Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 2 | June 12-13, 2018

What's In The Box

Cilantro: I love adding this herb to Mexican-themed meals, and, this time of year, salads and salad dressings. Tonight's menu in our house is a salad with black beans, scallions, and cilantro-lime dressing (one of this week's recipes). Well, that's for Karin and me. Anneli will probably have oat cereal and pureed spinach. Keep this in the plastic bag to prevent descication, and it'll hold quite well in your fridge.

Scallions: Karin and I have an ongoing debate: are scallions “onions” or herbs? I think they're substantive enough to rise above “garnish” status; Karin considers them herbs. Either way, they're delicious. These are a natural partner to cilantro, and add a wonderful crunch and zing to salads, Mexican dishes, and slaws.

Salad mix: This is our standby mix of eight types of baby-leaf lettuce. The varieties we grow have more body and better shelf-life than typical spring mix, while still remaining tender. As with all of our loose greens, these have been pre-washed, but we can’t guarantee them 100% free of soil.

Spinach: If you find yourself overloaded with salad-makings this week, this would be a good choice to wilt in some eggs or put in a smoothie. Or use it in today's recipe for Spinach Chips.

Salad turnips: Despite their lack of obvious flare, these white turnips are surprisingly satisfying. They have a mildly turnip-y flavor, a hint of sweetness, and an almost creamy texture that is delicious as a salad topper or as an item on a veggie tray. I recommend eating these raw before you consider cooking them. The greens can be sauteed and eaten, as well.

Red or green Swiss chard: While these two varieties differ aesthetically, they both have their own perks--red chard its bold red stems and green chard its dark green, glossy leaves. Use similarly. Chard reduces quite a bit when cooked--more like spinach than like kale. Stems should be separated from, and cooked longer than, the leaves.

Red or French Breakfast radishes: Red radishes are crunchy and a little spicy; French breakfast radishes are often a little less spicy than red. The roots can be sliced thinly and added to a salad, and the greens are edible, as well. To reduce their pungency, consider cooking them – they can be steamed, roasted, or stir-fried.

Green or red leaf lettuce: In addition to its obvious use in salads, leaf lettuce is also great on sandwiches or used as a wrap. Rinse leaves after separating from the head. If you find yourself accumulating head lettuce, consider stir-frying it--this is a common use in Asian cultures. You'll find plenty of recipes online.

Rhubarb: After another year of growth, the rhubarb planting - which provided 2017 members only a modest portion - has picked up some steam. The simplest way to use this is to slice it up and cook it down with some sugar to make a sauce. Pour this over ice cream or other desert for a seasonably delightful treat.

Strawberries (rotational--full shares only this week): Despite the rain we got over the weekend while these were ripening, our first harvest of strawberries looks pretty good. There were only enough for full shares this week. Half share members will receive them next week or the following week. Rinse before eating. Some berries have a bit of soil on them, we do not wash strawberries because they are thin-skinned and easily damaged during washing.

On Deck

Each week, we’ll give some hints about what new items may show up CSA shares in the next 1 -2 weeks. Please note, this is not a guarantee, but our attempt to give you an idea of what’s coming up.

Snap peas – Basil – Kale – Strawberries – Broccoli


You've probably noticed that it's salad season. Boxes are filled with lots of lettuce and other salad fixings, which is usually the reality in June. It's a lot--we know. We're eating salads for nearly every meal, too, and trying to embrace it knowing that they'll be more sporatic during the summer, when lettuce rapidly bolts and gets bitter. While we do plant lettuce throughout the year, expect it to be sparser in your boxes during summer months.

I also want to introduce the concept of “rotational” items. On occasion, we put an item in only a subset of boxes (grouped by share type or pickup location). Sometimes this is because the yield was lower than we planned and we simply didn't have enough for all members in a given week. Sometimes it's deliberate--if we planted enough eggplant to fill all boxes with Asian eggplant in late June, we'd be swimming in eggplant the rest of the season (and you'd be getting it in every box). I doubt that's what you signed up for. We try to keep this staggered disperal to a minimum, but it will happen, such as this week with strawberries.

In this and the next two newsletters, you'll be getting to know the farm crew. Thanks to Crew Leader (and talented writer) Aaron Maltz for agreeing to interview his fellow crew members and write up short bios to share with you!


