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.