8/2/2019 - Week 7 - The Fox

THIS WEEK'S HARVEST

Rainbow Carrots, Fennel, Japanese Slicing Cucumbers, Lemon Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Fresh Onions, Italian Late Softneck Garlic, Purple Daikon, Spicy Mustard Mix, Eggplant, Red Russian Kale, Green Magic Broccoli, Rainbow Chard, Hearts-Aglow Lettuce Mix, Red Butter Lettuce and Red to the Heart Romaine

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U-PICK

  • Dried English Shelling Peas

  • Amethyst Green Beans: See Week 5’s newsletter for harvest tips

  • Cherry Tomatoes: See below for a rundown of our varieties

  • Frying Peppers: Shishito, Black Hungarian, Padrón / See Week 2's newsletter for harvest tips

  • Jalapeños: Located below the frying peppers

  • Strawberries

  • Pickling Cucumbers: 2 gallon season limit * See below for instructions

  • Herbs: Italian Basil, Tulsi Basil, Thai Basil, Purple Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Lemon balm, Lemon Verbena, Perennial Cilantro, Annual Cilantro, French Sorrel, Onion Chives, Garlic Chives, Shiso, Tarragon, Oregano, Thyme, Chamomile, Mints, Dill

  • Flowers!

Find me behind the sunflowers in the garden!

Find me behind the sunflowers in the garden!

GARLIC PRIMER

We love garlic. We grew four varieties this year and are introducing our second this week, the “Italian Late Softneck”. Here’s a rundown of the varieties will be enjoying throughout the year.

2019’s garlic varieties, from L to R: Duganski Hardneck, Italian Late Softneck, Creole Hardneck, Lorz Italian Softneck

2019’s garlic varieties, from L to R: Duganski Hardneck, Italian Late Softneck, Creole Hardneck, Lorz Italian Softneck

  • Creole Hardneck: What we’ve been eating since week 2. A rare, prized garlics from Spain and southern France. One of the easiest eating raw garlics owing to a taste that is full, but pleasantly warm rather than hot.

  • Italian Late Softneck: Out this week! A long storing, artichoke garlic, with a robust, rich taste. We had a great harvest, this will be a staple for us this year.

  • Duganski Hardneck: A deep, earthy, almost musky flavored garlic that many garlic lovers prize. Few, large cloves, and downright pretty.

  • Lorz Italian Softneck: The beautiful garlic hanging up in the pick-up barn. A superb heirloom garlic brought to Washington State's Columbia River Basin in the early 1900s by the Lorz family when they emigrated from Italy. This flavorful softneck garlic has a robust, bold and spicy flavor that lingers in dishes. Try it in pasta or mashed potatoes, or simply roasted. We will be saving seed from this one.

Don’t forget this beautiful article and recipe for French Provence Grand Garlic Aioli. A perfect vehicle to taste test all four.

CHERRY TOMATO PRIMER

We planted four cherry tomato varieties this year, each unique in their own way. They are starting to ripen en masse. Here’s who we’ve got out there:

2019’s cherry tomato lineup, from L to R: Supersweet 100, Pink Princess, Copper Beauty, and Sungold cherry tomatoes

2019’s cherry tomato lineup, from L to R: Supersweet 100, Pink Princess, Copper Beauty, and Sungold cherry tomatoes

  • Supersweet 100: A classic red cherry tomato for a shock of red sweet tang in your salad. Ripest and when deep scarlet red. We find they are sweetest a day or two after harvest.

  • Copper Beauty: Our first time growing this one and we are falling in love. A gorgeous, oblong variety. Mellow, very low acid, sugar sweet. Ripe when auburn red, with copper gold streaks. Slower to ripen, lots of green fruit, stay tuned.

  • Pink Princess: Developed by an Oxen driving seed saving wizard in Massachusetts, this gem is becoming a GVCFarm favorite. Mellow, sweet, almost melon flavored, quirky sizes and egg shapes, in a firm, matte, soft pink skin. Ripe when pink.

