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

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 6

All the new turkeys made it through the week.  They’re growing and trying to fly.  We’ll move them out to the pasture coop next week.  It’s shaded and offers protection from chicken hawks and owls.   In a few more weeks after they’re too big for a hawk to take down, we’ll open the coop and let them free range.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Melon, Peppers, 2 Squash, Okra, Tomatoes, 2 Onions, Basil, winter squash, Lemon balm, Cucumber, Marigolds, Eggplant or extra peppers, Garlic, Rosemary

Half Share: Melon, Peppers, Squash, Okra, Winter squash or tomatoes,  Onions, Basil, Cucumber or extra peppers, Lemon balm, Garlic

Blessing Falls Summer Week 6 Farm Share: Okra, marigolds, tomatoes, squash, lemon balm, peppers, garlic, basil, Rosemary, Armenian cucumber, peppers (or eggplant), winter squash, watermelon, onions

Blessing Falls Summer Week 6 Farm Share: Okra, marigolds, tomatoes, squash, lemon balm, peppers, garlic, basil, Rosemary, Armenian cucumber, peppers (or eggplant), winter squash, watermelon, onions

Recipe

Waste not, want not! Watermelon Rind Pickles!

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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 5

poultsThe turkeys arrived safe and sound and are settling in well.  Three of the original 16 have died, which is about the usual attrition rate the first week, unfortunately.  A fourth is growing slowly but is eating OK so hopefully will strengthen.  The rest are growing quickly, running around, and look very healthy.  These are heritage breeds – Black Spanish, Bourbon Red, and Royal Palm and will be raised on pasture.  As you can see we won’t have a great many this year so let us know soon if you’re interested in reserving a turkey for Thanksgiving.  We’ll get back to you about a deposit after these are safely past the 3-4 week period when they are most fragile.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Okra, Potatoes (2 lbs), Basil, Squash, Cucumber, Onions, Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Garlic, Edible marigolds, Melon, Garlic chives, Rosemary

Half Share: Okra, Potatoes (2 lbs), Basil, Squash or cucumber, Onions, Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Garlic

Blessing Falls Summer Week 5 Farm Share: Marigolds, cucumber, potatoes (from Skinny Lane Farm), tomatoes, melon, onions, garlic, eggplant, garlic chives,  squash, Rosemary, Thai chilies, basil, okra

Blessing Falls Summer Week 5 Farm Share: Marigolds, cucumber, potatoes (from Skinny Lane Farm), tomatoes, melon, onions, garlic, eggplant, garlic chives, squash, Rosemary, Thai chilies, basil, okra

Recipe

This week’s share will feature Basil.  Here’s a post from an earlier season sharing several ways to cook with basil along with tomatoes and garlic.

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Austin 2016 Summer Farm Share/CSA – Week 4

We’re expecting our turkey poults to arrive this week.  They are of various heritage breeds and should be just days old when they arrive – in the mail!  Hopefully we’ll have a photo next week.  After these are a few weeks old, we’ll take orders to reserve your holiday turkey.

Winter Squash?

We have “winter” squash in our summer shares this year.  You may ask: Winter?  in June in Texas?  Well winter squash just means a variety that will keep for several weeks or even a couple months in cool, dry storage.  They are usually harvested in fall and stored.  That way you can have garden produce even in the dead of winter.  They grow year-round and we have them now and should continue to have various types through the fall.  So if you have extra produce in your share, you might set aside the winter types, knowing you can use them at your leisure.  Many summer vegetables won’t keep long so it’s best to use them quickly, while these winter varieties will give you more flexibility in meal planning.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Squash, 3 winter squash, Basil, Okra, 2 Tomatoes, 3 onions, Eggplant, Peppers, Melon, Cucumber, 2 Garlic

Half Share: 2 winter squash, Basil, Okra, Tomatoes, 3 onions, Eggplant, Peppers, Garlic

Blessing Falls Farm Share Summer Week 4, Cucumber, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, okra, onions, garlic, peppers (Thai chilies), basil, tomatoes, winter squash (acorn)

Blessing Falls Farm Share Summer Week 4, Cucumber, squash, tomatoes, watermelon, eggplant, okra, onions, garlic, peppers (Thai chilies), basil, tomatoes, winter squash (acorn)

Recipe

We love pickled red onions and we are planning to make some homemade this week! Here’s an easy recipe you can try too:  Quick Pickled Red Onions

Updates Throughout the Week

Check out our Instagram (@blessingfallsfarm) or Facebook page to keep up with our farm.

