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Summer Vacations

DSC_3267I know, from 15 years of running this business, that many of you will soon be off to your favorite vacation spot; loading up the “station wagon,” piling in all those kiddos and heading to the mountains, rivers, beaches, etc. 

Well, our team also knows that a few of you, after getting off the plane in Hawaii and settling into your condo, will slice up a beautiful ripe mango, take a juicy bite and then all of a sudden be gripped with panic. At that moment, you will realize that your box of good is about to be delivered to your home because you forgot to reschedule your deliveries! There is no need to fear, however, because we have a highly trained team to help you mitigate the potential disaster. 

Here are our tried and true best strategies to enjoy that stress-free mango:
1.    Order an extra box of fresh produce to take with you on your trip.
2.    Login to your account online and change your delivery dates.
3.    Call, e-mail or Facebook our office and we will make the changes for you.
4.    Leave a note for your delivery driver. 
5.    Donate your box of good to a local food bank during your vacation!

Donating your box of good is a great way to enjoy your vacation (wink, wink). Really, your delivery will be used to help a local family in need eat a little healthier, it will also help local growers and, of course, KFF. Another option is to donate the value of your box to our “Healing through Nutrition” program, where we use your donations to match discounts for other KFF customers who are fighting cancer and heart disease. Please contact our office if you have any questions about these options.

Even if you are not going on vacation this summer, you can still partner with us by ordering a food bank box or donating to our Healing through Nutrition program. 

Back to work on the farm,

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Roasted Blueberries and Yogurt Popsicles

blueberries-and-honey-yogurt-popsicles1INGREDIENTS
2 cups blueberries
2 teaspoons sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup honey
2 cups Greek yogurt
1/2 small lemon, juiced

INSTRUCTIONS
In a medium bowl, toss berries with the sugar, a dash of sea salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Pour the berries onto the prepared baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the berries in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring halfway, or long enough for the berry juices to thicken but not burn.

Blend together the Greek yogurt and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Mix in honey to taste, until it is barely sweet enough for your liking (the berries will be very sweet). 

Let the berries cool, then scrape the berries and all of their juices into the bowl of yogurt. Gently fold the mixture together.

Transfer the yogurt blend into the popsicle molds and freeze for at least four hours. 

Image and recipe adapted from: http://cookieandkate.com/2012/roasted-berry-and-honey-yogurt-popsicles/

 

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Tomatoes

TomatoesOur family snuck away to the beach for three days last week and was it ever relaxing. Washington State is so geographically diverse that within three hours of Stanwood you can be in a desert, on a mountain top, kayaking in the San Juans or building sand castles at the coast.

As typical Washingtonians, who are undeterred by the elements, we got to experience getting sand blasted while we were playing at the beach. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and mostly warm. There is just something about the ocean—calming, yet powerful.

And because of its great power, you can hardly escape the thought of tsunamis. Tsunami evacuation signs are everywhere. I can only imagine all the tourists on those rural roads trying to escape. The last Tsunami was about 300 years ago and it did some damage to mostly a forested and uninhabited coastline. While we were visiting Moclips, I asked the museum curator, “How high do you have to be for protection from a tsunami?” His answer, “90 feet”—wow, most two-story house are 30 feet tall. Our farm is 14 feet above sea level. When a major earthquake hits off the coast of Washington again, like it did 300 years ago, Ocean Shores, Moclips, Hoquiam, Aberdeen, etc., will look eerily like Japan did in 2010.

We can’t live in fear of what might happen, but we can live in respect of what can happen. Simple things, like having rope ladders in the upstairs bedrooms and using them once in a while, just in case, will go a long ways to mitigating the “stuff” of life we can’t control.

Oh ya, this was supposed to be about tomatoes…

The day we left on our trip the greenhouse was under control, but when we returned those plants had gone rogue. I don’t know about your family, but around here it is more like tyranny of the urgent. And if it can wait, normally it will wait. If laundry is most pressing, it gets done before tomatoes get strung. But when we got back, it was obvious that the tomatoes required center stage. They are all suckered (a.k.a., “pruned”) and climbing twine now! Of course, I could have done that the week before, but the potatoes, sunflowers, and strawberries all had needs as well and were just a little more pressing. Got to go, the orchard is out of control.

