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:
- To ensure that everyone gets that week's food in time to use it for Thanksgiving dinner.
- 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?
- Brussels sprouts
- Fresh herbs
- 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:
- 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.
- 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
- Pac Choi
- Delicata Squash
- Hakurei turnips
- Head lettuce
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!
- Head Lettuce
- Red Cabbage
- Acorn or Butternut squash
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