StrawberriesPhontoTomatoesMaudeUmaSunflowerPeppersA&ZCherry TomatoesApplesPippin Cabbage LeafPotatoes FloweringApplesRed Sunflowers3 GenerationsChicoryCrimson CloverMaude FaceshotTeam in BroccoliRadicchioRomanescoArtichoke FlowerStrawberry in HandZinniasZ Harvest Basket3 GenerationsJos Tree DannyBeetsRoberto LacinatoBrusselsGreensCleo Red PepperRomaineFavas3 AbreastCaneberriesChardBasketsKids on MaudeRhubarbFarmstandGiant PumpkinsJules Asian PearShiroZ CauliCarrotsBouquetKids TransplantingJack and Lily Cover Crop GerminatingGraffiti

Week 18 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Bunched Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Head Lettuce
  • Walla Walla Sweet Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Painted Purple Potatotes
  • Zucchini

On Rotation:

  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Heirloom Tomatoes

The tug-o-war between summer and fall is palpable. There are moments in a day when I want to make a dash for the swimming hole; a half hour later I'm reaching for another layer and a warm hat. Fingers of refrigerator chill have been slinking up the valley from the coastal fog bank that looms out to the west. Last night rain, this morning sun. A sudden greening of our summer-parched yard. 

It means that our week is choreographed once again to the weather forecast: always the inevitable scurry before the next rain, and lots of time cleaning onions in the greenhouse when it's wet. We cross our fingers for enough dry days to get the winter squash and potato harvest in, and enough rainy days to water in newly-seeded cover crops and to soften up ground that needs to be worked. There is an urgency to all of it, knowing that the dry days might be numbered and our window to get so many things done is shrinking. It's our final big crescendo before the lovely mellowing that November always brings to our farming rhythm. This year, we're feeling the squeeze more than usual because our storage crops - namely onions and winter squash - are coming out of the field about 3 weeks later than usual. That gives us precious little time to shift that ground into cover crop before it's too wet. Fall is always a dance, but thankfully we have a great cast working together to make it all happen.

 

Newsletter: 

Week 17 CSA from Valley Flora!

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant 
  • Fennel
  • Red Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Jalapeño Pepper
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Tomatoes

If that picture doesn't look like a batch of ratatouille waiting to happen, then I don't know what does. Usually ratatouille doesn't include fennel bulb, but I stumbled upon this recipe from a UK magazine (they eat a lot more fennel in Europe than we do here in the States) and it looked worthy of sharing: Ratatouille with Fennel. The only bit of produce not in your share this week is the dill, but some of you might have a bit leftover from last week...?

Or, if like me, all you want to eat at this time of year is raw chopped salad, then this is the recipe for you: Yotam Ottolenghi's Spiced Chickpea Chopped Salad. Yotam Ottolenghi has a cookbook called "Jerusalem" - probably the most dog-eared compendium of recipes in my entire kitchen, and it's the book I reach for every week from August through October. You'd think I'd have the recipe memorized by now, but no, I seem to like to pull that book down like an old friend and open it up to the page with the hot pink post-it note that's spattered with olive oil stains. I cheat and use canned garbanzo beans instead of soaking dry chickpeas in order to make it a fast weeknight dinner. I've also been known to add homemade croutons, feta, broiled eggplant - anything you want to bulk it up and make it even more of a meal. You could even shred some of that napa cabbage and add it to the mix. Anything goes. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

I do have a little vegetable deficit to make up for on the heels of a glorious horsepacking trip into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness last week. Not to say that my friend, Laura, and I went hungry (I dehydrated all kinds of farm veggies and added them to our homemade backpacking dinners each night....plus we're guilty of making the horses carry in 8 carrots, 5 apples, 3 cucumbers, a bag of Jimmy Nardello peppers, 3 peaches and 4 avocadoes for our 5 day drip. But still! I've got some catching up to do this week in the roughage department. Chopped salad, watch out.

Here's a glimpse of what Jack and Lily were "up" to last week. Lots of elevation gain, innumerable high alpine lakes, wild blueberries, a thunderstorm or two, and beautiful meadows. Upon hearing some stories from our Mt. Jefferson trip, my mom referred to them as "renaissance horses." I can't think of a better descriptor: from digging potatoes on Monday to climbing mountain peaks on Friday. 

A big thanks to my crew - and my horses - for helping make our pack trip possible this season! I'm always grateful to be able to sneak away for a long weekend during peak season, and also just as happy to come back to this beautiful reality called home.

 

Newsletter: 

Strawberry and Flower U-Pick are Open every Wednesday and Saturday!

What better way to celebrate summer!

Our strawberry u-pick is open every Wednesday and Saturday starting at 11:30 am until 2:30 pm, or until the patch is picked out, whichever happens first. The u-pick will be open only as long as there is ripe fruit to pick each day; once it's picked out we will close. Apologies that we can't promise an exact range of open picking hours. If you're traveling a ways to get to us, we recommend coming at the front end of our open hours. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS TO CARRY YOUR FRUIT HOME IN!

Our flower u-pick is open from 11:30 until 2:30 during our farmstand hours. We provide clippers and PVC tubes: small tubes are $3.50 each for any combination of stems; large tubes are $9 each for any combination of stems. Right now we have limited dahlias, rudbeckia, statice, and dianthus, and ample zinnias, sunflowers, yarrow, marigolds, strawflower, and cosmos. It's always a good idea to bring a bucket to carry your flowers home in so they don't wilt in transit.

