From the Field to Your Table

  • September 30th, 2013

 

Join us for Learning and Exploration as we share our farm with you for a day! We want you to experience how your food is raised, and put a face with the farmers who raise it.

Experience the farm in the fall: crop fields, farm machinery, barns, cattle grazing, chickens laying, and beautiful scenery. Educational, yet enjoyable!   Simply, sit and enjoy the farm.

Visit with a Beekeeper.  Pick Your Own Vegetables in the field, or purchase from other farmers who feed families: preserves, apples, pumpkins, eggs, chicken, lamb, and beef.

If you’d like to harvest for the hungry, we’ll provide boxes and you are welcome to pick; we will donate to local food banks. Preparing the field for winter is near, so love to utilize what we can.

Sunday, October 13th “Open Farm” from 1:00 until a little past dark

Bring Your Own: blanket or lawnchairs, bonfire accessories and fishing poles

We’ll serve homemade soup and dessert; kindly send an RSVP by Friday, October 11th to CourtneyFarms@gmail.com

 

2013-09-27_16-50-09_140

Directions from I-64, exit 43: Go north on Hwy. 395, about 7 miles.  Take a right on Hwy. 1005 (Vigo Road). We are on right, .07 of a mile intersection.

Directions from Shelbyville:  From Hwy. 55, head east on Hwy. 43. Take a right on Hwy. 1005 (Vigo Road). Go appox. 8 miles, passing through intersection of Hwy. 1005 and 395. We are on right, .07 miles past intersection. We’ll have a sign marking the farm.

The Farm address is 7255 Vigo Road, Bagdad (but Mapquest and GPS often get folks lost. )

See the invite, print, and share. Touch The Dirt Day 2013 r


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  • April 02nd, 2013

Here is a letter intended for our dear CSA members.  I want/need to post for those who are coming upon our site in search of our previous offerings.  so here it goes…..

I’ve been told you have to “take emotion out of it”, by professors, business leaders, and lenders.  That is so much easier said than done.  While I sit here feeling like I am writing a much dreaded resignation letter….one that I’ve been in denial of for too long, I write today to thank you for your support of our family, our farm, our shared love for food, a much better understanding (yet more confusion) of America’s complex food-system.

In the last three years our lives have been enriched as our family grows.  Three children, many friends, and as much as these last three years have given us, it has been difficult to balance managing a diverse farming operation and raising a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 9 month-old.  After much soul searching, we have made the decision to stop offering the CSA for the time being.  Maybe at some point we will be able to pick-up and begin the program again.  At this point in my life, I need to put being a mother before the detail required to do the CSA shares.

The birth of our sweet little Mac on May 1st coincided with the CSA being in full swing; I realize now that my children are only little once, and one of the main reasons we set-out to farm full time was to be engaged in our children’s lives.  I’m a fool to think I can really be engaged in my family with an average of four hours of sleep a night and the responsibility of managing the rest of the farm’s business.

To put this in perspective and to see how this plays into the dynamics of America’s food system….knowing your farmer is a wonderful thing that should not be taken for granted.  Farmers of all shapes and sizes sacrifice much to bring food to national table.  The magnitude of detailed management it requires from seed to plate makes my head spin, even as I do it.  Food production and distribution in America has changed over the last century.

While I would much rather continue distributing food to families the way we have over the past three years, it’s all come with a cost.  The work that goes into growing and selling local is tremendous, I encourage you to stay mindful of that and be conscious of where your food dollars go. The many teachable moments that farming offers is something that I love to share with our customers.  I have a passion for farming and want to preserve this opportunity for our children.  I want for others to understand how and why our food is grown the way it is and that is why I loved our CSA and the connections we were able to make with you and your families.  Just because the CSA is being put aside doesn’t mean that my desire to teach others about food and farming is being put to rest.  We will be creative; I hope that time will allow for me to adapt our website to be more oriented towards agriculture and food and what’s going on with life as we know it on the farm…please stay tuned.  We love having people to the farm to walk the fields, take hay rides and ask questions.  It is my plan to continue doing something of that nature in the growing seasons ahead.

Finally, the last three years have been fulfilling to say the least; thank you for the opportunity.  I look forward to the new opportunities the approaching season has to offer. As the season and our plans evolve, we will keep you connected to our farm, as you each have left a footprint in our soil, and remain a meaningful chapter in our lives. Much appreciation for past and future shared interests….

