Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 28

“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”

Chad Sugg

calf season 06 025

I’m worried about our trees.  When I look at the tree line – so many of them are starting to turn brown.  It is alarming.  I am hopeful, but I am worried.

Farm News:  A little of much needed rain today.  Maybe 1/8 inch.  We have 18 out of 59 calves on the ground.  One born dead yesterday.  Looked like a little pig.   No hair.  Premature.  No cow around it.  It is still a mystery.

What’s in the bucket:  broccoli, carrots, red bibb lettuce, kale, collard greens, islander pepper, savoy or red cabbage, beets.

What’s at market:  cabbage, broccoli, carrots, greens, red bibb lettuce, beets.  Circle S Farm beef:  cube steak, ground beef, roasts.  Finally fall special:  buy one roast (chuck or rump roast) get 1 bunch carrots and 1 bunch kale free.

Following – a kale caesar salad – delish

The Best Kale Salad You’ll Ever Have
by Phoebe Lapine 

Most people can agree that comfort food doesn’t usually involve lettuce. But if you top lettuce with creamy dressing and a large handful of Parmesan, that’s another story entirely. I crave this Caesar salad as much as fried chicken, and with a few tweaks here and there, it’s healthier than the classic versions you’re used to, in addition to being absolutely delicious.

What makes this kale Caesar both healthier and tastier than any you’ve ever eaten is the dressing. There’s no egg and not much cheese—instead, it gets its creamy Caesar-like texture from a whole head of roasted garlic, which acts as an emulsifier, thickener, and general yumminess-inducer. It gets its funky, punchy Caesar flavor from the capers, anchovies and Dijon. Dig in!

Recipe: Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Makes 4 side servings

You’ll need:

1 bunch dinosaur or lacinato kale

1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or croutons

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling over salad

1/2 cup roasted garlic Caesar dressing (recipe follows)

Remove the thick stalks from the center of the kale. Pile the leaves on top of one another and roll together into a cigar. Cut the kale into thin ribbons.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the breadcrumbs together with the olive oil in a small mixing bowl and spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale together with the dressing. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss again. Divide among four plates, and top with the breadcrumbs, plus a bit more cheese, if you’d like.

For the Roasted Garlic Caesar Dressing (makes about 3/4 cup):

1 head garlic

Olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp. capers

2 anchovy filets

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Remove the outer layers from the head of garlic so the individual cloves are exposed. Chop off the top 1/4 inch of the head so you can see the raw cloves within their skins.

Place on a 9×13 sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap so the packet is tightly sealed. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft to the touch. Remove from the foil packet and allow to cool.

When cool enough to touch, squeeze the cloves out of their skins and add to a food processor. Puree the garlic along with the lemon juice, mustard, salt, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Taste and add more oil as necessary to reach the consistency you like. (This should be a thick dressing, with a punch of acidity.) Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Happy Fall, Happy Eating and Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 21

“Have you noticed that the narrower the view the more you can see? For the first time I understand how old ladies can sit on their porches for years.”

Walker Percy (Lancelot)

img_0320This is the view from my porch.  It is a lovely view of the garden – close enough to feel and see what is growing, but not so close as to notice the weeds or bugs.  I can see the horses from here, and the cows.  The horizon.  I do think I can sit on this porch for years, until I am an old lady.

What’s in the bucket?  This will be a good week.  End of summer and lots of yummy fall stuff.  Eggplant, summer squash or zucchini, broccoli, cabbage, red leaf lettuce, curly kale, turnip greens and beets.

What’s at market:  broccoli, curly kale, lacinato kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, beets, lettuce.  Circle S Beef:  roasts, ground beef.  Weekly special:  eat your greens – buy one get one free kale, turnips, mustard.

This has been one of my favorite dishes this summer.  A great way to use the eggplant and squash for a last bite of the season.  I like to add a healthy sprinkle of parmesan cheese!


1 pound eggplant
1 pound zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
4-6 tablespoons olive oil (divided) 1/2 pound thinly sliced yellow onions (about 1 1/2 cups)

2 green peppers (about 1 cup)
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound tomatoes (peeled and then seeded and juiced)

3 tablespoons minced parsley


1Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8″ think, about 3″ long and 1″ wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry each slice in a towel.

2 One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 tablespoons hot olive oil in a 10-12″ skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.

3 In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers (add an additional 2 tablespoon of olive oil if needed) for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Slice tomato pulp into 3/8″ strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, taste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

5 Place a third of the tomatoes mixture in the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole (about 2 1/2″ deep). Sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh, minced parsley over tomatoes. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

6 Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have


Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up September, 13 2016

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot


I can’t wait for fall.  This summer started early and lasted too long.  I’d like to walk outside and have the brisk air energize me.

