2018 Spring on the Farm

Spring Has Sprung!

Spring is here - and so are the April showers! We have been thankful for the mild March weather. It allowed us to get most of the spring planting done before the wet weather of the last week hit. So far, we have a two week head start on planting compared with last year! Now we just have to wait and see if that translates to earlier tomatoes and potatoes. Time will tell. How crazy would it be taste fresh 4th of July tomatoes! Fingers crossed for sunny weather!

d63eb861-ea7e-4a53-a239-f6d9754d9f37.jpg

Tomatoes are deep planted in the hoop house and are all set to start climbing the trellises once we get a few rays of sunshine. That is Darlene in the photo transplanting the tomatoes. She is our resident tomato and pepper expert and we affectionately refer to her as the Nightshade Lady. She will be authoring all the yummy recipes for the summer newsletter. We are in for a plethora of tasty treats and easy ways to make the most of the bounty of summer.

5da6f816-bd9d-4596-90f6-abc1eee1e587.jpg

We have planted six varieties of heirloom potatoes. My son Jacob has decided to take on the potato project - this is a photo of him planting the potatoes out on March 25th. The first potatoes will be harvested by early July.

2db3347f-c68c-4de6-98d2-89b77f857f75.jpg

French Breakfast Radishes

With their mild flavor, this variety of radish is best treated simply. Make Radish Butter by chopping and stirring into softened butter. Add a little sea salt and some optional chopped chives. Delicious served at room temperature spread thickly on warm baguette slices. Don’t throw away the green tops! In the springtime they are very fresh and are slightly peppery and wonderful raw tossed with other mild lettuces in a salad.

387023dc-ce21-4633-b4b7-882afc9be458.jpg

Sproutini, or raab, can form on any overwintered brassica plant.  It is the earliest spring green on the farm and it is so sweet and tasty. This year on the farm we have raab forming on overwinter collards, kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. I love that they are available so early in the year when we are all craving something green and tender and tasty. 


Raab, Mushroom, and Ricotta Pizza


With tomato season still a few months away, try making a different sort of pizza. Toss the sproutini (aka raab) in olive oil, lightly salt and roast at 425’F for a few minutes, just until wilted. Slice any type of mushroom, toss with olive oil (but don’t salt—it will draw moisture out of them and cause them to steam) and roast at the same temperature as the sproutini. The mushrooms will take longer, 15 or 20 minutes—you want them to lightly brown. Season with salt. Spread pizza dough with fresh ricotta and top with the vegetables. For additional flavor, stir chopped or roasted garlic and crushed red pepper flakes into the ricotta before spreading on the pizza. Bake at the highest temperature your oven will reach until the crust is crisp.


The bounty of summer is coming!

We still have a few spots left for our 2018 Summer CSA! We would love for you to be a part of our farm!

We are expanding our CSA this year offering more shares both in and around Mason County as well as the Seattle area. Our flock of egg laying chickens has also quadrupled, letting us offer the golden goodness to more people.

You can expect to find old-standbys (what would summer be without tomatoes and basil?) and new favorites (shishitos, anyone?) in your share, but the best part is that we grow varieties that you won’t find in the local grocery store and we pick the vegetables for you at the peak of their season.

Looking forward to an exciting season!


 The Newest Farm Residents  We have pigs! Meet Porky and Pudding (Yes - they have names). Bacon anyone? Whole and Half pig for sale at the end of May.

The Newest Farm Residents

We have pigs! Meet Porky and Pudding (Yes - they have names). Bacon anyone? Whole and Half pig for sale at the end of May.

 Pastured Laying Hens  The hens are back out on the pasture and enjoying a view of South Mountain. We currently have 75 hens and ducks laying eggs and 50 pullets and 50 baby chicks. We are getting 30 dozen eggs a week and that will increase to 75 dozen by the end of the summer. Eggs anyone?

Pastured Laying Hens

The hens are back out on the pasture and enjoying a view of South Mountain. We currently have 75 hens and ducks laying eggs and 50 pullets and 50 baby chicks. We are getting 30 dozen eggs a week and that will increase to 75 dozen by the end of the summer. Eggs anyone?


Spring is in full swing and summer is on its way here at the farm. We are excited to get the season underway! We will be at the Harstine Island Farmers Market this Saturday from 10-noon and at the Shelton Farmers Market starting May 5th from 9-2. We love meeting our customers at the Farmers Markets! Stop by and say hello!

