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.

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

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

Winter 2014 – February, week 1

What’s in the Box:

Carrots*, Purple carrots*,
Garlic*, Parsnips*, Leeks*,
Dried lavender*, Woogie Bee Honey,
Braeburn apples, Concorde pears,
Cremini mushrooms, Yellow onions
& Russet potatoes.
*From our farm

 

Dear Members,

Whenever anyone has a complaint about the weather here in western Washington I am quick to say that I can’t help but like it – I live here on purpose. The trick, of course, is to live here with purpose.  Farmers like Mike and Heidi are full of purpose.  Watching plans take shape for all that will be produced and delivered in the coming year (and beyond) is an amazing coming together of dreams and realities intricately fitted together – not unlike Mike’s annual jigsaw puzzle. The framing pieces are your plans for a delicious, healthy and purposeful life. You are the anchor piece in our plans and we are so proud to be part of yours.

Even though we are still working in a little snow here in the Boistfort Valley and have lots of yummy fare still coming in our Winter Shares, the 2014 Summer Season is taking shape!  As in years past, we are offering Early Bird pricing for Summer Shares paid for in full before May 1st.  It is one way for us to say thank you for supporting your local organic farmer and participating in the stewardship of western Washington farmland.

Please visit the website at http://www.boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store and place your order, either paying in full or using the handy installment plan.  We deliver to a few less sites in winter so if the website doesn’t offer your favorite spot just remember that we will solidify our delivery calendar in June and we can update your delivery location then.

Rachel has come up with some first-rate recipes for this week’s offerings so I had best leave her a little room.  I find a lot of promise in a grey February day, as if some purpose is assured!  Let me know how we can help with your plans for the coming season.  I look forward to hearing from you.

– Bj

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