Beet Box

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!
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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 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
-->
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

Week 9 from Valley Flora!

Week 9 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:
  • Fava Beans!
  • Oh Goody: Tomatoes! Parsley! Torpedo Onions!
  • Strawberry Slump
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Red Long of Tropea Torpedo Onions
  • Italian Parsley
  • Fava Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Zucchini
  • Green Cabbage
  • 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
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes?
  • Zucchini
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.

 
Fava Beans!
Perhaps little known in most of your kitchens, but absolutely favulous, these meaty green beans-in-the-pod are one of my favarite seasonal treats from our field. I guess you could liken them to lima beans, but that conjures up such a violent recoil from so many baby boomers who were damaged during their 1950s childhood by slimy canned lima beans that I hate to even put fava and lima in the same sentence. Dang, I just did it. So forget the lima bean reference and just think incredibly delicious fresh Italian food....fave con cipolla rossa e menta...


(FYI, that's Italian for a lovely recipe you should try: Favas with Red Onions and Mint - simple and divine).

Here's a quick fava primer if it's your first date: the edible bean lies nestled inside a soft, downy inedible pod, and the bright green beans themselves are encased in a taupe-colored tight skin. They're easy to shell, but peeling them is more time-consuming. Most would say that the flavor, texture and color of the beans is better without their skins and I agree: it's worth the time to peel them. Don't attempt it if you're already hangry and trying to crank out a speedy dinner. Favas are a slow food, so choose a day when you have some time to shell and peel and get zen in the kitchen - maybe in the company of some friends and/or a nice glass of wine.

The quickest way to go about peeling your favas after you shell them out of the pod is to blanch them for one minute in boiling water, then submerge them in ice water, then squeeze them out of their skins (if you've ever blanched your own almonds it's exactly the same process). Here's a simple photo tutorial to help you on your way. Kids love the squeezing part, especially if they're allowed to shoot them at each other. It doesn't add up to a lot of dinner in the end, but at least they'll have happy fava memories instead of grim lima ones.

There are 3 pounds of favas in your share this week, plenty to make any number of recipes. There are zillions of other ways to do 'em up if fave con cipolla rossa e menta doesn't float your boat - mashed, soup, in salads, and more. I wish we could have included a bunch of mint in this week's share to give you everything you need for the recipe, but alas our mint succumbed to rust a few weeks ago and we mowed it down for the season.

Enjoy this little culinary adventure this week. It's probably your one and only encounter with VF favas for the year, so don't let them turn black at the back of the fridge!
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Oh Goody! Tomatoes, Parsley, Torpedo Onions
After a low-yield tomato season last year, I am delighted to report that Bets' tomato greenhouses are bulging with 'maters this year! They're making their way into your share a week or two earlier than normal, thanks to a 5 week jumpstart she got on her plantings this spring. The texture and flavor of your tomatoes will be best if you keep them out of the fridge. Leave them on your countertop and they will continue to ripen up and gain even more flavor.

The bunch of dark green herbs in your share this week is Italian flatfleaf parsley.

The red torpedo-shaped onions are another of my favorite early varieties that we harvest fresh: Red Long of Tropea. It's an heirloom out of Italy, easy to cut up and full of lovely mild onion flavor.

Also, if you ended up with a gigantic green cabbage this week, I apologize. I don't know what got into them this year....:)
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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. We came up very short at harvest yesterday. 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!
-->
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 8 from Valley Flora!

Week 8 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser



In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Summer Veggies!
  • Local Food Blog Featuring VF Produce!
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Dill
  • Strawberries
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Zucchini
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower
*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!):
  • Red Torpedo Onions
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage?
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Collards
  • Fava Beans
  • Zucchini
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.

 
Summer Veggies!
A couple weeks later than past seasons, but here at last is the beginning of the summer food! You'll find zucchini, Walla Walla Sweets and dill in your tote this week, and everyone should get a neon green cauliflower this week or next.

Zucchini and yellow summer squash are a summer staple. Some people think ugh, but maybe because they're only imagining overcooked, mushy zucchini. Don't sell this veggie short because the possibilities are limitless and delicious: zucchini fritters, zucchini enchiladas, raw zucchini salad, zucchini bread, chocolate zucchini cake, noodle-less zucchini lasagna, grilled zucchini, and zucchini "noodles." Check out these 49 recipes from Epicurious. If you still think "ugh" after looking through all those photos, then, well, I suppose you ought to put those zucchini in the free box and make another CSA member's day. :)

Walla Walla Sweets are a giant sweet onion that we harvest starting in July. This week you're getting a couple of young, fresh ones with green tops. You'll also see them later in the season in a cured form (larger, with papery skins and no green tops). You'll need to refrigerate this week's share to keep them fresh. Walla Wallas have very little "bite" - they are the sweetest, least pungent onion we grow, which makes them ideal for raw use in salads and on burgers and sandwiches. They also make the very best onion rings I've ever eaten, if you want to go the deep fried route (always fun at first, until the gut bomb settles in).

I had hoped to time this planting of fresh dill with the first harvest of potatoes, but like so many things on the farm this year, the potatoes are going to be late. You can still enjoy your dill chopped into a creamy dressing or dip, added fresh to salads, atop fish, or you can dry it for later use.

I'm hoping everyone will get a head of neon green cauliflower this week. This is one of my favorite summer varieties, partly because it's a visual delight, but also because it tends to head up more reliably than some of the other cauliflower varieties I've trialed over the years. Cauliflower is a surprisingly challenging crop to grow: it's a super heavy feeder, meaning it needs high fertility to thrive; it requires a lot of space per plant; and it's sensitive to spring temperature fluctuations...kind of the princess of the Brassica family. But when you have success with cauliflower, the satisfaction is complete: I love packing harvest baskets and placing a dense, heavy head of cauliflower in the corner of the tote, wondering to myself, how will this one get eaten? Aloo gobi anyone? And wow, I guess cauliflower is having it's moment in the sun right now. A quick online scan for recipes came up with all kinds of nouveau cauliflower preparations like cauliflower smoothies, cauliflower "steak," cauliflower "rice," and cauliflower pizza crust. I'll admit that none of those ideas crossed my mind the fifty-one times I packed a head of cauliflower into a tote yesterday - obviously a sign of my weak imagination when it comes to consuming Crucifers. But fortunately for all of us, someone - and perhaps lots of people - are thinking outside the cauliflower box these days.

