June 2nd Market & Farm Share Pick-up #3

Last market a wonderful thing happened!  Our 9 year old son was a market musician.  He has been taking piano for a year and loves it.  He wanted to give it a try and Karen and Doug, the market managers, let him.

Sage Playing Market

Our son has been coming to market since he was 2!!!  The folks who are at market have embraced him and encouraged his creativity and artistic expression.  He said he was very nervous but even the market customer’s encouraged him.  I feel so lucky to be a part of this loving community.

This week, we are full on in to garlic scape season!  Garlic scapes are the flower bud of the hard neck garlic plant.  They taste mild and sweet and sweet with an unmistakable garlic flavor.


We have customers buy them by the handfuls and freeze them.  We have had other customers make pesto out of them, freeze it to save for later.  They are certainly a great treat if only for a short time.

If you are wondering what will be in our Farm Share Members Bags, here you go:

  • Broccoli 

  • Squash

  • Radish 

  • Fava Beans

  • Field Green Mix

  • Tatsoi

  • Tokyo Bekana

  • Scapes

Here is my farmhouse menu:

Monday:  Broccoli and Chicken Stir Fry

I love a good stir fry!  It is so easy and fast to make.  I will add some garlic scapes to this stir fry.  You will be so happy!


Photo Courtesy of Skinny Taste

This is also something I make on Sunday’s for lunches for the week if you all meal prep.  I always use brown rice with it, the recipe doesn’t call for it but it sure does add a lot to the meal.  My theory is, if you eat clean  every day and work out, you will get down to your natural size and feel great and full!

Tuesday:  PF Chang Copy Cat Lettuce Wraps

No lie, this is sooooooo good.  You can serve this two ways, atop a chopped salad or as lettuce wraps.  You will use your Tokyo Bekana with this recipe.  Remember the Tokyo Bekana looks like this:


Photo courtesy of High Mowing Organic Seeds

It has a nice romaine lettuce taste that pairs so well with this recipe.  Our son loves to eat these as wraps and they are sooooooo good!  You can sautee your garlic scapes with this recipe instead of garlic.  You will love the subtle taste.

For those of you who love watching food videos, here is a how-to from the recipe’s author:


I absolutely love her recipes!  I post this one every year when we have nice greens!  This being done in 20 minutes is a BONUS!!!

Wednesday: Fava Bean Quinoa Salad

This week you will have fava beans in your Farm Share!  What an amazing treat!  This is the first time Matt has grown them so I have been searching high and low for a great recipe!


The fava pods are not edible at this stage, so you will need to shell the beans.  The beans are tender, with a sweet, mild grassy flavor. The beans are similar in shape to a lima bean.  This is how I plan on serving them:

fava bean salad

Picture Courtesy of One Green Planet

The quinoa will give you plenty of protein.  I will serve this atop our Field Greens!  This is so fresh and clean you will feel good after eating it!

Thursday:  Halibut with Spring Onion and Summer Squash Saute 

This is another quick easy clean and healthy recipe!  It is perfect for a week night!


Picture courtesy of Bon Appetit.

This time of year, fresh squash is just incredible.  When something is so good, I prefer to cook it simply.  This recipe allows you to savor the flavor of late spring!  It is also a quick weeknight dinner, what I need!

Friday:  Crispy Salmon on Tatsoi with Spicy Thai Sauce and Roasted Radishes

I absolutely love Thai food!  If you are looking for the best Thai in Richmond, stop by Pad Thai on Meadowbridge Road in Mechanicsvile.  It is a sweet restaurant owned and run by a sweet Thai family.  They are just awesome.  You won’t be disappointed!

Tatsoi is one of my favorite greens!  It tastes like spinach without the bitter aftertaste.  When sautéed, it holds its shape nicely.  It can also be eaten raw like a salad.  The stems are fabulous unlike spinach, they taste just like bok choy, so use them!


But, if you are settled in your house,  and want to eat some tatsoi, try this out.  It is another quick fast recipe, what I crave!  It will take you 20 minutes max!

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 9.10.01 PM

Picture courtesy of The Daily Meal

Be sure to saute some radishes just prior to adding in the tatsoi for an added great flavor!  If you have garlic scapes left, use them in this as well!  You will love it!

We are looking forward to seeing you at the South of the James Farmer’s Market next Saturday from 8-12.  We are there rain or shine!

May 26th Market & Farm Share Pick-up #2

The farm has received more than 10 inches of rain in one short (or very long) week!  To say we were worried is an understatement!  Matt is truly a sustainable farmer and he builds his beds with mulches and great compost.  This is why we have beautiful produce on a consistent basis but it is also why we didn’t wash away!

This is a movie Matt made of our new growing space.  You can clearly see, once Matt puts in place mulches and compost, our crops are protected.  This practice also protects our watershed and prevents heavy run off keeping our soil fully amended.  The space next to and behind the asparagus is the space that Matt is working on for next year.  Just prior to the storm, Matt put down hundreds of dollars of cover crop seed.  We are hoping that the seeds started germinating and we did not lose our investment.


