Circle S CSA LAST DELIVERY PICK UP OF SUMMER SEASON Monday, August 9 and Thursday August 12, and pick up at MSFM Wednesday, August 11

“The discovery of a new dish does more for the happiness of the human race than the discovery of a star.”
― Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

plated salad recipe follows from Kenny Burnap/ Kenny’s Sandwich Shop

So excited to have a recipe from Kenny Burnap of Kenny’s Sandwiches 1251 Market Street.  Read on to see how he makes this beautiful salad.

Farm News:  This is the last week of summer CSA.  As always, a huge thank you to all of you.  My CSA is my favorite part of farming.    And it’s because of you.  Your kindness.  Your pictures.  Your encouragement.  You help keep our farm in business and I am indeed indebted to you.

So – on with housekeeping.  Please leave your bucket out and everyone gets a paper bag this week.  If you signed up for fall veggies, or beef, I will be in touch soon.  Let me get organized:)

Other farm news:  Another thank you going out to Michael at Broadfork Meadows farm.  If you got an egg share – you have enjoyed his precious eggs.

Curtis and I have a small chicken herd and pride ourselves on the beauty of the eggs and independence of our hens.  However, sometimes that is not a great business model – and so we find ourselves short on  chickens and eggs.  Most recently something killed the rest of my young chickens all in one fell swoop.  Broke into one of our houses and ate them all.  So we are grateful for Michael for helping us and providing fabulous eggs for our CSA customers.

What’s in the bucket?  or bag as is the case this week:  Sweet corn rescued from the field – summer squash, tomatoes, onions, edamame, purple potatoes and basil.  Lots of basil so make pesto!  Also – maybe okra or eggplant?  or peppers?  Just starting to trickle in.

AND NOW…..What you have been waiting for…..the plated salad recipe!

Kenny Burnap and I have known each other for a long time.  Curtis and I met Kenny years ago when he was working as chef for St. John’s restaurant.  We were honored to deliver produce to him at St. John’s for quite a while, and now I am thrilled that he has opened his own restaurant.

Kenny is a culinary guru.   I know this for two reasons – I have eaten at St. John’s when he was in charge – and eaten at his restaurant Kenny’s …every chance I get.  The other reason is, I know how he shops for ingredients.  Your food can only be fantastic if you start with the freshest ingredients.  So Kenny has a relationship with lots of small farms like us, and he stays in touch.

If you haven’t eaten at Kenny’s Sandwich shop, you need to go.  It is on Market Street – and open for Breakfast and Lunch every day except Monday.   It’s a hard decision to make when you look at the menu – so you will keep going back.  Black-eyed pea Falafel?  Brisket Reuben?  or hard to turn down one of the best burgers in town.  Not to mention fabulous breakfast fare all day.  Visit his website to see the particulars www.kennyssandwiches.com

Kenny not only supports local farms with his restaurant, but I was humbled (and honestly a little bit nervous) when he joined our CSA this year.  But he and his family have been generous and kind, as usual.  And I am amazed to think that he is in his restaurant for most of the day, and then comes home and cooks with his family at night.

So, without further introduction, here is Kenny’s recipe for a plated salad with your CSA ingredients this week.  As beautiful as it is delicious.

Big Platter Salad (serves 4 to 6)

This is a laid back salad made to show off attractive and beautiful tasting produce! Perfect for whatever awesome veggies, fruit, homemade dressings, nuts, and cheeses you have on hand. This salad would also be great with grilled chicken or smoked trout if you wanted to add a meat.

Plating the salad on a platter gives you a nice horizontal surface to present all of the ingredients so they can really be seen. It also helps picky eaters in your family to serve themselves what they want.  My oldest daughter doesn’t like tomatoes but loves lettuce and my youngest daughter loves tomatoes but doesn’t like lettuce!

 

Ingredients:

Several Handfuls Mixed Salad Greens

¼ cup to ½ cup Green Goddess Dressing (see recipe below)

¼ cup Marcona Almonds

1 cup Whole Edamame

3 Purple Potatoes

1 cup Cherry Tomatoes

2 ears Sweet Corn

½ cup Cotija Cheese

 

Method: 

Green Goddess Dressing –

1 cup whole milk greek yogurt

¼ cup whole fat buttermilk

1 cup parsley

1 cup mix of cilantro, chives, tarragon, dill, mint, basil

1 tablespoon diced onion

2 tablespoon lemon juice & ½ teaspoon zest

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 or 2 anchovy filets

1 teaspoon capers

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon deseeded diced jalapeno

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a bowl with an immersion blender or blend in blender. Taste for seasoning with salt and pepper. Adjust consistency with more buttermilk if needed.

