Austin Summer CSA Week 2

Remember to order your holiday turkeys for November and December.  These will be heritage turkeys like we raised last year.   If you’re interested, contact us this week for more details and to reserve yours.

We’re also getting plenty of eggs now from the new hens and can deliver a dozen or more with your weekly produce.  Just let us know how many you need.

Here’s our expected harvest for the Summer CSA Week 2:

Full Share: Melon, Tomatoes, Onion, Italian peppers, Cucumber, Eggplant, Cabbage, Black eyed peas or Okra, Sunflower sprouts, Potatoes (double portion), Basil, Shallots, Rosemary

Half Share: Melon, Tomatoes, Squash, Sunflower sprouts, Potatoes, Eggplant, Basil, Shallots, Rosemary

[check back later in the week for a photo after we harvest and pack shares]

July 4th is this weekend and we are ready for some BBQ and potato salad! The potatoes in this week’s share are from Taylor Farm in Lexington. They are a fingerling variety, and were organically grown about 15 miles away from us.

Here’s our family’s favorite potato salad recipe. Traditionally, we serve it mashed and warm, but you could also leave the potatoes in chunks and serve it cold; it’s great either way!

Ingredients
6-8 fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons dill relish
2 teaspoons mustard
1 boiled egg, diced
Garlic salt and pepper, to taste

Chop potatoes and boil in water until tender. Drain and return to pot. Add butter and mayonnaise. Mash. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve warm. Serves 2-4. Enjoy!

 

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Austin Summer CSA Week 1, Holiday Turkey Orders

Our 12 week Spring CSA season ended last week.  The Summer CSA starts now and will run for 10 weeks through the end of August.  We’re still fighting deer, patching our screens and have called in the dog!  Walking the neighborhood dog around the main gardens daily, hoping her scent will deter the deer.  Too early to tell if this will be effective.

We’re getting ready to raise holiday turkeys for November and December.  These will be heritage turkeys like we raised last year.   If you’re interested, contact us this week for more details and to reserve yours.

Here’s our expected harvest for Summer Week 1:

Full Share: Tomatoes, Potatoes* (double portion), Peppers, Melon, Okra or beans, Black eyed peas, Squash, Cucumber, Onions, Garlic, Basil

Half Share: Tomatoes, Potatoes* (double portion), Peppers, Eggplant, Onions, Garlic, Basil

* Potatoes grown by our friends at Skinny Lane Farm in Elgin

SummerWeek1

Blessing Falls Summer CSA Week 1 Full Share

Recipe: Homemade Basil Pesto

Shares this week include plenty of fresh basil – here’s a great recipe for it.  Find more ideas for basil here.

2 cups tightly packed fresh basil
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt

In a food processor, puree all ingredients together. Serve over fresh pasta, spread on toasted bread or serve many other ways! Keep in refrigerator for several weeks or freeze in a tightly covered container.

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Austin Spring CSA Week 12

Sunflower Sprouts/Microgreens

Sunflower Sprouts/Microgreens

This is the final week of our Spring season, with the 10 week Summer season starting next week.  We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from our CSA members this spring. Last year, as we began planning to expand our garden threefold we knew it would take a lot of hard work, time and funds. Our plans and work were further complicated by last month’s constant rain and flooding leading to crop failures, delayed field preparation, and late plantings. This week we are supplementing shares with chard, jalapeños, and onions from our good friend Alex Bernhardt while we wait for our tomatoes and melons to fully ripen. The good news is our growing crops look more than sufficient for the rest of the summer and we continue new plantings to sustain us through the fall.

By the way, the Bernhardt farm sustained major damage from the recent flooding. Please consider contributing to the fund established to help them recover and rebuild.

Expected harvest this week

Full Share: Tomatoes, Squash, Eggplant, Okra or Beans, Cabbage, Onion, Sunflower Microgreens, Swiss Chard (double portion), Basil, Shallots, Thyme, Garlic, Jalapeños/peppers, Potatoes + special bonus: hummus compliments of the Bernhardt farm

Half Share: Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cucumber, Cabbage, Onion, Swiss Chard, Basil, Shallots, Thyme, Garlic, Jalapeños + special bonus: hummus compliments of the Bernhardt farm

Blessing Falls Spring CSA Week 12 Full Share

Blessing Falls Spring CSA Week 12 Full Share

We have experienced many of the difficulties of farming this year and it has only strengthened our determination to do our best to provide food for ourselves, family, friends and customers. We are seeing more and more how fragile our food system is in the US and how important small farmers are in this day and age. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement!

