Winter 2016 CSA - week 4

Winter 2016 – Week 4

What’s in the box?

*Fingerling potatoes, *Orange Carrots, *Purple Carrots, *Swiss Chard, *Red Russian Kale, *Leeks, *Savoy Cabbage, *Baking Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Sunchokes, Parsnips, Cameo Apples, D’Anjou Pears, Baby Boc Choy, Black Sheep Creamery Cheese
*grown on our farm

 

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

We are delighted to have a variety of vegetables from our farm once again this week, plus a smattering of other Northwest goodies.  One of the more unusual selections today is the bag of Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as sunchokes.  Sunchokes, or Helianthus tuberosus, are related to sunflowers, and sport a mildly artichoke-like flavor that helps give them their name.  They are known both to be delicious raw AND to cause stomach rumbling/gas when consumed raw, so I leave it to you to determine how you will eat them.  I have included a recipe for cooked sunchokes below.

I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic and grown as indicated in the list on the left.  We do have one California item this delivery, to my dismay.  I try to keep the boxes as local as possible, but we just don’t have the temperatures to launch the  next season of veggies the way we’d like to, and it’s a fine dance between giving you a variety of greens and roots, and keeping it close to home.  Thanks for your understanding, and if you’re okay with more beets, rutabaga & potatoes, don’t hesitate to let us know!

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

 

 

Sunchoke and Potato Gratin
Adapted from First Look, Then Cook: http://firstlookthencook.com/2010/02/07/sunchoke-and-potato-gratin/

2 shallots, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil, plus more to grease pan
1 Tbsp butter
10 sunchokes (about golf-ball sized), peeled, sliced thin
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Black Sheep Creamery cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter to skillet.  Add shallot and sauté over medium heat, careful not to brown heavily.  When shallot is translucent, add garlic cloves; cook until just fragrant.  Remove from heat.

Grease a 9×9 ceramic dish lightly with olive oil. Layer the potatoes evenly in the dish covering the entire bottom.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Layer the sunchokes evenly covering the potatoes.  Sprinkle the shallot/garlic mixture on top of the sunchokes – and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Pour milk all over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the cheese.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes.  Take the cover off and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Make sure the sunchokes are soft – if not cook a little longer.

Ginger/Garlic Savoy Cabbage
from: http://www.food.com/recipe/ginger-garlic-savoy-cabbage-15832

1 head savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs), cored, shredded across in approx 3/4-inch slices
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper
1 1/4 Tablespoons ginger, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Heat wok or large skillet medium high heat, wait until oil is hot.  Add cabbage and stir fry until cabbage just starts to wilt (do nor overcook).  Add garlic, salt and pepper cook 1 minute.  Add ginger cook 1 minute.  Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220583/glazed-carrots-and-parsnips-with-chives/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=8

Simple Parsnip Pancakes
Adapted from recipe by Catherine Boynton: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/239758/simple-parsnip-pancakes/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=2449&referringContentType=recipe%20hub

1 cup grated scrubbed parsnips
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Ground black pepper to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, or more as needed
Combine parsnips, eggs, onion, olive oil, salt, rosemary, and black pepper together in a bowl until batter is combined and lumpy.
Heat sunflower oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter into oil and fry until pancakes are brown and crispy on the edges, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

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)

Winter 2015 - February week 2

Winter 2015 – February, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Yellow potatoes*, Pinova or Salish Rose apples, Purple Carrots*,
Parsnips*, Sunchokes, Leeks*, Kale*, Thyme*,
Crimini Mushrooms, Honey!*

 

 

Dear Members,

All items with an * are from Boistfort Valley Farm.  Additional items are certified organic.

It has been lovely (but cold!) this week.  The sun inspires me to get my hands into the dirt (or the soil mix) to peruse the local nursery for bare root trees and fun seeds, and to begin whatever sort of seeding I can get away with.  The frosty mornings are quick to remind me, however, that seeds have quite a while before they’ll make it outside on their own.  That doesn’t stop us from filling a few trays with soil and planting Natty’s choice of flowers, though.  They are slowly sprouting in the greenhouse, a tiny miracle to observe each day.

This time of Winter for me (and maybe for you, too!) can be a little tough to bear.  I long for warm and sun at the same time.  I begin to chant little mantras under my breath (rain, rain, go away or warm UP, warm UP are common this year) and I’m really beginning to miss the Spring greens.  The good news is that the days are getting noticeably longer, the bulbs and those hardy primroses that Winter didn’t damage have begun to bloom, and we have Hope once again for the warm season.  And so I turn my thoughts around from what I don’t have to what I do: even though I’m out of onions, I can only be mopey for so long, because there’s a field of leeks out my window!  This week I’m making room in my days for a celebration of what I DO have, even if it’s just for a moment: sunshine out my window, variety from the fields…  I can wait a little bit longer for Spring greens.

