News and Events

  • July 28th, 2011

It’s been a neat week.  I want to each of our CSA members to know that even though your feedback doesn’t get the mortgage paid each month, it makes the hard work (and occasional headaches) worthwhile!  Our CSA membership and a la carte patrons have displayed the definition of Community Supported Agriculture these past few days as we’ve had to come to terms with stalling the a la carte program.   You guys seem to understand, appreciate, and embrace the journey here.  For those of you who may be reading this and not familiar with our program:  long story short—we collaborated with other farmers to offer a “virtual farmers market” that unfortunately hasn’t worked.  We kept it going for ten weeks and finally had to cease for several reasons, both personal and for the sustainability of our business.  So, thank you each for your support.  It’s my plan to spend more time sharing what’s going on and why we are doing what we are doing here to feed your families.  Although you may be reading this not consuming “the work of our hands weekly”, please know that out there somewhere is a farmer living a life similar to this for the betterment of your needs.

Aside from me being overwhelmed by the support of our patrons, we are proud to tell you that we have begun to be able to donate food to feed the less fortunate.  A sad side to raising a lot of food and scurrying around hourly trying to create a market for it is that there is inevitably waste when dealing with something so perishable.  Within the last week, we donated a lot of jalapeno peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and squashes that we wouldn’t otherwise have be able to sell. The Cathedral of the Assumption feeds an average of 130 homeless or low-income individuals daily. I wanted to share this with you because I think it will add to your understanding of the whole food system, and challenges.  We’ve been really fortunate that some folks have helped make this donation process easier…Blain with the Presbyterian Hunger Program/VISTA Community Food Security has helped coordinate and Ron from The Root Cellar downtown has let us use his market as a delivery/pick-up location.  It’s a great feeling—so wanted to share, because your financial support enables our farm to produce food…to provide you dinner, us a livelihood and now to help provide for those who are unable to provide for themselves.  Thank you.

 

We did some cleaning up of the fields today and have planted some winter squashes, more successive plantings of some summer/fall crops.  The potatoes are all dug, onions and carrots pulled, and destroying some overgrown weeds!  Thank goodness we dug a pond last spring to irrigate the field where the vegetables are…cause our irrigation pump has been working overtime.  Wish we had an air conditioner for some of our plants…wishing for cooler nights (and days)!  We hope you are enjoying the wonderful tastes of watermelons—helps everyone accept these hot, muggy days!  I know they are a little awkward to get home, but the taste makes it worth it!   Our crew has been working long, long hours lately. They are amazing.  These men will realize I’m finishing up the final details of an order at 5:00 in the morning, and before I know it, they are coming out to help…and they didn’t get in until really late the night before, washing and packing peppers.  I’m learning it really does take an army to get food all across this country.   I hope you will take a minute to look at the photo of our crew here….from Jim who is our new delivery driver who is from England (but has lived in the states for over 20 years), our 10 migrant workers who we employ through the US Dept. of Labor, to a few neighbor girls who we will miss when they go back to school, a young man who walks to work every day, and Deanna who is keeping me sane this summer.  Then, you have Lucas and Elly who help us celebrate as we just finished loading the morning’s orders.

A crew of dedication!

We hope you enjoy this week’s treats!  From the sweet corn, to potaotes, onions, last of the carrots, cherry tomatoes, first of the red tomatoes, cucumbers, sunburst squashes, and particularly the watermelons….

Thank you for making it a week I will forever remember!

Most graciously from our farm to your table,
Mary

 


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  • July 28th, 2011

Watermelon Granita

“It was fantastic and super easy.  Especially with this hot weather we’ve been having!  Kind of like a watermelon snow cone.  Found this on www.thepioneerwoman.com

This was submitted by Melissa Ballard, CSA member and fellow farmer.

1/2 whole Seedless* Watermelon, Cut Into Chunks (rind Discarded) (about 8 Cups Of Chunks)

2 whole Limes, Juiced

1/3 cup Sugar

Place half the watermelon, half the lime juice, and half the sugar in a blender. Process until smooth, then pour into a separate bowl.  Repeat with other half of ingredients. Pour into same bowl as other batch.  Transfer mixture to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Freeze for two or three hours, then begin the process of lightly scraping the top, frozen layer. Return pan to freezer with the shaved ice on top; remove a couple of hours later and continue scraping. Repeat the occasional scraping process until the entire mixture is shaved. Store, covered in plastic wrap, until serving. Serve in pretty glasses with a twist of lime.

