Circle S Farm MSFM pick up Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.”
Washington Irving

I spent the weekend with my precious mother (and equally precious father).  I was so thankful to get to spend some time with them before our season is in full tilt.

Farm News:  Garden is beginning to take hold.  I am thankful we have had more rain this season, thus far.  Our new flock of chickens are beautiful and starting to be productive.  We are hoping the predators will stay away – and doing everything we can to protect them.

This week’s CSA bucket:  red mustard greens, green mustard greens, arugula, spinach, kale, beet greens, radishes and spring onions.

What’s at market:  arugula, spinach, spring onions, radish, kale, turnip greens.  Circle S Beef:  ground beef, steaks, roasts

I LOVE mustard greens raw.  Cooked – not so much, although some people do.  This is  a wonderful salad – although not all the ingredients are local.  You might be able to substitute strawberries for the mango.

 Mustard Greens Salad with Avocado and Mango

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mustard greens, chopped
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted, and sliced
  • 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Directions

Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, lime, and garlic in a small bowl. In a large bowl, add the mustard greens. Pour the dressing over the mustard greens and use clean hands to massage until all the salad ingredients are evenly coated. Toss in the avocado and mango and serve.

Happy eating and thanks for buying local food from our farm:)

Circle S Farm 2017 CSA

“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
L. Frank Baum

This year is full of new beginnings.  We are settled into our new cabin and we are excited about a full season in Cloudland this year!!  The last few years I have felt so scattered, going from one place to the next.

We have a new flock of beautiful heritage breed chickens.  They are just beginning to lay eggs, and it feels good to have a rooster and hens in the house again!  It has been way too quiet around here.

I also have a new team,  Jane and Judy.  You will be hearing plenty about my girls – probably more than you wish:)  They are awesome and beautiful.  I found a home for Madge with a new friend and farrier.  She is living a plush life, tucked into a stall during the heat of the day and turned out with her new friends at night.

I bought my girls at a sale in Missouri in March, and I feel as if I am running a bit late.  All of my garden equipment is horse drawn.  I am planning to start Wednesday, May 17.  You will receive another e-mail from me as an official start date.

I am happy to have you all as part of our Circle S Farm CSA this year.  Thanks so much for your support!

Letty

Circle S Delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 26 2016 (last CSA pick-up for the season)

“In shallow holes moles make fools of dragons”  Proverb quotes

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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!!

Circle S Farm delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 12

“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

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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

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion or 2 leeks (white and light green part only), chopped
  • 2 to 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 rosemary or thyme branches
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, celery root, turnip, rutabaga, sweet or regular potato), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, more for serving
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Crushed Aleppo, Urfa or other chile flakes, optional
  • Grated Parmesan or pecorino, optional

Method

  • 1. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more. Add root vegetables, 8 cups water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
  • 2. Remove and discard rosemary branches and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste.
  • 3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt and crushed chile or grated cheese, if desired.

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

Letty

Circle S Farm CSA delivery and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 5

“It’s so dry the trees are bribing the dogs.”

Charles Martin, Chasing Fireflies: A Novel of Discovery

img_0330We 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

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

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

Chad Sugg

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

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

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

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

Following – a kale caesar salad – delish

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

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

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

Recipe: Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing

Makes 4 side servings

You’ll need:

1 bunch dinosaur or lacinato kale

1/4 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or croutons

1 tbsp. olive oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 head garlic

Olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp. capers

2 anchovy filets

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 400F.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walker Percy (Lancelot)

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

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

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

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

JULIA CHILD’S RATATOUILLE

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

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

3 tablespoons minced parsley

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

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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

INGREDIENTS

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

Directions

DIRECTIONS

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