Circle S Farm CSA 2018 sign up information

“Why do farmers farm, given their economic adversities on top of the many frustrations and difficulties normal to farming? And always the answer is: “Love. They must do it for love.” Farmers farm for the love of farming. They love to watch and nurture the growth of plants. They love to live in the presence of animals. They love to work outdoors. They love the weather, maybe even when it is making them miserable. They love to live where they work and to work where they live.

-Wendell Berry

Well, it is that time of year again.  We are looking forward to our 2018 season, the girls and I.   For the moment, the cold winter is making us miserable and we are ready to trade it in for heat and sweat and the work that makes us feel useful.  Please help our farm make it through another fruitful season and sign up for our 2018 CSA.

Circle S CSA sign up 2018

Main Street Farmers Market Falltoberfest this Wednesday, October 25

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

I have been so lucky to get to be a part of Main Street Farmers Market.  The vendors and customers are a wonderful group of people who care about their community, the environment but most importantly, good food!  Please come out and support our Falltoberfest event this Wednesday.

Activities include music by Ryan Oyer (, facepainting, pumpkin decorating, a festive photo area, the Chattanooga library “book nook”, a fermenting demonstration by Harvest Roots and lots of great food including: popcorn from Riverview Farms milling, a sausage sampler from Hoe Hop Valley Farm, caramel apples and hot cider from Wheelers Orchard, and food from The Green Tambourine and Syrup and Eggs. The event will take place at Main Street Market, on the corner of Main Street and Chestnut Street.  Chattanooga Brewing will give a free beer ticket to the first 50 people who make a purchase at the market.

Thanks for buying local!

Circle S Delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 11

“To country people Cows are mild,
And flee from any stick they throw;
But I’m a timid town bred child,
And all the cattle seem to know.”
T.S. Eliot

We are calving now.  We had 5 new calves this morning – and every morning and evening is dedicated to checking and documenting our new mothers and calves.

We had a rough start this year.  Two sets of twins right off the bat – all 4 were born dead or barely breathing.  We lost them all, and are still listening to the mourning mothers call for them.

Our first two breathing calves somehow ended up on the outside of our perimeter fence – and we (Curtis really – and his strength) had to shove them back through the fence to their panicked mothers.

We have one cow that has it out for me.  We named her Goggles because she has two black eyes.  Of course, she had to be one of the first cows to have a calf.  Now, anytime she sees me she has a bull’s eye (or shall we say a cow’s eye) on my mortality.  She snorts and paws the ground if I come within eyesight of her calf.  If she happens to not know where her calf is, then she runs at me like I did something with it, or hid it from her.  It keeps my adrenaline going, and inspires me to get in shape so I can out run her!

Farm News:  I will be at market through the end of October, and have extended my CSA shares through October 25.

What’s in the bucket:  Radicchio, Fennel, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, Arugula, Beets, Parsley, Collard Greens, Apples.

What’s at market? Radicchio, Fennel, Broccoli, Green Cabbage, Turnip Roots, Beets, Radishes, Collard Greens, Kale, Arugula, Spinach, Parsley, Basil, Cilantro.  Circle S Beef:  Sold Out for 2017.

Radicchio is sometimes not a crowd pleaser.  If you don’t love a bitter taste – you may prefer to eat it in small doses, or to roast it or grill it which sweetens it a bit.

Wikipedia says Pliny the Elder claimed ‘radicchio’ was useful as a blood purifier and an aid for insomniacs in Naturalis Historia. In fact, ‘radicchio’ contains intybin, a sedative/analgesic, as well as a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin which is used for making dye-sensitized solar cells.”

