2015summer_week6

Summer 2015 – September, Week 6

What’s in the Box:

Green & yellow, wax beans, Austrian Crescent potatoes, Chioggia beets,
Zucchini & Summer squash, Cucumbers, Green onions, Lettuce,
Pears, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS

The bad news: this is the last of the lilies

The good news: this is the last of the lilies!!!

We always wonder if people tire of lilies. We at the farm get overrun every year at some point. We have several long beds of lilies which all start out innocently enough sending up a precocious blossom here and there to get our attention before that variety blooms in earnest. We plant several varieties intended to bloom in succession, thereby giving us a long season of these gorgeous and fragrant flowers. However… Every year there is this ramp up in production with a crescendo of several varieties blooming at the same time. Lilies to the left of us, lilies to the right of us, lilies all around us! Every year I have to give a pep talk to the people cutting the lilies. It goes something like, “Don’t let the lilies rule your life, don’t let them get the better of you.” If a person tries to keep up, and get every breaking bloom they are at risk of going mad, and if heaven forbid they succeed in keeping up, the lilies then take over every square foot of refrigerated space on the farm. It is always a bittersweet farewell. We do have sunflowers just starting to come on, and the snapdragons are blooming like crazy.

In more exciting news: IT RAINED!!!

It rained nearly 1 ½ inches over the weekend, precipitation that was sorely needed.  This doesn’t negate the drought entirely, of course, but it takes the immediate pressure off some of our irrigation needs, and reduces the stress that the plants have been enduring these past weeks.  I can almost feel them relaxing…or maybe that’s me.  As much as I love a warm, dry Autumn, the rain was truly welcome. Among other things it takes the pressure off field cultivating as it is just a bit wet out there right now. The rain also brings with it a much more moderate ambient temperature and that helps lower the anxiety around harvesting everything right now, before it blows. Though the farm is still a bit of a runaway train, the vibe is much more relaxed than it was a week ago. I think we all feel that, farming or not, this rain has relieved a lot of pressure.

Included in this week’s delivery are Chioggia beets. Named for a fishing town near Venice, they are an Italian heirloom dating back to the early 1800s and introduced to the U.S. before 1865. Their uniquely beautiful flesh has alternating red and white concentric rings that resemble a bull’s-eye. Truly beautiful if cut in cross section, they will retain this unique feature if baked whole and sliced just before serving.

Also included this week are Austrian Crescent fingerling potatoes. They originated in South America but where introduced to this country by European settlers. They are delicate and cook quickly. I like them best pan fried or roasted gently with green onion. I think the simpler the preparation the better, and usually toss them with a good quality olive oil and just a bit of salt and pepper before baking them in a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

Heidi

2015summer_week4

Summer 2015 – August, Week 4

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli, Turnips, Baby bok choy, Zucchini
Green cabbage, Lettuce, Snow peas
Chives, Nectarines
Snapdragons

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF SNAPDRAGONS

As you can imagine, it’s a busy time of year for the farm.  Everywhere we turn, something is begging for attention, water, trellising, fertilizing, cultivating…  The field is full of vegetables and lots of other opportunists, or what we refer to (rather unkindly, I suppose) as weeds.  Weeds are weeds by our definition: they’re growing somewhere that we haven’t planted them, and where we don’t want them to grow.  They compete with our crops for water and light, and provide us with an abundance of extra work through the Summer.  We try to take care of the weed pressure before it’s a problem, by getting the weeds out while they’re tiny, or, when that fails, by removing weeds before they go to seed.  Inevitably, there’s a time of year where the weeds seem to be winning the race, and we’re all just plain tired.  That time for us is right now.  Weeds, weeds, in all directions.  Too bad they aren’t more delicious…

The good news is that in the end, we seem to do all right, if not triumph, and we will all happily cross that finish line this year.

We’re excited to send you broccoli with today’s share. With such a hot July, I wasn’t sure if the broccoli would mature nicely, but it has finished with flying colors.  The cabbage is also cute and sweet, and will make a great salad.

We have added organic nectarines from Central Washington.  They are a bit firm (they bruise terribly when they’re fully ripe, and they don’t last long), so leave them at room temperature to allow them to ripen for best flavor and texture.

I’m adding a few recipes and heading back to the field to finish my day.  Enjoy!

Heidi

 

2015 Summer, Week 3

Summer 2015 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets, Baby bok choy, Sweet onion, Summer squash,
Red Chard, Nectarines, Basil, Snow Peas,
Flowers

PLEASE TAKE ONE LILY BOUQUET!

Dear Members,

Finally a little burst of Summer today, with more to come soon.  The cool mornings and evenings really give the vegetables a chance to thrive, and things are looking healthy and strong in the field.

We are excited to have snow peas in today’s boxes, as well as baby beets, basil, and the first taste of Summer squash.  The organic nectarines are also a treat that we are thrilled to have.

Our surviving lettuces are growing beautifully in the field, and with the right conditions, will be harvestable in a week or two.  If you didn’t receive our update this Spring, our lettuce, peppers & tomatoes (if you can believe it) were the most beloved Spring treat for mice and slugs who must have made their way into the greenhouse from miles around.  I imagine tiny posters hung up in the mouse community, inviting them to the feast…improbable, but it certainly felt that way this Spring, as thousands of seeds were dug up and disappeared in the night.  At any rate, the lucky survivors are coming along nicely, and we’ll have some beautiful greens to share soon.

