Austin Summer CSA Week 10

Although hot, summer weather will very likely continue in central Texas for several more weeks, this is the final week of our “Summer” CSA season.  Our Fall season starts next week, running 12 weeks through mid November.  Our greenhouse is full of tender seedlings of kale, Swiss Chard, cabbage, and other greens.  Our Fall garden is already half full of various squash, pumpkins, and green beans we planted several weeks ago.  The sweet potato patch continues to thrive since planting several months ago.  The first several weeks of the “Fall” season we expect our Summer okra, tomatoes, melons, eggplant, etc. to continue, adding squash, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes near the middle, with the greens and lettuce ready to harvest later as the weather cools in October and November.  We’ll continue to add sunflower sprouts weekly until the garden greens are ready.

So for this 10th week of summer, here’s our expected harvest, though there will likely be changes throughout the week depending on conditions:

Full share
Sunflower sprouts (double portion), Melons (double portion), Okra (double portion), Squash or cucumber, Eggplant or black eyed peas, Tomatoes or pears, Basil, Garlic, Shallots, Sweet potato leaves (double portion)

Half share
Sunflower sprouts (double portion), Melons (double portion), Okra, Basil, Garlic, Shallots, Sweet potato leaves (double portion)

Some of the okra and melons this week are from our friends at Bernhardt’s Farm

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

We hope you’ve enjoyed the sweet potato leaves the last several weeks.  Some are calling these greens another “superfood”.   This from Prevention magazine:

Sweet potato greens as food may be getting more affection soon, thanks to a new analysis published in the journal HortScience that found the leaves have 3 times more vitamin B6, 5 times more vitamin C, and almost 10 times more riboflavin than actual sweet potatoes. Nutritionally, this makes the greens similar to spinach, but sweet potato leaves have less oxalic acid, which gives some greens like spinach and chard a sharper taste.

Recipe

That same article at Prevention recommends preparing greens like this:

Sautéed Sweet Potato Greens

1 lg bunch sweet potato greens (about ½ pound)
½ sm white onion, diced
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1½ Tbsp maple syrup
1. REMOVE sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.
2. HEAT olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.
3. ADD stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. ADD leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve.

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Austin Summer CSA Week 9

Rain and cooler weather are in the forecast!  We’re looking forward to that as summer winds down.  The Fall CSA season begins in two weeks.  We have just a few whole/half shares of Fall produce remaining available, so let us know soon if you’re interested in the Fall season.

Here’s the expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Tomatoes, Pea shoots, Pears, Spaghetti squash, Melon, Eggplant, Sweet potato leaves (double portion), Okra (double portion), Black eyed peas or peppers, Garlic, Shallots, Rosemary, Basil

Half Share: Sunflower Sprouts, Cucumber or Squash, Spaghetti squash, Sweet potato leaves, Okra (double portion), Garlic, Rosemary, Basil

Blessing Falls Summer CSA, Week 9 Share

Blessing Falls Summer CSA, Week 9 Share

Recipe

Try out this super simple spaghetti squash Alfredo with your squash this week!

Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Casserole (source)

Ingredients:
2 spaghetti squash
1 jar (10-15 oz) Light Alfredo Sauce ( or try out 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.
(Serves 4)

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Austin Summer CSA Week 8

The heat wave continues and so does the harvest.  Our shares will likely vary this week according to conditions but here’s what we’re expecting:

Full share: Melon, Sunflower sprouts, Pea shoots or extra sunflower sprouts, Okra (double portion), Sweet potato leaves (double portion), Pears, Tomatoes, Peppers, Squash or cucumber, Spaghetti squash, Basil, Shallots

Half share: Melon, Sunflower sprouts, Okra, Sweet potato leaves, Pears, Eggplant, Cucumber, Basil, Shallots

Blessing Falls Summer Week 8 Share

Blessing Falls Summer Week 8 Share

The spaghetti squash and some of the melons in this week’s shares are from Bernhardt’s Farm in Elgin.

CinnamonRollsWe’re also offering fresh, home made, baked goods for special order this week (cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, hamburger buns).  These are available with our Wednesday deliveries.  Members, look for pricing and details in your weekly email and reply by 2pm Tuesday with your order.

Recipes

With the recent abundant okra, you may want to freeze some for later.  Slice okra into 1/4 inch rounds. Arrange slices in a single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for a few hours until frozen solid. Store frozen slices in freezer bags or containers.

Here’s an idea for the pears in this week’s shares…

Oven Pear Pancake (source)

Ingredients
2 pears
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions
– Heat oven to 400º F.
– Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray. Peel, core, and cut into eighths and arrange them in the pie plate.
– Combine 1/2 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, eggs, whole milk, vanilla, unsalted butter, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds.
– Pour over the pears. Place in the oven and bake until springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Sprinkle the pancake with ground cinnamon and the 2 tablespoons sugar. Broil until browned, about 1 minute. Serve warm.

