Poplin Farms

albemarle, nc

Chestnuts!

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They’re big this year!

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow with fresh chestnuts!  I had a couple pounds last week then I think they fell all at once. I have 8 gallons, yikes! I hope my peeps are hungry for chestnuts (you know you are my peeps). They were falling like crazy while I was picking them up. Chestnuts kept fallin’ on my head!

Radishes, turmeric leaves (for cooking fish – see last week’s post for the most delicious recipe!), fresh hibiscus roselles for tea, sweet potatoes, baby ginger, sweet peppers & jalepenos, 3 kinds of eggplant, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers;  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

I’ll have our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

Specials: Soup bones – BOGO 50% and ground beef –   Buy 5 pounds, get 1 pound free!

Roasted Chestnuts: hold with a towel (for safety, says the girl who is covered in knife scars) and cut an “X” into the flat side with a sharp knife. Single layer on baking sheet at 350 for 35ish minutes. Pop them out as soon as you can handle them before they cool. Ready to eat! OR here’s a video on chestnuts. It’s Martha, skip to 5:56 to get to the chestnut info, but you know how she is (her chestnuts are from Italy and she has a chestnut scorer). Your beautiful chestnuts are from trees planted by Shane and gathered by yours truly :)

In fact – I have an Italian customer that used to have them imported until he tried ours. TRUE. FACT. He says they are better and you can ask him if  you come super early.

They can be frozen (roasted and peeled first) for holidays but will be softer so use them for cooking (hello super impressive actual chestnut stuffing), and I’ve also made creamy chestnut bisque with them. Martha Stewart has some recipes that look completely BOMB.

It must have rained a LOT while we were out of town because radishes are splitsville. I kept those to pickle and am bringing you the pretty ones, as always :)

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Fresh hibiscus again! I picked 3 gallons today.  I hope you who tried it last week loved it like I do!

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Tinyfrog holding down the jalepeno. He’s got it under control.

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Oh Abigail! Why do you have to be so melodramatic?

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See you guys tomorrow! (bring chestnut money)

 

 

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It’s a Mocktail!

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Hell has officially frozen over.

I think this is my first ever mocktail because…tequila. Just saying the word MOCKTAIL makes me feel sort of frowny.  And what is the difference between a mocktail and iced hibiscus tea with sparkly water & lime? Maybe just that you didn’t put liquor in it when you wanted to. Then after I already drank my refreshing hibiscus and lime mocktails (2) I saw a recipe for adding fresh ginger to it! Can’t wait to try that.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow with some actual new things! A few radishes, turmeric leaves, hibiscus roselles for tea and sweet potatoes! Baby ginger, sweet peppers & jalepenos, 3 kinds of eggplant, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers;  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

I’ll have our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

Specials: Soup bones – BOGO 50% and ground beef –   Buy 5 pounds, get 1 pound free!

Hibiscus. I picked 4 gallons of roselles this week alone. That’s insane! I’ll bring a gallon of fresh roselles tomorrow. Just slice off the bottom stem end and pop out the seed pod. For a quart of iced hibiscus tea, use about 10-15 fresh roselles in a pint of water, boil for 3 or so minutes then let steep 15 minutes or longer. Strain, add another pint of cold water and chill. I mixed mine with Gerolsteiner sparkly mineral water, lime juice and sugar. It has a tart/tangy fruit punch flavor. So pretty!

In fact, typing “hibiscus tea” in the search bar on Pinterest opens up a whole new world of hibiscus possibilities.  Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus and Thyme? Whaaaaat.

Turmeric leaves. For cooking fish! OMG. I told Shane, I’m ruined for fish now. Wendy gave me this recipe. It uses fresh ginger, lime, garlic. BATHE the fish in the sauce, wrap in a turmeric leaf and steam for 10 minutes. The leaf actually held the fish in the sauce and it was out of this world. Used flounder from Rodney (Lucky Fish Seafood, beside me). The leaf gives the fish a mild herbal flavor. Wow.

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In the deep end!!

See you guys tomorrow!

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Market Stuff for 9/10.

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Milo (grain sorghum).

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market tomorrow with: baby ginger, sweet peppers & jalepenos, 3 kinds of eggplant, okra, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers;  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

I’ll have our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones,  liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

Specials: Soup bones – BOGO 50% and ground beef –   Buy 5 pounds, get 1 pound free!

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Nothing beats rolling them in butter and garlic :)

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Baby arugula just coming up! Can’t wait.

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I made this super delicious lentil and potato soup yesterday, loaded with amazing fragrant and healthy spices because I woke up with a little bit of a sore throat. *soup emergency*

I haven’t had a cold since February 2009. I remember because that was the week I quit my real job, the one that paid many times more than this one, and had actual benefits and retirement, sigh. If I’m going to complain I should just go back right? Anyway, now it’s like I can’t break the streak! I can’t get sick because now  it’s the principal of it or something.  I mean it would be one thing to break the 7 1/2 year cold-free streak with  a germ you pick up on an All Expenses Paid 7 Night Luxury Vacation in a Tropical Paradise – bring on the Kleenex!!!  But it’s another thing to break the streak with some random germ from the wine aisle at Harris Teeter, know what I mean? Not happening.

So I loaded up my soup with all the things that fight off colds. Finely chopped a large onion, 5 cloves of garlic, a chunk of ginger, a jalepeno and sauteed all that with 1/2 t turmeric, 2 t ground coriander, 1 t smoked paprika, lots of salt and pepper. Cook all those amazing flavors until your socks start to roll up and down. Then I added 2 1/2 c green lentils, water, and let that simmer for 45 minutes. Added about 1 1/2 pounds potatoes diced small, and one sweet potato finely chopped. At the end, stir in juice from half a lemon and adjust seasoning. Top it off with some pickled jalepenos.  Shane said so many times that it was so good, finally I was like have you been drinking? Why you freaking out about the soup? No, he just really liked the soup. I guess it was souper, wonk wonk. I had it for brunch and dinner today :)

 

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I have sweet potatoes curing for a week now but they’re just barely sweet. Need another week.  I made sweet potato pancakes because I had to test out the curing process :)

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My sister’s horse has to have some cracked molars pulled. Not a small deal. And oooh just about a grand. He’s been having some issues and turns out the molars are split! yikes. Could it have something to do with the way he eats spiny pigweed??

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I interrupted nursing (this baby was born in June).  So cute.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

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A Labor Day Special!

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Bug finally decided it’s just too hot. They have always refused to go in past their knees (if they had knees) but I think she just had enough of this heat, like the rest of us. After about a 2 mile run she was ready to take the plunge. Now she can’t get enough. Swimmy Bug :) I sit on a flat rock and put my feet in and watch her swim around. So cute!

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:

A ground beef special for your Labor Day cookouts! Buy 5 pounds, get one pound free. While supplies last.

baby ginger, sweet peppers & jalepenos, 3 kinds of eggplant, okra, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers;  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

What’s that you say? You want the secret to amazing potato salad? Potato salad that has SO MUCH FLAVOR that you can’t bear to drown it in globs of mayo? OK: the secret (aside from starting with potatoes that taste awesome – I like to mix all my varieties) is to soak the drained, steaming hot potatoes with wine vinegar (red or white are both good!) Just a few tablespoons, toss a few times while they soak it all up. When cooled, dress with:  2 Tb whole grain mustard, just 2 TB mayo, and herbs and spices: thyme, dill, smoked paprika, fresh ground pepper and roasted garlic sea salt! ALL OF THOSE. I also like ground coriander or celery seed.  Of course lots of red onion and sweet peppers.

I’ll have our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

I’m pretty disappointed in the ginger this year, instead of growing big roots it’s grown lots of bushy tops, they say that’s caused by excessive temps. Shrimpy ginger it is. That won’t stop us from making Strawberry Ginger Margaritas! Just about a nickel size piece of ginger, 5 frozen organic strawberries, juice of 1 lime, 1.5 oz silver tequila, agave or simple syrup to taste (dep on how sweet the strawberries are, maybe .75 oz) in the blender. I also add a shot of water. My blender has a single serving size mini blender that works perfect.

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I’m calling it. A) It’s time to take up sweet potatoes AND B) I just made meatloaf, so it is officially FALL as far as I’m concerned. Nevermind that it’s going back to the 90s next week, I’m not going outside on those days.

