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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Blessings and Challenges
Fresh Sustainable Produce - Grown Locally December 6, 2016
Reflections on a challenging year This is the last week of the CSA for 2016, and the last week always comes with a mixed bag of feelings from relief and anticipation of free time to sadness that relationships will be ended or suspended till the next year. This has been a year of loss: of my Dad, dogs, peaceful, quiet days, and clean air. The long stretch of dry weather means the grading behind us has been going on from dawn to dusk most of the summer and fall, with the noise and dust that goes with that. Smoke from the wildfires compounded the air pollution.
Those challenges are certainly real, and have to be dealt with, but I try to stay focused on all the blessings that have come with 2016. I am relationship oriented, so I count my greatest blessings the support from my farm community, friends and family. They have certainly rallied around us this year to support us through the challenges. My grandson, Lincoln, always lifts my heart, and brings a smile to my face. Our faithful farm workers have carried the load when I was not able. Thank you to all who sent their love and signed up for CSA shares so that we ended in a good place.
The farm was also very productive this year under Jennifer Martinez's attentive eye. Our shares have been at or over the value paid every week of the seasons, quite a feat, so we feel that we have been faithful to our promise to all of you shareholders. We will be taking your feedback into consideration as we plan for next year. We wish you a restful winter and hope to see you back at the farm next spring!
Menu suggestions This week we have given you a large share to finish up the season and last a little longer, since there will be no shares next week, here at the farm. You can purchase CCF veggie combos at Cumming Harvest in the weeks to come.
Peppers- Pepper steak is a favorite at our house. You can freeze or dry the peppers for later use if you have more peppers than you can use now.
Greens - The Senposai Greens are a cross between cabbage and komatusna and look and taste very much like collard greens so you could certainly put them with the collards and cook the same way. These greens are especially good with sausage and make a good soup or as a base layer to serve meat instead of rice or potatoes.
Turnips - Scarlet Queen turnips are good sliced raw in salads or cooked with greens.
Soup - Vegetable soup would be a good option this week. Any or all of your items could be used, depending on your preferences.
Aunt Clara Nell’s Collard Green Soup
½ cup chopped onion 1 tbs olive oil 1 lb. hot sausage, browned 1 lb. collards, cleaned and chopped 2 cans navy beans with liquid 1 cup chicken broth ½ cup chopped green pepper 1 can great northern beans, with liquid garlic powder 3 potatoes, diced 3 tbs vinegar 1 can whole tomatoes 2 cups water Saute onion in oil, then add other ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes until potatoes are done. Tastes great on a cold day!
Cut jalapeno peppers in half. Remove the seeds and membranes with a spoon. Wear gloves if you use your fingers. Stuff each half of the pepper with cream cheese then put the halves together. Wipe away any excess cheese. Wrap each pepper with a 1/3 of a piece of bacon and fasten with a toothpick. Broil until the bacon is crisp. Serve as a hot appetizer! The cream cheese and broiling tame the heat of the peppers to some extent.
Our big project for next year is the Incubator Farm to be established here at Cane Creek Farm. We will be forming a non-profit to cover all the educational offerings and this will be the biggest project. Chuck and I have spent a lot of time researching, visiting and studying on Incubator Farms and feel that it is a good fit for the physical and personal resources we have here at the farm.
Essentially, an Incubator Farm provides experienced, skilled beginning farmers, land, infrastructure and mentoring at an affordable price in order to start a new farm business. The farmers will work on the Incubator Farm for a few years till their business has developed enough to move to their own land. We will also be helping them find affordable land, as they move off the Incubator Farm.
We plan for these Incubator Farmers to grow some of the food for our CSA, providing a ready market for them and lessening our load of growing everything. We are just beginning the process of identifying Incubator Farmers, so if you are part of a group that might include some interested people, please let them know about this opportunity.
Photo above - cows escaped from the back field and are trying out the new play area. Note the one swinging the swing and the other is rubbing against the slide.
This Week's Share
Last Week of Winter season
Please Wash your produce before eating
Medium Lunch box Peppers Other sweet Peppers Jalapeño peppers Senposai Greens(leaf on the right) Collard Greens(leaf on the left) Spicy Salad mix Scarlet Queen turnips Carrots Garlic
Large All of the above, plus Beets Shiitake mushrooms