The Valley Flora Beetbox

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

Week 17: September 23

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Yellow Storage Onions
  • Corn Earworm, Beware!
  • Bumper Red Potato Crop!
  • Sweet Peppers are Peaking! Order by the Bag!

 

In your share this week:

  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Baby Carrots
  • White Sweet Corn
  • Cilantro
  • Head Lettuce
  • Hot Peppers
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Potatoes

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Yellow Storage Onions: If these onions could talk, the story they would tell you. It might go something like this:

Oh man, this has been such a great season to be a yellow storage onion. Well mostly…

We had such a nice spring in the greenhouse, growing roots and getting our first leaves in those trays. And then those farmers picked the nicest day to plant us out in the field: the soil was so warm and soft and smooth, and just damp enough. We took to it like flies to you-know-what. And we grew so fast it almost hurt. Did you know onions have growing pains, too? Yeah, really. Then, sometime in June, all of a sudden, we started to get fat and paunchy around the midriff. Just ballooned out like we’d been eating too many Ding-Dongs. I mean, we hadn’t, but jeez, we just got bigger and bigger and rounder and rounder, and everyday those farmers walked through us in the field and just marveled at how pretty we were with our golden tan skin and big bellies.

 

Then the sun started to pitch south a little and we got tired of keeping our green hair standing straight up (it’s a lot of work to maintain a do like that for 4 months, you know!). So, we relaxed and let our hair down, and before you know it, we were getting yanked out of the ground and put into the back of the pickup for the return trip to the greenhouse (the perfect place to finish off our summer tans and dry out our hair). We were all just chilling there for a month or so, watching the rest of the red onions and shallots get their hair cut every week and nestled into bins, when some strangers showed up. I think they were friends of our farmers or something. Anyway, they came and they gave some of us haircuts and put us into those cozy bins, except they forgot to shut the door to the greenhouse when they left in the evening.

 

It was OK at first, but then we heard a rustling in the middle of the night. Nobody knew what it was. Then we heard an onion scream, and a thwack as it hit the floor. Something said “Baaah.” Before we knew it, everyone was getting yanked off the table and we felt hot sheep breath on our cheeks. They had found us, and they were hungry, even for onions.

 

When dawn broke, we slowly opened our eyes afraid of what we would see: all of us, strewn about the floor, some maimed, some bitten in half, some stomped to death, many with their hair chewed off. It was terrible. Roberto arrived a little while later and the look on his face said it all: after such a perfect onion season, after all the hard work, to lose it all now? He chased the sheep out and then he called Zoë to tell her the bad news. Zoë's stomach turned over and stayed there, upside down, while she tried to finish up in the office. Roberto set about tenderly picking us all up, inspecting us, and sorting us. Miraculously, many of us were unharmed altogether. But a few hundred of us weren’t so lucky. Doomed for the compost.

 

Those of us that are in your Harvest Basket this week are the survivors. There are lots of us, each with their own story to tell. If you have a minute, bend your ear close to our remarkable girth and listen. We might just open up to you before you eat us.”

 

Corn Earworm, Beware!

This is the last planting of corn, and as usual, the corn earworms have found it. That’s par for the course in our later corn plantings every year. Beware that when you shuck your corn you will probably encounter one or two at the tip of the cob. Just cut off the tip, rinse the shucked ear, and enjoy!

 

Bumper Red Potato Crop!

This time of year is all about hauling in the storage crops, among them the potatoes. In a normal year, we are happy to get a yield of 2-3 pounds of potatoes per bed foot. This year, our red Desirees blew every previous record out of the water with a yield of 5 pounds per bed foot. Our walk-in cooler is busting at the seams! We’ll be sharing in the bounty by throwing in a few extra distributions of potatoes this fall, starting this week.

 

This extraordinary yield was not just due to the number of potatoes under each plant, but the size of them. Let me know if you're the Harvest Basket member who receives the single 3 pound potato in your share this week. You win a prize, on top of receiving the prize potato. And no, it doesn’t involve any Oompa-Loompas.

 

Sweet Peppers are Peaking! Order by the Bag!

The sweet peppers are at their peak! Order now to get ‘em in bulk for fresh eating or preserving. You can choose from either:

  • Roasters: 5 pounds of sweet red roasters
  • Jellybean Mix: 5 pounds of mixed bells and roasters - red, orange, yellow, purple (no green)

The cost is $20/bag. Orders will be fulfilled on a rolling basis in the order received (pepper season usually goes into October). To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of peppers you would like (in 5 pound increments).

Peppers preserve wonderfully.

  • Frozen: just dice them up raw and toss them into a freezer bag.
  • Roasted: blacken the outer skin over an open flame, toss them into in a lidded pot to steam, peel the skin off once they’ve cooled, lay the roasted peppers on cookie sheets to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag.

Either way, they are a great addition to wintertime meals – pasta sauces, stir fries, soups, lasagna, and more!

 

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

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

  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale?
  • 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 16: September 16th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Winterbor Kale & Italian Plums
  • Big Bummer in the Cherry Tomatoes: A Haiku
  • Carrots on Pause
  • Sweet Peppers by the Bag!
  • Garlic is Going Fast! Order now if you want some….

 

In your share this week:

  • Red Onions
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom
  • Italian Plums

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Winterbor Kale: It got this name for a reason. Winterbor is tied for first place for being the hardiest kale variety we grow. It’s great in late summer and through the fall, but most impressive is the fact that we will still be harvesting from these plants next March. It’s an incredibly frilly, lofty kale, and tends to be my first choice for making Kaleslaw. Here's our treasure trove of other favorite kale recipes:

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

 

Your kale will keep for at least a week in the fridge in a plastic bag.

