This could be the peak of the tomato season!! Keep you fingers crossed for some sun so we can keep picking for a few more weeks.
This week on the farm we’re just trying to keep up with all the harvesting! Summer crops are still going strong but we also need to bring in the storage crops like potatoes, onions, dry beans and popcorn. In fields that we have finished harvesting we plan to start seeding cover crops soon.
This week your share may include…
- Basil: You can chose from several varieties this week. Thai basil has green leaves with purple stems & flowers – it’s minty fragrance adds a distinctive flavor to many southeast asian recipes. Genovese basil is all green and the classic variety of traditional italian pesto. Purple basil can be used like the Genovese but I also sometimes showcase the intense dark purple color by adding some leaves to summer salads.
- Corn: Some of our sweet corn has crossed with the popcorn we are growing nearby. We have tried to pick only the good ears, but if you see a few pink and purple kernals or if it tastes a bit starchy you’ll know what happened. Sorry about that – next year we’ll be planting them much further apart!
- Eggplant: The long skinny asian varieties are tasty and more productive for us than the traditional italian vareities. Most of what you see in the share will be the dark purple Orient Express and the pink Orient Charm. These varieties can be used exactly as you would use the regular eggplant. I’ve posted one of my favorite recipes for a simple spanish eggplant salad here.
- Fennel: The mild anise flavored bulb is very versatile – it can be shaved into salads and is also great in gratins. More ideas here.
- Mizuna: This is one of my favorite asian greens as it is very mild and can be used in salads or sauteed.
- Peppers, Anaheim: These peppers have just a hint of heat and they really shine in traditional southwest and mexican cooking. I made some great corn & roasted chile salsa this week. This is a good recipe for stuffed peppers and once you have the basics you can get creative and come up with lots of variations on this theme. I often use Anaheim’s to substitute for regular green bell peppers in recipes too.
- Peppers, Jalapeno: Time for salsa!
- Summer Squash: The much maligned courgette will produce obscenely large fruit if you turn your back on it this time of year. We harvest regularly so you always have a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. Take larger ones if you want to make zucchini bread. The smaller fruit can be steamed whole.
- Tomatoes, Stupice: These small early tomatoes continue to be tasty and productive throughout the season.
- Tomatoes, Heirlooms: This week may be the absolute peak of the tomato season! We have Brandywine, Moskovitch, Azoychka, German Striped, Black, Zapotec Pleated and more varieties to chose from. Some are beautiful, all are incredibly flavorful!
Coming soon… Sweet Gypsy Peppers and Tomatillos!!
The City of Lake Oswego is working on a Master Plan for Luscher Farm, but the current draft plan would build parking lots & two new artificial turf fields on the organic farm. If you want farming to continue at Luscher Farm please let the City know by filling out a quick online comment card before Sunday July 10th. If Luscher Farm is to continue to provide fresh local produce to the community then THE FARM NEEDS TO STAY WHERE IT IS NOW – on great farmland that has been improved by years of organic production. The draft master plan proposes to relocate farming to the east side of the property (#18 on the map), but these fields are steep, wet & ill-suited for year-round organic vegetable farming.
Other issues that have been raised by the community about the Luscher Farm Master Plan include…
- The study that is being used to substantiate current need for additional sports fields is over 10 years old.
- No analysis has been published to evaluatealternative sites in the community for additional sports fields.
- Lack of consideration for potential costs
- No sustainability analysis of the plan using The Natural Step
- Concerns about zoning
- The open space above Hazalia Field that is reserved for a golf driving range (#24 on the map)
What You Can Do…
- Take a moment to complete the online survey before Sunday July 10th!!
- Spread the word!! Forward this email to your friends & neighbors and encourage them to fill out the survey too. Post your concerns to facebook.
- Write a letter to the editor for the Lake Oswego Review or Oregonian.
- Come to the City Council Hearing on July 12th to support the farm.
Luscher Farm is an incredible regional resource so your comments are important even if you don’t live in Lake Oswego.
If you want FARMING to continue at Luscher Farm speak up now – before it’s too late!!
The 4th of July is coming up this weekend and just wanted to let you know that we’re not going to do our usual Farm Work Party. Your next opportunities to volunteer on the farm will be Friday July 22nd & Saturday August 6th. Hope you can join us then!
I made baked polenta for the crew lunch this week with lots of sauteed onions, garlic and greens. We had it with a baby lettuce salad and baguettes with radish butter.
