Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Week 20

Week 20: Last week of your CSA

In your box

Sweet Potatoes: This week the potatoes are a variety called Bradshaw. Roasted sweet potatoes or try the Brazilian recipe that I included again this week.

Red sweet peppers: Small but packed with ripe flavor. I like to think of all of those antioxidants in the ripe red peppers.

Swiss Chard: Lightly steam or sauté and serve with the yummy Brazilian stew recipe below.

Lettuce: The butter crunch lettuce has grown into great little lettuce heads

Salad mix: A blend of the peppery arugula and crisp lettuce mix.

Radish: Baby French breakfast radishes

Sweet Italian Basil: Don’t forget to freeze some whole leaves of basil. Pull the frozen leaves out and crumble into winter’s soups

Parsley: Include chopped parsley in the Baked Eggplant with Sweet Peppers and Rice recipe included below.

Cilantro: We opened a jar of salsa and added some summer sunshine (chopped cilantro)

Final Week:

This is the final week of the CSA. Thank you all for a great season of yummy vegetables. Without your support and enthusiasm we would not be able to do what we do. The CSA group forms the backbone of the farm. Your financial contribution enables us to purchase all the seeds, tools, and everything else we need in the beginning of the year. Your encouragement and thank yous provide the emotional support we need when we are so hot and tired in June from transplanting, weeding, harvesting, and caring for animals. And your interest in what we do keeps us mentally engaged, thinking of new ideas, telling stories about the farm, and making each day exciting. We hope you are thinking continuing to be a part of what we do next year. Please be on the lookout for a survey in the next few months as we brainstorm and plan for next year. Thank you all. Sign ups for the CSA will be in late January or early February, and you will get 1st notification and registration.

Rain, rain, and a little more

Where was all the rain in August? We try not to complain about much needed water, but boy howdy ten cloudy days with 6 inches of rain-not exactly what we were wishing for. The pastures are now a rich green of a fall growth. The sheep certainly look forward to their munching.

In the garden we could see the vegetables green up as they finally received the water they needed. The cooler weather helps the delicate greens stay tasty and crisp. However, I think they have enough water and could use a little sun for growth. While too little water in the summer is hard on vegetables too much rain can cause problems as well. We can see some fungus and rot problems around the edges of greens. Sun and air flow in the next few days should clear it up.

Success of the ram pump!

Way back in the spring we received a grant from the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) for sustainable farm development. RAFI distributes funds from the golden leaf fund (money from the tobacco trust fund settlement) to assist farmers to transition away from tobacco and develop alternative enterprises. We received the grant to help us develop our pastured animal operation. We already constructed our walk-in freezer. But the second part of the grant was to build an energy free hydraulic ram pump. The ram pump is a pump that uses falling water to lift water up. There are only two moving parts-just two valves. You can read about hydraulic ram pumps at

Just today I finally succeeded in making the ram pump work! It has been challenging to get the water to flow downhill to the pump. Then I had to fiddle with the pump for much of an afternoon. But now it is lifting water 30 feet! Now it is just a matter of hooking up the rest of the tubing to run the water all the way to the top of our pasture. From there it will collect in a cistern to be gravity fed out to all the animals. Stay tuned for photos and video on our website.


Baked Eggplant with Sweet Peppers and Rice

Hearty and comforting, baked eggplants in a casserole are a pleasing late summer dish.

1 eggplant (about 1 or 1.25 pounds)

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, chopped fine

1 large sweet red pepper or 4 small ones, diced

1 cup cooked rice

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Oregano, 1 tablespoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh, crumbled or chopped

1 bunch parsley, chopped fine

12 basil leaves, chopped


Freshly ground pepper

1 egg, well beaten

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Cube the eggplant and steam for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile saute the onion and red peppers in the butter until soft. Gently mix the eggplant, onion, red pepper, rice, and tomatoes, herbs, and egg together. Add salt and pepper to preference. Spoon into a buttered baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Add grated Parmesan if you’d like.

We like to serve spiced lentils with this dish to provide protein for a balanced meal without meat.

Brazilian Black Bean Stew



Submitted By: CRVGRL

Photo By: cebledsoe

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ready In: 45 Minutes

Servings: 6

"Sweet potatoes, mango, black beans, and cilantro are featured in this flavorful stew from South America."


1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 pound chorizo sausage, chopped

1/3 pound cooked ham, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (1 pound) sweet potatoes, peeled and


1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with


1 small hot green chile pepper, diced

1 1/2 cups water

2 (16 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed

and drained

1 mango - peeled, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt



Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the chorizo and ham 2 to 3 minutes. Place the onion in the pot, and cook until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook until tender, then mix in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes with juice, chile pepper, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.


Stir the beans into the pot, and cook uncovered until heated through. Mix in the mango and cilantro, and season with salt.


Printed from 9/20/2011

Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes Epicurious | November 2005

by Kathryn Matthews

This slightly spicy, moist side dish is both deeply satisfying and nutritious. Sweet potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, giving them a low glycemic index (this means that they slow the body's absorption of sugar and help regulate blood-sugar levels). A bonus for weight watchers: All those complex carbs will make you feel fuller longer than white potatoes do.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings


4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 thyme sprigs for garnish

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 450°F. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and toss. Arrange potato slices in single layer on heavyweight rimmed baking sheet or in 13x9-inch baking dish. Place on top rack of oven and roast until tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with thyme sprigs.

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