 

Edamame –

Cook whole in salted boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and put in ice water to stop cooking. Pop edamame from their pods into a small bowl.

 

Purple Potatoes –

Cut potatoes into nice wedges and cook in simmering salted water for 15 minutes or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and let cool on a plate in a single layer. Season potatoes while warm with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

 

Sweet Corn –

If the corn is fresh and sweet, eat it raw! If not, cook corn in the husk on the grill or by steaming. Cut corn off cob and reserve in a bowl.

 

Assembly & Plating –

Spoon ⅓ of your dressing on the bottom of the platter in a circular pattern.

Arrange salad greens in a single layer on top of dressing.

Evenly scatter veggies and cheese across salad greens. Think about shapes and colors here similar to a flower arrangement. Try not to stack or bury the ingredients on top of each other but have them sit side by side and kind of tuck together.

Use the rest of the dressing, spooning in the same circular motion as before.

Then sprinkle marcona almonds on top.

Serve family style and enjoy!

Thanks Kenny!

And thank you all for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

 

 

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Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, August 2 and Thursday, August 5, MSFM pick-up Wednesday, August 4 2021

‘They said to each other, “It is a spirit that perhaps has smelt our broiling venison and wishes to eat of it; let us offer some to her.” They presented her with the tongue; she was pleased with the taste of it and said: “Your kindness shall be rewarded; come to this place after thirteen moons, and you will find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations.” They did so, and to their surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which from that ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right hand had touched the ground they found maize; where her left had touched it they found kidney-beans; and where her backside had sat on it they found tobacco.’

-Benjamin Franklin quoting the Susquehanna Indians in Remarks Concerning the Savages

Farm News:  This is the next to the last week of spring/summer CSA.  So, If you are a half share, this is your last week:(

I have been in Blowing Rock, NC with my family.  Mother and Father, Brother and Sister in Law over the weekend.  And obsessively worrying about the sweet corn.

It seems sweet corn is of no use to most animals until it is absolutely and perfectly ready.  Then, all of a sudden, night time becomes a raccoon party in the corn field.  Day time becomes crow show.  Not to mention ear worms and some kind of black flea beetle I can’t seem to control.  I asked my friend Brad Swancy at Riverview Milling a few years ago – what eats corn and piles the shucks all in one place?  He said, I think that’s a bear.  REALLY?  I questioned his reply until I saw a bear in the road on my way home a few weeks ago.  SO…

What’s in the Bucket:  Sweet Corn!  Well, I’m promising it for today anyway….lions and tigers and BEARS!  Holy Tomato Batman.  Yes, this is tomato week.  The bulk of them are coming in now.  Also, Edamame, a pepper? maybe, still summer squash and zucchini, onions and….you guessed it….potatoes.  No potato famine this year.

I’m sure you have potatoes and onions stacked up by now.  Remember – they both store better in the dark.  I have heard you are not supposed to store potatoes in the refrigerator -but I’m not sure why.  I typically store them in a paper bag under the counter.  They like it to be dark. If they sprout it’s not big deal.  Just pluck the sprouts off and continue as usual.

The cherry tomatoes have been a disappointment.  I fed them to the chickens last week (who, I will say, had no complaints).  They split as soon as you pick them and you end up with a bucket of fruit flies and tomato goo.  UUGGGGH.  Jennifer picked them last week and had a much better attitude about it – but she did say, “these tomatoes are splitting in real time”.

As for zucchini and squash –   Zucchini noodles?  I got a spiralizer a few years ago and that’s kind of fun to do once a year.  Roast it, grill it, Zucchini bread?  Lately, I’ve been making something I call redneck ratatouille.  I LOVE ratatouille – especially Julia Child’s recipe.  But our eggplant crop fizzled – and that recipe is a time consuming deal – even if it’s delicious.

