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_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

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

box_111014_nonjank

Winter 2014 – November Holiday Box

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Red Russian Kale, Thyme, Mixed Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Leeks,
Turnips, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Austrian Crescent Potatoes, Yellow Potatoes,
Delicata Squash, Pie Pumpkins, Honey Crisp Apples, Ornamental Gourds

 

Welcome Dear Friends to our November CSA,

This has long been one of my favorite deliveries, in part because these vegetables just taste better after a frost. I think too, that as a farmer, I have more time and energy to savor food and focus on the part of farming that I love. The air is crisp and cold, the crew is down from 25 or so to 12 or so, I get the time to check in with people, not just about the farm, but about them. We still run hard this time of year but it is a far cry from the juggernaut of the summer and fall season. I have even been frequenting the Farmers’ Market in Ballard and connecting with customers up there.

Today, I am in the office, buttoning up the final details of the coming delivery. The sun is beaming through the window that looks through our small but ancient home orchard and on to the perennial garden. Soon I will up and go out and check on the condition of the leeks, meet with the crew in the pack shed and get a broad overview of how we are coming along; harvesting under harsh conditions and washing and storing with freezing temperatures in mind.

If you glance at the contents of this box you will notice that much of what we deliver this time of year is for storage. You will also notice the foundation of an excellent holiday feast. I apologize in advance for filling your crisper drawer to overflowing, but please note that the squash, onions, potatoes, and garlic will do quite well in the garage or on the table in a basket.

The boxes are gorgeous, if I do say so myself, I just got back in. The pack crew has everything assembled and the boxes are being loaded into our refrigerated trucks; not to cool them, but rather to keep them from freezing. The colors and textures of these large boxes are amazing. It is a rare treat to have greens and roots and alliums and squash and even a bunch of fresh herbs all at once. You will see what I mean when you taste the kale and leeks, they are just a few degrees better than before the frost.

The field crew is still out harvesting leeks, and I am on to assemble the paperwork and everything else that goes into a CSA delivery. Our driver will be here at 0-dark thirty, and in a few hours you will have this produce, literally straight from the field, in your kitchen.

Enjoy!
Mike

 

Summer 2014 – Week 9

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Beans, Cucumbers, Red Potatoes, Zucchini,
Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Small shares:
Red Potatoes, Turnips, Zucchini, Cucumbers,
Green Peppers, Artichokes, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.
Family shares:
Beans, Red Potatoes, Zucchini, Turnips, Cucumbers, Arugula,
Artichokes, Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes & 1 Bouquet of Flowers.

 

Please remember to take: 1 Bouquet of Flowers

Dear Friends,

As I write this, the morning air is already hot and the sky hazy.  The weather forecasters are predicting mid-nineties today.  This time of year is known as the ‘dog days of summer,’ and for the farmer, it presents challenges which mark the realities of our work.  The long days of high temperatures take their toll on all of the vegetables, even the heat-loving plants.  We irrigate frequently to keep things fresh and lush.  Insect populations are also at their peak this time of the season.  Needless to say, we are working especially hard to maintain the abundance and quality you see in your boxes.

And on this note, your boxes reflect the high summer varieties of produce.  The cucumbers and squashes are abundant and beautiful this time of year.  The peppers, eggplant and tomatoes are just starting to ripen.

Here at the Farm, we have tried many varieties of vegetables and often grow some of the best tasting, though less familiar ones.  One example of this is our striped zucchini, better known as Italian zucchini.  These keep a little better than the green ones which everyone is so used to seeing.  Many of us think they have a better, nuttier flavor than the green variety.  They also hold up better in cooking, which makes them a great addition to sauces, pastas and stir-fries.

Another example of this is our snap beans.  We grow 3 varieties here—yellow, green and purple.  Which ones end up in your boxes depend on the ripening time and abundance of each crop.  They all have that good ‘ol beany flavor, though each is slightly unique with  its’ own very individual qualities. We hope that your experience as members of Boistfort Valley Farms’ CSA program, will give you a chance to expand your palate and explore varieties of vegetables you may not otherwise find at the supermarket.

We are already on Week #9 of our 2014 Summer Season but there are a few shares available.  Tell your friends!  Have a great week and enjoy the warmth of summer!

-Emily