Home Delivery of Farm Produce in Austin, Round Rock, Hutto, Elgin

We’re delivering farm fresh vegetables to homes in Elgin, Manor, North Austin, Round Rock, Hutto, and Taylor.  Deliveries are Wednesday afternoons between 1:00 and 5:00.  You do NOT need to be home for the delivery.  Just leave a medium size ice chest out and we’ll drop by sometime Wednesday afternoon and fill it with fresh, organically grown vegetables from our family farm.

These deliveries are part of our expanding CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) efforts this year.   Our CSA began this spring and now resumes for the fall and winter season.  We have 2 share sizes available – a $36/week full share and a $20/week half-share.  Normally we charge $5 extra for home delivery but for this season, there is no delivery charge.  We realize the busy holiday season is here and we want to simplify your schedule and still provide healthy, safe, tasty produce to your home.

Our current harvest includes several heirloom varieties of winter squashes and pumpkins, sweet potatoes, peppers, radishes, rosemary, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, kale, green cabbage and Chinese cabbage.  We’ve planted other varieties and expect to be harvesting pak choy, Swiss chard, turnips and carrots in the coming weeks, as well as many root vegetables, greens, and other crops further on into the season.

Contents and quantity will vary from week to week depending on harvest availability.  Here’s an example of a recent $36 box:
4 large sweet potatoes
4-6 squashes/pumpkins
1 bunch radishes
1 Chinese/Napa cabbage
1 handful peppers
3 small heads broccoli
1 bag spinach
1 handful tomatoes
1 green cabbage

Our delivery route takes us from downtown Elgin, along 290 through Manor and into north central Austin (Austin delivery map).  From there we head north to Round Rock, then turn east on 79 toward Hutto and Taylor.  If you live or work near these areas, we’d love to include you in our deliveries!  If you’re not sure that you’re on our route, just ask and we’ll let you know.  We work hard to deliver to everyone interested in our farm produce.  We can also deliver to your business or office.

To help with our planning, we ask that you sign up and prepay for a month at a time.   If you will be out of town and want to skip a delivery for the week, we will apply that week’s credit to the next month.  So you never pay for vegetables that are not delivered.  Also, if our harvest diminishes due to extreme weather conditions, we will refund any prepaid deliveries that we’re unable to make.  Winter is a challenging time for farmers so we appreciate your flexibility.  In turn, we are flexible to work around holiday travel plans.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are interested – we have a limited number of shares to offer.  We’ll get back with you regarding payment and your home’s delivery details.  You can contact us from this page or with a Facebook message.  Thank you!

 

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Heritage Turkey Processing

We raise “Heritage” turkeys.  These are not the industrial type of birds bred only for quick fattening.  We have two types – a Spanish Black/Rio Grande cross and Royal Palm.

This year our turkeys hatched May 3.  They should be just the right size for Thanksgiving next month.  To check progress, we butchered one last week along with a couple meat chickens.  We smoked and roasted the turkey for a taste check.  It was wonderful – honestly the best turkey I have ever eaten.  Here’s a look at several steps in the process:

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24 week old tom (male). He’s a Spanish Black/Rio Grande cross.

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upside down position sedates the bird, the major artery in the neck is cut to quickly kill the bird and let the blood drain.

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Scalding water loosens the feathers. Ready to pluck.

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Plucked and ready for gutting and final processing. Will spare you those photos.

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Cooling in ice water before chilling in refrigerator or wrapping for the freezer. Turkey in the middle, with chickens on the side.

This turkey weighed just over 11 pounds after cleaning.  The others will gain another pound or two before processing in November for an average size of 12-13 pounds.  The turkey was wrapped and chilled in the refrigerator for a day before we started the preparation process.  Many will soak turkey in a brine for 24 hours.  We decided to rub the bird with moderate amounts of kosher salt and leave it unwrapped in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day we set it on the counter several hours before cooking, so it could come up toward room temperature.  We then lightly basted it with vegetable oil and rubbed in a mixture of 1/3 Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, 1/3 Adam’s Dry Rub, 1/6 kosher salt, 1/6 black pepper.  Again, moderate amounts, not caked on, applied just 30 minutes before going on the smoker.  We stuffed it about half full with quartered onion, apple, and some garlic.

