On Eating In

Cooking seems to be the new norm – and while take out was still an option under “Stay Home, Stay Healthy,” chances are most folks were doing it for themselves more than they have in a long time.  How’s it going? Discovering a new love or counting down the days? We’re all about food here on the farm: growing, cooking, preserving, eating. Even before COVID-19, eating out was the exception rather than the norm, mostly because we’ve worked out a system so there’s never a question about what’s for dinner (and we happen to love leftovers for lunch!) Here’s a few pro-tips we’ve acquired along the way:

  1. Keep your pantry stocked. Of course it’s hard to cook when half the things you need are MIA. There are lots of guides that you can find online, but keep it simple. I would say we keep up on four categories in our pantry – grains and pasta (includes flour, rice, and dried beans), oils and condiments (includes soy sauce, mustards, vinegars and spices), and dairy (milk, butter, buttermilk, cheese, eggs), and household (includes toothpaste and laundry soap). When you notice you are coming close to the last of the mustard, for instance, write it down so that when you are at the end, there’s another waiting in your cupboard. We use a chalkboard for this, but you can also stick a piece of paper to the fridge.
  2. Plan your meals. We shop about once a week – twice a month if there’s a pandemic going on 🙂 The day before shopping, using a full sheet of scratch paper, we write down the days of the week at the top, along with the dinner we’re planning, and the cookbook or location of recipe, if needed. It’s nice to see everything laid out so you can provide variety. We use starches as the variation, making sure to have rice, pasta, potatoes, etc. in a rotation, so we don’t get stuck in a rut. We also note any evening meetings/activities we might have so that we can plan for a simple meal or a leftover night. If we are planning to go out ot take out, it’s noted there as well. At the bottom of the sheet, we write down the items needed to support the plan that we don’t have on hand, along with the items that need replacing. Note: if it’s not on the list, it’s not purchased, and there’s no second trip to the store – it’s only a week, we’ll survive. After shopping is done, the list goes on the fridge, so we always know what’s for dinner.
  3.  Keep it simple. Unless you really love complex, daylong cooking projects, go for easy wins. One-pot meals with a salad on the side, the shortest list of ingredients. The internet is an amazing resource for recipes – I tend toward the ones that use simple ingredients that I have on hand. We dial it up a bit for Sunday supper, topping it off with a dessert of some kind.
  4.  Share the load. Fortunately every person in our family cooks, and we all participate in the making of the list, so everybody’s needs get met. When our college-aged-son was sheltering with us in March and April, he tended toward Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and we happily indulged in his made-from-chickpea-falafel that was more work than I would ever bother with, and he cleaned up. What? Yes – instead of a cleanup person, we’ve settled on an all or nothing approach. Why? Folks have different styles, some clean as they go, some pile it up. You can imagine the conflict. This is also the reason we don’t tend to cook together, as a norm.  So sometimes you get to do your own thing and get called to dinner. Nice, no?

There’s lots of benefits to eating in – cost, quality control (knowing what it is you are eating), and portion control. There’s also creativity, the joy of making something, the love that you put into feeding yourself, and/or your family. Hopefully, some of the unexpected pleasures of eating in will stick with us, long after we don’t have to.

 

 

The Salad, back for Spring!

Today marks the first day of CSA boxes! When eating hyper-local, spring begins with nutritious and delicious greens! The nice thing about greens is their versatility. Most any dish can benefit from greens – last week I added a bunch of chopped turnip tops to my ramen-with-egg. Yum!  There are lots of spring green soup recipes on the internet as well, mostly with potato to provide body, but this one uses lentils.  Our absolute, all time, favorite fresh spring dinner is an entree so beloved, so enjoyed, that it is simply known as “The Salad.” Packed with fresh produce, garnished with cold noodles, protein and heavily dusted with finely chopped herbs, this dinner salad is a powerhouse of nutrition and extraordinarily satisfying. We eat it at least once a week.

Dressing:

1/2 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, turnip and radish greens, arugula, 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. Garnish with cooked chicken, pork, steak or vegan protein (leftovers from weekend grilling!). Top with chopped radish, turnip, snap peas, asparagus, or crunchy goodness of your choice. 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. Eat. I like fish sauce as a condiment – the farmer likes sambal oelek. Make it your own! Enjoy!

