News and blog
So, the question of the day is, is it spring or is the weather playing a nasty trick on us? I personally think it's too good to be true and that we'll have one more cold snap. But, for now I am certainly enjoying all of this beautiful weather!
Things are busy busy busy at the farm right now trying to get ready for spring. Everyone is coming together to work on tilling up new plots and seed for spring crops. Jeremy and I got lots of new herbs started today and I also took a look at the strawberries today and I am proud to report that the frost didn't take out all of our babies so, I'm predicting strawberry season will treat us well this year. Yay! Spring is almost here!!!
It's time to start thinking about signing up for the Spring session CSA program. We are all so excited for what this season has in store for us. Lots and lots of yummy veggies and even some fruit. Just took a peek at all of our new spring seeds and it's looking amazing!! Several different varieties of lettuce and other specialty greens like arugula, cress, and chervil as well as many herbs. What I am most excited about are all of the heirloom tomatoes... my favorite are the Cherokee Purples! Also, did anyone say strawberries!!!! Our strawberries seem to be hanging strong through all this crummy cold weather so, if all goes well we should be in strawberry heaven. Went over the newest spring seed order with the newest addition to our crew, the amazing Jeremy Greer, and I can barely contain my excitement. Good things are happening! So, if you want to renew your membership or sign up for the first time make sure to shoot us an email. Whole shares for the spring are $350 this season and half shares are $196. We are offering a different type of bread this session made from freshly milled organic grain if you would like to add this to your CSA share its $42 for a half share and $84 for a whole. Eggs..... sorry guys I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Orchard Pond is not offering an egg share for the spring. I got tired of constantly having to repay people for not having eggs so, we are going to try it a little bit different this session. Instead of offering egg shares I will simply bring whatever eggs our chickens decided to lay to market and let members buy them that way. Sorry sorry sorry sorry.... I know everyone wants an egg share but our chickens don't seem to care. They are having too much fun running around with the cows to stop and lay an egg every now and then.
Hello to all! Sorry it's been ages since I've posted... between the holidays and trying to fight off my annual winter colds it's been a struggle to get into the habit of posting. So, the name of the game is greens. We've got em and hopefully you're lovin em. I crave greens, something about them makes me feel like a warrior...probably has something to do with all the vitamen A and C they are jam packed with! But, rumor has it that some of you are having trouble identifying your greens. I try and tell you whats in the bag whenever you all pick up but I completely understand, between the time you talk to me and the time your putting your goodies away the names can get a little bit elusive. So, I'm going to try my best to get you all straightened out.
Orchard Pond's Guide to Greens
Arugula: This is one of my favorite greens ever. It has a sharp peppery flavor that goes great with everything and its got lots of vitimans A, C, and K. I love it raw in salads or on top of a pizza. Makes Great Pesto too!
Chard: This greens is packed full of phytonutrients and is ranked as the second most healthy vegetable so, eat up its good for ya! I love chard stir fried or in a fritatta.
Collards: This one I hope everyone is familiar with here in the south. These guys are packed full of vitamen A,C, and K, and calcium as well as manganese. Whatever you do... please don't boil your collards. Organic collards are too good to boil. When you boil veggies you drain all of the goodness out of them! Stir fry, put in a fritatta with potatoes or make wraps with them but NEVER BOIL COLLARDS!!!
Kale: This is my favorite green hands down. The variety here in the picture is red kale, one of the varieties that we grow, but there are so many different variety and they all have a very distinct taste. Kale and peanut butter smoothies, raw kale salads with lemon dressing, kale chips, creamy kale and potato soup... I could go on all day. This stuff is delicious and so good for you. It's packed full of vitamens A, C, and K and its also a great detox food and has lots of antioxidents.
Red Mustards: These mustards are delicious and spicy! Steam these up with some vinegar or put them in your salad to add a lil kick! It's full vitamens and is good aid in lowering cholesterol.
Mesclun: This is a mix of several different types of greens and lettuces. Our musclun mix is primo for salads and has baby kale, tatsoi, mustards, arugula, and several varities of lettuce.
SPINACH!!!: Some things are just different when they come fresh of the farm and wow, spinach is one of them. Fresh picked spinach is nutty and melts in your mouth. I have a hard time cleaning it because I just want to eat it by the handful. I made spinach and brie omletts, spaghetti with spinach in the marinara, spinach and citrus salads with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar... the list goes on and on. Not only is spinach amazingly delicious its so good for you. Pack full of vitamin A, E, C and K as well as tons of antioxidents. eat up!
Tatsoi: This is such an awesome asian green. It's wonderful in salads, lightly steamed or wilted, or in stir fries...also holds up great in soup. Tatsoi is also righ in vitamin A,C, K, and calcium.
I hope this helps everybody out! Enjoy all your greens this winter!
I remember a time in the distant past when I actually enjoyed the winter...but oh how things have changed. Working on a farm and actually having the be outside in the winter weather has drastically changed my perspective on the winter season. Love the greens, hate the cold!
We've just about got everything covered up in anticipating of the biting frost. There's very little frost damage so far THANK GOODNESS!!! All the strawberries are just about in too. Lots and lots of delicious strawberries!
Hopefully everyone is having a happy and stress-free holiday season and getting to share all of your yummy CSA bag contents with friends and family. I've been making any and everything imaginable with greens. Soups, salads, stir fries, kimchi... anything I can think of! Here's a quick fix for kale dip:
Take out your handy dandy food processor and put in as much kale will fit, then put in a clove of garlic, some soy sauce, a dash or two of any type of vinegar ( i prefer rice vinegar), 1/2 can chick peas, 1/2 bell pepper or any type of sweet pepper you have laying around, a dash of sesame oil and another dash of evoo. Then puree the kale away and enjoy a quick energy fix. Great on crackers, bread, rice, or all by its lonesome!
