2015_summerweek13

Summer 2015 – October, Week 13

At a Glance:

Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Sweet Onions, Savoy Cabbage, Cucumbers,
Italian Zucchini, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Bell Pepper,
Dandelion, Yellow Chard

 

 

Dear Friends,
There is a saying among firefighters:

Firefighting is easy; it’s like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire, and…well, you get the picture.

I feel that way about farming sometimes, it’s easy, like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire.  Then, it’s October.

October for me is all about cleaning up. I would like to simply say it’s easy, like cleaning your kitchen, except your kitchen is 70 acres and you need trucks and loaders and your help is already working full time and then some and if you’re lucky you’ll get everything in before the mud makes the fields impassible. But then all the pipe and pumps are in the barn, and the fields are covered with rye and vetch and clover.

This year, barring early rain, I have just enough time to get all the open areas cover-cropped before it gets too cold for a solid stand of rye. A well orchestrated Fall plan is a work of art in early spring. Lush green fields passively creating tons of material to add tilth to next year’s soil, feed next year’s crops, retain nutrients, prevent erosion, and feed pollinators.

Wish me luck!

Mike

We harvested an abundance of Italian zucchini this week (truly surprising this time of year!), so I have included my favorite zucchini bread recipe.  Give it a try and freeze what you don’t eat!

 

Zucchini Bread

Julie Sochacki, One United Harvest
Makes two large loaves
3 eggs

1-3/4 cups sugar

1 cup light vegetable oil

2-1/2 cups peeled, grated zucchini

2-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 c walnut or hazelnut oil
Beat the eggs, then add sugar, mixing well. Add the oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and slowly add to sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the nut oil and stir.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55-60 minutes in two greased (9x5x3) loaf pans.

Cool on wire racks and freeze or refrigerate.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2001

1 lb Savoy cabbage, thinly shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pepper, very thinly sliced

Put cabbage and scallion in a large bowl.

Bring vinegar, ginger, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot dressing over cabbage, peppers, and onion, tossing to combine.
Dandelion Greens with a Kick

Adapted from recipe by TTV78
Recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222744/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch dandelion greens, stems trimmed, washed well, torn into 4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook greens until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle greens with Parmesan cheese to serve.

2015_summerweek12

Summer 2015 – October, Week 12

At A Glance:

Spinach
Green Beans
Purple Beans
Yellow Beans
Green and Purple Kohlrabi
Edamame (edible soybeans)
Red Russian Kale
Purple Carrots
2lbs Rose Finn Potatoes
Leeks

Greetings Friends,

The weather today was perfect. There was a fog so thick you could cut it early this morning, which gave way to a beautiful afternoon. I watched most of it go by through the office window as I diligently took care of all the odds and ends, big and small, which go along with any business. I am always grateful for fair weather even if I do not get to enjoy it firsthand. When I am warm and cozy and it is blustery out there I cannot help but feel the sting of guilt, knowing that our field crew is braving the elements to harvest produce for delivery. On a day like today I can almost enjoy the envy I feel, knowing that this same crew is working under reasonable conditions and without the headache that comes with muddy vegetables and stuck field trucks.

As promised, the contents of this delivery are beginning to represent the more savory vegetables that Fall has to offer. Nothing says stew or roast like a combination of leeks and potatoes. Edamame make an appearance this week as well. The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and they grow in clusters on bushy plants which deer LOVE. In East Asia the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. We can barely get them to finish this far north, and it was quite a feat considering the late start we got this year. If not for this long dry season it would not have been possible. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers-the pods themselves are not edible. If you have not tried them before, you are in for a treat. I think them the pretzel of vegetables; simple preparation instructions follow.

A quick word too on the purple carrots. Purple Haze by name, they are the best purple carrots we have ever grown. They do have an orange core unlike some others, but they also have a great carrot taste, and they grow to maturity without bolting (going to seed), which is saying something if you have ever tried to grow them. We trialed at least three other varieties of purple carrots, unsuccessfully, before finding this one. We just love them, and hope you will too.

Mike

 

 

 

Edamame
Gourmet  | August 1998

Soybeans in the Pod

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add the beans and boil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss edamame with salt to taste.

