Winter 2016 CSA - Week 2

Winter 2016 – Week 2

What’s in the Box:

*Swiss Chard, *Kale-Purple, *Carrots , *Rutabaga, *Baking potatoes,
*Leeks, *Garlic, *Thyme, Yellow Onions (WA O), Parsnips (OR O),
Shallots (WA O), Fuji Apples (WA O), D’Anjou Pears (WA O),
Black Sheep Creamery Cheese (Adna, WA)
*grown on our farm

PLEASE TAKE ONE PACKAGE OF CHEESE.
Cheese is packed separately from your veggies to keep it cold.

Greetings from the Boistfort Valley!  The sunny weather has made me grateful and itchy to get outside and work, but the temperature fluctuations remind me of our reality.  Still, it’s nice to go out and trim back the perennials that escaped our attention during the busy seasons, soaking up a little sunshine as a side bonus.

I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic, Washington or Oregon grown.

Our cheese selection is from Black Sheep Creamery, located about 10 miles from us in Adna, Washington. Brad and Meg Gregory have owned the farm since 1992, and began making cheese over 10 years ago.  They just opened a retail store in downtown Chehalis, so if you’re in the area, stop in to say hello and to try a variety of their products.

“Bastille” cheese is aged two months and tastes young and creamy.  It is a washed curd, Sheep Cow Blend which is quite delicious.  Read more about Black Sheep Creamery, and see the sheep (and lambs!) at their website: http://blacksheepcreamery.com/

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

 

 

 

Roasted Parsnips Recipe

Adapted from: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_parsnips/

1 1/2 pounds of parsnips, scrubbed, quartered lengthwise, cut into sticks (think French fry size)

1 generous Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons butter, softened

4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish (how to make homemade horseradish)

2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley or thyme (stems removed)

1 garlic clove, minced.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add the broth, cover and roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are just tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-30 minutes. Remove cover and allow liquid to evaporate and parsnips to brown slightly in places.  Depending on your oven, you may have to broil them briefly to avoid overcooking.

Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter and serve.

Leek and Root Vegetable Gratin
Adapted from http://www.recipe.com/leek-and-root-vegetable-gratin/

8 ounces Gruyere or Muenster cheese, shredded (2 cups)

1 Tablespoon finely chopped thyme and/or parsley

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 large rutabaga (about 1 lb.), peeled and thinly sliced

1 pound baking potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced

2-3 leeks (2 cups), cleaned and thinly sliced

1 pound large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced (you received 1 1/2 lbs)

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

Assorted fresh herbs for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In small bowl toss together cheese and chopped herbs; set aside. Coat a 3 qt. rectangular baking dish with olive oil. Layer half the turnip slices on the bottom of the dish, sprinkling salt, pepper, and 3 to 4 tablespoons the cheese mixture.  Follow with half the potato slices, half the leek slices, half the parsnip slices, and half the sweet potato slices, seasoning and adding cheese to each layer. Repeat, ending with sweet potato slices. Reserve remaining cheese mixture.

Cover with foil. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle remaining cheese mixture over top. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Remove from oven. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Pears with Bastille, Leeks and Fresh Thyme

Don’t layer your pears too much-you want them to get a little crispy around the edges.  If you don’t have the time to put this into the oven, just slice up the cheese and the pears and eat them together.

1 small leek, cleaned, stem sliced into thin coins

1 Tablespoon butter

1 medium D’Anjou pear

6-8 thin slices Black Sheep Creamery Bastille Cheese

A handful of sprigs of thyme

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the leek gently in butter, until soft and slightly browned in places, about 5 minutes. Slice the pear into thin slices (about 8 slices, keeping the odd bits to eat as you go).  Grease a glass baking dish with a bit of butter, and lay the pear slices in a single layer.  Top each pear with 1 slice of cheese and lay thyme across crosswise.  Bake, uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and pears are soft and a little crispy at the edges.  You may finish these with a quick broil to brown a bit.  (Note: thyme stems aren’t to be eaten)

summer2015_week2

Summer 2015 – August, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

new potatoes, garlic, green kohlrabi, sweet onions, scarlet turnips, red Russian Kale, Italian parsley, purple radishes, blueberries, Lilies

Two notes on the lilies:
1. If your cat likes to chew on your flowers, please keep them up and out of range-lilies are toxic to cats. I have kitties and mine aren’t interested in the lilies, but best to mention it!
2. As soon as your lilies open, pull the anthers to keep them from dropping pollen.

