2017 CSA Weeks 20/21

~~Your items that you do not need to keep in your fridge this week are: winter squash (acorn, Red Kuri, Buttercup), garlic, shallots, yellow onions ~~~


CSA week 20/21

Yellow Onions - 1.5#
Shallots - 1#
Garlic - 3/4#
Buttercup Squash - 1
Red Kuri Squash - 1
Acorn Squash - 1
Lettuce Mix - partial bag
Carrots - partial bundle
Hakuri Turips - partial bundle
Rainbow Chard - partial bundle
Cilantro - partial bundle

Yellow Onions - 2#
Shallots - 1.5# 
Garlic - 1# 
Buttercup Squash - 1 large
Red Kuri Squash - 1 large 
Acorn Squash - 1 large
Lettuce Mix - bag 
Carrots - bundle 
Hakuri Turips - bundle 
Rainbow Chard - bundle 
Cilantro - bundle

I like to hold off on cooking with pumpkin until after the fall equinox. This year to celebrate the beginning of fall we had our first baked pumpkin of the year and enjoyed yummy pumpkin pancakes.

Having a time and season for everything does bring an appreciation to the things you love. Whether that is the first fresh salad of the season, the two weeks a year of fresh garlic scapes, the first hill of new potatoes, or the winter squash that is the gift that just keeps on giving through fall and winter.

We have been so happy to have each and every one of your families join us this year for seasonal, bountiful, fresh produce.

We love this time of year and are sad to say goodbye to what’s been such a ~wonderful~ CSA season.

As the season starts to taper down we no longer have the quantities available to fill CSA boxes every week; our season shifts from harvesting three days a week to one, and having four days a week to get all our end of season field work done.

We’ll be busy topping our garden beds with compost, planting cover crops to protect the soil over the long winter. We also switch gears mid October and start getting all our infrastructure and maintenance projects done for the year.

If you are missing our veggies after the end of CSA season you can find us at:

*Farmstand on Thursdays from 5-6 pm through October

*Kalispell Farmers market FVCC through October 14; 9 am -12:30am
rain, shine, sleet, hail, or blizzard we’ll be there!

*Kalispell Farmers market Indoor Market
Fairground Expo building Saturday Oct 21; 9am - 3pm
We also have baby greens, micro greens, and a few other items available at both Mountain Valley Foods and Natural Grocers.

Now! What to cook with your final precious box of CSA vegetables?

I know winter squash can be intimidating to cook with if it’s not a normal part of your cooking routine.
This is a good intro to how to cook winter squash:

It’s difficult to grow butternut squash in our climate and we’ve found both Red Kuri and Buttercup squash make a great substitute for the classic butternut squash soup.

If you are wanting to make a casserole this week the red kuri squash would pair beautifully with your rainbow chard to make this warming casserole:

Look at this AWESOME list of winter squash recipes:

So many delicious recipes to choose from! I love this collection because it really shows off what a versatile food winter squash is; great in casseroles, curries, soups, and stews. Delicious baked into fall muffins and breads.

Mmmmm….muffins and breads….
Something about the shifting of the seasons always makes us ready to turn on the oven.
Here is a Delicious pumpkin bar recipe for using you pie pumpkin!

or if your feeling like turning your humble pumpkin into something super fancy and delicious:

We are so thankful to have you as part of our 2017 CSA community! We look forward to seeing you again in the spring. Take care and be well!

~ Kindly, Jay and Mandy, and the Lower Valley Farm crew.

2017 Week 19 CSA

~~Your items that you do not need to keep in your fridge this week are: red onions, garlic, and delicata squash~~

After much thought and discussion Jay and I have decided to try something new (to us) this year and do a double value box for the last week of CSA. We know how much you all love storage crops including the garlic, onions, shallots, and winter squash. We have enough of these this year to save you all a trip of picking up your CSA box the last two weeks and combine the last two boxes into one!

CSA week 19

Beets - partial bundle
Basil - partial bundle
Zucchini - 1
Cucumbers - 2
Arugula - partial bag
Delicata Squash - medium
Garlic - 1
Red Onions - 2
Eggplant - 2 small or 1 medium

Beets - bundle 
Basil - bundle 
Zucchini - 1-2
Cucumbers - 2-3
Arugula - bag 
Delicata Squash - large
Garlic - 2
Red Onions - 3
Eggplant -1 large or 2 medium 

After it being so warm for so long we are really looking forward to turning on the oven and doing some baking this week. One of our absolute favorite fall foods is delicata squash dipped in homemade garlic mayo.

Roasted Delicata Chips With Spicy Mayo
Cut your delicata squash in half lengthwise, scoop the goop, and cut into 3/8 inch ‘half moons’ and bake at 350 until crispy (depends how thick you cut them and how much moisture is in the squash) about 25-35 minutes. When lightly brown and crispy, remove from oven.

Garlic Mayo- we love making mayo but if you don’t have time to make homemade mayo you can use your favorite mayo brand and add garlic to it by; mincing garlic in a blender or food processor, add a bit of lemon juice and one cup mayo. Want an extra spicy kick? Add some Sriracha sauce or Tobasco sauce. Delicata chips dipped in garlic mayo is just about the best thing ever.

