Thursday, December 23, 2010

First Days of Winter


Finally, the days are starting to get longer again. We're officially on a two week winter break but I wanted to mention that I've posted prices for the 2011/12 shares on the website here. I've also put up our plans for what we're hoping to put in the spring, summer, fall and winter shares and there's additional info on those on the website at here.

Hope you're all having great holidays and we'll see you in the new year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

End of Fall

This is the final week of Fall shares. Pull out your vegetable peelers. Today we harvested all of the remaining carrots in the field (some of them will be held for Thursday) and there's a good bit of surface damage from carrot rust fly. Peel it off and they'll be just fine. In the old days (think, a few years ago) I wouldn't have given carrots like this out, but really they're fine to eat and I'd rather have someone eat the good parts than toss them in the compost pile immediately. We also harvested collards (Thursday will be getting kale, I think), and we thinned the winter turnips. The winter turnips are a variety called Gold Ball and they are more of a traditional turnip, better for cooking than the Hakurei, not so good for fresh eating. We also cut the greens off and put those in the shares. Usually we'd just leave the greens on but it was easier to fit them in the bags, and they two will actually keep better separated, so we separated them. Turnip greens can be steamed or sauteed and they have a little bite, kind of like mustard greens.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Little Wet

The weather is noticeably wet, but it didn't really have much effect on the harvest today. Kji pulled leeks and salsify while I scrounged all the random chicories I could. Different shares have different chicories. The photo above shows a share with escarole and frisse hearts, and small radicchio and castlefranco heads.

While the harvest was relatively smooth today, our transportation to and from the farm was a bit trickier than usual. My car was broken into while I was away, leaving the steering column damaged and so I called Kji for a ride. Kji called me back after his car wouldn't start in the morning, which left us borrowing a car from the very generous Tricia. Unfortunately this also means that Kji is stuck doing all of the deliveries tonight. With a little luck we'll have at least one of our vehicles running by Monday.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chilly Mornings

Kji here, giving the update of this weeks share while Josh is spreading words of wisdom over on the East coast. Oh, how I do miss the guy. Venturing out in the crisp morning air to put your hands in the damp, frigid soil is so much easier when you have someone to share it with. Nothing like a little fall farming camaraderie.

So, in Josh's absence I ventured into the greenhouse instead. We decided to sow some hardy greens in hopes of having a late winter harvest. Arugula, mizuna, mibuna, and green frill to name a few. In just a few short weeks we will be gaining daylight back, which means these little seedlings should be ready to harvest by late winter.

Okay, Okay, enough about that. I'm sure you all want to know what we are harvesting now. The highlight of this weeks share is the salsify. Don't be fooled, it is not a parsnip, although you may choose to prepare it in much of the same way. This hardy root crop of the aster family, is also known as "oyster root" for it's oyster like flavor. Although if you don't like oysters, don't be put off by this description. Remeber, these delicous roots don't actually come from the sea.
I have enjoyed them roasted with other roots in the oven or pan fried alongside potatoes. You may notice a discoloration accompaning a sap when you cut into them. No need to fret. This is normal and will disipate when cooked.

Along with the salsify I harvested leeks and a wide variety of chicories, from which you will get one or two. Due to the insesent vole pressure we have been experiencing I had to glean from varies beds. Think of it as a bit of a surprise bag. This exercise will go along well with the fact that I don't have a picture of the share this week. Don't worry, Josh will be back for Thursday harvest.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving fallout

A close inspection of the fields this morning showed that we weren't the only ones feasting over the Thanksgiving holiday. The voles had a field day. We lost at least half of our radicchio and castlefranco chicories, as well as almost all of our remaining beets. We didn't even bother to check on the carrots, but I'm sure their fairing only a little better. Traps have been set and we're set to order more as well to see if we can put a dent in this year's exploding population.

The frost did minor damage on some of the chicories but most everything else we were hoping would make it through did. This week's share has a bit of kale, that should be sweetened by last weeks freeze, as well as on or another chicory (we were hunting a bit for ones that weren't already snacked on by voles), and new for this year: brussels sprouts and root parsley.

The brussels will need a little cleaning. Trim the butt ends and peel a leaf or two back. If you want a quick way to prepare them I like to cut them in half, pan sear them in olive oil and then sprinkle with a little balsamic and water in the pan, cover and let them steam in the juices for six or so minutes until they are just cooked, but not too soft.

