- Head Lettuce
- Red Onions
- Collard Greens
- Serrano and Jalapeno Peppers
- Sweet Pepper
- Delicata Winter Squash
Our most beloved single-serving winter squash is in your share this week: Delicata! These thin-skinned, delicious squash are so sweet they can double as dessert. The easiest way to appreciate their delectable flavor is to cut them in half the long way, scoop out the seeds and place them face down in a baking dish. Put a half inch of water in the dish and then bake at 400 for a half hour+ until the squash is soft. When you pull them out of the oven, let a pat of butter melt in each squash boat and then find a spoon! You can eat the skin of Delicatas if you like, or just use your spoon to scrape out the soft-baked squash meat. I find that once the Delicatas are ready, I go on a bit of bender: Delicata every night (and it's still not enough Delicata!)...
Farm-to-School Field Trip Season in Full Swing at the Farm!
After a three year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are once again welcoming busloads of school kids to the farm for weekly field trips! Valley Flora has been involved in Farm-to-School efforts since 2008, hosting thousands of kids from Coos and Curry schools on experiential tours of the farm. We love engaging the kids on the farm at this time of year, in particular because there is so much to taste in the field (including the late season strawberries, which are always a hit as the grand finale of a tour, see pic below). We also get kids sampling some of the lesser-known fruits and vegetables: raw beets, fennel, romanesco, turnips, peppers, asian pears, hardy kiwis and more. For a lot of students, it's their first time on a farm altogether, and for most of them it's definitely their first taste of fennel! It's so fun to watch them light up with surprise as they taste a slice of gold beet, pause, and then say "yum" with a big, incredulous grin. It's even more fun when they ask for seconds. :)
This year, many of our field trips are coordinated with the support of the Beet Food Systems Consortium, a community-based coalition that works to increase access, engagement and education about our local food system in Coos County. Their Farm to Child Coordinator, Lindsey Bellefeuille, has been spending time in classrooms teaching food system lessons, prepping kids for their field trips, and joining us on tours at the farm. These field trips are a chance for students to see a working, diversified farm in action and to learn about organic agriculture and local food systems in a hands-on way: compost piles, draft horses, cover crops, and a real live crew of passionate farmers there to answer their fantastic, curious questions. As one fourth grader quipped last week while loading her shirt with strawberries: "This is the best day of my entire career." I couldn't have agreed with her more.