Radicchio, Fig and Apple Slaw

  • For the walnut dressing
  • 2 3/4 ounces walnuts (75 grams), toasted
  • 2 tablespoons clear honey (42 grams)
  • 3 1/2 fluid ounces light olive oil (100 ml)
  • 1 tablespoons (6 ounces or 170 grams) red wine vinegar (15 ml)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the radicchio salad
  • 2 red apples (Gala, Fuji, or your favorite, 355 grams)
  • Good splash of apple juice (1/4 cup)
  • 1 large head of radicchio (325 grams) , cut into rough strips
  • 8 small figs (300 grams), cut or torn into quarters
  • 3 1/2 ounces creamy cow or goat cheese (150 grams), crumbled or sliced
  • 3/4 cup green cabbage finely shredded with a knife


  • Make the walnut dressing
  • 1. Put the toasted walnuts, honey and half the oil into a food processor and blitz on a high speed until the mixture is fairly smooth. Careful not to overmix as it may become too thick to dress. Add the remaining oil and the vinegar and blitz again. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make the radicchio salad
  • 2. Core the apples, then slice them finely. Put them into a large bowl and cover with the apple juice, which helps to prevent oxidation.
  • 3. Just before serving, toss the apples, radicchio and figs together with some of the walnut dressing in the bowl. Transfer the mixture to a shallow serving plate and finish with the cheese and cabbage. Drizzle over the remaining dressing to serve.

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

Circle S delivery Monday, September 25 and Wednesday, September 27

“How did it get so late so soon?”
Dr. Seuss

Hard to believe the season is almost over!  This is our last full week, we started on a Wednesday this year.  We will end Monday, October 2nd.

Farm News:  However – I will have more things coming in until the end of October.  If you would like to extend your CSA for three more weeks, I will be delivering and at Main Street on Wednesdays – and you can receive 3 more CSA shares on October 11, October 18 and October 25.  More greens, broccoli, cabbage, beets etc.

The cost is $100 for a 3 week extension of veggies.  If you decide your in – just leave $100 in your bucket or bring to the market.  If your tired of greens, and cooking, and washing produce….not to worry.  I will bring your last share in a paper bag and you can hang it up for the year!!

What’s in the bucket:  It’s a special bucket this week because my mother in law made pear honey!  Delicious stuff she makes out of the pears on her tree – but beware, it is not sugar-free:)  Perfect on a biscuit with butter, or on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…..divine!

So….pear honey, sweet potatoes (white and orange), arugula, kale, summer squash, peppers, carrots, radishes, Napa cabbage, cilantro.

What’s at market:  Napa cabbage, lettuce, mustard greens, turnip roots, summer squash, carrots, beets, spinach, arugula, mesclun, cilantro, parsley.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef.

I really enjoy Napa cabbage raw.  Following is a nice recipe for a salad.  You could also put it in a rice paper wrapper and dip it in peanut sauce (I just mix peanut butter with a little milk to thin it and a little cayenne pepper).  Or dip it in the dressing below.



3 cups torn Napa (Chinese) cabbage
1 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut yellow squash
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut purple bell pepper
1/2 cup (1/8-inch) julienne-cut green or other bell pepper
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup grated radishes
1 minced seeded jalapeno pepper

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
1 Tablespoon water
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar or raw honey
1/2 teaspoon chile- garlic paste

Report this ad


To prepare the salad, combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl.
To prepare the dressing, combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until sugar dissolves.
Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well. Serve immediately.

Happy eating – thank you all so much for participating in the CSA this year.  It keeps us going – you don’t know how much it means to our farm.


Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, September 18 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Find something you really love doing and mix it with something you really care about.     Kathleen Hanna

What I love is working with horses.  What I care about is growing healthy food, building soil, sequestering carbon, saving road miles and hopefully reducing our footprint on this precious planet.

CSA is winding down.  We end our season October 2, and I breathe a sigh of relief.  No deer (or cows, or crows) ate the whole garden this year.   It is never what I dream it will be, but it is always enough.

This is my 12th year of CSA .  It has been a wonderful experience, and though my body continues to remind me of the twelve years (plus the years of horse shoeing and various other things) I am excited about what’s next!

For those of you who have made the move to Menlo with us, and tolerated the learning curve of horse power, I promise you, there are good things ahead.  I will have room next year to put beds of strawberries, flowers and other things out.  I have learned certain things don’t work when you are cultivating with horses – anything that vines – melons, winter squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers.  So all of these things I will put in beds outside the garden and care for them separately.  This will give me more room in the garden to put things I can cultivate with the girls – like sweet corn.

So…..lots of good things ahead – and loads of gratitude for those of you who have stuck with us through the last few years – and our move South.

What’s in the bucket:  Brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce, spinach, summer squash, turnips with greens, beets, cilantro.

