2015_summerweek12

Summer 2015 – October, Week 12

At A Glance:

Spinach
Green Beans
Purple Beans
Yellow Beans
Green and Purple Kohlrabi
Edamame (edible soybeans)
Red Russian Kale
Purple Carrots
2lbs Rose Finn Potatoes
Leeks

Greetings Friends,

The weather today was perfect. There was a fog so thick you could cut it early this morning, which gave way to a beautiful afternoon. I watched most of it go by through the office window as I diligently took care of all the odds and ends, big and small, which go along with any business. I am always grateful for fair weather even if I do not get to enjoy it firsthand. When I am warm and cozy and it is blustery out there I cannot help but feel the sting of guilt, knowing that our field crew is braving the elements to harvest produce for delivery. On a day like today I can almost enjoy the envy I feel, knowing that this same crew is working under reasonable conditions and without the headache that comes with muddy vegetables and stuck field trucks.

As promised, the contents of this delivery are beginning to represent the more savory vegetables that Fall has to offer. Nothing says stew or roast like a combination of leeks and potatoes. Edamame make an appearance this week as well. The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and they grow in clusters on bushy plants which deer LOVE. In East Asia the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. We can barely get them to finish this far north, and it was quite a feat considering the late start we got this year. If not for this long dry season it would not have been possible. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers-the pods themselves are not edible. If you have not tried them before, you are in for a treat. I think them the pretzel of vegetables; simple preparation instructions follow.

A quick word too on the purple carrots. Purple Haze by name, they are the best purple carrots we have ever grown. They do have an orange core unlike some others, but they also have a great carrot taste, and they grow to maturity without bolting (going to seed), which is saying something if you have ever tried to grow them. We trialed at least three other varieties of purple carrots, unsuccessfully, before finding this one. We just love them, and hope you will too.

Mike

 

 

 

Edamame
Gourmet  | August 1998

Soybeans in the Pod

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add the beans and boil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss edamame with salt to taste.

Or for a little more zing-
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, some lime juice and salt

Coax the beans out as you would eat an artichoke, by gently scraping the pod with your teeth


Simple Stew

You’ll be surprised how savory and satisfying this simple vegetable stew is! Serve with quinoa, millet, or steamed rice.

3 to 4 servings

1 large bunch of kale
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green), thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4-5 fingerling potatoes, cut into ½- to ¾- inch cubes
1 low sodium bouillion cube (we like Rapunzel brand)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the thick stems off the kale leaves. Cut the leaves crosswise into ¼-inch strips.
In a medium stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the kale in 2 or 3 handfuls, stirring to wilt. Add the broth and bouillion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove and blend in a blender about ½ the stew then return it to the pot. Stir.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Adapted from The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkeley Books 2009.

 

2015 Summer, week 8

Summer 2015 – September, Week 8

What’s in the Box:

Red & White potatoes, Italian zucchini, Crookneck squash.
Broccoli, Carrots, Sweet onion, Bell Pepper, Cucumbers,
Escarole, Spinach, Apples, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF SUNFLOWERS

Thank you to those of you who said hello at the Tilth Fair.  It was a great chance for Mike and I to see so many familiar faces and connect with new people too.  Natty focused her good time on running everywhere and climbing trees.

Please note that the potatoes are unwashed. White potatoes particularly seem to bruise with handling, so we have elected to send them unwashed so that they keep better for you.

I went a little crazy on recipes this week.  Hopefully this will inspire you in the kitchen.  I’m also hoping it will inspire me!  So many ideas, so little time…

Yours,

Heidi
Zucchini Latkes
Adapted from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/zucchini-latkes/print

3 medium zucchini, shredded (about 4-1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 small onion, grated (be careful with grating if you have sensitivity to onions-I usually cry)
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Oil for frying

Sour cream and basil, optional

Toss the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze zucchini dry. Stir in the eggs, onion, garlic, bread crumbs, pepper and remaining salt.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Drop batter by tablespoonfuls into oil; press lightly to flatten. Fry for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and garnish with a sprig of basil. Yield: 16 latkes.

Sautéed Potatoes and Sweet PeppersAdapted from: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/7633-sauteed-potatoes-with-sweet-red-peppers

Farmer’s note: this recipe originally calls for a non-stick skillet.  I don’t own one, as I’m a fan of cast iron, but you may need more oil if using a cast iron skillet-the potatoes will definitely want to stick.