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Fall Farm Newsletter

Feast of Fish

The salmon are easy picking for these guys with the high waters in the Skokomish River.  The salmon get washed into the fields with the rising river and make for a tasty snack for the eagles.  I counted 15 bald eagles on my walk this afternoon.  They are so magnificent to watch as they soar and play.

03cfbac0-0a62-4f5b-9dee-28c1ffeea60a.jpg

There are fewer planting and harvesting activities going on now with the start of the rainy season - but we are still managing to keep busy. We have two new high tunnels in the fields where we will be planting our hot season crops in the spring. The laying hens are spending the winter in the hoop houses with access to pasture during the day. This provides the soil with some high-nutrient chicken manure and the chickens with a dry space to hang out in. So a win-win for all!
We have several trials started in the fields. First, we received eight types of winter wheat seeds from the WSU Bread Lab to trial in our fields. We hope to find a variety that grows well here in Mason County. We are also partnering with Amy Rosen of the Mason Conservation District in a biochar trial to determine if it is a viable soil enhancer for this area.
We are also increasing and improving our composting operations with mushroom substrate from a local grower, Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms.  The mushrooms are grown on sterilized alder chips and when composted they help enrich the soil with trace minerals and also aid in water retention. Skokomish Ridge Mushrooms grow delicious mushrooms - if you haven't tried them yet you can find them locally at Jay's Farmstand on Old Olympic Hwy.
Another great local source we have found for compost is from our neighborhood commercial fish hatchery. They have a need to get rid of the waste from their operation and we are happy to take it.  Composted fish manure is an excellent source of nutrients for our vegetable growing. We are thankful to have local sources for such great compost!


4fde91cd-0bce-431d-8e0e-a8182ed0aaf5.jpg

Winter Farmers Markets

We'll be at the Shelton Farmers' Market at the Transit Center this Saturday from 9-2, and then at the Harstine Island Farmers' Market from 10-12 on the second Saturday of every month. We will have fresh eggs, kale, collards, winter squash, and field-held carrots (so sweet - like a bite of sunshine!). 

7fc7fd76-738f-49aa-a8e7-cce7b92da024.jpg

Upcoming CSA Season

Planning is in full swing for next season's CSA, Farmers Markets, and Restaurants.  We'll have the website ready for CSA signups soon - planning another 20 week season with similar share options as last year.  

0da56d22-ccab-4ba3-a488-ca45bbddee2c.jpg

Christmas Turkeys and Duck

Our Blue Slate heritage breed turkeys will be processed along with several Cayuga ducks in mid-December.  They will be available for on-farm pick-up the weekend of December 16-17.  Send us an email if you would like to reserve one for your Christmas dinner!

 This group of young bull elk have been enjoying the kale from my home garden. They are amazing to watch as they meander their way through the fields. Here they seem to be play fighting - preparing for a future when they are big enough challenge the older bulls in the main herd.

This group of young bull elk have been enjoying the kale from my home garden. They are amazing to watch as they meander their way through the fields. Here they seem to be play fighting - preparing for a future when they are big enough challenge the older bulls in the main herd.

 Red rose-hips add a bit of bright color along the forest edge as we head into winter.

Red rose-hips add a bit of bright color along the forest edge as we head into winter.

2017 Week 20 Newsletter

Entering Persephone Period

Here in the mild winters of the PNW our greatest challenge to winter growing is actually a lack of daylight and not freezing temperatures. Even if the plants are protected from freezing in the hoop houses they will grow significantly slower once they have less than ten hours of daylight each day. Here in Shelton that occurs from the first of November until the 9th of February. We are planning some experiments this fall and winter to see what kinds of greens will grow best under these conditions.  We are getting ready to transplant spinach, bok choi, various lettuce, scallions, and mache (corn salad) in the hoop house. Hopefully we will have some yummy fresh greens this winter!  

 Hoop house plants getting ready to enter "Persephone Period"

Hoop house plants getting ready to enter "Persephone Period"


CSA Basket - Week 20

Your CSA basket this week includes the following veggies:

Long Pie Pumpkin - Our main seed supplier - Uprising Seeds - claims this is the best pie pumpkin they can find.  Best used to make a baking puree - see recipe below.
Mixed Lettuce - enjoy some of the last fresh lettuce for the season
Collards - best if blanched quickly and then sautéed - or - have you tried blanching them and using the whole leaf as a wrap?
Rutabaga - These are a great potato substitute but have a unique flavor.  They store in the fridge as long as potatoes do in the pantry.
Cabbage - smaller heads - some will get green and some purple
Tokyo Turnips - great for slicing and eating raw
Cauliflower - great for roasting - so sweet! 
Purple Sprouting Broccoli - tasty shoots!
Chives - snip up and use on your salad
Carrots - A new variety - Dolciva, which are sweeter (frost may help too)
Ornamental Gourds - perfect for a fall centerpiece
Melon - the last of the melons - they aren't super ripe yet - but we decided to put them in the baskets as an extra

79098b04-3913-47f2-8c6c-62cf7f1fbf30.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Corn Salad!

 Corn Salad, aka mache, vit, rampion, or rapunzel

Corn Salad, aka mache, vit, rampion, or rapunzel

Botanical Facts - Corn salad is a wild green with a mild nutty flavor similar to spinach. It is sometimes known as mache, vit, or rampion. Corn salad forms large rosettes of slightly succulent, smooth-edged, spoon-shaped, velvety, dark green leaves. It has a branched flower stalk with smaller leaves tipped with rounded clusters of small blue and white flowers in spring.

Historical Origins and Culinary Uses - Corn salad is a common wild plant native to Europe, West Asia, and North Africa.  It has been naturalized in North America. It has been cultivated in Europe since the sixteenth century but it was eaten as a wild salad herb long before cultivation. In Germany, it is sometimes called rapunzel, which was the name of the plant that was so strongly desired by the pregnant mother in Grimm's fairytale that she traded her unborn child for it. (Wait - that's NOT in the Disney version!) Corn salad grows in winter when other greens are rarely available, which may explain her craving for it. Corn salad is high in vitamin C and is a nutritious addition to the winter diet. It is used mainly as a salad vegetable, where its delicate, nutty flavor is complimented by mild dressings. Corn salad does not keep well and should be used within a few days of harvest. Corn salad can be cooked like spinach although it will lose its bright green color when cooked. 


"Ah," she replied, "if I can't eat some of the rampion, which is in the garden behind our house, I shall die."

-Rapunzel's mother


Preparing Pumpkin Puree


It's time for pumpkin baking!  This is an easy way to prepare your pumpkin puree for use in baking muffins, pancakes, pies and any other goodies you enjoy!  

You may notice some green still on your pumpkin - that is normal for this variety - called Long Pie.  It will keep for several months if you are not ready to use it yet and will continue to turn orange as it ripens.

There are several methods for preparing your pie puree - I prefer the roasting method because I think results in a sweeter pie filling.  But, you can also cut up the pumpkin and steam the pieces and then blend.

Ingredients:

  • 1 long pie pumpkin
  • kosher salt

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds and save for roasting later if you like.  

2. Sprinkle cut pumpkin with kosher salt. Lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until pierced easily with a paring knife.  Test several places on the pumpkin.

3.  Cool pumpkin on a rack for at least 1 hour.  Scoop out flesh and process until smooth in a blender or food processor. If the puree is wetter than you like you can strain it using a sieve or cheesecloth to remove some liquid.

4.  Puree will keep for one week in the fridge. Or freeze in small batches and it will keep for several months. I like to freeze it in 2 cup batches - the perfect amount for a pie or batch of muffins.


c183709f-afd5-4533-8606-917234c932fa.jpg

Sunchoke Flowers

There is still a little sunshine outside but these are some of the last flowers in the field.  Have you tried Sunchokes, or Jerusalem Artichokes, as they are sometimes called?  They are in the sunflower family but you eat the roots of the plant instead of the seeds. We will leave them in the ground over the winter and harvest them in the spring. The plants are about nine feet tall right now - I had to bend them down to take the picture! They are an unusual early spring treat!

This is the last week of the 2017 Summer CSA! We are sad to see the season end but are already planning for next year! You can find us this winter at the Indoor Market on Harstine Island once a month on the second Saturday from 10-12 and at the Shelton Farmers Market Holiday Market on December 2nd at the Transit Center. We will have some of the yummy greens from our hoop house. Come try the corn salad that Rapunzel's mother traded her away for - because she would "die" if she couldn't have some! Yikes!