Dear Members,

Today’s boxes, with exception of potatoes and blueberries, are decidedly Spring-like. A little disconcerting for the first week of August, but Summer vegetables are on the way—the zucchini are flowering and growing quickly, the cherry and grape tomatoes are beautiful and turning orange, the pepper plants have little bell peppers already! Our beans are setting velvety purple flowers, and will soon have gorgeous baby beans. We look forward to the abundance of the season soon.

Today’s boxes also include certified organic blueberries from Sidhu Farms in Puyallup. We are excited to partner with other organic growers to include fruit when we can, and especially excited about blueberries! We hope to include organic nectarines and peaches with your upcoming deliveries.

The weather is unlike any season in my farming history. Drier and hotter than ever, it makes growing a challenge and thoughtful water use a must. With no substantial precipitation in sight the field edges and landscapes feel like so much kindling ready to be lit. We don’t have any fires burning around us at this time, thankfully.

Our hearts go out to growers and processors in Washington who have suffered fire damage or are actively working to protect their farms and buildings, and our gratitude to those who are out fighting fires. More information about wildfires currently burning in Washington, acreage, and level of containment can be found here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/

On a different note, I have to admit that I have a love for the Splendid Table, a radio program hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. http://www.splendidtable.org/bio/lynne-rossetto-kasper I appreciate (and identify with) how excited she gets about her food, and I pick up lots of great little notes that make me more thoughtful in the kitchen. This week she was talking a bit about garlic. She indicated that you should never deeply brown garlic, just cook it until it’s fragrant and cooked through, to avoid bitterness. A great tip for this week’s recipes!

Yours,
Heidi

Sautéed Radishes and Greens

1 bunch radishes with greens
4 teaspoons butter, divided
Pinch of sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Wash radishes and greens well. Quarter radishes and roughly chop radish greens. Set greens aside.
Heat 2 tsp butter in a skillet and sauté radishes with salt until lightly browned in places. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining butter in skillet and add in garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add greens and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Toss in parsley, then radishes, and remove from heat. Serve hot.

Garlicky Red Potatoes with Sweet Onion & Parsley

2 lbs new potatoes
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam until just tender (about 10 minutes).

In a skillet, drizzle olive oil (a scant Tablespoon or so) and add onion. Saute until translucent and soft, then add minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add parsley and cooked potatoes, along with more olive oil if needed to keep potatoes from sticking. Toss well and remove from heat.

Kohlrabi and Turnip Slaw
adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/1049900/kohlrabi-and-turnip-slaw

1 pound kohlrabi (about 2 small heads)
8 ounces turnips
Half of a sweet onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Cut kohlrabi in half and carefully peel it. Wash turnips and trim roots.
Shred both kohlrabi and turnips with a grater or a food processor with a shredding blade.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, peanut oil, honey, and sesame oil. Add onion, kohlrabi and turnip to bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

Curried Kale

1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, or enough to moisten the bottom of the pan
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup water

Sauté onion with olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and browned in places. Add kale and water, then cover, allowing to simmer approximately 8 minutes.

Remove lid and sprinkle kale with curry powder and tamari, then cover and cook a bit longer, until leaves are just tender. Remove lid completely and increase heat to medium high. Cook about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, to reduce water.

February_week1_2015

Winter 2015 – February, Week 1

What’s in the box?

Red Russian Kale*, Parsley*, Carrots*, Rutabaga*, Garlic*, Crescent Potatoes*,
Winter Squash Surprise!*, Teggia Dry Beans*, Piñata Apples, Santa Lucia Coffee
*From our farm

 

Greeting Friends,

This week’s CSA contains some one of a kind treats with an unseasonable majority of selections grown right here on our farm!

Recent warm weather has put new growth on both our parsley and kale and we have included a bunch of each in this box. The last planting of carrots, though dwindling, is still representin’, and our potatoes are holding well in storage. You may have noticed that “squash surprise” is listed above. The surprise is that though we checked on the quality of our squash ten days ago, when we went in to pull the squash for this week’s pack we found that a majority had molded!!! A result of the perfect climate: 60degrees and 90% humidity. Everyone gets some squash, but there is no telling what variety you will receive. We used everything we had. The bad news is there is no more winter squash; the good news is there is no more winter squash.

