Farm News/Communication

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Posted 10/3/2010 4:50pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
...The few cool nights we are having are a great precurser to the first picking of Kale that will occur this week.  Not only will we be having the green of Kale, but also Batavian Escarole, Arugula, Greens Beans, and Young Rutabaga Greens.  If you are one that has been looking foward to some Fall Greens, then here is your time.  We still have the couple of summer crops to add to your Fall salads, like Okra,  Peppers, and Greens Beans.  Then to add color and more crunch you can always through in some of our beautiful radishes. 

Please see all of what is available at our On-line Organic, All From Our Farm, Produce Store, so you can order and pick-up at this Wednesday's Oct. 6th Drop off at Elmington Park or On-Farm.

Thanks and Eat All your Greens!  
Posted 9/26/2010 5:52pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Good evening to you all as we have now entered into Fall.  The weather here for the last two days has even felt like Fall and this makes everyone feel a little lighter in step and notion. 
With Fall also comes some great Arugula and we sure have a great amount of it this year, so I would encourage everyone to head to your kitchen and start having fun with Arugula in salads.  You can even use Arugula for pestos, paste, and for adding flavor into raw soups. 
The Radishes are in their prime right now as well and when it comes to radishes there is not another better way to snack before a meal then to have a beautiful bowl of radishes, a ramiken of Redmond Salt, Butter or Cheese, and Crisp Toast.  When all four of those ingredients in your mouth at once it really is an experience of taste sensation. 
To see what else you can find at the On-Line Store then please head on to take a peak and we hope to be seeing you this Wednesday the 29th. 

Allison Mills Neal
Posted 9/20/2010 12:19pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Hello to Everyone as we are glad to be back to the Farm to see what all new greens are coming on.

We arrived to late yesterday to get the e-mail out as normal on Sunday, sorry about that, but we are still moving along as normal for our Wednesday the 22nd delivery and here is our On-Line Store offering you can take a look at.  

There are four new items to be extra excited about....Rutabaga Greens Bunches, Arugula in Bulk,  Young Radish Bulb and Green Bunches, and Dragon Wax Snap Beans.

We hope that some of you made it out to The West Nashville Farmers Market while we were away, to support Max, as he went both the last two weekends. 

As the tomatoes and peppers are slowing down we will not list those at the store to order, but we will have some that you can add to your bag when you pick-up on Wednesday on a first come first serve basis.  The Okra is still wonderful and tasty and it is still producing in full, so you will find that listed as normal.

Posted 9/5/2010 3:37pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
As those of you that have been enjoying our juicy and sweet watermelons from either On-Farm or the Elmington Park drop off, we decided to allow even more customers to enjoy our organic varieties of Watermelon this past week-end by setting up a watermelon booth at the West Nashville Farmer's market there at Richland Park.  That market is a very quaint and lovely  market set in the shade, as this was our first time going, even as bystanders.  I think we might have been one of the few sellers of organic watermelon at the market this day and were able to send home to customers around 73 watermelons.  Max, Matthew and I really enjoyed handing samples out and seeing how everyone knew after tasting that they had to not leave the market without taking one of our watermelons home. 

***Important Announcement for Regular On-Line Store Customers***

For this coming week Matthew and I have decided to take a hiatus for our birthdays, and Max, our intern,  is going to rise to the occasion to be in charge of all at the farm for that time period.  With this being said, instead of having our normal On-Line Store Offerings for the Wed. drop-off, we are going to let Max take all of our available organic produce to the West Nashville Farmer's Market on Saturday the 11th.  If you have not made it to this market you should give it a try for certain.  The hours of this market at Richland Park Library, off of Charlotte Ave., is from 9 am to 12 noon.  We would love for you to show up and give Max your support for his efforts in doing this all by himself.  We should have Okra, French Green Beans, Herbs, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggs, the last of some Watermelons, and maybe even some new varieties of Cucumbers. 
As our timing will not allow for the On-Line Store to be posted for the following week's Wednesday the 15th delivery, we will be heading to the West Nashville market that following Saturday as well.  Then we will be on track, for our normal Wed. delivery on the 22nd. 

Thanks so much and have a wonderful week.

Allison Mills Neal
Posted 8/29/2010 8:11pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
We have received some wonderful rains today to help our newly planted fall crop seeds onto a closer point of germination.  The soils here were oh so nice to walk in and on during fall seed planting this past week, as they are the finest silty loams that have up to this point of fall planting  been in two seasons of cover crops.  You might would have mistaken the dirt for chocolate dark and light in texture.
Until the fall crops are here we will continue on with the summer crops until they stop producing.  So we still have the best Okra around, and yes this week we will for certain be up on our tippy toes reaching for the highest okras.  Watermelons are still in full, as we have been eating 1-2 watermelons a day, and just like apples these help keep the doctores away, right. I think it might be tradition for some to enjoy wonderful watermelons for Labor Day weekend celebrations, so maybe one watermelon will be just for you.  The Sweet Bell and Long Corno Di Toro Peppers have been mighty nice lately as well.  The new item this week you will notice is the French Sorrel as it is starting to pop itself back up out of the ground, so those of you who love the French Sorrel will be happy about this one. 
Please have a look and see what all else you might find at the Arugula's Star Farm On-Line Produce Store.
Allison Mills Neal
Posted 8/22/2010 5:08pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

Red Velvet Okra Plants all in a row...The Lush Green Vines of the Picnic Watermelons centered with summer savory in the long Strip Row of Vine Crops.... All here at Arugula's Star Farm.  The Flood came and it has past and within the same Nature wonderful Organic crops are still growing here this summer, with of course some pinches of devoted hard work and sprinkles of good energy.  We are very thankful for this to say the least!