A few notes on this delivery: The Salish Rose apples, part of this week’s apple combo, have kaolin clay on them, and should be washed before eating.  Kaolin clay is an accepted material for organic apples, and is used as a physical barrier to keep pests from damaging fruit.  More information at: http://www.planetnatural.com/wp-content/uploads/kaolin-clay.pdf

We have sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem Artichokes) from Wobbly Cart Farm in today’s boxes.  These odd little guys are related to sunflowers, and they resemble ginger in appearance (although not in flavor).  Check out an easy roasting recipe here: http://www.thekitchn.com/try-this-roasted-sunchokes-105348 (I included the link because I do love a food blog, and they had some yummy sounding stuff on there!)  I have also included a recipe below.

The honey is from hives that the Woogie Bee folks, Tim and Sharette Geise, bring to our farm every Spring.  They help to pollinate our vegetable fields and the surrounding flowers, and provide us with enough honey to share with you.  Today’s jar is from the 2014 season.

Enjoy!

Heidi

Butternut Squash soup

Kürbissuppe – German squash soup

A simple soup, perfect for a rainy winter day. The German variation includes apples, parsnips and carrots to enhance the character of the butternut squash. Your recent winter CSA share included some yummy root veggies along with the butternut squash, potatoes and Fuji Apples. We decided to cook them up and turn them into a creamy, velvety comforting soup.

Recipe by: Mirinda @ Boistfort Valley Farm

 

INGREDIENTS
3 medium Butternut Squash
2 Fuji Apples
4 large Parsnips
4 large Carrots
3 large Fingerling Potatoes
1 white Onion
1/4 cup Butter
1 quart Vegetable Broth
2 cups Half & Half
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
salt to taste

 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2.  Cut your squash down the center and remove seeds. Place face down onto a large baking sheet.
  3. Peel carrots and parsnips and remove the tops. Place on baking sheet along with your squash and put into your oven. Allow to cook for approximately 30-45 minutes (until your parsnips and carrots have a golden, roasted look) Remove your carrots and parsnips and set aside. Place your squash back into the oven for another 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Peel and chop your onion and apples and add to a stockpot along with your butter on medium-low heat. Allow to cook until the onions are clear.
  5. Peel and chop your potatoes and add to your stockpot along with your roasted carrots, parsnips and vegetable broth. Cover and let simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.
  6. At this point, your squash should be done cooking. Remove from your oven and set aside to cool.
  7. When your carrots, taters and those other tasty ingredients in the stock pot are tender, remove from heat and place ingredients into a blender. Puree until smooth and pour back into your stock pot. (You can also use an immersion blender if your prefer)
  8. Remove the flesh away from the skin of the squash and place in your blender along with the half & half. Puree until smooth and add to your stock pot. Return to the stove and allow to simmer on low and stir well.
  9. Add your ginger, curry and salt to the pot.
  10. Your soup is ready to eat! Grab a bowl and dig in!
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!

Winter 2014 – April, week 1

What’s in the Box:

Bulk carrots*, Dry beans*,
Leeks*, Parsnips*,
Yellow onions, Shallots,
Russet potatoes, Collards,
Shiitake mushrooms,
Crimini mushrooms,
Baby bok choy
& Fuji apples
*From our farm

 

Dear Members,

One of the best things about our temperate climate, in my book, is how easy it is to use the outside grill all year long.  (Even when I haled from colder climes I used the grill in snowy weather but it did inspire a little head shaking from the neighbors.)  This is one of the most satisfying times to use the grill because it is often warm enough to stand outside and take in the changes to your yard and garden while being cool enough to inspire the need for a hearty warm meal.  What a coincidence that the end of winter vegetables grill and roast so beautifully!

The aroma of roasting shallots and onions may be one of the best appetizers on earth – or perhaps mixed into a skillet of collard greens to flesh out that verdant smell.  Of course, a pot of beans would go well with those greens…maybe a little cornbread?  Well, before I wander off behind my taste buds, remember, just as when you roast in the oven, the leftovers may have the best flavor, so don’t hesitate to make plenty so you have some for soups and stews and to dress up that cold weekend sandwich.

We have a little time left before all those showy above ground vegetables take center stage so fire up the grill (or the oven) and enjoy some ‘fruit of the earth’ for supper.

