CSA Newsletter – Week 2 – June 27, 2018

by jennifer on June 27, 2018

week 2 2018

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
lettuce
shell peas
kale or chard
dill or cilantro
kohlrabi
green onions
carrots
garlic scapes
beets-on rotation
snow peas-on rotation

Remember last week when I said we were caught up on weeds? How quickly the tide shifts. Jim and I went on an extensive field walk this morning and our need to weed list became quite extensive. We both started getting antsy near the end, feeling like we needed to stop talking and get cracking! This is a common occurrence throughout the season. Things seem overwhelming, we tackle them, enjoy a moment of calm and control, then things get crazy again. Wash, rinse, repeat. Our crew is coming along nicely. We have a lot of new folks this year and it takes time and practice to become quick and efficient. Each week there are new crops to harvest, which adds to the learning curve.

One encouraging aspect to our walk was seeing how happy and healthy all the plants are. The potatoes are starting to flower which means new potatoes are only a few weeks away. Ditto greens beans. The tomato plants are heavy with fruit. By next week we should be able to start rotating zucchini around. Snap peas are also super close. Basil and parsley should appear next week as well. I love this time of year when each week there is something new to eat!

4TH OF JULY DELIVERY SCHEDULE
Delivery will occur as usual on the 4th of July EXCEPT  for the following locations:
BIIA
NRB
HLB
JEFFERSON
HUMMINGBIRD
AG in Tumwater
The above listed agencies will receive their box on Thursday July 5th.

RECIPE IDEAS:
Beets: Even if you think you hate beets, please give them a try. Fresh beets are nothing like canned beets, which are probably responsible for 90% of people’s aversion to beets. Go to our beet page for some delicious ideas.
Fresh Herbs: Check out this handy guide for what herbs pairs well with which veggies. It is bound to spark some inspiration.

I’m feeling the urgency to step away from the computer, so that’s it for this week.

Enjoy!
Jen, Jim, and Crew

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CSA Newsletter – Week 1 – June 20, 2018

by jennifer on June 20, 2018

summer share week 1

Welcome to Rising River Farm CSA! We are so glad you chose to spend the summer with us. It is shaping up to be a bountiful season. Our first box was surprisingly abundant thanks to the warm, dry spring weather. We are always a little nervous a few weeks before the first box. It is hard to tell exactly when a crop will be ready. Rain and 60’s verses sun and high 70’s produce very different outcomes.  After last spring’s incessant rain and cool temperatures which made us seriously question our career choice, we are grateful for long windows of cooperative weather to keep up with scheduled plantings and just as importantly, keep up on the weeds. The fields are looking full and well-tended. It is a luxury to catch the weeds when they are small and easy to pull, rather than trying to find crops in a carpet of unwanted vegetation.  So let’s get to it….

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
lettuce
spinach
kale or chard
shell peas
snow peas-large shares only
green onions
garlic scapes (see photo below)
cilantro
kohlrabi

WASH YOUR PRODUCE:
We field wash everything before it comes to you, but it is always a good idea to give in another rinse before you eat it. Some items like beans or basil don’t like to be stored wet, so wash right before use.

A WORD ON ROTATION:
Not everyone gets everything mentioned in the newsletter every week, but on balance, all the box values are the same. Very often we will give half of you one thing and half the other. Then next week it’ll switch. We also rotate items around the sites when there is not enough for all. Eventually you will all receive roughly the same things with the same value. We keep careful track of who gets what when. It all evens out in the wash.


PICKY EATER SPIEL:
I say it every year, but for the benefit of the new members I will say it again. Please try everything you receive in your box at least twice before you decide you are not a fan. Fresh-from-the-field veggies are nothing like what you buy in a store and are leagues better than canned or frozen versions. I am a bona fide picky eater since childhood. I hated nearly every vegetable except iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, and russet potatoes. I would choke down the occasional canned green beans, but nearly any other veggie I was served would cause me to recoil and protest mightily. However, once I grew my own, tried them raw or lightly cooked, I was converted. I am still learning to like new things and am all the better for it. I also have two kids, 20 and 16, and have weathered many phases of kids loving then hating then loving any given vegetable.

Here are a few tips for converting veggie haters into veggie lovers (or at least tolerators):

  1. Try things raw. They tend to be sweeter, obviously crunchier, and lack the mushy texture that just freaks some people out.
  2. If you are going to cook things, aim for ”al dente”. Most of the time crunchy or firm is more appealing than mush.
  3. Try meals that are deconstructed. For example, a build your own burrito where each person can add as much or as little as they want. Making a casserole? Try serving the contents of said casserole separated out. Some kids (and yes, some adults) cannot deal with a whole bunch of unidentifiable ingredients all mixed together. I clearly remember mining out every onion and mushroom fleck in my mother’s meatloaf. I am not necessarily a proponent of catering to and preparing separate meals for whiny, picky kids, but if you can serve them what you are already making but in a different form, then it doesn’t seem as bad. Remember, the goal is to get them to love veggies! I just remember texture and mystery in regard to food being huge obstacles for me as a kid. (I still feel the need to apologize for the hell I probably put my mom through at dinner time.)
  4. Have your family/household members help unpack your weekly share, sample veggies, and brainstorm menu ideas. Most veggies can be eaten raw so sampling should be encouraged.
  5. Have your picky eaters help cook, or at least play sous chef. They will be way more likely to eat it if they know what is in it.
  6. Explore our website for recipes. Most of what is posted is easy to prepare. Rarely will you need some exotic vinegar, spice, or pantry item that you use maybe once a year.

BARTER BOX:
Even after all your experimentation and open-mindedness, you may still dislike a vegetable or perhaps have an allergy. To address that issue, we try to supply a barter box so that you may swap out something you don’t want for something else.

HOUSEKEEPING & FAQ’S
-Please return your box each week. We love it when you unfold them without tearing the flaps!
-Keep the pick up site neat and tidy.
-Observe the established pick up hours, esp. at someone’s home. Generally speaking, your box could arrive as early as 1:00 or as late as 3:30. It takes us a few weeks to work out the best route. As the season goes on, there is more to pack, so things may take longer.
-If you have someone pick up in your stead, make sure they take the correct box.
-If you forget to pick up your box, call your site host to figure out when/how to pick it up. If you know in advance that you will miss a box, email me and we can make other arrangements.
-Payments: We don’t send regular bills, so please check your account periodically to make sure you are keeping up with payments. To log into your account, follow this link. If you have any trouble, let me know.
-If you show up and there is not a box with your name see if the site host can help figure out where the error occurred. If they are not present or cannot help you, call me and I will find a way to get you a box. Please don’t take a box with someone else’s name.

BEST WAY TO CONTACT THE FARM
For general questions and non-pressing issues email us at info@risingriverfarm.com or call the farm phone. 360.273.5368
For more urgent matters call or text Jen’s cell 360.584.6720

SOCIAL MEDIA: We have a Facebook and Instagram account (rising.river.farm). I try to post a lot of pictures of the farm and crew, as well as recipe ideas. Check us out!

VEGGIE ID:
There are 2 oddball veggies in your box this week: kohlrabi and garlic scapes.

purple kohlrabiKohlrabi-comes in purple and white

garlic scapes

Garlic scapes

 RECIPES AND TIPS:

Garlic scapes: They are the seed stalk of the garlic plant. Scapes have the texture of green beans or asparagus when cooked and taste like, you guessed it, garlic! Not as potent as cloves of garlic, so you can be liberal with them. I tend to use them in lieu of garlic this time of year. Chop them in bite sized pieces and add them to stir fry, soup, pot roast, beans, etc. Keep them whole, marinate with your favorite marinade and grill on the bbq or toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in the oven at 400 until tender. Garlic scape pesto is another popular recipe. Find more scape recipes here.

