Circle S will be at Main Street Farmer’s Market Wednesday, January 13

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss

Finally – better late than never, the Holiday Card is here.  If you read back 2 posts, you will see this was a be continued….. Our card this year was supposed to be our 3 bottle calves lined up with “Peace on Earth”  around their necks.  As with most things in farming, that did not go as planned:)  So here is what the Circle S Crew came up with this year.  We hope you had a Merry Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Farm News:  wintertime brings different chores than summer.  Feeding animals hay, fixing fence and tending to things around the farm that are neglected in our busy season.  We have finished calving, 65 calves this year.  It is one of my favorite things – to go listen to the cows eat and watch the calves run and romp and play.

Jennifer has been busy helping me with fencing chores here on the farm, and making Temple Top Dog Treats for our favorite friends.  Because, of course, we should all be well treated!  Our winter schedule will be the 2nd and 4th Wednesday at Main Street Farmer’s Market.  You can pick up your Temple Top Dog Treats then and there~

Thanks to all of you for your support this past strange year.  Let’s hope 2021 gets us all back to less masks and more hugs.  Thanks for buying local food at Main Street Farmer’s Market.  Happy Eating!

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Circle S Farm at Main Street Farmer’s Market Wednesday, December 23

He turned upon the Ghost, and seeing that it looked upon him with a face in which, in some strange way, there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him, wrestled with it. “Leave me! Take me back! Haunt me no longer!” In the struggle… Scrooge observed that is light was burning high and bright; and dimply connecting that with its influence over him….

A Christmas Carol/Charles Dickens

I think we all have a ghost of Christmas past.  For some reason, when this time of year rolls around, we think about our past holidays.

Curtis and I have released a Circle S Farm Christmas card each year for 18 years.  I couldn’t find the picture with the milk cow, goat etc., but this one was part of the series…..  the elf aprons, Christmas hats.  Our beloved Gram and Sadie have been gone for years now.   Also the milk cow, and goats…a memory of our past.

I will post this year’s Christmas card after I send it out….running late as usual.  Stay tuned!

What you want to know….What we are bringing to market:  cabbage, turnips, kale, cilantro, parsley and Circle S Beef:  ground beef, roasts and steaks.  Possibly some Temple Top Dog Treats?

No online ordering this week – but our CSA sign up for next year is a link on the website.  Check it out.  See you Wednesday!

Thanks for buying local food at Main Street Farmer’s Market.

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Main Street Farmers Market December 16, 2020

“Peace begins with a smile..”
― Mother Teresa

I generally pin myself as a scrooge.  But my antics for the Holidays are unpredictable.  One year I decided we would all (jersey cow, goats, dogs, horses,Curtis and I) line up for a picture with elf aprons and Santa hats.

A few years later, we hosted a neighborhood Christmas nativity.   We had to  snub the neighbors donkey to a post when he wanted to bolt.  The dogs,  sporting angel wings,  almost ran the horses through the fence.  And the baby Jesus, a rough coat Jack Russel Terrier named Mic Jagger, drank half the eggnog before we read the scripture.

So this year…..well we always send out a Circle S Christmas card.  I asked Curtis if he would help.  We have three bottle calves due to bad luck.  One twin – the other two lost their mothers.  I thought – what if I put wreaths around their necks saying “peace on earth” for our Christmas card.  Easy.

The plan is – we feed them their bottles and slip the wreaths around their necks.  I snap the shot. Right?  Wrong…..

“Peace” and “On” did great – we slipped “Earth” around her neck and she ditched the bottle and bolted.  Like a noose around her neck.  I didn’t even think to close the corral gate. There she went, Earth, spinning and then…out of sight…..

She was so stressed by the time we caught up with her.  I felt bad!

So, stay tuned for the Christmas card pic:)

What’s at market:  Cabbage, savoy cabbage, cilantro, parsley, kale, turnips, a few daikon.  Holiday Loofa bundles, and of course, Temple Top Dog Treats.

