Garlic coming along nicely. Scapes should be appearing soon.
Garlic coming along nicely. Scapes should be appearing soon.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a little rainy and wet around here. We had high hopes of planting in the field Friday night but that was quickly dashed away when Keith starting sinking in his boots. We had been soaking our spinach seeds and we needed to figure out a way to get those seeds in the field.
Because of space constraints in our larger greenhouse (30′ x 72′) we decided to use our smaller greenhouse (15′ x 48′). In there, we planted broccoli, eggplant and peppers, all planted this past week. In our larger greenhouse, we put in our tomato plants and some peppers. We also seeded some cucumbers in there too. We’ve been harvesting spinach for a while now. Very, very soon will be radishes and soon will be lettuce mix. Our new bed of spinach is looking very nice and with the weather forecast in the 70’s this week, hopefully, we will be picking these new beds.
So back to the soaking seeds dilemna. Keith had the great idea of planting in the raise beds that we already have out there. Last year those raised beds had plastic on them and contained zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers. So we quickly readied the beds and planted away. One bed of beets, one bed of carrots, one bed of spinach and that last bed containing lettuce mix, radishes, turnips and arugula.
Needless to say, a very productive evening last night getting this done. Very happy for the extra daylight as we started late and finished before the sunset.
OK folks, if you’ve procrastinated and put it off, now is the time to pick a CSA. Yep there are tons out there. How do you decide? Our CSA is a bit different from the standard ones out there. A little bit about ours:
We look forward to providing you and your family with great nutritious vegetables throughout the summer. Michelle and Keith
CSA Day Offers Second Chance for New Year’s Resolutions
Celebrate Community-Supported Agriculture on Feb. 23 with Still Seeking Farm
Are your New Year’s resolutions already in the rearview mirror? If so, you’re not alone, but you still have time to make good on those resolutions. We are pleased to join other farms from around the country for the third annual CSA Day on February 23, when you can join other like-minded people around the country who are committed to:
CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a subscription to a season’s worth of sustainable, locally grown produce that is distributed to members throughout the harvesting season. It is a form of investment that allows small farmers to continue growing on a scale that may not be sustainable without the CSA model. CSA members enjoy the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables for their family, while supporting their local farmer.
According to Small Farm Central’s CSA Farming Annual Report, the most popular time to join a CSA each year is at the end of February. To promote this important time for farmers, CSA Day was coined, and each year it falls on the last Friday in February. It’s an entire day dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture, and CSA farmers enjoy an influx of sign-ups from members, which gives them revenue when they need it most for the growing season.
Getting food from a CSA is different from going to a farmers market or using a grocery delivery service. As a CSA member, you make a seasonal commitment to a small farmer in your area, and the produce is either delivered to your door or you pick it up at a local distribution point. CSA members take pleasure in knowing where and how their food is grown, and typically have an open line of communication with their farmer.
“Community-supported agriculture is all about relationships and feeding families,” said Simon Huntley, CEO of Small Farm Central, a company that provides marketing support for small farms and started CSA Day. “CSA farmers typically teach members what’s in season throughout the year, and help them appreciate and cook food to which they may not otherwise be exposed.”
How to Get Involved with CSA Day
If you would like to celebrate CSA Day and support Still Seeking Farm, sign up for a share on February 23, and use the hashtag #CSAday to join the online conversation.
Sign-up is easy. To learn more and to join us for the 2018 season, you can sign up here:
As an added incentive and to pass along our appreciation, anyone who purchases a CSA share on February 23, 2018 will receive an additional 10% purchasing power and a half-pint of maple syrup. And to those of you who have already signed up, you too, will receive a half-pint of maple syrup.
Thank you for your support! Keith and Michelle
We are offering a sweat heart of a deal good through Valentine’s Day. Ten Percent (10%) off all of our maple syrup. Heck, if you order at least $100’s worth, we will even deliver it (limited to a 20 miles radius from our farm). Otherwise, you will pick it up at the farm.
Some of you may know that we are associated with Gilmanton’s Own. So if you order anything through any of the farmers/vendors associated with Gilmanton’s Own, we will even take 15% of any maple syrup you order through us. Same deal applies. If you order over $100’s worth we will deliver it (limited to the 20 mile radius of our farm).
To order your maple syrup go here and apply the code “Yum!” at checkout (don’t use the quotation marks).
To see a list of Gilmanton’s Own farmers/vendors go here.
Thank you for supporting local! Michelle and Keith
There are so many smoothie recipes out there and I suggest you just try what looks good to you. We have a Vitamix which works great. Before that we had a Nutra-Bullet but that just made one smoothie at a time. So we switched to the Vitamix where I can make two to three serving size smoothies at a time. Vitamix also makes hot soup and cold ice cream. It’s worth the investment. We use it every day.
For picky eaters and your kids, this is a good way to disguise your vegetables. I don’t get enough vegetables in my diet so by having a green smoothie once a day or three times a week I fulfill this requirement. I have to admit that I find myself making the same vegetables over and over again using the same method. I struggle trying to find recipes or something that looks good in the vegetable department so by drinking smoothies this helps a lot and to me, it requires less thinking and time which for me, is a huge timesaver.
