“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”
― Wendell Berry
Hello Dear Friends!
This summer’s been a series of surprises weather-wise, keeping us on our toes as we try to anticipate what Mother Nature has in mind. Now that August is well underway, we’re finally getting to enjoy those tomatoes and peppers we planted so long ago. Berries are still coming, and things are really happening in the orchard! If you haven’t stopped by the farm lately, please do — we’d love to see you.
While growing food and beautiful flowers is an obvious goal for us here at Dancing Seeds Farm, we also remain committed to doing our part to take care of the land, from the trees we plant to the compost we build to the beneficial insects we welcome in our gardens. Be sure to take a stroll through our flower garden next to the store, or our orchard, on your next visit — but please remember to shut the gate when you leave to keep out four-legged visitors!
What’s In Our Store?
Our store is filled with goodies all week long–with Tuesday afternoon showcasing produce just harvested that morning. Look for fresh vegetables from A (arugula) to Z (zucchini), along with lots of fruits like berries, peaches, and pears.
We’ve also got a new grab-and-go roadside stand for just-picked flower bouquets, and there are also more flowers in the store, available by the stem or in larger arrangements.
For your convenience, we operate on the honor system, so you can stop by anytime. Exact change is preferred but there is a small bit of cash in an envelope if you need to make change. All we ask is that you write down what you purchase for inventory management purposes. If you need help, just ring the doorbell on the front of the store and it will ring our phones via Wi-Fi.
What’s Cooking? HERBS!
Are you an herb aficionado? Are you intimidated by them? Do you think of fresh herbs as luxurious options?
Herbs are not just for gourmet chefs! They impart delightful flavors to your recipes, enhance visual appeal, and kick up the nutritional value of your meal. They’re also fun and love to be experimented with. Although a lot of recipes traditionally call for small pinches of fresh herbs, it’s hard to overdo it with most of them, so long as you know when to add them to your creation (some hold up well to cooking and some are best added just before serving). And while dried herbs will get the job done, especially on those dark winter nights, they’re not nearly as exciting as those that were just snipped–and which we have in abundance right now.
Some of the herbs we grow and sell:
Basil: Best used raw or added at the end of cooking. Pairs well with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, oregano, and onions. Toss some basil leaves into your salads (including fruit salads), layer them on your sandwiches, or add them into your eggs or chicken dishes. And don’t forget the classic basil recipe: pesto! Make a batch now, freeze in ice cube trays, and pull out one or two cubes over the next few months to pull together a quick pasta dinner!
Chives: Also best used raw or just before serving. As onion’s gentle cousin, this herb pairs well with eggs, potatoes, sour cream, and breads. Add chive flowers to a salad or use chive stems to tie vegetables together for light steaming!
Cilantro: Love it or leave it? Some people can’t get enough of this herb while others detect a strong soapy flavor, so know your crowd before adding it to your recipe. If you’ve got cilantro fans at your table, you can use it raw or cook with it. Perfect for spicy curries, salsas, and soups–or with any meat, chicken, or fish.
Dill: Yum! Think of aromatic fennel, celery, and parsley all mixed together. Makes the perfect salad dressing when mixed with a little olive oil, vinegar, and local honey. Also complements fish, hard boiled eggs, and dairy-based products like sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt.
Mint: Good for the tummy and breath, mint is a classic partner for lamb, chocolate, and pork chops. Works well with fruits straight from the orchard and fruit-based desserts, too, and it loves to float in carafes filled with summertime cocktails or mocktails.
Oregano: Loves to be part of a spicy dish, especially when tossed into your tomato sauce as it simmers. Works with all sorts of meats and vegetables. And, like lots of herbs, it can jazz up your butters and specialty oils!
Parsley: Did you know that parsley stems have more flavor than the leaves? You can use flat or curly parsley with just about anything: fish, vegetables, salad, rice, soups, stews, meatballs, sauces, or marinades. It also blends nicely with other herbs.
Rosemary: Great for the grill! Excellent with hearty lamb and potato dishes, marinades and oils, eggs, fish, poultry, pork, tomatoes, and onions. And get this: also lovely mixed into vanilla ice cream or a salad of fresh oranges and apricots.
Sage: Like rosemary, it’s good to add this at the beginning of cooking. This herb complements hearty meats, sausages, cheeses, stuffings, beans, potatoes, and risottos.
Savory: Often used in cooked dishes involving beans, meat, poultry, grilled vegetables, or game, savory can also be mixed with other herbs to create a unique flavor for any kitchen concoction!
Tarragon: Licorice meets fennel! Try with chicken, shellfish, eggs, béarnaise sauce, or potatoes, or make your own herb-infused vinegar with tarragon.
Thyme: Like the classic little black dress, this herb goes-with-everything! Cook in broths, soups and stews, stuffings, and marinades. Stir into eggs, meat or poultry dishes, roasted potatoes, or a veggie stir-fry. Experiment by pairing with fruits, too, like peaches, apples, and pears!
Speaking of Herbs…Mark Your Calendar for Next Month’s Farm Tours ~~~September 21-22~~~
The San Juan Islands Farm Tour is an annual opportunity to visit the farms on our island and discover the local bounty. We’ll be open from 10 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday that weekend, with a special Tea and Tour event Sunday morning at 10:00 featuring teas made from our own herbs.
Tickets are available through the Ag Guild/Brickworks. We hope to see you then! Just be sure to wear appropriate outdoor shoes and attire.
Where You Can Find Us (when we’re not out in the gardens)
At the farm store: Tuesdays 12-6 pm (or pretty much anytime)
3501 Beaverton-Valley Road, Friday Harbor WA 98053
At the San Juan Island Farmer’s Market: Saturdays 9:30 to 1 pm
You might also find our flowers or produce at the San Juan Island Co-op or in delicious arrangements at select restaurants throughout Friday Harbor.