Winter 2016 - Week 3

Winter 2016 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

*Austrian Crescent potatoes
*Carrots-purple
*Red Russian Kale
*Leeks
*Red Cabbage
*Beets
*Parsley
*Dry Beans
Yellow & Red Cipollini Onions (WA)
Ruby Crescent Potatoes (OR)
Enterprise Apples (WA)
Red D’Anjou Pears (WA)
Shiitake Mushrooms (OR)

*grown on our farm

Dear Members,

I know that you all must get tired of me talking about the weather, but let me just say this: WOOOOOOOWWWWW!!

Natty insisted on going out in shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, and then going to the river, which lasted until her feet got cold (about 5 minutes).  Even still, we’re grateful for the Vitamin D. I hope you’re getting a little sunshine on this lovely day.

We have included my favorite dry beans today-a cranberry type bean that is the creamiest most delicious bean ever.  I have included a simple recipe below, but feel free to substitute them in any recipe that calls for dried beans.  My only advice is not to overcook them if you prefer a firm bean-they will become soft and break down if overcooked.
I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic, Washington or Oregon grown as indicated in the list on the left.

As always, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

Yours,
Heidi

Pack and Go Lunch: Tangled Red Cabbage Salad
Adapted from:  http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2016/01/pack-and-go-lunch-tangled-red-cabbage-salad/
Author: Emilie Raffa (recipe adapted from Heike on Instagram)

For the Dressing
1 tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
the juice of ½ lime
1 tsp honey, plus more to taste
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp hot water
dash of hot sauce

For the Salad
1 small red cabbage, sliced paper thin
2 cups shredded kale
2 scallions, white & light green part only, thinly sliced
1-2 clementines, peeled and sliced into wheels
¼ cups pomegranate seeds
1 serving cooked black rice soba noodles (optional)
1 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)

Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk until well blended.

To prepare the salad, add the cabbage, kale and scallions to a large bowl. Pour a little bit of the dressing over the top and toss well. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, if using soba noodles, cook them according to the package directions. When finished, rinse under cold water. Drain well and add to the salad.

To finish, add the clementine wheels, pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds (if using). Add additional dressing and toss well to combine. Taste, and add more lime juice as needed.

Serve at room temperature.
Shiitake Angel Hair Pasta
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11706/shiitake-angel-hair-pasta/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=4 Recipe By:Ann

6 ounces angel hair pasta
6 ounces fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, preferably low sodium
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Sauté onion in olive oil and butter over medium heat until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté until just fragrant, then add mushrooms and brown lightly. Add chicken stock and wine, and cook until mixture is reduced to 1/2 volume. Blend in cream, and reduce to desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain pasta, and toss with sauce until coated. Serve on small warmed plates, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Simple Beans
To be used as a side with cotija cheese, or served with chips, on tortillas with cheese and toppings, or as desired. If cooking for soup, just cut the cumin and cilantro.

1 1/2 cups dry beans
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder (fresh, high quality — otherwise use more)
1 heaping tsp dried cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp salt

Sort dry beans. Rinse thoroughly and pour into a medium pot. Add water to at least two inches above the level of the beans. Soak overnight OR bring to a boil for approximately 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand one hour.
Once beans have been soaked, or boiled and soaked, pour out water and refill with new, again two inches over the level of the beans. Bring to a boil and add seasonings, but not salt. Simmer until liquid is reduced and beans are soft and creamy, one hour or longer. Add salt and additional seasonings as desired.

 

Winter 2016 CSA - week 1

Winter 2016 – Week 1

What’s in the Box:

*Savoy Cabbage, *Kale-Curly , *Parsley-Curly , *Carnival squash,
*Baking potatoes, *Austrian Crescent potatoes, *Golden Beets,
*Leeks, *Carrots-Purple & Orange, Braeburn Apples, D’Anjou Pears
Santa Lucia Coffee

*grown on our farm

Happy New Year!  We have a variety of lovely produce for the deliveries this week.  All items with an asterisk (*) are from our farm.  The other produce is certified organic, Washington grown (this is, the apples and pears).

As a reminder, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website orcontact us at the farm.