The root parsley can be used like most other roots. It's great in a soup or flavoring a stuffing, or something like that. Think parsnip, only parsley flavored. These are very small samples, as the first seeding this summer didn't germinate and so we had to reseed. I didn't think these would do anything, but our wonderful volunteer, Lindsay, weeded them when they were young and they took off. These are also a vole favorite, and the big ones have mostly been pre-eaten, leaving us with the smaller sorts. Usually the tops are still intact through frost, but the very hard freeze we had last week softened them up so we took them off.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


Not all vegetables from the farm, but pretty much all vegetables, with a healthy dose of wheat as well in the forms of gravy, stuffing and a delicious post dinner pie crust. We're hoping to have brussels for the shares soon (these were from Sauvie Island Organics, as well as the potatoes and squash). The stuffing featured the celeriac tops, carrots, and leeks from the farm.

Hope you all had great Thanksgiving dinners and we'll see you next week!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Looking back


We're busy planning next year's crops right now. Yesterday I was solo on the farm and forgot to take a photo in the rush of getting the vegetables harvested and packed. I also forgot to post to the blog so today you get an old photo and a late post. The photo above is the field before we started.


Here's photo from this summer. The building has changed, the fence is gone, and we've taken out much of the sod and replaced it with vegetables.


And, we expanded into the field that used to be fenced. Next year we're not really planning on expanding, although we're considering adding a few other ways to get our product, other than just the CSA. These are photos from September of this year; not quite current, but like I said, I forgot to take photos yesterday.

Next week is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, probably because I love eating and it really lends itself well to that activity. To make things simpler for ourselves, and for our members who also likely have crazy schedules on Thanksgiving week, we take the entire week off from harvesting and delivering and we leave everyone time to just worry about preparing food. Happy Thanksgiving, we'll be back in two weeks.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Celeriac is new this week so I want to give a few notes on it, but first I have to say that I'm really excited that folks are appreciating the chicories and are posting on how to they're using it. Right on! I love hearing how the shares are getting eaten. Chicories are relatively new for me. I got interested in eating them, and thus growing them about 5 or so years ago and once you start looking there's a huge amount of info that starts flowing in.

Back to celeriac, this is not quite as new to me, although it's not one that most people around here have grown up with (including myself). Basically it's similar to a potato, or maybe a turnip, but it has a flavor like celery. I really like to make mashed celery with potatoes. Think mashed potatoes, only substitute celeriac for about 1/2 of the potatoes, excellent! It makes excellent gratins, soups, and salads. We're also giving you the greens, which is even less common. These are very similar to the celery we've been giving out, good for cooking, not so good for fresh eating. A number of years ago a Greek farmer came to visit the farm I was working on and we happened to be harvesting celeriac that day. She was outraged that we were trimming off all of the greens. "You can cook those," she said. In her honor, we're leaving you the greens, in case you want to cook them.

One more note on the celeriac: it's a bit smaller than we'd like and I believe we stuffed it a bit closer together in the bed than we should have. Also, the field rodents love it, and they seem to love the biggest heads best, eating the interiors until there is just a thin shell of the root holding up the stalks and leaves. It's an skill that they hone in the beets and carrots and use just as impressively in the celeriac. We've finally put out some traps in hopes of reducing their damage but we're too late for the biggest heads.

So as not to ignore the other items in the shares, we also have a lovely leek, another head of the escarole bionda (yay, more chicory), and a few more Hakurei turnips. The turnips were an afterthought in our plantings this fall, and they've come to replace the two seedings of parnsips which both basically failed to germinate earlier in the year. We're very sad about the parsnips, but the turnips have been quite nice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Purple Peacock and Tres Fine


Today's share is similar to Monday's but there are a few variations. First, we're substituting the purple peacock broccoli for the kale that was in Monday's share. I'm not a huge broccoli fan, but this broccoli kale cross is really tasty and the variations in the color and shape are beautiful, with cut leaves, and everything from deep purple, to green, to white. I'm hoping we'll continue to harvest side shoots occasionally from this unique broccoli.

We also ran short on the sugarloaf so some of you are getting the tres fine frisée instead. We do have more sugarloaf planted, but it wasn't quite ready. The rodents are loving the chicories, so it's a bit of a race to get to them first but with a little luck we'll have those in a few weeks. The photo below is the frisée, with the finely cut leaves, next to the immature sugarloaf.


We have them covered with floating row cover to protect them from the deer (who also love them) but it actually creates haven for the rodents. Actually the canopy is so dense they don't need much more shelter. The cover also helps prevent frost damage, not that it's actually been that cold in the fields yet.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Today's share brings another new item, sugarloaf chicory, also know as pan di zucchero. These tight, heavy heads are similar to the escarole we gave out earlier, but crunchier and tighter, with more of the desirable blanched (white) ribs. One way I've eaten them, which is very tasty, is to slice them in half and put them on a pan, face up, drizzle with olive oil and broil them so they are a bit cooked, then toss some coarse salt on and go at it. Also in the share are a few carrots, nantes types, a bit of rainbow lacinato (kale), and a few sprigs of sage, which would be perfect for sage tea with honey, or fried in butter as a topping on pasta. We're in the office this afternoon, continuing to plan for next year. If you have any ideas for us, now's a good time to let us know about them.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Garlic Planted!

Once again, Thursday's share more or less matches Monday's, so the more exciting news today is that it was warm and dry and we got all the garlic planted for next season. Two days before the new moon is considered to be good direct seeding time, and this fall the weather has certainly been good just before the new moons. With a little help from Kji's cousin we managed to prep four beds after harvest and plant about 1400 cloves from our two varieties, Siberian and Chesnook Red. Looks like it's going to get wet and cold again so I'm super happy to have that last fall field chore done before we head inside for more planning next week - after harvests of course.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Southern Special

Collard greens and turnips with the greens are both in the share this week, along with a bit of celery and the last of the peppers, which are still green. Collard greens are one of my favorites in the fall, especially after a good frost (which we haven't had yet) to sweeten them up. These greens are best cooked, and I'm someone who likes them cut into ribbons, and boiled with a bit of tamari for a long time, at least 15 minutes if not an hour. They have a few holes, but you don't have to eat the holes if you don't like them. The turnip greens are also tasty, and don't take nearly as long to cook. The turnips themselves are sweet and tender, and would make a great soup with the celery. The celery is mostly for seasoning soup or beans or some other cooked dish. It has a lot of flavor, but is probably a little tough for eating raw. We're finally harvesting the last of the peppers after giving up any hope that they will color on the plants. They're still green, which makes this a very green share.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rainbow Lacinato!


Yep, the Thursday share is pretty much like the Monday, except we didn't have enough purple peacock so we're giving out rainbow lacinato kale instead. In a week or two we'll turn the tables, give Monday folks some kale and Thursday will get the broccoli. Meanwhile, Kji and I stepped into the office this afternoon to start the planning for next season. Mostly we adjusted our yield estimates and prices, and made some notes on changes in planting spacings and varieties for next season based on what we've seen so far this season. Next up, we're going to be looking at a few new crops, and adjusting the harvest plans. If you have any suggestions for us, now is the time to speak. Kind of nice to sit inside on a rainy afternoon like this, have a bit of hot tea, and have a chance to review our notes from the season.

Monday, October 25, 2010


To me, the escarole is the most exciting addition to the share this week. If you haven't had it before, it looks like lettuce, but it's a little different, heartier and better in the cold. Escarole is one of several chicories we grow. They're commonly thought of as bitter, and they can be very bitter when grown in the spring and summer, but the cool of fall and winter tends to make them sweeter and more tender, which is why we grow them only in those seasons. There are two things you can do to reduce any bitterness, one is to soak the cut pieces of the leaves in ice cold water for 15-45 minutes before eating, the other is to cook it, which also takes away bitterness. Escarole is a little tougher than lettuce so it's good to cut it in smaller pieces if you're using it raw. My favorite salad with escarole is just slicing it very thinly across the grain, soaking it for 5 minutes or so before spinning it dry and then tossing with olive oil, coarse salt and a little lemon. I also like it in bigger pieces, wilted in a hearty soup soup or stew.

There are a few other items in the share as well: beets with their tops, a few more peppers which are still green, a small bunch of parsley, and a bit of purple peacock broccoli, which is pretty exciting itself. The purple peacock is an odd sort of broccoli, not uniform and green like the type you see in the store, but multi colored, sized and shaped, with tasty leaves as well.

Today was a clean up day on the farm, we got all of the drip tape out of the field, all of the bamboo stakes out, and cleaned up all of the cell trays still leftover from the starts we planted out late in the summer. The rain is good for something, keeps us from working the soil and gives us a little time for the other projects...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big planting day

Today's share is more or less the same as Monday's. I warmed up this morning before harvest by starting to prep beds for planting. After harvest was finished and the bags were packed this morning, we headed out and prepped the equivalent of about 6 beds for cover cropping, mostly just taking out weeds on the surface, raking them smooth and then spreading and working in rye and vetch seed. We also planted a bed of overwintering onions. Tomorrow is the full moon, which is associated with increased root growth, exactly what a transplant needs. Also, it's suppose to rain this weekend which made today the last dry day for a while to prep a bed, and also means that everything we seeded and planted today will get soaked in. This is later than I usually seed cover crop in the fall, but the weather has been mild so I'm pushing the dates later.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Soup Share

Both the weather, and the share today, are perfect for hot soup. We've got a few stalks of celery, a carrot or two, and a little thyme in the bag. There's also a beautiful leek and a bit of chard. We have more sweet peppers, which are still not really turning color on the plants, but are doing fine once they get inside the kitchen. The big, exciting item today (not that they're not all exciting) is the Delicata Zeppelin squash.

A few of the items may warrant notes this week, especially as many of them are new for the season. The squash is fresh off the vine and fine to eat now, but may actually improve a bit if you let it sit in your kitchen a few weeks. If you've never prepared one before they're super easy. The easiest way is to just pop it in a 350 over, whole, for about 45 minutes until a fork easily penetrates the squash. The skin is thin enough to eat, along with the flesh. You can also strain out and toast the seeds.

The leeks may have some dirt in between layers. The easiest way to clean them is to slice them in half lengthwise and then run them under water, exposing the different layers. Both the green and white parts are good, but the white is what is really prized.

The Thyme is fresh and good to eat. If you leave it on your counter it'll dry and you can use it later. The carrots this week are probably best cooked, either is a soup, or even just by themselves. The same goes for the celery, it's probably best cooked in dish such as soup as we didn't really pump it up with water the way they do with the big heads. This also means it should add a bit more flavor to dishes than your run of the mill varieties. Both can be eaten raw, but their highest use is probably in a cooked dish this week.

With the full moon approaching the night temperatures have been dropping and the fields were lightly frosted this morning. We pulled all of the summer squash to make way for plantings of overwintering onions and garlic and we hope to have those in the ground on Thursday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

#2 Pest Picture Extravaganza


Deer are the #2 pest around here. Mice are probably my top pick with slugs following closely behind those two. I happen to have a few photos of the damage the deer have been doing lately so I thought I'd share. Above is a bed of chicories covered with floating row cover and showing clear evidence of a visit by the deer.


This is the kind of thing they love to do, eating all of the leaves of a sprouting broccoli. Fortunately they haven't eaten too many growing tips yet, so these will probably just be set back, as opposed to completely decimated (as long as we can keep the deer out from now on).


Here's the lightweight bird netting fence the deer went through. We knew they could push through but we were hoping they'd be bothered by the fencing enough to not bother. No such luck, even though it did work for friend of ours in another location.


Rye vetch seedlings, our winter cover crop, is one of the crops I'm actually most worried about. It's a little tough for us to cover every bed on the farm, and these tend to be lowest priority, therefore the most vulnerable. Last year we ended up with basically no cover crop due to grazing. This year our first seeding is germinating beautifully. It was put in on the New Moon when the weather was dry. That was followed by a nice soaking rain and now sunny drier weather which has been perfect for bringing the seeds up. According to some the increasing moonlight, and decreasing lunar gravity during this phase also encourages plant growth.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Remay Day

Today's share is pretty similar to Monday's so new photos. Post harvest, we spent a lot of time today covering beds with floating row cover (commonly called Remay), and bird netting. The deer had broken in again and done a little more damage to some of the brassicas - as pictured above (actually my photos are not agreeing to be uploaded at this particular moment and I've got to go run deliveries so more of those later) - so we've given up on the simple fence that we put up a few weeks back and now we've gone to just covering the beds directly. This is a bit more of a pain, and I'm not sure it'll even be any more effective, but we're putting off what could be more expensive options, trying to get away with the minimum expense.

The row cover, on some of the crops, has the added advantage of holding in a little warmth and protecting against frost as well. So many of those beds are happy to have it anyway. It does mean that we can't actually see any of the crops without first uncovering them. It also provides a little extra harborage for the mice, which are our other main pest right now, but someday soon we'll get around to putting out traps for those little sneakers.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Summer Hangs On

It's turning out to be a fairly mild October and so a few of the summer crops are continuing to produce, although they also seem to be continuously on their last legs. We still have cucumbers, summer squash, and even basil, this week in the share. This is the last week of lettuce, but the start of fall turnips (see the previous post). Peppers are still slow to ripen, but we're tossing a few that will likely turn full color on your counters, or will be sweet even green (also see the previous post).