So, here’s how:

  1. Saute 2 zucchini and a sliced or diced onion in a healthy amount of butter.  You can use olive oil to lighten it up – but it won’t be as sinful.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. I usually use a skillet I can stick in the oven – but if you don’t have one transfer to a casserole.
  3. Thinly slice beefsteak tomatoes and spread over the top of the squash.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on tomatoes, and maybe some oregano – or chopped fresh basil.  A healthy handful of grated cheese..
  4. put in the oven at 350 degrees until bubbling and cheese is melted.
  5. Serve with crusty bread and/or pasta

 

Here’s another idea.  A shareholder sent me this picture of roasted squash and potatoes.  There may be an onion in there as well.  It’s beautiful, one way or the other.  I love the colors and purple potatoes!

Also – a shout out for Main Street Farmer’s Market.  It is National Farmer’s Market week.  So Main Street Farmer’s Market will be hosting guest vendors, and have live music, and have a bingo card for which you can win BIG prizes.  As always – hosted in the parking lot of Chattanooga Brewing.  Be there or be square:)

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

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 26 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 28

“Although the surface of our planet is two-thirds water, we call it the Earth. We say we are earthlings, not waterlings. Our blood is closer to seawater than our bones to soil, but that’s no matter. The sea is the cradle we all rocked out of, but it’s to dust that we go. From the time that water invented us, we began to seek out dirt. The further we separate ourselves from the dirt, the further we separate ourselves from ourselves. Alienation is a disease of the unsoiled.”
― Tom Robbins, Another Roadside Attraction

I think I spoke earlier about the soil builder mix we planted to rescue our row cropped dirt.  It contained radishes to rot and build organic matter, sorghum sudan grass to send deep roots into the soil, peas to fix nitrogen, and these beauties.  I’m not sure of their purpose, but I am sure they make people smile when they drive by.

And I know the wildlife love it.  Turkeys, deer and our healthy herd of skunks.  Which brings me to….

Diamond.  She just couldn’t resist.  And why is it always late at night.  It looks like a squirrel but it………smells like a skunk.  I keep telling her squirrels are not nocturnal.

She had a vinegar bath and spent the rest of the night locked in her crate- out of smelling distance:)

On another note, an apology.  Gosh – this year has been strange.  We have had plenty of produce, but it seems repeat and repeat.  I usually have more variety, but it was off to a slow start and I guess I never caught up.  And Jones farm lost their peaches and we lost our Blueberries to late frost – so not much fruit either.  I was hoping for sweet corn this week to break the monotony – but we will have to wait until next week.  I hope the peppers and okra will come in before the CSA is over.  Until then…

What’s in the bucket:  Squash and more squash.  Potatoes and more potatoes.  Walla Walla onions.  And the trilogy everyone loves: Basil, Tomatoes and garlic.

So – since the vegetables seem redundant, I guess we have to be more creative with what we do with them.

Last week, I delivered Thomas and Stevie Persinger their share – and picked up my quarterly seafood purchase from Marithyme seafood.   Thomas is a longtime friend.  His parents, Steve and Karen Persinger, were some of my founding CSA members and are also good friends.  They have a beautiful farm themselves, Rising Fawn Gardens.  They grow tumeric, ginger, and medicinal herbs.

And Thomas has a business selling ethically and sustainably sourced seafood.   Check out his website www.marithymeseafood.com.  Which brings me to my point.

Thomas is the kind of guy who can land an airplane on the Alaskan sea.  And yet when I walked in last Monday afternoon, he is cooking.  He has his 2 toddlers, Henry and Arthur in their high chairs.  Henry and Arthur each have a wild caught salmon fillet in one fist and a potato pancake on the tray.  Their dog, Shug, is waiting for something to fall to the floor and Thomas is standing over a skillet with 4 more golden brown potato cakes on the way.  Thomas’s explanation – we made mashed potatoes and I hate leftovers.

Stevie and I both agreed, Henry and Arthur have it made (not to mention, Shug)

And so, in thinking about the repetition of potatoes (among other things) in your CSA – I thought maybe I would ask Thomas for his recipe.  I would suggest you make a double batch of mashed potatoes so you can enjoy them mashed, and a few nights later, enjoy the cakes!  I would also suggest serving with a wild caught Salmon fillet from Marithyme seafood!  Here’s the recipe in his words – but he also suggested adding a little milk or chicken broth to left over or cooled mashed potatoes to loosen them up.

Potato Cakes

I use left over mashed potatoes but you could make them specifically for the cakes.