As you can see, we have a rain gage, but the gage spilled over after 6 or 7 inches of rain.  I have to say we feel very blessed that Matt has put in all of his hard work of heavy mulching to protect our crops for upcoming markets and Farm Share Member bags!  We know some farms weren’t as lucky as us and they are in our prayers.  Farming is the hardest job you can ever have but the weekly reward of the harvest is amazing!

I can’t tell you how much we love our Farm Share Members!  I am so rewarded when they send me pictures of the food they have prepared for their families!

One of our members made this beautiful Bok Choi stir fry!  She said it was so easy to whip together and so tasty!  I am making it tonight with shrimp and mushrooms from Hasshroms!

stir fry

This same Farm Share Member made the quiche I suggested last week!  She even got her ricotta cheese from GoatsRUs!


I love seeing our field greens served right up next to it!  This Farm Share Member works full time and is a new mom.  Her and her husband amaze me with their tag teaming of making each dinner together special!

So, what’s in the bag for our farm share members (and on the table for our South of the James Customers?

  • Strawberries
  • Green Garlic
  • Field Green Salad
  • Boc Choi
  • Tokyo Bekana
  • Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Kale

Here is my menu:

Monday:  Balsalmic Strawberry Chicken Salad served atop Tokyo Bekana
Strawberry season is short, so make the best out of it!  This is a GREAT salad and so easy to make on a busy Monday!


Photo courtesy of Will Cook for Smiles.

I love grilled chicken, so I fire up the grill and while that is heating up, I make the rest!  I serve it on top of the Tokyo Bekana leaves.

Tokyo Bekana

Photo courtesy of High Mowing Organic Seeds

These leaves are like loose romaine lettuce.  They stand up well and are so delicious.  You can either chop it up and make a salad (the stems are great) or wrap them up and serve them Last summer, these became very popular at market and are one of my favorites!  You can even put them in stir fries!

Tuesday:  Crunchy Bok Choi Salad

Y’all, we are at the end of the school year, we are under testing stress, and the kids are ready for summer.  It is at this point that I am “pretending” I have it together.  I NEED easy dinners!  This is another easy one!


Image courtesy of Will Cook For Smiles

To make this a meal, you really need to add some protein to it so I add some shrimp because it cooks up super fast!

Wednesday:  Garlic Scape Pesto Pizza

Our son loves this one!  He actually helps me put this together.  I am looking forward to the day I can tell him to make dinner!  I am a cheater, I buy store bought pizza dough, or sometimes I will be buy Naan bread or pita bread and use it for pizza!  Cottage Bread from Norwood Cottage is tasty as well just slice it in half and heap on the good stuff!  If you want to make your own crust, it is better but it is Wednesday!  =) I don’t have a recipe so I just get creative!  I start off by making Garlic Scape Pesto.  It is easy really.  I am so lazy I make it in my smoothie bullet because I don’t want to pull out my food processor (Don’t judge, it is the end of a school year).  I have even used this pesto to mix in with pasta it is so good!


Picture courtesy of West Coast Seeds

I spread the pesto across the bread, dough, pizza crust.  I then get some ricotta cheese from Goats R Us and dollop it on the pizza crust.  I swear their ricotta is the creamiest I have ever found.  I then slice up some radishes and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese and top with some of our arugula.  I cook it for 10 minutes and serve it with our field green salad that is in your bag!  It is so good.  If you aren’t an arugula fan, or if you want to use what is in your bag, kale is real good on top of this pizza too!

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Turnip, Kale, and Lentil Soup

It is Thursday and I have almost made it to Friday!  I need a slow cooker recipe by this point.  A slow cooker is like having a housewife.  I come home from work and dinner is ready!  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me.  It does take some prep, I prepare it either before bed or I get up 20 minutes early to get it together.  Matt will come in from the field and turn it on at the appropriate time so we can have dinner.  I know many of you don’t have that options so if you have an instant pot, you can do it with that too.  The instant pot is really helpful if you don’t want to prep prior or if you are like me and work 10 hour days and you don’t want your food to burn up.


Recipe courtesy of Chef De Home

I serve this along side our field green salad and and my favorite bread from Norwood Cottage. I love his Red Pepper Flake Parmesan with this!  When you eat healthy you can eat bread, right!?!

Friday:  Avocado Salmon Salad served atop Field Greens, chopped up Tokyo Bekana, Kale, and radishes.

We are putting our beautiful kale in our Farm Share Member’s bags and are bringing it to market!  It is beautiful and salad quality!  I am using what is left in my bag to serve up this salad!  You can use the rest of the field green salad, Tokyo bekana, and Kale.  If they need to be freshened up, pop them in a glass of water as you would flowers and leave them in the refrigerator like that while you are at work.

Below see this video of this recipe. Yes, this one is so easy to put together!

I promise you you won’t be disappointed.  Here is my hint, I toss it in a big bowl and serve it on plates and then top it with the salmon.

I absolutely love your food pictures so please send them to me by inboxing Black Creek Farm on Facebook.

We will see you at the South of the James Farmer’s Market this Saturday from 8-12!

