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Word from the Woods

  • 01 Mar 2017 10:11 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings from Ffynnon Farm!


    We are busy planning and planting for the 2017 CSA season, and we’re inviting you to join in our bounty by becoming a shareholding member of Ffynnon Farm.  If you were a member last year, we’d like to thank you for helping us to a successful first season. This year, we’re adding more variety, more choices, and quite simply, more food to your CSA share!

    If you don’t know what a CSA is, the concept is simple:  it’s subscription farming.  Community Supported Agriculture members purchase a share in a farm’s production at the beginning of the growing season.  This enables the farmer to purchase seeds, starts, and supplies without going to a bank for credit.  In turn, the shareholder receives the freshest possible vegetables, fruits, and herbs each week without the overhead or markup of a grocery store or farmers’ market.  Members pick up their shares each week at locations in their neighborhoods.

    This year, members can choose from either a full or half share, and an extremely limited number of egg shares (some of which are already taken!).  We are busy putting more of our pasture land into production, so that each week our harvest will be bigger and contain more variety than before.  This new acreage joins our existing produce gardens, strawberry fields, and our heritage orchard.  We’ve added the half-share option in response to popular demand.  A full share is designed to meet the needs of a family of four or five veggie lovers or two to three vegans; a half share will provide for an omnivore couple or individual.

    Farming is an inherently uncertain business.  For that reason, we like to know how many shareholders we’ll be serving as early in the season as possible.  To that end, we’re offering a discount of $50 off a full share and $25 off a half share to members who join and pay at least half down by April 30.  That’s almost two weeks of a full share for free!

    For more information and to sign up for your CSA share, please visit ffynnonoregon.com/csa.  From all of us at Ffynnon Farm, we’d like to thank you in advance for letting us play with your food.

  • 07 Jul 2016 9:30 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)


    It has been a busy week out here at Ffynnon Farm, but then again, aren't they all? We are still building planting beds so that we have a strong system of working and fallow beds in the seasons and years to come, and planting for fall vegetables continues apace. We have begun, however, to settle into a routine on harvest and delivery days, and we hope that it is working out for you, as well.

    This week's boxes will include a variety of greens and things. Everyone will receive a large bunch of Nero Tondo radishes. These are a variety that I had not grown before, and I have to admit I tried them for the novelty of it: a radish with a black skin. As it turns out, the skin is not quite as appetizing as it could be, but it also peels very easily: just give it a start with the same knife you slice off the tops and root tips with. It's up to you, but we think peeling your Nero Tondos gives them a better texture.

    Everyone will also receive a bunch of curly kale and a bunch of Bright Lights Swiss chard. These are, of course, wonderful sautéed or braised with a bit of pork fat and garlic, but you can also make kale chips: simply wash and thoroughly dry the kale, cut the leaves away from the midribs and tear into bite-sized pieces, toss with a little bit of olive oil and coarse salt, and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until the curly edges are just slightly brown. These are addictive and very easy.

    Do you all remember my lament about the arugula with holes in it last week? Well, we've gone ahead and harvested it and put it in your boxes, because even holey arugula is better than none. It might not be the most attractive thing in a salad, but it still layers well in a sandwich--I love a combination of arugula, roasted pepper, and sharp white cheese on just about any kind of sandwich. You can also get out the food processor and turn your arugula into pesto or a green mayonnaise.

    Arugula Mayonnaise

    1 egg yolk
    2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or other vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
    large pinch of salt
    1 cup olive oil, or a combination of olive and canola oils
    about two cups packed arugula, washed and dried

    In food processor, buzz together the egg yolk, mustard, vinegar, and salt. With the blade running, add the oil: slowly at first, and then in a thin, steady stream as the mixture begins to thicken. When mixture is thick and opaque, taste and adjust seasonings; it should be strongly seasoned. Add the arugula to the work bowl with the mayonnaise and puree; taste and adjust seasonings again, if necessary. This is great on sandwiches or as a dressing for hot or cold vegetables.

    The blueberries make one more appearance this week, as well. And for our egg share members, everyone who has one egg share will receive their shares this week. For those of you who got two egg shares, we (the birds, that is) have settled into a routine and you will receive one dozen eggs per week.

    Some of you will be receiving a bag of shelling (or English) peas this week, as well. The harvest this week was too small to provide them to everyone, but everyone will be getting them over the next couple of weeks. The variety we planted this year is Lincoln, an old-fashioned type that is sweet and good both raw and cooked.

    In other news, we harvested our garlic and shallots this week, so you have something to look forward to in the next few boxes. Both vegetables are drying and curing here at the farm, and they are quite plentiful, so vinaigrettes and roasted garlic will be the order of the day very soon, say in two or three weeks. Next week's box will also include our first "little something extra" item that we promised when we started the CSA. Until then, happy eating.

