Week 28: December 12th

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 over twenty pounds of veggies – most of it fresh-harvested from the field (all but the cabbage, squash and potatoes, which have been in storage).


And though it’s the last trusty-dusty Rubbermaid we will pack for you this year, the farm will continue to feed its farmers and farm-babies 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 hearty THANK YOU for your support this year!

Happy Holidays! Feast well with those you love!


Take Two (minutes): Please Fill Out the End-of-Season Survey!!!

Every year we ask our Harvest Basket members to fill out a short survey so we can get some structured feedback about the season. It’s short and quick, so please, if you’d be so kind: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/2011-harvest-basket-member-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, what we actually put in your Harvest Basket, and the total actual value of your Harvest Basket for the year, based on our farmstand prices. Green highlighting indicates crops that we gave significantly more of than planned. Yellow highlighting indicates crops that we came up significantly short on. A sneak peak: the total value of all the food we put in your Harvest Basket this season was equal to $810.70. You paid $760 for that food, for a bonus of $50.70 in extra produce this year, equal to a 6% discount.


CROP                            Projected Quantity         Actual Quantity

Leeks                               12 count                        14 count

Red Onion                        6 count                          6 count           

Scallions                        2 bunches                        1 bunch

Shallots                        4.5 pounds                        3 pounds

Purplettes                        3 pounds                        4.5 pounds

Walla Wallas                     6 count                          4 count

Yellow Onion                      8 count                         8 count

Artichokes                        2 pounds                        1.75 pounds

Asparagus                        1 pound                         2 pounds

Beets                            7.5 pounds                       12.75 pounds

Broccoli                        15 pounds                        15 pounds

Brussels sprouts               3 stalks                        3 stalks

Red Cabbage                   2 heads                        2 heads

Green Cabbage                1 head                          2 heads

Napa Cabbage                 1 head                           1 head

Savoy Cabbage                1 head                           1 head

Carrots                            23 pounds                      19 pounds

Cauliflower                       1 head                            1-2 heads

Romanesco                        1 head                          1 head

Celeriac                             5 bulbs                            4-5 bulbs

Celery                               12 stalks                        14 stalks

Corn                                  16 ears                           17 ears

Cucumbers                        12 count                        4-5 count

Escarole                        2 heads                              1 head

Fennel                                 6 bulbs                         6 bulbs

Arugula                               1 pound                        1 pound

Braising Mix                     0.5 pound                        0.5 pound

Chard                               5 bunches                        3 bunches

Kale                                  7 bunches                        7 bunches

Pac Choi                              6 heads                        5 heads

Spinach                             2 pounds                        2 pounds

Basil                                    5 ounces                        4 ounces

Cilantro                             3 bunches                        3 bunches

Dill                                    3 bunches                        3 bunches

Parsley                             3 bunches                        5 bunches

Kohlrabi                             5 bulbs                            5 bulbs           

Head Lettuce                     34 heads                        33 heads

Parsnips                             4 pounds                        7 pounds

Peas                                    3 pounds                        3 pounds

Hot Peppers                        12 count                        8 count

Sweet Peppers                   16 count                        22 count

Potatoes                           21 pounds                        43.75 pounds

Radishes                           5 bunches                        5 bunches

Raspberries                     4 pounds u-pick           

Rhubarb                               2 stalks                        2 stalks

Strawberries                        26 pints                        24 pints

Summer Squash                7.25 pounds                  6 pounds

Hakurei Turnips                  5 bunches                     5 bunches

Scarlet Queen Turnip        2 pounds                        1.75 pounds

Cherry Tomatoes               6 x ½ pint                        10 x ½ pint

Heirloom Tomatoes           3 pounds                        3 pounds

Red Tomatoes                  10 pounds                        10 pounds

Cherry Tomato Plant            1                                    1

Acorn Squash                      4 count                           3 count

Confection Squash              1 count                            1 count

Butternut Squash                 4 count                            4 count

Delicata Squash                   8 count                            7 count

Sunshine Squash                 2 count                            1 count

Spaghetti Squash                1 count                              2-3 count

Pie Pumpkin                        1 coun                               1 count

Total Value                        $784.85                              $810.70


Maybe this recap will inspire you to fill out the survey!  http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/2011-harvest-basket-member-survey


Thanks in advance for your always-valuable feedback!


Happy News re: Farm Theft

I just learned yesterday that our insurance company is coming through to partially cover the loss of our stolen tools from earlier this summer. Hooray! Just in time for project season! Our hugest thanks to all of you for your concern and support through that mid-summer challenge!


All about 2012 Harvest Basket Signups

Lots of you have been asking about next season and wondering if there’s anything you need to do to reserve your spot in the Harvest Basket program. The answer is no. Not to worry, all current Harvest Basket members get priority sign-up for 2012. We’ll probably begin the sign-up process in January or February, at which point you’ll receive an email from us inviting you to sign up. Once you’ve had first dibs, we’ll open it up to our waiting list. If your email address changes in the next couple of months, be sure to let us know so that we can update our database and make sure you get in on the first wave of sign-ups!


In your share this week:

  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Green Cabbage
  • Celeriace
  • Yellow Finn Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Celery
  • Confection Winter squash


Kitchen Tips

Don’t forget to visit the Recipe Wizard to find ingredient-specific recipes, or go to the Recipe Exchange if you have a recipe you’d like to share with everyone!


Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.


Confection Winter Squash

This is a new winter squash variety for us, and I confess, I hadn’t tasted it until last night. I’m delighted to report that it’s a winner, truly! On the drier, flakier side – like a Sunshine squash – and SWEET! All I did was cut one in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut the halves into crescent-shaped slices about a ½ inch thick at the widest part. I tossed them liberally with olive oil and salt, put them on baking sheet, and cooked them at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes, until soft and slightly browned. DEE-LISH!


Farm Fact of the Week

This is our last week of harvest for 2011, which grants us a temporary reprieve from our day-in-day-out produce-wrangling schedule. But it doesn’t mean the work stops. Winter is certainly the slower, calmer side of our year, but it inevitably fills up with all kinds of tasks: crop planning, seed ordering, pruning, trellising, fencing, construction, and general improvement projects galore! I’m always amazed, year after year, at how busy we stay. And then, in early February, we fire up the propagation greenhouse, start planting seeds, and the madness starts all over again!