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Word from the Woods

  • 02 Nov 2017 10:59 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    To our honored CSA members: 

    As you know, this is the last of our twenty weeks of the 2017 CSA season.  Once again, my thanks go out to all of you for your kindness, your photos, and your recipes.  Tasha will be sending out a survey in the near future; we would appreciate it if you would take the time to help us improve our offerings and our service for next year.  On a housekeeping note, we will  be making this last delivery in paper bags so that we don't make you bring back your baskets next week. Please check around your house to see if you have any of the baskets lying around.  We'd like to get them back today so that we can use them again for next year's season.

    Today's basket (okay, today's paper bag) contains a mix of root vegetables, including turnips and rutabagas, and a handful of apples (Jonagold) and pears (Bartlett).  The rutabagas are in there because of a conversation I had with one of our members.  I happened to mention to him that rutabagas are always at the bottom of the list when CSA customers are asked about their favorite vegetables.  He quickly responded that they were always among his favorite vegetables, and that he and his mother were looking forward to getting some.  I went out and planted some the next day. I would highly recommend using the turnips and rutabagas in a scalloped vegetable casserole.  Simply replace some or all of the potatoes in a scalloped potato recipe with these other root vegetables, peeling and slicing them to the same thickness as the potatoes.  The other best use would be in a fall vegetable soup, possibly with the apple or pear added in.

    We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to Ffynnon's second annual Cider Squeeze, next Saturday, November 11, from 11am to 2pm.  We have a big pile of apples that aren't ready for prime time, but are perfect for making cider. Bring your own container (like a growler, or a 1-gallon glass jug, join in the chopping, crushing and squeezing, and take home some fresh juice.  There are more details on our Facebook page.

    Once again, all of us here at Ffynnon thank you for your patronage.  If we don't see you at the Cider Squeeze, we look forward to serving all of you again next year.

    All the best,

    Joel, Michael, Tasha, and Neal.

  • 05 Oct 2017 3:38 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    The Frost is on the...Squash

    Greetings once again from Ffynnon Farm. It's been a very busy week here on the farm (that always sounds like the start to a Garrison Keillor monologue, but I'm keeping it anyway).  The dry weather has been a true godsend for us as we continue to harvest this year's crops, clean up the debris, and plant and plan for next year as well.  We put in about 180 row feet of garlic yesterday, and we have beds ready to receive the elephant garlic, leeks, and overwintering onions that we're getting in the next couple of days.  We also have added eight new chicks to our flock of hens, and we will likely be adding even more so that we may open the egg shares to everyone who wants one.

    The big surprise has been the frost we got both Wednesday and Thursday mornings, about two weeks early.  The first frost was light, but it did nip the pepper plants and our row of Delicata squash. Knowing what was coming next, Michael and I (and our houseguests Lee and Finnian) spent most of Wednesday harvesting everything we could. Delicatas are a winter squash, but as their name implies, they don't really stand up to the same treatment as, say, a Hubbard. We also had to bring in stuff that we didn't have in amounts to get to you--the last of the beans and basil, for instance.  Anyhow, the squash are busily curing in our shed, next to the onions, and we'll get both of them to you soon.

    Anyhow, back to this week.  The kale in your baskets was harvested this morning, and it had a light coating of frost on it as I was cutting it. That's supposed to enhance the flavor, making it sweeter.  Your peppers were harvested yesterday in the frost-induced frenzy.  Everyone gets green bell peppers.  The long, very skinny ones are Italian roasters. The others, long and contorted, are more of the NuMex Joe Parkers.  The garlic is Italian Late. You also get more of the Russet potatoes, and the Red Ace beets that we harvested a week or so back. I can think of a lot of ways to combine all of these things in recipes, perhaps the easiest being sheet pan roasting. just chop everything to roughly the same size, toss with olive oil and whatever seasonings you like to coat, spread on a sheet pan (or a big lasagna pan) and bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.  Or, you could make a one-pan brunch or supper dish.  Start with a clove or two of garlic, chopped fine and sautéed in olive oil in a large pan (with a close fitting lid). Add chopped peppers, any of them, and let them sizzle a minute.  Then add all of the kale, washed, dried and chopped, and cover with the lid.  When the kale has lost its volume, make small indentations in the vegetables and crack an egg into each of the "nests"--you can fit six into a ten-inch pan. Cover with the lid and let the eggs steam until done, about two minutes.  You can take this dish in any direction you wish.  For Asian flavor, add sesame oil with the kale and toasted sesame seeds with the eggs. Italian? Oregano and Parmesan cheese.  Mexican? Chili powder, cumin, Cotija cheese.  Allow me to make a plug here for sesame oil as kale's best friend. The two "earthy" flavors just seem to be made for each other and seem to bring out the underlying sweetness.  You could make a  beet-and-potato hash to go with this. Just remember that it will be pink.

