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coming to you this week!

July 3, 2010

Things are finally cranking with that hot weather… this week look for:

CHERRIES! These beautiful Bings are from our good friends in the Columbia Gorge who run a top-notch orchard in Mosier. They’re pretty special, the cherries AND our friends. If you’re in the area, go see them at Columbia View Orchards. They provided us with beautiful cherries last year, too… and pears to come. We love them.

Berries! Flavorful little strawberries, raspberries and black raspberries from the DeLancellotti Vineyard garden. Paul and Pam grow everything biodynamically for the Farm to Fork Restaurant in Dundee, and allow us to come up and graze from time to time… These berries are brought to you hand-picked by Cat (as we were rushing around tonight before getting to a 7pm showing of Eclipse… oooh, guilty admission). The big bunch of beautiful lavender is also from Paul’s garden. I keep dried springs of this stuff in with my backpacking gear, packed away with my wetsuit, in the dog bed, everywhere I can…  Thank you Paul!

Spuds! Norland Reds and Yukon Golds, picked early as new potatoes and still haven’t converted their sugars to starches. These won’t store well, so keep them in the fridge away from light. But they make a great summer potato salad! Jon and I unearthed these from the Roco plot this morning, our first official harvest from there! We were pretty pleased with the results. Things seem to be growing like gangbusters on that virgin soil.

Peas, just a handful to toss in stir-frys or salads or eat on the way home. If some of you encounter a strange new vegetable in the bag with the peas… those are Rat-tailed Radishes. Strange, but true, this is actually the seed pod of this heirloom radish, which is the edible part. The seeds came by mistake with our order from the seed catalogue, but we planted them anyway. They have a peppery, radish taste to them, but look like… well, they look like rat tails.

Beets – Detroit Reds or Chiogga… either way, my favorite way to eat these beauties is shredded raw in salad… but you can juice them, roast them, steam them, grill them in foil with your spring garlics… they’re VERY versatile. But very, very, important… EAT the GREENS. They’re the best part of the beet! Try them sautéed with some kale (yes, more kale), or Swiss Chard and tossed back in with your roasted beets and topped with goat cheese. This week’s flavor is cumin, by the way, for those of you who get the cheese with your boxes. Many kudos to Kristina for keeping things interesting on the goat cheese front.

Onions and Garlic are just starting to change from spring onions and garlic… to storing onions and garlic, but aren’t there just yet. This means you can still eat what would become the papery part of the garlic… still soft and flavorful. And you can slice these all the way up the stem, too!

Lettuces. You’ll either get some red loose leaf, romaine, speckled, oakleaf, merveille des 4 saisons, or some other variety or mix of varieties in this box. Nothing beats a lettuce that is about 3/4 of the way grown… before it gets bitter in the summer sun. Our favorite dressing, which brings out the great flavors of the veggies is a dash of olive oil, lemon juice, a glop of dijon mustard and some salt and pepper. The simpler the better around here. I love throwing in a few Nasturtiums for fun and to surprise people. They’re delicious. Don’t be afraid to eat them.

The ladies are happy and laying eggs like champions, now that the sun is out. They’ve been getting a steady diet of strawberries and greens… you should see them squabble about the cherries!

Herbs – the usual mixes of rosemary, oregano, sage, some cilantro and parsley, fennel, thyme, lemon balm, etc… scroll down a bit to see a picture gallery of some of these if you’re not sure which is which.

Let me know if you want me to include cat mint or nettles in your box next week.

Have a great holiday weekend!

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