Beet Box

Week 25 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 25 of 28 from Valley Flora! Giant Kohlrabi! Dry-Farmed Butternut!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
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In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • Quintessential Fall Veg: Kohlrabi, Butternut Squash & Chicory!
  • Thanksgiving Pickup Schedule (PLEASE READ!!!)
  • Fall Farmstand Hours
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onions
  • Sugarloaf Chicory
  • Bunch Beets
  • Kohlrabi
  • Red Cabbage
  • Butternut Squash
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Cauliflower
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Shallots
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Kale
  • Celeriac
  • Red Kuri Squash
  • Celeriac
  • Rosemary
  • Parsnips
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Quintessential Fall Veg
Dense, large, round: just a few adjectives that sum up this week's share. You're gonna find hefty purple cabbages banging around next to giant kohlrabi, kissing shoulders with earthy beets and some jumbo yellow onions. The only thing that's smaller than normal in this week's assemblage of vegetables are the butternut squash. Small, but still dense. More on that later.

I know it's been a few months, but all of you should be well-practiced kohlrabi-eaters by now. The variety you're getting this week is called "Kossack," aptly named given that most of them weigh in at well over 3 pounds. I know they look intimidating, but once you peel back that light green skin you're in for the most tender, tasty kohlrabi experience there is. Kossack is a storage variety and it will indeed keep for months in your fridge. Above all, I love this variety peeled and cut into sticks for some crunchy crudites. It's a proven favorite with kids, too.

There's also a head of sugarloaf chicory in your share. Once the weather turns nasty and shuts down our head lettuce production we switch to chicories. They are tough little plants that can withstand hail, frost, pelting rain, and all manner of abusive winter weather. Peel back a few layers of wrapper leaves and voila! there's a blanched beauty of a salad inside. Sugarloaf chicory belongs to the same family as radicchio and endive, so it has a slight bitterness. This variety is the least bitter of all the types I've tried, and if you're at all sensitive to it try slicing your chicory into ribbons and soaking it in cold water for 10 minutes before you make your salad. I also like to include sweet ingredients in my chicory salads, like sliced apples or candied nuts, or make a honey-ed salad dressing of some kind. It balance the flavors nicely. People also cook with chicories, although I'm not a fancy enough chef to have ventured down that road so far.

OK, about those diminutive butternut squash: we accidentally dry-farmed them. Yup, that's right, these little squashies grew all season without a drop of irrigation water. Big whoops. After a summer of wondering what the deal was with those few rows of butternut squash that seemed kinda stunted (!), I did a little detective work and discovered that the irrigation header that was buried in weeds next to the fenceline had come undone, probably way back in June when we were cultivating the squash with the horses. On one of our passes through the field we hooked the irrigation header with the cultivator and must have yanked it apart at a coupler near the fence.

The good news is that what they are lacking in size these little butternuts make up for with flavor. Dry-farming always concentrates plant sugars (in tomatoes and tree fruit also) and results in a more intense flavors. It's maybe not such a bad trade-off, plus I always love seeing what plants can do without irrigation just in case that day eventually comes when there's not as much water to be had (hard to imagine today as the rain comes down in buckets, I know...).
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Next Week is Thanksgiving!
Our Delivery Schedule is Different!
PLEASE READ!!!

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and everyone needs to mark their calendars because our delivery schedule is different Thanksgiving week. Here's the plan:
  • We will deliver ALL Harvest Baskets and Egg Shares on Wednesday, November 22nd.
  • If you are a Bandon or Port Orford member, you will pick up that week's share on Wednesday, 11/22, instead of Saturday, 11/25. There will be NO 11/25 Saturday delivery that week.
  • Delivery times on Wednesday, November 22:
    • Coos Bay: No change (12-5 pm)
    • Valley Flora: No change (9 am -4 pm)
    • Port Orford: 10 am - 5 pm
    • Bandon: 10:30 am through the weekend (open-ended pickup, but we always encourage you to get your food ASAP).
If you will be out of town for the holiday and want us to hold your share for later pickup from our walk-in cooler at the farm, we are happy to do so! Please email me your name, pickup location, the items you will pick up, and the date you plan to pick up your share from our cooler at the farm. We ask that farm pickups occur during daylight hours. Thanks!

Please mark your calendars or set a reminder so that you don't miss out on your Thanksgiving food!
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Fall Farmstand Hours
For the rest of the season (until December 13th) we will be open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (no Saturdays). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, with all kinds of fall bounty - including giant kohlrabis! Come stock up.
-->
Farmstand Fall Hours:
Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Winter CSA from Valley Flora!

Winter CSA from Valley Flora!
Valley Flora Winter CSA!

* Eat from the Farm Year-Round *
We promise not to put any toddlers in your Winter CSA Share. Giant Kohlrabi? Well, maybe....

 

Our 2017 CSA season ends in a month, but never fear! For those of you who wish you could eat Valley Flora veggies year-round we're offering limited WINTER CSA SHARES.
 
  • The Winter CSA will start in mid to late January 2018.
  • We will pack shares every other week from January through mid-May, for a total of 10 shares during the winter/spring months.
  • Shares will include any and all of the following as the season progresses: carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks, onions, shallots, micro-greens, chard, kale, purple sprouting broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, artichokes, lettuce, asian greens, spinach, winter squash, rapini, herbs, and frozen strawberries.
  • Winter CSA Shares will be available for pickup from the farm only. We do not plan to make deliveries off the farm at this time (that could potentially change if there is a critical mass of interest in Bandon or Port Orford).
  • Cost: $350






Email us

if you are

interested in

signing up for the

Winter CSA.



Space is Limited.


 
Space is limited. Email us soon!

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 24 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 24 of 28 from Valley Flora! Brussels Sprouts!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • First Frost, then Brussels Sprouts!
  • Thanksgiving Pickup Schedule (PLEASE READ!!!)
  • Fall Farmstand Hours
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Red Onions
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes or Hakurei Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Celery
  • Yellow Potatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Sugarloaf Chicory
  • Carrots
  • Leeks?
  • Beets
  • Celeriac
  • Butternut Squash
  • Red Cabbage
  • Asian Pears?
  • Kohlrabi
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
First Frost, then Brussels Sprouts
How many of you are convinced that you hate Brussels sprouts? Well, you're not alone. If you type in "brussels sprouts" in the epicurious.com search bar, the very first recipe in the line-up is called "Brussels Sprouts for People Who Think They Hate Brussels Sprouts" (and yes, it looks like a convincing recipe, even if it doesn't call for bacon).

I've known plenty of folks who emphatically detested them, until, well, they ate ours. Not to sound over-confident (our friend and farm angel, Tom, still insists that he hates them after all these years), but there seems to be a difference in flavor between the everyday Brussels sprouts you'll buy in the store (most of which come from the central coast of California, where it doesn't get very chilly) and those that are locally grown in colder climes. The flavor of Brussels sprouts - like most of the cabbage family - benefits from cold weather, and even better, freezing weather. Freezing temps raise the sugars in the plant, which mitigates some of the stinky-gym-sock-funk of cruciferous plants that some people are sensitive to.