I’m looking forward to having arugula and cucumbers this week but I’m also looking forward to roasting some beets and making an eggplant casserole with a healthy amount of cheese.

We’ll also be making some pesto to eat with all our roasted vegetables this week.

We are so surprised that the basil, eggplant, cucs, and zucs are still producing prolifically enough to feed 100 families this week! Wow! What a summer it has been.
If you want any extra storage veggies next week just let us know!

Storage Crops Orders for Week of September 25th
Name ____________
Phone Number____________ Do you Text at the Number? Y / N
CSA Pick-Up Site _____________________

Storage Onions-shelf life 3 months at room temperature in a well ventilated storage area
Red Onions ______ pounds Yellow Onions__________pounds

Shallots-shelf life 3 months at room temperature in a well ventilated storage area
Shallots ______ pounds

Garlic-other than the garlic going in CSA we are not selling any garlic this year. This is the most beautiful garlic we have ever seen and we are keeping it to plant and have much more garlic next year (each clove gets planted and becomes a head for next year).

Winter Squash-if storing in a garage or basement put a piece of cardboard on concrete. Store in a place that doesn’t freeze. Freezing will ruin your squash. An attached garage or cool basement is usually a great storage space.

Acorn Squash-unfortunately we will not have enough for sales this year. BUT! We will have acorn squash in the shares for week 20/21. (Apparently voles really like to eat acorn squash)

Buttercup-$1.49/# stores up to 3 months. This has become our favorite winter squash; it is versatile and good either sweet or savory.
weigh ~2# each ______ each

Delicata stores 2 months $1.89/#
weigh ~1.5-2# each ______ each

Spahgetti Squash $1.29/#
stores 2 months
weigh ~3# each ______ each

Red Kuri $1.19/#
stores up to 6 months. This beautiful thick skinned squash will keep the longest of all our storage squash. We love it’s texture in soups, stews, and curries.
Weigh 4-8# each _____ each

Pie Pumpkin $1.29/#
stores up to 4 moths.
Weigh 2.5-5# each ______ each

Green Tomatoes $1/# _______ pounds

Happy Autumn!

2017 CSA Week 18

~~We are experimenting with having everything in the box for pickup. Your items that you do not need to keep in your fridge this week are; tomatoes, onions, shallots, and spaghetti squash~~

Radish - partial bundle
Parsley - partial bundle
Carrots - partial bundle
Zucchini/patty pan - 1
Cucumbers - 2
Kohlrabi - 2 each
Lettuce Mix - partial bag
Tomato Medley -  ~pint
Spahgetti Squash - medium
Green Bells - 1
Sweet Onions - 2
Shallots - 1

Radish - bundle 
Parsley - bundle 
Carrots - bundle 
Zucchini/patty pan - 1-2 
Cucumbers - 2-3 
Kohlrabi - 3 each 
Lettuce Mix - bag 
Tomato Medley - ~quart 
Spahgetti Squash - large 
Green Bells - 2 
Sweet Onions - 3 
Shallots - 2 

New this week we are including shallots in the shares for the first time this year. These are fully cured and shelf stable. You store them just like storage onions; in your pantry or on the kitchen counter. Our shallots are really large. Is that from the day length here? Is it the soil fertility? Is it our sheer love of alliums making them grow so large? We don’t know. What we do know is that you can use about 1 shallot for 1 onion in any recipe.

Shallots have a mild distinctive flavor with less ‘bite’ than onions and yet also a bit garlicky. They are delicious and we hope you enjoy them!

Spaghetti Squash with Shallots and Parsley

Yes this recipe calls for garlic and yes you will be getting garlic in your csa box next week. This week you can substitute in some shallots.

Easy Peasy Bell Pepper/Zucchini/Radish top Egg Bake
Remember the egg bake idea from last week? This week you can use your radish tops!
In a large heavy bottomed pan heat generous amount of oil or butter (Choose butter!).
Thinly chop bell peppers, zucchini, and 1/2-2 red long onions depending on your preference of onioniness. While this is sauteing, thoroughly chop your golden beet tops. (Yes, all of them! They will cook down significantly) add beet tops and cook at a high heat until greens reduce.
While greens reduce mix up 12-24 eggs and some milk or cream pour egg mixture into a buttered casserole, add veggies (also good with pork sausage!) (and also good topped with cheese!)

Pour this into a pie crust (s) for a quiche! Or keep it simple for an eggbake/frittata.

Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes

Bacon Tomato Pasta

You could make this just like the recipe suggests (with pasta) or you could serve it on top of your spaghetti squash.

Or how about a yummy way to use some tomatoes and cucumbers at the same time? With this Cucumber Tahini Salad

We like growing kohlrabi both in the spring and again in the fall. Though with this year’s heat we now think we could grow it all season long. Our family’s favorite thing to do with kohlrabi is peel, cut in half, and thinly slice. We keep it in a lidded Pyrex dish in the fridge and serve it cold with lunch and dinner. It is also good sliced or diced and sauteed or shredded and used half and half with potatoes for kohlrabi/potato hash browns.

