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CSA Pick up for August 21st

2013 September 3
by sarah
Last week Bubba and I missed out on CSA pick up because we were speaking with all of the folks at North Valley Friends Church about what, why, and how we do what we do. We had a great time discussing and answering questions from everything about what a weekly CSA box includes to how to properly slaughter a chicken. I think my favorite question of the night came from a gentlemen who asked why he should chose to buy his food from local farmers rather than just go to the store- what makes what we do so special? I love answering this question because the answer is not to sell someone on buying product from our farm. The answer is because its good for the community. I explained to the gentlemen, for me it was an economics choice. You see, I live and work in this community- which means I also spend the majority of my time and available resources here. I know I’m just one person and one household, but if I could chose to give my money and resources to other community members who live and work here too, rather than send it off around the nation (and world) I would rather do so. I might be part of the lower 1% but I still contribute to local economic conditions, so I’m going do so in hopes that it benefits my community members. All of you have made that same decision by subscribing to a local CSA for the season. It may not seem like much but it has a significant ripple effect when the local businesses you support source support items from other local vendors.
This week our house came down with the stomach virus that’s going around. Everything will be set up for your pick up and we will probably be home but we may keep our distance this evening. We do not want to share that nasty bug with anyone, especially little ones who are preparing to head back to school next week.

In your boxes:

Beans: I know it might feel out of season to make a green bean casserole but I went for it last week since we were over run in beans.
Tomatoes
Garlic
Onion
Potatoes
Much more
NO LETTUCE! Aren apologized for not having lettuce this week, which doesn’t bother us I assured him. Thanks to a low germination and significant harvests the last week or two, Aren is running short this week on his leafy greens.

Happy last week of summer break everyone (can’t believe I’m saying that)! See you all this evening between 4-7!

CSA Pick-up for August 14th!

2013 August 15
by sarah
Bubba, Ulysses and I have been making it a habit to attend the Newberg Farmer’s Market on Tuesdays during the lunch hour. Our hope is to be a number- attendees that get reported on a survey somewhere that says: Get bigger! Bring more vendors! Roll it into Tunes on Tuesdays so that people actually can attend! Find more farmers to participate!
So yesterday we were really pleased to see small farmers and gardeners with an abundance to share set up their tables and tents and watch the lunch time crowd start to snatch up things like heirloom tomatoes, lemon cucumbers, homemade jams and fresh baked breads. It means that people are paying attention. Not just to the food that they are eating but to the people that are producing it. Exchanging smiles and kind words, pleases and thank yous, which goes far and above the conversation-less interactions that happen when we take the u-scan line at the checkout because its convenient. All that to say, we hope that the Newberg Farmer’s Market will grow, and get more convenient and a weekly event that the community looks forward to as a chance to interact with their friends, family and food.
In this week’s CSA boxes:
Tomatoes- Tomatoes are my mid and late summer berry. They get eaten like candy right now and I went and got myself a large tub of mozzarella pearls just so that I had equal parts tomato and cheese for my on-demand snacking.

Potatoes- We eat a lot of potatoes during the winter so during the summer time I like to make sure that potatoes aren’t mashed or fried and keep them light. If you roast or slow boil them whole and just long enough that they are cooked through then slice them lengthwise in wedges and let them cool to room temperature I like to dip them in aioli or toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on top of a salad.

Beans: Romanos, Yellow Wax and Purple

Basil
Parsley- If you haven’t tried it before, this is a great Tabbouleh recipe that will taste like heaven with the fresh tomatoes and parsley
Onion
Garlic
Squash- Feeling overloaded in zucchini? I put the grating attachment on my food processor and grate the excess and just freeze it into 2 cup portions for later use. Come winter, its nice to pull out a package, drain the excess liquid and make fritters or bread.

Cucumber

Traveling pig farmers

2013 August 15
by sarah
*I realized I never posted this from two weeks ago and I wanted to share about our time with Travis and Brian from Hood’s Heritage Hogs around the breakfast table.
Welcome to tomato season!

It’s finally here! Which means that we will officially transition our home from consuming large quantities of berries to large quantities of tomatoes until November. Tomatoes will be present at nearly every meal in some format or another. Because like berries, they are always better in season and should be savored at their freshest.

I’m waiting for a call this afternoon from Travis Hood of Hood’s Heritage Hogs in Indiana. Bubba and I follow Travis on instagram (hawgfarmer) and enjoy his commentary that might only be appreciated fully by fellow porcine loving people. He just happens to be in town picking up a boar from our friends Jim and Wendy at Heritage Farms Northwest and we said we’d buy him a beer since he drove 2600 miles. Seems fair right? Over the few years we’ve been cultivating our small operation we’ve made some really interesting connections all over the world (literally). Regardless of distance, language, size of operation, and customer base the one thing we appreciate about meeting farmers is that we’re all in the same stall. Every day we get up and feed the animals that is eventually going to feed us. We mourn the loss of animals that we help bring into this world and we are humbled by them when we take them out of it for our purposes. We love what we do despite there being no days off, working in sometimes grueling conditions and don’t usually have a dime to show for it. We’ve never met Travis face-to-face but we’re looking forward to meeting him today and sharing a few stories and bad jokes before he gets in his truck again tomorrow at 5am to make the 36-hour drive back to his home in Indiana. UPDATE: Turns out we shared breakfast with Travis and Brian- which can be a daunting thing to do when you’re hosting two men, whom you’ve never met, at your family table. So I just did what I know best- bake and cook through the night, like I’m preparing for the opening of a bakery and hope that there is something that everyone will like. So amidst a mountain of pancakes, trays of cinnamon rolls and offerings of fruit, we sipped coffee and compared notes about the usual things: blood lines, bandaging gaping open wounds, the number of piglets in relation to the number of teats, all the usual things. We recognize though, our common denominator is we wouldn’t be doing this kind of work without our committed families, friends and community members who support us. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to maintain our operations and the purpose or need to keep the heritage breeds alive and thriving. We sent Travis and Brian with a tray of cinnamon rolls for the road Thursday morning, and look forward to visiting them in Kentucky soon.

This week you’ll see the mid-summer shift in your boxes and this week marks the half-way point in the CSA Summer Season.

Beans
Tomatoes: Aren says this week we will mostly see cherry tomatoes and the salad sized slicers but the big un’s are a comin. I see bruschetta happening from my kitchen this week.
Cucumber: Honestly, I’m a big fan of just slicing a cucumber into spears, sprinkling with salt and snacking away. Pickles and salad toppings and cucumber sandwiches aside- they’re just good on their own.
Lettuce
Onion
Garlic: I have ears of corn leftover from canning this weekend and I’m thinking it would be mighty tasty to make a garlic butter spread for them. How can you go wrong?

Additionals: I’d bet money this is going to include zucchini. If you yet, try making zucchini pancakes and serve them with sour cream and salsa. Just one more way to disguise zucchini into something.