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Word from the Woods

  • 31 Aug 2017 10:21 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    It's an absolutely beautiful morning out here on the farm. There was even a little bit of misty rain as I was out cutting your kale this morning, which felt heaven-sent. Of course the sky had cleared by the time I was done (and by the time Michael was done with the arugula, which is in a different garden plot) but still, the little reminder that it's not always baking heat and wildfire danger was refreshing and timely.

    It's the start of the Labor Day weekend, and we hope your plans include using some of our produce from your baskets in your celebrations.  We have, of course, some tomatoes for you, as well as another basket of strawberries. These berries tend to be a bit smaller than your supermarket varieties, but we think the flavor is well worth the small extra effort required to de-stem that many berries. Since we also included some arugula today, you could toss them both into a colorful and flavorful salad.  Our first peppers of the season came in today as well, so maybe slice a jalapeno or two into that salad.  Another first in your baskets is the Yukon Gold potatoes.  These are, of course, freshly harvested and not "cured," so both their water content and their sugar content is relatively high.  These should lend themselves well to roasting or pan-frying. If you pan-fry them, you might want to dry them on a dish towel after you chop them to absorb a little bit of that moisture. This helps along the Maillard reaction, which is the magical transformation of some of those sugars to that caramelized char.

    Kale, kale, the gang's all here...

    We've also include a big bunch of kale in your baskets this week.  We mentioned the last time we did this that you could turn them into kale chips, but we didn't tell you how to do it.  Here's that recipe:

    1 bunch kale leaves
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
    2 tsp garlic powder
    1 1/2 tsp chili powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp smoked paprika
    1/2 tsp salt (fine-grained works best here)
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

    1. Remove the stems and tear the leaves into large pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry the pieces. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
    2. Put the kale pieces into a large bowl and add the olive oil. "Massage" the oil into the kale, coating all the curly nooks and crannies. Sprinkle on the seasonings (all of them are optional, by the way) and toss to combine.
    3. Spread the kale pieces onto one or two rimmed baking sheets, keeping them in a single layer and making certain not to overcrowd them.
    4. Bake for ten minutes, then rotate and switch the pans and bake for another ten to twelve minutes, until they begin to look shrunken and start to firm up.
    5. Let the chips cool on the baking sheets for 3 minutes or so. This lets them crisp up to the max.  Enjoy them quickly, though; they do lose their crispness over time.

    The relatively cool weather is supposed to stay with us over the weekend; this would be a good time to crank up the chips and not heat up your house.  At the low oven temperature, though, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

    A small housekeeping note...
    We've had an incident or two of folks not picking up their baskets, and not letting us know in advance. Please, if you know that you're not going to be able to make it to the pick-up site, either have a friend do it for you, or let us know you won't be there.  You can do this by email or you can text me directly at 503-313-7839, right up to the 3pm drop time. Not doing this causes anxiety in our gracious site hosts, and can lead to a waste of food.  Neither of these are good outcomes. We will either donate your basket or share it out with your fellow share members.

    Enjoy the holiday, friends. We'll see you on the other side.
    Farmer Joel, Michael, Neal,  and Tasha

  • 24 Aug 2017 9:18 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    The Halfway Point

    It feels a little strange that we're already on Week 10 of your shares, with another ten weeks to go.  Of course, we started planning this year's garden, and your baskets, about a year ago, and the preparation of the beds and such started in February.  Market gardening is certainly a marathon, not a sprint.  We have some treats to look forward to on the downhill slope, such as peppers, winter squashes, the bulk of the onions (you've received barely half of what you're going to get), and a variety of fall brassicas and greens.