1 ¼ pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large sweet red pepper, seeds and veins removed, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
½ cup onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Add potatoes to a saucepan with just enough water to cover.  Add salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Drain.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes, and cook over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet and stirring occasionally so that the potatoes cook evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.

Add the pepper, onion, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring until the potatoes are nicely browned.

Add the butter. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the skillet and/or stirring. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Escarole and Beans
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/82078/escarole-and-beans/

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large head escarole, roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
16 ounces cannellini beans, undrained
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Apple Spinach Salad
Adapted from: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/spinach-apple-walnut-salad

1 medium apple, cored, cut into large dice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
11/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Toss apples with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Place spinach in a large bowl; remove long stems and bruised leaves. Whisk together remaining juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and ground pepper to taste. Toss spinach with apples and dressing. Divide between four bowls. Top with cheese and walnuts.

 

2015_may_week2

Winter 2015 – May, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Artichokes, Mixed farm potatoes*, Leeks*
Asparagus, Fuji Apples, Baby bok choy
Spinach, Red Kale, Cranberry beans-dried*, Oregano*
Strawberries*, Peonies
*from our farm, all other produce is organic & NW grown

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BUNCH OF FLOWERS!

This is the final delivery of our Winter/Spring shares.  Thank you for participating with us!

If you haven’t joined our Summer CSA yet, there’s still time to sign up:  http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2015-summer-share-C6308.  We anticipate starting in late June.

While it’s always a little sad to finish out a delivery season, it’s also a bit of a relief.  May is the most challenging Spring month for us on the farm, as we are simultaneously organizing the harvest and delivery of produce, as well as coordinating field preparation, fertilizing, seeding, and transplant of all the greenhouse starts (and repairing the tractors and equipment…).  So after this week’s delivery, we are able to focus our attention more directly on getting all the seeds and seedlings into the field for Summer.

In today’s delivery, we have several items from our farm, including leeks, oregano, potatoes, dry beans, and flowers!  We have also included more Northwest grown organic asparagus, greens, baby bok choy, and apples.

But I forgot one thing.  The strawberries…Oh, the strawberries!

This is the earliest that we have ever harvested strawberries.  In a good season, we get approximately four weeks of harvest, but I’m not sure what to expect this season, as it’s so early and the weather is so varied.  Regardless of the duration of their presence, we are glad to have them for you this week!

Please, oh please, eat your strawberries right away.  They will not last in your fridge, or on your countertop.  We have harvested them especially for you, so that they will be lovely as long as possible, but that still isn’t very long. The variety that we grow is a classic, with amazing flavor, but as one local writer put it, you can’t ship them across the street. These odd little bursts of rain that we have enjoyed of late make them particularly soft and juicy.

Yours,

Heidi

2015_may_week1

Winter 2015 – May, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Austrian Crescent potatoes*, Beets*, Leeks*, Cameo Apples,
Asparagus, Radishes, Turnips, Rhubarb, Shiitake Mushrooms,
Spinach, Thyme*, Black Sheep Creamery fresh cheese
*from our farm, all other produce is organic & NW grown

 

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE CONTAINER OF CHEESE!

This has been a tough Spring for us, not weather wise (how could we complain about this gorgeousness??), but rather, equipment-wise.  Two tractors giving us trouble, two sets of disks falling apart, literally, in the field (so much for that weld)… and where on earth is the fertilizer?

In the short-term, we have rented a tractor from a dealership (yes, indeed, a tractor dealer-it’s the shiniest piece of equipment we’ve had on the farm since Mike painted our ’48 Farmall) and Mike is powering through to the best of his ability.  We are blessed to have some amazing folks in our community (Shout out to Steve VanTuyl, who is an outstanding builder/welder, and even talks to us when we interrupt his weekends).  In the challenging times, we find the reasons that we love what we do, and we cling to those things (even if we’re swearing under our breath).  Thanks to all of you for being a reason to love our work!

We aren’t quite full steam ahead yet, but we are on our way.  The greenhouse is jam packed, and we’re anticipating taking the seedlings to the field this week and weekend.  Wish us luck!  And functioning equipment!

Also, I’m trying to post our progress on Facebook from time to time, so if you’re curious, go check it out!

