Week 8: July 20-25

 What's In Your Basket?

  • Seascape Strawberries
  • Divina Green Butterhead Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Purplette Onions
  • Yellow Finn New Potatoes
  • Beets

On Rotation:

  • Raspberries

Produce Tips - How to Eat It, Cook It and Keep It!
Sugar Snap Peas

  • Jump up and down - the peas are here! Nothing beats a sugar snap fresh off the vine! You got 'em this week - a few weeks later than planned due to the fact that the first seeding was rooted out by birds back in April. Fortunately our summers are temperate enough that we can get away with growing peas in July and August, when most other places have seen their pea season come and go.
  • I won't even pretend to assume that the peas are going to make it home from your pick-up site, but in case they do, they store best in the fridge in a plastic bag. They'll hold for at least a week, but are tastiest eaten soon.
  • Here's a recipe, compliments of epicurious.com, that will help you use your beets and peas together this week (you can sub spinach for the arugula, or use last week's arugula if you still have some): Roasted Beet and Sugar Snap Pea Salad: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Beet-and-Sugar-Snap...

Purplette Onions

  • These "little purple" onions are wonderful because they are fast maturing and bulb up sooner than other varieties. They also have a delicate, mild flavor and you can eat the tops. That's right - don't toss the greens; use them like green onions. As for the bulbing part of the onion, it can be eaten raw or sauteed up like any regular onion. If you're into miniature things, maybe take a stab at purplette onion rings.....
  • Purplettes store well in the fridge in a plastic bag. They'll hold even longer if you cut the tops off.


  • Oh, the luscious red heart of a beet! If you've ever read Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume, you know the magical powers of beets.
  • First thing's first with beets: don't throw away the tops! Beet greens are a sister to Swiss chard (they are, in fact, almost the same plant except beets are bred to develop a fat storage root, whereas chard is bred to produce leaves). Beet greens can be enjoyed a million ways, just like chard, kale, or any other cooking green. In fact, here's a great recipe - again thanks to chef and cookbook author, Deborah Madison - that uses both your beet greens and your beets in a risotto...Beet Risotto with Greens.
  • You can also do up your beets raw: grate them into a salad,
  • Like other roots, the root of the beet will last the longest in the fridge if you cut the greens off and store them separately in plastic bag. If you don't get around to eating your beets right away, never fear: they'll hold up for weeks in the fridge.

New Potatoes - Yellow Finn

  • Another round of spuds in your basket this week: this time, Yellow Finn - one of our favorite all-around potatoes. You can do anything to Yellow Finns: boil 'em, steam 'em, bake 'em, roast 'em, fry 'em - whatever suits your palette.
  • Store your taters in the fridge, ideally in a plastic bag. The skin hasn't cured on these potatoes, so they need to stay cool to stay perky.


  • The broccoli has hit its stride! We planted 5 successions of broccoli this spring, so you will be seeing it in your share for at least a few more weeks, through July. If you're feeling overwhelmed by what to do with it all, remember that you can freeze it for winter and enjoy the Valley Flora bounty during those cold, dark months on the other side of the calendar. It's easy:
    • Cut your broccoli into florets.
    • Bring a pot of water to boil.
    • Dunk the florets into the boiling water for a minute to blanch.
    • Pull the florets out of the water and dunk into ice water.
    • Put florets on cookie sheets and freeze.
    • Once frozen, put the florets into a freezer ziploc and stash away for winter!
  • Stores best in the fridge in a sealed plastic bag.
  • If you're not in the mood to squirrel away your broccoli for later, here's an unusual recipe that will use up all of this week's broccoli: Braised Broccoli with Olives.

On the Farm....
Langlois is making hay while the sun shines this month. Hundreds and hundreds of acres of hayfields have been mowed in the last couple of weeks and the tractors are busy with their rakes and tetters and balers. We hauled in our winter's load of hay this week - 200+ bales for Barney and Maude - bought from our good friend, Joe Pestana, who raises grassfed beef and chicken. Joe has been working his tail off to put up feed for his steers, and to keep up with all the demand for his fantastic pastured chickens. Joe is one of a handful of young producers in our area who is putting sustainable protein on the table for the local community. You can find out about local chicken, beef, fish and lamb at our Local Protein link: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/local-protein.
The horses have been hard at work this week plowing up ground for our new orchard, which will be fully planted by winter of 2010. We're turning sod this week, then we'll disc and harrow it, and seed it to buckwheat. The buckwheat will grow till September, at which point we'll turn it in and get ready for a winter of digging holes for new fruit trees! Barney and Maude have been great pulling the plow - Barney puts himself right in the furrow where he's supposed to be and then they pull, pull, pull together. Hearts of gold, those horses.