Monthly Archives: October 2014

2014 Week 29 CSA

*** This week is an odd week, therefore half shares will be delivered to the following cities Eufala, Columbus, Albany. and Ichauway!

Firstly, let me apologize for the lack of photos last week. My phone was on the fritz and wouldn’t upload our beautiful photos.

Greetings from the fog, wishing you a Haunted Halloween! The eerie scenery lingered until almost noon this morning. It seemed to foretell of mischief and Halloween tidings. The fall is my favorite of seasons, the scents, the colors, the crispness of air and twigs under your boots. Fall feels like home, it causes you to bundle, layer and head back into the kitchen for baking and stews. It is no longer too warm to use the oven, or to start evening bonfires.

This Saturday we hosted a Fall Harvest Dinner of epic proportions. The meal was on point, the decorations lovely, the staff excited, band lively, and bonfire raging. Our guests were greeted by farm hospitality. I would like to thank those of our CSA members that were able to attend and make it a special evening. For those of you who couldn’t make it we shall have another, fear not!

The garden itself is under tremendous change, our staff has changed gaining new members as we sadly part with others. Summer crops are fading out meanwhile falls bounty is flourishing in the fields. We are planting new crops and tending to maturing sprouts. Our fall line up is filled with unique items including sugar cane, ginger, turmeric, sun chokes, cabbages and so much more! Each week a new crop springs forth ready for harvest.

Introducing Our New Share Items: Cabbage, Turnip Greens, Salad Mix!

Cabbage:

Full heads of ripe cabbage goodness. These are overwhelming and lovely. Dense packages of leaves that are full of options. Crisp yet tender. Fragrant and firm. Cabbage is the base to so many wonderful fall dishes. The humble plant is perfect to practice your hand at fermenting think kimchi and kraut or pickle for cabbage rolls or incorporate into hearty stews. It is the perfect introduction as the weather cools down. It is also a wonderful pair for any slaw dish you can think of.

Turnip Greens:

These zesty little shoots and leaves are reminiscent of mustard greens in their mild spiciness. They can be sauteed or enjoyed fresh. They are wonderfully fresh and add to any dish.

Salad Mix:

Our unique blend of salad mix is crimson and lime in color. It is bright and full of flavor, triple washed and ready to eat!

Organic Share Items

Turnip Greens OR Salad Mix – Use on sandwiches, fresh salads, burgers, wraps and more!

Cabbage – Cabbage rolls, cabbage slaws, cabbage salads, pickled cabbage, fermented cabbage, steamed cabbage, raw cabbage, your choices are limitless.

Sweet Peppers –Peppers are perfect on the grill, in the oven or on the stove. Enjoy them sauteed or blackened, in any dish you can imagine. I encourage you to try eating these peppers raw, however they are delightful roasted, grilled, stuffed, pepper jelly, pickled and stir-fried.

Kohlrabi – Kohlrabi, the tasty cabbage cousin is perfect for the following applications: Salad topping, Slaw, Pickled, Roasted, Steamed, Fried, & Soups! 

Sweet Potatoes – Souffle, pie, fries, hash, mashed, chips, casseroles, scalloped, soup and cheese cake. They are a holiday favorite, and have gained popularity in the everyday. **Please take these sweet babies out of their plastic bag, and place on the counter or windowsill. 

Pac Choi – This elegant green can be sauteed, stir fried, eaten raw, added to soups, stews, dumplings, spring and egg rolls!

Totsoi – This delicate cabbage, is perfect for salads or light sautés. It would also work in any dish that calls for an Asian style cabbage.

Kale – Pesto, wraps, sauteed, stir-fry, creamed, risotto, braised and incorporated into soup and stews. Try pairing with bacon! Sauteed with onions and garlic or torn as a salad mix, get some greens in your daily meal adventures. These hearty greens make fabulous Kale chips!

Okra – The Okra can be enjoyed raw, steamed, fried, baked, or stewed.

Tomatoes Squash (winter/summer) – Scrumptious Squash, yum. Saute, grill, bake, fry, and roast. Be sure to send your recipes! These beautiful tomato globes can be eaten fresh or made into sweet jams and preserves.

Pesto – A bag full of opportunity! Delicious on pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. It can also be mixed with dressing or tossed with cooked veggies to add a new dimension.

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | Leave a comment

2014 CSA Week 28

*** This week is an even week, therefore half shares will be delivered to the following cities: Americus, Blakely, Cordele, Dothan, Harris, Tallahassee, Warner Robbins, and WOP.

Wishing all of our CSA members and friends a beautiful sunrise. Sitting in the front office of the plant, facing highway 27, I watch the sun gently grace us. Bringing warmth and light to the day.

Lately, I have been filled with many thoughts about our food system. There are so many buzz words and advertising schemes playing off our innate desire to be connected with our food. Walking through a grocery store requires a user guide and a glossary for terms. Each year, new advertising schemes flood the market further diluting any understanding or semblance of what is healthy. Such as: cage free, free range, organic, local, natural, etc., Our culture has become so removed from its proteins and produce and their varying sources. It leaves us defenseless and severely lacking in knowledge of what we are consuming.

Purity, is such a simple concept, yet so difficult to attain. Whether we like the current conditions of our food systems or not they are rapidly moving forward and distorting what “real” food looks and tastes like. All of these thoughts, are what started my journey into farming. The concept of growing food for my neighbors seemed so pure. In a climate where organic foods can be industrial, global, and even partially organic (70% organic), it leaves me frustrated and at a loss. Don’t get me wrong I love asparagus year round and am guilty of purchasing it out of season. However, just because I can, should I?

I recently read that you know your food when you know the first name of your farmer. That seems pretty simple to me. I am lucky in that I live on the farm so I know the names of most of our staff, from the egg collectors, to the crews that tend to the poultry, pigs, goats, sheep, cattle, etc. However, you as a neighbor also are centrally located to be within reach of your farm. This little microcosm of activity is a blessing to anyone who wants to see their food up close. You can dine here, shop here and even spend the night right on farm. Can you imagine an industrial farm allowing the same transparency? One of the greatest achievements this farm has accomplished is its ability to welcome all who come through its doors, and proudly display each aspect of the farm.

Don’t get me wrong, it is most definitely a business, and run as such. However, the treatment of the animals is the primary focus, that being said they are animals fully content. My house is a peninsula surrounded by pastures on three sides, each containing a different animal: pigs, goats, and sheep. Everyday as I go to and fro from my house I see the animals, playing feeding, breeding, sleeping and roaming. I encourage you to seek out the first names of your farmers, as am I.

This brings me to introductions of some of your growers. Our team consists of many unique individuals from all walks of life. Our current garden staff originates from Maine, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. We are a crew of all ages, and unique back stories. We have all been drawn to agriculture for different reasons, but ended up at White Oak for the same. White Oak has high standards for the land they work, and make each of us welcome. We all love our work, and greatly enjoy each time we are able to meet the families that enjoy our labor. I have included some photos of our staff, and some dishes made from local products.

New Share Items: Gourds, Cilantro, Head Lettuce, Baby Carrots, Totsoi.

Decorative Gourds: Birdhouse or bowls, jars, lamp shades and outdoor décor. I have read that a well preserved gourd can last 30 years! The highlighted birdhouse link informs you how to prepare your gourds. I would then suggest using pinterest to find the craft that best suits you!

Cilantro: Place cilantro in a jar of water, covered with a plastic bag on top, refrigerate. Stems and leaves are edible. This pungent herbaceous green adds a freshness to so many dishes. Roasted sweet potatoes with cilantro pesto. Pico de Gallo to top burritos, tacos, fish fillets, and any other dish that could use a brightening flavor boost.

Head Lettuce: Everyone’s favorite fresh beauty. Each head is like delicate lace. Perfect for salads and sandwiches.

Baby Carrots: These slender tender roots are prime for snacking. They were harvested in order to allow their brother and sisters to grow up into full sized hearty carrots. The tops should be removed prior to storing, leaves pull moisture out of the roots, leaving roots limp and unpleasant. The carrot tops, can be used in in veggie stocks, used to beautify a flower arrangement, or if you are daring and want fully utilize them try carrot top pesto.

Totsoi: The Kitchn gives an introductory lesson into Asian greens that would be helpful as we venture cooler weather and green season. This green can be treated just as Pac Choi and Bok Choi. Steamed, sautés, baked with cabbage, braised, and many other lovely cabbage preparations.

Organic Share Items:

Cilantro Pico De Gallo, pesto, creamy sauces, falafels, mixed drinks and more.

Malukia – This green is well paired with summer salads. It is bright and refreshing a great addition to any dish requiring a pop of freshness!

Decorative Gourds After reviewing the birdhouse link, pick a craft project and begin your crafting fun. Birdhouses, lamp shades, bowls, jars, basket, night lights etc.

Braising Mix OR Head Lettuce –These babies pair well with soups, stews, braised meats, pasta dishes, pizza, burritos & tacos. Add some of these nutrient dense greens to any of your favorite dishes for a vitamin boost.

Baby Carrots OR Salad Radishes – Baby Carrots are sweet tender and ready to eat raw, they can be included in salads, roasted, braised, in soups. Radishes can be found in, slaw, pickles, relishes, soup & sandwich garnishes.

Sweet Potatoes – Souffle, pie, fries, hash, mashed, chips, casseroles, scalloped, soup and cheese cake. They are a holiday favorite, and have gained popularity in the everyday. **Please take these sweet babies out of their plastic bag, and place on the counter or windowsill. 

Tokyo Bekana OR Totsoi OR Pac Choi – These delicate cabbages, are perfect for salads or light sautés. It can be sauteed, stir fried, eaten raw, added to soups, stews, dumplings, spring and egg rolls!

Collards OR Kale OR Swiss Chard – Pesto, wraps, sauteed, stir-fry, creamed, risotto, braised and incorporated into soup and stews. Try pairing with bacon! Sauteed with onions and garlic or torn as a salad mix, get some greens in your daily meal adventures. These hearty greens make fabulous Kale chips!

Okra – The Okra can be enjoyed raw, steamed, fried, baked, or stewed.

Squash OR Sweet Peppers OR Tomatoes – Scrumptious Squash, yum. Saute, grill, bake, fry, and roast. Be sure to send your recipes! Peppers are perfect on the grill, in the oven or on the stove. Enjoy them sauteed or blackened, in any dish you can imagine. I encourage you to try eating these peppers raw, however they are delightful roasted, grilled, stuffed, pepper jelly, pickled and stir-fried. These beautiful tomato globes can be eaten fresh or made into sweet jams and preserves.

Pesto – A bag full of opportunity! Delicious on pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. It can also be mixed with dressing or tossed with cooked veggies to add a new dimension.

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | Leave a comment

2014 CSA Week 27

*** This week is an odd week, therefore half shares will be delivered to the following cities Eufala, Columbus, Albany. and Ichauway!

 

Good Morning from Bluffton!

As I sit looking out our front window, the rain is steadily drenching our fields. I cannot help but be thankful. Thankful for the rain, thankful for our crew, and thankful for the opportunity to be doing something that we all are passionate about. Today Bluffton, like many of the surrounding cities received heavy rains and patchwork thunders storms. Our crew was diligently working to harvest in between down pours. Thanks to their hard work and willingness to get wet and a little muddy, we can offer you a beautiful share box this week.

There are some newcomers to the scene and I would like to take a moment to introduce you. I am very proud to welcome our newest vegetables: Salad Radishes, Kohlrabi, & Braising Mix

Kohlrabi: The German Cabbage:

Can I start by saying Yum! This space alien creature is so tasty, the leaves and stalks are edible they are much like kale, the bulb is a unique blend between broccoli stems and cabbage. Those Germans, figuring out how to combine kale and broccoli into one wild plant. Genius!

Firstly, remove stems and leaves from the bulb. You will them remove the outer skin with a veggie peeler. From there your choices are endless: wedges, cubes, matchsticks, disks, etc,. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw, it would make a wonderful addition to a salad, or slaw. How about Honey Pickled Kohlrabi? Or adding it to your favorite creamy soup (potato, broccoli, mushroom). It can also be roasted, steamed and fried.

 

Radishes:

I am going to pickle my bunch with maple syrup and chili flakes! Radishes are known for sprucing up salads. They are perfectly paired with, sliced crusty bread, goat cheese, chives and thinly sliced radishes. Spicy pickled radishes, or crunchy relishes this little bulb makes a great addition to any dish. Radishes can also be enjoyed raw, with butter and sea salt!