Kohlrabi: It is in the brassica family (think broccoli, cabbage, and the like.) We prefer it raw, however you can cook it if you are so inclined. The flavor is sweet and subtle with a hint of fresh broccoli or sweet salad turnip. The texture is crunchy and juicy. You’ll want to peel it as the outer skin is tough. The easiest way is to cut it in half and then again into half moons. Peel the skin off with a paring knife. I usually cut one up as described and put it out on the dinner table to accompany whatever we are having. It makes a great addition to packed lunches. For more info and recipes about kohlrabi, follow this internet rabbit hole. (I almost got sucked in, but then remembered I had to finish this letter.)

Kale: You either got red Russian kale or Swiss Chard (see below). The Russian is sweet and tender and lends itself well to salads, green smoothies, and light cooking. In the future you may see Lacinato or curly kale. Lacinato is perfect for kale chips or a kale Caesar salad. Curly is hardier and more substantive and is ideal for soups, stir fries, and other recipes where you want your kale to keep its texture. Our favorite kale recipe is kale quesadillas. We could easily eat this one a week all year. Find that and other recipes on our kale page.

Chard: If you didn’t get kale, then you get to enjoy chard, which is a cousin to the mighty beet. One was bred for lush leaves and the other for bulbous roots. Chard can be used interchangeably with spinach in many applications. If you are a dairy person, it pairs well with feta cheese. We usually sauté onion and garlic (or scapes) until translucent then toss in the chard until just cooked. Serve over rice and add crumbled feta on top. A nice bratwurst on the side makes it even better. You can use the stem, but add it a good 5 minutes before you add the leafy portion. More chard ideas here.

Shell Peas: These are the type that you have to open up and retrieve the peas inside. The shell is a little fibrous. Folks often confuse shell peas with sugar snaps where you can eat them pod and all. I hardly ever cook shell peas. They are just so sweet and tasty raw. I add them to salads or just put a bowl of unshelled peas on the dinner table and let everyone shell their own. Most kids love shelling and eating raw peas.

Snow Peas: We choose to let our snow peas grow bigger than what you usually see in the grocery store. We find them to be sweeter this way. They are still great in stir-fry. Use them to dip in hummus, peanut sauce, or a number of other tasty concoctions.

Green onions aka scallions: They can be used fresh or raw. Use in place of an onion if you are out, or check out the scallion page for other ideas.

RECIPES ARE MERELY A GUIDE: One final word on the recipes we suggest. For the most part you can use them as a guide and substitute ingredients and amounts pretty liberally. Just because a recipe calls for 2 lbs of something and you only have 1lb or it lists onion but you only have green onions, don’t let that stop you. Prepare a half recipe, use green onions instead, add a different vegetable to help fill it out. Get creative and wing it a little. Most of all try to enjoy the process and savor your results.

I imagine you are tired of reading and want to get chomping, so until next week….

Jen, Jim and Crew

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Late Fall CSA – Week 1 – November 25, 2017

by jennifer on November 25, 2017

late fall week 1

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
orange and purple carrots
curly kale
spaghetti squash
yellow onions
red and yellow cipollini onions
garlic
kohlrabi
Russian banana potatoes
rosemary
rutabaga
Deadon cabbage

NOTES ABOUT THE PRODUCE:
Potatoes-They look a little rough, I know. This variety was afflicted with and excessive amount of surface scabbing. A quick spot peeling will do the trick. These are the best potatoes to use for grillling. Refer to last the Early Fall Week 2 newsletter for a refresher on how to do it.
Purple carrots: These are also fabulous on the grill.
Kohlrabi, cabbage, and orange carrots are so fresh and delicious raw. It is nice to have the sweet, crunchiness to balance out all the starchier squash and potatoes.

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. We packed the house with 15 family and friends and ate waaaaaay too much! This particular holiday is always amazing when shared with other farm folk. I’d say 90% of the meal was sourced right from our little valley. We are polishing off the leftovers tonight.

