Monthly Archives: April 2013

2013 CSA: Week 8

Welcome to the eighth week of your CSA! Yet for several of you, this is the first week you’ll be receiving deliveries from our farm. And welcome aboard! Like I always say, you are more than a seasonal member of our farm, you are now an extension of our family and we take seriously the commitment we’ve made to provide for you each week.

I’m hopeful that everyone took the time to read through May’s a la carte order form that I emailed on Sunday. (If you did not receive it, we may have your email address spelled incorrectly, so sorry – just call the farm and let us know.)  We’ve announced some tasty new options for you to choose from including May’s artisinal cheese variety, chocolates and granola from Koinonia Farm, Elliot Pecans from Pecan Point Farm, and our own hand-ground sausage prepared by Guest chef Jim Snyder.

And I have great news regarding dairy deliveries from Working Cow! The dairy is going to allow us to come pick up your orders the same day as milking and bottling occurs. This will allow us to get the freshest milk and cream possible out to you the same week instead of holding it for a week for mid-week delivery locations. So, the delivery schedule before was really screwy and weird and now its astonishingly simple and easy.

Week 1: PLACE ALL MILK/CHEESE ORDERS! That’s this week – be sure to get your order to us by Friday at 5pm

Week 2: MILK DELIVERIES! All Milk delivered to all locations, (Just days out of the cow!)

Week 3: CHEESE DELIVERIES! All Cheese orders delivered to all locations

***There’s only one catch… Working Cow bottles the 1% and 2% varieties the day after we’re able to pick up, so those won’t be available anymore. If you still want them this week, they will be from a prior milking. I’ll send out a revised order form after this Blog post that has The rest of the items like our weekly sausage creation, granolas and chocolate will be delivered the same week as ordered and may be ordered at any time throughout the month. I’ve included some pictures below of some of the products we highlighted in Sunday’s email.

Some news from around the farm: The pigs all seem healthy and happy, having successfully rooted and wallowed a home out of their shady patch of acreage so far. I absolutely love that I can walk from my house to visit with them at anytime. There is unanimous agreement that White Oak Pastures has made a great decision inviting pork into the rotation. And this week’s on and off precipitation means more greenery to graze on for the rest of the livestock on the farm. With the warming soil temps, we’re starting to see more and more seasonal insects which means the chickens are happy and the garden is now officially a war zone. Good bugs and bad bugs battling it out with a good amount of mating going on too. It’s like a racy Hemingway novel playing out all over the farm and written each week on the leaves of your CSA greens. But we wouldn’t have it any other way, we eat to enjoy life and we grow by allowing the living earth to happen. Thank you for permitting a few holes in your leaves as collateral damage in the name of organic agriculture.

So let’s see some pictures from the farm this week and then we’ll talk about what’s in store in your shareboxes…

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Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)

Sweetheart Ribeye (16oz) – A beautiful boneless ribeye butterflied into a romantic heart shape. Cook it together and split it with your special someone. This ribeye is a full-flavored, mild textured cut of meat that lends itself well to all types of dry heat cookery.

Ground Chicken (2 lbs) – Our ground free-range, pastured, heritage cross chicken. Our chickens are raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. Our chickens are also Step 5 rated by the Global Animal Partnership, which is the highest animal welfare rating.

Pasture Raised Eggs: 

1 dozen beautiful brown eggs from our own lovely ladies that range freely on certified organic pasture. The eggs are washed, candled and graded fresh for you each week. (We’ll have more egg shares available in May! Please email me or call our office today to get on the waiting list! 229-641-2081)

**Also, please tell your friends and family who live near Atlanta that our eggs are now available in all 8 Atlanta Whole Foods Markets. We rely on word of mouth so much and as CSA members, you know our story best. Thanks again to all of you who help spread the word each week.

Certified Organic Vegetables: 

Sweet Charlie Strawberries – Our own organic strawberries! They teased us and teased us and we finally have enough to share them with you. Thanks for being patient!

Braising Mix with Corvair Spinach – The tastes of Spring in a convenient triple washed bag of green goodness.

