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Posts tagged ‘farm’

Turkey for You, Turkey for Me…

The holidays are upon us. In fact, it is time to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey at Full Quiver Farm on Saturday morning. We put a deposit on this fresh pastured turkey months ago, so it is exciting to actually see the goods. The pickup day is an event at the farm – with tours of the farm and the opportunity to buy other fresh farm items. It will be my first time visiting this particular farm (our CSA farm is a closer one, only located 5 minutes away from us). It is forecasted to be a beautiful Fall weekend, with many bright leaves still on the trees in Southeastern Virginia, chilly air, and sunshine. That, I think, is the perfect weather for visiting a farm. I’m ready to get on a heavy sweater and boots, and head over!

Benefits of a Pastured Turkey, as opposed to a typical turkey from the grocery store:

– The turkeys are fed naturally on a pasture, producing a low-stress healthy bird that contains higher amounts of Omega 3s, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), and vitamins. All are necessary for a healthy body, and fight against inflammation and cancer. Pasture raised turkeys are also lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

– No antibiotics or hormones are added to the poultry, providing healthier meat that doesn’t mess with one’s hormones, digestive systems, immune system, etc.

– They are supposed to have a richer more flavorful taste (I guess we’ll find out on Thanksgiving – I’ll let you know!)

– They are produced in an environmentally conscious manner, using only manure and compost as fertilizer, not harsh chemicals that get into the land and the water supply. Turkeys aren’t then shipped hundreds or thousands of miles on a diesel truck, thus being even more environmentally friendly.

– They help promote our local agriculture and ecomony

It’s a win-win! We get a healthy, tasty bird and we keep the local farmers in business!

I am THANKFUL for the opportunity to try a different type of bird this Thanksgiving! And if anyone has any suggestions for brining/cooking this turkey, let me know!

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CSA Veggies and Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos with Radish Slaw

Fish Tacos with Radish Slaw using CSA Veggies

I picked up my first week’s worth of veggies at our local CSA…stomping through the farmland was a fun way to do some grocery shopping. There were many greens to be had, including turnip greens, red salad bowl, romaine lettuce, kale, tatsoi, and mizuna. I thought to myself that next time, I should bring a pen and sticky labels so I’d remember which was which, as I am not a ‘greens’ expert. We also had our pick of zucchini, squash, and radishes.

So, what are we doing with all of these fresh veggies? Well, the first night, we made the obvious choice of a big salad, including some greens, lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs (also fresh from the farm), onions, etc…

The second night, we decided on fish tacos. Fish was not part of the CSA (although this farm IS on the waterfront). However, we already had some frozen white fish and we incorporated other items from our fridge, as well as the CSA radishes and greens. This made an easy weekday meal:

Recipe for Fish Tacos with Radish Slaw

  • Cooked Fish Filets (a white fish is recommended), cut into sections
  • Tortilla wraps (ours were whole grain)
  • Trader Joe’s Chimichurri (a tasty shortcut for a weekday meal)
  • Salsa
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Other possible options: avocados, lime juice, peppers
  • Greens (we used the Radish greens, to make use of the whole vegetable!)
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper

        Radish Slaw:

  • Radishes (we used 5), cut in thin slices, then cut into thin strips
  • 2 carrots or 5 baby carrots, cut in thin slices, then cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut in thin slices, then cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • few cilantro leaves
  • vinegar (we used sherry vinegar)
  • dash of fruit juice (I try not to keep white sugar in the pantry, but the juice sweetened the slaw a little bit)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of mayonnaise (we used Kraft Olive Oil Mayo)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the tortillas in the oven.

Prepare the slaw by added the shredded veggies to a bowl. Add a small amount of vinegar, just enough to lightly coat the majority of the veggies. Add the fruit juice and the mayo. Stir everything together and add the salt and pepper. Let sit in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.

Saute the greens with some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. (These were surprisingly delicious!)

Add all of the ingredients to the warmed tortillas, according to taste.

Hayrides and Sunshine at the Farm

Sunday was the Meet and Greet for this year’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members at Batten Bay Farm in Carrollton, VA. This organic growing farm is in a beautiful location on Batten Bay, near the James River. The family has even been named the Farm Family of the Year 2011 by the local Chamber of Commerce.

We were blessed with warm sunshine for this Meet and Greet event. It included sampling some recipes using their farm ingredients, listening to a presentation about how the CSA works, introducing ourselves to the group, and a tour of the farm via hayride (OK, I secretly admit I enjoyed the hayride just as much as the preschoolers did). They have an amazing assortment of vegetable varieties, some of which I’ve never even heard of (and I consider myself a reasonably educated foodie about such things). It seemed like a fun group – this sort of thing seems to attract many like-minded people and families.

June 1st is the first day for pickup. I wonder what is in store for us!

Local Organic Veggies

We put down our payment for our 2011 share in local Batten Bay Farm. This is what they call Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), where locals can purchase a partial or full share in the vegetables that get produced each year. Every week from June through November, we get to pick up a selection of produce that’s ready for that week. I’m excited about this…it’s supporting our local economy and will encourage healthy organic eating throughout the year (will certainly help with my cholesterol-lowering diet and that will make my doctor happy!). We receive our first veggies in the beginning of June and I plan on taking pictures of our selections as well as providing you all with some healthy recipe ideas.

If any of you have this opportunity, try seeking out any local farms to see  if they offer this…it’s a win-win for you, the locals and the farmers!

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