Ok lies – I’ll be digging sweet potatoes every day. I have peanuts to get to work on too.

When I make meatloaf I very finely chop a half pound of mushrooms and saute them with onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and smoked paprika and add that to my ground beef. I don’t use egg or breadcrumbs.

The mushrooms soak up all those flavors that they’re sauteed with and keep the meatloaf moist and so flavorful. You have to cook the ‘shroom mixture down until all the moisture is gone before adding it to the beef. If I had spinach I’d be adding that too, don’t tell anyone. So I like to veg it up! Sue me.

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The cows just discovered the hay we threw out.

The alfalfa square bales got rained on last week or last weekend, or this week? I DON”T KNOW. One of the days when they said NO RAIN TODAY and he’d just finished baling but didn’t have it all picked up and in the barn yet. Anyway Shane loaded the ruined bales up on a truck and we drove around the pasture throwing them to the cows. Oh they were so excited! Alfalfa snacks.

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Everyone else found them too.

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The bulls came to watch, they got a few bales too.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

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Title Goes Here.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:  sweet peppers & jalepenos, 3 kinds of eggplant, okra, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers;  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

Have you made eggplant pizzas yet?  Eggplant slices topped with pizza sauce, cheese, oregano, tomatoes, pepperoni or whatever you like then broil.  Like these.

Our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

OK. So the most exciting thing ever (this week) is that a customer told me about the scandalous article in Charlotte Magazine about our Farmers Market, and  Wendy found it online here, but nevermind everything else GUESS WHOSE TOMATOES are on 2 pages.  Yep that’s right (doing my centerfold tomatoes dance).

Back to business:

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It won’t be long before these chestnuts will be ready for roasting on an open fire! Sooo…..just leaving them outside while you seek shelter. Last year I had them at market second week of September.

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WOW! Hello millet cover crop! If I knew you could drown out spiny pigweed like a BOSS my life would be so much different right now. Planted August 2, three weeks later it’s over 2′ high. Shazaaaam. That 5′ high pigweed you see in the distance is in the sweet potatoes.

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Last weekend Shane weaned last year’s babies – these guys, born Octoberish.  I had the dogs when I went by on the Gator so they all ran over to see (strangely obsessed with the dogs) and I got some pics. When I left they all ran back to the trees, kicking up their heels with tails in the air.

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Can’t really tell they’re running here but it was super cute watching.

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I know I already showed you this but it’s the coolest thing I’ve done all year. Hibiscus roselles for tea. One of our customers is from Jamaica where it grows, and she said to take out the seed pod before drying or making tea so this is the roselles and the seed pods which are slimy like okra seeds. I’m not sure if this is the right way to cut them out but I’m lacking any guidance here.

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The plants look just like okra too! And grow like weeds. So easy to grow. Any pods below a blossom are for harvesting and the ones above the blossom will bloom then when the flowers fall, that’s when you harvest it. Next spring I’m going to grow hibiscus plants to sell. So easy and beautiful, I’m in love with them therefore everyone else must have one too.

They say hibiscus tea is good for treating high blood pressure. I can say with 100% certainty that it lowered my blood pressure. You know how I was saying I always have dizziness in the summer from low blood pressure caused by dehydration? So a few summers ago I was making a lot of <store bought> hibiscus tea (tired of plain water) and I started getting so horribly dizzy, I couldn’t walk straight, like almost falling down dizzy. Falling sideways into walls dizzy. I thought well it’s not really organic then because I sometimes have reactions to chemical stuff. Stopped drinking the tea and the dizziness returned to the normal level. I didn’t know that it was lowering my blood pressure even more. So I haven’t tried my homegrown hibiscus tea yet, just drying all my pods – for hot tea in the winter when I’m not dehydrated.  Can’t wait!!

So if you have high blood pressure, it might work for you (it’s also super delicious tea).

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We just ran three miles then our person strong-armed us into sitting still so we are refusing to look at her.

See you guys tomorrow!!

 

 

 

 

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Ahhhhhh.

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Everyone proceed immediately to Ashe County. I’ll let you know when it’s safe to come back.

