Well shoot...this is pretty great!

Welcome to Farm To Table Weekly where health is valued, community matters, and simple home cooking is replacing commodity foods. 

Thankful for our daily food!

~~~Coming July 15th...we have a new team member at the farm...CSA Coach Dena Geiger. Dena will be a community manager for Lower Valley Farm Facebook group and she will be making weekly videos of the coming week CSA box. Dena is a nurse practitioner, nutritionist, and foodie and we are so excited to bring her onto our farm as CSA Coach! Not on facebook? No problem all videos will be in the LVFarm Academy. The group will be for folks to chime in, ask questions, and post your recipes too! ~~~
...Because sometimes I do things like last week...where I told you your fridge can turn your basil black because it’s too cold and then don’t mention how to store it…sorry about that! (You can store basil on the counter in a bag for 2-3 days, or if it’s harvested in a bundle, store it on the counter with the stems in water for 3-5 days.)

The cucumber heralds this year as ‘first summer crop’. Wow! The cucs beat the zucchini to the game this year...how the heck did that happen? Well, if you were to look at the DTM (days to maturity) on a pack of zucchini seed, we should have had zucchini rolling in weeks ago. How is it that we have these heat-loving cucumbers ready after such a cold, cold, cold spring? They have been babied along every step of the way; we are looking to have them continuously from July until the end of September!

We are also excited to report the sighting of the very first red tomato...not to go on and on about the weather in every newsletter...but man, it really has been a slow start this year! We invested in some upgrades to our seed-starting tunnel this spring and it really paid off--our tomato plants look the best they ever have! We are predicting this is The Year Of The Tomato here at Lower Valley Farm. We can’t wait to start putting these beauties in your boxes.

While we wait, we have some wonderful early summer crops this week including one of my Very Favorite Vegetables--bulb fennel. Okay. I know this is a love-it or really-don’t-love-it crop...if you’ve had it before and don’t like it...give it just one more try. The slight flavor of anise/licorice in a veggie dish may not be for everyone. I remember not liking it the first time I had it and now I love a little sliced fennel in just about any dish.
Potatoes looking amazing!

You know what is sizing up beautifully on the farm right now? The potatoes! These are the most gorgeous potatoes we have ever grown (Is it just me...or do I say that and think that every year?). But you know what makes potatoes EVEN MORE exciting for us farmers this year? We have a potato-digger attachment ordered and on its way to the farm. After six years of digging potatoes in a tedious and daunting way, we are really happy to add this tool to our farm. We’ll make sure to take a video of it working in action. We probably could have had potatoes in the Veggie Box this week...but it won’t hurt them to be in the ground another week and let the fabulous new potato digger get to the farm to do the digging!

CSA Week 9

 Partial shares get all the same veggies in ½ - ¾ amounts.
 Lettuce Mix with salad flowers--The most beautiful salad ever!
 Dill--Mmmm. Dill + Cucumber = Greek Tzatziki (recipe below!)
 Chard--This gives a whole new meaning to ‘swiss’ chard! It looks a bit like swiss cheese from hail damage...but it’s just as delicious!
 Beets medley, no tops--you are going to get quite a few beets this week. They are super tender ‘baby beet/small beet’ size.  Can't get through them all this week?  They will keep in a bag in the fridge up to four weeks.  These are excellent either roasted or boiled. At this size I don’t usually peel them Cucumber
 Green Onion
 Bulb Fennel--Try the simple salad recipe below if you’re new to this veggie.
 Sugar Snap Peas-just a few this week and hoping they really get going for next week!

Recipe of the Week:

Shaved Fennel Salad with Parmesan (Serves 2-3) (Adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
 1 fennel bulb,
shaved paper thin with a mandoline or meat slicer
 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
 1 T. fresh lemon juice
 1/8 t. chopped fresh thyme leaves (or a pinch of dry)
 1 T. chopped flat-leafed parsley (or dill)
 2 T. shaved or grated Parmesan cheese Mix all ingredients together gently. Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week:
 Greek Tzatziki Sauce with Fresh Dill (Adapted from thelemonbowl.com)
 Ingredients: 2 c. plain Greek yogurt
 2 c. peeled, shredded cucumber
(Put cucumber in a colander, sprinkle with a little kosher salt, and let sit for 15-30 minutes. Then wrap in a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.)
 1/2 c. fresh dill, minced
 1/4 c. lemon juice
 2 cloves garlic grated (or finely chop any left over garlic scapes you have!)
  1/2 t. salt
 1/4 t. pepper
 Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and check for seasoning. Add more dill, lemon, garlic or salt/pepper if you wish. Refrigerate for a bit to allow flavors to blend, then serve with pita chips, gyros, grilled chicken--good on just about everything except maybe brownies!