  • 21 Sep 2017 10:27 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    The Tomato Apocalypse is on Hold...

    Here's what happened. Last Sunday, the rains began. The tomatoes soaked up the new moisture, and, as their skins didn't expand with the rain, they split--some from stem to blossom end, some in a circle around their waists, some both ways.  This reduced the number of tomatoes available by almost half.  There are still a lot of tomatoes on the vine, but this may be the last week for regular deliveries of tomatoes. Here's what I propose:  I will pick as many tomatoes as I can for next week's delivery, but I will make them available at each pickup site in bulk bins.  People can take as much out of these bins as they want, so, first come, first served. It would help, if you're interested in large quantities, to let us know either by return email or by text.  This way, we can distribute the tomatoes to each site in proportion to the anticipated desire.  Remember, again, that these will be tomatoes for cooking and processing, and that there will be splits, bruises, some not fully-ripe fruits, and (particularly in the case of the Brandywines) mis-shaped fruits that you will need to cut down, so there will be waste. But there will also be a lot of good tomato flavor.

    Another unexpected gift of the rain...

    ...is the green beans in your basket this week.  I had been in the field on Sunday, moving the onion harvest from the beds where they were drying into the greenhouse to get them out of the rain, when I took a walk around the rest of the field, seeing how things were coming along.  My last planting of beans was showing some that were almost harvest-sized, but a lot of small ones and a lot of blossoms as well.  I figured I had until at least next week to get these picked and out to you.  And then the rains came.  By the time I got back into the field yesterday, I had two rows of very meaty, mature green beans.  These are Provider, a larger and more uniform variety than the Caprice that you got earlier this year.  And, as they are somewhat mature, these are not for stir-fries or other almost-raw preparations.  I would either steam or boil them, even if you are then going to further cook them in a casserole or other mixed dish.  In fact, Michael and I made a test batch last night and ate them all with relish.  We found that steaming them for about five minutes renders them tender, and they have a hearty, beany flavor, one that a white sauce (with mushrooms?) or a cheese sauce would certainly complement.

    And the rest...
    There are, of course, tomatoes, and their cousins, the bell peppers.  We also are releasing our well-cured garlic this week. Everyone gets one each of two varieties: Deerfield, a purple-skinned hardneck variety, and Desert Late, a white softneck. Both are pretty robust, but I'd call the Desert Late the hotter of the two. We also have a big handful of chives in your baskets.  If you want, you can preserve the chives by cleaning and chopping them, then portion them out by the tablespoon into the compartments of an ice cube tray.  Then, cover the chives with olive oil and pop the tray into the freezer.  You can then put the cubes into a freezer bag, and then use them whenever you would use plain olive oil--as the fat in a saute, or in a vinaigrette.  This method works for just about any herb, by the way.

    Be well and eat well,
    Farmer Joel, Michael, Tasha, and Neal 

  • 14 Sep 2017 10:46 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Once again, greetings from Ffynnon Farm. It has been a week of maintenance and organization out here on the farm, with a lot of the beds finishing up for the season. We haven't quite gotten to the point of "putting the gardens to bed" for the winter, but we are heading rapidly in that direction.  Of course, the gardens are never truly asleep.  we'll be planting alliums soon for next year's crops, looking for ways to expand our variety as well as to bring your favorites in earlier in the season.  Some brassicas, like kale, will get the same treatment.

    The Tomato Apocalypse that I have been warning you about will definitely be taking place next week, and possibly extending into the week after that. Again, we'll be sending a separate email to explain how to sign up for the bounty. Be aware, though, that these tomatoes may not be exactly pretty.  There will be some splits, some bruises, and certainly some strange shapes and green shoulders among your tomatoes.  These are intended for processing and cooking, and will necessarily have a higher percentage of waste than the ones we put in your regular baskets.

    Your baskets this week are definitely trending toward the fall. Our first winter squash of the season are here, "Tuffy" acorn or Danish squash. The potatoes are Red Norland, and the kale is our standard Nash's Green. Another first this week is the bell peppers, which are of three different varieties that ripen red, orange, and yellow. We have enough still on the plants that we should be able to get at least one round of ripe peppers to you. Rounding out your baskets this week, of course, are the tomatoes, which are exclusively Oregon Spring this time around.

    If you're looking to combine several of your vegetables into one meal, I'd do it with a potato and kale soup.  Dice up your potatoes and your pepper to about 1/2 inch on a side, along with an onion or two and two cloves of garlic. Set a large pot over a medium flame, add some olive oil, and dump the diced veggies into it, seasoning with salt and pepper.  When the onions are translucent, add two quarts of any stock or broth and bring the pot to a simmer.  Wash, drain, and finely chop the kale, then add it to the pot, covering with a lid to help reduce the kale in volume.  Simmer until the potatoes are done and the kale is as tender as you want it. Season with thyme or oregano (or both). You can make this a cream soup with a little heavy cream or half and half right at the end, or "de-veganize" it by adding Italian or other sausage with the potatoes and peppers. This kind of soup is always better the second day, if you can make it last that long.

    One more housekeeping item: please make sure you are taking the basket with your name on it. Also, if you are sending someone else to pick up your basket, make sure they know the CSA etiquette, as well.

    Until next week and the Tomato Deluge,

    Farmer Joel, Michael, Neal and Tasha

  • 07 Sep 2017 11:00 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings from Ffynnon Farm, everybody! This is going to be a very quick post, with no recipes, and very little small talk.  I want to get on the road as quickly as possible to make sure your veggies aren't held up by, you know, evacuation traffic.  Please be careful out there, everybody, especially our far East Side members.  I have been in the Northwest for twenty-one years and have never seen the fires quite so close, or impacting Portland quite so much. 

    Your baskets today are kind of brimming with whole plants.  First there's basil, which we've been nursing along and pinching back, but now it's trying to flower no matter what we do.  If you like herbal teas, you can use the flowers fresh or dried in your blend after you make a batch of pesto with the leaves.  Then, of course, there's the onions, which are mostly Walla Wallas.  I would use the bulbs raw, and then use the green tops in a long-cooking stew or braise.  As a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to do tonight.

    The peppers in your baskets are mainly Joe Parker NuMex, a New Mexican (surprise, surprise) Hatch-type chile.  Check with shareholder and New Mexico native Kristin Wright for roasting instructions.  Full share members will also receive some Hungarian hot wax peppers.  Beets and green chard are also on the list, as well as tomatoes.  This time around, they are mostly Oregon Spring, with an occasional Brandywine or Cherokee Purple in the mix.

    Speaking of tomatoes: the ripening has begun, and we will let you know, by a separate email, how to get in on the Bulk Bounty Harvest Shares of tomatoes.  Nothing, including the price, is set in stone yet, but we know that the onslaught will probably begin with next week's delivery, or maybe the week after.  We will probably distribute them as full baskets (the same size your half shares come in) of tomatoes, with all our different varieties represented.  Again, look for the email from us very soon.

    And with that, it is past time to get the show on the road.

    Stay safe, everybody.

    Joel, Michael, Neal, and Tasha

  • 31 Aug 2017 10:21 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    It's an absolutely beautiful morning out here on the farm. There was even a little bit of misty rain as I was out cutting your kale this morning, which felt heaven-sent. Of course the sky had cleared by the time I was done (and by the time Michael was done with the arugula, which is in a different garden plot) but still, the little reminder that it's not always baking heat and wildfire danger was refreshing and timely.

    It's the start of the Labor Day weekend, and we hope your plans include using some of our produce from your baskets in your celebrations.  We have, of course, some tomatoes for you, as well as another basket of strawberries. These berries tend to be a bit smaller than your supermarket varieties, but we think the flavor is well worth the small extra effort required to de-stem that many berries. Since we also included some arugula today, you could toss them both into a colorful and flavorful salad.  Our first peppers of the season came in today as well, so maybe slice a jalapeno or two into that salad.  Another first in your baskets is the Yukon Gold potatoes.  These are, of course, freshly harvested and not "cured," so both their water content and their sugar content is relatively high.  These should lend themselves well to roasting or pan-frying. If you pan-fry them, you might want to dry them on a dish towel after you chop them to absorb a little bit of that moisture. This helps along the Maillard reaction, which is the magical transformation of some of those sugars to that caramelized char.

    Kale, kale, the gang's all here...