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Next day, rub with kosher salt 24 hours before smoking

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Day of smoking, rub with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, Adam’s Dry Rub, Black Pepper and a little more Kosher salt. Moderate amounts of seasoning, you can see the bird is not coated heavily. Stuff with quartered large onion, apple, and 10 segments of garlic. Leave room in cavity for air.

Before applying the rub, start the fire in your smoker.  We use post oak in the offset fire box, letting it burn down to white coals which should give you a grill temperature of around 250 degrees.  After the bird is on the grill, baste it lightly again with vegetable oil.  As it smokes, watch the temperature and add wood when the temperature gets to 200.  That should get it back up to around 250.  Our temp fluctuated within this range, as we added wood every 15 minutes or so.  The changing temperature was OK, as the bird turned out golden brown, juicy, and very tender yet not mushy.

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The smoker is at 300, with fire in the offset firebox. Temp will drop to 240 when bird is put on. Will keep it between 200 and 250 for 2 hours, only opening the lid if the temp gets near 300 to let some heat out.

Here’s the result 2 hours later.  The internal temperature was 135.  We put it in a roasting pan and covered with foil and baked it in the kitchen oven, 325 degrees.

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After 2 hours on the smoker, a perfect golden brown

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After 2 hours on the smoker, stuffing has cooked down some.

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In the roasting pan, just before going to the oven.

 

After 90 minutes in the oven, the internal temperature was 155.  We left the thermometer in and put the bird back in the oven.  About 20 minutes later, it reached 165 we turned off the oven.  After another 20 minutes we took it out, checked the temp in various places and found it at 170.

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Fully smoked and roasted, ready to carve

An electric knife works great for carving.  Started with the thigh/leg, moved to the breast. This was plenty for our meal.   After the meal, we took the time to get the rest of the meat from harder to reach places.  We saved all the bones for making bone broth the next day.

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Thigh and leg dark meat. Very tender, great flavor, so juicy!

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Adding white meat breast to the collection. Also very tender, juicy, not dry. Best I’ve ever had.

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On the table along with sweet potatoes from the farm.

A great experience and meal.  Looking forward to doing it again in November for Thanksgiving!

 

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Weekly Produce for Summer and Fall

Here’s our vegetable share box for regular customers, July 21-27. We’re hoping to continue and expand our weekly deliveries into the fall, offering various size shares.  We also have eggs, beef, and honey that can be added to your order.  Contact us if you’d like more information.

Top row, left to right; okra, garlic, scallop squash, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon
Bottom row; peppers, basil, red and white potatoes, golden cherry tomatoes, Swiss chard

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Grass Fed Beef – Discount 10 & 15 Pound Packs

*update July 29, 2014, we are sold out of these packs.  Stay tuned for more news on available grass fed beef*

We just got back new beef from our most recent calf and have a limited supply of ‘freezer-friendly’ packs of 100% grass fed beef that can be delivered in the greater Austin area.  These all natural beef packages include a variety of cuts plus ground beef. You have a choice of a steak pack and/or a roast pack.  Together, the two packs provide a convenient and cost effective sample of many of the typical beef cuts.

The steak pack is 10 pounds and the roast pack is 15 pounds.  Each is priced at $100, a 15% discount from our regular retail prices.  Both packs together are 25 pounds for $200 or $8/lb.  $8 is roughly the price of a pound of grass fed ground beef at supermarkets but for this price you get higher quality cuts than simply ground beef.  And you know our cattle are always 100% grass fed with no grain ever fed, nor any hormones, antibiotics, or implants. All beef is state inspected and vacuum sealed.  It should keep in your freezer for many months.

Here are the cuts you’ll receive with approximate weights of each.  We’ll make sure that every pack equals or exceeds the stated total weight.

Steak Pack:
1 package Fajita/Skirt/Flank Steak        0.8 lb
1 Sirloin Steak                                             2.1 lb
2 New York Strip Steaks                           1.1 lb
2 Tenderloin Steaks                                   0.5 lb
1 Ribeye Steak                                            0.8 lb
Total cuts weight = 5 to 6 lb
Add 4 or 5 pounds Ground Beef to bring total weight to 10 lb.

