August 17th Market

There has been a slight change to our farm dinner but I believe in the end, it will be much more enjoyable.  The problem is we are having a hard time getting an ABC license for the dinner at our farm.  So the deal is, we will have mocktails at the farm and appetizers while Matt shows you all he is doing around the farm.   You will learn about our growing practices and how we chose the food we are going to grow.  The tour will begin at 5:30.  From there, we will get in our cars and go to Sub Rosa Bakery at 620 N. 25TH ST.RICHMOND, VA, 23223.  We are so thankful to them for allowing us to use their space to create a beautiful dinner for you!  At Sub Rosa, your dinner will begin.  I will explain each dish and tell you where the food came from.  Some of the food will come from us, some will come from our favorite family farms, I will make sure to tell you about their farms as well.  I will also tell you how Chef Danielle prepared the food for you.  Corey, you will recognize her from market, is a wine expert! She will tell you about the wines that will be accompanying your dinner!


If you want to skip the farm tour, just show up at Sub Rosa at 6:30.  We are just happy for your company!  If you would like to attend this dinner, you can purchase tickets here.  We hope to see you there!

Now let’s talk about market and what our farm share members will be receiving in their bags!

In your bag you will find:
Carmen Pepper
Cherry Tomatoes

Our kale is the prettiest it has been all season!  Matt has been babying it and even hand picking bugs off the leaves!  We have to hand pick the bugs that love to eat our leaves because there are no organic pesticides to take care of these pesky bugs! His hard work has paid off and this week our kale is beautiful and crisp!  When kale is this good, I love it as a salad!


Picture Courtesy of Gimmesomeoven.

If you know me, you know one of my favorite things is to search for great recipes when things are in season.  Its my hobby and my passion to feed my family the great food Matt grows.  We work with some amazing chefs and their creativity inspires what I do in the kitchen.  I am a lucky one!  When kale is this good, simple is best!  That way you can savor the goodness of the kale!  Gimmesomeoven has this awesome recipe that is so simple!  She says to massage the kale.  Often times, I marinate the kale for a few hours, either way works. I would throw in some beautiful cherry tomatoes to round this dish out.  Serve it with a grilled chicken breast and it will be a delicious easy dinner!

Matt has grown these beautiful Carmen peppers!  I love to make better than take-out pepper steak with them!

67933665_2388993104647606_2407716201795944448_n.jpgHere is my secret, I always use brown rice and I always use a rice cooker.  Rather than using water, I use chicken broth for the rice.  It is so good!  I alway make extra and have some for lunches.  I made this dinner this week.  My only wish is that I added bok choy to the mix!   I am going to make this recipe again and I will be adding the choi!  Here is the recipe.

I love, love, love stuffed poblano peppers!  I love them so much, I make a double batch and make them for a dinner and my lunches!  This recipe is so delicious I highly recommend it.  I promise it is so easy!

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It is just as easy to do a double batch so that is what I do.  You can find the recipe here.



When it comes to summer, my favorite is Yummy peppers!  That is what they are called because they are so good!  When our son was real little, he would go to the field with us and pick these peppers right off the plant and pop them in his mouth.  He would call them yum-yums.  They are very sweet and his lunch box favorite.

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I love just to eat them raw!  I sliver them and put them on salads.  I cut them in half and dip them in hummus.  The chef who is doing our farm to table dinner is pickling them!  When I want to get fancy, I stuff them with goat cheese and blister then on the grill or broiler and serve them as appetizers.  When something is so good, keeping it simple is best.



We hope to see you at the South of the James Market this Saturday from 8-12.  It is going to be a beautiful day!

August 10th Market

We are very excited to host a Dinner in the Field featuring the great food of the very talented Chef Danielle Westbrook.  Chef Danielle trained under James Beard Chef Dylan Fultineer and is soon to leave us for Chicago to hone in on her talents with the chef who trained Chef Dylan.  We are very excited that she wants to use our farm as her canvas of culinary creativity.  We will begin with a farm tour at 5:30 and then we will all sit and enjoy Black Creek Farm’s and other local farm’s best of their best prepared by a very talented young chef.