As for me (and my kids), I love it plain and simple: raw, dipped into some kind of improvised homemade dip (with dill in it!).
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Local Food Blog Featuring Valley Flora Produce
A couple weeks ago I received an email from a woman named Ali Mageehon who is sharing a Harvest Basket with a friend in Coos Bay, and who is also a dedicated food blogger. She's been cooking up all kinds of mouth-watering delights with the weekly produce and blogging about them (with great photos). She made some beautiful beet tarts with last week's fresh beets, and also posted a recipe for quick refrigerator pickled peas (anyone else buried in snap peas after the avalanche of the last three weeks?). I'm
excited to see what she comes up with this week with the new bounty of summery veggies in the share. You can check out her blog at http://fixmealittlelunch.com/

Thanks Ali!

 
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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 7 from Valley Flora!

Week 7 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:
  • Purplette Onions & Beets
  • Farmstand Closes at 1 pm Today
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open but Limited
  • Strawberries by the Flat - Reserve Now!
  • The California Honeydrops Tonight at the Farm - Show is Sold Out!
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Purplette Onions
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Lacinato Kale
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Beets
  • Fennel
*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!):
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions?
  • Arugula or Spinach
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Cauliflower?
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Chard?
  • Beets - on rotation
  • Fennel - on rotation
  • Fava Beans?
  • Zucchini?
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.

 
Purplette Onions & Beets
We're kicking off onion season this week with the first harvest of Purplettes. They are a mild, purple, fresh, mini-onion that is wonderful eaten raw (think salads, burgers, salsas) or cooked up. You'll need to store them in your fridge because they aren't cured (meaning the tops are still green and the skins are not papery-dry). The Purplettes are always the first onion variety to mature in our season-long line-up, which includes Walla Walla Sweets (possibly ready next week), red torpedo onions, red and yellow storage onions, shallots and cipollinis. You should see onions in your Harvest Basket most weeks from now through December.

Our Wednesday members will also see a rainbow of beets in their totes: red, gold and candy-stripe (Saturday folks will get fennel this week, but will receive beets the following week). The candy stripe beets - known as Chioggia - are an heirloom variety with fuschia skin and concentric pink and white bulls-eye circles inside. The gold and chioggia varieties are popular with chefs because they don't "bleed" on the plate, although I find it hard to beat the sweet earthy flavor of a red beet.

Beets are closely related to chard and the leaves are 100% edible. Substitute them for cooked spinach, add them to your smoothie, or steam/sautee them lightly. Beet roots can be eaten raw (grated on salad for some flashy color, or juiced), or cooked in a zillion ways: roasted like potatoes (toss with olive oil and salt and herbs); steamed; baked; sauteed; marinated or pickled. Keep in mind, if you are a newcomer to beet-eating, that red beet juices can stain countertops and fingers, and when you go to the bathroom the next day you may be shocked by the color in the toilet (I always feel obliged to mention it, after a CSA member went to the hospital thinking she had internal bleeding....). Nah, just red beets. Another member told me that the promise of pink pee was a great incentive to get her kids to eat beets!
-->
The farmstand will close at 1 pm today so we can set up for the music show at the farm tonight. Please come and get your produce/berries this morning! Thank you. We'll be back to our usual hours on Saturday.
-->
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.
-->
Strawberries by the Flat - Reserve Now!
As the strawberry season gathers steam, we'll begin to have enough berries that we can offer them by the flat, delivered to your CSA pickup site. We will fill requests in the order we receive them throughout the summer, as berries are available. I will contact you (ideally by text) the afternoon before we deliver them to you. Ordering by the flat is a great way to get bulk berries into your freezer, your jam jars, or your belly if you can't come out to u-pick. They are $40/flat, delivered. To order, please email me with the following info:
  • Name
  • Pickup site
  • Phone number (ideally a mobile number I can text to)
  • Quantity of flats you would like
If there is a specific date you would like to receive them, please make mention of that and we'll do our best to get them to you on that date.
-->
The California Honeydrops Play Tonight at the Farm!

Wednesday, July 12th

The show is sold out. If you have a ticket, please read details below:

 

  • The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early! The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.
  • This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.
  • Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.
  • Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!
  • Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.
  • Bring your dancing feet!
-->
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 6 from Valley Flora!

Week 6 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Tokyo Bekana & Basil
  • Strawberry U-Pick is Open
  • Strawberries by the Flat - Reserve Now!
  • We Survived...
  • Honeydrops Next Week!
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Tokyo Bekana
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Strawberries
  • Basil
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
*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!):
  • Purplette Onions?
  • Arugula or Spinach
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Beets
  • 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.

 
Tokyo Bekana & Basil
We tried a new spin on pac choi this spring: a bed of densely seeded tokyo bekana, which is actually a loose-heading Chinese cabbage (think Napa cabbage). We grew them to maturity and then bunched them this week (the lime green, white ribbed bundle in your tote). It's a lovely, mild asian green - well suited to a stir fry. Of course, nothing ever goes perfectly to plan. In this case the floating row cover we had protected the bed with (to prevent flea beetles from eating tiny holes in the leaves) blew off and tattered in our last big wind. The flea beetles immediately flocked and thus: tokyo bekana pocked with a million zillion tiny little holes. Polka dots are in fashion, aren't they?

