October 30th, 2014

Summer 2014 – week 20

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley,
Mixed Peppers, Carnival Squash, Pears

Small shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears
Family shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears

Dear Friends,
Here we are at the last week of the Summer season. This is always a balancing act between the unbridled joy of a more relaxed schedule, and the very real feeling of sorrow. You will be missed. The CSA is a tangible way of connecting with our customers, and at the end of the day it is that connection that we value above all else. So let’s’ not say goodbye, but rather, see you later.
This week, we have included parsley and kale to round out our heartier offerings of winter squash, carrots and beets. The Chioggia Beets inconspicuously dull exterior hides a brilliant candy-striping of burgundy and white underneath. These can be sliced in salads for color and crunch or roasted with a bit of olive oil and garlic for a simple side dish; or you can include them in the Beet and Orzo recipe below. We have also included a healthy dose of mixed peppers, because they were just too beautiful not to share.

The garlic, our beautiful signature Carpathian, is included gratis. We cannot guarantee it free of mold. We have been growing this variety from our own seed since 1993. I thought we could outrun this issue by careful selection of seed stock, but it has gotten worse instead of better. We will carefully sort once more and plant only the best of the best. I am hopeful we can select this out, but even if we do, it may be two years or more before we have a marketable quantity again.

Also please note that we have placed this week’s flowers; a bouquet of dried Statice, inside the box itself.

We would like to thank you for accompanying us on this portion of our farming journey. This is the time to pause and appreciate you, our members. It is your support and faith in us that makes what we do possible, and we are humbly grateful.

We hope that you will continue to join us for this upcoming winter season. Please follow the link and consider signing up. This includes our Holiday Boxes in November and December, plus 10 deliveries from January through May: http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Thanks again for a great season!
-Emily, with a bit from Mike

 

 

Summer 2014 Week 19

Summer 2014 – Week 19

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Beans, Kohlrabi, Kale, Cucumber, Red Onions,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds
Small shares:
Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Spinach, Cucumbers,
Green Peppers, Red Onions,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds
Family shares:
Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Spinach, Cucumbers,
Shunkyo Radish, Red Onions, Garlic, Cilantro,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds

 

October 21, 2014

Your box contains Ornamental Gourds, Please do not try to eat them! They are bagged to clearly identify them.

Dear Friends,

Next week will be our last delivery, unless of course you sign up for a Winter share!

Things become a bit more challenging here at the farm with the onset of the rainy season, both in the field and in the pack shed.  The work becomes heavier and slipperier. Everybody’s boots lug around an extra few pounds of mud if they have spent any amount of time in the fields.  As we are harvesting heartier vegetables such as potatoes and squash, the pack bins and boxes become heavier.  Yet our field and pack crews seem always to be smiling and full of kind words.  As I have mentioned before, I have the upmost respect for those who harvest and pack our boxes.

In your boxes this week, you will find an abundance of autumn vegetables, among them, broccoli, squash, red onions, and kohlrabi.

A note on the winter squash:  If your schedule prevents you from cooking yours right away, don’t worry–they can sit around on the counter for up to a couple of weeks.  The warmth of the kitchen only makes them sweeter.  They are also a colorful fall decoration, along with the Ornamental Gourds.

Once again, I would like to remind you of our upcoming Winter Season.  Please follow the link and consider signing up.  This includes our Holiday Boxes in November and December, plus 10 deliveries from January through May:

http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Thanks again!

-Emily

summer18

Summer 2014 – Week 18

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Carrots, Celeriac, Garlic, Acorn Squash,
Fingerling Potatoes & 1 Carving Pumpkin
Small shares:
Carrots, Beans, Edamame, Celeriac,  Garlic,
Acorn Squash, Fingerling Potatoes & 1 Carving Pumpkin
Family shares:
Carrots, Beans, Chard, Celeriac, Garlic,
Green Peppers, Acorn Squash,
Fingerling Potatoes & 1 Carving Pumpkin

 

October 14, 2014

Please Remember to take 1 Carving Pumpkin

Dear Friends,

I am amazed that we are already halfway through October and how quickly the summer CSA season is winding down.  As the weather cools, the body starts to crave the heartier foods that sustain us through the colder times.  This week’s box offers just that kind of warming, nourishing goodness – Acorn squash, carrots and Fingerling potatoes.  And in keeping with the season, instead of flowers this week, we are including a carving pumpkin.

