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



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:



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