Hello, February! The Latest News from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

Greetings from the farm—and welcome to February! This is always a month of contradictions here in the Northwest, as we see both days of wintery rain, sleet or snow and then a few early glimpses of spring and blue skies, too.

As they start to emerge from their winter slumber, the fragrant yellow flowers of the witch hazel tree and delicate snowdrops make us smile each time we pass by. In the garden, we are taking advantage of the longer afternoons, getting compost prepped for spring planting, pruning apples and plum trees, gathering herbs from the greenhouse, checking seed starting supplies and finishing up the last seed, root and tuber orders. Spring is in the offing and we can hardly wait!

After the successful move of our headquarters to a larger workspace just down the road, our Farm & Larder deliveries resume again this week, and we couldn’t be more excited to share the season’s best from the farm with you!

In addition to packing and moving, we spent much of January meeting with chefs, bakers, local artisans and more to plan a full roster of workshops and classes for our Classes on the Farm series. This upcoming spring and summer will be packed with many farm- and food-based experiences, covering everything from cooking and cocktails to gardening and wood-fire cooking, and more! Keep your eyes peeled on our Classes on the Farm page as the full calendar will be posted soon. We sincerely hope you’ll enjoy us for one, or maybe even a few, classes, as we think everyone will find something that they will enjoy.

We’ll leave you with one of our favorite soup recipes, fit for those chilly February weekends that call for a relaxing day indoors, staying warm and cozy—happy cooking and happy hibernating!

Caldo Verde Kale & Potato Soup
This rich, traditional Portuguese soup—called caldo verde (green broth)—is given a modern spin by a medley of potatoes and fresh kale.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion or large leek, finely diced
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large russet potato, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch curly or Lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves finely chopped
12 ounces cooked linguiça or other garlicky pork sausage, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper|
Minced fresh chives, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion (or leek) and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes, adding olive oil as necessary to keep the mixture loose and moist.

2. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add kale and continue to cook until the russet potato slices have completely broken down (you can press them with a spoon or potato masher for an even thicker texture), the Yukon Golds are tender, the greens have softened, and the soup has thickened to a creamy consistency, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in sausage. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with chives, if desired.

Hello, January! The Latest News from Farm & Larder and Bella Luna Farms

Happy New Year! As 2024 gets underway, we would like to convey our heartfelt thanks: We have been delivering our weekly boxes filled with fresh, seasonal fare and housemade provisions going on 11 years now! We couldn’t do it without you and truly appreciate your enthusiastic feedback and support. To our new 2024 subscribers, welcome! We cannot wait to share the bounty of the farm with you in the year ahead.

On that note, we are in the midst of moving our F&L headquarters into a new warehouse space located near to the farm that will enable us to have more room to prep your weekly boxes. Once that move is complete, we will update you on when you can expect those weekly deliveries to begin! Meanwhile, in between trips to and fro, we have been pulling together some exciting new menus and organizing fresh and fun provisions for the months ahead; we cannot wait to share the best of the farm with you.

As we also wind down from the holiday season, now is a time of planning here at the farm. Seed catalogs are beginning to arrive, a most awaited and favorite time to read of new varieties and old favorites, reminding us of the delights of spring with the anticipation of new seedlings soon to be popping up in the greenhouse. The milder than usual winter weather has made farm chores seem like less of a chore, as we walk about the farm caring for the animals. The “girls” are still busy laying while all snug in their coop and the other resident animals are staying warm and toasty, cuddled up in extra straw to weather the cold nights.

During darker evenings or gloomier days, you can find us in our happy place: our in-house creamery, Bellsong, where our two resident cheesemakers Pam and Meghan are ever-busy working on new creations like herbed-kissed fromage blanc, creamy ricotta or silky crème fraîche. And, of course, we are all eagerly anticipating our first Classes on the Farm workshop of the new year on January 27th covering these very same cheeses; register today and join us!

We hope your New Year is off to a safe and healthy start—here’s to great growing, connecting and, of course, eating in 2024!

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

Heading into December, the days are getting shorter and shorter while also seemingly getting busier and busier as we embark on the very merry holiday season!

Speaking of merry, we have had such an amazing time launching our new Classes on the Farm series here at the farm over the past month; thanks to all of you who have joined us and have helped make it such a success already! The joy will continue this holiday season and beyond: We have more curated classes and workshops coming up soon, including a Holiday Cocktails & Appetizers class being offered this Saturday, December 9th from 2-5 p.m.

Join us for a delightful and delicious afternoon as Conjure Catering owner and mixologist, Cooper Smith, guides us through the art of creating holiday cocktails and mocktails with seasonal, homemade cordials, garnishes and tinctures, as well as treats us to an incredible, seasonally-inspired, multi-course lunch served in our stunning Grapehouse. Reserve your spot here!

In between readying the farm for these fun events, we have been busy putting the ornamental flower gardens to bed and also adding heavy straw mulch to the vegetable plots, which will remain fallow over the winter to protect the soil and keep weeds at bay. In other areas of the vegetable garden and in our cut flower field, we planted cover crops which will be tilled in during the spring to help add nutrients to the soil before planting. We are busy digging and storing dahlia tubers, and the first seed catalog has just arrived in the mail!

As the holiday shopping season commences, look no further than the farm. We have a little something for everyone on your list, with subscriptions to Farm & Larder’s weekly delivery service, gift cards or gift baskets all available for purchase. And, of course if you come visit us for a workshop this month, you can shop our curated winter market here at the farm, featuring farmstead provisions and fresh-made goods from our own creamery. We would love to put together a custom gift basket or flower arrangement for you—please let us know how we can help!

On a scheduling note, the last F&L delivery of the year will be on Thursday, December 21st and then we will pick back up again per usual in the New Year—we will keep you posted on dates and details here in the next few weeks so you can mark your calendars. From all of us here at the farm, we wish you and yours a merry holiday season and a Happy New Year!

this week's recipes
hearty, healthy italian

farm & garden notes
hello, february

workshops & events
new classes!