    And speaking of greens...
    You have three different ways of getting your leafy greens this week.  There's the leaf lettuce, which is again Bergam's Green. There's also Fordhook Giant Swiss chard, which is an all-green version (okay, sort-of white in the stems).  And then there's the greens attached to the Touchstone Gold beets.  I am in love with these beets.  Their flavor is outstanding, and their gradient golden color makes them about as sensuous as peaches, in my opinion.  I was picking them last night in the long light of sunset and had another one of those "this is why I do this" moments.  You can't really do better than working in beauty while providing things of beauty to people who appreciate them.  Makes my cynicism about the world go away, if only for a little bit.
    Greens and rice
    Our partners Neal and Tasha were out this last week for the eclipse and Neal made us a wonderful dinner of salmon and a Swiss chard sort-of-risotto.  I'm going to adapt his recipe a little bit here:

    1 bunch Swiss chard (or use the beet greens), cleaned, dried, and chopped
    2 cloves garlic, or more, roughly minced
    8 oz. mushrooms, chopped (optional)
    1 cup white rice (we used jasmine rice, which is heresy for risotto, but it turned out fine)
    2 or 3 cups warm chicken or vegetable stock
    1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
    salt and pepper to taste
    2-3 tbsp. olive oil, or half oil and half butter

    In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic in olive oil until just translucent and aromatic, about thirty seconds. Add the mushrooms, if using, and sauté until they give up some of their moisture.  Add the dry rice and stir it to coat with oil, then toast it for a minute or two.  Then, add the greens all at once and cover the skillet with a lid, letting the greens cook down and reduce volume.  When the greens are manageable, start adding the warm stock, about a half cup at a time, stirring occasionally and allowing the liquid to be absorbed into the rice before adding more liquid.  This should take a total of about 20 minutes.  Stir in about 3/4 cup of the Parmesan when you add the last liquid.  Once the last liquid is absorbed, let the pan rest for a few minutes, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and run the skillet under a broiler for about thirty seconds.

    Usually, when you cook greens, it's a good idea to pull out the stalks and cook them for a few minutes longer than the leaves.  I can pretty much guarantee you that you won't have to do that with your greens this week; everything is tender and succulent.
    Oh yeah, beans and stuff too.
    Tomatoes and green beans round out your basket this week.  You could use the green beans in your risotto as well, if you'd like.  The tomatoes are all over the map this week, with Oregon Spring, Bloody Butcher, Manitoba and Brandywine predominating.  There's also the beets, those yellow things on the other end of the beet greens.  If you'd like to try something really different, how about some golden beet-infused vodka? Just peel and chop the raw beets into about a liter of vodka and let it sit for about a week.  The flavor is a bit funky, a bit musty and sweet, and the color is out of this world.  Bloody Marys, golden martinis, even screwdrivers...you get the picture.

    Tomato apocalypse, first warning
    So, you're probably getting tired of all these tomatoes.  If you're not, or if you'd like to make something big, like a sauce or juice or jam, we are about to be overwhelmed with tomatoes.  We will be letting you know when this avalanche of tomatoes is ready; we just wanted you to know that we will have bulk shares available for a very special price to you.  Dust off your canners and get your Mason jars washed.  I'm thinking about two weeks from now, if the weather stays this warm.  You have been warned.

    As we head into the second half of the season, I want to thank you all again for your kindness, your patience, your great ideas, and your food pictures.  You make it all worth getting up in the morning. And, as always, thanks to my husband and partner Michael, whose unfailing cheer, grace, and organizational skills make delivery mornings, and every morning, a joy.

    Eat well, 
    Farmer Joel and the crew
  • 17 Aug 2017 9:11 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings once again from Ffynnon Farm.  We don't know how many of you are heading down into the Path of Totality, but if you do, why don't you take us along?  Pop some tomatoes and strawberries into your cooler and enjoy a fresh treat while the sun goes dark.

    Things are settling into the late summer routine out here on the farm.  There's still some planting to do for your fall vegetables, and we're already preparing some of the beds for over-wintering produce and cover crops, but a lot of the work has devolved to maintenance and harvesting.  The tomato plants are getting a trim; we still have to take out suckers and side shoots to help the existing fruits to ripen.  We also are going through all the tomato plants to remove any current blossoms for the same reason:  there are already plenty of fruits and we want the plants to put all their energy into ripening those.  Of course, there's also weeding, cultivating, fertilizing, and irrigating to be done on a daily basis; these are the things that make up the Zen of a farmer.

    Yep, tomatoes again. And strawberries.
    The tomatoes are a mixed bag of several different varieties this week, including Chef's Choice Orange, Bloody Butcher, Oregon Spring, and Manitoba.  Some of them appear to have thicker skin than normal, and some (the Bloody Butcher) are fairly small--this is normal, it is their nature.  These make great fresh sauce for pasta.  