In other farm news, the deer made a raid some time over the weekend. The damage was minor, but they did manage to figure out that the lightweight fence we put up as a deterrent is penetrable. Ever the optimists, we repaired the damage to the fence today and hope that it was a fluke. We also covered a few of the more susceptible crops with floating row cover. If they've made it in again by Thursday we'll be putting out a lot more of the floating row cover, and probably draping some bird netting over beds as well.

We also managed to get four more beds seeded to a rye and vetch cover crop today. We'll be seeding as much of the mix as possible in the next few weeks, as well as planting some overwintering onions and the garlic.

Sweet, Not Spicy

We're growing two peppers again this year, and again they are both sweet peppers, although they look like they could be spicy. Actually, The long thin one is Jimmy Nardello, an incredibly sweet italian frying pepper with very thin walls. We're also trying one of Wild Garden Seed's varieties, Stocky Red Roaster. It's green in the picture, but it will eventually turn red (as long as we continue to not have frosts). It also seems to be very sweet, even in its green form.

Because of the weather this year we're having a terrible time getting the peppers to color on the plants. Peppers, as long as they've started to turn color, will finish ripening on the counter in the relatively warmer kitchen. You can eat them green, or if you want color just leave them out a few days and they'll start to change.

Along with the peppers, we're also growing Hakurei turnips. If you haven't had these they are much sweeter than a normal turnip, and not as spicy, generally. They are great grated raw onto salad, but you can also cook them and the greens are tasty as well, a bit like mustard greens (or a more tender turnip green).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Preparing for the winter


The tomatoes have been hit hard with blight. That rain two weeks ago really did them in and we started pulling a few plants today to make room for some cover crop. We're planting a rye and vetch mix to hold the soil for the winter, and to feed our compost piles in the spring. The share today is basically the same as Monday's. Cucumbers are the one summer crop that really seems to be continuing strongly. The tomatoes are finished, summer squash has slowed to a near halt, and the melons have had it. We'll even be scraping to get enough lettuce for next week, although that has less to do with the weather now, and more to do with the weather when we were planting in August.

Back to cover crop for a moment, today is the new moon and the few days leading up to the new moon are considered the best for seeding most crops. It does actually look like the weather was ideal this week with a dry patch for preparing the beds and rain forecasted for this weekend. We'll see how it all comes up.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This Monday's Share

We're still harvesting a few of the "summer" crops which is keeping the share heavy. Cucumbers have finally started really producing, and the summer squash continues to churn out the fruit. Tomatoes are on their way out just as the peppers finally start to show a little color. The pepper in the share today is Jimmy Nardello, a very sweet pepper. No need to refrigerate these, they'll continue to color up on the counter. There's a small head of emerald oak lettuce, a small bunch of chard, a bulb of fennel, probably the last of the year, and just a sampler of an upcoming crop, purple peacock broccoli. We've also included a bit of parsley which would go nicely with the last of the tomatoes and the pepper, sauteed and tossed with a serving of pasta.

Last Thursday's Share

A quick post showing a photo of a share that was leftover from Thursday and has sat out since then (4 days) in the bag. It's almost completely salvageable, which makes me feel good about the money and energy we save by not refrigerating the shares. The basil is wilted, but will still make lovely pesto, and the kale is the one item that seems too far gone at this point. I've noticed that the brassica leaves, Kale included tend to go bad faster than anything else.

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Fall Share

No photo? Kji is harvesting and delivering solo today, as I'm up in Canada co-teaching a workshop at Foxglove Farm. He does have the technology to take a photo and post it, but I'm guessing he's going to be too busy. While my internet connection is working, intermittently, my phone is not, so I don't even know what's in the share, although I'm guessing it's something good. It'll be a surprise this week, or maybe you could let me know so I don't miss out altogether.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Can you tell which one of these melons is cantaloupe and which is musk melon? Today we gave some shares Delicious 51 which is a musk melon (although commonly referred to as cantaloupe here in the states) and some shares got Sivan which is a cantaloupe (commonly referred to as a charentais here in the states). They're tricky to tell apart, but the give away is the stem end. The Delicious stems slip off when they are ripe so there is no remains of the stem, and the Sivan don't so there's a stub of a cut stem. We harvested the Sivan a bit under-ripe - at this point they're totally edible and have good flavor, but they will soften a little on the counter and give off amazing melon scent from their butt end when they are ripe (no joke). The Delicious are ripe, but neither is especially sweet this season due to the cool, wet weather. Oh well, maybe next year.

