Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Week 13 Produce CSA Box

Wow! It has really been busy here. A week in St. Michaels, MD doing my job as a Sustainable Agricultural Consultant. It was beautiful. We went riding on a skipjack and had a Maryland Crab Feast. Had some serious meetings discussing the future of farming in the US and how to help farmers transition to a more sustainable and socially responsible way of farming as well as how to help develop local food systems. I got to meet with some of the movers and shakers in the socially responsible food movement as well as respresentatives from Johns Hopkins.

I'm sorry that I didn't get a post up for last week's box. We have been so busy with the house being worked on (two weeks with no hot water nor bathroom). Also, all last week was getting the sheep and rabbits ready to go to Trinidad. Mama and Daddy got back last night from taking 90 sheep and 40 rabbits to Miami which then were shipped by airplane to a client in Trinidad so that he can breed them.

Anyway, here is the info on your produce box for this week. It includes:

corn, peaches, watermelon, stringbeans, onions, potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, collards, eggplants, peppers and okra.

The pictures are from last week. I haven't had time to take pictures this week.

Check out the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living for a great recipe for tossed salad with Fried Okra. It looked really good. I don't have the magazine but am going to get a copy today.

Follow this link to a great recipe for Tomatoes with Preserved Lemon, a typical Moroccan dish. You can also follow the link to make your own preserved lemon. I have done it and it is delicious. It changes the whole flavor panel of the lemon. You also are getting some peaches in your box this week. I love grilled peaches with balsamic glaze. Here is a link to a recipe. The recipe calls for sprinkling with blue cheese. I also love it served instead with a dollop of homemade vanilla ice cream. If you have never tried Panzanella, it is really good. When the tomatoes are at their peak in flavor, particularly heirloom tomatoes, you want to make Panzanella. Follow this link to a good recipe for it. It is a recipe from Ina Garten and those of you who are familiar with her know that anything she makes is delicious. I am so glad that the butternut squash are starting to come off. My kids love Butternut Squash souffle.,1950,157186-238195,00.html Of course we have to top the souffle with toasted pecans.

We are finally getting hot water back today and I am so looking forward to being able to do more in-depth cooking. We have been eating lots of sandwiches and things easy to fix so as not to make too many dishes during this time. However, with so many nice veggies, it hasn't been too hard to fix meals for the family. Thanks for telling us how much you are enjoying the vegetables. The kids are thankful for your business. They are starting to evaluate things and hope to do this again next year. There are more people signed up for CSA shares than we had initially expected. So, if the kids can afford to fix their Great-Grandaddy's International 140 tractor so that they can expand the size of their garden plots, they want to do this next year.

Thanks again and enjoy those veggies,

The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pasture pictures 7/8/09

Cooling it in the shade....

June Specials

Here are the specials for June:

5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast (was $8.99/lb) $6.50/lb
5 lbs Chicken Leg Quarters (was $3.49/lb) now $2.50/lb

Pork Boston Butt (Perfect for Barbeque) (was $6.50/lb) now $5.99/lb
Guanciale (about 2 lb packs) (was $8.00/lb) $6.00/lb

Pork Osso Bucco (was $5.00/lb) now $4.50/lb
Pork Neckbones $1.50/lb
Soppresata (Italian-style salami) (was $7.50 each) now 2 for $12.00

Lamb Shanks (limited supply) (was $7.50/lb) $7.00/lb
Lamb Sirloin Chops (limited supply) (was $16.99/lb) 11.99/lb
Italian Lamb Sausage (was 8.99/lb) now $7.50/lb

We currently have a lot of meats ideal to use for grilling. St. Louis style Pork ribs, Boston Butt for barbeque, Pork Steaks, pork chops, beef for kabob, hamburgers, steaks, lamb chops, gourmet sausages, etc. We also have Applewood Smoked Bacon and Ham. We can supply you with barbeque or suckling pigs also.

Customers have been asking for us to have more lamb sausages made, so we have. Italian Lamb Sausage is in stock. Just let us know how we can help make your family meal or get-together special.

Week 11 - Produce Box

Sorry to those of you that were supposed to get boxes Wednesday. Thanks for being understanding about what was going on with the farm and agreeing to get your boxes Thursday.Here is what you can figure on getting in your box this week.

Corn, mixed peppers, zucchini/yellow squash, potatoes, watermelon, butterbeans, field peas, eggplant, Cabbage (till it runs out), sunflowers, mixed tomatoes, possibly herbs. Full shares will probably get some cucumbers. Your peas and butterbeans have already been shelled for you.

I will be out of town next week at a sustainable agriculture conference in Maryland. So, please remember that you will not get boxes next week. It will serve as one of our weeks off for the summer as you get 20 out of 25 weeks of produce. I think that our small amount of peaches will be ready when I get back from the conference, so you can anticipate that for the following week.

Hope you are enjoying the summer and the abundant variety of vegetables to add to your meals. We surely are.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Friday, July 3, 2009

Week 10 - Produce Box

Hope y'all are enjoying the summer veggies. We are in the process of tilling and replanting the spent parts of the gardens. We have lots of rows to re-plant, places where the potatoes, swiss chard, spring onions, cabbages, beets and carrots were. We are planting another round of beans, more onions and swiss chard and probably some other things. I can tell summer has set in really well because during the heat of the day the plants wilt and the garden has a forlorn look with the empty rows waiting to be re-planted.

The garden plots are giving us bounteous blessings(veggies). The first of the watermelons are ready this week and our family can testify that they are delicious. The kids ate one on the front porch in just a few minutes the other night while watching the sunset. The corn is so good (very sweet)whether you leave it on the cob or cut it off.

Here is what is in your box this week: Corn, Cherry or current tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, cucumbers, various peppers (chili, jalapeno, serrano, poblano, anaheim, bell, bannana), eggplants (both Japanese and Thai(kermit), watermelon, yellow squash, patty pan squash and a cabbage.
A lot of you are asking me what are the little, round, cute, green things? They are Thai eggplant. You can fix them just like you do the Japanese eggplant in a stir fry. Traditionally they are used in Thai curries. Here is a recipe for Thai curry:
Vivian Howard at the Chef and the Farmer in Kinston does this appetizer with watermelon that I absolutely love. She dices watermelon, puts it on a plate with small chunks of plain chevre, toasts pistachio or pine nuts and then drizzles a balsamic glaze (reduced balsamic vinegar and sugar) across the watermelon. It is an absolutely delicious gourmet thing to do with watermelon.

Our family loves to stuff peppers, poblano and frying type peppers. We stuff them with chorizo (from our Berkshire pigs) that we have crumbled and browned, add goat chevre and then roast in oven. We also love to kick supper up a notch by making soft tacos with chorizo, goat cheese and sauteed jalapeno, onion and cilantro.

On fasting days we love to make a veggie tomato sandwich. You can either use a crusty type of rustic bread or make it with no bread, just a Dagwood stack of tomatoes (heirlooms of red, purple, and yellow) with fresh (real thing) mozzarella stacked between the tomatoes. I cut some corn fresh off the cob, fry in skillet for a couple of minutes, sprinkle the corn between the layers, add a couple leaves of basil b/w each layer and drizzle a homemade balsamic vinagrette b/w each layer. It is so good especially on a really hot day that we don't even use bread and you are full upon eating a tall stack.

We hope to go to the river on Sunday for Independence Day, do a little fishing and swimming. Our menu will either be a Low Country Boil w/ shrimp, crabs, onions, andouille, potatoes and corn or we will grill shrimp kabobs and roast corn w/ a homemade herb butter. Of course, watermelon is on the menu for dessert. I am sure that you have a great time of family fun and eating planned as well.

I am thankful for the blessings of living in the United States and all the freedoms that we do have. Let's be thankful this holiday for what we have been blessed with and remember in our prayers and thoughts those who don't have the freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that we as Americans hold dear.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Week 9- Produce Box

The weather is a little cooler this week and much better for garden work. Summer is in full swing and we are spending about 2-3 hours daily in the garden. The kids decided not to grow sweet corn on their own this year but instead have partnered with Raymond, our farm manager who is growing it organically and has much more experience than they do. The kids have harvested the first of the corn this week. We haven't cooked any yet but will tonight. Apparently there is a raccoon that thinks it is good as it has been helping to harvest the corn during the night. The first of the cantaloupes is ready this week. Watermelons will probably be ready next week. Hardy, Alena and Jeffrey are still digging potatoes. John has tilled up their spring garden and they are planting the next round of beans and veggies.

Your box this week includes: red potatoes, yellow squash, large zucchini, blueberries, cantaloupe, collards, bell pepper, heirloom tomatoes, green beans, wax beans, corn, eggplant, red cabbage and dill.

Heirloom tomatoes and slicing tomatoes are just coming in. If you receive tomatoes that are not yet ripe enough to eat, simply put them into a paper bag and close it. They should finish ripening in a day or two. Heirlooms are very fragile and so we don't always wait until they are completely ripe to harvest as they tear easily and won't keep as well. Some of the Heirloom varieties are Mountain Spring, Mortgage Lifter, German Johnson, Sweet 100 (current), Mr. Wyche's Yellow. The Cherokee Purple aren't really ready yet.

The Ping Tung and Japanese eggplant that you are getting in your box this week are mild in flavor. Perfect for stir frys, and baba ghanoush. The wax beans string beans are great saute'ed together with the green beans or in a bean salad.

Here is a recipe for Callaloo, a traditional Caribbean dish using collard-type greens. I haven't tried it yet, but think that I will this weekend.
Also, here is a recipe for fried collards. I would maybe add some Essence of Emeril spice mix to it while cooking. They would go well with catfish and some Hoppin' John.

The zucchini that you are getting this week are big. I know that you might be getting sick of zucchini by now but they will be in your box a lot this summer. With these big zucchini you can stuff them or if you are sick of eating zucchini, I would just wash, don't peel, grate them and store about 1 or 2 cups in a freezer bag. They will be perfect for zucchini bread this fall and winter when the nuts are harvested. Kids always love zucchini bread.

Hope you are enjoying summer. We are.
The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 8 Produce CSA Box

Well, we were hoping for a little rain but Wow! this is a lot. We had about 4 inches of rain this morning. There is a lot of work that needs to be done in the garden but some of it is going to have to wait until it dries out. Work schedule this week is to plant another round of green beans, as well as some heirloom beans and some more field peas and onions. We managed to get all the garden pea vines torn out and are just waiting to get the tiller in the garden to get those rows ready to plant. The kids worked hard weeding one garden last week and they are working on the cleaning out another for the next few days. We will have the first of the slicing tomatoes probably next week as well as more variety of eggplant. Corn will be ready soon. Watermelon are just about ready. Summer is in full swing.

Your box this week includes: Swiss Chard and or Pointed Head Cabbage, Spring Onions, Green or Striped Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Yellow Patty Pan Squash (sweet), Green Beans, Cucumbers, Carrots, Bell Peppers, Mini Japanese Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes.
We are short on recipes this week, but I think that you all know what to do with your veggies. Hopefully, we will get caught up on succession planting after tearing up one of our spring garden plots. Next week, we will try to get some good recipes out to you. We hope that you are enjoying the veggies as much as we are.
The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Friday, June 12, 2009

Week 7 Produce Box

This week has flown like crazy. We are working in the garden most evenings until dark. We are also busy in the fields planting summer grazing for the cows, sheep, chickens and hogs. The grass is growing like crazy and with all the harvesting the kids haven't been able to keep up. The grass and weeds has gotten ahead of them. So, I got a couple of people to come and help them chop the garden rows so that they could better manage it. The kids and our farm manager, Raymond, have sweet corn. It should start being ready in a couple of weeks.

Here is what is included in your box this week: Carrots, New Potatoes, String Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow Squash, Zucchini or Striped Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash, Cucumbers, Blueberries, Rainbow Chard, Collards, Bok Choy, Daikon Radish and Spring Onions. You really have a box full of veggies.

You may have some large zucchini this week. They are perfect for stuffing. We like to make a wild rice blend, brown some hot Italian sausage and mix together, stuff the core of the zucchini, bake and then the last 5 minutes, top with Italian cheese blend. Or the large zucchini are perfect for making zucchini bread.

I didn't like collards fixed "Southern Style" when I was growing up. I knew that they were good for me, but I couldn't stand the smell of them boiling in the pot or the way they tasted. I have found two ways that I now like them and can enjoy all the vitamins and minerals that they have to give. I will share one of these with you.

Haak with Collard Greens (Kashmiri style)


2 bunches collard greens (1/2 pound chopped)

2 spring onions (white and green parts chopped)

(optional)2 green chillies, chopped fine

1 red dried chilli, broken

2 tbsps. oil (preferably mustard)

a pinch of dried ginger (sonth)

1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds

salt to taste


1. Clean the collards, remove the tough stems, and chop them.
2. Heat the mustard oil, add the mustard seeds, stir and add the green and red chillies, and the dried ginger.
3. After a few seconds, add the spring onions and stir. Then add the collard greens and salt, cook for 3 mintues or so until wilted, add 1/2 cup water, cover and cook for about 15 minutes on medium-low (or pressure cook for one whistle).
4. Sprinkle garam masala.Bold
Serve with Basmati rice.

I also like to add a dollop of Mango Chutney on top at the end.

For a somewhat healthy dessert, you can try cubing your Patty Pan Squash, saute them in butter, and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Great if you saute pecans with it. Also, another great dessert is a blueberries and yogurt with ground flax seed and a little honey added. My kids love the blueberries and yogurt for breakfast.

The gardens look a mess right now as we are transitioning to summer veggies. Ripping out the garden pea rows and planting a second round of stringbeans there. As we are digging potatoes, we are re-planting the rows in squash or field peas, sweet corn or onions. The kids were excited to discover that they have watermelons on the vine. The watermelons are about 1/2 the size of a basketball. We hope that there will be watermelons ready just in time for Independence Day.

Hope you have a great week.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms Family

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Week 6 Produce CSA Box

Summer veggies are coming in! The kids are putting in at least 2-3 hours every day in the garden, harvesting, chopping weeds, etc. Thank you so much for your comments about how you're enjoying the kid's veggies.

Your box this week includes: New Potatoes, Yellow and Zucchini Squash, Spring Onions, assortment of Lettuces, Cucumbers, Garden Peas, Blueberries, Cherry Tomatoes and pointed head Cabbage.

This week is the about the last of the lettuces. There are a few Romaine left in the garden but not much. We also only have one more week at most of the garden peas left. Stringbeans should start coming off next week. Also, a few bell peppers. Patty Pan Squash will be coming off before long also.

We have a lot of Zucchini and yellow squash right now. If you want to purchase some extra to either make squash pickles, zucchini bread or for freezing/canning, let us know. After all CSA boxes are filled for the week, we are taking leftovers to the local soup kitchen.

The cherry tomatoes are so versatile. You can add them to your favorite meat/veggie kabob. Will go well with onion, and zucchini on a kabob. They also would be great in a salad with romaine lettuce, blue cheese and croutons. With it turning hot, they would go well with some of the other veggies (including garden peas) in a pasta salad.

Our family are definately meat eaters. However, in the summer we really crave fresh veggies and lots of the time we just come up with new salad variations to go as the side dish with our meat. We love salads with fruit in them also. Here is a recipe almost like I fix at home with blueberries. Really gets the baby to eating his salad greens.

Here is a great recipe that I wanted to share.

It is for Lamb Chops with a smashed new potatoes and peas.

Got to go and get ready for the Greenville Uptown Market from 5-8pm today. Hope to see some of you there.


The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Week 5 Produce CSA Box

The transition to summer vegetables has begun. The garden is now keeping the kid's quite busy. After we finish homeschooling they hit the garden. Harvesting, succession planting and weeding. Lots of work to do. Plenty of bounty coming from the garden also. This week's box includes:

Small amount of herbs, mesclun salad, romaine lettuce (until it runs out), kohlrabi, broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, sugar snap peas, new potatoes, cabbage, bok choy, beets and maybe a cucumber or two and some Lacinato (dinosaur kale).

Cucumbers are just starting to come off. We should have some cherry tomatoes in a week or two.

Lots of zucchini. There are a diversity of things that you can do with zucchini. You can grate them and make zucchini bread. They are great in summer stir-frys. The very large zucchini are perfect for stuffing. Scoop out the middle and stuff with Lundberg's wild rice blend (pre-cooked) and browned extra sage pork sausage or italian pork sausage. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees until the zucchini are starting to brown a little on the edges and are softened. Top with Italian Cheese blend and continue baking until the cheese melts. Makes a great supper before you head out to work in the yard. I love yellow squash the best in a squash casserole.

This week you have Kohlrabi in your box. Many of you may not know what Kohlrabi is or what to do with it. This link describes the veggie. If you eat Kohlrabi raw, just cut off the leaves, peel the bulbous root and slice off pieces, dip in your favorite dip. You can also cube and roast or boil then add salt, pepper and cheese like you would to broccoli. One of my favorite recipes is for a Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw. Here is the link to that recipe

You can cut off the green tops from the Kohlrabi and add to your Lacinato Kale for sauteed greens. Lacinato (dinosaur) kale is my favorite type of kale. Packed full of essential vitamins, beta carotene and calcium as well as antioxidents. A great cancer-fighting food. I can tell when my body needs more calcium as I will actually crave this kale. I usually just strip the leaves off the stalk, julienne and saute.

You also have some beautiful beets in your box. Alena wanted to share her favorite recipe for beets. Actually we are making a batch tomorrow with the cabbage and beets. Here is our family recipe for Ukrainian Borscht. As you know both Hardy and Alena were born in Ukraine. They love this stuff. You can also make a vegetarian version like we use during religious fasts.

Blueberries, shelled garden peas, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are coming soon. Hope you're enjoying the vegetables. We are.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms Family

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Week 4 Produce CSA box

Between the garden, animals and trying to finish most of our homeschooling for the school year, boy is it busy around here. We are staking tomatoes this week, fighting with the potato bugs for rights to the potatoes, pulling weeds and grass sucession planting vegetables. We have just planted a new batch of beets and swiss chard as well as some more tomatoes, okra and peppers. We even have a few baby tomatoes on some tomato plants. We just dug the first of the new potatoes this week as well as harvesting baby Bok choy and the first of the zucchini and yellow squash. Strawberries are beginning to wind down. We are also trying to get the summer grazing planted for all the animals.

Here is what is in your box for this week: Lettuces, Spring Onions, Baby Bok Choy, Spinach, Sugar Snap Peas, Pink or Red Radishes, Tarragon, Thyme, Greek Oregano, Zucchini/Yellow Squash, New Potatoes, Pea Tendrils (to go in your salads or on your sandwiches) and Strawberries.

I know you all know what to do with potatoes. But, I will share with you my favorite way of fixing them. If they are small, I 1/2 them and then drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Black Pepper and put in a few sprigs of rosemary. Add this to a roasting pan. Roast in pre-heated 450 degree oven until crunch on the outside. The kids love them and they are infused with that wonderful heady scent of rosemary.

I found this cool video on You Tube on how to prepare and use Baby Bok Choy. Here is the link in case you have never done anything with Bok choy. It is for a Garlic Ginger Bok Choy. Bok Choy is called Chinese cabbage. Bok Choy is a member of the "Rape" or Brassica family along with Kale and many other greens. By the way, we have rape planted in our pastures and at certain times of the year the sheep and cattle are grazing it. Members of the Rape family are very high in Vitamin A and Calcium. You could even saute some Bok Choy and use with a rice pilaf or a quinoa as a side dish for a chicken meal.

Finally, I want to share with you my favorite thing to do with strawberries. I absolutely love Strawberries in Balsamic Vinegar. The author of the recipe is right. The Balsamic vinegar brings out the full flavor of the strawberries. This is a great recipe served with homemade pound cake. Depending on how sweet the strawberries are that you have for the dish, you don't have to add that much sugar. Or you can choose to use a sugar substitute like Stevia.

We hope you are enjoying the veggies and the challenge of creating meals around what is in your box. As you can see, we are starting to get a couple of the late spring/early summer veggies. So, some variety of things. We will be at the Uptown Market in Greenville on Wednesday from 5-8 pm and also at the New Bern Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8-12noon. We will be bringing our Grassfed Beef this week as well as all our other meats. Look forward to seeing you soon.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Week 3 Produce CSA boxes

Where has the week flown? I was out of town at the Farm to Fork Summit in Raleigh both Monday and Tuesday. That coupled with Jeffrey being sick and I have been out of sorts and behind schedule. We have been harvesting the vegetables today and this is what is in this week's box:

Various Lettuces(Leaf, Head or Romaine), Mixed Mesclun Salad with Pea Shoots, Napoli Carrots, Radishes, Strawberries, Broccoli, Snow Peas, Spearmint, Spinach/Swiss Chard, Sweet Potatoes, Green Onions, Basil

We will soon have a few early yellow squash and garden peas. I thought that the Kohlrabi would be ready but it is not yet. It should be ready in a week or two.

Here is a great link for things to do with sugar snap peas, You do not shell these peas, just eat shell and all, except for the stem. We had some grass-fed steaks last Saturday night with a salad. Here is the recipe for the tossed salad with strawberries, feta cheese and sugar snap peas and mint. Great recipe.