We had hoped to put Brussels sprouts in the share this week and that impulse was confirmed when we got our first frost on the farm over the weekend. Thanks to that frost, we may even get a couple of Brussels sprout converts out of the deal this week.

Foodie folks have been taking Brussels sprouts to new heights in recent years, so don't think the only way to eat them is overcooked, mushy and bland. If you don't already have a go-to favorite prep for them, go to this online treasure trove of Brussels sprouts recipes and find your inspiration. Last Christmas I made the Brussels sprouts with Bacon Jam as an appetizer and we about made ourselves sick on them before our traditional seafood paella feast on Christmas night.
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Thanksgiving Pick-Up Schedule
PLEASE READ!!!
Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away, and man-oh-man would I like to put one or two of the wild turkeys that are decimating my cover crop and Abby's salad mix on the dinner table! Instead, I find myself chasing them off like a crazy lady, screeching at them and brandishing my harvest knife until they take wing and clear the fence.
BUT, I digress...

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and everyone needs to mark their calendars because our delivery schedule is different Thanksgiving week. Here's the plan:
  • We will deliver ALL Harvest Baskets and Egg Shares on Wednesday, November 22nd.
  • If you are a Bandon or Port Orford member, you will pick up that week's share on Wednesday, 11/22, instead of Saturday, 11/25. There will be NO 11/25 Saturday delivery that week.
  • Delivery times on Wednesday, November 22:
    • Coos Bay: No change (12-5 pm)
    • Valley Flora: No change (9 am -4 pm)
    • Port Orford: 10 am - 5 pm
    • Bandon: 10:30 am through the weekend (open-ended pickup, but we always encourage you to get your food ASAP).
If you will be out of town for the holiday and want us to hold your share for later pickup from our walk-in cooler at the farm, we are happy to do so! Please email me your name, pickup location, the items you will pick up, and the date you plan to pick up your share from our cooler at the farm. We ask that farm pickups occur during daylight hours. Thanks!

Please mark your calendars or set a reminder so that you don't miss out on your Thanksgiving food!
-->
Fall Farmstand Hours
For the rest of the season (until December 13th) we will be open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (no Saturdays). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, with all kinds of fall bounty - including giant kohlrabis! Come stock up.
-->
Farmstand Fall Hours:
Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 23 of 28!

Week 23 of 28! Pretty Parsnips! Manly Mustards!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • Pretty Parsnips! Manly Mustards!
  • Beautiful Fall, in Photos...
  • New Fall Farmstand Hours
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onions
  • Gold Nugget Squash
  • Romanesco
  • Radishes or Hakurei Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
  • Mustard Greens
  • Parsnips
  • Parsley
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce?
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower?
  • Celery
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chard?
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Pretty Parnsips! Manly Mustards!
Holy cow, we have FINALLY managed to grow some reasonably pretty parsnips after 10 long years of trying! All of you who've been with us for awhile are used to my annual kvetch each fall about how I'm going to divorce parsnips for good, what a terrible vegetable they are (ugly, hard to dig, ungrateful for all the hard work we put into them, yada yada yada...). WELL, after our umpteenth frustrating tussle with parsnips last fall I decided to ask my network of farmer friends what the heck I was doing wrong. I wanted to grow the kind of parsnips that I wouldn't have to apologize about. I got all kinds of input (many of them said, "Parsnips, oh we don't bother with THOSE!"). But there were some useful tips: 1) Plant them a little later (June instead of May), 2) dig them a little sooner (before they get oversized and begin to crack and turn uber-ugly, which is why you're getting them this week and at Thanksgiving, instead of later), and 3) maybe add a trace amount of boron to the field.

We did all three things and WOW, did I get an oxytocin rush when we harvested the first ones a week ago! They are actually white! They are only a little bit cracked! They even look like something you might want to cook with! To do so, you could cut them up and roast them, or steam and puree them (they make a lovely mash!), or soup, or latkes! Just google it...there are lots of inspired recipes both simple and fancy to be had.

Also in your tote this week, a bunch of mustard greens in lacy maroon and frilly green. I was thinking it'd be fun to mix it up and have a bunched green other than our usual kale/collards/chard in the tote this fall, so we did an experimental seeding. They have a spicy kick (hence the "manly"... ok, semi-desperate attempt at alliteration, I admit...). You can eat them raw to spice up a salad or steam/sautee them like any other bunched green.
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Beautiful Fall, in Photos...
Rainbow Chard next to the Brussels sprouts forest
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Sunrise over newly-seeded cover crop in the summer corn patch
Evening harvest in the kale patch
Blueberry bushes aflame
Pinova apples backlit by evening light
The last of the grapes
Cover crop ground, rolled and ready for rain
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New Fall Farmstand Hours
Regular Fall Farmstand hours begin this week. For the rest of the season (until December 13th) we will be open every Wednesday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (no Saturdays). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, with all kinds of fall bounty - including giant kohlrabis! Come stock up.
-->
Farmstand Fall Hours:
Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 22 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 22 of 28 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • Giant Pumpkin-palooza!
  • October Farmstand Hours
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Red Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Festival Squash
  • Leeks
  • Beets
  • Radishes or Hakurei Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Red Potatoes
  • Tomatoes!
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Radishes
  • Hakurei Turnips
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Romanesco?
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Gold Nugget Squash
  • Radishes or Turnips
  • Parsnips
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Giant Pumpkin-Palooza
Every now and then farming gets to be about something completely silly and completely about our kids (and our inner kids). This year: giant pumpkins. Last January I ordered a pack of Dill's Atlantic Giant Pumpkin seeds, a variety that has produced the Guinness Book world record-holder: a 2000 pound pumpkin. My seeds came with instructions: to achieve largest pumpkin size, give each plant at least 70 square feet of space. Plant in rich, fertile soil. Provide ample water. Thin to one pumpkin fruit per plant. And if you really want to win the State Fair, inject milk into the stem throughout the summer.

In May I started 6 seeds and got three healthy plants. In June, I planted them into an old compost heap along our fence, ran some drip tape, and then stood back and watched. Slowly, surely, over the course of the summer, those vines grew. And grew. And grew. Through the fence and into the county road. Towards the asparagus patch and into the sunflowers. The pumpkins began to swell. At the end of August the kids all chose one and carved their name into it, leaving it to grow another couple months and scarify the name into a raised welt of letters. I forgot to inject the milk. They still grew. I figured we could have a "guess the weight of the pumpkin contest" at the farmstand, until it dawned on me that we didn't have a scale big enough to weigh them...
Pumpkins lurking and swelling in the vines...
Uma enjoying a snack atop her very own pumpkin in early October...
Monday evening we decided it was time to bring in the harvest. But how to move them? Tarps? A pulley? Straps? We finally resorted to the bucket loader and some good old 7 year-old brawn:
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Pippin and Cleo, kind of like football practice...
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It always helps to pick your nose while moving giant pumpkins with the tractor...
Pumpkin-palooza 2017! Feel free to come take your picture with these behemoths. We won't be moving them again anytime soon!
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October Farmstand Hours
We are slowly easing into Fall Farmstand hours. For the month of October we will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine (instead of 9 am to 3 pm). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, as summer and fall food collide in a crash of color.
-->
Farmstand & U-Pick October Hours:
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 21 of 28!

