Friday, June 20, 2014

FARM FRESH SWEETS

Friday, June 20, 2014


Farm Fresh Sweets

"My son, eat thou honey, because it is good;
and the honey comb, which is sweet to thy taste"
Proverbs 24:13


**I have a GIFT FOR YOU and your family today...read on! **

Meet our friends/family that help us pack your shares at the end of the blog...they are our gift from God so we can serve you better!




The farm smells sweet this evening as honeysuckle and freshly turned soil smells mingles in the air. My family is all gathering in for the evening all sweaty and happy...they've had a long hot day in the field. To my men and growing boys, work is sweet...not always fun, but doing what they were, as men are created to do. They are a true blessing to me...and I pray to you.Please tell them so this weekend as you pick up your shares or when you visit our Face Book page!



This is our 3rd week of CSA, and we're all starting to hit our strides. As usual there are a few glitches at each market, but prayerfully we'll be tastingsweet success this week! The shares will have lettuce, purple top turnips, green beans, kale, kohlrabi, squash and onions! A wide variety of yummy veggies to experiment with as a family. 

Fresh out of the extractor!

Last Friday evening when the shares were all packed and loaded into trucks, a small crew worked on cleaning the porch where we packed your shares. Isaac and his "friend" Destany excitedly moved inside to work with our first honey of the season at our kitchen table. He and Adam had already
extracted the first harvest of the season with about 90 pounds of honey! The honeyharvest is exciting after years of learning with varied results. A sweet aroma filled the air...REALLY sweet! They filtered the buckets of honey, (see the first picture at the top of the blog) and filled LOTS of 12 oz. honey bears. Soon it was a family affair (really 2 families) as some were filling, sealing, and the tedious peeling and applying of the labels.  Soon the honey bears were all lined up like a golden parade down our 12' farmhouse table!  The old saying, "Many hands make light work." is very true on our farm. Friday nights are a perfect example of it! Look for Colvin Family Farm Honey at your market this weekend, or order online at our website! Look for the link to our gift to your family and make this into a "Honey Unit Study". 

Here are some of my favorite recipes to use it with the vegetables you receive in your share this week!



Adam with an armful
of turnips he harvested.
Honey-Glazed Turnips

1 Bunch (about 3 medium) Turnips
3 T. Honey
2 T. Butter
1 C. Water
Sea Salt and Coarse Black Pepper
1 T. Fresh Lemon Jui

Peel and dice turnips. Place the turnips honey, butter and water in a large frying pan with a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil and cook on medium-high heat until just about tender. (Around 10 minutes) Uncover and bring the water back to ab oil, and cook until water is almost gone. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally.  (About 10 minutes) The turnips at this point will be golden and glazed, another 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. 


Red Butterhead is my all-time favorite lettuce!  At the end of every spring I reluctantly eat my last salad with its silky texture, and then eagerly await its return in the fall...I'm enjoying it's last days of harvest....it's that time of year again! 

I love experimenting with salad dressings recipes to compliment the freshly cut lettuce that is brought to me in the farmhouse. Since the sweet smell of fresh raw honey lingers in my kitchen I thought I'd mix up some Honey-Lemon Dressing to celebrate the first honey harvest! It's a light springy taste that compliments the buttery leaves of my favorite lettuce. 


Honey-Lemon Dressing

1 T. plus 2 t. fresh lemon juice
1T. Honey
1/2 t. chopped thyme
Lemon Zest
"shy" 1/2 C. olive oil
Coarse ground Pepper

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice with the lemon zest, honey, and thyme. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Makes 1/2 cup. ENJOY!

I guess I have lettuce on my mind as I pick out my recipes for the week. I've been wanting to make lettuce wraps for over a year now, but light meals aren't usually what they have in mind after a long day of field work. I usually end up using the filling in a hearty braided loaf of bread.  So I'm plotting...the guys are usually not big eaters after standing on hot pavement in the city...so Saturday evening I'll have this light meal on hand when they return. 

I knew this
recipe was a winner
when it called for my
favorite Chinese
Chili Sauce! 
Honey Sriracha Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 - 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-4 boneless chicken breasts or our preference, thighs
1 C. shredded carrots
2 stalks celery, dices thinly
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/4 C. honey
1-2 T. Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 cloves minced garlic or if your fresh garlic is gone all ready, 1/2 t. garlic powder
12 Bibb or other large leaf lettuce

Drizzle olive oil into a heavy skillet. Add the chickena nd saute until cooked through. Add carrots, onions, and celery, along with honey, Sriracha sauce, soy sauce and garlic. Cook until thickened and the chicken is well                                  coated.  Place filling in washed lettuce leaves. Serve hot.

I would be wrong of me not to mention my family's favorite use for honey...

Honey Butter

1/2 C. butter 
1/2 C. raw honey
1/2-1 t. cinnamon (optional)

I usually just lay my butter on the counter until it is soft, or overnight. Using a whip or hand mixer, whip butter. Next, slowly drizzle honey into the mixture as you continue to whip it. Serve with warm biscuits, or toast! This is a special breakfast. This toast topping can help you overcome colds and the flu when you add a good dose of cinnamon to the mixture. When a cold is going around in the winter, the jam stays in the pantry and cinnamon honey butter takes its place.