You are also receiving your first little bag of basil this week, courtesy of our greenhouses. For me, one whiff of fresh homegrown basil confirms completely that it's summer.
-->
Strawberry U-Pick Opens Today
At last, we're opening up a few strawberry beds for u-pick today. The picking is limited (definitely not fill-your-freezer time just yet!), but there is some lovely, large red fruit for the casual strawberry hunter. I imagine the patch will get picked out quickly today, given how many folks have been calling, emailing, asking and frothing about u-pick. As always, it's helpful if you bring your own containers. And if you are hoping to pick a large quantity of berries, please hold off another couple weeks. Our strawberry season is long and lovely - usually all the way through September. There will be ample opportunity to get your fill this summer.
-->
Strawberries by the Flat - Reserve Now!
As the strawberry season gathers steam, we'll begin to have enough berries that we can offer them by the flat, delivered to your CSA pickup site. We will fill requests in the order we receive them throughout the summer, as berries are available. I will contact you (ideally by text) the afternoon before we deliver them to you. Ordering by the flat is a great way to get bulk berries into your freezer, your jam jars, or your belly if you can't come out to u-pick. They are $40/flat, delivered. To order, please email me with the following info:
  • Name
  • Pickup site
  • Phone number (ideally a mobile number I can text to)
  • Quantity of flats you would like
If there is a specific date you would like to receive them, please make mention of that and we'll do our best to get them to you on that date.
-->
We Survived...
It was a ten days like we've never experienced. It started 2 weeks ago when the farmstand was burglarized on a Friday night. On Wednesday, our electric tractor threw a spark and croaked. On Thursday, our irrigation pump burned up. On Friday the heat wave set in with the hottest temperatures we've seen all year, and in the midst of a busy, hot harvest day we scrambled to find a replacement pump. I called every pump supplier from here to Coos Bay to Roseburg to Grants Pass and in the end the only replacement we could find was in Portland. Being a Friday, the soonest we could get it was the following Monday, unless someone picked it up will call that day before 5 pm.

That was when I emailed all of you to see if anyone was coming this way from Portland and what a response! So many offers of help and support! After lots of back and forth on the phone with a handful of potential "couriers," Charles Soneson - a Bandon CSA member who I've never met in person - took on the task of picking up the new pump on his way back from the PDX airport. It looked like we would have a new pump in hand by 10 pm! But as the hours ticked by, Charles had an itinerary change and then hit Friday traffic outside of Portland. He wasn't going to make the pump supplier's 5 pm closing time. But hallelujah, a little bit of mercy: Wally at the pump business said he'd put our stuff in their "will call bush." Curry County style! Pick up anytime!

"Really?" I asked, incredulously. A will call "bush" in Portland? (We were still a little jumpy from our recent robbery on quiet Floras Creek Road.)

"Oh yeah," he said. "We've been leaving stuff in that bush for 30 years!"

Problem solved. Charles forged his way through insane traffic and finally got there at 9 pm, dusk settling in. He snooped around for the bush, found it, but it was empty. No pump. He checked everywhere and then called me. The eagle had not landed.

My heart sank, my stomach knotted (some more). No pump. My thoughts raced ahead: so if it had been stolen - what else could have happened? - we would have to pay for it anyway. And then pay for another pump. And did they have another of the same pump on hand (our baby salad mix needed water, stat!)? And in the meantime they were closed until Monday and Charles was standing in some industrial park in the dark, in Portland, empty-handed, having run the urban gauntlet to get there.

We got a hold of Wally to let him know the situation (at the last minute before they closed at 5, I had gotten his cell number, just in case....thank goodness). He was at a music show at Edgefield, living up his Friday night.

"I can't believe it," he said. "In 30 years we've never had anything stolen from the will call bush. I guess we'll have to revisit that policy. But don't worry," he kindly reassured me. "We'll replace it. Might not have exactly the same one, but I'll have someone at the warehouse tomorrow morning at 8 am to meet your guy."

Wow. But then there was the problem of Charles. I couldn't ask him to camp out in the industrial park all night waiting for the warehouse guy to show up the next morning. But he solved that one for us, too: "I'll just go stay at my ex's house," he said jollily. "We're great friends. It'll be fun!"

Wow again.

I breathed a sigh of relief. Wrote Charles a gushing text of thanks. Went to bed. Woke up the next day to do Saturday deliveries, and by the time I was back at the farm there was a pump waiting for us. It turned out - happily for everyone, including the will call bush - that our order was sitting inside on the will call desk. No robbers in the dark, just a glitch in communication on their end with a staff member. I was relieved to think that the will call bush would not be getting the axe after all.

We set to work wiring the new pump and by evening there was water, beautiful water, jetting out of sprinklers onto thirsty greens (there is no lovelier sound than the rhythmic ch-ch-ch-ch of rainbird sprinklers after an episode like this). We celebrated with margaritas on the back porch and vowed to our kids that we would spend the next day - Sunday - swimming at the creek together. No farm work. Just play. All evening I kept looking down on the farm to make sure the sprinklers were still running. I was afraid to trust it.

And for good reason, it turns out. When we got to the farm on Sunday for a swim date, I went to turn on another irrigation set to get us caught up after those few days without water. There was no pressure. Abby ran to the pumphouse to clean the filter and saw that we were running at 10 psi instead of 60 psi. She flipped the breaker off, then on again, and got no response. The stomach knots returned. We checked everything, tested voltage, and broke our promise to the kids from the day before: we sent them to the creek with grandma Bets while we tried to troubleshoot the problem, without luck. It was time for an electrician.

We managed to get Reese electric there the next day and determined that our brand-spankity-new control box was faulty and had blown a capacitor, meaning that we had to order a new one and likely wouldn't have water until Wednesday. Just as we were gearing up to go home, Cleo (my six year old) took a spill in the driveway and tore open her knee. To the hospital we went for stitches. We were starting to wonder if someone had put a curse on the farm.
It's never a good sign when there are TWO electricians parked at your place....
Come Wednesday morning, I drove up to the farm to meet the electrician and found him parked at our farmstand, which my mom was setting up for the day's sales. She came running at me with a stricken look and said, "take a deep breath." And then in surreal fashion, showed me how a CSA member's SUV had just rolled down the hill (with her son in it), through the farm gate and crashed into our farmstand - miraculously missing all the food, all the people, my mom's pickup - but obliterating a corner of the farmstand and our electrical service there. Everyone was OK, and lucky us, we had an electrician on hand to make sure the scene was safe around the power box. Once it was clear that everyone and everything was ok, I could only laugh. This was the icing on the cake.

By the end of that day, 8 hours and two electricians later, we finally had water again (and still have it!). The electric tractor is back on its feet, thanks to Farm Angel Tom. We spent this past Sunday swimming with our kids. And after the insurance inspector visits us on Friday to look at the farmstand, we will hopefully have all the pieces put back together there by next week. We're hoping we've paid our dues in the bad luck category for at least a decade. In the meantime, everyone has decided to wear helmets on the farm at all times, just in case, until we're sure it's all blown over.....you just never know when a coconut, or asteroid, is going to fall out of the sky...:)
-->
Honeydrops Next Week!
 
