2015_summerweek15 copy

Summer 2015 – October, Week 15

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli
Bunched beets
Corn
Carrots
Sweet onions
Bell pepper
Purple kale
Italian parsley

 

November certainly brought some Autumn weather with it!  It rained about 4 ½ inches here over the weekend, making our field roads muddy and our poor crew soaked.  I’m ever grateful for every one of our farm family every day, but especially this time of year, when each set of hands makes the work just a little bit lighter.

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 your delivery day!

And while you’re on there…Winter shares are live on the web site! By signing up early, you help us to plan for our Winter, and save on your share cost.  As a current member, you should have received a promo code to use at checkout.  Let us know if you haven’t received yours.  The Winter share sign up can be found at: http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2016-january-through-march-only-C6854

Enjoy!
Heidi

 

 

Creamy Corn Chowder

1 Tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 boullion cube (with no added salt)
4 ears corn kernels and cobs, kernels removed
1 1/2 cups milk
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion and celery in butter until tender.  Add garlic and parsley and sauté until garlic is fragrant but not browning.

Add the flour, stirring well, to make a pasty mixture. Whisk in the broth. Add the corn, the carrot, the boullion cube, and two of the corn cobs and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the milk and heat until just barely simmering.  Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.  Serve hot.


Kale Sautéed with Apple and Onion

Adapted from Gourmet, December 2000

1 medium apple, peeled, quartered, and cored, cut into 1/4-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, choppped
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 bunch kale, tough stems and ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Heat oil in a 5-quart pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add apple and curry powder and sauté, stirring, until apple is almost tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

Add kale and broth to the pan and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Return apple and onion to the pan and cook until just heated through.


Carrot and Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

Adapted from Bon Appétit, September 2013
Recipe by Joshua McFadden

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/carrot-and-beet-slaw-with-pistachios-and-raisins

2 garlic cloves, crushed
¾ cup golden raisins
¼ cup white wine vinegar
About 1 lb medium carrots (any color), scrubbed, julienned
About 1 lb medium beets (any color), peeled, julienned
½ cup (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup (packed) fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup unsalted, shelled raw pistachios

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out pistachios on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally until golden brown, 6–8 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop.

Combine garlic, raisins, and vinegar in a large bowl; let sit 1 hour.

Remove garlic from raisin mixture and discard. Add carrots, beets, pistachios, parsley, mint, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Add oil; toss gently.

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.

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

2015_march2

Winter 2015 – March, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets*, Yellow potatoes*, Pinova/Braeburn/Gala apple mix,
Collard Greens, Leeks*, Kale* , Italian Parsley*, Dried beans*,
Shiitake Mushrooms, Blue Heron Bakery Biscotti

 

Dear Members,

Greetings from the Boistfort Valley!
All items with an * are from Boistfort Valley Farm.  Additional items are certified organic, except the biscotti.  Please see Blue Heron Bakery’s online information for more details about their practices!

Many of you have asked about our Summer CSA, and I want to give you an update.  Our Spring letter and promotional discount code will go out to you via email in the very near future, but this is a great opportunity to give you a few notes in advance.

We are later than usual in sending out information about the Summer shares this year.  We will offer a Summer share this season. We also hope to restructure the farm slightly, to help us make the time to upgrade some of our farm infrastructures, streamline our post-harvest processes, and generally simplify a bit to feel less overwhelmed. Growing food is one of the most rewarding things that we can do, and yet, it is also a challenging and often exhausting enterprise, and we need to focus on improving our farm so we can continue to grow food and enjoy time with our family.

We will offer just one share size for Summer 2015, in between the Small and Family share size.  The season will still be 20 weeks, and we will give a solid discount for those who are able to pay in full prior to our early deadline.

We hope that you will join us this Summer, and help support our farm as we work to make our infrastructure more sound, dedicate a little more of our time to building efficiency into our farming practices, and improve our quality of life for ourselves and our farm family, all while supplying you with our fresh organic produce as always.  More details and sign up information to come.

On to this week’s delivery!  We have included a selection of biscotti from Olympia’s Blue Heron Bakery today. Blue Heron has been a community fixture in Olympia since 1977, and we love to include their bakery items.  They source quality ingredients and always bake our orders especially for us, making us feel the kind of special that only local businesses can. After 37 years in the same funky building, Blue Heron is building a new facility, so their Facebook page is full of details on their progress.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Heron-Bakery/116627548362581

We still have a variety of veggies from the farm, and are excited to share more of the cranberry beans this week.  These beans are one of the creamiest I’ve ever eaten, and make excellent refried beans as well as chili (Natty’s favorite).  Here’s a simple recipe from the website that I love with cotija or feta cheese, chopped greens, and fresh tortillas:http://boistfortvalleyfarm.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipe=BKBN

Enjoy!
Heidi

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!

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 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