Spring CSA 2015 – Week 11

***This is an ODD week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Bluffton (On-Farm), Columbus, Dothan, & Tallahassee.

Hopefully this Memorial Day allowed you to catch up on some rest, center your thoughts and enjoy good food with friends. Many times CSA members tell me that they have composted items, or had weeks where their life got busy and had too much produce for the week. They always ask what to do in those situations, usually my first thought is to freeze it for later or save it for soup stock. My partner & I recently adopted some heritage chickens from the farm. Each evening when we arrive home we have two gorgeous speckled brown gems waiting for us on our porch. We have started collecting them and now have a bundle, I find myself thinking what do I do with the excess?

There is a simple solution: present presents. If you have a friend or family member that is afraid to make the plunge into local/organic/produce/cooking or even lifestyle changes try using your excess produce to make them something special. Giving is a gift in and of itself. My favorite way to clean a fridge is to have company over. Invite friends and family for dinner, brunch, or appetizers it gives you a chance to use up excess produce while trying out new dishes. The more creative you are with the excess produce, the more the fun it will become. Spread the joy of your CSA with others. Making a difference in the food system comes from all of our efforts. Food is always a conversational subject, some of the best conversations of my life have been centered around a table with a great plate in front of me. Spark thought, eat good food.

New This Share: Cauliflower, Cilantro, & Green Beans.

Cauliflower: Known as “flowering cabbage”, it is an old variety first named in Italy. Often an under loved vegetable. However its tolerance of extreme heat, make this flowering vegetable a versatile component to any kitchen. With the rise of vegetarian and vegan lifestyles many interesting uses of cauliflower have surfaced. It can be baked with buffalo sauce, and eaten like chicken wings, or sliced and braised like little filets. It is also wonderful when roasted with tomatoes, and tossed with feta and zucchini.

Cilantro: Spanish for coriander, these leaves are referred to as fresh coriander, or coriander leaves. Cilantro is known for its fresh, green citrus notes. It pairs well with lime juice, as such it pairs well with homemade salsa, guacamole, yogurt sauces and vinaigrettes!

Green Beans: Also known as snap beans, string beans, Haricots Verts (French), & fine beans (British). These little fingers are absolutely wonderful, fresh, crisp, slightly sweet, & vegetal they make my mouth water just typing about them. They can be braised, blanched, pan fried, or even enjoyed at their most lovely: fresh.

Organic Share Items

Cauliflower: baked, braised, curried, grain salad, steamed, soup/stew.

Storage: Store in a closed container in the fridge.

Cilantro: cocktails, creamy sauces, dips, falafels, herb rub, marinade, pesto, Pico de Gallo, salsas.

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (only stems touching water, leaves will rot if submerged in water).

Green Beans: fresh, braised, blanched, pan fried, baked, roasted, & pickled.

Storage: Remove from bag, store in a container with a damp cloth covering the beans, close lid slightly.

Broccoli: braised, casseroles, char-grilled, curried, fresh, fried-rice, pasta, soups/stews stir-fry.

Storage: Wrap in a damp towel, place on plate in fridge.

Tomatoes: blackened, burgers, canned, cocktails, jams, salad, salsa, sandwich, sautéed, sliced, stuffed, soup/stew.

Storage: counter, windowsill, paper bag

Sweet Onions: braised, jams, pickled, roasted, stuffed,

Storage: Store in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. Do Not stack, Do Not store with potatoes.

Basil: bruschetta, pesto, pizza, sauces

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (only stems touching water, leaves will rot if submerged in water).

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Fennel: braised, raw salads, risotto, roasted, stews & soups

Storage: Short term storage- in a shallow dish of water on the counter. Long term storage- place in an air tight container with a little water.

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Swiss Chard: braise, pesto, pickling (stems), raw, salads, stir-fry, sautéed, wraps.

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Kale: creamed, pesto, risotto, salad, sautéed, stir-fry, stew

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

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2015 Spring CSA Week 10

This is an Even Week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Albany & Atlanta.

