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



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:



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:



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



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



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



A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient



A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes