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.