Poplin Farms

albemarle, nc

Market Stuff for August 29.

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This week, a friend dug my beautiful Meadowbrook cart out of the shipping container where it’s been stored behind a bunch of junk for 5 years. My Maggie that used to pull it had passed away and I’ve been wanting to get it out and select one of these EIGHT horses that I have here doing nothing and figure out how to teach him to ride me around in this cart.

How ’bout THAT one:

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Mind you, I can barely get one in a harness. I literally use a book. SO many straps!! Like THOUSANDS of straps! Only by the generous heart and experience of my sweet girl was I even able to go anywhere in it. Maggie was an Amish work horse before she was mine and she taught me the little I know. Should make for some hilarious “training” sessions.

Maggie May

Sweet Maggie May

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market on Saturday ’til noonish- here’s what I’ll have:

Baby ginger, of the Yellow Hawaiian variety grown from organic seed. Also have Khing Yai ginger growing, but it’s not doing as well as the yellow.

Carola, German Butterball & Rose Finn Apple fingerling potatoes; sweet & red onions; garlic; sweet  bullhorn peppers & sweet orange snacking peppers (delicious stuffed with goat cheese), jalepenos and lots of eggplant; 3 kinds of basil; parsley & sage. Wheat berries.

And our Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed Angus beef – Beef Andouille sausage, sliced pastrami, hot dogs, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat,   cube steak, oso bucco, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes.

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Those are the snacking peppers!

Sooo, wheat berries. Cause for much bewilderment and confusion last Saturday at the market. One extra notable guy tossed a handful in his mouth and started crunching only to exclaim, ” THEY’RE HARD AS ROCKS!!” and gave me the  stink-eye. Dude! I JUST SAID they’re dried grains, similar to rice or beans.

They’re simple to prepare, same as dried beans. Rinse in a strainer;  put them in a pot. Sometimes you might see a small pebble or a seed, obviously you will want to take that out. Cover with water, skim off any chaff or shriveled grains that rise to the top. Cover and soak overnight; then to cook, bring to a boil and simmer 35-55 minutes until they are as firm/chewy/soft as you like. Then they can be used in salads, soups, veggie burgers, etc. They can also be frozen after cooking. Soaking neutralized the phytic acid that grains and beans have. You don’t have to soak them but it’s healthier.

Here’s a link to 10 wheat berry salads, like Cherry, Chicken and Pecan Wheat Berry Salad, or Tuna and Olive Wheat Berry Salad. I will be trying some of those soon! I just put whatever in mine, whatever is leftover from the market usually. A customer told me about one that has peaches, lime juice, parsley and pistachios which sounded amazing so I had that this week.

Or there are these:

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Wheat berries + milk in the blender = whole wheat blender pancakes! So cool!  These turned out perfect. Shane wasn’t here to cook them so they aren’t as pretty as I hoped, for the photo and all. But you can see they’re fluffy and I ate them without any syrup because I love the flavor of the whole wheat.

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You can just tell that man can cook some super fine pancakes.

Here’s a link to the whole wheat berry blender pancakes recipe. Note the instructions say to add all the ingredients except the baking powder. HEED THAT. Last year I did blender cornbread and added the baking powder to the blender. It exploded massively all over the walls, cabinets, counters, floors, me, and I was really sad to have to clean it all up and have no cornbread. I mean by the time you clean all that up, you’re over it. Just go eat some raisins.

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And an eggplant recipe because I’m trying to move all this eggplant!!My very favorite: Szechwan Eggplant (Tyler Florence). Sweet, spicy, garlicky ( I add extra garlic).  You can use your fresh ginger in this! I replace the cornstarch with arrowroot powder because cornstarch is GMO and I use Bragg’s Aminos instead of soy sauce. And I double the sauce.  AND I add a Thai basil garnish because once you’ve had that it’s impossible to do without.

See you tomorrow!

Pizza Night

This is my baby.

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It took 9 months to grow it. I’ve been waiting to make this pizza for 9 months.

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This is my third year growing wheat, and my second attempt at hard red winter wheat.  I’ve also grown spelt and soft red winter wheat. I’m super excited to make bread though, and you need hard wheat to make that. I’ve been waiting to make a REAL bread from my own wheat for 3 years. I already mixed the dough, with freshly milled flour, honey, yeast, salt, water and milk. It’s in the fridge right now!! Maybe I can bake it Sunday morning.

