Circle S CSA Last Dog Days delivery Monday, September 25 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 27

“Well a good dog on the ground’s worth three in the saddle,
No matter where you’re from
Been many good dog was a friend to a man
But Sam was the greatest one” -Sturgill Simpson

I was raised in the city.  When I was a little girl,  most days you would find me sitting on the back steps with our dogs.  There would have been lots of tail wagging and nodding as they listened to my problems.  Folks claimed someone switched babies in the hospital,  and there was some poor little city girl stuck way out in the country in Mecklenburg County.  But I know I got my love of plants and animals from my mother.  I did not, however, inherit her grace, elegance and charm when dealing with people.

I have always been a bit of an introvert.  That’s why farming has been a wonderful lifestyle for me.  I think we sometimes idealize farms as these utopian places where “troubles melt like lemon drops”.  That is not true.  However you will still sometimes find me on the back steps with my dogs.  They are my companions, my therapists, my friends.  When I look out my window, I see cows, horses, chickens.  At my feet, there is always a heartbeat.    This is what makes me feel like I am not alone.

And so this, the last week of the Dog Days CSA, I thank you for supporting our farm.  And I thank them for the pocket fulls of happiness they give me everyday.

Farm News:  This is the last week of the Dog Days CSA.  I will be delivering in paper bags so be sure to leave your bucket for me.

The next CSA FAll BLAST begins October 16 and ends November 6.  I will be contacting those of you who signed up next week.   Also, beef quarters and packages will be going out October and Early December.  I will let you know when to expect your beef!

What’s in the bucket?  This last week will be a treat.  You will get either a Long Island Cheese pumpkin or a Blue Hubbard squash.  Both huge winter squashes.  The folks who have been buying them at market tell me they prepare them, and freeze them for use all winter.  Alternately, you can use them as a Halloween pumpkin or table decoration:)…or both, they should keep for a while.

Also, peppers (yes, again!  lucky duck!)  And kale, and sweet potatoes, and maybe a few green beans.  They are trying to come in, despite the deer trimming.

I love hearing recipes at the market.  I asked a market customer a few weeks back what she was doing with the Blue Hubbard squash she bought.  She told me….”my Mom makes the best pumpkin pies with these, I’m going to try”.  I asked her recipe.  She said she would find out for me and let me know.

The next week she came back and said….the recipe on the back of the Libby’s pumpkin can is what she uses.  She just substitutes the roasted blue hubbard.  So – following is the Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe.  I think it will work for Long Island Cheese or Blue hubbard.  Just prepare a pumpkin puree out of the roasted squash or pumpkin (sweet potatoes will probably work too) and follow the recipe.

The last wine pairing, from Scenic City Wines, is a port.  Matt tells me it is from one of the oldest wineries in Portugal.

C. N. Kopke Fine Tawny Port

Libby’s Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 t salt

1 3/4 t pumpkin spice

2 large eggs

15 ounces pumpkin puree

1 can evaporated milk

1 unbaked pie shell

whipped cream (optional)

Mix sugar, salt and spice in a small bowl.  Beat eggs in a large bowl, add pumpkin and sugar spice mixture.  Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into a pie shell and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven 15 minutes.  Decrease heat to 350 degrees and bake 40-50 minutes until a knife comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack 2 hours.  Serve immediately topped with whipped cream, or refrigerate.

Happy Eating, Happy Pumpkin Pie, and Happy Dog Days End.  Thanks for supporting and buying local produce from Circle S Farm.



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

“If ever in doubt, throw a pepper in the air. If it fails to come down, you have gone mad, so don’t trust in anything.”    -Gregory Maguire

Never have I grown so many peppers.  Jennifer helped me trellis them this year, perhaps that is why.  We usually let the plants get heavy and fall to the ground.

Dog days is nearly over, and the weather feels like fall is coming.  Two more weeks of Dog Days CSA.  We have had enough of these hot, hazy dog days, the dogs and I.


Farm News:  The Dog Days CSA ends September 26.  If you are a half share, your delivery tomorrow will come in a paper bag instead of a bucket.