    Try this simple method for removing the skins:  
    bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, then plunge the tomatoes into the water, one at a time, for about 30 seconds each.  Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon, and then peel them with a paring knife as soon as they are cool enough to handle.  To make the sauce, saute some minced garlic in olive oil until it is translucent (less than a minute), then add the tomatoes, whole, to the pan.  Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon and kind of swirl them around the pan, adding salt and fresh or dried herbs to your taste.  Don't bring them to a boil!  You want the tomatoes to be bright and keep their fresh flavor; this is "almost-not-cooking."  You can add a smidgen of good vinegar at this point if you like, then toss it together with your already-cooked pasta. 

    Just typing this, at nine in the morning, is making me hungry for dinner.

    Greens and radishes
    The radishes are the Celesta variety; we like their almost-magenta color and their mild heat.  If you like to sauté or braise radish greens, note that these may take a few minutes to cook down.  There are more zucchini in your baskets this week.  We hope that you don't think we're "zucchini-bombing" you.  Actually, we've done more strawberry-bombing than anything else.  We've included more of the Bergam's Green leaf lettuce; we like how crisp and sweet these lettuces have stayed through the blasting heat.  New this week is the Nash's Green kale and/or green chard.  It is excellent sautéed, steamed, braised, or baked into chips. 

    Note: if your kale is a tad wilted from the heat, simply cut of the bottoms and place in a glass of water for an hour or so, and it should perk right back up! or you can just cook it tonight! 

    Stay safe!
    Enjoy the eclipse, wherever you go, but please, remember that we're getting a million extra people in our state this weekend.  It's kind of like Woodstock and Burning Man rolled into one.  We're probably going to just hunker down on the farm up here in only 98.6% totality.  Whatever you do, enjoy, be patient, and use your eclipse glasses!  And maybe keep a bottle of water in your car if you venture out.

    Wishing you a happy eclipse,
    Farmer Joel and all of us at Ffynnon Farm

  • 11 Aug 2017 4:57 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Sometimes times gets away from us.  We know you know what we mean. We started picking berries and pulling arugula before sunrise yesterday and then all of the sudden, it was time for deliveries! So, belatedly, here goes:

    Tomatoes and strawberries, again? 

    Yep, and we feel pretty darn good about it. One of the farming groups that I do some work with did a survey of CSA members, and they found that strawberries and tomatoes are the two items that they most look forward to in their baskets. (Rutabagas came in dead last, so I didn't plant any this year; then one of our members said how much he and his mother were craving them. Ah, so it goes.)  Anyhow, the heat has certainly been supporting the growth and ripening of the tomatoes, and the strawberries kicked into gear after last week's picking.  If you didn't get strawberries last week, you got a double serving this week; full share members also got more of the broccoli.  We think there will probably be at least two more deliveries of strawberries from our late but very hard working little patch.

    That's a lot of arugula 

    Especially for our full-share members.  We recommend doing an arugula/strawberry salad, maybe with thinly-shaved red onion, if you still have some from last week.  Or, of course, you could get out the food processor and whip up some pesto, but remember, an assertive cheese in the mix might render it a little too...aromatic is a good word, I guess.  We did a nice chimichurri sauce, which is the national condiment of Argentina; usually it's made with parsley, but arugula gives it a punch.

    • 1 bunch arugula
    • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 34 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 14 cup red wine vinegar
    • juice of 1 half lemon
    • 1 tablespoon diced red onion
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 12 teaspoon salt

    Pulse the arugula in the food processor to chop.  Then add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly.  Use it as sauce or a marinade for beef, smear it on a sandwich, stir it into a salad.

    And the rest?
    Everybody gets a cabbage, great for slaws or braises, and a bunch of rather massive carrots.  These were a bit over-fertilized and had some issues with their planting bed, so we recommend that you use them for juicing or cooking, rather than expecting the sweet, raw carrots you might usually get in the summer. 

    As always, we welcome your recipes and ideas.  We love to see the different ways in which people are using their produce this season! 

    Happy eating!

