June 30th Market and Pick-up # 7

The constant down pours have been real hard on us.  The last round of flash floods did a lot of damage to the infrastructure of our farm.  We are praying that we have an end to these storms so we can start rebuilding structures around the farm.  Each time we plant and a flash flood comes through, we lose that day’s work only to have to do it all over again and pray that it germinates in time for it’s intended market.  I am friends with another farm in our area and their struggles are the same.  This season, it is what it will be and we will hold our head high and keep growing for the kind folks of RVA.  I guess you can say, that’s farming!

This upcoming June 30th is kid’s market at the South of the James!  Our son and I are on vacation at the bay.  Matt was able to come for a day but had to go back to check on the farm.  Last year, he made crab night lights from the crabs we ate.  He is bringing them again this year!

It is a project he loves to do with the exception of cleaning out the crab shells!  His grandmother and I work on that while he runs around talking about the guts and looking at it.  The rest, he handles and does an excellent job of creating them.  I am very proud of my child’s work ethic, and I attribute that to coming to market with us each Saturday.  He understands hard work equates success and he watches Matt working hard each and every day.  The market community embraces him and encourages him.  There are no better folks that the folks who run and vend at the South of the James Farmer’s Market!

While we are here, Matt and his crew are working hard planting, harvesting and cleaning up the farm from flooding.  We will have a great show this week at market!  If you are a Farm Share Member, you can find this in your bag:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Field Greens
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Carrots
  • Salad Turnips

Here is my farm house menu for the week:

Monday:  Asian Chopped Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

I have to admit, Matt’s vegetables are so good, I actually prefer them raw.  This salad is perfect!  If the spicy peanut sauce is too much for you, no worries, make this easy dressing and it is so good too!  2/3 cups of olive oil, 8 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss all of the ingredients in to a mason jar and shake!  I wanted to offer two dressings for those of you with peanut allergies.

I use Matt’s carrots in this and throw a few chicken breasts in the oven to cook to roast while I am putting this salad together.  The beauty is the napa cabbage is so hearty that it can be made ahead of time.


This is a recipe I make on Sundays to have lunches all week!  I leave out the dressing until it is time to eat it.  I actually spiralize the carrots for this recipe and chop them up, they are so good!  I never put in the purple cabbage, I use what is on hand, but it looks beautiful in the salad.  I also toss toasted Ramon noodles on top for an added crunch!

Tuesday: Mushroom and Kale Lasagna Rolls

What I love about this recipe is that it is easy and you have easy portion control!   I get the ricotta cheese from Goats R Us Cheese and the beautiful mushrooms from either Hasshroms or Casselmonte Farm right at market.

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This is kid friendly and usually this recipe lasts us two days.  Sometimes, I pack it for lunch the next day, it all depends on how busy we are the next day.

Wednesday:  Grilled Salmon served atop Turnip Salad  

This turnip salad literally takes 10 minutes to put together.  I grate the turnips and carrots.  You could probably spiralize them, I haven’t tried it but it could work.  Then grill the salmon which takes another 10 minutes and serve.


The added pumpkin seeds are wonderful!

Thursday:  Grilled Shirt Steak with Fresh Green Bean Salad

This recipe is so easy with some forethought.  Marinate the steak the over night before you prepare the dinner.  If you do this, yo have a 30 minute dinner!


This is so fresh you can’t go wrong!  This week, you will find my favorite green beans in the bag!  Jade green beans!  They are so good, I love them raw.  This will be such a treat!

Friday:  Grilled Peach Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

It is peach season and nothing is better than grilled peaches and a honey vinaigrette!  I serve this with grilled chicken since we are already grilling!  If you need peaches, get them from Saunders Brothers at the South of the James Farmer’s Market!


This recipe calls for blue cheese.  I honestly prefer the smooth taste of fresh Goat’s Cheese from Goats R Us Cheese at the South of the James Farmer’s Market with this!  Grilling the peaches makes such a big difference and sweetens the peaches.  In the picture they have them halved, I usually cut the peaches in 1/4ths once they are grilled.

We will also have other goodies at market!  We will have:

Summer Spinach (Tatsoi)
Summer Loose Leaf Romaine (Tokyo Bekena)
Fingerling Potatoes

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


June 23rd Market and Farm Share Pick-up #6

The longest day of the year is June 21st and it is the peak of the growing season! Our vegetables love the long, hot days.  It is the time that our fertile fields begin pumping out beautiful food!  Long days equate to long days of work to ensure great production.