The California Honeydrops Play Live at the Farm on July 12th!
We're thrilled the Honeydrops are coming back to the farm this summer with their R&B, blues and New Orleans style jazz tunes. What few tickets are still available are at the Langlois Market or our farmstand.

Wednesday, July 12th

6:30-10:30

$25

Ticket Outlets:

Valley Flora Farmstand & Langlois Market

 

Details about the event:

The show will be held at Valley Flora Farm. Click here for directions to the farm.

This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.

The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early. The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.

Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.

Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!

Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.

Bring your dancing shoes! Bare feet will do.....

-->
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 5 from Valley Flora!

Week 5 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • New Veggies this Week, and STRAWBERRIES!
  • Water, Almost.
  • Honeydrops Tickets Almost Gone - Get 'em pronto!
-->
Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Conehead Cabbage!
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Baby Fennel
  • Strawberries
  • Cilantro
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
*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!):
  • Mustard Greens
  • Basil
  • Arugula or Spinach
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini/Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Strawberries
  • Rhubarb
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 Veggies this Week, and Strawberries!
Lots of new stuff this week!
The Coneheads are here! A new experiment for us this season, these pointed mini cabbages are supposed to be the perfect summer slaw cabbage: sweet, tender, with excellent flavor (so says the seed catalogue). Also great cooked. I mostly like to wear one on my head at all times. You can call me Connie from now on....
Peas! Peas! Sugar Snap Peas! There's a pound of sugar snaps in your share this week, our all-time favorite pea! These are NOT SHELLING PEAS! You eat the whole thing, pod and all! We like them raw, but you can also throw them into a sautee or stir fry or give them a quick steam. Pictured here is pea-picker extraordinaire, Amelia Clements, who has been working this past year as the Foodcorps service member for our school district, doing all kinds of Farm to School and foodshed education with kids. We stole her fair and square for ourselves and she's joined the team at Valley Flora. Not pictured with Amelia are the four kids, ages 6 to 9, who picked 30 of the 130 pounds of peas we brought in on Monday. Record breaking harvest!
-->
Fennel and Rainbow Chard: Two of my favorite things to grow. Oh-so-colorful rainbow chard, which stunt doubles for spinach in a pinch (great in lasagna). We mostly just cut ours up and steam it, then drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.

The little baby fennel is just a sampler this week, with more on the horizon. I love fennel for it's sweet, mild anise flavor. Some people can't stand it. At this time of year, before the tomatoes have ripened, I mostly use fennel in salad, thinly sliced (the white bulb, not so much the green tops - although you can chop up the ferny leaves for garnish, like dill). Once tomato and basil are abundant, I love to cook a pile of fennel down with walla walla sweet onions, tomatoes and basil and make a thick sauce. Fennel seed is the secret ingredient in our homemade tomato sauce, even better if you have a fresh fennel bulb to dice up and add. It lends a perfect sweetness to balance the natural acidity of tomatoes.
As big as plums some of them, the strawberries are here at last! Yesterday's harvest was a delight, after so many months of waiting, worrying, wondering. We plant our strawberries in late November every year to get earlier fruit production in the spring. But with all the cold rain this winter and spring, the strawberries were very slow to leaf out. There was a part of me that wondered if we might lose them altogether, when half the patch was under water.

They made it though, even if they are a month late! I think you'll enjoy them without any tips from me, but you can also relish your berries knowing that they - like everything we grow - are 100% organic. No chemicals. Nada. Conventionally-grown strawberries, on the other hand, are sprayed with dozens of chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic, and fumigated with poison gases developed originally for chemical warfare. It sounds sensationalist, but conventional strawberries consistently rank number one on the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of produce. You can learn more about conventional strawberries and learn more about the Dirty Dozen on EWG's website.

 
-->
Water, Almost...
Well, the saga continues. We still don't have irrigation water (since last Thursday) but hopefully by mid-morning today we'll be irrigating again. I don't have time to tell you all the whole story right now - gotta run to meet the electrician at the pumphouse - but I do want to say WOW! What an incredible outpouring of support from all of you! If ever there was a true manifestation of community supported agriculture, we saw it this past week in the form of calls, emails and texts from so many members offering their support, ideas and help. There is one particular hero who's song I will sing in next week's newsletter (yes, that's you Charles!), but for now cross your fingers for sweet agua shooting out of sprinkler pipes within the next couple of hours!
-->
Honeydrops Tickets are Almost Gone - Get Yours ASAP!
 
The California Honeydrops Play Live at the Farm on July 12th!
We're thrilled the Honeydrops are coming back to the farm this summer with their R&B, blues and New Orleans style jazz tunes. We encourage you to buy your tickets ASAP from one of the outlets listed below; the show will sell out quickly.

Wednesday, July 12th

6:30-10:30

$25

Ticket Outlets:

Valley Flora Farmstand, Mothers, Langlois Market, Port Orford Co-Op

 

Details about the event:

The show will be held at Valley Flora Farm. Click here for directions to the farm.

This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.

The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early. The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.

Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.

Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!

Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.

Bring your dancing shoes! Bare feet will do.....

-->
The Farmstand is Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce & Berries
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Call for Help!

96 Call for Help!
What a week...

Last Friday the farm got robbed.
On Wednesday the electric tractor threw a spark and died.
And yesterday our irrigation pump burned up.
Is Mercury in retrograde or something?! 


With all the sudden heat, we are scrambling today to source a new irrigation pump so we can get water on the field.

The closest replacement pump is in Wilsonville, OR.

If you or anyone you know is driving from the Portland area to the coast today and would be willing to pick up the pump for us, PLEASE TEXT ZOE ASAP at 541-551-0314.

We are happy to pay for courier services!

Thank you!

 
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Week 4 from Valley Flora!

Week 4 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser
In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • Happy Summer Harvest Basket
  • Valley Flora at the Coos Bay Farmers Market!
  • Still No Strawberries...
  • Honeydrops Tickets Going Fast - Get 'em quick!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Broccolini
  • Broccoli
  • Bunch Carrots
  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Spinach
  • Fresh Thyme
On Rotation:*

Nothing this week...

