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It's warm and sunny and we are planting our last succession this month to fill your boxes in October.
Baby lettuces shining in the morning sun

SUCCESSIONS FOR A LONG & SUCCESSFUL SEASON

You have probably heard me mention the term succession in a newsletter or 2… What is a succession, you might wonder? Here's the backstory. Most of our crops are planted multiple times throughout a season; each planting is called a succession. Every season we have 8 transplant and 6 direct-sown successions between February & August. This is how we can harvest fresh lettuce, greens & carrots from June to November. Plants that need a little extra care in the seeding stage, like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, onions and the brassicas are planted into plastic cells in our warm & cozy prop house. When the seedlings are past infancy, we transplant these toddlers into the fields. Other crops, like our famous carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, parsnips, potatoes, beans & herbs are direct sown – meaning their seeds are planted directly into the fields. To plant seeds directly into the ground, a lot more tractor work has to be done to get the soil nice and fluffy and ready for the little seeds – for the 1st & 2nd planting in Feb and April, it can be very challenging to find the 4-5 dry days needed to work the soil and plant. Farmers Luke and Adam are easily distracted this time of year: they can be in the middle of a conversation, eating lunch or working on a project in the barn, and a sun break happens and they disappear... In a flash they are on a tractor cultivating the fields.

Our first plantings are in February, for harvest in late May-early June for our farmers markets. Early spring plantings take a lot longer to mature because of the short, cold days – a seed that typically takes 50-60 days to mature takes 80-100 days when planted in early spring, and 70-90 days when planted in late summer as days start getting shorter & cooler. We just finished transplanting our 2nd-to-last succession of lettuces, broccoli & cauliflower and are sowing the seeds of our last succession in the prop-house. The final transplants of lettuce, broccoli & cauli will go in the ground by early September to harvest as early as November. Our final direct sowing of carrots, beets, radishes & turnips are going in the ground this week to fill your last CSA boxes in mid to late October. And as long as we don’t freeze or flood, we’ll be harvesting from these last successions well into December for our winter share, Ballard Farmers Market, and restaurants.
 
Not all of our crops are planted in so many successions. Lettuces, broccoli & cauliflower grow well from March to December. As long as the weather holds, we’ll transplant & harvest 8 successions of these.  Kale, chard & collards, on the other hand, will only be transplanted 2-5 times, because when we harvest bunch greens, we only take a few leaves from each plant at a time. By winter, collard and kale plants can be 2 feet tall and look a bit like a miniature palm tree. Cucumbers and zucchini are plants that continue to fruit, PROLIFICALLY, once you start harvesting them in August, so we will only plant 1-2 successions. Peas, radishes, and turnips don’t like summer heat so we only direct sow a couple of successions for late spring and fall harvest. Finally, there are some crops that we only plant once a season. Either because they take so long to mature and are typically storage crops – like winter squash, potatoes, celeriac, pumpkins, garlic and parsnips.

Thankfully, we had a kind spring and summer weather wise and we’ve hit all of our transplant & direct sow successions! So as long as long as the weather continues to cooperate we’ll be harvesting fresh veggies in December. If flood or freeze threatens us, it’s all hands on deck to get everything harvested and into storage for the winter.

Organically,
Luke, Adam, Sarah, Megan, Yolanda, Tino, Valentin, Julio Cesar, Mariana, Mike, Alice, Bjorn, Siobhan, Amy, Nate, Linda, Dana, Deb, Shira, Pearl & Sweet-Cheeked Emuna!

The Skinny on your Veg

Green Beans (aka Snap Beans)
Oxbow's Green BeansI am soooo happy summer is finally upon us and the green beans are ready for harvest. I LOVE green beans, even the canned overcooked ones that I used to get in the lunch line. Green beans are the tender unripe fruit of any type of bean (ripe beans are known as shelling beans like pinto, kidney or cannellini). The beans grown for green bean harvesting are bred for fleshy, flavorful, sweet pods. Not all green beans are green; they can be green, yellow, creamy, purple or even mottled. Nor are all beans the same shape or size; they can be round, flat, fat or skinny. We grow 3 main varieties: Provider, which are long, round and green; Romano, which are flat, flat and green or yellow; and Dragon’s Tongue which are flat, slender and cream w/ purple stripes. This week you are (most likely) getting provider green beans.
Store: They will keep up to a week in a loosely close plastic bag in your crisper, but the longer they are stored the less sweet they will be.

Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
Too often disregarded as merely a garnish, parsley is delicious and an important ingredient in many, many dishes around the world. The fresh flavor of green parsley goes extremely with potato dishes & rice dishes, it brightens the flavor of hearty meat & vegetable stews and along with butter & lemon juice is the perfect foil for fish & shellfish. To use up extra parsley make a simple pesto with garlic and olive oil and freeze it – this will make you very happy in the middle of winter when you're missing fresh green things. I also like to mix in the leaves with my salad greens to add a pop of green flavor. 
The leaves and tender stems loose there flavor and can get bitter when cooked for a long time so use them in salads or to add at the end of cooking for their bright green flavor. Save the heartier stems for cooking a long time in stews and stocks, toss them in whole so you can easily pick them out before serving.
Store: Trim the ends and put in a glass of water, cut a number of slits or holes in a plastic produce bag and place it loosely over the parsley & glass. Stored in the fridge it will last for up to 2 weeks!
 
Dill
I must admit I never really liked dill, I found it harsh & soapy… That is until I tasted our fresh dill! Fresh dill tastes deep, dark green, and adds a freshness and cleanness to dishes and salads. Always use it fresh, never cooked – adding it to at the end. Mix it in with sour cream or Greek yogurt for a quick sauce for sautéed veggies or grilled fish. I also like to add sprigs of it to a tossed salad, it add interest and depth. Dill partners beautifully with mint, parsley & lemon, and is a key ingredient in pickles, cured salmon and good potato salad.
Dill (like parsley) is a kissing cousin of the carrot that is grown for its frilly leaves, flower and seeds. The flowers also provide that much needed habitat for all those beneficial insects that we love so much on an organic farm!
Store: Put fresh, unwashed dill in a perforated zippered bag partially closed (about ¾ shut). It will keep in your crisper for a week or so.

This Week's Recipes

GREEN BEANS with a SALSA VERDE
From my kitchen
This is my favorite way to eat green beans, bar none! Put a bowl of these out at your next BBQ or picnic and they will trump the chips & guac as the preferred finger food.
  • 1# Green Beans (or more)
  • Large handful Italian parsley (approx. 1 cup), chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Kosher or coarse sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
Trim the stem-ends off the beans and blanch them in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes – they should be intensely green and still crispy but not squeaky when you bite into one. Transfer beans into a bowl or sink filled with ice water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, remove from ice bath and drain to dry.
In a large bowl combine minced garlic, parsley, olive oil and pepper flakes (if using). Add the greens beans and toss to coat and season with coarse salt and pepper to taste.


DILLY BEANS
Courtesy of Theresa Althauser

Sterilize the jars (wash in very hot water or run through the dishwasher)
 
Pack the jars in the following order, using pint canning jars:
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cayenne in the bottom of each jar
  • Fresh dill sprig upside-down in the middle of jar
  • 1-2 garlic cloves in the middle of the dill
  • Pack remaining space with fresh beans (trimmed to fit)
  • Insert a Jalapeno pepper into the jar on the outside of the beans
 Brine solution consists of the following (for 8 pints, adjust for more or less):
  • 5 C water
  • 5 C white vinegar
  • 1/2 C salt
Boil brine until salt dissolves. Pour into jars. Seal jars (soften the lids first by dipping into boiling brine solution for a few moments). Submerge jars into boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and cool slowly.
 
Place any jars that did not seal properly in the refrigerator and eat in a few weeks. Store the properly sealed jars in a cool, dark location. Wait two months and eat with friends.


SWISS CHARD w/ RAISINS & PINE NUTS
From Farmer John’s Cookbook 
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about ½ tsp)
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, rinsed, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 C raisins
  • 1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chard in batches, adding more as each batch wilts (the only water you will need is the water clinging to the leaves from rinsing), and keep the pan covered between batches. When all the chard is added and the leaves are wilted, stir in the raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


DILL CARROT SALAD
From Mariquita Farm

  • 1 bunch carrots, scrubbed and grated
  • 1/2 bunch dill, chopped
  • 3-8 spring onions, chopped
  • yogurt on its own or mixed with a bit of sour cream or creme fraiche
  • splash of vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients, then get creative. A bit of mustard, a few raisins, a few toasted nuts, some other grated vegetables, you get the picture. Make this your own dish. Also: you can use a vinaigrette or yummy olive oil instead of the yogurt.



SIMPLE TZATZIKI
From my kitchen
I love this cool, tangy sauce with grilled lamb sausages; it’s also great w/ grilled vegetables & chicken. I recommend Greek yogurt because it’s so thick and creamy. You can use regular yogurt, but you’ll want to use twice as much and strain it through some cheese cloth set in strainer to drain off much of the water.
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh mint, parsley or dill, chopped (depends on what you have on hand and your mood)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice from one lemon
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Coarsely grate the cucumber and set in a strainer to drain off some of the liquid. Meanwhile mix the minced garlic, lemon juice with the yogurt. Squeeze any excess water out of the grated cucumber and add the cucumber and fresh herbs to the yogurt, stir to combine.
Season with salt & pepper to taste. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle.

*Note: I like to mix the cucumber water with some plain or sparkling water for a refreshing beverage. It’s also great in a Cucumber Lime Gimlet!


Yum!

