Hi, August! The Latest News and Notes from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

As we head into the dog days of August, the heat-loving crops are starting to ripen more each day, and the animals continue to seek the afternoon shade to stay cool—during the middle of the day the chickens are often burrowed in the cool dirt of their enclosure and the girls can be spotted lounging under the canopy of trees in their pasture.

As much as the sun-ripened peppers and tomatoes are loving the sunshine, other more tender crops, such as the lettuces and greens, are now needing a good drink of water each day so that they continue to thrive. Even with a later ripening date due to the cooler than usual spring, our fruit crops are still proving to be bountiful, from the big, juicy blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to colorful red and yellow plums.

As busy as it is around Bella Luna this time of year—both with tending crops and hosting the special events we hold so dear—we also spend quite a bit of time in other people’s gardens, too, through our landscape design firm, Parterre. We conceptualize and install tranquil, natural gardens and outdoor living spaces all around the Puget Sound, as well as care for them using organic, low-impact gardening techniques. With its long daylight hours, this abundant season keeps us bustling between projects.

During the lingering evenings, we are busy preserving all the gorgeous summer delicacies. In addition to fruit preserves, our “jam sessions” will also include pickling cucumbers and canning beets, as well as making small batches of our Nonna Pat’s famous tomato sauce with vine-ripened tomatoes plucked fresh from the garden. By the end of summer, we usually stow away around a thousand jars, which are always beautiful reminders of the glorious, sun-kissed summer during the cold winter months that will arrive all too soon.

What’s In the Box? July 28 – August 3

Sun-Ripened
No matter how you pronounce it, the word ‘tomato’ practically sings of summer, as well it should as the vine-ripened beauties are now ready to be plucked from the vine—and headed straight for your box. Thus, this week’s delivery pays homage to the ripe, juicy tomato with the first of the heirloom varieties and a bevy of complementary ingredients like Pain au Levain bread, farm-fresh eggs, Tomme-style sheep’s cheese and summery basil, plus other seasonal produce like cucumbers, fennel, fava beans and ripe apricots. So, uncork a bottle of wine, peruse a few recipes and enjoy these bright and beautiful summer favorites to their fullest.

Here’s what you’ll find in your box this week:

Steel Wheel Farm Heirloom Tomatoes

One of the true hallmarks of midsummer here in the Northwest, the juicy, sweet and incredibly luscious heirloom tomatoes have arrived. (And we’ve got plenty of recipe ideas for you on how to best enjoy these summer favorites this week!)

Pain au Levain

This slightly-nutty, slightly-sweet sourdough loaf epitomizes French country-style baking with a chewy crust and light, airy interior. Baked by our favorite bakery in Snohomish, this traditional Pain au Levain is crafted using the bakery’s own sourdough starter.

Ravoire et Fils 2021 Domaine des Bellugues Rosé Mediterranée

Made by a small family estate named for the fireflies that live around the vineyard (bellegues means “spark”), this French rosé is bursting with fresh fruit flavors and a crisp, bright acidity.

Harmony Fields Tomme-Style Sheep’s Milk Cheese

This Tomme-style sheep’s milk cheese from Bow-based Harmony Fields is defined by its buttery texture and nutty flavor. Aged on the farm, it derives its distinctive grassy overtones from the Skagit pasturelands and is a perfect complement to tart jams, honey and herb-based poultry dishes.

Farm Fresh Eggs

As they spend lots of time outdoors in their run, our small flock of heritage breed laying hens are enjoying succulent popweed pulled from the gardens along with an extra helping of grain to supplement their diet, continuing to give us fresh eggs in beautiful shades of brown, beige and cream.

Fresh Organic Greens

Cegolaine and Little Gem mini Romaine lettuces.

Summer Apricots

Gorgeous ripe apricots.

Seasonal Organic Vegetables

This week’s produce selection also includes cauliflower, Steel Wheel Farm Bolero carrots and Chioggia beets, fava beans, mixed summer squash, English cucumber, red radishes, scallions and fennel.

Fresh Garden Herbs

Italian parsley, basil, oregano, mint and rosemary from the herb garden at Bella Luna.

Edible Flowers

Add a subtle peppery spice to salads with these bright and cheery edible nasturtium flowers!

What’s In The Box? July 21-27

Summering in France
Cool, classic and colorful, Salade Niçoise is the hallmark of summer in France, layered with fresh, crisp produce like yellow Romano beans, cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes, and accents like briny salted capers and protein-rich tuna. Thus, your box this week honors this beloved summer staple with local ingredients to create your own version of the famous salad, plus summery herbs and produce, a crisp Rosé, freshly-baked baguette and sweet summer apricots. Enjoy!

