Hi everybody! This is Lori here. I’ll be your blogger for the next two weeks, and seeing as I don’t do this blog thing very often, I’d like to take the opportunity to share a little bit about what I do on the farm.
As some of y’all may know, I am part of the organic vegetable crew, but I’m also taking on some projects of my own. I am in charge of starting and caring for all the delicate little seedlings that begin their life in the greenhouse before we move them out to the harsh, unforgiving field. It’s a big world out there. I am also beginning to cultivate culinary mushrooms and am foraying into the wonderful (and sometimes painful) world of beekeeping. I could write an essay on each of these endeavors, easily. But that’s not what I came to tell you about.
I came to talk about the black soldier fly larvae. BSFL. Let’s get one thing out of the way here. I love bugs. I love bugs, creepy-crawlies, little tiny things that writhe around on six legs (or sometimes no legs), minuscule robots with wings and antennae. I think they’re great, and the grosser the better. So it’s no wonder I jumped in feet first to the black soldier fly rearing project here at White Oak Pastures. Let me give you some background…
Black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) are flies native to the southeast U.S. (and elsewhere). They will eat pretty much anything that can decompose. Vegetables, meat, eggs, manure–you name it, they will probably devour it. That sounds great, right? Well, here’s the even better part. These little guys are eating machines as larvae, but as adults they only live four days and don’t need to eat during that time–they just live off of their fat reserves until they die. Why is this so cool? Because it means that BSF are much more tolerable to be around than ordinary house flies (they don’t bite), and as a result they are much less likely to vector disease. And, call me a proud mother, but they are way cuter than house flies.
So here’s where I come in. Not only are BSF great composters, but a great protein and fat source for poultry as well. I am working with the wild population of BSF here on the farm, collecting freshly oviposited eggs and raising the larvae to feed to the myriad chickens, turkeys, geese, and guinea that may one day be on your plate. What do I feed them, you ask? Great question. All of my BSFL babies receive daily rations of ground eviscerate material (guts) that come fresh out of the beef abattoir. I haven’t tasted it myself (not on purpose, anyway) but I can tell you that the larvae just love it (and the chickens just love them)! And that is just one more way to complete the nutrient cycle and fulfill our goal of being a zero-waste facility.
I could go on and on, but you guys must be getting hungry. So here is what’s going in your boxes this week:
Meat CSA: (call us on Monday by noon for any additional a la carte orders: 229-641-2081 – web orders click here)
Tenderloin Roast- Cook it slow and low for the best results! Marinate overnight for an even juicier and more flavorful experience.
1lb Bacon– Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs? Get ’em while they’re hot!
Pasture Raised Eggs:
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. (Wanna add eggs to your order this week? Please email me or call our office today: 229-641-2081)
Certified Organic Vegetables:
Braising Mix – Tender young greens including: arugula, mizuna, tat soi, baby kale, and more!
Sweet Potatoes – 3- 4 lbs of sweet potatoes. Enjoy!
Okra – 2 full lbs of purple and green okra. Some big, some small and some just right in size.
Beans OR Radish Greens – A full pound of tender green beans or a mixed bunch of radish and Hon Tsai Tai greens. More fall greens to come!
Eggplant – Enough to go around for everyone this week. Scrumptious!
Peppers – Jupiter and Orion Bell peppers, Cowhorn and Carmens. Fall weather should help us see more colors in the peppers too. What beauties!
Soybeans – We’ve got ’em and now so do you! For a quick and easy snack or appetizer try steaming the whole pods and tossing with coarse salt. Simple and delicious!
Mixed Hot peppers – Mostly jalapenos and Cayenne types. mixed hot peppers are bagged separately for your convenience.
Lemon Balm – This is our gourmet herb for the week. Try making it into a refreshing herbal tea or toss it in with your braising mix for a citrusy zing.
Pesto! – We took your weekly basil bunches and turned them into a delicious pesto! This one contains green Genovese basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.