Next Plant Sale Saturday April 17

Due to a very robust turnout our first weekend of plant start sales, we’re taking two weeks to replant and catch up with farm chores. We’ll send another post in a week or so with the replenshed list and new varieties of peppers, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, winter squash, pumpkins, and other warm-loving plants. In the meantime, if you are looking for spring greens, we still have six-packs. Contact the Farmer at 360.338.8654 for details and to arrange pickup.

Be well, and get outside!

Veggie Starts Sale Continues April 5

The first weekend of our plant sales continues today, Sunday, April 5, from 9am-2pm.

Due to an unprecedented first day of sales, we have updated our inventory list for Sunday’s plant sale. We are planting now to re-stock our 6-pack starts, which will be ready to sell April 18 and 19, in addition to new offerings like peppers, cucumbers and squash. Tomatoes take much longer to get established, and while we are completely sold out of some varieties, there are great choices still, if you stop by Sunday.

In order to ensure social distancing and the safety of both customers and our farm crew, we will not be able to allow customers to access the starts tunnel to pick out their own plants.  Instead, once you arrive we will take your plant order, and will retrieve the plants for you. On a side note, we had a great turnout of home-made masks today, which was great to see!

  • Crops, varieties, sizes and prices available HERE, and do not include 9.2% sales tax
  • CASH OR CHECK ONLY.
  • Please bring your own boxes or bags to transport plants, as we will have a limited supply.

 

 

Veggie Starts Sale Begins this Weekend – April 4 & 5

As it turns out, agriculture is an essential service! Our annual plant starts sale at the farm begins Saturday, April 4, 2020, from 12pm-2pm, and Sunday, April 5, from 9am-2pm.

In order to ensure social distancing and the safety of both customers and our farm crew, we will not be able to allow customers to access the starts tunnel to pick out their own plants.  Instead, once you arrive you will fill out a plant request form, and we will retrieve the plants for you.

  • Crops, varieties, sizes and prices available HERE, and do not include 9.2% sales tax
  • CASH OR CHECK ONLY.
  • Please bring your own boxes or bags to transport plants, as we will have a limited supply.

 

 

Spring is Coming

First of all, we hope you are well ❤  Pandemic is an event none of us have experience with, and as it unfolds, seemingly minute by minute, the news triggers a new set of scenarios, worries and concerns. And yet, it’s still almost spring. A time of rebirth and renewal, faith and courage in the natural world. Spring is also a time of hope for farmers, as we plant the seeds that will yield the harvest that will feed us in the summer and beyond. Our personal journey as farmers began as a response to climate change – something we both encountered in our studies in the 80’s when it was still called global warming. We found that taking a small step to self-sufficiency, growing our own food, helped us feel a sense of control in an increasingly uncertain world. Even if we still sourced the bulk of our purchases at our local grocery store, those cherry tomatoes in a pot on the deck just made us feel better.

While it’s still too early to plant a garden – it snowed yesterday – please know that we’ve got thousands of baby plants in the greenhouse and propagation room, waiting to go home with our neighbors and friends. We realize we also have several decades of knowledge to share as well, and are planning a spring gardening workshop to kick off our plant sale in April. In the meantime, we have a question for YOU.  What types of plant starts are you interested in growing?  Leafy greens? Broccoli? Tomatoes and Peppers? Basil and other herbs? Something else? We look forward to being a resource in your own gardening journey.

 

Celebrate Community Supported Agriculture!

Happy National CSA Signup Day!  What’s a CSA you might ask? It’s the purchase of an advance share in a farm’s annual harvest. CSAs help your farmer know how much to plant and to be assured that the beautiful harvest they spend months working toward goes into good hands in the form of weekly share boxes during harvest season. CSAs help farmers with cash flow by providing funds early in the season for seeds and supplies, and knowing in advance how many customers they are providing for.

What do you get from it?  The freshest, tastiest, and most nutritious vegetables and fruits possible at the best possible price.

Celebrate National CSA Day and SIGN UP today!