Announcement: Dothan, Phoebe & Tallahassee Last week your drop off locations were missing tomatoes, this week were are bring Slicing tomatoes & Cherry tomatoes to make up for it.

The tomato crop this year has presented us with many basketfuls of fruit. We are so glad to be able to offer such lovely tomatoes so early in the season. Enjoy these beauties, they are the first taste of summer. Our fields are planted with other summer favorites: okra, peppers, garlic, beans, and melons! Be patient, they are soon to arrive.

Spring rains have been starting to come in steadily, rather than flooding our crops. Our staff is grateful to receive evening rains, sweet and steady. Leaving us with cool evenings & mornings.

A big thank you to all of our friends that come out to see us at market! We have had such a wonderful start to the season, and it is because of your support. Keep our markets full, and come visit us! Each week our tables will be filled with new harvests, and artisan goods. We look forward to seeing you all week, so come out and say hey!

Organic Share Item

Fennel: braised, raw salads, risotto, roasted, stews & soups

Storage: Short term storage- in a shallow dish of water on the counter. Long term storage- place in an air tight container with a little water.

Bunching Onions: garnish, marinades, salsa, & soup/stews.

Storage: Remove rubber band, wrap bulbs in damp paper towel

Yukina Savoy: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Broccoli: braised, casseroles, char-grilled, curried, fresh, fried-rice, pasta, soups/stews stir-fry.

Storage: Wrap in a damp towel, place on plate in fridge.

Pak Choi: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Tomatoes SLICING OR CHERRY: GREEN(chutney, fried, pickled, sandwiches, salsa) RIPE(blackened, burgers, canned, cocktails, jams, salad, salsa, sandwich, sautéed, sliced, stuffed, soup/stew).

Storage: GREEN(fridge), RIPE(counter, windowsill, paperbag)

Braising Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Fennel:

Sweet Onions: braised, jams, pickled, roasted, stuffed,

Storage: Store in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. Do Not stack, Do Not store with potatoes.

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Collards OR Swiss Chard: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

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2015 Spring CSA – Week 9

***This is an ODD week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Bluffton (On-Farm), Columbus, Dothan, Thomasville & Tallahassee.

Announcement: CSA Cookbook!

For all of our friends out there that are new check out the CSA cookbook! It is now located under the 2015 CSA Manual Tab at the top of the blog page.

The late spring heat is starting to settle in, as such our cool loving crops are starting to fade away, and our warm climate crops are starting to flourish. This is my favorite part of the season, there are only a few shares like it. The next few shares are unique; they contain spring favorites like broccoli with summer treats such as tomatoes. Enjoy this transition period, soon our cool crops will fade out completely, ushering in our summer crops like beans, okra, peppers and fruits!

New this week: Basil, Broccoli & Yukina Savoy

Yukina Savoy: A beautiful delicate Asian Cabbage. It is wonderful sauteed, made into dumplings and other tasty creations.

Broccoli: Before eating submerge the heads of broccoli under cold water for 15 minutes. After the 15min, shake vigorously under water to loosen and remaining particulates or critters. Then Enjoy!

Basil: This vigorous herb is splendid in sauces, drink, and pesto! We have several varieties for you to enjoy this season. In a few weeks our plants will have grown to full size and we will send home pesto bags!

Spotlight Vegetable: Broccoli

In Latin broccoli was jokingly referred to as a Bucktooth cabbage, it was thought that the jutting out of the broccoli shoots started this nickname. Most of the broccoli varieties we know today were cultivated in Italy. Broccoli grown in early American gardens came in four shades: white, green, brown & purple. California grows 90% of Americas broccoli.

Organic Share Items

Yukina Savoy: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Broccoli: braised, casseroles, char-grilled, curried, fresh, fried-rice, pasta, soups/stews stir-fry.

Storage: Wrap in a damp towel, place on plate in fridge.