Week #9:


Box Highlights:

  • Green Beans
  • Italian Parsley
  • Dill

Recipes:

  • Salsa Verde Green Beans
  • Dilly Beans
  • Chard w/ Raisins & Pinenuts
  • Dill Carrot Salad
  • Simple Tzatziki

This Week's Harvest:

Family Share

week #9 Family Share
  • 1 bu Oxbow Carrots
  • 2lbs Provider Green Beans
  • 1 bu Golden Beets
  • 3 Diva Slicer Cucumbers
  • 2 heads cured Garlic
  • 1 bu Rainbow Chard
  • 1 "Farmer's Choice" Lettuce
  • 5 Mixed Baby Lettuces
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 bu Italian Parsley

Small Share

week #9 Small Share
  • 1 bu Oxbow Carrots
  • 1lb Provider Green Beans
  • 2 Diva Slicer Cucumbers
  • 1 head cured Garlic
  • 1 bu Rainbow Chard
  • 1 Red Summer Crisp Lettuce
  • 1 bu fresh Red Tropea Onions
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 bu Dill

Fruit Share

  • 5 early Red Haven Peaches
  • 2 lbs Saturn Donut Peaches
  • 1 lb Nectarines

Add-Ons:

  • The jam this week is Green Gage Plum
  • This week's sauerkraut is Original

Box Notes from your Farmers:

One zucchini, what are you going to do with one zucchini?? Well these should be on the larger side of the zucchini scale - making them great for stuffing or zucchini boats. We also figured that you might have a bit of a zucchini backlog that you can add a fresh one to and cook up some zucchini pancakes.

A word on our baby lettuces. We primarily grow these little babes for our restaurants. Chefs prefer them over bably lettuce mix because the heads stay fresher & sweeter longer. A head of baby lettuce also make a lovely single serving salad.

We have heard from a couple of you that some of your apricots & peaches got squished last week. Sorry about that!! While we do all we can to pack the boxes so your delicate items don't get squished. Peaches, nectarines and apricots have a major dissavantage in your boxes - they are both super delicate and heavy, so they can shift to the bottom of the box and get abused by the zucchinis or beets. As much as we try to get all of your fresh produce to to in the best condition, we don't aways win! If you every have a big problem with the state of your goods, please lettuce know so we can contine to improve our efforts. Thanks!

**Please note that we do our best to have consistency in our boxes throughout the week. But, with over 300 members this is not always possible, So if the contents of your box don't exactly match this list, rest assured that we have substituted something equally scrumptious! You can also check out your box contents in your accounts on-line, we try and keep this up-to-date.

CSA Member Etiquette:

  • A little reminder of some of the CSA rules to help keep everyone happy. 
  • Please only take the box labeled with your name. This is especially important with all the add-ons we are adding in.
  • If you've have an egg share, please take the carton from the cooler that is labeled with your name. If you haven't ordered the egg share - don't take any eggs from the cooler!
  • If you are having a friend pick up your box (which is great), please make sure they know the above rules.
  • Please carefully breakdown your box and return it to your pickup location each week. Because they are heavily waxed they aren't recyclable so we try and use them as many times as possible before they go to the landfill.
  • If you would like to move your box to a different pickup location, please make sure to make the change 1 week before the pickup you want to make sure it's captured correctly.
  • Also if you want to change pickup day's, make sure you are staying in the same week. The system will not deliver 2 boxes in the same week. So, if you usually pickup on Sunday you can change to the following Friday NOT previous.  

The Oxbow Box Project:


This CSA season we have asked local chefs, cooks & food bloggers to experience the Oxbow Box for one week. They will cook with it, photograph/video it, feed their families or dinner guests and then report back to us about what great things they did with our vegetables!

Click here to see the latest entry.

CSA Pick-up Locations:

Sunday
Ballard Farmers Mkt, 10am-3pm
Plymouth Church, 10am-1pm
West Seattle - Proletariat Pizza, 4-8:30pm

Tuesday
Carnation Farmers Mkt, 3-7pm
Alpine Integrated Health, 1-5pm
Temple De Hirsch-Sinai, 3-6pm
Mercer Is. SJCC, 2-9:30pm
Meg's in Wallingford, 3-7pm
The Grateful Bread, 5-7pm
Cafe Flora, 3-8pm
Bristlecone, 4-6pm
UW Burke Museum, 4-6pm

Thursday
The Grange Cafe, 5-9pm
Marigold & Mint, 3-7pm
Anny's in Montlake, 2-8pm
North Seattle CC, 4-7pm
Queen Anne - Kavana, 3-7pm
Temple De Hirsch-Sinai, 3-6pm
UW Hillel, 3-7pm

Friday
Madrona Farmers Mkt, 3-7pm
Cupcake Royale Blve, 2-8pm
Monica's in Columbia City, 3-8pm
Bellevue Hopelink, 3-7pm

This week @ Market:

Farmer Adam & and huge pile of carrots
Farmer Adam & our glorious carrots

You can pick up Oxbow's finest at the following markets around town:

You can also find our fabulous veggies at our friends' fabulous organic flower shop Marigold and Mint in the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill (on Melrose ave between Pike & Pine)!



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Here's how you break down your family share box. (The small share box is now much simplier!).

How to break down a box illustration
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