You will find celeriac in your boxes as well.  Celeriac is a member of the celery family, but it has been bred over the centuries to produce a large root that will hold through the winter.  It has the flavor of  celery, though milder, and the consistency of a potato.  It is delicious cooked like a potato, or included in stews and curries.  It is also surprisingly good raw, sliced as crudités with hummus or another dip.  But many of us love it best when roasted in the oven, either alone or with other root vegetables.

Also of note this time of year: the salmon are spawning this week on the Chehalis River.  Boistfort Valley Farm sits on the South Fork of the Chehalis.  I walked down to the riverbank a few minutes ago, to see if I could see them. They are not here yet–they will be later this week.  Here at Boistfort Valley Farm we are certified Salmon-safe.  This is a certification for farms whose land lies along a waterway in which salmon make their yearly run.  To be ‘Salmon-safe Certified’ means that we adhere to a very stringent set of guidelines which protect the habitat of the river, and therefore, the salmon.  As an organic and environmentally-friendly farm, knowing that the salmon are making their yearly run brings a sense of satisfaction.

Once again, I would like to remind you of our upcoming Winter season.  Please follow the link and consider signing up.  This includes our Holiday Boxes in November and December, plus 10 deliveries from January through May:

http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Thanks again!

-Emily

summer17

Summer 2014 – Week 17

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Cauliflower, Leeks, Napa Cabbage, Gold Potatoes,
Kabocha Squash, Jimmy Nardello Peppers, Eggplant,
& 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Small shares:
Cauliflower, Leeks, Savoy Cabbage, Beans,
Gold Potatoes, Kale, Kabocha Squash,
Jimmy Nardello Peppers & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Family shares:
Spinach, Leeks, Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Tomatoes,
Kale, Gold Potatoes, Kabocha Squash,
Jimmy Nardello Peppers & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.

 

October 9, 2014

Please take 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

While the weather has become warm and summery once again, the contents of this week’s box sing of the hearty goodness of fall.  As I write, the temperature outside is nearly 80, but I find myself thinking of all of the various soups which could be made with this week’s vegetables!  Creamy Leek and Potato, Sweet Pepper-Tomato Bisque, Hearty Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup…

While speaking of veggies, I’d like to mention two of the items you will find in your boxes.  The first is Kabocha squash.  Kabocha squash is an Asian variety of winter squash, also known as a Japanese pumpkin.  It has an exceptionally sweet flavor and can be used interchangeably with pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes.  This squash is full of antioxidants and is surprisingly low in starch.  The seeds are also delicious roasted and salted (at 200º on a lightly oiled cookie sheet for about 20 minutes—stirred occasionally).  These are high in Omega-6 and other healthy oils, and great eaten as a snack or sprinkled on any of the soups—the ones mentioned above or in the recipes given below.

Jimmy Nardello Peppers are our other notable addition this week.  The Jimmy Nardello originated in Routi, a small coastal town in Southern Italy.  It was bred in the late 1800’s by Guisteppe Nardello who then brought this heirloom pepper to the United States.  These peppers are known for their sweet creaminess as a frying pepper, but lend their delicious flavor to any dish they are added.

In the theme of winter cooking, I would also like to remind you of our Winter Share, and especially our upcoming Holiday Boxes.  These boxes are a great way to share your appreciation of organic produce with family and friends who might not yet realize the benefits to locally and lovingly grown vegetables.  These large holiday boxes shine with the best of our harvest and speak of the quality of our produce.  It is with great honor that we offer them for your family gatherings to share with the ones you love.  Please follow the link and consider signing up for your Winter Share, which includes our Holiday Boxes in November and December, plus 10 deliveries from January through May:

http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Thanks again and have a wonderful week!

