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)

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

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 – January, week 1

What’s in the Box:

Bulk chioggia and red beets*,
Bulk carrots*, Bulk purple carrots*,
Garlic*, Rutabaga*, Acorn Squash*,
Leeks*, Parsnips*, Yellow onions,
Austrian Crescent potatoes,
Bosc pears, Braeburn apples,
& Black Sheep Creamery cheese
*From our farm

 

Please take 1 cheese.

Dear Members,

I have to admit, when I opened the notes to begin writing I was delighted to find that there was so little room left once the recipes were included. Some days I just have more to say than others. I do hope you all enjoyed the holidays and that your transition back to the grind or the life or just getting the kids back to school and into the routine again has gone smoothly. The house still smells mildly of frankincense and myrrh, and I am happy to report that my annual jigsaw puzzle (this year a 1500 piece Springbok) is on schedule for completion. I set out a puzzle every year on the dining room table and endeavor to complete it before starting the seed order on the same table. The puzzle comes out after the plates are cleared from Christmas dinner, and must be finished in enough time to complete the seed order by January 15th. I am going to be pushing it but I’m confident. I love the annual jigsaw; a concrete and hopeful metaphor. I start by turning all the pieces over, then attempt to identify all the edges, then construct the outline, then separate by color and texture, then begin to fit the puzzle together, one piece at a time, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly, until the image begins to take shape, eventually matching the perfect picture as it appears on the box top. More things in life should be like this.

Enjoy this deliveries add-on; Black Sheep Creamery’s Tin Willow Tomme. Tomme is a type of cheese produced mainly in the French Alps, and is traditionally a bit lower in fat than other more ‘full’ cheeses. Brad at Black Sheep identifies it as a bit milder by comparison, and an excellent cheese to pair with fruit and a red wine for an appetizer. Check out Black Sheep Creamery on the web at www.blacksheepcreamery.com .

Mike