In This Week’s Box: Broccoli, Green Beans, Zucchini, Carrots, Garlic, Lettuce, Rainbow Chard and Green Cabbage
We picked the first of the green beans this week and man are they good. There is something about the first picking of beans, they are so sweet and tender (and it’s been so long since we’ve eaten them) that just makes me want to hold onto summer forever. I’m sure you all have favorite ways of preparing beans, and there are many that I like as well, but really the best, I think, is just to throw them into a pot of salted, boiling water, cook them until just tender, drain and serve. Much as I love fancy dressed up vegetables, I really don’t think you can improve upon a fresh summer green bean.
The Calliope Crew… Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Beets, Raspberries, Tomato, Lettuce, Red Onion, Carrots, Fennel, Garlic and Fava Beans
One of the joys of living on the farm is getting to see all the other creatures that we share this place with. We often see deer, last week we saw a weasel, and this spring and summer seems to have brought us more birds than ever before. All those birds means a lot of nests, and we tend to come across a new one every few days or so. The White Crown Sparrows build their nests on the ground and so sometimes when we are out there, pulling weeds, we will come across a nest and a mother or father bird scolding us loudly from nearby. This summer there have been so many that I have been fortunate to see them in many stages, from empty nest, to nest with eggs, all the way up to fledging time, and then sometimes I catch a glimpse of those funny fledglings learning what it means to be a bird. Last week I came accross a particularly beautiful nest, not on the ground, but close, and when I returned from being away for the weekend there were eggs in it. I am happy our cucumber vines could be of use to them.
This week there are fava beans in your boxes and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do. Favas are a vegetable I look forward to all year. Their season is short so I truly treasure the few weeks that we have them, and eat as many as I can manage. Fava beans are a little bit labor intensive, but so worth it, I think. First you must shell them, and after you have done so they … Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Carrots, Zucchini, Garlic, Lacinato Kale, Spinach, Kohlrabi, Butterhead Lettuce, Green Onions and New Potatoes
Today is the first day of our peak season shares, and it does feel like we are coming into the peak of the season. July is here and with it the first potatoes. They have been a welcome thing in our kitchen this past week, since nobody can resist a plate of boiled new potatoes covered in butter, garlic and chopped green onion. I hope you all enjoy some crisp and cooling summer salads in the hot days ahead. I’m keeping it short today because I think these veggies speak for themselves.
The Calliope Crew… Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Zucchini, Cucumbers, Green Cabbage, Fennel, Carrots, Pearl Onions, Bibb Lettuce and Strawberries
It seems that we have been experiencing perfect vegetable growing weather. The mostly moderate temperatures with the short bursts of heat and a rainfall every now and then are making for some abundant harvests. I love how each week some beloved vegetable from summers past, seems so be ready to eat for the first time this summer. Fennel is one of my favorites and we just started bringing it to market last weekend. What I notice about fennel at the market is that not many people pick it up, but those who do tend to pick up a lot of it. Now I know the flavor isn’t for everyone, but for those of you who just aren’t sure what to do with it, here are a few simple suggestions. My favorite way to eat fennel is to simply use my mandoline slicer to make “shaved fennel” and add it to our green salad. As I’ve mentioned here before, our family starts dinner with a green salad every night, year round, and part of the way we keep this interesting is by adding different vegetables, herbs and flowers as they come into season. I also put shaved fennel in a coleslaw last week, which is a good way to use it as more of a background flavor in your food. Fennel is also wonderful roasted or grilled as the heat of the oven really brings out it’s sweetness and gives it a rich, caramelized flavor. It would be delicious roasted along with carrots and pearl onions.
The Calliope Crew
In this Week’s Box: Strawberries, Zucchini, Dill, French Breakfast Radish, Sugar Snap Peas, Spanish Roja Garlic, Summer Crisp Lettuce, Broccoli, and Spinach
Greetings Calliope Farm CSA members,
Jenni here, filling in for Teva this week for the newsletter. Every so often you will be hearing from me with updates of what’s happening at Calliope Farm, as well as with introductions to the people behind the produce.
This week I’m featuring Brian Hausman, our harvest and packshed manager. Brian’s job entails managing the crew and systems that go into harvesting and handling a diverse array of crops for our CSA, the farmer’s market, and numerous wholesale accounts. When not harvesting, packing orders, or managing the harvest crew, he loves to hoe and prune tomatoes.
Brian, how long have you been farming?
BH: I started exploring agriculture while pursuing an undergraduate degree at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina about six years ago. I worked part-time doing vegetable gardening for the college, as well as working part-time at a goat farm nearby. I also worked growing plant starts for a few Spring seasons. In 2014 I decided to jump into farming full-time, working for a large CSA farm in the Hudson Valley in New York. There, I began to learn what it meant to grow vegetables at a production scale. After the Hudson Valley, I moved to Olympia in January 2016 and started working at Calliope around the same time.
I’ve been lucky to experience different scales and ways of production throughout different regions in this country. Growing in North Carolina, New York, and now Washington has helped me see subtle differences in the ways in which plants grow. One of the most appealing things about farming for me is the endless opportunity to always … Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Bibb lettuce, Garlic scapes, Carrots, Cucumbers, Strawberries, Arugula, and Shelling peas.