Week 21 of 28! Pie Pumpkins! Acorn Squash! Hakurei Turnips!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • The Scurry Before the Rain
  • Pie Pumpkins and Acorn Squash
  • New October Farmstand Hours
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Acorn Squash
  • Pie Pumpkins
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Head Lettuce
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Cauliflower
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Red Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts?
  • Peppers
  • Festival Squash
  • Radishes
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
The Scurry Before the Rain...
October is reminiscent of spring in many ways: green shoots of grass popping up; Hakurei turnips in your CSA share; the compulsive need to check the weather forecast three times a day. Not unlike springtime, there is so much to do that depends on good weather - and on good rain - that we live and plan by the 10-day forecast. This week we have been scurrying ahead of today's storm to get orchard fruit picked before the south winds knock it all down, to prep ground for cover cropping (tearing out spent cash crops like zucchini, eggplant, strawberries and salad greens to make space for winter cover crops), rolling up drip tape, bringing in sprinkler pipes, digging potatoes, and perhaps most importantly - seeding our winter cover crops on every bare corner of the farm and rolling them in with our antique horsedrawn cultipacker. The transition from the farm's summer appearance to its fall-winter look is abrupt at this time of year. The space we are harvesting from gets smaller every week and the bare ground expands. With this perfectly timed rain, we should see acres of cover crop greening up the farm by next week.

The one significant difference about fall and spring is that the scurrying takes place with the full, luxurious knowledge that these urgent bursts of activity are some of the last big to-do's before we wind down into a slower time of year on the farm: winter! Every farmer's favorite season!  And every farmer's husband's favorite season, right Danny :) ?

My husband really does put up with a lot: a wife who barely fits the definition of one; who stays out late almost every night from May through October (at least I'm in the field not at the bar); who comes home grubby and doesn't wear perfume (although I personally LOVE the eau de parfum of horse sweat); and who leaves most of the cooking to him during the busiest months (albeit he gets to use some pretty nice produce that I had a thing or two to do with....). He's not a farmer so it's probably a longshot that he'll ever fully understand this life that I am so in love with, and will probably continue to chafe at the fact that we will never eat dinner by six pm, and feel frustration at the fact that the weather forecast trumps everything in our lives. Given all that, thank you, Danny, for all the waiting you have done over the years, and for bending to the seasons that have me so fully in their grip. I hope you will continue to put up with me.
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Pie Pumpkins and Acorn Squash
There are some big roundish things in the tote this week, in addition to the huge cauliflowers and big savoy cabbages we packed for you. The sugar pumpkin is a variety we grow especially for pie-making, but always feel compelled to give it out before Halloween in honor of the spooky pumpkin season upon us. You could carve your little pumpkin, but I'd recommend going the distance to make a real, homemade pumpkin pie.

The dark green, lobed squash are Acorn. They're often cut in half, seeds removed, and then baked face down. You can turn them into soup bowls!
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New October Farmstand Hours
We are slowly easing into Fall Farmstand hours. For the month of October we will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (instead of 9 am to 3 pm). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, as summer and fall food collide in a crash of color.
-->
Farmstand & U-Pick October Hours:
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 20 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 20 of 28 from Valley Flora! Delicata Squash, Jumbo Cauliflower!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Last Week for Salad Shares
  • Delicata Squash and Giant Cauliflower (on rotation)
  • Roasting (and Roasted) Peppers by Special Order!
  • New October Farmstand Hours
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Delicata Squash
  • Collard Greens
  • Red Potatoes
  • Head Lettuce
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Cauliflower
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Red Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Savoy Cabbage
  • Eggplant?
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Acorn Squash
  • Pumpkins
  • Hakurei Turnips
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Last Week for Abby's Greens Salad Shares
Oh-so-sad, I know! Salad Shares come to an end this week after 20 lovely weeks of beautiful mesclun mix from Abby. Salad production becomes a bit of a gamble once the weather turns soggy, which is why Salad Shares only span a 20-week season instead of the full 28-week Harvest Basket and Egg Share season. Enjoy your final installment of greens this week, and rest assured that you will still be able to find Abby's Greens for awhile longer at a number of outlets, including our farmstand, the Langlois Market, the Port Orford Co-Op, Mother's Natural Grocery, McKay's Market in Bandon, and Coos Head Natural Foods in Coos Bay. There will also be Abby's Greens at the final Gold Beach Farmer's Market this Saturday - their last market of the year!

Keep in mind that although Salad Shares end this week, there are still EIGHT MORE WEEKS of Harvest Basket and Egg Share deliveries, and two more Tamale Share deliveries. There is some great fall food still to come. Our final week of CSA deliveries for the year will be the week of December 4th. Mark your calendars!
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Delicata Squash and Giant Cauliflower
The winter squash of the week is Delicata. I have a hunch that this first round of Delicatas are not going to be as flavorful as usual since some of them came into the barn this season without fully-colored stripes (usually a sign that the flesh won't be quite as orange and sweet). The plants had fully died back - which is one of our main harvest cues  - but many of the squash were on the petite side with less skin color than usual. If this is your first time trying Delicata, you might not be quite as wowed by them as I would hope. You'll get another round or two of Delicatas over the course of the next two months, and the flavor of all the squash varieties improves with some storage time, so make sure you give them a second chance if you're not swooning this first time around.

Aside from their wonderful flavor, Delicatas tend to be the darling of many because they are easy to handle. You can peel them with a regular veggie peeler (or eat them skin and all!). Also, they cook relatively quickly (either cut in half and bake face down or peel, cut into rounds and roast with some olive oil and salt). Whenever I make a trip to our squash room for some dinner ingredients, I invariably reach for the Delicatas first.

Some of you are also receiving the first of the fall cauliflower this week. It's starting to trickle in, larger than life - holy crow! I guess those plants really liked the single row spacing and the weekly horsedrawn cultivation with Maude! They might be the biggest cauliflowers I've ever grown, much less seen. I should give the Guiness Book a call...

And if you don't get a cauliflower this week and are feeling left out, brace yourself: they'll probably only be bigger next week.