We have harvested all of our garlic and hung them in the barn to cure.  Our interns, Stephen and Emma have worked hard harvesting and hanging the garlic.

Above you see Stephen harvesting the garlic and taking to the barn.  He is living on the farm with us for a second year!  Stephen is learning sustainable farming from Matt and is a great asset in the field.  Emma, on the right, is a graduate student at Virginia Tech studying sustainability.  She is learning all she can to apply them to her studies.  We are grateful to have these two young ones coming to our farm to learn from  and help Matt.

Matt is engineering a system to bulk produce compost tea to integrate into our soil to bolster fertility.  Compost tea contains all the soluble nutrients extracted from the compost, but also contains all the species of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes in the compost. The boost of beneficial organisms enhances a plant’s immune system protecting them harmful diseases.  Matt’s inventions always amaze me and his creative mind solves real problems quickly!

If you are a farm share member you will find in your bag:

  • kale
  • carrots
  • squash
  • field greens
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • onions

Here is my farm meal plan:

Monday:  Kale and Quinoa Salad

In the summer, we eat a lot of salads.  Mainly because they are easy!  Really, who wants to cook after a hot day outside! One of my favorite salads is kale salad.  I don’t massage the dressing in, I simply make it a day ahead of time and let it marinate.


I love this recipe because of the high protein content.  You really don’t need meat.  Quina has 8 grams of protein in a cup and and one cup of kale has 2.9 grams of protein.  Lean, healthy proteins are what you body needs!

One of our farm share members shares beautiful vegan recipes with me.  I thought of her when I found this one and hope she enjoys it!

I have also made this recipe for my healthy lunches I take to work with me.  It is truly so good and after eating something this good, you have energy to last you the rest of the day!

Tuesday:  Salmon and Summer Squash in Foil 

Talk about easy and healthy!  Put it in a foil pack and cook it for 30 minutes.  During your 30 minutes, work out, fold laundry, or play with your child!  This is such a healthy, clean recipe that is so very easy.  Serve it along side Matt’s field greens and you have a remarkable dish!


This is also kid approved!  Our son absolutely loves it!  He even helps make it and feels good about his contribution to dinner!

Wednesday:  Stir Fried Carrot Noodles with Chicken

Last year, I finally broke down and bought a spiralizer.  I absolutely love it!  This recipe uses spiralized noodles instead of noodles so it is extra healthy!  This recipe calls for chicken but I have used all kinds of proteins in this.


The recipe calls for spinach, but I use tatsoi or bok choi whatever I have on hand.  Matt and I usually eat whatever is left over from market so I have learned to be very flexible.   know you will love this recipe.

Thursday:  Sautéed Japanese Turnips with Turnip Greens and Panko Crusted Pork Chops


Many people only eat the turnips, but the greens are outstanding!  I suggest serving them together along with pork chops!

20160520-japanese-turnips-vicky-wasik-8It is such a simple and easy dish!  Served along side baked pork chops, you can’t go wrong.






Friday:  Bangin Good Chicken Salad

I love bang bang shrimp, chicken, or whatever!  This is an easy bang bang recipe!  I use Matt’s Field Greens and they are delicious with this.  This is another recipe that I make ad take for my healthy workweek lunches.

bangin-good-chicken-salad-550x825.jpgIt literally takes 3o minutes to pull this together and you are done!  The bang bang sauce is delicious!

We will also have tatsoi, arugula, tokyo bekena, and bok choi at market so be sure to stop by and pick up some of our goodies!

We will be at the South of the James Farmer’s Market this Saturday from 8-12!  See ya there!!!

June 17th Market and Farm Share Pick-up #5

They say there is no tired like end of the year teacher tired.  They are right!  This week was filled with end of year celebrations and cheers!  I had my Pre-K and 5th Grade Moving Up ceremonies.  My 5th Grade Moving Up Ceremony became quite emotional to me.  I was able to hold myself together until the end of the ceremony and I balled, ugly crying and voice cracking in front of everyone.  Those kids were in 1st grade when I came to Sandston.  When their 1st grade teacher left after the first week of school, I taught them for a month along with my fabulous Title 1 Reading Specialist until we could find an amazing teacher (she was outstanding).  I became very close with this bunch because of that.  They will be taking a piece of my heart with them to middle school.  I am so blessed to be able to touch the precious lives I touch.  There is truly no job more rewarding!  With that said, this blog posting will be a little on the light side.  I hope you understand!