Happy end of summer, see you next week in the fall.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Final Summer Share

This week is the last of the summer and although we've missed out on a few of the crops we were hoping would make it into the summer share's it's been a decently full one. We're still waiting for the peppers to ripen, there's lots of fruit but it's slow with this weather. We did manage to get a half melon in today's shares, Delicious 51. Unfortunately the cool wet weather isn't optimal for developing sweetness in the melons but there's lots of melon flavor and texture there. I have a friend who makes melon soup with cayenne and almond milk which is delicious and these would certainly work well there - or just scooped out with a spoon directly to the mouth would work too. We have a few more tomatoes today, salvaged from the mass of split fruits caused by the inch of rain we got in the last few days. The lettuce likes the rain, and we've got more of the fresh beans today as well, although those are awfully slow with the weather as well. Summer squash and cucumbers continue to produce and we dug a few carrots as well to finish things off.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Open House/End of Summer Party - Tomorrow!


Yep, it's the end of summer already. Actually summer ends with the equinox on Wednesday evening and Thursday we'll wake up to the start of fall. For our CSA shares we've decided that Thursday is the honorary last day of the summer season - but the party will be this weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 4pm to dark at the farm. Rain or Shine.

We'll be giving tours of the fields, playing lawn games, picnicking, firing up the wood fire oven and baking pizzas with farm veggies, and if you come on the early side we'll be cleaning up from the summer and making everything tidy in preparation for the fall. Bring picnic food for yourself or to share and something to eat off of, your favorite lawn games, and appropriate shoes and clothing for getting a little dusty - or muddy depending on the weather. If you're not sure where the farm is and you want to come just hop over to the website (listed on the right) and send us a note.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Still planting

Thursday's share this week looks very similar to Monday's. I thought we were done planting chicories for this winter but Danny came by with the crew from Meriwether's Skyline Farm and dropped off some extra starts he had from his new project up in Ridgefield. We were a little short when we planted ours so Kji and I prepped another 35' of bed and plugged 'em in. I'm thinking that'll be the last planting of the season - oh, except for the over winter crops like garlic, onions, favas, and also the cover crops we should be seeding soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Summer Waning

A quick update, as I'm racing off to deliver by bicycle for the first time and time is a little tighter that way. I'll try to post a photo or two of that experiment soon. Meanwhile, in the share this week is a head of lettuce, and the varieties are a little random as we get to the end of the season. Lemon cucumbers are starting to come on and the summer squash and tomatoes continue to crank out a decent number of fruit. We've got a bit of basil and a few french fillet beans from what is turning out to be a very slow to ripen planting. The big item this week are beets from beds that didn't germinate well, which translates into lots of space per beet, which again translates into big beets. Enjoy it all and come find us at this weekend's party - more on that soon too...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Tomato sampler

Today we hauled in a good number of tomatoes so there's a bit of most of them in each share. We're growing sungold cherries, and Chadwick's cherries which are almost small slicer sized. We also have tigerella, which is kind of like a big cherry as well, and has a bit of tiger striping. The plain red slicers are moscovich and the dark tomatoes are black prince. There's a bit more fennel. Apparently the mice really love the roots of these and we lost quite few to their chewing. Parsely is making its first appearance. I never used to eat parsley but it does sweeten up nicely when sauteed a little in oil and added to vegetables, or pasta or whatever you like. There's a little summer squash, as always, and there were just enough cucumbers for everyone to get one today. The cucumbers are coming on incredibly slowly. It got hot this afternoon, but the angle of the sun is much lower, so it's shining right against our bodies, warming us up, but it's glancing off the ground and not really warming the soil up the way it did a few weeks ago. The final item in the share today is a small bunch of raab. This was intended for the fall shares, but it has actually come on sooner than expected and so we're giving it out today. It's just enough for a little side, or to chop up and toss in with some pasta or rice.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kinda seems like fall


We've still got quite a few weeks until it's actually fall, but the weather today certainly isn't very summer like. We need some moe sun and warmth to ripen melons and get the cucumbers going. If we don't get a lot more sun and warmth I'm a little worried that we won't ripen any peppers or eggplant. For now we are seeing plenty of tomatoes and summer squash and the lettuce is also doing just fine. In the carrot department you're getting a look today at what happens when the rodents thin out a planting - giant carrots! Chard is making a come back with the cool weather and our attempts to clean up the bed a little. We also started taking out the shallots today. These will store very well in a dry spot, even well into the winter if you wanted to keep them that long for some reason.