For the cauliflower-themed dinner party you should definitely host, Epicurious has some really good looking cauliflower recipes you should check out:

https://www.epicurious.com/search/cauliflower
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Order Now! Roasting Peppers!
Calling all pepper gluttons! Italian red roasting peppers are now available by special order: 5 pound bags for $22 delivered to your pickup site. Email us with your name, pickup site, phone number and quantity and we'll hook you up. You can eat them raw; roast, peel and freeze them; roast and can them; or simply chop them up and freeze them to brighten up some winter meals.

OR, if you want us to roast them for you in our super awesome flaming pepper roaster, you can buy a 5 pound bag of roasted (not peeled) peppers. Email us!
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New October Farmstand Hours
We are slowly easing into Fall Farmstand hours. For the month of October we will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (instead of 9 am to 3 pm). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, as summer and fall food collide in a crash of color.
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Farmstand & U-Pick October Hours:
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 19 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 19 of 28 from Valley Flora! Asian Pears! Romanesco!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Fall Favorites: Asian Pears, Romanesco Cauliflower, and Peppers!
  • Roasting (and Roasted) Peppers by Special Order!
  • New October Farmstand Hours
  • Winter Squash Kick-off
  • Tamales this Week
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Red Onions
  • Romanesco Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Asian Pears
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Nothing this week....
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Yellow Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Collard Greens
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Delicata Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Fall Favorites
If found myself humming "These are a Few of My Favorite Things" while packing the CSA totes yesterday: lime green minarets of romanesco cauliflower, two kinds of Asian Pears (my favorite tree fruit in our orchard!), a pile of sweet peppers, and some red butterhead lettuce to top it off. Now that's the kind of tote that makes me wish I was a CSA member. :)

You can eat romanesco any way you would eat cauliflower. It has a wonderfully dense, crisp texture and nutty flavor. My favorite prep is to cut it into florets (little trees, says Cleo), toss it with olive oil, salt and peppers, and roast it hot until crispy browned in places but still tender (not mushy!) - putting your oven at 450 should do the trick.

There are two Asian pear varieties to try. Nijiseiki is the yellow-skinned variety: juicy, sweet, mild, refreshing. Chojuro is the bronze-skinned variety: dense, delicious, tastes just like butterscotch (my all-time favorite thing that grows in our orchard). Although the fruit set was pretty light throughout the rest of the orchard this year (cold, wet spring), the Asian pears went bonkers - so much so that we had to thin fruit off the trees twice to prevent breakage!
Each pear inspected and approved by one-year-old Jules!
And yes, you may have noticed that it's pepper season! If I had to chose a favorite vegetable on the farm, yup, it'd be sweet peppers. I like to eat them like apples. All. Day. Long.

And, when the pepper avalanche hits (now), I love to preserve them: roasted and then frozen, or just frozen, or marinated and canned. You, too, could have your own stash of roasted peppers this winter....read on!
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Order Now! Roasting Peppers!
Calling all pepper gluttons! Italian red roasting peppers are now available by special order: 5 pound bags for $22 delivered to your pickup site. Email us with your name, pickup site, phone number and quantity and we'll hook you up. You can eat them raw; roast, peel and freeze them; roast and can them; or simply chop them up and freeze them to brighten up some winter meals.

OR, if you want us to roast them for you in our super awesome flaming pepper roaster, you can buy a 5 pound bag of roasted (not peeled) peppers. Email us!
-->
New October Farmstand Hours
We are slowly easing into Fall Farmstand hours. For the month of October we will be open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm (instead of 9 am to 3 pm). The farmstand abundance is beautiful right now, as summer and fall food collide in a crash of color.
-->
Winter Squash Kick-off
It's October and the winter squash are ripening up! We've been harvesting, boxing and squirreling away our many squash varieties over the past couple of weeks. Spaghetti squash always makes the squash debut, followed by a parade of other colorful varieties from now through December. I've always felt like spaghetti squash needed a little talking up (it's suffered mainstream maligning left and right) but ever since gluten went out of fashion, wow, spaghetti squash is so cool now! There are ample recipes to turn to these days, and if I were you I'd start with the treasure trove of good ideas on epicurious.com.

With any winter squash, be careful cutting into them. Most have a tough outer skin and a roundish shape, which makes knife accidents all-too-common. When cutting them in half, use a heavy blade with a pointy tip. Sink the tip of the knife into the squash first and then carefully work it around the circumference until you cleave the thing in two. Some like to pre-microwave their squash first to soften them up a bit before hacking into them, but if you do that you'll need to poke some fork holes in the skin...also a tough job sometimes.

We cure all of our winter squash for storage, so they should all keep for a few months on your counter - no need to refrigerate.
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Tamales this Week
Tamales go out this week. Look for your share in the marked blue coolers at your pickup site!
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Farmstand & U-Pick October Hours:
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 18 of 28 from Valley Flora!

Week 18 of 28 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser

In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Fall Projects Galore!
  • U-Pick is still Good
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Tomatoes
  • Head Lettuce
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.
  • Eggplant
Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Red Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Romanesco Cauliflower??
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatoes?
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Fall Projects Galore!
The headlong rush of summer is easing up a bit - meaning less to weed and water and harvest - but meanwhile the dial is cranking up on fall projects. There are the usual big things on the list: winter squash and potato harvest, cover crop seeding, and prepping beds for the 2018 strawberry patch (all of which have to be timed with the weather, which so far is cooperating pretty well!). But this year we have some big projects on our plate in addition to the usual stuff. We're putting up a new propagation greenhouse next to our barn, which will be a huge improvement in efficiency on the farm. We use the prop house to start all of our seeds throughout the year (we grow all of our own transplants), and it serves as an ideal onion-curing house in the late summer. Our current prop house is up on the hill, well beyond the barn, which is less than ideal for a management-intensive space that needs to be tended to daily. The new structure will be situated right at the nucleus of the farm and have some major upgrades: a concrete slab, thermostat-controlled ventilation, and more space overall. The concrete guys come on Thursday to start in on the slab, which means that until the actual greenhouse goes up (probably starting in November) we're gonna have an awesome roller skating rink at the farm!

We're also gearing up to lay all the infrastructure for the New Nine, the field west of the farmstand that we're moving onto next season. We have to build a deer fence, construct a new pump house, and install a couple thousand feet of irrigation mainline. So much for a quiet winter! We're excited about this new field and the opportunity it affords to improve our crop rotation, grow year-round cover crops on a good chunk of the farm, and take our soil stewardship to the next level. It occurred to me recently that this list of big infrastructure projects is exactly the same one we were tackling a decade ago when I came back to Floras Creek and we launched Valley Flora. The only difference is that this time we have 100+ amazing CSA members (that's you!) behind us, four kids instead of none (between Abby and I), and a couple grey hairs.

VF 2.0, here we come.
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U-Pick is Still Good!
The berries might have gotten off to a late start, but they've been generous this fall and helped make up for some lost summer u-pick opportunity. It's still good out there (a lot of folks came out last week to help clean up the patch after that rain), so there's still time to get your fix! Plus the crowd is mellow, with Saturday soccer games and school back in session. Hope you can come enjoy the lovely fall light in the strawberry patch!
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 17 from Valley Flora!