Roast Pack:
1 package Stew Meat                                 1.0 lb
1 Chuck Roast or Rump Roast                  3.0 lb
1 package Meaty Soup Bones*                  2.5 lb
1 package Tenderized Cutlets*                 1.0 lb
Total cuts weight = 7 to 8 lb
Add 7 or 8 pounds Ground Beef to bring total weight to 15 lb.

Contact us if you’re interested and we’ll reserve your order and work out a mutually convenient time and place for delivery in the greater Austin area.

*Several have asked about the soup bones and cutlets.  The soup bone packages have much more meat than bone.  All the meat is kept on the bones and they are sliced about an inch thick.  They fit easily into a stew pot or crock pot.  Each package has several cuts.  Cutlets are tenderized round steak suitable for chicken fried steak, slicing for stir fry, etc.  Here’s a photo of the front and back of both these packages.  (Soup bones on left, cutlets on right)Soup_Cutlets

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Grass Fed Beef: Grilling Steaks and Fajitas

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Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) and Fajita, just about ready. These turned out perfect.

When grilling our steaks, the best strategy is ‘hot and quick’. Our grass fed beef is lean and there is no injected solution/water as in supermarket beef so it’s easy to overcook it.

For the 1″ steaks, grill on a very hot grill no more than 8 minutes total, 3 min. on each side then 1 minute on each side. This should bring them to medium rare. After grilling, put in a pan to collect the juices and cover with foil for at least 5 minutes to ‘rest’ the steaks.  Then serve and enjoy.

Some will say grass fed beef is tough so should be cooked ‘low and slow’ – not true for our steaks. Season them with any decent steak seasoning (we use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt) about 30 to 60 minutes before grilling and then grill like you normally would for medium rare.

For the skirt/fajita, we usually marinate several hours in an Italian dressing and grill hot and fast like the prime steaks. When you serve them, be sure to slice them against the grain if you make fajita strips. This is a tougher meat naturally, and slicing with the grain will make it chewy.

Some friends prefer a more well done steak and this beef is wonderfully suited for that as well.  The beef remains tender even though grilled past medium.  Whatever your taste, you should be pleased with our grass fed beef.  If you do prefer a more rare steak, just be sure to tend your grill carefully for the brief minutes the beef is over the heat.

Enjoy!

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North Austin Deliveries for July 2014

We have been blessed with a bountiful harvest this summer and we would love to share it with you!  We’re adding a North Austin weekly Tuesday afternoon delivery as a four week vegetable share program throughout July 2014.

What you would receive: Over $30 dollars worth of fresh produce each week for four weeks. The vegetables you receive will depend on our current harvest availability. We will always do our best to provide a good variety.  Vegetables/fruits we expect to have available for these shares:
Tomatoes – cherry, slicing and sauce varieties
Cucumbers
Yellow squash, Scallop squash, Zucchini, Tatume squash
Red Potatoes, White Potatoes
Swiss chard
Watermelon, Cantaloupe
Basil, cilantro, dill
Green beans
Onions, Leeks, Garlic
Jalapeño, Italian, and banana peppers
Okra
Eggplant

Many of the vegetables we grow are heirloom varieties, so you may get to try something you’ve never seen before!  Here’s a picture of a share you could receive. Top row, left to right; garlic, dill, lemon squash, yellow squash, Italian peppers
Bottom row; red cabbage, golden cherry tomatoes, green beans, Swiss chard, Armenian cucumbers, leeks

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Where/When: Tuesday afternoons between 1:45 and 2:15 in the Dave&Busters parking lot at the 183/Mopac intersection.  OR we will deliver to your home or office for an additional $5 per week, within 5 miles of the 183/Mopac intersection – an area shown approximately on this map.  Home deliveries would happen between 12 and 3 and you don’t need to be there.  Just leave an ice chest with a small freezer pack and let us know where to find it.  We’ll leave your produce and it will keep until evening.

(by the way, if Georgetown is more convenient for you, we offer the same shares there on Thursdays in July.  Details here.)

What you pay: $120 to cover the 4 weeks, payable at your first pick-up, or $140 for home/office delivery.

Flexibility: If you need to skip a week due to travel, etc. we will allow you to slide one week so you would still receive four weeks of vegetables over a five week period. Just give us 3 days notice that you will not be picking up your share.

Our eggs and grass fed beef can also be delivered with your produce.  Special discount beef packages are available to our regular customers – just ask us about it.

