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


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:


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.


  • 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. 


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

At The FarmAndrea Miller