Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 8 final CSA-see you next year!

Hello CSA members!

Please return your box one more time to your pickup location or to the farm.  Another good option if you remember is to bring bags to this final pick up and transfer your food out of the box.  Just leave your box behind and I can pick it up for reuse.  If you have just the one box left at your house next week, don’t worry too much about getting it back to us!  If you have a stash of 3 or 4 boxes, then it would be great if we could work out a way to get them back!

 We have reached the final week of the fall CSA.  Thank you so much for your continued support into the fall.  We hope you’ve enjoyed the wonderful flavors of the cold weather-sweet cabbage, carrots, beets, and of course delicious salads. These late November harvests have cleaned out the vegetable fields.  We really don’t have many more vegetables to harvest.  But as always we will have our organic fed, pasture raised meats available all winter by special order.  We will have pre-order dates for Hickory and Morganton once a month December through March.  Dates are not 100% set right now.  But if you want to schedule a time to come to the farm for pick up please email or call ahead of time and we can arrange a date.

It was a year filled with weather challenges.  We continue to face weather challenges as a dry fall stretches on.  The recent rain was a great help, we hope to get normal rains through the winter so we don’t start next season in drought.  Of course we also hope it doesn’t switch back to flooding all winter.   We are excited to be planning and working on projects through the winter that will help the farm be more abundant and resilient in the face of continued challenges posed by variable weather events. 

At the home farm we are installing a water line that will expand the reach of the water from our well.  The water line will especially help in the winter.  Instead of hauling water in buckets or working with frozen hoses we will have the luxury of simply turning on a spigot! No more Little House on the Prairie mornings hauling buckets of hot water to thaw out the animal water tub.


At the Silver Creek Farm location, the big field where we do a majority of our farming, we are continuing to build soil quality and soil health.  This season it was amazing to see what the past 4 years of organic management have done for the soil.  Compost, animal rotation, and cover crops have all built soil organic matter to the point where the soil is visibly darker than it used to be.  Soil organic matter helped drain the water when the fields were flooded and helped retain water through the dry fall.  Building soil to manage water extremes is one of the most important projects we can work on to contribute to future stability with changing rain patterns.

Just today we planted our first crop for the 2014 season-garlic!  We have 5 amazing varieties with poetic names almost as good as they taste-Chesnook red, music, silver rose, Russian red, and Romanian red.  They will germinate in the next month or so and poke their first green shoots above the soil.  They will then sit dormant until the spring when they will take off.  By late May they will be ready to harvest and flavor your delicious 2014 CSA boxes!

We hope to see you next year in the CSA or at the markets.  Look out for early bird CSA sign-ups in December.

Farm Fresh Harvest

Cabbage- Sweet, crunchy, and juicy.  If you don’t use the whole cabbage at once just wrap up the part you didn’t use and put it in the crisper drawer.  It will last for several weeks like this.  Even if the edges turn brown simply trim them off and use the inner part.

Sweet potatoes- These potatoes have cured for a couple of months to dry some of the moisture out.  This helps them store and brings out their sweetness.  You may notice some of the tips of the potatoes are a little soft, this is no rot, just them dehydrating.  As long as the interior is bright orange it is fine to eat. Roast, bake, or boil.

Garlic- What isn’t garlic good for?

Scallions-Enjoy the greens and white root fresh or cooked for a delicious mild onion flavor.

Head Lettuce-Fresh salads!

Brazilian Black Bean Stew

recipe image
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.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2013 Allrecipes.com
Printed from Allrecipes.com 10/30/2013

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Christopher Baker
Serves 6
Hands-On Time: 05m
Total Time: 50m
·         6  medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled
·         6  tablespoons  unsalted butter
·         1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
·         1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Pierce each sweet potato several times with the tines of a fork. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Make a slit in the top of each sweet potato. Top with 1 tablespoon of butter and season with the salt and pepper.
If you crave something over-the-top, try topping the potatoes with maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, caramelized onions, pecans, applesauce, canned chipotles, crystallized ginger, or orange zest.
Nutritional Information
Calories 214; Calories From Fat 50%; Fat 12g; Sat Fat 7g; Cholesterol 31mg; Sodium 230mg; Carbohydrate 26g; Fiber 4g; Sugar 5g; Protein 2g