Salad Mix – I hope you’re in the mood for salads this week. Two heads of lettuce and a full bag of salad mix. Enjoy the seasonal bounty!

Hakurei Turnips  – Mild enough to be called sweet. We always receive compliments on these japanese turnips. And they’re perfectly good enjoyed raw.

2x Head Lettuce  – Once again, one Red and One Green, just to keep things interesting. Nothing better than a Spring Salad! If you didn’t try it last week, maybe you can try my new favorite salad dressing this week: Oil-Free Creamy Citrus Tahini Dressing from Epicurious (hint: I trade out lemon juice for limes instead!)

Dinosaur Kale – Rrrroooaaar!!! Some say these greens look like reptile skin. Chefs refer to this Kale as Lacinato or Toscano Kale. You’ve enjoyed Red Russian before this so I know you’ll enjoy this one too. First pick of the new crop and lots more to come!

Bright Lights Swiss Chard – We’re breaking into the second planting of Swiss Chard, which has lots more vibrant colors to enjoy in your kitchen.

Evergreen Bunching Onions – These are legit bunching onions, not to be confused with the multiplying onions we’ve featured in the past. No guarantees if you plant these in your garden, I suggest you restrict these to kitchen work. Southern Sweet Onions are on their way!!!!

Organic Herb: Sorrel – A citrus zing awaits you with this cool crisp leafy gem. I love having these around the garden to munch on through the workday. And I love adding them to salads with cocunut, cashews, and mandarin oranges – or chop the greens and add as a late post-heat topping to stir-fries for a another layer of flavor.

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | 4 Comments

2013 CSA: Week 7

I hope everyone had a lovely Earth Day! Of course you’re well aware that by supporting local agriculture, you’re reducing the carbon footprint on your dinner plate. And especially by supporting White Oak Pastures, you’re supporting a farm that continually makes significant efforts to limit our impact on the environment. The way we raise animals and crops actually builds organic matter in the soil year after year. Grid-tied Solar panels power up to 30% of our farm’s energy needs each day. We brew Biodiesel from waste vegetable oil to run our garden Tractor. And we compost. Oh boy do we compost! I don’t mean to toot our own horn, here. But if you couldn’t tell already, we’re just really proud of the work we do. And when Kermit the Frog tells us to make Earth Day every day, we take it to heart.

SO, Earth Day was great, but by FAR the biggest thing that happened this week was the arrival of a new class of livestock: Berkshire Hogs!! Deep in the shaded woods of our farm, 25 gilts and 2 Boars make up the introductory breeding stock of this new venture on the farm being led by John Benoit, who also heads up the Broiler Chicken Field crew. I’ve put some pictures in the slideshow below. The pictures almost capture how amazingly cute these muscular little critters are.

Finally, tonight White Oak Pastures is hosting a party for friends from Jim N Nicks Barbeque. And as I write this, there is an entire 600 lb cow finishing up a 24 hr barbeque-ing. See pictures below. It is a thing of beauty! I hope everyone enjoys their share this week as much as I’m about to enjoy the meal tonight. I wish I could wrap up leftovers and send some out to all of you…

Ok, here’s some pics and then your dinner table of contents…

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Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)

Ground Lamb (2.5 lbs) – Back by popular demand! Our ground lamb is rich in flavor and great on the outdoor grill, stove top, or George Foreman grill.

Shoulder Roast – Time to get your roast on again! The most flavorful and versatile roast of all. Great for slow smoking, oven or crock pot cooking.

Pasture Raised Eggs: 

1 dozen beautiful brown eggs from our own lovely ladies that range freely on certified organic pasture. The eggs are washed, candled and graded fresh for you each week. (We’ll have more egg shares available in May! Please email me or call our office today to get on the waiting list! 229-641-2081)

**Also, please tell your friends and family who live near Atlanta that our eggs are now available in all 8 Atlanta Whole Foods Markets. We rely on word of mouth so much and as CSA members, you know our story best. Thanks again to all of you who help spread the word each week.

Certified Organic Vegetables: 

Corvair Spinach OR Braising Mix – The tastes of Spring in a convenient triple washed bag of green goodness.

Sugarsnax Carrots  – Carrots are back! These early spring wonders should help you get through your dual lettuce heads this week.

Head Lettuce  – One Red and One Green, just to keep it interesting. Nothing better than a Spring Salad! Try it with my new favorite salad dressing: Oil-Free Creamy Citrus Tahini Dressing from Epicurious (hint: I trade out lemon juice for limes instead!)

Georgia Collards OR Kale – The collards and kale are harvested on the main stem as we are slowly transitioning to the next crop and removing plants from the field after flowering. New crop coming next week!

Southern Giant Mustard – Bringing the heat! This classic southern favorite adds a kick to any meal. I love it with Blue Cheese on a Beef or Chicken Burger. Should be great with Ground Lamb too. Or try it bedded between a bun and a Brat and let this greenery do the work that mustard wishes it could do. Enjoy it now, because the bugs that love to eat our greens pick this plant over all the others  So, we use it as a “trap crop” Consequently, there’s a very short harvest window.

Mixed Radishes – Purples, whites, reds and more. We’re trying to stay on top of the successions!

Loose Purple-top Turnips – You’ve got more than a pound to roast, cut up and sautee, juice, or dice up thin for salad toppings

Organic Herb: Citrus Thyme – One of my absolute favorites, try it with your lamb this week! Or rubbed into the shoulder roast.

 

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | 9 Comments

2013 CSA: Week 6

This week is full of new flavors! **Fava beans (see allergy info linked below)! Rabbit! Guinea! and lots more. As you know , we are by no means the only farm with a CSA program, but I believe that we are unique in our ability to provide varieties like what you see this week. And yet, this ability is founded in proper land stewardship and not merely for marketing.  This week, I’m showing you behind the scenes on how the animals and plants we bring you each week actually work within the farm eco-system to strengthen it as a whole. For example, the Serengeti Grazing Model that we employ at White Oak Pastures is founded on the idea of using multiple species that utilize and replenish different elemental resources from and for the land. The large and medium-sized ruminants fill several niches on the farm, but the various fowl we raise serve purposes too. The species we’re highlighting this week, Guinea fowl, are highly effective insect and seed eaters which make them valuable team members for sanitizing against pests and picking out competition weed seeds. They are natives of Africa and I fell in love with them during Peace Corps service in Tanzania. Here are a couple tasty recipes to try…

Roasted Guinea with Lemon and Rosemary: by Food & Wine, Bruno Tramontana.

Guinea with Blood Orange and Thyme: by Food Network, Jaime Oliver

And we’re also introducing rabbit this week.  Our rabbits provide the highest quality fertilizer to our fast-growing orchard and in return, the dense leaf canopy will provide shade for the rabbits during the hotter parts of the year. Here are some more recipe options for the rabbit this week:

Rabbit Stew with Olives and Rosemary: by Food & Wine, Marco Canora

Italian Braised Rabbit: by NY Times

Finally, you may notice that the Collards and Kale in your box are bunched differently than normal. As we prepare to harvest from the new Spring Crops, we have begun allowing the winter brassicas to “bolt” (or, go to flower before seeding). This stage of plant growth is important, not only to plants, but also to predator insects on the farm who rely on mature plant stages to complete various stages of their own life cycles.  Take time to notice the difference between the leave formations and thickness of the stalks this week and next versus those that you see towards May.

Alright, let’s get down to the business in the kitchen: First some pictures, and then the goods…

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Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)

Whole Guinea (2-2.5 lbs) – Free-range, pastured, Guinea hen. Our Guineas are raised along side our other poultry with no antibiotics or added hormones.

Rabbit (Whole or 8-way) – American Chinchilla rabbits raised on pasture at White Oak Pastures.

 

Pasture Raised Eggs: 

1 dozen beautiful brown eggs from our own lovely ladies that range freely on certified organic pasture. The eggs are washed, candled and graded fresh for you each week. (We’ll have more egg shares available in May! Please email me or call our office today to get on the waiting list! 229-641-2081)

**Also, please tell your friends and family who live near Atlanta that our eggs are now available in all 8 Atlanta Whole Foods Markets. We rely on word of mouth so much and as CSA members, you know our story best. Thanks again to all of you who help spread the word each week.