Mashed potatoes, 4 servings
Boil 6 whole medium sized potatoes, skin on, until fork tender
Mash until smooth
Add 2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Stir until smooth, adding more milk if needed to get a smooth consistency

Potatoes cakes
Cooled mashed potatoes
1 egg
1 Tbsp dried chives, parsley, and dill or 1/8th cup of each if using fresh herbs
1/2 tsp of both garlic powder and paprika
**time saver/ life hack: use 1/2 pack of dried ranch dressing powder instead of combining above dried herbs and spices
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients thoroughly

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Once shimmering, add a heaping tablespoon of mix to skillet and lightly press down to create a pancake shape, 1/2” thick.

3-4 will fit in a medium sized skillet. Allow to brown, if you flip to early they sometime fall apart. Cook in batches, add more oil in between batches.

Cook 3-4 minutes per side.

 

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

 

 

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, July 19 and Thursday, July 22, MSFM pick-up Wednesday July 21

“In a world that was not easy for Alice to bear or understand, flies were the final and malicious burden laid upon her.”
― John Steinbeck

It is finally tomato season.  The thing everyone waits for.  They are trickling in…. but the first one is always the best.

I think of July as fly season.  Nothing worse than to have your hands busy picking vegetables and be attacked by biting bugs!  The horses run when they are under attack.  Oh, if I could run fast enough to get away!  Not sure I could ever run that fast.  The cows pack up – travel in a tight herd.  They must knock them off each other with moving tails and feet.  But I worry that they are miserable like I am.

Farm News:  4 weeks of CSA left.  It’s been a different year – as they are all different.  I’ve been doing this a long time, and I am still surprised and humbled every year.  Just when I think I know something….

For instance, I planted summer squash this spring.  It got sick and stayed sick and poorly until I had a meager harvest.  I planted a second succession about a month later.  Same varieties, same circumstances, same garden dirt – and it flourished.  Giant green leaves shading beautiful and loaded plants.   I have quit trying to figure it out:)

What’s in the bucket:  Tomatoes!  Yay.  A few, next week more.  And guess what else?  Potatoes.  Yes not nearly as exciting – but I have a new recipe to share.  cucumbers, onions, summer squash, and basil.

As for the cucumbers – I know they are overwhelming.  I’m usually not a lover of the big pickling cucumbers, but I found a new recipe for refrigerator pickles.  Nice because you can use the bigger picklers, and slice them in wedges.  If you have dill leftover from last week, here’s your chance!  If not, dill seed will work as a replacement.  Make sure you use the pickling cucumbers – the shorter, fatter cucumbers with whiter ends.

Recipe follows – from Once upon a chef

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickles

Refrigerator pickles are quick and easy to make — no sterilizing jars or special equipment required.

Servings: About 24 spears, or two 1-quart jars

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-1/4 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1-3/4 to 2 pounds Kirby cucumbers (about 6), cut into halves or spears
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 16 dill sprigs

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Combine the vinegar, salt and sugar in a small non-reactive saucepan (such as stainless steel, glass, ceramic or teflon) over high heat. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Transfer the liquid into a bowl and whisk in the cold water. Refrigerate brine until ready to use.
  1. Stuff the cucumbers into two clean 1-quart jars. Add the coriander seeds, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, dill sprigs, and chilled brine into jars, dividing evenly. If necessary, add a bit of cold water to the jars until the brine covers the cucumbers. Cover and refrigerate about 24 hours, then serve. The pickles will keep in the refrigerator for up to one month.

AND  as far as the potatoes

I made this

Gnocchi.  It was fairly easy and overwhelming all at once.  But it turned out delicious (even Curtis loved it)  I used Russet and white potatoes mixed – and put them in my pressure cooker instead of boiling them – just to make it easier.

The recipe is from anitalianinmykitchen.com

Ingredients

FOR THE GNOCCHI

  • 1 pound potatoes (clean but not skinned / not new potatoes)
  • 1 cup flour (130 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium egg

SAUCE

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (40 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 cloves large of garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoons oregano
  • 5 leaves basil chopped (or 1 teaspoon/3/4 gram dried) or 1 teaspoon/3/4 gram dried
  • 2 dashes of hot pepper flakes (if desired)
  • 1 can pelati tomatoes with sauce (1 1/2 to 2 cups / 400 grams), nothing else added in the tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water (170 grams)

Instructions

GNOCCHI

  • In a large pot boil potatoes until tender, remove from the pot and let cool  remove the skin. Then pass through a potato ricer.
  • Mix together the flour and salt and place on a flat surface, make a well in the middle and add the potatoes and egg, mix together with your fingers to form a soft dough, it should not stick to your fingers. On a lightly floured surface, cut small amounts of dough to form ropes and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces, then slide each piece on a fork and squeeze a little (but not too hard). Sprinkle with a little bit of flour and toss, so they don’t stick together. Let the gnocchi rest for 20 minutes before cooking.