I was so excited to try this wheat. It was such a long wait! I milled the flour, then I opened some wine and spent all of Thursday night making pizzas.

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I made pesto for the base.

I roasted garlic.

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That’s how I roast garlic. Roasted garlic in 6 minutes. I only have one night, not 8 million years.

I caramelized onions, and picked sweet peppers. I grilled andouille and sliced it thin. I had some fresh mozz from Uno Alla Volta.

I baked our pizzas on the stone my mom used when I was little. They were beautiful. It was dark by the time they were finished so my photo turned out greenish;  I’ll have to post a lamb instead:

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with my wheat berries, eggplant, red & sweet onions, 3 kinds of potatoes, garlic, sweet peppers, 3 kinds of basil and our Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed beef.

See you there!

 

 

 

 

Market Stuff for August 15

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market on Saturday from 8am til noonish.

I have: German Butterball, Carola and fingerling potatoes; basil, parsley, peppers, sweet and red onions, garlic.

Our Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed Angus beef – NEW! Beef Andouille sausage, and sliced pastrami is back. Hot dogs, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flat iron.

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Whatever she has in her beak is for her nest full of babies!

I just got a pallet of organic potting mix, in 2.8 cubic foot bags (big bags!) It’s Fafard Organic Mix #30 (now Sungro) and I paid about $14/bag for it if anyone needs some. I use it for starting seeds as well as transplants and potted plants/containers, and to mix with compost in my raised beds. It has a small amount of organic starter fertilizer in it.

This week I went to a 3 day soil workshop with Neil Kinsey put on by Slow Food. He’s the guy that does the soil tests I like, Kinsey Ag. They use the Albrecht method of soil balancing. If you’re having your garden tested for nutrients I really recommend him. Just like with anything else, you get what you pay for.  YIKES the stories he tells. Makes you wonder what we’re coming to.

I was just talking with someone the other day about how our planet is changing, and the way things worked as far as farming 8 or even 5 years ago, it’s not the same.  Neil was basically saying the same thing, the atmosphere is different and plants don’t get the same nutrients from it, and the soils are so  deficient and even fertilizers are different.  He’s emphatic about the importance of keeping soils balanced with ammendments for healthy plants, animals and us.  I was surprised to learn the amount of nutrients each crop removes from the soil. Don’t worry, I’m on it!!

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This turkey family lives around here, one day it was really hot and they were crossing the pasture (they just walk everywhere, which seems strange doesn’t it?) and they stopped to rest in the shade. Seven youngsters!

 

You Shall Not Pass!

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Uh ok.   Gaaah the montrous spiders blocking all the aisles in the tomato hoop house.  Their massive webs are like 12 gauge wire,  I got clotheslined about 4 times this morning.  I read they block UV rays.  It’s been too hot in there anyway so the few surviving tomatoes are split and moldy and the plants have dropped their blossoms so it’s over; besides, the mosquitos are HORRIFIC in there because I don’t empty the rain out of the side curtains, and they swarm me the whole time. #denguefever

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on Saturday and this is what I’ll have:

okra, peppers, onions- red, sweet & cipollini; 3 kinds of basil, parsley, cherry tomatoes, potatoes- Rose Finn Apple fingerlings, German Butterball & Carola; garlic.

Our Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed Angus beef – hot dogs, beer brats, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, philly steak, cube steak, short ribs, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flank, flat iron.

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Sweet potatoes, part deux.  We re-planted in mid-July after the deer ate everything from the first planting. We put them near our house this time so we can keep an eye out. Our neighbor, Jenny from Carlea Farms came and helped me plant them.

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This is milo (grain sorghum) I’ll use in my chicken feed. Half the field had to be used for the sweet potatoes so I won’t have enough milo to grow out any pigs this year which is super sad. It’s looking so beautiful, I like to just sit there and watch it.

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After many weeks of bugging the hell out of Shane, he finally sawed the boards for the bar top for my latest Pinterest obsession to annoy him, a patio bar. Woohoo!  Will probably be finished just in time for Christmas! Boo.

