- SunOrange Cherry Tomato Plant (plant this, don't eat this!). I sent out an email earlier this morning to all 2022 CSA members with planting and care info. Be sure to grab one plant per Harvest Basket from the yellow bins at your pickup site this week.
- Artichokes - a Valley Flora family heirloom that's been in cultivation in our family gardens and farm fields for 50+ years
- Spring Onions - planted last October and overwintered for early June harvest
- Zucchini - harvested out of a brave little bed in one of our field tunnels that was planted in early March
- Pea Shoots - a nice hefty bag of shoots, grown in our greenhouse
- Kale - Wednesday locations are getting Red Ursa (a tender, pretty heirloom that I've been loyal to for 20+ years); Saturday locations, variety TBD
- Lettuce - varieties vary by location each week. We do our best to rotate through the five or six different varieties we plant so that you can experience a diversity of lettuce types throughout the season (leaf, butter, romaine, oak, summer crisp, little gem).
- Cilantro - a petite little bunch this week, a miracle that it grew through the cold April/May weather we had!
Welcome to the 2022 Valley Flora CSA Season!
It's official, the Valley Flora van is on the road as of this morning to bring you the first CSA delivery of the year! Today will be the first pickup for Coos Bay members and Farm members, and Bandon and Port Orford folks will get their first delivery this Saturday. As of this week we have made some important updates to our pick-up protocol and changed some details specific to each pickup location. PLEASE visit our website and read up (even if you are a returning member): https://www.valleyflorafarm.com/content/valley-flora-pick-locations. This webpage has a lot of important info about WHEN to pick up, WHERE to pick up, HOW to pick up, and what do do if you MISS your pick up.
Also, please share the link with anyone who might be picking up on your behalf this season so they know the drill!
There will be a CSA check-off sheet at each pickup site, which lists everyone who's getting a Harvest Basket as well as everyone who is getting a Salad Share (and which size Salad Share, half or full pound). Please check yourself off on this list each week. For this first week the list is a paper print-out, but within a couple weeks it will be laminated so we can wipe it clean and reuse it all season.
If you are getting a Harvest Basket, you can help us out greatly by keeping your pickup site tidy. Here's an example of how empty bins and lids should be stacked:
Throughout the season things will go smoothly if everyone takes the time to read labels and signage, and be diligent about taking the correct items. Thanks so much for helping our self-serve CSA system work!
Our season is off to a slightly slower start due to the cold, wet spring we've had. We're grateful that the world around us is green and the creek is running strong, and even if some crops are delayed everything in the field is looking vital. Rest assured the food will be ample and you can expect to see more and more produce in your tote as summer advances.
We've been working double time to get caught up on transplanting and yesterday put a third of an acre of winter squash in the ground after we packed CSA totes. I think the crew broke our winter squash speed record, bravo! We're rapid-fire planting lots of other outdoor crops that need warmer weather to thrive: peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes. We call this the "pop-up" farm week, when a lot of acreage goes from bare ground to planted in the blink of an eye. Finally, our propagation greenhouse empties out and the field fills up and our focus shifts predominantly to outdoor fieldwork. We don't have a mechanical transplanter on the farm, so every single transplant goes in the ground with a trowel, by hand. This week that equals 2,085 winter squash plants, 150 pickling cucumbers, 660 brussels sprouts, 880 sweet corn, 216 fennel starts, 1000 pepper plants, 450 lettuce starts, plus a few other things. There's a week in April when we plant 19,280 onion, leek and shallot starts in a week (you feel that in your hamstrings the next day). All to say, we have a pretty intimate relationship with every single plant on the farm, from seed to harvest. We're excited to share all that with you in the coming months.
Thanks to all of our 2022 CSA members for being part of the next 28 weeks, when you'll experience the full arc of local, seasonal eating. We're glad to have you with us!
Cheers, Zoë and the VF Team