It is Small Business Saturday! There’s all sorts of locally crafted shopping opportunities in downtown Olympia. The Olympia Farmers Market always has a wide variety of interesting and versatile crafts. On Saturday (that’s today!) you should check out Duck The Malls at the Capital Theater. There is an overflow event at Gallery Boom at 520 Adams. While you are downtown, you could wander around and check out the little shops and restaurants. Additionally, there is the Lincoln Craft fair from 11-4 at Lincoln Elementary. I am not as familiar with the little local shops around the Proctor Farmers Market, but I know there are a ton. Check ’em out!

Have a great week!

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early fall week 4

This is the last week of the Early Fall Share. Thanks for sticking it out for another 4 weeks. The Late Fall Share starts next weekend. If you have not already signed up and would like to, you may do so online from our website, or send me an email and I’ll take care of it.

This week was an interesting mix of weather.  Thursday was relentless rain. Each crate of carrots harvested easily had an extra 5 lbs of mud in it. Boots and rain gear collected several more pounds of mud, so everyone got quite the workout. Walking in the mud, similar to soft sand on the beach, also took more effort. I often think how funny it would be to make a spoof Cross-Fit promo video that would be “Farm Cross-Fit”. So much of what we do is carry heavy, awkward objects around. I’ll try to make it happen next season. Today was sunny and beautiful and each brief rain squall brought a rainbow, sometimes a double. Hard to be cranky when a rainbow is around. Add to that the cute-as-a-button puppy one of our crew just got who follows her around everywhere, and it was really hard to be cranky. I mean, come on.  Rainbows and puppies?

THANKSGIVING: Perhaps you will have all you need for your upcoming feast in this very CSA box. We tried to include typical Thanksgiving staples. If you are still in need, your first stop should be the Olympia or Proctor Farmers Market. You’ll find so many amazing veggies, meats, cranberries, baked goods, flowers, candles, pottery, wood work, and so much more. You could most likely source your entire meal locally. Also, keep these markets in mind for holiday gifts.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy your holiday!

Jen, Jim, and Crew

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Early Fall Share Week 3

by jennifer on November 10, 2017

Early Fall Share week 3

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
orange carrots
purple carrots
red potatoes
curly kale
parsley
lettuce
rutabaga
red onion
yellow onion
shallot
garlic
delicata squash
butternut squash
cabbage

I have been remiss in keeping up with the weekly newsletters. My apologies.  I needed a break and the weekend would just come and go! I’m back on the wagon now. There are a few items from the last few weeks that you may be scratching your head about, namely celeriac and spaghetti squash. Luckily both store for a long time, so if they are still tucked away in your fridge or taking up counter space, you will now learn what they are and what to do with them.

First is celeriac:celeriac

It is a funky looking vegetable. I can only imagine your confusion and possible disappointment at seeing this bizarre item in your box. Celeriac is a cousin to celery. One is bred for the root and the other for tender stalks. Celeriac has the texture of a potato and possesses a mild celery flavor. Peel the outer skin with a potato peeler and cut into whatever size chunks you want. Add it to soups, pot roasts, chicken, mashed potatoes, or oven roast with all your other roots. It is better cooked than raw.

Spaghetti squash: I forgot to take a picture before I headed inside, so I’ll just have to describe it. It is the round, yellow squash with a ridiculously hard rind. I will attach a few recipes here. They look REALLY good. I will be making them soon. The unique attribute of spaghtti squash is that the flesh is stringy  (in a good way) when cooked. You can scrape it out with a fork and get long strands that can be used in lieu of pasta. Great for folks trying to reduce carbs or avoid gluten.
spaghetti squash pad Thai
Primavera spaghetti squash

OUR NEW FAVORITE RECIPE: GRILLED WINTER VEGGIES WITH BALSAMIC, SHALLOT, AND ROSEMARY MARINADE
Jim stumbled upon this idea in late summer and has been recently using it for winter veggies. So far we have grilled potatoes, carrots, all the winter squashes, rutabaga, and beets. All are amazing. Cut the veggies into 1/4 inch thick planks or rounds- it’s up to you. Next created a marinade that is equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 1/3 cup of each is a good place to start. Add one minced shallot and a tablespoon or more of rosemary. Add a dash of salt and a little sugar or honey if you’d like and blend together. (We throw it all in a quart mason jar and use a stick blender.) Add the veggies and marinade in a large bowl and toss to coat. Let sit and soak for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Then pop those babies on a hot grill and cook about 5 minutes per side. It might take a little longer depending on your grill. You will be hooked. These are sooooo good. Top with a little Gorgonzola if you wish.