    Farmer Joel and the rest of us at Ffynnon Farm. 
  • 03 Aug 2017 9:33 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings from Ffynnon Farm!  The high temperatures and smoky haze have affected just about every aspect of life in the area, and your CSA is no exception. Here's a rundown of what changes we're making to adapt to the situation, and some of the benefits of the heat:

    No leafy greens this week

    It's just a little bit too warm for us to guarantee that spinach or lettuce won't turn into a wilted prom corsage before you pick it up, and what we have in the field looks like it can benefit from watering and will hold out until next week, so we're just going to leave the salad greens where they are this time around.

    Everybody dance:  it's tomatoes!

    The heat, and particularly the overnight retention of heat, has brought on the tomatoes like there's no tomorrow.  While we can't guarantee that there will be tomatoes in every basket from here on out, things are looking good right now. Every member gets at least two tomatoes this week, and possibly more if the harvest is heavier than we expected.

    Onions are curing nicely

    And so we have more in your baskets.  These are still technically thinnings, but they are bigger than normal thinnings and also a bit more mature and drier, which means they'll last a bit longer.  The red ones are Red Hawk, and the yellow ones are a mix of Cortland, New York Early, and Zoey.

    Green beans and broccoli (and berries)...Oh my!
    ...and zucchinis as well.  The zukes are a bit bigger this week, and we'll probably be giving you a break from them for a bit after this.  The broccoli, which is a blend of Belstar and Bay Meadows varieties, looks very good, but the purplish blush and the slight yellowing is a touch of sun scald. We tried it and it doesn't affect flavor at all--and I really like the texture.  The green beans are Caprice.

    We also (finally) got a decent harvest from our everbearing strawberries this week.  Decent, but not prolific, which means that some of you will receive your basket of berries next week instead of today.  Please be assured that everyone will, in the end, receive the same amount of food as others with the same share.

    Don't cook!
    We're doing our utmost to not add heat to the inside of the house, and we encourage others to do the same.  One of my favorite not-cooking recipes is for:
    Panzanella, or Italian bread salad.  

    Core and peel a few tomatoes (ones that are both meaty and juicy are best).  Place them in a strainer over a bowl and break them up with your fingers. Sprinkle them with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and set aside, while preparing about 4-8 slices of crusty, maybe a little stale, bread: rub the bread with a cut clove of garlic and toast it under a broiler or in a toaster oven. Tear it into bite-sized pieces once it's nicely browned and cooled, then put it into a bowl with the strained juice from the tomatoes.  Discard the tomato seeds and chop the meat of the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Add the tomatoes to the bread, along with about 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon good vinegar (red wine, balsamic, etc.), some herbs such as oregano or marjoram, and some freshly-ground black pepper. Toss, taste, and adjust seasonings; serve immediately. Or, do what I do: keep the bowl and eat the whole thing yourself. 
  • 27 Jul 2017 9:41 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    Hey, what happened to week 5?

    We apologize to everyone that we did not get a post out last week, particularly since some of you didn't know what those round yellow things were that showed up in your basket last week.  Yes, they were golden beets, of the Touchstone Gold variety, one of our favorites out here on the farm.  Suffice it to say that our internet connection went down in a manner completely typical of living in the forest:  a log truck took out some overhead wires, and the resultant power surge blew out all the fiber optic modems in a wide area around us.  It took our provider a week to replace them all, and somehow we ended up last on the list to get our service back.  We are grateful to be back in communication, however, which leads us to:

    Hey, what are these alien things in my CSA basket?

    Well, the bright yellow things that look like a flying saucer from the planet Amarillo are patty pan summer squash. For those of you who have not cooked with these before, these are exactly the same genus as zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, and you can use them in exactly the same way:  slice them into a vegetable casserole; grate them for use in bread or as fritters or pancakes, or simply cut them up and put them on a veggie tray with your favorite dip.  They are also perfect for stuffing:  cut off the stem end, scoop out the meat to within about a half inch of the skin, mix the meat with anything you want (bread crumbs or croutons, other grated vegetables, any kind of cheese, even cooked sausage, with an egg as binder), and stuff it back into the shell.  Bake at 350 degrees until everything is heated through and the shells are soft and saggy, and you've got an easy side dish or even an entrée. 