Strawberry Fever burns hot in June and July and the berry patch can get picked out very quickly some days. Here's some useful information that should help you get enough strawberries in your belly and freezer this season:

We grow a strawberry called "Seascape." It's a day neutral variety, which means it's triggered by temperature to make fruit (in contrast to June-bearing varieties, which are triggered by day length). The plants will set fruit so long as the temps are between 40 and 90 degrees, no matter what month it is, which means they tend to produce reliably for us from June through September. All to say, we have strawberries ALL SUMMER not just in June (and in fact June tends to be the most volatile month given the higher chance for rain, which damages the fruit). Our u-pick, once it opens, will be open every Wednesday and Saturday through September. Given that strawberry fever tends to rage hottest in June and July, we always suggest that folks wait until August and September to come do their big freezer-filling, jam-making pick. Competition for ripe berries can be intense at the start of the season, and often the patch gets picked out within an hour of opening. The craze usually eases up a little later in the season and the fruit actually gets sweeter as the summer goes on, which means late summer/early fall is a great time to get your fill.

That said, there's no denying the thrill of picking the first big, red berries of the season and making a deep dish of strawberry rhubarb crisp. Just know that the Valley Flora strawberry season is long and abundant and there is enough for everyone so long as you spread your u-picking out over the whole summer. Abundance, not scarcity. It's so much better to live in that paradigm!

The details:

  • For the month of September, we offer a strawberry special: $3/lb instead of $3.25/lb.
  • We provide a certified scale for weighing out.
  • PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN CONTAINERS TO CARRY YOUR FRUIT HOME IN! We have a limited supply of 1 gallon buckets for picking into, but need you to bring a box/bag/basket/bin to take your fruit home in.
  • We accept cash, checks and Farm Direct Nutrition coupons as payment. We cannot run credit cards due to our rural, offline location.
  • Please park nose-in at the pull-out. Do not block the farm entrance and do not drive into the field.
  • No pets
  • No smoking
  • No potable water available.
  • Leave no trace: please take your trash home with you.

Have fun!

 

Order Farmstand Produce through our Online Store!

If you'd like to get fresh, seasonal produce straight from our farmstand, read on!

The Valley Flora Farmstand is open for summer hours, every Wednesday and Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30. Our farmstand is primarily pre-order, with additional produce available for drop-in shopping as well. We use a web platform called Local Line that allows you to place your order from our webstore. We then custom-harvest and pack your order and have it waiting for you on your farmstand pickup day. 

If you’d like to shop with us and haven’t registered an account with Local Line, it’s quick and easy. Simply follow the instructions below to set up your account. Once you do that you will begin to receive our availability emails with a link to our “store.”

You can also go directly to our Local Line store to check it out: https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand

Farmstand Details and How to Order:

  • Anyone is welcome to shop our farmstand. You do not need to be a CSA member and there is no waiting list to join.
  • Farmstand produce is available by pre-order every Wednesday and Saturday from June through December, and every other Wednesday between January and May.
  • From June through December, pickup is at our original farmstand location, 1.5 miles up Floras Creek Road at the shed just after the bridge, between 11:30 and 2:30 every Wednesday and Saturday. Between January and May pickup is at our barn, a half mile up the road from the bridge. When picking up your order, please wait in line until it's your turn to be served. 
  • If this is your first time ordering our produce through Local Line, you will need to register a new account with Local Line before you can place an order. Here's how (it's easy):
    1. Go to https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand to view our store.
    2. Click "Register" on the right side of the page.
    3. Set up your account by providing your email address, password, name, phone number and address.
    4. Accept the terms and conditions,
    5. Click the green button, "Creat Your Account"
    6. Start shopping!
  • The ordering window for our Wednesday farmstand opens on Thursday morning by 9 am until Sunday night at 9 pm. Farmstead Bread is available on Wednesdays only. Between June and December, if you are not a bread customer and can come on Saturdays, we recommend ordering for Saturday pickup because there are fewer pre-order customers that day and the produce line will be shorter (and some items that have inventory limits will be more available).
  • The ordering window for our Saturday farmstand opens on Monday morning by 9 am until Wednesday night at 9 pm.
  • There is a $20 minimum on orders. The "Place Order" button will not appear until you have met the $20 minimum.
  • We will send an email with a link to our updated store to everyone in our Local Line farmstand customer base every Monday and Thursday morning (every other Thursday only during our winter season). You won't receive that email unless you have registered for a Local Line account as described above.
  • You can always access our Local Line store by clicking the "Order Farmstand Produce" button on the left sidebar of our homepage, following the link below, or going directly to https://valley-flora.localline.ca/farmstand.

Thanks ever for your support of the farm and your passion for eating local, seasonal produce!

Shop the Valley Flora Store for Farmstand Produce Now!

Valley Flora - Growing Good Food for Local Folks

Valley Flora is a mother-and-two-daughter collective nestled on the banks of Floras Creek near Langlois, Oregon. Together, we grow hundreds of varieties of vegetables, berries and fruit to feed our local coastal community year-round. Our farm was founded in 1998 with a deep commitment to ecological and organic farming practices and our passion is growing good food with an eye towards the artful. Our love of this beautiful valley – the fertile loam and the river that runs through it - inspires us to farm with the next generation in mind, and the next. We rely on crop diversity, compost, cover crops, and crop rotation to keep our farm healthy and thriving both above and below ground. With the help of our draft horses, a handful of fantastic employees, and one little tractor, we are grateful to call this our life and our livelihood. We love what we do - so much you can taste it!

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