Also included this week are two of my absolute favorites: the Piñata apple, which I believe may be my favorite fresh eating apple, and coffee from a local roaster that has actually developed a relationship with a grower in Gautemala. Read on…

Piñata isa signature apple variety, grown only by select growers and packed by Stemilt in Wenatchee. In the 1970s, researchers in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany crossed three heirloom apples – Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg – to create what we now know as Piñata. The apple was released commercially throughout Europe in 1986. The Piñata apple thrives in eastern Washington’s arid climate and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after varieties thanks to its unique tropical flavor and stellar crunch.

Santa Lucia Coffee is proud to offer a direct trade coffee from the Martinez family. Finca Vista Hermosa operates in a sustainable manner, providing social and economic support to their community. Above and below the farm are belts of virgin rain forest; dense jungles filled with an abundance of plants and animals. Coffee is planted under native shade trees, which provides ideal growing conditions and mitigates erosion. Although not certified organic, Finca Vista Hermosa uses environmentally sound practices, composting and recycling all their coffee and water waste from processing and harvesting. They use a natural fertilizer, and no chemical pesticides are used on the farm. The result is a much healthier ecosystem.

ENJOY!!!!

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

Vodka Kale Risotto

Vodka Kale Risotto & Acorn Squash

What do you get when two Russians and two Italians walk into a bar? Vodka Kale Risotto. We spun your traditional Risotto by adding vodka and a delicious stinky Italian cheese, Gorgonzola. They’re BFF’s and play well with Russian Kale. In your recent Winter CSA share, we threw in some wonderful kale, garlic and some acorn squash – all of which was used to make this nice little dinner recipe. Don’t forget to serve it with a nice martini, stirred not shaken with 2 olives. (Yes, I said stirred.)

“Happiness is…finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.” ~Johnny Carson

You may be telling yourself, “But I can’t make risotto! I’ve heard of chef Gordan Ramsay teleporting directly to people’s kitchens across the globe to swear profusely at them for $!*#ing up his beloved dish.” I cannot confirm nor deny that Gordan Ramsay will swear at you for messing up the risotto but making it is quite easy once you get your technique down. What the heck is risotto exactly? Creamy Italian rice. Simple right? It’s first cooked in a fat (butter and olive oil for this recipe) and cooked slowly, stirring constantly over a period of time in order to release the natural starch from the rice, called amylopectin. FOOD SCIENCE! Once the rice becomes al dente (we’ll get to that part later) we add the cheese to create the yummy deliciousness that is a signature feature of risotto. Still confused? Don’t worry, I’ve given a step-by-step process below on how to make the perfect risotto, every time. Hooray! Lets get started…

Recipe by: Mirinda @ Boistfort Valley Farm

 

RISOTTO INGREDIENTS
serves 6-8
2 cups Italian arborio rice
1 1/4 cups Italian Gorgonzola cheese (packed and cubed)
1 cup Russian Vodka
1 1/2 cups Russian Red Kale
8 cups of good quality Vegetable Broth (or chicken)
1 small Onion (finely minced)
2-3 cloves of chopped Garlic
8 Tbsp of Butter (good quality pasture raised)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
———
ACORN SQUASH INGREDIENTS
1 large or 2 medium acorn squash
2-3 Tbsp of chili infused Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

The first rule of risotto making is to prepare your Mise en place. Which is the French term for “putting in place”, as in set up. Risotto requires constant attention otherwise you can potentially ruin it. So, get everything and I mean everything ready to go and give yourself a nice 20-30 minutes of one-on-one time with your trusty stove top. Scared yet? No? Okay, now we can start.

Vodka Kale Risotto

Lets get started.

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2.  Prepare all of the following risotto ingredients. Cube and pack 1 1/2 cups of Gorgonzola cheese. Finely mince your onion and set aside. Smash and chop your garlic cloves and set aside. Chop up your kale and set aside.
  3. For your vegetable broth, place in a separate stock pot and heat to a medium temperature. This is a key step and remember to always keep your broth at the same temperature that you cook your rice. Let this get to temperature while we take care of some other stuff.
  4. Onto the Acorn Squash… Cut your squash in half, lengthwise and clean out the seeds and goop with a metal spoon. After your squash is cleaned, slice it into 1″ pieces and arrange on a baking sheet.