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So if you’re not buying organic when you’re at the grocery store, or live in the boonies where grocery stores are sad,  I hope you make sure you’re checking the bag/box/package for this seal. We don’t have GMO labeling yet but we do have non-GMO labels.

There is a phone app for this, which is a good resource but it’s kind of redundant when you can just look for the logo.

IT’S SUPER IMPORTANT YOU GUYS! Why can’t I be the boss of everyone.

A recipe to try:  Crash Hot Potatoes – I made them with German Butterballs. Mmmmm, lots of crispy edges!

See you guys tomorrow!!

The greatest disinformation campaign since public relations was invented.

That is the description of an article I just read in Acres USA magazine regarding the FDA’s promotion of GMOs.

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But first!

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow. Here’s what I’ll have:

okra, sweet peppers, onions- red, sweet & cipollini; 3 kinds of basil, heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, 2 kinds of eggplant, potatoes- Rose Finn Apple fingerlings, German Butterball & Carola; garlic.

Our Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Grassfed Angus beef – hot dogs, beer brats, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, philly steak, short ribs, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flank, flat iron.

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Ok, you know I don’t like to get too serious about stuff. I mean I keep up with what’s going on, especially regarding the state of our food  in America + elsewhere, but I don’t like to worry about things. I do my best  and contribute to good in the world in my own small ways, and I feel happy about that.

But I just read a new article and it’s just disgusting.   I thought I was up on all the GMO stuff, and the lack of FDA oversight and all that but this is off the chain.  We’re bringing copies to the market, I hope you will read it and pass it on to someone you know. I hope everyone will stop buying GMO foods so that they will go away. You know that virtually everything that is not certified organic is or contains genetically modified ingredients, right? I’m talking processed foods, anything from the store that is not in the produce aisle, and even many of those fruits and veggies are.

Have a quick look at this  list of grocery store products containing GMO ingredients. Even if you already buy organic, just looking at the list is pretty frightening. So to avoid genetic engineering in your grocery store food, just buy organic. GMOs are not allowed in organics. Buy the rest of your food from your local farmers that are growing clean food.

This lawyer, Steven Druker,  tells how a GMO soil bacteria was engineered to help digest nutrients but it killed all the plants. Can you imagine if that was released and then it began to multiply? He tells how the FDA is illegally approving and even promoting GMO foods while intentionally  giving the public the false impression that it is testing them and they are safe, when in fact their own scientists are telling them there are significant problems with these foods. Druker sued the FDA to force them to release their internal documents on genetically engineered foods. He has scanned the forms onto his website.

You can read the documents about the GMO tomato that caused stomach lesions and death in animal testing but was released anyway. Even though it contained an antibiotic resistant gene that the FDA’s own scientists said should not be released into the general population since that particular antibiotic is widely used medically.

Here is a link to his interview with Dr Mercola, it’s a 2 part video.

He shows how politically appointed administrators had covered up the extensive warnings of their own scientists about the risks of these foods, lied about the facts, and then ushered these  products onto the market in violation of mandates of federal food safety law.   -I’m paraphrasing from his website here.

Did you know that by law these foods are supposed to be proven safe but actually  “in practice, nobody even has to inform the FDA if they’re going to dump a genetically engineered food product on our market, let alone do any testing. ”

I did not know that. I thought they at least had to submit some kind of fake studies or a bogus approval form or something. I guess it’s just  a free-for-all out there, unless you’re applying for organic certification then you’re peering over a stack of paperwork 2 feet high.

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Purple basil, Thai basil, and the glorious queen of all basils, Genovese.

 

 

It was a Battle Royale.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow, July 25. Here’s what I’ll have:

Veggies: Tomatoes, okra, cherry tomatoes; 3 kinds of potatoes: German Butterball, Carola, & Rose Finn Apple fingerlings. Onions – red, sweet and cipollini. Garlic, purple and mini eggplant, green peppers, basil, tricolor snap beans mix.

Beef: hot dogs, beer brats, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, short ribs, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, oxtail, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flank, flat iron.

