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.

2015_may_week2

Winter 2015 – May, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Artichokes, Mixed farm potatoes*, Leeks*
Asparagus, Fuji Apples, Baby bok choy
Spinach, Red Kale, Cranberry beans-dried*, Oregano*
Strawberries*, Peonies
*from our farm, all other produce is organic & NW grown

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF FLOWERS!

This is the final delivery of our Winter/Spring shares.  Thank you for participating with us!

If you haven’t joined our Summer CSA yet, there’s still time to sign up:  http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2015-summer-share-C6308.  We anticipate starting in late June.

While it’s always a little sad to finish out a delivery season, it’s also a bit of a relief.  May is the most challenging Spring month for us on the farm, as we are simultaneously organizing the harvest and delivery of produce, as well as coordinating field preparation, fertilizing, seeding, and transplant of all the greenhouse starts (and repairing the tractors and equipment…).  So after this week’s delivery, we are able to focus our attention more directly on getting all the seeds and seedlings into the field for Summer.

In today’s delivery, we have several items from our farm, including leeks, oregano, potatoes, dry beans, and flowers!  We have also included more Northwest grown organic asparagus, greens, baby bok choy, and apples.

But I forgot one thing.  The strawberries…Oh, the strawberries!

This is the earliest that we have ever harvested strawberries.  In a good season, we get approximately four weeks of harvest, but I’m not sure what to expect this season, as it’s so early and the weather is so varied.  Regardless of the duration of their presence, we are glad to have them for you this week!

Please, oh please, eat your strawberries right away.  They will not last in your fridge, or on your countertop.  We have harvested them especially for you, so that they will be lovely as long as possible, but that still isn’t very long. The variety that we grow is a classic, with amazing flavor, but as one local writer put it, you can’t ship them across the street. These odd little bursts of rain that we have enjoyed of late make them particularly soft and juicy.

Yours,

Heidi

2015_april_week2

Winter 2015 – April, Week 2

What’s in the box?

Leeks*, Potatoes*, Bunch Beets*, Cameo Apples
D’Anjou Pears, Cauliflower, Curly Parsley*
Swiss Chard, Radishes, Mesclun Salad
Johnson Berry Farms Jam
*from our farm

 

Dear Members,

The weather is glorious here today, the greenhouses are full, and we are busily preparing for your delivery. Despite the favorable weather we find ourselves a bit behind this spring. I have found that tasks expand to fill the time available to complete them, and this season is no different.

The potatoes included in this week’s delivery are stored from our harvest last Autumn. Since we don’t treat them with anything, they tend to sprout eyes; an excellent reminder that we’re eating living food! The sprouts are easily removed when scrubbing your potatoes.

Johnson Berry Farm, what can I say? JJ and Lisa are top notch folks that have continued the tradition of agriculture while the neighborhood around them has exploded with growth. The Johnson’s home farm is located just outside the transition from East Olympia to Lacey, and I was flabbergasted by the amount of traffic as I dodged and weaved my way through the narrow roads to their house, getting lost only once and not too badly. The original farm house has been converted into a commercial kitchen, and the Johnson’s live next door. Another tradition in agriculture is standing around leaning against the side rails of a pick-up truck and talking. This can go on for quite some time, and if seen from the road will draw others. Such was the case when I picked up the jam included in this week’s delivery. I had a wonderful visit with Lisa and JJ and their friend John, missing my dinner date, but getting to catch up on all the goings on.

Johnson Jams are not a certified organic product. They are made with organic ingredients including the Johnsons’ berries and rhubarb. I called this morning when I noticed this, and talked to JJ about why he has chosen to keep this info off the labeling. In short, he intends to certify the product soon and recommended that I go inside and have some toast and jam. He made a good point. What a pleasure to offer an excellent local jam and spend dollars with producers who put out a quality product with integrity: Johnson Berry Farms. http://johnsonberryfarms.com/

Full disclosure: We tried our best to source a local mesclun but when it came down to the wire we had to include a CA product, for this I apologize. I have no real qualm with CA produce, but it just doesn’t belong in our program. We make every effort to shop within 300 miles but, try as we might, we just couldn’t close the gap entirely this year.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike

2015_april_week1

Winter 2015 – April, Week 1

At a Glance:

*Italian Parsley, *Red Russian Kale, Fennel, *Beets
Cauliflower, *Leeks, Crimini Mushrooms, Turnips
*Yellow Potatoes, Onions, Braeburn Apples,
Black Sheep Creamery Fresh sheep’s cheese
*from our farm

 

 

Greetings Dear Friends,

We often hear from customers, “my (husband, wife, kids) claimed to hate (broccoli, beets, cauliflower) until they tried yours, but now they love them.” People form opinions based on experience. Unfortunately the experience of eating vegetables grown for shelf life rather than flavor is quite common. This can lead one to believe that they do not like something only because they have never tried it as it was intended. This may be understandable when it comes to the “general population”, but for me? Well, evidently I love collards. For years I considered them bitter and tough and largely useless, considering the performance and quality of kale and chard, but I get the CSA too. Every week there is a box delivered to my back door, and last week I sautéed the collard greens in bacon fat. It was marvelous. My seven year old daughter enjoyed them every bit as much as I, so much so that Heidi and I planned a kind of ‘Southern’ menu around collards and Teggia beans for Sunday Dinner.