Keep an eye out for once a month newsletters this winter. We will begin taking sign ups for next season after the New Year. Thank you so much for your support this season! You are all trailblazing members of the Skokomish Valley Farms first CSA! Thank you!

Don't forget to follow and like the farm on Facebook or Instagram!  We appreciate your support!

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Week 19 Newsletter

Salmon in the River

The salmon have been appearing in the river over the last month and the Bald Eagles are back to snack on their favorite food.  We love living so close to a salmon river (ask me again once they are "fertilizing" our fields during the winter floods).  But, farming so close to the river also brings a sense of responsibility to take care of the river. Our farm motto includes the tagline "Sustaining the Land" - and this applies to the water, too. The farm sits at the confluence of two rivers, the North and South Forks of the Skokomish River, that are both salmon rivers. We choose to be certified organic not just to grow good food that is healthy for humans but also to farm in a way that treats the land with respect. Next year we also plan on applying to be certified Salmon Safe. Like the organic certification - it won't change much of what we are doing here at the farm.  But, there is value in going through the inspection process to help remind us of good practices as well as identifying areas where we can improve.  Some of the salmon friendly practices of our current farm plan include 74 acres placed in a conservation easement as a buffer with native plantings along the rivers as well as a 34 acre wetland easement at the confluence of the rivers.  

 Chinook Salmon in the North Fork of the Skokomish River

Chinook Salmon in the North Fork of the Skokomish River


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

-Anne of Green Gables


CSA Basket - Week 19

Your CSA basket this week includes the following veggies:

Howden Pumpkin - mainly bred for a carving pumpkin - but you can use it for baking or for the seeds if you like
Cucumbers - the favorites seem to be hanging on, add them to your salad or pickle some to keep longer
Bok Choi - a nice green for braising - sweet and creamy flavor
Rutabaga - These are a great potato substitute but have a unique flavor.  They store in the fridge as long as potatoes do in the pantry.
Cabbage - smaller heads - some will get green and some purple
Purple Top Turnips - great for roasting or eating raw in slices
Beets - also good for roasting when diced into small cubes and tossed with  olive oil and salt and pepper - then add feta cheese and use to dress a salad
Broccoli - the plants are still sending up tasty side shoots
Radishes - the return of a spring favorite
Carrots - A new variety - Dolciva, which are sweeter (frost may help too)
Ancho Peppers - not too hot - nice for adding a bit of heat to your dishes
Kale - see recipe for adding kale to a chili - a nice way to get more greens in your diet

94dc5aaf-94f4-4faa-ac9d-ac579955e5db.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Pumpkin!

e824896b-f100-4994-98b9-c266aa10aa18.jpg

Botanical Facts - Cucurbita is a genus of about 27 trailing and climbing species of annuals and perennials originating in North, South, and Central America. It is divided into two groups: gourds and pumpkins. Pumpkins are grown for both their edible and ornamental fruit. 

Historical Origins and Culinary Uses - Cucurbita maxima, the principal parent of pumpkins, is native to South America, and seeds found in Peru have been dated to 1200 CE.  Today many varieties are grown worldwide.  The name "pumpkin" is thought to have come from the old French word pompon, which came from the Ancient Greek word pepon - the word for melons.  Their use in cooking is extensive and they are popular in soups, stews, and roasted as well as in a wide variety of baked goods from pies to breads and muffins. The seeds of the pumpkin are also edible.


Chili with Kale and Ancho


It's starting to feel like soup and chili weather!  Try this chili for the next Seahawks game!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ancho chili pepper, seeds removed and finely minced (if you like more spice you can add a few seeds)
  • 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can each: kidney, pinto, black beans
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder

1. In a large soup pot, add olive oil, peppers, onions, garlic, and kale.  Kale stems can be removed and chopped separately from the leaves and then added and used like the onion. Sauté for 10 minutes until tender - stirring occasionally.

2. Add beans (drained and rinsed), chili powder, and tomatoes to the pot.  Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Season to taste with additional chili powder, salt and pepper.

3.  Serve warm with toppings of scallions, cheese, and sour cream and a side of corn bread.  Leftovers freeze well.


d883b1e5-48a3-46bb-8a4f-e873e4ffcb47.jpg

Woolly Bear

These cute little guys are everywhere on the farm this week - maybe you have seen them at your place, too?  They are the larval form of Pyrrharctia isabella, the Isabella tiger moth.  The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct segments of either rusty brown or black. Do you know the legend of the woolly bear? According to the legend - the wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter. 