 

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Austin Summer CSA Week 7

The dog days of summer are here.  Last week’s brief rain showers missed the farm so everything is starting to get very dry.  This is typical for July and August in central Texas. We rely on our irrigation system to keep the garden and orchard growing and are managing through this spell pretty well so far.  We called on our friends at Bernhardt’s Farm in Elgin to help supplement our harvest.  They’ve supplied the purple hull peas and some of the okra in this week’s shares.

Expected harvest shares this week (due to variations in harvest, Wednesday and Saturday deliveries will differ slightly):

Full share, Wednesday: Okra (triple portion), Purple Hull Peas (double portion), Sunflower sprouts, Sweet potato leaves (double portion), Potatoes, Tomatoes, Squash or cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic

Full share, Saturday: Okra, Pea Shoots (double portion), Purple Hull Peas (double portion), Sunflower sprouts, Sweet potato leaves (double portion), Potatoes, Tomatoes, Squash or cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic

Half share, Wednesday: Okra (double portion), Purple Hull Peas, Sunflower sprouts, Sweet potato leaves, Potatoes, Melon or pears, Garlic

Half share, Saturday: Okra, Pea Shoots, Purple Hull Peas, Sunflower sprouts, Sweet potato leaves, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Garlic

Blessing Falls Summer Week 7 Share

Blessing Falls Summer Week 7 Share

Recipe

Cook young purple hull peas just like the black-eyed peas in recent shares. Pods with immature peas can be stir friend with bacon until tender – no need to shell the peas.

More mature peas can be shelled and prepared using this simple award winning recipe:

Ingredients:
5-6 cups shelled purple hull peas
6 oz. centercut smokey bacon (use a good brand)
Salt to taste

Cut bacon into inch size pieces and lightly brown in a dutch oven or deep saucepan. Do
not drain bacon grease. Add washed peas and enough water to cover plus one inch. Add 2
teaspoons salt. Boil over medium heat until tender (about 45 minutes). Taste and add
more salt if needed. Serve with hot, buttered cornbread.

 

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Austin Summer CSA Week 6

Pea Shoots

Pea Shoots

New things on the farm in the last week
1. First week for pea shoots in some shares.
2. New deer/rabbit fence around our fall garden area! So happy to have protection from the wildlife!

Deer fence, 8 feet high

Deer fence, 8 feet high

Another busy week is coming up with several projects on the schedule. We will put in a new water line for our fall area, lay new black plastic mulch rows where pumpkins and squashes will be planted, and work will begin on the deer fence for the summer area!

This week we are offering fresh, homemade cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns or dinner rolls to our Wednesday members for purchase. Members should look for details in their weekly CSA email.

Expected harvest this week:

Full Share: Tomatoes (double portion), Melon, Pears, Sunflower sprouts, Potatoes, Cucumber, Eggplant, Okra, Shallots, Rosemary, Sweet potato leaves (double portion), Black eyed peas or pea shoots

Half Share: Tomatoes, Melon or Pears, Sunflower sprouts, Eggplant, Okra, Squash, Shallots, Rosemary, Basil, Sweet potato leaves (double portion)

Summer CSA Week 6 Share

Summer CSA Week 6 Share

Recipe

Here’s a recipe from some farming friends of ours that uses a lot of tasty, summer veggies.

Greek Caponata

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. Butter
1 onion (or a few shallots)
3-4 small potatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini (or yellow squash)
2 small eggplant
2 tomatoes (or a couple handfuls cherry tomatoes)
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 handful fresh basil, loosely chopped
1/2 t. Dried oregano
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
Peel and chop onion and potatoes. Slice eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes into about 1/4 inch pieces. In a heavy skillet, add olive oil and butter until melted. Add potatoes, onions and garlic. Cook until lightly browned and tender. Add zucchini, eggplant, and fresh tomatoes and cook until veggies are tender. Add diced tomatoes, basil and seasonings and simmer for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve over pasta and garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan.

We hope you enjoy this meal and this week’s produce, beef, and eggs!

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Austin Summer CSA Week 5

Work this week continues on the deer fence and fall garden preparation.  We’re also harvesting pears.  These are excellent, peeled, for fresh eating or making into pear sauce, cakes or other tasty treats!  We also returned to our previous method for growing sunflower sprouts and they are looking better this week.  The heat may be affecting them some but it looks like they’ll be ready for shares this week.

