All posts by Letty

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 24 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high
There’s a land that I heard of, once in a lullaby
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
-Wizard of Oz

rain·bow

/ˈrānˌbō/

noun

  • 1.an arch of colors formed in the sky in certain circumstances, caused by the refraction and dispersion of the sun’s light by rain or other water droplets in the atmosphere.

Oh, I so remember watching the Wizard of Oz for the first time.  To this day, whenever a strong storm comes I cry “Auntie EM, Auntie EM!!”  And I still, when we go on a trip and I’m ready to be back in my own space, I click my heels three times and say “there’s no place like home”.   Whenever we are headed home in the car, Curtis says I’m like a horse going back to the barn….faster than ever and no stops.

And, that’s the truth of it, isn’t it?  There’s no place like home.  This rainbow greeted me last week when I got home.  It was so beautiful, and seemed to have it’s arms around our farm and home.   And it reminded me how lucky I am – but I feel like that every time I pull in the drive.  “There’s no place like HOME!”  Thank you RoyGBiv!!

What’s in the bucket:  potatoes, onions, summer squash, tomatoes, basil, cucumbers, parsley, okra.

What’s at market:  potatoes, onions, tomatoes, okra (hopefully I won’t let you down this time).  Circle S Beef:  Roasts, Ground beef.    We need to move our freezer special:  buy any roast and get 1 pkg ground beef free.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare Piecrust: Process first 4 ingredients in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor running, gradually add 3 Tbsp. ice-cold water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and process until dough forms a ball and leaves sides of bowl, adding up to 1 Tbsp. more water, if necessary. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.

Step 2

Unwrap dough, and place on a lightly floured surface; sprinkle lightly with flour. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.

Step 3

Preheat oven to 425°. Press dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim dough 1 inch larger than diameter of pie plate; fold overhanging dough under itself along rim of pie plate. Chill 30 minutes or until firm.

Step 4

Line piecrust with aluminum foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans. (This will keep the crust from bubbling up.) Place on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Step 5

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake 5 minutes or until browned. Cool completely on baking sheet on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Step 6

Prepare Filling: Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand 10 minutes.

Step 7

Meanwhile, sauté onion and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat 3 minutes or until onion is tender.

Step 8

Pat tomatoes dry with a paper towel. Layer tomatoes, onion, and herbs in prepared crust, seasoning each layer with pepper (1 tsp. total). Stir together cheeses and mayonnaise; spread over pie.

Step 9

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, shielding edges with foil to prevent excessive browning. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 17 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 19

“It’s alright to be little bitty, a little home town or a big old city, might as well share, might as well smile, life goes on for a little bitty while” -Alan Jackson

It’s a “little” counter intuitive to us as human beings.  Bigger is always better.  But, I’ve learned as a vegetable grower that smaller is better, too.  The chef’s always want little.  Baby green beans, baby squash, small turnips, small beets, etc. etc.  Harder to pick, but you get to charge a premium.

HOWEVER, it’s really fun to grow something giant.  A county fair winner – a huge monstrous turnip, a whale of a cabbage…..fun.  This year it was carrots.  With all the rain, they just kept getting bigger.  I had so much fun pulling them out of the ground.

Farm News:  Going to be a hot week.  I really kind of hate this time of year.  I am trying to get my summer garden pulled out and my fall garden planted.  The girls and I are sweating it out, trying to brave the jungle of weeds that have been a product of all the rain (no complaints:))

What’s in the bucket?  Edamame soybeans, okra, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, potatoes, parsley.

What’s at market? Edamame soybeans, potatoes, okra, cucumbers, sweet onions.  Circle S Beef:  filets, roasts, ground beef.

Circle S Gazpacho

  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 whole Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Cucumber, Diced
  • 2  large or 2 small whole Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 whole summer squash, Diced
  • 2 stalks Celery, Diced
  • one seeded jalapeño, chopped ( or don’t seed it if you like super spicy)
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 dash Salt To Taste
  • 1 quart Tomato Juice
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 6 dashes Tabasco
  • 1 t worcestershire
  • 1 dash Black Pepper To Taste

Chop vegetables by hand into small dice, or with a food processor.  Add other ingredients.  Chill and enjoy.  You can serve with crusty bread, as a shrimp cocktail with chilled shrimp, or with chips and a dollop of sour cream.

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!:)

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 10 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 12, 2017

“Farming is a profession of hope.”    -Brian Brett


When I was a kid, there was a horse at the barn named “If It”.  Apparently he was bought off the track and looked pretty rough when he came in.  Someone commented that he was a nice looking horse and his owner said yes, “If it gains 200 # and if it grows some hair back and if it’s feet aren’t sore…..” etc, etc – thus the name stuck “If It”.

I feel like that with the farm.  I walk out and think, it’s going to be a good year……if we have some rain, and if all the cows have calves, and if no deer get into my garden fence, and if the bugs don’t eat all my plants, and if we get our hay crop in etc etc.etc.  So…. farming is a profession of hope and optimism.  Some years things work out better than others, and sometimes we have little control over the outcome!

Farm news:  We have 4 new hens in our flock!  One of my best friends had something killing her hens, and so she offered them to us.  In her words, “otherwise they are going to die”.  Curtis and I have been on the other side of that coin, trying to give hens away when we had problems.  You always want to find a friend who needs them- (we get attached to these critters!)  It’s hard to let them go to a stranger.

We also added three cows to our herd this week, Mabel, Elouise and R.T. (short for Roll Tide).  We bought them from friends as well.  They are beautiful, gentle cows.

What’s  in the bucket?  Kale, savoy cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, celery, carrots, edamame soybeans,  purple potatoes,  basil and a few tomatoes.

What’s at Market:  kale, cucumbers, edamame, red and purple potatoes,  red and green cabbage, carrots,  Chard.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts, steaks.

Asian Slaw with Ginger-Peanut Dressing

Servings: 6 as a side dish
 Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce – optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • large garlic clove, minced

For the Slaw

  • 4 cups thinly sliced savoy or green cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
  • medium scallions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts (or you can leave them whole)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir until the peanut butter is dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss well. Let sit at least ten minutes so vegetables have a chance to soak up the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a bit more salt.) Serve cold.

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

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 3 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 5

Look back at our struggle for freedom,
Trace our present day’s strength to it’s source;
And you’ll find that man’s pathway to glory
Is strewn with the bones of the horse.
~Author Unknown

 

I think I’ve sent this quote out before, but it seems appropriate for this holiday weekend.  For what represents freedom more profoundly than a horse?

I think of how many horses have fought and died with us throughout history.

 

Farm News:  Crows!!  They are making me nutty.  They have eaten most of my tomato crop green – didn’t even wait for them to turn red.  I have tied up aluminum pie pans, put up scare crows, you name it.  I see them fly in, and by the time I rush out there, another tomato casualty!!  Rats!  No, not rats, Crows!!

What’s in the bucket this week?  Crow meat!  Just kidding.  Savoy cabbage, carrots or beets, walla walla onions, cucumber, squash, green beans or edamame, Rainbow chard, blue potatoes.

What’s at market?  red cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, red, white and blue potatoes (in honor of the fourth!), carrots, walla walla onions,  kale.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, steaks, roast.  Chuck wagon special:  buy any Circle S roast, get 1 quart potatoes, 1 bunch carrots, and 4 walla walla onions 1/2 price (save $4).

If you have 5 heads of cabbage in your fridge, it may be time to make some kraut, or try some Kimchi.

Easy Homemade Kimchi

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
Make up a mix of fresh organic vegetables totaling 1.5 kg (3 1/3 pounds) when trimmed, choosing from:
    • 1/2 head napa or white cabbage (mandatory)
    • 3 spring onions (mandatory) – just use your walla walla tops
    • Radishes (daikon, pink, or black) I would not hesitate to use some of those turnips haunting you in your vegetable drawer – just peel them first
    • Cucumbers
    • Carrots
    • Celery stalks
Flavorings and seasoning:
    • 2-3 fresh chili peppers and/or 30 grams (1 ounce) Korean ground chili pepper (gochugaru)
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 25 grams (1 ounce)
    • 20 grams (4 teaspoons) fine sea salt
    • 60 ml (1/4 cup) fish sauce (preferably) or soy sauce (if vegan/vegetarian)
    • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions

    1. Have ready a set of thoroughly clean glass jars with rubber seals amounting to 2 liters (2 quarts) total.
    2. Brush your vegetables to remove any dirt, but don’t scrub them too clean as we need the microorganisms living on their surface to initiate the fermentation.
    3. Trim the vegetables, and weigh them to keep 1.5 kg (3 1/3 pounds) total.
    4. Slice the cabbage into ribbons — I do thin ribbons with a white cabbage, and slightly wider ones with napa cabbage as the leaves are more tender.
    5. If using pink radishes, you can opt to slice all of part of them finely.
    6. Put the rest of the vegetables (radishes, carrots, celery stalks) with the fresh chili peppers if using, garlic, and ginger in a food processor or blender, and pulse until finely chopped.
    7. In a large mixing bowl, put the sliced and chopped vegetables with the salt, fish sauce, and sugar, and mix thoroughly.
    8. Allow to rest at room temperature for 2 to 6 hours; the vegetables will relax and release some of their juices.
    9. Divide among the prepared jars, tamping as you go to remove any air pocket. Leave about 2 to 3 cm (1 inch) of space at the top.
    10. Close the jars and place them on a tray or plate. (Within the first 2 to 3 days, as the fermentation begins, the jars will chirp and sigh, and may leak some juices. Wipe off any liquid without opening.)
    11. Allow to ferment at moderate room temperature without disturbing for at least 5 days, and up to 3 weeks. Once open, keep in the fridge and eat within a year.

Recipe from Chocolate and Zucchini

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 26 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 28 2017

“Our life fritted away by detail.  Simplify.  Simplify.”

-Henry David Thoreau

This is a picture of Circle S Hash – recipe sent out last week.  What a simple way to enjoy roots – grate and stir fry in EVOO – salt and pepper.

I find that I eat my healthiest and tastiest meals outside in the garden.  Snacking while I pick produce for market or CSA.  I mean, who is going to eat all the culls?  The misshapen carrot, the bug eaten kale leaf?  It’s up to me!!(and the cows and chickens – they do not complain either).

Sometimes I feel like I’m too busy to cook.  But I remind myself – the simplest things usually taste the best.

So last week’s recipe was a step up from the garden.  This week as well – but still an easy way to enjoy fresh veggies.

What’s in the bucket?  Kale, carrots, turnips, cabbage, onions, potatoes, summer squash, and cucumbers.

What’s at market:  cabbage, kale, onions, potatoes, carrots, fennel, turnips, beets.  Circle S Beef: steaks, roasts, ground beef.  Circle S Lucky Irish special:  cabbage and potatoes half price!

Simple Slaw:  grate cabbage, carrot, and kale.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.    Serve immediately.

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 19 and MSFM pick-up June 21

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children”.         John James Audubon

Hay season again and I am glad to be mostly finished. Curtis gets saddled with all the responsibility of maintaining the equipment and getting it done.  I just do what he tells me😁most of the time.  But inevitably, something breaks while I am using it.  This year was stressful because of the forecast.  Every day chances of rain.  The new (used) baler broke right off the bat.  We managed to limp along with the old baler and almost had it done until the tractor tire blew.   70 percent chance of rain the next day, so I went to the house to get my girls and thought they could pull the hay rake the last few rounds.  Unfortunately, I got them hitched and Judy had a flat tire too.

It did get rained on, but Curtis was able to finish with one tractor and get most of it up  few days later.

What’s in the bucket?  Beets, carrots, cabbage,  fennel, summer squash, sweet red and white onions,  potatoes, cucumbers, dill

What’s at market?  Turnips, kale, potatoes, carrots, beets, fennel, cabbage, onions.  Circle S Beef: roasts, ground beef, steaks.   Back to your roots special:  turnips, carrots, beets, onions, potatoes:  buy any 4 roots for $10 (save $2)

Circle S root vegetable Hash recipe:

Grate carrot, potato, onion, beet, turnip, fennel or any combination.  Rinse with water  drain.  Form into patties or sauté loose in olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

 

 

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, June 5, and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 7

“If you don’t hear the crows of the roosters in the mornings, you are one cursed city fellow!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Ok one rooster, good, 4 roosters, bad.

It is hard for a common person like me to tell a male chicken (cockerel/rooster)  from a female chicken (pullet/hen) until they are a certain age – around 4-6 months.

When we order baby chicks, they are sexed and we order all pullets (females).   However, when I bought chickens this year I wanted mature chickens, so I went and picked out 16 hens and a rooster – or so I thought.

I have been wondering why I wasn’t getting more eggs -even though the hens are young.  When I really started looking and listening – I realized I had three roosters too many!!

Luckily, the farmer I got them from let me “return” the roosters and replace them with hens – otherwise, the only place for them would have been in a soup pot!!

Farm News:  We have 3 more hens and 3 less roosters!!

What’s in the bucket:  Young turnips and greens (last week for these…..I promise!), collard greens, red asian greens, kohlrabi, lettuce, summer squash and/or green beans, sweet onions.

For some reason I’m into raw greens this year.  Mustard and kale greens are great in salads.  Collard greens are wonderful wraps for sandwiches or pinwheels- just take the ribs out.  Also, following, a marinated collard green recipe.  If you don’t like them raw, throw them into a pan and stir fry them after they marinate!!

Marinated Collard Greens

¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
¼ cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 bunch collard greens, washed
1/8 cup olive oil

In a large bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, scallions, garlic, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Set aside. Take several collard leaves and roll into a cylinder the shape of a fat cigar. Using a knife, cut the through the collard cylinder, making strips. Repeat steps two and three until you have cut all the collard leaves. Place strips in a large bowl. Pour olive oil on collard strips and sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips until all are well coated. Transfer the collard strips to the bowl with the apple cider vinegar marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.

Servings: 4

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day) and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, May 31

“Life is for the living.

Death is for the dead.

Let life be like music.

And death a note unsaid.”

Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems

Curtis’s father passed away last Sunday after a long illness with Alzheimers.  It has been an exhausting journey for all of us, mostly Curtis.  It is a wonderful thing that he is finally at peace.

His funeral was on Friday.  His name was James Curtis Smith and he served in the military, in Germany, during the Cold War.  There were two servicemen who came to the funeral.  One played Taps – I guess that is what the song is called- and it so reminded me of this quote.  It was the most beautiful and mystical thing I’ve ever heard.  Somehow, he let the notes float so it felt like they were taking flight, traveling to some new location.

Farm News:  It has been a hectic time for the last few weeks, so I am hoping the garden has gotten enough care to keep producing.  The rain has been wonderful for the pastures, but makes it hard for fungal diseases in the garden.  Potatoes, tomatoes and squash are particularly susceptible.

What’s in the bucket?  red and green lettuce, spinach, kale, red and green kohlrabi, red and white young onions, young turnips and greens.

Young Turnips and Greens

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 navel orange, plus 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 pounds young turnips and their greens—turnips halved, greens stemmed and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 ounces baby spinach (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Preheat the oven to 400;. In a mini food processor, puree the olives; transfer to a bowl. Using a sharp knife, peel the orange, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over another bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections.
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the turnips with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until almost tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the water and turnip greens, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just tender, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the orange juice over the turnips. Roast for 5 minutes longer, until the turnips are tender and glazed; season with salt.
  • Add the spinach to the greens; toss until wilted. Drizzle the pureed olives onto a platter. Top with the turnips, greens, orange sections and hazelnuts. Serve hot or warm.  

Happy Eating and thanks for buying local from Circle S Farm

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, May 22 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, May 24

“It was true that Blue was just shy of five feet and it was also true that she hadn’t eaten her greens, but she’d done the research and she didn’t think the two were related.”

Maggie Stiefvater, Blue Lily, Lily Blue

This is your week to eat your greens!  You will get a bucket full of them – it’s up to you to eat them!!

Farm News:  The cows are eating their greens – they have plenty of grass thanks to the rain – let’s hope we get more tomorrow.  The girls are doing their job cultivating between the rows, and the plants are almost big enough to shade out the weeds out in the rows – so everything is going according to plan.  If I could just find an easy solution for the bugs, we would be in business!!

This week’s bucket:  arugula, spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, spring onions, radishes.

This week at market:  arugula, spicy mesclun, spinach, mustard greens, kale, spring onions, radishes, Circle S Beef.

I love raw mustard greens.  I have been on a mission to find recipes using them raw.  I tried a sweet and hot salad recipe for last Wednesday, which I thought was wonderful – but may not have the broad appeal of the following recipe.  I mean, who doesn’t love a Caesar salad with a bunch of garlicy croutons?

INGREDIENTS

    • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 cups 3/4-inch cubes crustless country bread
    • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
    • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
    • 1 bunch mustard greens (about 12 ounces), center rib and stem cut from each leaf, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
    • 5 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

PREPARATION

    • Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine anchovies and garlic in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons anchovy oil over, tossing to coat. Sprinkle bread with salt, pepper, and half of cheese; toss to coat.
    • Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Scatter bread on sheet. Bake croutons until crisp and golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
    • Measure 8 cups (loosely packed) mustard greens and place in large bowl (reserve any remaining greens for another use). Add croutons and remaining cheese to bowl. Whisk 5 teaspoons lemon juice into remaining anchovy oil; season dressing with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat.

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

Letty