“Men and melons are hard to know.” -Benjamin Franklin
I have the hardest time growing and knowing melons. Every year I try – if I succeed the raccoons and coyotes eat them. No one eating my melons this year – so prospects are grim. I have cut a few of them – and it’s 50/50 chance you will get an edible one. Good news is – if you have a healthy bunch of crows around – they will love to eat a cut melon.
FYI I had some good comments about the sweet potato green recipe from last week, so, if you haven’t tried it….be brave:)
What’s in the Bucket:? MELONS!!, sweet potato greens, turnip greens, red and green tomatoes, cilantro, winter squash, hot peppers, braising arugula.
What’s at Market: sweet potato greens, turnip greens, basil, cilantro, arugula. Circle S Beef: SOLD OUT FOR 2018.
I often have a hard time deciding what to do with arugula once it grows from baby to mature. It’s too big and a little too tough to use in a salad. But it’s spicy flavor is just right for a pasta sauce or in pesto. In fact – I like arugula pesto better than basil pesto.
Following is a recipe for an arugula cream sauce. Here, it is served with pasta. But it also works well served over chicken or fish. If you can’t find fresh corn – add another vegetable, or some shrimp to the dish.
- In large pot cook gnocchi or Penne according to package directions, adding corn the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Transfer ears of corn (if using) to cutting board. Drain gnocchi and corn kernels (if using), reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Do not rinse.
- Meanwhile, for cream sauce, in medium saucepan combine half-and-half, cream cheese, salt, garlic powder, dried herb, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in reserved pasta water.
- Return cooked pasta to pot. Cut corn from cob and add to pasta. Pour cream sauce over pasta; heat through, if necessary. Stir in arugula. Serve in bowls. Sprinkle with additional salt, pepper, dried herb, and crushed red pepper.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” Sam Keen
This is Isabelle. Every Wednesday, Jennifer and Isa show up for work together. Isa is always excited about her work and her exuberant behavior is contagious. She bustles about in the garden with us and greets all the animals with a grin (especially the cats). So, I am giving Isa (and Jennifer) Employee of the month. (Doesn’t matter that they are my only employees, they would get it anyway!)
However – The hot humid days find Isa laying like she is here – in the shade by mid-day. I have to say, I feel like lounging in the shade too. I guess that’s why they call it the dog days of summer. And I feel exceptionally lazy this year.
What’s in the Bucket? Lots of either/or this week as I have a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the garden. Arugula or lettuce mix, okra or summer squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, daikon radish greens, spaghetti or butternut squash, basil, sweet potato greens.
What’s at market? arugula, lettuce mix, basil, tomato, daikon radish greens, winter squash, sweet potato greens. Here is a recipe for Sweet potato greens from Coon Rock Farm. I think it might go wonderfully with roasted winter squash (or that North Georgia Candy Roaster if you are still hanging on to it)
Sweet and savory sweet potato leaves
- 8 cups de-stemmed, torn and rinsed sweet potato leaves
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons crushed pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 min. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sweet potato leaves, cover and cook 5 min until wilted. Stir in the cranberries and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 min. Season to taste with pepper. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”
― Sylvia PlathHard to believe it is end of August. Fall is a lovely time of year for a farmer. The season’s harvest coming to an end. Because we worry, we worry. The cows will get in the garden. The deer will get in the garden. The hail will ruin the garden. The rain will ruin the garden. All that hard work…..
Last night I was out harvesting some fall squash. Curtis wasn’t feeling well – so I was trying to stay out of the house. Quit rummaging around while he was trying to rest. So it was late – duskish, and I was piddling around. Putting candy roasters in my wheelbarrow and daydreaming.
There are loads of fall geese in our fields. I heard a commotion and large splash as all of them crashed into the water. When I looked up to watch…a deer was headed right for me. She was spooked and panting as she came up the hill. She did not see me. She stumbled through two of our hot wires and all of a sudden she was in the garden with me – maybe 10 feet away. She had this look on her face like –WOW, I’ve stumbled into Eden. And still, she did not see me.
We had a moment of fellowship together. And then I moved before she got comfortable in my Eden. I thought she would go back the way she came, she chose the 6 strand high tensile wire. She almost made it but snagged the top wire with her feet…because she was weary. It somersaulted her and she landed with a thud on her back and was still for a minute. I held my breath.
Then she sprung up and headed off towards the turtle pond and I yelled “and don’t come back”. But what I really meant was, just wait until my season is over. Or, come and eat just a little.
What’s in the bucket: Candy roaster squash, arugula, tomatoes, butternut squash, okra, cucumbers, hot peppers, bell peppers, a few other things that are just beginning or just ending….perhaps, as we are in between seasons.
What’s at market: North Georgia Candy roaster squash, butternut squash, arugula, summer squash, lettuce mix, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, zinnia’s and basil. Circle S Beef: ground beef, roasts.
Here is a recipe I found online for winter squash pie. Much like pumpkin pie. If you aren’t ready for fall yet….good news. This squash should keep for a month or two. Just keep it cool and dry. It is also good in soups or roasted in the oven.
Winter Squash Pie
Hands on: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 1/2 hours
This is Mecca Lowe’s recipe for North Georgia Candy Roaster pie. You can make this pie with any winter squash you have on hand, but if your squash is not as sweet as the North Georgia Candy Roaster, you may need to increase the sugar.
1 1/2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 crust for 9-inch pie
Whipped cream, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large saucepan, arrange squash chunks and cover with water. Boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and put squash in bowl of a food processor. Add sugar and milk and pulse to puree squash. Add eggs, butter, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and process until smooth.
Pour squash filling into pie crust and bake 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the pie comes out clean. Cool pie on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream if desired.
Per serving: 148 calories (percent of calories from fat, 36), 3 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 38 milligrams cholesterol, 115 milligrams sodium.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from our farm.!!
“Be careful about reading health books. Some fine day you’ll die of a misprint.” -Markus Herz
It’s funny how as human’s we don’t know what we should eat. We constantly battle between eating what’s healthy and….what’s easy. Because, let’s admit it, cooking is work. Even the simplest dishes require….dishes. And that’s just it. Dishes need to be washed.
I often envy the cows. They get to move to greener pastures every day or two. They munch down on fresh grass and seem so happy. And guess what….no dishes! I have to admit – I’ve eaten many meals in the garden. My favorite way to eat okra is right off the stalk – I’m spoiled that way. But I think Curtis might protest a garden walk for dinner. That’s how he got to be the Dish Washer!
Farm News: We are over halfway through the CSA. I start getting Lazy at this point in the game – the girls and I are ready to go for strolls around the farm instead of doing our garden work. The chickens get lazy too and I have to give them a strict talking to about our egg production! Thanks to those of you who have been shorted on eggs for your understanding.
What’s in the bucket: mixed baby lettuces, edamame soybeans, fennel, summer squash, a grand finale of tomatoes, a mountain of basil, dregs of the garlic harvest.
What’s at market: baby lettuce, edamame, fennel, summer squash, tomatoes, basil, purple potato.
A salad would be nice as we sweat out the dog days of summer. Steam your soybeans with some salt and shell the leftovers to throw in the mix…..and the baby squash- the little ones that are so tender. A few cherry tomatoes and lettuce soaked in ice water and spun dry. Try some lemon garlic vinaigrette with that and tadaa…
And how about serving that salad with some bruschetta – made of roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic like Jennifer shared with me last week. Delish.
Juice of one lemon mixed with equal amount of olive oil or grape seed oil. One clove pressed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
Preheat oven to 325.
one pint cherry tomatoes
one garlic clove minced
1 T basil cut into thin ribbons
one fennel bulb minced (optional but delicious)
salt and pepper
Toss all ingredients but basil with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast about 45 minutes, watching that the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool a little. You can top your crusty bread with this mixture and then sprinkle with basil . Serve immediately. OR stir basil in and serve room temp. with bread or chips or pasta. You can also serve with anchovies or salty olives on the side.
Look at our farmers markets today, bursting with heritage breeds and heirloom varieties, foods that were once abundant when we were an agricultural nation, but that we have lost touch with. Bringing all these back helps us connect to our roots, our communities and helps us feed America the proper way.
This is national Farmer’s Market week. If you can attend, celebrate with Main Street Farmer’s Market this Wednesday from 4-6. Music, good food and lots of activities!!
Farm News: Fall Planting in full force this week. Also, we weaned our last group of calves. It was a noisy night or two and Curtis and I didn’t sleep much – but we are catching up. It’s National Farmer’s Market Week – Hoorah!!
What’s in the bucket: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, purple potatoes, summer squash, spaghetti squash, edamame soybeans, parsley.
What’s at Market: music, events, fun. Oh – and we will have: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, summer squash, edamame soybeans, purple potatoes, basil, zinnia and celosia bouquets. Circle S Beef: roasts, ground beef, stew beef.
Blue Potato chips with blue cheese dressing
Slice blue potatoes thinly. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in oven at 350 degrees until tender – and a little crispy. Top with blue cheese dressing and serve.
Blue cheese dressing
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 11/2 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 lb blue cheese (crumbled)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste – see above)
- few drops of tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
- In a bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and cheese.
- Adjust thickness by stirring in some of the cream. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm
“According to analyses conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of fresh tomato today has 30 percent less vitamin C, 30 percent less thiamin, 19 percent less niacin, and 62 percent less calcium than it did in the 1960s. But the modern tomato does shame it’s counterpart in one area: It contains fourteen times as much sodium.”
― Barry Estabrook,
Ok, tired of Okra? Freeze it (just chop it up and put it in freezer bags), dry it (in the oven, low temp until it is crunchy), pickle it (recipe follows) Okra is a star this time of year when we are between seasons. It just keeps coming until fall weather slows it down.
Farm News: Busy planting for fall!! Sweet potatoes look good. Some late melons if the racoons don’t eat them. And fall beans. Lots to look forward to!
What’s in the bucket: spaghetti squash, summer squash, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, OKRA, peppers and/or eggplant, field peas or edamame soybeans, basil.
What’s at market: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes. Circle S Beef: Roasts, ground beef, stew beef.
Found this recipe on PInch Me I’m Eating. Easy and delicious. It will work with other peppers as well – so substitute bell or another sweet and/or hot pepper in your bucket.
Refrigerator pickled okra
- 13-16 okra pods or however many will fit in a clean spaghetti sauce jar
- 2 banana pepperssliced, seeds removed (optional)
- 3 cloves garliccrushed with the side of a knife but not cut
- 1 tbsp kosher saltplus more for salting pods
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar reduce for a less sweet pickle
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 tbsp water
Trim stems off okra pods so the tops are flat, but the pod isn’t opened up. Sprinkle with kosher salt and set aside in a colander, along with banana peppers.
Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Rinse off okra pods and pack tightly into a clean spaghetti sauce jar or other jar, along with banana peppers.
Let vinegar mixture cool for about 10 minutes, then pour over the okra until the jar is full. If there is slightly too much liquid, make sure you get all the “good stuff” in the jar before disposing of any excess vinegar.
Screw on the top and refrigerate for 48 hours. Enjoy!
Serve with a charcuterie board, bloody Mary, or straight out of the jar.
Keeps, refrigerated, for at least 2 weeks
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food at Circle S Farm!!
Henry David Thoreau, ‘Walden’ (1854)
My sweet corn patch has been the party house for all the wildlife. Crows, raccoons….I recognize their destructive patterns. I was telling Brad from Riverview Milling that it looked like some critter was ripping ears off, eating them then making a pile of shucks and cobbs. He said, “oh that’s a bear”.
Farm news: Raccoons in the corn, crows in the corn, bears in the corn? I rescued most of the corn, went ahead and cleaned it and put it in the cooler.
What’s in the bucket: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, purple hull peas (you have to shell them, but worth the work) purple potatoes, okra, garlic.
Below is a link on how to dry sweet corn in your oven. It makes a great snack – or you can rehydrate it and use in recipes. Plus, it won’t take up room in your freezer and lasts for years if it is kept away from moisture. Okra is also great dehydrated, but harder to keep from taking in moisture.
Tomato and sweet corn salad
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- kosher salt
- black pepper , freshly ground
- 3 cups corn kernels ( from about 6 cooked ears of corn)
- 18 cherry tomatoes ( red or yellow or combined)
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves , thinly siced
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf Italian parsley , chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste to form a dressing.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and toss to coat with the dressing.
- Taste, and reseason if necessary.
Try this simple and delicious salad.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
― Ray Bradbury,
It is the time of year of endless bounty. And it will end soon. My refrigerator is packed. I can’t even decide what to make for dinner because there are so many veggies coming in right now.
Farm News: The summer bounty is coming in. Your bucket will be crammed with goodies because August is looking slim. I haven’t been able to replant much for fall because of rain, bugs and weeds – so I’m working on it!! In the mean time – squirrel away some potatoes and cabbage just in case:)
What’s in the bucket: eggplant or peppers, green beans or field peas, sweet corn, tomatoes….tomatoes…..tomatoes, savoy cabbage, okra, red white and blue potatoes, garlic, parsley, blueberries.
What’s at market: green beans, field peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, blue and red potatoes, carrots, parsley, zinnia bouquets. Circle S Beef: roasts, ground beef.
One of our shareholders gave me this recipe. She said it was a real crowd pleaser. I haven’t made it yet, but have everything I need and I’m planning on making it this week. It would go great with some garlic mashed potatoes and a bbq chicken!
Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!
― Anthony Bourdain,
- 1 lb green beans
- 2 T lemon juice
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 garlic clove smashed or minced
- 1 T chopped Fresh basil
- 1/4 t kosher salt
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- grated sequatchie cove gruetli cheese or parmesan
Trim and cook green beans until crisp tender. Plunge into ice water. Drain in colander
Mix next 6 ingredients together for dressing. Toss over green beans and add cherry tomatoes and grated cheese.
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!