    The long red things are, of course, rhubarb. This is one my favorite vegetables masquerading as fruit.  If you haven't cooked with rhubarb before, I think you're in for a treat. Again, this is a very simple process: chop the rhubarb into one-inch chunks and place them in a small saucepan with just a little bit of water.  Add sugar or other sweetener and cook the mixture on low until the chunks are soft. Taste and adjust for sweetness. You can use this compote as you would any other fruit sauce:  on pancakes or ice cream, on your breakfast cereal, or with pound cake and whipped cream.  Or, look up "Rhubarb Fool" on the internet; it's a parfait made with yogurt and whipped cream.  One word of advice:  if, when you are chopping the rhubarb, the skin seems to be stringy like tough celery, peel that outer layer of skin.  You can do it with your fingernail, but a sharp paring knife works as well.

    You can also make pickled rhubarb almost as quickly and easily:

    1 bunch rhubarb stalks, trimmed to fit 2 8-ounce or 1 pint resealable jar

    1 1/2 cups water

    3/4 cups cider vinegar

    1 tablespoon granulated sugar

    1 tablespoon salt

    Tightly arrange the trimmed rhubarb stalks upright in the jars.  In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Boil for one minute.  Pour the vinegar-water mixture over the rhubarb, leaving a half-inch headspace at the top of the jars.  Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

    You can add spices of your choice to the pickling liquid; cinnamon, star anise, mustard seeds and allspice all have their fans.  Just remember to take the more potent flavorings (like star anise) out of the liquid before you store the jars, or you'll end up with flavors that mask the rhubarb rather than enhance it.  These pickles are great with cheeses and pate; or they make a great garnish for cocktails, especially ones made with floral liqueurs.  When you're finished with the pickles, use the pickle juice in your cocktails, topped with club soda.

    Rounding out the baskets this week are Bergam's Green leaf lettuce and some lovely white salad onions.  As you can tell, these onions are extremely fresh, with no outer skin--they have not been "cured."  This means they need to be used quickly and should probably be refrigerated until you are ready to use them.  We think they would be great minced into the stuffing of your Patty Pan squash.

    And finally, about egg cartons:
    Thank you so much for returning your egg cartons along with your baskets.  We truly appreciate the reuse and recycling opportunities, and we are planning on expanding our flock of chickens greatly so that more of you can take part in the egg shares next year.  However, we have received many more egg cartons with other companies' logos and trademarks than we can use right now, so please, return only the plain, non-printed egg cartons that we use to send the eggs to you.  We'll use what you've sent us so far for refrigerated storage, with gratitude.  And now, it's time to load up the truck and get your baskets of alien veggies to you.

    Be Well. Eat Well.

    Farmer Joel



  • 12 Jul 2017 8:34 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings from the farm!  It has been a busy week for us here at Ffynnon, but then again, aren't they all?  The ground space left by last week's harvest has already been completely cleaned and replanted in fall vegetables and rapid-maturing crops like arugula and radishes.  Those fast crops may fail if it stays hot, but we'll take that chance.  We are also breaking new ground for some of the late summer and fall crops, and Neal and Michael have been going like gangbusters on that project.  We are assembling the last components of our drip irrigation system as well.  We had started on this last year, but still had some corners of the farm that needed to be hand-watered.  Soon, all our plants will benefit from drip tape irrigation, which is better for the produce, saves about 70% of our water, and saves us hours of time per week.   

    This week's vegetables are still of the green variety, but we think you'll be all right with that.  First is a big bag of spinach, a smooth-leaf variety. It's a little bit rustic, untrimmed and unwashed, but we know if you're juicing you can use the whole plant.  Please remember, though, that no matter how clean or rinsed or trimmed any produce looks, always wash it before preparing and serving it.  Members also receive both zucchini and cucumber this week, along with the first of the cabbage.  Rounding out the baskets is a big handful of sage.  