-Bj

Winter 2014 – March, week 2

What’s in the Box:

Bulk carrots*, Leeks*, Parsnips*,
Curly kale*, Chives*,  Thyme*,
Red & yellow cipollini onions, Yukon potatoes,
Cameo apples, Black Sheep Creamery cheese
& Daffodils*
*From our farm

 

Please take 1 cheese & 1 bunch daffodils.

Dear Members,

On November 4th, 1803 Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to David Williams: “The class principally defective is that of agriculture. It is the first in utility, and ought to be the first in respect. The same artificial means which have been used to produce a competition in learning, may be equally successful in restoring agriculture to its primary dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of the very first order. It counts among it handmaids of the most respectable sciences, such as Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mechanics, Mathematics generally, Natural History, Botany. In every College and University, a professorship of agriculture, and the class of its students, might be honored as the first. Young men closing their academical education with this, as the crown of all other sciences, fascinated with its solid charms, and at a time when they are to choose an occupation, instead of crowding the other classes, would return to the farms of their fathers, their own, or those of others, and replenish and invigorate a calling, now languishing under contempt and oppression. The charitable schools, instead of storing their pupils with a lore which the present state of society does not call for, converted into schools of agriculture, might restore them to that branch qualified to enrich and honor themselves, and to increase the productions of the nation instead of consuming them.”

Word.

Mike

Winter 2014 – March, week 1

What’s in the Box:

Carrots*, Parsnips*, Leeks*, Red Cabbage, Curly Kale, Crimini Mushrooms, Red Delicious Apples,
Sunchokes, Mixed Fingerlings, Yellow Onions, Daffodils, Black Sheep Creamery Cheese.
*From our farm

 
PLEASE TAKE 1 CHEESE & 1 DAFFODIL BUNCH!

Dear Members,

It is a foggy morning here at the farm.  With these longer days, the “spring forward” of Daylight Saving Time, and the realization that everything seemed to get greener last week, I’m pleased to remind you that spring will be here around the time you receive your next box!  Although we are still in winter right now, it is quite exciting to be able to provide our first splash of colorful flowers to your share this week with these cheerful yellow daffodils.

In light of the tough early winter weather which really impacted our greens, in particular, this week we have opted to extend outside of our normal Washington and Oregon region to bring you some red
cabbage and kale from California.  We have thought long and hard about reaching that far out of our region to supplement our CSA and we hope that you enjoy this bit of green.  We look forward to incorporating more locally available greens in upcoming boxes.

A few notes on what is included in this box: We have also included Sunchokes in this box.  The recipe I have added below is one that looks delicious and I, myself, am looking forward to trying!  The cheese included from Black Sheep Creamery is “a fresh, sheep-milk ‘cream’ cheese.”  Tart and tangy, it will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.  Brad told me that on Friday, it was grass waiting to be eaten, by Saturday it was milk waiting to be given by the sheep, and by Sunday it was being made into cheese. Enjoy!

Kathryn

Winter 2014 – February, week 2

What’s in the Box:

Carrots, Purple Carrots,
Parsnips, Leeks, Fuji apples, D’Anjou pears,
Shiitake mushrooms, Red cipollini onions,
Shallots, Red potatoes & OlyKraut sauerkraut

Dear Members,

I’d like to introduce myself as the newest member of the BVF team.  My name is Kathryn and I am the new Production Manager here.  Over the years, I have bounced back and forth between Vermont, Montana, and the Northwest.  My background is in organic vegetable and seed farming and I spent the past few years working in my home state of Vermont for an organic seed company. I’m happy to have returned to the Northwest and am busy integrating into this great place.  Rachel, Mike, and Bj have all been getting me up to speed, and I look forward to making connections with you all as well!

I’ve just returned to the office after a lovely few hours of seeding in the greenhouse.  The clouds broke every so often that it warmed up to a nice, humid 75 degrees, I’d guess.  The onions are looking tall, soft and a beautiful vibrant green while the celery, lettuces and artichokes are just beginning to show their first true leaves.  Today I seeded some of our first plantings of those cool-loving brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and cabbage.  These crops all have lovely, hard, round seeds that never cease to enamor me with their subtle, varying shades of purples and reds.  I love spending the time in the greenhouse to get to really examine those tiny living spheres that will turn into our shared bounty in a few short months.

The same variety of cabbage that I seeded today is also featured in your box in the form of sauerkraut from OlyKraut.  Cabbages that are best used for sauerkraut are very dense with thin leaves and a blanched interior and this variety can grow up to 12 lbs.  We grow this cabbage exclusively for OlyKraut so we are happy to, in the depths of winter, be able to include it in your CSA box. Enjoy!

Kathryn