From the Farmer

Week 6 – 6/21/2016
Zoning Recap
Another big thank you to everyone who spoke or wrote to the Board of Supervisors.  Last Wednesday the Board took up the same zoning bill as the Planning Commission considered in late April.  Again, they heard clearly that the small number of agriculture- and education-related uses (in association with on-site agriculture like we do here) can fit in Open Space in the Transition Area.  The Board is sending the ZOAM to the Transportation and Land Use Committee (TLUC) where they will consider taking these uses, adding them to the list of what should be passed quickly, and separating other proposed changes into the “needs more attention” pile.  This could be a good outcome for most if not all involved.  
 
Members of the Transition Area Alliance, which includes Willowsford residents and Farm-ily members, spoke eloquently in support for the Farm while also maintaining the integrity of the Transition Area.  There are several other challenges to the Transition Area before the board: a proposed expansion of the Harris Teeter coming to the corner of Northstar and Braddock, and a review of the Comprehensive Plan.  Speak up if you feel strongly about what goes on the County, particularly here in the Ashburn/Aldie area.
 
Wine Order for July 2nd
Tarara Winery will be at the Farm Stand on Saturday, July 2 to sell their Willowsford label wines: Farmhouse Red and Country White.  They are here on or around five holiday weekends this year: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the late Holidays.  Sales are based on pre-orders; you can purchase bottles or cases.
 
Place your wine order here.
 
All About Vegetables and Cooking Techniques – Archives Now Online
Want to know more about kohlrabi or summer squash?  How to store cabbage?  Or maybe you want to know what Braising means and how the heck you do it.  Each week we bring you an All About section in the newsletter.  In All About we highlight a vegetable or cooking technique, and include general information, what to look for when shopping for an item, how to store it, how to prepare it, and what it goes well with.  Each newsletter also has one or more recipes.
 
Chef Bonnie Moore has written many All Abouts the last several years.  We have a fantastic partnership with Chef Bonnie, who has been part of Willowsford from the very beginning – before the Farm even.  We are happy to finally have all of these articles in one place.
 
The All Abouts are now all easily searchable on our website.  Check it out, here!  There you’ll find an index with Veggies on one side, and Techniques on the other.  Each link will take you to the full newsletter that includes the All About at bottom.
 
You can also find newsletters archived by date here.  Our recipe database (please add you own) is here.  
 
In Your Share
Broccoli is on the out and cabbage is ascending into the sign of CSA, so make good friends with cabbage. This week one of our favorites: Madonna cabbage, when we grew it back in 1990 it inspired the Blond Ambition Tour.  Crisp, tender, it makes great slaw but you can cook it any old way.  And it would make a pretty cool stuffed cabbage (think: space shuttle stuffed with ground beef).  Also this week, a hint of Spring despite the heat: sugar snap peas.  Our own small planting isn’t putting out quite enough for everyone, so we’ve gotten some from an organic farm in the TOG cooperative as a special treat.  Sugar Snaps don’t need to be shelled, you can eat them shell and all.
 
This is Solstice week and it is one indicator that spring is becoming summer.  We used to take this week off from CSA harvest.  It provides a good time to catch up on field work and to evaluate and reevaluate our season plans.  It is also an opportunity to take a rest as we head into the meat of our season; while this is Week 6 of the harvest season, we sow our first crops in the greenhouse in very early February and the farm team joined us mid-March and early April. In that sense it’s week fifteen or twenty.
 
Solstice of course is The Long Day.  Some kind of galactic turbulence gave the Earth an obliquity of the eclipticity (you might just call it a Virginia Lean): the sun is at its highest and day length at its longest.  Otherwise from here out we’re heading toward winter with the sun.  This year that’s about how it feels.  We made a big push last week to get our long-season, storage crops (sweet potatoes, winter squash) planted, and if they take well then we’ll be sailing down the backside of summer. 
 
While summer crops are often “ahead” of June 21, this year we’re just seeing them start now: basil, the first summer squash, cucumbers and tomatoes to follow sometime soon.  This week’s box reflects that slow transition and is also meant to give you a chance to catch up on any veggies you haven’t used, like that kohlrabi you haven’t figured out or last week’s bok choi.  Juice it!
 
Be great,
 
Mike, Deb, Al, Lex, Jennifer, Anya, James, Briana, Theo, Kay, Sonya and Kelly, Radish and Bella, Goats x 13?!, Camilla x 499, dinner chicks x in the freezer, Roscoe RIP and Popcorn, heading back to Cleveland via Las Vegas he’ll never tell what happened
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41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

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