    Thanks again,

    Farmer Joel


  • 30 Jun 2016 12:49 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    This week's CSA recipe and blog

    June 30, 2016
     
     
     
     
     

    Greetings Ffynnon CSA members!

    First of all, a reminder that your CSA boxes will be ready today (and every Thursday for the next 19 weeks) at your regular pick-up site address, from 3-8pm.  If you need that address again, or instructions on where to go once you get there, please feel free to email source@ffynnonoregon.com or text us at 503-206-1765 (this is Tasha's cell, since I will be on the road delivering!). 

    Also, a small reminder to those that bought egg shares that those deliveries happen every other week. So, don't worry if your box does not include eggs this week, they'll be back again next week. 

    It has been a busy week out here on the farm, and there's actually still things to be picked and put in your boxes, so I will get right to it. This week, your box will include: a box of blueberries, a bunch of baby carrots (these are Adelaide carrots, bred to be a "true baby" variety), a large handful of chives, and a bag of baby kale. I also intended to have a bunch of arugula in this week's box, but unfortunately, I just got back from the field where I found the arugula to be full of tiny holes that weren't there two days ago. Lots of tiny little holes. I am planting another crop of arugula right away; we'll see if we can get you some before the weather turns so hot that it bolts. Apparently, the arugula has served as a "trap crop" for the bugs, because the chard and spinach in the same bed are hole-free, as are all my other brassicas. Go figure.

    The kale is an Italian or "dinosaur" variety known as Toscano. The leaves are tender enough at this point to be eaten raw; as a matter of fact, I think a good use of them would be to make a tossed salad using the kale, some blueberries, and maybe some shaved Parmesan or crumbled Feta. This week's recipe is for a chive vinaigrette, which would be fantastic on this salad:

    Chive Vinaigrette

    1/4 cup good vinegar (such as champagne, sherry, or balsamic)
    1/2 tsp salt, plus more if needed
    1/2 tsp Dijon or other mustard (acts as an emulsifier)
    3/4 cup olive oil up to 1/4 cup minced fresh chives

    Put all the ingredients except the chives into a jar, cover with a lid and shake until well blended. Add the chives and shake again. Taste and adjust salt, and add freshly ground black pepper, if desired. This will keep, refrigerated, for a few days, but bring it back up to room temperature and shake again before tossing into a salad.

    If you come up with amazing recipes with your veggies, please feel free to share them, as we are compiling a list and will post those on our website, so you all can share in the beautiful food you create with your local produce. 

    It is just now noon, and I'm getting the truck loaded and heading to Portland now. All locations should have their boxes dropped by the 3pm deadline.


    Thanks again,

    Farmer Joel.



     
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  • 31 May 2016 6:17 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)


    It's 9:30 in the morning as I write this, and I've already been out at work for about three hours, watering and weeding the crops in the field as well as tending the plants in the greenhouse and grow room.  Michael has also been at it in our upper garden, cultivating the strawberries, carrots, beets, garlic and shallots.  I'm going to head  back out as soon as I'm done here, in order to get (I hope) three more beds planted today.  It's a fun game we're playing out here, trying to keep all the balls in the air, tending the existing crops, making space for new ones, and planning for the ones that come later in the season.

    As always, the weather is the primary concern for any farmer, particularly here in northwestern Oregon, where temperature swings of almost fifty degrees in one day are not uncommon.  This makes it problematic to plan for "cool-weather" and "warm-weather" crops, since we have both types in the same day!  The weather forecast calls for a high of 91 degrees today; by Saturday, it's supposed to get up to 98.  For this reason, keeping the crops well-watered is essential. I have been monitoring soil moisture constantly, and sometimes we irrigate twice in one day.  It's particularly important for vegetables like carrots, which require a moist bed in order to germinate and break through the soil, but not so much water that they suffocate, drown, or wash away.

    With just over three weeks to go until our first harvest date, we're also busy tightening down our logistics for getting the produce to you in the best, freshest possible way.  The June 23 pick-up date happens to coincide with an event that many of our members, both regular share owners and pick-up site volunteers, will be attending.  Coincidentally, that event, which runs from that Thursday through Sunday, is taking place out here at Ffynnon.  For that reason, we are going to tweak our pick-up schedule a bit.  We will let you know all the details ahead of time, but for now, it appears that, for many of you, your first week's produce (if you are not attending Sunfest) will be delivered to your home address.  If you are attending Sunfest, we will pick your produce and collect your eggs on Sunday morning, then give it to you as you are leaving Ffynnon.  Again, we will be in touch with each of you to make certain you and your veggies get together without a hitch.

    Well, it's about time for me to head back out to the garden--those veggies aren't going to plant themselves!  Here's wishing you a great week. Find yourself a shady spot, try to stay cool, and we'll talk again soon.


