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

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.  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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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 2

We’re enjoying another (final?) blast of summer weather in late September this week here in central Texas.  This unseasonable taste of August is setting back our plans for cool-season greens.  We’re preparing to plant as soon as the hot weather breaks. Earlier attempts simply scorched and withered as soon as they germinated.  Meanwhile, the grasshoppers are thriving with the hot weather and we’ve had some damage from them.  These are the challenges of summer gardening in Texas which make every year very interesting!  We had hoped to be past them by now, but we have to adjust and take what comes.  We appreciate our members’ support and hope you enjoy this week’s harvest.

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

Full Share: Melon or pumpkin, Tomatoes, Eggplant or extra Winter Squash, Malabar spinach, Squash, Winter squash, Cucumbers, Okra, Basil, Peppers, Black eyed peas (double portion), Onions, Sunflower Sprouts

Half Share: Squash, Cucumbers, Okra, Basil, Peppers, Black eyed peas, Onions, Sunflower Sprouts

See last week’s post for a photo – the harvest hasn’t changed much

For a recipe idea, Sunflower sprouts are a delicious topping for almost any dish. You can dress up salad, pasta and pizza with these nutritious little sprouts!

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Austin 2016 Fall Farm Share/CSA – Week 1

Our 10 week Fall season begins, after a 4 week break following 20 consecutive weeks of our Spring and Summer seasons.  The harvest still looks a lot like summer.  We’re planting and working the cool weather greens and varieties, but the hot weather continues which means summer varieties continue to thrive.

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

Full Share: Melon, Tomatoes or Eggplant, Malabar spinach, Squash, Winter squash, Cucumbers, Okra, Basil, Peppers, Black eyed peas (double portion), Onions, Rosemary

Half Share: Squash, Cucumbers, Okra, Basil, Peppers, Black eyed peas, Onions, Rosemary

Blessing Falls Fall Week 1 Full Share (clockwise from top left) watermelon, black eyed peas, winter squash (acorn pictured), onions, squash, peppers (Thai chilies pictured), Rosemary, basil, Armenian cucumbers, okra, tomatoes (or eggplant), Malabar spinach

Blessing Falls Fall Week 1 Full Share (clockwise from top left) black eyed peas, winter squash (acorn pictured), onions, squash, peppers (Thai chilies pictured), Rosemary, basil, Armenian cucumbers, okra, tomatoes (or eggplant), Malabar spinach, watermelon

Recipe

Try out this tasty black eyed pea salsa dip this week with your onions, peppers and, of course, black eyed peas! This recipe could also be delicious with cucumbers!

To prepare your black eyed peas for this recipe, first shell and rinse the peas. Place peas in a pot with just enough water to cover and simmer until soft. Simmering time will vary with your preference of softness.

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Beef Bone Broth Recipe

Bone broth provides great nutrition and many health benefits.  And bones from our 100% grass fed, naturally raised beef cattle have none of the drawbacks and concerns from conventionally raised cattle.  With no grain, no antibiotics, no synthetic hormones you know you’re getting pure broth from cattle raised on pasture on a stress free family farm – rather than drugged, force fed cattle raised in feedlots, standing in their own manure with thousands of other animals.

Here’s the recipe we’ve use for bone broth.  We found it unnecessary to roast the bones and have made it without leeks, and still find it tasty and wonderful – great for sipping daily, or save the broth for your recipes.

We sell our beef bones in convenient 3-5 lb packages, perfect for your crock pot and perfect for this recipe.  Enjoy!

Beef Bone Broth Recipe

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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 10

This is 10th and final week of the Summer season for our CSA Farm Share.  Hard to remember 20 weeks ago when our Spring season began and the cool temperatures were slowing down the garden growth.  How we’d love a couple days of that right now!