What’s at market:  romaine lettuce, bibb lettuce, red leaf lettuce, kale, mustard, collards, turnips with greens, spinach (really – it has recovered from the hurricane), okra.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef.

Romaine and Brussels salad

1 lb of Brussels (or whatever you have)
1-2 heads romaine lettuce
1 block fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup real butter
pinch of kosher salt or sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp raw honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. For vinaigrette, place all ingredients in jar with tight fitting lid or blender. Shake or blend until emulsified.
2. Finely chop brussel sprouts (can use a mandolin or knife).
3. Chop romaine leaves
4. Place brussel sprouts and romaine in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and dry. Put in mixing bowl.
5. Melt butter and add breadcrumbs. Lightly toast crumbs.
6. Add cranberries, 1/2 the breadcrumb mixture and salt/pepper to lettuce/brussel sprouts in bowl. Toss with dressing.
7. Top each serving with parmesan cheese and remaining breadcrumbs.

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


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

“No one ever remembered a nice day. But no one ever forget the feel of paralyzed fish, the thud of walnut-sized hail against a horse’s flank, or the way a superheated wind could turn your eyes to burlap.”
Erik Larson

Today, I am feeling the coming storm.  Worrying about the people who are in the line of destruction…misplaced, or sitting in their homes while mother nature wreaks havoc.  Worrying about what will happen here.   Hopeful that our animals will find shelter, that our chicken house won’t blow over like in the tornado.

But – I will be delivering tomorrow.  It may arrive early if it looks like the weather is going to be terrible.    I have picked  a few things today to be ahead of the game.

I’m giving you a last taste of summer this week with okra, peppers and summer squash.  After that – it will most surely be fall!

What’s in the bucket:  red and green lettuce, mustard greens, kale, summer squash, okra, peppers, apples.

What’s at market:  red and green lettuce, kale, turnips with greens, collard, apples, beets.

I have been putting the lettuce and greens in bags to prevent wilting from wind or sun.  I dunk them in water to get most of the dirt off first, then drain, but the lettuce is usually still holding water when it goes in the bag. If you want lettuce and greens to keep longer, but don’t have time to wash and spin everything, just take it out of the bag, lightly dry it with a paper towel or dish towel, turn the bag inside out (dry side) and put the lettuce back in.

There are only so many things you can do with okra.  I’m not a slimy okra and tomatoes person, so I am limited to other, non-slimy okra dishes.  Honestly, my favorite way to eat okra is raw.  That won’t work with okra that has been sitting around for a long time, but if it is fresh and green – yum.

My second favorite way is roasted (or grilled – but who wants to fire the grill up just for okra?)

Roasted Okra (throw some squash and peppers in too if you feel like it):

  1. Cut okra in half lengthwise leaving the cap on (yes it is edible:))
  2. toss with olive oil to coat, salt, pepper and any other seasoning that you think will taste wonderful.  Sometimes I mince a little garlic to stir in, and sprinkle it with Worcestershire.
  3. Spead out on a cookie sheet and roast at 375 until the top starts to brown, then flip and roast until golden brown.  Do not overcrowd cookie sheet or it will be hard to flip.

Happy Eating, Happy Hurricane, stay safe and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm





Circle S Farm delivery Monday, September 4 (Labor day) and MSFM market pick-up Wednesday, September 6

Sweat cleanses from the inside.  It comes from places a shower will never reach.  ~George Sheehan

A hand that’s dirty with honest labor is fit to shake with any neighbor. ~Proverb

Two quotes for this labor day!  I will be laboring to bring you your veggies and eggs, and celebrating the joy that hard work brings.  I am lucky to be able to labor at something I love, and it is all of you who make that possible, so from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.

Back to the quotes:  there are days when I feel like the Charlie Brown character pig pen.  My daily chores include garden work, caring for and/or working horses, feeding chickens, moving cows.  Usually by the time I get to mid-day I feel like I have dirt and debris in a cloud around me.   No reason to clean up because my afternoon will be much like morning – so I usually take a shower or bath last thing, right before I go to bed.

I’ll never forget, several years ago, Curtis and Logan and I went out to eat after the market.  Logan and I both looked down at my feet at the same time and laughed – I was wearing my tevas, and my feet were covered in mud and dirt.   No fancy painted toenails for this girl.