Circle S Beef is back:  ground beef, NY strips, chuck roast, shoulder roast and some soup bones this week!

No online store this week!  We will see you Wednesday!

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Circle S at Main Street Market Wednesday, December 9 with Holiday Loofas

“It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.” – Agnes M. Pharo

It will be a different Holiday this year.  Curtis and I usually have a quiet Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Our cows calve November -December so we stay close to the farm.  But we typically get to see my parents, who travel to see us.  Gather with Curtis’s family in Chickamauga for a meal and lots of laughs.  And sometimes slip off to Charlotte to see my brother and his beautiful family.   Not sure we will be able to do any of that this year:(

If you are doing any Holiday shopping – and trying to stay out of the big stores, consider Main Street for your gifts.  We will have these beautiful Holiday Loofa gifts for sale through Christmas.  Loofa sponges grown this summer, and dried flowers from our farm.  Soap made with the addition of local ingredients, and handmade woodensoap dishes (pictured above).

But there are many beautiful things at Main Street – so think about putting together your own holiday gift.  Cheese, chocolate, soap, veggies….lots of things to choose from.

What we will have at market this week:  Loofa sponges, Holiday gift bundles, cabbage, cilantro, kale, mustard, collard, spinach.  No online store this week – we’ll see you Wednesday!

Thanks for buying local food at Main Street Market!

 

 

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Circle S last FALL BLAST CSA delivery Monday, November 2 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, November 4 2020

“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.”
― Shel Silverstein

Diamond has found a new friend in our bottle calf Petunia.  Yes, another set of twins, and this one with a different outcome.  So Diamond and I are bottle feeding Petunia – and Diamond has taken on the task of cleaning her up….both ends:)  She also is in desperate need of a friend to play with, as our other dog and cats are seniors and she would say “boring” …. And Petunia spends most of her day alone – waiting for her next meal.  So an unlikely companionship….cattle dog and calf…but nonetheless.

Farm News:  We have lots of babies!  31 calves so far including Petunia, and 17 baby chicks, growing into a new set of layers for next years CSA.  They will be 6 months old before they start to lay eggs, so these girls should be just in the nick of time for next season.

What’s in the last CSA share?  I have tried to save the best for last – however some things did not cooperate this year.  So I won’t promise much….but a few things.  Almost October beans!  Yes I was determined they would be ready to harvest in October but ….the beans are mature but many of them have not turned the lovely color yet.  So they look more like cannellini beans, but are equally delicious.  Also, small fennel bulbs, baby turnips with greens, young tender collard greens, bibb lettuce, some sort of stunted Napa cabbage (not sure what went wrong) oregano, and a menagerie of other things left over in the garden.

As the weather turns cooler, a savory soup is such comfort food.  Following a recipe from Elizabeth Borelli

Fennel, White Bean, and Collard Green Sauté

4 servings

This lovely, appetizing dish is easy to prepare. Boiling the fennel stalks an1-DSC_0229d greens in water until the liquid becomes concentrated, is a marvelous way to make your own aromatic consommé in one simple step. Serve this nourishing dish with wild rice or crusty whole-grain bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole fennel bulb, stalks and greens included
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  2 cups navy or cannellini beans, precooked
  • 3 cups collard greens, stems removed, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 2 cloves garlic; or 1 teaspoon powdered or granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (1-2 tsps. to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning blend

To make consommé:

Remove stalks and greens from fennel bulb, rinse thoroughly, and add them to a large saucepan with 6 cups of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook down for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, chop fennel bulb into inch-long, very thin slices.

When consommé is reduced to 2 to 3 cups, remove from heat, and pour the consommé liquid only into a glass jar. Set aside. Toss out the remaining cooked fennel.

