Summer2015_week1

Summer 2015 – July, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Yellow potatoes, Sweet onions, Cilantro, Gold chard, Purple & green kohlrabi, Arugula, Radishes, Lilies

Dear members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF LILIES!

Finally! Our first delivery day! Thank you for participating with us!

It has been a long road this season, but we are pleased to finally get underway. The fields are looking full and promising, Fall and Winter crops look strong. I have posted some photos on Facebook, and hope to get them onto our website shortly as well.

Two notes on the lilies:
1. If your cat likes to chew on your flowers, please keep them up and out of range-lilies are toxic to cats. I have kitties and mine aren’t interested in the lilies, but best to mention it!

2. As soon as your lilies open, pull the anthers to keep them from dropping pollen.

I still have lots of work to do before the deliveries go out tomorrow morning, so I’m including a few recipes and sending these notes out to you now as a reminder. Remember your delivery tomorrow! And thank you!!

Yours,

Heidi

Potato Salad with Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2002
Recipe found at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/potato-salad-with-toasted-cumin-vinaigrette-106617

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds new potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon salt

4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 heaping tablespoon chopped seeded drained pickled jalapeño chilies from jar, 2 tablespoons liquid reserved

Toast cumin seeds in heavy small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cool. Using spice grinder, coarsely grind cumin seeds. Transfer to medium bowl. Whisk in lemon juice, then oil.

Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Place potatoes in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Boil potatoes until tender when pierced with skewer, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl. Add eggs, green onions, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño chilies, and 2 tablespoons chili liquid. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Yellow Chard with Feta
Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Roasted-Swiss-Chard-with-Feta/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Thumb&e11=chard&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe&soid=sr_results_p1i2

1 bunch yellow chard – leaves and

stems separated and chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces feta cheese, broken into ½ inch pieces

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

Toss the chard stems and onions in a bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and spread onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until the chard stems have softened and the onion is starting to brown on the corners, about 15 minutes.


Toss the chard leaves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle the leaves over the stem mixture, then sprinkle with feta cheese.

Return to the oven, and bake until the stems are tender, the leaves are beginning to crisp, and the feta is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Kohlrabi
Recipe adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe-Tools/Print/Recipe.aspx?recipeID=203975&origin=detail&servings=2&metric=false

2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut kohlrabi into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut each of the slices in half. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss kohlrabi slices in the olive oil mixture to coat. Spread kohlrabi in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until browned, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally in order to brown evenly.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven to allow the Parmesan cheese to brown, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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

2015_march2

Winter 2015 – March, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

Bunched beets*, Yellow potatoes*, Pinova/Braeburn/Gala apple mix,
Collard Greens, Leeks*, Kale* , Italian Parsley*, Dried beans*,
Shiitake Mushrooms, Blue Heron Bakery Biscotti

 

Dear Members,

Greetings from the Boistfort Valley!
All items with an * are from Boistfort Valley Farm.  Additional items are certified organic, except the biscotti.  Please see Blue Heron Bakery’s online information for more details about their practices!

Many of you have asked about our Summer CSA, and I want to give you an update.  Our Spring letter and promotional discount code will go out to you via email in the very near future, but this is a great opportunity to give you a few notes in advance.

We are later than usual in sending out information about the Summer shares this year.  We will offer a Summer share this season. We also hope to restructure the farm slightly, to help us make the time to upgrade some of our farm infrastructures, streamline our post-harvest processes, and generally simplify a bit to feel less overwhelmed. Growing food is one of the most rewarding things that we can do, and yet, it is also a challenging and often exhausting enterprise, and we need to focus on improving our farm so we can continue to grow food and enjoy time with our family.

We will offer just one share size for Summer 2015, in between the Small and Family share size.  The season will still be 20 weeks, and we will give a solid discount for those who are able to pay in full prior to our early deadline.

We hope that you will join us this Summer, and help support our farm as we work to make our infrastructure more sound, dedicate a little more of our time to building efficiency into our farming practices, and improve our quality of life for ourselves and our farm family, all while supplying you with our fresh organic produce as always.  More details and sign up information to come.

On to this week’s delivery!  We have included a selection of biscotti from Olympia’s Blue Heron Bakery today. Blue Heron has been a community fixture in Olympia since 1977, and we love to include their bakery items.  They source quality ingredients and always bake our orders especially for us, making us feel the kind of special that only local businesses can. After 37 years in the same funky building, Blue Heron is building a new facility, so their Facebook page is full of details on their progress.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Heron-Bakery/116627548362581

We still have a variety of veggies from the farm, and are excited to share more of the cranberry beans this week.  These beans are one of the creamiest I’ve ever eaten, and make excellent refried beans as well as chili (Natty’s favorite).  Here’s a simple recipe from the website that I love with cotija or feta cheese, chopped greens, and fresh tortillas:http://boistfortvalleyfarm.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipe=BKBN

Enjoy!
Heidi

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

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!

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