Here’s our expected harvest for week 5 of the Summer season CSA:

Full Share: Tomatoes (double portion), Melon, Sunflower sprouts, Potatoes, Okra,  Sweet potato leaves, Eggplant, Squash, Pears, Basil, Garlic, Black eyed peas or extra sweet potato leaves

Half Share: Tomatoes (double portion), Sunflower sprouts, Sweet potato leaves,  Cucumbers, Pears, Basil, Garlic, Black eyed peas

Blessing Falls Summer CSA Week 5, Full Share

Blessing Falls Summer CSA Week 5, Full Share

Recipe

Here’s a good meal with the tomatoes and okra in this week’s shares

Jambalaya

1/2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 lb. smoked ham, diced
1/2 lb. cooked shrimp
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. matchstick carrots
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms or sm. can mushroom steak sauce
2 cans vegetable broth
2 cans chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
2 c. fresh or frozen sliced okra
1/2 t. worcestershire
1/2 t. garlic powder

Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Saute onions and carrots until they begin to soften. Brown sausage and ham. Add mushrooms and saute until soft. Add broth, tomatoes, okra, worcestershire, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp and heat through. Serve over rice.

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Austin Summer CSA Week 4

This is a busy week on our farm. After suffering lots of damage from deer this year we have purchased a deer fence that we’ll be working to set up around our two garden areas. We’re very excited to get started on this project and look forward to having safety from deer and rabbits for our fall season. We planted our fall tomatoes and eggplant last week and they’re looking great! Our fall cucumbers, melons, sweet potatoes, squashes, peppers, okra and popcorn are also growing well. We have much more planting ahead of us in the next few weeks and look forward to a great fall season. Contact us to sign up for home delivery of farm fresh produce and eggs throughout our 12 week fall season.

This week’s expected harvest:

Full share: Sunflower sprouts*, Potatoes (double portion), Shallots, Garlic, Cucumber, Black eyed peas or sweet potato leaves, Cherry tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes (ripe and green), Okra (double portion), Basil, Lemon grass,

Half share: Sunflower sprouts*, Potatoes, Shallots, Squash, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Okra, Basil, Lemon grass

*Sprouts were unavailable due to poor growth after we adjusted our growing method. We’re returning to the old method for next week and adding more potatoes and okra to round out the shares this week.

This week full shares will receive heirloom tomatoes grown by Skinny Lane Farm and Yukon Gold potatoes grown by Taylor Farm. You may also receive sweet potato leaves! They are a great summer substitute for spinach and greens.

SummerWeek4

Recipe

Here’s a great summer salad we made a couple weeks ago. Another way to enjoy your cherry or Sun Gold tomatoes and basil.

Marinated Mozzarella, Cherry Tomato, and Basil Salad

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1 pound ciliegine mozzarella (cherry-size mozzarella “pearls”)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (regular, white, or golden – we used white)

Directions
Combine the oil and basil in a bowl. Add the mozzarella and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Add tomatoes and vinegar to the mozzarella and toss to combine. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired, and serve immediately (original link at Serious Eats)

Here’s another recipe that looks amazing, if you love Italian food. We have not tried this but a relative (of Italian descent!) recommended it. Great way to use your eggs, tomatoes, garlic, and shallots. This makes a big pot full, but you can scale it down as needed.

Italian “Eggs in Purgatory”

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Austin Summer CSA Week 3

Spring 2015 Honey Harvest

Spring 2015 Honey Harvest

This was our first year to grow corn. We grew an heirloom sweet corn variety called Stowell’s Evergreen. It’s completely non-GMO and never had pesticides of any sort sprayed on it. We hope you can taste the difference from store bought corn!

We have a special treat in our Full shares this week – Honey!  From our own hives, this honey was harvested just a couple weeks ago.  The bees that pollinate our gardens also make delicious honey.

Preparation for our fall garden is well underway. We are busy ordering fertilizers, seeds and transplants as well as rooting some of our own tomatoes, planting pumpkins and popcorn, mulching our sweet potato patch, and much more!

Expected harvest for this week:

Full Share: Honey, Squash, Corn, Sunflower sprouts, Potatoes (double portion), Eggplant, Peppers, Okra or black eyed peas, Tomatoes, Melon, Basil, Garlic, Thyme

Half Share: Sunflower sprouts, Cucumber, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic, Thyme, Eggplant

SummerWeek3

Blessing Falls Summer CSA Week 3 Full Share

Have you been putting off cooking your eggplant because you’re not sure what to do with it? Well, we have the perfect recipe for you! It uses plenty of eggplant and will please even the youngest people at your dinner table – eggplant cake.  If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, another great idea for eggplant is just mixing it in with a pot of spaghetti and meat sauce. No one will even notice it’s there.

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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

Summer CSA Week 2 Full Share

Summer CSA Week 2 Full Share

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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