    We've also include a big bunch of kale in your baskets this week.  We mentioned the last time we did this that you could turn them into kale chips, but we didn't tell you how to do it.  Here's that recipe:

    1 bunch kale leaves
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    2 tsp garlic powder
    1 1/2 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp salt (fine-grained works best here)
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    1. Remove the stems and tear the leaves into large pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the pieces. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
    2. Put the kale pieces into a large bowl and add the olive oil. "Massage" the oil into the kale, coating all the curly nooks and crannies. Sprinkle on the seasonings (all of them are optional, by the way) and toss to combine.
    3. Spread the kale pieces onto one or two rimmed baking sheets, keeping them in a single layer and making certain not to overcrowd them.
    4. Bake for ten minutes, then rotate and switch the pans and bake for another ten to twelve minutes, until they begin to look shrunken and start to firm up.
    5. Let the chips cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes or so. This lets them crisp up to the max.  Enjoy them quickly, though; they do lose their crispness over time.

    The relatively cool weather is supposed to stay with us over the weekend; this would be a good time to crank up the chips and not heat up your house.  At the low oven temperature, though, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    A small housekeeping note...
    We've had an incident or two of folks not picking up their baskets, and not letting us know in advance. Please, if you know that you're not going to be able to make it to the pick-up site, either have a friend do it for you, or let us know you won't be there.  You can do this by email or you can text me directly at 503-313-7839, right up to the 3pm drop time. Not doing this causes anxiety in our gracious site hosts, and can lead to a waste of food.  Neither of these are good outcomes. We will either donate your basket or share it out with your fellow share members.

    Enjoy the holiday, friends. We'll see you on the other side.
    Farmer Joel, Michael, Neal,  and Tasha

  • 24 Aug 2017 9:18 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    The Halfway Point

    It feels a little strange that we're already on Week 10 of your shares, with another ten weeks to go.  Of course, we started planning this year's garden, and your baskets, about a year ago, and the preparation of the beds and such started in February.  Market gardening is certainly a marathon, not a sprint.  We have some treats to look forward to on the downhill slope, such as peppers, winter squashes, the bulk of the onions (you've received barely half of what you're going to get), and a variety of fall brassicas and greens.

    And speaking of greens...
    You have three different ways of getting your leafy greens this week.  There's the leaf lettuce, which is again Bergam's Green. There's also Fordhook Giant Swiss chard, which is an all-green version (okay, sort-of white in the stems).  And then there's the greens attached to the Touchstone Gold beets.  I am in love with these beets.  Their flavor is outstanding, and their gradient golden color makes them about as sensuous as peaches, in my opinion.  I was picking them last night in the long light of sunset and had another one of those "this is why I do this" moments.  You can't really do better than working in beauty while providing things of beauty to people who appreciate them.  Makes my cynicism about the world go away, if only for a little bit.
    Greens and rice
    Our partners Neal and Tasha were out this last week for the eclipse and Neal made us a wonderful dinner of salmon and a Swiss chard sort-of-risotto.  I'm going to adapt his recipe a little bit here:

    1 bunch Swiss chard (or use the beet greens), cleaned, dried, and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, or more, roughly minced
    8 oz. mushrooms, chopped (optional)
    1 cup white rice (we used jasmine rice, which is heresy for risotto, but it turned out fine)
    2 or 3 cups warm chicken or vegetable stock
    1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper to taste
    2-3 tbsp. olive oil, or half oil and half butter

    In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil until just translucent and aromatic, about thirty seconds. Add the mushrooms, if using, and sauté until they give up some of their moisture.  Add the dry rice and stir it to coat with oil, then toast it for a minute or two.  Then, add the greens all at once and cover the skillet with a lid, letting the greens cook down and reduce volume.  When the greens are manageable, start adding the warm stock, about a half cup at a time, stirring occasionally and allowing the liquid to be absorbed into the rice before adding more liquid.  This should take a total of about 20 minutes.  Stir in about 3/4 cup of the Parmesan when you add the last liquid.  Once the last liquid is absorbed, let the pan rest for a few minutes, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and run the skillet under a broiler for about thirty seconds.

    Usually, when you cook greens, it's a good idea to pull out the stalks and cook them for a few minutes longer than the leaves.  I can pretty much guarantee you that you won't have to do that with your greens this week; everything is tender and succulent.
    Oh yeah, beans and stuff too.
    Tomatoes and green beans round out your basket this week.  You could use the green beans in your risotto as well, if you'd like.  The tomatoes are all over the map this week, with Oregon Spring, Bloody Butcher, Manitoba and Brandywine predominating.  There's also the beets, those yellow things on the other end of the beet greens.  If you'd like to try something really different, how about some golden beet-infused vodka? Just peel and chop the raw beets into about a liter of vodka and let it sit for about a week.  The flavor is a bit funky, a bit musty and sweet, and the color is out of this world.  Bloody Marys, golden martinis, even screwdrivers...you get the picture.