Have a great week!  

2017 CSA Week 17

 ~~Don’t forget your tomatoes and potatoes at pickup! ~~~

Hope you all are having a wonderful labor day weekend. We are looking at the 10 day forecast and once again just shaking our heads in disbelief. We are starting to feel the effects of working outdoors and are looking forward to the smoke clearing out.

In the last week we made great progress on our new high tunnel, continued planting baby greens and radishes for fall harvests, and continue clearing beds out weekly as the season shifts. Even though it’s hot out, lots of the summer vegetables are coming to the end of their quick season. The zucchini and cucumbers are starting to taper. In warmer climates these are seeded every 2-4 weeks throughout the season to extend the harvest. In our short season we feel like getting one main planting of cucs and zucs is appropriate for our climate. We have to remember that most years we would be planning for a serious frost coming at this time of the season.

The winter squash are starting to die back showing us what we’ve been suspecting...it looks like this was a great season for winter squash! However, due to the continuous snow cover last winter we have had an unprecedented amount of vole damage on our crops this year. It was the worst in early spring with voles taking out over 50% of some of the early root crops. Despite lots of birds of prey and one really excellent farm cat the Year of the Vole continues as we are seeing crazy vole damage on our winter squash. Usually they will kind of nibble on maybe 1% of the squash and just on the exterior shell. It is usually a couple hundred pounds of cosmetically imperfect squash that we keep for our family to eat. This year, and I have never seen this before?!, the voles have eaten whole squashes. They also really seem to like kohlrabi. Somewhere out in the field there are fat happy kohlrabi and delicata squash-filled voles which we hope turn into fat and happy hawks. For every beautiful perfect vegetable that leaves the farm there are also always some we lose. We kind of get used to it and then sometimes it’s like, wow, really?! Despite the voles taking more than their share we are still going to have a beautiful panoply of squash coming for our CSA in the next month.

This week is the last week for getting potatoes and fresh onions in your shares. Next week it is time to transition to cured alliums including garlic, shallots, yellow and red onions. And, of course, winter squash.

Who’s ready for pumpkin pie spice?

Red Leaf Lettuce - 1 each
Basil - partial bundle
Golden Beets - bundle
Zucchini/patty pan - 1
Cucumbers - 1
Eggplant - 1 medium
Baby Arugula - partial bag
Tomato Medley - ~pint
Red French Potatoes - 1#
Green Bells - 1
Red Long Onions - 2-3

Full Partial
Red Leaf Lettuce - 1 each 
Basil - bundle 
Golden Beets - bundle
Zucchini/patty pan - 1-2 
Cucumbers - 1-2 
Eggplant - 1 large or 2 small
Baby Arugula -   bag 
Tomato Medley ~quart
Red French Potatoes - 1.5 # 
Green Bells - 2 
Red Long Onions - 3-4

What did you use your last eggplant for? I love this easy Shortcut Moussaka recipe:

Weeknight Roasted Onions and Potatoes with Basil Pesto

Cut your potatoes in halves or quarters. Peel and chop golden beets. Chop your red long onions. And ½ a stick of butter in a casserole, add a bit of salt, cover and cook at 350 until cooked through. While cooking make a simple basil pesto. When Potatoes, Beets, and Onions are cooked stir in pesto. Serve this warm on a bed of arugula with any meant and/or beans for a simple, delicious weeknight meal.

Easy Peasy Bell Pepper/Zucchini/Beet Green Egg Bake
In a large heavy bottomed pan heat generous amount of oil or butter
Thinly chop bell peppers, zucchini, and 1/2-2 red long onions depending on your preference of onion-y-ness. While this is sauteing, thoroughly chop your golden beet tops,. (yes, all of them! They will cook down significantly) add beet tops and cook at a high heat until greens reduce.
While greens reduce mix up 12-24 eggs and some milk or cream pour egg mixture into a buttered casserole, add veggies (also good with pork sausage!) (and also good topped with cheese!)

Pour this into a pie crust (s) for a quiche! Or keep it simple for an eggbake/frittata.

We hope you enjoy the arugula this week for fresh salads, lightly wilted/sauted, or you can use it to make an arugula pesto, or throw some into your homemade dressing for a peppery green kick for you salads.

The crew was surprised last week at lunchtime when I served hot roasted potatoes and roast venison on top of a heaping generous amount of arugula. Serving hot food on top of arugula reduces the arugula and wilts it just a bit and it all combines into the awesomeness that is ARUGULA.

Have a fabulous week!

This week's Blog bonus is a pic of our new high tunnel.  We made the decision to hire a great friend and an excellent builder of things, Ryan, to spearhead putting it up for us.  We knew it was a great decision from the start, but Ryan has been amazing.  The first hardest thing to do with these things is get them square when you lay out the posts.  He got it square to within 1/2 inch, by dead-reckoning on the first go around.  He's amazing.  If you see him out working on it Thursday evening at pick up time, honk and wave!