I am planning to start Fall blast October 16, so there will be a two week break.  I will be in touch if you signed up for Fall Blast CSA.

What’s in the bucket?  Peppers!  Again?….you say.   Perhaps you wish you were mad so you could throw them into the air and they would not come down!

Sweet potatoes, beets or baby turnips, Red Russian kale, Poblano peppers, sweet peppers, cilantro.

Pickle them!  You can cut up sweet and hot, mash them into the same jar.  They will all be hot then, mind you.  Boil white vinegar, add sugar, salt and a little water to taste.  Pour over your peppers.  Now they are quick pickled and will last in your fridge for a month or more.  Curtis and I can go through a jar every week.  We eat them on beans, sandwiches, quesadillas, grits, rice, crackers, burgers, potatoes….need I keep going?

Following, a recipe from Chili pepper  You may need more ideas from this site if you throw your peppers up and they all come down!  Or more wine….right?

The pairing for this recipe from Scenic City Wine.  This is a good one – really compliments the mildly spicy flavor of this dish.

Biokult Naken Österreich

Stuffed Poblanos


  • 4 poblano peppers
  • A bit of olive oil or a spray oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon spicy chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Get a grill going good and hot, to about medium-high heat.
  • Lightly oil the poblano peppers and set them on the grill. Close the lid. Flip the poblanos a few times throughout as you grill, about 10 minutes or so, until the poblano skins are nicely charred. Remove from heat and cool. Set them into a sealable baggie and allow them to steam. Cool, then remove and peel off the skins. (Alternatively, you can either oven roast or flame roast the poblano peppers. See the post discussion.)
  • Slit the poblanos up the side and open. Scoop out the insides.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Stuff the cheese into the poblano peppers and set them back onto the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and cook about 10 minutes to allow the cheeses to melt. Alternatively, you can bake the cream cheese stuffed poblano peppers for 10 minutes or so in an oven at 375 degrees.
  • Remove and set onto serving plates. Squeeze lime juice over them and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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

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

“The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep”  -Chanakya

With the cooler temperatures, I decided it was time to put my big girls back to work.  That, and I have broken every other piece of equipment we use in the garden this summer including the tiller that goes on the tractor.  We have had that for over 20 years.

It takes time to talk the girls into work.  Every morning I wake up and look out the window at them standing like this.  Fighting flies.  Waiting for breakfast.

I have to feed them in the corral to catch them, then brush them and love on them for a few days.  Also, I had to pull my cultivator out of the weeds and get it ready for work.  So, Saturday, I felt like we were ready.

I fed the big girls.  I moved all the drip tape and other obstacles from the garden.  Then, I went to attach my row weeding implement to the cultivator.  Drug it out of the weeds and hmmm….where are all those black insects coming from?  Rats, no bees!….a nest in the pipe of the implement I am dragging.  To the house for the can of wasp spray.

I killed that nest,  and then…off to harness the horses.  We don’t have a horse barn (perhaps that is apparent by now), so my harness lives on a saw horse in a shed beside our hay barn.

Harness is heavy.  The hames that go across the neck are metal, and the chains that pull the cultivator are heavy duty chains.  In order to carry a harness, I put the britching and chains on my shoulder, then add the belly strap, then pick up the hames, one in each hand and drag it to the horses.

In this case, the weeds had grown up around the shed so I would be dragging through high weeds and a gate, then through the corral.

When I picked up the first harness I saw a yellow jacket on it.  After inspecting the harness I did not see a nest attached, so through the weeds I go.

When I went to get the second harness, I had to pick up some of the chains, and straps to get them pulled off the sawhorse.  I guess I bumped the red wagon they were sitting behind.   I had already put the harness over my shoulder and was reaching for the hames, and here they came, the yellow and black assassins.    I was determined not to be run out by those bees, but after the first sting I decided to drop the harness and run for cover.  Tip and Diamond too.  I looked but still could not see the nest.   Stubborn to continue with my endeavor, I went around to the other side.  After tripping and wading through all the stacked lumber and other stuff farmers tend to accumulate, I reached the wagon.  It looked like the nest was under a tarp stashed towards the back of the wagon.  I decided it was a two person job to kill those bees.  When Curtis got home I said….I think one of us needs to lift the tarp and the other needs to spray it.  He looked at me and said “I think I would like to be the one holding the spray can”.