I think he may be saying we are in for a less than mild winter.  What do you think?  The early frosts might be a harbinger of harder weather ahead, too?

One more week of Farmers Markets! We will be at the West Olympia and Harstine Island Farmer's Markets on Tuesday and Saturday this week!  This is also the next to last CSA share of the season - but you can expect a monthly newsletter throughout the winter to let you know about happenings on the farm.  

Don't forget to follow and like the farm on Facebook or Instagram!  We appreciate your support!

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Week 18 Newsletter

Pumpkin Patch Picking

With the early frost killing the vines of the pumpkins, we decided to bring them inside for curing rather than leave them in the field with rain in the forecast.  We have three different varieties that will be in the CSA shares over these last three weeks.  Most of the other winter squash did not fare as well as the pumpkins – we underestimated the level of weed pressure and soil fertility challenges that we’d encounter.  This first year farming has been full of learning opportunities, and it’s exciting starting on next year’s planning to take advantage of many of this year’s observations. 

87a1c1c1-8272-4408-88fc-3ee22672a4a6.jpg

CSA Basket - Week 18

Your CSA basket this week includes the following veggies:

Zucchini - Likely the last of the season
Tomatoes - Again, we don't expect more to make it into October
Cucumbers - the favorites seem to be hanging on, add them to your salad or pickle some to keep longer
Tatsoi - If you didn't get any before, you have some now to try last week's recipe
Lettuce - You should get lettuce every week through the end of the season
Rutabaga - These are a great potato substitute with a little more flavor.  They store in the fridge as long as potatoes do in the pantry.
Snap Peas - A flashback from spring
Swiss Chard - Add some color to your dish with the rainbow stems
Collards - Kale substitute.  I've also enjoyed these as a burrito wrap
Cauliflower: This week’s veggie of the Week.  We love to slice them 1/2 inch thick and roast in oven with olive oil and salt/pepper.
Radishes: the return of a spring favorite
Eel River Melon: Not as sweet as the Prescott Fond Blanc, but still a rarity from local PNW
Styrian Hulless Pumpkin: Cook these or decorate with their attractive colors, but their specialty is roasting the seeds that don't have to be shelled
Tomatillos: We had so many ripe this week that we threw them in as a bonus item – use in many southwest dishes, not just salsa!

16398ea2-c283-430e-a63b-beba1487d319.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Cauliflower!

 Skywalker Cauliflower

Skywalker Cauliflower

Botanical Facts - You guessed it - another Brassica!  Like broccoli, the flowers of cauliflower are bred to have arrested growth at the bud stage - this is the curd (or head) that we eat.  The thick stems are especially nutrient dense in cauliflower holding the vitamins and minerals that would otherwise have gone into the flower/fruit. 

Historical Origins and Culinary Uses - Cauliflower are thought to have come from the Near East, making heir way into the European diet after the fall of the Roman Empire.  They can be prepared in a wide variety of ways from raw on salads, to steamed or boiled as a side dish, pickled, or roasted in the oven, or even as a paleo diet risotto substitute.


Rutabaga Mash


A simple dish - just like any mashed potato.  You can even substitute potato for half the rutabaga for a larger serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large rutabaga, peeled and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (may substitute chicken stock)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Put chopped rutabaga in pot covered with water and pinch of salt.  Boil for 30 minutes or until tender.

2.  Meanwhile, heat milk and butter on stove until warmed through.

3. Drain rutabaga and combine with milk mixture.  Blend in food processor until creamy.  (Alternatively use fork to mash rutabagas, then add milk until creamy.)

4. Season with salt and pepper.


7e4bf174-8d4e-4d32-94a1-bdb77e1e3264.jpg

First Star


A view at sunset from the hillside on the west half of the farm.  So much pastureland holding so much opportunity for the future.

The Shelton Farmer's Market ended this weekend, but the West Olympia and Harstine Island Farmer's Markets have two more weeks!  We'll also be at the new Tractor Supply Company pop-up Farmers Market event next Saturday, 7 October from 10-2.

