Wednesday, December 16, 2015

if you love Kale you will love our tender Turnip Greens

TURNIPS GREENS SO GOOD....not a touch of bitterness in ours!
I hope this winter will be the year of the tender turnip green. Just as folks have rediscovered how delicious kales can be, I am predicting that turnip greens are about to have their turn at a taste bud turn over! As much as we love kales and collards, chard and spinach, they just don't always love to grow on our central Florida farm. The last three years of poor yields for kales and collards especially  lead us to bring back turnips greens this fall. We were surprised and delighted to see the second seeding take off with  tender tops now waving happily above the tiny developing tubers. The conventional method of growing the classic purple top turnip is mainly seeking to harvest the root. While we do hope to get some turnip roots, we have been thinning our plants each week and have found that the young greens are every bit as good as any other baby greens.

FOR THE BEST TURNIP GREENS EVER Simply trim off the undeveloped root, wash and roughly chop the greens with their stems and drop them in a large pot of boiling water. Boil your greens UNCOVERED for 10 minutes (no strong odors!). Drain the greens when tender and set aside. Plump a handful of GOLDEN raisins in a bit of warm water. Pour off extra liquid. In a good sized frying pan saute some sliced onion in several tablespoons of olive oil until tender and slightly carmelized. Toss the greens with onions in the pan. Add raisins, salt and pepper to taste and a little fresh grated nutmeg. That's it. Prepare for turnip green heaven!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Delicious fried SQUASH BLOSSOMS



Our BUNCHES of squash BLOSSOMS have been getting a lot of attention at our Farmers Market table. They are a seasonal specialty item that we bring to Market for a short time that starts just before the fruits begin forming on our winter squash crops. We usually grow our winter squashes in the end of summer so they are ready around Thanksgiving and through the winter. And that means that RIGHT NOW we have an abundance of those lovely large, edible flowers! If you have never tried cooking them you really should! You need nothing more than a bottle beer or a little club soda and flour plus oil for frying. I made some yesterday for my family!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stetson Farmers Market and Artisan Alley Farmers Market

 The dates for the Stetson Farmers Market this fall are as follows:  September 20, October 18 and November 15. The market hours are 10 am-2pm and the markets are held near the Commons building in the heart of the Stetson campus in downtown Deland We have participated in this market since it was begun! We also have a regular weekly space at the Artisan Alley Farmers Market which is held every Friday evening 6-9pm in Artisan Alley which runs between New York Ave and Georgia Ave in downtown Deland.

Beauty Berry Syrup Made and Sold Seasonally at our FARMERS MARKET

 A few years ago, we began making beauty berry syrup on our farm to give away at Christmas which led to making many more small batches which we are allowed to sell as a cottage food.   When we sample it at our farmers markets, folks are intrigued by its sweet and pleasant flavor! Of course everyone wants to try it when they see the real plant with berries next to it because so many of us have thought it couldn't be edible! You will never want to eat your French toast with anything else!




Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August is   almost over promising to end the   sweltering summer heat that restricts growing  greens and many of our favorite vegetables in Central Florida. There may not be much in the way of veggies at our farmers market table but I am getting out in our fields as much as I can every day to prepare my beds. I have learned how quickly the soil can dry out in September and then scorched sands  can lead to dune like seeding conditions (most unfavorable!) I have tried to rototil only when necessary and have quite a few beds covered with Sudan grass crops which can be pulled up  fairly easily and used for compost building  leaving behind a manageable bed for tiny seeds. The Sudan grass shades the soil and retains moisture while out competing some of the summer weeds I would rather not have to tangle with!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Little Cold Protection Goes a Long Way

It's not even December yet but today we will be pulling row covers over many of our veggie beds to keep the greens from getting damaged as we expect temps to be at freezing tomorrow morning.  Yes we do get frosts in Central Florida especially inland most winters although most often in January and February.  We hate to lose a week of harvesting greens or anything for that matter!  We have found that using light weight row covers over our peas, letttuces and even kales makes a difference and prevents most of the leaf damage we would find by not doing anything.  When we see a forecast with temps 36 f or lower, on go the covers!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Getting ready for the Volusia County Farm Tour

It's a busy week as we prepare to welcome the public for a brief visit 11:45-12:30 on Friday Nov  21,  as part of  the 2014  Volusia County Farm Tour.  This will be our third time participating and we are excited about this opportunity to give those who come a glimpse of our small farm lifesyle and how we operate our mini farm.  We are getting ready for a big crowd, setting up things we think our visitors might be interested in. For those who wish to buy our farm fresh veggies on site, we will have a tent with tables of  our seasonal specialty veggies (whatever is plentiful and ready for harvest) on sale.  This year we will also have jars of our very popular Beauty berry syrup a new cottage food that we began to make in our farm kitchen  this summer.  We enjoy sampling it out at our farmers markets. So many people recognize  the branches with their vibrant purple berry clusters that we display next to the jars of syrup and but are surprised to find out about their culinary uses!  And who knows there may be some seasonal sweet treats to be had as well.  My Mom who is from Germany keeps insisting we should bake some real German Gingerbread hearts, big ones!  I am sure I won't be able to resist!