The Last Week!
This is it: your last installment from Valley Flora for the season. This week’s basket is a true testament to the possibility for local, wintertime eating. We’re halfway through December, but there’s no lack of food in your totes. We filled them with almost twenty pounds of veggies – most of it fresh-harvested from the field (all but the squash and potatoes, which have been in storage).
And although it’s the last trusty-dusty Rubbermaid we will pack for you this year, the farm will continue to feed its farmers through the winter with greens, leftover storage crops, leeks, and even broccoli. We continue to glean for our own table, enjoying the sweetest of kale, Brussels sprouts, and roots. I can’t encourage you enough: if you have the slightest inclination to grow some of your own food, we live in the perfect place to have a winter garden. For those of you who dread the Valley Flora off-season, you could fill at least some of the January-thru-May produce gap with your own homegrown veggies. It’s too late to plant a winter garden for this year, but you might think about carving out a corner for at least a few kale plants next July when it’s time to plant for winter.
In the meantime, hopefully we’ve loaded you up with enough squash, spuds and roots – all of which have a great storage life – to see you into the New Year.
From all of us at the farm, a heartfelt THANK YOU for your support this year!
Happy Holidays and feast well with those you love!
(P.S. I have to include this recipe for parsnips and winter squash as a final enticement to enjoy the white gnarly parsnips in your share this week. I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a showstopper. Granted, it’s hard to go wrong with a little butter and maple syrup...:)
Tell All! Please Fill Out the End-of-Season Survey!!!
Every year we ask our Harvest Basket members to fill out a short 2-minute survey so we can get some structured feedback about the season. It’s short and quick, so please, if you’d be so kind, we’d love to know your thoughts: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/2012-valley-flora-survey
The Year in Review!
In order to help jog your memory about what we grew for you this year, here’s a crop-by-crop recap that summarizes what we projected we would put in your Harvest Basket and what we actually put in your Harvest Basket. Green highlighting indicates crops that we gave significantly more of than planned. Yellow highlighting indicates crops that we came up significantly short on.
The thing I love about this chart is that every discrepancy in the projected versus actual produce tells a story. For instance: we had planned to give you 3 pounds of peas but you got none (remember the tale of pea woe this spring….torrential rain, marauding mice, stealthy birds, voracious slugs, etc. etc. etc….?). Or how about the 8 bonus ears of corn: I felt so bad about the peas, I turned around and planted two extra beds of corn in their place. We came up 5 pounds short on potatoes in your share this year. Why? Our wet, grey July brought on late blight that took out a third of our potato crop and knocked our yields down (and made the spuds ugly). It wasn’t in the plan, but you got a few apples this year – because we had a nice spell of weather right when the orchard bloomed in the spring, and consequently we got a better crop of apples than in the past two years. We had a great carrot year because we outsmarted the Rust Fly this season with a football-field-sized piece of floating row cover. And there were no artichokes because we renovated the entire artichoke field in the early spring in order to set the stage for a bumper crop in 2013 (the artichoke forecast for next season is looking good!). Whether it’s pests or weather or any number of other factors, your CSA share is largely defined by the forces of Mother Nature – and our varying ability to work with and around her. It's a constant dance.
Based on our farmstand pricing, the total value of all the food we put in your Harvest Basket this season was equal to $801.55. You paid $760 for that food, for a bonus of $41.05 in extra produce this year, equal to a 5.4% discount.
One More Winter Farmstand!
Next Wednesday, December 19th, is the final farmstand for the year. Rain or shine, 9-5, in the shed. Come load up on the last of the Valley Flora produce for 2012!
Signing Up for Next Year!
As the season winds down, many of you are asking how to sign up for next year’s Harvest Basket, and when! Here’s the scoop:
· If you currently get a Harvest Basket (or any other items like eggs, bread, tamales, or salad shares) you automatically get priority sign-up for next year. There’s no need to put yourself on the waiting list.
· We usually start the priority sign-up process in February. We’ll send you an email at that time with instructions and a link to our online sign-up page.
· There will be a two to three week window for priority sign-ups.
· If your email changes between now and then, PLEASE let us know so that we can update your contact info in our system!
Once the priority sign-up period is over, we’ll start inviting folks on our waiting list to sign up.
Stocking Stuffers from Valley Flora!
Need some locally-grown gift ideas for the holidays?
Valley Flora Gift Certificates! For use at our farmstand and u-pick, available in any denomination.
Cranky Baby Hot Sauce!Available by the bottle, half case, or case:
- $5/bottle (5 oz)
- $27/half case (6 bottles)
- $48/case (12 bottles)
To order Cranky Baby or gift certificates, please email us your:
· Pickup location
· The amount you would like
We’ll deliver the hot sauce to your pickup site, or drop the gift certificates in the mail to you.
In your share this week:
· Brussels sprouts
· Kale and/or Chard
· Delicata Squash
· Fresh Thyme (it’s kinda dirty since the field flooded over Thanksgiving…give it a rinse and pat it dry before you use it!)
The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next YEAR…
See the “Year in Review” above and start imagining a fruitful, abundant 2013!
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