From Milk to Moz

Our very first week of CSA’s!!!!    I have been busy brewing up ways to bring lots of fun to your table this spring, summer and fall.   We’ll start by showing you what I have been teaching our farm Apprentices this week.

 

Guys Milking

 

The guys milking in the morning:)   Azalea and Danielle are both really good girls on the stand:)

 

Cheese curds

These are cheese curds that are ready to be formed and stretched for mozzarella.   If you didn’t know, Mozzarella can be one of the more tricky cheeses to make.   It can also be kind of messy and here is why-

Stretching the curds

While stretching the cheese curds, more whey and some cream is released.   This is what gives Mozzarella cheese its wonderful melting properties.

 

We have a great line up for this week, and we are going to do things a little different than in years past.   We will pack items that are not for sale, member only items that are exclusively for CSA members.   This week you will see some greek yogurt, fresh mozzarella, feta, ricotta or paneer.   If you have a preference, email me and I will make sure you get what you ask for.

 

What else will we get?

Lettuce- I have BEAUTIFUL full head lettuce ready for you to enjoy all week!  Red leaf and green leaf will take the stage this week.

Scallions to dress up your lovely salad!

Edible flowers- go on top of the salad, Nasturtium are slightly spicy and violas are delicate and mild.

I hope you all like us on facebook and follow this blog, because this is how I will communicate with you all and as promised you will get your very first bar of goat’s milk soap in this week’s goodies too!

You will get to choose 2 items from the market table as well.   That is what’ we are doing new this year.   That way you can customize your CSA to reflect your family preference.   As the season progresses, you will have more to choose from.   Yay for you all!

 

The early birds will get best picks, so I encourage you to get to market in time to get what you want.   For those that will not be picking up at market, I will do my very best to go by the surveys that you all submitted when you signed up.   I will make sure you get your favorites and we’ll try to keep the stuff that you don’t like out.

 

See you soon!

Dawn

 

Here’s an early season recipe that I love to make this time of year!

Savory Asparagus Cobbler

  • 3 slices of bacon (optional)
  • 3 leeks, white & light green parts only, sliced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 lb. asparagus, washed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 c. white wine (or chicken or veggie stock)
  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 T. butter

For the biscuits: (adapted from The Joy of Cooking)

  • 1 3/4 c. sifted flour
  • 3 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 c. milk

Make up your biscuits first. To a large bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until well combined. Using a pastry blender, two forks or two knives, cut in the cold butter until you have small, pea-sized (or smaller) bits of butter covered in flour. Do not let the butter melt, so work quickly. Make a well in the center and add the milk all at once; stir dry ingredients into the milk until you have a sticky, wet dough that is starting to ball up. Pause here while you make the vegetable base.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large, ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until it is crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon to a plate and remove all but 2 T. of bacon grease from the pan. If you don’t have 2 T., add olive oil or butter to make up the difference. If you’re not using bacon, start with 2 T. olive oil or butter.

Add the leeks to the pan and cook for 2-3 mins. over medium heat; add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 2-3 mins. Add the thyme to the pan and stir, then add the asparagus and cook for about 5 mins. The asparagus should be crisp-tender, not cooked through. Add the wine, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release any good, brown, flavorful bits and allow the alcohol to cook off for about 2 mins.

While the vegetables cook, stir the cornstarch into 1/4 c. of the cold milk until you have a smooth slurry. Whisk in the rest of the milk. After the wine has reduced a bit, add the milk mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. As soon as the sauce starts to bubble, remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt & pepper and add the cooked bacon back in, if using. Dot the top of the vegetables with generous scoops of biscuit dough, 5-6 around the edge and 1 in the middle, with room between them if possible (this allows them to cook a little faster); dot the top of each biscuit with butter. Carefully transfer the pan, uncovered, into your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 mins. The sauce will continue to thicken and the biscuits will brown; the cobbler is done when the biscuits are cooked through, though they will be slightly wet or doughy on the bottom because of the sauce. Serve the cobbler immediately.

Oh my heavens… too cute… baby piglets!

These little pigs are too cute for words!

 

Meet the newest team members!   These little guys will be turning our compost this summer.
Meet the newest team members! These little guys will be turning our compost this summer.

 

I have so much to tell you again about what’s been going on at the farm this spring!   First, we got our piglets for our compost program this season.   We also built another cold frame and planted it with early tomatoes, French Breakfast Radishes, and Beets.IMG_3597

Broccoli and cauliflower under row covers
Broccoli and cauliflower under row covers

 

We have begun planting our early cold season crops and will continue to plant and work the soil as weather permits.