    Tomato apocalypse, first warning
    So, you're probably getting tired of all these tomatoes.  If you're not, or if you'd like to make something big, like a sauce or juice or jam, we are about to be overwhelmed with tomatoes.  We will be letting you know when this avalanche of tomatoes is ready; we just wanted you to know that we will have bulk shares available for a very special price to you.  Dust off your canners and get your Mason jars washed.  I'm thinking about two weeks from now, if the weather stays this warm.  You have been warned.

    As we head into the second half of the season, I want to thank you all again for your kindness, your patience, your great ideas, and your food pictures.  You make it all worth getting up in the morning. And, as always, thanks to my husband and partner Michael, whose unfailing cheer, grace, and organizational skills make delivery mornings, and every morning, a joy.

    Eat well, 
    Farmer Joel and the crew
  • 17 Aug 2017 9:11 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings once again from Ffynnon Farm.  We don't know how many of you are heading down into the Path of Totality, but if you do, why don't you take us along?  Pop some tomatoes and strawberries into your cooler and enjoy a fresh treat while the sun goes dark.

    Things are settling into the late summer routine out here on the farm.  There's still some planting to do for your fall vegetables, and we're already preparing some of the beds for over-wintering produce and cover crops, but a lot of the work has devolved to maintenance and harvesting.  The tomato plants are getting a trim; we still have to take out suckers and side shoots to help the existing fruits to ripen.  We also are going through all the tomato plants to remove any current blossoms for the same reason:  there are already plenty of fruits and we want the plants to put all their energy into ripening those.  Of course, there's also weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, and irrigating to be done on a daily basis; these are the things that make up the Zen of a farmer.

    Yep, tomatoes again. And strawberries.
    The tomatoes are a mixed bag of several different varieties this week, including Chef's Choice Orange, Bloody Butcher, Oregon Spring, and Manitoba.  Some of them appear to have thicker skin than normal, and some (the Bloody Butcher) are fairly small--this is normal, it is their nature.  These make great fresh sauce for pasta.  

    Try this simple method for removing the skins:  
    bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, then plunge the tomatoes into the water, one at a time, for about 30 seconds each.  Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon, and then peel them with a paring knife as soon as they are cool enough to handle.  To make the sauce, saute some minced garlic in olive oil until it is translucent (less than a minute), then add the tomatoes, whole, to the pan.  Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and kind of swirl them around the pan, adding salt and fresh or dried herbs to your taste.  Don't bring them to a boil!  You want the tomatoes to be bright and keep their fresh flavor; this is "almost-not-cooking."  You can add a smidgen of good vinegar at this point if you like, then toss it together with your already-cooked pasta. 

    Just typing this, at nine in the morning, is making me hungry for dinner.

    Greens and radishes
    The radishes are the Celesta variety; we like their almost-magenta color and their mild heat.  If you like to sauté or braise radish greens, note that these may take a few minutes to cook down.  There are more zucchini in your baskets this week.  We hope that you don't think we're "zucchini-bombing" you.  Actually, we've done more strawberry-bombing than anything else.  We've included more of the Bergam's Green leaf lettuce; we like how crisp and sweet these lettuces have stayed through the blasting heat.  New this week is the Nash's Green kale and/or green chard.  It is excellent sautéed, steamed, braised, or baked into chips. 

    Note: if your kale is a tad wilted from the heat, simply cut of the bottoms and place in a glass of water for an hour or so, and it should perk right back up! or you can just cook it tonight! 

    Stay safe!
    Enjoy the eclipse, wherever you go, but please, remember that we're getting a million extra people in our state this weekend.  It's kind of like Woodstock and Burning Man rolled into one.  We're probably going to just hunker down on the farm up here in only 98.6% totality.  Whatever you do, enjoy, be patient, and use your eclipse glasses!  And maybe keep a bottle of water in your car if you venture out.

    Wishing you a happy eclipse,
    Farmer Joel and all of us at Ffynnon Farm

  • 11 Aug 2017 4:57 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Sometimes times gets away from us.  We know you know what we mean. We started picking berries and pulling arugula before sunrise yesterday and then all of the sudden, it was time for deliveries! So, belatedly, here goes:

    Tomatoes and strawberries, again? 