    It looks so pretty doesn't it?

    Does it look pretty? DOES IT?!

  5. Lightly drizzle your squash with the chili infused olive oil. Sprinkle the dried oregano and paprika on your squash and add a a little salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. (This should take about as long as it will take to cook the risotto)
  6. Lets get back to the main dish. In a large saute pan (preferably something with a thick bottom so you don’t burn the rice) heat your butter and olive oil on medium/low heat. Using a really good quality butter will make a huge difference in how your risotto tastes (in my personal opinion) so stick with a good pasture butter like Kerrygold, Organic Valley or some nice homemade butter from your local farm.
  7. Add your rice and minced onions and cook (stirring frequently) until the rice is transparent and very lightly toasted. This should take around 3-4 minutes.

    Here's your butter, oil, onions and rice begging to be cooked.

    Here’s your butter, oil, onions and rice begging to be cooked.

  8. Now we add the vodka and chopped garlic. Gently stir the rice, vodka and garlic until the booze is well absorbed by the rice.

    Let the rice absorb all of the vodka before adding your broth.

    Let the rice absorb all of the vodka before adding your broth.

  9. At this point, we begin adding the broth. TWO ladles at a time. Add two ladles of broth  the dried oregano, 1/2 tsp of pepper and STIR your risotto constantly until the broth has been absorbed. If you’re arm gets tired, you can always take a quick.  Once that happens, you can add two more ladles of broth and repeat. Risotto is made by adding broth slowly over a period of time. Adding too much liquid at one time can make your risotto turn out runny. Be patient young padawan.
  10. Open up your oven and check on your squash. Is it done? Good. Now remove it and set aside. Dinner is almost ready!

    Halfway there. Your risotto should start taking on it's creamy character.

    Halfway there. Your risotto should start taking on it’s creamy character.

  11. Now here’s the tricky part. Just because we have 8 cups of broth in that separate pan does not mean you’ll always use up the entire pot of broth. It’s always good to have a little too much broth leftover than not enough broth when you’re learning this dish. Good judgement comes into play at this stage. As you’re stirring (you didn’t forget the part about stirring constantly right?) give your risotto a little taste. Does it need salt? Add a little. How close is it to being al dente? What the heck does al dente mean? This is where we use the smear test. Here’s a great link you can use as a guide.
  12. Using the smear test link above – when your rice starts to look like the piece on the lower left, add your chopped kale. Now you can start adding your broth ONE ladle full at a time. Don’t forget to stir!
  13. Check your rice again. Does it look like the lower middle piece in the photo of the link I provided you? Yes? GOOD! Now you’re al dente. Remove from the heat and add your Gorgonzola cheese. Stirring well until all of the cheese has melted and is incorporated into the dish. The final product should look creamy and firm but not runny.
  14. Serve your risotto with the yummy squash you just pulled out of the oven and dust with a little paprika. Congratulations, you just made risotto! Enjoy!
Winter CSA

Winter 2015 – January, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Teggia Dry Beans*, Red Russian Kale*, Parsnips*, Carrots*
Fingerling Potato Mix*, Garlic*, Acorn Squash*, Butternut Squash*
Red D’Anjou Pears, Fuji Apples,
Black Sheep Creamery’s: Mopsie’s Best
*From our farm

Dear Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed some time with friends and family over the past two weeks. After harvest the afternoon of December 23rd, we all cleaned up our gear, whether it was a harvest knife, a field truck, or a desk, and took a nice long break. We just got back in this morning.

We returned to heavy rains. The field crew is out putting the final touches on the harvest for our deliveries this week. Bj and I are in the office sort of rearranging piles and playing a little catch up. Rachel and Maia are in the pack shed laying the foundation for this week’s deliveries.

The South Fork of the Chehalis is high and muddy, but staying within its banks. The river that bisects the farm and meanders through this Valley is largely influenced by springs and run off from the Eastern foothills of the Willipa Hills that stretch from here to the coast. If there is no snow in the hills we are relatively safe from flooding. This is not true of those rivers influenced by the Cascades. Whenever there are rains like these I spend a certain amount of time watching the river forecasts generated by NOAA: http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/

It’s not exactly funny cat videos on youtube, but it does give a fairly accurate projection of stream flow and gauge height of rivers and I am truly grateful for the tool. There are several local rivers that are up and over their banks, and many that have not yet peaked, but will do so tomorrow as the water drains from the upper watershed to the lower lying areas like Grand Mound and Porter. It takes almost twelve hours for the peak to reach the Centralia area from Adna near the farm, and another eight before it settle into the lower Chehalis by Ground Mound and Rochester. I can drive to Centralia in about twenty minutes. Fascinating yes?