This from Galilee in the pack shed: Parsley stems are gooood!!! “The parsley stems (extras I took home) are so incredibly delicious – sweet, succulent, aromatic, refreshing, even substantive!  They are my favorite snack right now.  To think….most people will throw them away….what a pity.  They reminded me of one of my favorite farm families in the valley where I grew up. They would often overwinter (no one else did this) a long row of parsley along the road to their house.  As we would walk to visit in the spring (no car in those days), I remember grazing and thinking the stems were really the best part…sometime scattering the tops Hansel and Gretel style as I walked.  Thanks!!”

Comments like these are common from our customers and I thought it remarkable to have this experience here too, among people whose lives rotate around produce. And ours do, our lives… they do rotate around the farm.

We are farmers, the real deal, and we are delighted to share our experience with you through the CSA. We have been offering this program since 1993, and have always recognized the value of directly connecting with our customers. Your interest and comments, your encouragement and praise, are the foundation of the CSA program. This connection with you has always been at the center of our conversations about the CSA, and about the farm.

It is important to us that you, our best customers, sign up for this season’s summer share. We will not be doing the same broad advertising we have in the past. We have opted to direct our energy toward strengthening the relationships we have instead of forming new ones with new customers. We are at a challenging stage of our evolution and your early commitment to our farm has never been more important. Your support will help ensure the continued success of Boistfort Valley Farm. Your participation will allow us to continue to do what we love most.

If you can commit now to the summer share please do (http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/ ), if you already have, thank you, really and truly.

Mike

2015_march2

Winter 2015 – March, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets*, Yellow potatoes*, Pinova/Braeburn/Gala apple mix,
Collard Greens, Leeks*, Kale* , Italian Parsley*, Dried beans*,
Shiitake Mushrooms, Blue Heron Bakery Biscotti

 

Dear Members,

Greetings from the Boistfort Valley!
All items with an * are from Boistfort Valley Farm.  Additional items are certified organic, except the biscotti.  Please see Blue Heron Bakery’s online information for more details about their practices!

Many of you have asked about our Summer CSA, and I want to give you an update.  Our Spring letter and promotional discount code will go out to you via email in the very near future, but this is a great opportunity to give you a few notes in advance.

We are later than usual in sending out information about the Summer shares this year.  We will offer a Summer share this season. We also hope to restructure the farm slightly, to help us make the time to upgrade some of our farm infrastructures, streamline our post-harvest processes, and generally simplify a bit to feel less overwhelmed. Growing food is one of the most rewarding things that we can do, and yet, it is also a challenging and often exhausting enterprise, and we need to focus on improving our farm so we can continue to grow food and enjoy time with our family.

We will offer just one share size for Summer 2015, in between the Small and Family share size.  The season will still be 20 weeks, and we will give a solid discount for those who are able to pay in full prior to our early deadline.

We hope that you will join us this Summer, and help support our farm as we work to make our infrastructure more sound, dedicate a little more of our time to building efficiency into our farming practices, and improve our quality of life for ourselves and our farm family, all while supplying you with our fresh organic produce as always.  More details and sign up information to come.

On to this week’s delivery!  We have included a selection of biscotti from Olympia’s Blue Heron Bakery today. Blue Heron has been a community fixture in Olympia since 1977, and we love to include their bakery items.  They source quality ingredients and always bake our orders especially for us, making us feel the kind of special that only local businesses can. After 37 years in the same funky building, Blue Heron is building a new facility, so their Facebook page is full of details on their progress.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Heron-Bakery/116627548362581

We still have a variety of veggies from the farm, and are excited to share more of the cranberry beans this week.  These beans are one of the creamiest I’ve ever eaten, and make excellent refried beans as well as chili (Natty’s favorite).  Here’s a simple recipe from the website that I love with cotija or feta cheese, chopped greens, and fresh tortillas:http://boistfortvalleyfarm.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipe=BKBN

Enjoy!
Heidi

March_week1_2015_c

Winter 2015 – March, Week 1

What’s in the box?