Baby Pak Choi(Red & Green): dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Arugula: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Mesclun Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Tomatoes GREEN OR RIPE: GREEN(chutney, fried, pickled, sandwiches, salsa) RIPE(blackened, burgers, canned, cocktails, jams, salad, salsa, sandwich, sautéed, sliced, stuffed, soup/stew).

Storage: GREEN(fridge), RIPE(counter, windowsill, paperbag)

Breakfast Radishes OR Bunching Onions: braised, fresh, garnishes (soup, salad, sandwich), omelets, pickled, relished, roasted, slaw.

Storage: (Radishes)Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops. (Bunching Onions)

Sweet Onions: braised, jams, pickled, roasted, stuffed,

Storage: Store in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. Do Not stack, Do Not store with potatoes.

Basil: bruschetta, pesto, pizza, sauces

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Collards: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

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2015 Spring CSA Week 8

This is an Even Week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Albany & Atlanta.

Our CSA touches lives in five unique communities: Albany, Atlanta, Columbus, Dothan and Tallahassee. We hope that you are enjoying your season so far, our team has cherished being your growers. I wanted to let all of you know that we still have openings for our full and half share program and are still accepting applications for the 2015 season. If you know anyone thinking about joining, please encourage them to contact us, we would love to welcome them into the family.

As for the residents who live in Albany, Atlanta & Columbus come show your support at our markets! We would love for you to bring your families, friends and co-workers over to visit us. Spread the good word, every good word ripples out into the world with a greater impact than you could ever predict. Good energy begets good energy. So come out, spend some time with your farmers, and invite your friends to come visit us!

As such, WE ARE HAVING A MARKET MEAT SALE!!!!

All of our lamb, pork, goat & turkey will be on steep discount this week at market so come out and stock up! We are bringing a wonderful selection of chops, loins, breast, and ground products for you to choose from! This is a wonderful time to invite a friend, they will have a chance at trying some new products that we normally don’t bring with us to market!

Fresh Honey is on its way to a market near you, it is the first harvest of the season. Our harvest yielded 7 gallons from our 8 hives, and our beekeepers Lori & Luis are so proud of their bounty. We hope that you will give it a try, or pick up a new bottle when last season’s is finished!

New This Share: Baby Pak Choi, Mesclun Mix, Arugula, and……THE FIRST TOMATOES OF THE SEASON!!!

Baby Pak Choi, is a tender creature of the garden. Our members have asked and asked for this to be a part of one of our CSA Shares, so here it is! It can be enjoyed fresh, wilted, sauteed, or even braised. The Kitchn gives ten interesting recipes to try if you have hit a Pak Choi rut. You cannot go wrong with this green and some mushrooms, or even a light spring soup.

Mesclun Mix: This vibrant beauty is a new arrival to our garden. It is a blend of two favorites: salad greens, and bitter greens. It is a hybrid between braising mix & spring mix. This is our first time trying out this particular mix in our fields. We hope that you love it.

Arugula: We had some of this spicy & nutty green earlier in the season, but it is back to fill our share with its fresh scent, and bold taste.

TOMATOES!!!!! They have arrived, they are here, and it is only May!

Organic Share Items

Baby Pak Choi(Red & Green): dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Arugula: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Mesclun Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Tomatoes GREEN OR RIPE: GREEN(chutney, fried, pickled, sandwiches, salsa) RIPE(blackened, burgers, canned, cocktails, jams, salad, salsa, sandwich, sautéed, sliced, stuffed, soup/stew).

Storage: GREEN(fridge), RIPE(counter, windowsill, paperbag)

Braising Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Fennel:

Breakfast Radishes: braised, fresh, garnishes (soup, salad, sandwich), omelets, pickled, relished, roasted, slaw.

Storage: Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops.

Sweet Onions: braised, jams, pickled, roasted, stuffed,

Storage: Store in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. Do Not stack, Do Not store with potatoes.

Mint: butter mints, chickpea salad, chutney, coolers, cocktails, Feta-watermelon salads, grain salad, infused waters, pesto, smoothie, simple syrup, sorbet, tea, & yogurt dip.

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Collards OR Swiss Chard: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

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2015 Spring CSA – Week 7

***This is an ODD week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Bluffton (On-Farm), Columbus, Dothan, Thomasville & Tallahassee.

Farm musings:

Announcements to all CSA egg members, our new flock of laying hens has arrived. They are starting to produce and we will have smaller eggs for the next few weeks. We wanted to let you know that you will notice that the eggs are smaller, however this is the normal growing pattern of a new flock. They produce Small eggs and move their way up to Jumbo as the week’s progress.

In other farm news we are excited to welcome three new livestock specialists. Each has a unique background, as well as area of focus. As they start to make their way to the farm, I imagine that Amber will post their interviews on the blog as she has for others. Look out for their stories in the weeks to come!

New This Share: Breakfast Radishes & Sweet Onions

Radishes: Remove tops from roots and store in a half zipped baggie. Enjoy braised, or lightly sauteed, pairs well with eggs. A favorite of mine is sweet and spicy pickled radishes.

Sweet Onions: Harvested fresh out of the ground! These are best enjoyed fresh, not meant for storage. A beautiful way to highlight the fresh flavor in this onion is to caramelize. The Kitchn, walks you through the perfect caramelization of an onion. Pair this with fresh pasta, burgers, bruschetta, or flatbreads would be amazing.

Spotlight Vegetable: Fennel

During Colonial times, early Americans would hang fennel in the spring to freshen rooms. It has also been used as a breath freshener, and a medicinal additive to make the taste more palatable. Due to its sweet licorice flavor profile, it has hung around in American gardens since the birth of North America.

If you still have some of this lovely bulb hanging out in your fridge, we have a recommendation for your culinary endeavors. Fennel’s sweet and slight crisp allow for a wonderful addition to salads (grain and green). I would imagine pickled fennel would be a quite an interesting flavor pop! It is also known to pair well with fish, as well as cocktails, check out this muddled fennel, lime, grapefruit, and tequila aperitif. (Rosemary also lends a beautiful piney note, to cocktails, I love it muddled with lime and grapefruit)

Organic Share Items

Breakfast Radishes: braised, fresh, garnishes (soup, salad, sandwich), omelets, pickled, relished, roasted, slaw.

Storage: Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops.

Sweet Onions: braised, jams, pickled, roasted, stuffed,

Storage: Store in a cool, dark space with good ventilation. Do Not stack, Do Not store with potatoes.

Mint: butter mints, chickpea salad, chutney, coolers, cocktails, Feta-watermelon salads, grain salad, infused waters, pesto, smoothie, simple syrup, sorbet, tea, & yogurt dip.

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Baby Carrots: candied, juiced, muffins, raw, salad, steamed.

Storage: Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops.

Kale: creamed, pesto, risotto, salad, sautéed, stir-fry, stew

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Bunching Onions: garnish, marinades, salsa, & soup/stews.

Storage: Remove rubber band, wrap bulbs in damp paper towel

Swiss Chard: braise, pesto, pickling (stems), raw, salads, stir-fry, sautéed, wraps.

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Collards: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Baby Fennel: braised, raw salads, risotto, roasted, stews & soups

Storage: Short term storage- in a shallow dish of water on the counter. Long term storage- place in an air tight container with a little water.

Rosemary: Breads, cocktail, herb marinade, olive oil infusions, lamb, pasta, pork, potatoes, poultry

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

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Life on the Farm: Q&A with Will Harris

will harris

1. Do you remember your first day “taking over” the farm? Can you describe it for us?
EXCEPT FOR MY 4 YEARS AT COLLEGE, I HAVE LIVED AND WORKED ON THIS FARM ALL OF MY LIFE.  I HAVE NEVER WANTED TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT RUN THIS FARM.  I MAJORED IN ANIMAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA IN PREPARATION FOR DOING THIS.

