News from the Farm

It’s a beautiful day today on the farm and we are celebrating by getting our fruit block into the 25-acre. While it might sound like we are planting berries and an orchard, when we talk about fruit on this vegetable farm, we mean those plants whose “fruit” we eat, like tomatoes and peppers. In this case, we are talking about our dried bean, corn, and winter squash block. These fruiting crops won’t be harvestable until August and later, but it sure feels good to spend some time today tucking them into the ground.

We have two kinds of crops in this fruiting block, storage crops and fresh eating crops. Our winter squash, dried beans, and the corn we grow to mill are all seeded today, and will be harvested this fall to nourish our Winter CSA and Full Diet CSA over those cold, dark winter months. But some of the corn we are planting today is also fresh eating corn that you will hopefully see (it all depends on how much the birds leave us) in the later summer months.

Talking about the 25-acre and storage vegetables is really a great reminder of how farming here works. These late spring/early summer weeks set the stage for our entire year as we plant both summer crops and winter storage crops. After today, we will have planted almost all our storage crops for this winter. Yes, already. All the food that will feed us November-now next year). And we have planted the first succession of crops in the 25-acre that will feed us after they get a bit more mature :). It will be a few weeks yet before you start to get things out of the 25-acre, but in about a month, the tide will change, and the 25 will begin supplying the majority of our vegetables. We are very pleased with how the 25 looks right now!

This week you will be enjoying produce from our hoop houses and the 2-acre. These hoop houses provide the early season protection needed to start things like summer squash and peas, and the 2-acre provides a fenced in area so that the dear don’t get at all our earliest crops as they make their way through our farm during the change of season. 

photo credit: Laura Chappell and Natalie Leder, Sarahlee Lawrence

A few shots from the last week or so: We planted last year’s storage carrots to grow for seed. We selected these carrots because they stored the best over the winter. They will be the foundation of our carrot crop next year!  ☙  Did you know that the rhubarb stalk that you turn into delicious baked goods over the course of spring comes from a leaf this big!  ☙  Organic farming relies on weeding, both by hand and with tools. One of our favorite tools is our KULT Kress finger weeder. This is a weeder that is pulled behind our tractor. One farmer drives the tractor and one farmer runs the KULT Kress making sure that the weeder doesn’t weed up any crops unintentionally.  ☙  Here is a side by side shot of one section that has been weeded with the KULT Kress (left) and the unweeded section (right). Imagine pulling all those weeds by hand!

Tips & Tricks for Your CSA

What should I use to pick up my CSA?

When you come to pick up your share, you will be selecting from a variety of vegetables. The vegetable selection and amounts will vary with the season, but you want to come with an arsenal of options to transport your share home while keeping it fresh especially in the heat of the summer. We recommend:

  • an insulated cooler or bag if your trip involves longer then a 10-15 minute drive
  • a large (like 1 gallon plus) sized Tupperware for bulk salad mix or baby greens
  • 2-3 reusable shopping bags so your veggies don’t get squished and the tomatoes don’t end up on the bottom

What do I do with my vegetables when I get home?

We highly recommend that you do a little prep work with your vegetables as soon as you get home. This shouldn’t take too long and is worth every minute spent.

  • Wash all your vegetables. We rinse everything to get most of the dirt off and preserve its freshness, but you need to wash it again once you get home. Dirt, bugs, and leaves are all part of the organic vegetable experience. Our lettuce heads also really respond to soaking in cold water to remove all the dirt down at the base of the leaves!
  • Remove root vegetable tops and store separate from the root vegetables. The greens are great in stir fries and sautés and carrot tops make delicious pesto. Keeping the roots separated from the greens increases the time both stay fresh and usable.
  • Soak your baby greens (bulk chard, spinach, and salad mix) and salad spin them before you put them in a Tupperware container or plastic bag with a paper towel or cloth napkin. This move will extend the life of your salad mix and make sure you aren’t surprised by something unpleasant.
  • Consult the Vegetable Guide, do a quick google search, or dive into some of your favorite seasonally based cookbooks to see what they suggest for the vegetable in question.
  • Start cooking!

Summer CSA Vegetable Guide & CSA Handbook

Curious about a vegetable in your CSA? Don’t forget about the Consult the Vegetable Guide at our CSA Library. Our Vegetable Guide includes photos for easy identification, brief explanations of the more unusual vegetables, and tips and tricks for how to prep, cook, and preserve vegetables. While it doesn’t include everything you will find this summer, it has most of the potentials.

How do I remember what has been in all those emails you sent in May? Great question! You can find all the information from these emails in our 2023 Summer CSA Member Handbook located at our CSA Library. This is a great resource for date reminders as well as all those other details if you are looking for clarification on anything.

Vegetable CSA Harvest List

Every week, we include this section which includes what we think will be coming out of our fields and hoop houses for Wednesday pick up. Keep in mind, that we send this email on Sunday and we harvest Monday & Tuesday for our Wednesday CSA. Sometimes we are spot on, but other times, we discover that we have more of something else and substitute that.

Our foundation vegetables this week will be

Large Vegetable Share
lettuce head
iron man mix (baby kale, asian greens, and mustard)
oregano bunch
turnip OR radish bunch
salad mix
kale bunch

Small Vegetable Share
lettuce head iron man mix (baby kales, asian greens, and mustard)
oregano bunch
turnip OR radish



We will let you know on Wednesday how many other items you will get to select.

We have been keeping an eye on the hoops and 2-acre garden and have a pretty good idea of what is out there and ready to be harvested, but this is a Sunday estimation of what we will be harvesting on Tuesday. Also, because we have a market style CSA, this isn’t a guarantee of 1 of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.) 

Other Vegetable Options will probably include:

salad mix
lemon balm
summer squash
tetsukabuto winter squash
asian greens
lettuce heads


Meat CSA

Large CSA (10lbs)
1 whole roasting chicken
1 pack stew meat
1 ham roast or ham hock
+/- 2 ground beef
Small CSA
1 roasting chicken
+/- 1 ground beef

A couple important notes about our Meat CSA

We get our meat butchered at two butchers: Buxton Meats in Sandy, Oregon and Butcher Boys in Prineville, Oregon. Buxton packages are plastic and they have their name and sticker identifying the cut on the outside of the package. Butcher Boys cuts are paper wrapped with a stamp identifying what is inside. Both are our animals regardless of what the sticker says.

Ground Beef and Final Weight of your Meat Share
As you look at the Meat Share list above, you will notice that ground beef has a +/- in front of it. That is because I don’t actually know how much ground beef you will receive until I pack your Meat CSA. Each CSA is either 10lbs or 5lbs. We pack within the range of 9.5-10.5lbs or 4.5-5.5lbs. Each cut is it’s own weight, so we use the ground beef to make up the difference to these ranges. Each beef is 50% ground, so we usually include 1-4 lbs ground beef in each CSA (depending on share size)


Recipe Corner

Every week I try to send along a few recipes that utilize the meats and vegetables in your CSA share. Check out the recipes below for some inspiration!

Roast Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
(I made this last week and I HAVE NEVER HAD A CHICKEN SO TENDER. EVER! I think you can easily use this recipe as a base and substitute the oil with butter or lard and the seasoned salt with whatever–fresh herbs included–and substitute the garlic with other alliums or even apples or citrus…)

1 chicken, rinsed and patted dry
olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp ground pepper 
→ I had a salt mixture that was most of this so I just added a bit of dried sage and ground pepper to it instead of mixing this up separate
1 lemon, quartered
3 heads garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
→ I used a mix of peeled and unpeeled and it was fine
1 3/4 cup chicken stock/broth, or as needed
1 cup dry white wine, or as needed
→ I used 2 cups white wine and 3/4 cup water that I seasoned with more of the salt mix because I was out of broth (which won’t be a problem after I turn this chicken carcass into stock 😉) 