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Week 17 Newsletter

Finally Fall

It seems like we've been talking about the season change that is coming for many weeks, but now autumn is actually here!  We've harvested the pumpkins and winter squash and begun curing them so they will store well.  The fall foods will make up an increased portion of the CSA share every week through the end of the season, as we say farewell to many of the summer fruits.  Many items, like peas, are making their return again from the spring.  We're also beginning planning for next year, including preparing land with cover crops, installing new high tunnels, planting overwintering crops.  Your feedback from the survey will also help us know how to improve operations for 2018.  We'll be increasing quality through improvements in weed control, soil fertility, and making the farm a more aesthetically pleasing location for visitors and workers alike!

 Remember the sunflower micro greens in your spring CSA basket?  We dumped the extras in the field and here is the result.  You can see a glimpse of our new 8-ft elk fence in the background.  So far it is working!

Remember the sunflower micro greens in your spring CSA basket?  We dumped the extras in the field and here is the result.  You can see a glimpse of our new 8-ft elk fence in the background.  So far it is working!


CSA Basket - Week 17

Your CSA basket this week includes the following veggies:

Zucchini - Black Star or Costata Romanesco or Yellow Crookneck
Tomatoes - Some of the last of the slicing tomatoes.  Great for a caprese with fresh mozzarella or on toast with hummus
Kohlrabi - First of the fall crop.  I love the greens - taste similar to broccoli greens.  Grate the bulb and use it in a coleslaw like you would a cabbage head.
Shintokawa Cucumbers - last of the cucumbers - the field plants were taken out by the frost and the ones in the hoop house are getting tired - enjoy the last fruits of summer!
Tatsoi - New item!  Another brassica - use it in any recipe like you would spinach
Lettuce - So many of you asked for more lettuce - here you go! 
Tri-color Potatoes -  These are great roasted with olive oil and salt and pepper
Green beans or Snap Peas - a mix in the baskets - enjoy the peas fresh and try the beans sautéed with onions and some bacon - what isn't yummy with bacon?

f415323d-b986-472f-8f8e-a7d854e4ba93.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Tatsoi!

 Tatsoi - sometimes called "Rosette" Bok Choi

Tatsoi - sometimes called "Rosette" Bok Choi

Botanical Facts - Yes - yet another member of the Brassica family!  Brassicas grow very well here in our climate and soil - and they are highly nutritious! Tatsoi is an Asian variety grown for the greens. Tatsoi contains high levels of vitamin C, carotenoids, folic acid, and potassium. 

Historical Origins and Culinary Uses - Tatsoi is native to China, yet its culinary roots are in Japan. Its period of cultivation so deep there, it is considered an ancient green. As with all Chinese brassicas, tatsoi is a vigorous grower. It germinates quickly and seedlings develop so rapidly you can almost see them grow. Unlike the typical Western brassica, maturing in 5-10 months from sowing, plants can be harvested within 3-4 weeks of sowing.  It is becoming increasingly popular in North American cuisine as a cooking green or as a baby green for salads.


Tatsoi Stir Fry


This is a nice stir fry to serve as a one-bowl meal over brown rice. Tatsoi has a creamy texture and a mild flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch tatsoi, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • sesame oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper

1. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until transparent.  Add carrots and sauté 3 minutes.

2.  Add mushrooms and tatsoi and cook until tender.  Add a dash of sesame oil and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Serve over a bowl of brown rice. 


6170fb54-cbdd-4217-93bc-15779943bdf2.jpg

More Bee Busyness

This little sweat bee likes the yellow goodness at the center of this Purple Giant Aster.

We are at a new market!  We are at the Harstine Island Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10-12 until Oct 14th.  We are still at the Shelton Farmers Market from 9-2 on Saturdays until September 30th and the West Olympia Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 4-7 until 10 October.

CSA Members - thanks to those who answered our survey!  We will use your responses to improve our member's experience next year!  If you didn't get a chance to answer yet we would still appreciate your feedback - the survey is still open. 