For the sweet potatoes, you might want to try peeling and slicing them into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast at 450 degrees until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Meanwhile, brown 1 lb of chorizo (Rainbow Meadow Farms has it), drain and set aside. Saute your spinach/chard mix. When the sweet potatoes come out of the oven, brush them with some of the drippings from the chorizo. Then make a wilted salad with all of the above and some goat or feta cheese. Peel and quarter an orange, squeezing a little of the juice over the salad. Enjoy!

We are trying to get field peas planted this week and a new batch of spring onions. We are also doing a lot of garden weeding/maintenance. All this rain has sure made the weeds and grass grow. Hope you enjoy the pictures. You can see some of the peaches growing on the trees as well as the sweet corn and the red cabbage.

We now have Grass-fed Beef. We are selling by the quarter for $8.00/lb. A quarter is roughly 100 lbs. Please check out our website, for pricing on individual cuts of beef. This pricing will be posted to our website by the end of the week. Contact us with any questions that you may have.

Hope y'all are enjoying your boxes.

Genell, Hardy, Alena, Jeffrey and all the Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Potato Leaf beatles and Grass fed beef

Well, Hardy and Alena were picking Potato Leaf beatles off the potatoes last Friday. I told them that they had to get rid of them. Well, Hardy being the 12 year old boy that he is came up with the bright idea of feeding them to the fire ants. You see we have a large fire ant mound at the back corner of the yard. We just found it a couple of weeks ago. I need to bring a group of hens up in the yard to work on the nest for me. Anyway, Hardy dumped a bunch of beatles into the nest after he had stirred up the ants. The ants began to attack the beatles and sting them. They also took them down into the nest. For the kids this was a major "Nature Study" for our homeschooling. It was getting rid of the beatles but not in the way that I had envisioned. Interesting to watch though.

Our first grass feed beef was ready this past week. We have been blessed to have a good initial response and already sold a bunch of beef to customers. Our family celebrated Mother's Day last night and grilled T-bones from the steers and grass-fed burgers at Mama and Daddy's. It was very good to me. The T-bones were particularly tender. We await the feedback from others. I am off to a Farm to Fork Summit for two days but will post again in a few days. I hope that you are enjoying your CSA boxes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CSA Produce Box for this week

Farm Joke: Why did the chicken cross the road? To eat the cabbage loopers and potato leaf beatles on the other side. (How is that for Integrated Pest Management?)

This week's box contains: lettuces (leaf and Romaine), green onions, beets, spinach, Daikon radish, strawberries, carrots, and broccoli.

Wow, it rained a little shower two days ago and the garden grew like crazy! That coupled with the heat last week has made the lettuce absolutely have to be picked. So, the kids have lettuce everywhere. Eat lots of salads this week. Eat them for lunch and dinner. We try to wash the heads of lettuce well but I am sure that there is still some dirt on them as it was very wet in the garden when we were harvesting late yesterday afternoon. You will be getting some Romaine lettuce also. This is great for grilling serving with a chunky blue cheese or creamy ranch dressing. Also, you can add some Rainbow Meadow Farms Applewood Smoked Berkshire bacon to the romaine salad. Here is a recipe that I got offline and use at home.

You are also getting some more spinach. It is so versatile and very nutritious. I made an easy recipe this week. It is from the African country of Mali.

Ground Nut and Spinach Stew

4 skinless/boneless chicken thighs
1 onion, chopped
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
2TBSP creamy peanut butter
1 lb Spinach chopped
1 tomato chopped
1/4 cup Tomato paste
1/4 tsp Ground Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I sauteed the chicken thighs, chopped them into pieces and then set aside. I then sauteed the onion and chopped peanuts for about 3 minutes until the onion was soft. Then I added the chopped tomato, tomato paste, peanut butter, red pepper, salt and black pepper. I cooked this over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then began adding the chopped spinach and letting it cook down until all had been added. Add the chopped chicken and then reduce the heat to simmer, put a lid on the pan and cooked it for 30 minutes. When finished cooking, serve over rice.

The family really liked it. We are trying out recipes from different parts of the world. Alena also recommends making borscht with the beets in your box if you get the chance. You can make either hot or cold versions. You should have enough for a small batch of borscht. As many of you know Hardy and Alena(my oldest two children) are both Ukrainian/American. They came to the US when they were two years old. Alena loves making Borscht with me.
You also have broccoli (the first of our small batch of broccoli. Having never grown it before, I was jubious as to how it would turn out. They did right well. Hardy suggests broccoli and cheese, his favorite vegetable.
Lastly, the new item that we need to discuss is Daikon radish. Some of you may not know what to do with them. They are more mild and sweet than the traditional red (salad type) radishes. Did you know that a serving of Daikon contains about 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C? It is also great for detoxifying your liver. Daikon radish can be simmered, stir fried, grated, pickled or baked. Its leaves are also edible and can be used in recipes that call for turnip greens. Here are a couple of good recipes: or you can simply scrub the outside, grate like a carrot and then add to tempura sauce. You can also grate it and serve with soy sauce over rice. Sauteed beef or chicken would be nice with this.
We do have garden peas growing. With this rain, they should be coming off next week. Finally, check out our blog, for the May specials. We will have our first beef from the steers on Thursday. We will be at the Uptown Market in Greenville today from 5-8pm. We hope that the rain holds off and it is a very nice afternoon there. If you are from Greenville, we hope to see you there. Hope you enjoy this week's bounty.

Genell, Hardy, Alena, Jeffrey and all the Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Monday, May 4, 2009

May Specials

There are a few changes to our May specials from the April ones. We have some really great values on some of the meats right now if you buy in bulk. We also still have our family value boxes. Check out the pricing below:

*The best deal available is the Mint and Garlic Lamb Sausage - $4.00/lb*-normally $8.99/lb (only 10 packages left!)