The cold temperatures and the snow have kept us out of the field for the last little bit, but they didn’t do much damage to the Winter veggies.  The snow especially delighted Natty, who was out there throwing snowballs morning and night, much to the displeasure of our Labrador, Dinah.  Snowballs, unlike tennis balls, explode on impact, and Dinah learned this the first time she caught one in her mouth.  She spent the rest of the day lurking on the porch, staring out the window, presumably waiting for the snow to melt.
Well, melt it did, but it’s been quite icy in the mornings, and we step carefully around the farm to keep from slipping and sliding, especially with loads of produce.  We are looking forward to the warmer rainy weather we were promised by the folks who study these things. Please be careful out there when picking up your boxes!

We have a special treat in the boxes today: a locally roasted coffee provided by our favorite roasters and friends at Santa Lucia Coffee Roasters, Justin and Lucy Page.  Here’s a little something that Justin sent me about the coffee included with your produce:

The San Rafael Urias farm rests on the side of a small mountain in the valley of San Miguel Duenas, Antigua. It is shadowed by the Agua (Water) and Fuego (Fire) volcanoes. Founded by Rafael Valdes Quiroa in the late 1880s, it is now owned and managed by the third generation of the family, headed by Don Isidro Valdes.  Workers on the farm are allowed to grow their own crops in these areas. There is also some land reserved as forest, providing a sanctuary for migrant birds.

San Rafael is also benefited by small natural springs, which give clean drinking water and irrigation for the seedlings in the nursery. They have now piped this spring over 1.5km to their mill and use it for the washing and pulping of the cherries (the raw coffee beans). The farm is also next to the Guacalote River, which is used to provide hydraulic energy to the coffee mill.

This is a genuine Antigua coffee as certified by the APCA, the genuine Antigua Coffee Growers Association. The APCA was created by local producers in 2000 to protect the ‘Antigua’ reputation. Unfortunately, many lesser quality Guatemalan coffees were sold under this prestigious name and it became damaging for the true local producers. The APCA have gone on to help other growers in the area with training and support to further their craft. Enjoy!
Yours,
Heidi

 

 

 

Cabbage Fried Rice
Adapted from: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/cabbage-fried-rice

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 leek, halved or quartered lengthwise, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 cup thinly sliced or julienned carrots

4 cups shredded Savoy cabbage

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice

4 large eggs, beaten

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cook rice in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain immediately.
In a nonstick wok or large skillet, heat the oil. Add the leek, carrots and cabbage and stir-fry over high heat until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir-fry until heated through and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.

Push the fried rice to the side of the pan to create a well. Pour the eggs into the well and cook, stirring gently, until nearly cooked. Toss the fried rice with the eggs and cook for 1 minute longer. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, lime juice and scallions. Transfer the fried rice to bowls and serve.

Warm Golden Beet Salad with Greens and Almonds
Adapted from: http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-warm-golden-beet-salad-116139

1 ½ lbs golden beets (you received 2 lbs total in your share)
½ bunch of kale
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2/3 cup toasted almond slivers
Heat the oven to 425°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan or cake tin with a big square of foil, large enough to complete enclose the beet roots. Lightly rinse the beet roots to remove any really clumpy dirt and pat them dry. Place them in the foil square and lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Fold up the foil and crease to seal. Bake the beets for 60 minutes or until they can be just pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves from the stems, and chop leaves into bite-size ribbons. Rinse thoroughly. Discard stems. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat; add garlic. Cook on low for about 2 minutes or until garlic is golden and fragrant. Add kale leaves and stir to coat. Cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes or until leaves are soft and tender. Add a bit of water if needed to keep the kale from drying out/scorching. Remove from heat.
When the beets are cool, remove skins (they should slip off easily). Chop beets into bite-sized pieces and toss with the cooked greens, goat cheese, and almonds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

holidaybox_2015

Holiday Box – December 2015

What’s in the Box:

Green & Purple kohlrabi,
Delicata squash, Carnival squash, Mystery Winter squash
Baking potatoes, Austrian Crescent Potatoes
Leeks, Purple Carrots, Orange Carrots
Beets, Red Russian Kale
Parsley, Honey Crisp Apples
Farm honey

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the second and final holiday box.  For our Summer members, this is the final box that you will receive as part of your 2015 Summer share.  If you haven’t signed up for our Winter season yet, please consider joining us for January through March! http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/

