Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”
“In shallow holes moles make fools of dragons” Proverb quotes
In this case, the moles are making a fool of me. This is what my sweet potatoes looked like. I should have known. Lots of mole hills – but Otis (the mole hunting dog) was on siesta most of the summer because of the heat. And I kept hoping – since they hadn’t eaten beets or carrots or turnips or any of the other roots, that the sweet potatoes would be OK.
Farm News: No blog last week because of the full moon. Well, not really the full moon – but the craziness it brought to our calving schedule. Starting on Sunday – when we found one lone calf sitting in a field a mile away from any of our cows. Curtis still thinks someone put him over the fence. It left us both scratching our heads.
So, we found a cow to suit him – the likelies suspect. A young heifer who looked like she should have had a calf. We got her in and got the calf rounded up. She took him, let him nurse, we thought we had it made…..until she actually had a calf a few days later. SOoooo, what to do with the first calf?
We had another heifer calve the next day. She had a premature calf – poor little thing could hardly get up. Curtis helped her get up after she lay there half the day with no luck- and she managed to nurse her Mom. We got them in the corral for safe keeping – but the mother was so freaked out she kept stepping on her little calf. We were afraid she would kill her. Meanwhile – she decided she liked the orphan calf better and started swooning for him.
So we took the tiny calf and started her on a bottle. Two days later, the cow decided she didn’t really like the orphan calf either – so we booted her back out and now we are raising two calves on bottles. It’s as easy to make a bottle for two as it is for one. I have one more idea for a nurse cow…..I’ll let you know how it turns out.
What’s in the bucket: This is the last week for CSA so please remember to bring your buckets. I will put your last share in a paper bag. Brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potatoes (what I salvaged from the moles), bibb lettuce, kale, collards, herbs (basil and/or dill), Long Island Cheese pumpkin (heirloom).
What’s at market: Kale, collards, beets, radishes, bibb lettuce, Brussels Sprouts, Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, turnips, rutabaga. Circle S Beef: roasts, steaks, ground beef.
Following – what to do with your Long Island Cheese pumpkin after you scoop the filling out and carve it!!
Pumpkin Pie- a classic!
1. Prepare moschata squash (butternut types, neck pumpkin or cheese) either by oven roasting in a covered heavy pan with enough liquid to allow the squash to cook until soft without browning, or by allowing cubed squash to cook in a pot of water on top of the stove until tender (check with a fork). Allow the cooked squash to completely drain and cool and puree in a food processor.
2. Add pumpkin pie spices. For every 2 cup of pureed squash add 11/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cloves and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
3. Since you’re essentially making a custard, add your custard ingredients: 2 eggs, 1 can of evaporated milk (or 1 c. of whole milk or light cream) and 3/4 cup sugar for every 2 cups of pureed squash. Everything should be nice and blended to pour into a deep unbaked pie crust.
4. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your oven and the depth of your pie. Check for firmness toward the end of the baking time (you want a firm custard), but don’t let the pumpkin filling overcook or scorch.
Happy Eating and Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!
“But clouds bellied out in the sultry heat, the sky cracked open with a crimson gash, spewed flame-and the ancient forest began to smoke. By morning there was a mass of booming, fiery tongues, a hissing, crashing, howling all around, half the sky black with smoke, and the bloodied sun just barely visible.” Yevgeny Zamgatin
We had fires burning on both sides of our farm this week. This one looked like a nuclear bomb when it started, so frightening!
What’s in the Bucket? Get back to your roots this week!! carrots, beets, turnip roots, fennel root, rutabagas and heirloom sweet potato. Also, a little kale and/or collards to round out the bucket.
What’s at market: turnip root, kale, collard, rutabaga, broccoli florets. Circle S Beef: ground beef, steaks, roasts. Turnip truck special: buy one quart turnip root get one free!!
If you are not a fan of turnips and rutabagas, try the following soup. You can use the fennel in place of the celery. Taste it before you puree it – I actually prefer it with the chunky veggies in it, so I don’t puree the soup.
Any root vegetable soup
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!
“It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”
We have missed the last two rains that have gone through our region – and so everything is looking so dusty and desolate. It is the strangest thing to look at the garden, standing in the middle of a desert. It is all green and lush, probably why the bugs are drawn to it. It is it’s own little ecosystem, a terrarium. My drip tape feeds it water. I wonder if the trees are jealous.
Farm News: No news is good news! At least where farming is concerned. We did figure out which cow aborted her calf. It was a heifer – her first calf – so I don’t think she new what happened.
What’s in the bucket? OCTOBER beans – in honor of October. You must shell these babies. They won’t take long to cook because they are fresh shell beans. Once they dry – it takes longer. Islander peppers, fennel, carrots, kale, a handful of cherry tomatoes, small bibb lettuce, baby turnips, small savoy cabbage.
What’s at market: collards, turnip greens, kale, carrots, October beans, small savoy cabbage, basil. KALE YEAH special: buy one get one free kale. Circle S Beef: ground beef, steaks, roasts.
I send out this recipe every year when I have kale and fennel in the same bucket. It is wonderful. If you haven’t tried it yet, here is your chance. The islander pepper will work fine – savoy cabbage for the red cabbage and I love to add grated carrot. The baby turnips will work fine too – slice them thinly and throw them in.
Emerald City Salad
This colorful salad is inspired by the beautiful deli salad at Puget Consumer’s Co-op, Seattle’s beloved chain of natural foods grocery stores. It is so popular that I have filled many classes with the mere mention that I would be demonstrating how to make this salad.
2 ¼ cups water or stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup wild rice (black; ½” long)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fennel bulb, core removed
½ of a red or yellow pepper, diced
½ cup chopped red cabbage
½ cup chopped Italian parsley
2 cups very finely chopped dark leafy greens (6-7 leaves of chard, kale, or collards)
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino or gorgonzola cheese (optional)
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm
“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.”
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
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
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!
“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.”
This 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!
JULIA CHILD’S RATATOUILLE
1 pound eggplant
2 green peppers (about 1 cup)
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
“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.”
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
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.
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.
There is no I in TEAM _ unknown
Simple Definition of team
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 Epicurious.com
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.
NutritionData.com shows that sweet potato greens are extremely high in vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A. Abstracts available on PubMed.com 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:
– Heart and Hearth’s Sweet Potato Greens (Camote Tops) Salad (The Philippines)
Happy eating and thanks for buying local produce from Circle S Farm