Spaghetti Squash, Crescent Potatoes*, Yellow Onions
Cipollini Onions, Rutabaga*, Pears, Carrots*, Beets*
Cauliflower, Kale*, Black Sheep Creamery Pecorino
*from our farm

 

Greetings friends,

How ‘bout this weather? I mean seriously. I have been farming for almost thirty years and I cannot remember a more favorable March. Our green house is beginning to fill with onions and leeks that are growing noticeably every day. We are planning and planting and scurrying and mending; in short, IT’S ON.

The daffodils have exploded here in the Valley. We grow a few thousand feet of them to include in our Spring deliveries, but I am sorry to say that something, and I do not yet know what, has happened to them. They are sporadic at best in the field. I mention this only because the office is full of them. As soon as I am through buttoning up these notes, I am going out there to see what’s up. They have always been our bullet-proof barometer of March, but there are only a few thick patches left of our rows. Hmmmmm.

We have however included some great stuff this week. The spaghetti squash are from ‘Dancing Roots Farm’ located about 18 miles East of Portland. I attended a great gathering of squash growers in Philomath a few weeks ago. Shari and Bryan, Dancing Roots’ owners, were talking up their new system of storing and keeping squash, and I just had to have a look.  They were right; the squash were in excellent condition, especially for March! I could not resist their spaghetti squash, as we rarely get them to finish, so I set it up to include them in our delivery this week; just another example of how this thing should work; farm to farm to you. DIRECTish. Dancing Roots is not certified organic, but trust me when I say they lack only the piece of paper. Their practices and philosophy are stellar and it was a delight to visit with them.

The pecorino from Black Sheep Creamery is one of my favorites, aged 8 months and straight from Meg and Brad just down the road. Being part of this community of farmers and artisan producers is another reason I love doing what we do. Sharing it with you ices my cupcake.

Thanks for the opportunity, and ENJOY!!!

Mike

Winter 2015 - February week 2

Winter 2015 – February, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Yellow potatoes*, Pinova or Salish Rose apples, Purple Carrots*,
Parsnips*, Sunchokes, Leeks*, Kale*, Thyme*,
Crimini Mushrooms, Honey!*

 

 

Dear Members,

All items with an * are from Boistfort Valley Farm.  Additional items are certified organic.

It has been lovely (but cold!) this week.  The sun inspires me to get my hands into the dirt (or the soil mix) to peruse the local nursery for bare root trees and fun seeds, and to begin whatever sort of seeding I can get away with.  The frosty mornings are quick to remind me, however, that seeds have quite a while before they’ll make it outside on their own.  That doesn’t stop us from filling a few trays with soil and planting Natty’s choice of flowers, though.  They are slowly sprouting in the greenhouse, a tiny miracle to observe each day.

This time of Winter for me (and maybe for you, too!) can be a little tough to bear.  I long for warm and sun at the same time.  I begin to chant little mantras under my breath (rain, rain, go away or warm UP, warm UP are common this year) and I’m really beginning to miss the Spring greens.  The good news is that the days are getting noticeably longer, the bulbs and those hardy primroses that Winter didn’t damage have begun to bloom, and we have Hope once again for the warm season.  And so I turn my thoughts around from what I don’t have to what I do: even though I’m out of onions, I can only be mopey for so long, because there’s a field of leeks out my window!  This week I’m making room in my days for a celebration of what I DO have, even if it’s just for a moment: sunshine out my window, variety from the fields…  I can wait a little bit longer for Spring greens.

A few notes on this delivery: The Salish Rose apples, part of this week’s apple combo, have kaolin clay on them, and should be washed before eating.  Kaolin clay is an accepted material for organic apples, and is used as a physical barrier to keep pests from damaging fruit.  More information at: http://www.planetnatural.com/wp-content/uploads/kaolin-clay.pdf

We have sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem Artichokes) from Wobbly Cart Farm in today’s boxes.  These odd little guys are related to sunflowers, and they resemble ginger in appearance (although not in flavor).  Check out an easy roasting recipe here: http://www.thekitchn.com/try-this-roasted-sunchokes-105348 (I included the link because I do love a food blog, and they had some yummy sounding stuff on there!)  I have also included a recipe below.

The honey is from hives that the Woogie Bee folks, Tim and Sharette Geise, bring to our farm every Spring.  They help to pollinate our vegetable fields and the surrounding flowers, and provide us with enough honey to share with you.  Today’s jar is from the 2014 season.

Enjoy!

Heidi

February_week1_2015

Winter 2015 – February, Week 1

What’s in the box?

