Farm NewsLetter 07/09/07

July 9th, 2007


We really appreciate all the time that everyone put in last week at the work parties. We had quite a bit of help over the course of the day on Wednesday, and a tremendous turnout on Saturday.

At our spontaneous 4th of July work party folks did a whole lot of weeding. We also moved irrigation, planted cover crops, and transplanted brassicas. The other big job that day was moving everything out of the Red Barn so it could be demolished by a giant track hoe. Construction has begun on the new athletic field/dog park at Luscher Farm and the Red Barn had to go down in the name of progress. We’ll be operating out of the Big White Barn for at least a few months until they build us a New Red Barn.

This weekend’s work party was also a tremendous success. Lots of fall & winter veggies got seeded. Peppers & eggplants were weeded and the trellising has begun. Garlic harvest is in full swing, and more than half of it got hung in the barn. Much miscellaneous weeding was done including the pumpkins, leeks, and edges of the greenhouse. The chickens got moved and now have a nice new tent. And we also washed one of the greenhouses. Afterwards we had a nice BBQ down by the spring followed by an insane game of Frisbee. Whew!

Heat Wave! Ok, it only really counts as a heat wave to those of us who have lived in Oregon for too long. But it does mark the transition from many of the cool season crops, to those that need the real heat of summer. Peas and favas produced well through the long cool early spring and summer, and we were still nibbling on a few of them last week, but they’ll be completely toast after this weather. All the squash on the other hand are growing by leaps and bounds. We should be able to start picking summer squash very soon and we need to get in and weed the winter squash asap before the vines become a complete tangle.

Shareholder Tip of the Week: Cut out the veggie list from the newsletter and put it on the fridge. Cross things off the list as you use them. An easy way to know what to make for dinner tomorrow! –Mary Wells Pope

Weather: Hot!
Thanks to everyone for all your help!

Your share this week may include:
Arugula We harvested these nice bunches first thing in the morning because as the day gets hotter, so too does the flavor.
Carrots Seems like we can never grow enough of these sweet baby carrots. They should be around for a few weeks and we just seeded more, more, more!
Baby Fennel Just a few to peak your interest. Shave them VERY thin into salads –or- split in half, poach them, reduce the liquid, add a bit of cream, sprinkle w/ parmesan.
Garlic Harvested fresh this week, these heads are not fully cured so they won’t store well. Just means you should enjoy their fat juicy cloves asap.
Red Onions These beautiful red onions are not as sweet as the walla wallas but they’re certainly sweet enough for summer salads.
Potatoes Gorgeous new red potatoes are a variety called Sangre. This is the first year we’ve grown this one and I’m pleased with how early and disease resistant they seem to be. They’re also quite tasty!
Lettuce Mix Some of the leaves are a little large, but such beautiful colors & textures.
Turnips These Hakuri salad turnips are incredibly sweet and tender. Even if you think you don’t like turnips, give these a try. They are not your grandparents turnips!

Coming Soon… Baby Summer Squash & Purple Potatoes!!

Fennel, Onion, Orange & Walnut Salad
From Vegetables, By James Peterson

2 fennel bulbs 1 small onion
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup olive oil 3 navel oranges
salt & pepper

Pull off a small handful of the green frizzy fennel fronds and reserve. Cut the rest of the stalks where they join the bulb and discard or reserve for broth or grilling. Peel the outer fibers off the fennel bulbs with a paring knife or peeler and trim a thin slice off the root ends.
Slice the fennel bulbs crosswise as thin as you can with a vegetable slicer. Immediately toss the slices with the lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the onion as thin as you can- a vegetable slicer is best for this- and rub the slices with teaspoon salt. Drain the slices in a colander for 15 min and then grab them up in your hand and squeeze as much water out of them as you can. Put the onion in the bowl with the fennel.
Toast walnuts on a sheet pan in a 350* oven for about 15 min or until they darken slightly and smell fragrant. Reserve.
Cut the flesh of the orange away from the peel and the skin. Toss rounds or wedges or orange very gently with all other ingredients. Coarsely chop the reserved fennel fronds and sprinkle over salad.