Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 10

This is the last week of our 2016 Fall season.  We’re ending 3 weeks later than originally  scheduled.  We suspended the harvest for 2 weeks in early October to let the greens mature after being held back by our warm September.  Then the storm damage a month ago knocked all the greens back again.  We’re glad all the typical late Fall crops recovered and it looks like we’ll be able to deliver all 10 weeks of the Fall season as planned!  Thanks again to all our members and your patience and understanding during this unusual season.

Here’s what to expect in shares this week:

Full Share: Lettuce (double portion), Kale (double portion), Mizuna (double portion), Chard, Broccoli greens, Broccoli or tomatoes, Cabbage, Cilantro

Half Share: Lettuce (double portion), Kale, Mizuna (double portion), Chard, Broccoli greens

[check back for a photo as we harvest and pack shares later this week]

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 9

We hope everyone enjoyed a great Thanksgiving holiday last week.  Thanks again to all who bought vegetables, eggs, a turkey, grass fed beef, or pork from us recently.  We’re glad to be part of your festivities and trust these added to your celebrations.

Here’s what to expect in shares this week:

Full Share:  Cabbage, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Lettuce (double portion), Mizuna (double portion), Kale, Broccoli greens, Rosemary

Half Share: Lettuce (double portion), Mizuna (double portion), Kale, Broccoli greens, rosemary

Blessing Falls - Week 9 Fall Season Farm Share: Kale, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli greens, cabbage, rosemary, mizuna, chard

Blessing Falls – Week 9 Fall Season Farm Share: Kale, tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli greens, cabbage, rosemary, mizuna, chard

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 8

The garden is slowly healing from the storm 2 weeks ago and we had a decent harvest this week.  We harvested beans and tomatoes before the Saturday night freeze and the greens are coming back.  This week’s bok choy, arugula and endive are from our friends at Bernhardt’s farm in Elgin.

We’re thankful for all our members and your patience as we recover from the storm.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Here’s our expected harvest this week, though shares may vary:

Full Share: Mizuna, Beans, Tomatoes, Kale, Arugula, Bok Choy, Endive, Rosemary

Half Share: Mizuna, Bok choy, Beans, Tomatoes, Kale, Rosemary

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Fall Season – Week 7 Storm Damage

Yesterday afternoon a severe thunderstorm hit our farm.  4 inches of rain in 45 minutes, fierce winds, and large hail.  Thankfully the large hail did not last very long and did not seem to damage structures.  Our laying hens, turkeys, and livestock are OK.  The wind and hail  did cause significant damage to our fall garden.

All greens are a loss at this point.  Maybe they will come back since the roots seem OK.  We were able to harvest some of the squash, tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplant that were not too badly damaged.  We’ll deliver those this week to our farm share/CSA members.  The harvest will be much less than usual and we appreciate your understanding.  We will assess over the next few days and keep our members informed.

Here’s a look at some of the damage

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Yellow Squash leaves twisted by high winds

Yellow Squash leaves twisted by high winds

Lettuce chopped by the hail

Lettuce chopped by the hail

Chinese Cabbage, hail and wind damage

Chinese Cabbage, hail and wind damage

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Squash

Squash

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 6

Here’s our expected harvest this week, though shares may vary:

Full Share: Swiss Chard (double portion), Mizuna (double portion), Kale (double portion), Okra, Onions, Tomatoes, Sweet potatoes or pumpkin, Peppers (double portion), Rosemary

Half Share:  Swiss Chard, Mizuna (double portion), Kale, Okra or tomatoes, Onions, Peppers

Peppers this week are courtesy of our friends at Taylor Farm in Lexington.

Blessing Falls Week 6 Fall Season Share: Rosemary, onions, okra, tomatoes, chard, peppers, mizuna, pumpkin, kale, squash

Blessing Falls Week 6 Fall Season Share: Rosemary, onions, okra, tomatoes, chard, peppers, mizuna, pumpkin, kale, squash

Recipe

Here’s a delicious recipe we love to make with our kale! You can substitute linguine for the bucatini pasta and bacon for the prosciutto if you can’t find those items. You can also add onion or tomatoes to this recipe.

