The Valley Flora Beetbox

Valley Flora's newsletter, sharing news from the farm, seasonal updates, and more!

Week 7: July 15th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Veggies: Red Cabbage
  • Winter Garden Kits
  • The Heartbreaking Absence of Sugar in your Share

 

In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Purplette Onions
  • Red Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Zucchini

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Basil
  • Peas

 

New Veggies of the Week…

Red Cabbage

Now there’s some heft! Cabbage is a year-round veggie – in part because it grows from spring through fall, but also because certain varieties store through the winter. This is an early variety, bred for fresh-eating. It will still store for weeks in your fridge (ideally in a bag), so no pressure to eat the whole thing at once (like my draft horse, Maude, likes to do – as if it were a small apple). If you eat some of it and save the rest for later, the cut edge will brown a little. Next time you go to use it, simply shave off the outside layer first.

 

Great sliced up thinly with grated carrots for a festive summer slaw!

 

U-Pick Marionberries & Peas

They’re going strong! Come pick!

 

Winter Garden Kits

This week you’ll see some flats of veggie starts at each pickup site, labeled with names. They are for members who have signed up and pre-paid for Winter Garden Kits. Please don’t take any plants home unless you signed up for a Winter Garden Kit. Thanks!

 

The Heartbreaking Absence of Sugar in your Share

For the first time ever in the history of Harvest Baskets, there are no strawberries in the share this week (unheard of for mid-July!). The strawberry patch has been in a precipitous nose-dive since the beginning of July and the diagnosis is a soil-borne root fungus called Phytophthora. Phytophthora is ubiquitous on the farm (it can persist in soil for up to 17 years) – but doesn’t necessarily do damage unless it has ideal conditions to proliferate. We got those conditions during the big flood in January of 2012, and then again in November 2012 when the field went under water yet again. Phyophthora thrives in wet, cool soil and flood conditions will unleash it with a fury.

 

The first casualty on the farm was our raspberries. We lost our entire fall raspberry crop last year (as in, had to tear out the entire planting just as it was hitting it’s prime years), and our June-bearing raspberries were crippled by it (not killed, but almost; the only reason we had a reasonable fruit set on the June raspberries this year was because they pollinated so well this spring).

 

Strawberries are the other Phyophthora-prone crop we grow, and it has hit them hard this season, in spite of our best efforts to rotate them every year and give them the healthiest soil conditions we can. At this point, I’m declaring it a crop failure (although I’m ever-hopeful that we will be happily surprised by a turn-around later in the summer).

 

The challenge has been not to panic; strawberries are one of our signature crops and make up a significant portion of the summer income stream. Without those sweet red berries in the mix it’s a little unclear how the economics are going to play out for the farm this season. We have been trying to eek out whatever we can just to help cover the lost investment in this year’s crop (the strawberry crowns, all the labor to plant and maintain them, the fertilizer, the harvest labor, the packaging, etc.), but it will probably chalk up to a loss in the strawberry column this season.

 

Looking ahead, I just ordered our new plants (which we put in the ground each November for the following season) and I’m going to trial two new varieties that allegedly have much better disease resistance than Seascape (our beloved standby variety), and better flavor. Hard to imagine, but here’s hoping! We are also moving onto higher ground and the new strawberries will be in a place in the field that didn’t go under during the floods of 2012.

 

In the meantime, we will do whatever we can to get strawberries into your share if possible. Special orders are on hold for the time being, unless you want seconds (we have those in abundant supply but they’re ugly). I’m so sorry!

 

We have been able to get one or two good flats out of the field each harvest day (compared to the 20 or 30 we would normally be picking right now), and those are for sale at the farmstand (there’s not even enough to put them on rotation for the CSA, so we are just selling the few pints we have).

 

Thank goodness for the 99 other crops that are doing well on the farm. Roberto was asking me yesterday if there is compensation money from the government for a crop loss like this. The answer is no – unless you grow corn, or soy, or wheat, or somesuch commodity and you buy crop insurance for it. But for us fresh market organic farmers, our only insurance is diversity. So enjoy the 9 other things in your share this week and if you think of it, do a strawberry dance for good measure.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

  • Head lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Purplette Onions
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Fresh dill
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 6: July 8th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Veggies: Purplette Onions, Fennel, Basil, Zucchini
  • U-pick Marionberries and Peas!
  • Flowers in your Abby’s Greens!

 

In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Purplette Onions
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Fennel

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Basil
  • Zucchini

 

New Veggies of the Week…

Purplette Onions

One of the first and most favorite onions we grow, Purplettes are an early, mild, fresh-eating onion that has become much-adored by our CSA members over the years. It’s a gentle onion, as onions go – mild enough to eat raw, but also spunky enough to cook up as you would a typical yellow storage onion (we grow those, too, but they take another month or more to mature).

 

You’ll be getting purplettes for the next few weeks. They are not a cured, storage variety, so keep them in your fridge and try to eat them up as they come. They’ll keep for at least a couple of weeks in your fridge (longer if you take the green tops off). The tops can double as green onions if you are inspired to use every last inch of them!

 

Fennel

For our new CSA members, this might be your first encounter with fennel. Returning members know that this is one of my favorite vegetables (to grow and to eat), but I have learned over the years that not everyone is head over heels for it (we have at least one member who without fail feeds her fennel to a neighbor's cow, every time). Fennel is officially tied with beets for Most Controversial CSA Vegetable of All Time. My job is to help you learn to like (dare I say “love”?) it, or if you are already among the converted, to cheer you on as you relish this week’s two fat bulbs in your share. They are three weeks early, which makes my day. In our kitchen, we are in fennel hog heaven at the moment.

 

Fennel has a mild, sweet, anise flavor (I’ve learned not to say “licorice” for fear of scaring people off before they’ve even given it a try…), and adds depth and complexity to dishes, both cooked and raw. It’s a staple in Italy (and CHEAP there!). It probably most resembles celery in the kitchen.

 

So what to do with it? You have options.

 

There’s an array of recipes on our website: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/fennel

Basic tips:

  • Most recipes are going to put the bulb to use, rather than the feathery fronds. You can use the tops, too, however – as an herb. Try it in place of dill. Great on baked or broiled fish with butter and lemon.
  • Eat it raw: cut the feathery fronds off, strip any damaged or woody parts of the bulb, wash it, quarter it, and slice it cross-wise paper thin. Put it on salad, or make a salad of it by itself. Also great served on a cheese platter or dipped raw.
  • Cook it: It’s really nice caramelized with those purplette onions in your tote and some fresh basil. Slice it up thinly and sautee it with the onions for a good while until it’s all mushy and soft. Salt to taste and add fresh-slivered basil at the end. Serve as a side, or on top of pasta, or on toast (it’s awesome on some toasted Seth’s Bread, bruschetta style).
  • Try a sautee of fennel, artichoke hearts, zucchini, tomatoes, sweet bell pepper, thyme and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Cut the bulb into quarters, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until tender – about 35 minutes.
  • Substitute for celery in any recipe.
  • Add it to soup, stir fry it, steam it, put it in pasta salad or pasta sauce, or juice it (it lends a wonderful sweetness to fresh-made juice).

 

Storage: At least a couple of weeks in the fridge in a plastic bag. The tops will go limp, so cut them off, wrap them in a moist towel (or stuff into a plastic bag) and refrigerate.

 

Basil

I knew it was truly summer yesterday when I opened the door and our entire walk-in cooler smelled like basil. That’s happiness. Basil is one of those signature summertime smells (and tastes) that I love. As soon as I get my first whiff of the season, I start to crave tomatoes. Fresh, ripe tomatoes on a plate with olive oil, fresh basil, and some fresh mozzarella. Soon…

 

In the absence of tomatoes just yet, this week’s basil pairs well with your fennel. I also love to simply chop it up and put it in my salad with whatever veggies we have on hand.

 

Storage: Will hold for a week or so in the fridge in a plastic bag.

 

Zucchini

Zucchini is one of those crops that sneaks up on you. All through June we watch the plants growing in the field and it seems like it’ll be months before we’re eating any zukes. And then, suddenly – practically overnight – there are zucchinis coming out of our ears. Last week’s heat wave helped accelerate this year’s attack of the zucchinis.

 

My mom grows the zucchini on the farm and she is pretty much wedded to her squash plants for the duration: combing through the patch every day to harvest them at the perfect size. If she skips a day, inevitably she’ll end up with a pile of lunkers – perfect for zucchini bread, but not so attractive for dinner.

 

You should see zucchini in your tote for the next many weeks, if all goes well.

 

Storage: In the fridge, in a bag. Use within a week.

 

U-Pick Marionberries & Peas

We opened the marionberries to upick today, and the peas are at their peak. Come fill your buckets!

 

Flowers in your Abby’s Greens!

If you get a salad share, this week you’ll notice flower petals in the mix. Usually by July, Abby’s patch of edible flowers is in full bloom and she begins to add them to the salad. The orange and yellow petals are calendulas. The blue is bachelor button. It’s totally edible confetti.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

  •  
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Purplette Onions
  • Strawberries
  • Carrots
  • Red Cabbage
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Fresh dill?
  • Zucchini

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 5: July 1st

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Veggies: Collard Greens, Carrots, Scallions, Tayberries & Thyme
  • U-Pick Tayberries and Peas!
  • Strawberry Woes

 

In your share this week:

·      Broccoli

·      Head Lettuce

·      Collard Greens

·      Strawberries

·      Carrots

·      Scallions

·      Thyme

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

·      Snap peas

·      Arugula

·      Spinach

·      Tayberries

 

New Veggies of the Week…

Lots of new things this week, and it’s not all greens! Carrots, heavy heads of broccoli, and scallions herald the real onset of summer!

 

Collard Greens

Collard greens are beloved in the South. Closely related to kale, cabbage, turnips and the rest of the Brassica family, collards became a staple in the diet of African slaves who were brought to the southern colonies to work on plantations. Slaves were often given the scraps and leftover food from the plantation kitchen, including turnip tops, other greens, ham hocks and pig’s feet. The meals they were forced to create from these meager ingredients ultimately laid the foundation for what we now consider to be traditional southern cooking.

 

Greens were typically cooked down for a long time with a ham hock, and then served with cornbread to dip into the “pot likker” (the highly concentrated, vitamin-rich broth that results from the long boil of the greens). A “mess o’ greens” was enough to feed a family, so the size of your “mess” depended on the number of mouths you had to feed.

 

The “mess o’ greens” you can make from this week’s collards is probably enough for 2-4 people. I tend to shy away from boiling collards for a long time. They are plenty tender and delicious after a quick steam or sautee in the pan. I tried this recipe for the first time a few weeks ago, and loved it. You can use a mixture of collards and any other green (kale, chard, spinach), so if you have leftover greens from last week, here’s their chance to shine. You can substitute your scallions for the onion in the recipe:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/collards-potatoes

 

Storage: Will hold for a week or more in a plastic bag in the fridge.

 

Carrots

There is not much I need to say about carrots, except this: good luck getting these home. Nothing beats a freshly-harvested, homegrown carrot. Lucky for all of us, these are the earliest carrots we’ve EVER had at the farm, thanks to that warm spell of sunshine in April that enabled me to sneak in a planting 3 weeks earlier than usual. I always breathe a sigh of relief when the carrots come on – it means the beginning of summer food, more color (other than green) in the harvest baskets, and lots of good snacking in the field.

 

Storage: Will hold for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge, IF you cut the green tops off. The greens tend to wilt the carrots after awhile, so if you don’t eat all your carrots in the first five minutes, store them in the fridge topless.

 

Scallions

Also known as green onions, scallions kick off our onion season at Valley Flora. We grow eight kind of onions, 4 varieties of leeks, and two kinds of shallots on the farm. The scallions are the earliest to mature, but our purplette spring onions are close on their heels (look for them in your tote in the next couple of weeks). You can sub scallions anywhere that onions would normally be used, or dice them up for garnish.

 

We’ve never had such a beautiful onion patch as we do this year – thanks in part to the fact that our onion seedlings had a great start in the greenhouse this winter, and because the spring has been so incredibly lovely and warm. We’re crossing our fingers for a record-breaking harvest of all varieties…

 

Storage: Will hold a week or so in the fridge in a plastic bag.

 

Tayberries

If you were one of the folks who received a half pint of mystery berries in your tote last week, and had no idea what they were, here’s your answer: Tayberries. They are a cross between marionberries and raspberries, and we are just barely managing to pick enough to give everyone a taste of them (it’s a slow harvest!). But they are delectable – one of my favorite berries on the farm – and worth every long hour of picking. Eat them by the handful, or whip up some cream to sprinkle them on. Sweet heaven.

 

After you taste them, you might be inspired to come to the farm and pick your own. We just opened up the tayberries to upick today. The season will last another week or two, but it’s fleeting - so get ‘em while you can!

 

They won’t store for more than a couple of days in the fridge, so I’d suggest the instant gratification approach on this one…

 

Thyme

Another of our perennial herbs, and quite possibly my favorite. We use thyme all the time. Summer thyme. Winter thyme. All the thyme. In marinades, in dressings, in eggs, in rice or quinoa. It’s also the easiest herb to dry and use later, so don’t be overwhelmed by the hefty little bunch you’re getting this week. Think delayed gratification on this one.

 

U-Pick Tayberries & Peas!

As of today, our tayberries are open for u-pick (good timing, just as the raspberries are beginning to wind down).

 

 

 

 

This Saturday, 7/6, we’ll be opening up the sugar snap pea patch for u-pick. We have 3 long rows of peas that we planted just for u-pick and they are hitting their sweet, crunchy stride. Yum.

 

Strawberry Woes

We’ve never had such a weird year in the strawberry patch. The u-pick berries are light right now (when they would normally be booming), and the we-pick berries that we harvest for you just aren’t what they should be at the moment. People usually tell us our strawberries are the best berries in the whole world (sorry, Driscolls, I guess we have you beat), but I know that’s not true this week.

 

I have a few working theories. The plants set fruit extremely early this spring, during all that good April weather. That huge fruit set (which normally would come in June) was destroyed by the Memorial Day storm. Since then, production on the upick side has been light – which I think must be the normal lull in production we typically see in late July. If the season is 3-4 weeks accelerated, it leads me to hope that the berries are about to go bananas, like they usually do in August and September. Fingers crossed for all of you who are still hoping to fill your freezers with berries! Reports from u-pickers are that it’s getting better each week.

