In This Week’s Beet Box:
- New Veggie of the Week: Potatoes!
- Part II: The Joy of CSA Farming
- Strawberries: Phoenix Rising?
In your share this week:
- Head Lettuce
- Purplette Onions (the last of ‘em for the year)
This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week, others next week – or in a future week.
New Veggie of the Week: Potatoes
I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch (given last year’s disappointment when late blight wiped out half of our potato patch), but oh man - it’s looking like a good spud year so far. We dug the first couple beds of Desiree red potatoes on Monday and pulled out some impressive lunkers – a pound apiece, some of them!
This week’s potatoes are semi-new, meaning that the skin is thin and hasn’t cured fully yet (you’ll notice little scuffs and places where the skin peeled off while we were washing them). Because of this, you should store them in your fridge in a plastic bag. It also means that these potatoes are as juicy as they come.
“Juicy?” you’re thinking? Since when are potatoes juicy? When they’re fresh. Go get a store-bought potato and do a side-by-side cut-in-half test. The Desirees in your share this week will actually weep, since they haven’t lost any of their moisture content in storage. You might not think there would be much difference in taste with something as plain and basic as a potato, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised this week when you cook up your freshly dug spuds.
If you haven’t already tried it, this would be a great week to make the recipe for Collards with Potatoes: http://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/collards-potatoes
Desiree potatoes are also a good candidate for potato salad. I like to make a tangy version that’s lighter on the mayo, full of veggies, and uses some of Candace’s fresh eggs, hardboiled:
Part II: The Joy of CSA Farming
On the heels of last week’s Beet Box about the challenges of CSA farming, my inbox was awash in wonderful emails from our members. I am sharing some of them here, anonymously, to give you a glimpse of what makes this work so gratifying at times. It’s true, farming is tough at times, but having a community of eaters like you – who are sympathetic to the setbacks and appreciative of the successes – makes it all a very, very worthwhile endeavor.
We love hearing from you. Of course we prefer to get the happy, gushing emails from our members, but we definitely want to hear from you if you have some negative/constructive feedback for us as well. I mean it.
Thanks for all your hard work. You guys are amazing!
As a consumer I just want to say thank you for providing healthy food for us. I know it can often feel like a thankless job full of hard work and sometimes disappointment, however what you are doing is greatly appreciated!
Please know that from my point of view, each week is a surprise and I look forward to the pick-up each week. I have learned to cook vegetables and have felt better for it! Who knew that I liked collards and chard! I love it! The only thing that I can't get to know or like are beets! That's ok, though, since I'm sharing with my sister and she likes them. I appreciate that when you go organic, mother nature has the final say! I am duly spoiled. I can't eat produce from Safeway any more. I love it!
Love your newsletter! It’s so informative, helpful and fun. You have a great sense of humor. I also want to thank you for providing me, my family, and the whole south coast community with the most wonderful vegetables. I have learned to eat so many more veggies than I used to have in my repertoire thanks to your food baskets. For example, the first year, I just kinda looked at the kale. I didn’t know what to do with it and was sure I wouldn’t like it. Then I got a couple of recipes and now it is probably my very favorite “green.” Now, I will try beets. I am not a beet fan, but I’ll try the recipe you listed. Oh, and I do like beet chips that my husband makes in the oven. Who knows? I may decide beets are the greatest thing since Seth’s bread! So keep up the good work! We are blessed to have you and your produce in our lives!
Strawberries: Phoenix Rising?
Just when I think I know something on the farm, I usually get proven wrong. Which happily, seems to be the case with the strawberry patch right now. As of last week, the strawberries started to stage a comeback. Their bright scarlet sheen is back, the sweetness is returning, and the harvest is up. Enough so to put them in the CSA totes again, and to start fulfilling special orders once more. Who knew?
I have to give credit to Jake, who has been a steadfast optimist throughout the entire, depressing month of July. Roberto and I had both thrown in the towel on the berry patch and were consoling ourselves with the promise and possibility of a fantastic next year (that’s the great thing about farming….there’s always a fantastic next year, at least in your mind). But Jake stuck by those berries, picking the patch clean of ugly fruit each week and maybe sprinkling some magic pixie dust on them when I wasn’t looking.
Whatever the reason (compost tea? time? root regeneration? pixie dust? positive thinking?), we’re seeing a new flush of green leaves and flowers, which hopefully portends a bountiful August of berries. The u-pick is also getting better and better, so if you’ve been hesitating about coming to the farm to pick your own, August will be a good month for it. Or so I think. We know how that goes….
The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share next week…
No promises, but your tote might include some of the following NEXT week:
- Head lettuce
- Walla Walla Sweet Onions
- Fresh Herbs
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