Dinner will include wine pairing and and great desserts.  Ticket cost is $80 a ticket.  You can purchase tickets through Eventbrite by clicking here. We hope you will join us in our celebration of a great growing season!  We hope to see you there!

If you are a farm share member, here is what you will find in your bag:

  • Salad
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Shishitos
  • Poblanos
  • Hanover Tomatoes
  • Cherries
  • Tokyo Bekana

Let’s talk tomatoes!  What makes a Hanover Tomato a Hanover tomato?  It has nothing to do with the type of tomato and has everything to do with the soil!  Our farm is in Black Creek, an area of Hanover that is known for its sandy soil with a high acid base.  Tomatoes (and lots of other things) love growing in this soil.  The high levels of acidity transfers in to the wonderful taste of the tomato.  So a Hanover tomato is all about the soil!

Sadly, we only have a couple more weeks of tomato season so I have been doing everything with them.  My new favorite thing is tomato tarts!  They are beyond delicious and such a treat!  Right across from us at market is Goats R Us Cheese.  We trade each Saturday and I get to try a different cheese she makes.  There hasn’t been one cheese I haven’t LOVED.  Long story short, I use whatever cheese she gives me on these tarts and I love it!

I will say, each time I have made them, they have gotten better and better because I learned more.   Preheat oven to 400. Put the phyllo on parchment paper and brush with olive oil and chopped garlic in between each layer (yes there are a lot of layers).  That is what I learned to do.  The tart on the right does not have that and trust me, taking the extra time to do it makes it that much better!  Spread goat cheese or ricotta and top with colorful tomatoes. I learned Cherry tomatoes work out great and makes the tart even more beautiful!  The first time (the one on the right) I didn’t fill in open spaces with little tomatoes, when you top the whole thing with tomatoes it looks so much prettier. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes. YUMM!  Seriously, it is easy and if you are having folks over to your house or need to bring a covered dish, THIS is impressive!

I have also been eating tomato sandwiches every day!  Grab a loaf of Norwood Cottage Bakery and some goat cheese from Goats-R-Us with our tomatoes and you will have the best tomato sandwich ever! 

Tomato Sandwich

Photo courtesy of 52Food where got the recipe!

Summer should always be easy, and these two recipes are so easy!  Serve either of these dishes along side our arugula or field green mix and you are complete!  You can find the recipe for the salads here.

Enough about tomoatoes!  We are also moving in to pepper season! First comes tomatoes and as they close out, you then get peppers!  I love them and have lots of recipes.  My favorite is stuffed poblanos.


Photo courtesy of Skinnytaste (where I got the recipe!)

This recipe is delicious and is a great meal prep recipe.  I make a bunch and then either have leftovers the next night or lunch for a couple of days!  Get the recipe here!

I also love this Pepper Steak Recipe!

It is a great easy weeknight dinner!  I use Matt’s sweet banana peppers, thick walled carmen peppers as well as shishitoes when I make this.  I always throw in one of his fresh cured onions.  They are just so sweet, this dinner is amazing!  I have also made this for my lunches for work!  Here is my secret, I bought a rice cooker!  They aren’t that expensive and the rice turns out outstanding!  Rather than using water, I use beef or chicken broth while using brown rice.  It truly enhances the flavor of the rice!  You can get the recipe here.  In fact, I am making this for dinner tonight!

We now have our lettuces back!  I absolutely love this Tokyo Bekana lettuce!  It is like a loose leaf romaine but the stems are like a bok choy so they are delicious to eat!  You can sauté this with stir fries (including the pepper steak recipe), make wonderful salads, or create great lettuce wraps!

Another dish that is a family pleaser! You can get the recipe here.  I promise you will love it.  If you decide to meal prep with it, just make the meat ahead of time and then serve it with the lettuce when you are ready to serve.

I am busy and I need simple.  It is my priority to eat as much of Matt’s delicious, clean food as we can.  I work hard finding meals that fit our lifestyle.  Sunday meal prep has been our savior!  I am a principal and Matt is working the fields from dawn to dusk. I have figured out some great recipes that allows me to eat well and continue with the core values of our farm.

We hope to see you at the South of the James Farmer’s Market this Saturday from 8-12.