The produce that you receive each week is grown at one of our two fields. The Calliope Farm home field is where it all started in 2004, and contains about 5 acres of production area. At the home site we grow a wide variety of smaller succession crops, including the spinach, lettuce, radishes and other small brassicas, salad mix, beans, peas, herbs, and zucchini. As well as our berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
This week’s box features a few crops from our leased fields south of Olympia – carrots and garlic scapes. About 3 years ago, Calliope Farm expanded it’s production area to include another 5 acres of fertile soil, located about 10 miles south of Olympia on Case Road. We affectionally call it “Left Foot” after the previous tenants, Left Foot Organics. That field is home to our garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, broccoli and other large brassicas, chicories, celery, winter squash, and onions.
We hope you are enjoying the produce thus far. As the growing season progresses and warm weather settles in, you will see the change reflected in your box. In the meantime, we invite you to savor the produce that only the early summer season provides.
Happy Eating, the Calliope Farm crew
In This Box: Lacinato Kale, Butterhead Lettuce, Garlic Scapes, Radishes, Sugar Snap Peas, Hakurei Turnips and Cucumbers
Well just like that, the summer produce is here, and I am ready. It was a good long winter and spring of root vegetables and greens, which I love and will continue to eat throughout the summer, but variety is so important to keeping cooks and eaters inspired.
If anyone out there has not yet made the acquaintance of a salad turnip, allow me to introduce you by way of a quote from the Johnny’s seed catalog. This is my preferred method of introduction and one that some of you have, no doubt, seen on this blog before. “Eaten raw, the flavor is sweet and fruity, and the texture crisp and tender. The dark-green, hairless tops are useful raw or lightly cooked with the roots.”
Garlic Scapes are tasty garlic flower buds that are great sautéed, grilled, roasted, made into pesto, or used anywhere you would normally use garlic.
Enjoy these early summer veggies!
The Calliope Crew… Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Arugula, Chard, Kohlrabi, Bok Choi, Green Onions, Pea Shoots, Butterhead Lettuce and Cilantro
Today we bring you a box of abundant spring greens, perfect for salad and stir fry dinners. Try combining butterhead lettuce with arugula and pea shoots, for a tasty spring salad. These young kohlrabi are tender and sweet and I recommend eating them raw to fully experience their flavor. Use a paring knife to peel away the tough skin and then slice them and either add them to your salad or just snack away on them. They never last vey long in our house. The leaves are similar to kale and can be eaten as well.
Enjoy the greens of spring, as we look forward to vegetables of other colors that are ripening in the fields.
The Calliope Crew
The House Dressing
This is the dressing that our family eats year round on salad. We occasionally make a small batch of balsamic or tahini or honey mustard but always come back to this all time favorite. If I were going to choose just one condiment to make at home, salad dressing would be it. I am convinced that there would be more salad lovers out there, if only they had a homemade dressing to put on their greens. I make a quart at a time but have given smaller measurements here so you can decide if it’s the one for you.
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a jar and either shake vigorously or use an immersion blender and blend … Read the rest
In This Week’s Box: Rhubarb, Nettles, Russian Kale, Bibb Lettuce, Radishes, Green Garlic and Yellow Finn Potatoes
Well the spring produce is here and we are off on another year of CSA. I was just looking back on our first share from last year, and wow, what a different season it was. Our first boxes had strawberries, carrots, peas and garlic scapes! This long slow spring means that things are coming on at a slower pace this year, but it means that you get to eat a few of the early things that are often passed their prime by the time CSA begins. One of those things is nettles, the highly nutritious green plant that you also may know by the painful things it can do to your legs when taking a walk in the forest. All the sting goes out of it when cooked, so do not fear, but do keep it in mind when you are preparing them and be sure to wear gloves. Nettles are delicious added to soups, or steamed and drizzled with ponzu sauce, really they can be subbed into any recipe that calls for cooked spinach. Another early vegetable that we love is green garlic. Green garlic is just a garlic plant, that if left in the ground would become a head of garlic in July. It is tender and has a mild garlic flavor. We love to include it in any vegetable sauté, but also like it steamed and drizzled with vinaigrette.
Now onto the rhubarb, a classic spring staple. I doubt I have to tell you about the virtues of rhubarb and I’m sure that many of you have favorite ways of preparing it. I love a good strawberry rhubarb pie or crisp, and this year I made … Read the rest
Sunny weather is forecasted for later this week and the Calliope Farm crew is ready for some dry weather for weeding projects and prepping ground for more seeding and transplants. It’s been a productive spring here despite the wet and cold weather. We’ve been able to plant and prep ground in the dry moments, and keep on top of other projects when it’s raining, all the while harvesting for the market and wholesale accounts. Our market table has been full of stored crops, and field crops that bounced back after the cold winter, in addition to the early radishes and salad mix that we planted in January.
At Calliope Farm we mark the year not only by the meteorological seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter, but also by our CSA and market seasons. April 6th marked the shift from the Saturday-only winter market to the main 4 day per week market season. In another three weeks, our 2017 CSA season will begin. May 23rd is the first Tuesday pick-up and May 27th is the first Saturday pick-up for our Main Season and Full Season members. Peak Season will begin the first week in July.
Our CSA has room for more members, and you can find more information about share types, pricing, and pick-up locations on our CSA Information page. New features of our 2017 CSA include, a 3-month Peak Season Share, 10-month Full-Season that now goes into March, a salad mix add-on, and a new pick-up location at The Little General Food Store downtown.
If you have already signed up for a CSA share with us, thank you!! We hope you are looking forward to another year of happy eating. If you have questions about our CSA, please get in touch via … Read the rest