Needless to say, maybe that is a job for next weekend.  Perhaps we drag the wagon out so we have a clear path to runaway.

So the big girls went back out in the field to wait for fall, and frost  and….no more bees!  And I am stuck with hand tools that I have not broken….yet!

Farm News:  some interesting facts about yellow jackets

*Yellow jackets live in some pretty strange places. If you go into an outbuilding or shed, you might find yourself face to face with a lot of angry yellow jackets. This is because they get into these places and build their nests in old furniture, stacked materials, and other unexpected things.
*Yellow jackets sting multiple times. Unlike many bees, these wasps don’t have a barb on their stinger. That means that, not only will they live long after they’ve stung you, they can sting you several times. So, it is no fun running into even a small nest of yellow jackets.

(got that right)

This time of year there are nests everywhere….and bees get meaner in the fall.  At least the hornets kill flies….so I give them a pass.  Honey bees and carpenter bees are pollinators, so I give them a gold star.  All others in my book…”no fun”.

What’s in the bucket?  Pepper Pallooza….pickle them, ferment and make hot sauce, stuff and freeze them.  They are the highlight this week.  Also, North Georgia Candy Roaster.   These squash were cultivated by the Native Americans right here in North Georgia.  And I quote another farmer in saying they are “Sweeter than a butternut…Better than a sweet potato.”  Cut them in half and roast like any other winter squash.

Also…Okra, Arugula (makes excellent pesto), bunches of mixed kale, last of the summer squash and zucchini and/or eggplant, more Daikon (Yay!)… quick pickle them if they are adding up in your produce drawer:)  I had hoped for green beans  by now….but the deer and rabbits have been nipping the tender tops off and stunted them.

And the recipe and wine pairing from Scenic City Wines for the week….ratatouille.

Francesca Castaldi “Rosable” Rosato Colline Novaresi

I have a whole row of eggplant.  I thought I would have thousands by now.  But only a few trickling in.  Bugs love eggplant leaves.

This is a no recipe recipe.  Use what you have….lots of peppers, summer squash, an eggplant if you have it.


2-3 sweet peppers, yellow, red or purple

eggplant and/or summer squash zucchini sliced thinly – enough to fill your skillet

half of an onion, thinly sliced

one clove of garlic, minced

2 T butter or olive oil or mix

one large tomato or 2 small

salt and pepper, parsley to taste, dried or fresh

grated mozzarella or parmesan

  1.  Stir fry veggies in oil or butter.  You might want to do the eggplant first separately if you don’t want it to be too mushy, then add when other veggies are done.  But I am a fan of throwing it all in there together.  Salt, parsley and pepper to taste
  2. slice tomatoes and lay over the top of your veggies in the skillet.  A light sprinkle of salt on the tomatoes.  Cover and continue to cook over low heat until the tomatoes render there juices.
  3. Heat oven to about 350 degrees.  Remove lid and sprinkle mozzarella and/or parmesan over the top.  Cook until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Serve with short pasta such as penne or shells, or rice or crusty bread.

Happy eating, happy yellow jackets, and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!


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Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, September 4 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, September 6

“Anyone who has a continuous smile on his face conceals a toughness that is almost frightening.”
― Greta Garbo

Monday is Labor Day.  So we will be laboring and smiling.  Looking forward to bringing lots of delicious food to you for Labor Day dinner!

Farm News:  Halfway through the Dog Days session, and I’m feeling the seasons change.  Days are a little shorter.  Produce is a little more like fall.  Winter squash coming in, sweet potatoes are ready to dig.  So this week will be some of the last of summer, and some of the first of fall.

What’s in the Bucket?  Okra, sweet peppers, maybe a summer squash, daikon radish, turnip greens, arugula, butternut squash, mint.

