Thursday, January 13, 2011

CSA Week 4

     Greetings from Colvin Family Farm! This spring has been so beautiful…not only are the  fields looking lush with many kinds of greens, colorful lettuce, beets, onions, broccoli, cabbage, and much more, but the sides of the long driveway are now are adorned with lovely wild flowers! I am sending you a small sample of what I see when I look out my kitchen window. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the Master artist and I praise His name for the beauty.
     A farmer’s life is action packed! We are still working up ground and planting many hours a day when the weather permits. Our new mower is back from the repair shop (!!!) and we are making the farm look like someone lives here again. Steve, the elder farmer, keeps busy with a myriad of projects while training little boys to be future farmers. We’ve experienced our first virtual farmer’s market this week and HAD A LOT FUN watching our vegetables sell online for approximately 72 hours! Welcome to all our “virtual” customers in Crossville. Then comes market packing day (Tuesdays and Fridays)! On Friday we harvest, field wash, sort, pack, bake and more from sunup to around midnight. It’s a big day for everyone, and thrilling to see what the Lord has grown for all our families! I hope you enjoy all the pictures…and don’t draw any conclusions until you meet me. J
     In the farm kitchen I continue to sprout wheat, clover, radish, lentils, and red rice. I hear stories of folks enjoying their first experience with sprouts…they are AMAZING! Live sprouts have live enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids we need for everyday healthy living. Nutritionally, dried seeds, grains, and legumes (beans) provide only a small portion of the total nutrients the body requires. But, once they are sprouted, seeds provide the largest relative amount of nutrients per unit of intake compared to other food sources. Sprouting multiplies the content of minerals and vitamins in the seed many times because a wealth of nutrients is released to aid the development of the seed during its growth process.  There is no doubt more nourishment contained in a plant’s sprout than at any other time in its life cycle. Vitamins A, B complex, C, and E are increased sometimes as much as ten times!  Because of the amino acids that form as the seeds sprout, sprouts are very easily digested.  I’ve also read that sprouts are what are called “biogenic”-alive and cable of transferring their life energy to your body.  Using sprouts in your meals gently increases the nutritional value of your meal…and they taste great too! I hope to give a sprouting demonstration when you visit the farm this summer. During the dead of winter sprouts are a vital part of our diet, and I’d like for ya’ll to learn how to provide for your family’s needs also.
     A new addition to your shares this week is another green…spinach! I know it’s ANOTHER GREEN to find a use for, but it is, in my mind, the “queen of spring”! My first tastes of spinach are not in the dining room, or even the kitchen…but in the garden. While it is still wet from a dew or shower I nip my first taste of springtime. As a young wife, I would often walk over to the strawberry bed and eat the two combined.
       We haven’t always lived on a farm. We started our marriage out on a one acre plot where we “homesteaded”…we built a log home, planted gardens, raised bees, chickens, planted fruit trees and strawberries. Just before God gave us this farm in 1999, Steve was making plans on building a small pond to raise fish in! There is so much you can do on a small parcel of land. We looked for this farm for 18 years before God gave it to us. But there were many, many lessons of contentment to learn as we waited. God continually asked me, “What do you have in your hand?” Then I was to be found faithful with that alone…Now on 41 acres, there is SOOO much to do that we must pray for wisdom on our next step…oh my, back to spinach, the “queen of spring”.
     When I was first married, (29 years ago Sunday) Steve’s Aunt Glenn took me under her wing. She was one of the last “mountain women” …a generation of women that knew how to live close to the land, make due with little for her family until more prosperous times came and wasn’t afraid of hard work. She had an early garden that just amazed me as a new bride (I had never gardened before). I always came home from my visits with her with tender spinach, delicate lettuce, green onions, and radish. She and others taught me enough to come alongside my husband and have my first garden. She was famous in our family for her Spinach Salad. The best recipes are often the ones that are the most simplistic. It will always remain a family favorite! 

Boil about 4 eggs (This depends how many you are serving. Plan on boiling 1 egg per person.)  While eggs are boiling, fry about 10 strips of bacon. Drain well. Wash enough spinach to meet your family’s needs. Tear it into a serving bowl. After eggs have cooled a bit, cut into small pieces. Next chop the bacon. Sprinkle both over the spinach. Prepare dressing. Do not skip this dressing, as it is a special part of the salad.

In a small bowl measure: ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1/8 cup vinegar, ¼ teaspoon prepared mustard, and ½ teaspoon of garlic powder.  Wisk together and serve with Spinach Salad.

     Aunt Glenn died this spring…but the early gardens on Colvin Family Farm would bring a sweet smile to her age worn face.

I know this is another quiche recipe, but this has been a FAVORITE for the Colvin family for over 25 years.  I often make this recipe when cooking and freezing meals for a month. I put 54 meals in the freezer in April to use when we are all exhausted but hungry from a long day of farm work. I’ve even made it without a crust! Give it a try.

Quick Spinach Quiche

Prick, and then precook two bought or homemade deep-dish pie shells for five minutes.

In a food processor or blender blend:
4 cups finely chopped, cooked spinach well-drained
6-8 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups mixed cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, use what you have on hand)
Dash of salt
“About” 1 ½ cups milk
Cooked bacon or left over ham bits, optional

Blend well. After the pie shells have pre-cooked for 5 minutes, pour mixture into the pie shells. (This is easiest and neatest done by pouring the mixture into the shells while they are still in the oven.) Bake at 350 degrees until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

     This is a great dish to make ahead and freeze. Mix the quiche filling and pour into a labeled gallon Ziploc bag. Freeze flat on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then store standing up “file style”.
     As my Friday is now Saturday…I’ll draw this to a close.  I want you to know that each of our 54 families that are share holders to our farm are mentioned each week in prayer. It is our privilege to serve you. If you ever have any suggestions on how we can serve you better, just write us. We are looking forward to meeting ya’ll on June 17th at our first farm field day. More details later, just put it on your calendar!  “For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God.” Hebrews 6:7