Two nights was just two nights shy of being gone long enough to be mentally prepared to come home. It’s perfect there right now, low 80’s/low60’s, low humidity and sparkly fresh breezes. Did you know that the New River is the second oldest river in the whole world?? So cool.

They still have lush, productive gardens right now with corn and tomatoes. A stark contrast to our haggard, burned-out gardens here. Speaking for my self of course.

My okra is looking good though!

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It’s over my head now. The fire ants are all over it, going up to the blossoms so when I reach in to pick it, they get in my gloves, on my neck, in my hair, up my sleeves and wherever that path takes them, while the scratchy okra leaves abrade my face like a dull razor blade. Picking okra right now is kind of like walking over hot coals really slow.

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Hi, ant frienemies! Wanna have a party in my pants?  If anyone out there has a deep-seated self loathing, I’ll let you come put your face into that okra blossom and then we can go to therapy together.

This is the first planting of okra – I stopped picking it a few weeks ago, it’s Silver Queen and red something. It’s really pretty with the huge pods, I think I’ll let them dry for decorations.  Bouquet of dead okra for your loved ones??

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:  sweet & hot peppers, 3 kinds of eggplant, okra, garlic, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers (omg you have to make these Greek Potatoes!);  cipollini, red & yellow onions; wheat berries.

I started pulling up ginger but it’s still too small so I’m going to wait a couple weeks. Extra hot temps cause it to send up a lot of leafy shoots instead of concentrating on growing it’s roots. They say it was the 3rd hottest July on record.

Our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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Nicely tilled bed before I set out the transplants. Don’t worry, I mowed at the edges later.

Now, my food styling fail for this week.

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Since I’m sure no one has any idea what that is and probably thinking whatever recipe that is I am definitely not making it, let me just say it is super delicious and EVERYONE says so.  It’s my auntie’s Baked Eggplant, topped with ground beef (or spicy ground pork sausage or ground venison), sauteed onions & sweet peppers, marinara and goat cheese. Kind of like a casserole and it’s even more delish the next day.

Here’s what you need: a few eggplants, a jar of good marinara,  onions and several sweet peppers, garlic, 8 oz goat cheese, 1 lb ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper, a little oil. 9×13 baking dish.

Slice the eggplant about an inch thick and I peel it. (Eggplant shrinks so overlap the slices until the 9×13 dish is filled then when it’s done baking squeeze them down into one layer side by side.) Brush both sides of the slices with a little oil and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning, bake about 20 min at 400 or til soft. When it’s done, spread a little marinara on the bottom of the dish under the eggplant to keep it from sticking later.

Meanwhile brown the beef  and season with salt and pepper (I like some crushed red pepper), take it out of the pan and saute 2 onions, and a lot of sweet peppers til soft and throw in some chopped garlic near the end.  Top the eggplant with the onions/peppers/garlic then ground beef, then the rest of the marinara. Slice up 8 oz of creamy goat cheese and arrange the slices on top. Bake for 30 min at 350. Serve as is, or over pasta.  I promise, it’s so good. And almost everything in there is available at the market (conveniently also all at my table).

I took my Moo for a leisurely stroll.

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He loves going for walks.

 

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

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Market Stuff for 8/13.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:  sweet & hot peppers, 3 kinds of eggplant, okra, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: red, cipollini, yellow onions; wheat berries.

Our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

This is the MOJO:

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Now that my veggies are kind of whittled down to storage crops and heat-loving Seventh Inning Stretchers that bridge the gap between the veggies that couldn’t take it anymore and the ones whose time has not yet come, there’s space again on our plates for beef. Specifically, Carne Asada Tacos marinated in an “amazing” (Shane’s word) mojo marinade, piled onto homemade tortillas with grilled sweet peppers & onions, fresh jalepeno slices, creamy guac and store bought lettuce (sad face). Gah so good. Mojo makes all the difference.

I tried taking photos of our scrumptious tacos but mine just appeared to be a head of chopped lettuce and Shane’s was a total mountain of meat so there you have the best I could do. My food styling sucks. I should take a class. If I cared more. The Mojo marinade:

The juice of 2 limes and an orange. 4 cloves of garlic minced. 2 Tb white wine vinegar, good handful of cilantro chopped, a whole jalepeno including seeds, very finely chopped and some oil, the recipe calls for 1/2 c olive oil – I think that’s too much but who am I to second guess Tyler Florence? Marinate the meat for AT LEAST an hour, I can’t even wrap my brain around how much more deliciousness 3 or 5 hours would impart. My go-to for steak tacos is sirloin steak. Here’s the original recipe.