Oh my gosh. Abby and Moo got into a huge fight on Monday. I had to run out there and break it up. When cows fight they put their heads down and push each other hard, trying to knock each other down, and they swing their giant hard heads at the other one, aiming for the soft part in the underbelly.  I could hear the WHAPS all the way to the house.  Moo’s head must weigh 150 pounds; when he lays it on my lap my legs die within moments. It’s like being trapped under a car.

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I was terrified someone was gonna break a leg so I went running out there screaming and calling the dogs when I could not get them apart. They were pushing each other down the pond dam and carrying on so, I’ve never seen a cow-fight like that. I finally got them separated by startling Abby with my insane behavior and ran her through the gate and shut it. Abigail stood across the fence and GLARED at Moo while he pawed at the ground with his front hooves, flinging chunks of grass like 3 feet. He never charged though. He cracked me up because steam was literally blowing from his nostrils, but when I’d touch his head and say Moo, calm down you’re gonna overheat, he’d turn and touch my hand with his nose with the sweetest face, then turn back to Abigail with a RAGE face. In a while I brought them a bale of alfalfa and they reunited peacefully.

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Silver Queen Okra

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Grain Sorghum (milo) I planted as a cover crop in one of the hoop houses. It’s supposed to be drought tolerant. I ran the sprinkler in there a couple days before I sowed this, that was in May. No water since and it’s been over 100 degrees in there most days. Uhhh I’d say it’s drought tolerant. That’s the seed head just starting to form.

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Strawberry popcorn tasseling. See the little ears below the tassels forming silks, there are 2-3 ears per stalk.

 

 

 

I’m done with you.

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We’re breaking up. Yeah YOU Stowell’s Evergreen. Stupid heirloom sweet corn from the 1800s. I’ve spent 3 years of my life trying to make this work and I’m over it. I’m going back to my dependable old hybrid sweet corn. We get along so much better. Some things just need to become extinct, because they suck.

Moving on.

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Creamy dreamy Carola bakers! Smoky, rich Tongue of Fire Beans! I have new things for tomorrow at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market. OH all the picking. It’s all on the downhill slide now though, everything’s slowing down.

Veggies:  heirloom tomatoes including huge romas; German Butterball and Carola potatoes, both German heirlooms. Edamame, 2 kinds of eggplant, mixed cherry tomatoes, tongue of fire shell beans – oh so delicious with just salt and pepper! Tricolor snap beans, lemon squash, purple basil, red & sweet onions, garlic, okra, cutting celery, parsley, the last of the sweet potatoes.

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Beef: hot dogs, beer brats, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, short ribs, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, oxtail, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flank, flat iron.

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This sandwich. Madness!

The STOOPIDEST tomato sandwich EVER: a Giant Belgium or Brandywine tomato, which must be cut as thick if not thicker than the bread; Duke’s Soft Crust Sourdough bread (get it at the market), lots of Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and of course a boatload of mayo slathered on. You can thank me later.

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Before the rain came this week I drove the hay truck for Shane while he loaded bales from the field, and the dogs helped by filling up the cab with their hot breath and then drooling all over me. Gross.

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Market Stuff for July 11, 2015

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow.  Here’s what I have:

Veggies – heirloom tomatoes: Brandywine, Giant Belgium, Beauty, Black Krim, Cherokee Purple, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Green Giant, Bloody Butcher, American Original Beefsteak, Azoychka Russian, Limmony, Green Zebra, Long Tom roma, cherry tomatoes. Okra: Silver Queen, Eagle Pass and Bowling Red. German Butterball potatoes, sweet potatoes, red & sweet onions. Cukes: lemon, crystal apple and slicers. Lemon squash, garlic, purple basil, purple snap beans and 2 kinds of eggplant.

Beef: hot dogs, beer brats, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, short ribs, oso bucco, brisket, liver, soup bones, oxtail, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt, flank, flat iron.

I have MONSTER romas if anyone is making sauce.

Since the deer ate my sweet potato plants, by some miracle I was able to get 2000 more organic Covingtons which we will plant on Monday. It’s way too late I think but I can’t not have sweet potatoes! What else is there in the winter!

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Shane mowed 80 acres of hay with an alleged 4 day window of no rain, or only 10% chances. He watches the weather like a hawk and we have all these radar apps on our phones. Anyway it rained. He had to just round bale it for the cows. That’s a huge loss, since it should have gone into $10 square bales for horse customers.