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Austin 2016 Summer CSA/Farm Share – Week 3

This week we’re having a “Five Day Farm Feast”.  Our goal is to eat from our farm’s produce, eggs, and meats as much as possible, making everything from scratch for five days.  Breads, sauces, pestos, yogurt, sour cream, cheese – all from scratch.  We’ve done this in the past for single meals so are stretching ourselves to several days now – breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We’re allowing some exceptions (seasonings, coffee, chocolate!) but trying to use only what we’re harvesting or have preserved from the garden along with our own turkey, venison, and grass fed beef.  We’re also allowing milk, wheat, and pork since we’re either raising these now or intend to within the next year.  Please check out our daily Facebook updates to see some of these meals.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share:  Tomatoes (double portion), Okra, Peppers, 2 Cabbages, 3 Onions, Squash, Cucumber, 2 Winter squash, Rosemary, Basil, Eggplant, Cantaloupe, Beans or extra cantaloupe

Half Share: Tomatoes, Okra, Peppers, 2 Cabbages, 2 Onions, Winter squash, Rosemary

Blessing Falls Farm Share, Summer 2016 week 3 (clockwise from top left): Cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, Rosemary, onions, cucumber, basil, okra, eggplant, green cabbage, jalapeños, red cabbage, summer  squash (lemon), slicing tomatoes, winter squash (spaghetti)

Blessing Falls Farm Share, Summer 2016 week 3: Cherry tomatoes, cantaloupe, Rosemary, onions, cucumber, basil, okra, eggplant, green cabbage, jalapeños, red cabbage, summer squash (lemon), slicing tomatoes, winter squash (spaghetti)

Recipe

Here’s a favorite we just had in our “Farm Feast”.  It uses the cabbage and onions in your share, plus ground beef for those who have added beef to their weekly order.  You can also add rosemary or basil as seasonings.   Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

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The Third Plate – Book Review

In The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food, author and chef Dan Barber shares his insights into the global food ecosystem. Barber’s compelling stories are rich in history and read somewhat like a mystery, as he takes the reader on various treks searching for rich food traditions around the world. So many of these traditions are being lost in our modern, fast-paced, push-button society and Barber shows how this is such a shame and how these traditions can be restored and nurtured.  From fish to pork to grain to kitchen to table, this book has something to interest everyone – whether amateur gardener, budding chef, soil scientist, sociologist, economist, or anyone up for a fascinating story.

Unfortunately, the narrative also has more than a dash of profanity, including the speech of Barber himself. It’s unnecessary and ruins the book. He should have left that out and this book would get a full five stars from me. Though the author admiringly wants to restore traditional food, he unfortunately contributes to the vulgarity and crudity of modern society by propogating profanity. If the author cooks half as well as he writes, his meal must be truly wonderful! But I would skip the meal time conversation seasoned with four letter words.

More details and reviews on The Third Plate

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Austin 2016 Summer CSA/Farm Share – Week 2

As hoped, we received our beef back from the butcher last week.  So we have plenty of ground beef and bones for broth to share with members.  We have limited amounts available to others.  We’re also hoping to begin raising holiday turkeys soon, possibly heritage and/or broad breasted breeds depending on what folks are most interested in.

And we have a few more produce shares available for the summer season, available with optional eggs, ground beef, and flowers.  Please contact us if you’d like more information on the beef, turkeys, or summer shares.

Here’s our expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Tomatoes, Peppers, Cabbage, Beans, Cucumbers (double portion), Zucchini, Summer Squash, 2 Winter squash, Eggplant, Okra, Carrots (double portion), Basil, Cantaloupe or extra Tomatoes, 2 onions

Half Share: Tomatoes, Peppers, Cabbage, Cucumber, Zucchini, Summer Squash, Beans, Onion, Carrots

Blessing Falls Farm Share Summer Week 2. Top: Peppers, zucchini, beans, onions, tomatoes Middle: okra, carrots, basil, cabbage, cucumbers  Bottom: eggplant, cantaloupe, acorn squash, summer squash

Blessing Falls Farm Full Share Summer Week 2. Top: Peppers, zucchini, beans, onions, tomatoes Middle: okra, carrots, basil, cabbage, cucumbers Bottom: eggplant, cantaloupe, acorn squash, summer squash

Recipe

Try this summer time recipe with your zucchini this week!

Blueberry/Zucchini Squares

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Austin 2016 Summer CSA/Farm Share – Week 1

Flower Arrangement Delivered Weekly

Flower Arrangement Delivered Weekly

This is the first week of our Summer season and the weather seems to have changed seasons as well – from cool and rainy last week to warm and sunny this week.  Remember we have eggs, ground beef, and flower arrangements you can add to your weekly produce order.  Thanks to all of you continuing with us from the spring, and welcome to our new members who joined for the summer!