I am sure that everyone has enjoyed all of the wonderful hard rains that we have had lately, as it really was well needed and well received.  The rains have really caused the long row of Okra plants to shoot up extra tall.  Two of the varieties in particular, Red Velvet and Louisiana Long Green, are so tall that one has to reach up above one’s head at least an arms length to pick.   Other than the juicy and summertime favorite of Watermelon, I would really recommend trying one of our Okra mixes.  You really are missing out to not at least give Okra a try if you have always thought that Okra was not for you.  One of the best ways we have found to eat Okra is to roast it.  The medium Okra is great roasted whole rubbed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and some fresh chopped herbs of savory, oregano, and marjarom.  Then the larger ones are great to go ahead and cut into rounds and then roast in the same manner.  It is also advisable to go ahead and  do both, whole and chopped Okra, as the contrast of the whole with the chopped is really a site to see on a platter.  The Roasted Okra is then great served with fresh sliced tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and cheese, Or you can even roast the Scallopini Squash, Sweet Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes along with the Okra and Herbs.

Fresh Watermelon makes a wonderful cool starter before a meal, as it is always recommended to eat most of your melon before a meal as opposed to afterwards.   Melon likes to pass through ones digestive system without getting stuck in the belly with all the other foods that are being broken down, so that is why ideally you would try to eat your melon as a starter course or as a complete snack by itself. 

To view what all we have available this week please head onto our On-Line Store.

Remember, if you ever have any questions about ordering please let us know, or refer to the Genuine Organic Produce Red Box at the top at our website for answers to all of your questions on the How's, What's, and Where's?

We hope to be handing you a dense and sweet watermelon or two, a bag of Okra and maybe a few other great healthy organic vegetables to boot.  See you soon…Arugula’s Star Farm.

Posted 8/15/2010 5:28pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Good Evening to you all.  I hope you were as excited as I am when you read the subject yes our sweet melons are here in full.  If you are one that has signed up for the mailing list and still just have not ordered yet for some reason, this is the week you should choose to have a look at our selection of certified organic produce at the Arugula's Star Farm On-Line Produce Store.  You will never have an organic sweet melon as good as one that comes right out of the field's here at Arugula's Star Farm ripe. Please pass the word around to your friends as well, if they have been wondering where they might find a delicious summer organic sweet melon.  We even have two different varieties of watermelons to choose from.  The great unknown fact about watermelons is that they do not ripen any more after harvested, so this is why you can buy a couple and they will last in a cool spot (room temerature, not the frige) for weeks.  Think... you could make a trip to the delivery site and stock up with the best watermelon you could find anywhere in the area for the next couple of weeks.
Contrarily, Sweet Melons will continue to ripen and they will go over ripe very quickly sometimes, if you do not go ahead and cut them when perfectly ripe and store them in the frige.  Especially the sweet melons that we pick out of the field, as we like to let ours get ripe enough to actually be one of the best tasting sweet melons you will ever cut into.  We have three different varieties of sweet melons, one heirloom and the other two specialty types that are all worth trying.  When it is sweet melon and watermelon time in TN, I would advise eating mostly melon for your fruit, so then you do not have to even get any fruit at the grocery!  Sweet Melons are extremely good for you and are most appropriate for summer time eating.  I think Watermelons and Sweet Melons should rank even higher than the beloved strawberry.
We also have a wide array of other Certified Organic Summer Vegetables, Herbs, and Sunflowers at the On-line Store, so please go have a look and we will hope to be seeing you this Wednesday the 18th at either Elmington Park or On-Farm. 

Thanks so Much,
Allison Mills Neal
Posted 8/8/2010 4:46pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
Howdy everyone on these blazing sunny days. 

As it is summer time, this is really the only time and the best time to eat the types of vegetables and herbs that are offered at The Arugula's Star Farm On-Line Store this week.  Just think of how long you have waited since last summer to endulge in Juicy Tomatoes, Crunchy Cucumbers, Slender and Snapy Okra, Sweet Roasted Summer Scallopini Squash, and Hot Peppers and Herbs for flavor.  If you do not take opportunity now, you might find yourself sitting at the tables this winter wondering why you let all these great seasonal summer vegetables pass you by.  The tomatoes are even great to freeze or jar, so you can pull out to enjoy in the winter months when there are not any real outside grown tomatoes for miles.  Then how about pickling some of your cucumbers and okra to enjoy at a later time as well.  If you have never tried Okra non-fried and are wondering if you would like it, then please try ours as it is the best tasting Okra you will ever enjoy in many ways other than frying.  To read more about Okra click on the More Details part at the On-Line Store.

