2015summer_week5

Summer 2015 – August, Week 5

What’s in the Box:

Green, purple & yellow wax beans
Sweet onion, Zucchini & Summer squash
Snow peas, Cucumbers, Broccoli
Basil, Peaches
Lilies

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE TWO STEMS OF LILIES

I woke to hazy skies this weekend and my first thought was there’s something wrong with my eyes.  The haze settled, almost like mist, which is not completely uncommon for this time of year, but it hovered in the distance, making me wary.  Mike opened the door and looked back warningly at me.  ‘Something’s on fire.’

Right now it feels like everything’s on fire.  I have volunteered as a firefighter for our community for a couple years now, and every day I hope for rain, and wait for the emergency pager to go off.  With so little water, it’s difficult not to be unnerved by the wind and smoke, even if it isn’t near our farm.

As I’m sure most of you already know, over 30,000 firefighters are currently deployed in Washington State, coming from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, trying to stop the progression of the fires.  More than 250,000 acres have burned, and many of these fires are less than 50% contained.  Here are a few resources to keep you updated.  I linked directly to the morning brief for Monday to give you a glimpse of the statistics.

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/content/products/intelligence/MORNINGBRIEF.pdf
www.dnr.wa.gov/wildfires

http://gacc.nifc.gov/nwcc/information/firemap.aspx

I am clearly preoccupied by this situation.  Towns have been evacuated and firefighters have lost their lives.  It’s hard to focus all my attention on the farm, even when the season demands it.  The earth is so very dry, and the grass is so much fuel to burn.  We have heard of farms who narrowly escaped fire damage, and those who were not so lucky.

We need rain, and I’m not sure when we’re going to get it.  The first responders have a lot of work ahead of them.

For those of you who have been a part of our farm family for many years, you will know that our home and farm flooded catastrophically in 2007.  Our local grange members opened up the hall to feed our community every single day, for months after the flood, as our community rallied and came together to slog our way through our ruined homes and possessions. Having somewhere to go for a warm meal when we were feeling desperate, defeated, and alone made a real difference in our ability to rebuild our farm. So I am sharing some info about a non-profit group who is helping to feed the first responders in the Okanogan, in case you are inspired to join me in donating:

Soup Ladies http://www.soupladies.org/

Be safe, and be well,

Heidi

2015summer_week4

Summer 2015 – August, Week 4

What’s in the Box:

Broccoli, Turnips, Baby bok choy, Zucchini
Green cabbage, Lettuce, Snow peas
Chives, Nectarines
Snapdragons

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF SNAPDRAGONS

As you can imagine, it’s a busy time of year for the farm.  Everywhere we turn, something is begging for attention, water, trellising, fertilizing, cultivating…  The field is full of vegetables and lots of other opportunists, or what we refer to (rather unkindly, I suppose) as weeds.  Weeds are weeds by our definition: they’re growing somewhere that we haven’t planted them, and where we don’t want them to grow.  They compete with our crops for water and light, and provide us with an abundance of extra work through the Summer.  We try to take care of the weed pressure before it’s a problem, by getting the weeds out while they’re tiny, or, when that fails, by removing weeds before they go to seed.  Inevitably, there’s a time of year where the weeds seem to be winning the race, and we’re all just plain tired.  That time for us is right now.  Weeds, weeds, in all directions.  Too bad they aren’t more delicious…

The good news is that in the end, we seem to do all right, if not triumph, and we will all happily cross that finish line this year.

We’re excited to send you broccoli with today’s share. With such a hot July, I wasn’t sure if the broccoli would mature nicely, but it has finished with flying colors.  The cabbage is also cute and sweet, and will make a great salad.

We have added organic nectarines from Central Washington.  They are a bit firm (they bruise terribly when they’re fully ripe, and they don’t last long), so leave them at room temperature to allow them to ripen for best flavor and texture.

I’m adding a few recipes and heading back to the field to finish my day.  Enjoy!

Heidi

 

2015 Summer, Week 3

Summer 2015 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets, Baby bok choy, Sweet onion, Summer squash,
Red Chard, Nectarines, Basil, Snow Peas,
Flowers

PLEASE TAKE ONE LILY BOUQUET!

Dear Members,

Finally a little burst of Summer today, with more to come soon.  The cool mornings and evenings really give the vegetables a chance to thrive, and things are looking healthy and strong in the field.

We are excited to have snow peas in today’s boxes, as well as baby beets, basil, and the first taste of Summer squash.  The organic nectarines are also a treat that we are thrilled to have.

Our surviving lettuces are growing beautifully in the field, and with the right conditions, will be harvestable in a week or two.  If you didn’t receive our update this Spring, our lettuce, peppers & tomatoes (if you can believe it) were the most beloved Spring treat for mice and slugs who must have made their way into the greenhouse from miles around.  I imagine tiny posters hung up in the mouse community, inviting them to the feast…improbable, but it certainly felt that way this Spring, as thousands of seeds were dug up and disappeared in the night.  At any rate, the lucky survivors are coming along nicely, and we’ll have some beautiful greens to share soon.

Yours,
Heidi

Summer 2014 – Week 13

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Corn, Kale, Beets, Green Cabbage,
Cherry Tomatoes, Italian Basil,
Garlic & 5 Stems of Sunflowers
Small shares:
Corn, Kale, Red Chard, Green Cabbage,
Beets, Cherry Tomatoes,
Lemon Cucumbers, Italian Basil,
Garlic & 5 Stems of Sunflowers
Family shares:
Corn, Kale, Beets, Green Cabbage,
Cherry Tomatoes, Snow Peas,
Edamame, Italian Basil,
Garlic & 5 Stems of Sunflowers
Please remember to take: 5 Stems of Sunflowers

 

Dear Friends,

Autumn is rapidly approaching. Harvest; harvest season, the Harvest Moon, (tonight), turning a corner, shorter days, cooler nights and mornings, golden light, quiet afternoons with the kids in school, change… You feel it too, right? Forget words. Follow that primordial urge to store the bounty of summer for winter. Can, freeze, dry; a little or a lot. One small bunch of herbs hung to dry in the kitchen, one pint of basil pesto in the freezer, one quart of peppers in vinegar. Just do it. This winter when you look at it, when you taste it, when you can recollect the long days of August without words, you’ll thank me.

Now get crackin’

Reminder: There are still seven deliveries left in our Summer season CSA after today’s. We also offer Fall and Winter deliveries; One delivery in November and one in December, with an eye toward entertaining and family gatherings, and then two deliveries/month January through May. We will be sending out more information in the next week or so and will prioritize our existing customers when filling these programs.

Now seriously, put something up!

Mike

Summer 2014 – Week 12

What’s in the Box:

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

 
Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

-Emily