 

On our side of the fence, where we pick your berries each week, there’s something else going on. Thanks to our greenhouse tunnels, we managed to save most of the fruit from the past two whopper rain storms, but at a price. When we close up the tunnels during the rain, there is limited airflow across the plants, which can lead to other problems, like botrytis (grey mold) and spider mites. These things stress the plants, which reduces fruit quality. There is also phytopthora (say that three times fast!), a soil and water-borne root fungus, that is stressing a few of the rows. Two winters of flooding in the field have not helped our phytopthora situation.

 

Sigh. The perils of organic farming. A conventional strawberry farmer would have all kinds of chemicals at her disposal to combat these problems: insecticides, fungicides, and worst of all, methyl bromide (a soil fumigant that conventional strawberry growers use to nuke the ground before planting; it takes care of the phytopthora, and all the earthworms as well). Instead, we are brewing compost tea, culling any diseased plants, and patiently waiting for the plants to rebound.

 

We’re hopeful. There’s no rain in the forecast, so we took the tunnels down for the season. The strawberry plants are wild and free again, and if nothing else, Jake (all 6’4” of him) is happy about the fact that he can see the sky while he harvests now….

 

Thanks for your patience while this signature crop of ours experiences this hiccup in production, and my sincere apologies that your berries are not the best in the whole world this week.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

·      Head lettuce

·      Broccoli

·      Arugula or spinach

·      Basil

·      Strawberries

·      Carrots

·      Fennel

·      Purplette onions?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 4: June 24th

In This Week's Beet Box:

  • New veggies: Beets & Rosemary
  • Meet the Valley Flora Crew!

 

In your share this week:

·      Broccolini

·      Spinach

·      Head Lettuce

·      Red Ursa Kale

·      Strawberries

·      Baby beets

·      Rosemary

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

·      Snap peas

 

NEW VEGGIES OF THE WEEK....

Baby Beets

If you believe that you hate beets, today is the day to open your mind and your heart to the possibility that you don’t.

 

(How’s that for some Zen Master Veggie Guru-speak?)

 

In other words, these are some darn good sweet beets – so try ‘em!

 

The variety is called Cylindra – a long, tubular beet that we like to grow for our first harvest (because we’ve found that they have great taste and they mature more quickly through the cool weather of spring). This is our first big harvest – sort of a combination of harvesting and thinning. As a result, the beets are petite but particularly sweet and tender. They’re also easy to use in the kitchen because you can cut them into uniform rounds, or quarter them into long wedges. Or eat them whole. They’re versatile: think beet soup (borscht), beet salad, roasted beets with rosemary (recipe below), raw grated beets on salad, pickled beets, and yes, for the most strident skeptic, beet chocolate cake. Also, beet stamps (they bleed a beautiful pink ink) and lipstick.

 

And don’t throw out the tops! If they look anything like chard to you, it’s because beets are descended from chard and beet leaves are 100% edible and yummy. You can do them up in any of the ways we have suggested for leafy greens (they are chock full of vitamin C, calcium and iron).

 

We ate beets for dinner the other night, roasted with rosemary and potatoes. It’s simple:

·      Preheat oven to 400.

·      Wash your beets (no need to peel).

·      Cut the beets into uniform chunks or wedges (if using potatoes, cut them the same size).

·      Toss with olive oil, salt to taste, and a sprig of chopped rosemary.

·      Spread on a baking sheet and roast until tender (maybe a half hour or so, depending on volume). We like to roast them a little longer until the potatoes have some crispy browning on the edges.

 

And some beet recipes off our website (including beet chocolate cake):

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/beets

 

One little personal word of warning in case you’ve never eaten beets before:

When you go to the bathroom the next day, don’t worry, you’re not dying. The red pigment of beets has a way of traveling straight through your body and, well, you'll see…:)

 

Storage: If you cut the tops off, beets will store in the fridge in a plastic bag for MONTHS.

 

Rosemary

Pretty much everyone is familiar with this herb, whether it grows as a sprawling shrub outside your door, or you keep some dried on your spice rack, or you like rosemary-scented shampoo, soap, and deodorant.

 

In addition to roasting vegetables with it, I like to stuff sprigs of it into the cavity of a roasting chicken and use it in meat marinades (especially well-paired with lamb). It dries easily, but is very brittle when dry – so consider hanging it inside a brown paper bag to catch any needles that fall off.

 

To store it for fresh use, don’t wash it until you are ready to use it. You can either keep it in a plastic bag in the fridge or put it in a glass of water (like a bouquet) and keep it on the counter. Will hold for a week or so.

 

Meet the Valley Flora Crew!

We have an all-star team working on the farm this season. Bets, Abby, Zoë & Roberto are the full-time core crew. This is Roberto’s 4th year with us and he is the tireless, dedicated engine that keeps the farm humming smoothly at full throttle. There aren’t words to express how much we appreciate his commitment to Valley Flora. He is a rare human being.

 

We are joined on Tuesday and Friday by Jake, who has quickly proven himself to be a heroic strawberry picker (he scoots all 6’4” of himself through our squat little strawberry tunnels to harvest those luscious berries for you). And he’s been a quick study in the packout barn – rinsing, sorting and packing all of the produce that comes out of the field on harvest days. We are delighting in his good humor, fantastic attitude, and solid work ethic (he often beats us to the farm on early harvest mornings, commuting all the way from Coos Bay)!

 

None of the food would get to all of you, were it not for John and Roxy, our delivery drivers. John (Bets’ husband and Abby & Zoë’s step-dad) does the Friday evening run to Port Orford, delivering all the CSA food to the pickup site, as well as wholesale deliveries to businesses. Without him, we have no idea how the food would get there in time, since we’re still jamming in the packout barn at 4 pm when he has to leave on Fridays.

 

Roxy does the Wednesday and Saturday delivery routes. She hauls all of the Coos Bay and Bandon CSA food for us, plus a LOT of deliveries for restaurants and stores in Bandon and Coos Bay (she is one tough lady, and a champion of local food). Her son and daughter-in-law have their own fishing boat and sell local canned tuna and crab under the Ocean Harvest label: http://www.theoceanharvest.com/albacore-tuna-dungeness-crab (Awesome stuff! We trade strawberries for tuna every year!). Roxy worked with us two seasons ago and is back again for more, hallelujah!

 

Aro tends the farmstand and u-pick on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This is her third season at that post. Her presence on the farm has made our lives so much more sane and sustainable (it means I can be in the office on Wednesday morning writing this newsletter instead of doing it at midnight), and she’s a wonderful ambassador to all of the farm visitors we welcome on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

 

And finally, none of the work would get done on harvest days without the help of Fay, who spends two days a week with our kids, Cleo and Pippin (age 2 and 3, respectively). She probably has the hardest job of all at times, and we are grateful to her for the patient, fun-loving energy she devotes to our kids on our longest work days.

 

What a team it is!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured from left to right:

Bets (Abby & Zoë’s mom), Zoë, Abby, Roberto, Jake

 

Not pictured (not for lack of love; only becuase it's impossible to get us all in the same place at the same time!):

John, Roxy, and Fay

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

 

·      Head lettuce

·      Broccoli

·      Arugula

·      Fresh herbs

·      Strawberries

·      Carrots?

·      Fennel?

·      Peas on rotation

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 3: June 17th

Week 3

In your share this week:

·      Broccolini

·      Braising Mix

·      Head Lettuce

·      Rainbow Chard

·      Strawberries

·      Kohlrabi

·      Radishes

·      Oregano

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

·      Snap peas

 

New Veggies of the Week…

A quick note, especially to our new members, about the Harvest Baskets right now. June is a month when the baskets are heavier on the greens – spinach, chard, kale, lettuce, etc. This is because these are quick-growing things that mature by early summer and are ready for harvest right now. Carrots, zucchini, potatoes, beets, tomatoes, corn and all the other well-loved veggies that you may be pining for start to show up later in the season, after they’ve had enough warm days to mature.

 

If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the greens in your share, remember this: if you cook them, they will shrink down to almost nothing! Really. It may look like an insurmountable amount of greenery when you open up your tote, but put them in a pan or a steamer or a blender and you won’t be so intimidated by the volume. Also, consider shifting your habits to incorporate the greens every chance you get. Scrambled eggs for breakfast? Throw some chopped chard in there, too!

 

And also know that as our mild, early summer weather shifts into mid-summer heat, you’ll start to see less of the greens and more of the other hearty veggies that are growing happily  in our fields right now. Just like raising kids, this phase doesn’t last forever, so try to make the most of it while it’s here!

 

Rainbow Chard

There's an unspoken rule around the farm, inspired by a saying of my mom's: that "Everything we do has to be at least 51% art." If ever there was a crop that abides by this mantra, it's rainbow chard. With stems aflame in hues of pink, red, orange, yellow, and white, it's as much eye candy as it is good eating. Chard grows year-round here, but it loves early summer the best; it's leaves are big, heavy and succulent right now, and it’s a joy to harvest and bunch.

 

Chard is a leafy parent to beets and can be used anywhere you would normally use spinach. It’s actually nutritionally superior to spinach because it doesn’t contain oxalic acid – the thing in spinach that sometimes makes your teeth feel coated and funny. Oxalic acid binds minerals and makes them unavailable during digestion, so all the vitamins (A, E, and C) and minerals (iron, calcium) in chard are more readily absorbed by your body.

 

When we eat chard, we use the whole leave, stem and all. The stems take a little longer to cook, so we strip the leaves from them, chop up the stems, and start them cooking a little before we add the leaves. I also throw whole chard leaves into my berry smoothie in the morning.

 

Here’s a menagerie of recipes off our website to help get you started if this is your first time out with chard:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/chard

 

Storage: in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag. Will last more than a week.

 

Oregano

Oregano is one of the perennial herbs we planted a year ago, with the hope of being able to provide fresh herbs to our members in the early part of the season before annual herbs like dill, cilantro, basil and parsley are ready on the farm. The plan seems to be working; our oregano patch is knee high and perhaps too well established at this point (it’s in the mint family and likes to spread….). Herbs are supposedly the most flavorful and pungent just before flowering, so we harvested it this week for you just before the flower spikes have begun to open. The flowers and leaves are both edible.

 

In the kitchen, it has a spicy taste with a bit of a bite – most commonly used in tomato sauces and Italian cooking. But you can also add it to salad dressing, tuck it under the skin of roasting chickens or into the cavity of baking fish. You can infuse vinegar with it by putting a sprig or two into a bottle of vinegar, or add it to Greek salad.

 

Or, DRY IT! Because we harvested sizeable bunches for you and it’s pretty potent stuff, you might want to dry some of it for later use. Simply hang it upside down, ideally in a dry, dark place (but somewhere in your kitchen will work fine, too) until it’s crispy-dry.  If you have a food dehydrator you can make of layer of sprigs in it and run it on a low setting until crispy. Then strip off the dry leaves over a plate or bowl, crumble them up between your fingers, and store in a jar. You can do this with many of the herbs you’ll be getting throughout the season (thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, dill, and mint).

 

To store it for fresh use, you can either keep it in a plastic bag in the fridge or put it in a glass of water (like a bouquet) and keep it on the counter. Will hold for a week or so.

 

Braising Mix

The bag of greens in your tote this week is braising mix. It’s a semi-spicy mix of baby kale, tatsoi, mizuna and mustard greens – great for eating raw as salad-with-a-kick, or cooked (steamed, stir-fried, etc.). Use it any way that you’d eat kale, spinach, chard or other leafy greens. I like it steamed up next to a pile of beans and cornbread, with hot sauce – for a southern twist.

 

Stores for at least a week in the fridge.

 

U-pick and Farmstand are OPEN!

I think I forgot to mention this in previous newsletters:

 

Our farmstand and u-pick are open every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm. There is produce for purchase at the farmstand, in case you want to round out your Harvest Basket with something extra. AND, the u-pick is ramping up with strawberries, RASPBERRIES, fresh herbs and flowers!

 

The strawberry u-pick goes all summer, until the fall rains come. The raspberry season is more fleeting and will probably only go through the early part of July.  You might want to come sooner than later, since Pippin and Cleo have figured out how to pilfer the raspberry patch efficiently this year.

 

After raspberries, we’ll have marionberries (July and August).

 

Please bring your own containers for u-pick and your own bags for farmstand produce (in the interest of keeping more plastic out of the landfill).

 

 

Spring Strawberry Victory!

Every year, we struggle through the months of May and June in the strawberry patch. It seems that just as they are really beginning ripen, we get another rainstorm that mushes up the berries and sets us back a couple of weeks. So, this year we decided to experiment with some low tunnels - like portable mini-greenhouses - of our own design. We set these things up over our new strawberry planting, in hopes of being able to keep them dry during rainy spells, but with the option of raising the plastic during warm, dry spells (to keep it from getting too hot in there, and to let the bees, wind and other pollinators in).

 

We watched them get blown apart during the Memorial Day storm (we clocked 40+ mph windds at the farm), so we had to make some design changes to help them withstand strong winds. It seems to be working so far. We dropped the plastic down for this week's rain, so the strawberries have stayed warm and dry through every downpour. What a relief.

 

The other unforeseen consequence of the tunnels is that the berries seem to be super-sized so far this season. They are much bigger than usual, and there's less damage from marauding birds and toddlers.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

 

·      Head lettuce

·      Broccolini

·      Spinach

·      Fresh herbs

·      Strawberries

·      Carrots?

·      Peas?

·      Collards?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington

Newsletter: 

Week 2 - June 10th

Week 2

In your share this week:

·      Broccolini

·      Spinach

·      Head Lettuce

·      Red Ursa Kale

·      Rhubarb

·      Strawberries

·      Hakurei Turnips

·      Chives

·      Kohlrabi

 

What’s that Purple Thing?!

It’s called kohlrabi, and it’s as tasty as it is extraterrestrial-looking. The closest thing I can liken it to is broccoli stems – a sweetish, nutty-ish, tender, crunchy thing that you can eat raw or cooked. My favorite way to enjoy it: peeled and cut into sticks, then dipped. I like to make a homemade yogurt-curry dip for it (equal parts yogurt and mayo, with a good shake of the following herbs & spices, to taste: curry powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder and dill weed), but anything will do. You can also sautee or steam it, just as you would broccoli.

