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 2 of Winter CSA!

  • Mixed kale
  • Carrots (they are juice grade again; this is our final harvest)
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Rossa di Milano Onions
  • Beets
  • Mini Daikon Mix
  • Radish Microgreens
  • Bunched "Wild" Arugula
  • Bunched Mustard Greens
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Celeriac

Winter Foraging on the Farm, and an Italian Reverie...

One of the things I like about the Winter CSA is that it affords us the opportunity to make the most of a plant's life cycle. Kale for instance: all season long we harvest kale for its leafy greens, but as the days stretch longer some varieties will start to bolt, sending up delicious tender shoots of spring raab (unopened flower buds). Some might call it bolting, but to the Winter CSA it's good eating. Same thing this week with the mustard greens: these were harvested from Abby's 2021 salad greens beds, the late-planted ones that get left to overwinter because there isn't time to get a cover crop seeded in their wake. Normally one of Abby's salad beds is only harvested for baby greens and is in the ground for a short month before getting turned under and reseeded. But a dozen or so winter beds get to grow to full maturity and then bolt, creating essential early nectar for the bees -  and this week, beautiful mustard bunches for the CSA. I feel like an excited dumpster diver when I'm out there bunching Abby's leftover mustards: one farmer's trash becoming another farmer's winter treasure. I get a thrill from the intrinsic efficiency of maximizing the potential of one seed for mulitple uses and meals. 

It was when I was foraging for those mustards in the sublime sunshine of Monday afternoon that I wandered west and came across the arugula: about 50 feet of it planted at the end of each bed, all of it gangly and tall and budding up. I nibbled a finely-lobed leaf and my taste buds lit up. Now THAT tastes like arugula! All at once it was 1989, August, I am nine years old, in Italy with my family for a month. A friend of my mom's did an international house trade and swapped her place in Marin for a villa in Sasso Marconi, a little village outside of Bologna named after the inventor of the radio. It was a sprawling place in semi-disrepair with grapes growing wild and a spooky ruin of a mini-castle built into a limestone cliff out back. With the house came Maria, the old woman who lived nearby who checked in on us daily and brought us things from her garden. In my mind she is missing her top teeth (possibly untrue), she is wearing a sack-like house dress with an apron, and she is sporting thick-soled, brown old lady loafers. She doesn't speak a word of English (our collective Italian isn't much better) and she is utterly delightful.

Except every day she brings us fistfuls of this weedy green and earnestly, urgently, thrusts it at us shouting "Rucola! Rucola!"

And we smile and nod and accept the armload of weeds, faking our way through it over and over every single day. The first morning it was genuine, until we tasted the stuff: Horrible! Bitter! It dawned on us that this was the same plant that the Italians insisted on putting on their pizza, and that we would diligently pick off every time we got a pie, which was often because we were in Italy. What was their obsession with this gross ditch weed?!

After Maria left each morning there would be a new, hushed confab about how in the hell we were going to get ride of this latest batch of rucola: we couldn't put it in the compost, she might see it! We couldn't flush it, the pipes might clog. We couldn't burn it, it was too green. So we took to burying it, or tearing it into pieces small enough to longer be incriminating and then tossed it into the bushes in the backyard. But then a new day would dawn and Maria would be back, proudly foisting rucola into our arms with the loud, insistent "Rucola! Rucola!" As if saying to us, this plant is a part of me, of my people, of my culture, of my country. The most important part. And then we would promptly bury/stomp/dismember it as soon as she left.

That was a great trip, albeit hot and sticky, with an un-ending radio soundtrack of accordian polkas, daily gelato, and shops that sold only pasta (a mind-blowing array of it, including 50 lb bags of dry pasta for dogs, and a super-long, corkscrew spaghetti with a hole down the center that you could suck wine through like a 5' straw). 

We returned home to life on the creek, where it took quite a few years before rucola found us again. When it did it was called "rocket" or "arugula" and it was all the craze in the foodie scene. Everyone had to be seen eating it.

Fast forward a couple more decades, and arugula is very much the foundation of Abby's Greens. Baby arugula. It wasn't until this week though, when I nibbled that mature leaf, that Maria came flooding back into my memory in such vivid detail. I'm not wearing a house dress, I still have my top teeth, and I don't yet own a pair of squishy granny shoes (though they might be a great idea for those long days standing on concrete in the barn), but here I am thrusting a bunch of wire-stemmed arugula at you, imploring earnestly, "Rucola! Rucola!" 