 

Italian Plums: Four or five ancient Italian plum trees hang over my mom’s driveway at the farm. Abby and I were raised on those plums – picking them fresh off the tree in September on our way down the driveway to catch the school bus in the morning, and eating them dried all winter (thanks to my mom’s heroic food preservation efforts all fall). We haven’t seen plums on the trees in four years, due to the terribly wet, nasty spring weather we’ve had (no pollination in March means no plums in September). But this year the trees were loaded, so much so that one of them broke in half under all the weight this summer.

 

True to the Italian plum tradition, the three of us have been busy pitting and drying as many plums as we can at midnight, but there is still plenty to share with our CSA members. Eat them fresh, or make my favorite Italian Plum Clafouti for dessert: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/plum-clafouti

 

Big bummer in the Cherry Tomatoes: a Haiku

August rains. Humid.

Vines blacken. Fruit drops. Uh-oh.

Better luck next year.

 

Where’d the Carrots Go?!

The last few weeks you’ve been receiving a half pound of carrots instead of the usual full pound, and this week none at all. What gives?! Back in July, one of our seedings failed, and because we protect our carrots with floating row cover (to exclude the carrot rust fly), I didn’t notice the failure until 2 weeks later when I uncovered the carrot beds to do another seeding. Which meant our usual steady succession of mature carrot beds was interrupted. I was hoping the re-seeded bed would catch up in time, but it didn’t. So carrots are on pause altogether this week, in hopes that the next bed will be big enough by next week.

 

Once we turn the carrot switch back on, it looks like there will be an ample supply to see us all the way through the season into December, and beyond.

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

The sweet peppers are on! Order now to get ‘em in bulk for fresh eating or preserving. You can choose from either:

  • Roasters: 5 pounds of sweet red roasters
  • Jellybean Mix: 5 pounds of mixed bells and roasters - red, orange, yellow, purple (no green)

 

The cost is $20/bag. Orders will be fulfilled on a rolling basis in the order received (pepper season usually goes into October). To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of peppers you would like (in 5 pound increments).

Peppers preserve wonderfully.

  • Frozen: just dice them up raw and toss them into a freezer bag.
  • Roasted: blacken the outer skin over an open flame, toss them into in a lidded pot to steam, peel the skin off once they’ve cooled, lay the roasted peppers on cookie sheets to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag.

Either way, they are a great addition to wintertime meals – pasta sauces, stir fries, soups, lasagna, and more!

 

Garlic is Going Fast! Order now to get your bag or braid!

For some reason, we’re unable to grow garlic at the farm. Each time we’ve planted it, we lose the entire crop to white rot, rust, flooding, or other diseases. After enough disappointments we’ve stopped trying altogether.

 

Our long-time family friends have a small organic farm called Calapooia Crossing. They are located on the Calapooia River in the foothills of the Cascades and they excel at growing garlic. Last year they brought us part of their harvest and we sold it at the farmstand, to wide acclaim. They just delivered this year’s crop to us, so we have a couple hundred pound of beautiful garlic for the offering. It’s available at the farmstand, but for those of you who can’t make the trip, we’re happy to deliver bulk bags or braids to your pickup site.

 

Here's the scoop if you want to order:

  • Bulk garlic is available in 3 pound bags, $25 per bag. (There are about 5 large heads of garlic per pound, so a bulk bag contains approximately 15+ heads of garlic. It’s a hardneck variety, meaning the head has a central stem with a ring of large, easy-to-peel cloves around the stem.)
  • Garlic braids are also available, $12 apiece. Braids contain approximately 7 heads of softneck garlic called Italian Late. It’s the best keeper and makes a beautiful gift.

 

To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of garlic you would like.

We’ll deliver!

 

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

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

  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Sweet corn
  • Cilantro
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Strawberries? (weather dependent, rain in the forecast)
  • Tomatoes

 

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 9

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Napa Cabbage & Fingerling Potatoes
  • September Strawberries
  • Fennel Pesto
  • Shifting into Fall
  • Sweet Peppers by the Bag!
  • Calapooia Garlic by the Bag or the Braid!

 

In your share this week:

  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Napa Cabbage: This has to be tops on my list of favorite cabbages: tender, sweet, versatile. It’s tender enough to stand in for lettuce, or cabbage-y enough to hold it’s own in slaw. Here are a couple good recipes off our website (I make a lot of the napa-apple-nut salad at this time of year):

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/recipe_search/results/napa%20cabbage

 

Napa is also the cabbage of choice for making kimchi, or Korean pickles. This is a relatively quick, easy recipe if you’ve never tried it before:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/quick-spicy-kimchee-recipe/index.html

 

Napa stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge. It won’t last as long as a red or green hard cabbage, but you should get a week or two out of it.

 

Fingerling Potatoes: Whimsical and weird-looking, this is a variety called Russian Banana. Fingerling are usually described as “waxy” in texture, meaning they’re a firmer, drier potato than most. The most common preparations are to either roast them or boil/steam them for use in a salad. Store in your fridge in plastic bag.

 

This is about as simple and easy a dish you could make with them, using your fresh dill:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/dill-fingerling-potatoes-recipe/index.html

 

September Strawberries

Every strawberry harvest in September feels like a bonus to us, given the uncertain weather as we slide towards Fall. As soon as the rain and cool weather arrive with any earnestness, it will shut down the strawberries for good.

 

This recent blast of sun, however, has made for some good late-season picking. The berries have ramped up so much in the past week, there's enough to fill some last-minute, late season special orders. If you want to order a flat, email me your name, pickup site, daytime phone number, and the number of flats you want.

 

Take note that September’s sweet berries also tend to have a shorter shelf life. There’s more mold pressure from all the morning dew, and they tend to be more fragile overall. We painstakingly try to cull every berry that has any sign of rot, but even so they sometimes slip by us during the 6-hour strawberry pick on Tuesday and Friday mornings – so please forgive the occasional mold bomb that might light up your pint of berries if you let them sit for a day or two. Sooner is better when it comes to eating September strawberries! Enjoy the last few pints coming your way this season.