Red Russian Kale*, Parsley*, Carrots*, Rutabaga*, Garlic*, Crescent Potatoes*,
Winter Squash Surprise!*, Teggia Dry Beans*, Piñata Apples, Santa Lucia Coffee
*From our farm

 

Greeting Friends,

This week’s CSA contains some one of a kind treats with an unseasonable majority of selections grown right here on our farm!

Recent warm weather has put new growth on both our parsley and kale and we have included a bunch of each in this box. The last planting of carrots, though dwindling, is still representin’, and our potatoes are holding well in storage. You may have noticed that “squash surprise” is listed above. The surprise is that though we checked on the quality of our squash ten days ago, when we went in to pull the squash for this week’s pack we found that a majority had molded!!! A result of the perfect climate: 60degrees and 90% humidity. Everyone gets some squash, but there is no telling what variety you will receive. We used everything we had. The bad news is there is no more winter squash; the good news is there is no more winter squash.

Also included this week are two of my absolute favorites: the Piñata apple, which I believe may be my favorite fresh eating apple, and coffee from a local roaster that has actually developed a relationship with a grower in Gautemala. Read on…

Piñata isa signature apple variety, grown only by select growers and packed by Stemilt in Wenatchee. In the 1970s, researchers in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany crossed three heirloom apples – Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg – to create what we now know as Piñata. The apple was released commercially throughout Europe in 1986. The Piñata apple thrives in eastern Washington’s arid climate and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after varieties thanks to its unique tropical flavor and stellar crunch.

Santa Lucia Coffee is proud to offer a direct trade coffee from the Martinez family. Finca Vista Hermosa operates in a sustainable manner, providing social and economic support to their community. Above and below the farm are belts of virgin rain forest; dense jungles filled with an abundance of plants and animals. Coffee is planted under native shade trees, which provides ideal growing conditions and mitigates erosion. Although not certified organic, Finca Vista Hermosa uses environmentally sound practices, composting and recycling all their coffee and water waste from processing and harvesting. They use a natural fertilizer, and no chemical pesticides are used on the farm. The result is a much healthier ecosystem.

ENJOY!!!!

Mike

Jan_week2_2015

Winter 2015 – January, Week 2

What’s in the box?

Thyme*, Shiitake Mushrooms, Leeks*, Mix Beets*, Bosc Pears,
Braeburn Apples, Garlic*, Chieftain Potatoes*, Carnival Squash*,
European Kraut

*from our farm

Greetings Friends,

I hope this note finds you well. The sun is beaming through the office windows right now. I am at the desk… again. Ughhhhh!!! Pardon me for sharing the fact that I find this difficult. I so want to appear clever and well adjusted, but when the sun is shining I want to be out there; especially when it is such a rare treat. Back in the anciently olden times before I wore shoes every day, I farmed seasonally. (I know, I know; here he goes again, right?) I would fold up every year just after Halloween. As the farm grew, it became increasingly difficult to reinvent the wheel every year in terms of our most valued staff, and it became increasingly difficult to just leave our summer CSA members out there shopping at the Co-op or Fred Meyer and hope that they would return every spring. So the winter CSA was born.

The first two years (or was it three?) we delivered once per month, then last year we began delivering twice per month during the dark days of January through May. The idea had its roots in altruism regarding the continued employment of our staff, and the uninterrupted contact with our customers, or at least those who chose to participate. The advantages to the farm are obvious as well, and there is another significant and positive impact. Today I had a conversation with a local business owner, Justin Page, who with his wife, owns and operates Santa Lucia Coffee Roasters, http://www.justindustries.com/ . I stopped in to pick up some coffee for a customer and ordered enough to include in our first February delivery. He was delighted by the order, 175 12oz bags, and praised the farm as a ‘curator’ of local products. I must admit, the impact our purchases have on local producers escaped me, well not entirely, but because the winter CSA grew slowly, I had not recognized just how much it helps other producers in the area.

Our previous delivery included cheese from a local sheep dairy; almost 50 lbs of cheese. This week’s delivery will include kraut from a local producer who in turn buys their cabbage from us. Oly Kraut, www.olykraut.com, is a fast growing company that puts their money where their mouth is and contracts with us every year for thousands of pounds of cabbage. Included is their Eastern European Kraut with cabbage, onion, apple, carrot, caraway seeds, grapefruit juice, and Celtic Sea Salt.Owner Sash Sunday says, “This makes the best Reuben in the universe!  The caraway seeds and apple give it a distinct flavor that has made it one of our most popular flavors, and it even won a Good Food Award in 2012.” So please enjoy, and while you’re at it consider the ‘local multiplier effect’; eating well and supporting a local living economy, what could be better?

Yours,

Mike