A friend at the market suggested a way to cook the longer, tougher okra which is fantastic.  Cut them in quarters, fry them in olive oil and they turn out like french fries.  Dip them in hot sauce, or ketchup or any sauce of your choice.  This will be the last week for okra, so take advantage….

Following….Recipe and wine pairing for the week: 

From Food and Wine

Orecchiette with Butternut Squash, Cinnamon and Mint

Wine pairing from Scenic City Wines  Pierre-Marie Chermette “Griottes” Beaujolais

Butternut squash and orecchiette pasta get a huge dose of flavor thanks to a bit of cinnamon, red pepper flakes, and lemon in this brilliant, quick dish.

35 mins


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 3/4 cup pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1/2-inch squares, discarding the seeds and fibrous parts of the squash. Place the 1/2-inch pieces on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Lightly drizzle the olive oil over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  2. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring once or twice until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season with kosher salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots are translucent. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon to the pan, and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until shallots are evenly coated. Add the pasta water to the pan over low heat while gradually swirling in the butter. A glossy sauce will form in the pan.

  4. Add the pasta and squash to the pan over medium heat, and toss to coat with the sauce. Add the lemon juice and a 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stir to combine. Season the pasta with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pasta with the remaining Parmesan, cinnamon and the chopped mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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


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Circle S CSA delivery Monday, August 28, and MSFM Wednesday, August 30

“No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.”
― Elbert Hubbard

Farmers don’t really get vacations, weekends, or holidays.  Saturdays and Sundays are just like every other day.  Labor day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day….just like every other day.

We plan times to leave.  Usually something dramatic happens.

I remember, Curtis and I years ago, planned a ski trip with family.  Got up to feed cows on our way to the airport, and a cow was dead as a doornail.  Right outside our neighbor’s window.   Hmmmm….called a friend with a bulldozer and hoped for the best:)  We ended up coming home early for a different cow that had milk fever and a horse with a serious foot injury.  Maybe we should have seen the bad omen!

There is no day off.  Animals and plants need to have water and care.  They get sick, sometimes…  there are predators.  Even if your management is holistic and organic.

So….most of the time Curtis and I travel separately.  Someone is always at the farm.  Jennifer and Josh take care of things when we really need to get away together, and they are amazing.

Farm News:  Diamond and I snuck away to NC mountains to visit my parents this weekend.  Soooooo much cooler.  We did not want to come home.  But weeds, heat and a tired Curtis welcomed us back.

What’s in the bucket?:  Sweet potato greens, Daikon radish, summer squash, spaghetti squash, a tomato?, baby kale, turnip greens, sweet peppers, hot chili peppers.

I tried this Congolese sweet potato greens recipe a while back.  It is fantastic, even Curtis raved about it. Serve with rice, and protein if you wish (beans, tofu, or meat)

And of course….it has a wine pairing from Scenic City Wine

Bodegas Frontonio “Microcosmico” Garnacha Valdejalón

Congolese Sweet potato greens

2 bunches sweet potato greens, leaves separated from main stem, washed and sliced thin

2 fresh tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

hot peppers and sweet peppers, to taste

2 T creamy peanut butter

1 T salt

3 cups water

1 tsp smoked paprika

Bring water, PB, salt and smoked paprika to a slow boil

Meanwhile, put tomatoes, onion, garlic, sweet pepper in a food processor

add tomato mixture and sweet potato greens to water etc and simmer 20 minutes

Serve with rice, salted fish or protein of choice

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



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Circle S CSA Delivery Monday, August 21 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 23, 2023

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”
― Thomas A. Edison

Continuing on with the Dog Days strategy.  The lovely cool weather has been wonderful, and I got all my fall plant starts in….broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cabbage, turnip greens, kalebration kale mix, arugula.  But Temps are creeping up and I’m feeling back into Dog Days.

So the pups and I made time for some paddle boarding yesterday.

Not that we missed any work.  These guys take chickens and egg gathering pretty seriously.

