News and Events

  • 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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  • October 01st, 2011

We hope all our CSA members can come to the farm next Sunday, October 9th for an afternoon of “farmlife”!  We are planning to eat around 5:00, but will have activities before and after dinner.  We hope it will be a relaxing, enjoyable afternoon/evening of fishing, hiking, picking, and lots of learning!  Feel free to come anytime after 2:00 and stay as long as your heart desires.  We are going to have a hay ride around the farm, escorted by Jim (our famous delivery driver!) with lots of farm lessons along the way.  In the “spirit” of Community Supported Agriculture, one of our own CSA members, Chef Lee Ashbrook is smoking a hog that was raised by the neice of another CSA member through their 4-H project!  We will have a great spread of other local farmers’ items for you to enjoy and a chance for you to put faces to us farmers.  Please prepare by dressing according to the weather and bring a lawn chair if you’d like that over a bale of hay.  For meal preparation, please email me your intentions by Thursday so I can let our cooks know.  Feel free to invite any of your friends that may find our farm interesting.  Also, I must stress that you need to come with understanding….the vegetables are now weedy and many are puttering out, but hey, that’s part of it!

As I write this, I’m wondering if I should gather all the sheets up that are in the homes of Bagdad to protect the crops tonight….gonna get cold!!  Realistically, tonights temperatures could potentially do some damage, so keep your fingers crossed!

Creating ownership at a young age!

I had a great experience this afternoon.  A gal called me yesterday and shared with me that they are thinking about getting into raising a large garden for others to enjoy also.  She seemed super nice and we have a great mutual friend who I think dearly of, so it seemed fitting to invite them out to take a walk through our fields so she and her husband could learn a bit for what we’ve done right and what we’ve done wrong.  I wished I had had that opportunity…may have saved me lots of frustration and mess-ups.  They were super nice and had a beautiful son that Lucas and Elly enjoyed until nap time started creeping up on the kids and a long walk stood between point A and B.   Some may say I’m crazy for sharing “tools of the trade” with someone else whose interested in beginning a business like this.  But in the end….isn’t that part of Community Supported Agriculture?  I really think that each family and each farm has our own personalities and characteristics to find matches.  We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for people who chose to mentor us along the way….so hopefully we can “pass the baton”, so to speak.  It will be exciting to see what they decide to do (or if I scared the living day-lights out of them).

Another fun little note of the week—-we contributed to a philanthropy event on the campus of U of L.  The fraternity Lamba Chi Alpha came to the farm to pick old, sunburn, or rotten left-over watermelons to have a Watermelon Bust….Oh how I remember the fun ways of raising money in college!!  It was really neat to witness their excitement of coming to a farm….one car and small truck after another to load up melons to throw at other people!

preparing for a Watermelon Bust!

I guess this week was full of rare occurances—-on Thursday we had a video crew out to the farm.  Commonground, a volunteer organization of farm women, is helping provide footage for a video series of different segments of agriculture to help educate third through sixth graders.  We got to be a part of it!  My eyes were really opened to what all goes into making a video—-for ten minutes of air time, the crew was here for about 6 hours—wow—to learn the behind the scenes of things we take for granted is an education all its own!

So when someone asks me what goes on on the farm….everyday of every week is different.  It never gets boring around here.  I have to admit that boring sounds pretty good right now.  Things are starting to slow, and maybe more if we get a frost tonight.  We have high hopes for the last few weeks of the CSA, so hope you can take time out and enjoy life on the farm with us this Sunday afternoon!!


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  • August 12th, 2011

So many choices of what to do with the wonderful picks of the harvest this week.  We probably all have our favorite dishes, but here’s a few suggestions for this week’s banana peppers, okra, potatoes, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.

 

Over the last few weeks you’ve received a good portion of potatoes.  Don’t be overwhelmed—they will keep just fine stored in a cool, dark, dry place for at least a month.  You may want to check them occassionally to remove any that may “go bad”.

New Potatoes with Lemon Butter and Herbs

About 1 and a half pounds of small potatoes

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

3 tablespoons of olive oil

grated zest and juice of one lemon

1 tablespoon of chopped chives

1 tablespoon of basil

1 tablespoon of parsley

salt and pepper

Arrange unpeeled potatoes in a single layer in a large frying pan.  Add water to cover and place over high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender but still firm, 10-12 minutes.  Drain well.

Warm the butter and olive oil in a frying pan over low heat.  Add the lemon zest, chives, basil, parsley, potatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat gently, stirring to coat the potatoes on all sides with the butter mixture.  Add the lemon juice, stir well and serve immediately.

 

Creamy Ranch Potato Salad

3 lb. red or new potatoes, cut into chunks and boiled until tender

1 C Ranch dressing

1/2 C sliced green onions

1/2 tsp sat

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 lb cooked, crumbled bacon

In a large salad bowl, combine all the ingredients except the potatoes.  Toss with warm potatoes; cover and chill.

May also be served warm (Melissa’s preference).  (submitted by Melissa Ballard, CSA member and beef farmer)

 

 

Find you a nice basket or open area on your countertop to enjoy the decor of ripe tomatoes in your kitchen.  You don’t want to store these in your fridge.  Since all of our tomatoes are vine ripened, some will need to be eaten right away, others will have a bit more shelf-life for you.

Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove of garlic, cut in half

6 plum (Roma) tomatoes, halved lengthwise

1 teaspoon drived oregano

½ teaspoon dried mint

Warm the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano and mint.  Cover and cook for 5 minutes.   Using a wooden spoon, force the tomato mixture through a sieve over a small bowl.  If serving hot, reheat.  (makes about 1 cup).

This is great with pasta, steamed vegetables, and an easy-to-make sauce that will keep for 4-5 days in refrigerator.

 

 

Okra with tomatoes

I love, love, love this dish!   Hope you do, too.

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, cut in half

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 pound okra, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise (about 3 cups)

1 cup of tomato sauce (recipe found here)

4 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 bay leaf

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Warm the oil in frying pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute longer.  Add the rosemary and okra and stir until coated thoroughly with the oil.  Stir in the tomato sauce.  Add the tomatoes, bay leaf and red pepper flakes.  Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until the okra is tender, about 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Discard the bay leaf and garlic halves.  Serve hot or warm.  Serves 4-6.

 

 

Summer tomato and chipotle salsa

8 tomatoes,  peeled and chopped

4 bell peppers (any color), chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 ounces fresh cilantro, chopped

3 chipotle chilies, chopped  (a chipotle is a dried jalapeno pepper)

juice of 4 limes

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt to taste

Combine the tomatoes, bell peppers and onion in a large bowl and mix well.  Add the cilantro, chipotle chilies, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic and olive oil; mix well.  Season with the salt.  Chill, covered, until ready to serve.  Serve with chips or quesadillas.  Makes 12 servings.

–From the cookbook of Sharon Thompson, Flavors of Kentucky

 

Fried Banana Peppers

Vegetable oil

5 to 6 banana peppers

1 egg

milk

all-purpose flour

cocktail sauce, optional

Heat the oil in a large skillet or electric deep fryer until hot.  Cut the banana peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds.  (It’s a good idea to wear gloves).  Combine the egg with enough of the milk and flour so the mixture’s consistency is thinner than pancake batter.  Dredge the peppers in flour and dip them in the batter.  Drop the peppers into the hot oil using kitchen tongs.  Cook until lightly browned and drain on paper towels.  Serve warm with cocktail sauce, if desired.

–From the cookbook of Sharon Thompson, Flavors of Kentucky

 

 

Melon Wrap

I love cantaloupe as “just cantaloupe”, but if you want to dress it up some, here’s a good idea for a great appetizer.

(You can use this for honeydew also.)  Cut your cantaloupe into bite-sized pieces and wrap with Prosciutto ham and secure with a toothpick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Posted in Recipes of the Harvest, Uncategorized   Print This Post
  • 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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  • June 29th, 2011

This week is a little clean-up on a few crops:  radishes, turnips, and carrots.  We will be disking under the crop areas that had those items, a lot of lettuces, and peas….getting ready for fall crops to be planted.  Hard to believe, huh?!  We hope to be able to have several of the time offerings again in several months. Hopefully we will have a better fall for radishes as compared to the knobby ones the soil produced this spring—the ground became solid like concrete, which made for a difficult environment for them…

There is starting to be tiny little green beans, some bell peppers are an inch or two in size, the eggplants are starting to bloom.  We can see small crowns of broccoli, cabbage heads are starting to form.  Lucas and Elly had a good time scouting the tomatoes with Shane and I the other evening.  As we walked through the rows, Lucas was looking for “doors” to cut through so he wouldn’t hurt any plants.  (A positive way of looking at missing plants in a row!) Our honey bees are working overtime on the watermelons—they are swarming like crazy!  The rains have made the weeds go bonkers, so the workers have been very focused on us trying to keep them under control.  Having a garden that is over 20 acres in size—-well, weeds are our biggest nightmare!  It’s been too wet to cultivate and quite frankly, many days too wet to even get a hoe out.

For those of you who were a part of the program last year…you learned a little about our workers.  It’s amazing what one year of experience will do.  For those of you who don’t know, we employ migrant workers through the Department of Labor.  These men are all family or friends from Veracruz, Mexico and are phenomenal workers!!  Currently we have 8 workers at the farm where we must provide them housing, transportation, and so on and so forth.  Well, a lot of the food has been extra muddy lately (which you’d expect) so we’ve been having to hand wash before we can package.  Last night I went out to check on them and to go over the game plan for today.  One of the men, Jorge, called me over to show me that when they washed the squash and zucchini, they put them in crates by size (without being told).  That was really neat for me to see because it showed us that they are trying their best to do their part in simplifying this process, keeping the cost of production low and understanding what we are doing.  They understand that if they want to continue to have a job, we have to be able to provide products of value—it was a pivotal moment to realize they are really taking ownership in accomplishing our mission!!

I have had a few folks inquire about what is what in your CSA shares.  IF EVER in doubt, please ask.  I don’t want you making a rhubarb dessert with swiss chard then wondering what happened!!   The Swiss Chard is the beautifully colored greens in your share.  They are very nutritional for you!!!  The leaves and stalks are loaded with vitamins A and C, and a great source of calcium and vitamin K.   I’ve always thought Swiss Chard reminded me of spinach and beet greens, come to find out, they are of the same families of each.  You can keep it for several days—unwashed in a food storage bag with a damp paper towel.  Be sure to wash it before eating—you can do this by swishing around in cold water before preparing.  You can substitute it for about any cooked green for soups, quiches, or dips.

FYI—the turnips are more purple with white on the bottom half (purple-top turnips), and the radishes will be a variety of colors, shapes and sizes… The large “rossette” looking plant is the Chinese Cabbage.  This has kinda been a mystery plant to me, since it was our first time ever raising and it didn’t grow upwards to form a tight head like what I expected.  We think that is because the plants were in the greenhouse for a while longer than we had hoped since it was so wet for so long.  Our extension agent said that the longer we leave the plants out, the spicier they will become….so we decided to harvest now for you!

Hope you have a fun week in the kitchen!!

Most Graciously,
Mary & Family

Proud tomato farmers!!


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  • June 22nd, 2011

Carrots!! They made it…and we are really excited.  As silly as that may sound, last year we gave them so much TLC and they just didn’t do much at all.  I was so determined to make it work, so we tried something else….made a raised bed in our field and seeded there—as challenging as Mother Nature has been for us this spring, the carrots have thrived.  Hope you enjoy!

Onions—if you are like me, you use them about 1/2 the time you cook.  When you have a garden in your back yard, and you need onions, regardless if they are still spring green onions or harvestable bulb onions, or in-between, you get to harvest….so you’ve got a little to add to your creative juices for the week.

Basil…oh, basil, it’s such a nice thing to have handy.  You can make some pesto, or simply keep on hand to flavor a number of dishes.  Don’t fret if you’ve got a worm hole in a leaf or two—the number one rule to produce is to wash…it’ll be just fine!

Summer squashes—-we do hope you will enjoy.  Some yellow squashes, some regular zucchini, and then we have some unique varieties that may show up.  One is the Zephyr, that once the plant is older, will produce a summer squash that is half green and half yellow.  They will all taste good!

Turnips—-these will keep for some time, so you don’t have to plunge into them today or tomorrow.  They aren’t really my favorite summer vegetable, but I do think it’s good to challenge yourself to try things you wouldn’t ordinarily purchase.  We are going to try the scalloped turnips this week—my hopes are set high because the restaurant that I got the recipe from—everything was wonderful!

Cucumbers….sure you will know just what to do with them, but if not, pair them up with that beautiful Romaine lettuce!

Romaine lettuce—-not to pat ourselves on the back, but think you will really like this.  It should keep pretty well if you need a break from all the salads.  Hopefully now with all the other items we can add, your salads are different each week now!

Golden Beets or Candy-Striped—-For all you beet lovers, these are a treat.  They are often purchased by white-table cloth restaurants, so enjoy fine dining in your own home!

At the farm this week we have had a lot of rain…which was much needed.  Our watermelons are starting to grow quite a bit

Our seeded melons will help pollinate the seedless watermelons

, we saw the first eggplant bloom today.  We have teeny-tiny peppers that resemble a belly-button when they first form, we are loaded with little tomatoes, the edamame plants are up, little green beans are starting to emerge from the blooms….lots of signs of life and good food!  We planted more sweet corn and green beans right before the rain, we got all the tomatoes staked and strung with twine (for support), and were able to do some cultivating and the dreaded chopping out weeds!  We hope you will have many nights of great tasting foods this week—take the time to enjoy these tastes!

 


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  • June 08th, 2011

Wondering what to do with all this lettuce?  Wonder no more…

A gal from our CSA, Ms. Delaney, was kind enough to share this recipe with us—she made it for her sister and nieces recently, served it with a baguette and Sherbet for dessert.  Makes me hungry!!—Thanks so much for sharing!

Orange Lettuce Salad

  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

    • 1 cup mandarin oranges, drained
    • 6 cups loose leaf lettuce and spinach
    • 4 sliced radishes
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
    • 2 green onions, sliced
    • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
    • 6 ounces cooked chicken, cubed
  • Dressing
    • 1/4 cup oil
    • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Combine salad ingredients.
  2. Make dressing up to a day ahead or as close as 20 minutes before serving.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss lightly.
  4. Serve immediately.

***********************

It was late Saturday night before we finished, but were determined to enjoy some time on the porch.  Joe and Deanna, who have been critical to making this all work, had put in so many hours last week….as a little “thank you” we invited them to grill out.  Our side was a salad with several types of lettuce, a few diced green onions, and grated Chive Onion cheese from Stone Cross Farms/Cloverdale Creamery, with some store bought Ranch dressing.  It was simply delicious.  You just can’t go wrong!!

 


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  • June 08th, 2011

Enjoy these tastes of summer!!

 

Dijon Radish Potato Salad

 

This is a very mild fresh-tasting potato salad that complements many different main dishes.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup Hellmann’s Real Or Light Mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons Dijon Style Mustard

2 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, Chopped

1 teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoons Pepper

1-½ pound Small Red Potatoes, Cooked And Quartered

1 cup Sliced Radishes

½ cups Chopped Green Onions

Directions:

Combine the first five ingredients. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill .

Recipe courtesy Tasty Kitchen

Sauteed Radishes

Cooking radishes changes their flavor from spicy to mellow.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 10) radishes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Trim radishes leaving 1/2 inch of stem and any small leaves intact. Halve long radishes lengthwise; if using round radishes, quarter them lengthwise.
  2. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add radishes, and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until just tender and golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.  Recipe courtesy Martha Stewart

 

 

 

Pickled Radishes

Pickled radishes are best used within a few hours but can be kept refrigerated for up to 1 day.  These are a great condiment to serve with chicken or pork, or to eat on a sandwich.

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 10 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Coarse salt
  • 15 medium-size red radishes (about 6 ounces), ends trimmed, thinly sliced

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together vinegar, sugar, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Add radishes, and stir to combine. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

 


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