Yours,

Mary (and Shane, Lucas, Elly, and Mac)


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  • May 10th, 2012

“You got another Farm Boy!”, exclaimed Dr. Basham.  The thought of those words announcing the gender of our beautiful new baby will forever be special to me—a highlight of my life to say the least!  We welcomed Boyd McCain Courtney into our family on May 1st.  We weighed 9.65 pounds and was 21 inches long.  Head full of hair, little rolls on his arms, and is much loved by big brother and sister!

It probably does seem like I’ve been Missing in Action lately.  To some degree I have been.  I spent the weeks leading up to his birth in the midst of doing what I had to do for the vegetables and other pieces of our farm while feeling about 10 months pregnant!  (It’s nice to be able to see your ankles again!)  I had an extended stay in the hospital and it’s taken me longer to get back in the “swing of things” than I had expected.  We are so gracious that we had Luke and Joe to oversee all kinds of activity while we were away and recovering!  Luke continued on with our planting schedule, irrigation, crop scouting, overseeing the workers drag moss out of the pond, take down fencing, plant and seed.  Joe continued planting corn, watched it rain and he worked on equipment in the shop, helped keep the mowing customers satisfied, etc., etc., etc.!  I have to say, I’m thrilled to be back on board, have a healthy baby, and looking forward to being able to be engaged in the outside activity more and more each day.  

With the unusually warm weather we had back in late winter/early spring, many folks (including Shane and I) were hoping that we’d have a jump start on the vegetable harvest.  With the humbling humor of mother nature, the long dry-spell hit at the wrong time for the vegetables that we seeded in the field (which are primarily the early crops).  It’s up to the weather far more than a seed catalog’s timetable for a plant’s maturity!!  Many of those little seeds sat there far longer than we hoped. We went in and re-seeded several types, then were blessed with abundant rain (be careful what you wish for, right?!) and now we have beautiful rows of young plants in the field.  We are now praying for dry weather so we can get in and cultivate the carpet of weeds cropping up, get in the field to plant many other seedlings that have extended their stay in the greenhouse, and keeping an eye out for disease that often comes with wet/warm weather.  With all that being said, we are now anticipating beginning harvest/deliveries towards the end of May. The beauty here is you will surely receive the best of spring, summer, and fall plantings!  We will keep you posted —now that I’m back in full-swing (well, not quite, but soon hopefully!!!). 

 

From the farm, with another “Farm Boy”,

Mary


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  • March 12th, 2012

It feels SO nice outside!!  And what am I doing in here at the computer?!  Unfortunately, more of what I’ve spent lots of time over winter doing….production records, seeding/planting details, insurance details, seed selection, loan applications, migrant worker contracts, price shopping, on and on….  The office chair is becoming less and less attractive as spring is nearing!!

 

Two pieces of office work that I have really enjoyed lately are 1) seed variety selection and 2) lining up the final plans for this years’ CSA / seeing the subscriptions come our way!

 

Lucas and Elly and I enjoyed watching Shane plow yesterday—the kids each got to ride with him for a while and loved every second of it.  When Elly hopped out her comment was “I a farm girl” with a big smile on her face and Lucas’s response was “Mama, I like helping Daddy.”  Comments like these melt my heart!  Walking across a plowed field is one of those things that I never grow tired of.  I remember my dad loving to plow and we’d look for worms and neat things the tractor turns over.  Plowing a field is a true sign that planting is nearing, tilling is evident, and harvest is in the horizon.  

 

It’s an exciting time on the farm.  Today in the greenhouse we are seeding 12 heirloom tomato varieties, 3 cherries, 2 romas, and 1 good slicing tomato variety.  These are joining the teeny-tiny collard, cabbage, kale, and lettuce plants that are growing more with each watering.  Yesterday the kids and I walked through the garlic trial to see which varieties don’t mind cooler temps—after this winter they all look great! Speaking of winter, it’s really weird to realize that just last week we were sleigh riding in about 6 inches of snow!  Weather in KY….gotta love it (or adjust!).

 

This is spring on a farm that raises mostly plants….on the livestock farms, I know Jeneen is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a bunch of little chicks and Melissa and Josh are in the middle of calving season.  My mom mentioned yesterday that my dad and a few of my brothers were absolutely shot from Saturday’s attempts of lassoing a few newly purchased calves that decided to explore the farm upon arrival.  Every season has it’s joys…(and days you’d like to forget!)…and it’s all part of Farmers Feeding Families.