 

Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem Artichokes

 

We harvested all of our Jerusalem artichokes, aka sunchokes this week, and will provide them for our CSA members and Market.   Cooked sunchokes are best when eaten within 2 days. When raw, they store well in your fridge’s vegetable bin, wrapped loosely in a paper towel.

Roasted Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts and Sunchoke

 

1 head Cauliflower

1 pint of brussel sprouts

2-3 sunchokes

3 T olive oil

1 t sea salt

1/4 cup chives

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables, coat with olive oil and season generously with salt.

Spread the vegetables on a sheet tray in an even layer, don’t pile them up. The vegetables don’t need to be spread out but they need to be pretty much in a single even layer. If this is not the case, use 2 trays.

Put the vegetables in the preheated oven. 15 minutes into the cooking process, stir the vegetables so they have the chance to brown all over, and rotate the tray to insure even cooking. Repeat this process after another 15 minutes. Roast the vegetables for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are roasty brown and should smell almost like popcorn!. Check for doneness. This means taste some! If they aren’t very roasty brown, let them go for another few minutes until they are. Season with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with chives and serve immediately.

I have been making lots of Feta Cheese and our hens are producing lots of eggs this week too…

Straight from the farm, no color added!
Straight from the farm, no color added!

 

 

Yes, We Have Even More Baby Goats (And Tomatoes)!

Greetings, friends!!

Would you believe that there are MORE brand new baby goats on the farm? We still have a few more pregnant does, so with that comes the babies! Want to name one? The next few people to sign up and submit a deposit for a year’s CSA will get to name one of our newest kids! (CSA details can be found under the “CSA” tab at the top of the screen.)

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Aren’t they precious?

Speaking of CSAs, we have a few things to share with you….

First, we have received a few questions regarding the volunteer hour requirement that has been added to the purchase of CSAs for the 2014 growing season. This year, we will be having a increased amount of what we like to refer to as “indulgences”–items such as meats, cheeses, vegan products like tofu and “soysage” (made from our own organically grown, non-GMO soybeans), and breads and other items processed and made from grains that are grown here organically from heritage seed that we sourced last year. These are only a few of the “extra” items you might see from us, in addition to the traditional fruits and veggies that you would normally expect. Due to the increased workload that results from the addition of these products, we need help from our CSA members. A half-share requires 5 hours of volunteer time, a regular share requires 10 hours, and a full share requires 15 hours of volunteer work.

Some of you will not be making it to the farm because of distance, work or other related reasons. If you have any recipes you can share, that counts.  Perhaps you could provide some website help, or help in writing reviews.  We are not looking for all 5 star ratings (though we try–ha!). We would just like to give others an opportunity to make informed decisions about whether our farm’s CSA is right for them.
We are having an advisory committee meeting on March 11 @ 5:00 pm.   This is a CSA member board that we are counting on to help guide us to meet the needs of our members better.   We already had our 1st meeting in January, and there is room for more members to join, and that would count as volunteer time, too. (Open to previous CSA members only.)
We do have very light duty, pleasant work to be done here for those who would prefer not to be pulling weeds all day, but still would like to come to the farm.   This would include transplanting delicate seedlings into larger growing containers, helping at the farmer’s market, posting pictures to our Facebook page, whatever floats your boat.   The greenhouse work is already going on, so if you have cabin fever, this is a nice atmosphere to shake it off. 🙂  Keep in mind, this is supposed to be fun, not a drag, so think positive about it, and if you have any apprehension at all about volunteering, let us know, and we’ll see how we can tweak the duties to fit your needs.
For those of you who would like to get into shape for the summer, we have our very own Goodness Grows workout that will trim you down in no time!
The volunteer hours will be counted per person, so if you are a couple, that would be 2 hours for 1.   A family of four would equal 4 hours for every 1 (4 people working 1 hours would make 4 man-hours of work completed), so the time commitment isn’t all that bad, either.
For those who are Winter CSA members, we have the usual market style offerings, PLUS, we will be harvesting some tomatoes and might even have some eggs. Quantities are limited–so consider coming to pick up your items on the farm early to ensure availability! (We will still do deliveries, but we can’t promise what will be available when.)
Yummy tomatoes in a steamy greenhouse….
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We have a Maple Tree Tapping class on February 22nd at 10:00am. Making Maple Syrup will follow at 10:00am on March 1st. Details are still forthcoming, and the classes ARE weather dependent, so feel free to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on class status, additional information on cost, etc.
Want to know what to do with leftover bread from your Winter CSA that is getting a bit stale? Included is a recipe for Best Bread Pudding  with Whiskey Sauce from Better Hens and Gardens. (Recipe can be found by clicking here.) Blog owner Lesa, from the Homestead Bloggers Network, includes the note in the recipe that it is good even without the whiskey sauce/bourbon, if you choose to omit it.
Have a pleasant week! Stay warm! 🙂

Soapmaking Class and Tofu–The Latest Happenings at Goodness Grows

Hi, friends!

