Poplin Farms

albemarle, nc

Market Stuff for 4/30.

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Heading out to the field to load up wrapped bales to haul back to the barn,  then these alfalfa windrows will be square baled.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with sweet potatoes, chard, 3 kinds of kale, beets, wheat berries, and tomato plants in these varieties: sungold, brandywine, giant belgium, cherokee purple,  container cherry, plus the last purple basil  and thyme plants. Whatever tomato plants don’t get sold this week, I’m putting them in the ground because I can’t keep them watered.

We have our grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: big beautiful briskets and whole ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, oso bucco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

We were supposed to have beef coming back from the processor for this weekend but it won’t be here until next weekend. We’ll be all stocked up on steaks and everything then.

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Shane loading wrapped bales onto the trailer, this will be the cows’ feed this winter in addition to dry hay.

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I drive the truck around the field to the groups of bales for him to load. He calls them marshmallows, haha!

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Windrows to be square baled for horse hay. Pretty sky!

See you tomorrow :)

 

 

Market Stuff for 4/23.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with chard, kale, some spicy mustard greens, beets, sweet potatoes, green onions, purple ruffles basil plants, thyme plants, sungold cherry tomato plants, wheat berries. I think maybe some other tomato plants too I can’t remember.

And 20% off bone-in chuck roasts! That almost never happens. We’ve been selling short ribs and oso bucco like mad, and not as many chucks this month but we need to make room for beef coming back from the processor this week. So this weekend they’re $6/lb!

We have our grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: big beautiful briskets and whole ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, oso bucco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

The first planting of sweet corn is up and looks good! I made the second planting this week, and got melons planted too, which is an accomplishment since I only seem to be able to get that done every other year.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages and kales and hoophouse tomatoes are looking fantastic, and the popcorn stand looks ok. Next week it’s peanuts and get the ginger and turmeric, eggplant and outside cherry tomatoes and okra in the ground, and I have a to-do list for next week that’s 2 columns long in my notebook.

My first year of doing this I carried my notebook with me everywhere on the Gator: what I planted, how much, variety  and all those deets, my to-do lists,  stuff like that. Then one day it blew off the Gator straight into Moo’s pasture and he ATE IT.  I mean, in an instant. We both saw it blow over, and in that split-second, we looked into each other’s eyes and I knew what was about to go down. I said, Don’t you dare.  So he snatched it up and gobbled it down as he was running away from me, and giving me the googley-eye the whole time.  By the time I caught up to him, whatever was left was covered in green cud-slime. EW. So the next year, I decided to write everything on Post-Its, then transfer it to my notebook later in the safety of my home. But the Post-It notes deal got out of control, finding them in the yard and stuck to the bottom of my shoe, and when the dog went walking past with a Post-It note stuck to her tail, well it had just gone too far.

So then I started putting the notes in my iphone, but as you know, one of those got lost in the creek in an unfortunate flash flood incident, then a heinous criminal stole my new phone out of a shopping cart, and one got watered to death in the greenhouse…and NO my notes were not in the damn CLOUD.  So I gave up on all of that, and now I’ve resorted to just using my brain. Store everything right up in there. As long as I get it down on paper before any margaritas, it’s good.

See you tomorrow!

 

Market Stuff for 4/16.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with swiss chard, kale, collards, leeks, radishes, beets, chives, mint, sweet potatoes, wheat berries and some potted plants – purple ruffles basil, compact dill, dwarf tomato plants, heirloom tomato plants.

Our grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: big beautiful briskets and whole ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, oso bucco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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purple ruffles basil

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dwarf Red Robin cherry tomato – they only need an 8″ pot, but it’s hard to keep them watered. 10″ is better. These are determinates so they put on all their tomatoes at once then they’re done which is good for people like me who can’t keep a potted plant alive all summer. I’ll also have another larger container tomato variety, but it’s looking weird. All ferny and droopy. I’m gonna keep them awhile and see if they are supposed to look like that; I haven’t grown them before.

I made something new this week – Saag Paneer.  if you don’t know what saag paneer is, then I can’t help you.  All I know is paneer is delicious cheese.  So to go with the saag paneer I made this Beef Curry with Sweet Potato and Peas. Ground beef, sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic, spices, coconut milk.

Paneer is delicious, BUT THEN you fry it in a pan and it gets toasty and golden! and takes just a few minutes to make from scratch. Milk and lemon juice. So easy! Turns out I’ve made it many times but just called it farmer cheese, and I added salt and sometimes herbs. You could make it with your fresh milk from the market if you don’t mind committing a criminal act.  Then, saute some ginger, garlic, onion, chard (instead of spinach) and so on. Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Saag Paneer.