Yours,
Heidi

summer2015_week2

Summer 2015 – August, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

new potatoes, garlic, green kohlrabi, sweet onions, scarlet turnips, red Russian Kale, Italian parsley, purple radishes, blueberries, Lilies

Two notes on the lilies:
1. If your cat likes to chew on your flowers, please keep them up and out of range-lilies are toxic to cats. I have kitties and mine aren’t interested in the lilies, but best to mention it!
2. As soon as your lilies open, pull the anthers to keep them from dropping pollen.

Dear Members,

Today’s boxes, with exception of potatoes and blueberries, are decidedly Spring-like. A little disconcerting for the first week of August, but Summer vegetables are on the way—the zucchini are flowering and growing quickly, the cherry and grape tomatoes are beautiful and turning orange, the pepper plants have little bell peppers already! Our beans are setting velvety purple flowers, and will soon have gorgeous baby beans. We look forward to the abundance of the season soon.

Today’s boxes also include certified organic blueberries from Sidhu Farms in Puyallup. We are excited to partner with other organic growers to include fruit when we can, and especially excited about blueberries! We hope to include organic nectarines and peaches with your upcoming deliveries.

The weather is unlike any season in my farming history. Drier and hotter than ever, it makes growing a challenge and thoughtful water use a must. With no substantial precipitation in sight the field edges and landscapes feel like so much kindling ready to be lit. We don’t have any fires burning around us at this time, thankfully.

Our hearts go out to growers and processors in Washington who have suffered fire damage or are actively working to protect their farms and buildings, and our gratitude to those who are out fighting fires. More information about wildfires currently burning in Washington, acreage, and level of containment can be found here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/

On a different note, I have to admit that I have a love for the Splendid Table, a radio program hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. http://www.splendidtable.org/bio/lynne-rossetto-kasper I appreciate (and identify with) how excited she gets about her food, and I pick up lots of great little notes that make me more thoughtful in the kitchen. This week she was talking a bit about garlic. She indicated that you should never deeply brown garlic, just cook it until it’s fragrant and cooked through, to avoid bitterness. A great tip for this week’s recipes!

Yours,
Heidi

Sautéed Radishes and Greens

1 bunch radishes with greens
4 teaspoons butter, divided
Pinch of sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Wash radishes and greens well. Quarter radishes and roughly chop radish greens. Set greens aside.
Heat 2 tsp butter in a skillet and sauté radishes with salt until lightly browned in places. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining butter in skillet and add in garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add greens and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Toss in parsley, then radishes, and remove from heat. Serve hot.

Garlicky Red Potatoes with Sweet Onion & Parsley

2 lbs new potatoes
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam until just tender (about 10 minutes).

In a skillet, drizzle olive oil (a scant Tablespoon or so) and add onion. Saute until translucent and soft, then add minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add parsley and cooked potatoes, along with more olive oil if needed to keep potatoes from sticking. Toss well and remove from heat.

Kohlrabi and Turnip Slaw
adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/1049900/kohlrabi-and-turnip-slaw

1 pound kohlrabi (about 2 small heads)
8 ounces turnips
Half of a sweet onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Cut kohlrabi in half and carefully peel it. Wash turnips and trim roots.
Shred both kohlrabi and turnips with a grater or a food processor with a shredding blade.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, peanut oil, honey, and sesame oil. Add onion, kohlrabi and turnip to bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

Curried Kale

1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, or enough to moisten the bottom of the pan
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup water

Sauté onion with olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and browned in places. Add kale and water, then cover, allowing to simmer approximately 8 minutes.

Remove lid and sprinkle kale with curry powder and tamari, then cover and cook a bit longer, until leaves are just tender. Remove lid completely and increase heat to medium high. Cook about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, to reduce water.

Summer2015_week1

Summer 2015 – July, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Yellow potatoes, Sweet onions, Cilantro, Gold chard, Purple & green kohlrabi, Arugula, Radishes, Lilies

Dear members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF LILIES!

Finally! Our first delivery day! Thank you for participating with us!

It has been a long road this season, but we are pleased to finally get underway. The fields are looking full and promising, Fall and Winter crops look strong. I have posted some photos on Facebook, and hope to get them onto our website shortly as well.

Two notes on the lilies:
1. If your cat likes to chew on your flowers, please keep them up and out of range-lilies are toxic to cats. I have kitties and mine aren’t interested in the lilies, but best to mention it!

2. As soon as your lilies open, pull the anthers to keep them from dropping pollen.

I still have lots of work to do before the deliveries go out tomorrow morning, so I’m including a few recipes and sending these notes out to you now as a reminder. Remember your delivery tomorrow! And thank you!!

Yours,

Heidi

Potato Salad with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2002
Recipe found at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-salad-with-toasted-cumin-vinaigrette-106617

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon salt

4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 heaping tablespoon chopped seeded drained pickled jalapeño chilies from jar, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved

Toast cumin seeds in heavy small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cool. Using spice grinder, coarsely grind cumin seeds. Transfer to medium bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, then oil.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Place potatoes in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil potatoes until tender when pierced with skewer, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add eggs, green onions, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño chilies, and 2 tablespoons chili liquid. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Yellow Chard with Feta
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Swiss-Chard-with-Feta/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=chard&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe&soid=sr_results_p1i2

1 bunch yellow chard – leaves and

stems separated and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces feta cheese, broken into ½ inch pieces

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Toss the chard stems and onions in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and spread onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the chard stems have softened and the onion is starting to brown on the corners, about 15 minutes.


Toss the chard leaves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the leaves over the stem mixture, then sprinkle with feta cheese.

Return to the oven, and bake until the stems are tender, the leaves are beginning to crisp, and the feta is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Kohlrabi
Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?recipeID=203975&origin=detail&servings=2&metric=false

2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each of the slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the Parmesan cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.