Week 17 from Valley Flora! FREE U-Pick STRAWBERRIES at Valley Flora today!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser



In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • FREE STRAWBERRIES at the Farm Today!
  • Ugliest Potatoes Ever!
  • Leeks and the Last Corn...
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Leeks
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.

Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Yellow Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Zucchini?
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Kale
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers
  • Parsley
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
FREE U-Pick Strawberries at the Farm Today!
FREE STRAWBERRIES at Valley Flora today! The berry patch has taken a beating in this rain, but with sun in the forecast there is hope for another few weeks of good berry picking if we can get the patch cleaned up! If you can brave the rain and come out to the farm today, you can take home any good berries you pick for free, equal to the quantity of "slop" berries you pick. Here's how it works: We'll provide buckets for moldy-mushy-yucky berries. You pick bad berries into the bucket and good berries into your containers. When you get to the checkout, we'll weigh your slop berries and good berries. Whatever poundage of slop berries you've picked, you can have the same poundage of good berries for free! The "good berries" are still red and sweet. Today's a great opportunity for filling your freezer or making jam for free, and helping us out!
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Ugliest Potatoes Ever
It's not shaping up to be the year of the potato. Not one bit. They suffered due to our cold, wet spring. Thus far, yields are low and quality is poor. The rose fingerlings in your share this week have skin blemishes aplenty, but they should still be good eating - with the help of a veggie peeler. It's hard for me to pack not-so-pretty food in the totes, but I'm banking on the assumption you'd rather get some ugly potatoes than none at all....?

We'll be digging some other varieties in the coming weeks, so I'm hopeful we'll see some improvement in other varieties.
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Leeks and the Last Corn...
The first leeks and the last sweet corn of the season are making their way into your share this week. I always like to pair leeks with potatoes in a share, in case there are any Potato Leek Soup fans out there. I'll use sauteed leeks anywhere I'll use cooked onions. They are a bit milder than most onions, but extremely flavorful. If you're new to them, the blanched stalk is the part you slice up cross-wise and cook with, however you can save the top "leaves" to make veggie stock. There is often some dirt lodged between the layers of the leek up by the leaves, so you might want to take extra care washing them if you plan to use the tops.

We've had a good run with sweet corn this season and I always hate to see it go. These ears aren't quite as big as the last batch, but it's that same wonderful bi-color variety: super sweet, tender and juicy. Enjoy this last corny taste of summer!
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 16 from Valley Flora!

Week 16 from Valley Flora! Sweet Peppers! Napa Cabbage!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser

In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Fall Firsts: Sweet Peppers, Napa Cabbage and Broccoli
  • Rain on the Horizon, Change in the Air
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots 
  • Red Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Eggplant
  • Head Lettuce
  • Fennel
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Cilantro
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Chili Peppers
  • Broccoli
On Rotation:*
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.

Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Leeks
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers?
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Kale?
  • Sweet Corn
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Fall Firsts
The first of the fall Brassicas have made their way into your tote this week: broccoli (a couple weeks early) and napa cabbage (right on time). And, most exciting of all, sweet peppers are making their first vibrant appearance (3 weeks later than planned, and not a Brassica, but the best part of fall eating!).

There is that saying, "Better late than never, better never than early..."

I almost felt that way this week when the broccoli harvest started coming in heavy, far too soon given that we are still in the midst of late summer abundance and don't really need one more thing on our harvest list...especially since we count on broccoli to help fill the totes later in the season. But what can you do? Have a serious chat with the weather about a little too much late summer heat? We dutifully harvested it all and found a corner in your tote where it would snug in nicely next to the eggplants.

Napa Cabbage! One of my favorite fleeting fall foods! It's the standby cabbage for making kimchi, but I never get around to that at this time of year. Instead, I love to slice it thinly, grate in some carrot, chop some apples, maybe dice a little jalapeño and cilantro, and dress it up with a simple rice vinaigrette. In fact, I think I posted a recipe akin to this a few years back that I've continued to make, always with some improv moves thrown in:

Apple and Napa Cabbage Salad with Spiced Pecans

 
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Rain on the Horizon, Change in the Air
Spring and Fall are when I watch the weather like a hawk: in the spring because we are hoping and waiting for dry windows to open up ground for spring planting; in the fall because we're in a strategic dance with the weather to harvest storage crops (potatoes, winter squash), get strawberry beds prepped (we  plant new crowns in November each year), and get overwintering cover crops seeded (oats, field peas, rye, vetch, clover). I usually hope for mostly clear skies through mid-October to help facilitate all these critical tasks, and since we're still suffering from a little PTSD after last year's 11 feet of rain, I've been hoping for sun even more ardently this fall. It would be so great to keep the strawberries going a bit longer, now that they've finally kicked into gear....

And then, reality: there's an inch and a half of rain forecast for early next week. If you were considering coming to pick strawberries, do it today or Saturday just in case (we'll keep you posted about the state of the berries after the rain - sometimes they rebound and recover after a big rain if it gets sunny and warm again).

Of course fall is inevitable, but it's always hard to let summer go....that is, until the weather changes definitively and all the squash is dry and safe in the barn, and the cooler is full of potatoes, and you realize how nice it is to put on a sweater, feel the nip in the air, come home a little earlier, light your first fire in the woodstove, make a pot of soup, sit on the couch for the first time in 6 months, get cozy. OK, I guess it's not so bad, really.

(I just realized: potatoes and leeks next week = soup! Perfect timing!)

 
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 15 from Valley Flora!

Week 15 from Valley Flora! Strawberry U-pick is Better and Better!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser




In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Smoked
  • Tamales this Week
  • Strawberry U-pick is Better and Better
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots 
  • Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Red Slicing Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Eggplant
  • Head Lettuce
On Rotation:*
  • Cilantro
  • Green Beans
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.

Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers?
  • Cilantro
  • Fennel
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Smoked
I took off my farm shirt last night after a long day of harvest and the smell of campfire was unmistakable in the fibers. The smoke has been hanging heavy in the Floras Creek Valley the past week, like nothing we've ever seen. The sun passes overhead as a mute red ball, creating a suffocating heavy heat by mid-day. The light is eclipse-like, eery and subdued. I may be imagining things, but I feel like it's suppressed growth in the head lettuce: everything is sizing up more slowly than usual right now.

