Thanks to all of you who signed up for the 2022 CSA.
Looking forward to growing healthy, delicious food for you! Stay tuned….the CSA will start the first week in June.
Thanks to all of you who signed up for the 2022 CSA.
Looking forward to growing healthy, delicious food for you! Stay tuned….the CSA will start the first week in June.
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
― Lewis Carroll
Go to our CSA link on the website to sign up, or the link to the online store.
Thanks to all of you who support our farm and local agriculture even when we are only dreaming of the next season.
“Be proactive not reactive, for an apparently insignificant issue ignored today can spawn tomorrow’s catastrophe” -Ken Poirot
Ok – so it was a gate they never went through. Not even a gate – panels we put up and chained to the posts. The cows had never tried to push on them before. I will admit, the last time I walked by, I tied a tired hay string around them. Not sure what I thought that would do. At any rate, Thursday morning when I went out to check for new calves – I saw the cows pushing through the garden gate. I ran. But it was too late. So I started pulling collard plants, and carrots, and kale. Daikons and turnips. As fast as I could and throwing it over the fence so the cows couldn’t reach it. Luckily we hadn’t mowed the grass around the garden, so it took the cows a few minutes to get to the garden – but then the race was on. Trying to stay ahead of 50 hungry cows is no easy task. Didn’t help that it was a foggy, cold miserable day. One cow had her calf and never picked her head up to quit eating collard greens.
So – glass half full – I’m so glad this didn’t happen earlier in the season. I was able to harvest enough for my last week of CSA. Our market sales will take a hit – but this is the kind of thing farmer’s have nightmares about. I remember Roy Jones at Jones Farm saying he didn’t sleep one whole winter….he had a contract on his strawberries and was terrified his cows would get through the fence and eat the plants. So this is a minor set back. Important to keep your sense of humor, right? So we will be selling collard fed beef next year….a delicacy.
Farm News: The cows busted into the garden. I need therapy. Cows and calves are fat and happy after eating collard greens, mustard greens, daikon and turnip root. Luckily, Loofa sponges were left untouched:)
What’s in the last CSA share: Rescued roots and greens. Dried oyster mushrooms (rehydrate with hot water). Peppers left over from market last week. Winter squash and sweet potatoes.
Happy Eating….Thanks for your support of Circle S Farm this season.
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” -Neil Young
This is the last week for half shares. One more week of fall blast. And I will say I am burning out. Cows calving, a horse sick, Diamond thieving eggs. Other things to tend to. I wish I could make a cocoon and emerge a butterfly in the spring!
That being said – a flurry of fabulous food this week….and loofa sponges.
Farm News: One of my friends is sick. A horse. An old friend, Merle. Trying my best to take care of her and get everything else done too.
On a lighter note – Diamond has been caught thieving eggs. A punishable offense. However, she seems to be burying them for later use. Perhaps she is stockpiling them for us? Not sure whether to persecute or reward:)
What’s in the bucket? Carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger, head lettuce, mustard greens, and LOOFA Sponges. These we grow, peel and deseed. Then cut into pieces. They are amazing dish washers and bath sponges and completely biodegradable, yay.
As it turns colder – soup sounds pretty inviting. Following – a recipe for carrot, sweet potato and ginger soup.
Happy Eating, happy burn out and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera
Dog camp this week. I am the lucky girl who sometimes gets to keep dog children. And it is always a treat. (not to mention – we do have a dog treat company – what dog wouldn’t love that perk). Go on Temple Top Treats!! We had six dogs at dog camp this week (well, including our 2).
Nevertheless – these cutie pies joined us to help at Circle S this weekend. And what beautiful weather it was….we were all soaking up sun in the green grass of the garden together. And yes – it was peaceful…sheer bliss!
Farm News: Dog camp this week!~ Oh yes – and we had three new baby calves today. More to come….fingers crossed.
What’s in the Bucket: butternut squash, cilantro, Poblano peppers, turnip greens, braising greens, daikon radish, bibb lettuce, oyster mushrooms (from our new mushroom logs…yay!)
Following a recipe for Butternut squash enchiladas (what’s not to love?) You can use your oyster mushrooms – substitute for cremini. Recipe from Completely Delicious.
“If you hear ‘I will show you pepper’, you are very fortunate. If he shows you his pepper, show him your tomatoes; he shows you his ginger, you show him your onions. With these ingredients, you are on your way to becoming friends on spicy pot of stew.”
― Vincent Okay Nwachukwu, Weighty ‘n’ Worthy African Proverbs – Volume 1
I didn’t even see Diamond’s nose in this picture until I put it in the blog. What a nosy girl she is!
I love fall peppers. They turn in all their glory, like the trees, into fabulous colors. And they smell fantastic. I am also a lover of spicy food – so I make them into hot sauce, pickled peppers, salsa. And fall is a time when the days start to get shorter. I have a little more time to prepare a meal – and seem to enjoy it without a daunting season of farming ahead.
This is my latest dish of choice. I sort of get hung up on a dish sometimes. Curtis will roll his eyes when I pull this out of the fridge tonight. It has been a staple. The side dishes change, but nevertheless….
This salad has lettuce mix in the middle. Then potato salad, blanched green beans, pickled onions, Sequatchie cove cheese, walnuts, chickpeas, sweet peppers and boiled Circle S eggs around the side. But I have been getting creative with the proteins and grains. Long grain rice and any kind of bean works great. Also – salmon or chicken. Salty olives or smoked trout is an excellent addition. It is basically a glorified chef salad – but I love that all of the good stuff doesn’t end up in the bottom of the bowl. And Curtis and I will eat on this salad for several nights – so it keeps better than tossing everything together I think.
Farm News: our cows will start calving any day now….more on that next week.
What’s in the bucket? Stored onions, Russet potatoes, garlic. And from the garden: sweet lettuce mix, arugula, kale, mustard greens, sweet and hot peppers, green beans, maybe a small patty pan squash.
If the storage onions are to tough for you, pickle them. Boil either white vinegar or red wine vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and other spices or a bay leaf if you wish. Pour the vinegar over the onions. Let them cool and refrigerate. They are fantastic on salads, burgers etc. (and less likely to give you the halitosis:)
Happy Eating and thanks for buying local food from Circle S Farm.
“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
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!
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
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.
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.
And thank you all for buying local food from Circle S Farm!
‘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:
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.
“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.
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.
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
Cooled mashed potatoes
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.
“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
Refrigerator pickles are quick and easy to make — no sterilizing jars or special equipment required.
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
Happy Eating and thanks for eating local food from Circle S Farm.