Farm News:  rabbits are eating my plants.  Started with a beautiful row of green beans.  Covered them.  Now they are eating my broccoli starts.  Rats!….  No Rabbits!  But I did feel kinda bad when I hit one of them with the mower:(  A rabbit, that is.

What’s in the bucket?  Spaghetti squash, basil, a summer squash, a few tomatoes….end of the season….yay!  poblano peppers, daikon radish with greens, and lovely first cutting arugula.

This recipe takes some time.  I’m usually not excited about that….but I multi-tasked.  Put the spaghetti squash in and did some bookwork…housework.   It’s in the oven now.   So I can’t tell you how it turned out but I think it will be delicious.  AND…..the wine pairing is….

Zlatan Otok ‘Bilo Idro’ Marina Cuvée Croatia

You can pick it up at Scenic City Wines in St. Elmo (closed on Monday)

This is a NY Times (highly rated) recipe

Yield:Serves six as a main dish, eight as a side
  • 1spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
  • 1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3large eggs
  • ½cup low-fat milk
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh basil (¼ cup basil leaves)
  • 2ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (½ cup)
  • 2tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino romano


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on top. Bake for one hour, turning the squash every 20 minutes until it is soft and easy to cut into with a knife. Remove from the heat, and allow the squash to cool until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, and allow to cool further. Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh, and place in a bowl. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the spaghetti-like strands, then chop coarsely. Measure out 4 cups squash. (Use whatever remains for another dish, or freeze.)

  2. Step 2

    Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, for five minutes until the strands of squash are a little more tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

  3. Step 3

    Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk, salt (about ½ teaspoon), pepper and basil. Stir in the squash mixture and the Gruyère, and combine well. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan or pecorino over the top, and gently press down to moisten.

  4. Step 4

    Bake 40 to 45 minutes until nicely browned and sizzling. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

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






Posted in Circle S Farm News | Comments Off on Circle S CSA Delivery Monday, August 21 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Circle S CSA delivery Monday, August 14 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 16,2023

In ancient Greece and Rome, the Dog Days were believed to be a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest, when dogs and men alike would be driven mad by the extreme heat!  -Farmer’s Almanac

Well I’ve been mad most of my life, but the heat doesn’t help.  However, I can’t tell that it makes the dogs grumpy.  They take dips in the pond, drink lots of water, and keep right up.

Farm News:  Too hot to move very fast.  Horses sweaty by 9 AM.   They come to the water trough and let me spray them down with cool water.  Everything looking for shade (including me).   But the dogs, Diamond and Tip seem to be handling it OK.  Dog Days!

Ok, after coming clean about my lack of love for tomatoes last week, I have something new to talk about.  Green tomatoes.  I kind of love them.  I just read this week….you shouldn’t eat them raw.   Kind of like the green on potatoes, they have a toxin.   However, I have come to love them cooked.  So the recipe this week….green tomato and potato curry.    I love this recipe.  NO shopping here.  Just herbs you probably have in your cabinet, oil, and the vegetables.  Super easy to make, and remember how.  It will work with squash and green beans, or cabbage and sweet potatoes this fall.  And Matt’s wine pairing is the perfect match  (Matt Olson…Scenic City Wine in St. Elmo)

Fabrizio Vella “Biologico Non Filtrato” Bianco Terre Siciliane

What’s in the bucket:  GREEN TOMATOES…..okra, potatoes, garlic, red slicing tomatoes (I won’t deny you these!) sweet onions, mint.

