Week 6: July 11th

New Foods, New Flavors!

Peas, beets and cabbage, hooray! The Harvest Baskets took a marked turn this week with a cast of new characters jammed in there. Read up on Kitchen Tips, below, for eating and storage ideas.


Strawberries are still available by the flat. If you’d like to order some to freeze, jam, or eat fresh, send us an email with your name, pickup location, and the number of flats you’d like. Flats are $35 each (12 dry pints to a flat).


U-pick Raspberries are at their peak. Now would be a great time to cash in on your 4 pound u-pick credit with us, if you haven’t already done so. The berries will go for another couple of weeks, and then there will be a lull in raspberries until mid-late August when our fall-bearing variety comes on. The best berries are hidden within the plants; you’ll find some huge ones if you get down on your knees and push the canes aside. As my mom says, “Think like a goat!”


U-pick Strawberries are recovering after a hard couple of weeks of picking! There are always berries if you want to fill a pint, but if you’re hoping to stock your freezer for winter they are not easy picking right now! The berries typically have a lull starting in the second half of July into early August. By mid-August they kick into high gear again….so never fear: if you missed the first big flush of berries, there will be more later in the summer!  Next year, we’re excited to offer u-pick Marionberries as well. They are in the ground and growing, so 2012 should be their first fruiting year.


In your share this week:

  • Broccoli
  • Head Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Snap peas
  • Beets
  • Basil
  • Cabbage


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.


Snap Peas

Snap peas are like raspberries: it’s hard to find a person who doesn’t love ‘em. And like raspberries, it seems that we can never pick enough of them to satiate your every snap pea craving. But we try, at least for a few weeks each year. You’ll find a full pound of peas in your tote this week.


Like sweet corn, the sugars in snap peas convert to starch over time, so it’s best to enjoy them sooner than later. It’s hard to beat the flavor and crunch of a raw snap pea, but if you decide to cook them I’d suggest keeping it simple so their flavor shines through. Steamed lightly, they’re divine.


Storage: keep in the fridge, in a plastic bag; will store about a week, but the flavor is best sooner.



Many of you are receiving an experimental variety of beet this week: Forono, also known as Cylindra. They are long and tubular like a fat carrot, as opposed to round. This is the first year we’ve grown them and I’ve been pleasantly surprised: the flavor is sweet and mild, and they are easy to work with in the kitchen if you want to cut them into even-sized rounds.


Beets are closely related to Swiss chard; you can see the family resemblance in the leaves. Eat your beet greens just as you would chard, spinach, or kale and get more bang for your beet buck!


Beets are incredibly versatile: think beet soup (borscht), beet salad, roasted beets, chocolate beet cake (seriously, it’s delicious), pickled beets, beet burgers and more (here are some of our favorite beet recipes). Even if you’re on the fence about beets, give them a try! And if it’s your first time eating them, be forewarned that they often come out the other end a shocking red…not to seem scatological, but I’d rather you had fair warning than call 911!


Storage: Plastic bag in the fridge. Topped, your beet roots will store for months. The greens will hold for up to a week typically.



Our first spring cabbage planting had a rough go of it this year. The starts nearly drowned with all the rain we got and then they got hit by cabbage maggot. Even once it finally warmed up, they never quite achieved lift-off. As a result, you are receiving some rather petite cabbages this week.


Or, instead of offering honest disclosure of what I feel was a crop semi-failure, I could instead tell you that these are specialty mini-cabbages highly acclaimed in Europe!


Whichever story you prefer, rest assured that there will be more cabbage down the road this season! You can eat this one up as quickly as you want, but if you choose the slow road, remember that cabbage keeps for weeks and even months. If the cut edge turns brown on you, simply shave off the discolored edge next time you go to cut some up.


Storage: Plastic bag in the fridge. Will keep for months!


Farm Fact of the Week:

Valley Flora is what we call a “mixed power” farm. To get our work done, we use a combination of horsepower (the 4-legged kind), a diesel tractor, an electric tractor, and human powered hand tools.