 

Certified Organic Vegetables: 

Salad Mix w/ Spinach  – The true taste of Spring in a convenient triple washed bag of green goodness.

Stir-fry Mix  – Mix into your salad mix for a little spice, or flavor any meal with this tasty and nutritious green addition

Georgia Collards OR Swiss Chard – Your collards are harvested on the main stem as we are slowly transitioning to the next crop and removing plants from the field after flowering. Limited Swiss Chard this week.

Red Russian Kale – More Green Goodness. The hits just keep on coming!

French Breakfast Radishes – We’re pickling lots of these this week for a fresh batch of pickles.

Hakurei “Salad” Turnips – These amazing albino beauties are perfect for eating raw, or adding to salads or any meal that calls for a root veggie. You may remember these from the jars a few weeks ago. Delicious!

Organic Herb: Rosemary – Rosemary can be used in all of the recipes linked above for the Rabbit and Guinea. But rosemary is also a terrific addition to morning eggs and other veggie dishes.

**Fava beans –  Click HERE to learn about allergy information and more than you probably want to know about Favas, also called Broad beans. Everyone gets a pound of these little wonders, still in the shell. In Nepal, they are eaten as a green vegetable when the pods are young, generally stir-fried with garlic. I’m recommending shelling your beans this week and adding them in with the turnips and stir-fry mix with some toasted sesame oil and pine nuts. Here are more ideas:

Sautéed Favas: Food.com

ideas with pics: Huffington Post

 

Categories: Kitchen | 2 Comments

CSA Crate and Peril

We strive for zero-waste on our farm so, of course, we employ reusable packaging whenever possible. To meet this goal and stay cost-effective, we rely on all of you to do your part returning all of your crates with your name tags each week. And 95% of you are doing a great job.  Here’s some helpful packaging related news for both veggie, meat and egg subscribers…

photo

MEAT

1. Always remember to place your name card in the plastic sleeve. And then just keep it there – We need it to know you are returning your box each week.

2. This week, we will begin reusing frozen gel packs in lieu of evaporating dry ice. Please keep these gel packs in the bottom of your box and return them to us. (If you hide them in your freezer, you will forget about them  – please just leave them in your crate)

3. The insulated pads are almost more expensive than the box. The crate, pads, freezer packs and your name tag belong together – please don’t break up a happy home.

VEGGIES

1. This one is the simplest – just remember to place your name card in the plastic sleeve. And then just keep it there – We need it to know you are returning your box each week.

EGGS

We always appreciate you returning your used White Oak Pastures egg cartons.  Please only give them back to us if they are clean though

Finally, don’t be surprised when you see a second “confirmation” email for following the White Oak CSA Blog.  I have a good inclination that not everyone has registered to receive the Blog updates so I am going to take the time to enter each one of our email addresses so I will know for a fact we’re all getting these updates. I love you all, and want to make sure every one gets their $50 crate fee back so you can spend it on one of our Thanksgiving turkeys.  See you tomorrow – we’ve got some good treats in store!

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | 2 Comments

2013 CSA: Week 5

Ok, you know that its Spring when the Blog update that should have been written by 3:00pm is just now getting started well after 10:30pm…

And even though its late, I have to start this update off by publicly bragging on my crew. We’ve been stretched thin this week with some of our crew performing mandatory vaccinations on our youngest laying hens. This means that last night, the alarm went off at 2:30am and they vaccinated from 3:00am until 6:30am. Then they showered, ate a light snack of a breakfast, and gleefully harvested and packed this morning and managed to get the first plantings of squash and cucumbers into the ground this afternoon. They’re all troopers! And I’m blessed and honored to have them at my side. I’ll save other farm musings for later and jump right into the thick of things… Let’s talk food!

All manner of greens remain the star of the show this week: Fresh first cuttings of salad mix, young tender arugula and mizuna. More beautiful radishes and the first turnips of the spring. Also, there’s a special treat that you can either eat or plant in your own garden. For our favorite  omnivore members, Party wings and a succulent Boneless Shoulder Roast await you in your meat share as well. It’s going to be a delicious week!

