Week 21 from Valley Flora!

  • Fennel - I love fennel all the time, but especially in the fall when the bulbs get extra juicy, fat and sweet. This is the last fennel you'll see this season - sniff - so enjoy it to the max, or if you haven't learned to love it yet give it to someone who has!
  • Beets - Mixed Red, Gold and Chioggia
  • Kohlrabi - This is our giant fall variety, and the best tasting of all our kohlrabi. Their huge size can be intimidating, but underneath that tough skin it's tender, crisp and sweet. I prefer eating kohlrabi raw as crudites or in salad form like this: https://www.loveandlemons.com/kohlrabi-slaw/. Kohlrabi will store, topped, for months in the fridge. Remember, you can also use the leafy tops like kale if you want to aim for zero veggie waste in your kitchen.
  • Leeks
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Mini Daikon Radishes - I'm extra excited about sharing these daikons with you this week. We trialed them last year and loved them: great flavor, striking colors, awesome size, and they store (topped) in the fridge for months. For years I've been disappointed by regular radishes and have been looking for a subsitute to put in the fall Harvest Baskets. I tried growing regular daikons a few times but they were always too inconsistent and variable to be practical for the CSA. There are three varieties in your bunch this week: red with white interior - the mildest of them all; hot pink with fuschia interior - awesome color with some spicy kick; and purple with a puple-starburst interior - similar in spice to the pink ones and extra juicy. If you don't like spice, peel them cuz all the heat is in the outer skin. We've been eating them raw, sliced up in rounds to showcase their beautiful insides. Daikons are also the cornerstone of traditional Korean kimchi; if you want to pickle them you might start with this simple recipe: https://www.adayinthekitchen.com/pickled-daikon/
  • Sugar Pie Pumpkins: This is a pie pumpkin with superpowers: it makes great pie, but it is also filled with hull-less seeds that you can roast into delicious pepitas! Every other pumpkin variety in the world only does one or the other: pie or seeds. Either way, you end up tossing the seeds out or you toss the meat out. We hate waste on the farm, so when I learned that this variety does both, and does them both well, I was sold. To roast your seeds, scoop them out, rinse them off, pat them semi-dry, toss them with a little salt (and olive oil if you want, but not necessary), and roast at 300 in the oven until lightly browned, stirring now and then. And you could be baking your pumpkin at the same time to make that homemade pie.....

On Rotation:

  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce

A Big Shift

If you've been paying attention to the weather forecast, you might imagine that life is starting to look a little different for us on the farm. The produce this week is full-on Fall: radishes! leeks! pumpkins! kohlrabi!. But our to-do list is shifting radically as well, paring down to the essentials of harvest, packout and delivery, with far fewer tasks to attend to in the field. The crew switches to a four-day work schedule this week, something we all celebrate after so many months of full on, more than full-time farm hustle. We have a few big projects still ahead of us - like planting all 10,000 strawberry crowns for next year's berry patch - but for the most part the farm is tucked in, cover cropped, and ready for the change of seasons. It's great to be able to take a deep breath and feel it ease up, knowing that many of the seeds we sowed and tended over the season are still to yield all kinds of seasonal bounty between now and December. In the coming 7 weeks you'll see purple cauliflower, neon green romanesco, green and purple brussels sprouts, hakurei turnips, three kinds of cabbages, lots of potatoes, four more kinds of winter squash, fat white parsnips, alien-looking celeriac and hopefully some celery (it's been misbehaving this season and I'm hoping the cool, wet weather will snap it out of its hissy fit). Plus, maybe even a few other surprises that we're trialing in the field this fall. Stay tuned and keep on picking up your produce each week. This last chapter is one of the tastiest, weirdest, and most fun of the CSA season. 

Enjoy the real Oregon rain!