2015summer_week9

Summer 2015 – September, Week 9

What’s in the Box:

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

Dear Members,

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!
Heidi

2015_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

Summer 2014 – Week 16

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash, Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Small shares:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash,  Tomatoes, Arugula,
Italian Parsley,  Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples  & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Family shares:
Carrots, Celery, Delicata Squash,  Arugula, Cauliflower,
Italian Parsley,  Cherry Tomatoes,
September Fuji Apples & 1 Bunch of Flowers

 

September 30, 2014

Please remember to take: 1 bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

Here we are, sixteen weeks into the summer season.  As the season has progressed, I have been continually struck by the level of dedication, care, hard work, and coordination involved in bringing a box of CSA vegetables to your table.

This is the beauty of the CSA model.  You, the consumer, have the opportunity to KNOW the farmer, the work, and the process which provides the food you eat. With this in mind, I would like to acknowledge our team here at Boistfort Valley Farm; the hands that bring you your weekly boxes.

Our Field Crew begins work at 6:00 each morning.  They spend most of their days harvesting; cutting greens, picking tomatoes and pulling root vegetables.  They work with a careful eye and a skilled hand.  Directed by Jesus, our field manager, they have their work down to an art, harvesting for quality, quantity, uniformity, and aesthetics.

Our Pack Shed Crew works equally hard, as they process everything the field crew harvests.  They wash and weigh the produce, and pack each box to our standards of excellence.

Joey has diligently delivered your boxes all season, persevering through some crazy Seattle construction and constant traffic conditions. He is supported by a wild card team of local farm supporters like Hannah and Darrin who pick up a CSA delivery here and there, drive our wholesale deliveries, and do markets.

There is Galilee, whose beautiful bouquets brighten our boxes and Nile, our experienced mechanic and farm hand.  Bj processes your orders, runs our office and answers your calls.  And Mike, owner and farmer, plans, directs and oversees this whole process. All cogs in the wheel of Boistfort Valley Farm. None of this possible without you and the faith you place in us to put the fruits of our labors on your table.

Bravo!

-Emily

A reminder: There are only two days left to take advantage of the Winter CSA promotion offered only to current customers. Get yours and or buy one for a friend or family member! To sign up now 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

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