-Emily

From Galilee – This little bouquet marks the end of the fresh flowers.  You can put it in water to be enjoyed fresh for several days.  The statice will continue to open a little.  The extend its beauty, you can then hang it up to dry as recommended for the bouquet from a few weeks ago.  Happy fall!

Summer 2014 – Week 16

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash, Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Small shares:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash,  Tomatoes, Arugula,
Italian Parsley,  Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples  & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Family shares:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash,  Arugula, Cauliflower,
Italian Parsley,  Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples & 1 Bunch of Flowers

 

September 30, 2014

Please remember to take: 1 bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

Here we are, sixteen weeks into the summer season.  As the season has progressed, I have been continually struck by the level of dedication, care, hard work, and coordination involved in bringing a box of CSA vegetables to your table.

This is the beauty of the CSA model.  You, the consumer, have the opportunity to KNOW the farmer, the work, and the process which provides the food you eat. With this in mind, I would like to acknowledge our team here at Boistfort Valley Farm; the hands that bring you your weekly boxes.

Our Field Crew begins work at 6:00 each morning.  They spend most of their days harvesting; cutting greens, picking tomatoes and pulling root vegetables.  They work with a careful eye and a skilled hand.  Directed by Jesus, our field manager, they have their work down to an art, harvesting for quality, quantity, uniformity, and aesthetics.

Our Pack Shed Crew works equally hard, as they process everything the field crew harvests.  They wash and weigh the produce, and pack each box to our standards of excellence.

Joey has diligently delivered your boxes all season, persevering through some crazy Seattle construction and constant traffic conditions. He is supported by a wild card team of local farm supporters like Hannah and Darrin who pick up a CSA delivery here and there, drive our wholesale deliveries, and do markets.

There is Galilee, whose beautiful bouquets brighten our boxes and Nile, our experienced mechanic and farm hand.  Bj processes your orders, runs our office and answers your calls.  And Mike, owner and farmer, plans, directs and oversees this whole process. All cogs in the wheel of Boistfort Valley Farm. None of this possible without you and the faith you place in us to put the fruits of our labors on your table.

Bravo!

-Emily

A reminder: There are only two days left to take advantage of the Winter CSA promotion offered only to current customers. Get yours and or buy one for a friend or family member! To sign up now take a look at our website for easy ordering and never hesitate to contact us with questions!

http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Summer 2014 – Week 15

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Broccoli, Beans, Corn, Mizuna, Tomatoes, Anaheim Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers
Small shares:
Broccoli, Beans, Mizuna, Eggplant, Napa Cabbage, Corn,
Anaheim Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers
Family shares:
Broccoli, Beans,Mizuna, Eggplant, Napa Cabbage, Corn,
Anaheim Peppers, Red Leaf Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes,
1 Bouquet of Flowers
Please remember to take: 1 bouquet of Flowers

 

September 23, 2014

Dear Friends,

The sunlight is golden these days, less intense.  Sunset is creeping in earlier each day.  By the calendar and all of our senses it is autumn and while we are nearing the end of many of our high-summer crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, they are not gone yet!  We are still opening Summer’s gifts and that realization causes me to really savor one more bite of cucumber salad and to smile with the juicy ‘pop’ of one more cherry tomato.

As with all things seasonal we must meet the challenge to be mindful of transitions, to truly taste the sun soaked produce of summer even as we look forward to what fall has to offer.

It is all hands on deck here at the farm.  Harvesting, planning, packing, curing – so much to do!  This is a heady time of transition: Cooler nights can slow a crop’s growth and as Summer squash begins to give way to autumn’s broccoli and Napa cabbage, beets and carrots and cabbage are on the rise!