*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!):
  • Chard or Mustard Greens
  • Cilantro or Basil
  • Arugula
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
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.

 
Happy Summer Harvest Basket!
Somewhere behind a dense bank of fog last night the sun set at nine pm...and then, 24 minutes later, the 2017 summer solstice came and went - a bit anti-climatically here in Langlois where a light drizzle settled in to welcome summer. I suppose it was a fitting choice of weather, pairing well with our overall theme of ample moisture this year!

But dawn brought rosy light and clear skies and the promise of gale force north winds....summer MUST be here! I think the farm is finally feeling it. This week's harvest basket looks more like my idea of early summer: your first bunch of sweet carrots, a mound of broccolini AND a crown or two of heading broccoli. Our best efforts to pace the broccoli harvest appear to have been foiled by Mother Nature this year: the broccolini, which usually fills the totes for the first three weeks of June, is just now starting to pump - about a month late. And so are our first beds of heading broccoli, right on time = broccoli avalanche. I highly recommend using up some of your broccoli in this recipe (an old favorite from my vegetarian college days): Broccoli and Tofu in Spicy Peanut Sauce.

 
The little bundle of herbs in your tote is fresh thyme. It's one of our favorite all purpose herbs (we use it in marinades, salad dressings, throw whole sprigs into pots of rice and quinoa for seasoning, stuff it into roasting chickens, add it into marinara sauce, and more). It's great used either fresh or dried, so if it's too much all at once hang it up to dry or put it in a food dehydrator until it's crispy, then store it in an airtight container.

Next week I'm pretty sure you can look forward to sugar snap peas, cabbage, more broccoli, and maybe maybe maybe a basket of strawberries (come on sun!).
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Valley Flora at the Coos Bay Farmers Market!
Starting today, and hopefully continuing through the summer, Valley Flora produce will be available at the Wednesday Coos Bay Farmers Market, 9 am to 2 pm in downtown Coos Bay! Our friend and fellow farmer, Sean Johnson, has spearheaded a collaborative Langlois market table and will have his own Langlois Lockers pastured pork, Oregon Grassfed Beef from Joe Pestana, Ocean Harvest albacore from Tyler Long, pastured eggs from Candace Carnahan, and Valley Flora produce. If you're in the neighborhood, swing in on Sean today. He has some of the last bunches of asparagus for the season, as well as Abby's Greens, head lettuce, bunch greens, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, broccoli, lettuce, and more!
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Still No Strawberries...
What a waiting game this year! The strawberry patch looks healthy and vigorous, and many of the plants are loaded with green fruit, but it's taking FOREVER for those berries to turn red. I'm sure the resident marauding six and seven year olds are not helping much (they are for the most part running feral on the farm these days, helping themselves to the pea and strawberry patches at whim). I'd like to think we'd be picking by next week, but we'll see what the weather dishes up in terms of sunshine and heat.

That being the case, there is still no u-pick. A few folks have driven out the farm on a u-pick mission only to be disappointed. If you are coming for u-pick it's always a good idea to email us a few days in advance to get a berry update, particularly if you are coming in the early or late part of our strawberry season, which in a normal year runs from June through September.
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Honeydrops Tickets are Going Fast - Get Yours ASAP!
 
The California Honeydrops Play Live at the Farm on July 12th!
We're thrilled the Honeydrops are coming back to the farm this summer with their R&B, blues and New Orleans style jazz tunes. We encourage you to buy your tickets ASAP from one of the outlets listed below; the show will sell out quickly.

Wednesday, July 12th

6:30-10:30

$25

Ticket Outlets:

Valley Flora Farmstand, Mothers, Langlois Market, Port Orford Co-Op

 

Details about the event:

The show will be held at Valley Flora Farm. Click here for directions to the farm.

This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.

The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early. The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.

Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.

Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!

Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.

Bring your dancing shoes! Bare feet will do.....

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The Farmstand is Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce & Berries
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

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Week 3 from Valley Flora!

Week 3 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • Cooking Greens: Collards & Braising Mix
  • Celebrate Salad (and Salad Dressing!)
  • Coming Soon to a Harvest Basket Near You....
  • The California Honeydrops at the Farm July 12th!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Collard Greens
  • Purple and White Kohlrabi
  • Braising Mix
  • Hakurei Turnips
On Rotation:*
  • Spinach
  • Broccolini
  • Pea shoots
*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!):
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Spinach
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini
  • Sugar Snap Peas?
  • Carrots?
  • 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.

 
Cooking Greens: Collards and Braising Mix
I promised a lot of leafy green-ness this month as we wait not-so-patiently for the rest of the rainbow to ripen up on the farm (strawberries, carrots, beets, etc). It's been coming at you in the form of bunched greens, head lettuce, spinach, arugula, and more. This week you'll see a bunch of collard greens in your tote, as well as a bag of braising mix (a combo of baby mustard greens and kale). Both are best cooked.

Collard greens are a southern staple, traditionally cooked for hours in pot with water and a ham hock, then served alongside cornbread and black-eyed peas. As much as I relish southern food, there's no need to boil them for hours; a light steam is all they need. They'll be bright green and tender, delicious with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and a splash of your favorite vinegar.

Braising mix is a great stir-fry ingredient. It's a little spicy so it'll add a tiny kick to your meal.
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Celebrate Salad (and Salad Dressing!)
We grow a lot of head lettuce on the farm, with the goal of putting it in the Harvest Baskets every week from June until November. It's one of my favorite crops to tend, in part because there is so much diversity in the lettuce family - so many varieties with so many different colors, shapes and textures. And I love to eat salad. Lots of it.

Like many things this season, we've gotten off to a slow and somewhat rocky start with head lettuce. The romaine has thrived, but our butterhead and leaf lettuces have struggled through this cold, wet spring. We also had to go to war with grubs known as Leatherbacks (the larvae of the common Cranefly or "mosquito hawk"), which feast on little transplants in a similar fashion to cutworms. We squished thousands of them to try to salvage our third lettuce planting, and also started using Bt, an organic soil-dwelling bacteria that works as a biological insecticide on caterpillars. We survived that onslaught and haven't seen any damage in subsequent plantings, whew. Never a dull moment...

