CSA Newsletter Week #8

newsletter with photo

Sultry summer nights don’t characterize Oregon overly  much–at least not like I remember from our years in Illinois and Tennessee. But occasionally the warmth of a hot summer day lingers, and I’m beckoned outside to the porch off our bedroom for a night of sleep. I slept well last night, under a full moon, kept company by quiet night sounds. This morning Mark and I ate our oatmeal and berries in the rocking chairs on the back porch. The morning felt so still. Reverently quiet and pristine.

Turns out thunder storms, as rare as sultry summer nights, were rolling in, bringing cooler temperatures and a bit of wet to refresh our hot, dry spot of Earth. Starting tomorrow the greater Portland area heads into another hot week. We’ll begin harvesting a bit earlier on Monday and Thursday mornings, and recommend our CSA members come on the early side of the pick-up time if you can.

Speaking of harvesting, I’ve been writing about it in the food book I’m working on. It seems appropriate to share my description of a Fern Creek harvest:

We start at 8 o’clock in the morning, gathering with our apprentices for a devotional reflection to set the day. Then we head to the Hazelnut Patch to harvest various greens and fennel, and we collect the berries (through July) before they, or us, grow overly warm. From the Trellis Garden we’ll gather snow and snap peas and later in the season pole beans and tomatoes. And from the main fields we’ll dig potatoes, and bring in corn, beets and carrots, eggplant, squash, and cucumbers.

We welcome the morning before the Oregon sun–temperate though it may be–has a chance to exact too much from us, or the fruits and vegetables that we will harvest. I find it oddly comforting when I am feeling a bit scorched and wilted to remember that we depend on the sun–that hot star—to make food grow.

May you find creative ways to enjoy this summer heat–and keep adequately cool enough in it!


Anticipated in the Marketsquash-&-beans

Marionberries or Raspberries
Pristine Apple (a sample!)
Yellow Beans
Red Ace Beets
Yukon Gem Potatoes
Butterstick & Crookneck
Walla Walla Onions
Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian & Siberian)
Rainbow Chard
Mint & Garlic

Pick Two

Purple Cabbage
Pullet Eggs


New from the Field:

Walla Walla OnionsIMG_2326

The sweet Walla Walla onions are ready! To celebrate, we’ll treat ourselves to fried Walla Walla onion rings several times in the next couple of months. Walla Walla onions are not long-term storage onions–but they will keep for a month or so. Store them in a cool, dry, dark place, like a drawer in your kitchen or in your pantry, or simply on the kitchen counter. Don’t refrigerate them. They are wonderfully mild for grilling, sauteeing or eating fresh on salads or burgers. Enjoy them while we have them!  

Summer Squash: Zucchini, Crookneck, Butterstick & Patty Pan

The summer squash has arrived! You’ll be getting lots of this versatile vegetable, and some recipes will follow. Check out this Cranberry Zucchini Bread for starters. Below are some facts about summer squash.

  • It takes about 6 visits from bees for every summer squash flower to become adequately pollenated so that it will move from flower to squash. You can thank Emma, June, Lucy and Grace on your way out. Without them, and a bunch of other pollinating insects, our garden would be less abundant.
  • All summer squashes can be shredded and frozen raw for use in quick and yeast breads later. I freeze them in 2 c. amounts for easy pull out, thaw, and use. Though frankly I’d rather just make the bread and freeze it. When I do use frozen shredded squash I recommend squeezing out some of the liquid.
  • Store zucchini and summer squash in a zip lock bag in the fridge for 10 days to 2 weeks.
  • Blossoms are eatable if you grow summer squash at home and are getting more squash than you can eat. Pick them when they are still a full flower and before they begin to form a squash. Fill them gently with medium or sharp cheddar cheese (or a cheese of your choice) and saute a couple minutes on medium heat. Flip once. These are Amazing!


Junior Farmer Corner

Bean Teepee Update

Bean Teepee Update

Looks like it will be another warm week. Below you will find some indoor activities and worksheets to stay busy while cooling off indoors!

  • Here are some flashcards to color, print, and quiz!
  • Alphabetize these healthy words
  • Can you unscramble these fruits and vegetables?
  • Fun mealtime conversation and question cards

    The Pole Beans are starting to vine!

    The Pole Beans are starting to vine!








Weekly Recipes

Pizza with Broccoli, Roasted Onions and Olives
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

Makes one 12-inch pizza

1 medium yellow onion
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 sprig thyme (optional)
1 bunch broccoli
1 clove garlic
1 pinch hot pepper flakes

Pizza dough for one recipes (super-simple recipe here and an almost as simple recipe here)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
16 niçoise olives, pitted
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Dice the onion and toss it in a small ovenproof sauté pan with a pinch of salt and enough olive oil to coat lightly, and the leaves of the thyme. Put the pan in the oven to roast, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked and golden, about 30 minutes.

While the onion is roasting, wash and drain the broccoli, remove the heavy stems, and roughly chop the leaves and sprouts into coarse chiffonade. There should be enough to make about 2 cups. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat a large sauté pan and coat it with olive oil. Add the broccoli, season with salt, pepper, and the hot pepper flakes, and fry over high heat until the broccoli is tender. Add the garlic and fry, tossing, for a few seconds.

When the onions are done, take them out of the oven and turn the heat up to 450° to 500°F. Put a pizza stone in the oven. Roll out of shape a 12- to 14-inch disk of pizza dough and slide it onto a floured pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, leave a 1/2-inch boarder dry. Evenly sprinkle the cheese on the oiled surface,spread the onions over, and top with the broccoli and the olives. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone in the oven and bake from 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is brown and crisp. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on it, slice and serve.


Walla Walla Onion Rings (The link above offers one more mouth-watering picture and a bit more editorial comment!)onionrings

Cut one large or two medium Walla Walla onions into thick slices, separate and put in shallow dish.  Mix 1/2 c. yogurt thinned with 1/2 c. milk or use 1 c. buttermilk (or 1 c. milk combined with 1 Tbsp. vinegar) and pour over the slices. Stir to coat well. Let set 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a plastic bag combine 1 c. flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, salt & pepper to taste and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Heat about 1/4 inch canola oil in skillet. Once hot, shake several rings at a time in the bag to coat. Place in skillet and cook on each side until browned.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and repeat until all the rings are fried.  Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes for a finishing crisp.

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