We’ve placed the order for dairy and will begin distributing those orders as described in the previous e-mail. And starting in May, we’ll also be offering Pecans from our good friends George and Becky Rogers at Pecan Point Farm. These are some of the best pecans I have ever tasted. They’re grown without chemical sprays and with lots and lots of love. We bought just enough so we can offer them to you at $9/lb. You’ll see it on the order form for May, but I was too excited to wait. I’m awful at surprises.

And here’s what we have for you this week:

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Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)

Party Wings (2-2.5 lbs) – Free-range, pastured, heritage cross chicken wings that have been cut into drums and flats for your convenience. Our chickens are raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. Our chickens are also Step 5 rated by the Global Animal Partnership, which is the highest animal welfare rating.

Grass-fed Shoulder Roast (3 lbs) – The most flavorful and versatile roast of all. Great for slow smoking, oven or crock pot cooking.

Pasture Raised Eggs: 

1 dozen beautiful brown eggs from our own lovely ladies that range freely on certified organic pasture. The eggs are washed, candled and graded fresh for you each week. (We’ll have more egg shares available in May! Please email me or call our office today to get on the waiting list! 229-641-2081)

**Also, please tell your friends and family who live near Atlanta that our eggs are now available in all 8 Atlanta Whole Foods Markets. We rely on word of mouth so much and as CSA members, you know our story best. Thanks again to all of you who help spread the word each week.

Certified Organic Vegetables: 

Ruby Red Swiss Chard – Is back, and redder than ever! So nutritious and so beautiful.

Baby Bok Choi  – We’ll have some grown-up versions of these on the way, but they were way to cute at this age not to share. But not too cute to eat, throw them in the stir-fry this week with your Stew beef. Towards the end though, because these are great tender little gems that can also be eaten raw. We’ll share some recipes for these in later weeks – One of my favorites!

Salad Mix  – First cutting! The true taste of Spring in a convenient triple washed bag of green goodness.

Arugula OR Mizuna  – Guess which one you have! The serrated leaf is Mizuna and the rounded-lobed leaf is Arugula. Both make for excellent Spring time pre-basil pestos.

Georgia Collards – Excellent protein content. Try using the raw leaves as a wrap for yummy burritos!

French Breakfast Radishes – So gorgeous and delicious -We’ve been spacing these plantings out pretty well so we hope to share fresh radishes all spring long. Enjoy!

Multiplying Onions – The leeks are behind us and the Sweet vidalia type onions are a few weeks away still. If you absolutely need an allium, you can always have one growing in your own flower bed. Your multiplying onions this week are not washed very well because you can plant separate the individual onions and plant them 6″ apart in full to partial sun. Water them in and mulch around them and by fall, you should have 8-12 more onions in its place. Keep separating them again and again and pretty soon you’re an onion farmer.

Organic Herb: Lemon Balm – A member of the mint family and known for its medicinal qualities and calming effects. Cut these up and freeze them in ice cubes for a terrific tasting easy twist on ice water or iced-tea. Great for hot teas too. Also this makes a nice natural mosquito repellent if you crush the leaves and rub over your exposed skin.

New this week, Purple turnips – They’re still putting on size, but we robbed some to share with you this week. Your share just looked empty without more roots in there with all of those gorgeous greens. More carrots and beets to come, but for now – Be proud to eat Purple!

 

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | 3 Comments

2013 CSA: Week 4

Spring is definitely in the air this week. The chirping chicks that five weeks ago could fit in your palm are now entering those awkward adolescent years when their feet seem freakishly large for their bodies. With the lambing season behind us, the growing flocks now move like cloud formations all around our green pasture sky. And many of the crops that I am eagerly awaiting to share with you (especially the Brassicas: broccoli, cauliflower, mustards and more cabbage) are fully embracing the longer days and warmer temperatures. We’ve been promised rain this week and hope that it reaches our pastures tomorrow and then decides to stay a spell.

