CSA Week 4

Welcome summer! The season perfectly captured in the aroma and flavor of a ripe strawberry. If yours actually make it into your house, we have some tips for an easy treat. We’ve dropped a few springs of fresh mint into your box as well this week. Simply core and slice your berries, folding a tiny bit of sugar (if desired), and leave to macerate on your counter while you chop your mint. If you’d to get a little fancy, stack your washed mint leaves, roll into a cigar, and slice across to create thin strips. Otherwise, chop finely, and gently mix into your strawberries. Put into some pretty bowls (I use teacups) and serve plain or as you like with cream. Or you can whip up some buttermilk shortbread. I like to freeze leftover shortbread to be ready for any other summer fruit that comes rolling in. Enjoy!

CSA Week 3

This weekend, we joined the nation in celebrating Fathers! We marked the occasion with grilled Thai Chicken from our partners at Riverbird Farm, and French Sauteed Greens, featuring Pac Choi, Mustard and Kale. Really, you can use any leafy green you have on hand, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and red pepper flakes. Comes together in about 10 minutes. That and brown rice made a satisfying and nourishing meal. Plus pie, because you know, Father’s Day 🙂

CSA Week 2

Those of you who have been following for a while no doubt remember The Salad. A dinner entree so yummy and versatile that it’s a weekly mainstay in our house from the first spring greens to the last gasp of summer. Constantly changing and beautiful to behold, it’s part celebration, part creativity and nourishing in every respect.

Last week’s version had all the greens, asparagus (blanched with the noodles), leftover chicken, the last overwintered carrot, mint, lemon balm, chives. The week before included chopped mushrooms. Raid the fridge, use what you like and make it your own.

Dressing (serves 2-3):

1/4 cup peanut oil

2 tsp dark sesame oil

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp mirin

2 Tbsp lime juice

Gather a bunch of salad greens: lettuces, spinach, mustard, Tatsoi, Pac Choi, turnip and radish greens, etc. Tear a healthy amount and toss with a few Tbsps of the dressing. Make a base of the salad on your plate. Top with a handful of cooked soba noodles. Layer chopped radish, turnip, snap peas, asparagus, or crunchy goodness of your choice. Garnish with cooked chicken, pork, steak, fish, egg or vegan protein (leftovers from weekend grilling!). Dust with a healthy amount of chopped herbs: chives, basil, mint, cilantro, etc. Chopped nuts or seeds are welcome. Chive or borage flowers a decorative plus. Spoon more dressing on top. Take a picture. Enjoy!

CSA Week 1

Spring is the season for greens! In addition to lettuce, you’ll find your box has Pac Choi, Radicchio, Tatsoi, and Mustard Greens. If these are unfamiliar to you – don’t despair! The internet is full of tips and recipes, and we’ve got a few here. Spring greens are a tonic to the body following the winter – bursting with flavor and nutrition! One way to use them is to add them to whatever else you happen to be eating: spun in your smoothie (Tatsoi), burrowed into burritos (Pac Choi), or layered in your lasagne (Mustard Greens). One of my favorite ways to start the day includes sauteed greens with an egg on top.

L to R – Mustard, Pac Choi, Radicchio, Tatsoi

Some people love the little bite Radicchio brings as an addition to their salads, others not so much. If you’re not a fan of assertive flavors – fear not! Cook’s Magazine suggests soaking shredded leaves for 30 minutes in water while you’re prepping the rest of your meal, et viola!

This weekend we made 10 minute Pac Choi which was an immediate hit – so delicious and instagram-worthy gorgeous! With just a few pantry ingredients, it’s a keeper for us, and hopefully for you!

Bring on the Cucurbits!

cu·cur·bit – /kyo͞oˈkərbət/ – plural noun: cucurbits

  1. a plant of the gourd family ( Cucurbitaceae ), which includes melon, pumpkin, squash, and cucumber.

All of our cucurbits are ready to go home with you in 4″ pots! Check out this week’s plant list and stop by the farm this Saturday and Sunday, 9am-2pm. Cash or check only please. 928 Wilson St. NE.

Our annual spring plant sale is coming soon!

Every spring, locals in the know look forward to our annual vegetable and herb plant sale.  This year’s sale will start on Saturday, April 23rd and run Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-2pm, through the end of May.

Why should you buy your plant starts from Urban Futures Farm?

Glad you asked.  Simply put, we offer the highest quality vegetable and herb starts at the most affordable prices in town.

First, we begin with the highest quality, non-GMO seed we can find.  All of our seed is selected for its vigorous growth,  suitability to our unique Northwest climate, flavor and nutritional value.  In fact, the plant varieties we sell are the same ones we grow for our CSA customers, so we know they are winners.  All of our seeds are sown in a climate-controlled propagation room, then hardened off in plastic tunnels and cold frames so they are ready to take home and put into the ground when you purchase them.

Because of our low overhead and commitment to food justice (making good food available to as many people as possible) we strive to keep our prices well below what you would pay at other local nurseries.

What will you be selling?

A full range of Northwest appropriate annual vegetables and herbs, including:  broccoli, cabbage, Napa cabbage, cauliflower, kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, Pac Choi, Tatsoi, mustard greens, arugula, collard greens, zucchini, summer squash, winter squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, sweet peppers, hot peppers, basil, parsley and cilantro. And of course our famous tomatoes – 12 varieties this year!  Each week we will send out a complete list of what we will have for sale that weekend.

Why should we buy from Urban Futures instead of a local nursery?

We think there are a few things that make our plants stand out.  First, not all of the plants you will find at a local nursery are appropriate for our climate.  Just this week we saw stores selling many different plants that just won’t grow well in our climate based on our experience.  Second, we select our plant varieties based on taste and nutritional value.  Many of the plant starts you see in local nurseries are commodity varieties, not necessarily selected for taste and nutrition.  Third, while many local nurseries are already selling plant starts, we’ve found no advantage to planting out starts until at least the third week of April. With nighttime temperatures expected to hit freezing over the next week and likely the following week, its simply too early to plant out many of the things you see in the nurseries right now.   We only sell plants that are ready to go into the ground, which is why we don’t start selling plants until the third week of April. And finally, because we stand by what we sell, when you buy plants from us we are available by phone, text or email as your on-call consultant to answer your questions and help you solve your garden problems.

So mark you calendars for Saturday April 23rd,  and every Saturday and Sunday through May, and come  visit us to get the plants you need for a successful, bountiful harvest this summer.