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