Howdy friends & farm-ily!

It’s Week 7 of the CSA (yippee) and happy 4th of July!   These newsletters are always nice for us farmers to look back upon because so much can change in just one weeks time.  The weather, notably… 90 degree days, sunny, absolutely sweltering, really.. wasn’t it just rainy – albeit muggy – last week?  Thanks to the long days and sunshine everything continues to grow,grow,grow in the garden.  Whether it enjoys all the heat and sun or is holding on for dear life – it’s hard not to grow on so much sunshine.  Despite all of the rain last week we are on a pretty good watering cycle already.  All the greens, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers all perk up when the sun finally sets (the dewy morning is their favorite).  We did pick out first tomato though!  It’ll be a little while before the rest follow but there’s nothing more motivating than finding the first ripened red treasure (they’ll all be here before you know it!)  The animals have been laying low the past few days – seeking shade in the barn which gives us lots of opportunities for cow cuddles *here’s a really sweet video proving that Ellie is really good at those*… all the hot weather doesn’t give you much of a choice in taking a siesta during the hottest part of the day!

By now everyone is getting into the groove of the CSA.  Making more homecooked meals, feeling more confident in the kitchen, being open to trying new veggies!  We decided to keep the encouragement high as we near the halfway mark of the Spring & Summer CSA with some helpful tips for CSA success!  These aren’t all the ways to be successful as each person’s journey is there own but eating well, preparing food at home, being conscious of our own food journeys, and staying inspired and curious about nourishing ourselves, our families & friends is what it’s all about.  If anything, reading through these should encourage and make you feel great about the choice to sign up for CSA and be a part of your local farm!


The more veggies the better on homemade pizza!  Beets & feta… mmmmm

Meal planning.  This is a great way to utilize each weeks bounty.  For those who have their meals planned each week you know that planning goes as follows, pick recipes, make a list, purchase groceries.   That’s because we cook from the recipe, not from its ingredients. With CSA cooking the idea is to start planning your meals after you pick up your share.  If meal planning seems overwhelming, start with just a few planned meals a week.  This change in the process means cooking with what’s in season, and it’s a good habit to get into even without a CSA share.

Freezing and canning.  Our Week 4 newsletter is full of helpful information and places to start.  Don’t forget that although you’re enjoying your veggies now there’s something satisfying about saving your extras for later in the year!  We are on our last dozen jars of homemade tomato sauce and can’t express how lovely it is to pop open a jar of our summer tomatoes!

Leftovers.  If you have leftovers share with others or bring it back to the farm to feed the pigs/chickens or fuel the compost pile!  Throughout the week put any veggie scraps that you may have in a bucket or tupperware to bring to the farm and we’ll leave out a compost bin & animal bin to toss them into.  The farm works in a circle, as does nature,  and we are all a part of that.  There is no waste!

Enjoy eating new vegetables!  One of our greatest examples of this is the amount of people who grew up on boiled to death beets.. or worse, canned tasteless beets.  When people try the beets from the farm in a new way (roasted, in a salad, as burgers or even in brownies) they change their minds and there are so many things that contribute to that.  Mostly, it’s the openness of trying something new or trying something in a new way.  Branch out and explore your palette and see what tastes great to you.  You have your farmers to consult and a wealth of resources at your fingertips so don’t hesitate to be inspired!


It’s beginning to rain rainbow carrots here on the farm…

Get inspired by Seasonal Cookbooks & Recipe Blogs.  Books, such as, An Everlasting Meal, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s CookbookSimply in Season or The Flavor Bible .  Blogs, such as, The Year In Food, Smitten Kitchen, Naturall Ella or any of the others listed in the week 3 newsletter!

Eating in season!  We live in such a fertile part of the US and should relish in all the wonderful things that grow where we live.  Waiting for those first seasonal crops  can be hard after a winter of root veggies, brassicas, soups & bread but everything tastes that much sweeter (because it’s fresh, in season and grown just down the road in the dirt & in the open air!)  It’s easy to enjoy the conveniences of the grocery store (that’s what it’s their for) but we tell ya that waiting all winter and spring for that first seasonal vine ripened tomato is the best thing for ya!

Getting your fridge ready for fresh goodies!  Take the time the night before to make space for a new box of goodies, and to take inventory of any veggies that would love to be used up in a ‘end of the week’ stirfry or soup!  Making vegetable stock is always a happy solution for extra veggies – rough chop them, simmer them in a few quarts of water (a cup or two of veggies to one quart of water) for 30 – 40 minutes, and you have stock. Strain it, freeze it, and so versatile!  Flavorful, rich in vitamins and minerals.. we included a recipe in the Week 3 recipe sheet that has some helpful guidelines for making vegetable stock!


Our first tomato to ripen – of the extra early Siletz variety we are trying (one of 25 different varieties we’re growing)!

Processing & Storing your veggies for the week.  It’s many hours, days, love & light that go into producing vegetables.  From the seed starting process, to being transplanted, weeded & taken care of, to harvesting.. it can be anywhere from 2-5 months before a veggie is brought to your home.  So it’s important to properly process the vegetables in order to preserve their integrity through the week.  Such as washing all your greens, chopping them up and putting them into a pyrex with a damp towel.  This helps make more room in the fridge and maintain their moisture better.  It’s also helpful to separate your greens from the root veggies (as they tend to draw the moisture out of the veggie).  Something appear to be wilting?  Throw it in some icy cold water for 30 minutes and it will perk right back up!  See next bullet for a video on processing!

An Everlasting Meal. In this book Tamar Adler reminds us of ‘forgotten skills such as boiling, suggestions for what to do when cooking seems like a chore, and strategies for preparing, storing, and transforming ingredients for a week’s worth of satisfying, delicious meals.’ Here’s a little video that reminds us of the practical pleasures of eating – of just how washing or soaking the greens, pre-roasting/cooking, & storing veggies can make for many more homemade meals in a busy week, increase the longevity of the produce and make cooking enjoyable (as it should be!)


When in doubt – roast!  (then you’ll be doubly sure of it next time… MMM)

More veggies, please.  Add or double the amount of vegetables in your meals!  See how many different vegetables you can pack in to what you’re already cooking,

Eat or drink vegetables for breakfast! For breakfast try a simple sautee with greens & garlic, biscuits, with eggs, in a quiche or veggie pancakes Drink your veggies!  There are so many great veggie drinks out there (heck, we just enjoyed an apple, kale, strawberry & carrot smoothie) – whatever is in there give it a go!

As your CSA farmers our responsibility is to provide you with the most nutrient rich, organic, thoughtfully- grown – with love, fresh picked, local produce!   To grow produce according to the seasons and to the best of our abilities.  To introduce you to new kinds of produce & new ways to prepare it!  To encourage you to enjoy your time in the kitchen, be playful and to have fun.  After you pick up that crate full of bounty we pass the torch to you.  We’re a part of each others food journey and we look forward to hearing week to week about what you’re cooking, what was eaten first and what you really enjoyed.  It completes our food journey here on the farm to hear and see how the hard work is being utilized and enjoyed!


A new perspective of the farm from the window of a friend’s 60 year old single prop plane… amazing!  

Enjoy the journey and stay inspired!  We hope you have something fun planned for the 4th.  Don’t forget to set out or bring back your crates & berry boxes.  We’ll see you all real soon!

with fondest regards,

your farmers

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts

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