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Veggie and Lamb Blankets

 FALL CSA Harvest Week 7
Waxed veggie BOXES: Please return the waxed veggie boxes that your veggies come in.  Simply trade us an empty box for a full box each week. 
This is Week 7 out of your 8 week Fall Community Supported Agriculture membership. Next week is the last week of the Fall CSA. 
We are excited that we were able to grow a nice fall garden to share with you.  There is a little bit less for your box this week and next week, in order to make sure the average stays near $15 per week.  You’ll actually have a $17 a week average for the fall boxes, so you’ve been able to enjoy a bountiful harvest with us!
We’ve been covering many of the beds of vegetables with metal hoops and polyester “frost blankets.” Today the head lettuce got 2 layers of the frost blanket.  I hope the lettuces survive 3 cold nights in a row.

I also hope that none of our mama sheep have their lambs in this cold weather.  Sheep seem to have their lambs during bad weather.  Rain, wind, cold. Yep. Done it all.  We now have little lamb coats for them to wear for 3 days until they start making enough of their own body heat. I hope the little coats work; I know a dairy goat farmer who swears by them! I'll post pictures of lambs wearing coats when a ewe has the next newborn lamb.

Here's a cute little lamb from last winter.  He is about 6 weeks old in this picture.

Farm Fresh Harvest

Carrots- Sweet, crunchy, and juicy.  They’ve gotten sweeter each week with the colder weather.
Collards- Tender leaves, great for sautéing.  You don’t need to cook these tender leaves for hours, just prepare them like you would kale.
Hakerai Asian Salad Turnips- Slice or Grate and add to salads.  Or you can lightly sauté or roast them.  Enjoy their sweet crunchy taste.
Baby Lettuce “Salanova” type-Fresh salads!

Check out the following info about collards from the World’s Healthiest Foods website. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138
”You'll want to include collard greens as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. At a minimum, include cruciferous vegetables as part of your diet 2-3 times per week, and make the serving size at least 1-1/2 cups. Even better from a health standpoint, enjoy collard greens and other vegetables from the cruciferous vegetable group 4-5 times per week, and increase your serving size to 2 cups.
It is very important not to overcook collard greens. Like other cruciferous vegetables overcooked collard greens will begin to emit the unpleasant sulfur smell associated with overcooking. To help collard greens to cook more quickly, evenly slice the leaves into 1/2-inch slices and the stems into 1/4-inch pieces. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and steam for 5 minutes.”

You can use this great recipe to cook collards…
5 Minute Collards (with Mediterranean dressing)
Check out this link for a very simple collards recipe.  You’ll love it!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Week 6 Kale and Beets

FALL CSA Harvest Week 6:
Beats and Kale!
Waxed veggie BOXES: Please return the waxed veggie boxes that your veggies come in.  Simply trade us an empty box for a full box each week. 
This is Week 6 out of your 8 week Fall Community Supported Agriculture membership.
After a summer of floods it is wild to walk across the now very dry fields.  Usually we don’t have to irrigate much in the fall because plants aren’t really growing.  But this fall it has stopped raining and the plants are practically dehydrating in front of our very eyes.  So we have continued with weekly irrigation.

Irrigation is more of a challenge in the fall though because of freezing temperatures.   We have a low tech heater for the pump so it won’t freeze and crack-ruining it.  As long as the freezes aren't too severe we can put a tarp over the pump with a light bulb on overnight.  It keeps the water enough above freezing to keep us up and running into the fall.

Let us know if you questions or comments about your veggies!

Farm Fresh Harvest

Kale- lovely curly kale
Beets- Delicious deep red and sweet, great raw or cooked.
Water melon radishes- beautiful color.  Add grated or sliced to salads. 
Scallions- mild onion flavor great cooked or raw

Arugula-Fresh salads!