Add olive oil to the saucepan, and return to medium heat. Add chopped fennel and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup of consommé and simmer on medium-low for 5 more minutes, then repeat. Add ¼ cup more consommé, collard greens, and remaining seasonings and cook for 5 to 8 minutes longer, until greens are tender. Stir in beans and serve warm or hot. Label, date, and store remaining consommé in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Happy eating, and thanks for supporting our farm during this strange season.  I hope everyone stays healthy throughout the holidays and winter.  We will be at Main Street Farmer’s Market through Thanksgiving – and look forward to growing for you again next year.

Letty

 

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Circle S Farm CSA (fall blast) delivery Monday, Oct. 26 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, Oct 28

“The centerpiece was a roasted stag. crowned with gilded antlers and stuffed with songbirds; they had hunted well. We were forbidden to kill the deer that fattened on our coleworts and stole our grain, and the venison tasted all the better for the salt of revenge.”
― Sarah Micklem, Firethorn

There have been deer in my garden.  First a Mom and fawn.   She would leave that baby laying in the grass below the garden while she went off during the day.  Sometimes I would see it stand up and look for her – and then bed back down in her camouflage of green.

So, I didn’t worry.

Then I noticed – the sweet potato greens in the bottom garden were starting to look nibbled on.  Ah – there’s enough to share I thought.  Nothing else seemed bothered.

I stopped seeing the youngster – and went out one day to check on the sweet potatoes.  Gone.  I could hardly tell where they had been.  I couldn’t understand.  I had been looking for deer in the early morning and evening – but silence.

Curtis went out to throw the coffee grounds out one night late – around 11.  He took the spotlight.  8 deer in the garden.  Rats……no deer!

Needless to say – I turned the hot wire on high and added a few strands….”the salt of revenge”.  However, the sweet potatoes are small at best this year.  We did salvage what we could.  Jennifer, my friend and right hand farmer, is an avid activist against food waste.  It piles up in our landfills and adds to global warming.  So, in her brilliance, promotes the small stringlike sweet potatoes as premade fries.  She is also a lover of any spud….so would encourage you to just peel the ragged things, and roast them until tender.  And of course feed the peelings to your dogs (as we do with Temple Top Treats) or compost them but do not! throw them away.  Alternately – use those sweet potatoes in the lentil root soup recipe below.

Farm News:  We are into our calving season and have had our first set of twins for the year.  We usually have two or three sets.  Twins are hard for a cow to raise.  They get confused if they have two – and can’t keep up with them both.  However, Nestle (appropriately named) claimed both her twins and has plenty of milk to feed them!  Hoorah.

What’s in the bucket/CSA share?  Sweet potato strings, turnips or daikon, red Russian kale, Siberian kale (why do so many kales come from Russia?), lettuce, mesclun salad mix, carrots, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, malabar spinach, Rosemary.  The malabar spinach has a red vein – and is a hot weather spinach.  I will harvest the whole plant- so add the leaves to your salad, , soup or lightly saute the whole deal.

Following – a recipe from Boston Organics for Lentil Root stew.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic green lentils
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cup water
  • 1 cup diced onions (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 peeled sweet potato, roughly chopped
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (or 1/4 tsp crushed red chiles)
  • 2 cup sliced carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 2 cup diced turnips (1/2 pound)
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 or 1 1/2 cup finely sliced kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese or finely chopped parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

1. Combine lentils, tomatoes, water, onions, sweet potato, peppers, carrots, and turnips in a medium-large saucepan.

2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are soft. Stir occasionally, breaking up the tomatoes.

3. Add garlic and kale leaves and continue to simmer until kale is soft. Serve topped with finely grated cheese or chopped parsley, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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

 

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Circle S delivery Monday, October 19 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 21

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

― Humbert Wolfe

Such a beautiful time of year!  We had a campfire and some friends out last night and the stars were just amazing.  Crystal clear.

Farm News:  We have had one calf so far.  Born last Wednesday AM with no fan fare.  But nothing since, for 5 days.  I guess those cows are waiting on a moon.

