StrawberriesPhontoTomatoesMaudeUmaSunflowerPeppersA&ZCherry TomatoesApplesPippin Cabbage LeafPotatoes FloweringApplesRed Sunflowers3 GenerationsChicoryCrimson CloverMaude FaceshotTeam in BroccoliRadicchioRomanescoArtichoke FlowerStrawberry in HandZinniasZ Harvest Basket3 GenerationsJos Tree DannyBeetsRoberto LacinatoBrusselsGreensCleo Red PepperRomaineFavas3 AbreastCaneberriesChardBasketsKids on MaudeRhubarbFarmstandGiant PumpkinsJules Asian PearShiroZ CauliCarrotsBouquetKids TransplantingJack and Lily Cover Crop GerminatingGraffiti

Week 6 from Valley Flora!

  • Cone Cabbage - the sweetest, most tender variety we grow
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Purple and Orange Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Head Lettuce - some of them VERY large (don't be frightened, Coos Bay members!)
  • Strawberries

On Rotation:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro

Early July is, and always has been, one of my favorite fleeting moments on the farm. In a wet year like this, it's the straddle point between spring and summer - when all the world is still lush and green and growing, but also blooming and starting to set fruit. We're still in that moment of pregnant anticipation: tying up tomato plants (which double in height every week), thinning orchard fruit, and hilling potatoes in full bloom (it's more flower field than spud patch right now!). It's like the week before your birthday, which is so much more fun than the day after your birthday. Right now the entire farm is scented by an insane profusion of kiwi blossoms, the songbirds are talking non-stop from dawn to dusk (who needs podcasts at this time of year!?), and you can sense the imminent avalanche of zucchini presaged by countless neon blossoms in the summer squash patch. 

Spring-sown cover crops are head high - so tall and tangled that I can only advance the tractor at a creep as I flail mow, returning all that biomass back to the soil. The oats, flowering vetch, and red clover that I seeded in this field a few months ago are now served up as a feast for all the soil microorganisms below ground, which are the tiny, microscopic engines of our enterprise.

They are to thank for the rich soil organic matter that is underwriting the historic strawberry crop we're experiencing this year. Yesterday while we picked for CSA and our other accounts, we were pulling upwards of 9 flats from every row (3 to 4 is considered a good yield)! The plants are so loaded they look more like broody hens sitting on clutches of shiny, red eggs. If you want to special order strawberries by the flat, I am starting to put names on my list. I can't promise when we'll have them for you, but will contact folks as they become available. Email us your name, pickup location, phone number (ideally a number I can text), and the quantity of flats you'd like. Flats are comprised of 12 dry pints and are $50 each, delivered to your CSA pickup site. In the meantime, you can order them through our farmstand by the pint or full flat.

The cover crops we sow also provide important habitat for all kinds of other creatures on the farm, this one being my all-time favorite...

We've seen an amazing number of baby tree frogs all over the farm this year, spread out across cover-cropped fields as well as fields sown to cash crops. Every time I encounter one it's sheer delight and I stop everything t0 move them out of harm's way. And I'll admit, I talk to them. I like to tell them how glad I am that they're here. They tend to burrow into the head lettuce, which is my realm on Tuesday and Friday harvest mornings, so there's been a lot of me out in the field talking to the romaine this past month. There's a slim chance that one could hide deep in a head of lettuce, get crated and trucked to the barn, run through the wash tub, packed into a CSA tote, and end up in your kitchen - in which case please treat it well or return it to us! Frogs are extremely sensitive to their environment and many species have been driven to the brink of extinction by human impact: toxic chemicals in their waterways, habitat destruction, pollution from all sides. The fact that the farm seems to be serving as a little safe haven for them makes me deeply happy.

And speaking of lettuce, some of the varieties are truly enormous this week. I harvested the largest heads of greenleaf ever to come out of the field yesterday. This has been ideal lettuce growing weather the past couple weeks, so hopefully you can make it an ideal salad-eating week in your home.

Have a great week!

Newsletter: 

Strawberry U-Pick Opens June 22nd!

What better way to celebrate the official start of summer!

Starting June 22nd, our strawberry u-pick will be open on Wednesdays and Saturdays starting at 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, or until the patch is picked out, whichever happens first. The u-pick will be open only as long as there is ripe fruit to pick each day; once it's picked out we will close. Apologies that we can't promise an exact range of open picking hours. If you're traveling a ways to get to us, we recommend coming at the front end of our open hours.

Strawberry Fever burns hot in June and July and the berry patch can get picked out very quickly some days. Here's some useful information that should help you get enough strawberries in your belly and freezer this season:

We grow a strawberry called "Seascape." It's a day neutral variety, which means it's triggered by temperature to make fruit (in contrast to June-bearing varieties, which are triggered by day length). The plants will set fruit so long as the temps are between 40 and 90 degrees, no matter what month it is, which means they tend to produce reliably for us from June through September. All to say, we have strawberries ALL SUMMER not just in June (and in fact June tends to be the most volatile month given the higher chance for rain, which damages the fruit). Our u-pick, once it opens, will be open every Wednesday and Saturday through September. Given that strawberry fever tends to rage hottest in June and July, we always suggest that folks wait until August to come do their big freezer-filling, jam-making pick. Competition for ripe berries can be intense at the start of the season, and often the patch gets picked out within an hour of opening. The craze eases up in August and the fruit actually gets sweeter as the summer goes on, which means late summer is a great time to get your fill.