TOMATO SAUCE

  • While the gnocchi are resting make the sauce.  In a large saucepan add olive oil, tomatoes, salt, garlic, oregano, basil, hot pepper flakes and water, stir to combine, half cover and let simmer over medium heat until thickened. Remove cover for the last few minutes to thicken.

COOKING GNOCCHI

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the gnocchi, gnocchi are ready when they float to the top.  Drain and add to the cooked sauce, add a little pasta water, cook for 30 seconds, gently tossing. Serve immediately topped with fresh grated parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!

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

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Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, July 12, and Thursday July 15 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 14

As for the coyote, he was nothing like his cartoon icon. He was sleek, fast, healthy and apparently without an anvil or Acme product of any kind.

                                        -Doug Fine

IMG_1576

We see coyotes often.  Sometimes they are scruffy, thin and poor.   Sometimes fat and sleek.  I’m sure it depends on time of year, and balance in the ecosystem.

This dog came to help me bushhog one of our fields.  Coyotes are smart – like the huge red-tailed hawk that followed me.  They know that rabbits, field mice and birds have to move out of the way when the tractor comes through.  So they follow me.  They know I will disturb turkey, baby deer and other things.

I enjoyed watching this coyote.  He reminded me of Diamond.  He hung out, unafraid, and watched me.  He smiled.  He scratched.  He shook his ears.

If you are like me you have great plans.  I have such a bounty of garden produce right now.  So I think – what tonight?….purple potato gnocchi with basil cream sauce and savoy caesar salad with homemade croutons.  Cold cucumber soup and broccoli frittata.  But alas – it is 7:30 and I’m writing my blog so – grilled cheese?

There are quick, delicious, meals with fresh produce.  Actually – tonight I’m having vegetable soup ( and maybe grilled cheese shhhhhh)  I sauteed onion, cutting celery and garlic in a little oil.  Added carrots, green beans, potatoes.  All from the garden.  2 small cans diced tomatoes which I crushed with the back of a large spoon.  Then I added water, salt and when it gets close to done, I will add thinly sliced summer squash.  I put it in the oven at 250 degrees while I was digging potatoes in the garden.

Another quick dish – a friend told me they make kitchen sink pasta.  They roast their CSA veggies.  First coat the veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast until delicious.  Boil pasta al dente.  Toss veggies with pasta, add parmesan ( or any flavorful cheese).  This is a one dish meal – which I love.

Potato salad, hash brown casserole, vichyssoise?  Plenty of recipes online.

What’s in the bucket? Carrots, savoy cabbage, cucumbers, summer squash, onions, purple potatoes, white potatoes, dill.

As for the cucumbers – quick refrigerator pickles?  Cucumber salad with feta, and onions (tomatoes if you have them)  I even saw a recipe for cooked creamed cucumber….Jury is out on that!  How about a salad using that savoy cabbage and cucumber?

Green Cabbage Cucumber Salad

Easy Green Cabbage Cucumber Salad is loaded with fresh green cabbage, crisp cucumbers and fresh herbs. It’s the perfect side dish for potlucks, parties and barbecue. Made with sunflower oil and vinegar, inexpensive and may just become your new favorite side dish.

Ingredients

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 medium green cabbage (2 lbs – shredded)
  • 3 medium cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber)
  • 45 green onions
  • 1 bunch fresh dill about 2 tablespoons chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

Instructions

  1. In a small measuring cup, combine and stir sunflower oil, distilled white vinegar, fine salt and pepper. Set aside for salt to dissolve.

  2. Wash all vegetables & paper towel pat dry.

  3. Discard soft outer leaves of cabbage and thinly slice onto a mandolin slicer or using a sharp knife. Discard or eat the core. Transfer shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl. You can use a knife but it is easiest to achieve the fine/thin strips of cabbage with a mandolin. Also, anytime you use a mandolin, protect your hands with these safety gloves.

