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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Circle S Farm CSA delivery Monday, May 31 and Thursday, June 3, MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 2

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”

– Mark Twain

I always love traveling through our small town of Menlo before Memorial day.  It is moving to see the flags, and the names on them, and to realize the price so many have paid.    And I believe Mark Twain is right – your country all the time.  And what is a country without the people?   ALL the people.

 

 

last year’s garden planted in cover crop of peas, sunflowers, radish and grasses.

This years garden

next year’s garden being grazed and fertilized by Circle S cows.

I thought I would include these pics of building soils for our crops.   The garden gets at least 3 years rotation, cover crops and grazing help fertilize the food we eat!  Stay tuned for next week’s conversation with Ranger, the cow….

Farm News:  We lost 6 chicks last night.  I guess too cold?  I thought they were old enough – but maybe they are getting to big to all fit beneath the hen that is raising them.  They are over a month old and starting to feather out.  We put a heater in for them tonight.  Fingers crossed.

As far as the garden, the heat and then  chill is confusing.  I’m thankful for the rain and cooler temperatures.  However, don’t be surprised if your radishes are not uniform in size.  things tend to take a turn sometimes with crazy weather.  Let’s hope the broccoli doesn’t bolt!

What’s in the bucket (or bag):  young onions, kale, arugula or kale mix, turnips and baby potatoes, radishes, green and red lettuce, chard, oregano and yes – yay- Roy (Jones Farm) has agreed to one more week of Strawberries!  Circle S has a few strawberries we will throw in the mix too.

What’s at market?  mustard greens, collard greens, kale, arugula, turnips with greens, lettuce, red and purple daikon radish.

And lastly – to inspire your Memorial Day eating.  A red white and blue salad?  OK, well maybe red leaf lettuce, red strawberries, white cheese, and purple (could count as blue) onion.  A share holder sent me this picture of her salad last week.  YUM.  No recipe needed:)

Happy Eating.  Happy Memorial Day.  And thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

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Circle S CSA delivery – first of the Season! Monday, May 24, Main Street Market pick-up Wednesday, May 26 and Lookout delivery Thursday, May 27

“Ah, Nothing is too late, till the tired heart shall cease to palpitate.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

Circle S Strawberries

Yes, we finally begin.  At least it is still strawberry season – but even my strawberries are late this year.  We are, luckily, partnering with Jones farm again for strawberries.  Also partnering with Broadfork Meadows farm again this year for help with eggs and flowers, and for this week, Creekside farms – beautiful flowers.

Farm News:  Busy time on the farm.  We are planning to run our cows through and give them their annual vaccinations.  I know how they feel, after having 2 covid shots myself!  Then, they will then move to new grass across the road.  They will more than  likely stay away from any suspicious character with a needle in their hand for a while.

Yes, and the CSA starts this Monday.  Lots of garden work still left to do including harvest.   Speaking of which….

What’s in the CSA bucket?  STRAWBERRIES:) Greens! turnip/mustard/kale or collard or some collaboration of them all,   arugula, young onions, radishes, Daikon radish greens, kalebration kale mix or cabbage, rosemary.

Housekeeping:  Full shares will receive a bucket this year.  Just leave the empty bucket in the same spot the next week and I will swap.  We also will reuse egg cartons, and any other containers if you feel like returning them.

Half shares, or anyone who chooses so, will receive a paper bag.

What’s at Market:  young onions, daikon radish greens, turnip greens, kale, collard, mustard, radishes and Temple Top Dog Treats

If you are a new member, when you receive your bucket don’t panic.  If you are overwhelmed with greens at any point – and find your refrigerator overflowing and running out of room – here is what you should do.

Wash and cut those greens up.  Even arugula and the small kale mix will cook up nicely in a pot of greens.  I got three bunches and 5 bags of greens plus 2 bunches of green onions in my pressure cooker last week that were left over from the market!  And onions and garlic add a nice touch.  Just chop and add to greens pot.

So – wash those greens.  Wilt them in a little water in a big pot and keep adding greens and adding greens until your blood pressure goes down (1. from thinking about eating all those healthy greens and 2. from cleaning your refrigerator out).  Fill pot with water to cover greens and cook until tender.  ADD any of the following, or none  Salt, Chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh), a splash of vinegar, hot sauce, broth or bouillon to taste.  If, then, the mountain of greens you have cooked becomes intimidating, freeze some.  I like to let them cool, and then squeeze them with my hands and chop on the cutting board before I freeze or eat them.

If you are still skeptical, a radish green pesto recipe from Love & Lemons follows.  How could that go wrong?  I think this would work with turnip greens also – and probably ok to experiment with other herbs besides basil.  Parsley? Cilantro?

Radish Greens Pesto

Serves 8
Don’t toss those radish greens! I love to sauté them to make a simple side dish or blend them into this vibrant radish green pesto. Spread it onto bread, toss it with pasta, dollop it onto salads, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or pepitas
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup radish greens
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oilmore if desired
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheeseoptional

Instructions

  • In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse until well chopped. Add the lemon juice and pulse again.
  • Add the radish greens and basil and pulse until combined.
  • With the food processor running, drizzle in the olive oil and pulse until combined. Add the Parmesan cheese, if using, and pulse briefly to combine. For a smoother pesto, add more olive oil.

Happy Eating and Thanks to all of you for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

Letty

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Circle S Farm at Main Street Market Wednesday, May 12

“Love does not dwell on how much one receives in return. If there is ever any balance in love, it is in a contest of who can love who more.”
― Criss Jami

 

An appropriate quote for Mother’s day.  Because who can love more than Mothers?