Family Value Boxes

A. Price - $49.99
1 small Whole Chicken
6 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s
3 lb Chicken Wings
2-3 lb Pork Neckbones
3 lb Pork Sausages (can substitute ground chicken or ground pork)
(Sausage Varieties: Mild Breakfast (link or bulk), Hot Breakfast bulk, Maple Breakfast links, Sweet Italian link, Hot Italian Link, Bratwurst link, Chorizo bulk )

B. Price - $59.99
2 small Whole Chickens
6 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s
2 lb Split Chicken Breast
3 lb Pork Sausages (can substitute ground chicken or ground pork)
2-3 lb Pork Neckbones

Other May Specials
Pork Boston Butt $5.99/lb
Pork Sausages (3 packages about 1 lb each-you select varieties you want) $12.00
Pasture Pure (Free Range) Eggs - 2 dozen $6.00
Guanciale (about 2 lb packs) – great for seasoning beans & making Italian dishes $7.00/lb
Chipotle Chicken Sausage (only 3 packs left) $7.99/lb "Get it while it lasts!"
Lamb Sirloin Chops – 2 per pack (limited supply) –was $16.99 now- $11.99/lb
Applewood Smoked Ham Slices - $6.99/lb - about 1/2 lb per slice
5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast $6.50/lb
Split Chicken Breast – 5 packages (1 to 1.25 lb each) $5.50/lb
5 lb Chicken Drumsticks $2.50/lb
5 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s $2.50/lb
5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs $5.99/lb

We now have Turkey Breakfast Sausages and rabbit available.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Produce CSA box for Week 1

All the produce is harvested and in the cooler. Boxes have been made. What you can expect in your box this week:

Full Share - red and green sails lettuces, green onions, radishes, turnips, sweet potatoes, baby carrots, strawberries, swiss chard, baby beets, various herbs(mint, rosemary, thyme, French tarragon and garlic chives) and possibly one other thing.

1/2 Share - same as above but in smaller portions.

We washed the lettuces. However, you still need to rinse the leaves before you use them in sandwiches or salads as it is really hard to get all the dirt out at the base of the heads of lettuce.
With the baby beets, there was a small portion of them this week. I suggest drizzling them with olive oil and sea salt and roasting at 425 until they are ready and then using in a salad with goat cheese or feta cheese, toasted walnuts and a balsamic vinigrette.

The turnip roots would be lovely in a stew like lamb provencal with white beans, white wine, tomatoes and either lamb shoulder, neck stew or lamb shanks. You can substitute beef for the lamb. Another option is to cut them up in chunks as well as some diced potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and chopped rosemary and roast like you do the beets. I would consider saving the green turnip tops and adding them to your swiss chard to saute.

For the swiss chard and turnip tops, you should rewash them, cut off the stemmy ends and then cut into pieces or strips crosswise. Let them drain dry, while you chop a couple of cloves of garlic. As for me, I just heat up my saute pan to just below high, add a couple of table spoons of Olive oil and quickly saute the garlic being careful not to burn it. Then add the chard mixture in portions giving it time to cook down in the saute pan. Probably 10 minutes or so will do. You want it to wilt but not wilt to nothing. When you finish lightly season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon (if you like the tartness). But taste it first to see how much lemon juice you want to add.

With the strawberries, you can do so many things. You can even make a beautiful salad with roasted nuts (pine nuts, walnuts or pecans), strawberries and goat cheese and mandarin orange slices.

Sweet potatoes will be good in a pie, homemade sweet potato biscuits, or roasted and then added to sauteed spinach. There is just unlimited things that you can do with sweet potatoes. Store your sweet potatoes at room temp. Also, with your strawberries, you will need to place them in a ziploc bag or something so that the refrigerator doesn't deteriate the quality.

Those of you with an egg supplement might enjoy some thyme or in your scrambled eggs or omelet. Tarragon goes well with chicken.


Spring Radish Salad
adapted from Verdura Vegetables Italian Style by Viana La Place

1 bunch fresh radishes

2-3 very sweet carrots

2 bunches arugula (can substitute mesclun salad greens)

salt and pepper to taste

E.V. olive oil

2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Lemon wedges

Trim the radishes and slice them thinly. Peel the carrots and cut them on the diagonal into very thin slices. Snap off the tough stems from the arugula. Gather the arugula into a bunch and cut it crosswise into strips. Arrange the arugula on a platter. Scatter the sliced radishes and carrots over the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly moisten the vegetables. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the salad.

Here is a link to a recipe for roasted heirloom baby beet salad.

Turnip greens, swiss chard and kale are all considered to be some of of the world's healthiest foods. They are chocked full of Vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium and daily fiber. Here is a great recipe for Winter Greens Saute. This recipe has garlic, mushrooms, dried fruit and nuts. Yum.

Turnips go well in a lamb stew or beef stew. Here is a couple of recipes.

Hope you enjoy your produce and finding creative ways to incorporate these healthy veggies into your diet. If you get some of our grass-fed meat to go along with that, you will be well on your way towards reducing your carbon footprint and helping to create a sustainable local food system here in North Carolina. Thank you for everything.

