summer18

Summer 2014 – Week 18

What’s in the Box:

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

 

October 14, 2014

Please Remember to take 1 Carving Pumpkin

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks again!

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 15

What’s in the Box:

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

 

September 23, 2014

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 14

What’s in the Box:

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

 

September 18, 2014

Dear Friends,

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

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

Enjoy the precious fall air,

Galilee – the “flower girl”

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

Summer 2014 – Week 11

What’s in the Box:

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

 

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Emily

Summer 2014 – Week 9

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Beans, Cucumbers, Red Potatoes, Zucchini,
Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Small shares:
Red Potatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Cucumbers,
Green Peppers, Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Family shares:
Beans, Red Potatoes, Zucchini, Turnips, Cucumbers, Arugula,
Artichokes, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.

 

Please remember to take: 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

As I write this, the morning air is already hot and the sky hazy.  The weather forecasters are predicting mid-nineties today.  This time of year is known as the ‘dog days of summer,’ and for the farmer, it presents challenges which mark the realities of our work.  The long days of high temperatures take their toll on all of the vegetables, even the heat-loving plants.  We irrigate frequently to keep things fresh and lush.  Insect populations are also at their peak this time of the season.  Needless to say, we are working especially hard to maintain the abundance and quality you see in your boxes.

And on this note, your boxes reflect the high summer varieties of produce.  The cucumbers and squashes are abundant and beautiful this time of year.  The peppers, eggplant and tomatoes are just starting to ripen.

Here at the Farm, we have tried many varieties of vegetables and often grow some of the best tasting, though less familiar ones.  One example of this is our striped zucchini, better known as Italian zucchini.  These keep a little better than the green ones which everyone is so used to seeing.  Many of us think they have a better, nuttier flavor than the green variety.  They also hold up better in cooking, which makes them a great addition to sauces, pastas and stir-fries.

Another example of this is our snap beans.  We grow 3 varieties here—yellow, green and purple.  Which ones end up in your boxes depend on the ripening time and abundance of each crop.  They all have that good ‘ol beany flavor, though each is slightly unique with  its’ own very individual qualities. We hope that your experience as members of Boistfort Valley Farms’ CSA program, will give you a chance to expand your palate and explore varieties of vegetables you may not otherwise find at the supermarket.

We are already on Week #9 of our 2014 Summer Season but there are a few shares available.  Tell your friends!  Have a great week and enjoy the warmth of summer!

-Emily

summer8

Summer 2014 – Week 8

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Beans, Beets, Red Potatoes,
Red Cabbage, Savory & 2 Stems Lilies.
Small shares:
Beans, Beets, Red Potatoes,
Red Cabbage, Savory, Dill & 2 Stems Lilies.
Family shares:
Red Leaf Lettuce, Beans, Beets,
Red Potatoes, Red Cabbage, Savory,
Dill & 2 Stems Lilies.

 

Please remember to take: 2 Stem Lilies

Dear Friends,

Here we are, the first week of August already! These long, warm days bring an abundance of ripening vegetables, and our boxes are reflecting this with new varieties.

We are digging our first potatoes this week; Red Norlands. New potatoes are freshly harvested young potatoes; uncured and so sweet. They have paper-thin skins with lots of moisture inside.  Because they have such thin skins and high moisture levels, new potatoes don’t keep quite as well as more mature, cured, potatoes. Keep them in a paper bag or loosely wrapped plastic in the fridge and use them within a few days.  Don’t yield to the temptation to wash new potatoes before storing them. That bit of dirt clinging to their skins will actually help keep them fresh and any water on the outside will hasten bruising and softening.

We have also started harvesting our first crop of beets for the year, our varieties include: red, gold and the Italian heirloom: Chioggia. The bean harvest is also in full swing; these snap beans are tender enough to be eaten raw, right off the bush (or out of the CSA box).

This week, we have included both Dill and Savory.  Savory, also known as ‘Summer Savory’ is a traditional Mediterranean herb, used to season legumes, fish, eggs and vegetable dishes.  Both these herbs complement one another, and most of the vegetables in your boxes this week, as shown in the recipes below; just one more way we work to accommodate you, our CSA members in your kitchen ease and eating pleasure.

We hope you are enjoying your vegetables, herbs and flowers.  Thank you for your part in our farm—we so appreciate our lovely CSA members.  Have a great week!

Please also continue to talk us up to your friends and coworkers! Word of mouth is far and away our best advertising, and we still have plenty of room in the program for new members. Anyone interested in a Boistfort Valley Farm subscription can still sign up, their order is always pro-rated at the time they do.

Emily

A couple of notes on the included flowers:  When taking your lilies, please be gentle with the ones you are leaving for other members.  They are easily damaged from excessive handling.  Also, the falling pollen can stain a delicate tablecloth; when displaying your lilies, either put something underneath or pluck the little anthers out.  Thank you!