 

You can also eat the leaves; they are similar to kale and collard greens. Here are some recipe ideas to get you started:

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/kohlrabi

 

Next week you’ll see the greenish-white version – just as tender and yummy, but a little less flashy.

 

Storage: in a plastic bag in the fridge. Will hold for  weeks and weeks if you cut the leaves off.

 

Strawberries and Rhubarb: A Match Made in Heaven

The strawberries are starting to ramp up, just in time to catch the tail end of rhubarb season. These two go together like nothing else in the dessert world – sweet and tangy in perfect harmony! Baked into a pie or a crisp - or sozzled down into a compote - then topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream…oh man.

 

You may not have enough of either to make a full pie this week, but I recently tried this quick, easy recipe from Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” and it sent us swooning. I didn’t have any mango (it’s not in season on the farm J), but it was great without it. If your strawberries even make it home from your pickup site, then give this one a try (over ice cream, of course!):

 

Rhubarb, Strawberry and Mango Compote

1 pound rhubarb, cut into ½” lengths

¾ c sugar

Scant 1/8th tsp ground cloves

grated zest and juice of 1 large orange

1 pint strawberries, sliced in half or quartered

1 mango, peeled and cut sliced into small pieces

 

Toss rhubarb with sugar, cloves and orange zest and juice, then put in a wide skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and then. As soon s rhubarb is tender – some pieces will have fallen apart while others are still whole – transfer it to a bowl and stir in the strawberries and mango. Toss gently, then cover and chill. As it cools, it’s red juices will be released.

 

Rhubarb stores in the fridge for weeks in plastic bag. The strawberries are best eaten within a few days. If you leave them on your counter, they will continue to ripen, redden and sweeten, up to a point. Good luck with the delayed gratification approach, especially if you have kids!

 

Red Ursa Kale

If you are a first-time CSA member, or a newcomer to eating locally and seasonally, then kale is somewhat of an initiation vegetable. We welcome you to the tribe this week. You’ll see three to four different varieties of kale over the next 7 months with us, all of them unique. Red Ursa is an heirloom variety that we love. It’s the first to be harvested in the spring, and we’ll still be eating from these plants through the winter and into next March.

 

Kale is a superfood, rich in vitamins A, C, B, and in calcium. It also has the highest protein content of all cultivated vegetables. Up until now, you may have only encountered kale as a garnish at the Pizza Hut salad bar (sad fact: Pizza Hut is the largest buyer of kale in the country, but only for salad bar décor). After eating Valley Flora kale this week, you might just find yourself forking the garnish onto your plate next time you’re at Pizza Hut. Go ahead. You’ll make us proud.

 

We eat kale a lot in our household, mostly steamed lightly and drizzled with olive oil, salt, and some tasty vinegar (balsamic, ume plum, or apple cider usually). It’s highly versatile though: you can sliver it up and make raw kale salad, cook it into your eggs and quiche, add it to your smoothies (another favorite way for us), toss it with pasta, add it to soup, layer it in lasagna instead of spinach, or whatever other preparation you can imagine. We store ours in a plastic bag in the fridge. When we’re ready to use it, we strip the leaves from the stems and go from there.

 

You might try this recipe, for something quick and light:

Sesame Kale Salad

Serves 4-6

 

1 bunch fresh kale

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs toasted sesame oil

1 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp honey or other sweetener

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

dash of black or red pepper to taste

 

Strip kale leaves from stems. Chop stems and greens. Steam stems a couple minutes then add the greens and steam until just tender. Drain; let kale cool enough to handle it. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Place in a serving bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl; add to the greens. Mix, chill and serve.

 

Orphaned Produce Goes to Good Home

In case you are wondering what happens to any produce that goes unclaimed at your pickup site each week, there’s a happy answer: we donate all leftover food to local foodbanks after a 24 hour period at each pickup site. So not to worry, nothing goes to waste! (It also means that if you forget to pick up your produce in a given week, you have 24 hours to claim it before it’s donated).

 

We also donate a significant quantity of produce to foodbanks each week straight from the farm – leftovers, extras and seconds get packed up and donated to The Common Good in Port Orford, the Langlois Food Cupboard, and to ORCCA (Oregon Coast Community Alliance) who distributes the food up and down the coast.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

 

·      Head lettuce

·      Broccolini

·      Braising Mix

·      Fresh herbs

·      Lettuce

·      Strawberries

·      Kohlrabi

·      Peas?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 1: June 3rd

Week 1

Welcome to the Beet Box! This is the weekly newsletter from Valley Flora that describes what’s in your Harvest Basket and what’s happening on the farm. We typically send out the Beet Box on Wednesdays, but it’s going out a day early today to help prepare you for your first week of eating from the farm! Any questions, don’t hesitate to be in touch! We’re looking forward to the next 28 weeks of sharing good food with you!

 

In your share this week:

·      Artichokes

·      Asparagus

·      Broccolini

·      Arugula (in the plastic bag)

·      Pac Choi

·      Mint

·      Radishes

·      Hakurei Turnips (the white round roots)

·      Cherry tomato plants

 

The Kickoff!

Are you read to eat some vegetables?!?

 

Good thing, cuz the veggies are on! We’re kicking off the CSA season this week with some unforeseen goodies, thanks to the warm early spring we’ve had: a big pile of broccolini and a bag of arugula, in particular. Ironically, a couple of the things we had anticipated putting in the Harvest Baskets are NOT in there, also because of the weather: head lettuce (because our first planting was so early it had already bolted by this week’s harvest) and strawberries (which were set back by last week’s Memorial Day tempest). Hopefully both of those items will be back in the line-up for Week 2.

 

This week you’ll also see artichokes and asparagus in your Baskets. Savor them because this is the only week they’ll be in there. Asparagus season starts in early April and lasts for 8-10 weeks – which means that by early June it’s winding down. The artichokes would normally go into June, but all the hot weather has accelerated the season and is bringing an abrupt end to our spring harvest. Steaming them is a simple, delicious way to eat them (dipped in butter or mayo, of course!), but asparagus are also wonderful oven-roasted or grilled. We like to make our own aioli to dip them in: a few scoops of mayo, a glug of aged balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh thyme or rosemary, some fresh-grated parmesan or pecorino, and black pepper – all mixed up together into a dipping sauce.

 

What else is in there? Pac choi, a lovely heading Asian green that is wonderful raw, steamed, or stir-fried. Broccolini- a variety called Happy Rich that is the sweetest, most tender thing we grow in the broccoli family. Just steam it – lightly – and enjoy the flavor. Or dip it in some of that aioli you just learned how to make. It’s also great with a simple drizzle of olive oil and salt and a little balsamic vinegar. You’ll be surprised that the stems are tender from tip to tail, not like typical big-headed broccoli. Arugula (in the plastic bag) is great as a stand-alone salad green, or under a piece of fish.

 

Those white, round roots are hakurei turnips – a Japanese variety that’s smooth, sweeth and buttery. Eat them like apples. And don’t overlook the tops – they can be cooked up like mustard greens. The red and pink radishes have a little kick, but all of it is in the skin. So if you like a milder flavor, peel them and just eat the white hearts.

 

For more ideas on how to eat these things, visit our recipe collection where you can search by ingredient (http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher), or any of the recipe storehouses listed below at the bottom of this newsletter.

 

Cherry Tomato Plants!

And finally, two cherry tomato plants! We grew a heap of starts this spring and are sharing the bounty with all of you – so take two home with you this week and plant them (two per harvest basket, so if you split a harvest basket with someone you can each take one home). These are tried-and-true Valley Flora varieties that we grow outdoors on the farm. We usually plant ours around now and see the first fruit sometime in August.

 

Here are some planting tips:

 

·      Plant your tomato as deeply as possible (don’t worry about burying the bottom leaves). It will grow roots out of its stem if buried (a unique trait called adventitious rooting) and create a bigger root zone.

·      Feed your tomato a balanced organic compost or fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will make a huge leafy plant with no fruit, so don't overdo it!

·      Water according to need. If your tomato is in a pot, it will need water more frequently. Try not to get the leaves wet when watering.

·      Make sure you put your tomato in a sunny, warm spot. If growing in a container, the bigger the pot the better. A small pot will require more frequent watering and fertilizing, and will produce fewer and smaller fruits.

·      Provide support to your tomato in the form of a string trellis, a bamboo stake, or a wire cage.

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:

·      Head lettuce

·      Broccolini

·      Kale

·      Spinach

·      Fresh herbs

·      Rhubarb

·      Strawberries

·      Kohlrabi

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Farmstand & U-pick Open for Summer Hours!

The Valley Flora Farmstand & U-pick is Open for Summer Hours!

 

Every Wednesday & Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm, starting June 1st!

 

U-Pick Special Right Now!

The rain damaged some of the ripe strawberries, so in an effort to get the berry patch back in shape we're offering this deal:

Pick one bucket (we provide the bucket) of yucky berries and get:

  • 5 pounds of strawberries for FREE!
  • OR, get 1/2 price on any quantity of berries up to 5 pounds

If you want to pick more than one bucket of yuck, you can have 5 pounds free for every bucket you bring back to us. Don't want to take all your free berries home at once? We'll happily give you credit for future berry picking at the farm.

 

Hope to see you up the creek!

 

Newsletter: 

Here Comes the Food!

Mark your calendars!

The Valley Flora CSA Season will begin the week of June 3rd!

Please familiarize yourself with this useful information about your pickup site:
http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/valley-flora-pick-locations-protocol

Pickup Locations & Hours

  • Coos Bay: 632 Anderson Ave, at the Bay Area Chiropractic Center. WEDNESDAYS, 12-3:00 pm, starting June 5th
  • Valley Flora: 1.5 miles up Floras Creek Road in Langlois. WEDNESDAYS 9 am - 4 pm, starting June 5th
  • Port Orford: 738 Jackson Street. FRIDAYS, 5-7 pm, starting June 7th
  • Bandon: 980 2nd St. SE, at Well Within Acupuncture and Herbal Clinic. SATURDAYS starting at 10 am (no end time), starting June 8th.


What to Expect at the First Pick-up:
We will be delivering Harvest Baskets, Egg Shares, Bread Shares and Salad Shares the first week. The first tamale shares will be delivered to pickup sites on the week of June 10th, at the times listed above for each location.

Harvest Baskets will be in blue or red rubbermaid totes. Egg shares and Salad Shares will be in separate marked coolers. Bread shares will be in a separate bin or tote. When tamale shares are delivered once per month they will be in marked blue coolers.

PLEASE ONLY TAKE THE ITEMS YOU SIGNED UP FOR AND PAID FOR!
There is often confusion during the first few weeks, so review your order and know what you are picking up! If someone else is picking up for you, make sure they know what (and what not) to take!

Our pickup sites are self-serve and mostly unstaffed. Please abide by our pickup guidelines and don't be shy to ask questions of other members at your site. Many of you are return members and well-seasoned at the pickup drill :)


If you have any questions, don't hesitate to be in touch. Thanks for joining the Valley Flora family this season!
Here comes the food!
Zoë

Newsletter: 

Farmstand & Upick now Open on Wednesdays!

Thanks to all the early sunshine, the farmstand and u-pick are now open for the season!

MAY HOURS: Wednesdays only from 10 am - 1 pm. We will start our twice a week farmstand hours in June.

  • Strawberries are the only u-pick crop at this time. Berries are $2.50/pound.
  • Farmstand offerings include whatever is fresh, ripe and in-season on the farm. Offerings vary weekly, but spring items could include: asparagus, artichokes, Abby's Greens, head lettuce, broccoli, herbs, radishes, rhubarb, strawberries, kale, chard, and veggie starts!

 Please abide by the following:

  • Bring your own containers and bags for u-pick and farmstand produce.
  • We accept cash, checks, WIC, Farm Direct Nutrition coupons, and SNAP (Oregon Trail cards) as payment. Please contact us in advance if you would like to pay with SNAP.
  • No pets, please!
  • Please park nose-in on the side of the road, do not block the farm entrance, and do not drive into the field. Thanks.

Directions to the farm.

Newsletter: 

Harvest Baskets Sold Out, But Other Goodies Still Available

We have sold out of Harvest Baskets for 2013, but here's the good news:


We still have Egg Shares, Salad Shares, Bread Shares, Tamale Shares and Winter Garden Kits available.

Anyone is welcome to sign up for these items, until May 20th.


If you are on our waiting list and you sign up for any of these items this year, you will be included in our priority sign-up process in 2014 and guaranteed a Harvest Basket next year, should you want one. It's a great way to get your foot in the door, and enjoy local food this season!

 

Please follow the instructions below to sign up. Our CSA season begins the first week of June and runs through the middle of December.


VALLEY FLORA SIGN-UP INSTRUCTIONS:

WHO Can Sign Up?
Anyone, whether you are on our waiting list or not. Whether you have already signed up for something or not. Anyone is welcome.

WHAT Can I Sign Up For?

  • Abby's Greens Salad Shares (20 weeks: $95 - 1/2 pound; $180 - full pound)
  • Pastured, local eggs from Candace Carnahan on Floras Creek (28 weeks: $70 - half dozen; $140 - full dozen)
  • Artisan sourdough bread from Seth's Brick Oven Bakery in Bandon (28 weeks: $168)
  • Homemade tamales from Juana Ferrer in Coquille
  • A Winter Garden Kit - a flat of tried and true Valley Flora starts so you can plant your own winter garden to feed you through NEXT winter! ($25)


WHEN Do I Sign Up?
By May 20th. The season will begin the first week of June.

HOW Do I Sign Up?
Follow this link and go directly to our online "store": http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/products

  1. Choose which items you want and add them to your cart, in any combination.
  2. Complete the checkout process, review your order, and click "submit order".
  3. You will receive an itemized order confirmation by email once you submit your order on our website. If you don't receive one, it means you did not submit your order and are NOT in our system yet.



HOW and WHEN Do I Pay for My Food?
We accept check, cash, and SNAP benefits (Oregon Trail Cards). We must receive FULL payment for all items by May 20th. If paying with SNAP, please contact us directly to make arrangements.

Please make checks out to Valley Flora and mail by May 20th to:

Valley Flora
PO Box 91
Langlois, OR 97450

Don't hesitate to be in touch if you have questions. Email is best. We are usually out of the office during the day, so it may take a day or two to return your phone call or email.