Here’s what you’ll find in your box this week:

Lummi Island Wild Tuna

This week, we’ve included all the ingredients to craft your own version of Julia Child’s favorite salad (see recipes for details!). Protein-rich and perfect for patio dining, this Provençal staple balances the best summer produce with the classic pairing of flavorful canned Albacore tuna from local company Lummi Island Wild.

Imported Capers

Briny and salty—the perfect endnote to this week’s salad!

French Baguette

Baked just for us by our favorite small bakery in nearby Snohomish, this fresh baguette embodies classic French baking with a delightfully-crisp crust and an airy interior.

Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rose 2021

A light, brilliant rose petal color. The nose is floral, accented by aromas of fresh peaches and fennel. A soft and balanced mouthfeel, with fruit-driven persistence and a crisp citrus note on the finish.

Farm Fresh Eggs

As they spend lots of time outdoors in their run, our small flock of heritage breed laying hens are enjoying succulent popweed pulled from the gardens along with an extra helping of grain to supplement their diet, continuing to give us fresh eggs in beautiful shades of brown, beige and cream. (Guess what? They make for pretty spectacular hard-boiled beauties in this week’s salad, too.)

Fresh Organic Greens

Beautiful baby lettuce greens and frisee.

Seasonal Organic Fruit

Gorgeous ripe apricots grown in Selah, Washington by Collins Family Orchards.

Seasonal Organic Vegetables

This week’s produce selection includes cherry tomatoes, fennel, yellow Romano beans, corn, cucumbers, beets, turnips, zucchini, and baby red potatoes.

Fresh Garden Herbs

Italian parsley, shallots, cilantro, oregano and garlic scapes from the herb garden at Bella Luna.

What’s In The Box? July 14-20

Midsummer Splendor
Fava beans to fennel, cucumbers to cauliflower, red radishes to zucchini, this week’s box is packed with a bounty of midsummer produce. Enjoy these all-stars alongside another farmhouse favorite: a summery risotto crafted with Arborio rice, roasted chicken stock and Cremini mushrooms and topped with a beautiful medley of grilled vegetables (see recipes for details). Also included in this lively lineup: Italian Rustica bread, sheep’s milk feta cheese, a dry Portuguese white wine, edible flowers, mini bouquets, and gorgeous ripe apricots. Enjoy!

Here’s what you’ll find in your box this week:

Arborio Rice

This round-grain rice comes from the Po River Valley region of Italy and is named for the town of Arborio located in the heart of the area. When cooked with our flavorful chicken stock and a splash of white wine, it becomes creamy and starchy and is a great accompaniment to just about any flavor combination.

Italian Rustica Bread

This freshly-baked loaf is made in Snohomish using a wild yeast starter, which creates an airy, chewy bread and a delightfully-crisp crust. This bread is especially delicious grilled—rub each lightly-charred piece with a cut clove of garlic for extra flavor.

Quinta das Arcas Arca Nova Vinho Verde

This dry, Portuguese Vinho Verde has attractive spice and crisp apple flavors, plus a mineral texture that finishes with a zing of tight acidity.

Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese

This sirene-style white brine cheese is made from 100-percent sheep’s milk. Similar to Greek feta with a tart, lemony finish, it has a creamier texture than most feta, with a touch of saltiness that pairs perfectly with salads, pastas and crostini.

Farm Fresh Eggs

As they spend lots of time outdoors in their run, our small flock of heritage breed laying hens are enjoying succulent popweed pulled from the gardens along with an extra helping of grain to supplement their diet, continuing to give us fresh eggs in beautiful shades of brown, beige and cream.

Farm & Larder Roasted Chicken Stock

Made from roasted Bella Luna chickens, this flavorful stock is simmered slowly for hours with carrots, onions and celery and seasoned with a dash of sea salt.

Fresh Organic Greens

Lacinato kale, frisée, escarole, and Cegolaine lettuce.

Summer Apricots

Gorgeous ripe apricots grown in Selah, Washington by Collins Family Orchards.

Seasonal Organic Fruit & Vegetables

This week’s produce selection also includes baby fennel, cucumbers, romanesco, fava beans, Hakurei turnips, cauliflower, Cremini mushrooms, red radishes and sugar snap peas.

Fresh Garden Herbs

Italian parsley from the herb garden at Bella Luna.

Edible Flowers & Mini Bouquets

Flowers, flowers, everywhere! Enjoy bright and cheery edible nasturtium flowers to add color and spice to your salads this week, as well as a sweet bouquet of seasonal blooms.

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