If you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

This delivery’s boxes include a variety of produce from our farm, as well as Washington gorwn organic honey crisp apples and honey from hives that spent the Summer in our fields.  Please note that the honey tends to crystallize quickly, particularly in cooler temperatures.  Crystallization doesn’t affect the quality of the honey or its flavor, and it can be used as-is or decrystallized in a warm water bath.  I do not recommend microwaving the plastic containers. Also note that it is not recommended to give infants under one year of age any honey, raw or processed.  More information and general honey facts are at: http://www.honey.com/faq/

If you’d like more honey, we have some available for purchase on the website too! Please note that you must have an active subscription to purchase honey and other add-on items. http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/ (scroll down for Add-ons)

Enjoy!
Heidi
Kohlrabi, Apple, and Carrot Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Recipe adapted slightly from The Table: http://www.thetableblog.com/2013/06/kohlrabi-apple-and-carrot-salad/#.Vm9wcb-yqpM

2 Kohlrabi
1 Apple, preferably a tart green one
2 Carrots
1 1/2 Tbsp Honey
1  1/2 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Peel the kohlrabi, then slice and cut into matchsticks. Wash the carrots and cut them into matchsticks as well, or as close to matchsticks as possible. (Mine were short and chubby so this was a challenge.) Next, slice the apple and also cut it into matchsticks. You can peel the apple if you wish, but I didn’t.

In a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients (honey through vinegar). Screw the lid on and shake till well mixed. If you don’t have a jar, you can use a bowl and a whisk, but I highly recommend saving a jar or two for making homemade dressing. So easy! Taste the dressing and add more honey or mustard to taste. Then toss all together and enjoy!
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons
Adapted from: Bon Appétit December 1996
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-soup-with-gruyere-croutons-2997
The drier squashes will work well in this recipe; use the Delicata sparingly if you choose to include it, as it is very sweet.

Soup:

1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
Approximately 40 oz low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
8 cups 1-inch pieces (carefully!) peeled Winter squash (about 3 pounds total)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Croutons:

2 Tablespoons butter
24 baguette bread slices, 1/4-inch-thick
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

 

holiday box 2015

Holiday Box – November 2015

What’s in the Box:

Celery, Celeriac, Kabocha squash, Delicata squash
Potatoes-Baking, Austrian Crescent Potatoes
Rutabaga, Leeks, Carrots
Mixed beets-Red & Chioggia
Onions. Apples-Pink lady, Kale
Gold Chard, Parsley, Thyme

Today is the first holiday box!  Summer members, you receive this box as part of your 2015 Summer share, and will receive the December holiday box on December 15th.  Please note that no deliveries will take place between November 24th-December 8th

For those of you who have signed up for the Holiday and/or Winter season, welcome!  We will deliver produce Tuesday (tomorrow) to your pick up location.  If you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.  We are happy to talk you through your first pick up!

I have included some of my favorite holiday recipes below, as well as new recipes to try out.

Enjoy!

Heidi

First, check out this article with great celery recipes at Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/celery-recipe-raw-braised_n_2536087.html

 

Baked Delicata Squash with Apple Stuffing Adapted from Cooks.com
This is a favorite dish of mine, which can also be found (among many other recipes) at our website:http://www.boistfortvalleyfarm.com/recipesAdd sausage if desired… it’s excellent with or without.

1 large Delicata squash
2 small apples, unpeeled, diced
2 tbsp. diced celery
1/4 cup minced leeks
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. butter
2 tbsp. water
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut squash in half. Remove seeds; place cut side down in a baking dish with about 1/4 inch of water.

Combine apples, celery, walnuts and leeks. Add butter & water. Salt to taste.  Put in separate baking dish & cover.

Bake both for 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and fill squash with apple mixture.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Thyme

A medium mixing bowl of vegetables, scrubbed well and cut into bite-sized pieces.  Consider adding squash, carrots, beets, onions, rutabaga, potatoes…
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
3 Tbsp Olive oil, or enough to lightly coat vegetables
½ tsp each Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss vegetables, thyme, and oil together.  Add salt and pepper and toss well. Place in large baking dish.  Add broth and cover.  Bake 30 minutes, then remove cover and continue to cook about 30 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned in places.