See you tomorrow :)

 

 

 

Market Stuff for 4/9

planting corn

planting corn

I got 3 kinds of corn planted: sweet corn (not that wretched heirloom stuff from the 1800s again), white dent corn for cornmeal which we call “Papaw’s Corn,” and the strawberry popcorn I grew 2 years ago.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with  swiss chard, a little kale and collards, lettuce, green onions, baby leeks, golden beets and chiogga beets, easter egg radishes, sweet potatoes, wheat,  cut herbs : basil, thyme, chives, mint, and some beautiful potted basil plants. Thai basil has a wonderful hint of cinnamon;  lettuce leaf basil has huge leaves, you could use 1 or 2 leaves on a whole sandwich and then genovese, my favorite. The most heavenly flavor and aroma. You have to come by to at least smell it. I did have a lot of plants…but I ate some so numbers are reduced :)  I had baked sweet potato fries with herby dip 3 nights this week, like so:

all the herbs with garlic, olive oil, lemon and salt

basil, oregano, thyme with garlic, olive oil, lemon & salt

Our Animal Welfare Approved, grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: big beautiful briskets and whole ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, osso buco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

taking the tractor back to the barn

taking the tractor back to the barn

basil plants

basil plants

I love my new yellow pots :) Thai basil starts flowering not long after it’s born so don’t be like, that basil isn’t any good. It just flowers it’s whole life.

baled but not yet wrapped

baled but not yet wrapped

Shane has already mowed hay for baleage. He had alfalfa planted but the ryegrass overtook it so he couldn’t really make alfalfa horse hay, so he made baleage for our cows for this winter. Baleage is similar to silage, it’s baled while it’s still wet and wrapped in plastic. It ferments and is super high in nutrients. The cows love it and will always chose baleage over regular dry hay; it keeps momma cows fat and healthy, producing plenty of milk for their calves that are born in the fall.

So he has to  rake, then bale, then wrap. He already mowed it a day or 2 before. He starts in the morning getting it raked into windrows, then goes back with the baler, then back after that with the wrapper. The whole process takes around 12-14 hours depending on the size of the field. Can you imagine riding a tractor for 14 hours? He came home after midnight both nights. Nothing like making supper at 12:31 a.m.

Woohoo!

Woohoo!

Putting in water lines to the hoop houses and veggie fields, and getting rid of all those infernal hoses. Yay!

goodbye winter coats!

goodbye winter coats!

About 4 more of these sessions and we’ll be good. Solomon is such an interesting horse! I got him from a “trader” –  horse traders usually have a bad reputation for what kind of horse they’ll sell you. I’ve had some interesting interactions for sure! But I’ve bought several horses from traders because you can get them cheap, and it’s worth it if you’re experienced enough to see what you’re getting and be able to work through the problems. Solomon is really old now, the vet’s professional estimation is “old as hell.” He eats a lot of soup.

my farrier, Ryan, and Jake's rear end

my farrier Ryan

See you tomorrow!

PS – In coming weeks I will have more potted plants for the market: dill, thyme, purple basil, super dwarf  tomato, container tomato, heirloom tomato and sungold cherry tomato.

 

 

I’m gonna miss you this week :(

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I won’t be at the market tomorrow but I’ll be back next week with these beautiful golden beets, Easter egg radishes, lettuce, green onions, basil plants and just all SORTS of wonderful things.

Have a great weekend!

That’s your rainbow chard, friends.

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It’s waiting for you in the cooler. It will see you in the morning :)

I’ve been juicing it, like so:

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Chard, sweet potato, lemon, ginger and I had about 2 gallons of muscadines in the freezer from last summer that I wasn’t sure what to do with and they’re fabulous in the juice!

One of our favorite chard recipes is the Pasta with Greens, on the recipes page of our website. I usually make it without the pasta.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with lots of this gorgeous chard, some kale and collards, 2 kinds of lettuce, sweet potatoes, chives, hard red winter wheat and our grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: brisket, ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, short ribs, osso buco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

REALLY

REALLY

I know they only have a pea-sized brain, but aren’t there some kind of instincts that should let them know this not the ideal place to lay an egg?

Ugh, this week was so boring. Just work. Hey, like Shane always reminds me (in a frustrated voice): You can’t be entertained every minute of every day.  I had to drag the horse pastures – you hook this chain drag up to the tractor and drive all over creation for an eternity, and it scatters all the manure piles. Last time, my iphone fell off the tractor and got dragged.

Yep, there's the hat.

Yep, there’s the hat.