Or for a little more zing-
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, some lime juice and salt

Coax the beans out as you would eat an artichoke, by gently scraping the pod with your teeth


Simple Stew

You’ll be surprised how savory and satisfying this simple vegetable stew is! Serve with quinoa, millet, or steamed rice.

3 to 4 servings

1 large bunch of kale
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green), thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4-5 fingerling potatoes, cut into ½- to ¾- inch cubes
1 low sodium bouillion cube (we like Rapunzel brand)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the thick stems off the kale leaves. Cut the leaves crosswise into ¼-inch strips.
In a medium stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the kale in 2 or 3 handfuls, stirring to wilt. Add the broth and bouillion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove and blend in a blender about ½ the stew then return it to the pot. Stir.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Adapted from The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkeley Books 2009.

 

2015summer_week11

Summer 2015 – October, Week 11

What’s in the Box:

Celery, Cucumbers, Yellow & Purple beans, Bell pepper,
Baby bok choy, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Cameo apples,
Dried Lavender (not intended for eating)

Dear Members,

What do farmers do when they take a weekend trip out of town? Visit other farms of course. It kind of sounds silly reading it, but that is exactly what Heidi and Nat and I did this past weekend. We pointed the Ford f-350 north and headed up to the Skagit Valley to check out some farms and ranches during their two day ‘Festival of Family Farms’. We visited Cascadian Farm outside Rockport and checked out their blueberry harvester and had ice cream and actually picked a few pumpkins. We spent a few hours painting baby pumpkins and shopping for a variety of unique plants at Cloud Mountain outside Everson. We had brisket and corn on the cob, and visited with cattle and draft horses at Ovenell’s Double O Ranch outside Concrete. In short, we had a whirlwind tour of some great farms in the Skagit Valley and left with a deep appreciation for the farms themselves and what they are doing, as well as a lot of respect for the way Whatcom county has supported them and created an atmosphere where the contribution these agricultural businesses make to the community and the region are highlighted and acknowledged. Are you listening Lewis County?

This week’s delivery continues the trend into fall and includes some cool weather loving Bok Choy, some fresh crop apples, and our first celery. Also included in this delivery is two bunches of dried lavender. It was harvested this Summer and was hung in the barn to dry.  What to do with a bunch of dried lavender? Put it into a vase to enjoy as a dry bouquet, or make a lavender sachet to place in a drawer or somewhere you would like a fresh scent.

What you’ll need for a lavender sachet:

A square of pretty fabric (Heidi recommends at least an 8″ square)

A ribbon to tie it with-long enough to make a bow
Remove the lavender flowers from their stems with your fingertips over a large cookie sheet or bowl. Place the flowers in the center of the cloth, fold the fabric on the diagonal and gather the fabric edges together.  Tie at least an inch below the fabric edges and trim any long edges. Easy!

Please enjoy this week’s delivery and stay tuned as we continue our journey into Fall.

Mike

2015 Summer CSA Share

Summer 2015 – September, Week 10

What’s in the Box:

Green, Yellow, and Roma Italian beans
Austrian Crescent potatoes
Swiss Chard
Beets
Cucumbers
Crookneck Squash
Sweet onions
Cherry tomatoes
Thyme

 

Greetings Friends,
Mike here! In the office by dim light hustling to finish the notes I promised to write this morning then promptly forgot about. Ooops.

Fall is officially here and we will soon be saying good bye to the summer squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes. We have bumper crops of all the fall favorites, and frankly this is my favorite time of year to eat out of the field. You can still have a ripe tomato, or scrounge a little basil, and the cabbage and other cole crops are huge and lush. The greens are not stressed by hot days, and the potatoes have been in storage just long enough to sweeten up a bit.

On the subject of Fall, please remember that because of our late start this season, if you purchased the summer share, you will be receiving the two holiday deliveries; one in late November, the other in late December. These are usually offered separately. We will be marketing these ‘holiday’ shares to others outside our Summer membership. So, if you receive an offer to purchase them, kindly disregard it. You are in like Flynn. These two deliveries are among my favorites. They are a bit larger than our usual weekly deliveries, and the fall and winter vegetables are soooooo sweet after a frost.