We are grateful for the fact that we're not in the heart of any infernos - may it continue to be so - and more and more eager every day for a flame-squelching rain as fires continue to spread in every direction. The strawberries, which have finally picked up (now that it's September!), would not appreciate a deluge, but I imagine every other Oregonian would. We hope all of you are safe and hanging in there! Oh my, the planet these days...
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Tamales this Week
Tamales will be delivered to CSA pickup sites this week in marked blue coolers. Please only take tamales if you signed up for them and your name is on the cooler lid. Shares are labeled individually, so please read the tags carefully and be sure you are grabbing the ones with your name on them. Enjoy!
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Strawberry U-pick is the Best Yet!
Good things are worth waiting for, and so it goes in the strawberries this year. Right now they are more abundant - and sweeter - than they've been all season. U-pick demand often drops off in September as kids return to school, so now's a great opportunity to come and load up on beautiful berries. Also, a little secret: our farmstand and u-pick are typically pretty quiet on the Cranberry Festival and Fun Festival weekends (the next two Saturdays), so that'd be a smart time to come out and get your fill.

Also good news: we were finally able to start fulfilling special orders this week for strawberries. Hopefully we'll have a good opportunity this month to get more flats out to all of you who have been patiently waiting since June. Thanks for your understanding!
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 14 from Valley Flora!

Week 14 from Valley Flora! The halfway point...!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Horsepower on the New Nine
  • Celery Success at Last
  • Eat This: Caponata!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Carrots
  • Red Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Red Slicing Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Hot Peppers
On Rotation:*
  • Eggplant
  • Cilantro
  • Green Beans
  • Collards
  • Head Lettuce
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.


Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers?
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Horsepower on the New Nine
Last week one of my draft horse mentors came for a two day visit to work with me and my three draft horses, Maude, Jack and Lily. Don Yerian is a native Montanan who's spent his entire life working with horses in harness. He's done everything from logging to dairy farming to heavy construction - all with horses - and is a phenomenal breeder and trainer. I was lucky enough to snag him for a couple days during his month-long stint in Oregon this summer, where he travels every August to work with various horse farmers around the state.

We focused our efforts on working up next year's strawberry ground on the New Nine, the field across the road from our farmstand that we're bringing into production this coming year. For the first time we hitched three abreast and Maude, Jack and Lily went to work together plowing down a half acre of our summer cover crop. The horses worked beautifully and smoothly, and although the goal wasn't to get all the plowing done (rather, to simply work the horses and learn from Don), we got 'er done! Well plowed, horses, well plowed.
From left to right in harness: Lily, Maude & Jack. That's Zoë in the foreground, tickled pink. Click on the photo above to watch the video of them plowing the New Nine (posted to our Facebook page).
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Celery Success at Last
We harvested the first celery of the season this week and what joy! After many years of struggling to grow sweet, juicy celery we finally nailed it this year. The trick: lots of water (twice as much as anything else gets), plenty of compost, no overhead irrigation (only drip tape), 12" spacing (instead of 6"), and a trace amount of boron in our spring liming. We're back to bunch it - instead of logging the whole plant - which means we should have celery in the totes throughout the fall. That's great news for fall soup season, for ants-on-a-log in your kid's school lunch, and for making a batch of Caponata this week (recipe below). Yum.
Eat This: Caponata
One of our regular farmstand customers shared this recipe with us a couple weeks ago and it is the quintessential recipe to celebrate August/September food. It's a Sicilian staple - kind of like a sweet and sour eggplant jam - but words can't do it justice. You just have to make it, eat it, and swoon.


http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Caponata
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 13 from Valley Flora!

Week 13 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Totality Awesome!
  • No Babysitter = Free Farm Labor!
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Ramping Up
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Red Slicing Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Corn
On Rotation:*
  • Eggplant
  • Cilantro
  • Green Beans
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.


Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Celery?
  • Potatoes?
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers?
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Totality Awesome!
Eclipse mania! While we farmers were nailed to the furrows on Monday and didn't travel afar for totality, we were still pretty amazed by the celestial spectacle at the farm. Reports from family and friends who experienced the 100% real-deal made us wish we had blown off the to-do list (oh, and the entire Monday harvest), but alas, someone had to fill those Harvest Baskets with heaps of corn, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, zucchini, beans, strawberries, lettuce and the like (beware when you take the lid off your Rubbermaid this week; veggies might leap up at you....we had to really stuff 'em to get it to all fit this time). It got downright cold in the field at the peak of the eclipse, plus the birds went silent, the chickens went in to roost, and the creek started flowing upstream. Almost all of that is true.

Hope you had a chance to enjoy it, wherever you were!
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No Babysitter = Free Farm Labor
Our summer childcare is unraveling (oh dear) as the school year draws near and our various summer kiddo helpers are called back to their regular duties. For lack of a babysitter the next few weeks, the kids had to run feral on the farm on Tuesday, our biggest harvest day of the week (and a day we've always been sure to have babysitters for!). But alas, it turns out they want to "help" now! Pippin and Cleo picked a hundred ears of corn yesterday, and more impressively, managed to count them perfectly into bins, 20 ears to a bin (counting is in fact the hardest thing we have to do on the farm...). It's starting to dawn on me that maybe I should have had a dozen or so kids! If only they were born picking corn and counting to 20...

But seriously, if anyone is looking for a part-time childcare gig into the fall, we are in a bit of a pickle and are looking for some help! Email me if it sounds like your cup of tea and I can give you more details.

 
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Strawberry U-Pick is Ramping Up!
Slowly but surely the strawberry patch is ramping up. What a weird year! Thankfully I see a lot of green fruit and blossoms on the plants, which bodes well for the coming weeks. So long as we have nice enough weather in September, my guess is that the best is still to come in strawberryland. The berries are sweeter than ever right now - and only get more so in September. If you haven't filled your freezer yet, don't worry, you haven't missed the boat. It's still best to come in the morning and it's helpful if you bring your own containers. Happy picking!
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Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


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Week 12 from Valley Flora!

Week 12 from Valley Flora! Sweet Corn! Hot Peppers! Beets!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Hot Peppers!
  • Coos Bay Crop Up Dinner
  • The Big Onion Haul
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Ramping Up
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Parsley
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Red Slicing Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Hot Peppers
  • Strawberries
On Rotation:*
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Corn
  • Green Beans
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.


Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Cilantro?
  • Chard
  • Eggplant
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Hot Peppers!
Last week we surprised our Saturday CSA members with the first sweet corn and today our Wednesday members get to enjoy it as well. This is our earliest bi-color, which produces tender super-sweet ears. They aren't the biggest elotes we grow, but this variety is consistently one of the yummiest. There is a lot more corn to come in the upcoming month, so enjoy this first teaser. There might have been another ear or two for everyone if a certain couple of kids (and a racoon) hadn't been marauding the corn patch regularly for the past week...

And if corn doesn't spell summer with a capital "S," then the green beans should surely have you convinced! Some CSA sites will receive the first of the beans this week, either French Filet beans or Romanos. If you cook them, keep it to a minimum: bright green and tender-crisp. We steamed the first little harvest from the home garden two nights ago and dang it if I only got one bean before the kids snarfed the rest up!