As the Summer season ends, the start of the Fall season is just a month away.  We’ll have a limited number of shares available during the 4 week gap for those who can pick up at Svantes in Round Rock or who live in Taylor, Hutto, Pflugerville, and Round Rock.  For Fall, we’ll offer our usual full delivery route from Bee Cave to Elgin, Austin to Liberty Hill. If you haven’t signed up for Fall, we urge you to do that now and take advantage of the discount for those who sign up and pay before the season starts.  Contact us if you’re interested in the “gap” mini-season.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Squash, Cucumber, Basil, Onions, Melon, Okra, Winter squash, Black eyed peas, Extra melon, Tomatoes or eggplant, Pea sprouts, Peppers

Half Share: Squash, Cucumber, Basil, Onions, Melon, Okra, Winter squash, Peppers

Check back later this week for a photo as we harvest and pack shares

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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 9

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share – 2 Melons, Onions, Cucumbers, Okra, 2 Winter squash, Rosemary, Peppers, Squash, Marigolds, Tomatoes, Eggplant or extra peppers, Sunflower or pea sprouts, Basil

Half Share – Melon, Onion, Cucumber, Okra, Winter squash, Rosemary, Peppers, Squash, Basil

Blessing Falls Summer Week 9 Full Share: Small melon, tomatoes, marigolds, large watermelon, eggplant, onions, okra, Rosemary, basil, peppers, sunflower sprouts, winter squash, cucumbers, squash

Blessing Falls Summer Week 9 Full Share: Small melon, tomatoes, marigolds, large watermelon, eggplant, onions, okra, Rosemary, basil, peppers, sunflower sprouts, winter squash, cucumbers, squash

We are so excited that everyone will get a watermelon this week! Some of our melons are actually a yellow variety so if you happen to get one of them, just know that it’s ripe and supposed to be yellow!

Recipe

We love this refreshing watermelon slush! It’s a delicious way to use your huge watermelons!

Watermelon Slush Recipe

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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 8

Fall planting continues as we hope for a little rain this week.  We’re grateful for the showers in the area that have reduced the temperatures a little and the clouds that shade the ground and slow the evaporation.  We’ve had just a few sprinkles so far, which is more than normal for July.  A downpour would be a wonderful extra blessing.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share – Sunflower sprouts, Squash, Cucumbers, 2 Winter squash, Large Melon, Okra, Peppers (double portion), Tomatoes, Eggplant, Garlic, Onions, Basil,

Half Share – Sunflower sprouts, Squash, Cucumber, Winter squash, Melon, Okra, Peppers, Onions, Basil

Blessing Falls Summer Week 8 Full Share: Tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, watermelon, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, garlic, onions, squash, basil,  okra, winter squash

Blessing Falls Summer Week 8 Full Share: Tomatoes, sunflower sprouts, watermelon, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, garlic, onions, squash, basil, okra, winter squash

Recipe

Spaghetti Squash with Herbs and Feta

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 1 t. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1/8 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1 T. fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 T. fresh basil
  • 1 T. fresh oregano
  • 1 t. lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, spray the flesh with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the squash on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Remove the squash from the oven and let it cool long enough so that you can handle it.
  6. Using a fork, scrape the flesh out and put it in a bowl.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients to the squash and stir everything together.
  8. Serve immediately.
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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 7

Our Texas summer heat is in full force now and the garden is fighting its way through as best it can. Some veggies are thriving in this weather such as melons and Armenian cucumbers. Others are struggling. Tomatoes and peppers don’t fruit well in this heat. The plants have a great root system that has been established since the spring so when the weather begins to cool they will be ready to fruit again.

This week our harvest is less than usual due to the heat. CSA members experience the ups and downs of the farm together with us and understand how weather patterns effect the harvest.  We’re supplementing shares this week with some produce grown by some of our local farming friends. Your potatoes were grown by Skinny Lane Farm in Elgin and some of the okra and spaghetti squash were grown at the Bernhardt’s farm also in Elgin.

Fall planting had begun this week as we look forward to cooler temps. In the meantime we are doing everything we can to beat the heat! We are growing some sunflower and pea sprouts to supplement shares in the coming weeks!  We trust you’ll still have plenty for your summer meals.  Thanks for participating with us in this farming season!

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Tomatoes or Eggplant, Squash, Cucumber, Melon, Potatoes, Basil, Okra, Peppers, Onions, Winter squash, Rosemary

Half Share: Squash, Cucumber, Melon, Basil, Okra, Peppers, Onions, Winter squash, Rosemary

Blessing Falls Summer Week 7 Full Share: Armenian cucumber, tomatoes, melon, winter squash, peppers, basil, garlic, onions, squash, Rosemary, potatoes, okra

Blessing Falls Summer Week 7 Full Share: Armenian cucumber, tomatoes, melon, winter squash, peppers, basil, garlic, onions, squash, Rosemary, potatoes, okra

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