Braising Mix:

Our specialty mix includes spicy mustard greens, tatsoi, and baby kale. Braising greens are a hearty version of lettuce mix, they can endure heat and thus are wonderful for soups, stews, pasta dishes, tacos, burritos, pizzas etc. Turn up the heat on these hearty greens. Whether you are interested in making them the center stage or a side dish. These powerhouse greens are full of nutrients and loaded with flavor.

 

Organic Share Items:

 Braising Mix These babies pair well with soups, stews, braised meats, pasta dishes, pizza, burritos & tacos. Add some of these nutrient dense greens to any of your favorite dishes for a vitamin boost.

Kohlrabi OR Salad Radishes Kohlrabi, the tasty cabbage cousin is perfect for the following applications: Salad topping, Slaw, Pickled, Roasted, Steamed, Fried, & Soups! Radishes can be found in, slaw, pickles, relishes, soup & sandwich garnishes.

Sweet Potatoes – Souffle, pie, fries, hash, mashed, chips, casseroles, scalloped, soup and cheese cake. They are a holiday favorite, and have gained popularity in the everyday. **Please take these sweet babies out of their plastic bag, and place on the counter or windowsill. 

Pac Choi – This elegant green can be sauteed, stir fried, eaten raw, added to soups, stews, dumplings, spring and egg rolls!

Tokyo Bekana OR Chinese Cabbage – This delicate cabbage, is perfect for salads or light sautés. It would

Collards OR Kale – Pesto, wraps, sauteed, stir-fry, creamed, risotto, braised and incorporated into soup and stews. Try pairing with bacon! Sauteed with onions and garlic or torn as a salad mix, get some greens in your daily meal adventures. These hearty greens make fabulous Kale chips!

Okra – The Okra can be enjoyed raw, steamed, fried, baked, or stewed.

Tomatoes – These beautiful tomatoe globes can be eaten fresh or made into sweet jams and preserves.

Squash OR Sweet Peppers – Scrumptious Squash, yum. Saute, grill, bake, fry, and roast. Be sure to send your recipes! Peppers are perfect on the grill, in the oven or on the stove. Enjoy them sauteed or blackened, in any dish you can imagine. I encourage you to try eating these peppers raw, however they are delightful roasted, grilled, stuffed, pepper jelly, pickled and stir-fried.

Pesto – A bag full of opportunity! Delicious on pizzas, pastas and sandwiches. It can also be mixed with dressing or tossed with cooked veggies to add a new dimension.

Garlic – Delicious in so many recipes, fresh and spicy! Salsa is always so refreshing and extra special when it has just the right amount of a spicy kick.

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | Leave a comment

2014 CSA Week 26

*** This week is an even week, therefore half shares will be delivered to the following cities: Americus, Blakely, Cordele, Dothan, Harris, Tallahassee, Warner Robbins, and WOP.

Greetings from your fall harvesters! We are blessed with so many gorgeous greens bursting forth in our clay laden soil. Our mornings have been much cooler, whereas our days are filled with warm winds and sun beams.

Did anyone catch the huge golden moon this morning? It was so full, and hanging unreasonably low. For any of those that missed it, make sure to catch the blood moon tonight! White Oak is the ideal setting for watching the heavens. Whether it is as you arrive in the morning for harvest, or as you are leaving the grounds on a late planting night. The horizons are forever stretching, and perpetually on display. We could not live on a more beautiful piece of Earth. For any of those who have not visited, please do and take a moment to revel in the splendor of our lush pastures, the magnificent skies, and our majestic livestock.

Calling all chefs in training! I have recently signed up for online cooking lessons thru http://www.thekitchn.com/collection/cooking-school-373, the site is allowing everyday readers to sign up. It is free and introduces you to free cooking lessons for thirty days. If you have ever felt overwhelmed when you receive a box or look over a recipe this is a good place to start. I have signed up, and have encouraged some friends on the farm to do the same. I am looking forward to improving my knife skills and veggie preparations.

New items for your share box: Pac Choi, Collards, Winter Squash: (Butternut, Delicata, Blue Hubbard & Red Kuri).