If I don’t have sweet corn next weekend then surely the next. I already tried to eat one but it’s still too early.

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Remember the Maple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes from last summer? It’s time to bring it back y’all. I make them  with the Bloody Butchers so they don’t shrink up like raisins. Try not to eat the whole pan standing over the stove right after you take them out.

It’s  just equal amounts of pure maple syrup and olive oil or I use coconut oil, and  a little sea salt. Drizzle over halved tomatoes and bake at 250 for 3-4 hours til they caramelize and shrink up. People, these are amazing.

 

July 4th Market!

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Wow. Organically grown heirloom tomatoes. Come on! Does it even get any better?

I’ll have all these at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow:

Red Brandywine, Black Krim, Green Giant, American Original Beefsteak (the only hybrid and I don’t even recommend trying those).  Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Giant Belgium, Azoychka Russian, Bloody Butcher, Green Zebra. Long Tom, Limmony, Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Beauty.

I’ll also have: lemon squash, Butterball potatoes, red and sweet onions, lots of different kinds of cukes, okra, some purple green beans :) uhhhhh all I can think of right now is tomatoes. Oh yes, sweet potatoes.

Beef: hot dogs, beer brats, pastrami, corned beef and bologna all made from our Angus beef with no added nitrates or nitrites.  Ground beef, stew meat, short ribs, oso bucco, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt.

It looks like there will be some sweet corn. Yay!!! Some of it stood back up, just like Shane and Dean told me it would. Needs rain though. Maybe 2 weeks til some is ready if we get some rain.

This  Provencal Vegetable Tian is one of my favorite veggie recipes. Soooo it’s just a  casserole. Onions, potatoes, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes all layered with salt, pepper, olive oil and kalamata olives. I skip the olive oil. Good and easy to make, I just slice all the veg with the mandoline right into the baking dish.

I can’t wait to see you guys tomorrow!

 

What fresh hell is this?

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Does it seem like I’m complaining a lot lately? Well something is eating/ate the sweet potato plants, you can’t even see anything in the picture. How ya like that picture of dirt? Nice pic. Thanks. Based on the evidence I think it’s a dynamic duo of mice and deer.

We planted sweet potatoes slips on Monday, June 8. I know this because on Saturday the 6th I went to my neighbor Carl’s, of Carlea Farms, to pick them up and to see their newborn piglets. We found the mommy pig Wanda had died, within like the past 3 hours since he last checked on her. Heartbreak! So, then there’s not even time to wonder what happened or to be sad because there are 14 newborn babies to figure out how to feed, what to feed, how to get them situated and all that.  I visited them this week and they’re all healthy and super adorable.

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I just came in from digging German Butterball potatoes for tomorrow’s market! The Butterless Potato! A delicious yellow fleshed heirloom. Shane helped me, now he’s gone to bale alfalfa and since there are storms coming he’ll have to pick it all up out of the field tonight and take it to the barn (he usually does that part in the morning) so I don’t expect him to be home til midnight.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow, June 27. Here’s what I’ll have–

Veggies: Butterball potatoes, heirloom tomatoes including Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Azoychka Russian, Bloody Butcher, green giant and more! Cherry tomatoes mix, 3 kinds of okra, 5 kinds of cukes, lemon squash and zephyr squash, sweet potatoes, Tuscan garlic, kale, red and sweet onions, a few savoy cabbages, I can’t even remember what else.

Beef: hot dogs, beer brats, pastrami, corned beef and bologna all made from our beef with no added nitrates or nitrites. We’re almost out of dogs. Ground beef, stew meat, short ribs, oso bucco, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck, sirloin tip roast, eye of round, sirloin steaks, NY Strips, ribeyes, filets, skirt and flank.

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I begged a hay truck and flatbed trailer from Shane to cure onions. So there’s a wagon, a trailer, 2 flatbed trailers and a hay truck covered in onions. Every night I put them to bed in the empty hoop house in case of rain and every morning I pull them back out into the breezy shade.

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The red ones are amazing on the grill.

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Asian cukes make adorable pickle chips.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

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