Each year Matt grows cabbages.  They are always so beautiful!  This year, he decided to grow Napa cabbages!  They are true beauties and what I am most excited about!


They are great raw as a salad and in stir fries!  I am thinking of making some fish tacos with them!  I love a good taco!  I will add some of these beautiful radishes and carrots and have a great dinner!

Here is my recipe for Asian Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw!  They are so good and so clean!  You will absolutely fall in love!



I would like to introduce you to my friend Corey!  She may look familiar because she has been our market helper for several years!  Corey has a facebook page called Life Is 4 Tasting.  She visits the South of the James Farmer’s Market regularly and picks up fresh food from many of the vendors.  She then posts her meals on this page.  She is a talented chef and creates the most beautiful dishes!  She will be be popping in helping us out from time to time, so be sure to check out her posts!

Here is what our Farm Share Members will be getting in their bags and what we will have on our tables:

Green Beans
Spring Onions
Napa Cabbage
Field Greens

We will have the same things out for our market shoppers but we will also have carrots, arugula, and turnips, tatsoi, swiss chard, and tokyo bekenna.  It is going to be a great week!

We will see you at the South of the James Farmer’s Market this Saturday from 8:00-12:00.


June 9th Market & Farm Share Pick-up #4

We have had over 16 inches of rain in two short weeks!  Many farmers are hurting from all of this rain and they are in our prayers as we fully understand how much they depend on the income their farm produces. We have weathered these storms and are making it!  We are thankful that our dam held since we depend on the water from our pond to water our plants. I bet you never thought farmers were engineers!  Well Matt and his dad engineered our dam to handle heavy floods and their design is working so far.

In this shot you see the emergency overflow pipes in over drive.  The water filled up our pond to the point our docks were covered.  We were thankful our pumps although went under water are still working.


This is our fishing pier.  As you can see, it is completely under.  Our son thought it was very cool so him and Matt took a break to see what fishing would be like in the flooded waters.

We are also thankful that Matt used his engineering talents to engineer our beds to withstand the flooding.  I have to say, I am amazed by his work!  He grows in raised beds incorporated with organic matter and he fills the walkways with wood chips.  His beds stood strong and held up to the heavy rains!

First, we had a late start to spring which slowed down the start of our season and now too much rain!   We are happy to be surviving the weather and coming to market bringing you the best of what we grow!

So, if you are a Farm Share member and are wondering what will be in your bag, this is going to be a great week!  You will find:

  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Tatsoi
  • Field Greens
  • Turnips
  • Radishes

Monday: Beet Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Basil with Grilled Chicken Thighs

We have beets!  I don’t know what I want to make first because it has been so long since I have had fresh beets!


My friend and Farm Share Member Corey made a great beet relish recipe.  I then began to look for something I would want to try so I found one!  You can make it ahead of time and pull it out when you are ready.


Chicken thighs on the grill are just amazing and so easy.  I would also serve this with a side of the field greens.

Tuesday:  Tatsoi and Carrot Stir Fry topped with Shrimp

In the summers, I love a stir fry!  It is such a great way to get rid of whatever is in my refrigerator so honestly, I use it as a clean out for me!  I made this stir fry this past week and used everything, even turnips!

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Stir fries always make more than enough and I always have leftovers.  I also serve them atop brown rice.  I honestly never know how it is going to turn out!

Wednesday:  Turnip Au Gratin , and Skirt Steak served atop Tatsoi Greens.

One of our Farm Share Members, Katie shared this recipe with me!  It looked so darn good, I dropped everything and made it.  I used a mandolin slicer to slice up the turnips real thin and I ran with it!

It turned out beautiful and the pairing was amazing!  We were able to eat off of that side for a couple of days, which is awesome!

Thursday:  Roasted Carrots, Radishes, and Chickpeas with Baked Pork Chops

Since you are at market, the best place to get pork chops is from Black Boar Farm.  We use their pork all the time and their meat is so flavorful because their pigs eat the best of the food and are kept in wonderful conditions.  Dennis is a great guy.

When Matt pulled the carrots this week, they were BEAUTIFUL!


Fresh pulled carrots are so sweet!  I know you will enjoy them.

Friday:  Field Green Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

Well, we have just about eaten everything!  This is one of my favorite salads from my favorite recipe blogger!  All of her recipes are absolutely great!


I love her fresh dressings!  Give them a try, they are so easy!  Grill some chicken breasts and add them on top of the salad and you will have a great meal!

I truly hope you enjoy the food this week!

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