May 19th Market & Farm Share Pick-up #1

This is my first blog since November!  As many of you know, I am a principal at a local elementary school, so this school year has kept me hoping but has been so rewarding!  Matt has been working hard on expanding our farm so we can grow more and expand our high quality produce in to the RVA area.  Two years ago, we purchased the land across from Matt’s growing field.  On this land is a modest solar home where our intern resides and our second growing field!  We have also been working very hard to clear this field and make it a space to grow in.  To see how it began and then how it is now is nothing but amazing.  Please watch our growth by watching this slide show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This project has taken us two years, and we are slowly turning it around.  Our next goal is to have hoop houses put up in the back of this field so we can extend our seasons and stay at market longer!

Matt has also worked hard in building a beautiful hoop house. We built this hoop house just for our ginger crop.  Matt has been researching ginger and has been talking to Bill at Casselmonte Farm our local ginger expert.  Bill and India grows ginger for Hardywood!  You can even see the name of their farm on their label!  Bill’s wife India comes out to the South of the James Farmer’s Market and sells their beautiful produce as well.   Bill recommended to Matt that we grow our ginger as he does, in hoop houses.  We listen to our local experts and built this beautiful hoop house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Matt has always been dabbling in blacksmithing and he is teaching our son.  They black smithed this beautiful latch together over the summer.  Of course, I married a farmer and knew nothing about farming other than cooking the food.  I never realized how much skill a farmer must have to ensure the success of his farm.  It is truly amazing!

So, if you ever wondered what Matt does in the winter, this is it!  We are also working on the installation of a new cooler.  Since we will be producing more food, a new cooler will be needed!  Within a few years, we are hoping to serve our local community with our own farm stand on the property.  We will continue working at the South of the James Farmer’s Market so don’t worry!

Our first farm share is here!  So if you are a farm share member and are wondering what is in the bag, here it is!

  • Brocoli
  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Field Green Mix
  • Bok Choi
  • Green Garlic
  • French Breakfast Radishes

So here is my menu this week based on what is in your bag!

Monday we will use our Broccoli and Green Garlic:
One Pan Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Broccoli
Y’all, we are busy at the farm!  Our son is involved in so many after school activities I don’t have time to play during the week!  This is a recipe you just put in and forget until it is done!  When it calls for garlic cloves, be sure to use your green garlic!


Picture courtesy of Skinny Taste

This is done in 30 minutes!  Something I appreciate on a Monday!  Serve this with cottage bread from Norwood Cottage Bakery and you will be so happy!

Tuesday:  We will use our spinach and field green mix!
Spinach Ricotta Quiche
This one takes an hour but literally, you don’t have to babysit it and can do other things while it is cooking!  I am not going to lie, I cheat, I don’t make my own pie crust I use this:
download (17)You can get it from the biscuit section in the cooler and it is so much easier!  If you make this with fresh eggs (we also bring several dozen to market) and fresh ricotta from Goats R Us Cheese (they are right across from us at market) you can’t go wrong!


Picture courtesy of Skinny Taste.

I serve this along side our Field Green Mix and it is delicious!  I always make my own dressing to ensure it is clean and fresh!
salad Here is a very simple recipe for a healthy dressing:


  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (we will have honey at market)
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup of good olive oil

The beauty is, once you have these ingredients in the house you can make as much as you need fresh!

Wednesday:  We will use our Bok Choy and Green Garlic!

Garlicky Shrimp Stir-Fry with Shiitakes and Bok Choy
There is nothing easier than a stir fry on a Wednesday!  This literally takes 20 minutes to make!  Now, if you use brown rice, that takes a bit longer but you can start that 20 minutes before you begin cooking!  Fresh mushrooms are the best, so be sure to visit Haashrooms at market for the freshest mushrooms!


Picture courtesy of Skinny Taste

This is so healthy and makes a beautiful leftover lunch!

Thursday:  We will use our leftover field greens and spinach and our beautiful strawberries.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Strawberries, Spinach, and Field Greens
This is so good, and the creamy goat cheese from Goats R Us makes it even better!
Our berries are simply gorgeous and added to this salad alongside warm grilled chicken makes it so very nice!  The dressing in this recipe pairs so nicely with all of the ingredients!

Although I have this on the menu for Thursday dinner, I am thinking about using this as my meal prep for 4 days of lunches!  I meal prep on Sundays so I can have healthy food for my lunches!  I love not having to think about lunches during the week!

Friday:  We have already eaten just about  everything in our bag!  We only have French Breakfast Radishes left!

Our radishes are so beautiful, I am giving you two options!”

Option 1:  Grilled Chicken and Spring Time Avocado and Radish Toast
If you have leftover Norwood Cottage bread, I suggest this one!  Eat it out on the deck with a glass of white wine and you will be ever so happy on a Friday night!

Another great recipe is this one: Bucatini with French Breakfast Radishes, Bacon and Greens . I will be honest, I would add some chicken to this recipe!  It would also be great chilled and served as a salad!

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Jack Frost has finally loosened his grip and has allowed Matt to do what he loves…..GROW GREAT FOOD!

We will see you at the South of the James Farmer’s Market from 8:00-12:00 this Saturday rain or shine, you got to eat!