It was actually kind of nice to be out in the drizzle, harvesting this morning. There was a huge rainbow over the sungold tomatoes. I'll take a little more heat if we can get it though. I sure would like to see a few more of the summer crops ripen before it really gets cold and wet again.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cool Weekend

This weekend's weather was a little cool and the summer squash really slowed down, but for some reason the tomatoes seemed to do pretty well with it. So less summer squash and little more tomatoes today. We're still waiting for the first cucumbers, they're there, just really small still, maybe Thursday. A few precocious melons are out there as well, not quite ready but oh so close. Unfortunately it's going to be a while before enough melons ripen for all the shares, but we should have cucs soon. Today there's a sprig of sage, which will help the plants bush out, and a handful of basil, which will help those keep producing leaves instead of flowers. We're clearing one of the early beet beds to make way for fall plantings, and clearing the last of the swedish brown beans in their fresh stage. Finally, another head of lettuce, this from a nice young, tender planting.

Today we managed to plant four more beds - two different turnips, escarole and catalogna, and a bit more lettuce. we also freed some melons and celeriac from giant weeds. Fortunately there weren't very many weeds in the beds due to early hoeing, but the ones that were there were menacing. Very successful day I'd say.

Thursday I'll be away on other business so Kji will be flying solo. Let him know if you want to come keep him company at the farm, I'm sure he'd love to see you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The Thursday share is once again more or less like the Monday share - a little different lettuce, maybe some variation in the tomato and summer squash variety, but more or less the same (so take a look at that post to see what's in the share). In this post there's a photo of our progress on stripping sod off of beds, one to go! We're trying to get the final plantings of the season in, all of the fall crops, mostly chicories, and turnips, perhaps a bit of spinach and mache, although the weather hasn't been cooperating there. By the end of next week, with a little luck, we'd like to have another 10 beds, 1/8 of the farm, planted, and thus, all of the beds on the farm either planted or hosting compost piles. We'll see what actually happens next week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Heat Wave

It's been quite warm here in Portland for the last few days, with temperatures up in the 90s. There was quite a bit of drying wind as well earlier in the weekend. Many of the summer crops are enjoying the weather. The lettuce, and other greens are not, but for the most part they'll survive. We've been planting lettuce pretty much weekly but at this point it's growing so fast with all the heat and light that we're having to jump ahead a little and we'll probably loose a little to tip burn and bolting. Today's share has a bit of blushed butter cos in it, along with the obligatory summer squash and tomatoes, a bit of dill, what is probably the last of the cippola onions, and most exciting - fresh beans. The beans are a variety I usually grow for dry beans, but they are quite tasty young and green as well. The variety is swedish brown and I'm hoping we'll get another week out of them. Maybe next year we will find space to plant enough to give them out dry as well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Packing in the Barn

Again, today's share is pretty much like Monday's so no unique photo. The photo above is our packing area all broken down and put away in the corner of the barn at the end of harvest today. The boxes are full of share bags and extra vegetables. We spent what felt like a lot of time in the barn today packing shares, cleaning the worst of the dirt off the potatoes, and packing some of the extra vegetables for Yianni. Yianni owns the farm (land), and is cooking a big dinner for lots of folks this weekend so we took some of the unsold shares and sold parts of them to him. We've also been selling a bit of lettuce and a few other items to the County Cork on Freemont. It's not cutting into the CSA shares, and it's not completely making up for the revenue shortfall from being short on CSA members, but it's nice to see the excess getting used. A lot of the rest of the excess is actually going to the current CSA members - but not too much, we wouldn't want to overload anyone.