Green Tomato Curry with Potatoes and Garlic from Raghavan Iyer’s 660 Curries

Ingredients for 2 people :
2 tablespoons oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 small potatoes, unpeeled or peeled, your preference, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
320 grams (8 oz ) green tomatoes sliced into 1-inch segments
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric (I accidentally put in closer to 1 tsp)
2 T chopped mint
1. Pour oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until it is reddish brown, about a minute or so. Stir often. Make sure it doesn’t burn. If it does, start over.
2. Add the potatoes, tomatoes, garam masala, salt and turmeric. Turn heat down to medium. Stir occasionally, and cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Pour in a cup of water.   Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. When the mixture comes to a boil, cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and tomatoes are tender. Stir every few minutes or so.
4. You want the final sauce to be kind of thick, so mash up a few of the potatoes and tomatoes with the wooden spoon. Turn off the heat, stir in the mint, and serve.
Happy Eating….Happy Wine drinking….and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
Posted in Circle S Farm News | Comments Off on Circle S CSA delivery Monday, August 14 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 16,2023

Circle S Dog Days CSA Delivery Monday, August 7, and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 9, 2023

“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized.”
― Andre Simon


I want to thank all of you for signing up for the Dog Days CSA.  And as a treat to ALL OF US,  Matt Olson at Scenic City Wine in St. Elmo has graciously agreed to pair wines with our produce recipes this session.  I will be buying all eight bottles and celebrating each week with a wonderful dinner and bottle of wine.  It took a little thought to plan what produce would be coming the next eight weeks…..let’s hope it goes as planned.

If you haven’t been in his store and you love wine, go.  Matt supports organic and sustainable farms, and small batch wines.  You might not find some of these wines anywhere else.  And he has a culinary degree, so he loves to know what you are having for dinner!  He has all of our wines picked out already.  Tell him you are with Circle S Farm CSA and you can buy the pairing weekly, or buy all eight bottles.

Farm News:  Unsettled storms at the farm.  Blew over okra and pepper plants.  It’s what I call a yard sale.  I had to explain the term to Jennifer.  You know, like when you are skiing and have a wreck.  Your poles and skis litter the hill side.  You have to gather everything up.   My coolers and picking baskets blow all over the farm.  Plant trays etc.  Best to try to lock everything down before it hits.

I lay awake when it storms and worry about tree limbs or other debris hitting our horses, not to mention lightening.  Everyone needs something to worry about….right?

What’s in the bucket:  Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, okra, garlic (sequatchie cove farms), islander peppers, and shishito peppers.

Alex, owner of  Bread and Butter Bakery, likes to dry fry his shishito peppers….in a wok until the house smokes up he says.   Then just a splash of soy sauce.  That’s all you need!


OK, so here is the recipe for the week.  I know everyone is getting tired of cherry tomatoes.  I have a little secret….I don’t really like tomatoes.  I tell people this and they gasp.  My mother eats tomatoes until she has ulcers in her mouth….but I just don’t love them.  Raw tomatoes anyway.

I remembered this recipe because I think Jennifer made it once and brought it to us….or left it for us after they farm sat.  It is memorable.  And she conjured it, it came from Gaining Ground.  Years ago Chattanooga made a push to support local agriculture.  I hate to say it didn’t go anywhere, it did.  But their plans to start a sustainable food hub fizzled.  This recipe was in one of the Gaining Ground seasonal cookbooks.  And it is fabulous.  Curtis does not hand out compliments, and he was impressed!

So following is the recipe, and hopefully the link to the wine pictured above (not so good at sending links.)  At any rate, you can go into Scenic City Wine and Matt will know what you are looking for…they are closed on Monday.

Roasted tomatoes and garlic in olive oil

2 pints grape and/or cherry tomatoes

6 garlic cloves

2/3 cup plus 1 T olive oil

sea salt and ground black pepper

1 sprig fresh rosemary (or basil)

1 t dried oregano or 1 sprig fresh oregano

eight slices of ciabatta or focaccia bread or pasta of choice

Preheat oven to 400.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss tomatoes with garlic and 1 T of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepp.  Roast tomatoes for 20 minutes until they burst and their skins begin to shrivel, stirring once halfway through.

Pour remaining 2/3 cup Evoo into bowl.  Crush herbs into the oil and submerge.  Add tomatoes and their juices.  Stir gently and let stand 30 minutes.

Heat ciabatta and spoon tomato mixture over….run back in the oven with a fresh grate of parmesan or mozzarella cheese, or spoon over pasta with a grate of cheese.  Serve with a bottle of Atilia wine if you so choose.