Thanks for your interest in eating locally, and for all your patience!
Zoë

Newsletter: 

Temporary Phone Number for Valley Flora!

We recently switched phone carriers and unfortunately there was a mishap in the transition. Our old number, 541-348-2180, is currently not working. We have a temporary number until they can restore our old number.

To reach us by phone for the next week or so, please call: 541-348-1022.

Our apologies for any confusion if you've tried calling us since March 1st! We're hopeful that 541-348-2180 will be in service again by the week of March 18th.

 

Also, if you were a member of our CSA last year and have not signed up yet for the 2013 season - but would like to - please contact us immediately (email is best!). We are about to open the sign-up process to our waiting list, so this is the last chance for 2012 members to get a guaranteed Harvest Basket for 2013! There is no limit on other "shares" - eggs, bread, tamales, or salad - and you are welcome to add those to your order until May 1st.

Thanks, and happy spring (almost)!

Zoë

Newsletter: 

Sign Up Before February 28th!


This is a reminder that our priority sign-up period ends this Thursday, February 28th!

If you were a CSA member with us last season, now is the time to sign up for 2013!

If you have already signed up, THANK YOU for sticking with us another season!

(And kindly disregard this mass email)......:)


WHO Can Sign Up?
We are currently re-enrolling last year's farm members ONLY. If you were a CSA member last season (as in, purchased any of the following: a Harvest Basket, salad share, egg share, bread share, or tamale share) now is your chance to reserve your share for 2013! This priority sign-up period will last until February 28th. We will begin sign-ups for people on the waiting list starting in March.

WHAT Can I Sign Up For This Year?

  • Harvest Baskets
  • Abby's Greens Salad Shares
  • Pastured, local eggs from Candace Carnahan on Floras Creek
  • Artisan sourdough bread from Seth's Brick Oven Bakery in Bandon
  • Homemade tamales from Juana Ferrer in Coquille
  • A Winter Garden Kit - a flat of starts so you can plant your own winter garden to feed you through NEXT winter!


HOW Do I Sign Up?

  1. Follow this link and go directly to our online "store": http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/products
  2. Choose which items you want and add them to your cart, in any combination.
  3. If you are getting a Harvest Basket, you will need to enter this password when prompted: eatlocal2013  
  4. Please do not share this password so that we can keep the signup process fair to everyone on our waiting list. FYI: this password is separate from and different than the personal password you would use when you are logging in to our site using your username. You DO NOT need to login to our website to sign up/purchase products from our online store. BUT, if you want to login and cannot remember your personal login password, you can reset your password at: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/user/password
  5. Complete the checkout process and submit your order.
  6. You will receive an itemized order confirmation by email once you submit your order on our website. If you don't receive one, it means you did not complete your order and are NOT in our system.



WHAT if I Want to Share a Harvest Basket with Someone?
If you plan to share your Harvest Basket with someone, please pick one person to be the primary share holder. Sign up for the Harvest Basket under that name and submit payment under that name. Your share partner is welcome to sign up for any additional products (salad, eggs, bread, tamales) independently, under his/her own name. Please encourage your share partner to sign up for our Beet Box newsletter so that they can stay in the loop and receive notices from us throughout the season. Share partners can subscribe to our newsletter at: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/newsletter-sign-up    

HOW and WHEN Do I Pay for My Food?
We accept check, cash, and SNAP benefits (Oregon Trail Cards). To reserve your spot, we must receive FULL payment for all items by May 1st. If you choose the Monthly Pay Plan Harvest Basket option, you will pay your deposit by May 1st and then make subsequent $100 monthly payments June through November.

Please make checks out to Valley Flora and mail before May 1st to:

Valley Flora
PO Box 91
Langlois, OR 97450

I hope you'll be joining us this season. Thanks in advance for your support, and don't hesitate to be in touch if you have questions. Email is always the best way to get me, or call 348-2180.

Please note that I will be in Japan on a speaking tour from February 28th through March 8th and will not be able to return calls during that time. If I can't answer your questions via email, I'll be in touch as soon as I return.

Cheers,

Zoë

Newsletter: 

2013 Harvest Basket (AND MORE!) Sign-ups!


2013 Valley Flora Sign-Ups are ON!

Hello friends and past members of the farm! In case you missed our first sign-up email last week, I'm writing to let you know that we have begun priority sign-ups for the 2013 season. Please read this email in its ENTIRETY to avoid any confusion about our sign-up process!

WHO Can Sign Up?
We are currently re-enrolling last year's farm members ONLY. If you were a member of the farm last season, now is your chance to reserve your share for 2013! This priority sign-up period will last until February 28th. After that, we will begin sign-ups for people on the waiting list starting in March.

WHAT Can I Sign Up For This Year?

  • Harvest Baskets
  • Abby's Greens Salad Shares
  • Pastured, local eggs from Candace Carnahan on Floras Creek
  • Artisan sourdough bread from Seth's Brick Oven Bakery in Bandon
  • Homemade tamales from Juana Ferrer in Coquille
  • A Winter Garden Kit - a flat of starts so you can plant your own winter garden to feed you through NEXT winter!


HOW Do I Sign Up?

  1. Follow this link and go directly to our online "store": http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/products
  2. Choose which items you want and add them to your cart, in any combination.
  3. If you are getting a Harvest Basket, you will need to enter this password when prompted: eatlocal2013
  4. Please do not share this password so that we can keep the signup process fair to everyone on our waiting list.  FYI: this password is separate from and different than the personal password you would use when you are logging in to our site using your username. You DO NOT need to login to our website to sign up/purchase products from our online store. BUT, if you want to login (it makes checkout faster) but cannot remember your personal login password, you can reset your password at: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/user/password
  5. Complete the checkout process (review order) and submit your order.
  6. You will receive an itemized order confirmation by email once you submit your order on our website. If you don't receive one, it means you did not complete your order and are NOT in our system.

WHAT if I Want to Share a Harvest Basket with Someone?
If you plan to share your Harvest Basket with someone, please pick one person to be the primary share holder. Sign up for the Harvest Basket under that name and submit payment under that name. Your share partner is welcome to sign up for any additional products (salad, eggs, bread, tamales) independently, under his/her own name. Please encourage your share partner to sign up for our Beet Box newsletter so that they can stay in the loop and receive notices from us throughout the season. Share partners can subscribe to our newsletter at: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/newsletter-sign-up    


HOW and WHEN Do I Pay for My Food?
We accept check, cash, and SNAP benefits (Oregon Trail Cards). To reserve your spot, we must receive FULL payment for all items by May 1st. If you choose the Monthly Pay Plan Harvest Basket option, you will pay your deposit by May 1st and then make subsequent $100 monthly payments June through November.

Please make checks out to Valley Flora and mail before May 1st to:

Valley Flora
PO Box 91
Langlois, OR 97450

I hope you'll be joining us this season. Thanks in advance for your support, and don't hesitate to be in touch if you have questions. Email is always the best way to get me, or call 348-2180. I'll do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Zoë

Newsletter: 

Week 28 - December 10th

Week 28

The Last Week!

This is it: your last installment from Valley Flora for the season. This week’s basket is a true testament to the possibility for local, wintertime eating. We’re halfway through December, but there’s no lack of food in your totes. We filled them with almost twenty pounds of veggies – most of it fresh-harvested from the field (all but the squash and potatoes, which have been in storage).

 

And although it’s the last trusty-dusty Rubbermaid we will pack for you this year, the farm will continue to feed its farmers through the winter with greens, leftover storage crops, leeks, and even broccoli. We continue to glean for our own table, enjoying the sweetest of kale, Brussels sprouts, and roots. I can’t encourage you enough: if you have the slightest inclination to grow some of your own food, we live in the perfect place to have a winter garden. For those of you who dread the Valley Flora off-season, you could fill at least some of the January-thru-May produce gap with your own homegrown veggies. It’s too late to plant a winter garden for this year, but you might think about carving out a corner for at least a few kale plants next July when it’s time to plant for winter.

 

In the meantime, hopefully we’ve loaded you up with enough squash, spuds and roots – all of which have a great storage life – to see you into the New Year.

 

From all of us at the farm, a heartfelt THANK YOU for your support this year!

 

Happy Holidays and feast well with those you love!

 

(P.S. I have to include this recipe for parsnips and winter squash as a final enticement to enjoy the white gnarly parsnips in your share this week. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a showstopper. Granted, it’s hard to go wrong with a little butter and maple syrup...:)

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Winter-Squash-and-P...

 

Tell All! Please Fill Out the End-of-Season Survey!!!

Every year we ask our Harvest Basket members to fill out a short 2-minute survey so we can get some structured feedback about the season. It’s short and quick, so please, if you’d be so kind, we’d love to know your thoughts: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/2012-valley-flora-survey

 

The Year in Review!

In order to help jog your memory about what we grew for you this year, here’s a crop-by-crop recap that summarizes what we projected we would put in your Harvest Basket and what we actually put in your Harvest Basket. Green highlighting indicates crops that we gave significantly more of than planned. Yellow highlighting indicates crops that we came up significantly short on. 

 

The thing I love about this chart is that every discrepancy in the projected versus actual produce tells a story. For instance: we had planned to give you 3 pounds of peas but you got none (remember the tale of pea woe this spring….torrential rain, marauding mice, stealthy birds, voracious slugs, etc. etc. etc….?). Or how about the 8 bonus ears of corn: I felt so bad about the peas, I turned around and planted two extra beds of corn in their place. We came up 5 pounds short on potatoes in your share this year. Why? Our wet, grey July brought on late blight that took out a third of our potato crop and knocked our yields down (and made the spuds ugly). It wasn’t in the plan, but you got a few apples this year – because we had a nice spell of weather right when the orchard bloomed in the spring, and consequently we got a better crop of apples than in the past two years.  We had a great carrot year because we outsmarted the Rust Fly this season with a football-field-sized piece of floating row cover. And there were no artichokes because we renovated the entire artichoke field in the early spring in order to set the stage for a bumper crop in 2013 (the artichoke forecast for next season is looking good!). Whether it’s pests or weather or any number of other factors, your CSA share is largely defined by the forces of Mother Nature – and our varying ability to work with and around her. It's a constant dance.

 

Based on our farmstand pricing, the total value of all the food we put in your Harvest Basket this season was equal to $801.55. You paid $760 for that food, for a bonus of $41.05 in extra produce this year, equal to a 5.4% discount.

 

          Crop

  Projected   

   Quantity

     Actual

   Quantity.

Leeks

10 ct

8ct

Red Onion

4.5 lbs

5 lbs

Yellow Onion

4.5 lbs

3 lbs

Scallions

1 bunch

0 bunch

Shallots

3 lbs

3.5 lbs

Spring Onions

3 lbs

4.5 lbs

Walla Walla

4.5 lbs

4.5 lbs

Artichokes

2 lbs

0 lbs

Asparagus

1 lb

2 lbs

Beans

0 lb

1 lb

Beets

12 lbs

12.5 lbs

Broccoli

16.5 lbs

18 lbs

Brussels Sprouts

3 stalks

3 stalks

Cabbage

5 heads

5 heads

Carrots

20 lbs

23 lbs

Cauliflower

2 heads

3+ heads

Romanesco Cauli.

2 heads

2 heads

Celeriac

3 ct

4 ct

Celery

16 ct

19 ct

Corn

18 ct

26 ct

Cucumbers

12 ct

6 ct

Escarole

2 hds

1 hd

Fennel

6 ct

5-6 ct

Arugula

1 lb

1 lb

Braising Mix

1/2 lb

1/2 lb

Chard

5 bu

4 bu

Kale

7 bu

8 bu

Pac Choi

6 hds

6 hds

Spinach

2 lbs

2 lbs

Perennial herbs

0 bu

6 bu

Basil

5 oz

3 oz

Cilantro

3 bu

4 bu

Dill

3 bu

3 bu

Parsley

5 bu

2 bu

Kohlrabi

5 ct

5 ct

Lettuce

33 hds

31 hds

Parsnips

6 lbs

5.5 lbs

Peas

3 lbs

0 lbs

Hot Peppers

10 ct

18 ct

Sweet Peppers

20 ct

28 ct

Potatoes

28 lbs

23 lbs

Radishes

5 bu

6 bu

Raspberries

2 lb upick

varies

Rhubarb

0 oz

10 oz

Strawberries

24 pt

24 pt

Summer Squash

16 ct

19 ct

Apples

0 lb

1 lb

Turnips

6 bu

8 bu

Cherry Tomatoes

5 pts

3 pts

Heirloom Tomatoes

3 lbs

3 lbs

Red Tomatoes

13 lbs

14 lbs

Acorn Squash

4 ct

4-6 ct

Confection Squash

1 ct

1 ct

Butternut Squash

4 ct

3-4 ct

Delicata Squash

8 ct

10 ct

Sunshine Squash

1 ct

1 ct

Spaghetti Squash

1 ct

1 ct

Pumpkin

1 ct

2 ct

 

 

One More Winter Farmstand!

Next Wednesday, December 19th, is the final farmstand for the year. Rain or shine, 9-5, in the shed. Come load up on the last of the Valley Flora produce for 2012!

 

Signing Up for Next Year!

As the season winds down, many of you are asking how to sign up for next year’s Harvest Basket, and when! Here’s the scoop:

·      If you currently get a Harvest Basket (or any other items like eggs, bread, tamales, or salad shares) you automatically get priority sign-up for next year. There’s no need to put yourself on the waiting list.

·      We usually start the priority sign-up process in February. We’ll send you an email at that time with instructions and a link to our online sign-up page.

·      There will be a two to three week window for priority sign-ups.

·      If your email changes between now and then, PLEASE let us know so that we can update your contact info in our system!

 

Once the priority sign-up period is over, we’ll start inviting folks on our waiting list to sign up.

 

Stocking Stuffers from Valley Flora!

Need some locally-grown gift ideas for the holidays?

Valley Flora Gift Certificates! For use at our farmstand and u-pick, available in any denomination.

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce!Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order Cranky Baby or gift certificates, please email us your:

·      Name

·      Pickup location

·      Address

·      The amount you would like

 

We’ll deliver the hot sauce to your pickup site, or drop the gift certificates in the mail to you.