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Austin Spring CSA Week 11

Believe it or not it’s already time to start preparing for our fall garden! This week we are working to till our fall plot and plant more cover crop of black eyed peas that will grow thick to keep weeds from growing. The peas will also add nutrients to the soil before we begin planting in mid July.

Here’s our expected harvest for Week 11:

Full Share: Cucumbers, Blackberries, Tomatoes or Cabbage, Beans (double portion), Squash, Eggplant or Peppers (Italian Sweet or Bell), Okra or kale, Shallots, Onions, Rosemary, Dill, Garlic, Basil, Turnips or Rutabagas

Half  Share: Cucumbers, Blackberries, Beans (double portion), Shallots, Onions, Rosemary, Dill, Garlic

Week 11 Full Share

Week 11 Full Share

Recipes

This week we’d like to share two recipes that we love to make for a delicious summer dinner. Our easy one pot pasta takes only about 15 minutes to make and is perfect for the nights that we’re out late in the garden. Combine that meal with a refreshing, homemade strawberry, lemon, basil slush for the perfect ‘basil two ways’ dinner!

One Pot Pasta

I love this recipe because you can add almost any veggie to change it up each time you make it. So far we’ve used yellow squash, kale, chard, tomatoes and asparagus in this recipe. You could also use beans, okra, eggplant or zucchini.

Ingredients
4 cups of water
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 sausage links, sliced into bite size pieces
3 sprigs of basil, washed and chopped
1 16 oz. box of pasta (we like penne)
1-2 cups of any combination of veggies you’d like to use, chopped (squash, zucchini, kale, chard, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, okra)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large pot except for cheeses. Cook on high heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender and water has cooked away, – about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheeses and serve!

Strawberry, Lemon, Basil Slushes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
2 sprigs of basil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups ice

Blend all ingredients together in blender. Add extra water, ice and sugar as needed. Enjoy!

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Austin Spring CSA Week 10

The record-setting rains of May have ended.  We’re starting to catch up with outdoor chores of mowing, shredding, and hopefully tilling and planting later this week as the soil dries out.  Last week the rain kept us inside catching up on routine maintenance of the tractor and website work.

Bell Peppers mean Summer is near!

Bell Peppers mean Summer is near!

Here’s our expected harvest for Week 10:

Full share:  Zucchini or squash, Beans, Turnips, Okra or bell peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Cabbage, Basil, Dill, Cilantro flowers, Kale or chard, Lettuce, Shallots, Onion, Garlic

Half share:  Zucchini or squash, Beans, Turnips, Cucumbers, Basil, Dill, Cilantro flowers, Kale or chard, Shallots, Onion

Week 10 Full Share

Week 10 Full Share

Recipe

Here’s a super easy, family favorite recipe! You can use your greens in this recipe and it’s easily adapted to include almost any veggie or herb! Add onion or shallots for some extra flavor too!

Sausage and Penne Pasta

Ingredients:
1 box Penne Pasta
1 package Eckrich sausage links
1 Tablespoon crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard or kale
grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
Cook and drain pasta. Meanwhile, slice sausage and brown in skillet with olive oil and garlic. Wash greens and tear into smaller pieces if necessary. Add greens to sausage a little at a time (they will cook down so you can continue adding more). You may need to add a little more olive oil as you add the greens. Add sausage and greens to pasta. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with Parmesan after serving.

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Austin Spring CSA Week 9

Small part of the garlic harvest, drying and preparing to add to shares over the next several weeks.

Some of the garlic harvest that will be in shares for a few weeks.

Though the rain continue to fall, we’re still able to get into the garden enough to keep things on track.  Last week we pulled up all garlic and onions so that they won’t rot in the super-saturated soil.

We also planted melon, squash, and cucumber seedlings where seeded crops got washed out.  These transplants should help us make up for lost growing time due to the heavy rains all month.  There’s still plenty to harvest now and we anticipate these new plants will sustain the harvest through the coming summer months.

We took a couple calves to the market for customers eagerly awaiting grass fed beef.  And our ninth calf of the season was born last week.  So far, all nine have been born healthy and without complication – a great blessing indeed!  We’re expected two more this spring.