Farm News:  The picture is of our cabin interior which is mostly finished.  I’m not much of a housekeeper – but one of our friends and shareholders mentioned a few weeks ago that I haven’t posted any pics.  We love it – and will have been in it for a year in September.  Hard to believe.

We had our first calf today.  The rest of our cows will start calving in October, always an exciting and busy time:)

What’s in the bucket:  head lettuce, white icicle radishes, young turnips with greens, baby beets, kale or collard greens, parsley.

What’s at market:? head lettuce, white icicle radishes, young turnips with greens, baby beets, collard greens, mustard greens, kale, okra, parsley.  Circle S 4 for 10 special:  any 4 $3 items for $10 (you save $2)  Circle S Beef:  steaks, (including filet) roasts, ground beef.

Provencal Greens Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, sliced, rinsed of dirt and drained on paper towels
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  •  Kosher salt
  • 6 cups chopped greens (leaves only), such as kale, collard, mustard or turnip or any mixture.
  •  Black pepper, to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 thick slices country bread, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic
  •  Grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat, and add the leeks. Cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the greens, and stir until they begin to wilt. Add 1 1/2 quarts water (6 cups) and salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the greens are very tender and the broth sweet. Add pepper, and taste and adjust seasoning.
  2. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Making sure that the soup is not boiling, whisk a ladle of it into the beaten eggs. Take the soup off the heat, and stir in the tempered eggs. Brush the garlic croutons with olive oil, and place one or two in each bowl. Ladle in the soup, sprinkle on some Parmesan if desired and serve.

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


Circle S Farm delivery Monday, August 28 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 30

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
– Winston Churchill

YOUR HORSES OR MINE?                                                                                          photo by Julie Clark



1.a unit of power equal to 550 foot-pounds per second (745.7 watts).

I’m not sure who came up with horsepower as a unit of measurement.  I’m not sure what size horse it is based on, or if it is just a term to define power.

What I know is that horses have been around for a long time.

My mother tells me I was born loving horses.  I wonder if there is something ancient in my memory that connects me to these amazing creatures.   We are all descendants of horse power.  They built our bridges, went into battle, plowed our fields.   We are all indebted to them throughout history.

So, enough with the pontificating.  Curtis mowed one of our hay fields this week.  The girls and I got to rake, which was just a big bunch of fun!!  And good for us all to get out of the garden:)

What’s in the bucket? Field peas or October beans, sunchokes, pie pumpkins or butternut squash, peppers, parsley, okra, spinach or baby kale.

What’s at market:  sunchokes, okra, field peas, parsley, turnip greens, mustard greens, heirloom apples.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, steaks, roasts.

If you are super tired of okra, it freezes great.  Just chop it how you want it, and put it in freezer bags.  It makes a wonderful addition to winter soups, and is always great baked or fried.

I grew up on a version of artichoke pickle.  I always thought it was the other artichoke- until I started farming and growing the tubers.  These pickles are great alongside greens, with a piece of fish or chicken.

Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles



  • 1/2 cup coarse kosher salt
  • 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)*
  • 2 tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion


Bring 2 cups water and 1/2 cup coarse salt to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring until salt dissolves. Remove from heat and add 2 cups water. Cool brine.

Working with 1 Jerusalem artichoke at a time, peel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in brine. Cover; chill overnight.

Whisk mustard, flour, and 1 tablespoon water in small bowl to paste. Bring vinegar and next 5 ingredients to boil in large saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Whisk in mustard paste. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 2 minutes. Add drained Jerusalem artichokes, bell pepper, and onion to pan; cook until artichokes are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Cool.

*Tubers of a variety of sunflower; available in the produce section of some supermarkets and at farmers’ markets.

Warning:  Sunchokes are great for your gut flora – but can cause some belly ache in certain individuals.  Proceed with caution.

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


Circle S Farm delivery Monday, August 21 (Eclipse!) and MSFM pick-up August 23, 2017

“In the deep sky where there had been a sun, we saw a ring of white silver; a smoking ring, and all the smokes were silver, too; gauzy, fuming, curling, unbelievable. And who had ever seen the sky this color! Not in the earliest morning or at twilight, never before had we seen or dreamed this strange immortal blue in which a few large stars now sparkled as though for the first time in creation.”
 Elizabeth Enright

I hope everyone is excited about the eclipse.  I will be delivering while it is happening, spooky!