First delivery is Tuesday, July 1.  Contact us soon if you’re interested.

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Elgin Local Goods Store

Elgin Local Goods just opened in downtown Elgin.  It’s a new store affiliated with the farmers market and carries produce and meats from local farms, as well as crafts and other locally made wares.  We’re stocking some of our produce and grass fed beef at the store.  It’s open Monday-Friday 11-7 and Saturdays 9-3.  Products are still being added and some renovation is ongoing, but the store is open and has enough produce to make it worth your time.  Right now, you’ll find our green beans, potatoes, garlic, and ground steak at the store.

Several coolers hold a good selection of local prepared foods, fresh produce, and Ragtime Ranch's famous microgreens.

Several coolers hold a good selection of local prepared foods, fresh produce, and Ragtime Ranch’s famous microgreens.

Store manager Ryan Heneise poses by our potatoes he helped us find a good spot for

Store manager Ryan Heneise poses by our potatoes he helped us find a good spot for

Produce from several farms greet you as you enter the store.  Our garlic is on this table.

Produce from several farms greet you as you enter the store. Our garlic is on this table.

Our fresh heirloom green beans are waiting for you in the cooler.  Look for the  Blessing Falls logo and name!

Our fresh heirloom green beans are waiting for you in the cooler. Look for the Blessing Falls logo and name!

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Spring Harvest and Summer Planting

Harvest is coming into full production, while planting continues for middle and late summer vegetables.  Take a tour of our main garden… IMG_6377

Wider view of the producing rows, with newer green beans in the front, tomatoes in the background

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Speckled Lettuce – an heirloom variety

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Chinese (Napa) Cabbage

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Heads of ButterCrunch Lettuce, ready for the Elgin and Georgetown farmers markets

Broccoli ready for market

Broccoli ready for market

100 foot long rows of tomatoes – the first planted about a month ago and starting to bear.  The second being planted as the trellis is built.

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Garlic planted last fall is almost ready for harvest:IMG_6369

 

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Austin Area Farmers Markets

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Visit us weekly Thursday afternoons in Georgetown.

We’re at the Georgetown Farmers Market Thursdays 3:30-6:30 in the Church of Christ parking lot.  Highway 29 west of I-35 at the DB Woods intersection.

Visit our public Facebook page for the latest updates on what we’re bringing to market and announcements of when we’ll miss the market due to illness or schedule conflicts.

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Fresh, Pastured and Non-GMO

Here is a little more information for you about our farm raised chickens and the tasty eggs they lay for you each week.

We feed our flock 100% organic, non-GMO, local feed from Coyote Creek Farm in Elgin TX. You can read about the difference between GMO and non-GMO feeds on their information page here. Though this special feed costs twice as much as typical feed, we believe it is worth it to know exactly what is going into our eggs. As a result of buying this premium feed, our eggs are priced higher than other eggs at our market, but we hope you will agree that the health benefits are worth the extra dollar or two.

As you can see in these pictures, our chickens also enjoy free ranging and foraging to their hearts content. This means they are much less likely to ever get and pass on diseases, so there is no need for them to be treated with antibiotics or vaccinations.

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Spring on the Farm

This is one of the busiest times of year around the farm! There’s so much to plant and prepare for. We are happy that the weather is finally warming up enough for our plants to really start growing! Here are some pictures of our garden springing into life!

Leek transplants ready to be planted tomorrow

Leek transplants ready to be planted tomorrow

Green Kale - planted in the fall and finally starting to take off

Green Kale – planted in the fall and finally starting to take off

Onions planted last fall - almost ready for harvest

Onions planted last fall – almost ready for harvest

Nine 100 foot rows of delicious nutrition!

Nine 100 foot rows of delicious nutrition!

Lettuce mix - should make a great salad in a couple more weeks!

Lettuce mix – should make a great salad in a couple more weeks!

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Broccoli and cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower

Broccoli - we planted about 500 plants, but unfortunately we are fighting the bugs to keep many of them alive.

Broccoli – we planted about 500 plants, but unfortunately we are fighting the bugs to keep many of them alive.