There are a couple of hot peppers in your tote this week, one jalapeño and one serrano (both green, and both with some kick). Dice one of those up with a Walla Walla and some tomatoes and dig into a pile of homemade salsa!
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Coos Bay Crop Up Dinner
Tomorrow afternoon the North Bend Community Center will be transformed into a mini farmers market, followed by a dinner gala featuring local products, including Valley Flora produce.

Crop-Up Dinners are being held in various communities around Oregon to increase awareness about the bountiful diversity of Oregon specialty crops including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops.

Each dinner starts with a Specialty Market Showcase from 4:00-6:00 PM and then a six course local dinner is served at 6:30 PM. There will be an awards ceremony and live music by Caught Red Handed.

Crop-Up Dinner Tickets cost $20 per person and include a $5 voucher to the market showcase.

More info, and get your tickets today online.

Valley Flora goods will be displayed and available for purchase at the Coos Head Natural Foods booth, and I'll be sticking around for dinner. Hope to see you there!

 
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The Big Onion Haul
Last week Roberto and Amelia started hauling in the storage onion crop! All the storage onions and shallots get pulled from the field once they are fully sized up and the tops begin to fall over. Then we haul them to our propagation greenhouse (which is nearly empty by now) to cure in a dry environment. Once the tops are fully dried down and crispy, we'll start to clean the onions by cutting off the root hairs and tops, grading by size, and storing in bins. These are the onions that see us all the way through fall, deep into winter - and in the case of our shallots - we might still be eating them a whole year later.

Over the years I've trialed many varieties in search of onions and shallots that will mature relatively quickly in our cool climate and store well for many months. All that experimentation has paid off and we're pretty happy with our standby varieties now. We've also made improvements to our storage facilities so that we can keep our onions in closer-to-ideal conditions to prolong their shelf life as long as possible. Red onions coming soon to a Harvest Basket near you!
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Strawberry U-Pick is Ramping Up!
Slowly but surely the strawberry patch is ramping up. What a weird year! Thankfully I see a lot of green fruit and blossoms on the plants, which bodes well for the coming weeks. So long as we have nice enough weather in September, my guess is that the best is still to come in strawberryland. The berries are sweeter than ever right now - and only get more so in September. If you haven't filled your freezer yet, don't worry, you haven't missed the boat. It's still best to come in the morning and it's helpful if you bring your own containers. Happy picking!
-->
Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 11 from Valley Flora!

Week 11 from Valley Flora! New potatoes! Heirlooms! The first eggplant!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • New Potatoes, Heirlooms, the First Eggplant
  • Two of my Favorite Things to Eat
  • Grilled Favas
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • New Potatoes - Yukon Gold
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Thyme
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Red Slicing Tomatoes
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Red Ursa Kale
On Rotation:*
  • Eggplant
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.


Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Corn?
  • Zucchini
  • Basil?
  • Beets
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
New Potatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes and the First Eggplant
The totes have some heft this week! Everyone should see some new potatoes and heirlooms, and some pickup sites will get eggplant.

What makes a potato "new"? It describes a potato that is harvested when the plant is still green and before the skin on the tuber is fully cured. We dug a bed of Yukon Gold this week - beautiful spuds, but not such great yields. You'll notice that some of the potatoes in your share might have torn skins; an inevitable result of washing the fragile-skinned potatoes when they are "new." New potatoes need to be stored in the fridge in a plastic bag to stay perky. When you cut into them, notice how juicy they are!

The heirlooms are on! Bets grows a bunch of different heirloom tomato varieties in colors that criss-cross the rainbow (if you get a green tomato, it's ripe!). Heirlooms are intrinsically more fragile and soft-bodied than typical red slicers, so handle with care and eat sooner than later. Also, the flavor and texture of all tomatoes is best if you don't refrigerate them. They will continue to ripen on your counter and get sweeter and juicier every day, like plums/peaches/strawberries and other fruits that continue to ripen off the vine.

A bit miraculous given the cool start to our season, but we harvested the first outdoor eggplant yesterday, right on cue. They aren't super-abundant just yet so they'll be on rotation for a couple weeks until we ramp up to full production. I also scaled back our eggplant planting a bit from previous years, so hopefully the onslaught won't be quite as overwhelming as the past couple seasons. Eggplants - like cucumbers and zucchini - fall into a unique category when it comes to storage: ideal conditions are around 50 degrees farenheit with 95% relative humidity, which means that most fridges are too cold and dry and most kitchen counters are too warm and dry. If you put eggplant/zucchini/cucumbers in the refrigerator in a plastic bag, within 10 days they often start to get slimy. But who has a cheese or wine cellar to store their summer produce in? I find that the best I can do is put my summer cukes/zukes/eggplant in a brown paper bag in the fridge, in the produce drawer - and eat them within a week.
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Two of my Favorite Things to Eat
Chopped Salad. Finocchio. And you have most of the ingredients to make both this week.

Chopped Salad: Once cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and eggplants are on, the first thing I do is open my Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and I make a dish that essentially adds up to chopped salad with spiced chickpeas. I could live on this dish, as long as the summer veg is pumping. If you don't have the Jerusalem cookbook, someone has conveniently pirated the recipe and put it online: https://healthylivingmarket.com/recipe/spiced-chickpea-and-fresh-vegetable-salad/


I can't think of a time when I've had radishes on the farm at the same time as cucumbers (maybe there's a short window of overlap in October....?), nor do we have sweet peppers just yet. But in the absence of any one ingredient, throw in something else: diced raw fennel or zucchini or carrots. Anything goes. And once eggplant is on, I love to broil slabs of it (brushed generously with olive oil and salt) until golden brown and then chop it up and mix it in. It adds a meaty anchor to all the zingy veggies. You can also go in the fattoush direction with this: add torn up bits of sourdough bread or pita for the Arab/Israeli spin on it.

A quick tip on the chickpeas: measure and mix all the spices into a lidded tupperware instead of a bowl, then add the garbanzos, snap the lid on and shake it all up to coat the beans. I like to double the chickpeas and either load them on to the salad for extra protein or save some in the fridge to top salads with all week.

Finnochio: Fennel, tomatoes, herbs, Walla Wallas - all simmered down into a deeply flavorful dish that can go atop noodles, bread, polenta, pizza - or straight down the gullet. We look forward to this moment all year, when all the ingredients are at our fingertips. If you don't have basil on hand, you can sub the thyme that's in your share this week.

https://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/finocchio
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Grilled Favas
I failed you the last two weeks: I totally forget to mention the best - and easiest - way to eat fresh favas. Grill them! Put the whole, raw pod on the grill at medium heat and roast them until they start to char on the outside (flip them to char both sides). Then stand around with friends and dig in, every woman for herself (no spending three hours alone in the kitchen shelling and peeling favas for your family when you could be at the swimming hole in the beautiful summer sun!). Open the pods, bite through the skin at the tip of the bean and squeeze the bean into your mouth (like blanching almonds, if you've ever done that...). They are delicious and the whole experience is the opposite of daunting. If you still have some in your fridge, try it!
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Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
The U-pick is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the berries are still limited. If you are hoping to pick a large quantity of berries, please hold off for another couple weeks. The patch has been getting picked out quickly each day. But never fear, our strawberry season is long and lovely - usually all the way through September - so there will be ample opportunity to get your fill this summer. As always, it's helpful if you bring your own containers.
-->
Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 10 from Valley Flora!

