Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 10

Our harvest for week 10: Carrots, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Okra, Beans, Cucumbers, Beet Greens, Onions, Squash, Italian Eggplant, Basil, Peppers

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 10 Farm Share

Blessing Falls Farm Spring/Summer, Week 10 Farm Share

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 9

At this halfway point of our 16 week Spring/Summer season, many summer varieties are just about ready.  Some of week’s shares will see the season’s first eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, and okra.  Tomatoes are more abundant this week with enough for all shares. Carrots, onions, and beans remain strong.

Here’s what to expect in shares this week: (may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Eggplant or peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Cucumbers or Squash, Carrots, Chard

Full Share: Eggplant, Peppers, Tomatoes, Onions, Beans, Basil, Cucumbers or Squash, Carrots, Chard, Cabbage, Dill, Okra or beet greens

Recipe

Here’s a tasty recipe we invented this week that’s perfect for this transition from spring to summer veggies!

Summer Turkey Pasta
Ingredients
16 oz. Penne Pasta
4 slices bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 summer squash, sliced (optional)
1 lb. ground turkey
1 TBSP. Minced garlic
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup cream (more if necessary)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/8 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon and onions together on medium heat about 5 minutes. Add sliced squash and cook until soft. Remove from heat and set aside in another bowl.
3. Brown turkey in skillet. Add cream, garlic, tomatoes and chard and simmer until cream is bubbly. Add Parmesan and basil and mix thoroughly.
4. Pour onion and turkey mixtures over cooked pasta. Stir well, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, shredded Parmesan or red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 8

We’re starting the turn from spring to summer this week, with tomatoes making their first appearance in some shares.  Most of the blackberries have been harvested but we’ll have enough again this week for the full size shares.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 8 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Onions, Beans, Chard, Carrots, Rosemary, Basil, Edible flowers

Full Share: Onions, Beans, Chard, Carrots, Rosemary, Basil, Edible flowers, Dandelion greens, Tomatoes or squash, Beet greens, Cabbage, Blackberries

Recipe

Rosemary Green Beans

Ingredients
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 green onions, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

How to Make It
Sprinkle green beans evenly with 1/4 tsp. salt, and place in a steamer basket over boiling water; cover and steam 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge green beans into ice water to stop the cooking process, and drain.
Sauté green onions and rosemary in hot oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Add green beans, pecans, lemon rind, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, stirring until thoroughly heated. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately.

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 7

This week the bean harvest is hitting full stride as the blackberry harvest begins to wane. We’re also posting a soup recipe one of our members prepared last week.  We welcome your recipe ideas.  If you have a favorite or try a new one that uses several of the varieties in a weekly share, please send it to us so we can share with all farm share members.

This week we begin delivering pasture-raised whole chicken with our weekly shares. These are raised with great care by our friends at Humble Rooster Farm on non-GMO, soy-free feed.  When you sign up for our weekly produce shares, just add the chicken along with your choice of eggs and/or grass fed beef and have it all conveniently delivered right to your front door.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 7 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Beans (double portion), Basil, 2 Onions, Chard, Carrots (double portion), Beets

Full Share: Blackberries, Lettuce, Basil, Beans (double portion), Carrots (double portion), Beets, 2 Onions, Chard, Fennel or amaranth leaves, Squash or Italian Dandelion Greens, Dill, edible flowers

Blessing Falls Week 7 Spring/Summer Full Share: Yellow and purple beans, basil, edible flowers (cosmos), blackberries, chard, red onion, yellow onion, lettuce, beets, dill, dandelion greens (or squash), carrots, fennel

Blessing Falls Week 7 Spring/Summer Full Share: Yellow and purple beans, basil, edible flowers (cosmos), blackberries, chard, red onion, yellow onion, lettuce, beets, dill, dandelion greens (or squash), carrots, fennel

Recipe Ideas

If you enjoy preserving vegetables, this would be a great week to store up some beans and carrots! Try freezing, canning or pickling this week!

