This is one of my first products for the farmers market frozen foods for which I rec'd a grant in 2005. The ideal go to meal from the freezer to the soup pot or microwave because it has so many nutrients!
The ingredients for this soup capitalizes on the fall harvest of vegetables including: tomatoes tuscan kale or lacinato savoy cabbage onion garlic celery white or cannelloni beans - soak for 24 hours, cook, strain, and puree some of them for a thicker soup Italian bread - I add this warm sliced bread at the "plating" stage with some rubbed garlic - Umh good herbs - I am using sage and parsley optional - I prefer to leave these out because the flavor of the tomato, bean, and kale is divine by itself potatoes carrots
I not grow veggies, care for animals, and try to preserve local foods in ready to eat meals - part of that is purchasing from other local farmers - This week I will pick up 5lbs of "fruit of the fungi" shiitake mushrooms.
From these, I will produce wood fired mushroom, goat cheese, and rosemary pesto Neopolitan style pizzas, mushroom soups, and stir fry of kale and mushroom. All of these will be frozen as prototypes and as soon as the farm commerical kitchen is in place - we will provide lots more good meals for customers. Shiitake mushrooms nutritional components include essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, including iron and an antioxidant called selenium.
Lentinan, one of the main components of shiitakes has been found to be effective in suppressing cytochrome P450 1A, an inflammatory and carcinogenic enzyme and exhibit anticancer activities
they have beneficial cholesterol-lowering and antiviral tendencies, strong anti-fungal properties and also helps decrease the proliferation of specific cancer cells.
Selenium is a trace element found in soil and is required to maintain good health in trace amounts. In food, the mineral is found in Brazil nuts, poultry, seafood, and meats, while significant amounts are found in oats and brown rice.
A deficiency of selenium is rare but symptoms can include muscular weakness and fatigue.d a bad odor on your fingernails.
Selenium aids in many of the metabolic pathways and may help treat prostate cancer; ongoing research is exploring the relationship between low selenium levels and coronary heart disease.
Selenium also benefits the skin during healing following burn injuries. Shampoo with selenium may alleviate dandruff problems. For skin care, selenium’s antioxidant properties regenerate vitamins E and C, thereby decreasing the aging of skin.
Major benefits of selenium have been found to improve the immune system against bacterial and viral infections, against cancer cells and herpes virus, cold sores, and shingles. One of the major nutritional benefits of selenium is increasing the HDL cholesterol to LDL cholesterol for a healthy heart.
fava beans evoke memories if growing up Italian American. the fresh picked beans picked, shelled, and eaten out of hand. ...introduced to us by our father whose gardening know how was passed on to his children along with his love of fava beans.
Nutrition Profile good source of vitamin B1, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, fiber, folate, and manganese.
How to eat
I like them eaten raw freshly picked with thinly shaved pecorino and chilled white or rose wine
Cold Buttermilk Fava Bean Soup
Combine in a food processor
1 to 2 large garlic cloves ,Salt and
pepper to taste ,fava beans, shelled and skinned ,3 cups buttermilk,
finely minced fresh mint or dill, minced chives
I am a dedicated heirloom farmer, heritage breed caretaker, and homesteader! What does that mean? I realize there is no post on my blog with explanation or discussion.
I can summarize this dedication by sharing a dialogue with a friend today.
The friend said that the doctor recommended she have tomato in her salad every day, for health benefits. It is winter here in the Northeast, and she is still eating tomatoes! Well, I asked her if she knew where the tomatoes in the supermarkets came from? I asked how they could be any good with their coloration and hardness. (Of course, I would never eat one of these myself.) And what of the actual nutrition content - the very reason she was being instructed to consume more tomato? Well, she asked, what about canned tomatoes, are they better? I explained that canned foods represent 25% of the nutritional content of the original crop. One of the motivations in Farmers Frozen Foods -preserving optimum nutritients.
But really, does anyone know what the actual nutritional profile of each crop is these days, since everything is completely altered from its native state? She said she might grow one of those upside down plants this summer. I asked her if she knew where the seed came from? ... and on and on the conversation went.
Anyway, to make a long story short, very few people question their food sources right down to the seed or the breed that becomes their food. I am one of the few!
Each race of native human populations represents a unique gene profile. Studies show that Italian and Finnish people have isolated genetic differences. Heirloom and Heritage is about preserving genetic differences. GMO - genetically modified organisms are our biggest threat due to wind borne cross pollination. We saw how quickly the late blight spread in Northeast tomatoes crops. The same can easily happen with exposing all corn crops to GMO crops.