Atilia Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

A few notes. Our herb garden got disturbed by a house addition we are doing.  So all I had to give you was basil.  No worries, I used dried oregano, and dried thyme and fresh basil….it was amazing.  So use your own judgement.  Perhaps you have an herb garden of your own.

Also….I roasted for a little longer.  Maybe my oven isn’t as hot.  And I skinned the garlic cloves, which the recipe doesn’t specify.  I have a really wonderful and thoughtful friend who keeps me in pizza dough.  Not kidding.  But you can use ciabatta or noodles.

Happy Eating….Happy Vino…Happy Dog Days, and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!



Posted in Circle S Farm News | Comments Off on Circle S Dog Days CSA Delivery Monday, August 7, and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Circle S Farm CSA last week of spring/summer session Delivery Monday, July 31, Wednesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 3

“The ground is spongy, almost bouncy as you step on it. Even after it has been worked with a tractor. I’m so glad to know all the roots of all the vegetables get to play around in that paradise. On some level, while you’re eating them, your vegetables will do the same for you.”
Farmer John, harvest week 1, 1994

I have this book called The Real Dirt on Vegetables: Farmer John’s Cookbook.

It was written by a farmer with a CSA, and has lovely quotes from Shareholders and really great recipes.  My Aunt Mary gave it to me years ago (hate to say how many, but the 1994 quote and 2006 copy right give it away).  2006 was the 3rd year of my CSA, it started in 2004, which makes this my 20th season.  And every year has been different.  And all of my shareholders through the years have been so generous and understanding.

The challenges are different every year.  20 years is long enough to note climate differences…growing season changes….new challenges that come with the territory I’m afraid.  And as I age, I work slower but smarter.  That is changing too.

And so this, the end of my main season CSA, gives me an opportunity to thank you…and to thank me.  The quote at the beginning of the book says:  “This book is dedicated to the farmers who work with the earth lovingly, and to those who support these farmers and the earth itself through their choices”.

Without further bantering….

Farm News:  Hot and humid.  And so I am moving even slower than usual.  The plants are droopy from the heat.  And I am fighting some fungal problems on the okra, tomatoes and squash.  It is too hot for drama.  The dogs lay on the porch, cattle stay in the shade, horses swat flies with their tails.

If you are not continuing on for the Dog Days CSA, I will be bringing your share in a paper bag this week.  Please remember to leave your bucket out and THANK YOU for participating in our CSA this year.  If you signed up for Fall Blast then stay tuned…..You will hear from me early October about start dates.

What’s in the last Bucket?  Loads of Tomatoes and cherry tomatoes,  loads of basil, sweet corn that has been cleaned and cooled to keep it sweet and good, peppers, Okra or field peas.

The basil will have flowers on, but that just makes it better.  You can remove them if you want, or chop them with the basil, or even better, use them as garnish.  The flowers do not change the flavor of the basil.

I am including 2 recipes from the book I referenced….the Real Dirt.    One for a rich, wonderful tomato sauce.  The second for tomato, basil pesto.  Feel free to substitute cherry tomatoes for some of the tomatoes…it will only make your sauce  or pesto a bit sweeter.

classic tomato sauce

2# ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped

5 T unsalted butter

one onion

1 stalk celery

1 medium carrot

2 cloves garlic minced

1/4 cup dry red wine

3/4 t salt

1/2 t dried thyme

freshly ground pepper

2T thinly sliced basil

*cook tomatoes in large saucepan over low heat partially covered for 45 minutes stirring occasionally and breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon.  Transfer to a bowl.

*melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, cook until soft about 5 minutes.  Add celery and carrot, cook a few minutes more.  Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

*Add wine and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, salt, thyme and pepper to taste.  Continue to cook at a light simmer, stirring occasionally until it becomes a thick sauce, about 45 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in basil.


Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

2 pre roasted tomatoes, or 1 large fresh tomato

3 cloves garlic

3 T pine nuts

2 T evoo

1 cup fresh whole basil leaves

1/2 cup grates parmesan

2 T butter softened

salt and pepper

Combine everything in food processor except parmesan and butter, salt and pepper.  Stir in parmesan and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Holy Tomato Batman!  Happy Eating….Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.