Hey there everybody it's Mary R. I know everyone is excited with the holidays right around the corner; I can hardly believe that November is almost over. Time has been flying by at such a rapid pace this year, it's enough to make a girl's head spin. It seems like with farming you are so incredibly focused on what the lays ahead that sometimes your sense of time is lost. We've had so many new things going on at the farm these past couple of weeks it's hard to keep it all straight. All of the sweet basil was chopped down and made into delicious pesto, shoot us an e-mail if your interested, we've been getting ready to plant the massive ammount of strawberries we got last week, and most excitingly ....we just got 200 more baby chicks! All of the chicks made it through the mail ok and now we've got a bunch of lil babies running around.
So, i've been slacking on the recipes lately but it has been quite the task for me to actually remember to write things down. I never measure anything when I cook, I'm a big fan of just kind of feeling it out as you go, but I know not everyone is into that style so... here's some stuff that I've made lately. Keep in mind all of this is flexible. Have fun and substitute and try new things. Please please please let me know of any recipes that you've found that are enjoyable; I'm always looking to expand my collection.
Roasted Veggie Mousakka
Tomato Sauce Ingredients :
1.5 large onion chopped
4 cloves garlic (use less if your not a fanatic like myself)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 c olive red wine
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp oregano
Veggies to Roast:
2 large eggplants thinly sliced lengthwise
1.5 lb russet potatoes thinly slice lengthwise
2 zucchini thinly sliced lengthwise
Bechamel Sauce Ingredients :
2 1/4 c Heavy Cream (I highly recommend Ocheesee Dairy's cream!)
5 tsp butter
5 tsp floud
2 egg yolks
1/2 c parmesan cheese (if you want to top the mousakka off with cheese get a lil bit more)
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt
3 c bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss all of the sliced veggies with olive oil and layer them on cookie sheets. Put veggies in the oven until they are all tender. Once tender reduce heat to 375.
Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft over medium heat then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients and let simmer on low heat.
Once the veggies are tender take them out and layer them in a large casserole dish. I did a layer of potatoes, then a layer of eggplant, zucchini,tomato sauce, and topped it off with bread crumbs. I found I was able to do this about two times with them amount of veggies I roasted.
Then it's time to start the bechamel sauce. In a small sauce pan melt butter and then add flour stirring constantly for about 2 minutes on medium heat. Be careful not to burn the flour. Next step is to add the cream. Mix well with a whisk and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes until the cream mixture has reduced and thickened slightly. Then add in the parmesan and salt and pepper, making sure to mix well. The final step is to take the pot off the heat and slowly add the egg yolk, whisking quickly so as to avoiding getting scrambled egg pieces in your sauce. Now you can take the delicious bechamel sauce and top off the mousakka with an even layer. If your feeling like really stepping up your game top it off with a little bit of parmesean cheese before you pop it into the oven. Leave the mousakka in the oven until the bechamel layer looks a little brown... I found it took around 30- 40 minutes.
I know this recipe is intense but, it was absolutely delicious and it feeds a crowd. I fed my friends and roomate with it and still had enough to take home and feed my parents an sisters the next day.
Roasted Turnips and Seminole Squash
3-4 turnips peeled and diced into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 large seminole squash peeled and diced into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 c parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place turnips and squash in a bowl and toss with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the root veggies in a casserole dish and place in oven until pieces are tender, taking the dish out every 15 minutes or so to turn the veggies. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375.
Once the veggies are tender take them out and toss with enough pesto to get an even coat, about 2 large spoonfulls. Put the veggies back in the casserole dish and top with bread crumbs and then cheese. Put the dish back in the over or another 10- 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned slightly.
Hey Everybody its Mary R. here with some very exciting news.... I hope everyone loves strawberries because we just ordered a whole mess of strawberry plants to put in the ground next week! I know they wont be producing for a while but just the thought of eating strawberries that I helped grow is enough to get me through the upcoming cold months. There's something to be said about eating food that you grew, it's one of the most rewarding things in life. It makes me feel centered and productive and it's also a connection that you share with people throughout the world. Getting my hands in the soil helps me keep perspective, a sure fire thing to snap me out of a funk if I'm ever feeling isolated. We're also getting onions and elephant garlic in the plant very soon.
Chickens.... whew, they are quite the undertaking. It seems like every day there is something new to think about with the chickens. Not enough eggs, more missing, whats getting them, where to get more chickens, how to make them happy....
So, rumor has it that everyone is running out of ideas for squash and eggplant. I too have experianced the flush of eggplant, yellow squash and zucchini and might have a few new ideas for you to test out. Sorry I'm just posting this now that the season is almost over.
Korean Marinated Veggies
3-4 Yellow Squash
1/2 onion sliced
1/2 c. Fermented soy sauce
4-6 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne
1.5 tbs honey
Slice your veggies, except the onions, very thin and lengthwise, I found that it was easiest to use a wide neck peeler. Mix together soy sauce, garlic, cayenne, and honey and pour over veggies. Mix the veggies and sauce thoroughly then place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Stir fry the veggies after they are done marinating in a wok with a little bit of sesame oil and top off with the sesame seeds. These veggies go great with quinoa and kimchi.
Will post more recipes soon!