 

Fennel Pesto

I'm always looking for new ways to convert the fennel skeptics in the crowd, so I was extra-excited to try this fennel pesto recipe that my dad and stepmother discovered. They were kind enough to post it to our website. I swooned. Hope you do, too.

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/fennel-recipes

 

Shifting into Fall

September is a month of transition for us. We’re just wrapping up our last direct seedings and transplantings in the field, and the focus shifts markedly from putting seeds and plants in the ground to taking food out of the ground. Big harvests of storage crops like potatoes, onions, and winter squash are upon us and it seems that no bin weighs less than 30 pounds at this time of year. From now on as the food gets heavier, we do a lot of bending at the knees. Core strength! Steady now!

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

The sweet peppers are on! Order now to get ‘em in bulk for fresh eating or preserving. You can choose from either:

  • Roasters: 5 pounds of sweet red roasters
  • Jellybean Mix: 5 pounds of mixed bells and roasters - red, orange, yellow, purple (no green)

 

The cost is $20/bag. Orders will be fulfilled on a rolling basis in the order received (pepper season usually goes into October). To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of peppers you would like (in 5 pound increments).

 

Peppers preserve wonderfully.

  • Frozen: just dice them up raw and toss them into a freezer bag.
  • Roasted: blacken the outer skin over an open flame, toss them into in a lidded pot to steam, peel the skin off once they’ve cooled, lay the roasted peppers on cookie sheets to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag.

 

Either way, they are a great addition to wintertime meals – pasta sauces, stir fries, soups, lasagna, and more!

 

Garlic by the Bag or the Braid!

For some reason, we’re unable to grow garlic at the farm. Each time we’ve planted it, we lose the entire crop to white rot, rust, flooding, or other diseases. After enough disappointments we’ve stopped trying altogether.

 

Our long-time family friends have a small organic farm called Calapooia Crossing. They are located on the Calapooia River in the foothills of the Cascades and they excel at growing garlic. Last year they brought us part of their harvest and we sold it at the farmstand, to wide acclaim. They just delivered this year’s crop to us, so we have a couple hundred pound of beautiful garlic for the offering. It’s available at the farmstand, but for those of you who can’t make the trip, we’re happy to deliver bulk bags to your pickup site.

 

Here's the scoop if you want to order:

Bulk garlic is available in 3 pound bags, $25 per bag. (There are about 5 large heads of garlic per pound, so a bulk bag contains approximately 15 heads of garlic. It’s a hardneck variety, meaning the head has a central stem with a ring of large, easy-to-peel cloves around the stem.)

Garlic braids are also available, $12 apiece. Braids contain approximately 7 heads of softneck garlic called Italian Late. It’s the best keeper and makes a beautiful gift.

 

If you’d like to order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of garlic you would like.

 

We’ll deliver!

 

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

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

  • Red Onions
  • Carrots
  • Sweet corn?
  • Kale
  • Head Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes

 

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 14: September 2nd

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Red Storage Onions! Chehalis Apples!
  • Halfway!
  • Sweet Peppers by the Bag!
  • Calapooia Garlic by the Bag or the Braid!

 

In your share this week:

  • Red Storage Onions
  • Cylindra Beets
  • Carrots
  • Chehalis Apples
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Red Storage Onions: The big red onions this week are a variety called Red Emperor, and they are a medium-term storage onion. They are fully cured, so no need to refrigerate. They’re supposed to keep for up to a couple of months under ideal conditions (cool & dry).

 

These onions have been a delight to grow, harvest and clean. We’ve never had such beautiful, huge, red onions in all our years of farming. The sunny spring certainly helped, but it may also be the variety itself. We usually grow a red onion called Cabernet, but it was sold out this year, forcing us to resort to Red Emperor. It was a bit of gamble since we’d never trialed it before, but we’ve had happy results so far. We’ll see how well they keep into the fall, but for now we’re enjoying the satisfaction of our heaviest onion harvest to date.

 

Chehalis Apples: Just in time for back to school! Another product of our beautiful spring, much of the orchard is laden with apples this year. The pollination was so thorough on some trees that we’ve had to thin a lot of fruit and still there are branches breaking under all the weight.

 

Chehalis is a relatively early apple, and it’s earlier than ever this year. It’s thin-skinned, sweet, crispy, and incredibly juicy – intended for fresh eating and baking. They’re more delicate than some apples so try not to bang them around to avoid bruising. If you don’t eat them right away, keep them in the fridge to prevent them from getting mushy.

 

Halfway!

This week marks the halfway point in the CSA season: 14 weeks down, 14 to go. If this week's dense share is any indication of the direction we're headed, you can rest assured that heavy will be the name of the Harvest Basket game this fall. All that sturdy food in your tote (note the sheer absence of light, leafy stuff this week!) is the sum total of so many summer hours of sunlight, heat and water, all condensed into a rainbow of fruit and vegetables for you. The farm takes on a certain gravity, a weightedness, at this time of year that is palpable: so many tons of food lurking underground (potatoes, beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, celeriac, onions!) and squatting above ground (squash, cabbages, giant kohlrabi, ripe corn, gone-to-seed sunflowers). I never worry about scarcity at this time of year; only whether the week's harvest will fit into a Rubbermaid!

 

Sweet Peppers by the Bag!

The sweet peppers are on! Order now to get ‘em in bulk for fresh eating or preserving. You can choose from either:

  • Roasters: 5 pounds of sweet red roasters
  • Jellybean Mix: 5 pounds of mixed bells and roasters - red, orange, yellow, purple (no green)

 

The cost is $20/bag. Orders will be fulfilled on a rolling basis in the order received (pepper season usually goes into October). To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of peppers you would like (in 5 pound increments).