Genell, Hardy, Alena, Jeffrey and the whole Rainbow Meadow Farms family.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Farm Bio-security measures

I wanted to make a couple of comments regarding how we maintain bio-security here at Rainbow Meadow Farms. With the outbreak of swine flu, I felt that we need to discuss this. First off, the flu outbreak in the US is not actually coming from pigs at this time. Apparently, it began as a version of avian influenza H1N1, mutated and transferred to pigs and now has mutated again and crossed over into humans. So far all cases in the US have come from human to human transmission, particulary from people that have recently travelled to Mexico. Now about our bio-security measures.

1. We do not bring live hogs onto our property as a routine practice nor do we mix our hogs with other people's hogs. When we have to bring on a new boar, we institute a quarrentine period before introducing him into our herd.
2. When our hogs leave our property it is to go straight to the slaughterhouse. We disinfect our vehicle before returning from the slaughterhouse.
3. Our pastures are fairly secluded with woods sorrounding several sides.
4. We are very particular and careful about any farm visitors.
5. We have the same people (family and one employee) working with our animals every day and no one that has recently travelled outside North Carolina, much less the country.

Because of this outbreak of swine flu, we are being extremely careful any vistors coming on to our farm. Don't be surprised if we get very restrictive about who visits over the next month or so. We routinely export livestock outside the country to the Caribbean, so we have to be extra vigilant about bio-security and animal health.

Don't worry about eating pork from Rainbow Meadow Farms. Firstly, properly cooked pork is safe to eat. Secondly, we would not take any pigs that were sick to be processed. And once again, we keep our pigs segregated from any other pigs. So, you are safe to eat pork. We hope you choose to eat Rainbow Meadow Farms Berkshire pork. You are more likely to get this strain of the flu from being around people that have been exposed to it either through travel or being around someone that has recently travelled out of the country. Visit to keep up with the latest on the H1N1 strain of flu.

Produce CSA delivery starts this week!

Well, it sure has warmed up quicker than we anticipated and we are a week ahead of schedule for starting the Produce CSA. Delivery to Greenville will be on Thursday afternoon this week at 5pm downtown across from Starlight Cafe. Usual delivery day for Greenville will be on Wednesdays, but we need to deliver on Thursday this week.

Delivery for those of you in New Bern will start this week with delivery on Friday at the New Bern Farmer's Market parking lot. I would like to make delivery in mid-afternoon at 3pm. On the Saturdays that I am at the New Bern Farmer's Market I will have the produce boxes with me on those mornings. This week your delivery will be on Friday, next week on Saturday morning at the New Bern Farmer's Market.
Those of you in the Triangle can pick up your Produce boxes at our booth at the Raleigh Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings. Please come by that morning as it is warm at the market and we will have taken your veggies out of the cooler that morning to bring to market and we don't want them to wilt.
With your box you will get a paper copy of our weekly newsletter which will also be posted to our blog, . This letter will include a listing of what is in your box, storage and preparation tips as well as some recipes. We are trying to reduce waste and will be re-using the veggie boxes. Please return them to us next week or either bring something to put your veggies in and leave the box with us when you pick up. This reduces waste and saves us all some money.
We are all very appreciative of your faith in us and our life's work. My kids (Hardy, Alena and Jeffrey) are working hard to make the garden a success. They are incorporating a lot of learning into the garden. We homeschool and they are focusing this week on learning to keep account of their expenses and develop a budget as well as how to do succession planting.
Say a little prayer that it rains good this week. We could use a couple of good showers after this heat.

Genell Pridgen
Rainbow Meadow Farms

Friday, April 24, 2009

Produce CSA and Beef ready soon!

Wow, the garden is really jumping. The kids are so busy working there. Lettuces are growing fast as well as chard, onions, radishes, carrots and all kinds of greens. We also have a few other surprises if they hold out and the kids don't eat them all. Delivery will begin next week. I know that we had scheduled boxes to begin in May, but we will be harvesting the last couple of days of April. I will be contacting those of you that have signed on for the Produce CSA and scheduling delivery. Thanks for bearing with us and having faith in our family as we begin this new venture.

We will have our first beef available in 2 weeks. Prices will go up on the website next week. We already have some of the beef sold from these two steers, so if you are interested let us know quickly.

We have rabbit available at the market this weekend. Also, some beautiful St. Louis ribs, thick grilling Pork Chops and Boston Butts from our Berkshire pigs. Fire up that grill! Yummy.

The Rainbow Meadow Farms family

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Latest Happenings from the Meadow.....

This week has been really busy. The kids have been working hard on their CSA garden. Red potatoes are looking good and the blue potatoes are just starting to come up. They planted lots of squash and cucumbers as well as some peppers and also Heirloom Tomatoes. Eggplant seedlings will go in soon. The kids are excited. Even Jeffy is helping. My main job is to keep Jeffy from pulling up the transplants.
We processed our first two steers this week. So, beef will be ready in about 3 weeks. We are working on pricing and will be posting it next week. Let us know if you are interested in reserving some. We also processed a new batch of rabbits this week.
We had new litters of pigs born this week. One sow had ten pigs. Lambs are popping out everywhere!!! 11 ewes lambed yesterday. The lambing barn is full with one ewe in the hallway. We have a new batch of chicks born, both the Contentnea Reds and Tuscarora Black. The Tuscarora Black are a special gourmet chicken and we will have only a small number of them at this time.
We are getting a group of sheep as well as rabbits together to get medical tests done for exporting. The animals will be going to a friend of ours farm in Trinidad within the next month or so.
Hardy and Alena are beginning a science unit in our homeschool on Ecology/Environmental Biology. They are learning appropriate vocabulary like population dynamics, overpopulation, beneficial insects, communities, ecosystems, abiotic and biotic factors, etc. They are also learning about permaculture and will be incorporating permaculture techniques into their garden.
We have the Spring Run Market in Greenville today from 1-3pm. Come by and check us out. We still have openings for our Produce CSA and our Meat CSA. Check out the website,
Hope you enjoy the pictures. Jeffy took time out to smell the flowers late in the afternoon. Let's all remember to take time out to enjoy spring.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday's "Happenings From The Meadow"