What percentage of corn and soybeans is GMO? 92% of all soy and 80% of all corn grown in the US was genetically modified
Genetic diversity in our farm fields are as beneficial as diversity in all aspects of life - a better diet results in better health - and pure seed represents the authentic nutrition vitamin, mineral, and amino acid profile. Hybrids are human designs to create a "better" crop - like increased sugar content of sweet corn. Some of these F1 hybrids meet a broader definition of heirloom if they were patented before 1928.
The benefits of saving seed and growing heirlooms has to do with preserving these rare, and in many cases, native crops.
We adopted wild mustangs.
"These horses returned to North America with the arrival of the Spanish explorers and conquerors. These Spanish horses were from the finest strains and were regarded as the best in Europe. They formed the nucleus of the great herds of wild horses that spread upward from Mexico into the United States and the western plains country. Native peoples generally managed their horses somewhat loosely by European standards, allowing the horses considerable freedom. This management style augmented the growing wild herds.
Wild horses were variously called "mustangs," "mestenos," broncos, chapos (meaning short and chunky).
Horses bred to race are designed for speed and endurance - these are hybrids. So too, milk cattle are designed for greater production. Some breeds are naturally better milkers while others have higher butterfat solids. Farmers pick and choose breeds based on natural characteristics or those imparted by human bioengineering. Again, preservation of old world breeds and genetic diversity are the key reasons for raising and caring for heritage breeds.
Homesteading - as traditional crop varieties are being restored to native farmers and gardeners, associated farming traditions are being revived.
We have received favorable press each year in the following venues - each time I published a link to reareseeds.com as our recommended seed source. These include:
Our package is a mix of heirloom naturally grown and wild foraged greens - packing a BIG PUNCH of nutrients!!!!
Getting one or more servings per day of broccoli, Brussels sprouts, dark green lettuce, collard greens, or kale should be enough to meet the daily recommended target of 120 micrograms per day for men and 90 micrograms per day for women...http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/calcium-full-story/
what to do with dark leafy greens fresh picked, washed and packaged - ready to cook and eat - and may include : note - it is best to include grated cheese, yogurt, beans, or other sources of calcium with your greens
stir fry - add ginger, sesame oil, peanuts, soy sauce, hot pepper, scallions
greens and beans - chickpeas, canneloni
Minestrone - add veggies, tomato sauce
greens and pasta - cook pasta, add oil and garlic
frittatta and omelettes
"Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.
Regulates blood clotting
Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques
May be a key regulator of inflammation, and may help protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis
May help prevent diabetes
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so make sure to put dressing on your salad, or cook your greens with oil.
Greens have very little carbohydrate in them, and the carbs that are there are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest. That is why, in general, greens have very little impact on blood glucose. In some systems greens are even treated as a "freebie" carb-wise (meaning the carbohydrate doesn't have to be counted at all).
Note on oxalates: Some greens contain substances called oxalates which may bind some percentage of the calcium in the greens."
while others compromise, we plant only by giving back each year to enrich the soil with composted horse manure, peat moss (very sparingly & only spot on) and all natural enrichment. This year should be our best ever to celebrate 25 years of growing organically - nope - plastic not included. We simply mulch around our plantings which is a further input to enrich the soil as it quickly composts - hay, grass clippings, etc.
Here is a list of 2013 plantings as we go
- monmouth sugar snap peas - trellis made by thehaystore - one side only - 18 ft
2 rows approx 45 sds per row - rareseeds
- planted last October - var rocambole type - uncovered mulch
fava beans - seeds of italy
herbs - dill, parsley,
edible flowers - nasturtium
lettuce - escarole
April hours and inputs
hours per day
jobs per hour
escavated composted manure from field
cut through grass and weed border of field
transplanted oregano near mint
transplanted tiger lilies to clay pots
transplanted tiger lilies to field driveway
racked ditch in front of field and seeded with cottontails in ditch
Today - the NYTIMES story about " carnitine - found mostly in red meat and energy drinks and supplements used in body building is responsible for an increase in TMAO levels in the blood - made from a little-studied chemical that is burped out by bacteria in the stomach after people eat red meat. It is quickly converted by the liver into yet another little-studied chemical called TMAO that gets into the blood and increases the risk of heart disease..."
According to the USDA all meats obtained from livestock are red meats because they contain more myoglobin than chicken or fish. You'll need a track like this - run daily - in quick bursts of muscular output - to try and repair cardiovascular damage caused by meat.
I am not sure how many people realize they can bring seed to their local greenhouses and ask for custom plants. Most would prefer a quantity order for the extra labeling and specifications. Our nursery man labels each tray with my name, the items planted and correlates my planting schedule with the desired size of plant etc... grows organically on request - and seems really attentive each year we bring them seed. Imagine my delight when I first approached them almost 7 years ago!
