Perils of Winter: Frozen Fresh Product

Yes that is ice on the veggies!

We’ve been getting shipments of fresh organic fruits and vegetables from Full Circle Farm the last few months, resuming service after over a year. We stopped service previously after helping to bring Full Circle Farm shipments to Tok with others in the community including the tireless efforts of Francine at the Tok General Store because the shipments in winter were arriving frozen. The truck (from an Alaskan shipping company) that brought the boxes of fresh produce to Tok from Anchorage where they are flown in from Washington State didn’t realize the devastating affect of Interior winters on the contents in the boxes.

We resumed recently when we heard that the truck drivers learned their lesson finally after much spoiled produce and were putting the boxes in their cab. All was well and earlier this winter, we had a few great deliveries, savoring the fresh and diverse offerings. But now, for a second box in a row, we are getting produce that is frozen solid including tomatoes, tangerines, apples, pears, mushrooms, carrots, beets, kiwi and potatoes. The boxes are in the back of the trucks again.

The vegetables will fare better upon thawing than the fruit which will turn to a semi liquified state (applesauce and pear sauce may be in order before they competely spoil). The shelf-life of the veggies thawed, however, will be just a few days.

While Full Circle Farm has a 100% satisfaction guarantee which is greatly appreciated, it is discouraging to get half-edible but great looking produce at a time in the year that every little bit of “sunshine” counts. Well, you do what you can do and get what you can get in these parts.

I’m off to sautee some frozen rainbow chard.

Got produce?

From the vegetable garden in Tok

We got an earlier start this year to our vegetable garden. Actually my husband did all the work this year, and we’re slowly reaping the rewards. The only thing not from our garden in this picture is the tomato.

Here we have chives, a killer zucchini, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, mixed greens and lambs quarter. You can eat all the lambs quarter – tastes great sauteed – and even eat the flowers which taste fine raw.

What are you growing in your garden?

Summer Is Dead. Long Live Summers in Tok.

IMG_0804Winter is here. At 20 degrees most of the morning, I know this is just a taste of what is to come, however, I’m already shivering. There was frost on the ground this morning. The rhubarb in the backyard garden are drooping, the peas are bitter. Luckily, the sun is out and bright now to warm the greenhouse and the hoards of green tomatoes, but we should really bring those in to ripen in the basement.

And as yet another sign of summer: the big orange produce truck is here today but gone for the rest of the year, not to return until next summer. Yes, the produce truck is here, and while I’m a new and loyal convert to Gene’s veggie truck, he doesn’t have fruit or a few other items that the big truck carries so I think you can get a nice supply of produce by frequenting both places.

The produce truck folks said they MIGHT be here tomorrow (Wednesday) morning as well – depends on how their supplies hold out after today.

Today, I picked up sweet onions, a bag of apples, some nice-looking plums, some large tomotoes and two acorn squash. I almost bought a few jalapenos to make homemade salsa and am still contemplating going back for those, however, that means lots of chopping work ahead, and this cold weather is making me feel so lazy.

How is the pending winter making you feel? How have you prepared for a winter without easily accessible fresh fruits and veggies?

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The Produce Tok Delivers to Tok

IMG_0804Listen to an interview with Leah Harmon of CV Farms.

There is only one more month to go on the CV Farms produce truck run so watch this blog for announcements of their arrival in August. The July produce was phenomenal. The peaches were out-of-this-world delicious and the cherries were great.

We also got plums which are almost ready to eat, a super sweet cantalope, amazing tomatoes, a healthy green bell pepper and good looking zucchini and yellow squash as well as a squat buttercup squash. I practically cried tears of joy seeing this exquisite produce.

The husband/wife team drive their semi from Montana to California to pick up the produce and then heads up to Alaska, making a number of stops. They used to mostly pass through Tok before, but have made it a definite stop this year, and I’m so grateful.

And now for some produce beauty shots…






After August, how are we going to get a nice fresh variety of produce in Tok? Open to all ideas!

Fruit and Veggies Truck in Tok Thursday

IMG_0432This Thursday, the big orange truck will be parked next to The Husky Lounge again with more fresh fruit and vegetables so get there early! They might set up Wednesday afternoon depending on how they’re feeling so keep an eye out. If you don’t see them, don’t despair! They will definitely be there Thursday of this week.

Where else are you getting your farm fresh fruits and veggies?

And does anyone have some good recipes for radishes? They are piling up in our fridge!

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Sign Up to Receive Organic Produce in Tok

UPDATE: Francine from the General Store has generously offered to take over the Full Circle Farm arrangements and offer her store as the pick up location. So convenient!


Interested in ordering boxes of fresh, organic produce? Full Circle Farm produce is coming to Tok.

Full Circle Farm offers three sizes of produce boxes to members. Each box regardless of size will have between 12-14 standard items and 6-8 substitution options. Members are allowed to make up to 5 substitutions per box.

Exact pricing on boxes delivered to Tok is to be determined. (To give you an idea, prices for boxes delivered to Anchorage are $40 small, $50.25 medium, and $59.50 large).

Orders will be delivered every other week to the Johnson residence on Discovery (directions provided to everyone who signs up). Get your fruits and veggies!

For more information, contact Francine at the General Store.