Peppers preserve wonderfully.

Frozen: just dice them up raw and toss them into a freezer bag.

Roasted: blacken the outer skin over an open flame, toss them into in a lidded pot to steam, peel the skin off once they’ve cooled, lay the roasted peppers on cookie sheets to freeze individually, then transfer to a freezer bag.

 

Either way, they are a great addition to wintertime meals – pasta sauces, stir fries, soups, lasagna, and more!

 

Garlic by the Bag or the Braid!

For some reason, we’re unable to grow garlic at the farm. Each time we’ve planted it, we lose the entire crop to white rot, rust, flooding, or other diseases. After enough disappointments we’ve stopped trying altogether.

 

Our long-time family friends have a small organic farm called Calapooia Crossing. They are located on the Calapooia River in the foothills of the Cascades and they excel at growing garlic. Last year they brought us part of their harvest and we sold it at the farmstand, to wide acclaim. They just delivered this year’s crop to us, so we have a couple hundred pounds of beautiful garlic for the offering. It’s available at the farmstand, but for those of you who can’t make the trip, we’re happy to deliver bulk bags to your pickup site.

 

Here's the scoop if you want to order:

  • Bulk garlic is available in 3 pound bags, $25 per bag. (There are about 5 large heads of garlic per pound, so a bulk bag contains approximately 15+ heads of garlic. It’s a hardneck variety, meaning the head has a central core with a ring of large, easy-to-peel cloves around the core.)
  • Garlic braids are also available, $12 apiece. Braids contain approximately 7 heads of softneck garlic called Italian Late. It’s the best keeper and makes a beautiful gift.

 

If you’d like to order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The type and quantity of garlic you would like.

We’ll deliver!

 

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:

  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Fennel
  • Dill
  • Lettuce
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes

 

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 13: August 26th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Cured Walla Wallas! Lacinato Kale! Hot Peppers! Sweet Peppers!
  • Make your own Pico de Gallo
  • Bulk Peppers By the Bag

 

In your share this week:

  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Hot Peppers
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Green Beans

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

 

Cured Walla Walla Sweets: The greenhouse is doing a great job of drying down all of our storage onions and shallots, and the Walla Wallas are the first to be fully cured. This means that their tops have fully dried down and they have a papery outer skin. Once onions are cured, you don’t need to store them in the fridge. You can keep them on the countertop, or in a cool dry place. Walla Wallas are not intended for long-term storage (maybe up to a month at most), so don’t delay too long in eating them!

 

Lacinato Kale: My favorite of all the kales, this blue-black, blistered kale is also beloved in Italy. It goes by many monikers, including Tuscan kale, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, Dinosaur kale, cavolo nero, black kale, flat back cabbage, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan. And yes, this kale by any other name does taste as sweet. Give us some cold nights or a light frost, and it’ll get even sweeter – so there is at least one reason to look forward to the end of summer and the start of chilly weather.

 

Peppers – Hot & Sweet: Let the march of the peppers begin! My mom’s greenhouses are starting to pump out the peppers, in perfect time for salsa season. The two small peppers in your share this week are jalapeños with a good kick. The bigger peppers are sweet varieties (you’ll see bells and long Italian roasting peppers throughout the next month or so).

 

Store in the fridge in a plastic bag.

 

Fresh Pico de Gallo

You have all the ingredients (minus the lime) to make fresh, homemade salsa this week: tomatoes, hot peppers, sweet peppers, cilantro, and sweet onion. There’s nothing to it: dice everything up, salt to taste, squeeze in some lime, and get yourself some (non-GMO) corn chips!

 

Bulk Peppers Available by the Bag

As the colored sweet peppers come on, Bets will be able to offer them in bulk to our members. The pepper fanatics in the crowd tend to eat them raw on the spot, but they also preserve wonderfully (frozen: just dice them up raw and toss them into a freezer bag; or roasted: blacken the outer skin over an open flame, toss them into in a lidded pot to steam, peel the skin, lay the roasted peppers on cookie sheets to freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag).

 

They will be available in 5 pound bulk bags, $20/bag. Orders will be fulfilled on a rolling basis in the order received (pepper season usually goes into October). To order, please email us:

  • Your name
  • Your pickup location
  • Best daytime phone number to reach you
  • The quantity of peppers you would like (in 5 pound increments)

 

We’ll deliver to your pickup site!

 

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:

  • Red Onions
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Corn?
  • Fennel?
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Zucchini
  • Tomaotes

 

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 12: August 19th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce: Sweet Corn! Parsley! Yellow Finn Potatoes!
  • The Not So Sweet News About Sweet Corn

 

In your share this week:

  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom
  • Parsley
  • Lettuce
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Green Beans

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Sweet Corn: The quintessential, Americana, summer food – and for once it’s actually ripe in time for summer! We usually we don’t get our first ears of sweet corn until September once summer is already on the wane, but this year it’s here in time for prime BBQ season, alongside tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes (to round out the picture-perfect American picnic). The ears are on the small side (I think due to a combination of factors: 1) we transplanted our early corn, which is semi-stressful for the plants, and 2) we didn’t give them an extra helping of organic fertilizer this year, and corn likes a lot of nitrogen). On the bright side, there’s a nice heap of those ears in your tote, so hopefully numbers will make up for size this week.

 

We tend to eat our corn one of three ways: 1) raw, straight off the cob, while standing in the middle of the field on a summer evening, legs splayed, happy half-grin on face; 2) shucked and steamed lightly and rolled in the butter; 3) grilled with the husk on: http://bbq.about.com/od/vegetablerecipes/r/bln0218a.htm

 

If you don’t like to gnaw it off the cob, I also like to make a fresh tomato and corn salad. You can put whatever herbs you like in it (basil, parsley, etc.). Cut up tomatoes, cut the raw (or lightly steamed) corn off the cob, add some feta or fresh mozzarella, olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper, maybe some cucumbers – and you’ve got a festive insta-salad.