Here’s the recipe one of our members prepared last week – many of the ingredients are in this week’s shares too: Creamy Fennel and Greens Soup

You can also try out this tasty recipe with your carrots and beans!
Ginger, Carrot and Sesame Green Beans

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 6

Blessing Falls - Weekly Flower Share for Spring/Summer

Blessing Falls – Weekly Flower Share for Spring/Summer

Our flowers are thriving this year!  We have flower shares available if you haven’t signed up yet.  Just let us know and we can get these to you weekly. Here’s a lovely arrangement from last year’s garden to give you an idea of what to expect.

The blackberry harvest continues and again this week we hope to have enough for all CSA member shares.  Some of you will get squash in your shares for the first time this season.  We should have plenty of squash for all in future weeks. And everyone will get beans this week, full and half shares.

We’re excited to begin offering pasture-raised whole chicken with our weekly shares. Our friends at Humble Rooster Farm raise their healthy chicken raised on non-GMO, soy-free feed.  When you sign up for our weekly produce shares, just add the chicken along with your choice of eggs and/or grass fed beef and have it all conveniently delivered right to your front door.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 6 shares:

(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share:  Blackberries, Lettuce, Basil, Beans, Carrots(double portion), Beets, Onion, Chard

Full Share:  Blackberries, Lettuce(double portion), Basil, Beans, Carrots(double portion), Beets, 2 Onions, Chard, Fennel, Dill, Broccoli or Cauliflower, Radishes

Blessing Falls Week 6 Spring/Summer Full Share

Blessing Falls Week 6 Spring/Summer Full Share: Blackberries, radishes, chard, basil, dill, fennel, onions, carrots, beets, broccoli, lettuce, beans

Recipe

We hope you enjoy trying your yellow and purple beans this week! These heirlooms can be cooked just like normal green beans.

Here is a perfect recipe for your baby carrots, baby beets, beet greens, dill and onions!

Baby Beet and Carrot Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 5

It’s peak blackberry season here at Blessing Falls and we should have enough for all CSA members.  These don’t have a long shelf life so we harvest just a day or two before delivery.   Be sure to eat these within a day or two of getting your share – they likely won’t stay fresh all week.

We’re also delivering our first flowers this week!  If you haven’t signed up for flowers, let us know and we can add you at any time.  These are unique, beautiful, garden grown flowers, not just common wildflowers (though they’ve been beautiful this spring too).

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 5 shares:
(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Carrots (double portion), Onion, Dill, Chard, 2 heads of Lettuce, Blackberries, Kale, Fennel

Full Share: Carrots (double portion), Onion, Dill, Chard, 3 heads of Lettuce, Blackberries, Kale, Beans or Fennel, Broccoli or Cauliflower, Radishes, Beet greens, Cabbage

Blessing Falls Week 5 Spring/Summer Full Share: onion, carrots, radishes, chard, beans (or kale), blackberries, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, beet greens, dill

Blessing Falls Week 5 Spring/Summer Full Share: onion, carrots, radishes, chard, beans (or kale), blackberries, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, fennel, beet greens, dill

 

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 4

Field Notes: This week we are trellising tomatoes and prepping new beds for squash, cucumbers, melons and other summer crops. The tomato plants are loaded with flowers and new growth! Full shares will receive bulb fennel this week – this is a unique vegetable used for seasoning dishes, with a sweet licorice flavor! The entire plant can be used.

We’ve scheduled our Spring Farm Tour this week.   Contact us for the schedule and more details if you’d like to come.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 4 shares:
(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Onion, Lettuce mix (double portion), Radishes, Carrots, Head lettuce, Dill, Chard, Kale

Full Share: Onion, Lettuce mix (double portion), Radishes, Carrots (double portion), Head lettuce (double portion), Dill, Chard, Beet greens (double portion), Kale, Broccoli or cauliflower, Fennel, Broccoli greens

2017SpringWeek4

Blessing Falls Spring 2017 Week 4 Full Share: Beet greens, dill, broccoli, head lettuce, kale, lettuce mix, fennel, broccoli greens, radishes, chard, carrots, onion

Recipe

Roasted Carrots with Dill

Ingredients
12 carrots
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley

Directions
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
-If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
-Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste, and serve.