We use many natural "folk" remedies to treat the minor illnesses that our family catches, coughs, treating burns or scrapes (doesn't work with little ones as they most often are tempted to lick it off) and to ward off spring allergies. This week I did a bit more digging and learned there is far more uses for honey than merely topping toast, or in the manner I've all ready stated.  I started a "Honey board" on Pintrest. Follow it if you'd like more ideas! 

Here are my top 5 reasons to buy a supply of raw, unnfiltered honey.

1..All "honey" is not created equal. It's been stated that 80% of the honey sold in stores is not really honey at all! A recent uncovering of "honey laundering" in the United States found that several of the top distributors of honey were buying Chinese "honey" which is watered down with corn syrup. Soon a label stating something to this affect, "this product is 100% honey" will be mandatory when packaging honey. In addition to this there is an absence of pollen in most grocery store honey which means the abundance of vitamins, minerals, and pollen are heated/filtered out. So, what do you get? You get simply a sugar syrup of unknown origin despite where the label says it was packaged. Purchase honey from a local farm that you know personally harveststheir honey. Talk with them about their work and process. You will be able to tell if they know their business. Home Schooling families may ask to see their hives and tour their processing building. Truely know your source. We personally know of at least one "farm" that puts their comb in a jar and fills it with honey purchased from Virginia! As you can see, the old adage, "Buyers Beware!" really applies when purchasing honey!


2. Locally harvested  honey from a reputable farm is a great allergy suppressant!  When honey is harvested from your region it will contain pollen that triggers your allergies. When you eat it on top of toast, in your tea, or by the spoonful daily in the months prior to your "allergy season" you will build an tolerance to the pollen that usually triggers your symptoms. It would be best to buy honey harvested just after your personal "allergy season". For example, if the beauty of spring is a feast to your eyes but not on your senses; this is the time to buy your year's worth of honey.

3. Raw honey has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal  properties. 
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are rising up on every hand. There are now 20 known resistant strains of bacteria, mainly because of the reckless dependency on prescription drugs. It has been reported that over 2 million people contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year! Prescription drugs seem to be making people sicker in the long run, and more vulnerable to infections. Many scientists are now looking for simpler solutions. What are they learning? "Raw honey is still one of the best natural antibiotics around to this day." Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island (We also use garlic oil capsules and tea.)

4. Raw honey helps regulate blood sugar levels. Even though honeycontains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial chemical sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. It is the natural choice for using a sweetener in moderation.

5. Raw honey contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes not present in refined honey. Once the "honey" (remember, it may not be real honey) is heated, filtered, and shipped it may not contain the life giving benefits you think you're paying for. I LOVE good deals, but be cautious when you see a "good deal" on honey.  

One of my children's favorite sandwiches up to about age 10 is probably peanut butter and honey. Charity (6) and Levi (8) are connoisseurs of this childhood staple. When their bellies started to rumble today, they came and asked to make a picnic. I all ready knew the menu! They sliced fresh bread with broad grins of satisfaction, and were anticipating the moment they would be settled in "their spot" on top of our slide stand for their picnic! 

This is how God wants us to anticipate our time in His Word the Bible! Just like the children's hungry looks of expectation, we too can have the delight of even the thought of getting into our quiet "secret place" and searching for the sweetness in God's Word. "My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: So shall the knowledge of wisdom be unto thy soul: when thou hast found it, then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off". Proverbs 24:13,14  Matthew Henry sums up the sadness of our day, "All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation." How is your "sweet tooth"? 

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife
Val



P.S. Since you made it to the near-bottom of the blog I have a gift for you! Here is the link to the The Bee People by Margaret Warner Morley (PDF ebook) It is a delightful 1899 “Living Book” about bees. Wonderfully easy to read and highly inviting to young readers, the chapters read almost like a storybook, and include "Bees & Flowers", "How a Bee Sees & Flies", "Honeybees", "How and Why Bees make Honey & Honeycombs", "Queen Bees", "Bee Facts & Fancies", and much more.  It includes "Questions for Review" at the end of the book. This is a great “Charlotte Mason” style, living nature study book you and your children will enjoy! I love to read "children's books", and we love to read aloud during our lunch breaks. I hope you'll enjoy it too! I HIGHLY recommend their website offerings. I don't subscribe to many sites, but this site is FANTASTIC and FREE!
To download this PDF ebook, click on this LINK.  
P.S.S. I am a hands-on reader....cuddling up with a book is part of me. So, instead of reading off the computer I printed the book off using the "duplex" setting and will laminate the cover and comb-bind it for future use. Bee Friends is now a frugal addition to our library!


A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OUR FRIENDS-FAMILY THAT HELP US EACH WEEK


Noah (15) and  Timmy Brock
visiting the farm kitchen through
the window when the  screens
were down! They are picking buddies
on the farm on Friday packing nights.
THANK YOU TIMMY!
 Jeannie and  Timmy Brock.
God has given our family
a visible picture of His servant spirit
through them. We are all blessed
because they serve so unselfishly!
THANK YOU!
 Heather Brock...better known now as
Nikki.  Her bright smile and helping hands
make the packing day go much quicker!


Destany Brock and Sister Allison Edwards

Destany works weekly here on the farm packing
shares with her family. She's Isaac's special 
"friend". Allison is Adam's special "friend" and
helps out occasionally. We are looking forward
to the day when she can help out regularly!
Here they are getting a first hand lesson on how
to fill flats before seeding in the  greenhouse.

THANK YOU GIRLS! 

We're looking years of working together!

Thank you for your help Brother
Jake Edwards!