 

Eat your corn sooner than later; the sugars convert to starch over time, so the sooner, the sweeter, the better. Store it in the fridge to slow down the sugar-to-starch process.

 

Parsley: You’ll either see Italian flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley this week (and depending on which you get, you’ll receive the other type next time). I thought the parsley and potatoes would be good comrades.

 

Keep your parsley in a bag in the fridge, or in a glass of water and covered in the fridge.

 

Yellow Finn Potatoes: Yellow Finns are our favorite, reliable standby in the potato world. They are versatile and delicious any way you cook them (mashed, steamed, roasted, fried, au gratined, hashed, saladed, pancaked, latke-d, stuffed, baked. And so on.) They also are a great keeper in cold storage, so we grow a lot of them to see us through the late fall and winter (they actually get sweeter in cold storage). You’ll see them many more times this season.

 

Best to store this batch in the fridge, as the skins haven’t fully cured yet.

 

The Not So Sweet News about Sweet Corn

My father-in-law, like many of us, is highly concerned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms: plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals) in our food supply. And for good reason: in the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food (yes, even if you think you’re not, you are already eating GMOs, probably everyday).

 

Almost all of the corn and soy (the underpinnings of America’s processed food industry) is GMO in the U.S. (88% and 94%, respectively, in 2011). So that bag of Fritos, or the low-sugar yogurt that’s made with aspartame instead, or the fruit juice with ascorbic acid, or the soda with high fructose corn syrup, or the chips fried in canola/soybean/corn oil, or anything with natural or artificial flavorings is most likely made with GMO ingredients (assuming it's not certified organic; GMO ingredients are prohibited in organic foods).

 

My father-in-law, like many of us, thinks it’s an outrage, especially since most other developed nations – like Australia, Japan, and all of the EU nations - do not consider GMOs to be safe (for human health or the environment) and have implemented outright bans or major restrictions on the production and sale of GMOs.

 

The only fresh foods I knew to be GMO were conventionally grown papayas and zucchini/summer squash. So when my father-in-law started talking about GMO sweet corn on his last visit, I was curious. He is prone to conspiracy theories now and then, and I figured he was mistakenly lumping sweet corn in with all the GMO soybeans and “cow corn” they grow by the square mile in the Midwest - for animal feed and to make all those unprounce-able ingredients in processed foods: Sodium Ascorbate, Sodium Citrate, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Xanthan Gum, etc.

 

Finally this week, as I was harvesting our first ears of sweet corn, I was impelled to do a little research. And I was disappointed to learn that my father-in-law was right. GMO sweet corn was widely introduced into the market (in grocery stores, farmers markets, farmstands) last year. 250,000 acres were grown, accounting for over 40% of the market.

 

Which means that if you want to enjoy GMO-free sweet corn from now on, you have a task ahead of you as a consumer. It’s everywhere, and in everything. The Non-GMO Project, which does education and certifies GMO-free foods, has compiled a list of brands that pass their no-GMO test: http://www.nongmoproject.org/find-non-gmo/search-participating-products/...

 

Eating Valley Flora corn is also good bet. We farm in an isolated pocket where there isn’t much risk of drift (because there aren’t any other corn farmers in the neighborhood) and we farm organically. That said, seed testing is now showing that virtually all of the seed corn in the U.S. has at least traces of GMO contamination, if not more. So the corn seed I buy every year, even if it is organic, is most likely contaminated to some extent.

 

Pandora’s box has been opened. If you are concerned as a consumer, you can learn more and take action at: http://www.nongmoproject.org/2012/08/29/gmo-sweet-corn-anything-but-sweet/

 

What’s the worry about GMOs? Some of the concerns include:

  1. Human health issues. Studies in animals fed GMOs have shown organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune disorders, allergic reactions, accelerated aging, and infertility.
  2. Environmental issues. Most GMOs are engineered for herbicide tolerance and the agricultural use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops can also spawn “super weeds” and “super bugs” that don’t respond to spraying. Plus, the long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once they’re let of the lab, there’s no stuffing them back in.
  3. Farmer rights. Believe it or not, a farmer in Canada, Percy Schmeiser, was sued for patent infringement by Monsanto when GMO pollen drifted from a neighboring field and contaminated his canola crop. Monsanto won, striking a huge blow to farmer sovereignty. For organic farmers, GMO contamination is a huge concern because they can lose their certification and their price premium due to uncontrollable drift.
  4. Consumer rights. Consumers should have the right to know what's in their food, but there is no GMO labeling law in the U.S. That’s in spite of the fact that 91% of Americans say they want GMOs to be labeled (according to a 2012 poll).

Learn more at:

http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/what-is-gmo/

 

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
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Lacinato Kale

 

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 11: August 12th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Produce of the Week: Shiro Plums! Torpedo Onions!
  • Public Service Announcement: This Week’s Cabbages
  • Tamales Shares this Week

 

In your share this week:

  • Cabbage – red or green
  • Red Long of Tropea torpedo onions
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom
  • Broccoli
  • Dill
  • Shiro Plums

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Peppers

 

NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK

Shiro Plums: You can thank that long, sunny spring we had for the nest of yellow plums in your tote this week. Never has there been such a Shiro harvest! And as much as we’d like to think it will happen again, regularly, it all depends on how much rain and hail falls from the sky in the months of March & April.

 

These are one of our favorite plum varieties – the drip-down-your-face kind, at once sweet and slightly tart. And they’re ripe now, so don’t delay with the dripping! I imagine it won’t be too hard to figure out what to do with them (as in, eat the whole dozen right away), but they do make a lovely yellow plum sauce if you want to cook them down with a little sugar (my mom likes to use if for barbecue sauce). Or one of my favorite desserts (usually made with pretty, purple Italian plums, but anything will do), plum clafoutis:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brandied-Plum-Clafoutis-243386

 

I think the flavor and texture is best if you keep your plums on the counter at room temperature. They won’t last as long, but that’s probably a moot point altogether – given the sugar-yum-eat-me-now factor.