This time, my hat blew off and although I had time to stop the tractor and retrieve it before it went under the drag, I decided not to. I just let it get dragged. Turns out, it was pretty fun. So I got off and picked it up, and once I got going again I threw it back down and dragged over it again. Don’t judge me.

Soooo that was pretty much the highlight of my week. You?

nighttime action shot

nighttime action shot!

I did go on a late night Gator ride to put the cows up with my honey, that was fun. Hey – see how nice and flat the road is?

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Thank GOODNESS we have a bulldozer to do that. I don’t have a roof over my head to do my work so I just stand in the burning sun, and the freezing rain and the wind that never stops blowing here…but we have a bulldozer.

:) See you guys tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Market Stuff for March 19.

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Laying weed barrier on the onion beds. My sister is coming Sunday to help me transplant a few thousand. This plastic is woven, so it lets air and water through and the soil stays soft and fluffy underneath. We take it up when the crop is finished and reuse it the next season. It’s lasted 4 years so far.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with lots of chard, some kale and collards, lettuce, sweet potatoes, hard red winter wheat and our grass fed Angus beef in these cuts: brisket, ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, short ribs, osso buco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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The fire ants are ruining my life again.  Who wants to make a house in a head of lettuce??  Only ants.

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They’re burying the whole row of baby beets. Adios beets. Probably carrying the tiny roots back to their lettuce house to feed their dirty larvae.

One time they got in my hair. That was fun I hope we can do it again soon.

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See ’em! See ’em all over the leaves!! They just take whatever they want and there’s not really anything I can do about it.  They’re like the Peaky Blinders of the hoop house. Obviously I can’t use ant killer. The organic options don’t work. I decided to eat this particular lettuce for lunch so they couldn’t live there anymore (oh it’s personal all right), and I got bit 5 times picking it, but I guess since I’ve been stung so much it never leaves a blister anymore so  I’ll say I’m totally immune. Who knew that could happen.

I looked into getting an anteater. People keep them as pets, you know. They enjoy wearing clothes, sweaters and stuff.  Then I found out they don’t even eat ants, just termites! Sigh.

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That’s one way to cook asparagus. Too late flame weeding the bed, or asparagus is extra early this year.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Although having to wash it is not really helping me.

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I’ve been working hard since the weather warmed up.  I needed to relieve some stress :)

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow with lots of swiss chard, some baby kale, mini lettuce, sweet potatoes and my wheat berries, and our beef in these cuts:

brisket, ribeye loin and strip loin, ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, filet mignon, short ribs, oso bucco, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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Mini butter.

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Potatoes got planted this week! It’s a 2-seater, but this is a one woman show. I run both sides and plant 2 rows at once. Shane loaded the empty seat with what he considers my weight equivalent: 2 bags of concrete. HELLO! Totally not my weight equivalent! We go through this every year. He puts way too many bags of stuff in the empty seat, and I tell him I DON’T WEIGHT THAT MUCH  and the planter goes crooked because THERE’S TOO MUCH WEIGHT ON THAT SIDE. Sorry for shouting but that’s how it sounds in my head. We ended up putting one bag of concrete on each seat and I sat on a board in the middle.

Anyway, I’ll have brand new kinds of potatoes this year!!! Still have butterballs and carolas of course, but also 2 new varieties. I’ll tell you about them when it’s time to eat.

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Rye cover crop going under. We tilled up almost everything, because you never know if this is your only window. It’s just dry enough and rain’s coming this weekend, who knows what the weather might do next.   Might not be till-able for another month. Once it’s tilled it dries much faster so there’s a better chance of it being ready when I need it. Like next week for onions to go in.

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Caratacus is super curious about the cows. Our cows are silly and extra curious. When they see a horse coming they run toward it; the whole herd. Some horses get really freaked out to see a hundred cows barreling down on them (ask my sister bahaha) and if the horse turns to run, the cows chase him down like a zombie mob. I’m pretty sure, by the look on the horse’s face, the horse is convinced they will eat his brain. Caratacus isn’t phased though, and you can almost hear him saying, “Shenanigans.”

We made these Rosemary Sweet Potato Stackers, except used thyme. Really delicious for happy hour with a  Coconut Lemon Sour (it doesn’t need the simple syrup).

 

 

 

 

 

Market Stuff for March 5.

Caratacus' first real trail ride

Caratacus’ first real trail ride

Don’t ask. He came with that name.

I had a great weekend off with my family! They came and brought their trail horses so we could ride together. Caratacus fell in love with my Dad’s beautiful horse BJ, and nickered romantically to her for three whole days.