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 3

It’s a rainy Tuesday morning as we wait to harvest this afternoon for tomorrow’s shares. So far we’ve had an hour of heavy rain after a few hours of drizzle off and on.  The forecast looks dry for this afternoon so hopefully we’ve had just enough rain to freshen the harvest nicely, but not enough to keep us out of the garden. This is our third week of the Spring/Summer season and with 13 weeks left, we have shares available if others would like to join us.  Here’s how to sign up.  And remembers to check out our Facebook page or Instagram for regular updates on the farm.

Notes from the field:  This week we are getting our first taste of baby carrots! We are so excited about this year’s crop! We planted more than ever before and had about 100% germination which means we will be harvesting thousands of carrots over the next 6 weeks or longer! We will have primarily orange carrots, but we are also growing purple and yellow varieties. We can’t wait to share the harvest with you!

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 3 shares:
(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Lettuce mix (double portion), Head lettuce, Onions, Beet greens, Radishes, Swiss Chard, Kale, Dill

Full Share: Lettuce mix (double portion), Head lettuce (double portion), Onions, Beet greens, Radishes (double portion), Swiss Chard (double portion), Kale, Dill, Broccoli greens, Broccoli/broccoli flowers, Carrots

Blessing Falls Spring Week 3 Full size Share: Head lettuce, dill, broccoli flowers, chard, radishes, kale, carrots, broccoli greens, beet greens, lettuce mix, onion

Blessing Falls Spring Week 3 Full size Share: Head lettuce, dill, broccoli flowers, chard, radishes, kale, carrots, broccoli greens, beet greens, lettuce mix, onion

Recipe

The full shares may receive broccoli flowers this week. These are beautiful as well as delicious, with a mild broccoli flavor. They are a perfect topping on salad, pizza or pasta!

We love this easy pasta recipe – it’s delicious with kale, chard, beet greens or a combination of all three!

Sausage Penne Pasta with Greens
Ingredients
1 small onion, diced
2 TBSP olive oil
2 links of sausage, sliced
1 TBSP minced garlic
3 cups of greens, chopped
16 oz. Penne Pasta, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions
In a large skillet, cook onion in olive oil until soft. Add sausage and continue to cook on medium heat about 3 minutes. Add garlic and greens, cover and simmer about 5 minutes, adding more oil if necessary. Add cooked pasta and continue to simmer until greens are wilted and pasta is heated through. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese, serve and enjoy!

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 2

The garden is exploding this week! We expect to have our first harvest of carrots, cabbage and more within the next 2 weeks and our tomatoes are already beginning to flower! Unfortunately, with the warm weather and rain come lots of weeds and pests and we are working hard to keep up with them!  You can stay more connected to the farm through our Facebook page or Instagram and see all of our updates with photos of the veggies, flowers and animals!

Shares are available and we can start delivery next week, with 14 weeks left in our spring/summer season.  Here’s how to sign up.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 2 shares:
(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Leaf lettuce (double portion), Broccoli greens, Green onions, Swiss Chard (double portion),  Radishes (double portion), Kale or beet greens, Dill

Full Share: Leaf lettuce (triple portion), Broccoli greens (double portion), Green onions, Swiss Chard (double portion),  Radishes (double portion), Kale, Broccoli, Beet greens (double portion), Dill, Head lettuce

Blessing Falls Spring Week 2 Full size Share - Broccoli greens, kale, dill, radishes, lettuce mix, head lettuce, broccoli, beet greens, Swiss chard, green onions

Blessing Falls Spring Week 2 Full size Share – Broccoli greens, kale, dill, radishes, lettuce mix, head lettuce, broccoli, beet greens, Swiss chard, green onions

Recipe

Try this delicious and simple recipe with your broccoli leaves this week!