Farm News:   Speaking of Mothers, this little hen has 17 chicks to raise.   We think she is up to the task.  Chicks that come from hatcheries rarely have the mother instinct.  They hatch in an incubator, and are raised with a heat lamp as their mother.  These little guys should consider themselves lucky.  This hen will keep them warm, and teach them to eat, drink and scratch around for bugs.  Not to mention giving them lots of love and attention (and an occasional scolding!).  And who knows, one day they may want to be a mother.

What’s at the market:  limited Russian kale, mustard greens, spring onions, radishes, arugula, mesclun, and pastured eggs, and Temple Top Dog Treats.   Onsite sales only this week.

 

 

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Celebrating one year of Temple Top Treats

“All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed.
For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog.”
― Charles M. Schulz
We are celebrating one year of Temple Top Treats this week.  Temple Top was inspired by our four legged friends, who travel with us in spirit or in earnest, and remind us that we should all be well treated!  Lovingly made by Jennifer and me (Jennifer is the genius in this), Temple Top reminds us that a hearty tail wag or a well spoken wuff can put a smile on anyone’s face, and is deserving of a healthy, delicious treat made out of locally sourced ingredients.
Jennifer and I have had such fun meeting all of your furry friends at Main Street this year.  Please bring them out and celebrate with us this week.  As always, plenty of free samples and cool water to drink:)
Thanks for buying local, thanks for supporting Circle S Farm and Main Street Farmer’s market.  But most importantly, thanks for loving your dog.
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Circle S Farm bringing Temple Top Dog Treats to Main Street Farmer’s Market March 10,2021

“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful….”  Tom Robbins

This is music to these two.  Because they love being playful almost as much as they love each other.

Farm News:  Plenty of tail wagging, wrestling and running.  Bluebell got to spend the week with us.  I am ashamed to say, Diamond wanted to go home with her.  She wanted to give it all up- her farm life, her older brother, Curtis and me – just to get to live with Bluebell and keep the party going.  It took convincing her with Temple Top Treats to change her mind – after all, her Mom is a partner in a Dog Treat company:)

We will be at Main Street Market with Temple Top Dog Treats this week.  Hopefully with some veggies soon.  See you there!

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Temple Top Dog Treats at Main Street Farmer’s Market’s winter Farmacy, February 10, 2021

“This little old dog.  A heartbeat at my feet.”  -Edith Wharton

This is Diamond.  My new right hand girl.  She is over a year old now and still a handful.  But always with me.  And she wants to be good.

In wintertime, we feed cows together, fence together, do errands together, sit by the fire together, sit on the porch together, work calves together, wherever I am, there she goes.  I notice her absence more than her presence.  And I know from my former canine companions, as I still feel their absence every day, that this is part of being a dog.

In summer time, it is hard to explain to her that, now, she has to stay home.  She can’t go to deliver with me, or go to the Farmers market with me.   It is hard to leave her.  And the picture above was taken in one of these moments.  How do you explain to the “heartbeat at your feet” that she can’t go with you?

Farm News:  Spring is approaching.  We had a dusting of snow last night.  Seeds are ordered and plans are taking shape for spring/summer.  That being said, the CSA deadline for sign up is looming March 1.  You can navigate from here to our CSA sign up page if you are interested.  Read about it, and sign up with the form and send it in.  Delivery is free to Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo, Downtown Chattanooga and North Chattanooga.  You can also pick up at Main Street if you are not in our delivery area.

Or, follow this link and sign up on our online store my-site-101402-102716.square.site

We will have Temple Top Dog Treats for sale this Wednesday at Main Street Farmers Market for the Winter Farmacy.

As always, thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!

 

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Circle S Farm will be at Main Street Farmer’s Market Wednesday, January 27 with Temple Top Dog Treats

“Red cattle,” Annabeth said. “The cattle of the sun.”
“What?” I [Percy] asked.
“They’re sacred to Apollo.”
“Holy cows?”
― Rick Riordan, The Battle of the Labyrinth

cow enjoying a delicious collard green

I love the thought of cattle guarded by the sun. Apollo’s red cattle guarded by the sun. And so, I wondered about the expression “Holy Cow”.   As a lover of cows, I use the phrase often.

Wikipedia says….”Holy cow!” (and other similar terms), an exclamation of surprise used mostly in Australia, Canada, England and United States, is a minced oath or euphemism for “Holy Christ!” The expression dates to at latest 1905.[1] Its earliest known appearance was in a tongue-in-cheek letter to the editor: “A lover of the cow writes to this column to protest against a certain variety of Hindu oath having to do with the vain use of the name of the milk producer. There is the profane exclamations, ‘holy cow!’ and, ‘By the stomach of the eternal cow!'”[2] The phrase appears to have been adopted as a means to avoid using obscene or indecent language and may have been based on a general awareness of the holiness of cows in some religious traditions.[1]

So….the holiness of cows in some religious traditions.  Does that include mythology?  It certainly should include Apollo’s cows.   I love the idea of them, red “immortal cattle regarded as handsome (ἄριστος), wide-browed, fat (εúρυμέτωπος) and straight-horned (ὀρθόκραιρος). The cattle were guarded by Helios’ daughters, Helios and Neaera, the personification of the brilliant, blinding rays of the sun.”

We let our cows into the 2020 garden a few weeks ago. They will periodically rotate through the spot and we will plant a spring and summer cover crop for them to graze. After three years of rest and grazing, it will be ready to plant again. The cows and cover crops will provide the fertility we need to grow our vegetables. A sustainable cycle of fertility with little input other than a HOLY COW…(I might add, again, guarded by the sun).

We will be at market with Temple Top Dog Treats this week. If you would like to reserve some for your furry friend, please e-mail us at circlessouth@gmail.com. Otherwise – we will see you Wednesday at Main Street Farmer’s Market 4-5:30.

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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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