Here’s the expected harvest for week 9:

Full share: Beans and Lettuce (double portions each), Cucumbers, Squash or Zucchini, Tomatoes or Blackberries, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Turnips, Bell peppers, Basil, Onion, Garlic

Half share: Beans, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Squash or Zucchini, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Cabbage, Basil, Onion, Garlic

Blessing Falls CSA Week 9 Full Share

Blessing Falls CSA Week 9 Full Share

Here are a couple recipe ideas for fresh basil.  We posted these a couple years ago and they’re still family favorites.  And here’s an idea for turnips: Mashed Turnips and Sage.  We had this just last night.  Some in the family liked it and others, well, not as much.  Some thought it tasted pretty close to mashed potatoes while a couple others felt it was tainted by too strong of a turnip taste.   Try it and let us know!

And look what’s growing on in the garden now…

Looking forward to melon season!

Looking forward to melon season!

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Austin Spring CSA Week 8

One of several green bean varieties

One of several green bean varieties

Well, it’s been another week of rain on the farm and we’re beginning to see some of the advantages and disadvantages of the wet weather. While our tomatoes are flourishing and beginning to ripen, some of our carrots have begun to rot in the soaked ground. We are waiting for a few dry days to be able to do some much needed maintenance in the garden as well as plant crops that were supposed to go in the ground over a week ago. Though we normally jump for joy at the sight of clouds during Texas summers we are longing for days of sunshine. As a farmer you never know what will change in the weather from season to season and we are so grateful to have the support of our CSA members providing income early in the season so that we can quickly adapt by replacing plants that are damaged in the floods.

Here’s your week 8 harvest:

Full share: Carrots (double portion), Onions, Squash, Tomatoes or Blackberries, Beans, Cucumbers, Chard, Kale, Lettuce, Turnips, Cilantro flowers, Dill, Basil

Week8Full

Blessing Falls CSA Spring Week 8 Full Share

Half share: Carrots, Onions, Beans, Cucumbers, Chard, Lettuce, Turnips, Cilantro flowers, Dill, Basil

Recipe: Carrots and Dill Pesto

Here’s a great recipe idea for this week’s carrots and dill.  We like to add half an avocado and a couple tablespoons of mayo to the pesto.  One variation as a side dish is to chop the carrots and toss all of it with some cooked pasta.   You can take it even further and add diced ham or chicken and serve it as your main dish.

Roasted Spring Carrots  (source)

Takes under 30 minutes to cook + serves 2 people as a main and 4 people as a side.

Ingredients:
15 – 20 baby spring carrots, or 10 large carrots
1 tablespoon ghee, olive or coconut oil will also work
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub your carrots, trim the ends, the tops and pat dry. If your carrots are teeny baby ones like mine, keep them whole. If they’re larger, halve them. Place the carrots on a baking sheet or oven safe roasting dish. Drizzle the ghee or oil over them, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper and toss, to coat evenly.

Roast for 25 – 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Lemony Dill Pesto (same source as Roasted Spring Carrots)

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:
2 cups loosely packed fresh dill
3 – 5 cloves garlic {depending on how you take your garlic}
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch black pepper
juice from 1 lemon, about 2 full tablespoons
3 tablespoons of shelled pumpkin seeds + more for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth, yet slightly chunky pesto forms. Drizzle on top of the carrots or eat it out of the jar with a spoon!

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Pasture Raised, Free Range, Organically Fed Eggs Available

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Natural pasture for the best tasting, most nutritious, healthiest eggs

Our new hens are just about ready to start laying so we’re now taking orders for eggs from these 100% pasture-raised, free range hens.  Never caged or mistreated, they get plenty of sun and shade, fresh water, grass and bugs to eat. Our pastures are all natural, with no chemicals or synthetic fertlizers ever applied. No antibiotics, vaccines, or medicated feed have ever been given to these chickens, from their hatching throughout their entire life. In addition to natural pasture and bugs, the chickens are given 100% organic, non-GMO, fresh, nutritious feed from Elgin’s Coyote Creek feed mill.

Our egg quality is among the highest in the nation and yet cost less than comparable eggs at your natural or organic grocer. We also offer convenient delivery to your home or workplace.  And our eggs are fresher than store-bought eggs – some gathered the day before you get them. Most importantly, those of you who have had our eggs know that there is truly the best tasting egg to be found.

We offer the eggs as a weekly subscription, just as CSA produce shares are offered now. You can add eggs to your weekly produce order or just get eggs. Available throughout the greater Austin area, we can deliver even if you’re not home and you have the option to defer your weekly delivery of eggs when you’re out of town. The eggs are $6.50 per dozen. CSA members price is $5.75 when you buy 2 dozen or more weekly – a 12% discount. The CSA price for a single dozen is $6.00.

