
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2018 CSA Sign-Ups
We will begin sign-ups for the 2018 CSA in January. If you were a member in any capacity this season (you got a Harvest Basket, eggs, salad and/or tamales), you will be included in our priority sign-up process. That means that you'll be guaranteed a spot in 2018 so long as you sign-up within our priority sign-up window in January/Februrary. After that we'll open it up to folks on our waiting list until we're sold out.

We'll contact you via email in January with sign-up details. If your email has changed, please be sure to let us know so we can reach you when sign-ups begin!
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Tamales this Week!
This is the final delivery of tamales! Be sure to grab your share out of the marked blue coolers at your pickup site this week, and double check that you take the bag with your name on it. A special thanks to Juana for the 1,680 tamales she cranked out for our CSA members this year!
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Farmstand Still Going - This Week & Next!
We are open this week and next week on Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine. Next Wednesday, December 13, will be our final farmstand for 2017. Come stock up on fresh and storage crops to see you into the holidays!
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Farmstand Fall Hours:
Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 27 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Beet Box -

Week 27 of 28 from Valley Flora! Winter Spinach, Asian Pears & Sunchokes!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Almost-December Surprises
  • Beware - Bitter Pumpkin Alert!
  • Next Week is the Last One!
  • Fall Farmstand Hours
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Chicory
  • Sunchokes
  • Festival & Acorn Squash
  • Spinach
  • Bunch Beets
  • Asian Pears
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Nothing this week
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Red Onions
  • Green Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Bunch Greens
  • Celeriac
  • Red Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Parsnips
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
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.

 
Almost-December Surprises
For it being the cusp of December, there are some never-before-seen surprises in your tote this week:

Winter Spinach: We are doing some late-season and over-wintering spinach trials this year, both outdoors and in a high tunnel. The spinach is delicious thanks to the chilly weather, but be forewarned: there might be a little bit of Valley Fauna to go with your Valley Flora. The slugs and cabbage loopers are no dummies - they're living it up in that cozy greenhouse, making for some holey spinach (not to be confused with holy spinach, which is difficult to grow without divine intervention). We gave the spinach a dunking in the wash tub, but be sure to give it a more thorough wash at home unless you want protein-enhanced gritty spinach salad.
Asian Pears: This is our latest-maturing Asian pear variety, Shinko. Mild, sweet and juicy. Store them in your fridge to maintain their crisp texture.

Sunchokes: Here they are, your token annual dose of Jerusalem Artichokes. Many of you have heard my spiel about how sunchokes are a sunflower native to North America and are supposedly a great starch alternative for diabetics because they are high in inulin....yada yada yada. BUT, what's probably more important to mention is that sunchokes make some people fart. Really bad. Note I said "some," not all. The moral of the story if you've never had them before: eat them in safe company, or alternatively, binge on them if you hope to win a tournament of fart tennis with your roommate (didn't everyone do that in college?). Here are some good recipes to start with.
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Beware - Bitter Pumpkin Alert!
We've had two customers report that they've gotten a bitter pumpkin from us. If you haven't used your pie pumpkin yet and you plan to, be sure to taste or lick the raw pumpkin before you turn it into an entire pie! You will know immediately if you have a bitter one; the taste is horrible.

We've never had this problem arise on our farm, but it's a relatively common issue that afflicts the Cucurbit family (winter squash, summer squash, melons, cucumbers). Cucurbits contain a group of chemicals called cucurbitacins, which are responsible for the bitterness you sometimes encounter in cucumbers - and in our case this year, pie pumpkins. That bitter taste is a survival mechanism in plants to keep things from eating them, and it works!

There are two possible reasons for elevated cucurbitacins: 1) environmental stress like extreme temperatures or water shortage (more common in summer squash than winter squash), or 2) seed genetics due to cross pollination with other Cucurbits (i.e. a contaminated seed lot). I have an inquiry in to the seed company to find out if they've had any other reports of bitter pumpkins with this seed lot.

Over a decade ago when I was working at Sauvie Island Organics, we had a CSA member who took her entire share one week mid-summer and made a huge veggie soup. It was completely inedible. It turned out she had gotten a bitter zucchini from us. We knew we had to find the rogue plant to prevent a similar tragedy befalling anyone else's soup pot, so at harvest we combed through the 1/4 acre of zucchini and licked the cut stem of every single squash we picked. After an hour of that, you can imagine how our tongue's felt! We never found the culprit, so we ended up abandoning the entire zucchini planting for the rest of the year. In that case, it might have been environmental stress. One thing's for sure: a quarter acre of abandoned zucchini plants makes for some fun giant zucchini pranks.

Around that same time, one of our favorite local seed companies that grows our Delicata squash variety, Wild Garden Seed, suddenly had reports of bitter Delicatas coming from all their customers. They had to dump their entire seed stock because they determined that it was genetic contamination causing the bitterness. It could have been tragic had they not had a stash of seed in their freezer that pre-dated the contamination. They were able to grow out those seeds and rebuild their seed stock - thank goodness for all of us, because their Delicata strain is far and away the best we've ever tasted!

My hunch is that we're dealing with a genetic issue, and it may just be one single plant in our entire planting. Hard knowing, so be sure to do the lick test before you make an entire pumpkin soup or pie! And I'm really crossing my fingers that we didn't ruin anyone's Thanksgiving dessert table this year! If you are the victim of a bitter pumpkin, you have recourse: let me know and I'll send you some sweet Delicatas!
ucurbits contain a group of chemicals called cucubitacins. It is these cucurbitacins that are responsible for squash that is bitter tasting. The higher the levels of cucubitacin, the more bitter the squash will taste. The most likely cause for a bitter taste in squash is due to an environmental stress of some sort, most likely a wide temperature flux or irregular irrigation.

Read more at Gardening Know How: Squash Is Bitter Tasting: Reasons For Bitter Squash Taste https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/bitter-tasting-squash.htm
Cucurbits contain a group of chemicals called cucubitacins. It is these cucurbitacins that are responsible for squash that is bitter tasting. The higher the levels of cucubitacin, the more bitter the squash will taste. The most likely cause for a bitter taste in squash is due to an environmental stress of some sort, most likely a wide temperature flux or irregular irrigation

Read more at Gardening Know How: Squash Is Bitter Tasting: Reasons For Bitter Squash Taste https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/bitter-tasting-squash.htm
Cucurbits contain a group of chemicals called cucubitacins. It is these cucurbitacins that are responsible for squash that is bitter tasting. The higher the levels of cucubitacin, the more bitter the squash will taste. The most likely cause for a bitter taste in squash is due to an environmental stress of some sort, most likely a wide temperature flux or irregular irrigation

Read more at Gardening Know How: Squash Is Bitter Tasting: Reasons For Bitter Squash Taste https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/bitter-tasting-squash.htm
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Next Week is the Last One!
Normal CSA deliveries resume this week. Next week will be our final week of CSA deliveries. If you pick up at the farm or in Coos Bay, your last tote will arrive on Wednesday, December 6th. If you pick up in Port Orford or Bandon, we'll deliver your final tote on Saturday, December 9th.
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Fall Farmstand Hours
For the rest of the season (until December 13th) we will be open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (no Saturdays). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, with all kinds of fall bounty - including giant kohlrabis! Come stock up.
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Farmstand Fall Hours:
Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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