Winter Week 3: Winter Food

Winter is here! Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Squash!

Winter is here! Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, and Squash!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• “Yukon Gem” Potatoes
• “Delicata” Squash
• Celery Root
• Parsnips
Brussels Sprouts
• Kale, Swiss Chard, or other greens
• Onions

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Parsley Root, Beets, Watermelon Radishes, Kale Sprouts

Ordinarily we would have had serious frost or freezing weather by now. It’s the middle of November, after all. But all we’ve had is one light frost. Many weeks ago.

Ordinarily, we wouldn’t consider picking kale, brussels sprouts, or parsnips until we’d had several frosts. Because freezing temperatures turn all the starches into plant antifreeze: sugar. Everything that can survive winter cold gets sweeter.

But we haven’t had cold, so we’ve been taste-testing everything to make sure it’s good enough to start picking. Because if we don’t start, we’ll never use it all up. Enter: Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts. I figure if our family wants to eat them several times a week, they must be good. Check out the Brussels sprouts link for cooking ideas, and eat your parsnips roasted with other roots, in soups, or sautéed in strips like french fries.

Turkeys? 
If you’re in need of a thanksgiving turkey, our friends at GreenBow Farm in Ellensburg still have some of their heritage turkeys available. CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOURS: 

Ground Beef? 
We still have a few of our 10# units available. Ten 1# packages of our own grass-fed ground beef for $75. Pick up when you pick up your produce.

November Mystery BoxMystery Box?
I’m working on a new project for packaging produce one box at a time. I’m really excited to start growing more interesting vegetables on our farm. Some are interesting varieties of crops we already grow, and some are more weird or fun. Mystery Boxes will contain some unusual things, some more-common things. I’m putting together our November Mystery Box now, for delivery next week. $25 for 10 incredible items! EMAIL ME TO ORDER for pickup at the farm Saturday, University District Market Saturday, West Seattle Market Sunday, or the farm Tuesday.

Winter Week 1: Brussels Sprouts and Celery Root

This is the earliest we've ever harvested Brussels sprouts, and I'm excited! They're big and beautiful and delicious! Hello, Potato Man!

This is the earliest we’ve ever harvested Brussels sprouts, and I’m excited! They’re big and beautiful and delicious! Hello, Potato Man!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• “Purple Viking” Potatoes
• “Jester” Squash
• Celery Root
• Leeks
Brussels Sprouts
• Baby Lettuce (that should have been big)
Purple Collard Greens
• Fresh Parsley

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Winter Season!
Parsnips, Turnips, Spinach

Two words: BRUSSELS SPROUTS!!! I’m so excited! It’s taken 15 years to figure out the timing, but we finally have tall stalks of plump sprouts. Enjoy, we have 2,000 of them!

I’ll write more later tonight, but wanted to get this out there so you could follow the links!

The Last Week of Fall: Wet Weather Means Cooking Season

The last CSA week of Fall. Plus a pumpkin from our CSA-only U-Pick patch.

The last CSA week of Fall. Plus a pumpkin from our CSA-only U-Pick patch.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• “Purple Viking” Potatoes
• Big Carrots
• Celery
• Yellow Onions
• “Buttercup” Squash
• Baby Fennel
• Collard Greens or Stir-Fry Greens
• Fresh Thyme

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Winter Season!
Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, Celery 
Root, Leeks

This is the final week of our Fall Season. The Wet Season is upon us, and the crew is still out there working on harvesting all the winter squashes that took forever to ripen. This summer and fall were much cooler than last year’s droughty season, so some things just didn’t make it.

That said, it’s been an above-average growing year. We have had plenty of food to share with everyone. We have fall crops earlier than usual because we planned better and planted earlier. So, a few notes about what we’re sharing this week:

Purple Viking is my favorite potato variety. They are beautiful to dig out of the ground, with their pretty purple and pink blotched skins and snow-white flesh, and they’re delicious just about every way there is to cook a potato. They’re not the highest-yielding potato, but they’re still my fave.

Our carrot plantings were a little too far apart this year, so we’ve had a bit of a carrot gap this fall. I feel good about having carrots every week from May through September, but I’m a little sad that it’s been irregular this fall. The carrots you’re getting this week are the end of the summer carrots. Not pretty, but flavorful, and better to use them up than waste them. Next week we’ll be starting the last patch of skinny carrots. We may have a few carrot gaps through winter, but hopefully we’ll be picking most weeks.