We had a successful Soapmaking class at the farm on January 4th. Nine participants joined us, and some even traveled over two hours to attend. We appreciate everyone who made time during their busy day to join us for a morning on the farm. We love sharing what we do and love with all of you! If you are interested in attending some classes at Goodness Grows, we have Canning/Preserving on January 11th, Herbal Remedies/Teas on January 18th, and Breadmaking on January 25th. All of these classes will be held at 10:00am on the farm on their respective dates. We will even have two classes on Tapping Maple Trees and Making Maple Syrup (both weather dependent) in the coming weeks. Check out this blog and our Facebook page for more information!

Here are a few pictures from our Soapmaking class! Participants were able to help mix, scent, and pour their own goat’s milk soap to take home. Plus, while the soaps set, they were able to take a tour of the farm and learn how and why we do what we do.

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Also, in this week’s Winter CSA bags, members will be receiving homemade bread, black raspberry water kefir, and……tofu! This is tofu made from soybeans that we grew organically with non-GMO seed, and we are so excited to offer this to our Winter CSA members this week!

Check out this link at Whole Living for healthy recipes that use tofu as an ingredient. There are 26 recipes included, and there seems to be something for everyone:

26 Healthy Tofu Recipes at Whole Living

Have a great week, everyone!

Squash Blossoms and Goat’s Milk Soap–A Few of the Items to Expect in Your CSA Bags This Week

This week, we will have some great items for our Winter CSA shareholders for December!

We have…

-Black raspberry water kefir: This has been made from black raspberries that we harvested last summer, and we canned the juice just for this very purpose. I’m including a link with more information about water kefir and recipes for water kefir “soda.”

-Baby squash and squash blossoms: The blossoms are just big enough to stuff with cheese or seafood (as examples), and the baby squash will make a vibrant addition to stir-fries, etc. If you’ve never worked with squash blossoms before, check out the provided link for five ways to use/eat them. You won’t be disappointed!

(Some of last year’s blossoms.)

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-1 hearth loaf of our homemade rye bread: We use rye that we harvested ourselves. This bread is wonderfully chewy and isn’t overly strong in taste. Many who have tried it have commented that, if they normally do not prefer rye bread, that they like ours because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavor.

-1 bar of our luxurious goat’s milk soaps: Your skin will feel so good after using our hand-crafted soap! 

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Happy holidays to all of our customers, followers, fans, friends, and family!

 

Pumpkin Bisque and Some Holiday Cheer: This Week’s Winter CSA Goodies

Hello, everyone! Here is what you can expect in your Winter CSA bags this week:

-a 10 inch handmade holiday wreath (the ones pictured are a bit bigger than what you will receive, but you will be able to have an idea of what they might look like)

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-a homemade baguette, made with our own grains and flour

Bread- Baguette

-and a pint of frozen organic pumpkin (some of our pumpkins, pre-freezing, of course)

New England Pie Pumpkins and Acorn Squash

So, you will have a wreath for some holiday cheer, and now all you need is a good meal for a Winter’s day. If you ask me, pairing the baguette with some homemade pumpkin bisque sounds absolutely divine, so we’re including a recipe for Spicy Pumpkin Bisque (from Parade Magazine). You can use our thawed pumpkin in place of the canned pumpkin in the recipe.

(Before I leave you with the recipe, a reminder–The week of Christmas, we will have farm pick up on Tuesday, Christmas Eve, rather than Wednesday.   Bags will be ready by noon on Christmas Eve.   Cumberland pick up will remain on Friday. Also, we are still selling gift certificates for our Winter CSA shares–you can purchase a month for $50.00, or a half month (two weeks) for $25.00. Give the gift of healthy, local, organic produce this year!)

On to the recipe…….

SPICY PUMPKIN BISQUE

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • ½ (15-oz) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 tsp canned adobo or hot sauce
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS

  1. Warm olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 12 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and heat through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add pure pumpkin, adobo or hot sauce, and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer; cook 5 minutes. Working in batches, transfer to a blender and puree.

Serves 4. Per serving: 170 calories, 23g carbs, 3g protein, 8g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 810mg sodium,5g fiber