With our older smaller flock, we’ve been sold out of eggs for a long time. We hope you’ll take advantage of this new opportunity and sign up today!

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Ground Steak – Our Special Blend Grass Fed Beef

We’re now taking orders for weekly delivery or pick-up of our Ground Steak.

What is regular “Ground Beef”?  When a cow is processed, the higher quality and larger sections of steak, fajita, brisket, roast, ribs, etc. are cut and packaged individually.  The excess trimmed from these cuts, along with smaller sections not suitable as individual cuts are ground up and packaged as ground beef. Some may call this hamburger meat.

How is Blessing Falls “Ground Steak” different from Ground Beef? “Ground Steak” is made by adding cuts from the whole animal –  steak, fajita, brisket, etc. – along with the usual trimmings and grinding in all up together.  The result is a ground beef  that tastes better with a richer texture. Ground Steak is packaged like regular ground beef – frozen in convenient 1 lb packs and will keep for months in your freezer.  It cooks just like regular ground beef – scramble for tacos, make meatballs, hamburger patties, casseroles, etc.

Since Ground Steak includes the better, more expensive cuts it costs slightly more than regular ground beef.  Customers agree the better taste is worth the extra expense.  And since it’s always from our family farm-raised, 100% grass fed cattle, with no antibiotics, implants, or hormones you know you’re getting the best nutrition and most natural beef available.  Sign up to have this beef delivered as part of your weekly CSA produce and eggs order or just get the beef.  We can deliver even if you’re not home and you have the option to defer weekly delivery of beef when you’re out of town.  Our regular price is $8.50 a pound, CSA members get a discount at $8.00.

Click here to order your weekly grass fed beef

Seasoned patties ready for the grill

Seasoned patties ready for the grill

 

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Austin Spring CSA – Week 7

The spring rains continue here on the farm – almost 9 inches in the last 7 days!  We’re still able to get in and harvest for our CSA members, though new planting has been delayed.

The soil is saturated and too wet to work.  However, we should catch up soon after things dry up.  And the cooler weather should delay the heat of summer a bit so we hope the plantings will align with the right seasonal conditions.

New this week are cucumbers, beans (green and other colors), and garlic.  We may have enough blackberries for a few shares.

Here’s the harvest we expect for Week 7.

Full Share: Carrots, Kale, Turnips or rutabaga – (double portions of each),
Cilantro flowers, Cauliflower, Dill, Spinach or lettuce, Squash or zucchini, Cabbage, Fresh Beans, Chard, Garlic, Shallots or onions

Half Share: Carrots (double portion), Kale, Squash or zucchini, Cucumbers, Garlic, Shallots or onions, Cilantro flowers, Dill

(Share contents may change slightly throughout the week depending upon harvest

Spring Week 7 Full Share, clockwise from top left, carrots, kale, lettuce, cabbage, turnips, rainbow Swiss chard, beans, cilantro flowers, garllic, cauliflower, dill, shallots, cucumbers, squash.

Spring Week 7 Full Share, clockwise from top left, carrots, kale, lettuce, cabbage, turnips, rainbow Swiss chard, beans, cilantro flowers, garllic, cauliflower, dill, shallots, cucumbers, squash.

Cilantro flowers, like the leaves and seeds, have a strong herbal flavor. Use leaves and flowers raw as the flavor fades quickly when cooked. Sprinkle to taste on salads, bean dishes, and cold vegetable dishes.

For those of you receiving full shares, you may be surprised to find purple, yellow and green beans in your bag this week. These are all heirloom varieties and can be cooked just as you would any green bean. The purple beans will turn green when cooked, but have added nutritional value due to their color.

“Purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are health-promoting chemicals that help protect cells and heal your body. Research suggests they play active roles in promoting eye and heart health, decreasing cancer cell proliferation and more.” (Source)

We love growing colorful foods that you can’t find in stores. Some of our favorites this year have been purple and yellow carrots, rainbow Swiss chard, and of course our beans. We hope you enjoy them too!

I’d like to share one of our family favorite squash recipes with you. It’s very easy and delicious! You can use any type of summer squash or zucchini in this recipe. You will also get to use some of your fresh garlic and onions or shallots from your CSA this week!

Creamy Squash with Bacon

Ingredients
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced
2 cups squash, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces cream cheese
Salt and pepper

Directions
Brown bacon with onions and garlic and cook until onions are soft. Add sliced squash, cream and cream cheese. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft and cream cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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