    Michael is bagging up the sage as I'm typing this, and I'm getting a little bit hungry and kind of salivating for a recipe (using that handful of sage) that I'd had a couple of times before seeing it in the New York Times magazine section a couple of weeks ago.  I highly encourage you to check it out: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018737-jamie-olivers-chicken-in-milk.  It's a recipe that sounds like it could be disastrous, but it's actually both simple and easy--and in cooking as in life, those two words do not always mean the same thing.  Serve it with a salad made from the other items in your basket, soak up the juices with some crusty bread, and please, invite us.  You could also use your sage in biscuits or scones (mince some into the dry ingredients, then press a whole leaf into the top of each one before baking) or in the world's easiest pasta dish: toss spaghetti with melted butter or olive oil, some of the sage leaves sliced thinly, and a few shavings of pecorino-romano cheese.  Wonderful and satisfying when you want something warm, even on a hot day.

    We've been reminded over the past week, by the way, that you can put just about anything into a cold salad and make it work.  We had the last of the arugula hanging around (the same batch you got last week), some thawed cocktail shrimp that we had to use up, and some bacon.  Tossed it with some cold macaroni, a little cheese, and a dollop of mayo, and it was a salad you'd have paid $14 for anyplace downtown.

    I know that most of you have been looking for some color other than green in your baskets, and believe me, we've been wanting to oblige you.  Take heart; things are beginning to get a little more vibrant.  The tomatoes are showing their first blush, and all the different varieties we have look healthy and promise to be productive.  Last year we were plagued by blossom-end rot and catface, neither of which seem to be problems this year.  The first variety that will be ready will be Oregon Spring.  We have more than two tomato plants per share member this year, so we hope we can share a big bounty with you.  The same goes for our strawberries, which are an everbearing variety.  The first flush of berries was small and nearly useless, but we think that may have been due to cold weather, among other things.  Things are looking up, and we should be able to get you some berries in a few weeks. 

    Eat well. Be well.



  • 06 Jul 2017 8:07 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings once again from Ffynnon Farm! It's eight o'clock on Thursday morning, and Michael and I have been in from the fields for about half an hour, packaging and packing your veggies for today's delivery.  I'm going to make today's post short and sweet, because I want to get everything into coolers and on the truck, under shade, before the heat of the day hits us. 

    We've been working hard at the picking and packing, but every once in a while in between bunching radishes and trimming pea shoots, one of us will stop, survey the room full of produce, and say, "Wow, that's pretty."  We love that farming is as much an aesthetic adventure as an agricultural or culinary one.

    With that in mind, I think you're going to pleased with this week's items. We have our first beets for you this week, always a favorite of mine. We left the greens off this time around; they were just not pretty enough to send out. In the same bag with the beets, you'll find a big handful of pea shoots. You can do quite a bit with these; think of them in the same way you would any other green.  You can toss them into or top a green salad with them; you can also throw them into a stir-fry or a bunch of steamed veggies. Just remember to throw them into the heat at the very end cooking--you want them to be just wilted, not overdone.  You can also puree them into any pesto you can think of. The big bunch of arugula in your basket would be great to mix them in with.  Just be careful with the flavoring that goes with your arugula pesto:  walnut oil, walnuts, and pine nuts are all good companions, but I'm not sure that any hard cheese would go well with the earthy (some would say skunky) flavor of the arugula. You could also work your pea shoots into a dip, pureed with cream cheese or sour cream for spreading on other veggies.  Lastly, the green onions in your basket can complement any of these items or cooking styles.

    We want to thank you all for your positive feedback as well as for your patience and kindness these first few weeks. We're getting this delivery thing down and our efficiency is improving.  We look forward to a full and satisfying season over the next seventeen weeks. 

    Be Well. Eat Well.  

    Farmer Joel

    and all of us at Ffynnon Farm

  • 05 Jul 2017 2:53 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings Ffynnon Community!

    We are changing our membership model to open our doors even wider...

    Our Steward membership level is now a tiny onetime $5 fee for lifetime membership. We still need to charge a small amount to make sure you are (close to) human and have a real desire to join us, but otherwise we want you and your friends to join us and help shape a great community. 

    Yep, if you’ve been a recurring Steward - Thank you! - you now have the option to choose the new onetime $5 Steward Level, but of course you are welcome to continue supporting us as a monthly or yearly recurring Steward.

    Manage your Membership

    For those of you who have supported us in the past but could not afford to continue, you are now all active Stewards.

    Please encourage your friends to sign up with Ffynnon! What we really need is to get the word out about our beautiful forest sanctuary and CSA, and (practically) free membership is how we are going to do that and bring us all together. 