What’s it like on the farm these days you wonder? Well…it’s cold. We have shifted into winter mode and start the day at 9:00. We try to tackle tasks that get the blood flowing first off, then we start in on harvest. Right now the crew is considerably smaller and we spend the bulk of our time harvesting for CSA, Farmers Markets, and a few wholesale accounts. There is still some flood prep and general clean up to do at which we are slowly pecking away. There is not much else that is new to report. We are all plugging along, grateful for the beautiful scenery and good company to keep our minds off cold fingers. All in all life is good.

Until next week-Jen

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Early Fall Share Week 2

by jennifer on November 10, 2017

early fall share week 2

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Early Fall Share Week 1

by jennifer on November 10, 2017

early fall share week 1

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CSA Newsletter – Week 18 – October 20, 2017

by jennifer on October 18, 2017

week 18

THIS IS THE LAST DELIVERY OF THE 2017 SUMMER SEASON.
FALL SHARES START SATURDAY OCTOBER 28

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
potatoes-Bintje
yellow onion
garlic
shallot
leeks
kale
pie pumpkin
delicata
rosemary
green cabbage

ELABORATIONS:
Pie pumpkin: Not just for pie, these lil’ punkins are great for soups and sweet breads. In general, most squash can be used in sweet breads and muffins. If you ever bake a squash and it is just kind of meh, you can always whip up a batch of Cinderella pumpkin muffins and just add a little extra sugar to the batter.
Everything else in the box should be familiar by now.

Well this year turned out to be a stellar year. I had my doubts back in April, May, and even early June as the rains fell and missed planting dates rolled by. I thought for sure we’d have a classic PNW “non-summer” with highs topping out at about 75 degrees. However, we were graced with a long, hot summer which helped all the late planted crops catch up and perform beautifully. There was plenty of food to go around. We hope you enjoyed your CSA experience and will join us again next year. I’ll have the 2018 sign up system ready in early January.

NOW WHAT?

Already anticipating missing your weekly farm fresh veggies? Fear not. We will still be selling at the Olympia Farmers Market and Tacoma Proctor market this fall and winter. Follow the links for changing seasonal hours.

BOX RETURN: Whether it is just this week’s box or a whole stockpile, you can return them to the Olympia or Proctor Farmers Market at any time (during business hours, of course). If you pick up at one of the state agencies, you can return your empty boxes there by Monday. Ditto Farm Fresh Market. If you pick up at someone’s home, it would be best to bring the boxes to the market so we don’t clutter up their yard! I’ll make the rounds next week to collect them.

A SHOUT OUT TO OUR CREW: Jim and want to heartily thank our amazing crew. Farming is a lot of hard work and we couldn’t have done it without them. So let’s all raise our forks to Rita, Isaac, Alex, Maryclair, Teresa, Karla, Jamie, Cylas, Emily, Micheal, Miles, & Sarah. And we must not forget our friendly and helpful market staff Kurt, Maddy, and Kadey. Some of these fine folks have scattered off to new adventures. We wish them well and welcome them back if their paths bring them back this way. The rest will work with us through the winter. Together we will slog through the mud, shrouded in wool and rain gear, fueled by hot coffee and tea, to continue to bring fresh veggies to the community!

Thank you once again for joining our CSA! We wish you a happy and cozy fall and winter. See you next year!