I wonder if the animals will be confused.  They have such an innate sense of time, I am sure they will know it isn’t supposed to be dark.  I wonder if the chickens will go in to roost.  I am sure they will.

Farm News:  We weaned some calves this week.  Mostly heifers we will keep.  It is always stressful for Moms and calves – we try to do it in a gentle way.   We separate them with a hot wire, so they can see each other completely and be close. The cows move daily, but have a common area they come back to for water and salt/minerals.  The weaning pen is next to the common area, so the cows can come back to check on their youngsters.

What’s in the bucket:  Apples, okra, radishes, mature arugula, turnip greens.

What’s at market:  Apples, okra, radishes, mature arugula, turnip greens.  Circle S Beef:  steaks, roasts, ground beef.

Arugula grows faster then you can cut it sometimes, and gets spicier with each cutting.  This week you will receive it in bunches.  It is great to wilt and cook, or to make pesto.  You can freeze your pesto in ice cube trays, just like basil pesto, and use later.  FYI you can also make pesto out of radish leaves, turnip greens etc.  It is fun to try different flavors.  This recipe is from Simply Recipes.


  • 4 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste
  • ½ to 1 full lemon, squeezed


  1. Over medium high heat, lightly brown the unpeeled garlic cloves, about ten minutes. Peel off the skins once they have cooled down.
  2. Over medium high heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant, about three to five minutes.
  3. In a food processor, combine the arugula, salt, walnuts and all the garlic.
  4. Pulse while drizzling in the olive oil.
  5. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper and a big squeeze of lemon, to taste.

Try on a flatbread with sliced apples and blue cheese, or on crostini with figs and blue cheese, or on pasta with summer vegetables.

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



Circle S Farm delivery Monday, August 7 and Wednesday, August 9

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
― Mark Twain

Well, we finally got our hay shed add on completed.  It was the first of a long list of projects that we had lined up for this summer.  Curtis ended up being stuck with me for help, which is almost as bad as having no help!  I wasn’t strong enough or tall enough to lift the metal off the trailer and hoist it up, so he had to do it.  He would come down the tall ladder, hoist it up, crawl back up the ladder while I held onto the metal, and then pull it up and put it in place.  It was so hot and he worked so hard!  It is finally finished.  We will move onto the next thing.  Good thing he has a week worth of rain to recover and let his body rest!

Farm News:  Hay shed is complete!!

I have finally planted most of the fall crops.  On the list:  arugula, radishes, green beans, summer squash, pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, mustard greens, collard, radicchio, fennel, spinach, sunflowers, potatoes, lettuce.  Whew, I’m ready for a week of rain too:)

It is National Farmers Market Week.  Boy, they have something for everyone don’t they!  Main Street Farmer’s Market is having some special activities, including a pizza dough throwing demo, so bring your friends!  Wednesday 4-6 on the corner of Main and Chestnut street.

What’s in the bucket?  baby butternut squash, field peas, apples, okra, bunch o basil.  The field peas are wet because of the rain.  Shell them or dry them so they won’t get soggy or mold.  Sorry for the inconvenience – mother nature!!

The apples are maturing and becoming less tart. They are also getting bigger, so they are good for eating or cooking.  They will store for months in the fridge, so stockpile them if you have room!  The black stuff on the outside will wash off if you scrub them, it is just evidence that they have not been sprayed with any chemicals!

What’s at market? field peas, apples, basil.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts, steaks.

Poor Man’s Pesto

2 c. fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 c. walnut pieces or peanuts
2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 c. shredded Pecorino Romano or Parmesean cheese (pecorino is less expensive, but saltier)
Salt to taste

To freeze (or eat!) as is: Pulse the basil, garlic, and walnut pieces in a food processor. Add the olive oil in a steady stream. Remove from the food processor and stir in the cheese. Salt to taste. To freeze, put in ice cube trays and freeze, then pop the cubes out and put them in a mason jar or freezer bag so you can use them one at a time.

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