  4. Thinly slice halved cucumbers. (Slicing cucumbers with mandolin slicer takes seconds).

  5. Finely chop green onions and fresh dill.

  6. Drizzle salad dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.

  7. Serve right away or refrigerate for couple hours for cabbage to soften before serving. Cabbage cucumber salad will stay nice and fresh for 2-3 days in refrigerator.

 

 

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Circle S Farm delivery, Monday, July 5 and Thursday, July 8 MSFM pick up Wednesday, July 7

He said, have a seat, and I sat down
Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?
I said, I think it is
He said, I don’t like to brag
But we’re kinda proud of that ragged old flag

-Johnny Cash

We celebrated the fourth with friends playing music including a few songs by Johnny Cash.   So much fun – and if you haven’t been to the Pigeon Mountain Grill…..

The PGM is one of the few restaurants around that raise their own beef.  They support other local farms by buying local produce – and support local musicians by having local music every week.  They support local artists by having local art hanging on the wall.  If you haven’t been – make a point to drive out to our neighborhood.  Have a great burger and enjoy our little town.

Farm News:  The Walla Walla onions grew beautiful and big.  However – the weather was not dry enough for them to finish properly in the field.  Our red onions took a hit as well, and are not curing as I would like.  Mother nature throws you a bone – and then eats half of it.

The good news is…..  the good news is loads of potatoes and onions in the shares this week.  Also, cucumbers, summer squash, green beans.  I hate to do it – but the fennel I over planted – so one more fennel bulb this week and a recipe to go with it.  Cutting Celery.  Also – basil and garlic.

So…. we plant what we love.  I love onions.  Jennifer loves potatoes.

Last week at the market I mentioned, Jennifer loves potatoes.  A customer asked, how do you like them?  She replied:  ”  I like roasted potatoes, hash browns, baked potatoes, french fried potatoes,  twice baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, potato salad.  I like potatoes for breakfast, I like potatoes for lunch, I like potatoes for dinner.  Enough said:)

Recipe:

My friend (and best chef I know) bought a fennel bulb last week.  I asked, what are you making?  And he said our new favorite salad:

Raw fennel sliced thin, roasted walnuts or pecans, celery sliced equally thin, and blue cheese.   A light red wine vinaigrette to finish.

I tried it – could eat it every night!

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 28 and Thursday, July 1, MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 30

“Life is an onion – you peel it year by year and sometimes cry.”
― Carl Sandburg

This year we have had a fabulous onion crop.  Thanks to Jennifer and Josh and their hard work, most of them are hanging in our hay barn to cure.  They will become sweet and delicious – and keep for a month or longer.  I guess we plant the things we love and hope they will grow.  I am an onion lover….so, yay me!  Jennifer – a potato fanatic….more on that next week.

I do love broccoli too, so again….yay me!  You may be tired of it – but loads of it will be in your share this week as we share the broccoli love.  And we try to make the transition from spring to summer.  The CSA is half over this week, or half is left after this week….are you glass half empty or half full?  So we have had 6 weeks of spring and now we shift into 6 weeks of summer.

Farm News:  We weaned some calves this week so it is NOISY at Circle S.  Curtis and I had the foresight to put the weaning paddock right next to our bedroom – so perhaps we are not so smart.  In general – though – this time of year we can sleep through anything so, there is that!

What’s in the bucket:  OK – so no onions as I am saving them to savor for the last 6 weeks.  However….Broccoli, Collards, kohlrabi or cabbage, fennel bulb, beet root, green beans (hoorah) summer squash or peppers, cutting celery.

OK – the celery was supposed to be real celery but didn’t size up.  The leaves are delicious – but probably should be used more like an herb (parsley) than anticipating a real celery experience.

Following a delicious broccoli fennel slaw recipe from Food and Wine.  I would substitute the celery leaves for the parsley.  That will make it extra delicious.

Creamy Broccoli-Fennel Slaw with Pine Nuts
This light and refreshing winter salad makes use of broccoli stems
Creamy Broccoli-Fennel Slaw with Pine Nuts © Sarah Bolla

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

 

 

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 21, and Thursday, June 24. MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 23

“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
― Mark Twain

Happy Father’s day everyone.

