Week 12: August 22

Do the Salsa!

What do you get when you put tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro and onions in the same Rubbermaid tote? A really good reason to make homemade pico de gallo! Chop it all up, add some salt, a squeeze of lime, and get yourself some tortillas chips! Salsa season is here!


Strawberries Available by the Flat

The strawberries are making their usual late summer comeback and we’re starting to have extra flats again, $35 each. There’s still time to make some jam or stock your freezer! If you’d like to order, email us: your name, pick-up location, and the number of flats you’d like. We can deliver to your pick-up site, or you can pick up at the farmstand on Wednesday or Saturday.


Raspberries about to go BOOM!

The fall-bearing raspberries are heading towards happy ripe-titude! I walked through yesterday, and while the fruit is still mostly green, there are some red berries coming on. My experience in years past is that the patch goes from zero to sixty almost overnight, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the picking starts to get good next week. Definitely by the first week of September.


If you haven’t cashed in on your 4 free u-pick pounds yet, this will be a fun time to do it. The fall-bearers are usually easy picking, with most of the fruit visible and big! The only glitch on our end is that the sheet that had a record of everyone’s already-picked poundage got stolen with our farmstand scale last week. Which means we have no idea who has picked what towards their 4 pound credit. We ask, as a result, that you please abide by the honor system – if you know you’ve already met your 4-pound quota, please pay for any other berries that you pick. If you’re not sure how much you’ve picked, but know that you’ve gotten some, just use your best judgement. We will trust your word, and I’ll tell Aro at the farmstand to do the same. We will have a new list at the farmstand so that your raspberry harvest can be recorded there. Just give Aro your name, or your share partner’s name so she can write down your harvest


Thanks for your cooperation on this one!


Farm Theft Update

In the wake of last week’s burglary, the response from our farm members has been amazing; I am awed by the care and concern so many of you have shown. Your kind emails and letters have meant the world as we try to make sense of it.


I’ve spent the past week taking stock of what’s missing from the barn, as well as replacing the critical things that we can’t farm without right now: scales, harvest knives, the battery charger for the electric tractor, etc. We’re looking into the possibility of an insurance settlement and have just begun what might be a long process. A number of you have generously offered to lend tools, start a tool-replacement fund drive, and even write checks. I have been stunned by your thoughtfulness. For now, I’d like to see what comes of the insurance process before accepting your offers of help. We can get by without many of our hand and power tools for now while we are so absorbed with harvest, and hopefully we’ll have an insurance settlement before Fall when we begin to need our quiver of hand and power tools for off-season farm improvement projects.


I will certainly keep you all posted as things unfold. In the meantime, an enormous thank you for bringing to life the “community-supported” aspect of community supported agriculture (CSA). I am deeply grateful.


In your share this week:

  • Head Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions           
  • Carrots
  • Summer Squash
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes
  • Hot peppers



Kitchen Tips

Don’t forget to visit the Recipe Wizard to find ingredient-specific recipes, or go to the Recipe Exchange if you have a recipe you’d like to share with everyone!


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


Walla Walla Sweet Onions

No need to grab a hanky when you go to cut these onions up – they are sweet and tear-free! A special summer treat, Walla Wallas are the juiciest, mildest, and biggest onion we grow. Some of them get bigger than softballs. No matter the size, the Walla Walla harvest inevitably gets me salivating about one thing: onion rings. They are the perfect onion for the job: big and sweet with thick rings. Our favorite batter is simple: 1 part beer to 1 part flour. Mix it up. Cut your onions into full, fat rings. Dredge though the batter and drop into a pot of hot oil. Fry until golden brown, a few minutes. Pull out the cooked rings with a pair of tongs, sprinkle with salt, and let them drain on a paper towel or paper bag. You know how to finish the job.


Also great in salsa or carmelized (slow-sauteed in a pan until they are golden brown and greatly reduced in volume). These are fresh onions, not suited for long-term storage. They’ll keep in your fridge for a few weeks in a plastic bag, but don’t try to store them on the countertop like cured onions.


Hot Peppers

The little green peppers in your tote are either jalapeños or serranos this week, depending on which pick-up site you go to. Either way, they’ve got some kick to spice up your homemade salsa. The seeds in a hot pepper are always the spiciest part, so if you want to tone it down, de-seed your peppers before chopping them into a dish. If you like it hot – some do – chop up your peppers, seeds and all.


Storage: in the fridge in a bag, will hold for at least a week.


Farm Fact of the Week

Our main harvest days – Tuesday and Friday - are like a choreographed dance on the farm. We hustle to get lettuce and leafy greens out of the field before it heats up in the morning, then move on to roots and onions, and finally berries. We try to have all the produce in the barn by lunchtime (anywhere between noon and 3 pm), at which point we start washing and packing out everything. We create an assembly-line to pack your harvest baskets by setting up a horseshoe of folding tables. We station the heaviest stuff at the head (potatoes, cabbage, carrots, etc) and light and delicate things at the end (herbs, lettuce, tomatoes). We count out the right number of totes and lids for each pick-up site, turn up some good music, and start packing! We slide the totes along the table, putting the same quantity of each item in every tote: a pound of that, 2 pints of this, 3 of that, 1 each of this….until every tote is full and in the cooler!