Update on Circle S Farm and Circle S CSA

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
— Abraham Lincoln

When I look out the window, nothing has changed.  Luckily, as far as we know, our animals are not susceptible to this virus.  Our processor is still working, although she said they were swamped.  I am in agreement with Abraham Lincoln, that we will all get through this together.  And if you don’t drink beer, then perhaps hot tea?

We are trying to get things started early (our fields are still so wet!) so we can offer a delivery service for our vegetables, meat and eggs starting in April.  I am extending our sign up for CSA shares until the end of March, because of the uncertainty of whether our market will remain open or not.  I am also working on an online ordering system – so you can order things online and have them delivered to your house.  Unfortunately, our delivery area remains Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo, Downtown Chattanooga and North Chattanooga.  Our delivery days will remain Mondays and Wednesdays, to give us time for other farm work.

We will be extremely vigilant about our sanitation here.  Jennifer and I are the only garden workers – so we will double scrub everything to make sure your food is safe.  We will make sure there are no visitors in and out, so we are minimizing our customers risk.

We are looking forward to growing food for you in such an uncertain time.  We want you to know we will do our very best to keep you healthy and well fed!

Letty

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Update on Circle S Farm CSA and market

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
— Abraham Lincoln

When I look out the window, nothing has changed.  Luckily, as far as we know, our animals are not susceptible to this virus.  Our processor is still working, although she said they were swamped.  I am in agreement with Abraham Lincoln, that we will all get through this together.  And if you don’t drink beer, then perhaps hot tea?

We are trying to get things started early (our fields are still so wet!) so we can offer a delivery service for our vegetables, meat and eggs starting in April.  I am extending our sign up for CSA shares until the end of March, because of the uncertainty of whether our market will remain open or not.  I am also working on an online ordering system – so you can order things online and have them delivered to your house.  Unfortunately, our delivery area remains Lookout Mountain, St. Elmo, Downtown Chattanooga and North Chattanooga.  Our delivery days will remain Mondays and Wednesdays, to give us time for other farm work.

We will be extremely vigilant about our sanitation here.  Jennifer and I are the only garden workers – so we will double scrub everything to make sure your food is safe.  We will make sure there are no visitors in and out, so we are minimizing our customers risk.

We are looking forward to growing food for you in such an uncertain time.  We want you to know we will do our very best to keep you healthy and well fed!

Letty

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Circle S CSA sign up due March 15, 2020

before

after

“Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”
― Winston S. Churchill

Jennifer and I have been working on our small high tunnel.  We are closing in on this “ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving task”.   Isabel (her sweet furry pup) has been giving progress reports.  And her napping is a sign we are moving in the right direction!

So as we progress…..I am here to remind you you have 2 more weeks to sign up for our CSA (don’t miss out for YOUR furry friend and sign up for our new Temple Top Dog Treats).  The sign up info is on our sign up link.  Our sign up deadline is March 15.  If you have troubles, don’t hesitate to e-mail me at circlessouth [at] gmail [dot] com

I planted onions before the rain set in – I’m excited about our 16th CSA season…..sweet sixteen. 

 

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Circle S Farm last CSA delivery for the season. Monday, July 14 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 17

“If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and man.”
Mark Twain

 Jennifer came to work 2 weeks ago and told me she saw a dog at the end of our driveway.

Ghost made appearances almost every day after that.  We ran her off – thinking she might kill our chickens.  I kept thinking she was someone else’s dog because she always acted like she was going somewhere.  She ran up and down our road, several miles in each direction, until the pads on her feet bled.  We finally decided we needed to feed her before she starved, but as soon as we tried to retrieve her, she became elusive.  So Curtis named her Ghost – here one minute, gone the next.

After a few days, of putting food out for her – he finally managed to reel her in.  She has been on our porch ever since.  I carried her to the vet – we tested her for heart worms and she seems healthy.  They would not vaccinate her because she was so thin.  We have been feeding her well, and will take her back soon to get her fixed and up to date on all vaccinations.  She is a big dog – 65 pounds at starving weight – so I expect she will be 75-80 pounds at a healthy weight.

We are looking for a home for Ghost.  We already have three dogs.  Two are dogs that we have taken as rescue dogs.  The other is my Blue Heeler, Temple, who has cancer and needs our attention.  If you know anyone who wants a sweet, beautiful dog, please pass this along.  We will want to talk to them to make sure it will be a good home.  She has been through too much to be passed around.

Farm News:  Find Ghost a home.  She has not chased our cats or chickens.  She seems pretty sociable, and hasn’t been aggressive to our dogs – but did snap at our friend’s small Mountain Feist.

This is the last week of CSA.  I will bring your veggies in bags so I can retrieve all my buckets.  Please remember to leave your bucket out or bring it to market.

What’s in the Bucket?   Tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, basil, peppers, green cabbage, red, white and blue potatoes.