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Heirloom strawberry popcorn! Isn’t it beautiful. (again with the food named after other food…what is my hang-up!!) Last Sunday morning we decided to pick it even though it’s not quite dry.

We’ve had at least 10″ of rain in the past couple weeks. Daily downpours cause kernels to sprout inside the shuck.

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I spent 2 days shucking all of it then I put it in the greenhouse with a fan to help it dry. About half of it was no good. This is one of those crops that you grow because you like to. You don’t make any money off it, it’s way too much work to even break even but I feel like it’s such a cool thing that we can’t let it fizzle out. Lots of folks have come back and said they planted what they got from me at the market and I’m sure SOMEBODY gave some of it to friends who planted it. I know of a few. So I guess it’s maybe kind of worth it sort of. SOMEONE HAS TO GROW IT. I’ll bring it to market once it’s dry.

There was also some that popped inside the shuck while still in the field. I know how it felt.

This week it was so soppy wet that I couldn’t do the things I need to, like set out my transplants or direct seed; it’s too wet to till. I also can’t stand it when my shoes are completely soaked and squish when I walk.  NO it’s way too hot for rubber boots. In the mornings before it got too hot I worked on cleaning out the other hoop house so now it’s ready for tilling, then winter crops.

Free to good home:

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Nutty rooster. Free to…average home. Fair to middling? FREE TO TOLERABLE HOME.

Selling points: runs fast;  attractive;  doesn’t cause much trouble;  his babies are fantastic egg layers that don’t get broody. He’s slightly insecure so he is a flogger. He will flog the ever-loving ****  out of you and your family and friends which is super hilarious so his entertainment value is way up there. Once you and he come to an understanding, the danger of flogging is greatly reduced, so we can also say he’s  highly trainable.

I don’t have enough hens anymore to satisfy him and he’s wearing the feathers off their backs. They run from him in terror.

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Please save us from this lascivious rooster!

See you tomorrow :)

 

 

 

 

 

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Market Stuff August 6.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:

A few tomatoes (very few), the most beautiful sweet peppers. So good with guacamole instead of chips. Or these mini pepper nachos! The brown ones are chocolate bells. Does it seem like I always grow foods named after other foods??  3 kinds of eggplant, okra, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: the last of the sweet onions, red & cipollini and yellow onions; sweet potatoes; wheat berries.

Our grass fed, grass finished Angus beef in these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco  short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs, & andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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Using the cultipacker to pack down broadcasted cover crop.

This week we did a lot of getting rid of summer stuff that was played out, cleaning up fields, tilling and putting down foxtail millet cover crop where harvests were done. I would’ve liked to have all that done already but I needed Shane to help me and he’s been super busy. I broadcast cover crops using this Earthway spreader. It’s hard to use, I usually fall down a few times (haha Have a nice trip! See ya next fall! The voices in my head.) because it’s apparently built for a race of giants? I’m 5’6.5″ and I can’t get it to fit right at all. Plus trudging all over creation in freshly tilled ground with 40# strapped to your chest in this heat…beyond exhausting. I finally gave out and Shane came and helped me finish where the potatoes had been, and then a couple hours later we got 3″ of rain. Phew, good timing.

Last year I conducted scientifical experiments to see if I really need to pack down my cover crops and it turns out YES I definitely do. According to my sciencery, germination was determined to be “lots faster” and “more better” if I run over it with the cultipacker (above).

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In the hot weather our Great Pyrenees livestock and human guardian, Nikoli gets off work at 7am and doesn’t clock back in ’til around 10pm. Nevermind that there’s a red coyote the size of a German Shepherd standing in the front yard sweating the chickens and I’m screaming bloody murder for Nik to come save us all. Oh nevermind that I just fell into a trench 2 feet away and twisted my ankle and I’m rolling around on the ground gripping my leg and wailing and might be in need of being dragged to the nearest bandage. I don’t even get an ear twitch.