Posted in Circle S Farm News | Comments Off on Circle S Farm CSA last week of spring/summer session Delivery Monday, July 31, Wednesday, August 2 and Thursday, August 3

Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, July 24 and Thursday, July 27 MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 25


“By early evening all the sky to the north had darkened and the spare terrain they trod had turned a neuter gray as far as the eye could see. They grouped in the road at the top of a rise and looked back. The storm front towered above them and the wind was cool on their sweating faces. They slumped bleary-eyed in their saddles and looked at one another. Shrouded in the black thunderheads the distant lightning glowed mutely like welding seen through foundry smoke. As if repairs were under way at some flawed place n the iron dark of the world.”
― Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

Our farm has epic storms.  So much sky to see them coming.  I stepped out on the porch Thursday night to let the dogs out.  I saw lightening way in the distance but the stars were bright.  They weren’t calling for a severe storm, but ….

There was a loud crack.  The kind that makes you catch your breath.  The kind we have heard before.  Like the time a tree was struck and made my horses levitate.   Or the time the propane gas line got struck and blew like a torch out of the wet ground.

And when it is dark you just wonder what you will find in the morning.  I worried the electric fence was struck and along with it horses or cows.  Of course, we weaned calves the day before and Moms and calves were all up against the fence missing each other.  And Curtis’s horses in the alley, with hot wire on both sides.

Luckily it just got the fence and the fence charger.  Blew the plugin clear across the yard, and the switch half in two.

Farm News:  We weaned our calves this week.  I always hate doing it because it is always hot and the flies are bad.  But we separate Moms and calves leaving only our hot wire fence between them so they can see each other.  Stand right next to each other.  Lay down and sleep beside each other.  Nevertheless they bawl and miss one another fiercely.  I hope our neighbors can sleep… is loud.

Last week to sign up for Dog Days CSA.   If you haven’t signed up and paid yet, you can go to our online store.  Just click on the home page link of the website and hit the shop here link.  Or mail your check to:  Circle S Farm, 1930 Gilreath Mill Rd, Menlo, GA 30731.  Full share is $400 for 8 deliveries, half share is $225 for 4 deliveries (every other week).  This is just produce for Dog Days, no eggs, flowers or Dog treats.

If you are tired of chopping and cooking, and need a break….no worries.  If you are a half share and did not sign up for the Dog Days CSA, this is your last week.  Make sure to leave your bucket out and I will leave you a paper bag with your last share. Thanks so much for buying local produce from our farm.

What’s in the bucket:  Big beef slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers or okra, sweet corn, sweet onions, and a new herb to try, Papalo.  Papalo is an herb similiar to cilantro.  Try it in pico de galla, or salsa.  Start with a little bit, it is a different taste and might be an acquired taste.   Search it to find out its medicinal qualities, and other recipes.  If you want to dive right in, following a recipe for Papalo pesto.  Great on sandwiches.  Mix with mayo if you need to dilute it a bit:)

Papalo Pesto

  • 2 cups of papalo, large stems removed
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds or pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 teaspoon (or less, to taste) chopped and seeded serrano or jalapeno chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Optional juice of 1 lime
  1. Mix the papalo, nuts, onion, chilies, optional lime juice, and salt until paste-like (food processor or mortar & pestle required).
  2. Slowly mix in the olive oil and continue working into a paste. If using a food processor, add the oil in a slow, steady stream.
  3. Makes around 1 cup, whatever you don’t use right away you can freeze in ice cube strays. Pop the cubes into a freezer bag or long-term storage container.
  4. Recommended as a sandwich spread, mixed with cubed Monterrey Jack or Queso Blanco as a salad topping, or on pasta served with fresh garden tomatoes.

Happy Papalo experimenting, and thanks for buying local food from our farm!



Posted in Circle S Farm News | Comments Off on Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, July 24 and Thursday, July 27 MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 25