 

Red Long of Tropea Torpedo Onions: It’s a mouthful to say, and a delicious mouthful to eat. This variety harks from Mediterranean France and Italy where it’s grown for fresh harvest and specialty markets. It’s similar to the Purplette onions you got throughout July, but slightly slower to mature. Red Longs need to be kept in the fridge because they aren’t cured (no papery outer skin), and ideally eaten within in a couple of weeks.

 

Public Service Announcement: This Week’s Cabbages

If you have back trouble, you may want ask for assistance lifting your cabbage this week. Some of our green cabbages grew to a gargantuan size this year, due to the fact that about half of our green cabbage planting got wiped out by cabbage maggot in the spring. As a result, the surviving plants had ample room to grow and grow. And grow. Some of the cabbages we packed into totes yesterday topped the scales at 8 pounds. If you are not a cabbage fan and you open the lid to a tote that has a monster in it, you might want to look for a different tote with a smaller specimen. This is one of those times when not all things are created equal in the CSA share, so hopefully you all can sort it out at your pickup sites based on need, want, and goodwill!

 

Also, we came up short on green cabbages, so some people will be getting red cabbage in their share. Again, I have faith that you can work it out without any brawling over over-sized brassicas!

 

Tamale Shares this Week

Tamales go out to pickup sites this week. If you are a tamale member, look for your share in the marked blue cooler at your pickup site. Enjoy!

 

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
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Red Long of Tropea Torpedo Onions
  • Carrots
  • Parsley
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Corn?

 

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 10: August 5th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Veggies of the Week: Walla Walla Sweet Onions! Tomatoes! Cucumbers!
  • Summer Thunderstorms & Truckloads of Onions
  • Strawberries Available by the Flat
  • Farmstand Cornucopia

 

In your share this week:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes – Red & Heirloom

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Cucumbers
  • Cauliflower

 

NEW VEGGIES OF THE WEEK

Walla Walla Sweet Onions: Huge, mild, and truly sweet, these are my favorite onion in our Allium line-up. They seem to be particularly pumped up and early this year, thanks probably to a great start in the greenhouse back in February and a good, warm, dry growing season since they were planted outside in late April.

 

Walla Wallas are definitely mild enough to be eaten raw, but I prefer them cooked. My favorite basic preparation is to caramelize them down with fennel, adding some fresh tomato and basil at the end. My other favorite, though more involved, is to make Walla Walla onion rings. We have an annual tradition of making beer- battered (equal parts beer and flour, mixed together), deep-fried Walla Walla rings on my mom’s back porch each summer. The key is to fry them outside, eat ‘em hot and salted, and to have plenty of ketchup on hand. And to go into it knowing that you’ll probably over-indulge and feel sick afterwards. But it’s worth the gut bomb.

 

These Walla Wallas are fresh-harvested, so you should keep them in your fridge. They’ll hold for at least a couple weeks. The yield is so good this year that it looks like we’ll be curing some down for short-term storage, so you’ll see them again in the not-too-distant future.

 

Tomatoes: That’s right, tomatoes. The red slicers are about three weeks ahead of the plan, and the heirlooms are six weeks ahead of our CSA projection. I know I don’t need to say much about tomatoes – kind of like strawberries, they seem to disappear into CSA members’ bellies with little to no prodding on our part – but everyone should know this: it’s best NOT to refrigerate your tomatoes. The flavor and texture aren’t quite as good out of the fridge, so keep them on your counter. Also know that the heirloom tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes and colors. If you get a green tomato, it’s a ripe Aunt Ruby’s – so don’t wait for it to turn red!

 

Like our strawberries, these tomatoes should be eaten sooner than later (my mom, who grows almost all of the tomatoes, chooses varieties that are all about flavor and less about shelf life…as it should be with something that was never intended for transcontinental transport).

 

Sidenote: The ideal distance a tomato should travel is about 3 feet, from the plant to your mouth, or if necessary, the ten paces from garden to kitchen. Modern times and inexorable demand have forced us at Valley Flora to expand the range to about 45 miles, as far north as Coos Bay and as far south as Gold Beach. This is still more jostling than most ripe, real tomatoes like so we apologize if there are any dents or dings when you receive yours. When we're packing your totes, we try to make little nests for the tomatoes, in the fennel fronds or tucked into a quiet corner. But there's always the chance that an over-aggressive zucchini is going to go bully in there and beat up on the tomatoes. The red slicers are typically a little more durable than the thin-skinned, delicate heirlooms, in case you need to prioritize which to gobble up first. If your heirloom has a split when you get it (they sometimes crack in transport), eat it up soon before the fruit flies find it.

 

And in the unlikely case that you are at a loss for tomato-eating ideas, here’s one for you: a fat slice of tomato sandwiched inside some fresh Seth’s Bread, with some good cheese, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Throw some slivered fresh basil or cilantro in there if you have any.

 

Cucumbers: This year’s cukes, on the other hand, are late. They have been thwarted by moles, cucumber beetles, and bacterial wilt (spread by the cucumber beetles). Finally this week there were enough of the mini-cukes at least for Wednesdays totes; we’re hoping for a little sun to ripen up the next batch for Friday/Saturday totes. If not, they’ll be on rotation. After three years of cucumber struggles on the farm, they are about to earn top brass for being possibly the most difficult crop to grow. Ever. Sigh.

 

Summer Thunderstorms & Truckloads of Onions

Normally the Beet Box would have been sent out hours ago, but just as I was about to start typing this morning, the skies unleashed a totally unexpected, totally-bad-timing rainstorm. What, is the weather man on vacation this week?!?