Jen, Jim, and Crew

 

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CSA Newsletter – Week 17 – October 11, 2017

by jennifer on October 11, 2017

week 2017

NEXT WEEK IS THE LAST WEEK FOR THE MAIN SEASON SUMMER SEASON CSA. We recommend that you bring some shopping bags to transfer your box contents into and leave the wax box behind. And please return any other wax CSA boxes you may be sitting on.

STORAGE SHARES WILL BE DELIVERED NEXT WEEK AT WHATEVER PICK UP SITE YOU ARE CURRENTLY USING. IT WILL CONSIST OF 2 LARGE SIZED CSA BOXES AND WILL BE HEAVY, SO BE PREPARED TO LUG ALL OF THAT GOODNESS HOME.

EARLY FALL SHARES START THE WEEKEND OF OCT. 28. WE STILL HAVE SHARES AVAILABLE IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
orange carrots
yellow and purple carrots, topped
fingerling potatoes-Russian banana
yellow onions
yellow and red cipollini onions
delicata squash
buttercup sqaush
beets or chard
kale
kohlrabi
lettuce

NEW VEGGIE DESCRIPTION:
Russian banana potatoes: These are a delicious yellow fingerling with dense, waxy flesh. Ideal for oven roasting, potato salad, and stews.
Cipollini onions: You got a red and yellow one. They are flat, Italian frying onions that sweeten up when you cook them. Try caramelizing and adding to pizza.
Buttercup squash: Very similar to kabocha. The flesh is sweet, dense, and a little on the dry side of the scale. It is a good one for soups or can be stuffed and baked.
Purple and yellow carrots: These are wonderful cooking carrots. You can eat them raw, but they aren’t as sweet and tender as the orange ones. The flavor really shines when oven roasted or in a soup. The purples are particularly good.
Delicata: Most everyone on the crew has had one and they are sweet and ready to eat. The jury is still out on the other types. I’ll have to do a great squash cook-off soon and let you know.

 

WRAPPING IT UP:
We have been making good headway on the fall wrap-up chores. Most of the covercrop is planted and sprouting (despite the crows.) The last big push is to harvest the remainder of the potatoes. We planted an absurd amount this year, so it is taking awhile to get them all in.
Once that is done, we will turn out attention to cleaning and organizing the barns and greenhouses. Yes, it is time to put away our toys and prepare for the floods that hopefully will not come. We are all yearning for November when CSA and Markets are only a weekend affair and we can all get a little more personal time.

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CSA Newsletter – Week 16 – October 4, 2017

by jennifer on October 4, 2017

week 16

 

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
potatoes-Bentje
red onion
garlic
green beans-large shares only
Japanese eggplant
turnip
parsnip
leeks
acorn squash
red pepper-large shares only
kale (Russian, curly, or Lacinato)

turnips and parsnips

turnips and parsnips

NEW VEGGIES :

Acorn Squash: Like I said last week, it’s best to wait another week or two before you eat it, so it can sweeten up a bit. Acorn, is one of the milder flavored squashes. You most often see recipes that call for adding honey or brown sugar. You are going to have to google suggestions for this one. I have to get back out to the field to help with harvest. Good thing you have a few weeks to find a good one. Meanwhile, add it to the fall shrine.
Turnip: This is the white root with the purple top. It looks very similar to a rutabaga, I know, except it is a brighter white and usually a little smaller. You can cook with them or eat them raw. It’s like a radish on steroids. Kinda sweet, kinda spicy, very brassica.
Parsnips: They look like white carrots. We did an experimental dig just to see how they were coming along. They are still a little small, as you can see. They have a sweet, earthy flavor and are best cooked. We like to toss them with olive oil and salt and oven roast them in the oven or add them to soups or pot roasts. Parsnip fries are also stellar.
Potatoes: You have had this type a few times before. They are very versatile and can be used for nearly any application.