 

In your share this week:

·      Leeks

·      Carrots

·      Brussels sprouts

·      Kale and/or Chard

·      Parsnips

·      Potatoes

·      Delicata Squash

·      Fresh Thyme (it’s kinda dirty since the field flooded over Thanksgiving…give it a rinse and pat it dry before you use it!)

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next YEAR

 

See the “Year in Review” above and start imagining a fruitful, abundant 2013!

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 27: December 3rd

Week 27

The Penultimate Week!

This is the second-to-last week for Harvest Baskets, egg shares and bread shares. Next week will be your final week of produce from us, so don’t forget to pickup your share and enjoy the end of the seasonal bounty. Mark your calendar with these final pickup dates:

 

Coos Bay: Wednesday - 12/12 - from 12 to 3 pm

Valley Flora: Wednesday - 12/12 - from 9 to 5 pm

Port Orford: Friday - 12/14 - from 5 to 7 pm

Bandon: Saturday - 12/15 - starting at 10 am (until Monday morning J)

 

Winter Farmstand! Wednesdays from 9-5! Rain or Shine, in the Shed!

There’s lots of great produce at the farmstand – a surprising array for this time of year! We are open each Wednesday through 12/19. It’s self-serve and honor system. We accept checks and cash (bring small bills because no one will be there to make change for you). Please make checks payable to “Valley Flora.”

 

Signing Up for Next Year!

As the season winds down, many of you are asking how to sign up for next year’s Harvest Basket, and when! Here’s the scoop:

  • If you currently get a Harvest Basket (or any other items like eggs, bread, tamales, or salad shares) you automatically get priority sign-up for next year. There’s no need to put yourself on the waiting list.
  • We usually start the priority sign-up process in February. We’ll send you an email at that time with instructions and a link to our online sign-up site.
  • There will be a two to three week window for priority sign-ups.
  • If your email changes between now and then, PLEASE let us know so that we can update your contact info in our system!
  • Once the priority sign-up period is over, we’ll start inviting folks on our waiting list to sign up.

 

Stocking Stuffers from Valley Flora!

Need some locally-grown gift ideas for the holidays? Look no further!

  • Valley Flora Gift Certificates! For use at our farmstand and u-pick, available in any denomination.
  • Cranky Baby Hot Sauce! Available by the bottle, half case, or case:
  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

To order Cranky Baby or gift certificates, please email us your:

  • Name
  • Pickup location
  • Address
  • The amount you would like

 

We’ll deliver the hot sauce to your pickup site, or put the gift certificates in the mail to you.

 

In your share this week:

  • Gold shallots
  • Mixed beets
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Turnips
  • Green Cabbage
  • Confection Squash (Kabocha type – peel and enjoy roasted or mashed!)

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Lacinato Kale
  • Pac Choi

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

Remember, no promises!

  • Leeks
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Delicata Squash
  • Herbs?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 26 - November 26th

Week 26

 

Back to our Normal Schedule…

This week we return to our normal Harvest Basket delivery schedule. Hope you had a delicious Thanksgiving holiday!

 

Valley Flora: Wednesdays, 9 am to 5 pm

Coos Bay:  Wednesdays, 12 pm to 3 pm

Bandon: Saturdays, starting at 10 am (no end time)

PortOrford: Friday, 5-7 pm

 

Egg shares resume this week!

 

Two More Weeks to Go!

The Harvest Baskets (plus Egg Shares and Bread Shares) go for two more weeks, through the week of December 10th. Mark your calendars for your final pickup date:

 

Valley Flora: Wednesday, 12/12

Coos Bay:  Wednesday, 12/12

Bandon: Saturday, 12/15

PortOrford: Friday, 12/14

 

Winter Farmstand!

We are trying something new in hopes of forestalling anyone's produce deprivation…

 

A WINTER FARMSTAND!

Wednesdays from 9-5

Rain or Shine, in the Shed!

 

  • The farmstand starts TODAY, 11/28, and will continue each Wednesday through 12/19 (no farmstand on 12/26).
  • January dates still TBD, depending on our stocks of produce, the weather, etc.
  • The farmstand is SELF-SERVE and HONOR SYSTEM! Please honor the honor system for it to work! There is a payment box on the wall in the shed.
  • We can accept cash and checks. Bring small bills because we won't be there to make change for you. Please make checks payable to "Valley Flora."
  • There is a surprisingingly wide array of produce still in the field, from roots to greens to Brussels sprouts and much more!

 

Valley Flora Farmstand Gift Certificates!

Give the gift of eating locally! We have gift certificates available, for any amount. Great for family and friends who like to frequent our farmstand and u-pick throughout the season. If you would like to purchase a gift certificate, email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • The amount you'd like the gift certificate for

And we'll be in touch!

 

Monster Kohlrabi!

You remember kohlrabi from last spring? Well, this is the same beast, but a whole lot bigger. We grow a storage variety for the Fall/Winter, aptly named “Kossack.” We actually harvested these big boys from the field in late October and have been holding them in our cooler since then. They keep for months and months and the flavor is supposed to improve in storage.

 

You probably have your preferred preparation figured out by now, but remember that they are equally good raw or cooked (sautéed or steamed). You’ll want to peel the tough skin off with a knife and then savor the tender heart within.

 

This is a favorite recipe of mine:

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/kohlrabi-and-apple-salad-mustard-vinaigrette

 

Cranky Baby: The Perfect Stocking Stuffer!

Bets’ homegrown, handcrafted hot sauce is the bomb-diggity! Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

·      $5/bottle (5 oz)

·      $27/half case (6 bottles)

·      $48/case (12 bottles)

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Pac Choi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Acorn Squash
  • Delicata Squash

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week - or in a future week.

  • Nothing this week...

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

Remember, no promises!

  • Gold shallots
  • Mixed beets
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Pac Choi
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Green Cabbage
  • Confection Winter Squash

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 25 - Thanksgiving!

Week 25 - Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Remember to pick up your tote this WEDNESDAY!

All Harvest Baskets will be delivered on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21st!

 

Specific times for pickup at each location on Wednesday, November 21st:

Valley Flora: unchanged – 9 am to 5 pm

Coos Bay:  unchanged – 12 pm to 3 pm

Bandon: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 12 noon (no end time)

PortOrford: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 10 am (all day)

 

Remember, no EGGS this week!

 

Thanksgiving Recipe Extravaganza

Check this out for a mouthwatering array of Thanksgiving recipes, in case you want to shake up the old menu traditions a little!

http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays/thanksgiving/thanksgiving

 

Big, Big Thanks

You might imagine that this is a bit of a wild week for us. We are packing all 106 Harvest Baskets in one day (instead of two) in order to deliver all the food to all of you on Wednesday. That might be enough pressure in a normal half-week, but of course we’re also experiencing gale force winds and a torrential downpour, plus Roberto is in Portland this week for the birth of his second son, Abraham (due out tomorrow…we are eagerly awaiting news)!

 

Needless to say, we are a bit short-handed and just a tad over-powered by Mother Nature right now. But thanks to an all-star team, we are pulling it off. My bottomless gratitude to Farm Angel Tom who weathered the storm with me in the field today, helping to harvest lettuce, herbs, broccoli and celery (he’s to thank for that pretty little bouquet of herbs in your tote this week…who knew that floral arranging was also in his vast repertoire!)! He also found time to move tractors and equipment to high ground in case the field goes under water (the creek is HIGH!), and he did some pinch-hit babysitting while my mom had to dash out in the storm.

 

Which brings me to my mom and John: Thank you for all the hours spent with Cleo so that I could be in the field. I know she had more fun with you than she would have with me, and even more importantly, she didn’t blow away! Huge thanks to my sister, Abby, who is standing in for Roberto to help pack all the totes. She needs a day off more than anyone I know – except maybe my mom – but she happily volunteered to help out.

 

And a much-overdue thank you to Monica, our delivery queen! She has lifted and lugged god knows how many pounds of produce this season, with a smile on her face the whole time. Without her, your food would never make it off the farm – and we are immensely grateful for her hard work (sorry about those heavy totes this week, Monica!).

 

Last but not least, all of you. Thank you. For eating weird-looking roots and foreign winter squash. For taking the time to cook real meals and eat lots of vegetables. I know it’s easier and faster to open a can or throw something in the microwave, but your willingness to go the extra mile, to pick up your food every week, to peel those gnarly celeriacs, to try a new recipe, to eat with the seasons – all of that means that we have people to grow this food for. It means that we can make a livelihood in the place we love best along Floras Creek. It means that we get the chance to raise our kids here, to return to the same ground where we ourselves were happy, free kids.

 

It’s a very full, very good feeling, and it wouldn’t be possible without you.

 

I hope you hear this and take it to heart: Thank You. Capital T. Capital Y.

 

Parsnips!

The white carroty-looking roots in your share this week are parsnips, another often-overlooked vegetable in our American diet. They have a sweetish, nutty flavor unlike anything else and roast up wonderfully. They also make wicked parsnip-pear latkes: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Parsnip-and-Pear-Latkes-236766

 

Or try them honeyed with rosemary: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/parsnips

 

Or in this year’s not-so-boring stuffing!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sausage-Pear-and-Parsnip-Stuffing-100463

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/cornbread-dressing-roasted-root-vegetables

 

Parsnips will keep in a plastic bag in your fridge for months, so no pressure to learn to love them this week if you’re already up to your eyeballs in your usual Thanksgiving fare.

 

This Week’s Squash: Sunshine

For those of you who stick to a vegetarian diet, Sunshine is the quintessential squash to stuff and bake for a turkey-free Thanksgiving: simply cut the top off like a carving pumpkin lid, scoop out the seeds, fill it with a stuffing recipe you love, put the lid back on, and bake it until soft. You can wing it on this one, but consider adding some texture and color to your stuffing: nuts, dried cranberries, aromatic herbs, caramelized shallots, sautéed celeriac, etc. Here’s a wild rice stuffing recipe that brings it all together (it’s meant to be stuffed into a giant blue hubbard squash, but a sunshine squash is just as ideal): http://www.sweetvegan.net/wild-rice-stuffing/

 

And if you’re not vegetarian, you can always stuff this puppy with a sausage-enhanced mix of ingredients. Here are 20 (count them, 20!) other stuffing recipes to choose from – some vegetarian and some not:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipesmenus/slideshows/stuffings-and-dressings-1061

 

OR, simply enjoy a little Sunshine (it’s in short supply these days!) simple and straight up: cubed, tossed with olive oil and salt, and roasted until crispy-tender! The Loft restaurant in Bandon is making an incredible bisque with sunshine squash right now, and Alloro Wine Bar in Bandon is filling homemade raviolis with it.

 

Sunshine squash is tropical-sweet in flavor (wowza on the flavor scale!), with a dry flaky flesh. It stores for a long, long time, so no pressure to use this one right away if your Thanksgiving menu is already full. Ideal storage is about 60 degrees and not too humid.

 

Spice up your stuffing with some Cranky Baby!

Bets’ homegrown, handcrafted hot sauce is the bomb-diggity! Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Shallots (a staple in stuffing & gravy)
  • Broccoli (Surprise! The last bonus broccoli of the year!)
  • Aromatic herbs – sage, rosemary, oregano & sweet marjoram (bake them with your bird, or add them to your stuffing…)
  • Brussels sprouts (roasted, so divine…)
  • Carrots (2# this week, in case you need extra for your feast…)
  • Celery (the last of the season)
  • Head lettuce – the last of the season!
  • Parsnips (be brave! try them!)
  • Potatoes (mash!)
  • Sunshine squash (stuff!)

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Nothing this week….

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…

Remember, no promises!

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Pac choi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Acorn & Delicata Squash

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 24: November 12th

Week 24!

What’s that Furry Thing in my Tote?!!

Never fear, it won’t bite. Those two scruffy balls with the green flattops are celeriac (also known as celery root). Like most of the more unusual veggies we grow, this one is highly popular in Europe, and especially in Germany and France where our more commonly-used stalk celery (a close cousin to celeriac) is rarely used. 

 

Your great-great-grandparents might have known how to cook with celeriac, though. It was a common staple in American kitchens back in the 1800s, before modern-day refrigeration. The winning trait, above all (because we know this veggie isn’t going to win the pageant on looks alone), was the fact that celeriac is a great storage crop and will keep either in the ground or in a root cellar all winter long.

 

The fact that we all have refrigerators now shouldn’t preclude celeriac from our kitchens. Beneath that rough exterior is a surprisingly tender, creamy-crisp, delicious vegetable with a sweet-nutty-celery-like flavor. You may want to hang on to your celeriac until next week and use it in your stuffing, or boil and mash it with your potatoes on Turkey/Tofurkey/Turducken Day.

 

Here are a few cooking and storage tips:

  • Peel your celeriac with a sharp knife (note that peeled celeriac will darken when exposed to air after awhile, but you can prevent this by tossing with lemon juice or keeping it in water until cooking).
  • Boil, steam, roast, bake or eat raw as celeriac sticks dipped in your favorite creamy dressing.
  • Store in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to a month, and probably longer (we’ve had celeriac in our fridge all winter with no problem).
  • Check out these recipes on our website (and there are many more on www.epicurious.com): http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/celeriac

 

EVERYONE PLEASE READ THIS!

For Thanksgiving, next week…..

All Harvest Baskets will be delivered on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21st!

 

These are the specific times for pickup at each location on Wednesday, November 21st:

Valley Flora: unchanged – 9 am to 5 pm

Coos Bay:  unchanged – 12 pm to 3 pm

Bandon: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 12 noon (no end time)

PortOrford: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 10 am (all day)

 

If you will be out of town for the holiday and need to make special arrangements with us, we must hear from you by this Friday, November 16th.

 

We are happy to hold your tote in our walk-in cooler and you can pick it up upon your return. Please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • The date you plan to pick up your Harvest Basket at the farm.

 

NO EGGS the Week of Thanksgiving: Egg Share members, please remember that there is no delivery of eggs the week of Thanksgiving. Candace will have them for sale at the Langlois Market and her other usual outlets. Or you can special order eggs from her for that week if you contact her directly: www.imachickenrancher.com

 

Last Farmstand This Saturday, 10-2!

This is it! The last farmstand of the year! Come and stock up on all kinds of Fall storage crops (squash, carrots, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, potatoes, radishes, turnips.....), plus the last of the tomatoes, sweet peppers, Abby's Greens and more!

 

Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. See you there!