Elizabeth Karkula

A native of Minneapolis, Elizabeth spent the past decade living in Oregon before returning home to work at Sogn Valley Farm. During her time away, she earned her master’s degree in Couples and Family Therapy from the University of Oregon and later became licensed while working at Oregon Health & Sciences University.

Her parents taught her how to grow food at a young age, and she revisited the habit once moving to the Portland area. What started as a simple backyard garden soon grew into raising a flock of six chickens and helping with farmers markets on the weekend.

Seeking a life change, she spent the entirety of 2017 traveling and volunteering on organic farms with fellow SVF farmer Aaron Maltz. The pair visited twenty countries and thirteen farms, providing great insight into the worlds of permaculture, natural dying, and wood carving. On the farm, Liz runs a tight ship as the Packshed Manager. She organizes the walk-in cooler, and gives approval for all orders, CSA shares, and farmers market produce. Outside of work, Liz enjoys cooking meals inspired by Southeast Asian culture, and teaches slackline yoga on behalf of the Yogaslackers.

What piqued your interest in switching professions from therapy to organic farming?

I wanted to feel a deep connection to my food and where it comes from, plus be healthy and active and get a break from working in the medical field.

What vegetable holds the key to your heart and how do you like it prepared?

Garlic and I like to mix it with fish sauce and pour it on everything.

Where does your ideal farm exist?

I loved working on farms in the Balkans because they have such creative ways of preserving the harvest.

What vegetable would you like named in your honor?

I would say winter squash because they just get better with time.


Aaron Maltz

Aaron Maltz.jpg

Aaron’s path to farming would appear as a series of roundabouts, u-turns, and construction zones. At points in his life, he managed a vegan bakery, worked as a record store clerk, taught English in Japan, and managed digital rights with a music licensing company. When moving from Eugene to Portland, OR, a local farm offered him a position to help with farmer’s markets and that opportunity served as an introduction to seasonal eating and the importance of organic agriculture. A few years later, he accepted an internship with Zenger Farm, a non-profit farm operating out of SE Portland.

Traveling alongside Liz, his 2017 journey throughout the Northern hemisphere revealed new ideas on how organic farms operate outside America; in particular, learning permaculture techniques in SE Asia forever changed his perspective on farm operations with limited resources.

Aaron operates as Crew Leader at SVF. He considers himself an expert in the field of extreme heavy metal, and writes articles for the metal blog Invisible Oranges. He also plays the bass and has performed with many unheralded punk and metal bands over the years.

What is the perfect soundtrack for a typical farm day?

It bounces around from good classic thrash metal to 90s ska and late 70s punk rock. Anything that keeps up the momentum but provides enough variation.

What vegetable holds the potential to bring about world peace?

Definitely the potato. It tastes delicious baked, fried, and mashed. That level of versatility should bring an end to global conflict.

What meal do you most look forward to throughout the farm season?

A simple cheese, tomato, and mayonnaise sandwich. The bread should absolutely not be toasted.

How do you see your future in agriculture?

I'd like to run a small, hand-scale farm without the use of plastic, oil, and gas. What that looks like, I’m not entirely sure, but I’d like to take on the challenge.


Next week, Aaron will introduce you to Michael and Elyssa!




Spinach Chips

This recipe came to me from current CSA member Alisha Saladino. It's more of a general guide than a recipe, and can be applied to other greens, such kale or chard. “My 2 year old eats them faster than I can make them!” she wrote. If other members have recipe ideas to share, don't hesitate to send them to me!


Spinach (or chard or kale)

Olive oil

Lawry's seasoning salt, or other seasoning of your choice.


1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Toss spinach in a bit of olive oil. If you wash the greens beforehand, make sure they are dry before tossing with oil

3. Place flat on baking sheet, not overlapping. Sprinkle with a bit of Lawry's seasoning salt.

4. Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy, not burnt.

Recipe Source: Alisha Saladino


Cilantro-Lime Dressing

I got the bug to make up this recipe while harvesting cilantro for this week's shares. We had this on a green salad this evening, but I suspect it would also be tasty poured over chicken or fish.


1/2 C canola or sunflower oil

3 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 C plain whole milk yogurt

1/4 C chopped cilantro, densley packed

1 Tbsp honey

3 Tbsp parmesan cheese, shredded


1. Combine all ingredients besides the parmesan in a wide- mouth pint mason jar and blend with an immersion blender.

2. Add parmesan and pulse blender a few times to coarsely chop up the cheese, leaving small chunks for texture.

Recipe Source: Me