What’s in the bucket:  winter squash, carrots, round radish, sweet potatoes, arugula, sweet and hot peppers, thyme, and a boatload of greens….mustard, kale, braising greens.  A fall bucket indeed.

Recipe below for skillet root hash.  This is wonderful with a fried egg and braised greens  for a light dinner.

Skillet root hash
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sized sweet potatoes / chopped
  • 2 large carrots / chopped
  • 1 small bunch radishes / chopped
  • 1 shallot / chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic / diced
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB white balsamic vinegar
  • sprig of fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt + black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron pan. Combine sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, and shallots in a large bowl. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and toss to combine.
  2. Cook vegetables in the cast iron pan for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. During the last 5 minutes of cooking add minced garlic to the pan and stir to combine. Once the vegetables are golden and cooked through, remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

 

 

 

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Fall Blast CSA delivery Monday, October 12 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, October 14

The Cow in Apple Time
Robert Frost – 1874-1963

Something inspires the only cow of late
To make no more of a wall than an open gate,
And think no more of wall-builders than fools.
Her face is flecked with pomace and she drools
A cider syrup. Having tasted fruit,
She scorns a pasture withering to the root.
She runs from tree to tree where lie and sweeten
The windfalls spiked with stubble and worm-eaten.
She leaves them bitten when she has to fly.
She bellows on a knoll against the sky.
Her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry.

I love this poem and I’m always reminded of it in fall when our apples come in.

We bought a cow a few years back.   I named her Ranger (for Free Ranger, or Lone Ranger….both fit) because she ignored our electric fences and went wherever she wanted.  She has a big white face.  One of her favorite places to range, of course, was my garden.  She always knew when she was caught red handed, and she would get this look on that big white face.  Raise that head up, look at me, and then take off, with carrots she had pulled hanging out of her mouth.

We finally got enough charge on that fence to keep Ranger out….but Ranger and I still look at each other and remember her free ranging days.

Nevertheless – I love fall.  The end of the vegetable season for a farmer, always a relief.  Our cows start calving in late October.  And it’s always the calm before the storm.  They are so quiet right now.  Busy eating and stockpiling weight for winter.

As such – our fall blast CSA starts Monday so….here’s what to expect, as promised lots of roots and greens!

What’s in the bucket:  Daikon and giant turnip root, mustard greens, breakfast radish, mesclun salad mix, arugula, mixed kale, sweet peppers, hot peppers, apples and cilantro.

I have been into fermenting lately and have made several batches of fermented hot sauce that are amazing.  You can ferment just about any vegetable – so don’t be afraid.  The most important thing is to make sure your brine is correct water to salt ratio…keep the vegetables covered in brine…let the jar breathe.

Below is a recommendation of ingredients – but feel free to experiment.   You could grate some turnips in there with the daikon.  Onion or garlic is always good.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound daikon radish, grated (with skin)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 hot pepper diced (take the seeds out if you want a milder hot)
  • 1 cup non-chlorinated water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Put all ingredients in a quart glass jar .  Cover with brine.  You can put a ziplock bag with a weight of some kind in the jar to keep the vegetables submerged.  Then lightly close with a lid.  It will bubble, so don’t put the lid on tight or it might explode!  Let it bubble 4-7 days and then take the weight off and put it in the fridge.  You can taste it along and decide when to quit.

This should keep about 6 months in the fridge.  Use it like relish or pickles – as a side for meat or rice or beans….the options are endless!

Thanks for buying local food from our farm.  Happy eating!

Letty

 

 

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Circle S Farm last delivery of Summer season, Monday, August 10 and Thursday, August 13, MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 12

“Outlaws….do their finest work in the slippery rays of the moon”

-Tom Robbins

Farm News:  Our Roo, Papa and one other chicken met their demise a week ago.  We think Diamond and her friend Bluebell were involved.  See poster above:)

This is the last delivery of the summer session.  I will be delivering in paper bags, so if you have a bucket lingering around – leave it out for me.

