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 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.
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!
- 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!
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:
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!
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!
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!
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!