This week your share may include…
- Arugula: This is so good right now! One of my favorite things at Nostrana’s is this super simple salad they make with flank steak & arugula.
- Cilantro: Everyone thinks it’s just for tomato salsa, but in fact cilantro is also used all over southeast asia. I went back to Pok Pok a few weeks ago and it was – as always – extraordinary! Their recipe for Spicy Citrus Dipping Sauce makes inspired use of cilantro.
- Joi Choy: Slice the thick stems and saute them for a minute before adding the rest of the greens. An essential ingredient in stir fry and soba noodle salad, but more versatile than that. I used them with baked polenta today and they would also be great in Shareholder Dave Culpepper’s Green Soup.
- Green Garlic: We planted these small garlic cloves last fall especially for spring harvest. The lighter green bottom of the stalk is the most tender part. The upper stem has good flavor but is not as tender so plant to cook it longer or use it for soup stock. The whole plant has a nice mild garlic flavor.
- Garlic Scapes: The flowering stalk of the garlic plant is tender when it first emerges and begins to coil. Later the stalks straighten and bloom with beautiful purple or white flowers. When eaten raw the flavor is quite sharp, but after cooking it is much milder. There is a bit of rust on the ends so you can snip that part off.
- Kohlrabi: They look like an alien space ship! But they are in fact a very mild easy to use cousin to broccoli. Peel the outer layer off and the sweet crunch center can be eaten raw, steamed or sauteed. Not surprisingly, it tastes similar to the broccoli stem. The greens are great too – use them like you would kale or collards.
- Lettuce Mix: The salad this week is a beautiful mix of baby lettuces.
- Peas: Hip Hip Hooray for peas! These are sugar snap peas which means you can eat the sweet crunchy pods too.
- Radish: These cute little red radish bunches are sill going strong. The round red variety is Cheriette and the elongated red and white variety is French Breakfast. Tops are good to eat too – saute them with choy or turnip greens. I mentioned it up above, but I can’t recommend enough this recipe for radish butter. The crunchy zing of the radish adds a freshness & beautiful red color to the butter. Spread on good bread with a pinch of salt - yum!
- Spring Onions: These onion sets were planted in February when we had a short but lovely bit of dry weather. The green tops and any flower stems poking out are edible too.
Coming soon… Fava Beans!!
We had a great group of folks out to the farm yesterday and we really appreciate all their help! The volunteers put in a total of 31 hours and had a great time making flash tape flags and planting. If you want to come help us out at the farm check here for upcoming volunteer opportunities.
Please come & comment in person if you can!
PARKS & RECREATION ADVISORY BOARD
LUSCHER AREA FINAL DRAFT SITE PLAN
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the Willamette Room at the West End Building (4101 Kruse Way), the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board will meet to discuss the Luscher Area Final Draft Site Plan. MIG, Inc. who is developing the Luscher Area Master Plan will present history/background information on the site, present the site plan and provide insight into the design of the plan. Citizens are encouraged to attend and provide comments.
Starting June 20, a two-week, online public comment period for the Luscher Area Final Draft Site Plan will be available at www.luscherplan.org.
To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting www.ci.oswego.or.us\parksrec\prab.htm.
We hope that you can join us at a public Food and Farm Forum this Tuesday from 6-8:30pm at the McMinnville Community Center (600 NE Evans St., Room 103). There will be a meet and greet followed by a panel with Representative Jim Weidner and Susan Sokol Blosser, both candidates for House District 24. This is an opportunity to discuss food and agriculture issues with the candidates to highlight for them your concerns and thoughts, and to hear from the candidates where they stand on these issues. I’ll definitely be asking for their thoughts on the Grand Island quarry!
Tomorrow – Tuesday, September 28th – McMinnville Community Center, Room 103 – House District 24
Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers, Slow Food Yamhill, OSALT
Join us this Sunday, Sept 19th at 1pm for a Bike Tour around Grand Island. You can see our new farm, meet our great neighbors, have a lovely bike ride and even swim in the river if the sun is shining. All the info is here. Hope you can come!
The September work party has been cancelled, but we’d love your help harvesting winter squash in October. On Sat Oct 2nd from 1-5pm we will host the final work party of the summer season at Luscher Farm. Hope you can join us to learn more about urban farming, where your food comes from and how to grow it.