Monday, August 9, 2010

More Potatoes

As stated above, today's share has more potatoes. Today we dug into the Princess LaRatte potatoes, which are a bit smaller than the french fingerlings we gave out earlier. These should be great boiled whole, and then used on a salad, or sauteed with a bit of olive oil, paprika and sea salt to crisp up the skins. There's another huge head of romaine - romaine is a big lettuce. We're picking the basil regularly to keep it from flowering so there's some of that, and we also have a nice little bunch of cilantro today. I really like cilantro on udon, with some lime and cashews that have been blended with a little water and tamari to make a creamy sauce. A few tomatoes of one sort or another round out the share today - they're still slow in ripening, and this cool weather isn't helping. Oh, I almost forgot the prolific summer squash. I think I'm ready to make a bit of zucchini bread, although fritters are also on my mind. Zucchini fritters with a bit of basil aioli are quite tasty.

We're super close to having the last of the sod stripped off of beds, which I am quite excited about. That will signal a full 77 beds planted and two dedicated to compost piles. There's one bed that still has some fence in the way so we won't make it to 80 this year. Lots of chicories are going in the ground soon, as well as turnips for the fall and winter shares.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What? No Photo?

Yep, I think this might be the first post on this blog with no photo. Today's share is pretty similar to Monday's and we were so busy stripping sod off of new beds, planting cabbage, running around turning irrigation valves, and seeding onions for next season that I forgot to take a photo. There'll be more soon though. If you really want to see what the farm looks like, come visit us on a Monday or Thursday and see for yourself. There might even be a few berries in it for you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Deeper into summer


The summer squash and tomatoes are feeling a little more solidly on this week. We're clearing out some of our earliest carrot beds and bolting cipollini onions. The lettuce continues to look beautiful and this week we're harvesting flashy lightning. Rounding out the share are a few sprigs of dill - good in a yogurt dressing, or with some carrots sauteed in olive oil.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some Summer Varieties

This week three of our tomato varieties are starting to ripen: Moscovich, Tigerella, and Sungold. There were also just a couple Black Prince. Chadwick's Cherry is the only other variety we're growing. The Moscovich are a standard red tomato with excellent flavor. Tigerella is almost like an overgrown cherry with red and orange tiger stripes. Sungold is an outstanding orange cherry, with a very fruity flavor. We pack the varieties randomly in the bags and hope that everyone will get to try all of them.

We're also growing two types of summer squash that get packed randomly: Yellow Scallopini and Midnight Lightning. We should have these in the share for the next six weeks or so.

Flipping back through last year's posts, there's a very similar one from August with notes on ripeness of tomatoes (near the end). It's useful info if you're wondering about how we pick the tomatoes and how ripe they are.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer vegetables

Tomatoes, basil, and summer squash are some of the most summery vegetables I can think of and they're all in the share today. This is really just the start of tomatoes and summer squash for us so they're small samples, but we'll continue to have more as the season goes on. Also in the share today are fennel, red iceberg lettuce and beets.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



Here's a photo of Kji and Adam pulling the last of the garlic. Today's share is mostly the same as Monday's (see the last post) minus the favas which are finished for the season. Everyone is receiving a few extra potatoes because we're undersubscribed. We've decided to go ahead a distribute some of the unsold shares of potatoes to the members who have signed up instead of storing them ourselves. We are selling some lettuce and other occasional items to help make up for the lower CSA sign ups this year. Long term we'd rather have all of it distributed through CSA, which is much easier for us, and is really the way we're set up right now.

The fields are looking good, although still a bit behind from the late spring. We're hoping to have summer squash as soon as next week and the very first tomatoes are ripening, although it'll still be a few weeks before we have enough to give out.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Fall share for the summer

Today we pulled the last of the garlic and the first of the potatoes. The garlic is Chesnok Red and it should keep through the fall on the counter, somewhere with good air flow. The potatoes are French Fingerlings, a bit earlier than we had planned but the tops suffered a bit of blight which took them down a few weeks early and gave us slightly smaller potatoes than we would have liked. Still, there are a good number of them and they'll keep in a cool, dry, dark place for a few months at least if you don't get around to eating them right away. There's no more garlic to give out this year but we do have one more variety of potato that will be coming in the next few weeks.

Also in the share today is a bit of rosemary to go with the potatoes (it will also dry and keep if you don't want to use it immediately), Yellowstone carrots, the last of the Aquadulce favas, and a big head of Plato II romaine. The potatoes, rosemary and garlic make me think of root roast which is a very fall dish in my mind. They'd make a great potato salad, or grilled potato salad as well, so maybe it's summer after all. I grilled favas for the first time this weekend and they're great. If you have the hibachi or grill out just toss them on in the pods, cook them until the pods are shriveling a bit and then eat the beans out of them.