That said, there's no denying the thrill of picking the first big, red berries of the season and making a deep dish of strawberry rhubarb crisp. Just know that the Valley Flora strawberry season is long and abundant and there is enough for everyone so long as you spread your u-picking out over the whole summer. Abundance, not scarcity. It's so much better to live in that paradigm!

The details:

  • Strawberries are $3.25/pound.
  • We provide a certified scale for weighing out. Feel free to bring your own containers to pick into. We also have  a limited supply of 1 gallon buckets for u-pick use. It's always a good idea to bring a box or bowl to take your berries home in.
  • We accept cash, checks and Farm Direct Nutrition coupons as payment. We cannot run credit cards due to our rural, offline location.
  • Please park nose-in at the pull-out. Do not block the farm entrance and do not drive into the field.
  • No pets
  • No smoking
  • No potable water available.
  • Leave no trace: please take your trash home with you.

Have fun!

 

Order Farmstand Produce through our Online Store!

If you'd like to get fresh, seasonal produce straight from our farmstand, read on!

The Valley Flora Farmstand is now open every Wednesday, soon to be open on Saturdays as well! Hours are 11:30 to 2:30. Our farmstand is primarily pre-order, with the occasional odds and ends available for drop-in shopping. We use a web platform called Local Line that allows you to place your order from our webstore. We then custom-harvest and pack your order and have it waiting for you on your farmstand pickup day. 

If you’d like to shop with us and haven’t registered an account with Local Line, it’s quick and easy. Simply follow the instructions below to set up your account. Once you do that you will begin to receive our availability emails with a link to our “store.”

You can also go directly to our Local Line store to check it out: https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand

Farmstand Details and How to Order:

  • Anyone is welcome to shop our farmstand. You do not need to be a CSA member and there is no waiting list to join.
  • Farmstand produce is available by pre-order every Wednesday and Saturday from June through December, and every other Wednesday between January and May.
  • From June through December, pickup is at our original farmstand location, 1.5 miles up Floras Creek Road at the shed just after the bridge, between 11:30 and 2:30 every Wednesday and Saturday. Between January and May pickup is at our barn, a half mile up the road from the bridge. When picking up your order, please wait in line until it's your turn to be served. Masks are required.
  • If this is your first time ordering our produce through Local Line, you will need to register a new account with Local Line before you can place an order. Here's how (it's easy):
    1. Go to https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand to view our store.
    2. Click "Register" on the right side of the page.
    3. Set up your account by providing your email address, password, name, phone number and address.
    4. Accept the terms and conditions,
    5. Click the green button, "Creat Your Account"
    6. Start shopping!
  • The ordering window for our Wednesday farmstand opens on Thursday morning by 9 am until Sunday night at 11:59 pm. Farmstead Bread is available on Wednesdays only. Between June and December, if you are not a bread customer and can come on Saturdays, we recommend ordering for Saturday pickup because there are fewer pre-order customers that day and the produce line will be shorter (and some items that have inventory limits will be more available).
  • The ordering window for our Saturday farmstand opens on Monday morning by 9 am until Wednesday night at 11:59 pm.
  • There is a $20 minimum on orders. The "Place Order" button will not appear until you have met the $20 minimum.
  • We will send an email with a link to our updated store to everyone in our Local Line farmstand customer base every Monday and Thursday morning (every other Thursday only during our winter season). You won't receive that email unless you have registered for a Local Line account as described above.
  • You can always access our Local Line store by clicking the "Order Farmstand Produce" button on the left sidebar of our homepage, following the link below, or going directly to https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand.

Thanks ever for your support of the farm and your passion for eating local, seasonal produce!

Shop the Valley Flora Store for Farmstand Produce Now!

Valley Flora - Growing Good Food for Local Folks

Valley Flora is a mother-and-two-daughter collective nestled on the banks of Floras Creek near Langlois, Oregon. Together, we grow hundreds of varieties of vegetables, berries and fruit to feed our local coastal community year-round. Our farm was founded in 1998 with a deep commitment to ecological and organic farming practices and our passion is growing good food with an eye towards the artful. Our love of this beautiful valley – the fertile loam and the river that runs through it - inspires us to farm with the next generation in mind, and the next. We rely on crop diversity, compost, cover crops, and crop rotation to keep our farm healthy and thriving both above and below ground. With the help of our draft horses, a handful of fantastic employees, and one little tractor, we are grateful to call this our life and our livelihood. We love what we do - so much you can taste it!

Pages

Subscribe to Valley Flora RSS