As the seasons are always changing we said good bye to all the summer crops and summer cover crops over the weekend as they were all churned in. Now the fields are landscapes of dirt and bright green fall crops. The dirt will be awaiting its fall/winter cover crop seeds of grain and legume. We did indeed get some rain last week, and we are hoping for another sprinkling tomorrow afternoon and night.
Please click on The Arugula's Star Farm Certified Organic Produce Store to see what wonderful local vegetables you can get for your weeks eatings. Organic/Local produce when available should be always saught out and used, as if you ponder for a short second you will realize that an organic/local produce item can not be fairly substituted.
We have had a very full week at the farm, as we were also able to accommodate a luncheon group for a good friend and prior intern, Roben Mounger. This consisted of a tour of the farmby Matthew and I, a tour by Mr. Lannie Neal, my father-in-law, of his house and art collection, and then a most delicious All-Organic Lunch served, inspired by only what vegetables were available from here at the time. This was a great day from and educational point of view as it was all encompassing of organic farming, art & design, and organic, in-season food production, not to mention the fun that Roben's group had.
Then Matthew and I were able to attend the Land Trust for TN Blue Moon event over the weekend, as we had placed the Farm here in the Land Trust just this year. We enjoyed the historic Glen Levan property, where the event was held, and the company of the many 800 others that showed up to support the cause of saving Land!
We also had an evening of toasting a prior farm intern in 2008 to a happy celebration of wedding on her families Organic Farm out in Rutherford County. It is always lovely to see the cycle of how good causes and good ideas continue to spread...congratulations to Lauren and Paschal for carrying on the causes of organic farming and eager young growing love!
Well we can all hope for some rainy days this week and we will be hoping to see you on Wednesday morning at Elmington Park or On-Farm for pick-up.
Allison Mills Neal
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
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? ...www.ArugulasStarFarm.com
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.
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
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.