LIQUIDS: So you need to have a liquid base. You can use water (filtered preferred). I typically use coconut water or almond milk dependent upon what kind of smoothie I am making. You can also use juice (vegetable or fruit) but be careful of the sugar content. Right now I am trying to reduce my sugar intake so I am using unsweetened almond milk and coconut water. Coconut water is surprisingly sweet. Be sure you get the kind that is 100% coconut water. Many brands on the market have added ingredients. Read the labels. I use Mojo Naturals or Goya Organics for coconut water. I use Silk for almond milk as it does not have the additive Carrageenan. Again, check the labels as even these brands might sneak something in dependent upon the variety.
LEAFY GREENS: The most common, in my opinion, and what I use a lot of is spinach. The taste is mild in a smoothie so that may be a good place to start. In combination with spinach I typically will use kale. Kale has a bit of a stronger taste but I typically will use 2/3 spinach to 1/3 kale. Sometimes I will throw in some swiss chard or beet greens and if I have mixed lettuce that needs to be used up, I will throw that in there too.
FRUITS: All kinds of choices here. I will buy a pineapple and then cut it up into chunks and freeze in a freezer bag and pull chucks as I need them. It is cheaper this way instead of buying the frozen cut up chucks in the freezer section of the grocery store. Just keep in mind the sugar content in some fruits are high. So if you are using high sugar fruits, there typically would be no need to add a sweetener. This is a good way to mask a stronger tasting leafy green.
SWEETNERS: Bananas that are brown and overripe will add much sweetness to your smoothies. My second go to is dates. Oranges work, especially those little ones like a mandarin. I have mixed feelings about agave nectar. I don’t use it anymore. Sometimes I will add Xylitol which is actually from a birch tree. I learned about Xylitol years ago from a conference I attended. Did you know Trident gum uses Xylitol? There are more out there but these are the ones that I would consider.
EXTRAS: Superfoods are great for you and have many health benefits in themselves. I could write pages and pages on them. I typically use green tea powder, spirulina or cacao nibs for my go-tos. I also use flax seed (ground up) and chia seeds on occasion. There are so many different superfoods out there. Coconut in my opinion is a superfood so I try to incorporate any type of coconut in my smoothies for the added benefit as it does so much for your body. I will typically add turmeric and cayenne pepper to my green smoothies. This does a good job of covering up avocado taste or a bitter taste and gets the blood circulating too. Good a cold winter’s day.
To get a creamy texture to your smoothie – freeze your bananas. I peel them and break them up and put them in chunks into a freezer bag and leave in the freezer. Use them as needed and just keep replacing them. Avocado also makes for a really smooth smoothie. To me, avocado has a taste that needs to be disguised so I am always mindful about how I use them in my smoothies.
HOW TO LAYER YOUR SMOOTHIE: Put your greens and liquid in the bottom of the blender. I typically will ground this up first before I add anything else – sometimes it gets a little tight in the blender and this will give you more space. Next add your fresh fruits and/or veggies, dry ingredients such as spices, powders, seeds or nut butters and finally frozen fruits and ice.
HEALTH BENEFITS: Once you start drinking smoothies, your body will begin to crave them. I know when I get a hankering for something sweet, instead of reaching for candy or some other sugar ridden product, I make my go to carrot smoothie (recipe below). By beginning this healthy routine, you will notice some changes, some immediate, some in time. Your energy will increase. By blending your “food” the process breakdowns plan cell walls, which makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb the nutrients. This means that your body does less work in the digestion process. You will probably notice your skin will change and your mind may be a bit more sharp (don’t we all need that!). Other benefits include strengthening your immune system, regular bowel movements and weight loss, because the high fiber content in your green smoothies.
PLEASE NOTE: The following recipes are enough to make two smoothies. I like thicker smoothies – so you would add more ice. If you like thinner smoothies, decrease your ice. Please take into consideration that if you are using frozen fruit you need less and if you are using lots of greens or fresh fruit, you may need more.
½ to ¾ cup of carrot juice (I make my own by juicing my carrots)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Dates – pitted; depending upon the size use 5 to 8
¼ cup of cacao nibs
2 tsps. Macha green tea (powder)
8 pieces of bananas (frozen) (about 1 ½ inches each)
**GREEN SMOOTHIE-simple-first timers**
2 cups spinach
2 cups water
1 cup chopped mango*
1 cup chopped pineapple*
(*one of these should be frozen)
(ice if you want it colder)
2 cups leafy greens (mentioned above)
2 cups liquid (I use coconut water)
1 inch piece of ginger
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp matcha green tea powder
¾ tsp spirulina
2 Tbsp flax seed (ground) and/or chia seeds
1 orange peeled (make sure no seeds)
½ cup pineapple (I use frozen chunks) or mango
8 banana chunks (frozen)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 cups spinach
2 Tbsp almond butter
½ tsp peppermint oil (get food grade from a food coop)
¼ cup cocoa powder or cacao powder
8 banana chunks (frozen)
Sweetener of choice
Quick post on how we are doing. We are just about half way. Michelle has lost 5 pounds. Keith has lost 10 pounds. Not much movement on the body fat though; actually Michelle’s is going up (makes no sense). We pretty much just eat vegetables and meat and herbs/spices. We use good fats such as avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil. Lots and lots of eggs. I’ve never eaten so much eggs and meat! I am finding it hard as far as meal prep. I like to cook what I know. Now I am having to plan and find recipes and figure out my meals for the day the night before. Just made Paleo Shepherd’s Pie last night. A picture below shows the mess in the kitchen and the final product. It was good. The stuff that looks like potatoes is actually cauliflower. Wouldn’t even know it huh? Michelle feels much more mobile – aches and pains are gone. We will post a final post at the end of the month. Stay tuned….