 

The reason for the panic was this: on Monday, Roberto and I (with the help of Cleo) pulled and windrowed all of the red storage onions, the Walla Walla Sweets, and the red shallots (about half of our total onion crop for the year). The forecast on Monday morning was for sun all week – perfect weather for drying down and curing onions in the field. So we yanked them, made tidy rows, and patted ourselves on the back, hopeful for our best onion year yet.


 

 

 

 

When the rain let loose at my house today, I groaned audibly in the office. NO!!! If the onions we pulled on Monday were to get soaked, there’s a high chance they’d mold instead of cure for long-term storage (these are the onions that feed you into December). I dropped everything in the office and raced to the field where Roberto was already loading the pickup with Walla Wallas. We double-teamed it all afternoon, schlepping truckloads of onions from the field to the greenhouse, where we laid them all out on pallets and tables to dry for the rest of their curing process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fortunately, the rain let up while we were in the field and the onions didn’t get too wet. It wasn’t until everything was safely inside the greenhouse this evening that the thunder rolled up the valley, bringing with it fat, heavy raindrops. Let it rain, I thought. Except please spare the strawberries…

 

Strawberries Available by the Flat

They’re back and they’re sweet! We are able to offer strawberries by the flat again, so order now and get on the list! The details:

  • $35/flat
  • Email us your name, pickup site, number of flats you want, and the best daytime phone number to reach you (so we can call you when they’re ready).
  • We’ll fill orders in the order we receive them and deliver to your pickup site.

 

Farmstand Cornucopia

It’s that time of year when the farmstand is a veritable rainbow of produce – everything from leafy greens to heirloom tomatoes to purple peppers to red strawberries to yellow Shiro plums (our adolescent orchard has started to produce a little fruit here and there, in small quantities, and some of it is for sale at the farmstand occasionally). PLUS, The strawberry upick is the best it’s been all year (really!), and Seth & Rachel have been coming on Wednesdays to sell their scrumptious bread, cookies, granola, and crackers. Candace has also been showing up with her vibrant eggs. SO, the moral of the story is that if any of your dietary needs are not being met each week, come to the farmstand and fill in the gaps! Open Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 to 3.

 

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
  • Cucumbers
  • Cabbage
  • Red Long of Tropea Torpedo Onions
  • Carrots
  • Dill
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries

 

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 9: July 29th

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • New Veggie of the Week: Potatoes!
  • Part II: The Joy of CSA Farming
  • Strawberries: Phoenix Rising?

 

In your share this week:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Purplette Onions (the last of ‘em for the year)
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Collards
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries
  • Potatoes

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower

 

New Veggie of the Week: Potatoes

I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch (given last year’s disappointment when late blight wiped out half of our potato patch), but oh man - it’s looking like a good spud year so far. We dug the first couple beds of Desiree red potatoes on Monday and pulled out some impressive lunkers – a pound apiece, some of them!

 

This week’s potatoes are semi-new, meaning that the skin is thin and hasn’t cured fully yet (you’ll notice little scuffs and places where the skin peeled off while we were washing them). Because of this, you should store them in your fridge in a plastic bag.  It also means that these potatoes are as juicy as they come.

 

“Juicy?” you’re thinking? Since when are potatoes juicy? When they’re fresh. Go get a store-bought potato and do a side-by-side cut-in-half test. The Desirees in your share this week will actually weep, since they haven’t lost any of their moisture content in storage. You might not think there would be much difference in taste with something as plain and basic as a potato, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised this week when you cook up your freshly dug spuds.

 

If you haven’t already tried it, this would be a great week to make the recipe for Collards with Potatoes: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/collards-potatoes

 

Desiree potatoes are also a good candidate for potato salad. I like to make a tangy version that’s lighter on the mayo, full of veggies, and uses some of Candace’s fresh eggs, hardboiled:

http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/zs-potato-salad

 

Part II: The Joy of CSA Farming

On the heels of last week’s Beet Box about the challenges of CSA farming, my inbox was awash in wonderful emails from our members. I am sharing some of them here, anonymously, to give you a glimpse of what makes this work so gratifying at times. It’s true, farming is tough at times, but having a community of eaters like you – who are sympathetic to the setbacks and appreciative of the successes – makes it all a very, very worthwhile endeavor.

 

We love hearing from you. Of course we prefer to get the happy, gushing emails from our members, but we definitely want to hear from you if you have some negative/constructive feedback for us as well. I mean it.

 

 Thanks for all your hard work. You guys are amazing!

 

As a consumer I just want to say thank you for providing healthy food for us.  I know it can often feel like a thankless job full of hard work and sometimes disappointment, however what you are doing is greatly appreciated!

 

Please know that from my point of view, each week is a surprise and I look forward to the pick-up each week.  I have learned to cook vegetables and have felt better for it!   Who knew that I liked collards and chard!  I love it!  The only thing that I can't get to know or like are beets!    That's ok, though, since I'm sharing with my sister and she likes them.   I appreciate that when you go organic, mother nature has the final say!  I am duly spoiled.  I can't eat produce from Safeway any more. I love it!

 

Love your newsletter!  It’s so informative, helpful and fun.  You have a great sense of humor.  I also want to thank you for providing me, my family, and the whole south coast community with the most wonderful vegetables.  I have learned to eat so many more veggies than I used to have in my repertoire thanks to your food baskets.  For example, the first year, I just kinda looked at the kale.  I didn’t know what to do with it and was sure I wouldn’t like it.  Then I got a couple of recipes and now it is probably my very favorite “green.”  Now, I will try beets.  I am not a beet fan, but I’ll try the recipe you listed.  Oh, and I do like beet chips that my husband makes in the oven.  Who knows?  I may decide beets are the greatest thing since Seth’s bread! So keep up the good work!  We are blessed to have you and your produce in our lives!