This is a dog that heard a strange man talking loudly at me from almost half a mile away and came all the way out there to see if I was ok.  He chases hawks out of our yard and if I stumble or trip he’s about to drag me to safety –  but not when it’s too hot! No, it’s every man for himself all summer. He sleeps in his den all day and by den I mean under the cultivating tractor. BTW those are just his drool spots he’s not laying in oil. TRUST Shane Poplin’s tractors do not leak.

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The ginger and turmeric are looking pretty good! The farmers I get my seed from say,  “OH YES well if it’s not doing well it’s either had too much water or it’s too dry, or you used too much fertilizer or not enough fertilizer.” So I always feel like it’s just kind of a crap shoot and how the hell do I know why some of the leaf tips are brown and twisted.
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See you tomorrow!

 

 

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I wish it was a little warmer.

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This heat! We’re all half dead. I’ve been hosing the horses down some evenings because they’re drenched in sweat. I’m not sure what’s wrong with this one :)

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:

Crimson Sweet watermelons, lambkin melons, tomatoes: Brandywine, Giant Belgium, Azoychka Russian, Limmony, American Original Beefsteak and just a few others; cherry tomato mix (so pretty), 3 kinds of eggplant – you guys bought so much eggplant last week! Thank you, you’re the GREATEST!!! Sweet peppers, okra, potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: sweet, red & cipollini; the last of the squash, wah. A variety of cucumbers; sweet potatoes; wheat berries.

BOLOGNA is BACK! Sliced pastrami and sliced corned beef made at The Weeping Radish from our beef. No weird stuff.

We have these cuts: Ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco (40% off), short ribs, brisket, soup bones (BOGO 50% off), liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and bologna, pastrami, corned beef, hot dogs, & andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

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This is a photo of the mini-vegetable ratatouille I made last week that I couldn’t add to the newsletter because our internet was down again. I’m adding it now because I don’t have hardly any pictures to show you this week  :( Every time it rains the modem dies. Nothing else, just the modem!! And it was the new replacement modem we just got the day before that we waited a week for.

Anyway one recipe said fill in the gaps with tomato sauce so I just crammed tiny whole tomatoes into the gaps. It’s cute, right?

So after we smelled the burnt smell (modem) I was talking to Shane and there was no response, because I found him outside pounding the dead modem with a hammer BAHAHAHA!! Hilarious because he never does stuff like that. That’s MY thing – in fact he was using the hammer I keep in my Gator for the sole purpose of pulverizing all the things that conspire against me. Such as those plastic dispenser boxes of razor blades that you use for knives, you know where you’re supposed to get a blade out of the tiniest slit ever, and it’s completely impossible? You sit there and screw with it for a whole entire 4 seconds!  Forget it. HAMMERTIME.

Shane asked me what happened to the box of razor blades. I said a hammer fell on it six times. I hope I’m not rubbing off on him. I don’t want to live with someone like me.

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A couple weeks ago Johanna was helping me at the market, you know Johanna. She told me how she makes her eggplant dip. She makes a nut butter in the food processor (about 1/4 c) with cashews or pecans or whatever (I used Trader Joe’s Raw Mixed Nuts) and a splash of olive oil then adds roasted eggplant (I followed these instructions for roasting), a bulb of roasted garlic, a splash of soy sauce, fresh lemon juice and salt. Oh my gosh! So much better than Baba Ghanoush which I always thought was a little bitter. I added a dash of smoked paprika. So delicious, I had it for lunches & snacks with sweet pepper dippers and my fridge pickles. Maybe a few blue corn tortilla chips. I’m on my second double batch this week.

I found so many new recipes for eggplant, I guess because I’m having such massive eggplant yields this season. So I made a new board on our Pinterest page called Eggplant is Underrated, haha.  So many delicious-looking ones to try! but the Szechuan Eggplant recipe on there is one of our all time favorites.

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Pretend that’s a photograph of potatoes. We made these Crispy Salt & Vinegar Smashed Potatoes on the recommendation of my sister. She said to add the vinegar before and after baking. They were so good! but anything salty tastes like heaven right now because we’re craving electrolytes. I always get dizziness in the summer from low blood pressure caused by dehydration, so this year I’m drinking something besides water! I finally thought of that after 7 years.

