Sign up for CSA!

We are now accepting general signups for our 2014 CSA season!  Hurrah!  Get yourself some fresh local food direct from NE Portland this year.

Read all about the 2014 CSA and how to sign up HERE.

Here’s a few CSA shares from last year to get your tastebuds going…

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Gallery

Happy spring

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Here are some images from early spring on the farm to whet your whistle!  The CSA page is now updated for 2014!  Check it out here.

Early transplant seeding

 

Just writing with a quick update on what’s going on in the greenhouse these days: early transplant seeding.  There are a few improvements to my seed starting system this year: remay to cover the germination table and a better hand watering attachment for the hose – a Fogg-it mister which is provides a very gentle fine mist so as not to disturb the potting soil.  So far I’ve seeded leeks, bulb onions, shallots, cippolinis, parsley, celery, celeriac, fennel, and swiss chard.  Here are a few photos with explanations to give you a sense of how things are progressing.20140215-172541.jpgLittle fennel starts on the go!

20140215-172604.jpgGreen onions!  You can see the skin of the seeds still on the ends of the stalks.

20140215-172630.jpgThis is the germination table, covered by remay to retain extra heat as seeds germinate and get going.  There are a few heat mats that provide bottom heat to the trays just after they are seeded for a few days to a week.  This helps them get a quick and vigorous start.

20140215-172619.jpgAbove, bulb onions, leeks, shallots, cippolinis…  all your lovely alliums to be.

I’ll try to keep updating the blog here and there throughout the winter and spring so you can stay current with the farm’s progress!  Here’s to some yummy future veggies.

- Farmer (and new papa) Matt.

12/2/13

20131203-095118.jpgWhew!  We made it through the season!  The final CSA share of the year is here folks, and it’s relatively hefty.  Thanks to all the Thursday folks who made the switch to Monday in advance of this freeze.  Remember to protect any outdoor plumbing you may have.  We’re in for a good amount of cold wintery weather.  Here’s the rundown on the share:

Brussel sprouts - you have a mixture of green and red brussels.  I think the red ones have a slightly sweeter flavor, what do you think?  I would recommend removing them from their bag, letting air dry in a colander, and then rebagging for the fridge if not using them right away to avoid problems with too much moisture.  They are fairly small and may need a little cleaning (i.e. removal of ends and an outer leaf or two).  I like brussels roasted in the oven with melted butter.  You may want to cut the larger ones in half so they are similar in size to the small ones.  Some of the red ones didn’t form fully into normal brussel heads but roast them anyway – should be tasty still. I would toss them with a bit of melted butter, salt, and pepper, then roast at 350-375 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Then you might want to toss them with a little crumbled hard cheese and chopped nuts of your choice…

black radish - this is a wintertime specialty.  They are spicy on the exterior and relatively sweet on the interior so if you want less bite remove the outer skin.  I like them sliced into super thin rounds on salad, or sliced a little thicker and used as a dipper like a chip.

radicchio - you have two (or more) small heads: red and green.  The red is “palla rossa” and the green is “castelfranco”, both classic italian varieties.  They are sweet to bitter depending on the part of the head you are eating: the middle tends to be sweeter and the outer leaves more bitter.  With all these chicory family salad greens I like to chop, soak in cold water, dry, and eat with a simple vinaigrette or olive oil/lemon/salt dressing.

lettuce - yes those are tiny heads of lettuce in your share – throw em in the salad.

carrots - “red core chantenay” is the variety.  I definitely notice them being sweeter now after a few frosts.

beets - “Lutz winterkeeper” is the variety.  They have really vigorous greens that look more like chard than beet greens.  You could roast and add to the brussel sprout dish.  They will take longer in the oven though – maybe 45-60 minutes depending on size & roasting temp.

collard greens - We picked the collards almost down to their stalks so some of the bunches of have pretty small leaves in them, but they should be tender and delicious from the frosts we’ve had.  Boil, saute, braise, steam?  Add some sort of fat?  take your pick…

leeks - 3 of em – remember: in a pinch use instead of onions!

winter squash - everyone got at least one Carnival acorn squash (the really fun patterned one pictured above) and one other squash – either another Carnival, a different acorn, a delicata, or a butternut.  Remember that these can last quite a while at room temperature or better yet in a cool dryish basement.

garlic - 2 heads

Thank you all SO much for doing your part to keep your veggies super-local.  I appreciate any feedback you may have for me this season.  And I welcome you to join up again next year.  I will keep you posted on the details for signing up in 2014.

