- Head Lettuce
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Purplette Onions
- Strawberries - Our strawberries are going through a period of Type III Bronzing right now, causing them to look more dull and seedy, as opposed to bright and shiny. Type III Bronzing is a physiological disorder similar to sunscald that commonly occurs in strawberry fields from late spring to mid-summer when UV radiation is at its peak around the summer solstice. When there's intense light, high temps and low humidity the developing fruit can be affected, particularly on the heels of a cold winter (ahem, that would be this past year) due to reduced plant canopy development (without as much leafy shade cover, the green fruit is more exposed to the negative affects of intense light and heat). Fortunately the fruit is still tasty - sometimes even sweeter than usual - but the berries don't have the same bling, cosmetically speaking. It usually take a few weeks to get through a Type III Bronzing episode, at which point the berries get back to being pretty lil' red shiny morsels again. It's always painful for us strawberry pickers when this happens, since we end up tossing a lot more of the harvest in the compost and the berries aren't up to our usual standards of beauty. But like most things, this too shall pass. There's a lovely flush of new flowers and green fruit on the vine right now, so hopefully we're in for an abundance of nice berries in the coming weeks.
Laminated CSA Checksheets Coming Soon!
We'll be sending laminated CSA checksheets to all our pickup locations in the coming week, now that the dust has mostly settled on our CSA membership for the season. Thanks for putting up with the paper copies for a few extra weeks this season (there have been an unusual number of changes, additions, and switerchoos within our membership this first 6 weeks). Please mark yourself off with the dry erase pen each week from here on out! Thanks!
No Newlsetter Next Week - Zoë is Headed for the Mountains!
Assuming no big wildfires flare up in the next few days, Zoë will be heading for the hills on horseback for her annual wilderness pack trip next week. That means no newsletter next Wednesday. If you need something next week, emailing us is your best bet (the crew will be checking the email daily while I'm away and getting back to folks as best they can). Calling or texting will most likely get you radio silence until I return. :)
Valley Flora is Stocking Local Foodbanks and Community Fridges this Season, Thanks to an Oregon Foodbank Grant!
The farm received an "Oregon Producers Feeding Oregon Communities" grant this winter, which is allowing us to provide $15,000 worth of produce to local foodbank partners this season! For over 15 years, we've donated produce to various foodbanks in Coos and Curry County, but this grant is enabling us to take it to the next level. Since early June we've been doing a weekly harvest and delivery of fresh veggies to our partners: the Common Good Foodbank in Port Orford; Coast Community Health Clinic in Port Orford (they have a new community fridge that they're distributing produce from); the Coos Bay Public Library community fridge; and to the biweekly Bandon Public Library "Farm to Families" events organized by the Beet Food System (see flyers below, and spread the word to folks in need!).
The grant funding is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) — and is administered through a partnership among Oregon Food Bank, Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Agriculture. All told throughout the state, the program is providing $2 million to support anti-hunger efforts, with a focus on communities that are experiencing rising food insecurity and have faced disproportionate hunger and poverty for generations. Coos and Curry County both have food insecurity rates upwards of 20%, which ranks us among the most food-insecure counties in the state.
Access to fresh produce can be particularly grim on the southern Oregon coast - particularly at food pantries, where most things are shelf-stable and highly processed. At the moment, Valley Flora is the only source of fresh produce for the Common Good, Coast Community Health Clinic, and the Farm to Families program, so it's been deeply rewarding to bring them cases and cases of head lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, zucchini, and anything else we have coming out of the fields each week. It also means that nothing is going to waste on the farm, and that we as farmers can get paid for our efforts. It's been a win-win-win, so much so that our team of partners is trying to brainstorm ways to find permanent funding for these programs, once the initial grant money is gone. Please reach out if you're interested in helping grow the long-term sustainability of this effort!