  • Sungold: The sun... captured. An unbeatable classic. Ripe when deep orange. Candy sweet, super productive, it's not summer until you've had a handful of Sungolds.

ENGLISH SHELLING PEAS

This is probably the last week of English Shelling Peas. Most are now dried peas and should be soaked, cooked, and seasoned like you were treat a dried bean. Split pea soup, ahoy!

PICKLING CUCUMBERS

If you're interested in pickling cucumbers this year, please sign up on the pickling cucumber interest list next to the sign-up sheet in the barn. We'll let you know via email when you're next on the pick list based on order of sign-up. The current season limit is 2 gallons per share.

Picking instructions: Bring something you can estimate 2 gallons with, or one of the white buckets below the sign-in table to pick into. Find the pickling cucumber bed out on the farm marked with yellow flags. They’re in the far left field. Comb through the plants gently, doing your best not to step on the vines or the adjacent bed. The ideal sized pickling cucumber is around 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Bigger is great. Please don't pick them much smaller than this so they can size up for the next pickers. If you use the farm bucket, please transfer your cukes to another container and put the bucket back below the sign-in table. Check the box next to your name that says you have picked.

Check out Kate Seely’s tried and true pickling cucumber recipe for pickling instructions.

VOLUNTEER WEDNESDAYS, 8:00-10:00 AM

Interested in some farm therapy? Come out on Wednesday mornings as help tend garden and farm together! Find us in the garden or out in the main fields on Wednesdays from 8:00am 'til 10:00 am. People of all abilities welcome, we’ll find something comfortable for you to do!

REMINDERS

2019 Harvest Pick-up, June 22nd - December 21st.

  • Saturdays from 9am - 1pm

  • Tuesdays from 1pm - 6pm

    U-pick 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.

If you ever cannot u-pick something due to illness or injury, please let us know and we can pick for you.

A mile of Fall crops in the ground this week!

A mile of Fall crops in the ground this week!

FARMER’S LOG

An osprey flew over the farm this week. We couldn’t help but watch it fly over and think of the privilege and responsibility it is to farm in such a wild place.

The first day Kayta and I worked in these fields was a stormy day in December 2016. I was taking out an old livestock fence in the middle one of our fields, when out from a tiny tunnel in a thicket of grape rootstock and blackberries, popped a juvenile grey fox just a few feet from my leg. I froze. She didn’t know I was there. It was raining so hard that her keen smell and hearing must have been dampened.

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She scanned the open ground ahead of her and sniffed the air; her black eyes were alert, fresh, and clear; her torso bounced up and down in a quick rhythm as she sniffed; her heather grey fur was matted from the rain, the wet tips black. She stayed there for so long I started to imagine she was my puppy at heel, out on the hunt together.

She must finally caught my scent, froze, and deftly vanished back into the bramble.

Seasons turned. Years passed.

We’ve farmed that meadow for about three years now, doing what we can to ensure it remains a home for the wild beings that were here before us and maybe a few more. And we are often heartened by who we see (or see sings of) making the fields part of their lives. Owls, diurnal raptors and myriad songbirds, bobcats, coyotes, an egret, a heron, skunks and raccoons… But when I’m in that spot where I stood with the fox, I think of her.

It is covered in winter squash now. And the farm on this hot August afternoon was a bustling, dusty, loud place — a far cry from that serene winter morning. If she missed me then, she wouldn't now.

Is she still alive? Does she still slink stealthily through this meadow? I’ll never know, but I’d like to think so.

The other morning Kayta was up in the garden checking on a new planting. Some markings caught her eye.

Fox tracks on the landscape fabric.

This place is still wild. Let’s keep it that way.

See you in the fields,

David and Kayta

Illustrations by Kayta featured in The Heart of Tracking by Richard Vacha from Mount Vision Press

Illustrations by Kayta featured in The Heart of Tracking by Richard Vacha from Mount Vision Press

7/26/19 - Week 6 - July Emptiness

THIS WEEK'S HARVEST

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Rainbow Carrots, Fennel, Olympian Cucumbers, Lemon Cucumbers, Summer Squash and Zucchini, Slicing Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Gaurdsman Scallions, Creole Hardneck Garlic, Purple Daikon, Arugula, Bunched Mustard Greens, Farao Cabbage, Dino Kale, Siberian Kale, Green Magic Broccoli, Rainbow Chard, Speckled Amish Butter Lettuce, Red Butter, Little Gems & assorted head lettuces

U-PICK

  • English Shelling Peas: Winding down, see below for late pea harvest tips

  • Amethyst Green Beans: See last week’s newsletter for harvest tips

  • Cherry Tomatoes: See below for a cherry tomato primer

  • Frying Peppers: Shishito, Black Hungarian, Padrón / See Week 2's newsletter for harvest tips

  • Jalapeños: Located below the frying peppers

  • Strawberries

  • Pickling Cucumbers: 2 gallon season limit * See below for instructions

  • Herbs: Italian Basil, Tulsi Basil, Thai Basil, Purple Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary, Lemon balm, Lemon Verbena, Perennial Cilantro, Annual Cilantro, French Sorrel, Onion Chives, Garlic Chives, Shiso, Tarragon, Oregano, Thyme, Camomile, Mints, Dill

  • Flowers!

It’s going to be hot on Saturday! Highly recommend a morning visit to the garden!

It’s going to be hot on Saturday! Highly recommend a morning visit to the garden!

Cherry Tomato Primer

We planted four cherry tomato varieties this year, each unique in their own way. They are starting to ripen en masse. Here’s who we’ve got out there:

  • Supersweet 100: A classic red cherry tomato for a shock of red sweet tang in your salad. Ripest and sweetest when deep scarlet red.

  • Copper Beauty: Our first time growing this one and we are falling in love. A gorgeous, oblong variety. Mellow, very low acid, sugar sweet. Ripe when auburn red, with copper gold streaks. Slower to ripen, lots of green fruit, stay tuned.

  • Pink Princess: Developed by an Oxen driving seed saving wizard in Massachusetts, this gem is becoming a GVCFarm favorite. Mellow, sweet, almost melon flavored, quirky sizes and egg shapes, in a firm, matte, soft pink skin. Ripe when pink.

  • Sungold: The sun... captured. An unbeatable classic. Ripe when deep orange. Candy sweet, super productive, it's not summer until you've had a handful of Sungolds.

2019’s cherry tomato lineup, from L to R: Supersweet 100, Pink Princess, Copper Beauty, and Sungold cherry tomatoes

2019’s cherry tomato lineup, from L to R: Supersweet 100, Pink Princess, Copper Beauty, and Sungold cherry tomatoes

PRESERVING THE HARVEST

A section of the newsletter listing bulk / preservable crops available this week to help you stock your larder!

Pickling Cucumbers: U-pick // 2 gallon season limit

PICKLING CUCUMBERS

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If you're interested in pickling cucumbers this year, please sign up on the pickling cucumber interest list next to the sign-up sheet in the barn. We'll let you know via email when you're next on the pick list based on order of sign-up. The current season limit is 2 gallons per share.

Picking instructions: Bring something you can estimate 2 gallons with, or one of the white buckets below the sign-in table to pick into. Find the pickling cucumber bed out on the farm marked with yellow flags. They’re in the far left field. Comb through the plants gently, doing your best not to step on the vines or the adjacent bed. The ideal sized pickling cucumber is around 4 inches long and 1 inch thick. Bigger is great. Please don't pick them much smaller than this so they can size up for the next pickers. If you use the farm bucket, please transfer your cukes to another container and put the bucket back below the sign-in table.

Check out Kate Seely’s tried and true pickling cucumber recipe for pickling instructions.

ENGLISH SHELLING PEAS

Mature English Shelling Peas

Mature English Shelling Peas

Our patch of English Shelling Peas is still loaded but has now entered a new phase. The youngest greenest ones are great raw or cooked slightly. The oldest, plumpest, and firmest should now be cooked and seasoned, and can be treated somewhat similarly to a dried bean. These are dried peas now! Split pea soup anyone?

Open the peas by snapping the little “hat” formerly connected to the vine and pulling down the spine of the pea, opening the pod like a zipper. Check out this amazing Springtime Spaghetti Carbonara recipe from New York Times for the younger peas.


KATHY’S ELEGANT BROCCOLI

Kayta’s mom Kathy is a master in the kitchen. She cooked an elegant broccoli side last night that was as delicious as it was simple. This technique can be applied to many (any?) vegetables, not just broccoli.

Cut the broccoli up, leaves and stems, and all, into nice long bitesized florets. Boil water and salt the water like you would a soup. (The salt is important as it imbues into the broccoli). Throw in the broccoli and cook until done but still firm (not soggy!). Take the broccoli out of water and cool the broccoli off in cold water to stop the cooking process.

In a pan, heat up olive oil. Put chopped garlic and 1 or 2 anchovies (miso and soy sauce for vegans) in the oil. Cook garlic and anchovies on a low heat until the anchovies melt and the garlic is fragrant and soft.

Throw in the broccoli, turn up the heat a little, and sauté the broccoli in the yummy garlic anchovy garlic oil until it’s a little caramelized. Careful not to burn the garlic.

Add lemon juice and serve!

This recipe is a great way to cook the amethyst green beans and cabbage this week too.

VOLUNTEER WEDNESDAYS, 8:00-10:00 AM

Interested in some farm therapy? Come out on Wednesday mornings as help tend garden and farm together! Find us in the garden or out in the main fields on Wednesdays from 8:00am 'til 10:00 am. People of all abilities welcome, we’ll find something comfortable for you to do!

REMINDERS

2019 Harvest Pick-up, June 22nd - December 21st.

  • Saturdays from 9am - 1pm

  • Tuesdays from 1pm - 6pm

    Please fill your bag before the end time so we can pack up on time and rest!

    U-pick open 7 days a week, sunrise to sunset.

If you ever cannot u-pick something due to illness or injury, please let us know and we can pick for you.

FARMER’S LOG

This time of year it is hard to find time to write one’s thoughts down… the rhythm of the steady, bulky harvests drowns them out with an ever increasing tempo. The sun blares down. It’s hard to think about anything but the farm. To sneak in planting and seeding and other tasks in the margins, your only thoughts are farm thoughts, your only feelings are farm feelings. You must remain disciplined, focused… you can’t miss a beat.

This week we turned the farm another turn towards Fall, further preparing what is becoming our Fall field, the field down closest to Green Valley creek, for a half mile of Carrots, and a half mile of Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli and Romanesco to be planted next week. We trellised tomatoes. We planted cucumbers, lettuce, and baby Napa cabbage. Kayta’s lovely parents came to town on Wednesday; we caught up in the Onion rows. The Kubota broke down. We fixed it.

Our internal lives — our emotions, dreams, and whimsies — can feel far away at this time or year; shoved aside by harvest and urgent needs in the field. But at the same time we never feel more full.

There is a strange fullness in being so busy as to be empty.

Then, the swelling corn stalks can lift you up to the eaves. The heat is your sorrow. The flowering potatoes are your whimsical thoughts. And the simple things — a good sip of coffee, a crew mate’s joke, an Osprey flying over the farm, a good harvest — can fill you up to the brim.

See you in the fields,

David and Kayta

Vebena, Coriopsis and Rudbeckia blooming in the West garden. Now that’s a whimsical thought.

Vebena, Coriopsis and Rudbeckia blooming in the West garden. Now that’s a whimsical thought.