Also, would you be willing to help us get the word out about the farm?  One of the best ways to support a local business (besides buying their products, of course) is to rate them on Facebook.  Please take a minute to rate and comment on our Facebook page!  We appreciate your support!

https://www.facebook.com/SkokomishValleyFarm/

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Week 16 Newsletter

First Frost

We had a bit of a surprise this week down in the veggie patch - a light frost fell on about half the field.  This is an incredibly early first frost - but the clear skies we have been having don't hold onto the heat as well as a few clouds.  The frost didn't reach our cabin so we were surprised to get down to the fields and see all the damage to the pumpkin leaves.  We have known that the frost line keeps up slowly from the river to the hillside - but this is still a month earlier than the first frost last year.  Also, this was likely a freak occurrence and we won't see another frost until mid-October.  The pumpkins are OK - they can continue to ripen in the field as long as the rain holds off.  The good news is that the frost should start to sweeten the snap peas and kale and other frost loving vegetables!


"Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly.
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry"

- Rachel Field


 The sun is setting earlier and earlier - on the equinox it will set directly behind South Mountain - lined up perfectly with our East-West rows.

The sun is setting earlier and earlier - on the equinox it will set directly behind South Mountain - lined up perfectly with our East-West rows.


CSA Basket - Week 15

Your CSA basket this week includes the following:

Zucchini - Black Star or Costata Romanesco or Yellow Crookneck
Tomatoes - Some of the last of the tomatoes this week -mostly cherry tomatoes.  They are great on a salad or cut in half and salted with scrambled eggs.
Beets - Dice and toss with olive oil and roast.  Then eat with a vinaigrette and goat cheese.
Shintokawa Cucumbers - try the quick pickle recipe with a sweet pepper - perfect on a salad on a hot day
Carrots - these are a nice size for roasting - I saw a recipe this week for roasted carrots with a honey cumin glaze
Kale - saute with onions for a nice side dish or use in a soup
Rainbow Swiss Chard - Great sautéed - did you try the recipe last week?
Eggplant - Try roasted or make a baba ghanoush
Shishito and Sweet Peppers -  The sweet peppers are tasty fresh or try them pickled, too!
Ground Cherries - These are so delicious - like a piece of tropical fruit - excellent eaten fresh or made into a preserve
Snap Peas - a tasty snack - first of the fall crop

6077c92e-d31f-4c01-a399-92d4eeeed0c6.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Red Cabbage!

a74b25d7-c980-4cec-808f-2176fba46949.jpg

Botanical Facts - Another member of the Brassica family, cabbage belong to the Capitata Group which for a characteristic compact head.  They are an herbaceous biennial flowering plant with heads that vary from ball type heads in the standard cabbage to the Savoy subgroup that have tall heads with crinkly leaves. 

Historical Origins - The cabbage is the first member of the Brassica family to have been cultivated.  The wild species are native to southwestern Europe and the Mediterranean.  Cabbage was valued as a food plant by the Ancient Egyptians and the Greeks, as well.  These first cabbages were headless.  The first mention of headed cabbages is in the first century CE.  By the 12th century they were being cultivated in Germany and replaced kale as a staple vegetable.  It was taken to the New World in the 16th century and cultivated widely in settlements across North America.


Dilled Red Cabbage


This is my 14 year old's favorite vegetable - well - besides maybe broccoli.  He loves this recipe and just calls it "Purple" for short.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red cabbage head
  • 1 small onion - I like sweet
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp ground mustard 
  • salt and pepper

1. Cut the cabbage in half and take out the core.  Use a mandolin or knife to slice the cabbage into thin strips.
 

2. Finely dice the onion and mix into shredded cabbage.

3.  Mix together mayo, vinegar, mustard, and dill in a mason jar and shake to combine. Pour over cabbage and stir.

4.  Serve chilled.  This is a wonderful dish with grilled salmon.


398635f2-cef6-49c6-a898-c5c29ce71516.jpg

Busy Bee in an Artichoke Flower

I watched this bee for a few minutes - she just loves the artichoke flowers.  She spent more than a minute on each flower burrowing deep in the purple goodness to get the nectar.

We are at a new market!  We are at the Harstine Island Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10-12 until Oct 14th.  We are still at the Shelton Farmers Market from 9-2 on Saturdays until September 30th and the West Olympia Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 4-7 until 10 October.

CSA Members - keep an eye out for a survey I will email out this week.  We would love to get your feedback on what is working and what is not working for you with the CSA. Have a great week!