If you are looking for a way to use those purple potatoes up – how about some gnocchi?  Chop some cherry tomatoes, basil and garlic add some olive oil and you have a nice sauce for your gnocchi.  Call it dinner:)

Simple but exceptionally satisfying – Making Potato Gnocchi from scratch only requires 3 simple ingredients and are guaranteed to make a stunning dish everyone will absolutely love.
Author: The Petite Cook
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 kg floury potatoes (Russet, Yukon Gold, Vitelotte, etc)
  • 300gr plain flour + extra if needed
  • 1 small free-range egg, beaten
  • a pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Boil the potatoes whole and unpeeled until fork-tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Cut each potato lengthwise, and using a spoon, scoop potato flesh into a ricer fitted with the finest disk. Press the potato flesh onto a clean work surface, spreading it into an even layer, and season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Mix in ½ the amount of the flour, then add ½ the egg and knead. Repeat one more time, kneading the dough gently, and incorporating the remaining flour until you the dough reaches a soft but compact consistency.
  4. Slice a small portion of dough and gently roll into a thread about ½ inch thick.
  5. Cut the thread into 1-inch thick logs, then make an indent with your index finger and roll each gnocco on a gnocchi board, or “mark” them on the tines of a fork.
  6. Transfer gnocchi to a well-floured baking tray and repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Cook gnocchi in lightly salted soft-boiling water, for 1-2 minutes until they rise on the surface,
  8. Spoon them out with a slotted spoon, mix them with your favorite sauce and serve.
  9. if you don’t intend to boil the gnocchi right away, you should freeze them in a single layer (see notes), and then drop them frozen directly into the boiling water when needed.
Notes
To freeze gnocchi: Simply line them up on a baking sheet, pop them in the freezer for a few hours, then divide them into freezing bags and store them back in the freezer until needed.

 

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

 

 

 

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Circle S CSA delivery Monday, July 8 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 10, 2019

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

Ahh – the long days.  I really don’t love them.  I am ready to go to bed usually by 8:30 and it is still light.   Some nights Curtis and I have to wait for the chickens to go to bed – often not until 9,  dusk.

A lovely day at the creek yesterday.  The water is low – but still cool.  A good respite from the summer heat.

Farm News:  Two more weeks of CSA.  Our black rat snake has finally reappeared.  Good because the mice have been having a hay day in the hay barn.

What’s in the bucket? Broccoli, sweet corn, cherry tomato, potato, fennel, cucumber, green cabbage, basil.

Following a recipe for

CHILLED FENNEL GAZPACHO

from Genius Kitchen

Fabulous, refreshing soup that can be served warm – if in cold weather – from Delia Smith ​​**cooking time does not include chilling time**

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

1 1/2 lbs tomatoes or cherry tomatoes

fennel bulb, large

1 teaspoon salt, coarse
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon peppercorn, mixed colors

tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3⁄4 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon tomato paste

skin tomatoes, and chop roughly.

trim the green fronds away from the fennel (and save them for a garnish).

cut the bulb into quarters.

trim away a little of the central stem at the base and slice the fennel into thin slices.

place these in a saucepan with a little salt and measure 2 cups of water.

bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

meanwhile, crush the coriander seeds and peppercorns (in a mortar & pestle) heat oil in large saucepan and add crushed spices, along with chopped onion.

let these cook gently for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, tomatoes, and oregano.
stir well, and add fennel (and the water).
finally stir in the tomato paste, and bring everything to a simmer. simmer gently, uncovered for about 30 minutes.

after simmering, puree till smooth. let cool, cover, and chill for several hours.

garnish with fennel fronds.

 

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Circle S CSA delivery Monday, July 1, and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, July 3, 2019

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
Robert Frost

The vegetables are bold, aren’t they?  Bold in their color, bold in their taste – some of them.   I wonder if they feel free?

Happy Independence Day!!

Farm News:  Otis got skunked.  The only dog that doesn’t know.  He has never been skunked.  He couldn’t get any back up – no dogs to go with him.  Nevertheless – he was BOLD and he got skunked!!  A bath of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda toned the smell down!!

What’s in the bucket:  radish, arugula, fennel,  shell beans, green cabbage, sweet corn, potatoes.

We are probably all hoping for a wonderful cookout for Fourth of July.  Include some cool coleslaw – with your BBQ.  And some corn on the grill – yum.  Potato salad….

I have an easy slaw recipe – from my mother.  I always use it – but do not have measurements.   I will try to tell you how.

Fourth of July Cole Slaw

Cabbage

Mayo

Apple Cider Vinegar

Sugar or honey

Salt and Pepper

With a large sharp knife slice the cabbage thin, thin, thin.  This is the key.  Add other thinly sliced veggies or grated carrot.  Fennel works nicely too.  Then mix your dressing.  Mayo, enough apple cider vinegar to make it a dressing and sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Guestimate how much you need – but you can always make more…..