Kabocha Squash Cake with Brown Sugar Cream

Adapted from: Bon Appétit September 2007 Room 4 Dessert by Will Goldfarb

Brown sugar cream:
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large egg whites

Cakes:
2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled seeded kabocha squash (from one 3-pound squash)
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 tablespoons safflower oil
1/4 cup lager (mild-flavored beer)
1 large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For brown sugar cream:
Place 1 tablespoon water in cup. Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 10 minutes to soften.

Stir cream and sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add egg whites and whisk until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes (do not boil). Add gelatin mixture; whisk until dissolved. Strain into large clean bowl. Chill until cold. Cover and chill overnight.

For cakes:
Combine squash and milk in heavy small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Drain squash. Place in processor and blend until smooth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray six 3/4cup ramekins with nonstick spray. Place 1/2 cup squash puree in large bowl (reserve remaining puree for another use). Add sugar, oil, beer, and egg to puree and beat to blend. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt over; beat to blend. Divide batter among prepared ramekins.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool cakes in ramekins. Turn out onto plates. Beat brown sugar cream to firm peaks; spoon alongside cakes.

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_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

2015_may_week1

Winter 2015 – May, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Austrian Crescent potatoes*, Beets*, Leeks*, Cameo Apples,
Asparagus, Radishes, Turnips, Rhubarb, Shiitake Mushrooms,
Spinach, Thyme*, Black Sheep Creamery fresh cheese
*from our farm, all other produce is organic & NW grown

 

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE CONTAINER OF CHEESE!

This has been a tough Spring for us, not weather wise (how could we complain about this gorgeousness??), but rather, equipment-wise.  Two tractors giving us trouble, two sets of disks falling apart, literally, in the field (so much for that weld)… and where on earth is the fertilizer?

In the short-term, we have rented a tractor from a dealership (yes, indeed, a tractor dealer-it’s the shiniest piece of equipment we’ve had on the farm since Mike painted our ’48 Farmall) and Mike is powering through to the best of his ability.  We are blessed to have some amazing folks in our community (Shout out to Steve VanTuyl, who is an outstanding builder/welder, and even talks to us when we interrupt his weekends).  In the challenging times, we find the reasons that we love what we do, and we cling to those things (even if we’re swearing under our breath).  Thanks to all of you for being a reason to love our work!

We aren’t quite full steam ahead yet, but we are on our way.  The greenhouse is jam packed, and we’re anticipating taking the seedlings to the field this week and weekend.  Wish us luck!  And functioning equipment!

Also, I’m trying to post our progress on Facebook from time to time, so if you’re curious, go check it out!

Yours,

Heidi

December Holiday Box

Winter 2014 – December Holiday Box

What’s in the box?

Red Russian Kale, Italian Parsley, Parsnips, Rutabaga,
Mixed Beets, Rainbow Carrots, Leeks, D’ Anjou Pears,
Shallots, Garlic, Austrian Crescent Potatoes, Yellow Potatoes (Chieften),
Orange Kabocha Squash, Carnival Squash, Dried Statice

 

Welcome Dear Friends,

I am not sure what the word is to describe looking back at the newsletters from previous years to get inspiration and realizing the cyclical nature of farming; telling, revelatory, obvious… I could quite literally cross out the date on many of these and write the current date in with crayon. December’s delivery is historically just before the solstice; a time of renewal, a time of hope. These are the shortest days of the year. Depressing? Maybe, but consider this: the solstice is the turning point. Starting December 21st our days will begin to get longer: hope. Maybe the word I’m looking for is humility.

Suddenly, it seems, I have been farming for a long time. I have been here before, writing this letter in the warm office while the crew slogs through the mud, missing my daily role in the fields AND being thankful that I do not have to be out there, puzzling over what to use to fill the deliveries AND marveling at all that is still available from the farm. I remember this, each year, watching the fields get wetter and colder, watching the storage crops dwindle, witnessing the end of the season AND starting to think about the seed order. I am beginning to look back at the 2014 season AND look ahead to the 2015 season; gauge our successes and failures, assess our situation financial and otherwise AND plan for the coming year with a sense of hope and optimism.

Solstice: from the Latin for sun and ‘to stand still’. So I think we do, stand still that is, this time of year. We stand and look back and look forward, we reflect and plan.