WHEN I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE, I EXPECTED MY FATHER TO GO AND SIT ON THE PORCH SO THAT I COULD RUN THE FARM.  HE HAD A VERY DIFFERENT IDEA.

HE WAS AN ONLY CHILD, AND I WAS AN ONLY CHILD.  EITHER OF THESE WAS PRETTY UNUSUAL FOR OUR GENERATIONS.  IT WAS UNHEARD OF THE STACK THEM.

WE WERE LIKE TWO BROTHERS, FATHER & SON, BUSINESS PARTNERS, AND BEST FRIENDS.  WE COULD HUNT & FISH TOGETHER, EAT & DRINK TOGETHER, BUT WE COULD NOT WORK TOGETHER.  HE WAS THE ORDAINED KING, AND I HAD OPINIONS THAT I JUST COULD NOT KEEP TO MYSELF.  WE PISSED EACH OTHER OFF.  IT WAS BAD.

HE WAS TOO SMART TO LET US LIVE IN A COMBATIVE SITUATION. HE AVOIDED THIS BY MAKING ME GET AN OFF FARM JOB IMMEDIATELY AFTER GRADUATION.  I BECAME THE REGIONAL MANAGER OF A FARMER COOPERATIVE.  WE RAN COTTON GINS, PEANUT MILLS, FERTILIZER BLENDERS, AND GRAIN ELEVATORS.  IT WAS GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR ME AND I COULD NOT HAVE DONE THE THINGS, IN THE MANAGEMENT OF THIS FARM, THAT I HAVE DONE IF I HAD NOT HAD THIS EXPERIENCE FORCED ON ME.

BUT… I ALWAYS LIVED ON THIS FARM, AND WAS ALWAYS VERY INVOLVED IN WORKING ON THE FARM.  I WORKED 40 HOURS EACH WEEK FOR THE CO-OP, AND OVER 40 HOURS MORE EACH WEEK ON THE FARM.  I ONCE COMPLAINED ABOUT HOW I WORKED ALL OF THE TIME.  DADDY SAID “YOU DON’T WORK BUT HALF OF THE TIME”.  HE MEANT 12 HOURS OF THE DAY, 7 DAYS PER WEEK.  HE SAID THAT IF A MAN WANTS TO “ACCUMULATE SOMETHING” HE NEEDS TO WORK MORE THAN HALF OF THE TIME.

ONE HOT DAY, IN 1995, DADDY DROVE HIS PICK UP TO WHERE I WAS BUILDING A NEW FENCE IN THE PASTURE.  HE SAID “DO YOU WANT THEM DAMN COWS?”.  I SAID “HELL YES I WANT THEM DAMN COWS.  THAT IS WHY I’M BUILDING THIS DAMN FENCE”.  HE SAID “TAKE THEM”, AND HE DROVE OFF.  AND THE TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT WAS DONE.  WE HAD NEVER DISCUSSED ANY SORT OF TRANSFER BEFORE THIS AND, EXCEPT FOR THAT EXCHANGE, WE NEVER DID AFTER EITHER.

I KNOW THAT DADDY GAVE IT UP THAT DAY BECAUSE HE WAS BEGINNING TO FEEL THE FIRST SIGNS OF DEMENTIA.  HE NOR I NEVER ACKNOWLEDGED IT, BUT THAT WAS THE DEAL.  IT SLOWLY KILLED HIM OVER THE NEXT FIVE LONG AND SAD YEARS.

AFTER THAT DISCUSSION ON THAT HOT DAY, HE NEVER TOOK ANY SORT OF ACTIVE ROLE ON THE FARM.  NONE AT ALL.  IT WAS VERY TRAGIC THAT IT HAD TO BE THAT WAY.

2. On January 1, 2014, two of your daughters were officially back on the farm and wop employees. What was that day like for you?
THE BEST DAMN TIME OF MY LIFE.  THE STORY ABOVE WILL GIVE YOU INSIGHT AS TO WHY.