I make this for Curtis and I sometimes on a weeknight – and only enough for two.  Other times, I use the whole cabbage and make enough to share and for leftovers.  Simple and flexible.

Happy Eating and Happy Fourth of July.  AND thanks for buying local food from our farm.

Letty

 

 

 

 

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Circle S CSA delivery Monday, June 24 and MSFM pick-up June 26, 2019

“I bought a big bag of potatoes and it’s growing eyes like crazy. Other foods rot. Potatoes want to see.”
Bill Callahan, Letters to Emma Bowlcut

One potato, two potato, three potato, four!!  More…..More.

Everyone loves potatoes.  When my potatoes start coming in, it feels like summer is really here!

Farm News:  Summer is here!  We have passed the longest day of the year, so we are on the downhill side.   We only have 4 weeks left of CSA in this short season.

What’s in the bucket?  Leeks or red onions, POTATOES, lettuce OR arugula, giant zucchini!! (see recipe for zuc -canoos below.), carrots, cucumbers, NAPA or green cabbage, green beans or fresh shell beans

Giant zucchini also make great noodles (consider getting a spiralizer) and/or zucchini bread.

Recipe follows from Genius kitchen

Zuccanoes

UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

DIRECTIONS
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Scoop out the insides of zucchinis to leave 1/2 inch rim. Chop innards into tiny bits and saute in butter with onions and garlic until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from stove top, set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine eggs, cheeses, parsley. dill and flour. Drain zucchini and add to the large bowl with egg and cheese mixture. Mix until combined. Fill zucchini cavities and dust top with paprika.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until filling solidifies.

Thanks for eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm!!

 

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 17 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 19

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum

My father is at the beach right now with my mother, brother, sister in law and niece and nephew.  I am missing him so, all of them, on this Father’s Day.  It just so happens that his birthday is tomorrow – sometimes it is actually on Father’s day.

My Dad has always been a teacher.  When we were little – and teenagers, his favorite place to trap us for a lesson was in his car.  We were a captive audience on Sunday afternoon drives.  He would play Lewis Grizzard tapes in the car.  And then repeat quotes like:

The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.  Lewis Grizzard

One of his favorites was “ATTITUDE is the magic word” (not sure if that was Lewis Grizzard or not?).  Please would get you nowhere in our house if you did not have a happy attitude.
So I guess my fondness for quotes is one of the little scraps of wisdom he has passed along.  One among many.
Farm News:  We are halfway through our season.   A shorter one this year.  May be a good thing – we have a grey fox and a red fox stalking our chickens.  I have sent our blue heeler,  Temple,  to chase them off twice – hoping they would be scared to come back.  We also have a healthy skunk population.  I have not sent my blue heeler after them.  In fact, quite the opposite!!
What’s in the Bucket?  Kohlrabi, kale, collard greens, Romaine lettuce hearts,  carrots, summer squash, basil.
I love a simple recipe – and this one from Genius Kitchen fits the bill.  Easy and delicious!!
Kohlrabi and carrots
  • medium kohlrabi, Peeled, chopped into 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • large carrots, cut into chunks to match the size of the kohlrabi
  • 1teaspoon nutmeg
  • tablespoon butter(optional)
  • salt and pepper
  • Cover the Kohlrabi and carrots with lightly salted water and boil until quite tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  • Drain.
  • Lightly mash, leave a lot of texture don’t try to make them smooth like mashed potatoes.
  • Add nutmeg and butter.
  • serve.

Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

Letty

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Circle S Farm delivery Monday, June 10 (today!!) and Wednesday, June 12, 2019

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”
Robert Frost

Lucky to have some rain and cool weather in June.  I was beginning to think summer was here, long and hot.  The garden has responded in color.  All the cool weather plants boosted, and the sweet corn starting to tassle.

This picture is of our awesome turnip harvest last week.  I thought Jennifer might have been a bit ambitious – but we sold them all at the market with our Turnip Truck Special!

Farm News:  We have a bobtail cat named Lucy (Lucifer when she is naughty).  She is old.  I’m not sure how old but I’m guessing 15.  She had one litter of kittens and has outlived all of her 7 offspring.  She is tough.  A friend of a friend trapped her from a litter of ferrel cats in Wyoming and she was tamed into domestic life – but she is still a bit wild.  Ferocious hunter.  She went missing – which happens when she is hunting in summer for a few days.  But this time it was a week, or longer.  I figured she had been hunted herself – and picked up by a coyote or bigger cat.  However she appeared yesterday.  Skinny and begging.   I had given up.  Perhaps she has another of her 9 lives – another great adventure in her future.