    For those of you who are able to join us at the Warden membership level or above, that’s AWESOME! This especially helps us manage our business and plan for the future.

    We deeply appreciate all of the love and support you’ve given us so far and look forward to meeting new friends and supporters who share our love of Art, Nature, and Spirit at Ffynnon.

    With great love and respect for all,

    The Ffynnon Group

    Michael, Joel, Neal, and Tasha

  • 28 Jun 2017 9:38 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    CSA Week Two

    The first week of CSA delivery is under our belts, and other than some obvious hiccups and some procedural questions (more on those later), we're pretty happy with the way things are going. This week's baskets will include leaf lettuce and Sugar Ann snow peas along with spearmint and oregano.  There may be a fifth item, depending on our estimate of whether we have enough of that item for all our subscribers--we'll make that decision on Thursday morning, right before we load the truck for delivery.
    Something we did not really expect was the number of people who sent us pictures and recipes showing us what they made with their basket items. Kelly made a parsley pesto with her flat-leaf parsley, and salad rolls with the Romaine lettuce.  Wendy sent us a photo of her roasted scallions and radishes with browned butter, beet greens and cilantro.  We intend to post your recipes and photos in a separate blog post, so please, if you send us anything, let us know if we can share it.

    Our recipe this week is very simple but very versatile and uses just one of the items in your basket.  You can use Spearmint Simple Syrup as an ingredient in cocktails, as a sweetener for lemonade or iced tea, or for fresh fruit desserts:

    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    1 cup sugar or other sweetener
    1 cup water

    Combine the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and to prevent browning or sticking.  Let the mixture steep for about 30 minutes, then pour through a strainer into a glass jar. This will keep, refrigerated, for about a month.  You can make a double batch of this, then pour it into a shallow pan and place it in the freezer. Every thirty minutes or so, stir the mixture with a spoon. In about two hours, it should be mostly frozen but still a bit slushy:  Fresh Mint Granita.  I will leave the possibilities for frozen mojitos and mint juleps to your imagination.

    While the oregano in your baskets probably won't benefit from the sugar syrup treatment, it's still a good herb to have around:  sprinkle it on pizza, work it into a pasta with a little butter or oil, some garlic, and a little Parmesan, or do a wet rub on chicken with garlic cloves or shallots.  if you still have some left over, save it and the woody stems to throw on the grill just before you put the meat on.  
    Timely deliveries and communication
    We apologize sincerely for the lateness of last week's delivery.  A cascading storm of delays piled on the earlier delays (like a late start through the Vista Ridge tunnel) to make my last stop a good three hours later than it should have been.  We have taken several steps to prevent this from ever happening in the future, but we'd also like to ask for your help.  I am putting your cell phone numbers into my phone's contact list, and grouping each number by your delivery location.  That way, I can easily let each person know if we run into a delay getting to their pickup.  We got cell numbers for most of you when you signed up for the CSA, but some of you gave us a landline number or an email address. If you think this applies to you, please send us your cell phone number so we can complete our group listings. I promise to use it only to let you know that your basket has arrived, or that it will be late.

    If you are missing an item, need to cancel your delivery, or otherwise need to contact Farmer Joel on Thursday delivery days, the best way to do that is by texting to my cell, 503-313-7839.  Texting is best, as I will be driving, but can read and respond at the next stop.
    Procedural stuff
    We wanted to remind you that eggs are delivered every other week, for a total of ten dozen eggs over a twenty week season. Members who pick up their shares in Beaverton or Southeast Portland received their first dozen last week, while members in Concordia and outer Northeast will get theirs this week.  This ensures that every member gets the freshest eggs possible (while reducing the strain on our girls). 

    Also, we would appreciate it if you could return your CSA containers each week. This week, we are debuting the peck and half bushel woven baskets that we will be using throughout the rest of the season. We would like to get these back promptly so that we don't have to spend your veggie money on more packaging--and the black tubs from the first week are what we use to make potting soil and fertilizer and to harvest your greens.

    Let us know if you have questions, continue to share you recipes with us and we hope you enjoy this week's box!

    Farmer Joel 
    and all of us at Ffynnon Farms

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57009 Pebble Creek Rd
Vernonia, Oregon 97064

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