Pasta With Broccoli Leaves

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chopped red or yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 serrano pepper, minced (seeded if desired)
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt
Pinch of sugar
½ pound (about 5 cups, tightly packed) stemmed and coarsely chopped broccoli leaves, Chinese broccoli leaves or collards
Black pepper
¾ pound farfalle or other pasta
½ cup ricotta
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

PREPARATION
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes or serrano. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute, and add tomatoes and thyme. Add salt to taste and a pinch of sugar. Cook tomatoes over medium heat, stirring often, until they have cooked down to a fragrant purée, about 10 minutes.
Add chopped broccoli leaves or collards, which should still have some water on them from washing. Add salt to taste. Stir greens and tomatoes until greens have collapsed, then turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes. Add pepper, taste and adjust seasoning.
Meanwhile, when pasta water comes to a boil, salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, usually 10 to 11 minutes. Have ricotta in a small bowl near pasta pot.
Stir 1/4 cup pasta water into ricotta and stir mixture into vegetables. Reserve about 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and toss with vegetable and ricotta mixture; add reserved water if desired. Add parsley, toss again and serve.

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Austin 2017 Spring Farm Share/CSA – Week 1

We’re excited to begin another year of sharing the farm harvest with our members! Thanks so much to all who have rejoined us again and for all the new members.  Work on this week’s harvest began in December with ordering seeds and supplies, then into January with starting seeds in the greenhouse followed by weeks of preparing the soil and planting.   Thanks to all our members for your early membership payments that help offset the many pre-harvest costs.  We hope you enjoy the season!

We have shares available so please tell your friends, family, coworkers and we can start delivery next week, with 15 weeks left in our spring/summer season.  Here’s how to sign up.

Here’s what’s expected in our Spring week 1 shares:
(Shares may vary slightly depending on field/garden conditions)

Half Share: Lettuce mix (double portion), Broccoli greens, Green onions, Swiss Chard, Mizuna, Radishes

Full Share: Lettuce mix (double portion), Broccoli greens (double portion), Green onions, Swiss Chard (double portion), Mizuna (double portion), Radishes (double portion), Kale, Beet greens, Asparagus, Sunflower sprouts

Blessing Falls 2017 Farm Share - Spring Week 1. Asparagus, green onions, beet greens, Mizuna, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, sunflower sprouts, broccoli greens, radishes

Blessing Falls 2017 Full Size Farm Share – Spring Week 1. Asparagus, green onions, beet greens, Mizuna, Swiss chard, kale, lettuce, sunflower sprouts, broccoli greens, radishes

Here are a few quick tips for the veggies you may not have cooked with before. Swiss chard is a favorite green of ours. It’s great fresh in a salad or cooked in a pasta dish.  It’s a great substitute for spinach in any dish.  Beet greens are easily sautéed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Sunflower sprouts are extremely versatile and delicious as a topping on salads, pizza, or almost any dish. Mizuna adds texture and flavor to a stir fry. Broccoli greens can be served fresh in a salad or sautéed like spinach.  A delicious green with a similar taste to cabbage or kale.

Recipe

Here’s a great recipe idea for your radishes and Mizuna! You could even add some green onion for more flavor!

Mizuna and Radish Slaw with Roasted Peanuts (source)

You could certainly add herbs or other vegetables to the salad or toss in some cooked grains. It’s just a good, quick, template. The peanut oil is really nice here but if you don’t have it you could substitute a neutral oil and add 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
(Serves 4)

4 radishes, washed, trimmed and cut into match sticks
3-4 cups mizuna, washed, dried and finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped up a bit
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut oil (see headnote)
Juice of 1/2 lime (or use a bit more vinegar if you don’t have a lime)
Salt

Put vegetables and peanuts in a salad bowl. Dress with rice wine vinegar, peanut oil, salt and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.