Here is an idea for a Cool Summer Marinated Heirloom Tomato Soup that was made this past week that was delicious and refreshing...

2 lbs of Heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered, DO NOT PEEL
1/2 cup of tomatoe paste
1 1/2 cups of water
1 tsp of celery seed
3 T of extra virgin olive oil
2 T of sherry or red wine vinegar
22 basil leaves
~1/8 tsp of finely minced Ring of Fire Hot Pepper ( more or less depending on how much of a spice you are wanting your chilled soup to have)

Combine all ingredients in a food processsor, taste for seasoning.  Put in the refrigerator and let cool for 2-24 hours for the benefit of a more ripened flavor and cooler soup.

So many times I will think of recipes and ideas of food combinations myself, or I will completely alter a recipe to fit a rendition of what I had in mind with what in season ingredients I have to work with, but this recipe actually came out of a Patricia Wells book called Vegetable Harvest.  If you are looking for a great new cook book that will give you all kinds of inspiration for in season vegetable eating I would highly recommend it. 

We hope you are enjoying your summer vegetables from last week and if you have not tried any yet, maybe we will see you this Wednesday the 11th at either Elmington Park in Nashville or On Farm.

Posted 8/1/2010 3:34pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.

According to our Farm Journal we have now entered our 47th day of above 90 degree weather, since it started being extremely Hot and Humid back in June.  Then now, we are saying hello to August and are only wondering what could be in store for this month??

No matter what is to come with the weather, at least the summer vegetables can withstand the heat and are hanging in and looking quite lush to say the least, which means we can count on having some great summer produce coming forth in the month of August.  Our Tomatoes have started ripening up so you will have available the great and juicy summer fruits available at the On-Line Store.  The Purple Beauty Peppers are as well looking darkish purple and full, alongside the Star of David and Louisiana Green Okra, so these will be other new items to eat on as well.  This week’s Arugula’s Star Farm Certified Organic On-Line Store really has a wonderful selection of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, and eggs, so it really makes sense to think about making a point to order, as then all you have to do is show up at Elmington Park in Nashville or On-Farm.


We will be offering beautiful Tiger’s Eye Sunflower Arrangements with slips of Sorghum Grass to brighten up your eating table that you will be enjoying all your organic vegetables and fruits on. 

We will also still be having the Cucumbers, Summer Squash & Zucchini, Wax Beans, and complimentary herbs of basil, summer savory, coriander, and oregano.

Thanks for Keeping up and we do hope you will place an Order with us.

Arugula's Star Farm


Posted 7/25/2010 4:53pm by Allison Mills Neal & Matthew Neal.
We are excited to say that the first Wax Snap Bean harvest will be this week.  As I grew up picking green snap beans as a child every summer, I always look very forward to our first snap bean harvest.  Snap Beans are so snapy, sweet, and delicious it is hard not to snack on them when picking down a long row.  The greatest part of these snap beans that will be ready for first picking are wax snap beans of yellow and yellow-purple stripped color, hence the variety names of Gold Rush and Dragon Langerie.  When you click on Wax Snap Beans at our On-Line Store you will be able to find out more information on them there, so please take a peak and place an order.  We also have all the summer crops back that were offered last week like the cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini, and herbs. At the on-line store, you will notice that on all the vegetables there will not be a count on the amount remaining, so do not let that confuse you as being zero.  The only item that will still have the count available will be the eggs.  Another interesting item that if you are a Radish fan you will love is the Snapy Radish Green Pods.
When I was looking back at the Basket Journal's from 2009 I was reminded of how many vegetables that we normally have that we just do not have this year because of the flood, as they were all washed away, so we just like you have missed having carrots, beets, fennel, and greens as part of our late sprng and early summer eatings.  Nonetheless, you will have opportunity for all these great vegetables in the fall as we just got our first round of fall seeds out last Friday that consisted of Broccoli, Carrots, Leeks, Celery, Cabbage, and Rutabagas.  These are all of the fall crops that need to go out by the end of July or they most often have trouble developing great size before the daylight time starts deminishing in the late fall.  With the extreme temperatures that we have been having it was hard to imagine that it was actually time to start getting fall crop seeds out into the field.  As every growing season brings changes and surprises, I will say that this years' summer has had the longest run of Hot, Humid, & Sunny days that I can remember since the summer seasons back in the late nineties.  Last year, we can remember many picking days of clouds and rains, which has not been the case this year at all.  
Let me now let you know what you have to look forward to in the coming weeks... the fields should start producing other ripe summer fruits of  tomatoes, okra, and sweet melons, so you will have the selection of what we are having now plus these new additions.  
We hope everyone enjoyed the Coriander last week and we hope many more of you will continue to try it as we will have it every week for next while as we have dried a good amounts of it.

Until next time, keep up the organic /local eating!

Allison Mills Neal

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