My Father is the smartest person around.  It has taken me 51 years to realize it.  It was a progression of years.  But every year I learn more how much he knows, and how little I know.  And it is wonderful to be at an age to have the humility to say so.  (My Mom is a pretty smart cookie too:)

Farm News:  Curtis and I just returned from a family beach trip.  Like most folks, we have not taken many trips in the past year.  And my family hasn’t been all together under one roof in years.  What a treat.!

But the answer is, if there is any farm news, Jennifer will fill me in tomorrow.  She and Josh are the most fantastic caretakers of Circle S.  They have been here all weekend taking care of plants and animals!

What’s in the bucket:  LOTS OF BROCCOLI.   And so we continue in the season of sauerkraut.    Broccoli, cabbage, kale, fennel, kohlrabi, beets, onions, lemon Thyme, and a taste of summer squash – just to wet your appetite for things to come!

Following – a fabulous recipe from Food and Wine for a easy roasted beet and fennel salad.

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad
The Good News Beets are packed with folate and potassium, and the red ones deliver lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.

  • In a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.

  • Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy Eating, Happy Father’s Day and Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

 

 

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Circle S Farm Delivery Monday, June 14 and MSFM PIck-up Wednesday, June 16

“I said, “I’ll take the T-bone steak.”
A soft voice mooed, “Oh wow.”
And I looked up and realized
The waitress was a cow.
I cried, “Mistake–forget the the steak.
I’ll take the chicken then.”
I heard a cluck–’twas just my luck
The busboy was a hen.
I said, “Okay no, fowl today.
I’ll have the seafood dish.”
Then I saw through the kitchen door
The cook–he was a fish.
I screamed, “Is there anyone workin’ here
Who’s an onion or a beet?
No? Your’re sure? Okay then friends,
A salad’s what I’ll eat.”
They looked at me. “Oh,no,” they said,
“The owner is a cabbage head.”
— Shel Silverstein

And so we shift from the season of salad to the season of sauerkraut.    It will be a short sauerkraut season as everything is coming in quickly.

Farm News:  We moved our cows across the road this week.  We have been fencing and working to get them over there for months.  It is a new piece of property to us, and the cows first time going there.    We worried “what if they run down the road instead of going into the field.”  A farmer friend told me – cows don’t like to cross pavement.  That fueled the anxiety.  We put up panels and an elaborate electric fence to make sure no one got stranded on our side.  We were sure traffic would come, and then what?

All things said and done – it went well.  We did have to shake a bucket to get them to cross the pavement – it’s always good to have a few in your herd who will come to a bucket.    And it only takes one to get them started, then they fall in line.

Then I started to worry – how are we ever going to get them back.  It’s a big field, more space than they are used to rotating through….  They were waiting at the gate the next morning.

What’s in the bucket:  As promised, NO kale!  However, onions are back.  Kohlrabi, colorful beets, fennel, Napa cabbage, romaine and red leaf lettuce, potatoes, and radicchio.

So – as we said, the season for Kraut.  But we’ll get to that next week.  For this week – nothing better than fresh cabbage.  If the Napa cabbage intimidates you, save your Romaine for a Caesar salad, and make a Napa cabbage wedge salad.  Carve that giant into as many wedges as you can muster, and smother it with blue cheese dressing and whatever else strikes your fancy.  Onions?  Bacon pieces?  Or an perhaps an asian slaw with that Napa.   Lots of recipes for that online.

The radicchio is bitter.  A little goes a long way.  Chop some up and throw it into that Caesar salad.  Or toss some fruit and red leaf lettuce together with a light vinaigrette and add radicchio to make it interesting.   Thinly sliced red onion – divine.

As for the roots, as I have advised before, hash is always an option.  I love potatoes, beets, turnips, daikon – anything – for root hash.  And, of course, onion.  Plenty of oil in an iron skillet – grate your roots salt and pepper to taste.  Don’t crowd your pan too much – you may need to make two batches and save one for another delicious frittata like last week!

For those other veggies – stir fry is always an option.  Fennel, kohlrabi and cabbage all make great additions to stir fry.  A little rice and protein of choice and call it dinner!