    All the best from Ffynnon Farm,

    Ffarmer Joel


  • 20 Apr 2016 11:23 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)


    Spring has certainly made her return with a vengeance here at Ffynnon, and that reminds us that there is less than two weeks remaining for our early-bird discount on your 2016 Ffynnon Farm CSA share!  The garlic and shallots are showing impressive growth, our new strawberry plants are becoming well established, and the peas and other early crops are practically leaping skyward, both in the greenhouse and in the newly planted beds.  We are doing everything we can to take advantage of these warm and (mostly!) dry days so that you get the best in variety and quality right from the first box in your share.

    Our CSA share is designed to provide a week’s worth of produce for a family three to four, or for a pair of serious veggie lovers.  We do not offer half shares this year, but we do encourage folks to split shares.  Beyond freshness and great flavor, a Ffynnon Farm CSA share is also intended to provide a great value—our goal is to stock your box with items worth at least ten percent more than you would get for the same price at a typical natural grocery.  Add in your $50 off for signing up by April 30, and you’re getting almost two full weeks of produce for free!

    We plan to start our share season on Thursday, June 16, but we are keeping the starting date flexible—Mother Nature is the ultimate keeper of all schedules here at Ffynnon and everywhere else.   Extra warm and dry days might move the first delivery date ahead to June 9; conversely, if growth is a little slow, we’ll push things back to June 23.  In any case, you will get a full 21-week season of veggies, fruits, herbs, and flowers. 

    Many of you have been asking about the contents of your share boxes and what you can expect throughout the growing season, so let me take you on a tour through your CSA summer.  First of all, know that we are going to try to include a leafy salad green in every box.  By “leafy salad green,” we generally mean “lettuce,” and we are growing several types and varieties in order to provide you with lettuce throughout the season.  Some varieties thrive in heat, while others “bolt” (flower and go to seed) at the first hint of warmth, so we will always have several varieties in the pipeline.  Other greens will include spinach, arugula, Swiss chard, and kale.  Early in the season, you can expect beets, carrots, spinach, and arugula in your box.  Peas will be another early feature, and we have them in three forms: snow peas, snap peas, and shelling or English peas.  As the season moves along, peas will give way to beans, broccoli, early cabbage, and the like.  Full, warm summer brings tomatoes, of course; we currently have six varieties in the greenhouse, including Brandywine and other heirlooms, and our favorite cherry tomato, SunGold.  Summer squashes, corn, and onions take the stage in August and September, and then it’s back to cabbages, as well as cauliflower, winter squash, potatoes, and other end-of-season favorites.  Sprinkled in amongst these more substantial offerings, you’ll find little delights like radishes and kohlrabi, green onions and baby eggplant.  Fresh flowers and herbs will round out your box as they become available.


  • 23 Feb 2016 9:14 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Greetings, friends of Ffynnon!

    We are happy to announce that shares are now available for the 2016 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at Ffynnon.  A CSA is like a subscription service for vegetables, but more than that, it is a sustained relationship between you, your farmer, and the land we love out here at Ffynnon.

    If you are not familiar with the concept of a CSA, these are the nuts and bolts: you purchase a “share” in the production of our farm for the 2016 season.  Then, each week for 21 weeks beginning in mid-June, we will deliver farm-fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits from the fields here at Ffynnon to designated pick-up sites in the Portland metro area.  Each share is designed to meet the produce needs of a family of three to four, or a household of two serious veggie lovers.  The advantages of this “subscription” concept are many:  by pre-paying for your season’s vegetables, you enable the farmer to purchase seeds, supplies, and soil amendments for the whole year, eliminating the risk of borrowing against an uncertain market.  In turn, you receive the freshest possible vegetables without paying the mark-up at a retail store or farmers’ market.  In most cases, the produce you receive at your pick-up site in the afternoon will have just come out of the ground that morning!  Each week, you will also receive a newsletter with details about what’s in your food box, along with recipes and tips for getting the most out of your share.  We will also have a limited number of egg shares available from Ffynnon’s flock of happy chickens.

    A share in the CSA costs $550, but we are starting the season with a $50 discount for signing up before April 30.  Discounts are also available for those who become members of Ffynnon at the Warden or Elder level.   Shareholders can pick up their bounty at convenient locations in the Portland area:  inner Southeast (near 11th and Harrison), inner Southwest (near Nebraska and Macadam), inner Northeast (in Alameda near 27th), outer Northeast (near 102nd and Fremont), Beaverton, and Hillsboro. 

     For more information and to sign up for your share, visit:

    Ffynnonoregon.com/CSA

    We hope that our love of the land and our commitment to bringing you the best of Ffynnon’s bounty proves to be infectious.  All of us here at Ffynnon thank you in advance for letting us play with your food.