*Note: if you use a regular watermelon with black seeds, lightly blend the watermelon first, then push through a strainer to get rid of the seeds/seed particles. Then continue the recipe above.

 

Watermelon Rind Preserves

My father’s family grew up with these….guess when you are raising 13 children, and loved to cook like my grandmother did, you get creative with utilizing your resources!

1-1/2 quarts prepared watermelon rind

4 T salt

2 qts cold water

1 T ground ginger

4 c. sugar

1/2 c. lemon juice

7 c. water

1 lemon, thinly sliced

To prepare watermelon rind: Trim green skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.  Dissolve salt in 2 quarts water and pour over rind.  Let stand for 5 to 6 hours if salt is used.  Drain, rinse, and drain again.  Cover with cold water and let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain. Sprinkle ginger over rind.  Cover with water and cook until fork-tender.  Drain.  Combine sugar, lemon juice and 7 cups water.  Boil 5 minutes.  Add rind and boil gently for 30 minutes.  Add sliced lemon and cook until the melon rind is clear.  Pack hot, into hot jars, leaving 1/4′ head space.  Remove air bubbles.   Adjust caps.  Process 20 minutes in boiling water bath.  Makes 6, 1/2 pints.    Recipe from Ball Blue Book, and enjoyed by many!

 

Little Potatoes in Jackets  (quick and easy)

Use the potatoes that are about 1-2 inches in diameter.  Put in a microwave dish and add water to about half their depth.  Cover and cook on high until a potato can barely be pierced with a sharp fork, 7 to 8 minutes for one pound.  Drain.  Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.  Season as desired (we love a little sour cream and herbs of some type).  Enjoy!

 

Fried Okra

(I have learned folks have a “love or hate” relationship with okra…if you don’t love it, find someone who does!)

Cut okra into pieces ¼ inch long and drop into milk until thoroughly covered.   Lift out of milk and drop into a paper sack containing cornmeal seasoned with salt and pepper.  Have oil or shortening in skillet.  Add okra pieces and fry until golden brown.   Shane and I absolutely love fried okra—it’s a weakness!  I used to think the kids wouldn’t like them and there would be more for us….selfish, I know, but now we just enjoy eating them together and we have to take more time frying…

 

Creamed Onions

Cook small onions 15 minutes.  Drain.  Add 1 cup thin cream and cook in a double broiler until tender.  Add salt to taste when the onions are nearly done.  Sprinkle with chopped, roasted peanuts or almonds.

I use onions in about everything, so rarely think of them as a side dish…but this way, or just on the grill, paired up with pork chops or a cut of beef are great.

 

Benedictine

1 cucumber, peeled

1 medium onion

1 pound cream cheese

2-3 drops green food coloring

Grate cucumber and onions (may use food processor) and drain well in a strainer, pressing down with spoon to remove all liquid.  Discard liquid.  Add drained cucumbers and

onion to the cream cheese and mix well in food processor.  Color with 2-3 drops of green food coloring.   Use as a sandwich spread or as a dip.  Yield 2 cups.

I found this recipe card at the Kentucky Derby Museum when we visited recently with the Kentucky Farm Bureau Young Farmer’s Group.

 

Corn on the Cob

Use freshly picked corn.  Remove the husks, silks, stem ends and any unfilled tips or insect damaged tips.  Place in boiling salted water to cover.  Cook 6 to 10 minutes or until tender, but do not overcook.  You can always add a tad of sugar to your water to give it an even sweeter taste if you like.

 

A little of this and a little of that on the grill…

This past Friday night we went to my parents to meet some of my father’s 3rd cousins from Omaha.  One of them was just ecstatic that I brought (my mother) a CSA share.  I sat it on the counter, and out came the eggplant, okra, peppers, onion, squashes and grabbing a knife and cutting board she began preparing a dish.  She said you can use whatever you like for a different taste each time you grill.  She used her hands to lightly toss the vegetables in olive oil, with a  little salt, pepper, and garlic. She spread this out on some aluminum foil (although she said a grill basket would be preferred) and grilled until tender.  (a trick to get your peppers to grill quicker is to zap in the microwave for a few seconds first).  It was a wonderful dish!

 


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  • July 20th, 2011

Whether is is purple cauliflower/broccoli or purple peppers or purple eggplant—-you will notice purple this week!  Not everyone’s share is exactly the same, but none the less, in plenty and interesting!

I will offer up some recipes later on this evening, but wanted to take a few minutes to share a bit of what’s included this week.