Even as you savor your favorite tastes of late summer remember to lock in the next season’s delights.  Our 2014/2015 Winter Shares are now available and now is the time to take advantage of our very best pricing.  Whether planning to stock your own larder or making out your holiday gift list be sure to use the coupon code from last week’s email to secure the very best deal!

Take a look at our website for easy ordering and never hesitate to contact us with questions!

http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 14

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Butterhead Lettuce, Fennel, Onions,
Cherry Tomatoes, Beans, Corn & 1 Drying Bouquet
Small shares:
Butterhead Lettuce, Fennel, Onions, Cherry Tomatoes,
Snow Peas, Corn, Eggplant & 1 Drying Bouquet
Family shares:
Butterhead Lettuce, Fennel, Onions, Beets, Beans,
Cherry Tomatoes, Peppers, Corn, Eggplant &
1 Drying Bouquet

 

September 18, 2014

Dear Friends,

Fall is in the air a little early this year – changing light, a light frost, bringing in the squashes.  This past week, while cutting sunflowers, I was blessed with the sight of several tiny frogs basking and hunting in the fall-like sun 4 feet off the ground on sturdy sunflower leaves.  Their green-bronze calmness was a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of harvest, bunch, wash, pack, label, transport that is the standard rhythm here on the farm.  Both amaze me equally.

Since it is the time of year to stock up for winter, this week I have chosen to make a bouquet for you to DRY.  You will find it IN your box.  It is made from Ornamental Millet, Statice and Lavender.  To preserve it, you should hang it up in a dry place out of direct light for 2 weeks.  Then it will keep its color and lovely scent (the millet smells a bit like curry and maple syrup…) for years to come.  It is a bouquet best viewed from the “top”, so once you have dried it, I suggest placing it on its side in a bookshelf, china cabinet, desk organizer or basket of other summer memories.  I trust you will find the perfect place!

Enjoy the precious fall air,

Galilee – the “flower girl”

PS: Look forward to forthcoming information about signing up for our holiday and winter season CSA! The Email to current members will be going out this week!

Summer 2014 – Week 12

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Snow peas, Celery, Cherry Tomato,
Sweet Corn, Purplette Onions,
Summer Squash, Cucumbers,
Thai Basil, Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Small shares:
Snow peas, Celery, Purplette Onions,
Cherry Tomato, Chard,Sweet Corn,
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Thai Basil,
Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Family shares:
Snow peas, Celery, Walla Walla Spring Onions,
Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, Chard, Sweet Corn,
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Thai Basil,
Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Please remember to take: 1 Bunch of Flowers

 
Dear Friends,

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like ears of sweet corn: buttery, salty, and delicious.  Here at the Farm, our corn crop is in full harvest, and we are thrilled to add it to this week’s delivery. For me, the first ripe ear of corn is rivaled only by the first ripe strawberry, and I am glad they don’t happen at the same time. I could never choose.

Sweet corn, though it has become a bit of a novelty in our modern culture, has an ancient history of necessity for the Latin American world.  Originating as a wild grass in southern Mexico, it was first domesticated between 9000 and 8000 B.C.  By 1500 B.C. it had become an essential part of the diet and culture of the Olmecs and Mayans, who used it for food, medicine, and utilitarian purposes such as baskets and moccasins.

When purchasing sweet corn seed, today’s farmer has myriad choices. Corn has been bred perhaps more than any other plant. There are super sweets, sugar enhanced, super sugar enhanced… and those are just the descriptors. Then one has to choose color, finishing date, and too many other characteristics to mention.  While we love the ‘sweetness’ of corn, we also value traditional corn flavor, and choose varieties that have a flavor that is not overshadowed by pure sticky sweetness.

This year at Boistfort Valley Farm, we are growing two varieties of sweet corn.  ‘Luscious’, an early bi-color and a new (to us) variety that replaces an old favorite, and ‘Bodacious’, a yellow sweet corn whose old-fashioned flavor is a real standout.

As always, thank you for choosing us to be your farmers.  Enjoy the bounty this week!