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Corn and Fava Bean Succotash

spring-succotashINGREDIENTS
1 pound fava beans, beans removed from pods
1/4 pound fresh shelled peas
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsps unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 ears corn, kernels cut off
1 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch half moons
1/2 onions, diced
6-8 large basil leaves, stacked and cut into strips
2 cups diced ham or bacon (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and prepare a bowl filled with ice water. Plunge the fava beans into the water and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon to the ice bath to cool quickly (save the water for cooking the peas). Once cool, take the beans and remove the tough outer layer, which should slip away easily to reveal the bright green bean inside. Cook the peas for 2-3 minutes in the boiling water and then transfer them to the ice water as well, draining once cool.

2. In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a minute, then add the corn and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the peas, zucchini, and cook until most of the moisture has evaporated and absorbed into the vegetables. With a few minutes left of cooking, add the fava beans and butter. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the basil leaves.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/07/dinner-tonight-scallops-with-corn-and-fava-bean-succotash-recipe.html

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Ahhh…the Simplicity of Summer!

When I arrived at my son Baron’s school today, he and his kindergarten buddies were wearing leis and flip-flops freshly decorated with googly eyes and were eating Jell-O the color of the Caribbean Sea. Their cubbies were newly cleaned, aside from the stray and long-emptied juice box and the scruffed markings of a sticker, as if its removal was done frantically. Tomorrow we take him to school one last time as a kindergartner. He and his classmates will sing us some songs, we’ll celebrate at a nearby park and then walk away heralding in our summer.


In preparation for these long, sun-filled days, we started our list of things we hope to accomplish during these next few months. There are books to read, stories to write and games to play. There’s also the return of his lemonade stand and the hope of a booming business. And then there are the activities that without their presence in the coming months, it just wouldn’t feel like summer.


I can’t wait to feel the dirt under my nails and crusted on my knees while tucked in between the tight rows of lush strawberries. When the warm air sweeps between the plants and carries up a sweet scent, that’s when I know it’s summer. Or when the kids are content to play in the frigid water from the hose for hours, pausing for a quick break to snap off a blueberry from our bushes or a crisp sugar snap pea with its tender tendrils wrapping around the pole tucked into the dirt, that’s when I know it’s summer.


In the kitchen, it’s summer when a salad of fresh sliced vegetables shimmies up to a grilled piece of fish or chicken. It’s when a bowl of freshly picked strawberries, blueberries or peaches bathing in cream is just about the best you’ve ever tasted. When pasta tossed simply with a heap of freshly chopped vegetables and a bit of soft goat cheese is about as complicated as dinner gets, that’s summer. Even better yet, is a crusty and craggy piece of bread slathered with butter or mayo with flecks of basil throughout and topped with a thickly sliced ruby red tomato sprinkled with salt and maybe a splash of extra virgin olive oil, if I’m feeling fancy.


These months beg for simplicity—days unplanned and toes wet and cold from having spent the afternoon chasing the waves. The food of this season confirms this ease by being naturally sweet, intensely flavorful and bountiful. It’s as if summer has already cooked for us. So let’s enjoy the long days and return the favor by eating simply and well.


by Ashley Rodriguez    
food blogger
www.notwithoutsalt.com  

 

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Mango-Orange Popsicles

mango popsINGREDIENTS

1 Cups of Mango, peeled

1 Cup of Peach, peeled

1/2 Cup Orange juice

2 Tbsp Honey

PREPARATION

Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Spoon equal amount of the popsicle puree into each mold. Freeze until solid, about 4 hours or overnight.

Recipe and image adapted from: http://www.seasaltwithfood.com/2009/04/mango-and-orange-popsicles.html

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What is a farmer to do during rainy stretches?

ready ovenoven

  • Wait for better weather!  
  • Repair equipment broken during the sunny stretches.  
  • Pray for good weather to farm again.  
  • Run the kiddos to and from. 
  • Hope the weather prognosticators are wrong or right.  
  • Go to end of the year school concerts.  
  • Lie awake at night and listen to the rain.
  • Sign up for vacation bible schools, track and soccer camps.  
  • Make Sourdough bread, as if I needed a new hobby!

Making sourdough bread is fun and with a little planning relatively little work. Last Friday, Joelle asked for dinner rolls. “Hmmm…,” I thought, “I haven’t made dinner rolls before, but all they are is miniature bread loaves—I can do this.” Of course, when the weather breaks in my favor, this hobby will have to go on the back burner ☺ !

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