Farm News:  We are calving right now.  We have 10 calves on the ground so far.  It’s our favorite time of year.  Curtis and I love watching the calves run and play, and the mothers fuss and frett over them.  it is our form of entertainment.

What’s in the bucket:  kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip greens, beets, radishes, napa cabbage, arugula, braising greens.

What’s at market:  okra, summer squash, beets, radishes, kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, arugula, kohlrabi.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts, liver, sirloin steak.  EAT YOUR GREENs special:  buy one bunch of greens, get one free.

  My Dad said he has been eating radishes raw dipped in dijon mustard – double the kick!

Following, a recipe for roasted radishes – in case you run our of options.

Roasted Radishes and radish greens


  • 1 bunch radishes (halved if large) and their greens
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper



  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Separate radishes and their greens and arrange on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle each with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Bake, until radishes are tender and caramelized and greens are crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.

Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.

Liberty Hyde Bailey


This quote has been so true in my fall garden.  I planted a bit too early for the heat.  Usually we get a good cool down in September, even if it doesn’t last.  This fall garden has been about irrigation and managing bugs.  My broccoli has struggled and struggled – as have the cabbages.  I am hoping they won’t bolt – or taste like saurkraut for the heat.  I have a later planting, but it will be much later.

The squash, however, has been amazing.  The weather has been perfect for it, and we have an abundance.  If you still have some leftover from last week, think about making some refrigerator pickles with squash and some of your cucumbers.  There are some great recipes online for refrigerator pickles.

My parents have been here this weekend.  We have had a wonderful visit, and the weather has been beautiful.  What a special treat for labor day!!

What’s in the bucket?  SUMMER SQUASH (and lots of it)  Use the bigger ones to stuff or make zucchini bread – save the smaller ones for more delicate recipes or to eat raw in a salad! )  Arugula, mesclun, kohlrabi, beets, radishes, cucumber, kale or mustard greens.

At market:  summer squash, okra, beets, radishes, arugula, mesclun, basil.  Circle S Beef:  all cuts.  Circle S special:  Buy any pack of steaks, get a bag of arugula free.

A simple squash stir fry recipe for this week, an easy way to use up some squash!


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

2 small to medium yellow squash, sliced

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

2 tablespoons chopped chives or 2 scallions, optional


Preheat skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, then butter. When butter melts, add red peppers and squash. Saute 12 to 14 minutes until squash is tender. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Add chives or scallions if you would like a layer of light onion flavor on the dish as well.


Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 31

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.    Sam Keen


Well – Madge is settling in with her new life.  The other horses have been kind – thank goodness.  Horses can be like teenagers – rather hateful sometimes.  But Madge is easy going – and they all seem to like her.

Farm News:  I keep thinking fall will come.  Hoping for some cooler nights – maybe in the 60’s, but not so far.  Still summer.  My broccoli and fall plants really don’t know what to do.  I hope it turns off cooler soon so things won’t bolt.

What’s in the bucket?:  summer squash, cucumbers, arugula, mesclun mix, okra, basil, pie apples, a few peppers, cherry tomatoes.

What’s at market:  summer squash, arugula, mesclun mix, okra, basil, pie apples.  Labor day griller special:  small brisket $5#  ground beef:  2# for $10

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S.



Circle S CSA Delivery and MSFM pick up Wednesday, August 24

There is no I in TEAM   _  unknown


Simple Definition of team

  • : a group of people who compete in a sport, game, etc., against another group
  • : a group of people who work together
  • : a group of two or more animals used to pull a wagon, cart, etc.

When the idea of purchasing a TEAM for farmwork appeared to me, I never thought of it as being a TEAM.  I just thought of it as two horses.

When my friend Georgia and I went to pick Mack and Madge up, we went to a sale in Missouri. They were selling TEAMS of horses.  We went for equipment, but loved looking at all the teams for sale.  Mostly we were fascinated that these huge horses were kept two together at all times.  The teams of horses ate together, stayed in the same stall together, were lead together, turned out together – basically, they were never apart.

When I bought my team from a friend he said – keep them together.  Lead them together, work them together, don’t let them be apart.

It has been a journey working with Mack and Madge.  I have only had them two years, but I have learned so much.  Mainly that – even with them being so old and well trained – I had to be a member of the team too.  Working together to get the job done.  I had to spend time with them and learn their quirks.  Curtis helped me hook them up and he learned too.   We were all a TEAM.


Mack fell ill about a month ago.  One day he just quit eating.  After several vet visits and watching him waste away, Curtis and I decided it was time.  We put him to sleep today.  Throughout his illness, Madge never left his side.

A sad start to this fall season, but we will keep moving.

What’s in the bucket: summer squash, baby cucumbers, basil, sweet potato greens, peppers, beet greens, shelled soybeans, tart pie apples.

Following – some idea’s on sweet potato greens from

A few weeks ago, Gourmet Live‘s Kemp Minifie mentioned that she had been seeing sweet potato greens at her farmers’ market. Intrigued, I went in search of them at mine and lo and behold, I found them for $3.50 a bunch. Taking a cue from Kemp who braised hers (leaves and stems) with some onion, I followed suit and then added it to my pasta. Like spinach, sweet potato greens cook down a lot, but unlike spinach, sweet potato greens lack the oxalic acid that often leaves a funny, unpleasant astringent feel and taste in my mouth. And although kale, chard, and collards can also be found at the market, they’re much tougher and possess a strong flavor; the sweet potato leaves, on the other hand, are tender and mild tasting. shows that sweet potato greens are extremely high in vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A. Abstracts available on indicate that sweet potato greens have been underutilized as a source of food with preventative qualities. But perhaps most interesting is that sweet potato greens have been readily consumed by different cultures primarily in Asia and Africa.

Here are a few traditional and not so traditional recipes I’ve found online:’s Sauce Feuilles de Patate (Guinea)

Heart and Hearth’s Sweet Potato Greens (Camote Tops) Salad (The Philippines)

Ravimbomanga sy Patsa Mena (Sweet Potato Leaves with Dried Shrimp) Recipe (Madagascar)

Cook Rock Farm’s Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Leaves

Permaculture College Australia’s Sweet Potato Tips in Coconut Cream

Happy eating and thanks for buying local produce from Circle S Farm



Circle S Delivery Monday, July 25 (last day summer session)

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


I am headed to Knoxville with two of my best friends for a night on the town!  I am honored and humbled in having two such special people in my life.

This will be the last week for CSA.  Sign up for fall on our website, or I can e-mail the sign up to you.

What’s in the bucket this week:  green apples, winter squash, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, roma tomatoes, okra, potatoes.

The apples are still very tart.  Great for a pie, or to bake.  Also good for applesauce or apple butter.

Following, a recipe for dressing.

Apple herb dressing


  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 c. finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 c. chopped celery
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 c. crumbled cornbread
  • 4 c. fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • ¼ c. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 c. low-sodium chicken broth


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the casings and crumble and brown the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat — about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside the sausage and reserve 1 tablespoon of fat.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with the fat, add the peppers, onions, celery, salt, and black pepper, and cook over medium-low heat until vegetables are soft — about 15 minutes.
  3. Toss in the sausage, cornbread, breadcrumbs, apples, parsley, sage, and thyme. Transfer to a 9- by 13-inch baking pan, pour the broth over the dressing, and dot with remaining butter.
  4. Bake until the dressing is heated through and golden — about 1 1/2 hours.


Circle S Farm Delivery Monday, July 18 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 20

 ‘Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.’  —Albert Einstein 

IMG_0499Logan is coming to visit for a few weeks.  When he was little he would stay most of the summer.  Now he is almost 19, in college, has a job – and probably a girlfriend, so we don’t get to see him as much.  Rejoice is an appropriate word.  This picture was taken probably 4 years ago when he went fishing with our friend Steve Persinger.

We are approaching the end of the summer CSA (this is the last Wednesday – one more Monday).  If you are interested, I am having a fall CSA which starts labor day and runs into November.  Sign up info is on the website under CSA sign up – just click on the link twice.  We also have beef packages available.

What’s in the bucket (it will be a paper bag this week – REMEMBER TO LEAVE YOUR BUCKET OUT OR BRING TO MARKET:  Tomatoes Tomatoes Tomatoes – red ones, green ones, yellow ones, romas, cherry – you get the picture, melon, winter squash, okra and whatever else I can find!

At Main Street Farmer’s Market:  Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes.  Circle S Beef.  Hamburger helper special:  Buy one package ground beef get one heirloom tomato FREE!!

Tomatoes are easy to freeze – just peel and freeze.  I’ve also heard of not peeling and freezing, but haven’t tried it.  Dip them in boiling water to peel, then just pull the skins off, cool and freeze in jars or freezer plastic bags.

Enjoy a delicious Caprese salad with some of your home grown Circle S tomatoes.

Caprese Salad


    • 2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
    • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced1/4 inch thick
    • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil or arugula leaves, washed well and spun dry
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled, if using arugula instead of basil
    • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • fine sea salt to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper to taste


    • On a large platter arrange tomato and mozzarella slices and basil leaves, alternating and overlapping them. Sprinkle salad with oregano and arugula and drizzle with oil. Season salad with salt and pepper.

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 11 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 13

Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog;
but you’re never friendless ever, if you have a dog.
—Douglas Mallock



Curtis and I have three dogs.  They are my children.  I’m “oh she’s ‘one of thooooose people’ .  Yep, pretty much nutty about my dogs.

They misbehave, they are loud, they eat gross stuff, they roll in manure, they chase the horses, they dig holes (well, mainly Otis) did I say they were loud?

Their lives revolve around three things: 1. Going somewhere.    2. Waiting to go somewhere.  (Oh, and the little matters of eating and sleeping, but that wouldn’t get in the way of ) 3.  GOING SOMEWHERE.

Going somewhere involves:  the car, on foot, the tractor, the mower, the dirt bike, the mule wagon, a horse….you get the picture.

Over the past few years we have been to the vet for: eating rat poison, eating horse wormer,  impaling by a stick while running through the woods (twice), dog hitting truck, car hitting dog , sometimes I wonder if “rescue” is actually the right word for them.

Meet Temple (pictured above).  AKA Lumpy (our little lump of coal’s gonna be a diamond someday),  loudmouth, the Dali Lumpy, smiley, stinky.  She is named after Temple Grandin, famous for her work in low stress cattle management.  We had high hopes and big dreams of Temple dog becoming our cattle foreman.  Here she is pictured with a huge cow bone she found one day while we were fencing.  Years ago (before Circle S) there were cows on this place – and all kinds of bones and skulls are scattered the woods – a little creepy but the dogs love it.

But – to the point.  The dogs remind me of the simple things in life.  They remind me that moving is a good thing, an important thing.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.

For example….who else gets really excited about going to the dump?  Trash and recycle day at our house is a happy day.  As soon as I start emptying trash cans, the dogs start doing laps around the car.  They especially love it when the prisoners who help unload our trash ask “Do they bite?”.    They raise hell when the doors  are closed just to keep them wondering.    How can you take life too seriously on a day like trash day?

They also remind me that it’s ok to take a good nap every now and then – which seems more important as I get older.

So – since moving is a good thing, What’s in the bucket this week?

Summer or winter squash, sweet yellow and purple onions, potatoes, okra, TOMATOES, TOMATOES, TOMATOES, cherry tomatoes, maybe a stray cucumber, basil and parsley.  Unfortunately, my pepper crop is sick this year – can’t seem to get them going.

What’s at Main Street Farmer’s Market: (Not a lot this week) tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, sweet onions.  Circle S beef – ground beef, roasts, steaks, small briskets.

If you still have fennel hanging around in your fridge, a shareholder sent me this wonderful recipe for Fennel Pesto.

Also – good time to get rid of the cucumbers by making a fabulous batch of gazpacho.

This is my version of Gazpacho – if you want it to be more like a soup and less like a salsa, add 2 cups tomato juice.

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber chopped (if large pickling cucumber – remove seed portion)

1 sweet pepper, any kind, chopped

1 small red onion chopped

1/4 cup parsley chopped

1 t basil chopped

1 tsp tabasco

1 tsp worcestershire

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup light olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste

pepper to taste

Great to eat on a hot summer day, or dip a chip!!!

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!




Circle S Farm Delivery Monday, July 4 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 6

“If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?”

Steven Wright






The beautiful thing about a hot dry summer is a bumper tomato crop.  I have my fingers crossed that I get to these beauties before the crows or the squirrels!!

Still struggling with the heat and flies with our cows.  This poor cow is totally blind.  It happened over night – she came down with pink eye.  We just got lucky to get her in the corral because she was bouncing off fences – it was so pitiful.  We have the fly mask on her now, and we are hoping she will regain some sight soon.  Water and feed nearby, so she can just stay here until her eyes get better.

Farm News:  The carrots and beets are going topless this week.  Curtis got a little greedy with the mower *not that there were any weeds in the row*.  We got a good shower after I wrote the blog last week – probably 2 inches of rain.  Very thankful for that, (possibly contributing to the weeds in the row).

What’s in the bucket:  Topless carrots and beets, kale or savoy cabbage, sweet onions,  summer squash or cucumbers, OKRA, cherry tomatoes, fennel.

What’s at Main Street Farmer’s Market:  red, white and blue potatoes, sweet onions, cherry tomatoes, savoy cabbage.  Circle S Beef: many cuts of beef for sale at market.  Sign up for beef packages or quarters.

Roasted Okra

18 fresh okra pods, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss.

Arrange on a cookie sheet

Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Thanks for buying local food!!