As a result, you may not see big voluptuous heads of butterleaf for a few more weeks, but there is ample juicy romaine to be had. Combine that with some spinach, some Abby's greens (if you get a salad share), some sliced turnips, some peeled and sliced kohlrabi and voilá, you'll have all the rabbits in the neighborhood trying to get an invite to your dinner table.

The veggies are great, but we all know that half the pleasure of a salad is in the dressing. We make our own dressing and I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite recipes. They are good enough that Cleo and Uma, ages 6 and 2 now, both clamor for the salad course....or in the case of Uma, at least she'll drag romaine hearts through a puddle of dressing and suck it off :)

Caesar Dressing (perfect for all that crunchy romaine)
Tahini-Tamari Dressing (our house dressing)
Green Goddess Dressing (especially good when you have an abundance of fresh herbs in season)

 
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Coming Soon to a Harvest Basket Near You...
So far this has been an unprecedented season: we've never NOT had ripe strawberries by mid-June. We've never NOT had an abundance of broccolini by mid-June. We've never seen such light asparagus yields and such delayed chard.

That said, I feel like we are on the cusp of a produce avalanche. Every spring crop, from carrots to strawberries to snap peas to broccoli, seems to be on the verge of exploding. And when that happens - so long as I don't jinx it with this prediction - we're all going to have our work cut out for us: there will be a lot to eat all at once....and a lot to pick. I'd guess that within the next two weeks the color and texture of the harvest baskets will begin to shift notably: still lots of green, but punctuated by orange and red, and getting heavier. A lot can change in one short week on the farm, especially if the sun is shining for 16 hours a day! Enjoy the abundant greenery while it lasts! We are one short week from the summer solstice!
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The California Honeydrops Live at the Farm on July 12th!
We're thrilled the Honeydrops are coming back to the farm this summer with their R&B, blues and New Orleans style jazz tunes. We encourage you to buy your tickets ASAP from one of the outlets listed below; the show will sell out quickly.

Wednesday, July 12th

6:30-10:30

$25

Ticket Outlets:

Valley Flora Farmstand, Mothers, Langlois Market, Port Orford Co-Op

 

Details about the event:

The show will be held at Valley Flora Farm. Click here for directions to the farm.

This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.

The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early. The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.

Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.

Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!

Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.

Bring your dancing shoes! Bare feet will do.....

-->
The Farmstand is Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, rain or shine!

Fresh Produce & Berries
Homemade Jam & Hot Sauce

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 2 from Valley Flora!

Week 2 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
 
  • Veggie Tips for the Week
  • Tamales this Week!
  • California Honeydrops at the Farm on July 12th!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Artichokes
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Purple and White Kohlrabi
  • Mint
On Rotation:*
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Pea shoots
*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!):
  • Collards
  • Cilantro
  • Kohlrabi
  • Head Lettuce
  • Broccolini?
  • Braising Mix
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Micro-mix, on rotation

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.

 
Veggie Tips for the Week
I usually write this CSA newsletter on Wednesdays, mid-week, once we're knee-deep in whatever the week's harvest might be. The outline for the newsletter will take shape in my head on Tuesdays as I move around the farm picking and packing your week's share. It'll dawn on me that I need to tell you that most of our artichokes are baby chokes, that they barely have a hairy choke inside, and that you can eat almost the whole wonderful tender thing from the bottom up. Oh, and that even if you don't have a use for fresh oregano (or mint) you can dry it and use it as needed. And that you can cook up the leaves of those Hakurei turnips like mustard greens. And so many other little things that you may or may not figure out on your own.

But these first couple weeks I've been writing the newsletter on Monday, before I find myself in the field meditating on all the lovely specifics of the produce we are harvesting for you. Which means I forgot to tell you some things last week (see above re: artichokes and oregano and turnip greens). :-)

As for this week....

Kohlrabi: Those are the two bulbous things in your tote this week, one purple and one white, with a goofy topknot of leaves - a quirky spring/fall vegetable that's bringing a splash of color to your tote this week. You can eat every part of the plant (use the leaves like kale), but most of the culinary focus is on the bulb: peel it, slice it up and eat it raw. You can also steam, stir-fry, and sautee it, although I think it shines as a raw vegetable more. It'll keep for weeks in the fridge in a plastic bag.

Mint: As mentioned above, if you aren't going to toss it into your smoothie, muddle it in a cocktail or rub it on some unctuous leg of lamb, dry it for later. You can simply hang the bunch and wait until it's crispy, or put it in a food dehydrator at low temp. Once it's dry, crumble it up and store in a glass jar.

Lacinato Kale: The blue-green crinkled bumpy bunch of leaves are a popular variety of kale that we always refer to as "Lacinato," but it goes by a lot of other names: Dinosaur kale, black kale, Tuscan kale, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, flat black cabbage, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm. It's been grown for centuries in Tuscany and is a traditional ingredient in minestrone. You can steam it, sautee it, roast it into kale chips, put it in your smoothie, add it to pasta or soup, for juice it (for extra super powers!). Keeps for a week or so in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Pea Shoots: We started experimenting with micro greens and pea shoots in our greenhouse this winter (one of the positive developments that came out of the incessant rain that prevented us from getting outside). The little bag of pea tendrils that some of you are getting this week (others next week) is one of my new favorite things to grow and eat. They taste just like peas! (Which, by the way, are growing beautifully in the field and just began flowering....cross your fingers for sugar snaps in three weeks!). We've been eating these little pea shoots in our salads - so pretty and tasty - but you can also flash sautee them with a little olive oil and salt or eat them alongside a slab of fish or other meat. They'll keep for up to a week in the fridge.
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Tamales this Week!
The first tamale shares will be delivered this week, the week of June 5th. If you're a tamale member, look for your share in the marked blue cooler at your pickup site. All tamale shares are labeled, so be sure you grab the bag with your name on it!