I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Oklahoma. I flew out last Thursday, spent a few days with family and friends, then spent 3 days driving back to WA with my mom. It was pretty wild to traverse through such varied landscapes and weather in such a short window of time. We went from warm sun in OK, to snow and low visibility in CO and WY, then back to beautiful sunshine in ID, OR, and WA. It is good to be home and I am grateful for a few more days of sun here on the farm so we can keep plugging away at the fall chores. Thank you all for your patience in my absence. I hope I got back to everyone who might have called or emailed about something.

potato digger

 

POTATO HARVEST: Jim and the crew are out there right now digging all the potatoes for fall/winter storage. We have a very old, cantankerous potato digger that gets dragged behind the tractor. It digs the potatoes out of the ground, bumps them along a conveyor belt chain, and 4 crew members stand alongside and bag them up. It is pretty cool to watch. Once the spuds are dug and bagged, we will store them in the barn in a dark room for fall and winter use.

 

potato digger 2

Potato digger in action

That’s it for today. I feel a little guilty in here on the computer when there is time-sensitive field work to do.

Enjoy!

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CSA Newsletter – Week 15 – September 27, 2017

by jennifer on September 27, 2017

week 15

Large share – Week 15

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
potatoes-Ozette
winter squash-delicata
leeks
lettuce
garlic
yellow onion
shallot
cilantro
orange or red sweet pepper
red tomatoes
green beans
broccoli
rutabaga
green cabbage to half of you

VEGGIE DESCRIPTIONS: Let’s get right to it. There is a lot of new stuff to talk about.
Delicata squash-WAIT A FEW WEEKS TO EAT IT! We are just now starting the winter squash harvest. It is best to let the squash sit around in room temperature for a few weeks after harvest to allow it to sweeten up. Over the next few weeks, we will hand out more varieties of squash. Follow the same rule and wait a week or so before eating. Make a nice decorative fall shrine to display all the squash, onions, shallots, and garlic you receive.
Shallot: It’s like the onion’s fancy cousin from the big city; a little more refined and hoity-toity. It has a richer, more pronounced flavor as compared to an onion, but not as intense as garlic. It is a preferred choice for a vinaigrette salad dressing, soup base, and other applications where you want a rich onion-like flavor.
Leeks: Another onion relative, maybe a 3rd cousin one removed or something like that. Leeks can be used in place of an onion and have a fresher, more distinct flavor. Potato leek soup in a classic dish to try. Leeks are also good in frittatas, winter soups, and stir fry. You can use all the way from the base to about 3″ or so of the green “leafy” part.
Rutabaga It is a root crop in the broccoli family. It is similar to turnips, but not as spicy. Rather it has an earthiness to it like beets. The flavor is subtle, but nice. No matter how you cook it, you’ll want to peel it. The outer skin is a little tough. It cooks much like a potato. Cut into chunks and add to soup, or add it to a batch of mashed potatoes, aiming for a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5 rutabaga:potato.
Ozette fingerling potato: They look like ginger or Jerusalem artichokes with their gnarled and knobby appearance. This variety was brought to the Olympic peninsula around Neah bay in the late 1700’s by Spanish explorers. The Spaniards eventually left, but the Makah tribe in that area continued to grow them ever since. Their amazing flavor and unique story landed them as an entry in the Ark of Taste. Here is an article that goes into a little more depth about it. These potats are great for oven roasting, potato salad, pot roast, beef stew, or any other soup calling for potatoes.
Beans and broccoli: You know all about them but I just wanted to remark at how surpised and excited I was to see both. Between deer-turned-hedge-trimmers and the on-again off-again pattern in our broccoli harvest I was pleasantly surprised at the abundance of both.

Recipe Idea:
Simple slaw with cabbage, carrot, lime and cilantro.
1 small head cabbage (green, red, or both) finely shredded
1 medium carrot shredded
2 TBSP lime juice
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Combine the lime juice, vinegar, and salt in a jar with lid and shake until mixed well. Combine cabbage and cilantro in a bowl, add dressing, and stir. It makes a great topping for tacos or a bright side dish for just about anything.