And here is to this season bringing peace and satisfaction.

Enjoy your Solstice,

Mike

PS: there are just too many good recipes to list. I have included two of my favorites for this time of year. Our website has so many more, and they are so easy to search by ingredient. Please take advantage of these and enjoy your holiday meals!

box_111014_nonjank

Winter 2014 – November Holiday Box

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Red Russian Kale, Thyme, Mixed Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Leeks,
Turnips, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Austrian Crescent Potatoes, Yellow Potatoes,
Delicata Squash, Pie Pumpkins, Honey Crisp Apples, Ornamental Gourds

 

Welcome Dear Friends to our November CSA,

This has long been one of my favorite deliveries, in part because these vegetables just taste better after a frost. I think too, that as a farmer, I have more time and energy to savor food and focus on the part of farming that I love. The air is crisp and cold, the crew is down from 25 or so to 12 or so, I get the time to check in with people, not just about the farm, but about them. We still run hard this time of year but it is a far cry from the juggernaut of the summer and fall season. I have even been frequenting the Farmers’ Market in Ballard and connecting with customers up there.

Today, I am in the office, buttoning up the final details of the coming delivery. The sun is beaming through the window that looks through our small but ancient home orchard and on to the perennial garden. Soon I will up and go out and check on the condition of the leeks, meet with the crew in the pack shed and get a broad overview of how we are coming along; harvesting under harsh conditions and washing and storing with freezing temperatures in mind.

If you glance at the contents of this box you will notice that much of what we deliver this time of year is for storage. You will also notice the foundation of an excellent holiday feast. I apologize in advance for filling your crisper drawer to overflowing, but please note that the squash, onions, potatoes, and garlic will do quite well in the garage or on the table in a basket.

The boxes are gorgeous, if I do say so myself, I just got back in. The pack crew has everything assembled and the boxes are being loaded into our refrigerated trucks; not to cool them, but rather to keep them from freezing. The colors and textures of these large boxes are amazing. It is a rare treat to have greens and roots and alliums and squash and even a bunch of fresh herbs all at once. You will see what I mean when you taste the kale and leeks, they are just a few degrees better than before the frost.

The field crew is still out harvesting leeks, and I am on to assemble the paperwork and everything else that goes into a CSA delivery. Our driver will be here at 0-dark thirty, and in a few hours you will have this produce, literally straight from the field, in your kitchen.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Winter 2014 – January, week 1

What’s in the Box:

Bulk chioggia and red beets*,
Bulk carrots*, Bulk purple carrots*,
Garlic*, Rutabaga*, Acorn Squash*,
Leeks*, Parsnips*, Yellow onions,
Austrian Crescent potatoes,
Bosc pears, Braeburn apples,
& Black Sheep Creamery cheese
*From our farm

 

Please take 1 cheese.

Dear Members,

I have to admit, when I opened the notes to begin writing I was delighted to find that there was so little room left once the recipes were included. Some days I just have more to say than others. I do hope you all enjoyed the holidays and that your transition back to the grind or the life or just getting the kids back to school and into the routine again has gone smoothly. The house still smells mildly of frankincense and myrrh, and I am happy to report that my annual jigsaw puzzle (this year a 1500 piece Springbok) is on schedule for completion. I set out a puzzle every year on the dining room table and endeavor to complete it before starting the seed order on the same table. The puzzle comes out after the plates are cleared from Christmas dinner, and must be finished in enough time to complete the seed order by January 15th. I am going to be pushing it but I’m confident. I love the annual jigsaw; a concrete and hopeful metaphor. I start by turning all the pieces over, then attempt to identify all the edges, then construct the outline, then separate by color and texture, then begin to fit the puzzle together, one piece at a time, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, until the image begins to take shape, eventually matching the perfect picture as it appears on the box top. More things in life should be like this.

Enjoy this deliveries add-on; Black Sheep Creamery’s Tin Willow Tomme. Tomme is a type of cheese produced mainly in the French Alps, and is traditionally a bit lower in fat than other more ‘full’ cheeses. Brad at Black Sheep identifies it as a bit milder by comparison, and an excellent cheese to pair with fruit and a red wine for an appetizer. Check out Black Sheep Creamery on the web at www.blacksheepcreamery.com .

Mike