Wondering how you can still eat very locally during the winter and spring?  One way is to join a winter CSA.  Here are a few area farms offering winter produce shares that I know of:

Another is to shop at your local winter farmers markets.  Here are the ones I know of:

  • Old Salt Marketplace hosts a year-round market @ NE 42nd/Alberta on Thursdays 4-7 (…I think…call them to double check the details).
  •  St Johns has one winter farmers market on Sunday Dec 8th from 1-6pm.
  • Portland Farmers Market @ PSU runs every saturday through Dec 21st 9am-2pm.
  • Peoples Co-op hosts a year-round market every Wednesday 2-7pm in SE.
  • The Hollywood market is open year-round and runs 1st and 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm Dec-April.
  • The Hillsdale market is open these dates in the winter from 10am-2pm: Dec 8 & 22, Jan 5 & 19, Feb 2 & 16, Mar 2, 16, & 30, Apr 13 & 27.
  • PFM Winter Market @ Shemanski Park downtown – Saturdays Jan  4- Feb 22, 10am-2pm.  http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/markets/winter-market-at-shemanski-park/

There may be more winter markets that I’m not aware of (let me know and i’ll add them to this list).

If you haven’t checked out Cully Neighborhood Farm’s Facebook page, now is the time to Like us so you can keep up with farm happenings through the off-season: www.facebook.com/cullyfarm.  I will probably occasionally update this blog as well but nearly as often, since it is mostly about the CSA shares and I don’t want to flood your inboxes.  Thanks again for all of your support!  I couldn’t do this farming dream without all of you!  I wish you all a happy holiday season and healthy delicious eating throughout the winter and spring.

All the best from your farmer, Matt.

11/21/13

20131122-091411.jpgToday’s share is similar to Monday’s except you have chard instead of mustard greens and no radishes – so look back at that post for some ideas and info. Remember that there is no share next week, and then the last share is the week after.

We had a light frost a few weeks ago, but it was not nearly as heavy and picturesque as the frost from this harvest morning.  I had to wait for the sun to thaw out the greens before harvesting them.  It was the first harvest which necessitated a lot of hand-warming breaks and exercises.  But I’m happy to have the sun back after a long grey spell.  And the frosts help the winter crops become sweeter.  Do you notice a difference in the carrots?

Happy Thanksgiving and see you in two weeks!

A cold radicchio:

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11/18/13

20131119-102159.jpgIn the share today:

leeks, mustard greens, watermelon radishes (with edible greens), yellow & orange carrots, garlic, escarole, sugarloaf chicory, parsnips, delicata winter squash.

I would suggest drying things off before storing them, as everything will store better if not too wet, especially the mustard greens.  The garlic too may have gotten a bit wet from everything else in the bin so drying this out quickly and then storing at room temperature is best.

The squash will store for Thanksgiving if you want, as will most of the other items that aren’t greens.  The new chicory “Sugarloaf” (aka “pan di zucchero”) is similar to escarole in that it’s a bitter salad green which benefits from a good soaking in cold water.  I would chop it up with the escarole and soak/wash them both together and then make a salad with olive oil and lemon or lime dressing.

Check out the last post for some more info on the mustards and radishes.  This share would be great for a root roast.  You could peel if you want, and then chop the carrots, parsnips, and radishes into bite sized pieces, then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 350 until everything is nice and tender – maybe 30-50 minutes depending on the size you cut them.  You could roast the delicata in another pan while you’re at it, too.

11/15/13

20131115-093234.jpgThere are some new items today for your enjoyment: escaroleshallots, and Misato Rose radishes (the big ones that look like turnips), and mustard greens.  The escarole is a chicory which you can read about in Monday’s post – basically a salad green.  The shallots you can use like onions – their flavor is a bit milder.  They are nice as an addition to a vinaigrette dressing.  The radishes are a winter variety, similar to “Watermelon radish” because of their red/pink/white interior.  The flavor of the interior is fairly mild for a radish, and the color would look nice on a salad, sliced into thin rounds.  It also could be roasted with other root vegetables or pickled.  Also, the radish greens are edible (similar to turnip greens), and I would add them to whatever I’m doing with the mustard greens.  The mustard greens are a bit slug-bitten, but hopefully taste good!  They are a braising/sautee’ing green with a unique flavor and are delicious with dal, or any other dish which calls for a cooking green.

How about a Caldo Verde this week?   This is Portugal’s national green soup of potatoes, kale, and pork sausage.  You could substitute the mustard & radish greens for the kale, and the shallots for the onions in this recipe:  http://leitesculinaria.com/7580/recipes-portuguese-kale-soup-caldo-verde.html

Also in your share: garlic, acorn winter squash, and fingerling potatoes.

The fall fieldwork is getting checked off the list, bit by bit.  Most areas of the farm have little fingers of rye cover crop poking up now.  I have more indoor work to do, like shelling the dry fava beans for next year’s planting and cleaning the rest of the garlic.  Then of course I need to enter the harvest records into the computer and start figuring out next year’s crop plan.  I’m actually excited for the computer work, which may say something about how much time I’ve spent outdoors this season, or maybe that I’m crazy, I’m not sure.

The last two CSA pickups are next week, and then the first week of December.  The week of Thanksgiving there are no pickups.

Cheers!  -Matt.