 

Do You Think Stuffing is Bland? Boring? Dull? Spice it up with some Cranky Baby!

If you secretly think Grandma's stuffing could use a little kick, then Cranky Baby Hot Sauce is just what the doctor ordered! Homegrown and handcrafted at the farm, just slip a bottle in your pocket or purse for Thanksgiving dinner and discretely dispense to taste. Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

This Week’s Squash: Acorn or Butternut Squash & Pie Pumpkins

A few reasons why these squash, this week:

  1. The pie pumpkins are intended to inspire you to make your own homemade pumpkin pie for next week’s feast. Don’t forget the whipped cream!
  2. The butternut squash aren’t going to keep for too many weeks longer, so we’re hoping you will put them to immediate use.
  3. If you’re not getting butternut, you’re getting acorn – because we ran out of butternut. :)

 

In your share this week:

  • Red onions
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Pac Choi
  • Celeriac
  • Radishes
  • Head lettuce
  • Pie Pumpkins

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Acorn & Butternut squash

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week for Thanksgiving:

Remember, no promises!

  • Shallots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Sunshine squash
  • Fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, sage)

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 23: November 5th

Week 23!

Looking Forward

A long election season is over, but our farming season isn’t. We still have 6 weeks of harvest to go, but not unlike our newly elected and re-elected officials, we are already planning and planting for 2013. Fortunately, fiscal cliffs and partisan gridlock are not among our host of challenges on the farm, but like lawmakers in Washington we do have to deal with a lot of mud. :)

 

We’re currently in the midst of planting 6000 new strawberry crowns in the field, which will become next year’s berry crop. In the office I’m busy hashing out the 2013 crop plan: what gets planted, where, when, and how much. Farming is as much about being entirely present in each day as it is about planning a whole year – and sometimes more - in advance.

 

And speaking of making future plans, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. There are major changes to our harvest and delivery schedule that week:

 

Important Info about our Thanksgiving Schedule - PLEASE READ!

 

For the week of Thanksgiving

WE WILL DELIVER ALL HARVEST BASKETS ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21st

 

We do this for two reasons:

  1. To ensure that everyone gets that week's food in time to use it for Thanksgiving dinner.
  2. To give ourselves a brief holiday from harvest and delivery during Thanksgiving celebrations.

 

These are the specific times for pickup at each location on Wednesday, November 21st:

Valley Flora: unchanged – 9 am to 5 pm

Coos Bay:  unchanged – 12 pm to 3 pm

Bandon: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 12 noon (no end time) INSTEAD of Saturday, 11/24

PortOrford: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 10 am (all day) INSTEAD of Friday, 11/23

 

If you are leaving town early and won’t be able to pick up your Harvest Basket, we are happy to hold your tote for you in our walk-in cooler. You can pick it up at the farm upon your return. To make arrangements, please email us the following information by Friday, November 15th:

·      Your name

·      Your pickup location

·      The date you plan to pick up your Harvest Basket at the farm.

 

We will email you further instructions once we receive this info from you.

 

NO EGGS the Week of Thanksgiving: Egg Share members, please remember that there is no delivery of eggs the week of Thanksgiving. We knew when we were planning the egg shares last spring that Candace’s hens wouldn’t be able to squeeze out enough eggs for everyone by Wednesday, so we intentionally planned for no eggs the week of Thanksgiving. No doubt she will have them for sale at the Langlois Market and her other usual outlets. Or you can special order eggs from her for that week if you contact her directly: www.imachickenrancher.com

 

What Will be in the Thanksgiving Share?

Most likely:

  • Shallots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Fresh herbs
  • Lettuce?
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes (5 lbs)
  • Sunshine squash

 

This Week’s Squash: Delicata

If I had to pick an all-time, all-around favorite winter squash, this is it. Delicatas are sweet and smooth, with a hollow cavity perfect for stuffing or cradling a melted pat of butter. Delicata skin is smooth and thin and 100% edible. They also peel relatively easily if you want to take the extra time. Delicatas tend to be my default squash when I want to cook up something simple and easy. We cut them in half the long way, scoop out the seeds, and place them face-down on a baking sheet with a thin layer of water. Bake at 400 until soft, about twenty or thirty minutes.

 

My other favorite ways to eat them:

  1. Roasted: peel (or not), cut into cubes, toss with olive oil and salt and any other root veggies, and bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes.
  2. In Thai curry: the sweetness of the squash amidst coconut milk and spicy thai curry paste is a great combo. You can buy thai curry paste at the grocery store and it will have cooking directions to help you out! We have a few recipes on our website for curries: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/buttercup-thai-curry

 

This Week’s New Produce:

Brussels sprouts: Probably the most Dr. Seuss-ish vegetable you’ll see in your tote this year, Brussels sprouts are a signature fall crop. They are a slow-maturing plant (we seeded them way back in April), and we intentionally wait to harvest them until late fall when the sprouts get sweeter due to cold weather. If you’re one of those people who are convinced that you hate Brussels sprouts, I encourage you to give these a try. 99% of the nation’s Brussels sprouts are grown on the central California coast where temperatures rarely dip below the 50s. As a result, those sprouts never have a chance to sweeten up and can have a “stinky” flavor.

 

We have yet to experience a hard frost on the farm this fall, which is the weather event that will truly bring out the sugars in the Brussels sprouts (also in the kale, broccoli, and other cruciferous plants), but we have had a few cold nights. You’ll also get Brussels one or two more times in the coming weeks, so they should continue to get sweeter and tastier.

 

The two ways I like Brussels sprouts the most are lightly steamed (don’t overcook them!), or roasted with olive oil and salt till tender and a little crispy (a 400 degree oven is a good temp to go with).

 

This week with more romanesco in your share, you also have the ingredients to make one of my favorite fall dishes: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/brussels-sprouts-mustard-caper-butter

 

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Spice it Up!

Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in the greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Yellow omions
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Pac Choi
  • Delicata Squash
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Head lettuce

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Romanesco Cauliflower

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Leeks
  • Broccoli?
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Red Cabbage
  • Celeriac
  • Acorn or Butternut squash
  • Radishes

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 22: October 29th

Week 22!

Heads Up: Our Thanksgiving Schedule - PLEASE READ!

It’s still three weeks away, but Thanksgiving plans are already in the works for most households. For this reason, I’m sending out the first reminder about our delivery schedule the week of Thanksgiving.

 

Mark your calendars!

For the week of Thanksgiving

WE WILL DELIVER ALL HARVEST BASKETS ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21st

 

We do this for two reasons:

  1. To ensure that everyone gets their food in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
  2. To give ourselves a brief holiday from harvest and delivery during Thanksgiving celebrations.

 

These are the specific times for pickup at each location on Wednesday, November 21st:

Valley Flora: unchanged – 9 am to 5 pm

Coos Bay:  unchanged – 12 pm to 3 pm

Bandon: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 12 noon (no end time)

PortOrford: Wednesday, 11/21, starting at 10 am (all day)

 

If you are leaving town early and will not be able to pick up your Harvest Basket, we are happy to hold your tote for you in our walk-in cooler. You can pick it up at the farm upon your return. To make arrangements, please email us the following information by Friday, November 15th:

·      Your name

·      Your pickup location

·      The date you plan to pick up your Harvest Basket at the farm.

 

We will email you further instructions when we hear from you.

 

Also, EGG SHARE MEMBERS: Please remember that there is no delivery of eggs the week of Thanksgiving. We knew when we were planning the egg shares last spring that Candace’s hens wouldn’t be able to squeeze out enough eggs for everyone by Wednesday, so we intentionally planned for no eggs the week of Thanksgiving. No doubt she will have them for sale at the Langlois Market and her other usual outlets. Or you can special order eggs from her for that week if you contact her directly: www.imachickenrancher.com

 

Please mark your calendars with these schedule changes to avoid any confusion the week of Thanksgiving!

 

This Week’s Squash: Butternut 

The quintessential soup squash! Butternuts are different from all the other winter squash in that they are practically all meat. The seed cavity is small and the skin is smooth, leaving you with any easy-to-peel, ample-fleshed, smooth, sweet, creamy, orange squash that is the foundation of my favorite Fall soup. Pair this with the fresh sage leaves in your tote this week, with the help of this simple recipe from Deborah Madison:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/butternut-squash-soup-fried-sage-leaves

 

Or try this exotic Persian-inspired spin on winter squash from Deborah Madison (if only we could grow dates, almonds, pistachios, olives, and Meyer lemons at Valley Flora!):

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/winter-squash-rounds-dates-and-pi...

 

Butternuts are also wonderful roasted simply with salt and olive oil, at 400 until soft and slightly browned.

 

This Week’s New Produce:

Beet Medley: Red beets, gold beets, and chioggia beets are tumbled together in your tote this week. If you have never cut into a chioggia before, you’re in for a surprise! All of them store for months in the fridge, and cook up the same – roasted, steamed, or any other way you like.

 

Escarole: It looks like a huge head of lettuce, but this is actually a member of the chicory family (think radicchio, endive, etc.). It’s a little more toothsome than lettuce, and can either be eaten raw or cooked. Here are a few jumping off points to help you dig in:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/escarole

 

Romanesco Cauliflower, aka the vegetable that makes you think you’re on psychedelics even when you’re not! Or, The vegetable that makes mathematicians swoon (fractals!). Or, the vegetable that many members forget to eat because they are too busy taking pictures of it on their countertop.

 

But please, EAT THIS VEGETABLE! It’s the nuttiest, yummiest cousin to cauliflower and broccoli in the world. So popular that I grew twice as much of this year, to keep up with the clamorous demand. Steamed, or better yet, ROASTED! Toss it with a little salt, some olive oil, and put it in the oven at 400 for awhile until it’s tender and crispy.

 

New Fall Farmstand Hours: Saturdays ONLY from 10 am to 2pm

Our farmstand is now open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, through November 17th! We are no longer open on Wednesdays. The autumn abundance is awesome right now, as summer crops collide with fall food: peppers, tomatoes, chard, kale, onions, potatoes, leeks, spinach, salad mix, apples, beets, carrots, zucchini, herbs, and much more.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Spice it Up!

Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in the greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Yellow omions
  • Beet Medley – Red, Gold & Chioggia
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Escarole
  • Butternut Squash
  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes
  • Fresh Sage

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Romanesco Cauliflower

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Yellow Onions
  • Broccoli?
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Romanesco Cauliflower?
  • Delicata squash
  • Pac Choi
  • Hakurei Turnips

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 21: October 22nd

Week 21!

Heavy & Dense

As a Valley Flora eater, you may have noticed something over the course of this season: namely, the increasing heft of your harvest basket each week. The season always starts out light and fluffy: greens, greens and more greens. But as the months progress, the food gets heavier and denser. Eight pound totes give way to eighteen pound totes (we like to put a packed harvest basket on the scale each week, just to see how many pounds of food we’re sending out). And on the heaviest autumn weeks, when there are potatoes and winter squash and celeriac and Brussels sprouts and parsnips and romanesco cauliflower all stuffed into one tote, we give our hand truck a run for its money on packout days. We’ve had Rubbermaids buckle under the weight of our usual seven-high stack in our walk-in cooler!

 

The thing I love about this seasonal observation is that all these dense foods, all these vegetable calories, are the sum total of so many months of sunshine and long days and photosynthesis. Of water and weeding and patience. You can’t get heavy food in a few weeks. You can seed mustard greens and arugula and kale and have a baby salad in three to four weeks (and that’s why you see a lot of that stuff in the first 4-6 weeks of the season). But if you want the heavy stuff – like carrots and winter squash and onions and tomatoes – you have to be willing to wait for it. Seventy days. 100 days. Sometimes more.

 

Growing vegetables is one giant exercise in delayed gratification, and I admire all of you for your willingness as eaters to stick with us for the entire progression of the season. I know that all of those spring greens can be tiresome and overwhelming for some of you. And I know that some of the fall foods still to come (celery root, parsnips, Brussels Sprouts, etc.) can seem bizarre or challenge your long-held vegetable biases. But hats off to you for sticking with it, and hopefully even enjoying it along the way. There are seven more weeks to go, and many more veggies still to meet.

 

This Week’s Squash: Acorn Squash & Pie Pumpkins

Acorn: Acorns have dark green to black skin, with deep ribs. They often have a bright orange spot on one side, where they were in contact with the ground. This is one tough-skinned squash, so be extra-careful when you cut into it. Acorns are among the more ubiquitous squash varieties in the supermarket, and as such, are maybe a little less intimidating to some folks. There are a couple of recipes on our website that I really like if you want to do it up fancy-ish, or turn them into a main dish:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/acorn%20squash

 

But if you’re in a hurry or more inclined towards the simple, I suggest simply halving your acorns, scooping out the seeds, and placing them face down on a baking tray with a little water in the tray. Bake in the oven at 400 until you can pierce the skin with a fork and the flesh is soft, about 30 minutes or so. We eat them with a pat of butter melting inside, and I have been known to put a splash of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar on them.

 

They also make great lunch food if you bake them the night before and then pack them for the next day. The hollow cavity begs to be stuffed with something – feta, rice, nuts, salad, sautéed onions, or all of the above.

 

Like all the winter squash you’re getting, Acorns will store for a couple months at room temperature, so no need to stress about eating them right away if you have a perishable produce pile-up right now.

 

Pie Pumpkins: These cute little pumpkins can double as Halloween/Thanksgiving décor and/or the key ingredient in a homemade pumpkin pie. They will store for a couple months on the counter – like all the squash varieties – so if you want to save it for Thanksgiving you can. (We also have all the winter squash varieties for sale at our farmstand on Saturdays if you want to stock up in a big way for winter eating!)

 

My sister is the queen of homemade pumpkin pie. She makes it at least two or three times throughout the fall, and once you’ve had the real thing, with a dollop of whipped cream on top, there’s no going back. So be forewarned if you have a stash of canned pumpkin pie filling in your pantry: if you embark on making your own pie from scratch, you’d better be ready to put your canned pie filling up for adoption. Here are a few variations on the theme:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/pie%20pumpkin

 

Remember: No More Abby’s Greens Salad Shares!

Salad shares are over for the season, in case you go looking for that red salad cooler at your pickup site this week!