When I looked over the contents of this week’s box I got hungry for pasta. I have included a recipe for Pasta Primavera, I cannot stress strongly enough what a great catch-all dish this is. You can use nearly any vegetables that are in the fridge. I love a plate of Pasta Primavera especially with a good sharp cheese; and it’s easy, and it’s fast, and if you do it right you only have two pots to wash! I enjoy cooking, especially for friends and family, and few recipes garner so much praise for so little effort.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Pasta Primavera
A few things you should know:

Water and Salt: Always add a big pinch of salt to the pasta water and do not skimp on the amount of water used to cook pasta. I use about a gallon/pound and probably a big tablespoon of salt. Heat the water to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook UNCOVERED. Use tongs to stir it occasionally and after about 7 minutes start checking it by pulling a strand out and cutting it. In cross section you will see a white core indicating that it is not quite done, as this core vanishes your pasta is ready. Al dente pasta will have just a hint of white in the center. For this dish, because you are going to cook the pasta a bit more, you will want a noticeable but barely so white core.

Sautee: Vegetables while the pasta cooks. Have them all prepped and ready to go before you drop the pasta in the water. If you are sharp and focused you can do this while the water heats. I have used just about every vegetable imaginable, but this week’s box has some of my favorites.

Slice one of the onions paper thin. Snap the stems from the beans and cut into bite size pieces. I especially like the Roma beans for this dish. Cut summer squash into bite size chunks. Thinly slice a good handful of chard leaves. Strip about 3 tablespoons of thyme from its stems. You can use anything that sounds good… anything. I have used beets, rutabaga, turnip, you name it. The traditional Italian vegetables are always a hit.

Sautee: the vegetables in olive oil in a large cast pan while the pasta is cooking; when they are tender turn off the heat.

Scoop: And here is the secret… scoop a mug full of the starchy pasta water off before draining the pasta. Pour this into the pan of vegetables and simmer to create a light sauce. At this point add the thyme and thinly sliced chard and sauté until the chard is just wilted.

Toss: Add the pasta to the pan of vegetables and toss as you would a salad using the tongs over medium heat for a few minutes. Add more pasta water if necessary. You can also toss this all in a large bowl if your pan isn’t large enough.

Stir: In some butter or olive oil and a generous handful of grated sharp cheese; quality counts on the cheese.

Toss again and you are ready for the plate. When you serve this dish serve it hot. Grab a healthy tong-full, hold it over the plate and lower it slowly as you turn the plate and the tongs in opposite directions. This will leave a pyramid of pasta Primavera.

Throw: A few grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved, on top of each plate.

Serve with grated cheese and coarse salt.

2015summer_week9

Summer 2015 – September, Week 9

What’s in the Box:

Cauliflower
Carrots
Broccoli
Pearl onions
Cucumbers
Kale
Arugula
Treviso radicchio
Pears
Flowers

Dear Members,

Happy Equinox!  In my book it has already been Autumn, as evidenced by foggy mornings, early sunsets, and apples dropping by the bucketful from our old trees.  These apples make the best juice and applesauce, but aren’t the scabless, beautiful, shiny apples that you find in every grocery store and most farmers markets.  These are a bit more humble in appearance, with their scars, bites, and bruises telling the story of the season.

The apples remind me that it’s time to get canning, storing, freezing, pickling for the Winter months.  It’s tricky to do when the season is so full, but I have managed a couple batches of applesauce, and usually talk my mom into freezing some vegetables for us, and making some fruit leather for Natty’s lunches.  I will often undertake just a little extra while I’m cooking dinner.  It doesn’t take much time to steam a couple handfuls of green beans and toss them on a cookie sheet in the freezer.  In the dead of Winter, when I’m browsing in the produce aisle, I’m glad for that extra little bit of work to put our fresh veggies in the freezer.

In today’s boxes, you’ll find our first cauliflower of the season.  We have tried for years to produce pest-free cauliflower, and have reduced our growing season to Autumn only, when the aphid pressure is generally lower.  Alas, the aphids are still with us.  If your cauliflower has pests, cut it into florets and soak it in room temperature salted water for about 20 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and prepare.

The Treviso is a type of radicchio, and radicchio is indeed bitter.  Mike has insisted for many years that we grow it, along with a few other Italian vegetables, because it reminds him of his childhood and how all his complaining about things he didn’t like to eat turned into a rather earnest liking of them.  If you absolutely cannot handle bitter greens, try roasting it!  It becomes milder and sweeter with cooking.