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 11

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Lettuce, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Purplette Onions,
Artichokes, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, Lemon Cucumbers,
Cucumbers & 5 Stems of Sunflowers.
Small Share:
Lettuce, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Purplette Onions,
Artichokes, Beets, Cherry Tomatoes, Corn, Lemon Cucumbers,
Cucumbers & 5 Stems of Sunflowers.
Family Share:
Green Cabbage, Eggplant, Green Peppers, Beans, Corn,
Purplette Onions, Artichokes, Beets, Cherry Tomatoes,
Cucumbers & 5 Stems of Sunflowers.
Please remember to take: 5 Stems of Sunflowers

 

Dear Friends,

This week I would like to talk about the flowers.  We include flowers almost every week, either as individual stems or bouquets.  The flowers are beautiful and sometimes quite unique, but in the midst of all the vegetables, they sometimes get overlooked.

This year at Boistfort Valley Farm, Galilee is our Florist Extraordinaire.  A longtime farmer and certified teacher by trade, Galilee says flowers have always been a part of whatever she is doing; in 2004 she helped start a CSA especially for flowers.

“Flowers are not food, but they are food for us, in a way.  They are beautiful to look at and make our homes more inviting…”  Food for the soul, I might add.

Here at the Farm, Galilee harvests the flowers each week, and arranges them to accompany the boxes.  This takes some expert decision-making on her part, careful forethought on what will be in bloom tomorrow, later in the week, and next week.  Which comes to a tricky issue:  It is very difficult to transport flowers in full bloom.

“Flowers are delicate.  When they are fully open, they get bashed-up,” Galilee says.  “While the blooms are closed, or partially closed, they are still taking up water.  Any slight damage in the handling or delivery will heal as the water is brought up through the veins in the process of the flower opening.  If the flower is damaged while already open, the water is no longer flowing throughout the flower, and therefore will not heal.”

This is partly the reason that you, the customer, often receives closed flowers along with your box.  The other reason is longevity; we want you to be able to enjoy your blooms for as long as possible, as well as experience the opening of the flower for yourself.

As for the vegetables in your boxes this week, you will find a medley of sun-loving treats.  These can be included in a variety of sauces, salsas and relishes as well as the recipes below.  The ‘Spaghetti with Burst Cherry Tomatoes’ makes for a mouth-watering dinner.  Oven-roasting the tomatoes brings out their depth and sweetness.

Enjoy your vegetables and flowers this week, as well as the sunshine!

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 10

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Lettuce, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Eggplant, Green Peppers,
Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Cucumber, Peaches &
1 Bouquet of Flowers
Small shares:
Lettuce, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Eggplant, Green Peppers,
Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions, Lemon Cucumber, Cucumber,
Peaches & 1 Bouquet of Flowers
Family shares:
Lettuce, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Eggplant, Green Peppers,
Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions, Beets, English Shell Peas,
Cucumber, Peaches & 1 Bouquet of Flowers


Please remember to take: 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

“Eating with the fullest pleasure –pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance –is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world.  In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.”

–Wendell Berry

This week marks the halfway point of our Summer CSA season.  While the long days of sun and warmth seem endless, in just a few weeks, we will be feeling the first creeping traces of autumn—twilight coming a bit early, a foggy chill in the morning air.

In the meantime, however, we are still enjoying the abundance of High Summer.  Sweet tomatoes, juicy peaches, and sharp bell peppers all hold reminders that the season is at its fullest.  And it is in this vein of thought that the above quote comes to mind—the celebration and gratitude of our closeness to the earth, both  as farmers and as eaters…For as Mr. Berry also proposes, “Eating is an agricultural act.  Eating ends the annual drama of the food economy that begins with planting and birth.” 

So, whether we are the farmer walking the field, or the CSA member preparing the vegetables from the box, we are all participating in this great agricultural cycle.  Thank you for being on this journey with us.

One further note before the recipes:  We are still taking new members for the 2014 Summer season.  If you know of anyone interested in a CSA, please spread the word.  Thanks…

-Emily