 

You can continue to get Abby's Greens at various locations, including:

  • Valley Flora Farmstand (Saturdays only from 10-2 in Langlois, through Nov. 17th)
  • Langlois Market (Langlois)
  • Coos Head Food Store (North Bend)
  • Mother's Natural Grocery (Bandon)
  • Price n Pride (Bandon)
  • Seaweed Natural Grocery (Port Orford)

 

Thanks for all your salad-eating this season!

 

New Fall Farmstand Hours: Saturdays ONLY from 10 am to 2pm

Our farmstand is now open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, through November 17th! We are no longer open on Wednesdays. The autumn abundance is awesome right now, as summer crops collide with fall food: peppers, tomatoes, chard, kale, onions, potatoes, leeks, spinach, salad mix, melons, apples, beets, carrots, zucchini, herbs, and much more.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Winter Squash – Acorn & Pie Pumpkins
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers
  • Radishes
  • Celery
  • Fennel

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

Nothing this week…

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Yellow Onions
  • Broccoli?
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Beets?
  • Romanesco Cauliflower?
  • Butternut squash
  • Kale
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes
  • Fresh Sage

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 20: October 15th

Week 20!

Squash Season Kickoff!

This week marks the official start of winter squash season! In the nine remaining weeks of the Harvest Basket season (our last delivery of Harvest Baskets will be the week of December 10th), you are going to meet an array of different winter squash. All of them are cured and ready to eat, but will also store for another few months, either on your countertop or in a cool, dry, dark place. There is no need to refrigerate winter squash; in fact their preferred storage temperature is around 50 degrees. Even though they look tough, handle them gently. Bruised winter squash won't store as long.

 

Many people are new to winter squash and often relate to them more as seasonal décor than food. We’re here to encourage you to EAT them, because they are fantastically sweet, delicious and versatile. We’ve grown a selection of our all-time favorite varieties and each week I’ll give you tips, suggestions and recipes that will help you enjoy them. Don’t be intimidated by their tough skins, large size, or funky shapes. Winter squash is one of the highlights of seasonal eating in our climate, and lucky for all of us it was a good year for squash on the farm!

 

A word about kitchen safety and winter squash: Their skin is often tough as nails, so be very careful cutting into them. If you’re cutting a squash in half or into slices, you’ll want to use a large, heavy-bladed knife, sharp-tipped knife (not a thin-bladed, paring, or delicate ceramic knife). We once broke the blade of our best knife while trying to hack open a winter squash, so now we only use a heavy-duty stainless steel chef knife for the job. It’s best to insert the tip of the knife into the squash first and then work the blade down and through the flesh of the squash. Be careful that the squash doesn’t spin out of your grip, or that the knife slips. Always be strategic about where your hands are and where the knife is headed. If you have a microwave, some people suggest nuking the squash for a couple minutes to pre-soften it before attempting to cut into it.

 

This Week’s Squash: Spaghetti Squash

I'll admit it feels a little risky to give out spaghetti squash as the debut in the winter squash line-up, for fear of scaring everyone off. Spaghetti squash has a bad reputation among some - as the quintessential hippie squash; the squash with an identity crisis (am I a vegetable or am I a noodle?); the squash that gets scoffed at; the squash that nobody eats, nobody buys, and everyone makes fun of.

 

I was one of those naysayers for many years, until I gave spaghettis a chance. And I discovered that they are worth eating – not just because they’re good for you, but because they really, truly are good. They are also one of the first squash to ripen and cure, and they don’t need any time to “age” (some varieties like butternuts and kabochas allegedly improve in flavor and texture after a few weeks in storage, but spaghettis are good right out of the field).

 

So here they are this week. Hopefully with a little nudge you can be convinced to give them a try as well. A few eating tips:

 

  • Many recipes I’ve come across say to cook your spaghetti squash in the microwave. Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.
  • You can also bake it in your oven. Preheat to 350. Pierce it with a knife as above, put the whole squash in the oven on a tray, and bake for about an hour, or until soft to the touch. You can also halve it, brush the cut sides with butter, and then bake face-down on a cookie sheet until fork-tender, 35 minutes to an hour.
  • Once your squash is cooked fork-tender, cool it for a few minutes and then rake out the stranded “noodly” flesh with a fork into a bowl.
  • Dress it up with anything: marinara sauce, butter and herbs, pesto, cream sauce with chantarelles, or anything else you can invent.

 

Here are a couple recipes to give you a start:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spaghetti-Squash-with-Parsl...

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spaghetti-Squash-with-Moroc...

 

Good luck, and don't be intimidated!

 

LAST WEEK of Abby’s Greens Salad Shares!

This is the 20th and final week of Abby's Greens Salad Shares. If you are a salad share member, be sure to pick up your share from the marked cooler on your pickup day, and enjoy your last week of pre-paid greens!

 

You can continue to get Abby's Greens at various locations, including:

  • Valley Flora Farmstand (Saturdays only from 10-2 in Langlois, through Nov. 17th)
  • Langlois Market (Langlois)
  • Coos Head Food Store (North Bend)
  • Mother's Natural Grocery (Bandon)
  • Price n Pride (Bandon)
  • Seaweed Natural Grocery (Port Orford)

 

Thanks for all your salad-eating this season!

 

Winterbor Kale

This kale is the opposite of “no frills.” The curliest kale known to man, it’s hard to fit these puffy bunches into the tote! It’s an aptly named variety, growing straight through the winter and yielding enough leafy green-ness for all our CSA members, plus some to sell, and providing an endless supply of kale for our favorite winter salad: kaleslaw. You can eat this variety just like the others. It’s also easy to de-rib this one: just hold onto the bottom of the stem and tear off the leaves in one quick swipe up the rib.

 

Stores in the fridge for at least a week in a plastic bag.

 

New Fall Farmstand Hours: Saturdays ONLY from 10 am to 2pm

Our farmstand is now open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, through November 17th! We are no longer open on Wednesdays. The autumn abundance is awesome right now, as summer crops collide with fall food: peppers, tomatoes, chard, kale, onions, potatoes, leeks, spinach, salad mix, melons, apples, beets, carrots, zucchini, herbs, and much more.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Red Long of Tropea torpedo onions
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Peppers
  • Winter Squash - Spaghetti
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers
  • Apples
  • Radishes

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Corn
  • Parsley

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Leeks
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Fennel
  • Radishes
  • Acorn squash
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Romanesco cauliflower?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 19: October 8th

Week 19!

Squirreling Season

Early October is when we, as farmers, most resemble squirrels. We are hustling around the farm with a heightened sense of urgency at this point in the year, working together to cache our oh-so-important winter storage crops before the weather turns. We’re digging the last of the potatoes, cleaning our cured onions, and most notably, harvesting our winter squash. These are the foods whose calories and flavors will see us deep into wintertime.

 

Winter squash encompasses a big family of hard-skinned squashes that come in all stripes, sizes and colors. Many folks are familiar with just a few types from the grocery store: maybe the dark green-skinned acorn squash, or perhaps a green or scarlet Kabocha squash. What most people don’t realize is that winter squash are for eating (unlike the ornamental gourds they are often confused with), and good eating they are! Their name, “winter” squash, confuses a lot of people: they don’t grow in the wintertime (we actually plant them in the field in early June and harvest in early October). Rather, the name refers to their ability to store for many months; this year’s winter squash crop will feed us well into the new year.

 

On the farm we grow seven different varieties of winter squash, plus a pie pumpkin. Starting next week you’ll begin to see them in your share, where they will become a staple all the way through until the last week of Harvest Baskets in December. (That’s right: there are still 9 more weeks to go in the Harvest Basket season; you will get your last tote of the season the week of December 10th). We’ll introduce you to each variety as it comes and provide cooking, eating and storage tips.

 

In the meantime, we are working this week to get all of those different squash into the barn. We started clipping them from the vine 2 weeks ago, putting them in windrows, and letting them “cure” in the field. This hot sunny spell has been miraculous (we couldn’t hope for more perfect weather) because in order to cure properly, winter squash need at least a week of warm, 70-ish degree, dry weather while they lie in the field. This helps their skins harden and their stems dry (which are the two keys to sealing out any entry points for molds, fungi, bacteria and other pathogens that could cause them to prematurely rot in storage).

 

It’s always a dicey time of year to pull it off (last year the forecast was full of rain and we had to transport all of our squash to a barn in town where we force-cured them with a heater, with mixed success), but so far so good this season. I like to think it’s the gift we get in exchange for a long, grey, wet spring and early summer….

 

So look for winter squash in your share NEXT week, the week of October 15th. First up: spaghetti squash!

 

Broccoli is Back, Plus Apples and Napa & Yellow Storage Onions!

More fall food this week, right on time:

 

Broccoli is back and it’s BIG. We harvested some 3-pound heads this week!

 

Apples! We have a better crop than we’ve had in a spate of successive bad apple years, so you’re seeing one of the many different varieties we grow on the farm. This one is lovingly named “lower driveway tree.” It’s a tree that has always grown along my mom’s driveway, and is the apple that my sister and I always associate with school lunch: as kids, as we walked down to the meet the school bus each morning in the fall, we would each grab an apple from this tree for our lunch. My sister has since grafted this variety and is growing a couple new trees of it in our young orchard. It’s sweet, crisp, disease-resistant, and a great little lunchbox size. Best stored in the fridge.

 

Napa Cabbage! Also known as Chinese cabbage, this is the traditional cabbage used for kimchi. It is hugely versatile, raw or stir-fried or fermented or steamed. I’d suggest pairing it with your apples for a fall twist in this recipe, adapted from epicurious.com: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/apple-and-napa-cabbage-salad-spic...

 

Yellow Storage Onions: The onions you’re getting this week are called Copra, a long-storing yellow variety that is another of our fall/winter staples. As mentioned, at this point all of our onions have “cured,” meaning you can keep them on your countertop. It’s fine to put them in the fridge as well, but they should keep for at least a month in good storage conditions (cool, dry, dark).

 

New Fall Farmstand Hours: Saturdays ONLY from 10 am to 2pm

Our farmstand is now open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, through November 17th! We are no longer open on Wednesdays. The autumn abundance is awesome right now, as summer crops collide with fall food: peppers, tomatoes, chard, kale, onions, potatoes, leeks, spinach, salad mix, melons, apples, beets, carrots, zucchini, herbs, and much more.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

 

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Yellow onions
  • Carrots
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Red potatoes
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers
  • Apples
  • Broccoli

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Cherry Tomatoes

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Red Torpedo Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Fennel?
  • Sweet and/or hot Peppers
  • Spaghetti squash

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 18: October 1st

Week 18!

Bidding Farewell to the Strawberries

Most likely this is the last week you’ll be seeing that sweet little pint of strawberries in your tote. We had an INCREDIBLE September – sunny and hot – which has kept the berries going longer and stronger than we ever hope to hope! All told, you’ve received 24 pints of strawberries this season, equal to two flats per Harvest Basket!

 

Usually by now a rainstorm or two has wiped the berries out and we move on – somewhat gratefully - to other autumn crops. Those first rains are also usually our cue to begin focusing on cover-cropping on the farm: planting “green manure” crops like oats, rye, vetch, field peas, and clover that will sprout this fall, grow through the winter, and get incorporated into the fields next spring. Cover crops provide a host of benefits to our little farm ecosystem, including protection from soil erosion in the winter, an annual boost of natural nitrogen and organic matter, and fodder and habitat for pollinators and farm critters of all stripes.

 

Cover crops are as critical to the ecological health of the farm as cash crops are to its economic health, and they are tops on my list of things I love to grow. Sowing wide swaths of oats and peas on a crisp Fall day has a nostalgic feel to it, especially with Maude, my draft horse, plodding away in front as we disc and roll in the seed. Practically all of the cash crops we grow require labor-intensive transplanting or precise direct seeding. Cover cropping, on the other hand, is a chance to throw bushels of seed to the wind, roll it in with the horse, and then watch as our “second spring” arrives: the greening of the fields as thousands of cover crop seeds germinate.

 

This year, in the absence of any rain thus far, we’re having to bite the bullet and pull the plug on certain crops – like the strawberries – that might yield for another few weeks of good weather, but at the peril of missing our primo cover cropping window (which is the next three weeks). After late October, the chances of getting a good stand of cover crop are practically nil: the days are too short and the temperatures are too chilly to encourage good growth.

 

So enjoy this last pint of berries, knowing that a healthy stand of peas, oats, vetch and clover will soon be growing in their stead, bringing long-term benefits to the farm.

 

P.S. There might still be some berries for sale at the farmstand on Saturdays while the weather holds, picked from the few beds we are not tilling under this Fall!

 

New Fall Farmstand Hours: Saturdays ONLY from 10 am to 2pm

The end of the strawberries – including the u-pick strawberries – means we are switching to our once a week Fall farmstand hours as of this Saturday, October 6th. We will be open every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, through November 17th! The autumn abundance is awesome right now, as summer crops collide with fall food: peppers, tomatoes, chard, kale, onions, potatoes, leeks, spinach, salad mix, melons, apples, beets, carrots, zucchini, herbs, and much more. We might even be harvesting our first mini crop of table grapes in the next few weeks!

 

Lacinato Kale & Leeks This Week

The dark blue-green kale in your tote is Lacinato, also called “Dinosaur” kale, Tuscan kale, or Cavalo Nero. Beloved in Italy, this is also one of our favorite autumn varieties. It gets nothing but sweeter and tastier as cold weather sets in, so you should see it again in a month or so. The easiest way to strip the dark leaves from the tough mid-rib is to grab either side of the rib at the base with one hand and use your other hand to pull the leaves off in the other direction with one quick swipe.

 

Leeks are the other newbie in the tote this week. Long and lean and lovely, leeks are a quintessential fall food. They can be used exactly like onions in any application (they’re not just for potato leek soup!). Here’s a trick for prepping leeks in the kitchen, because they can sometimes hang on to field dirt: Cut the root end and top off your leek (you can use these for making your own veggie stock if you’re so inclined). Cut the leek in half lengthwise. Then cut the leek into slices cross-wise. Put into a colander and run under cold water to rinse any dirt from the inner “rings” of the leek. Shake dry and proceed with your cooking….

 

Store in the fridge in a plastic bag; should hold for a couple weeks at least.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Head Lettuce
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers
  • Cilantro
  • Red Beets

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • An herb of some kind
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Red Potatoes

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 17: September 24th

Week 17!