 

CSA plans for this season are coming together!  We are excited to let you know that we will have more delivery/pick-up options around Louisville this year in Middletown, Hurstbourne Plaza, off of Outer Loop, and Iroquois Manor. We are thrilled to be able to offer more convenience.  In advance, thanks for continuing to spread the word.

 

Off to more desk-time for a few hours—–it’s an unfortunate reality of farming….you gotta keep that pencil sharp in order for the tractors to run, and paychecks to be written, and to keep feeding families!

 

Thanks for being a part of what we do…it’s an honor!

 

From the farm,

Mary


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  • March 03rd, 2012

Filled with excitemment as March begins….for us March brings about lots of new life….filling up the greenhouse, seeds germinating, soil being turned over, fewer layers on the kids which brings an automatic glee, and execution of winters’ plans. March is a time of re-commitment of us and you as stewards of supporting food production….we, as farmers, make the commitment to you of taking care of your food supply, securing high-quality, fresh, safe food for your family during the duration of our harvest season. With the amazing relationship of Community Supported Agriculture, March is the time for you to decide to support local farm families, to decide to connect to childhood memories of time spent on the farm, to decide that you are going to make time to “put up” vegetables for next winter, to decide you want to provide truly fresh-picked vegetables for your children, to choose you want to spend more time in your own dining rooms versus restaurants, it’s a time to decide for your family to enjoy the beauty of seasonal foods as they come along. We hope you will consider being apart of Courtney Farms’ CSA program for 2012.

 

As we hope you have enjoyed your past subscriptions, we think this season will be even better. We intend to have more variety, more weeks with “staple” vegetables, much more involvement with member-shared recipes, shared “goings-on” of the farm, getting to know our family of farm workers, and coming to understand what it takes to be a family farm in Kentucky, and the opportunities to get to know a few fellow farmers we are partnering with to offer CSA subscriptions of fruit, meat, eggs, and from time to time, specialty items.

We welcome you to take the time to familiarize yourself with our offerings as we have share sizes to meet household sizes, or simply reach out and find someone to share a share with. Please embrace the idea of Community Supported Agriculture, sharing the concept with your friends, co-workers, family members, and organizations you are a part of. The more CSA members we can have in one particular area, the more sustainable this model is. We look forward to your decision to be apart of our farm. As we continue to seed the greenhouse, happy shopping on your end (click here to direct you to online ordering), and it goes without saying, thank you in advance for supporting what we offer!

 

From Our Farm,
Mary


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  • December 03rd, 2011

I have been flying high all day long, walking around with an extra bounce in my step today because I am bursting with pride over an accomplishment of my older brother and his family.  Michael Will is two years older than me, so I’ve obviously known him for a long time, and he never has wanted to do anything other than farm. Michael Will was discouraged by many to follow his dreams; due to his persistance and determination, he chose to not only follow his dream, but he gave his childhood dream wings.  Like I, Michael Will grew up helping our parents on the farm every single day, whether that was picking blueberries, feeding cattle, breaking ice in the ponds, cutting hay, housing tobacco, mending fence, he was there.  I’m thinking he was about 14 years old when he bought his first “crop” of hogs.  That was a short-lived venture as many times would we be in school and Mama and Papa would have to try to chase down hogs that rooted their way out of the pens after they swore they’d never own a hog again after the farm crisis of the early ’80′s.  But what those hogs did (in my mind) was they gave MW a taste of what being not only a farmer, but a manager and caretaker of the components of farming and how rewarding it can be beyond the day-to-day tasks.  Shortly thereafter Michael Will began expanding his enterprises and possibilities he determined would be endless. Look at him now!

Our family has been blessed with Michael Will’s choice of a bride.  Nora was also raised being surrounded with challenges and rewards of a family business, although it wasn’t farming.  Her family’s grocery store instilled in her the same values my parents’ farm instilled in Michael Will.  Together with their work ethic, foundation of servanthood to feed others through the work of their hands, deterimination, foresight of what may evolve with persistance and good decision making, they were honored yesterday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau State Convention.  Michael Will, Nora, Claire (3 years), and Will (20 months) were selected as Kentucky’s Outstanding Young Farm Family.

Success is no way measured by the plaques on one’s office walls, but their success that was recognized yesterday is sentimental to me.  As a little girl, teenager, college student, and now parent and farmer, I look up to my brother.  Through Michael Will’s past, present, and future farming endeavors, he feeds so many people.  He understands that if we take care of our land, it will take care of us.  He implements Good Agriculture Practices on their farm because it is the right thing to do.  He minimizes crop inputs where he can, while focuses on the opportunity to eventually feed as many as he can off of the resources he utilizes.  Too often agriculture, specifically modern agriculture gets a bad-wrap.  Most of the time it’s due to mis-information.  If you ever doubt the creditials of today’s young farmers, or their practicies, I hope you get to meet farmers like them.  Michael Will and Nora will continue to care for the growing operation not just for them, or the mouths they will feed, but for the children.  Our parents instilled a passion for nature, hard work, soil, water, the miracles of life on a farm, that all five of us kids (now adults) incorporate in our professions.  We all love farming.  It’s that simple.  Yesterday’s recognition of Michael Will and Nora has provided a time of reflection on life and how fortunate I am to grow up with and in a family that instilled characteristics that have brought us each to where we are.

I’m so fortunate to have fallen in love with someone who also loves farming.  It may have been a challenge for me to follow my dreams, if I’d married a man who didn’t share that understanding.  As Shane and I are wrapping up 2011′s year and making our plans for this coming year, we can be reminded that life’s a journey, and so is farming.   Michael Will and Nora didn’t get to where they are overnight, and he’d be the first to tell you it hasn’t been easy.  But if you ask him if it’s worth it, with no hesitation he’d say “absolutely, without a doubt”.  It is so encouraging to see where they are, knowing where they came from.  As we finish our second vegetable season, second grain season, forth tobacco season, it’s exciting to allow our dreams to grow wings.  I know Michael Will nor Nora are on Facebook and probably don’t read my blogs, so they won’t ever see this….but I chose to share it with you because they won’t toot their own horn, but you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t interested in food farmers—and here’s a food producer worth learning from.  I hope you take a minute and read the news release www.kyfb.com/federation/news-room/news-releases/Annual-Meeting-2011/Michael-and-Nora-McCain-named-KFBs-2011-Outstanding-Young-Farm-Family-10331/

 


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  • November 10th, 2011

“Venduras en Novembre, Maria?”, asked Luis yesterday as we packed up some collards greens to take into Louisville.  “Si”, I said with a smile.  Other than going out to pick lettuce for a fresh salad of the evening, we hadn’t picked much since our CSA’s ended at the end of October.  This weather has been too amazing lately…for some reason I can’t get myself to sit in the office chair too long.

We are still watching the weather like crazy!  We need rain so it will get the tobacco “in case” (soft enough to get out of the barn without it being crunchy and crumbling), we don’t need it to rain because we have a lot of corn that needs to “dry down” so that we can harvest it (too much moisture will result in price discounts at the point of sale), we need the soil to dry out so we can work the ground to plant garlic.  In other words, the weather is going to dictate what we can do and when we can do it….time is of the essence for working the soil….winter is near!

I must take a minute to reach out and thank all those who helped elect our new Commissioner of Agriculture.  I didn’t think the ag community ourself could elect him, but I did think that if we reached out to those who enjoy the fruits of our labor and helped educate, we as Kentuckians would make the right decision.  Regardless of political lines, or nice people, I am confident Mr. Comer will do a fantastic job for all of Kentucky.  As a farmer himself, he understands many of the underlying issues our profession faces, the need for opportunities, and on and on.  We really are blessed to be able to come together as a state and elect our leaders—whether we agree or not on the outcome, it’s wonderful we can have an opinion that matters! All too often we take the “little things” for granted.

I had an amazing opportunity last week to speak at a class at U of L.  It was such an uplifting experience to see college “kids” wide-eyed and interested in learning of how we raise food for people and then market it– or market it then raise the food….  They seemed interested in learning of how we sell “real food to real people” through our CSA and to schools, and groceries, and fascinated that we can harvest 1000 bushels of soybeans at once and deliver it at once that will be added to our food system to aid in feeding thousands of people.  They found it interesting that I saw a watermelon grown on our farm sitting on the produce bench at Kroger 12 miles away, but many days later.  They were intrigued to learn that I have choices to choose seeds that will produce a delicious, sweet, juicy fruit on one that is semi-orange and hard like what you can get on a taco at Taco Bell that will be considered “good” for several weeks once picked.  They found it interesting as I shared with them what motivates people to purchase food from whom and where they do.  I really think I was able to add to their lives.  As for one gal, I really do think it was the first time she “thought about the work that goes into getting food to her plate”. WOW.

Most of the time I only share events and occurrences of our farm workers and what goes on here.  Since the vegetable season has slowed I’ve taken the kids to do some “much needed things”….like helping Shane when we can move equipment and visit my parents.  Often times people ask “why do you do what you do?” Two quick stories of stopping to “smell the roses” of life that I had the pleasure of enjoying.  It was a recent Saturday and I took the kids to Washington County where my parents live and farm on the farm where I grew up.  They love it there, as do I.  Papa was having a pond being repaired—lots and lots of sludge had accumulated and needed removed.  (His plans are to fence it off and rig up a self-watering system for the cattle so they can drink without tearing up the banks of the pond).  While we were there, the dozer operator called to tell him he needed to take out part of his existing fence at the bottom of hill because this sludge was heading down there at a quick pace and he feared it tearing up his fence.  Being a nice daughter who really misses farming with her dad on a daily basis, I offered to help.  Mama gave me some old clothes and I borrowed a pair of my brother’s muck boots….well we were making progress when I went to lift my right leg up to learn my boot wasn’t going anywhere, but I was—as I grabbed the woven fence wire to hold me up I realized we had already cut that piece…and I landed in the  mud.  One side of my body—totally covered!  As some would have gotten mad, Papa and I laughed—as too did the kids when they saw me.  Life is too short to not experience things like that with people you love, doing things you love. Often times I realize I take our farming too serious because of the financial stresses, future planning, etc.  I hope Shane and I can create an farm that Elly will want to come back to and not mind accidentally falling in the mud with Shane when she’s 30!!

The other experience was one that was so precious and quickly became a highlight.  The kids and I went over to a farm in Clay Village (about 8 miles from our home farm) to help move some grain equipment.  The landlord there has a small herd of sheep.  As I drove into the farm I noticed what I thought was a plastic bag out in the pasture.  I made a mental note that when we came back through to hop out and pick-it-up. As we were leaving, we stopped to open the gate and saw a teeny-tiny lamb that hadn’t been born for more than a few hours.  Then we saw more.  They were absolutely precious.  I pulled the truck up and got out walking over to the “plastic bag” to realize it was a tiny lamb also.  Looking at it and showing the kids I noticed far off there was a mother lamb baa-ing—-obviously upset and frantically looking for something.  I scooped up the white ball and carried it to it’s mother—as they were both crying, it brought tears to my own eyes.   New life is amazing.  On our farm we get to see it with seeds, but watching the emotions come to life in this mother and baby was special.  Thank you to our landlord for allowing us to farm your farm, and accidentally show our children another miracle of farm-life!

Well, I hope this week finds you enjoying the many beauties of the seasons.  During the day working outside you are likely to have broken a sweat to wake up to frost covered lawns.  Even though most of the harvests from our farm are finished, we are going to enjoy some meatloaf tonight  made with ground beef from my parent’s farm, peppers and tomatoes from here, with a side of winter squash….and pumpkin muffins for dessert—to be drizzled with honey.  Hope you are already enjoying the items you stashed away for the cooler months!

 

From our Family to Yours,
Mary


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  • October 30th, 2011

This week has been bitter-sweet as we’ve concluded the CSA for the season, we are in the process of preparing the fields for next year, which consists of removing all plant debris from this year to sow cover crops.  We have cleaned out the vegetable barn out and have begun stripping tobacco.  This week we’ve had a beautiful rainbow over the farm one morning and the very next morning, everything was white from a freeze.  We are making slow progress with harvesting the grain because of the rains, but it’s enjoyable when equipment is working right, regardless. I’m trying to figure how I need to go about “tackling” my mounds of paper-work that I’m behind on.  The kids are enjoying taking lunch over to Daddy and Joe and running around in the soybean stubble and taste testing the beans—-I think they think that if they keep tasting they will taste better eventually.  I had the pleasure of attending the KY Women in Agriculture Conference this week and was ignited by the contagious attitudes of farm women across the state.  KY’s agriculture is so unique—from farm to farm, folks are doing different things….and like our farm, folks are feeding locally and globally.  It was pretty special to be in a place celebrating how if we support one-another as an industry we can do so much….and how if we get to know our customers, engage them in conversations about food and farming we can learn so much.  The conference was a good ending to our second CSA season as it will fuel me for massive planning over the next few months…and hopefully help me focus on the dreaded bookwork so that I can begin the “fun stuff” again soon!

As our thank you card said, from our crew to your families, we can’t thank you enough for all your participation.  For those of you who are reading and were not a part of our extended family this year, we hope you will consider it for 2012!  This year has been amazing in so many ways and it’s a large part because of folks like you—-interested in what’s going on on a working farm…working to feed families like yours and ours.  That’s something to celebrate….on to another season!

Happy Fall,

Mary and Crew

 


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  • October 30th, 2011
It’s really hard to believe that this concludes my weekly entry of recipes for the harvest!  I hope you enjoy a great bowl of soup made with the poblanos and cilantro, some wonderful pumpkin muffins to celebrate the season, the lush salads of spinach and mixed lettuces, young kale, winter squashes, and dressed with a sampling of honey from the farm!  Enjoy cooking as we have enjoyed planting, tilling, and harvesting all season long!  Cheers to great times in the fields and kitchen!

Lean Green Chicken Chili

as found on www.food.com and in a Pampered Chef recipe book.

This was pretty good—I added some sour cream as a garnish and it helped “tame the heat” for the kids (and me!).   It’s a great way to use the fresh poblanos and cilantro.

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped poblano peppers ( 1-2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups salsa verde (green salsa) or 1 (10 ounce) cans green enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut 4 tortillas in half and stack them one on top of the other. Cut into 1/2-inch strips & toss with 1 teaspoon oil.
  3. Spread tortilla strips in a single layer in a baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Fold each of the remaining 4 tortillas into quarters & and coarsely grate using a box grater or your favorite method. Set aside. (Cook’s note – I opted to just finely chop the tortillas rather than grating).
  5. Toss chicken pieces with cumin.
  6. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large soup pan, add chicken and cook 5 minutes. Remove chicken.
  7. Add poblano peppers, onion and garlic to pan. Cook and stir 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in chicken, broth, beans, salsa and grated tortillas.
  9. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
  10. Stir in cilantro, ladle into soup bowls and top with baked tortilla strips.

 

Spinach Salad

(1992 Southern Living Annual Recipes)

1 pound fresh spinach

1 apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 green onions, sliced

1 (2 ounce) package sliced almonds, toasted

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 to 3 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Remove stems from spinach; wash leaves thoroughly, and pat dry.  Tear into bite-sized pieces.  Toss apple wedges in lemon juice; drain.  Combine spinach, apple wedges, green onions, and almonds; toss with bacon, if desired.  Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a jar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously.  Before serving, pour dressing over spinach mixture; toss.  Yield: 6 servings.

 

Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake (from Tasty Kitchen).

Melissa Ballard, farmer and friend, made this cheesecake —-it was heavenly!  The meal she fixed was great….but this dessert was unbelievable!  Sounds timely, but it was worth it!!!

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 1-¾ cup Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs (from About 40 Gingersnap Wafers)
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted And Slightly Cooled Down

 

  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 24 ounces, weight Regular Cream Cheese (not Low Fat Or Nonfat), At Room Temperature
  • 15 ounces, weight Pureed Pumpkin (not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
  • 3 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by lightly spraying with cooking spray.

For the crust, pulse the cookies in a food processor until the crumbs are uniform. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the melted butter. Combine thoroughly with a fork. When the mixture is evenly moist, crumbly, and holds together when you squeeze a handful, it’s ready. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom, and very slightly up the sides, of your springform pan. Chill for 5 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Prepare a water bath while the crust cools. Heat a kettle or pan of water to a soft boil. Have a larger baking dish or roasting pan ready to set the springform pan inside it. Once the crust is cooled, set the springform pan on a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil up around the outside of the pan.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and combine. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one. Beat in the sour cream. Then add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and flour. Beat just until combined, then beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the filling into the cooled crust and spread evenly. Set the springform pan in the larger roasting pan and add enough hot water from the kettle to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the top of the cheesecake is a deep golden color and the center is set, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. It’s ok if there is a slight jiggle to the filling. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a thin-bladed knife between the crust and the pan sides, to prevent the cake from cracking as it cools. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight before serving. Top individual slices with fresh whipped cream.

 

Roasted butternut and/or acorn squash, Rachel Ray

3 medium butternut or acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed

6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

Freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.  Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet with the cut-side up. Divide the butter pieces among all six halves, smearing it all over the cut side of the squash.

Drizzle each half with maple syrup and season with freshly grated nutmeg and ground black pepper. Roast the squash for 40-60 minutes, or until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. You can serve each person a whole half each or you can scoop out the flesh into a serving bowl – whatever makes you and yours happy.  Serves 6.

 

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Muffins (Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook)

 

(There’s no need to hurry up to use your pumpkins—they will keep nicely for a while as decoration, then when you are in the mood to celebrate the season, just cook one up for puree).

These would be great for a lunchbox snack!

What you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

15 ounces of pureed pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 15 muffin cups with baking spray or place cupcake liners in muffin pans.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.  In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, molasses, oil, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined.  Don’t overmix!  Muffin batter should be lumpy.   Lade the batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full.  Tap the pans on the counter to make sure you get all the air bubbles out.  Bake for 20 minutes.   Have an adult help you take the pans out of the oven using oven mitts or hot pads.  Put the pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Run a butter knife around the muffins so that you can loosen them from the pans.  Let them cool completely on the wire rack.  Makes 15 muffins.

 

This week’s honey–it was gathered from the blooms of our vegetable plants!! It has been so neat to watch and learn about the wonders of honeybees this year!  Evidently in the first year of a hive, you are not supposed to expect to be able to gather any honey.  Due to the timing of the rains, the chances for lots of honey were slim, according to our beekeeper.  However, much to his and our surprise, we were able to get a little bit off of the hives while leaving plenty honey to feed the bees over the winter.  All of our CSA families and us got enough to sample—so if you are like me, you will use a little here and a little there to savor the flavors!  We are hoping we’ll get to harvest lots more from these amazing insects next year.

 

As this concludes the season of recipes for now, let me know if you come across a good one this winter—for posting when the ingredients are fresh or even for recipes using something you’ve put up.  We love sharing good tastes!

 

From our farm kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Mary

 


Posted in Recipes of the Harvest   Print This Post
  • October 19th, 2011

With one week remaining of the CSA, we chose to combine a few items from summer along with items that are true to fall.  Everyone will get to enjoy a meal or two of freshly-picked greens—as we are planning for collards and turnip greens for everyone this week.  You will continue a beautiful assortment of winter squashes–and know that we encourage you to use as decoration until you are ready to prepare.  These are the last of the green (and yellow wax) beans, beautiful eggplants, an assortment of summer squashes, we even have had a second harvest of small cantaloupes (granted they aren’t quite as nice and sweet as during the peak of summer, but none the less you know where they are from!).  A lot was harvested today by “drowned rats” as the showers came in—it sounds like they will be here for a few days.  Please know that a lot of efforts have gone into this week’s share…trying to give you an ending of the seaso with a few weeks to remember.

Brain-boosting Grilled Eggplant and Red Onion Bruschetta

www.doctoroz.com

This brain-boosting bruschetta is an easy and delicious way to keep your memory sharp. Quarcetin from the red onions helps your brain perform at its best; nasunin, found in eggplant, protects the fats around brain cells. Lastly, rosemary’s wonderful aroma has been shown to improve memory.

1 1/2 cups roughly chopped grilled eggplant

1 cup roughly chopped grilled red onion

2 tbsp rosemary, chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

Toasted bread slices

In a medium to large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Let the mixture rest for 30 minutes, so flavors can develop.

Serve on toasted bread slices.

 

Super Eggplant Subs

Rachel Ray, Cooking ‘Round the Clock, 30-Minute Meals and on www.foodnetwork.com

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

2 large cloves cracked garlic, 2 cloves chopped garlic

2 medium eggplant, firm

Coarse salt and black pepper

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 (28-ounce) can chopped fire roasted tomatoes (recommended: Muir Glen)

1 small (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

4 sub rolls, split

1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 pound smoked mozzarella, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Heat a small pan with extra-virgin olive oil and cracked garlic in it over medium low flame. Trim ends of eggplants and remove a sliver of the skin off of 1 side, so the eggplant sits flat for you to slice it. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the eggplant on cookie sheets. When garlic sizzles in oil, using a pastry brush, brush both sides of sliced eggplant. Season eggplant with salt and pepper and roast in hot oven 15 minutes or until tender. Turn eggplant once.

Take a couple of tablespoons of remaining extra-virgin olive oil and place in a second pan, a medium skillet, over medium high heat. To hot garlic oil, add remaining chopped garlic and red onions. Saute the red onions and garlic 2 to 3 minutes then add chopped fire roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce then season with salt and pepper. Lower heat and allow sauce to thicken.

Remove eggplant from the oven. Get split sub rolls ready to fill, arranging the split rolls on a broiler pan. Preheat broiler to melt cheese on subs. Pile layers of cooked eggplant, roasted tomato sauce and torn basil into sub rolls, equally dividing ingredients. Top subs with grated cheese and smoked mozzarella cheese. Melt cheeses under the broiler. Serve subs hot.

Ratatouille

www.allrecipes.com   This is a great recipe to use many vegetables this week—and you can subsitute where needed or pull some out of the freezer!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic until lightly browned. Mix in parsley and eggplant. Saute until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
  3. Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

(I like to saute the onions and peppers a little first—and if I have any pizza sauce on hand, I’ll add a little of that also.)

Greens

These are a very healthy vegetable!  You can often mix and match greens, or prepare them separately.  To store—put in zip-lock bag, unwashed and let as much air escape prior to closing.  Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Collard Greens (These are the flat greens this week)

5-Minute Collard Greens

Collard greens are a highly nutritious green rich in calcium that are a great addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating. Long popular in the southern states, you will find out why they are becoming increasingly popular throughout the rest of the U.S.

1 pound collard greens, chopped

Mediterranean Dressing

1 tsp lemon juice

1 medium clove garlic, pressed or chopped

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

1-1/2 TBS sunflower seeds

1/2 red onion, sliced (add to steamers with collard greens)

6 kalamata olives, sliced

3 TBS pumpkin seeds

5 drops tamari soy sauce

dash of cayenne pepper

  1. Fill bottom of steamer with 2 inches of water.
  2. While steam is building up, slice collard greens leaves into 1/2-inch slices and cut again crosswise. Cut stems into 1/4-inch slices. Let both leaves and stems sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting properties.
  3. Press or chop garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out more of its health-promoting properties.
  4. Steam collard greens for no more than 5 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss collard greens with the remaining ingredients and any of the optional ingredients you desire while they are still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately).  Serves 2

 

Christmas Collards,

from Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, Holly Herrick

Collards are the South’s most celebrated green.  Here’s a recipe that is lip-smacking “good enough” for Christmas dinner, but simple enough for a weeknight side dish.

2 large bunches of collards

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 (1-inch-thick) slab salt pork

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

generous pinch of allspice

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Rinse the collards thoroughly and then de-stem (just hold the stem and wrap your thumb and forefinger around the stem with your other hand and strip the leaves away from stem). Stack the leaves in small piles and slice the collards into 1 inch squares.  Meanwhile, heat the oil and salt pork in a large sturdy pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add the greens, allspice, salt, pepper, and stock.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are very tender, about 45 minutes.

Just before serving, add the vinegar and heat through.Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Remove ham and salt pork and discard, or, if desired, slice the pork and stir it into the dish.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4-6.

 

Turnip Greens (these are the ones whose leaves look like radish leaves…quite textured).

Wash the greens well.  If you have any large stems in your bunch, de-stem them.  Put 1 quart of water for every 2 pounds of greens into a pot.  Use 1/4 to 1/2 pound of salted pork for this amount.  Cut the pork into 1/4” strips and drop into the cold water.  Bring to a boil and simmer the meat by itself for 30 minutes, then add the greens.  Cover the pot and heat to boiling again and let the turnip tops wither down.  Turn the mess over in the pot once to complete the withering process.  When this has been done, press the leaves down under the surface of the water and continue cooking uncovered for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the greens are tender.  The actual time depends on the age and tenderness of the greens (the ones you are getting this week are young).  If you need to add more water to keep the greens covered, add boiling water.  This is from Crissy Gregg’s Cook Book, from Kentucky Keepsakes.

 

Saute of Green Beans and Roasted Peppers in a Catalina Sauce with fresh goat cheese and almonds (GREAT for kids)

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

3 cups fresh green beans, snapped and rinsed

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds

1/4 cup top-quality Catalina or French dressing (home-made is best)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 ounces fresh goat cheese

Roast the whole peppers under a hot broiler, turning  at quarter points, until they are charred all over.  Run the peppers under cold water and remove skins, seeds, and cores.  Pat the peppers dry and cut into julienne strips. Bring a large pot of generously salted water toa boil over high heat.  Blanche the beans until just tender, plunging all at once into rapidly boiling water and cooking for about 3 minutes.   Drain, then rinse beans in very cold water until they’re cool.  Drain and set aside or store overnight in the refrigerator for later use. When close to serving, saute the garlic in the oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat until softened, about 3 minutes.  Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the almonds, blanched green beans, dressing, salt, and pepper.  Toss and heat through for about 2 minutes.  Season and drizzle each serving with crumbled fresh goat cheese.  Serve immediately.  Note:  This could also be chilled and served later over fresh greens tossed in a big more dressing.

(courtesy of Southern Farmers Market Cookbook, Holly Herrick)

 


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