3. I just picked up my first batch of layers today. Although I feel responsible for the current layers in the pasture, I feel more bonded to, or just more responsible for the ones I got today. It’s the first ones I hope to raise from start to finish. How did you feel when you bought/slaughtered/sold your first cow?
YOU ARE EXPERIENCING THE STEWARDSHIP OF THESE CHICKS. STEWARDSHIP OF YOUR OWN LAND AND ANIMALS IS THE CLOSEST THAT PEOPLE CAN EVER COME TO FEELING THE COMPASSION OF GOD FOR HIS SUBJECTS.  MOST PEOPLE NEVER GET THAT.

4. What do you look forward to the most about retirement? Or do farmers every truly retire?
MY RETIREMENT WILL CONSIST OF GRADUALLY HANDING OFF DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, UNTIL I HAVE NONE LEFT.  WHEN THERE ARE NONE LEFT, IF MY HEALTH IS GOOD, I WILL RIDE A HORSE AROUND THE FARM ALL DAY EVERY DAY.

 

If you have any questions for Will, please leave them in the comments section and I’ll do my best to get an answer for you!

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Life on the Farm: Words of Wisdom by Will Harris

will smiling

An article posted in the American Grassfed Association newsletter, that I thought you all may enjoy…

“At this time I feel compelled to talk about the market that we are operating in.  We are in uncharted territory with regard to the prices that our livestock is bringing.  I think that we all need to give some consideration to how we got to this point.  Here’s my take on this:…

Congratulations to all of us.  Today we are producing livestock in the most profitable period of time in anyone’s recollection.  This is great, and we are grateful…but it ain’t always going to be this way.

We must not lose sight of the fact that our current economic success is the result of the nation’s diminished supply of animal protein (primarily beef).  This diminished supply is a result of ruminant herd liquidation, which came about due to many years of unprofitable calf, lamb, and kid production.That is to say that our current year’s profits in the livestock business were bought and paid for by our prior year’s losses.  Mine and yours.

This cyclical supply & demand, profit & loss, is a function of the commodity beef business.  There is no protection from this cycle for producers who raise calves for ultimate sale to multi-national protein companies.  It is a way of life (and death).

AGA members have opted to exit this system.  We endeavor to raise our animals for sale to more sophisticated consumers.  These are consumers who have studied our nation’s meat and poultry production systems.  Many of these more informed consumers have made lifestyle changes regarding what they eat.  These consumers choose to pay a little more to buy meat and poultry that allows them to be raised in a manner that is more sustainable, humane and fair.

AGA members who have exited the commodity system pay a high price to get out.  Production, processing, and marketing meat and poultry from a non-commodity system is much more difficult, riskier and more expensive for the producer.  Producers can easily add value to their products and not be able to extract this added value from the marketplace.  It ain’t easy.  In fact, it is damned hard.  In fact, it is the hardest damned thing that I have ever done in my life.

AGA members who have exited this system face hardship from many fronts:  National livestock organizations vehemently oppose mandatory country-of-origin labeling that helps prevent the importation of “grassfed” beef without the knowledge of consumers.  Multi-national protein companies brilliantly word smith, green wash, and trick label their products to hopelessly confuse consumers.  Government bureaucracies heavy handedly impose regulations that are not applicable to small operations.  This list goes on and on…

These difficulties are part of what makes me proud to be part of the American Grassfed Association.  This grassroots (no pun intended) organization is one of the few places where like-minded producers can unite in an effort to understand the forces that stand in the way of our journey to gain a sustainable, humane, and fair livestock production system.”

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Spring CSA – Week 6

**This is an Even Week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Albany & Atlanta.

All hail the Tornado!

Do you ever feel as though things are out of control, or least yours?

