Youth Farm CSA Newsletter: August 13th (week 11)

Ellie and Jennifer in the beans.
On the Farm: with the warm days and the quickly passing summer our peas have come and gone at the Youth Farm. We grow three varieties of peas (one snow pea and two snap peas) and this year we are experimenting with saving seeds from two varieties. I’ve saved seed from a few flower varieties before, but besides that, seed saving is new to me.  We started by planting beds of peas specifically for saving their seed, rather than harvesting their fruit (the veggies). When they are ready, we will hang and dry the whole plants, and save them for next growing season. Next year we’ll grow our saved seeds along side seeds we have purchased and see if there are any notable differences.  We are also saving the seeds of lettuce this year. Hopefully we can slowly and thoughtfully add more crops to our saving repertoire.

Saving seed is an essential part of the growing cycle.  Farmers have been doing it for centuries – saving them money, and enabling them to grow independently of industry (and sometimes come up with new varieties, even!).  We are excited to start this experiment – taking us the next step toward food security. Check out the Organic Seed Alliance for more information.

Paige taking the peas down.

In your CSA share this week: Expect to find broccoli, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, chard, beans, carrots, beets, cauliflower, basil, fresh garlic, zucchinis, walla walla sweet onions, Romanesco broccoli, parsley, lots more cucumbers and — as always — a few surprises. Also a reminder, we love to take your plastic shopping bags for bagging up veggies.

For the Recipe this week: Tomato and Basil Cumber Salad

This is a very easy, very wonderful summer salad, that stores well in your refrigerator and the leftover dressing/sauce is great with pretty much everything.

Take 2 or 3 cukes and very thinly slice them into rounds and then in half.  Cut your tomatoes into larger chunks, and the basil is roughly cut into smallish pieces.  Then dice up a few garlic cloves, and if you want very thinly slice up half of your Walla Walla sweet onion. Toss all of this into a bowl.

Next you will want to add a generous amount of olive oil, and a bit of apple cider vinegar.  And, of course, season it with a little salt.  As for the amount of oil and vinegar to add, just remember oil and vinegar work well together in a 4 to 1 or 3 to 1 ratio.  I like to see at least a quarter of the salad submerged in liquid (this of course includes some tomato juices).  Now your salad is ready to eat.  Some variations to the salad could easily include throwing in grilled squash chunks, or even pieces of bacon.  Eat this very yummy salad with a good bread and wow — it tastes like summer!

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