Pasture-raised eggs and broilers. Grass-finished beef. Raw honey. Fresh produce. Heritage turkeys. Organic blueberries.
You name it, and these days Langlois has it. The turn towards eating locally has enabled a cluster of local food businesses and farms to gain a beloved foothold in our tiny town. It means that on any given night, we often look at our plates and can count the number of “food miles” that our dinner traveled on one, maybe two, hands. Here’s a run-down of some of the farmers who fill the corner of our plate that isn’t heaped with veggies:
Joe Pestana, Oregon Grassfed
Joe raises grass-finished, dry-aged beef on his family’s ranch on the Sixes River. It’s an incredible product – flavorful, tender, and as healthy as beef gets. You can buy just about any cut, plus ground beef, at the Langlois Market or at any Ray’s Food Place from Bandon to Brookings. Joe is also often at the Port Orford Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Candace Carnahan, Carnahan Livestock
Candace is raising pastured eggs and broilers on Floras Creek, just downstream from Valley Flora. Her flock of layers has just started producing the most delicious, orange-yolked eggs you’ll ever eat. You can buy eggs by the dozen at our farmstand most Wednesdays and Saturdays, and at the Port Orford Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Her broilers are available by special order; let us know if you'd like her email.
Lee & Jack Lawrence, Lee’s Bees
Jack and Lee have become famous for their array of raw, unfiltered honeys. Lee has hives locally and throughout Oregon. She hand-harvests artisan batches of honey including Local Wildflower, Blueberry, Fireweed, and the out-of-this-world Meadowfoam (tastes like a combo of root beer and marshmallows). Her honey is available at many businesses in Langlois (B&B Farm Supply, LaLaBelle’s, Langlois Market, Valley Flora farmstand), as well as the Port Orford Farmers Market, Well Within Acupuncture Clinic in Bandon, and online.
Warren & Andrea Bowden, Common Ground Farm Blueberries; John & Nancy Jensen, Jensen Organic Blueberries; Charlie Valentine
Blueberry season is almost upon us, and in my opinion there is nothing better than picking your own. We usually put upwards of 40 pounds of blueberries in our freezer each year, so fortunately for us there are no less than three u-pick blueberry farms in and near Langlois. Common Ground is just north of town: 94319 Bono Road, 541-348-2179. Jensen’s is a few miles south at mile post 291: 46760 Highway 101 South, 541-348-2473. Charlie Valentine has a young 7-acre field of berries that has just started producing this season: Look for the sign at Sydnam Lane, about 3 miles north of Langlois.
In your share this week:
- Head Lettuce
- Snap peas
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
This is the first time I’ve grown scallions for the CSA. I was motivated by a desire to have an early allium – some kind of onion that would come on sooner in the season than the Purplettes (that mild, purple fresh onion that so many of you love). I seeded these scallions back in April at the same time we were transplanting all of our onions into the field from the greenhouse. As it turns out, the scallions have matured almost neck-and-neck with the Purplettes, which you’ll be seeing in your tote next week. So much for an earlier allium, but at least it’s something new and different in the line-up.
These scallions are more green top than they are white stalk (I suppose next year we ought to hill them to blanch those stems!), but there is still plenty of flavor there.
Last weekend I stopped in for our ritual libation at LaLaBelle’s (Langlois’ very own coffee and variety shoppe, open weekends 8-3…where most of us descend on Saturday mornings for the best homemade cinnamon rolls on earth!). Dawn, the owner and chef extraordinaire, had made a fresh pea soup with mint, crème fraiche, and scallions. She wouldn’t share her secret recipe, but all I can say is this: it was the best soup I have eaten in a long, long time. Maybe ever even. Dawn is a Harvest Basket member and had used some Valley Flora snap peas in the soup. Unfortunately she is on vacation this week, so she won’t be able to make it again with Valley Flora peas AND scallions, but I’d encourage you to plumb the depths of your recipe books and the internet to see if you can come up with a recipe that might yield such a smooth, bright green, mouth-watering soup. And if you find one, will you send it to me? Me oh my oh yumminess.
Storage: Plastic bag, fridge, up to a week before the greens start to get slimy.
In the first couple years of Harvest Baskets, I was on a crusade to turn as many people as I could into fennel appreciators. I myself love fennel. What I learned is that lots of folks like fennel, but just as many don’t – and never will. And no matter how many times I put it in your totes in a season, they fennel-haters aren’t going to change their mind. They are just going to keep feeding it to their cows, or their compost bins.
I wouldn’t say I’ve given up on converting people into adoring fennel-ites, but I have perhaps become more realistic in my expectations. Instead of five fennel plantings, there are only three this year, and this first one is rather petite. If it’s your first encounter with fennel, you can expect a mildly licorice-like flavor and a celery-like texture. You can eat fennel raw, sliced thinly into salads, or you can cook it. Steaming it is the simplest way, but it’s also great chopped into pasta sauce, added to soup, or braised and served alongside fish. The Italians love this stuff; it's as common in their grocery stores as iceberg lettuce is in ours.
Cut it lengthwise, then cut it into slices cross-wise. Work around the woody core that resembles a cabbage core. Enjoy the lacy tops as a dill substitute for a little added herbal flavor.
Storage: Top the bulbs and they will last in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks. The greens will last up to a week in a plastic bag in the fridge.