 

Strawberries: Phoenix Rising?

Just when I think I know something on the farm, I usually get proven wrong. Which happily, seems to be the case with the strawberry patch right now. As of last week, the strawberries started to stage a comeback. Their bright scarlet sheen is back, the sweetness is returning, and the harvest is up. Enough so to put them in the CSA totes again, and to start fulfilling special orders once more. Who knew?

 

I have to give credit to Jake, who has been a steadfast optimist throughout the entire, depressing month of July. Roberto and I had both thrown in the towel on the berry patch and were consoling ourselves with the promise and possibility of a fantastic next year (that’s the great thing about farming….there’s always a fantastic next year, at least in your mind). But Jake stuck by those berries, picking the patch clean of ugly fruit each week and maybe sprinkling some magic pixie dust on them when I wasn’t looking.

 

Whatever the reason (compost tea? time? root regeneration? pixie dust? positive thinking?), we’re seeing a new flush of green leaves and flowers, which hopefully portends a bountiful August of berries. The u-pick is also getting better and better, so if you’ve been hesitating about coming to the farm to pick your own, August will be a good month for it. Or so I think. We know how that goes….

 

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
  • Cucumbers?
  • Cabbage?
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Carrots
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries

 

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 8: July 22

In This Week’s Beet Box:

  • Recipe of the Week: Zucchini Pancakes
  • The Challenge of CSA Farming (Or, How to Feed a Few Hundred People Every Week for Seven Months of the Year…)

 

In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Purplette Onions
  • Fresh Dill
  • Carrots (with some Rainbows in the mix)
  • Russian Frills Kale
  • Zucchini

 

On Rotation:

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

  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower

 

Recipe of the Week: Zucchini Pancakes

My mom has been making these lately and they are GOOD! She makes up a batch of batter and if she doesn’t use it all, she just stores it in her fridge for the next day. Makes a tasty, quick lunch or dinner.

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/moms-zucchini-pancakes/

 

The Challenge of CSA Farming

This past weekend I fretted that there wasn’t going to be enough food (both quantity and diversity) to fill this week’s Harvest Baskets. Then came Tuesday. Everything was harvested and washed for our Wednesday CSA members and we began packing totes in the barn. Strawberries (what a total, utter surprise!). Onions (2 full pounds of Purplettes, because we're having such an unprecedented bumper onion crop so far). Carrots (with some rainbow carrots in the mix this week). Broccoli. Beets (harvested in lieu of potatoes this week because I decided that the spuds weren’t quite sized up enough to merit our first dig). A nice pile of zucchini (because it’s their prime time). Russian Frills kale (probably the last kale you’ll see from us until September). Some super jumbo lettuce (I was laughing all morning as I harvested those lunkers). And a bunch of dill (intended to be paired with potatoes, but alas their stars didn’t align).

 

Whew. We got to the end of the packout line with the first tote and discovered that we could barely get the lid on it.

 

So much for worrying.

 

The challenge of CSA is this: how to plan to have a diversity of enough (but not too much) food every single week from June through December, for a few hundred people. Accounting for, of course, the fact that some people love beets and some people don’t, and some people want kale every week and some people don’t, and some people are splitting a basket and some people are feeding a family of five (or more). It’s a dinner party host’s worst nightmare.

 

And then of course there’s the environment. Sometimes it rains all spring and stays cold until July, except for when it doesn’t. And who knows if the cucumber beetles are going to fly in (not too bad this year), or the cabbage maggots are going to eat our cauliflower seedlings (they did), or the moles are going to undermine the marionberries (they did), or the phytophthora is going to nuke our berry patch (it mostly did, except for this week’s unexpected mini-comeback).

 

A lot of it is out of our control, but I do my best to try to impose some predicted order on what always turns out to be the wild chaos of a real live farm season. It all starts in January, when I create a CSA projection: essentially, my best guess at all of the produce that will be in your share each week for 28 weeks (best case scenario). It’s an Excel spreadsheet with a column for every week of the season and a line for every single fruit and vegetable we grow. I fill it in based on past year’s experience, but of course no two years are the same…

 

Then we seed and plant and sow accordingly. Lettuce gets seeded ever two weeks, carrots every three. Broccoli gets planted every week or two throughout the spring, and corn goes in the ground in succession in hopes of a nice staggered harvest come September. Every planting date is dictated by a hoped-for harvest date, all with the goal of keeping your harvest baskets replete, and keeping you happy.

 

Enter Mother Nature, who laughs somewhat sardonically at Excel spreadsheets. This year, carrots came a full five weeks sooner than planned but green cabbage and potatoes are weeks later than expected. The artichokes shut down a month sooner than I’d hoped, but corn is probably going to be a month earlier than anticipated.

 

It becomes a task of constant observation and on the fly decision-making. For instance, yesterday I discovered a small cache of ripe cauliflower, from the few plants that survived the cabbage maggot this spring. It was enough to give to our members who pick up at the farm. But I had to do some quick calculating: will there be enough heads from the next bed of cauliflower to fill everyone else’s totes (fairness is a top priority – we do all we can to keep it even-steven among our four pickup sites throughout the season)?

 

I decided that there would be, so the farm pickup members got some neon caulifower to boot. If I was wrong and we don’t end up having enough to give to everyone in Port Orford, Bandon, and Coos Bay, then we’ll have to make it up with something else. What? I’m not sure yet. It’s an improv show.

 

Thanks for buying a ticket to the show (in doing so, you’ve shown a degree of trust in us, and a willingness to roll with the unexpected). If nothing else, I hope the enormity of your lettuce makes you laugh 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
  • Cucumbers?
  • Purplette Onions
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes?
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Strawberries?

 

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 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: 

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