Chinese cabbage - our fastest crop

Chinese cabbage – our fastest crop

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Red Cabbage

Red Cabbage

Our potatoes are growing rapidly with the warmer weather

Our potatoes are growing rapidly with the warmer weather

Cover crop of oats and peas in the plot reserved for fall

Cover crop of oats and peas in the plot reserved for fall

Tiny blossom on one of our pear trees

Tiny blossom on one of our pear trees

Blackberry bushes starting to put out new growth

Blackberry bushes starting to put out new growth

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How to Fix Collard Greens

Collard greens grow well this time of year and we have a steady supply at the farmers market.   Did you know you can cook and use them in many different ways?  We didn’t, until we read this article:

Collards Are the New Kale, by Whole Foods Market

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Grass Fed Beef Hamburgers in Downtown Austin

Get on down to Svante’s Stuffed Burgers in downtown Austin for one of their delicious all grass fed beef hamburgers. For the next week these are made with our new ground steak. Svante’s normally has beef from their own ranch but the restaurant’s popularity grew faster than planned. So they bought a two week supply from us to hold them until beef from their cattle is available.

One of the owners of Svante’s said the cooks had this response to the Blessing Falls beef:

“They love the meat.  They had filled in with grass-fed from HEB one day last week and yours was much, much better.  Night and day they said.”

Thanks Svante’s!

From Svante's Facebook page - our beef on their grill along with fried eggs

From Svante’s Facebook page – our beef on their grill along with fried eggs

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Turkeys and Chickens

A family we know is moving out of the area so we acquired their flock of mature poultry – 10 turkeys and 7 chickens.  These are heritage turkey breeds of Spanish Black, Royal Palm, and Rio Grande.  Most were born last year and will be breeding and laying this year.  We hope they’ll hatch  several  healthy poults which we’ll raise for the holiday table.  Turkeys are a new experience for the farm so we’re looking forward to learning a lot this year.

We’ve had chickens in the past.  Since the last of our original flock died several months ago, we’re glad to have laying hens back on the farm.  There’s a rooster in the group so we may have some chicks hatched this year.

Currently the turkeys and chickens are together in the coop they’ve stayed in since birth.  We’re working on portable pens we can drag across pasture, giving them access to fresh grass everyday while keeping them safe.  The plan is to separate the turkeys into 2 smaller flocks before breeding season.  The chickens will have their own portable pen also.  Recent cold weather has slowed pen construction, but also gives the flock more time to get accustomed to their new surroundings and caretakers, while staying in the coop they’ve always called home.  The 6 chicken hens are laying 3 or 4 eggs a day.  And the turkey hens are starting to lay.  We’re getting 1 or 2 turkey eggs daily.

Flock arrives, ready for temporary quarters on one of our summer garden plots.

Flock arrives, ready for temporary quarters on one of our summer garden plots.

All coop'ed up and ready to get out!

All coop’ed up and ready to get out!

Out of the coop and enjoying the clover growing in the garden.

Out of the coop and enjoying the clover growing in the garden.

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The dominant tom wastes no time reasserting his presence at the new home.

The little ones welcoming the flock to their new home.

The little ones welcoming the flock to their new home.

Checking out the flock.  He'll have a big role in their daily care.

Checking out the flock. He’ll have a big role in their daily care.

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Seed Starts for 2014

We’ll have a series of seed starts this spring.  Every two weeks starting in mid January we’ll start seeds for transplants.  These will be replanted in the garden about 6 weeks after planting.  The first couple of seed starts will be strictly cold weather crops such as broccoli, cabbages, and leeks.  We’ll transition into warm weather seedlings in mid February – tomato, peppers, eggplant – and move these into the garden starting in late March.  Here’s a look at our first seed starts from about 3 weeks ago.

Organizing the seeds.  We plant only non-GMO seeds and almost all are heritage seeds.

Organizing the seeds. We plant only non-GMO seeds and almost all are heritage seeds.

 

Filling seed trays with our custom starter soil mix

Filling seed trays with our custom starter soil mix

 

Young men filling more trays!  We had 14 total on this first start.

Young men filling more trays! We had 14 total on this first start.

 

14 trays with about 50 cells average per tray - about 700 seedlings expected from this first of many seed starts for 2014.

14 trays with about 50 cells average per tray – about 700 seedlings expected from this first of many seed starts for 2014.

 

Team work in every facet of farming.

Team work in every facet of farming.

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