We stayed on the farm and rode for about 2 hours

We stayed on the farm and rode for about 2 hours each day.

Everyone (even Shane) has Spotted Saddle Horses except me, I like Arabians. Everyone rides western except me, I like english. I’m also the only one riding bitless. It feels sort of lonely in my world, haha :) hashtagblacksheep.

My sister Kelly and our Great Pyrenees Nikolai

My sister Kelly and our Great Pyrenees Nikolai

Bye! My stepsister's horse is CRAZED.

Bye Bandit! My stepsister’s horse is CRAZED.

She kept saying he’s crazed, but I thought she was kidding until he flew into bucking JUST LIKE he was crazed, and Annie got her @$$ whooped.  Yikes, she was ok but too sore to ride the next day.

So back to work! I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow with sweet potatoes, chard, the last of the beet greens, mini lettuce, baby leeks, herb samplers and some baby beets and our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef.

We’re freshly stocked on beef cuts –

*AND* we have two very special cuts that I haven’t sold before, I’ve  kept them for us in the past but we still have some from the last time so I’m bringing the new ones to the market: WHOLE RIBEYE LOINS and WHOLE STRIP LOINS! They are boneless, and there are only 4 of each. These are great for parties, family reunions and holidays! They’re around 10 lbs each  and as you know, our ribeyes are $18/lb and strips $17/lb, but we’re cutting the price of the whole loins down to make them more affordable. If you’re not sure how to cook them I can tell you – it’s much much easier than you might think. I only have room for 1 of each in the truck tomorrow. I’ll be happy to reserve one for you!

So, for beef tomorrow in addition to the loins we have: ground beef, stew meat, cube steak, philly steak, short ribs, oso bucco, filets, briskets, liver, soup bones, bone-in chuck roasts, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round roasts, hot dogs and andouille sausage made without nitrates or nitrites.

Blood Butchers!

Bloody Butchers!

Coming week, I’m clearing out one hoop house to get ready for tomato season. These are in the greenhouse until then.

Moonlight tillage.

Moonlight tillage.

Seed potatoes are here and by some stroke of luck, the field I want them to go in was dry enough to till. First I added 500 pounds of gypsum (for calcium), and I can’t remember how much boron, sulfur and sea salt, per the soil test results.

Boron helps plants use the calcium, helps prevent disease and gives the potatoes better size. Sulfur helps roots grow, gives food a sweeter taste and keeps veggies fresher longer after harvest. Plus they all do a gazillion other things.

Organic ginger & turmeric seed from Hawaii

Organic ginger & turmeric seed from Hawaii

These are already in flats in the greenhouse for pre-sprouting. They go into the hoop house in April.

Hey I made up my own recipe for once! I had a thawed out chuck roast but I was so not in the mood for bothering with  it so I just chopped up a bunch of onions and tossed them into a big pottery bowl, cut up the roast and threw it on top with some Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and grabbed an entire bag of frozen tomatoes and just laid that sucker on top. Then hit it with some whole peeled garlic cloves. Covered that baby with parchment and foil and cooked it in the oven all day. Served it over rice. WOW. Super delicious and so easy. I totally thought it would be a disaster. You have to try it.

See my tomato iceberg:

You love my food photography skills.

You love my food photography skills.

 

 

 

Hello! It’s me.

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I was wondering if after all these weeks you’d like to meet :)

I don’t really have much mini lettuce to sell this week. It’s just so gorgeous! Look at it. LOOK AT IT! Nature just keeps blowing my mind. I have a lot of mini heads on deck though. I get these whims, you know. OH let’s grow corn from the 1800s (fail). Let’s grow that stupid orange cauliflower named after cheese (fail).  Mini lettuce for the win!

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow and I will not be there next weekend, family is coming to visit and it’s my sister’s birthday. I’ll be smoking 2 of those massive briskets that came back with the last beef.

Then the weekend of March 5, I’ll be back with new beef hopefully coming from the processor on March 3.

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So for tomorrow I have: some greens, leeks, turnips, baby beets, my winter wheat, herb samplers – see above – and sweet potatoes.

The only beef we have this week – hot dogs and andouille sausage.  Made with our grass fed Angus beef, without any preservatives, nitrates or nitrites.

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The momma cows and babies are looking amazing.  Shane took this today!

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Last Saturday  I spent the whole day mulching ump-teen apple trees with ohhhhhh, just 1900 pounds of alfalfa hay. Should have just gone to the market! Sheesh. But this time next year all that hay will have magically turned into rich black dirt filled with serious masses of earthworms. Last year I used hardwood chips and all that shoveling was way harder.

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Artistical onion shot.

 

 

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