Poplin Farms

albemarle, nc

Month: July 2016

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!

 

 

 

 

Melons!

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

Crimson sweet watermelons and small lambkin melons. Both are very sweet. Heirloom tomatoes in these varieties: Brandywine, Giant Belgium, Cherokee Purple, Limmony, Azoychka Russian, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Giant Green, Black Krim, Persimmon, Bloody Butcher. The only hybrid I have is American Original Beefsteak. Also a beautiful cherry tomato mix.

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Hmmmm. Perhaps someone is slightly obsessive?

Potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: sweet, red & cipollini; zephyr and lemon squash, mini fairytale eggplant  regular eggplant; okra; jalepenos; 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. We have marrow bones and oxtail tomorrow.

We finished taking up potatoes FINALLY and with help from Shane and David, thank you thank you thank you. It’s so hot, and wallowing around in the dirt for hours sweating buckets SUCKS. I knew I worked them too hard when David goes, “Jill you should be on that show Survivor. ” Baha! And now, I’m going to lower the price on my potatoes back to what it was 2 years ago because these are so huge that 2 potatoes is over a pound sometimes! Monstrosities. Makes for some nice baked potatoes though.

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Lambkin melon. Very sweet, slightly crispy white flesh. Super yummy. I tasted these at a Slow Food workshop and I will definitely grow them again.

The watermelons take 90-100 days but they are coming in now, same as the 65 day Lambkins. Hey I’m not complaining, it’s just…mysterious.

Fairytale mini eggplant:

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These are good caramelized, cut side down in a pan with coconut oil and balsamic, and salt.

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Dinner is served! I love having small plates of different veggies that we can share, tapas style, at the patio bar.

We picked the corn and gave it to the lambs. Watching them eat it was super funny:

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Last week, the weatherman said, all clear. LIES. Shane mowed all 40 acres of orchardgrass; it got rained on 4 times. That would have been a lot of high quality square bales for horse customers but now it’s just *better than a snowball* round bales for our horses. If they’ll eat it. It lost all it’s color and smell, I can’t speak for the flavor. This week they called for rain every day. UM HELLO NO RAIN. I’m talkin’ to YOU, Keith Monday!

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I got my first batch of fall transplants started and I put them on the back of Leroy (the flatbed truck) so I could drive them into the shade until germination, then relocate as necessary. It’s really too hot to try to start them in the black plastic flats in full sun.

Anyway they germinated, and I was getting in the truck this morning to move it to the sun and both dogs jumped onto the back right into my flats of plants. BAD BAD DOGS! They aren’t allowed to get up there without being invited, but you know how that can go. Then I was super crabby about it all morning and finally decided it would be best to eat my emotions in the form of blackberry muffins. Double the blackberries, double the vanilla. My own whole wheat flour. Oh my GAAAAAAH. I thought that with double berries they would be a juicy, gooey mess which was perfect, cuz I was gonna slather it in butter and FACE PLANT all into it. Turned out to make nice muffins which I ate with a fork like a civilized human. Twelve. I ate 12 muffins. And I felt much much better.

See you tomorrow!

 

Even more tomatoes.

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Kellogg’s Breakfast tomato has a sweet, fruity, pineappley flavor when it’s perfectly ripe. Honeybee was digging it! I put her on a tomato blossom and she flew straight back to the tomato :)

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

Heirloom tomatoes in these varieties: Brandywine, Giant Belgium, Cherokee Purple, Limmony, Azoychka Russian, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Giant Green, Black Krim, Persimmon, Bloody Butcher. The only hybrid I have is American Original Beefsteak.

Potatoes: German Butterball, Peppermint, Huckleberry Gold, Carola bakers; onions: sweet, red & cipollini; zephyr and lemon squash, mini fairytale eggplant; okra; a variety of cucumbers; flathead and red cabbage; 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. We have marrow bones and oxtail tomorrow.

Bags of soup bones are still BOGO 50% off.