    Yep, and we feel pretty darn good about it. One of the farming groups that I do some work with did a survey of CSA members, and they found that strawberries and tomatoes are the two items that they most look forward to in their baskets. (Rutabagas came in dead last, so I didn't plant any this year; then one of our members said how much he and his mother were craving them. Ah, so it goes.)  Anyhow, the heat has certainly been supporting the growth and ripening of the tomatoes, and the strawberries kicked into gear after last week's picking.  If you didn't get strawberries last week, you got a double serving this week; full share members also got more of the broccoli.  We think there will probably be at least two more deliveries of strawberries from our late but very hard working little patch.

    That's a lot of arugula 

    Especially for our full-share members.  We recommend doing an arugula/strawberry salad, maybe with thinly-shaved red onion, if you still have some from last week.  Or, of course, you could get out the food processor and whip up some pesto, but remember, an assertive cheese in the mix might render it a little too...aromatic is a good word, I guess.  We did a nice chimichurri sauce, which is the national condiment of Argentina; usually it's made with parsley, but arugula gives it a punch.

    • 1 bunch arugula
    • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 34 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 14 cup red wine vinegar
    • juice of 1 half lemon
    • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 12 teaspoon salt

    Pulse the arugula in the food processor to chop.  Then add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.  Use it as sauce or a marinade for beef, smear it on a sandwich, stir it into a salad.

    And the rest?
    Everybody gets a cabbage, great for slaws or braises, and a bunch of rather massive carrots.  These were a bit over-fertilized and had some issues with their planting bed, so we recommend that you use them for juicing or cooking, rather than expecting the sweet, raw carrots you might usually get in the summer. 

    As always, we welcome your recipes and ideas.  We love to see the different ways in which people are using their produce this season! 

    Happy eating!

    Farmer Joel and the rest of us at Ffynnon Farm. 
  • 03 Aug 2017 9:33 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings from Ffynnon Farm!  The high temperatures and smoky haze have affected just about every aspect of life in the area, and your CSA is no exception. Here's a rundown of what changes we're making to adapt to the situation, and some of the benefits of the heat:

    No leafy greens this week

    It's just a little bit too warm for us to guarantee that spinach or lettuce won't turn into a wilted prom corsage before you pick it up, and what we have in the field looks like it can benefit from watering and will hold out until next week, so we're just going to leave the salad greens where they are this time around.

    Everybody dance:  it's tomatoes!

    The heat, and particularly the overnight retention of heat, has brought on the tomatoes like there's no tomorrow.  While we can't guarantee that there will be tomatoes in every basket from here on out, things are looking good right now. Every member gets at least two tomatoes this week, and possibly more if the harvest is heavier than we expected.

    Onions are curing nicely

    And so we have more in your baskets.  These are still technically thinnings, but they are bigger than normal thinnings and also a bit more mature and drier, which means they'll last a bit longer.  The red ones are Red Hawk, and the yellow ones are a mix of Cortland, New York Early, and Zoey.

    Green beans and broccoli (and berries)...Oh my!
    ...and zucchinis as well.  The zukes are a bit bigger this week, and we'll probably be giving you a break from them for a bit after this.  The broccoli, which is a blend of Belstar and Bay Meadows varieties, looks very good, but the purplish blush and the slight yellowing is a touch of sun scald. We tried it and it doesn't affect flavor at all--and I really like the texture.  The green beans are Caprice.

    We also (finally) got a decent harvest from our everbearing strawberries this week.  Decent, but not prolific, which means that some of you will receive your basket of berries next week instead of today.  Please be assured that everyone will, in the end, receive the same amount of food as others with the same share.

    Don't cook!
    We're doing our utmost to not add heat to the inside of the house, and we encourage others to do the same.  One of my favorite not-cooking recipes is for:
    Panzanella, or Italian bread salad.  

    Core and peel a few tomatoes (ones that are both meaty and juicy are best).  Place them in a strainer over a bowl and break them up with your fingers. Sprinkle them with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and set aside, while preparing about 4-8 slices of crusty, maybe a little stale, bread: rub the bread with a cut clove of garlic and toast it under a broiler or in a toaster oven. Tear it into bite-sized pieces once it's nicely browned and cooled, then put it into a bowl with the strained juice from the tomatoes.  Discard the tomato seeds and chop the meat of the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Add the tomatoes to the bread, along with about 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon good vinegar (red wine, balsamic, etc.), some herbs such as oregano or marjoram, and some freshly-ground black pepper. Toss, taste, and adjust seasonings; serve immediately. Or, do what I do: keep the bowl and eat the whole thing yourself. 

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57009 Pebble Creek Rd
Vernonia, Oregon 97064

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