Pac Choi:

Beauty and flavor all in one delicate package. Pac Choi is an elegant Chinese green. It has found a home in our early fall garden and she is now coming to a share box near you. This green is pleasantly mild so it can be eaten raw stem and all. The stem is juicy and crunchy which makes a wonderful addition to any stir-fry, salad, or soup. The supple leaves are found in many fall soups, and if daring would be an excellent addition to homemade stuffed dumplings, spring rolls or egg rolls. My suggestion would be to pair it with mushrooms, add some earthy goodness to this delicate creature.

Collards:

This cousin to the cabbage is one of the most beautiful plants in the garden. If you have not seen a collard in its natural state I highly encourage you to look it up. Maybe even plant some for their ascetic appeal. In Michigan, collards are not a staple. However, in the south collards are beloved by so many. For good reason, these greens are full of nutrients and flavor. I encourage you to try something new with this season collards. While looking for inspiration online I found some great options: incorporate into a spinach dip, risotto, pesto, creamed, braised and used as a wrap for sandwiches. I have eaten a spinach, kale & greek yogurt dip that was mouth watering. I think that collards would be the perfect addition to that style dip.

Winter Squash:

Check out this website to learn a little more about the winter squash that is filling your boxes!

Blue Hubbard – Blue-Gray in appearance round and sweet in nature. Sweet enough for pies and baked goods!

Delicata Similar in flavor to sweet potatoes, making this squash very versatile. Roasting it with maple syrup and chili flakes is a sure fire way to bring together everyone for a meal all can enjoy!

Red Kuri A dark burnt orange mini gourd pumped with velvety flesh. Ideal for baking and roasting. Once cooked, the Red Kuri gives off a pleasant chestnut flavor. I would bake, scoop out flesh, food process till smooth, and either pair with some fresh eggs and cream for a decadent dessert route or add some roasted garlic and herbs for a savory soup.

Butternut This sweet treat is my favorite when roasted. It enriches every dish that it combines with. Stuffed ravioli, soup, pasta sauce, just think of the possibilities!

 

Organic Share Items:

 

Sweet Potatoes – Souffle, pie, fries, hash, mashed, chips, casseroles, scalloped, soup and cheese cake. They are a holiday favorite, and have gained popularity in the everyday. **Please take these sweet babies out of their plastic bag, and place on the counter or windowsill. 

Pac Choi – This elegant green can be sauteed, stir fried, eaten raw, added to soups, stews, dumplings, spring and egg rolls!

Tokyo Bekana This delicate cabbage, is perfect for salads or light sautés. It would make a crunchy addition to any sandwich, salad or burger.

Malukia – This green is well paired with summer salads. It is bright and refreshing a great addition to any dish requiring a pop of freshness!

Collards – Pesto, wraps, sauteed, stir-fry, creamed, risotto, braised and incorporated into soup and stews. Try pairing with bacon!

Kale: Red Russian OR Lacinato– Sauteed with onions and garlic or torn as a salad mix, get some greens in your daily meal adventures. These hearty greens make fabulous Kale chips!

Eggplants OR  Sweet Peppers–   Peppers are perfect on the grill, in the oven or on the stove. Enjoy them sauteed or blackened, in any dish you can imagine. I encourage you to try eating these peppers raw, however they are delightful roasted, grilled, stuffed, pepper jelly, pickled and stir-fried. So many ideas to try for eggplant: vegetarian cutlets, eggplant Parmesan, baba ghanoush, or moussaka. I treat eggplant as I would chicken, marinade it, and its delicious baked, grilled, blackened, and sauteed.

Okra OR Tomatoes – The Okra can be enjoyed raw, steamed, fried, baked, or stewed. These beautiful tomatoe globes can be eaten fresh or made into sweet jams and preserves.

Squash(Winter or Summer) – Scrumptious Squash, yum. Saute, grill, bake, fry, and roast. Be sure to send your recipes!

Sage OR Mint – These herbs are all unique and powerful. They can turn any bland dish into a flavor punch. Enjoy in mixed drinks, sauces, and breads!

Garlic – Delicious in so many recipes, fresh and spicy! Salsa is always so refreshing and extra special when it has just the right amount of a spicy kick.

Categories: CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) | Leave a comment

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