Week 10 from Valley Flora! What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser



In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Heat Wave!
  • Cool as a Cucumber
  • On the Pleasure of Waiting
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Fava Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Collards
*This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others in a future week.


Please Note: All of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.

The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
What might be in your share next week (no promises!):
  • Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Zucchini
  • Thyme
  • Fennel
  • Red Ursa Kale
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
 
Valley Flora Recipe Wizard
Our own collection of recipes gathered over the years.
 
Epicurious
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
 
Full Belly Farm
Recipes from one of my favorite farms in California, pioneers of the organic movement since the 80s.

Farm Fresh to You
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient.
 
Helsing Junction Farm
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes geared toward CSA members.

 
Heat Wave
Anyone else feeling lucky to live on the coast this week? Temps could hit 110 degrees in the Willamette and Rogue Valleys today, where many of my farmer comrades are struggling to keep crops alive and their crews safe in dangerous, record-breaking heat. For us this crazy weather is a sort of novelty: how many times can we jump in the creek in one day, and who wants to get sprayed with the hose during packout?  A couple days in the 90s is great for the eggplants and the melons. It was fun to get up extra early for harvest yesterday to beat the heat and watch the beautiful day break over the valley while cutting the head lettuce. All this knowing that by Thursday it will be back to "normal" here.

But my email inbox is full of stressed-out listserv emails from my fellow farmers inland who are trying to cope. The farm where I used to work in Portland cancelled all deliveries for their 400-member CSA this week due to the forecast. People are starting their crews at 4 am and knocking off by noon to avoid heat stroke. They are throwing mud on their greenhouses to block the sun (temps in our greenhouse reached 130 degrees yesterday; you can only imagine how hot it would be if air temps were 109 like they are predicted to be in the Rogue Valley today). They are debating whether and how much and when to water heat-sensitive crops to keep them alive: too much water and they'll "steam" to death; not enough and they'll scorch. Not so fun, and in fact, downright scary.

People are predicting that the economic fall-out from this week of heat will be severe in the farm community: a missed week of sales for a seasonal farm in the peak of summer is significant. Farmers markets have been cancelled, CSA deliveries are on hold, heat sensitive crops planted for fall harvest are in jeopardy, and farmers are spending the week in survival mode instead of taking care of the weekly to-do list.

In the midst of it all, everyone is trying to develop best coping practices for now and in the future - because the big picture seems clear to my community of farmer friends: that climate change will continue to bring these extreme weather events to our lives, making farming more difficult and precarious.
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Cool as a Cucumber
Good timing this week: the cucumbers are finally here! You'll see regular slicing cukes in your tote this week, as well as the first lemon cucumbers. Harvesting lemon cukes is a lot like stealing eggs out from underneath a broody hen: clutches of little round "eggs" hiding under the bushy skirt of the plant.
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On the Pleasure of Waiting...
If you have frequented the farmstand in the past few weeks, you'll know that it's been a zoo in the morning. Perhaps because the u-pick is in short supply this season, an unprecedented crowd of early birds has been arriving at the farmgate before 9 am hoping to get the "worm" (whether it's strawberries, or the first tomatoes of the season, or the few bags of basil...). There is a veritable stampede on the produce and the strawberry patch in the first hour, contributing to wait times of up to an hour in the checkout line. We've never experienced anything like it.

Understandably, some folks have been grumpy about the long line, and because the pattern doesn't seem to be abating, we are juggling our schedules to staff the farmstand with two people for that first rush in hopes of speeding things up. We want your experience at the farm to be a positive one, and we know that many folks are too busy to budget a 45 minute produce wait into their day (now THERE'S a good reason to be a Harvest Basket member: no lines!).

In the midst of trying to reckon with this new farmstand "problem," and worried about unhappy customers, I recently came across an old black and white photo taken in the 1920s of a long string of model T (?) cars queued up waiting for the ferry that used to shuttle people and goods between Coos Bay and the east side. As I glanced at that photo, it occurred to me that we used to do a lot of waiting. Waiting for ferries. Waiting for letters to cross the country on stage coaches. Waiting in line at the butcher. And in that waiting, there was a space and an opportunity for interaction with strangers and friends. A conviviality of waiting. I thought about our farmstand line, and my friend who waited in it for a half hour a week ago. She beamed, telling me about the interesting woman she met and the great conversations she had either side of her. It occurred to me that if you have the time and the notion to surrender to it, waiting can be a wonderful thing.

I also thought this thought: as farmers, our very existence is waiting. The tomatoes you are eating this week came from seeds sown on Valentine's Day. We have waited five months for this moment. The Walla Walla Sweets were sown the third week of January: 6 months of tending. There is a joy in the anticipation, and then the reward: the corn patch growing taller week by week, then tassels and fine white silks, and finally ears that swell visibly every day towards perfect rows of sweet yellow and white kernels. Food is slow. Even fast food is made from slow things, like cows that had to fatten and tomatoes that had to size up and wheat that had to ripen, get threshed, milled, and baked into buns.

We have become accustomed, and now expect, instantaneous: texts and high speed internet connections and drive-up windows that deliver miraculous things in the blink of any eye. I, too, get antsy when my Wunderground home page spins for a minute trying to load a bunch of advertisements in the sidebar of my weather forecast. But when I get to the farm some of that impatience falls away; I don't expect anything to be instant at the farm. Even text messages.

We will do our best to keep the line moving at the farmstand, but if you do find yourself waiting, remember there is an opportunity in that space: beautiful morning shadows cast by the cut flowers, the shimmer of the asparagus ferns. And more likely than not, the person in line next to you has a great tip for what to do with the fennel you are bravely taking home for the first time.
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Strawberry Slump
For one mysterious reason or another, the strawberries have decided to cool their jets, right when things were just getting good out there. They often have a lull at some point mid-summer, but I was hoping it wouldn't be so soon.

If you are on the special order list, please know that I haven't even begun to fill special orders yet this season. I hope we'll have enough to satisfy everyone's strawberry passions, but with the late start and low yields I can't promise. As ever, we'll do our best for you!
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Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
The U-pick is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the berries are still limited. If you are hoping to pick a large quantity of berries, please hold off for another couple weeks. The patch has been getting picked out quickly each day. But never fear, our strawberry season is long and lovely - usually all the way through September - so there will be ample opportunity to get your fill this summer. As always, it's helpful if you bring your own containers.
-->
Farmstand & U-Pick Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce
U-Pick Strawberries and Flowers
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp