Category Archives: Circle S Farm News

News from Circle S Farm

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, August 13 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 15

“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.

Lemon Vinaigrette

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)

olive oil

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Circle S Farm Delivery Monday, August 6 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 8

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

How to Make It

  1. In a bowl, combine the mayo, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and cheese.
  2. 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

Circle S Farm Delivery Monday, July 30 and Wednesday, August 1, 2018

“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, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit

Wow – we can manage to ruin anything, can’t we?  However, nutritionally dense or not, tomatoes are a crowd pleaser.  Lots more yummy tomatoes this week and OKRA!!!

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. 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.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  3. Rinse off okra pods and pack tightly into a clean spaghetti sauce jar or other jar, along with banana peppers.
  4. 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.
  5. Screw on the top and refrigerate for 48 hours. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES

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!!

 

 

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 23 and MSFM pick up Wednesday July 25, 2018

“….pray what more can a reasonable man desire, in peaceful times, in ordinary noons, than a sufficient number of ears of green sweet-corn boiled, with the addition of salt?”

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.

Preserving More Than Just Food

Tomato and sweet corn salad

INGREDIENTS

    • 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

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste to form a dressing.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, and toss to coat with the dressing.
  3. Taste, and reseason if necessary.

Try this simple and delicious salad.

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

Letty

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 16 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“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, Dandelion Wine

The zinnias are gorgeous right now.  They are a burst of color and make me smile whenever I walk down the row.

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!!

Letty

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 9 and MSFM pick-up July 11, 2018

“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime…Please, treat your garlic with respect…”
Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
This is our barn cat Tootsie.  I pulled the garlic early this year for fear it would rot.  I needed a dry place for it to air and cure, so I put it in our hay barn.  Tootsie took a liking to laying under the garlic.  Seriously – she was always right with it.  I’m not sure if she was warding off vampires or fleas:)
Farm News:  It is a cooler day today.  Much deserved for animals and people.  Temporary relief from the flies, heat and humidity.
I was so excited about my peanut crop.  I planted peanuts for the first time in years.  I weeded and weeded and weeded the rows but could not, for some reason, keep up.  I finally gave up and mowed them down.  Couldn’t even see the peanut plants anymore, they were lost to all the pigweed and grass.  Failures and disappointments…..rats.
What’s in the bucket?  NOT peanuts……  last week for broccoli, first week for okra.  Also, summer squash, cherry tomato, daikon, carrot, garlic, hot peppers, green beans, and hopefully a few blueberries.
What’s at market:  beets, carrots, red, white and blue potatoes, cabbage, savoy cabbage, basil, celery, flowers.  Beet the heat special:  free quart of beets with any $10 purchase.
If you have some potatoes laying around, it may be a good week for garlic mashed potatoes.  Also – if you still have daikon, carrots and cabbage lurking in your fridge – how about a quick batch of kimchi.
Me, myself.  I will be making a quick batch of green bean salad to eat and keep in the fridge for a quick lunch!!
Green Bean salad
  • 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
  • pepper
  • 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!!

Circle S CSA delivery Monday, July 2 and MSFM pick-up TUESDAY, JULY 3, 2018

“Laughter is America’s most important export”   -Walt Disney

Good to remember!!

This week will be short and sweet because of the holiday.  Please don’t forget, the market is on Tuesday this week.

Farm News:  Logan left today.  He promised me we would all take a picture for the blog before he left – but alas, I let him get away:(  We had so much fun – a week is just not long enough!

Flower shares have started!

What’s in the bucket?  Cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage, squash, blue potato, green beans, beets, carrots, basil.

What’s at market? fennel, cucumbers, broccoli, Napa cabbage, red bibb lettuce, green cabbage, celery, carrots, beets, green beans, summer squash, cilantro, parsley, red/white/blue potatoes.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts, steaks.  Fourth of July Special:  buy one package ground beef or steaks, get one quart red white and blue potatoes FREE.

If you are grilling out for the holiday – try adding something green!!  Grilled broccoli is easy and adds something nutritious to the meal!!

Grilled Broccoli

One head of broccoli – cut into large spears

drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and pepper, toss together in a bowl

Grill until tender and lightly charred, 15 minutes or so.  Sprinkle with lemon or red pepper.

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm and Happy 4th of July!!

Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 25 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”   –Thomas Edison

My onion crop was a failure this year.  Utterly.  I did not have one single onion out of the 1000 that I planted that made a mature onion.

You may say – well that’s OK.  However, those who know me know that I am an onion lover.  I care for my onions, and this is the first year of 15 that I have not raised a crop.   Other things fail, but not onions!

I must have inherited my love for onions from my mother – who does not think a salad complete with out a big slice of purple onion.  A beautiful and proper southern lady, she is not afraid of what she would call the “halitosis” and always carries a mint or so in her pocketbook.  My friends laugh at me because while they are avoiding the repercussions of onions – I am eating mine and theirs too.   The truth is alliums have all kinds of health benefits – mainly known for their ability to fight infection.  So I”m going to go with that as my excuse.

Farm News:  My onion crop failed.  The flies are still terrible.  It has been a bit cooler with the rain this week – that is a plus.  But the biggest news…..LOGAN is coming this week.  I will try to get him to the market with me so everyone can have a chance to visit with him.  He will be here a week and I am so excited to see him.

What’s in the bucket:   Cucumbers, broccoli, Napa cabbage, beets, squash, white potato, fennel, cilantro, celery.  Note:  the girls and I had lots of fennel casualties when  we cultivated the fennel this week.  I think they are getting tired of their garden work!

What’s at market:  cucumbers, Napa cabbage, beets, squash, white potato, fennel, cilantro, red bibb lettuce.  Circle S Beef:  Roasts, ground beef, steaks, stew beef.

Napa cabbage salad with a mexican twist

    • 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

PREPARATION

    1. Whisk together vinegar, sugar, ginger, oil, chile, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add remaining ingredients and toss well. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 10 minutes.

I am taking this salad to a family party tomorrow.  Let you know if it’s a crowd pleaser.

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

 

 

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, June 18 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 20, 2018

“Birds are the eyes of heaven, and flies are the spies of hell.”
Suzy Kassem,

Above – beautiful daikon radishes Jennifer and I pulled and I am storing.  Don’t worry – you’ll see them again:)

Farm News:  The flies are terrible this year.  We had a two year respite because of the drought (only thing good about a drought!).  They were late last year and never really got going – but they are here with a vengeance this year.

You will remember this duo.  Curtis and his horse Rock.  I’ve told you before, Rock is the second love of my life.

Yesterday, I was pulling weeds in the garden and noticed the horses running.  The flies have been bothering all of them, ‘spies of hell’.  I bought fly masks for them to keep the face flies out of their eyes, and periodically spray them with essential oils to repel flies.

But yesterday was serious.  I noticed Rock seemed really stressed, borderline psychotic.  He was lathered with sweat.  He had rubbed his fly mask off and was bobbing his head neurotically and kept bumping the other horses.   I went to check on him and he was panicky – covered in flies and breathing hard.  I brought Rock and the other two horses into the corral.   I started with Rock and sprayed them all off with cool water from the hose.  You could feel the relief in his body language – he lowered his head and started yawning.  Then I sprayed him with fly spray and he didn’t move for a period of time – seemed to be finally resting.

It is important to realize Rock lives up to his name.  He is not easily upset.  He does not worry.  He is entirely trustworthy.  It was unnerving to see him so out of control.  We have him in a lot next to the house now where we can hopefully monitor and control the flies.  Can’t let that boy get into such a state of panic again!

What’s in the bucket?  basil, cilantro, fennel, kohlrabi, last of the lettuce, yellow zephyr squash, heirloom zucchini, snow and sugar snap peas, red norland new potatoes, turnips, Daikon and baby kale.

Curtis and I had this delicious salad the other night – so don’t give up on turnips yet!!  Daikon will work as well, or some of each.  This will make 4 small salads or two dinner salads.

Kale and Turnip salad

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small white turnips, peeled, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium sweet-tart apple (such as Pink Lady), cut into matchsticks
  • 4 oz. kale, leaves sliced thin as with slaw
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds, plus more
  • Whisk first four ingredients together.  Arrange veggies on plates.  Add poppy seeds to dressing and lightly dress each salad.

Serve with:  stuffed zucchini or zucchini noodles

Just a warning.  The zucchini are getting out of hand.  You may receive a prize winner.  Don’t despair – they are great for stuffing, frying, making noodles or shredding for zucchini bread.  I threw a handful of shredded zucchini into Curtis’s meatloaf just for fun – he said it was delicious.  Just discard the innermost seedy part.

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

Circle S Farm CSA Delivery Monday, June 11 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 13 2018

“As the sun shines I will make hay
To keep failure at bay
For there remaineth a pay
For my honest toil each day.”
 Ogwo David Emenike

 

 

I am so lucky to have Jennifer helping me this year.  Here she is putting beautiful bunches of radishes together!

 

 

Farm News:  Curtis is cutting hay.  He put up 100 round bales last week with the smallest bit of help from me.  Hay is incredibly dependent on weather.  It is a challenging job when mother nature makes the calls!!  And if one is paid in honest toil, Curtis would certainly be a millionaire.

To be continued….. from last week.

After Henry pushed Opie through the fence and out into the field Curtis and I looked at each other.  We knew we needed to move fast to get their attention.  Luckily, the two bulls split and Henry went one direction and Opie ran down the fence.  I grabbed a bucket and went to get some feed (one reason to feed an animal every once and a while:).  We towed Henry back into the lot with Windy.  Even though the fence was in shambles – he stayed in.  Then we had to track Opie down.

Being new, he doesn’t know where all the gates are etc.  He came back up the fence I guess to challenge Henry again.  We lucked out and got him through the gate and into the corral.

Needless to say, we made a plan B.   After fixing fence, we turned Opie out in the lot next to Henry and Windy.  They went through all their shenanigans again, but had a fence between them.  I was afraid they would tear the fence down to get to each other, but they did not.  After about two weeks of living next door, Opie and Henry had settled.  We decided to try turning them out together again.

It was a rainy day.  The ground was wet.  We waited until Henry was down in the woods and not paying attention – opened the gate and let Opie through.  Then we crossed our fingers and waited.

They did tangle a bit.  Henry pushed Opie around the pasture and he slipped a time or two, but luckily no fences down.  After about 30 minutes they settled and have been quiet ever since….

What’s in the Bucket? Kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips with greens, summer squash, a few snow or snap peas, mustard or kale greens.

Kohlrabi are an excellent treat raw.  Chop them up in your salad and enjoy!!

If you are tired of greens, they freeze wonderfully and are so enjoyable mid-summer when they are out of season, or in the winter with a bowl of pinto beans and cornbread.  Just wash them, chop them and plunge them into boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Then let them cool and freeze them in bags or containers.  You can mix and match – throw them all in there together.

What’s at market?  spinach, arugula, mustard greens, kale, leaf lettuce, bibb lettuce, summer squash, turnips with greens, Daikon radish.

Turnip and greens gratin

  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 bunches turnip, mustard or kale greens, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
  • 4 medium turnips (about 1¾ pounds total), trimmed, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 4 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces day-old white country-style bread, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • Bring garlic, cream, and thyme to a bare simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and let cream simmer 30 minutes. Let cool.

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-low. Add onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a splash or two of water if onions begin to stick to pan, until caramelized and amber colored, 45–60 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Wipe out skillet.

  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in same skillet. Working in batches, add greens, tossing and letting it wilt slightly before adding more; season with salt. Cook until greens are wilted and tender, 5–8 minutes; transfer to bowl with onions.

  • While greens are cooking, cook turnips in a large pot of boiling well-salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. Drain; pat dry. Transfer to bowl with onions.

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk eggs, Fontina cheese, Parmesan, and cooled cream mixture in a large bowl to combine. Add onion mixture and bread; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish and press down on mixture with your hands to form a tight, even layer. Bake gratin, uncovered, until well browned, 40–50 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

  • Do Ahead: Gratin can be assembled 12 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

 

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

Letty