To prepare your tamales, you can either steam them until they are soft and heated through, or microwave them for a few minutes. I like to eat them with a dollop of sour cream, some Cranky Baby hot sauce and avocado. A little extra melted cheese is never a bad thing in my world either....
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The California Honeydrops Live at the Farm on July 12th!
We're thrilled the Honeydrops are coming back to the farm this summer with their R&B, blues and New Orleans style jazz tunes. We encourage you to buy your tickets ASAP from one of the outlets listed below; the show will sell out quickly.

Wednesday, July 12th

6:30-10:30

$25

Ticket Outlets:

Valley Flora Farmstand, Mothers, Langlois Market, Port Orford Co-Op

 

Details about the event:

The show will be held at Valley Flora Farm. Click here for directions to the farm.

This event is all-ages. Kids under 12 are free, but if you're bringing kiddos please plan to supervise them. We are a working farm and need kids and adults alike to respect the following guidelines: stay within the roped off area; stay off equipment; do not pick any crops; do not climb fences or trees.

The farm gate will open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm - no sooner. Please don't come early. The band will likely start up at around 7:30ish.

Parking will be available in our field across the street from the farmstand. Please park where instructed when you arrive. Carpooling is a great idea since parking is limited and the planet is already hot.

Great local food will be available for purchase at the event. Come hungry and plan to have dinner!

Bring your own lawn chair or picnic blanket. There is plenty of grass but no seating provided.

Bring your dancing shoes! Bare feet will do.....

-->
The Farmstand is Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm

Copyright © 2017 Valley Flora, All rights reserved.


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Week 1 from Valley Flora!

Week 1 from Valley Flora!
What's Fresh from Valley Flora this Week...
View this email in your browser


In This Week's Beet Box Newsletter:
  • CSA Kickoff!!!
  • What to do with your Veggies this Week!?
  • Cherry Tomato Plants
  • Tamales NEXT week!
  • Re-Use or Recycle those Plastic Bags!
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Your Share This Week:
  • Head lettuce
  • Artichokes
  • Pac Choi
  • Hakurei Turnips
  • Oregano
  • Cherry Tomato Plant
On Rotation:*
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
*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!):
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Fresh Herbs
  • Kohlrabi
  • Head Lettuce
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach or Braising Mix
  • Radishes?
  • Micro-mix, on rotation

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

 

CSA Kickoff!
The first week of the CSA season is here at last!

Many of you are veteran CSA (community supported agriculture) members, some of you have just joined for the first time, but to everyone: Thanks for being a part of our CSA family this year!

I'm Zoë, one of the owner/farmers at Valley Flora, along with my mom, Bets, and my sister Abby. I want you to know right off the bat that you, our CSA members, constitute the backbone of our farm, and above all else, our top priority is filling the Harvest Baskets with top notch produce each week. That's the imperative that motivates us to grow over a 100 different kinds of veggies each season and to save the best for you. We also juggle our farmstand and sales to a bunch of stores and restaurants up and down the coast - but our CSA always gets first dibs, even when the asparagus is scarce (I can't tell you how many restaurants are begging for it right now, but nope, into the CSA totes it goes this week:)!!)

It's been a slow start for us this year due to the cold, wet spring, but miraculously we're kicking off the CSA season on time. I didn't want you all to miss out on artichoke season, which is at its peak right now, as well as asparagus and a few other fleeting crops that are ready this week. That said, we're not sitting flush in overly-abundant produce just yet, so the first few weeks might be leaner than in year's past. Not to worry, we'll make up any produce shortfall once we're swimming in sweet crunchy carrots, ripe strawberries, and all the rest. Those things are just a few weeks off. In the meantime, your weekly tote will look very green :)

If you haven't already, please familiarize yourself with your pickup location, time, and guidelines here. It's helpful to everyone - your fellow CSA members, your pickup site host, and your farmers - if you can get yourself oriented to the way our pickup system works (please orient your spouse, family and friends, too, if they will be picking up for you now and then). Most pick-up mix-ups happen when you send someone in your stead and they aren't familiar with the pickup protocol.

Just as importantly, please review your account to make sure you know what you should be picking up each week. Only take the items you have signed up for and paid for. Not everyone gets a salad share. Only some folks get eggs. Tamales happen once/month for a handful of people who have opted in on the Tamale Share. Be sure to read signs, check labels, and take the right food home with you each week! We do our best to make it easy and clear for you, but it will only work if you take the time to read those signs and labels. Thanks for your help on this one!

Also, not the most scintillating thing, but please read over our CSA Member Agreement, which outlines our mutual commitment to each other this season. Everyone agrees to this "contract" during the sign-up process on our website. Among other things, it explains our cancellation and refund policy in the event that you need to opt out at some point during the season. We never hope for this, but have learned it's better to spell it out just in case. Any questions about it, don't hesitate to email me!

We're delighted to have you on board, and so grateful for your decision to eat with us for the next seven months! Our family loves the culinary adventure of eating through the seasons each year, all the more because it's shared with you. From spring radishes and kohlrabi, to summer tomatoes and corn, to fall squash and romanesco, here we go, yummily!
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What do Do with your Veggies this Week!?
In years past I have usually included a recipe in the newsletter each week, but with the abundance of easy-to-find, delicious, online recipes I almost feel like my efforts are less needed these days. I will throw one in here and there when I can't resist this season, but I think for the most part I'm going to leave the recipes up to you (definitely check out the recipe links in the left sidebar for seasonal ideas organized by ingredient).

That said, I always try to offer a little bit of veggie hand-holding right out of the gate when our CSA season starts up. Many of you know and love Hakurei turnips (those white round roots) and pac choi (the pretty green vase-shaped rosettes), but it might be the first encounter for some. If you are a first timer, here are a few tips for the produce in your share this week:
  • Hakurei Turnips: Eat them raw! Slice them into salads or cut them up for dipping, or munch them like apples. You can sautee them as well, but I think their sweet, juicy, buttery goodness is best enjoyed with as little adulteration as possible.
  • Pac Choi: A great stir-fry ingredient. Also lovely lightly steamed or added last minute to a soup.
  • Artichokes: Also known as a highly sophisticated mayo/butter delivery system. The easiest preparation is to steam them whole (half hour for small ones, longer for larger ones) and then dip them into melted butter, mayo or a homemade aioli. Lately we've been steaming them, then cutting them in half and grilling or pan frying them with a little butter and Spike seasoning and/or grated parmesan.
  • Asparagus: Lightly steam (don't overcook!) or try roasting them at 450 degrees in the oven, tossed first with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until tender and a little crispy on the edges.
  • Arugula: A mildly spicy/nutty green that is great as a stand-alone salad, or as a bed of greens under meat/fish.
And don't forget that your fellow CSA members are a great source of ideas and inspiration. Ask for advice at your pickup site! If you don't like something, swap or give it to someone else! There will be a "free box" at every pickup site this year where you can leave items for others, and help yourself to what others have left.
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Cherry Tomato Plants
Not instantly edible, but loaded with the promise of sweet feasting come August: your very own cherry tomato plant. We don't grow cherry tomatoes for our CSA because we don't have enough labor to pick them in the summer/fall, and because our outdoor plantings have been ravaged by blight one too many times by a capricious summer rain. BUT, they are a wonderful and easy thing to grow in your garden or deck pot, and the rewards are well worth the little effort they require.

