Poplin Farms

albemarle, nc

Month: March 2016

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.

 

 

 

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