Use the recipe tag cloud at the bottom of the page to search for leek and rutabaga ideas as well.

FALL CHORES: We are making excellent progress so far on cover cropping. Jim and Alex pulled some long days tilling in expired veg and getting covercrop spread and worked in. Friday’s rain will be a welcomed thing, allowing us to avoid the chore of irrigating all that seed. We have lots of rainy day work to do, so we don’t mind a little shift in weather.

Garlic planting is the name of the game today. We might just get it all done this afternoon, which would be fabulous. In case you didn’t know, garlic is grown by breaking apart heads of garlic into cloves and planting each clove about 6″ apart. You have to plant it so the pointy side is up, since that is where it sprouts from. Thus is cannot be machine planted, at least not on our scale. I’m sure there is some million dollar machine that can precision plant it right side up, but we’ll never own one. Instead our crew will just poke, poke, poke down the beds until the job is done. (It’s kinda fun, actually). Garlic is best planted in the fall to achieve the largest head size. That is partially why garlic is so expensive. It takes up a lot of real-estate in the field and is there for nearly 9 months.

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garlic heads popped and ready to plant

 

planting garlic

planting garlic by hand

Enjoy this last bit of sun and your big box of food!

Jen, Jim, & Crew

 

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CSA Newsletter – Week 14 – September 20, 2017

by jennifer on September 20, 2017

week 14

This week is the last week for the Height of the Season share.

If you wish to continue on for the last 4 weeks of the main season, let me know and I’ll sign you up. The cost is $116 for the large share and $99 for the small.

We also offer a few fall and storage share options.
EARLY FALL SHARE: $115 Four additional deliveries starting October 28/29th. Enjoy a wide diversity of hearty winter crops like carrots, beets, turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, cabbage, winter squash, leeks, kale, chard, lettuce, arugula, dill, cilantro, potatoes, onions, shallots, and garlic. Since these crops store so well, we only offer one size. We only offer weekend delivery of the fall share. You can pick it up at the farm, the Olympia Farmers Market, or the Tacoma Proctor Farmers Market.

LATE FALL SHARE: $115 Yet another 4 weeks of yummy fall goodness. Delivery starts a week after the EARLY FALL SHARE ends.

STORAGE SHARE: $75 This share will consist of 10 lbs yellow onions, 2 lbs red onions, 2 lbs cipollini onions, 2 lbs shallots, 1 lb garlic, 5 lbs each of 2 types of potatoes, & 15 lbs assorted winter squash. This share will be delivered the 3rd week in October at the pick-up site of your choosing.

BALANCE ON YOUR CURRENT CSA SHARE: Most of you are paid in full, others are following and installment plan, and others…well… perhaps we’ve fallen off your radar. Please refer to the email from which this newsletter link was attached to see what you still owe. Please have your share paid in full by Oct 1st or contact me with a proposed payment plan. Thank you.

WHAT’S IN THE BOX:
carrots
beets or chard
spinach-small shares
Red Russian kale-large shares
lettuce
lemon cucumber
summer squash
green cabbage to half of you
cauliflower-large shares only
red, orange, or green pepper-all are sweet
yellow onion
garlic
Amarosa Fingerling potatoes
rosemary
basil or parsley
red tomato
green beans

Boy, the harvest volumes are sure dropping with the shift in weather. Once upon a time you were getting 4 squash in your box, but now only one. Ditto cucumbers. Shorter days, colder nights, and now the rain will all affect what is available. The shift in season brings new crops as well. Before long you will be seeing rutabaga, turnips, and winter squash. But for now, lets just savor the last remnants of summer.

We are in scramble mode here at the farm. Now that rains are becoming a frequent visitor, we need to get cracking on the potato and winter squash harvest and get the garlic and cover crop planted. In a way it’s like spring again where it all needs to happen now! I look forward to the time when those big jobs are done and we can coast along for a bit, pecking away at daily small harvests and sticking to our market/CSA/Co-op delivery routine.

Jen, Jim, and Crew

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