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2017 Austin Area Farm Share CSA with Home Delivery

Blessing Falls LLC grows natural, safe, healthy vegetables and fruit using organic methods and practices and delivers the harvest throughout the greater Austin area. Our family farm was established in 2010, each year adding more garden space and different varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees, berries, and animals.  Partner with us and enjoy the health and taste of natural produce in your weekly farm share conveniently delivered to your home or workplace. Fresh flowersGrass fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, and pasture-raised eggs from organically fed hens are also available with your weekly order.

“Community Supported Agriculture”, or CSA, means farmers and supporters partnering together for the sake of healthy, nutritious food. Some farms call this a weekly “farm share” or “veggie basket” program.  Supporters join as members, paying the farm expenses early in the season when costs are highest. As the crops mature, all members enjoy sharing in the harvest. This community of farmer and members benefits everyone – costs and risks are shared and none of the harvest is wasted but goes directly to waiting members as soon as it’s harvested. You may think of it as a subscription to fresh, natural food. Costs are paid early and the bounty is enjoyed every week. Click here to join our CSA now or continue reading for all the details.

Season Schedule

Spring/Summer Produce: 16 weeks March 29 – July 14

Spring/Summer Flowers: 12 weeks April 26 – July 14

Fall Produce: 7 weeks October 4 – November 15

Eggs, Beef, and Chicken are available every week

Weekly Shares

Members decide if they want a full share or just a half. The full share works well for 3 to 6 adults/teens, while the half share works best for couples and families with only young children. To give you an idea, here are four full shares from a past CSA …

Two Full Shares from early and late Spring 2016

Two Full Shares from early and late Spring 2016

Two Full Shares from mid Summer 2016

Two Full Shares from mid Summer 2016

For more examples, see our “CSA at a Glance” showing shares from every week of harvest during a previous season.  Note these are all Full size shares, with Half size shares generally having half as much produce each week.

The harvest varies throughout each season. Here’s what we’re planning this year:

Spring: asparagus, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, radish, Chinese cabbage, sunflower sprouts, red and green cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, mizuna, spinach, carrots, cilantro, peas, beets, onions, dill, cucumbers, yellow squash, blackberries, zucchini, green beans, dandelion greens, broccoli raab
Summer: onions, dill, cucumbers, Swiss chard, Malabar spinach, yellow squash, tomatoes, cabbage, zucchini, green beans, cantaloupe, jalapeños, basil, various squash varieties (spaghetti, scallop, acorn), eggplant, watermelon, sweet corn, okra, bell peppers, butternut squash, sunflower sprouts

Delivery/Pickup

We’ll deliver your weekly share to your home or workplace in the north and east greater Austin area – From North Austin to Georgetown; Wells Branch to Elgin; Taylor to Brushy Creek and points between we’ve got you covered.  No need to meet us at a specific time and you do not need to be home. If you won’t be home or don’t want to be interrupted just leave an ice chest and we’ll deliver your produce between 9:00am and 5:00pm on your scheduled day. If you’d prefer to pick up your share, we have a pick-up site in central Round Rock near downtown where you can pick up from 2:30pm until 7pm Wednesdays or Fridays.  Rise Martial Arts in Pflugerville is a pick-up site Wednesdays from 4pm-8pm.  You can also pick up at the farm. Most items you’ll receive will have been harvested within the previous 24 hours. Some are harvested the same morning we deliver so your share is as fresh as possible.

Cost

No price increase – our costs are the same as 2015 and 2016.  Weekly cost for a full share is $36 and a half share is $24. Home/workplace delivery is $4 per week and there’s no charge for picking up at any of the regular sites. You can mail us your check or go online and pay with your PayPal account or any credit card.

Ready to Join Us?