    Wishing you the best of health and happy eating,

    Your Ffarmers at Ffynnon

  • 28 Jun 2015 11:52 AM | Joel Sweet (Administrator)

    Thank you so much to Aine, the OWOW Board, the ritualists and workshop team, our Vernonia neighbors and the entire community for an amazing year at Sunfest! We think it was the best year yet, despite the heat and the bugs. 

    We had so much fun with you all and thanks for helping us look after the land so well. 

    We want to continue making this event and others held on the land better and better each year.  Plans are to add a communal kitchen, picnic benches, a yoga deck (or 2!), spaces for workshops, more shady camping, etc.  For this to happen, we would love your help - by becoming a member of Ffynnon!

    Even the $5/month membership helps us with our goals to shape this land and add more space for our community. 

    Please read more on our Membership page. We look forward to seeing you soon!

    Michael, Joel, Tasha, and Neal


  • 11 May 2015 11:19 AM | Ffynnon (Administrator)
    Greetings Ffynnon Members and Friends of Ffynnon!

    Summer is upon us, and thus our busy season.  We are excited to be a part of your festivals, camping events, day time excursions, group retreats, and walks in the woods.   To make your time here more enjoyable, we have a wish list this summer! We are trying to aquire the following items and we would appreciate your help. Every cent of money we raise goes directly to upgrading, maintaining, and adding to the land itself, to make your time here fun, carefree, and relaxing. You can use our e-mail address (source@ffynnonoregon.com) at PayPal anytime to make a one time donation or encourage your friends to become MembersDonations of materials and skills are always welcome.  Please contact us at source@ffynnonoregon.com

    Thanks in advance for your support, as always!

    • Picnic tables:  our goal is to build at least 4 custom picnic tables this year, with detached benches, to provide more places to eat, hang out and relax in the sun! We hope to purchase quality wood so that these last for many years. 
    • Yoga/activity deck: from yoga classes, to workshop space, to a sunbathing deck, this multi-purpose deck will be made mostly from materials on our own land, which will need to be processed, to be deck ready. Yoga mats, a cabinet for storage, and props will also be needed. 
    • Gravel: for numerous roads and paths, to allow accessibility for all of our guests, especially those with mobility challenges. 
    • Trenches/drains: many of you have seen Ffynnon in the wet season. We are working to guide the water into specific channels, so that the paths you walk on are dry and accessible all year long, rain or shine. This takes drains, rock, and other materials. 
    • Camp kitchen:  We aim to provide a temporary camp kitchen for the summer months, so that you have to provide less of your own cooking equipment.  Items in need are : compost container, graywater disposal, metal kitchen sink and drains, camp stoves and ovens, propane, tables, dishes and cutlery, tea kettle, dish rack, coolers, storage cabinets and tupperware containers for above items. 
    Thank you so much!  We cannot wait for you to come out to Ffynnon this summer and witness for yourself how the land is shaping into the retreat center we all dream of, where Art, Spirit and Nature combine to provide a transformative experience in the woods. We know for certain none of this would be happening without your continued efforts, skills, financial and moral support!

    With love from the trees,
    Tasha, on behalf of the whole Ffynnon Group


  • 02 May 2015 8:16 AM | Joel Sweet (Administrator)

    So I've been looking over the website this morning prior to heading out for the day's work, and I've noticed that there really is not enough gratitude flowing out of these pages to all the folks who've volunteered to come out and help us this spring season.  Let's see if we can't set that right:  thank you to everyone who attended the three work parties so far this year; thank you to OWOW for their hard work and organizational skills; thank you to anyone who shared so much as a candy bar while clearing trails.  This work burns a lot of calories and strains a lot of muscles, and we at Ffynnon are grateful and proud of everything you do.

    There is, of course, much more to be done, and you can find out about the remaining volunteer weekends and member appreciation days elsewhere on the website. Just for now, however, pat yourselves on the back and bask in the electronic appreciation of a very grateful founding partner.

  • 12 Apr 2015 1:33 PM | Ffynnon (Administrator)

    Ffynnon Members, we need your help!  We are busy preparing our new Fire Circle for this year's events.  We are asking all Members of Ffynnon to submit a propsal for the name of this new community space. If you haven't seen it yet, we invite you out to one of our work parties, or just call us to arrange a visit! 

    The 3rd weekend in June, a week before Sunfest, we will choose among the submissions and an annoucement of the new name will be made both at Sunfest and online.  The winner of the submission will of course, get the pleasure of knowing their choice lives on forever at Ffynnon, but also a FREE gift of a year's Stewardship (a $60 value) to give to a friend or family member, so that they too can benefit from the gifts of nature and the Ffynnon community! 

    We are accepting submissons now, through our Facebook Page or by e-mailing us.  We look forward to your creative ideas for this beautiful new space. 

    Yours in art, spirit and nature, 

    Tasha and the Ffynnon team

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source@ffynnonoregon.com

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56965 Pebble Creek Rd
Vernonia, Oregon 97064

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