Having been through a flood, and I could write volumes about that experience, I find myself a bit distracted and anxious whenever we get this much rain. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone that is being or might be affected by these recent rains. I am hopeful that our deliveries are not delayed, but this is not our first rodeo, and we do not anticipate any issues.

So without further ado, welcome to the first of ten January through May deliveries. You will notice the inclusion of some beautiful Eastern Washington fruit, as well as a local sheep’s cheese: Mopsie’s Best. Named after Brad and Meg’s first ewe, this is a hard cheese made with raw milk using an English recipe, and aged 6months. This cheese would pair beautifully with the pears and apples in this week’s delivery, as well as being a nice addition grated over baked or roasted squash and carrots.

Booya!
Mike

 

Teggia Beans

Teggia Beans drying in September.

Teggia beans on the vine.

Teggia beans on the vine.

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

 

October 30th, 2014

Summer 2014 – week 20

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley,
Mixed Peppers, Carnival Squash, Pears

Small shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears
Family shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears

Dear Friends,
Here we are at the last week of the Summer season. This is always a balancing act between the unbridled joy of a more relaxed schedule, and the very real feeling of sorrow. You will be missed. The CSA is a tangible way of connecting with our customers, and at the end of the day it is that connection that we value above all else. So let’s’ not say goodbye, but rather, see you later.
This week, we have included parsley and kale to round out our heartier offerings of winter squash, carrots and beets. The Chioggia Beets inconspicuously dull exterior hides a brilliant candy-striping of burgundy and white underneath. These can be sliced in salads for color and crunch or roasted with a bit of olive oil and garlic for a simple side dish; or you can include them in the Beet and Orzo recipe below. We have also included a healthy dose of mixed peppers, because they were just too beautiful not to share.

The garlic, our beautiful signature Carpathian, is included gratis. We cannot guarantee it free of mold. We have been growing this variety from our own seed since 1993. I thought we could outrun this issue by careful selection of seed stock, but it has gotten worse instead of better. We will carefully sort once more and plant only the best of the best. I am hopeful we can select this out, but even if we do, it may be two years or more before we have a marketable quantity again.

Also please note that we have placed this week’s flowers; a bouquet of dried Statice, inside the box itself.

We would like to thank you for accompanying us on this portion of our farming journey. This is the time to pause and appreciate you, our members. It is your support and faith in us that makes what we do possible, and we are humbly grateful.

We hope that you will continue to join us for this 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 for a great season!
-Emily, with a bit from Mike

 

 

Summer 2014 Week 19

Summer 2014 – Week 19

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Beans, Kohlrabi, Kale, Cucumber, Red Onions,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds
Small shares:
Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Spinach, Cucumbers,
Green Peppers, Red Onions,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds
Family shares:
Broccoli, Kohlrabi, Spinach, Cucumbers,
Shunkyo Radish, Red Onions, Garlic, Cilantro,
Buttercup Squash & Ornamental Gourds

 

October 21, 2014

Your box contains Ornamental Gourds, Please do not try to eat them! They are bagged to clearly identify them.

Dear Friends,

Next week will be our last delivery, unless of course you sign up for a Winter share!

Things become a bit more challenging here at the farm with the onset of the rainy season, both in the field and in the pack shed.  The work becomes heavier and slipperier. Everybody’s boots lug around an extra few pounds of mud if they have spent any amount of time in the fields.  As we are harvesting heartier vegetables such as potatoes and squash, the pack bins and boxes become heavier.  Yet our field and pack crews seem always to be smiling and full of kind words.  As I have mentioned before, I have the upmost respect for those who harvest and pack our boxes.

In your boxes this week, you will find an abundance of autumn vegetables, among them, broccoli, squash, red onions, and kohlrabi.

A note on the winter squash:  If your schedule prevents you from cooking yours right away, don’t worry–they can sit around on the counter for up to a couple of weeks.  The warmth of the kitchen only makes them sweeter.  They are also a colorful fall decoration, along with the Ornamental Gourds.

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