Creamy Kale Pesto Bucatini

FOR PESTO
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 cups kale, roughly chopped and packed
¼ cup pine nuts
½ cup olive oil
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ tsp. kosher salt

FOR PASTA
1 lb. bucatini
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 pieces prosciutto, thinly sliced and chopped into fine pieces
½ oz. heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
Kosher salt
Black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
2. To a food processor, add garlic cloves. Pulse until finely minced. Add kale and pine nuts. Pulse until combined. With food processor running, slowly stream in olive oil through the top chute opening. Once mixture is combined, transfer to a bowl. Add ricotta cheese and salt. Stir to combine.
3. In a large sauté pan, heavy olive oil over medium heat. Add prosciutto bits and cook until slightly crisped, about 4-5 minutes. Add heavy cream, stirring constantly. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the heavy cream bubbles up slightly.
4. Meanwhile, cook bucatini until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving about ½ cup pasta water. Add pasta directly to sauté pan with prosciutto and cream. Add ½ cup of the kale pesto and a few splashes of pasta water, stirring until combined. Add more pesto or pasta water if desired.

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 5

Here’s our expected harvest this week, though shares may vary:

Full Share:  Mizuna (double portion), Chard, Kale, 2 Onions, Rosemary, Sweet potatoes (double portion), Chinese cabbage, Pumpkin, Winter squash, Tomatoes, Okra

Half Share: Mizuna (double portion), Chard, Kale, Onions, Rosemary, Sweet potatoes, Okra

Blessing Falls week 5 Fall season share: (clockwise from top left) Kale, mizuna, okra, onions, Rosemary, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chard, pumpkin, Chinese cabbage

Blessing Falls week 5 Fall season share: Kale, mizuna, okra, onions, Rosemary, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, chard, pumpkin, Chinese cabbage

Recipe

Mizuna is an Asian green and works well in a chopped salad or stir fry.  We also featured a recipe for Mizuna back in week 3 of the Spring season.

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 4

Here’s our expected harvest this week, though shares may vary:

Full Share: Sweet potatoes (double portion), Sunflower sprouts, Rosemary, Pumpkin or melon, Eggplant or tomatoes, Malabar spinach, squash, Basil, Peppers, Onions, Okra, Black eyed peas (double portion)

Half Share: Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin or melon, Rosemary, Basil, Peppers, Onions, Okra, Black eyed peas

Sweet Potatoes are from our friends at Fruitful Hill Farm.

Blessing Falls Farm Share, Fall 2016 Week 4: Onions, sweet potatoes, sunflower sprouts, tomatoes, squash, Rosemary, peppers, basil, black eyed peas, okra, Malabar spinach, melon (or pumpkin)

Blessing Falls Farm Share, Fall 2016 Week 4: Onions, sweet potatoes, sunflower sprouts, tomatoes, squash, Rosemary, peppers, basil, black eyed peas, okra, Malabar spinach, melon (or pumpkin)

Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie!

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 3

Full Share: Basil, Rosemary, Sunflower sprouts, Okra, Black eyed peas, Pumpkin, Peppers, Onions, Squash or Cucumber, Winter squash,

Half Share: Basil, Rosemary, Sunflower sprouts, Okra, Black eyed peas, Pumpkin, Peppers, Onions

Blessing Falls - Farm Share Fall 2016 Week 3 (clockwise from top left) Pumpkin, sunflower sprouts, tomatoes, okra, Malabar spinach, melon, winter squash, onions, black eyed peas, squash, basil, Thai chilies, Rosemary

Blessing Falls – Farm Share Fall 2016 Week 3 (clockwise from top left) Pumpkin, sunflower sprouts, tomatoes, okra, Malabar spinach, melon, winter squash, onions, black eyed peas, squash, basil, Thai chilies, Rosemary

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Pasture Raised Pork Available – Fall 2016

redwattle

Red Wattle Heritage Breed Hog on Pasture at Blessing Falls Farm

October 4 update: Our fall pork is sold-out.  Please contact us to be added to the waiting list or to be notified early about our 2017 pork.