First of all, please realize that these scorching temperatures are creating some challenges with some of the vegetables, particularly the broccoli and cauliflower.  The heat is bringing on abnormal behavior of these plants; they are going from almost ready to seed VERY quickly.  The most peculiar piece of this is that we purchased seed for purple cauliflower, variety known as Violet Queen.  The plants look like cauliflower, but the vegetable itself looks more like purple broccoli.  Out of curiosity, I’m going to see if cauliflower and broccoli can cross pollinate since they are planted side-by-side.  Anyhow—it’s very good just raw so know you will enjoy.

Everyone will receive eggplant, either a very deep purple or a maroon and white striped purple. If yours has a little extra “thumb” or “nose”-like growth, we could have tossed those out, but thought that could be a learning experience to realize that when selling to a distributor or grocery, we couldn’t sell those, but knowing there is absolutely nothing wrong with them, we’d like to add to your conversation over your eggplant parmessan.  For those of you not familiar with eggplant, it’s the beautiful teardrop shaped vegetable with a green stem—rather large.  Prior to last year, I wasn’t a fan—however, we grew to really enjoy!

Some of you will receive green beans….the last for a little while.  The heat has caused many of the plants to abort their blooms, so it will be a while before the others are ready and hope it cools off!  Others will receive the first harvest of okra for the season.  Whether you fry, pickle, or saute, it’s great!

Enjoy the chives with your new potatoes.  Last week I made small twice-baked potatoes and added some chopped fresh chives….nothing like it!  Some of you may receive Swiss Chard or Carrots.  If you’ve had enough Swiss Chard for a while, I’d encourage you to cut it up, blanch and freeze to add to any soup during the cooler months.  Enjoy the beauty and taste of the golden zucchini and fresh onions—on the grill or in a casserole, a garnish or side.  We hope you will have a dessert of cold watermelon out on the porch one night this week—-Sugar Baby watermelons have us ready for more, hope you are, too!

We hope you enjoy this week…it’s been nice piecing this and that together for you….sharing in our bounty and work of many hands.   I plan to take some time tonight to update you on the production this week.  Hope you will join in the interest of what you are supporting!

 


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  • July 14th, 2011

It’s very early on Thursday morning…had plans to write this much earlier this week, but time has gotten away from us this week!

We’ve had a big week—already!  The end of last week, put a good spin on this week for us.  Saturday night we grilled out and had a game of whiffle ball with our workers.  I have to admit, it was comic relief to watch the humor in our SPANGLISH.  We do great communicating in the field about produce items, but when you have to talk fast to catch a pop-up…it can get a little interesting!  Sunday we spent some time scouting crops to quickly be effected with Monday and Tuesday’s heat wave!  The heat from earlier in the week was incredible.  As it was tough to breathe, and keep hydrated, the plants were really effected.  On Sunday, the broccoli was beautiful—was going to be perfect for this week’s CSA shares—to be ruined by the bolting heat by Tuesday morning.  Flowers are “aborting” or falling from the vines prematurely.  However, the heat also brought on a lot of produce…peppers particularly.  Tuesday evening I watched the radar and sky with anticipation, not knowing if we were going to receive rain or not, the storm delivered.  With it came wind and hail.  We had quite a bit of damage…but what do you do?  That’s part of it.  Yesterday we began picking lots of banana and jalapeno peppers for a distributor. This process was lengthened by the weather also—too bad the rain we received Tuesday evening caused mud to splatter on the peppers….imagine wiping off peppers—-jalapeno by jalapeno to! Let me tell you— I will never eat another jalapeno pepper without thinking of the tedious work that went into it!  Raising your food sure makes you appreciate it.

Last night I had the honor of visiting with some folks at a St. Edward, a Church in J-town that partners with us in our CSA program.  It was very nice to take a break from the grind of the tasks at the farm to step back and reflect on what our partnership is doing for folks.  We hope our foods are bringing your families together, talking over the dinner table, spending time in the kitchen together, thinking about the farmworkers, wanting to reach for foods with fewer ingredients as a snack, trying to figure out how your understanding of agriculture can impact future generations and policies.

 


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  • July 14th, 2011

If  you are fortunate enough to take part in the CSA this week….we know you will enjoy this colorful harvest we have this week….from green beans to green peppers, to basil and parsley, beets to summer squashes, onions to collard greens, cucumbers and green tomatoes.  It barely fits in your bag!

Huge carrots that we had to wait until the rain to dig… Although they are wonderful cooked, who needs a recipe for those? —wonderful raw!!

 

Summer Garden Rice

This recipe was submitted by another CSA family, the West’s—thank you, Melanie!

“I grew up in Michigan where summer is very much appreciated!  This was one of our family’s favorite summer recipes.”

 

2 T. butter

1 garlic glove (minced)

Water

Cracked pepper

3 T. olive oil

2 large carrots (peeled and diagonally sliced)

1 c. half-and-half

1 T. flour

2 med. tomatoes (diced)

1 small onion (chopped)

1 chicken boullion

Salt

1 c. rice

½ small head of broccoli (cut into flowerets)

2 med. summer squash and/or zucchini (slice into matchsticks)

2 c. Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Stir in boullion, 2 cups water, ½ tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper over high heat to boiling.  Stir in rice; reduce to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes.  While rice is cooking, in 12-inch skillet over med-high heat, in olive oil, stir broccoli and carrots until well-coated; add ¼ cup water; cover and cook 5 minutes.  Add yellow squash/zucchini, salt and pepper.  Cook uncovered until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring often.  Reduce heat to medium.

In mixing cup, stir half-and-half and flour; gradually pouring into liquid in skillet.  Cook until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1 ½ cups shredded cheese until cheese is melted.

When rice is done, gently stir in tomatoes and remaining ½ cup cheese, stirring until tomatoes are heated through and cheese is melted.

Spoon rice onto warm platter, spoon vegetables and sauce over the rice.

 

Collard Greens

The beautiful, large, light-green colored leaves are the collards.  Wash them and cut fine.  (Depending on how long you like to cook, strip stalk from leaf by holding fingers around stem of stalk and pulling it up between circle to peal the leaf off).  Cover with salted water.  Cook for one hour.  Serve at table with broth in which greens have been cooked.  You may like to add a strip of bacon to pot about 30 minutes left of cooking.  Serve with cornbread and enjoy it by dunking your cornbread into the juices.

 

Cucumbers in Sour Cream

1/2 pint sour cream

2 T. cider vinegar

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. dill seed

1/2 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 medium cucumbers

Combine the first 5 ingredients and mix well.  Peal cucumbers and slice them.  Add to sour cream and onion mixture.  Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.  Serves 4 to 6.

—from Kentucky Sweepstakes, contributed by author’s mother, Florence Ross

 

Squash casserole that incorporates several items from the week:

2 lbs squash and/or zucchini, sliced

1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, sliced

2 smallish tomatoes or one large tomato, peeled and cut into wedges

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and sliced

1 clove of garlic, chopped

Olive oil

5 or 6 slices of cheese – jack or cheddar

Basil, either dry or chopped fresh

Salt and pepper

 

Put onion, garlic, squash, bell pepper into a large saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Put on high heat and brown the vegetables slightly to develop flavor. As you are browning, sprinkle either dried basil or chopped fresh basil on the vegetables. When vegetables are slightly browned, remove from heat, add the slices of cheese, and cover the pan.

In a separate stick-free fry pan, put the tomatoes and cook at medium hi heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to let the juice from the tomatoes evaporate some. After 5 minutes, add the tomatoes to the rest of the vegetables and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: Serves 4.

 

Sauteed Beets with Shallot and Greens

This recipe was submitted by Ken Atkins, CSA member.  He found it through this link…thanks for sharing, Ken!!

Link: http://littlebluehen.com/?p=1796

Adapted from food52
Serves 2

His notes:The original recipe calls for Muscadet wine. I used the pinot grigio that was open in my fridge and it was great. Use something you would want to drink.

Ingredients:
4-6 medium beets, with greens if possible
1 bunch Swiss chard (6-8 leaves)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 shallot
2 tablespoon white wine

Directions:
1.) Scrub beets well. Remove greens. Peel and slice beets into rounds 1/4-inch thick.

2.) Remove the ribs from the chard. Chop chard and beet greens.

3.) Peel and slice shallot. Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add thyme and stir until fragrant, 30-60 seconds. Add shallot. Stir until softened. Add beets and reduce heat. Saute about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

4.) When beets are starting to become tender, add beet greens and chard. Saute about 5 minutes; add wine and cover. Let greens wilt, adding a tablespoon or two of water if they start looking dry.

5.) Cook until liquid is mostly absorbed. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Serve in shallow dishes with a wedge of room-temperature Boucherondin cheese and a piece of crusty bread.

 

 

Herbs for the week…Basil and Parsley—

You can cut up and add to just about any Italian dish for a burst of fresh flavors.  Do not refrigerate your basil as it will get injured from the cold.  Keep at room temperature…seal it up in a bag and add to recipes as needed.

 

Spice up your ice water with a little basil!

Chef, Lee Ashbrook, spiced up some water that was just great.  Get a pitcher and add some basil leaves and orange slices.  Fill half way with ice, then add water.  Let sit for a few minutes and it’s a very refreshing twist!  (He also suggested same thing with watermelon and mint).

 

Green Bean Cherry Tomato Salad

(granted, it would be nice if we had ripe tomatoes for this now…but we will)

1- 1/2 pounds of fresh green beans

3 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 c. chopped fresh basil

1 large clove of garlic

1 tsp. of oregano

1/4 tsp. rosemary

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1-1/2 tsp. olive oil

Place beans and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes or until crisp tender.  Drain.  Add cherry tomato halves and the spices.  Mix well.  Refrigerate for a few hours.  Sprinkle parsley and Feta cheese over salad before serving.

–Compliments of the St. Dominic School cookbook (Springfield, KY, my hometown and Church), Caroline Horrell

 

Broccoli and Red Onion Salad

2 bunches of broccoli, chopped (try not to use too much of the stem)

1 medium sized red onion, diced

1 (8 ounce) jar mayo

1/2 cup sugar

6 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. bacon drippings

1 pound bacon, fried crisp

Chop broccoli and red onions and mix together in bowl.  For dressing: empty jar of mayo into small bowl.  Add sugar, vinegar and bacon drippings and stir together. Place in refrigerator and chill.  Put on broccoli and onions when ready to serve.  Sprinkle bacon pieces on salad and mix.

(This recipe comes from the St. D cookbook as well—Ann Grigsby is the author and she comes from a family that really knows how to cook!)

If you aren’t going to enjoy your carrots right away, trim those beautiful greens off of them, put in a sealed bag and they will remain fresh for quite some time!

 


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  • July 08th, 2011

We are proud to be partnering with The Ballard Family to offer you beef for dinner that is raised a bit different than most. Something that I personally think is very important in supporting all of KY’s agriculture is to try to branch out and learn what others are doing. Farmers are our best managers of resources (our land, air, water, crops, and livestock) because if they are not, they won’t be in this industry for long. Josh and Melissa, who reside in Shelby County, pay special attention in managing their forages because they have chosen to raise a small herd of beef cattle that is solely grass-fed.  Josh, who is a veterinarian and Melissa, who is a stay-at-home-mother, are both graduates of Murray State’s Animal Science program.  They understand and manage the aspects that their cattle gain weight more slowly than those which have grain incorporated in their diets.  They want you to understand that it is the cattle’s environment that makes a richer flavor, less fat content, and is thought to have added health benefits.  Josh and Melissa, work diligently to manage their cattle without antibiotics, and there has not been any hormones or steroids administered to their herd.

Josh, Melissa, Eli, and Ruby Ballard

I grew up in a family that raised cattle and we had beef for supper more nights a week than not.  One of the best smells in the world to me is when I drive home to visit my parents and I smell the cattle—it is comforting.  My family has been/currently are traditional cattle farmers in Kentucky…their cattle have as much access to forages as they want, but supplement their diet with grain. This is going to be good for us—-to try something different.  There are many people who have heard about the benefits of grass-fed cattle, so we are together learning about them and excited to discover the taste.  A farmer who chooses to feed only grass has to receive more per pound to be able to continue farming because, quite frankly, it takes more time (and resources) for a calf to grow on only forages.  It’s pretty simple, which fills you up more (and puts on a few more calories), a salad with no dressing or a salad with a little protein added?   When Shane and I decided to collaborate with other farmers, part of our plan is to understand the needs of both local consumers and local producers.  Josh and Melissa have a dream of being able to provide folks with locally raised, quality, grass fed beef at affordable prices, and we think we can share them with you so that you can “know your farmer” and provide you with the option of grass-fed beef.

We encourage you to go to the “Order Now” tab on our website and you will see the two packages that Bluegrass Beef is offering for their first steer that is being harvested on Wednesday.  We will deliver your meat in early August and after they have been dry aged and packaged, we will confirm with you for the specific week of delivery.  Melissa loves to cook, so expect to receive some great cooking tips for this meat, as it will be important to prepare a bit differently. Together, let’s support this young farm family as they are meeting the desires of folks out there who prefer grass-fed and those of us who might just be a little curious of what this is all about!

Josh and Eli checking on the herd


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  • July 07th, 2011

A lot is changing as you will notice in this week’s share….we got to dig potatoes this week.  To me, that’s something pretty neat.  We cut the seed potatoes many months ago, let them heal over so they wouldn’t rot, we planted them in raised beds in the field then fretted for weeks that they were going to rot anyway since it was weeks of saturation in the field.  With anticipation we watched small plants emerge.  We have kept a close eye on them for several months now, but still, you wander what’s beneath the earth.  This week we found out as I plowed the first partial row to uncover beautiful Yukon Gold potatoes to share with you.  With each pass of the tractor we unveiled more.  They are all different shapes and sizes—-we hope you will appreciate their beauty, along with their taste.

I must take a minute to share a little “farming lesson” for you.  We would have waited a while longer to begin harvesting the potatoes, but unfortunately, we began noticing these little “track-like” markings on the leaves of the Yukon Gold potatoes.  The plants started showing signs of stress.  After my research didn’t turn up anything promising, I called our local Extension Horticulture specialist, Ty, to come to the farm.  He was intrigued.  Ty confirmed that we have leaf miners in this variety of plants.  A leaf miner is an insect that will bury itself in-between the top and bottom layers of a leaf and eat as it crawls, destroying the leaves, which is the food supply for the potatoes beneath the soil.  This left us with few options…knowing that food safety is first and foremost, for anything to attack these leaf miners, we would have had to apply a product to work systemically through the plant and we are far too close to harvest time for that, so to make the only safe call the answer was pretty simple….begin harvesting.  Potatoes can be a treat for a home gardener because they can harvest at multiple stages rather than all at once and enjoy potatoes for quite some time as they will thrive well underground if they have a healthy plant above providing feed. We, in everyone’s best interest, began this process a bit pre-maturely to save the crop for you and us.  Thought it might be interesting to learn of how environmental occurrences effect our food supply, but rarely do we as consumers realize it.   Now you have a connection with your German Potato Salad, don’t you?!

This week we have been on weed patrol again…in all our crops!  Weeds are ugly and annoying to pick around, but more importantly, they compete (and often win) with the “good” plant for vital nutrients and water.  We’ve been lucky and have received a few pockets of rain on some crops, but thankful we have irrigation here at home for the vegetables.  Water is crucial right now as many of our plants are setting fruit.  Our irrigation serves as a protection for your food supply and a protection for us financially.

This week you will see some beautiful red onions.  They are not beautiful in the sense of what you may find at a supermarket, but kinda like people…all different shapes and sizes.  We knew these were ready to harvest because the onion tops fall over when the plant is mature.  These are not dried, so be certain to refrigerate.  They may have a bad spot or two in them, so just cut around it.  Onions are finicky with a lot of moisture, and in their first few months, they had more than desired!

Like I mentioned with the recipes, not everyone will get the same items every week—-that’s part of getting your food from a small farmer versus working with a Sysco or supermarket—we have to be understanding of the operation.  Not all of our broccoli came ready this week, but we have to harvest when ready, because it would be seed by next week!

Peppers and tomatoes will be fairly soon, we hope.  Green beans were first harvested on Wednesday!  It’s been a great week at the farm and started off right by taking a wagon ride up the drive-way with the kids to watch the fireworks.   Thanks for taking the interest to pair up and learn about this food we enjoy in so many different ways!

Celebrating life on the farm: July 4th!


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  • July 07th, 2011

Recipes of the Harvest:

We think you will be delighted to receive this week’s share—offering several new items to enjoy!  Not everyone is getting the exact same goodies—-you will for sure over time get them each.  We were able to start harvesting broccoli, but that is time sensitive, so we couldn’t hold it until next week when there was more….so enjoy now if you got it, and if you didn’t…get ready!  If you didn’t get green tomatoes, they are on their way!  Have fun in the kitchen this week and, as always, take time to appreciate the work that’s gone into the “behind the kitchen scene” of meal preparation—enjoying this partnership with you!

Hot German Potato Salad

I’ve been so excited about digging new potatoes to make German Potato Salad…it’s on the menu for Wednesday night!  Growing up, when Mama fixed this, there was never any leftovers!

Sliced bacon (I’ll use about 8-10 slices)

3 tablespoons flour

4 teaspoons chopped onions

2/3 cup vinegar (white or apple cider is fine, whichever on hand)

2/3 cup water

½ cup sugar (you can adjust if you like more sweet, or add less if you want more of the vinegar taste.

4 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dry mustard

½ teaspoon crumbled rosemary leaves (if you like)

2 quarts cooked diced potatoes

½ cup chopped parsley or other seasoning (maybe celery seeds)

Slice your potatoes to desired thinness.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add your potatoes.  Cook until tender, but still firm.  Drain.   While the potatoes are boiling, fry your bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and drain prior to crumbling.  Add the flour and onion to the bacon fat left in the pan.  Stir in vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices.  Cook only until mixture is of medium thickness.  Add to potatoes, parsley and crumbled bacon.  Mix carefully to prevent mashing the potatoes.   If you have a small family, just prepare smaller portions.  You don’t want to miss out on utilizing your new potatoes in a way you get their full effect!!

 

Zucchini hors d’oeuvres

3 cups zucchini, thinly sliced, do not peel

1 cup bisquick

½ c. onion, finely chopped

½ c. parmesan cheese, grated

2 tbs. parsley, chopped

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. seasoned salt

½ tsp. oregano

pepper to taste

1 clove garlic, minced

½ c. vegetable oil

4 eggs slightly beaten

Mix all ingredients together and spread into greased 13” x 9” pan.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 25 minutes.  Let cool just a little, cut into squares and serve.

We discovered this recipe from The Tomato Shed Café, outside Charleston, SC this past winter.   This is a great way to utilize several of the offerings lately…..garlic, eggs, zucchini, onions, could even use a Farmstead cheese in there…

 

Broccoli with Garlic Butter and Cashews

1 ½ lbs fresh broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup butter

1 tbs. brown sugar

3 tbs. soy sauce

2 tsp. white vinegar

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup chopped salted cashews

Place the broccoli into a large pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 7 minutes, or until tender but still crisp.  Drain, and arrange broccoli on a serving platter.  While the broccoli is cooking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Mix in the brown sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar, pepper, and garlic.  Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.  Mix in the cashews, and pour the sauce over the broccoli. Serve immediately.

This is another recipe from the farmer, Babs Ambrose, from the farm in South Carolina we visited.

 

Broccoli Salad

1 ½ pounds broccoli florets

½ yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, julienned

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tbs. honey

¼ cup cheddar cheese

salt and pepper to taste

In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, honey, salt and pepper together.  In another bowl mix veggies and cheese.  Pour in mayonnaise mixture and mix well.  Cover and chill until ready to serve.

 

Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

6 pattypan squash, stem and blossom removed

6 slices bacon

1/2 cup diced onion

1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until a fork can pierce the stem with little resistance. Drain, and slice off the top stem of the squash. Use a melon baller to carefully scoop out the centers of the squash. Reserve all of the bits of squash.
  3. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove bacon to paper towels, and set aside. Saute onion in bacon drippings. Chop the reserved squash pieces, and saute them with the onion for one minute.
  4. Remove the skillet from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs. Crumble the bacon, and stir into the stuffing along with the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff each squash to overflowing with the mixture, and place them in a baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until squash are heated through.

This recipe is from allrecipes.com  We will try this coming week; we had tried a similar recipe, but stuffed with sausage instead.  It had a wonderful flavor but didn’t have you pre-cook the squash, so the squash never really was tender.  This would change that and think would be very appealing to the taste buds!!  The patty pans and zephyr have a real mild flavor and pair really well with pork.

 

First Green Beans of the Season!

We LOVE cooked green beans. I try to take time to can lots of them because they are a quick and easy way to have a great side of summer during the winter months.   However, these are the first green beans of the summer, so I’m not going to encourage you to over cook these.  Here’s a recipe from my hometown cookbook that I enjoy.

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions

1 pound fresh green beans

2 tablespoons butter

2 to 3 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 medium sweet onions

2 tablespoons brown sugar

Cook green beans in boiling water for 15 minutes.  Drain and chill overnight.  Cut onion into thin slices and cut each slice in half.  Cook onions in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes (do not stir).  Cook, stirring often, an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Reduce heat to medium and stir in butter and brown sugar.  Add green beans and cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Toss with balsamic vinegar.     —Wassie Parrott

 

Fruit Cobbler… a recipe from Blackberry Farmer, Suzi Rice

2 cups self rising flour

3 cups sugar

1 1/3 cup milk

1 stick butter

6 cups fruit (such as blackberries, peaches, cherries)

Pre- heat oven to 350.

Melt stick of butter in a 13 x 9 pan.  Mix flour, 2 cups of sugar and milk together. Pour on top of melted butter. Place 6 cups of prepared fruit in a microwave safe bowl with 1 cup (or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit) of sugar.  Heat for 45 to 60 seconds.  Stir. Pour fruit and sugar mixture on top of batter.  Bake for 60 minutes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Living, July 2003

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 / 2 cup of buttermilk

1 / 2 cup of all-purpose flour, divided

1 / 2 cup of cornmeal

1 teaspoon of salt

1 / 2 teaspoon of pepper

3 medium sized green tomatoes, cut into 1 / 3 inch slices

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Combine the egg and buttermilk, set aside. Combine the 1 / 4 cup of all-purpose flour, cornmeal and 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl.  Dredge tomato slices in other 1 / 4 cup of flour, dip in egg mixture and dredge in cornmeal mixture.  Pour oil to be 1 / 4 to 1 / 2 inch deep in cast iron skillet. Heat to 375 degrees.  Drop tomatoes in oil, in batches, and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.  Drain on paper towels or rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt. Serves 4 – 6.

We LOVE fried green tomatoes, and have enjoyed this recipe every summer since we found it.  Hope you do, too!

 

 

What can we do with these beautiful Hungarian Wax Peppers?

Although Hungarian wax peppers are medium-hot, you may want to wear gloves when working with them and usually the seeds are discarded before using the peppers in a dish. Wax peppers cook well and often will add just the right amount of heat to a dish so that it doesn’t over power other flavors.  You can use them fresh both at the yellow or red stages.  They can be stored in the fridge wrapped in paper towel, a brown bag, or zip-locked in plastic.  
When drying the mature red pods make sure there are no soft spots, string them by their stems and hang them in a dim dry place with good air circulation. Wax peppers can be chopped and frozen to add them later to cooked sauces such as spaghetti.
They are tasty in salsas or salads or raw stuffed with cream cheese.  Wax chiles are good substitutes for jalapeños. 
Hungarian wax peppers are good in sandwiches, raw relish platters, and dips. They can be filled with cheese or a meat mixture and then sautéed. They add a colorful and piquant flavor to bean and grain dishes.  They are delicious fried and good with scrambled eggs and potatoes.  Thin slivers can be tossed into hot or chilled puree soup like gazpacho. They are delicious when added to chutneys and pepper jelly.  Most people simply pickle them. Folklore has it that Hungarians believe a woman’s passion is measured by her capability to eat fiery hot food.

This info came from Fiery Foods and Barbecue SuperSite.

 

Can I preserve my Savory Herb?

Sure!  If you aren’t sure what to do with your savory herb you might have received last Thursday or this Wednesday—- you can dry it to use when you cook fish, poultry, or even a roast.  There are no simple instructions for drying other than let dry.  I’d lay it out on your counter in the little bag, put a label on it and when it’s dried throughly, seal the bag and use as needed. This herb can be over-powering if you use too much, so be aware.

What about my Rosemary?

If you received a beautiful little bag of what looks like pine-tree needles, it’s rosemary.  Last night we made spaghetti, and I added it!  You can add to many dishes for a extra flavor.  It, like savory, can be added to many dishes, used fresh or dried.   You can add it to many meat or potato dishes and it’s just wonderful.  I was curious how healthy rosemary is….thought I’d share what I found:

“The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times. But it could just as easily be associated with good health. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. So, the next time you enhance the flavor of some special dish with rosemary, congratulate yourself for a wise as well as delicious choice.”  Sourced from the World’s Healthiest Foods website. WHfoods.com


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  • July 01st, 2011

If you are like many of our CSA members, you may not be real familiar with how to prepare a Chinese cabbage plant.  We are learning together here!  One of our members who works at Metro United Way shared this one with us.  Her husband fixed last night and she raved about it.  Hope you have fun with it!!

Wishing your family a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!
Mary

 

This Epicurious.com recipe: Spicy Napa Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing

has been sent to you by a friend.

You can view the complete recipe online at: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Napa-Cabbage-Slaw-with-Cilantro-Dressing-243168?mbid=ipapp
Spicy Napa Cabbage Slaw with Cilantro Dressing
1/4 cup rice vinegar (not seasoned)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 fresh serrano chile, finely chopped, with seeds
1 small head Napa cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger, oil, chile, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.

Gourmet
August 2008
by Ruth Cousineau

Want to see how other cooks rated and reviewed this recipe? Go to http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Napa-Cabbage-Slaw-with-Cilantro-Dressing-243168?mbid=ipapp

 

Best Regards,

Dennis

Sent from my iPad


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