Thank you, Maria. 

(p.s. I suggest dismembering your arugula and then EATING IT: pluck the arugula leaves from the stems for the most refined eating experience. The stems are edible as well, but will be woodier lower down. And I will know, intuitively, if you bury, flush, burn, or stomp your rucola. I will feel it as as deep pain in my soul.)

 

Newsletter: 

How to Shop our Farmstand this Season!

The Valley Flora Farmstand will open for our winter season on January 12th! Hours are 11:30 to 2:30. We will be open every other Wednesday through May. 

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 go to https://www.valleyflorafarm.com/shopthefarmstand and follow the instructions 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://www.localline.ca/valley-flora

Thanks for eating locally and supporting small family farms!

 

Newsletter: 

Strawberry U-Pick is Closed for the Season

Fall weather has had the final say after a long and glorious berry season! Thanks for picking - and eating - all those strawberries this summer!

In the coming weeks we'll be busy planting our new strawberry patch for the 2022 season, AND we were also able to keep a section of our 2021 patch in place, which bodes well for early berries next spring.* 

* If the weather cooperates (the universal caveat in farming....:)

 

Order Farmstand Produce through our Online Store!

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

  • 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.
  • We are using an online sales platform called Local Line for farmstand orders.
  • 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 www.localline.ca/valley-flora 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. 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 www.localline.ca/valley-flora.

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!

Valley Flora is Hiring!

Field and Harvest Crew Position Available at Valley Flora

Valley Flora Farm is seeking one to two hard-working, motivated individuals to join our team for the 2022 farm season from April to mid-October, with potential for a longer-term position at the farm. We are a highly-diversified fresh market farm located in Langlois, Oregon that has been selling vegetables, berries, flowers and orchard fruit to local markets on the southern Oregon coast since 1998. We are a multi-generational, women-owned business and we farm using organic practices exclusively. You can learn more about the farm at www.valleyflorafarm.com.

Job Description:

New members of our team will be an integral part of our farm operation and will be key players in the following:

  • Weekly harvests for our 125-member CSA, farmstand, and our restaurant and store (direct sale) accounts;
  • Wash, processing and packout of produce for CSA, farmstand and direct sale orders;
  • Weekly fieldwork, including, but not limited to: transplanting, trellising, mowing, weed control, pest management, irrigation and plant care.
  • Delivery of produce to our various direct sale customers and CSA pickup sites.
  • Responsibilities might also include: assisting with propagation and greenhouse work; assisting with our u-pick and/or farmstand.
  • Our farm operates with a very lean, efficient crew so a successful applicant will:
  • Have a keen awareness of efficiency in their work, i.e. know how to hustle & be good at working under time pressure.
  • Have a positive attitude, even when the going gets tough. Maintain a good outlook under occasionally uncomfortable working conditions and long hours, and enjoy working outside in heat, cold, rain, mud, and dust. A sense of humor helps!
  • Be constantly striving to achieve quality, consistency and speed in their work.
  • Have a history of doing physical work/manual labor, ideally with experience on a farm. Be in strong physical condition and able to repeatedly squat, bend, lift and carry 40-50 pounds.
  • Avoid drama in the workplace and resolve conflict using effective, nonviolent communication in a mature manner.
  • Openly receive constructive criticism and feedback on the job and make changes to work habits accordingly.
  • Listen well to instructions and carry out tasks as directed.
  • Show creative problem solving skills
  • Be organized, reliable, honest and conscientious.

Hours: Average 30-40 hours/week, 4-5 days/week, depending on seasonal work flow.

Compensation: Starting wage $12.50/hr to $14/hr, DOE, with opportunities for performance-based raises. All employees receive a weekly share of farm produce throughout the season.

To Apply: Send a cover letter explaining your interest in working for Valley Flora, describing any prior relevant work experience you have and the skill set you would bring to this job. Include a current resume and 3 work-related references. Please email your application to valleyflora@valleyflorafarm.com by February 20th, 2022. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pages

Subscribe to Valley Flora RSS