Our heritage breed, pastured hogs are about a month away from being ready.  These are the Red Wattle breed and have been raised with full time access to our pastures where they can graze, root, run, and just lay around – to be a true pig.  They are kept in with electrical fencing which we move regularly to give them access to fresh grass.  Pigs cannot live on grass alone so we supplement their food with conventional (non-organic) corn and hog feed.

As with our beef, our pigs are free of antibiotics, synthetic hormones and implants.  These are not vaccinated and have had no drugs of any kind.  They are handled gently, never hit or abused in any way. They were born a few miles away on a local farm that practices these same humane, natural, sustainable methods.

We expect these to weigh around 250 pounds.  We’ll sell them by the half and in variety packs of 10-15 pounds each.  A half should give you about 60 pounds of packaged pork in your freezer.  You can have the half processed any way you like, including cured ham and bacon, pan and link sausage, along with pork chops, ribs, roasts, hocks, lard, etc.  We offer halves at $4 per pound (plus processing costs paid to the butcher), based on hanging weight.  A half hog’s estimated hanging weight should be around 75-85 pounds.  When your half is ready, you’ll pick up directly from the butcher – at either their main shop in Westphalia (15 minutes east of Temple) or from their Hutto shop for an additional convenience fee.  For more on processing costs and hanging weight vs. live or packaged weight, see details on our grass fed beef.  The processing costs are similar to beef though we expect hogs to yield a higher percentage of packaged pork vs. hanging weight than beef does.  You should get more usable pork from a pig, especially if you can use the feet, lard, jowls, head, and organs.

If a half is too much for you, we plan variety packs between 10 and 15 pounds each. Each pack will include a mix of approximately 2 pounds of pork chops, 3 pounds of roast, 2 pounds of cutlets, 1 pound of bacon (uncured), plus 3 to 5 pounds of breakfast (pan) sausage or ground pork.  The retail value for this mix of pork averages $8.20/pound.  As an introductory special, we’ll offer these at a 5% discount or $7.75/pound.  Final cost will vary depending on actual weight, but that gives you an idea of what to expect.  You can pick up at the farm or at our weekly Farm Share pick-up hosted by Svantes Restaurant in Round Rock.

We have a very limited amount of pork this year (it’s our first year, and if it goes well we hope to raise more hogs in 2017).   You can reserve a half with a deposit of $80 or a variety pack with a deposit of $25.  Just contact us and we’ll get back with you regarding the deposit details.

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2016 Thanksgiving Turkeys

Bourbon Red and Spanish Black turkeys at Blessing Falls Farm

Bourbon Red and Spanish Black turkeys at Blessing Falls Farm

Our turkeys are now 3 months old and out on pasture.  These are heritage breeds – Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, and Spanish Black, like we’ve raised in the past.  They should be a good size for your Thanksgiving holiday table in a couple months.  As heritage breeds, they won’t be huge like some conventionally birds you find at the supermarket.  We expect them to be between 7 and 12 pounds.  We offer these as live birds but will also process them for you at your request at no extra cost.

For Fall CSA/Farm Share members, we can deliver your turkey with your weekly share on November 16 or 19.  For others, you can pick up your turkey at Svantes Restaurant in Round Rock on either of those dates or can come by the farm to get yours.

Pasture raised turkeys at Blessing Falls Farm

Pasture raised turkeys at Blessing Falls Farm

The price is $8/lb and a $25 deposit will secure your turkey, with the balance payable before delivery in November after we know the final weight.  We have a very limited supply this year so let us know soon if you are interested.

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