Coconut water is super high in potassium and high in magnesium but according to my google search, needs to be “sodium enhanced” to properly hydrate. So I’m doing 50% water, 50% coconut water and 20% organic lemonade.  Does that equal 100%? They say you need sugar (carbs) for energy thus the lemonade. Then adding sea salt for sodium enhancement.  It goes down really easy, I can chug a liter in a minute or 2 and haven’t had dizziness at all. Or leg cramps which I already knew was a potassium deficiency. Solving problems ALL OVER the place!!!

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See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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Delicious things for July 23.

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I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmer’s Market tomorrow with:

Crimson Sweet watermelons, lambkin melons. Surprisingly, plenty of tomatoes in all the same kinds as last week. And A TON of eggplant, 3 varieties.

Potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: sweet, red & cipollini; zephyr and lemon squash, okra; jalepenos & bell peppers; a variety of cucumbers; sweet potatoes; wheat berries.

Our grass fed, grass finished, Angus beef in these cuts: ribeyes, NY strips, filets, sirloins, flank, skirt, flat irons,  ground beef, stew beef, philly steak, cube steak, oso bucco, short ribs, brisket, soup bones, liver, sirloin tip roasts, eye of round and bone-in chuck roasts, and hot dogs and andouille sausage made from 100% grass fed beef without any nitrates/nitrites.

I guess I didn’t FIFO the cube steak and the oso bucco, because underneath I found some that was a previous processing date. It’s 40% off until it’s gone!

Now can we talk about eggplant?? I’ve been bringing home gallons of mini fairytale eggplants from the market. What, mini eggplant isn’t trending now? Am I the only one here on Pinterest because…Roasted Tiny Eggplant with Feta and Spiced Mini Eggplant in Tomato Sauce and

“Mini” Ratatouille with Fairytale Eggplant & Cherry Tomatoes. Pureed some cherry tomatoes instead of using tomato sauce. Ate it over baked Carolas. We had leftovers so the next night I browned some hot sausage from our pigs and tossed it with the ratatouille and quinoa pasta. So good.

Those tiny plants are working hard, really cranking it out. Wait til you see the Rosa Biancas at my table tomorrow too.

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So I’ve made a lot of recipes with them, and the very best is to roast/bake them: cut in half the long way,  skin side down. I mixed coconut oil, soy sauce, hot pepper, garlic and maple syrup and poured that over them before baking. 425 for 15ish minutes, so fast that I wait to make them until Shane calls to say he’s coming home. It takes a thousand years for him to drive home from the field on the tractor, so I have time to clean up the kitchen, sort socks, wash the dog, drink 3 margaritas and ponder the mysteries of life before I have to start cooking. Just kidding I do not sort socks. Anyway they come out so sweet and creamy, it’s by far our favorite way.

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Romas are coming in now. These are Long Toms, and they’re massive. My grandma taught me an easy trick for freezing tomatoes. Just wash and freeze whole, then when you thaw them the skins just pop right off, super easy! And the seeds squeeze right out.

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Lemon squash, okra mix, salt & pepper cukes and lemon cukes, fairytale eggplant, Asian cukes and slicers.

Folks keep stopping by the okra and asking, “why is it white?” or “why is it red?”  or “why is it so fat?” I grow 4 varieties, because I like variety. Silver Queen okra is white, Burgundy okra is red, and Eagle Pass okra is short and fat. There’s also regular green.

Also lots of questions about the lemon cucumbers. They don’t taste lemony, they are very fresh tasting and never bitter. The larger ones have bigger seeds but have the best flavor in my opinion. The Asian cukes are also super delicious, very fresh and crispy. I don’t peel them, just rub off the spines. I like to slice them thinly on the mandolin and put them in jars with water and Bragg’s unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (maybe 60/40?) and lots of sea salt for fridge pickles. It’s all just so good right now.

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American Original Beefsteak. So dependable.

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Picking outside tomatoes. I haven’t grown outside tomatoes in 5 years! There’s milo on the far left, then a row of pigweed, then 4 rows of green okra, then a row of pigweed (Baha!) and 2 rows of tomatoes. Man, it’s so much cooler picking tomatoes outside. The hoop house is like the inside of a volcano.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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