We start picking Celery when I first feel like making soup. It doesn’t handle much freezing weather, although it can take a little frost, so we need to try and get it all harvested before Thanksgiving. We’ll be pacing that harvest through the next four-five weeks.

Buttercup Squash is an old-fashioned variety, prized for it’s rich flavor and dense flesh. See the Winter Squash page and watch the videos for hints on how to cook these larger squashes. They’re delicious for soups, purées, or pies and breads. Click here for more information about squash.

The last planting of fennel isn’t going to reach full size and it doesn’t like freezing weather. So we’re sacrificing it now, to enjoy while it’s tiny and tender. Use it for a salad, or stir-fry it. The stir-fry greens bags may be tender enough for you to use as salad—it just depends on your chewing preference.

AND if you haven’t yet picked up carving pumpkins, this week is your last chance. Take as many as you want!

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We are making some big changes to the farm next year. We’ll have new subscription offerings and a different structure, but we hope to continue seeing you and welcoming you as part of our farm family. Look for information about our 2017 season in your email inbox in early November.

If you are not continuing with us into Winter, we hope you enjoyed the Fall season, and have a lovely winter break!

 

Fall Week 2: What IS Purslane?

Lia loves her purslane!

Lia loves her purslane!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• “Yukon Gem” Potatoes
• Onions
• Cucumbers
• Purslane
• Tomatoes
• Sweet Peppers
• Dill or Cilantro
• Lettuce, Cabbage, or Swiss Chard

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Dry Shelling Beans, Garlic, Cauliflower

This week, we’re making the most of the sun by cultivating and weeding the last of the fall and winter crops. It’s the last busy week of the season. Personally, I’m looking for a break. It’s been a rough summer, with not enough hands for all the work.

So, a quick post to talk about purslane, because everything else should be self explanatory.

It’s a tangy, succulent green that is delicious and nutritious! High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, it’s great in a mixed salad, but I like it Persian style, with cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, and sometimes yogurt.

Here are a couple of links with even more ideas.

Purslane Recipes: 45 Things To Do With Fresh Purslane

https://whistlingtrainfarm.com/2008/08/25/purslane/

Happy Fall!

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Summer Week 11: Catching Up

Corn and Pole Beans in the background, Winter Parsnips covered for insect protection in the middle, and Sprouting Broccoli transplants for spring in the front. Late Summer is about all the seasons.

Corn and Pole Beans in the background, Winter Parsnips covered for insect protection in the middle, and Sprouting Broccoli transplants for spring in the front. Late Summer is about all the seasons.

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• Torpedo or Walla Walla Onions
Shelling Beans or Swiss Chard
• “Irish Cobbler” Potatoes
• Orange or Purple Carrots
• Cucumbers
• Eggplant
• Broccoli or Tomatoes
 Summer Squash or Zucchini

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Green Beans, Lettuce, Peppers, Basil

I’m not going to talk about how I’ve missed the last eight weeks of blog posts. Farm life has been crazy. Busier than a normal summer, because those of us who are here have been working very long hours to keep all the summer crops thriving and harvested, as well as getting the winter crops established. August is the busiest month, and in a few weeks it will wind down. I’ll just add that we’ve learned a lot about hiring field workers for next year.

This is week 10 of 12 in our Summer Season. If you haven’t enrolled for Fall, I highly recommend it. Fall is my favorite—lots of fruiting crops, plus all the hearty crops of October: Squashes start coming in another month, frost-tinged greens, juicy root crops. And we still have plenty of time to enjoy the shelling beans and tomatoes and peppers.

Please email me to sign up for Fall, or pick up a paper application. The Fall season encompasses all of September and October and lasts 8 weeks. Our Winter season covers November and December, until the Holidays happen.

And, since I haven’t blogged in six weeks (gasp!) here is a recap of the summer bounty:

Summer Week 8

Summer Week 8

Summer Week 7

Summer Week 7

Summer Week 6

Summer Week 6

Summer Week 5

Summer Week 5

Summer Week 4 and our first farm potluck.

Summer Week 4 and our first farm potluck.

Summer Week 3

Summer Week 3

Summer Week 2: Lots to Share

This week's share is a bountiful one! And, the CSA-only UPick garden is open—pick all the Snap Peas, Shelling Peas, and flowers that you want—one of the perks of joining our CSA!