What’s in the bucket:  TURNIPS!  Just kidding.  Leeks, Swiss Chard, kohlrabi, red and green lettuce, summer squash, basil, mustard greens.

Following a NY Times recipe.  I love a one dish meal.  Add some summer squash and Chard cut into ribbons.  Happy Eating and Thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.

 

Baked Rice with Leeks and white beans.

The following recipe from NY Times.  Easily adjusted – add summer squash and Swiss chard cut into ribbons.  I love a one dish meal.

  • 4 leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, white and pale green parts sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • ½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  •  Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern), rinsed
  • 2 ½ cups boiling water
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving

PREPARATION

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the leeks until they’re clean, then shake or pat dry. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 1-inch-thick strips of lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half. Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half.
  2. In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, combine the leeks, lemon zest strips, almonds, red-pepper flakes and olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the leeks start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
  3. Finely chop the lemon zest strips, then stir it back into the leek mixture and arrange in an even layer. Sprinkle the rice evenly over the leeks, then top with the beans and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the boiling water, then seal the pan tightly with foil. Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 22 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Squeeze the lemon half over the rice, then stir in Parmesan and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges, and more Parmesan and herbs, as desired.
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Circle S Delivery Monday, June 3 and MSFM pick-up Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Tell You a little story and it won’t take long,
‘Bout a lazy farmer who wouldn’t hoe his corn.
The reason why I never could tell,
That young man was always well.

He planted his corn in the month of June.
By July it was up to his eyes.
Come September, came a big frost.
And all the young man’s corn was lost.

Writer(s): ALISON KRAUSS, PATRICK BRAYER, JERRY DOUGLAS, RON BLOCK, BARRY BALES, DAN (T) TYMINSKI

Every year when I’m weeding sweet corn this song comes to me.  I sing it while I’m pulling all the pig weed out of my corn rows.  Pig weed, if you aren’t familiar, is so thorny it is hard to have gloves thick enough not to get pierced.   When I researched pigweed for a scientific name, I came upon this.

Amaranthus spinosus
Amaranthus.spinosus1web.jpg
Scientific classificationedit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Amaranthus
Species:
A. spinosus
Binomial name
Amaranthus spinosus

Amaranthus spinosus, commonly known as the spiny amaranth,[1] spiny pigweed, prickly amaranth or thorny amaranth, is a plant is native to the tropical Americas, but is present on most continents as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed. It can be a serious weed of ricecultivation in Asia.[2]

Uses[edit]

Dye use[edit]

In Khmer language, it is called pti banlar and in Vietnamese giền and its ash was historically used as a grey cloth dye.

Food use[edit]

Phat phak khom is a Thai stir-fried dish of the young shoots of the Amaranthus spinosus. This version is stir-fried with egg and minced pork.

Like several related species, A. spinosus is a valued food plant in Africa.[3] It is valued also in Thai cuisine, where it is called phak khom (Thai: ผักขม). In Tamil, it is called mullik keerai. In Sanskrit, it is called tanduliyaka. It is used as food in the Philippines, where it is called kulitis. The leaves of this plant, known as massaagu in the Maldivian language, have been used in the diet of the Maldives for centuries in dishes such as mas huni.[4] In Mexico, it is among the species labelled Quelite quintonil in Mexican markets. In Bangladesh it is called “Katanote (কাটানটে)”. In Manipuri, it is called” Chengkrook” and is used as food in stir-fry and in broths mixed with other vegetables.

Traditional medicine[edit]

In the folk medicine of India, the ash of fruits of Amaranthus spinosus is used for jaundice.[5][medical citation needed] Water extracts from its roots and leaves have been used as a diuretic in Vietnam.[6][medical citation needed]

Who would know, such a mean and ugly plant could be used for so many things.  I am changing my attitude towards pigweed.  Perhaps I should be cultivating it instead of pulling it out!!

What’s in the bucket:  PIGWEED!  Just kidding.  Cilantro, kale, summer squash, beets, romaine and red leaf lettuce, young onions.

Recipe from the Kitchen Paper for Beet and cilantro gazpacho.  Yum, wish I had cucumbers coming in too – but they are easy to find.  Main Street market had plenty last week!

  • 4 large beets
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup chopped cucumber, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • To garnish: micro greens, extra cucumber, red onion, cubed beets, cilantro, yogurt, salt & pepper

instructions

  1. In a large pot, cover the beets with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Let the beets cook for 40-50 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature (remove the beets from the water to speed this process up). Save the cooking water!
  3. When the beets are cool, use your hands to remove and discard the skin.
  4. Save one beet to cube and use as a garnish. Put the rest of the beets, along with the cilantro, garlic, cucumber, onion, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Add two cups of the reserved cooking liquid, and blend until smooth. Add more liquid as needed, along with salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the soup cold, topped with micro greens, extra cucumber, red onion, cubed beets, cilantro.

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

Letty

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