Simply fill out this form and we’ll get right back to you with a confirmation and details on how to make your payment.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Where exactly can you deliver?
Areas include:
Austin – Domain, Wells Branch, Parmer East areas
Round Rock, Georgetown
Pflugerville, Hutto, Coupland, Taylor, Thrall
Manor, Elgin

Our current pick up sites are the farm (located between Thrall and Elgin), Rise Martial Arts in Pflugerville, and downtown Round Rock.  More may be added depending on the locations and schedules of members who join.

Am I guaranteed plenty of produce each week? What if crops fail?
Our goal is to deliver an abundance each week, so that you have plenty and even some left to share with friends and neighbors. However, the harvest can vary according to weather, insect pressure, etc. It could even fail due to a hailstorm or other uncontrollable events. (In 2016 we had a severe thunderstorm with high winds and hail.  We had to delay the harvest a couple weeks to let the garden recover and then we resumed deliveries and extended the season for two weeks so everyone received all the shares they paid for.)  If the harvest is low on a given week, it will usually bounce back the next. A cold front or storms can affect the harvest but it usually comes back strong. If harvest lags significantly, we’ll supplement shares with healthy, safe, natural produce we’ll buy from other local farmers we know and trust. If we were to have a ruinous failure affecting the whole season such that we are unable to continue harvesting, we will credit your undelivered shares toward the next season.

Can I pick and choose what I receive in my weekly share?
Members do not choose specific varieties for their share but will receive an assortment of whatever is ripe for harvest during the week. We’ll make sure you have enough of a particular variety so you can prepare a whole dish with it. We focus on growing the usual, typical, mainstay vegetables and also some that may be unfamiliar. We publish recipe ideas each week and have more ideas from previous seasons. We trust you’ll enjoy the adventure of trying a few new things each season. In the rare event that you receive something you don’t like or can’t use, please share those with friends.

What other farm products are available?
We have farm eggsgrass fed beef and pasture raised chicken that you can add to your weekly produce share. We offer baked goods and honey on some weeks and are planning to raise holiday turkeys to be ready in November. Our members will be notified when these extra items are available. Simply mail your payment, pay online, or leave it with your delivery cooler to cover the cost and we’ll deliver these when we bring your weekly share.

Can I visit the farm?
Certainly! As a valued member and partner you are welcome to come see your produce as it grows, along with the farm cattle, chickens, and turkeys.  During May we’ll have an open farm on a Saturday (date TBD).  You’re welcome on other days too – just contact us first so we can be sure we’re on the farm that day. You can always come pick up your share at the farm Wednesdays at 1pm, even if you are normally receiving deliveries, and have a look around while you’re here.

What if I’m not home to receive my delivery?
20150122_184519_resizedSimply leave an ice chest near your front door or some other designated shady spot. A medium sized 48 quart chest with a couple freezer packs or frozen water bottles will hold a full share, eggs, beef, and chicken and keep it cool all day and possibly even overnight.


If I am out of town for a week, can I skip my delivery or pickup?

Since the produce harvest keeps coming and cannot be stored more than several days, we cannot skip or defer CSA produce shares. We will gladly deliver your share to an alternative address within our delivery area. Your share could be a welcome gift to a local friend or you could have them pay you for it. We can also donate your produce share to a community food pantry.
Since eggs, beef, and chicken are more easily stored and preserved, we can defer delivery of these. For example, if your weekly order includes a full share of produce, 2 dozen eggs, and 2 pounds ground beef then we could deliver the produce to a friend and keep the eggs and beef. When you return the following week you’d get 4 dozen eggs and 4 pounds of ground beef. So you would not lose any eggs or beef you’ve paid for. Of course, you can have us deliver the eggs and beef to your friend – your choice.

How do members and the farm stay in touch?
In addition to the farm website and Facebook page, we’ll email our members weekly reminders. The email will remind you of your day of delivery and give more details on the items in that week’s share. To contact us you can simply reply to these emails or contact us through the website or call the phone number we make available to all our members.

More questions? Just let us know. When you’re ready to join us, simply fill out this form and we’ll get right back to you with a confirmation and details on how to make your payment.