This week’s share is a bountiful one! And, the CSA-only UPick garden is open—pick all the Snap Peas, Shelling Peas, and flowers that you want—one of the perks of joining our CSA!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• Torpedo Onions
• Sugar Snap Peas
• Orange and Purple Carrots
• Fresh Garlic
Beet Greens with Little Beets
• Red Butter Lettuce
• Red Romaine Lettuce
• Spinach
• Salad Turnips with Greens

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Zucchini, Fennel, Cucumbers, Green Beans

This first blog post of summer, at the tail end of the Week 2, is very late. And I apologize. I will do my best to be more on top of these things in the coming weeks.

We went into this season expecting another hot, dry year. But it’s been far from our expectation. One brief hot spell, followed by cooler and wet weather has made some crops very happy. It’s also made the weeds happy.

I’m happy to report, though, that our Summer season has started off with a bang. We have so many leafy crops. And peas! In fact, the rain and coolness has made a better season for peas than we’ve had in several years.

We love our new CSA Welcome Sign.

We love our new CSA Welcome Sign.

The U-Pick garden is up and running, and we have loads of Shelling Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, and so many flowers! Make sure you take advantage of this free opportunity while you can! Later on we’ll have green beans and cherry tomatoes as well, and pumpkins, of course in the fall. But for now, take home armloads of flowers. You can pick any time during our CSA pickup windows: Tuesdays after 2:00 and Saturdays after noon.

 

Spring Week 8: The Hectic Beginning of Summer

Green Shallots, Spinach, Spicy Red Mustard, Nasturtium Flowers, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Garlic Scapes!

Green Shallots, Spinach, Spicy Red Mustard, Nasturtium Flowers, Carrots, Sugar Snap Peas, and Garlic Scapes!

THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:

• Green Shallots (use like a sweet onion, with green onion tops)
• Garlic Scapes
• Baby Carrots
• Spinach
• Spicy Purple Mustard OR Cilantro
• Sugar Snap Peas
• Nasturtium Flowers

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

COMING SOON: Lettuces, Arugula, Baby Beets

This is a short and simple post just to let you know what you received in your share this week. We’ve hit high, busy season on the farm and we’re working about 60 hours per week planting, harvesting, weeding, and getting you your food!

The greenhouse peas are nearly finished and we’ll be waiting for a week or two until the outdoor peas are in full bloom. That experiment has turned out to be AMAZING, as we’ve already been harvesting and sharing sugar snaps with everyone for three weeks! That’s at least a month ahead of outdoor harvesting window. Pretty cool.

Our experiment with growing early Sugar Snap Peas in one of the greenhouses has been an overwhelming success. We started the plants in early February, and trellised them as high as we could. The vines reached eight feet tall, and then fell over. Nonetheless, they were loaded with peas and we've picked for four weeks.

Our experiment with growing early Sugar Snap Peas in one of the greenhouses has been an overwhelming success. We started the plants in early February, and trellised them as high as we could. The vines reached eight feet tall, and then fell over. Nonetheless, they were loaded with peas and we’ve picked for four weeks.

We continue to harvest greenhouse carrots planted in February, but other than that all the items your eating now are outside.

Potatoes, beans, the first round of broccoli and cauliflower, summer squash and cucumbers are all planted outside. The tomatoes are blooming. We’re getting ready to put the winter squash transplants outside this week, as well as the second round of broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbages, AND the Brussels sprouts for fall.

Please accept our apologies if we are difficult to communicate with for the next month. There really is very little time to spare as we get all the food planted!

Gabe, our new intern, has been doing a stellar job taking care of the U-Pick Garden this spring! The peas and strawberries are blooming and the we've had a hint of cut flowers blooming as well! It should be ready  just in time for the first Summer CSA pickup!

Gabe, our new intern, has been doing a stellar job taking care of the U-Pick Garden this spring! The peas and strawberries are blooming and the we’ve had a hint of cut flowers blooming as well! It should be ready just in time for the first Summer CSA pickup!

There are two weeks remaining of our Spring Season, and the Summer Season starts in just three weeks. June 17th is the first Tuesday pickup and Seattle delivery. I can’t believe it’s already here! Look for your startup email this week, and if you are signed up and don’t hear from me, please let me know!