This variety is called SunOrange: a tangerine-orange cherry tomato with heavenly sweet-tart-tropical flavor, excellent texture, crack resistance and the ability to bear fruit well into the fall (we were still picking them outside at the end of October in my home garden in Langlois last year....and yes, I did just admit that I have a home garden, in addition to the farm. And yes, I am crazy.).

If I could only eat one variety of tomato in all the world, this would be it. Plus, cherry tomatoes are more willing to set fruit in cool, foggy weather - which we have plenty of around here in the summer. That being said, try to choose a protected spot for your plant where it gets good southern exposure and protection from the wind. Whether you're planting it in the ground or in a pot, bury it as deeply as possible - even up to the top set of leaves. Tomatoes are adventitious rooters, meaning they'll sprout roots from their stem wherever it's in contact with soil - so the more of the plant you bury initially, the bigger root system you'll have. Feed it a balanced organic fertilizer, water it in, and offer it a stake, wire cage, or string trellis to climb up.

Your plant will need water as it gets established (try not to get the leaves wet to reduce chance of disease). Harvest will be easier if you prune it along the way, too. Trim off lower leaves as it grows upward, saving all the flowering trusses for fruit production. If your plant is in the ground, you can dry farm it once the plant is established and a good size. Less water means more intensely flavored tomatoes, which most of us love.

With a little TLC, you should see ripe cherry tomatoes by late July or August. And if all goes well, you should have bucketloads by August and September. We eat them like candy, but also cut them in half and dry them for winter...even more like candy.

 
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Tamales NEXT Week!
The first tamale shares will be delivered NEXT week, the week of June 5th. If you are a tamale member, look for your share in the marked blue cooler at your pickup site!
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Re-Use or Recycle those Plastic Bags!
Members often ask me about the best way to store their produce. Most leafy things and root crops like to be in the fridge with high humidity - in a plastic bag ideally. That's not true of all crops, like tomatoes and winter squash and cured onions, for instance, but for most of the things you'll be getting this month the plastic-bag-in-the-fridge rule holds fast.

So when a member asked me whether she should use a brand new ziploc for every item, every week, my eyes grew wide, for I am a devout member of the Church of Plastic Bag Washers. Ziplocs have a multi-year lifespan in our household (I just washed one last night that said "Blueberries 2013"). Our ziplocs usually don't find their way out of use until they are torn or riddled with holes. At which point we stockpile them in a big bag and take them to Price N Pride in Bandon where they recycle plastic grocery bags for free (there's a big bin in the foyer). Other grocery stores do the same, which is a huge relief to my conscience given the plastic trash disaster in our oceans.

You always know when you are in the midst of a fellow bag washer, because our kitchens are all rigged with some kind of contraption for drying bags: clothespins on the hanging fruit basket; a mini-clothesline across the kitchen window; a mason jar weighted with pebbles with a bunch of chopsticks poking out of it; or a bonafide wooden-pronged, store-bought, plastic bag drying rack. And inevitably, there's usually a drift of bags on the counter, waiting to be washed (which is usually a constant source of nagging, one way or another, in a marriage).

Some people worry that it's unsanitary to re-use plastic bags. If a bag had greasy meat it in previously, or something rotten, I might concur. But for produce, we've never had a problem - probably in part because we wash our bags with hot water and soap in between uses. There was a study done in San Francisco after the city banned plastic bags in stores. People were reusing bags, just as the law had intended, but when researchers took swabs of the inside of people's bags, they found all kinds of things growing, including E.coli. Yuck. But the researchers determined that it was because those people weren't washing their bags with soap and hot water between uses, and particularly because they were re-using bags that had held meat and dairy products, without washing them.

The moral of the story: it's fantastic and safe to reuse your plastic bags, so long as you keep them clean - the way you would anything in your kitchen.

And if a bag reaches the point of no return, take it to your local supermarket to be recycled! The albatross in the Pacific Ocean will thank you!
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The Farmstand is Open for Summer!
Wednesdays & Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm

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May Update!

May Update!
May Update from Valley Flora!
• Artichoke Season is On! •
Visit our Farmstand to stock up.
Spring Hours: Thursdays 9am-4pm

CSA Update!

In spite of the cold wet spring we are optimistic that we'll be starting our CSA season on time. Tentatively mark your calendar for the week of May 29th for the first week of CSA deliveries.

That means that if you pick up in Coos Bay or at the Farm your first pickup should be Wednesday, May 31!

If you pick up in Bandon or Port Orford your first pickup should be on Saturday, June 3.

We will email you by the end of next week to confirm our start date.

We can squeeze a couple more folks into our CSA program, so if you haven't signed up yet get on our website and reserve a Harvest Basket, salad share, egg share and/or tamale share!





What's Fresh at the Farmstand: Thursdays from 9 to 4
  • asparagus (at last!)
  • artichokes
  • chard & kale
  • micro-mix (pea shoots and baby mesclun mix)
  • radishes
  • hakurei turnips
  • potatoes
  • head lettuce
  • shallots
  • herbs

Farmstand offerings change each week. Come by and get a taste of what's in season on Floras Creek!

 

Hope to see you up the creek!

Yours truly,
The Florettes
WHEN & WHERE 1.5 miles up Floras Creek Road

Thursdays
9am-4pm
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