Thursdays are our big delivery day. Mama (Sandra) has been busy all day getting orders to the restaurants. We have several customers coming by to pick up their lamb for the Passover. The kids and I worked in the garden this morning, watering transplants, pulling few weeds, etc. The garden peas and potatoes are looking great. Bell peppers still too little to transplant yet. Now, the kids and I are getting our homeschooling done. Daddy and Raymond are moving the grass-fed steers to new pasture and tagging and weighing some new lambs.

Here is what is on the stove for tonight's supper....

Roasted Chicken w/ Sage and Thyme
Salad of Mixed Greens w/ Crispy Pig Ears, Poached Egg and Capers with a Red Wine Vinagrette

A friend of mine sent me a great video. When you get a chance watch it. It is long about 48 minutes but well worth the time. Seeing Rebekah Hosking and her Dad with the farm made me cry. Rebekah could be me. I saw our farm story in Rebekah's; the hard work, long hours, and often little money, as well as her parents urging her to get an education and leave the farm. You can leave the farm, but for me the farm makes up the essential fabric of who I am. My family has farmed this land since 1746. They kept it during the Civil War and during the Great Depression. I have to see it survive through another generation. This video is so inspiring and challenging to me. Can I make my farm land fertile enough to produce like it should? Can I truly be part of the solution and not part of the problem? Can I meet the challenge of sustainable and socially responsible agriculture? Can we farmers re-create a healthy, local food system in North Carolina to feed people in the 21st century, thereby reducing fuel usage, promoting biodiversity, and food security? It is a tremendous challenge but one we must undertake and quickly.

Let me know what you think about the video.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April Specials and New Family Value Boxes

New Family Value Boxes

A. Price - $49.99
1 small Whole Chicken
6 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s
3 lb Chicken Wings
2 lb Pork Neckbones
3 lb Pork Sausages (can substitute ground chicken or ground pork)

(Sausage Varieties: Mild Breakfast (link or bulk), Hot Breakfast bulk, Maple Breakfast links, Sweet Italian link, Hot Italian Link, Bratwurst link, Chorizo bulk )

B. Price - $59.99
2 small Whole Chickens
6 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s
2 lb Split Chicken Breast
3 lb Pork Sausages (can substitute ground chicken or ground pork)
2 lb Pork Neckbones

Other April Specials
Pork Boston Butt $5.99/lb
Pork Sausages (3 lb variety – you chose) $12.00
Pasture Pure (Free Range) Eggs - 2 dozen $6.00
Guanciale (about 2 lb packs) – great for seasoning beans
Or for making Italian dishes $7.00/lb
Chipotle Chicken Sausage (only 10 packs left) $7.99/lb
Lamb Sirloin Chops – 2 per pack (limited supply) –was $16.99 now- $11.99/lb
5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Breast $6.50/lb
Split Chicken Breast – 5 packages (1 to 1.25 lb each) $5.50/lb
5 lb Chicken Drumsticks $2.50/lb
5 lb Chicken Leg ¼’s $2.50/lb
5 lbs Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs $5.99/lb

We have a new flavor of Chicken Sausage - Sweet Italian w/ Red and Green Peppers and Parmesan Cheese. I love it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tuesday April 7, 2009 - Rainbow Meadow Farms 1st blog

It is my hope that this blog will allow us to stay in better contact with our customers and friends. I hope that we can keep a better update of our current specials, what we are out of, what's new and in general what's going on at the farm that day, recipes, etc.

Some of today's chores: April 7th

Daddy and Raymond moved a bunch of lambs to new pastures

Genell, John and the kids worked in the CSA garden covering the veggies with straw to hopefully keep them from freezing.

Feeding bottle lambs, picking up eggs, feeding the chickens and pigs

Getting new paddocks ready for the grass-fed steers

Moving our new Devon Bull to his pasture

New Chicken Sausages are in stock: Garlic Bratwurst, Maple Sage Breakfast Links, Sweet Italian w/ red and green peppers and parmesan cheese.

Genell is working hard with the kids, homeschooling and working to get the Produce CSA up and running. We have lots of veggies being planted. Planted now are:

3 different lettuces
Spring Onions
Garden Peas
Swiss Chard (Red, Green and Rainbow)
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
Red Cabbage
Potatoes (Red Pontiac, All Blue, Rose Finn Apple Fingerling, Yukon Gold)
Mesclun Lettuces (not sure how they will do)

The first peppers and tomatoes will go in after the cold spell. We still have some openings for our Produce CSA and Meat CSA. Join now before we run out of spaces.

Hardy and Alena (12 and 11) are excited about the CSA garden. Because we homeschool, we plan on using it as a learning experience. The kids are learning what to plant, timing, ecology, sustainable agriculture as well as how to manage a budget, harvest, store and market their veggies. We will be incorporating science, art, photography, math, health and business as well as a few other subjects with this project. We'll keep you posted on all the successes and frustrations along the way as well as our favorite farm recipes.

Say a prayer that it doesn't actually freeze tonight.