Here’s the expected harvest this week:

Full Share: 2 summer Squash, 2 Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Peppers, Cabbage, Green garlic, Onion, Beets, Carrots (triple portion), Thyme, Spaghetti squash, Chard, Kale, Okra, Edible flowers, Eggplant

Half Share: Summer Squash, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Eggplant or peppers, Spaghetti squash,  Cabbage, Green garlic, Onion, Beets, Carrots (double portion),  Thyme

Blessing Falls Summer Farm Share, Week 1 (clockwise from top left) Chard, kale, zinnias, tomatoes, thyme, lemon squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onion, eggplant, beets, peppers, green garlic, cabbage, okra, carrots

Blessing Falls Summer Farm Share, Week 1 (clockwise from top left) Chard, kale, zinnias, tomatoes, thyme, lemon squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, cucumbers, onion, eggplant, beets, peppers, green garlic, cabbage, okra, carrots

Recipe

Try this super simple spaghetti squash Alfredo this week!

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole (Serves 4)

Ingredients:
– 2 spaghetti squash
– 1 jar (10-15 oz) Light Alfredo Sauce (or try MOMables Homemade Alfredo Sauce)
– 1 and 1/3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
– salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
1. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Make 2-3 vents in the squash by poking deep slits with a sharp knife. Bake in oven for 60-65 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
2. Cut squash in half, length wise, and scoop out seeds.
3. With a fork, shred the inside of the squash, forming your “spaghetti noodles”. Season with a little salt and pepper.
4. Now add in 1/4 cup of Alfredo sauce to each squash half. Mix well until all your squash noodles are covered. Top with 1/3 cup of shredded cheese.
5. Place squash under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until bubbly and melted.

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Austin 2016 Spring CSA/Farm Share – Week 10

This is the last week of our Spring season, followed immediately by our 10-week Summer season starting next week.  Several shares remain available for the Summer season if your friends or neighbors are interested.

Expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Fennel, Blackberries, Peppers, Kale, Tomatoes or okra or Eggplant, 2 Squash, Cucumber, Onion, Rosemary, Chard, Beans, Beets (double portion), Carrots (double portion), Green garlic, 2 Cabbage, Amaranth leaves or Radishes

Half Share: Squash, Cucumber, Onion, Rosemary, Chard, Beets, Carrots (double portion), Green garlic, Cabbage

Blessing Falls Spring Week 10 Full Share (clockwise from top left) Carrots, chard, beets, beans, blackberries, tomatoes, onion, squash, fennel, amaranth, peppers, kale, Rosemary, cabbage, green garlic, cucumber

Blessing Falls Spring Week 10 Full Share (clockwise from top left) Carrots, chard, beets, beans, blackberries, tomatoes, onion, squash, fennel, amaranth, peppers, kale, Rosemary, cabbage, green garlic, cucumber

Flowers

Farm Grown Fresh Flowers

Farm Grown Fresh Flowers

There’s still time to sign up for our flower shares! We design unique, fresh arrangements and deliver them along with your veggies. Make someone’s day with a gift of our bright flowers or simply enjoy their summer beauty in your own home! Four weeks of stunning flowers for just $36!

Recipe

Try this yummy carrot cake recipe with your farm fresh carrots!

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Austin 2016 Spring CSA/Farm Share – Week 9

Blessing Falls Farm - Minibel heirloom tomato

Blessing Falls Farm – Minibel heirloom tomato

We’re nearing the end of our Spring season with Summer starting in just two weeks!  Cucumbers and squash are ripening now and it won’t be much longer on the tomatoes.  We’re still harvesting cool season crops cabbage, kale, and carrots.  Blackberries have peaked but are still strong.

Here’s the expected harvest in this week’s farm shares:

Full share: Green garlic, Onion, 2 Squash, Cucumber, Beans, Chard, 2 Cabbage, Cilantro flowers, Carrots (double portion), Beets(double portion), Cauliflower or fennel, Blackberries, Kale, Amaranth leaves, Dill, Turnips

Half share: Green garlic, Onion, Squash, Cucumber, Beans or kale, Chard, Chinese Cabbage, Cilantro flowers, Carrots (double portion), Beets

Blessing Falls Spring CSA/Farm-Share Week 9 Full Share: (clockwise from top left) Kale, amaranth leaves, squash, Chinese cabbage, onion, beans, chard, beets, carrots, turnips, cucumber, blackberries, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, green garlic, dill, cilantro flowers.

Blessing Falls Spring CSA/Farm-Share Week 9 Full Share: (clockwise from top left) Kale, amaranth leaves, squash, Chinese cabbage, onion, beans, chard, beets, carrots, turnips, cucumber, blackberries, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, green garlic, dill, cilantro flowers.

Recipe

Green garlic is a specialty item that you can’t find in most stores! It’s harvested at an early stage before the cloves begin to form and is a favorite of chefs. It can be used in the same way as mature garlic, but doesn’t have such a strong flavor. You can use the tender parts of the stalk and leaves to add spring flavor to your best garlic dishes. Try this Beet and Green Garlic Tart this week!

 

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