Your SVF Farm Team

2017 Week 15 Newsletter

Transition Time

In the middle of August I found myself in a panic - I felt the first hints of fall in the air - and I was NOT ready.  The tomatoes were still green and the melons weren't ripe.  My mind was screaming, "IT CAN'T BE FALL YET!!!"  Fast forward a few weeks and I've calmed down a bit - now I find I'm ready for the slower pace of the fall and a change in what we are growing in the fields.  September is a period of transition on the farm - we will see the last of the hot summer fruiting vegetables and start moving back into the cool weather crops.  The baskets this week have the first of the fall crop of Rainbow Swiss Chard and fall snap peas are almost ready.  We will be putting more fall crops in the ground this week - bok choi, radishes, lettuce, turnips, mustard greens, etc.  Soon the pumpkins will be ready in the field and all the yummy pumpkin-inspired fall baking can start.  So - it's funny how the seasons have a way of getting us ready for the change and transition - we just have to be patient and let it happen.  I hope all of you are getting ready and are excited about the coming of fall!  (Just don't mention rain - that's a whole other story!)


"Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree."

- Emily Bronte


 Late September last year on Sunnyside Road on the way to the farm.

Late September last year on Sunnyside Road on the way to the farm.


CSA Basket - Week 15

Your CSA basket this week includes the following:

Zucchini - Black Star or Costata Romanesco or Yellow Crookneck
Tomatoes - The varieties we chose this year are best eaten fresh.  My favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes is on a piece of toast with hummus and topped with a slice of tomato and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Tastes like summer.
Melons - Either an heirloom type called Prescott Fond Blanc (pretty name - ugly fruit!) -or- a cantaloupe bred for growing in specifically here in the PNW called Eel River Melon - both are tasty!
Shintokawa Cucumbers - try the quick pickle recipe with a sweet pepper - perfect on a salad on a hot day
Tri-color Carrots - these are a nice size for roasting - I saw a recipe this week for roasted carrots with a honey cumin glaze
Collards - saute with onions for a nice side dish
Rainbow Swiss Chard - First of the fall crop.  See recipe.
Eggplant - Try roasted or make a baba ghanoush
Shishito and Sweet Peppers -  The sweet peppers are tasty fresh or try them pickled, too!
Ground Cherries - These are so delicious - like a piece of tropical fruit - excellent eaten fresh or made into a preserve

969f0135-8ff8-434a-9a93-9b5b482ed823.jpg

Veggie of the Week:
Ground Cherries!

 Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries -or- Husk Cherries

Aunt Molly's Ground Cherries -or- Husk Cherries

Botanical Facts - Ground Cherries are another member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family but are of the Physalis genus - which refers to the husk that forms around the berry.  They are an herbaceous plant growing to 0.4 to 3 m tall, similar to the common tomato, but usually with a stiffer, more upright stem. They grow in temperate and tropical climates.  The fruit is small and orange, similar in size, shape and structure to a small cherry tomato.

Historical Origins - Most of the species, of which there may be 75-90, are indigenous to the New World.  Cultivated species and weedy annuals have been introduced worldwide.  Reportedly, Puritans used them in jams and pies.  Other than that - I can't seem to find out much about their history!  Here is an article with some ideas for using them:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/five-ways-to-eat-ground-cherries-98470003/


Chard with Browned Onions


The carmelized onions in this dish do a nice job of mellowing the tannic acid in the chard.  Serve with fried eggs for breakfast or as a side dish with pork chops for dinner or mix into cooked brown rice and eat as an easy one-bowl lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rainbow chard, with stems trimmed
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper

1. To chop the chard, halve the leaves lengthwise. Stack leaves and cut into thin strips.  Wash the cut chard. 
 

2. In a medium skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat.  Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent - about 5 minutes.  Add mushroom and cook until browned slightly. Transfer onion and mushroom to a plate.

3.  Heap chard into pan and cook, stirring, until all the chard is wilted.  Add 1/4 cup water and cook until all the water is boiled away.  Season with salt and pepper.

4.  Arrange chard on a serving plate and top with onions and mushrooms. 


139d513f-fea4-49d6-9020-9d77b98917ec.jpg

Strawflowers in the Fields
 

I love the way the strawflower opens one layer of petals at a time to slowly reveal the yellow-orange center.  Here you can see some that are still opening and one fully opened.  Enjoy the flowers you see this week - fall is coming!  And while there are many joys to be had in fall - there won't be as many flowers.  Have a great week and don't forget to come see us at the market - there are only three more markets left this year!

Your SVF Farm Team