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Pasture Raised Pork Available – Spring 2017

Red Wattle pigs at Blessing Falls Farm

Red Wattle pigs at Blessing Falls Farm

Our heritage breed, pasture raised hogs were born in late 2016 and have been on the farm for about 6 weeks.  We expect them to be ready for processing in late June or early July. 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) 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.

Pigs naturally raised on pasture at Blessing Falls

Pigs naturally raised on pasture at Blessing Falls

We expect these to weigh around 250 pounds at processing. We’ll sell them by the half or whole. A half should give you about 60 pounds of packaged pork in your freezer. You can have it processed any way you like, including cured ham and bacon, pan and link sausage, along with pork chops, ribs, roasts, hocks, lard, etc.  Our price is $4.25 per pound (plus processing costs paid to the butcher), based on hanging weight. A half hog’s estimated hanging weight should be around 75-90 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 hogs yield a higher percentage of packaged pork vs. hanging weight than beef does, typically about 75%. You’ll get even more usable pork from a pig if you can use the feet, lard, head, and organs.

Half Hog from Spring 2017. Hanging Weight was 87 pounds

Packaged Cuts from half hog, Spring 2017, hanging weight 87 pounds

We have a limited amount of pork this year. You can reserve a half with a deposit of $80, or a whole with a $160 deposit. Just contact us and we’ll get back with you regarding the deposit details.

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Getting a Milk Cow

We’re 6 years into the farm experience and our practice has been to not start too many new farm/ranch ventures at once.  We started in 2010 with a small garden, added a few laying hens, then three beef cattle a few months later.  In 2011 we planted our orchard and focused on the beef herd with 3 calves being born that year. 2012 saw our first major garden expansion, with another in 2013.  We started raising turkeys in 2014 and 2015, and finally pigs in 2016.  With this years’ turkeys having been served for Thanksgiving and the pigs (grown to hogs) off to the butcher and safely in freezers (our own and several customers), we are looking toward 2017 and ready for the next project.

One of the most demanding animals to add to a family farm is a dairy cow.  The rewards are great – fresh, healthy milk daily – but the requirements are rigorous as well.  Daily milking, supplemental feeding of hay and dairy ration, a location for milking that will work regardless of weather, susceptibility to illness, plus breeding and calving.  So we waited a good while to take on this adventure, studied it quite a bit and waited for the right cow. This week we finally did it.

milkcowWe now have a 3 year old Jersey cow and her 5 month old calf.  She was already a family milk cow and not your typical commercial dairy cull cow.  She’s been a delight so far and we are learning to milk her and adjust her feeding.  It’s been a big help to have several years of experience with beef cattle.  This dairy cow is much tamer than the beef cattle (though they are really gentle and easy-going) and is almost like a pet.  But we already know how to fence her, read her body language, tell if she hungry/stressed/content, and understand how she relates to her calf.  We’re enjoying about 3 quarts of milk daily, leaving the calf with her for about 6 hours a day to ‘share’ the milk.

We’re thankful to be off to a good start.  Our beef cattle experience has been helpful but these videos help too – especially with the milking and care for the milk.  The book Keeping a Family Cow is a great resource too.   If you’re thinking about getting a milk cow, definitely check out these videos and get the book first.  And visit a farm to see how the cows respond to interaction with the farmer, how they are fenced, fed, etc – even see if you can milk one.   It’s definitely a big commitment so do your homework first and you’ll be much more likely to have a great family experience.




Keeping a Family Cow: The Complete Guide for Home-Scale, Holistic Dairy Producers

Price: $19.93

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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

Blessing Falls Week 10 Fall Farm Share: Cabbage, mizuna, lettuce, broccoli greens, kale, Swiss chard, cilantro

Blessing Falls Week 10 Fall Farm Share: Cabbage, mizuna, lettuce, broccoli greens, kale, Swiss chard, cilantro

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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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