We have a short fall CSA in October/November.  I will be sending out an e-mail to all those who signed up with information on start dates etc.

I want to thank everyone for your support this year.  I know we are all on edge and suffering through our new reality.  I appreciate all of you – your ability to be flexible and kind.  It has been a busy season, I haven’t had this many in the CSA since I was in my thirties.  Let me tell you – there is a difference in what you can accomplish between 30 and 50, and how many hours you can put into a day.  So ….THANK YOU!

What’s in the BAG?  It will be a taste of fall.  Butternut and maybe a lingering spaghetti squash (don’t worry – it’s like the cabbage.  Let it sit on your counter for a month or two, until you aren’t tired of spaghetti squash anymore).  More field peas or October beans (the October beans were a victim to weeds and too much rain, and perhaps to me being 50:) – so not the crop I anticipated).  Peppers and lots of tomatoes and pie or sauce apples.   Lastly, hopefully everyone will get a sugar baby watermelon.

I will try to give a mix of ripe and not so ripe tomatoes – but they are all getting really ripe fast.  If you have time – go ahead and freeze the ones you cannot use in time.  They freeze great – and are wonderful in soups and sauces all winter long!  I’ve gotten where I don’t even peel them – just chop them up and freeze, but that is your preference.

As for the apples, my grandmother used to say “everyone deserves something sweet”.  And as she lived to be 100 and was as sweet as anyone I’ve known, I’ve decided she was right.  Once she got into her 90’s, she liked to eat dessert first citing that she might not live through the main meal.

So following a recipe for Apple Crisp

Vegan Apple Crisp

Vegan Apple Crisp

PHOTO BY JAMES RANSOM

AUTHOR NOTES

A straightforward, fuss-free, no-nonsense apple crisp. Enjoy it for dessert, or hell, enjoy it for breakfast. Coconut oil helps to create an irresistibly sweet and buttery topping — without so much as a hint of butter! —Gena Hamshaw

SERVES6 to 8
  • For the apple filling:
  • 7 cups (about 8 to 10 medium sized) sweet-tart apples (such as Gala or Jonagold), peeled, cored, and chopped (1/2- or 3/4-inch pieces) or thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup organic sugar or organic light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • For the crumble topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup organic brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Happy eating, stay well, stay sweet and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm

 

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Circle S Delivery Monday, August 3 and Thursday, August 6 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 5

“The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune….”

-William Wordsworth

It seems counter intuitive to plant seeds into hot, dry soil.  But otherwise – no fall garden will arise.  It is always harder.    To plant in a season of exhaustion.  Like singing out of tune.

Farm News:  2 more weeks of summer session CSA.  If you are a half share – this is your last week.  We are in the midst of weaning calves and trying to get out farm ready for fall.  Cleaning fence rows and planning for a second cutting of hay.  Also trying to replant the garden for fall – an exhausting,  busy time.

What’s in the bucket:  Something old, something new….  potatoes are back.  We stored a few for this moment – when you started to miss them.  And of course – an onion to go with the potato.  And lots of tomato!  SOOOOO, potato, tomato, onion, spaghetti squash, garlic, basil, field peas (yes – you still must shell them:), okra and peppers.

Spaghetti without the pasta:

Curtis and I had this the other night – kind of a no recipe recipe.

Roast that spaghetti squash.  Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, brush both halves with olive oil – sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast it skin side up at 350 degrees about 30 minutes.  Flip the squash over, and roast until fork tender and a little brown on top.

Loosen the “spaghetti” in the squash with a fork and grate with cheese (we used Sequatchie Cove gruetli – a hard cheese like parmesan will work too).  Top with chopped tomatoes, onion, basil, red pepper and garlic (I mixed mine together before roasting the squash and let it sit – but this is not necessary)

Other options for toppings:  make it Mexican flavored by stuffing with black beans or cooked field peas, cheese, tomato, onion and jalapeno.

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

 

 

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