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

 

 

 

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Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, June 7 and Thursday, June 10. MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 9

“You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.” -Tom Robbins

Back to my conversation with Ranger, the cow.  As an aside, she was named Ranger for her ability to crawl through our electric fence and go wherever she wanted – thus Free Ranger, or Lone Ranger…

My Dad is well read and dedicated to keeping me in the loop.  In other words, educating me out of my farm bubble.  And lately – there have been numerous articles on plant based meat.  The Impossible burger.  The Beyond Burger.  I love the names.  And, in recent news – for the environment, we need to replace our Holy Cow with fake meat.  (Not to be a hypocrit, I love a veggie burger including the above mentioned).

So I told Ranger.  Girl, your days are numbered.  General consensus says, you are bad for the environment.  And she says, ME?  What about YOU?

In a perfect world, there would be no fences.  Our grasslands in the midwest are full of amazing topsoil as a result of grazing herds of Bison.  But instead – we thought it was a great idea to fence our lands and plant corn.  And then cram thousands of animals into tiny spaces and feed them corn – chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys etc.  And it’s a wonder something like the corona virus hasn’t come from our treatment of animals in tight quarters.  Not to mention antibiotic resistance.

The truth is – often when the conversation comes up, someone says “well how are we going to feed the world?”  And what I don’t understand is – why do we have to?  Why can’t we just feed our community?  And others feed their communities?

This is what small farms do, and do well.  Typically, small farms have plenty of diversity.  More than one kind of livestock.  More than one kind of crop.  Sustainability and health comes from rotating livestock and crops.  Cover crops feed cows, cows fertilize soil.  Cattle pastures include perennial grasses which grow even in winter in some climates.  Grasses which, when managed correctly, sequester carbon and store water.  Most small farms also have a woodlot.  Their owners care about clean water and healthy animals because they are living amongst them.  And yet we struggle to make ends meet.  The supply chains and infrastructure, not to mention the government subsidies,  leave the cards stacked against small farms.

While big companies farm millions of acres and use a staggering amount of fuel and inputs to make monoculture crops and animals grow, small farmers could be the answer to many problems.  80 percent of our beef in the US comes from industrial farms controlled by 4 companies, Tyson, Cargill, JBS USA and National beef.  To me, that’s a little scary.   We have learned how fragil our current system is during the pandemic.  And what about Cyber attacks?  (Fairly certain Circle S will not be sought out as a cyber attack target, we barely have a computer and still are struggling to learn social media).

So – for me, I’ll stick with my cow and forgo the magic beans – even if I do have a veggie burger now and then.  And, FYI, the manufactured veggie burgers are a highly processed food.  They are high in sodium, and, in general, not as healthy for you as a local hamburger – pasture raised and cared for at Circle S Farm.

Farm News:  OK – so I’m off my soap box.

Freddie is back and apparently putting a dent in our egg supply.  I have almost stepped on her/him twice and had to rush one day to beat him to the chicken house.  Lucky to have Michael at Broadfork Farms as back up this year on eggs!

What’s in the bucket?  OK – so I’m embarrassed to say we are still into greens and things.  While the kale is loving this weather, apparently the beans I planted were not magic.  They are taking their own sweet time.  So are the squash, fennel, etc.  So- I’ll try to give you a week off of onions – but roots and greens are the thing right now.

*Kale (promise, last week)  collards or chard, red potatoes (yay – glorious spuds), cilantro,  turnip root, daikon root, and a lotta lettuce.

What’s at market:  onions, kale, collard, chard, turnip, daikon, red potatoes, cilantro, a lotta lettuce, Temple Top Dog Treats.

Curtis and I have been loving a frittata lately.  Here’s how:

Saute a couple of those roots with a healthy dose of olive oil in a large iron skillet or nonstick that can go in the oven – a mix of turnip and potato and daikon grated with a large grater.  Enough roots to thoroughly cover the bottom plus some.  And enough oil that it won’t stick – especially if using an iron skillet.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat when near done.

Cover roots with some veggies and cheese – doesn’t matter what.  Last night I used chopped onion, chopped kale and gruetli cheese from Sequatchie Cove Farm.  Cilantro would be a nice touch.  Beat 6 eggs until frothy with a large pour of cream or half and half (this is optional) and season with salt and pepper.  Pour over cheese and veggies making sure to press veggies in until they are covered.

Bake until done – a knife comes out clean at 350 degrees.  About 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Serve with chopped cilantro, a lotta lettuce:) or massage some shredded kale with olive oil, salt and pepper as a side.

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

 

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