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I just finished picking this row. The tomato plants are already to the top of the 8′ t-posts. They will fold over and grow all the way back to the ground. Some experts might say I let them have too much foliage and I should prune them. But some experts might not have seen these:

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and those:

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and that!

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Gotta be at least a pound and a half.

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Stinkbug damage on the second crop of sweet corn.  They stick their needle nose right through the husk into the kernels and suck all the goodness out. Kind of like what farming is doing to me.

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That’s poor pollination, from drought conditions during pollination. It also had a potassium deficiency which was probably also caused by drought, but I totally intended on trying to correct it with kelp meal and never got to it. And then there was this-

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Coon attack!

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Josie says there’s nothing wrong with that corn!

 

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I can’t believe I forgot about the MAPLE ROASTED TOMATOES recipe! Use small tomatoes like Bloody Butchers or cherries, slice in half, place cut side up on baking sheet and drizzle with equal amounts of olive oil or coconut oil and pure maple syrup. Roast at 250 for 4 hours. I think last year I started cranking the temp up to speed it up but can’t remember. I didn’t get a shot of them all roasty and caramelized because it was too dark in our house to get an appetizing picture by the time they were done. I had them with fresh mozzarella. You won’t believe how delicious these are.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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So many tomatoes.

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Fourth of July parties are going to be pretty delicious.

I’ll be at the Charlotte Regional Farmers’ Market tomorrow until 1pm with:

Heirloom tomatoes! In these varieties: Brandywine, Giant Belgium, Cherokee Purple, Limmony, Azoychka Russian, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Giant Green, Black Krim, Persimmon, Bloody Butcher. The only hybrid I have is American Original Beefsteak.

The yellow tomatoes are so delicious paired with the homemade smoked mozzarella from Uno Alla Volta (building C).

AND for the most life-changing, to-die-for tomato sandwich you absolutely MUST have the soft crust sourdough from Duke’s Bread (bldg B) and either a Brandywine or Giant Belgium tomato. And you must slice the tomato thicker than you slice the bread. Very important.

I also have cabbages-red, Dutch flathead and small savoy; the last haul of cauliflower, cipollini onions, red and sweet onions, okra, mini cukes, slicers, Asian cukes AND lemon cukes are coming in now. Lemon and zephyr squash, fairytale eggplant, 4 kinds of potatoes, sweet potatoes, wheat berries.

Our grass fed, grass finished, Angus beef in these cuts: whole ribeye and strip loins, 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. We have marrow bones and oxtail tomorrow.

Soup bones are still BOGO 50% off.

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I have 12 gallons of Bloody Butchers for tomorrow. Now that big tomatoes are coming in, I doubt I can sell all 12, so let me offer you a gander at this super easy and yummy roasted tomato salsa I made with them. Under the broiler for like 10 minutes, then into the food processor for a few seconds. Also freezable! Just think of those dreary winter days filled with endless bunches of kale and turnips….WE HAVE SALSA IN THE FREEZER!  IT’S A FIESTA! Already have 3 batches in the freezer. I grew some blah tomatoes this year, I think they’re called Zarnitsa but should have been named Mr. BLAND-O Dies a Slow Tasteless Death. I’ll be turning all of those into roasty spicy salsa.

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It’s just an onion, 1 or 2 jalepenos, garlic cloves and then I fit as many halved Bloody Butchers as I could onto the baking sheet. Broil til the tomato skins are blackened, then into the food processor with lime, salt and cilantro.  Here’s the recipe. (I liked it better without the cumin.)

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We put up 10 dozen ear of sweet corn. I am super happy with the corn this year even though I got the crazy-eye from a few customers. Pappy is enjoying the shucks and isn’t he cute with his sleek summer coat.

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Lacewing eggs on a tomato leaf :) We like lacewings.

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Fire ants are systematically destroying the eggplant crop, one by one. They tunnel right up the stem and through the branches. *INSERT PROFANITY HERE*

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This is so cool and so exciting! These are hibiscus roselles, for tea. I grew hibiscus plants from seed this spring and I never thought it would actually make roselles. Winning!

See you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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