Enjoy!
Heidi

2015 Summer, week 8

Summer 2015 – September, Week 8

What’s in the Box:

Red & White potatoes, Italian zucchini, Crookneck squash.
Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet onion, Bell Pepper, Cucumbers,
Escarole, Spinach, Apples, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF SUNFLOWERS

Thank you to those of you who said hello at the Tilth Fair.  It was a great chance for Mike and I to see so many familiar faces and connect with new people too.  Natty focused her good time on running everywhere and climbing trees.

Please note that the potatoes are unwashed. White potatoes particularly seem to bruise with handling, so we have elected to send them unwashed so that they keep better for you.

I went a little crazy on recipes this week.  Hopefully this will inspire you in the kitchen.  I’m also hoping it will inspire me!  So many ideas, so little time…

Yours,

Heidi
Zucchini Latkes
Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zucchini-latkes/print

3 medium zucchini, shredded (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated (be careful with grating if you have sensitivity to onions-I usually cry)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Oil for frying

Sour cream and basil, optional

Toss the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze zucchini dry. Stir in the eggs, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, pepper and remaining salt.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil; press lightly to flatten. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and garnish with a sprig of basil. Yield: 16 latkes.

Sautéed Potatoes and Sweet PeppersAdapted from: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7633-sauteed-potatoes-with-sweet-red-peppers

Farmer’s note: this recipe originally calls for a non-stick skillet.  I don’t own one, as I’m a fan of cast iron, but you may need more oil if using a cast iron skillet-the potatoes will definitely want to stick.

1 ¼ pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sweet red pepper, seeds and veins removed, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Add potatoes to a saucepan with just enough water to cover.  Add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet and stirring occasionally so that the potatoes cook evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Add the pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring until the potatoes are nicely browned.

Add the butter. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the skillet and/or stirring. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Escarole and Beans
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/82078/escarole-and-beans/

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head escarole, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces cannellini beans, undrained
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Apple Spinach Salad
Adapted from: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spinach-apple-walnut-salad

1 medium apple, cored, cut into large dice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Place spinach in a large bowl; remove long stems and bruised leaves. Whisk together remaining juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Toss spinach with apples and dressing. Divide between four bowls. Top with cheese and walnuts.

 

2015summer_week7

Summer 2015 – September, Week 7

What’s in the Box:

Roma beans, Red Cabbage, Sweet onion
Garlic, Green Kohlrabi
Zucchini & Summer squash
Cucumbers, Gold Chard
Arugula, Mizuna, Basil, Peaches
Flowers

Dear Members,

Please take one bouquet of flowers

As I sit down to write to you all this morning, I can’t see a thing outside the window.  It stays dark a bit later each morning, and makes it a little more difficult to roll out of bed and greet the day… or the almost day, as it were.  The rain seems to have slowed us down and delivered Autumn all at once, making for an unusually quick shift in our mental state.

If you haven’t noticed yet, we farmers loooove to talk about the weather. It’s not just that we’re boring, or that we don’t seem to have any hobbies because all we manage to do is farm mostly (although I’m not saying either of those things is necessarily untrue).  Honestly, weather dictates so much of our business that we just can’t get around talking about it.

I’ll spare you my diatribe on Spring, and how rain can slow us down, or drought, and what that means for us, and focus on rain right now.

Rain means certain veggies are happy, and others mold.  It means we shift the harvest to get the most sensitive things in before they get wet (or we harvest them later to deliver them extra fresh), we take longer to harvest, wash, and pack the veggies, we contend with a different set of circumstances.

Autumn means that we often work on the edges of day, and sometimes in darkness.  We have to be more careful about plans for each day, and we try to spread out tasks so that we aren’t working until 8pm. By necessity, we start later.  You can’t see much in the field in total or even semi-darkness.

All this to say that weather means a lot around here.

And that your veggies soaked up all that beautiful rain, and might not last quite as long as they did when they didn’t get rained on.  Specifically, please forgive us if the Roma beans don’t hold up as well as they should.

Now, for those of you who made it through all that, (or maybe you just skipped it) come see us at the Tilth Harvest Fair this weekend!  The fair is this Saturday from 10am to 4pm at Meridian Park in Seattle (behind the Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. Seattle, WA 98103).  Find more information about the fair and what’s on the schedule here:http://www.seattletilth.org/special_events/harvestfair2015

Yours,

Heidi

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