- Our farmstand and u-pick are now open for the season - every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 to 5. Strawberries are in season for u-pick right now, and the raspberries should be ripening up in the next few weeks. The farmstand is typically stocked with all kinds of goodies that you see in your share, plus garden starts.
- If your share partner is NOT receiving the weekly Beet Box newsletter email from us, and they want to, they can sign up for it on our website at: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/newsletter-sign-up
- Last week we got all of the winter squash planted, with the extra help of Pippin and Cleo. It may seem odd to be thinking about winter when summer hasn’t even begun yet, but it’s true: we are already seeding and planting out our fall and winter crops on the farm. The winter squash will grow and ripen through the summer for harvest in October, at which point you’ll start seeing them in your share each week….all the way through December. We just heaved the last of our 2010 Delicata winter squash into the compost this week, after 6 months of good eating. This Fall you can look forward to Delicatas, Butternuts, Kabochas, Spaghetti squash, Pie Pumpkins, and more! This is how much fun it is to plant winter squash all day....
- Homemade tamales! Roberto’s sister, Juana, makes some of the best tamales we’ve ever tried. She creates them from scratch in her certified kitchen in Coquille, and this season you can enjoy them, too! We’ve ironed out the details with her and are going to be offering tamale shares this year, starting in July. Details to come in a follow-up email. Yum!
In your share this week:
- Head Lettuce
- Spring turnips
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
This is an heirloom variety called Red Ursa. Of all the things we grow on the farm, the Red Ursa takes the prize for longevity, hardiness and yield. We plant it the first week of April, it grows and produces all summer long, weathers all those nasty winter storms, and come next April it will still be yielding delicious kale. Now THAT’s the kind of plant that deserves some respect!
Kale packs quite the punch nutritionally, with the highest protein content of ALL cultivated vegetables and a high dose of Vitamins A, C, B and calcium. It’s the oldest member of the cabbage family and was a favorite vegetable in ancient Rome. It hasn’t gained the prestige it deserves in the U.S.; ironically the largest buyer of kale in this country is Pizza Hut – for garnish on their salad bars!
So be a trend-setter and eat more kale! It’s great steamed, sautéed, tossed in soup, or used interchangeably with other dark greens like spinach: put it in lasagna, in omelettes/egg dishes, as an accent in risotto, with pasta, or to liven up a casserole. You should also try making kale chips. You might roast them with toasted sesame oil and salt as an alternative to olive oil.
A note about greens: Often folks are overwhelmed by all the greens you receive from us in the spring, but remember this: all of it cooks down to practically nothing (at least by our skewed veggie-addict standards!). That raw, frilly bunch of greens in your fridge is no big deal – just cook it if you’re overwhelmed, and add it to everything you can think of. Your body will thank you!
Storage: keep in the fridge, in a plastic bag; stores up to a week.
This is our very first harvest ever of our two-year-old rhubarb plants! I planted them last spring for a very specific reason: strawberry rhubarb pie!
Alas, the harvest wasn’t big enough for you to all make a pie this year (maybe next year!), but you might consider dicing up your two stalks, putting them in a small saucepan wit some water, adding a sweetener of your choice to taste and cooking them down into a mushy compote. Then fill a bowl with vanilla ice cream and cover it with fresh strawberries and rhubarb sauce.
Raw rhubarb will make you pucker up it’s so tart (lots of vitamin A & C), and the leaves (which we’ve removed) are toxic due to their super high oxalic acid content. This is one of those seasonal spring treats that really is a great excuse to do it up with some sugar (or agave, or honey, or whatever).
Storage: keep in the fridge, in a plastic bag; stores for awhile!
Farm Fact of the Week:
Last year we weighed the Harvest Baskets each week during packout. The total weight of a Harvest Basket for the entire season was 322.5 pounds (an average of 12.4 lbs each week for 26 weeks). We packed 92 Harvest Baskets each week, for a total of 29,647 pounds of food packed and delivered. The early baskets weighed about 10 lbs each; the late-season baskets weighed about 18 lbs each (the subtext here is that you have heavy roots, squash, potatoes, and tomatoes in your future!).