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_summerweek14

Summer 2015 – October, Week 14

What’s in the Box:

Corn! Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Celery root (celeriac), Leeks, Sweet Onions, Purple beans, Italian zucchini, Thyme

Our preparation for Winter continues!  Mike has begun cover cropping the fields, we have tucked the last of the Winter squash into storage (expect some in your shares soon!), and we are making the most of the daylight as the darkness creeps into our work time.  We still have a few high Summer vegetables this week, but the rain and cold will finish them off in a hurry.

We are excited to finally send you some corn!  Initially dubbed “Christmas Corn” by Mike (as we jokingly hoped it would be mature by December), we are pleased to have it before Hallowe’en.  Enjoy it right away-it’s sweetest when fresh picked.

This is most likely the last of the fresh beans for this season (fresh beans being green, purple, yellow, and Roma).  Rain generally diminishes their crispness and makes them harder to keep.  Please eat your purple beans quickly this week!

I have added a few veggies to the website for add-on purchase; specifically, carrots, beets, and kraut cabbage.  Additional quantities for eating, juicing, or preserving can be ordered with any of your share deliveries.  Please remember to order 72 hours in advance of the delivery day!

We anticipate having our full Winter shares available for sign up on the web site by the end of this week.  This season we have elected to shorten the Winter/Spring season, to highlight more of our own produce and minimize outside purchasing if at all possible.  Deliveries will be twice monthly through the end of March.  We will include local ‘extras’ as we have in seasons past, such as cheeses, coffee, kraut, in addition to our dry beans and farm honey.  I’ll send out a notice when the share goes live!

I’m making a LOT of soup lately, to help combat the dampness creeping into my bones.  Here are a couple recipes for you to try out.

Enjoy,
Heidi

 

 

Carrot, Celery, and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
Adapted from recipe found at: OChef.com, From 300 Sensational Soups, by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

For Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, stem thinly sliced and rinsed to remove any soil
6 carrots (about 12 oz, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 sprigs thyme
Pinch each freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
2 vegetable bouillion cubes (no salt added)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

For Cornbread Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
pinch of garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use plain Greek yogurt and water instead, since I rarely have buttermilk)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup corn kernels

In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, garlic, black pepper and cayenne; sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream, thyme (as whole sprigs-just remove stems from soup before serving) and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you assemble the dumplings.

Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour over dry ingredients, along with corn. Using a large spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mixed. (Don’t overmix, or the dumplings will be heavy and tough.) Drop dumpling batter by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Double Celery and Potato Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2003

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes (about 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1- inch cubes
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
5 celery stalks with leaves, stalks thinly sliced, leaves reserved
1/3 cup whipping cream

Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery roots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Add celery stalks and simmer until all vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Using handheld blender, puree soup in pot. Stir cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with reserved celery leaves and serve.

 

2015summer_week11

Summer 2015 – October, Week 11

What’s in the Box:

Celery, Cucumbers, Yellow & Purple beans, Bell pepper,
Baby bok choy, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Cameo apples,
Dried Lavender (not intended for eating)

Dear Members,

What do farmers do when they take a weekend trip out of town? Visit other farms of course. It kind of sounds silly reading it, but that is exactly what Heidi and Nat and I did this past weekend. We pointed the Ford f-350 north and headed up to the Skagit Valley to check out some farms and ranches during their two day ‘Festival of Family Farms’. We visited Cascadian Farm outside Rockport and checked out their blueberry harvester and had ice cream and actually picked a few pumpkins. We spent a few hours painting baby pumpkins and shopping for a variety of unique plants at Cloud Mountain outside Everson. We had brisket and corn on the cob, and visited with cattle and draft horses at Ovenell’s Double O Ranch outside Concrete. In short, we had a whirlwind tour of some great farms in the Skagit Valley and left with a deep appreciation for the farms themselves and what they are doing, as well as a lot of respect for the way Whatcom county has supported them and created an atmosphere where the contribution these agricultural businesses make to the community and the region are highlighted and acknowledged. Are you listening Lewis County?

This week’s delivery continues the trend into fall and includes some cool weather loving Bok Choy, some fresh crop apples, and our first celery. Also included in this delivery is two bunches of dried lavender. It was harvested this Summer and was hung in the barn to dry.  What to do with a bunch of dried lavender? Put it into a vase to enjoy as a dry bouquet, or make a lavender sachet to place in a drawer or somewhere you would like a fresh scent.

What you’ll need for a lavender sachet:

A square of pretty fabric (Heidi recommends at least an 8″ square)

A ribbon to tie it with-long enough to make a bow
Remove the lavender flowers from their stems with your fingertips over a large cookie sheet or bowl. Place the flowers in the center of the cloth, fold the fabric on the diagonal and gather the fabric edges together.  Tie at least an inch below the fabric edges and trim any long edges. Easy!

Please enjoy this week’s delivery and stay tuned as we continue our journey into Fall.

Mike

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

 

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 12

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Snow peas, Celery, Cherry Tomato,
Sweet Corn, Purplette Onions,
Summer Squash, Cucumbers,
Thai Basil, Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Small shares:
Snow peas, Celery, Purplette Onions,
Cherry Tomato, Chard,Sweet Corn,
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Thai Basil,
Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Family shares:
Snow peas, Celery, Walla Walla Spring Onions,
Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, Chard, Sweet Corn,
Eggplant, Cucumbers, Thai Basil,
Jalapenos & 1 Bunch of Flowers
Please remember to take: 1 Bunch of Flowers

 
Dear Friends,

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like ears of sweet corn: buttery, salty, and delicious.  Here at the Farm, our corn crop is in full harvest, and we are thrilled to add it to this week’s delivery. For me, the first ripe ear of corn is rivaled only by the first ripe strawberry, and I am glad they don’t happen at the same time. I could never choose.

Sweet corn, though it has become a bit of a novelty in our modern culture, has an ancient history of necessity for the Latin American world.  Originating as a wild grass in southern Mexico, it was first domesticated between 9000 and 8000 B.C.  By 1500 B.C. it had become an essential part of the diet and culture of the Olmecs and Mayans, who used it for food, medicine, and utilitarian purposes such as baskets and moccasins.

When purchasing sweet corn seed, today’s farmer has myriad choices. Corn has been bred perhaps more than any other plant. There are super sweets, sugar enhanced, super sugar enhanced… and those are just the descriptors. Then one has to choose color, finishing date, and too many other characteristics to mention.  While we love the ‘sweetness’ of corn, we also value traditional corn flavor, and choose varieties that have a flavor that is not overshadowed by pure sticky sweetness.

This year at Boistfort Valley Farm, we are growing two varieties of sweet corn.  ‘Luscious’, an early bi-color and a new (to us) variety that replaces an old favorite, and ‘Bodacious’, a yellow sweet corn whose old-fashioned flavor is a real standout.

As always, thank you for choosing us to be your farmers.  Enjoy the bounty this week!

-Emily