It may be frosty and freezing outside, but inside the warmth of the propagation room, tomato seedlings are emerging! Fact is, our PNW growing season is so short that most all our plants need a head start. Are you planting a garden this year? Whether for the pure joy of biting into a vine-ripened tomato from your patio pot, or wanting to control your food budget a bit, growing yer own can be a rewarding pastime.
Each spring we offer a limited amount of veggie starts grown right here on the farm for our neighbors to plant in their gardens. Having the Farmer nearby is a great additional resource for when you have questions throughout the summer. With 30+ years experience growing veggies, he’s ‘pert much seen it all.
What do you want to eat this summer? Post your comments below and we’ll get those seeds started. Talk about concierge service! And free consultation to boot!
A: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you buy a CSA you are actually investing in a share of a farm. Usually a flat fee is paid to a farm at the beginning of the season while the customer receives farm fresh products at agreed upon intervals (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc). This arrangement provides financial security for the farmers and allows the consumer to share in both the bounty and risks throughout the harvest season. If you have the ways and means to buy a CSA, that money goes directly to the farm. They are able to invest more in their farm business while continuing to grow more food for our communities.
While Urban Futures Farm operates on a CSA model, we are sold out for the season. We are fortunate however, to have a lot of farmers in our community happy to provide you with fresh, healthy food! Learn more through the Community Farm Land Trust and their 2023 CSA guide.
And before you know it, winter squash has brought us to the end of this year’s CSA cycle. The mainstay of many a warm, savory meal, your squash has been well cured and can last several months, if you can possibly wait that long!
We’re honored that you chose Urban Futures Farm for delicious seasonal, hyper local produce this summer. We hope you enjoyed exploring all the tastes in your weekly box, and wish you and yours a wonderful fall and winter season!
It’s starting to feel like soup weather, and leek soup is a great seasonal choice. There’s two kinds of leek soup it seems. One is rustic, with chunks of potato and leek suspended in a flavorful broth. The other has the same ingredients, pureed to a velvety smoothness. We prefer the former and our new favorite recipe includes a little white wine.
You have a pumpkin in your box this week! What will you do with it? Pancakes, pie, cheesecake? If your favorite recipes start with a can of pumpkin, we recommend roasting your pumpkin first for the puree your recipe needs. And if you’re looking to switch up your pumpkin fix, the Farmer recommends this pumpkin mousse.
Fall signals the return of the oven in cookery, filling the house with the aroma of something savory baking low and slow.
You’ve got the makings of a classic fall dish in your box this week: roasted root vegetables! Hearty and filling, this dish comes standard with rosemary, or fancy with Dijon and balsamic. Add some sausage to the mix and you’ve got yourself a sheet pan supper! This is an easy dish to swap veggies in and out, depending on what you have. And leftovers make a perfect breakfast next day with an egg on top. 🍳
Here come the squash! Over the next few weeks, you will see pumpkin, delicata, acorn and kabocha. From sweet to savory, these mighty vegetables are the backbone for many a hearty fall dish.
Acorn squash, with its compact size, dark green skin and fluted sides, makes a pretty presentation when filled with savory stuffings. Its also great thinly sliced and roasted, curried or as a soup. Find a flavor profile to your liking at Gypsyplate.
When the leeks come in, we know we’re in late summer headed toward fall. Normally the impetus for potato leek soup, but it feels too early. So behold the Bacon Leek Crustless Quiche! Flour adds body to the egg, and ditching the crust makes it an easy weeknight dinner with a side salad/veg of your choice. Even better with farm-fresh eggs! Ask the Farmer at pickup.
On the theme of bacon, you’ll find it also pairs well with the collards in your box this week – Kickin’ Collard Greens is a Farmer favorite.
Today’s recipe is a two-parter, but both steps are good cooking tips to know, in celebration of beets, which are in your box today.
First off, how to cook a beet? In keeping with our concern over nutrient loss, we prefer to roast instead of boil. Once your beets are cooked, you can keep them in the fridge for easy addition to salads or a side.
Today’s recipe is Chilled Beet Soup, which uses the carrots in today’s box as well. Note: I adapted this from a recipe that calls for two 15oz. cans of beets and their liquid, but didn’t measure the extra water I added. Use just enough to make a thick, smooth puree in the blender. The buttermilk will loosen it, but this is meant to be a thick soup. We served it with bread and cheese and a few leftover salads in the fridge.
Also, this is a turning point in the season when root veggies (those that grow underground) make their appearance. Also known as “keepers,” root veggies will keep for quite a while in your fridge. Here’s a primer on how to store them.
4 cups cooked, peeled, chopped beets 1 cup water 2 cups buttermilk Chopped fresh chives
Preparation Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add carrots and onion. Cover; cook until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add beets, vinegar, and water, cover and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes longer.
Let cool, and working in batches, purée veggie mix in the blender, adding up to one-half cup more water as needed. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in buttermilk. Season with salt and pepper. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)
Corn is here! Foundation to civilizations, versatile enough to feed cows and power cars. And a sign of high summer. Fun fact: did you know that each silk thread in a corn tassel leads to one corn kernel? And that corn self pollinates? Quite amazing really.
As TJ shared in his newsletter, just-picked corn needs no embellishment, and is best barely boiled. If you’re feeling fancy or prefer to eat your corn cut from the cob, here’s a corn salad recipe which can be made mostly from your box. This comes from a longer list from Delish, which covers most any corn recipe you might want to try.
It’s still tomato season! And we have a few favorite recipes to share!
One reader sent in her favorite summer soup which looks delicious! We also independently found a quick tomato salad from Saveur that uses just two ingredients: tomatoes and Chili Crisp. The latter enjoys somewhat of a cult following these days, especially in our house (though we don’t read the label too closely).
Sent it to our son, who responded with an IG and a shout-out for the tip (affirming that we really are a family that loves good food). And finally, we have a CSA customer who loves zucchini and confirmed the deliciousness of the zucchini butter pasta recipe we sent out a few weeks ago.
Thanks for the tips! And keep enjoying this good food!