Spring rains are beautiful, and deadly. Since moving to Georgia, I have been fortunate enough to live under a tin roof. I always thought they were quaint, and of another time. However in this part of the country, they are very much part of current building practices. Last night, sitting with the windows open I took in the thunderous deluge. It was a wild mixture of beauty and respect, I relaxed into the sound, all the while thinking of our field crops. The amount of rain directly effects, the daily activities of the garden. This heavy rain, has slowed planting, and caused ideal conditions for microbe activity. However! The sun is out, shining and drying our water soaked fields. We are so glad to see the sun, and feel it on our skin.

Keep thinking thoughts of sunshine, and splendor!

New This Share: Marjoram & Cabbage

Marjoram: Known for its complex floral and woodsy flavor. Pairs well with vegetables, & proteins (meats, fish & eggs) alike. It is found in savory dishes, and plays well with other herbs. It can be used fresh or dried. If using fresh, add it towards the end of cooking so the delicate flavor isn’t lost in cooking process. Can be used in salad dressings, marinades, and other flavor filled applications!

Cabbage: A longtime friend of the home gardener. Found in the growing in fields, stored in fridges, and fermenting in larders all over the world. It is universally excepted, and prepared in wildly unique ways on various continents.

My new favorite improvised recipe: Quick Kimchi

On a whim, we tried making a spin off the traditional Korean Kimchi. Of course, it does not display the traditional full flavor profile of Kimchi. However, it is full of flavor and a quick way to whip up something spectacular.

Rough cut half a head of cabbage, toss in a deep bowl. Pour in 2Tbs. apple cider vinegar, and two pinches of kosher salt. Using your hands (this is a messy recipe), bruise the chopped leaves, crushing them between your clenched fists. While bruising the cabbage you are also dispersing the vinegar and salt. Add in two pinches of sugar (cane, brown, maple syrup), ¼ tsp of chipotle pwd., 1tsp of chipotle in adobo sauce (chopped, or salsa). Mix in all ingredients with your hands, finish with fresh lime juice, taste. Based on your palate add more of any of the above mentioned ingredients, then enjoy! Best enjoyed after resting for at least 20min, (it is really difficult to not snack on it once it is first made, but it becomes so much richer after it ages).

Spotlight Vegetable: The humble lovable Cabbge

She is the mother, she is the beginning. She is the umbrella that most of your favorite garden varieties fall under: kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, turnips, rutabagas, broccoli, cauliflower and so many others.

The cabbage is cultivated in the cooler months, and harvested before the deep freeze of winter, or the heat of summer. The varieties are endless, check out this article to view some rare and beautiful heirloom cabbages.

Try moving out of your cabbage comfort zone, try grilling a wedge, or braising some to pair with fish or lamb. Kraut, kimchi, and cabbage rolls all have fermentation stages, this green beauty was meant to ferment!

Organic Share List

Organic Share Items

Baby Carrots: candied, juiced, muffins, raw, salad, steamed.

Storage: Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops.

Kale: creamed, pesto, risotto, salad, sautéed, stir-fry, stew

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Cabbage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Storage: braised, dumplings, fermented, pickled, raw, rolls, sauerkraut, slaw, steamed, stews, stir-fry, soups & wraps.

Bunching Onions: garnish, marinades, salsa, & soup/stews.

Storage: Remove rubber band, wrap bulbs in damp paper towel

Braising Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Swiss Chard: braise, pesto, pickling (stems), raw, salads, stir-fry, sautéed, wraps.

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Collards: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Rosemary: Breads, cocktail, herb marinade, olive oil infusions, lamb, pasta, pork, potatoes, poultry

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Marjoram OR Sage: “add it last”, poultry, marinades, meat, salad dressings, sauces, stuffing

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

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Spring CSA – Week 5

Error Correction:

**This is an Odd week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Columbus, Dothan, Thomasville & Tallahassee.

This is week 5, an odd week!

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Spring CSA -Week 5

**This is an Odd week, therefore we will deliver half shares to the following cities: Columbus, Dothan, Thomasville & Tallahassee.