A New Cast of Characters This Week…

This first week of Fall brings with it some new veggies: celery, shallots, savoy cabbage, and mint. Your summer standbys are still in there – tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and zucchini – but the transition to Autumn eating has begun. You can look forward to more corn, tomatoes and peppers in the coming weeks, but they’ll start to be accompanied by heavy harvest-time foods like winter squash, Fall broccoli, and Romanesco cauliflower (a favorite among our members, and one of the most stunning-to-behold vegetables we grow).

 

Here’s a quick run-down of this week’s new produce:

 

Celery: Our celery is a little different than what you might be used to from the supermarket. It tends to be thinner, darker green, and more intensely flavorful. You can certainly use it for a good old snack of ants on a log (remember raisins and peanut butter on celery sticks, from preschool?), but a lot of people prefer to use it more as a seasoning – in soups, stock, stuffing, and casseroles, for instance. Rather than log the whole plant, we selectively harvest stalks and give you a handful at a time, multiple times throughout the fall. The leaves are packed with flavor, so consider using them as well.

 

Shallots: We grow two types of shallots, a red and a gold. You’re getting a red shallot this week. They mature alongside our onions, and according to everyone who’s ever laid eyes on them they are the biggest shallots on earth. I don’t know why they get so big for us - we don’t give them special treatment of any kind – but I guess as shallots go, these are colossal. Shallots are actually more closely related to garlic than they are to onions, and they are a staple in French cuisine. You can use them just as you would an onion. They’ll keep fine on your counter (these have been curing for a month, so they don’t have to go in the fridge).

 

Savoy Cabbage: A beauty of a cabbage, curly-crinkle-leaved savoy is usually grown for fall harvest. You can use it any way you’d use a regular red or green cabbage: souped or slawed or sauerkrauted or stir-fried. These two recipes – one from Down Under, and the other from the BBC, caught my eye. They both combine cabbage and shallots. It appears that the Brits and their former colonies have an affinity for fatty meat, but I’m sure you can substitute butter or oil if you don’t have any goose fat on hand:

 

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/cuisine/meat/recipe/savoy-cabbage-with-smoky-bacon-20111019-1m4w6.html

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2435/rosemaryspiked-cabbage-

 

Mint: Last week I took a very broad poll of one Harvest Basket member  – my dad, Bill – to find out whether he would prefer to get a) cilantro again this week, or b) mint. He hemmed and hawed and finally said this: “Well, the only thing you can do with mint is make Mint Juleps, right? So if it’s hot next week, yes, mint! If it’s not hot, no mint!” Because, obviously, Mint Juleps can only be enjoyed on your porch on a sultry evening. Upon further questioning, my dad admitted that he actually had no idea what went into a Mint Julep….except maybe, mint?

 

So, in spite of the fact that our last cilantro planting is in its prime this week, we have harvested mint for you – because the weather forecast is about as hot as it ever gets (low 70’s, whoo!). Whether you have a porch or not, and even though I’m sure the temperature is nowhere close to “sultry” on that porch, here is a recipe for Mint Juleps. (By the way, Dad, it’s bourbon and sugar. That’s what’s in Mint Juleps…and of course, some mint): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mint-juleps/

 

Also by the way, Dad: it turns out you can use mint for LOTS of other things other than Derby-time boozing. Check it out, from Moroccan fare to chocolatey desserts:

http://www.epicurious.com/tools/searchresults?search=mint&x=0&y=0

(112 pages of mint recipes from epicurious.com)

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

Bulk Peppers are available to our CSA members: Available in 5 pound bags, $20 per bag.

Choose either:

  • Red Roasters (tapered, Italian sweet peppers in reds, yellows, and oranges), or
  • Mixed Bag (a combo of bells and roasters in reds, yellows, and oranges)

We will fill orders in the order we receive them on a rolling basis in the coming weeks. Please email us your: name, pickup location, phone number, and the quantity and type of peppers you want. We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Red Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Head Lettuce
  • Fresh Mint
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers
  • Savoy Cabbage

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Cherry Tomatoes

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Leeks or Onions
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Head Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Beets

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 16: September 17th

Week 16!

Say, Is That a Worm in my Corn?

Possibly, yes. Our second planting of corn is going out this week – another lovely, sweet, bicolor named Polka – and during harvest I inspected some of the ears for corn earworm. Sure thing, a few of them had fat earworms at the tip. We’ve noticed over the years that corn earworms show up in our later plantings of corn, almost without fail. The worms are a bit gross at first glance, but if you encounter one, all you have to do is cut the tip of your corn off, worm and all.

 

Our no-spray organic philosophy means that Valley Flora is a “live and let live” kind of place – even the corn earworms deserve a little taste of some super sweet corn on the cob now and then…

 

Che-Cherry Oh, Cherry Oh Baby, Don't You Know I'm in Love With You?

That’s right, cherry tomatoes, I’m in love with you. But you, apparently, are not in love with me this year. Usually by this point in September, you are loaded with trusses of bright orange and red and yellow fruit, ripe for the picking. But no, not this year. This year you’re not feeling well, and you’re not showin’ me much love.

 

I know, I know, Late Blight is really the pits. I probably wouldn’t want to produce bucketloads of bright, tangy fruits if I had Late Blight either. Your stems are all brown, your leaves are falling off, and your baby green tomatoes are dropping off the vine like suicidal bridge-jumpers. It’s a bad scene.

 

I feel your pain, but I’m hurt. Remember how we tended you so lovingly in the greenhouse, starting way back in March? And then carefully planted you in the field, and nursed you through flea beetle attacks and cold spring weather? And then, in our grandest display of devotion, watered, pruned, and tied you up every single week of the busy summer, since June?

 

And this is what we get in return? OK, OK, I know it’s not all about me all the time. I know I should blame the weather, not you, and I should show a little more compassion; you’re suffering and all. But do you think maybe you could just put out enough cherry tomatoes this season to give our wonderful Harvest Basket members at least ONE pint of cherries? I mean, if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t even have been born.

 

Please? Show ‘em just a little bit of love? A pint of love? Maybe two? Because you know they’re in love with you.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce: Put some spice in you life!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this Tabasco-like hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle, half case, or case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27/half case (6 bottles)
  • $48/case (12 bottles)

To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, and the quantity of bottles you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site.

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

Bulk Peppers are available to our CSA members: Available in 5 pound bags, $20 per bag.

Choose either:

  • Red Roasters (tapered, Italian sweet peppers in reds, yellows, and oranges), or
  • Mixed Bag (a combo of bells and roasters in reds, yellows, and oranges)

We will fill orders in the order we receive them on a rolling basis in the coming weeks. Please email us your: name, pickup location, phone number, and the quantity and type of peppers you want. We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Cabernet Red Storage Onions
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Head Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers & Heirlooms
  • Yellow Finn potatoes

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Green Beans
  • Cherry Tomatoes

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Head Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers & Heirlooms
  • A fresh herb of some kind…thyme, oregano, mint….?

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 15: September 10th

Week 15!

The Second Half of the Season…

We’ve officially crossed the halfway mark in the Harvest Basket season, with 14 weeks down and 14 more to go. If there’s one word to sum up the second half of the season, it’s usually “heavy.” The past many months of long daylight and relative warmth on the farm means that our fields are laden with dense food as we head towards the autumn apex of harvest: festive winter squashes squat amidst their senescing vines while rows of big-eared corn stand sentinel over a field of fall broccoli, psychedelic romanesco cauliflower, Dr. Seuss-like Brussels sprouts, and stolid cabbage. Every week we dig more potatoes and haul them into our cooler for storage, and our propagation greenhouse has been transformed into an onion curing house (hot & dry, which is perfect for finishing off the drying process on the truckloads of storage onions and shallots that we’ve been pulling out of the field over the past few weeks). The beets and carrots are swelling in size, alongside the warty celeriac (one of the more unusual vegetables we grow that you’ll see in November).

 

It’s a time of unique & fleeting abundance, when just about everything we grow over the course of a season is available at the same time – from strawberries to tomatoes to winter squash (coming in early October). For us, it’s a time of inspired eating (when we have time to branch out beyond the usual quesadilla and salad fare), and also a time of squirreling away produce for winter. Our canning season happens in earnest in the fall: applesauce, tomato sauce, salsa, corn, dilly beans, you name it….we can it.

 

You “can,” too! Remember that many of the veggies you’re getting in your share can be put by for later: dice up your sweet and hot peppers and freeze them; blanch your ears of corn, cut them off the cob and freeze for later; blanch and freeze your green beans; grate your zucchinis into pre-measured bags and freeze them for a wintertime treat of zucchini bread. We have heard from Harvest Basket members who say they eat from the farm year-round because of their preservation efforts. It’s a great way to relish the food now and later.

 

Spice Up Your Life with Cranky Baby Hot Sauce!

This year’s Serrano hot pepper crop is coming on strong, which means Bets is at it again in the farm kitchen, brewing up batches of her infamous Cranky Baby Hot Sauce. Handcrafted at the farm with homegrown hot peppers that are vine-ripened to a sassy red in her greenhouses, this hot sauce strikes the perfect balance between hot, sweet and tangy. Makes a great gift, or a standby condiment in your own kitchen (we go through it by the gallon!).

 

Available by the bottle or by the case:

  • $5/bottle (5 oz)
  • $27 for 6 bottles (half case)
  • $48 for 12 bottles (case).

 

We will deliver to your pickup site. To order, please email us your: name, pickup location, phone numbers and the quantity of bottles you would like.

 

Cranky Baby Hot Sauce is approved for farm-direct sale by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

Bulk Peppers are available to our CSA members:

  • Available in 5 pound bags, $20 per bag
  • Choose either: Red Roasters (tapered, Italian sweet peppers), or Mixed Bag (a combo of bells and roasters in red, yellow and red colors)

 

We will fill orders in the order we receive them on a rolling basis in the coming weeks. Please email us your:

  • name
  • pickup location
  • phone number
  • the quantity and type of peppers you want.

 

We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

In your share this week:

  • Cabernet Red Storage Onions
  • Carrots
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Head Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers & Heirlooms

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Green Beans

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Head Lettuce
  • Cilantro or another fresh herb
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Beans, on rotation

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes that you can contribute to

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

Week 14: September 3rd

Week 14!

CORNucopia!

As we were harvesting and washing all of the produce on Tuesday, there was one gnawing concern: would this week’s CSA share actually fit in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid tote? 8 ears of corn, 2 red onions, a pound of carrots, 3 pounds of beets, 2 zukes, 4 serranos, 3 big sweet peppers, a pint of strawberries, a big pile of tomatoes, a head of lettuce, a bunch of herbs, and for some, a tangled pound of green beans! All told, an average Harvest Basket weighed in at about 17 pounds this week.

 

Historically, September is the biggest month of food at Valley Flora – the most diversity, the most heft, and the most color. It is the pinnacle of the harvest, a time when we find ourselves short on tables to sort it all, tubs to wash it all, and cooler space to keep it chilled. It’s also the easiest time of year to subsist on raw veggies. We’ve been eating a lot of variations on the Greek salad theme of late: tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, fresh herbs, sweet onions, carrots, and beans all chopped up and amended with a splash of olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and feta cheese. Next to a hunk of Seth’s Sourdough bread, it’s a meal unto itself.

 

The corn in your share this week is an early (by our coastal standards) bi-color called Trinity. It’s the first of four corn plantings on the farm, so hopefully you’ll be seeing “elotes” (Spanish for ears of sweet corn, pronounced ae-loh-tays) in your share every other week (or so) through September and into October. Corn is the sweetest right off the stalk (the sugars begin converting to starch as soon as it’s picked), so eat it sooner than later to ensure you get the best corn experience. We like to steam in ours in a shallow pan of water with a lid on it (saves all the time and energy of boiling a big pot of water, and it cooks in a few short minutes). Drag it through some butter when you’re done and eat it off the cob.

 

Or, if you’re inspired to create something with your corn, a friend has been raving about this recipe for Corn Fritters with Tomato and Feta Salad: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/corn-fritters-tomato-feta-salad

 

Sweet Peppers Are On! Available in 5 Pound Bags!

So begins the pepper season, with a bang! You’ll be seeing a variety of peppers in the coming weeks, ranging from stocky bells to long, tapered Italian roasters (great for fresh-eating and roasting alike), all in screaming sunset colors. They are sweet. We eat them like popsicles, often for breakfast. My mom, who grows all the peppers, is very popular at this time of year.

 

Like last year, we will be offering BULK PEPPERS to those of you who want to either put them up for winter, or indulge in a full-bore-fresh-pepper-eating-spree. Peppers are among the easiest of things to preserve. You can simply chop them up and freeze them in Ziplocs (no blanching required). They add a beautiful confetti splash to your winter meals, straight out of the freezer. OR, you can fire-roast them over an open flame, peel off the charred skin, and freeze or pressure can them for an amazing roasted pepper accent in any dish later on.

 

Here are the pepper-buying details:

  • Available in 5 pound bags, $20 per bag
  • Choose either: Red Roasters (tapered, Italian sweet peppers), or the Mixed Bag (a combo of bells and roasters in red, yellow and red colors)

We will fill orders in the order we receive them on a rolling basis in the coming weeks. To order, please email us your:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Quantity and type of peppers you want

We’ll deliver to your pickup site.

 

Strawberries Still Available by the Flat!

The strawberries are booming again (sweeter than ever with all this heat) and we have plenty to fill special orders. If you would like to order a flat (or two), email us your name, pickup location, phone number, and the number of flats you would like. We will deliver to your pickup site. Flats are $35 each, 12 heaping pints to a flat.

 

In your share this week:

  • Cabernet Red Storage Onions
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Head Lettuce
  • Hot Peppers (Serranos)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red Slicers & Heirlooms
  • Red Beets

 

On Rotation:

This means that some pickup locations will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.

  • Green Beans
  • Dill
  • Parsley

 

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your Share Next week

Remember, no promises!

  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • A fresh herb of some kind
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Green Beans, on rotation

 

Recipes Galore

Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

 

For recipes and ideas, check out these links:

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/forum/4

Our own collection of recipes that you can contribute to

 

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/recipe-searcher

Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient

 

www.epicurious.com

A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients

 

http://info2.farmfreshtoyou.com/index.php?cmd=RE

A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient

 

http://helsingfarmcsa.com/recipes.php

A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes

Newsletter: 

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