  1. Preheat oven to 375F and find your aluminum foil and a casserole dish you can put directly on the stove top. Combine dry ingredients (herbs, salt, pepper) together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub olive oil over the skin of the chicken and then rub the salt mix into the inside cavity and all over the skin. Place the quartered lemon in the cavity of the bird.
  3. If you have the time, put the seasoned bird in the fridge for a couple hours to infuse the flavors. → I didn’t do this and it was still extremely flavorful. 
  4. Place the casserole dish on the stove top and spread out the garlic cloves in the casserole dish and pour in your liquid. Place your chicken in the casserole dish and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Roast for 25 minutes at 375F then remove the foil, increase the oven to 450F and roast the chicken until done (165-170F), around 40 minutes. → I usually go for the 170F because I find that with our birds that ensures that it is actually all the way done. Check about 20 minutes in and add more liquid if needed.
  5. Remove chicken from oven and let sit for 10 minutes or so, then carve and enjoy. You can keep your garlic and use them as you would roasted garlic (spread on toast, crackers, add to rice pilaf, etc.). If you have enough pan sauce left, enjoy that as a gravy.
Chicken Broth
(Don’t forget to save your chicken carcass and turn it into broth!)

Chicken carcass
Vegetable scraps and/or fresh vegetables including: onions/onion peels, carrot tops and ends/whole carrots chopped, celeriac or celery, garlic skins/garlic cloves (maybe some of the roasted from the recipe above)
Herbs and seasonings: bay leaf, black whole pepper corn, dried herbs or fresh herbs
Water to cover the whole operation


  1. Put all ingredients in a pot with extra room. Add water until all the ingredients are comfortably covered.
  2. Bring to a boil uncovered and then reduce heat to a barely burble simmer and cover.
  3. Cook for hours/all day. Keep checking to make sure it doesn’t boil all it’s moisture away.
  4. Strain and freeze in muffin tins for small amounts or quart/pint containers for larger.
Radish Salad
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s NYT Cooking Recipe

1 bunch radish, thinly sliced
great time for a mandoline!
1 tablespoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
Ground Urfa or other mild chilies to taste (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped mint


  1. Combine radishes with salt, and cover with water in a bowl. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Meanwhile, stir together the pepper and fruit juices.
  2. Toss radishes with dressing and chilies. Taste. Add more salt, pepper or lime juice as needed. Garnish with herb, and serve.

Basic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
adapted from Cookie & Kate’s How to Make Basic Vinaigrette
(I use this type of dressing almost every time I made a salad. It is easy, quick, and always delicious. Plus, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already!)

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons vinegar of choice (balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (optional: I almost never put a sweetener in unless I accidentally over mustard or vinegar and am out of oil to balance it out)
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced (optional: when it isn’t garlic season, I either forgo this or substitute garlic powder or garlic salt and don’t add salt again)
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
dried herbs (I will sprinkle dried herbs like thyme, basil, or oregano into the mix for a little extra favor)


  1. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well with a small whisk or a fork until the ingredients are completely mixed together.
  2. Taste, and adjust as necessary. If the mixture is too acidic, thin it out with a bit more olive oil or balance the flavors with a little more maple syrup or honey. If the mixture is a little blah, add another pinch or two of salt. If it doesn’t have enough zing, add vinegar by the teaspoon.
  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for future use. Homemade vinaigrette keeps well for 7 to 10 days. If your vinaigrette solidifies somewhat in the fridge, don’t worry about it—real olive oil tends to do that. Simply let it rest at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or microwave very briefly (about 20 seconds) to liquify the olive oil again. Whisk to blend and serve.
If you are still looking for some great homemade salad dressings, check out 25 Easy Salad Dressing Recipes from the A Couple Cooks blog. Lots of variety, all the classics. I am looking forward to checking out their homemade ranch and honey mustard dressings!
photo credit: Melissa Harmon

We will see you Wednesday, May 31 for your first CSA pick up! Don’t forget to put that reminder in your calendar!

The Farm Crew