The clouds hang low in their sky, they darken the heavens, and release sweet rain. Spring is the delicate dance between temperature and rainfall. We pray that late season cold snaps don’t arrive, and that rain is consistent but not overwhelming. The warm damp climate that comes with spring, creates an ideal environment for critters: bug and fungal alike. All souls love the spring, it foretells of life and love and new beginnings. As you enjoy the spring beauty, please think to your farmers in the rain, and your plants in the elements. Think of your plants when the temperature drops to freezing, and when torrential storms come to town.

All of these things effect the growing cycle of the plants, we are the caretakers of the vegetables, but they do all the work. They convert sunlight, water and nutrients into pure energy, harvesting and growing with each day. It is a beautiful thing to behold. They are resistant to so many things, and yet produce lovely edible matter. Think of your vegetables, connect through the weather. As the spring sun warms the skin on your face, it also lend life to the plants of the garden. The water that you wipe off your windshield, is also harvested through the roots of the ground dwellers. It is an interesting thought, to see the weather we encounter through the perspective of a plant.

New this Week: Collards, Baby Fennel

Collards: leaves can be used as a sturdy wrap for sandwiches, or to wrap fish in as it bakes in the oven, or even as a new take on cabbage rolls. The leaf is versatile, and wonderful lightly braised. It can be stored as you would a kale, or chard.

Baby Fennel: Fennel is most notable for its sweet flavor. Braising it with your baby carrots would make an excellent side dish. The fronds will cook down for a lovely vegetable/chicken stock. We encourage you to freeze the fronds, until you are ready to use them.

Spotlight Veggie: Collards

The original collard was non-heading cabbage. There was a divide among the southern and northern states about what a proper cabbage should consist of. Many of the northern families thought that the non-heading cabbage was defective, whereas the southern families began collecting seed and cultivating the modern day collard. The first recording of seed swapping for collard specific varieties was during 1860-1870, and were first on the market for sale in 1875.

They are notably a southern favorite, and have long held a place at family dinners. There beautiful leaves create a rosette in a mature plant, they are known for their prominent flavor and heat tolerance.

Organic Share Items

Baby Carrots: candied, juiced, muffins, raw, salad, steamed.

Storage: Remove rubber bands. Immediately remove leafy greens, approx. ¼ away from root. Leaving greens attached causes the roots to wilt & become soft. Keep roots in a gallon sized Ziploc with the bag half closed. *See above green storage for the removed tops.

Kale: creamed, pesto, risotto, salad, sautéed, stir-fry, stew

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Head Lettuce: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Spring Mix: burgers, fresh salads, sandwiches, braised, raw, wraps

Storage: Remove from bag, store in an airtight container.

Braising Mix: braised, fresh, burritos/tacos, pasta, pizza, salad, & soup/stew.

Storage: Remove from plastic bag, place in open container, wrap with a dry kitchen towel to absorb moisture.

Baby Fennel: braised, raw salads, risotto, roasted, stews & soups

Storage: Short term storage- in a shallow dish of water on the counter. Long term storage- place in an air tight container with a little water.

Swiss Chard: braise, pesto, pickling (stems), raw, salads, stir-fry, sautéed, wraps.

Storage: Remove rubber bands from greens and wrap in a damp towel, and place leaves first into a plastic container. If stems stick out, wrap in a damp cloth to prevent moisture loss.

Collards: dumplings, egg rolls, pesto, pot stickers, raw, risotto, salads, sautéed, spring rolls, stews, stir-fry, & wraps.

Storage: Place in a Ziploc in the back of your fridge, outer leaves will wilt. If the outer leaves are wilted, discard outer leaves the inner leaves are perfect!

Lemon Balm: lovely in teas, mixed drinks, and paired with items needing a perk of herbal lemon.

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

Mint:

Storage: Keep in fridge in a plastic bag, or out on the counter in a shallow glass of water (stems only).

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