Some of you might be wondering about the fate of your early tomatoes: well, the row covers we employ at the farm are intended for pest protection and not frost prevention. Consequently, many of our early tomatoes were knocked down by the frost last week. Knocked down, but not out! It seems that the soul of the plant is still determined to live on and bear fruit for us; so we intend to test their resiliency and let them grow back if possible. And we’ve observed some promising progress this week so far. Meanwhile, we’ll be planting round two in a couple of weeks, with plenty of peppers, squash, basil, cucumbers and more to follow. Hungry yet? With all the tastes of summer in store for the weeks ahead, let’s truly enjoy the taste of spring this week! Here’s a few pictures from around the farm, followed by a listing of your share box ingredients:

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Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)

Pasture-Raised Chicken (Small 2-2.5 lbs) – One free-range, pastured, heritage cross chicken. Our chickens are raised with no antibiotics or added hormones. Our chickens are also Step 5 rated by the Global Animal Partnership, which is the highest animal rating.

Grass-fed Stew Beef (2 lbs) – A cold weather favorite. Small cubes of fresh cut beef that is great for stews, soups and chili.

White Oak Pastures Sausage – White Oak Pastures is excited to offer a unique sausage, made with our grass-fed beef, lamb, and pastured chicken each week! These artisan sausages are hand crafted in small batches on our farm.  In your share box this week, you’ll either receive Beef sausage with green peppercorn and onion OR Pork sausage with Fennel (our hogs are coming, but we’re honing our sausage making skills this week using a neighbor farmer’s pork). I’ve tasted them both and they’re amazing! Keep watching your inbox for updates when new sausage flavors are announced and feel free to add them to your delivery. Enjoy!

 

Pasture Raised Eggs: 

1 dozen beautiful brown eggs from our own lovely ladies that range freely on certified organic pasture. The eggs are washed, candled and graded fresh for you each week. (We’ll have more egg shares available in May! Please email me or call our office today to get on the waiting list! 229-641-2081)

**Also, please tell your friends and family who live near Atlanta that our eggs are now available in all 8 Atlanta Whole Foods Markets. We rely on word of mouth so much and as CSA members, you know our story best. Thanks again to all of you who help spread the word each week.

 

Certified Organic Vegetables: 

Baby Bok Choi  – We’ll have some grown-up versions of these on the way, but they were way to cute at this age not to share. But not too cute to eat, throw them in the stir-fry this week with your Stew beef. Towards the end though, because these are great tender little gems that can also be eaten raw. We’ll share some recipes for these in later weeks – One of my favorites!

Braising Mix  – Perfect for stir-fry, Omelettes, Spicy wraps, and more. Nutritious Asian greens with lots of flavor and a little kick.

Spinach OR Arugula OR Lettuce mix  – Oh the green gifts of Spring!

Kale OR Collards – Red Russian Kale or Georgia Collards. Eat these every week and the doctor will give you a gold star at your next physical!

French Breakfast Radishes – First pick of the new crop. We’ve been spacing these plantings out pretty well so we hope to share fresh radishes all spring long. Enjoy!

Head Lettuce – Exquisite freshly harvested head lettuce. It’s just that time of year. Celebrate seasonality and SALADS!

Leeks – A great addition to a stir fry with your stew beef or for flavoring your sausage in the pan with your favorite beer. That’s how I do it anyway. These are the last of the leeks for a few weeks anyway, so savor them (even the thinner ones!)

Organic Herb: Mint OR Cilantro – So many options with these two, get creative and have fun. Don’t forget beverages need herbs too!

And Special this week: Pickled Hakurei Turnips OR Pepper Jelly – The pepper jelly was a big hit with some of our local patrons last year. Great on a bagel with cream cheese! The Pickled turnip is a new recipe that we love. We recommend that you enjoy the turnips this week and refrigerate after opening. There are no artificial preservatives in there and this delivery week was scheduled for best taste. If you keep them on your shelf for much longer, the turnips may turn softer than your discerning palate would care for. Full disclosure, I’m munching one as I write this. I love them!

Please see the previous blog post describing the dessert cheese and dairy items on sale this week.  Thanks again! Hope everyone thoroughly enjoys their shares this week!

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | 7 Comments

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