Yours,

Heidi

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

summer17

Summer 2014 – Week 17

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Cauliflower, Leeks, Napa Cabbage, Gold Potatoes,
Kabocha Squash, Jimmy Nardello Peppers, Eggplant,
& 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Small shares:
Cauliflower, Leeks, Savoy Cabbage, Beans,
Gold Potatoes, Kale, Kabocha Squash,
Jimmy Nardello Peppers & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Family shares:
Spinach, Leeks, Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Tomatoes,
Kale, Gold Potatoes, Kabocha Squash,
Jimmy Nardello Peppers & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.

 

October 9, 2014

Please take 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

While the weather has become warm and summery once again, the contents of this week’s box sing of the hearty goodness of fall.  As I write, the temperature outside is nearly 80, but I find myself thinking of all of the various soups which could be made with this week’s vegetables!  Creamy Leek and Potato, Sweet Pepper-Tomato Bisque, Hearty Cauliflower and Cabbage Soup…

While speaking of veggies, I’d like to mention two of the items you will find in your boxes.  The first is Kabocha squash.  Kabocha squash is an Asian variety of winter squash, also known as a Japanese pumpkin.  It has an exceptionally sweet flavor and can be used interchangeably with pumpkin in both sweet and savory dishes.  This squash is full of antioxidants and is surprisingly low in starch.  The seeds are also delicious roasted and salted (at 200º on a lightly oiled cookie sheet for about 20 minutes—stirred occasionally).  These are high in Omega-6 and other healthy oils, and great eaten as a snack or sprinkled on any of the soups—the ones mentioned above or in the recipes given below.

Jimmy Nardello Peppers are our other notable addition this week.  The Jimmy Nardello originated in Routi, a small coastal town in Southern Italy.  It was bred in the late 1800’s by Guisteppe Nardello who then brought this heirloom pepper to the United States.  These peppers are known for their sweet creaminess as a frying pepper, but lend their delicious flavor to any dish they are added.

In the theme of winter cooking, I would also like to remind you of our Winter Share, and especially our upcoming Holiday Boxes.  These boxes are a great way to share your appreciation of organic produce with family and friends who might not yet realize the benefits to locally and lovingly grown vegetables.  These large holiday boxes shine with the best of our harvest and speak of the quality of our produce.  It is with great honor that we offer them for your family gatherings to share with the ones you love.  Please follow the link and consider signing up for your Winter Share, which 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 and have a wonderful week!

-Emily

From Galilee – This little bouquet marks the end of the fresh flowers.  You can put it in water to be enjoyed fresh for several days.  The statice will continue to open a little.  The extend its beauty, you can then hang it up to dry as recommended for the bouquet from a few weeks ago.  Happy fall!

Summer 2014 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Romaine Lettuce,  Spinach, Baby Bok Choy, Cilantro,
Cherries & a Desktop Bouquet.
Small shares:
Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Baby Bok Choy, Garlic Scapes,
Mint, Cilantro, Cherries & a Desktop Bouquet.
Family shares:
Romaine Lettuce, Leaf Lettuce, Spinach, Baby Bok Choy,
Garlic Scapes, Broccoli, Cilantro, Cherries &
a Desktop Bouquet.

 

Please remember to take: 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

The other morning I found myself with my camera, in one of our fields nestled against the hills, in the heart of the Boistfort Valley.  The air was warm and steamy, the sun having not yet emerged from the clouds after a rain.  As I walked along the rows of beans and kraut cabbage, swallows and gold finches swooped ahead.  Except for the carefully planted field, no other evidence of human touch existed in my view—not a car, not a building, nothing but the hills and trees and the freshness of the air.

As a teenager growing up in the valley, I remember taking hikes in search of places such as this; hidden places, untouched by human necessity or exploitation.  Now, I am reassured that in a world where corporate agriculture and environmental decline have become commonplace, there remain these “hidden” places, in which vegetables quietly grow.

In speaking of this produce, you will find this week’s box full of luscious spring lettuce and baby bok choy, along with some very summery offerings—Spinach, cherries, and young broccoli!  Our Romaine lettuce is so big & beautiful this week, that we’ve provided 2 recipes to inspire you, although they both add an unusual heat factor to the lettuce; very worth experimenting with, in my opinion!

And CHERRIES!  I must mention the cherries once again!!  We are so excited about the arrival of summer fruit, that we’ve added sweet Bing Cherries to the share this week as a special treat!  If you love fruit as much as we do, please check out our new Fruit Share, coming in July!

Have a wonderful week and enjoy your produce!

-Emily