Today I took the following seeds where they will be grown to a good planting size for our Northeast climate, picked up around 3rd week of May, hardened off, and planted in the fields on our farm.
I am planting ALOT less this year as I focus on our 20c kitchen - up and running - and all the other details that go into bringing a successful product to market!
Here is the list of seeds dropped off (we get most if not all seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom Seeds):
Tomato Plants - 600 (down from 2,500 in prior years)
GERMAN RED STRAWBERRY
BREAD AND SALT
COUR DI BUE
Pepper Plants (50)
Hot- CORNE DE CHEVRE
Sweet - QUADRATO D ASTI ROSSO
This company is beyond dynamic - founder Michael Sacco appears in many youtube videos - not the one featured here which is about their packaging choices - something we have focused on ourselves for our products at Ambrosia Farms.
He started a bean to bar factory in Toronto, Canada and appears to sell mostly through farmers markets and direct from the factory and still encourages customers to bring their own containers to purchase unwrapped chocolate and receive a discount - brilliant again! Especially for those repeat customers that previously read the ingredient list. I encourage you to learn more via youtube search about these young folks doing good work and let them speak for themselves.
I will have another blog post about the co- opting of dark chocolate - a increasingly popular beneficial food that is loaded with unhealthy additives by comercial companies and still marketed as healthy - once again by large commercial corporations- and even small ones nowadays - with misleading labels!
This company is one of the REAL deal...
AUTHENTIC TRUE GOOD FOOD SOURCES FROM FARMER TO TABLE!
6 St Joseph St
Toronto, ON M4Y 1J7, Canada
Phone: (416) 923-6675
photo from EAT PRAY BAKE blog
" To create continual revenues and to offer year-round employment to our team, we began farming in Florida in the winter months. Additionally, we represent our neighbors' farm products during our growing season; occassionally we might source from other growers beyond our region. Sourcing is done only to ensure the sustainability and viability of the farm. The company's social responsibilities continue beyond our fence line, as we donate to food rescue organizations and are involved in local fundraisers for farm organizations and other socially responsible causes." ...from their website saturfarms.com (Long Island, NY)
When I was growing up we had a kitchen garden in the backyard - my father came from a farming family - they grew tomatoes for Campbell's Soup Co in the early days. I learned at an early age how to grow tomatoes.
Tomatoes at the ready for jarring tomato sauce at harvest time - we enjoyed them many ways - most notably as a tomato salad - and 2nd to none in my opinion - in a sandwich with mayo.
My Dad came up with putting plastic down and growing organically long before anyone else thought of it - although I do not use plastic anywhere on the farm - thinking that it must leach into the soil - instead I mulch with straw & grass clippings - plastic would be so much easier!
Fond memories of working with my Dad in the garden and of my mother watering every night.
Postscript In UpState NY I water in the early morning - but in Jersey - the perfect climate for tomatoes outside of Italy - it was preferable to water at night. Why? The cooler zones hold moisture overnight due to the drop in temperature - and that can harm the plant - while warmer nights down South is perfect to absorb the water. If you were to water during the day in these warmer zones you could burn the plant.
Separate remaining 4 eggs. In a large bowl, stir together wheat berries, ricotta, remaining cup sugar, candied citrus, egg yolks, orange water, finely grated zest from orange, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and cin
My guilty pleasure especially during tomato season is
If you make it at home with farm raised free range chicken's eggs - does it have less fat?
Maybe not - but we will give Hellman's and Heinz just alittle competition - small farmers Unite!!!!
"Hellmann’s alone accounted for $401.2 million in sales last year, according to Businessweek -- nearly a third of the total $1.3 billion mayo market here.
Heinz Ketchup is a distant third with $278.6 million in sales, edged out by the $286.2 million worth of Tostito’s salsa sold last year.
Mayo’s dominance is such that the varieties account for five of the 10 most popular condiment brands, including Best Foods and Kraft.
Kraft, for instance, offers its classic mayonnaise, as well as Miracle Whip, and flavored mayos such as reduced fat Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, Horseradish-Dijon, and regular Hot & Spicy.
According to SymphonyIRI Group, a market-research firm that analyzed the sales data, nearly 400 million containers of mayonnaise were sold in the year ending Sept. 5, 2010.
That’s compared to 271 million jars of salsa and 256 million bottles of ketchup sold nationwide." -from the nypost - not my favorite resource or newspaper - but hey, maybe the numbers are somewhere in the ballpark - either way - we know it is a h u g e market."
"Born from Henry J. Heinz’s horseradish business, Heinz has become one of the best-recognized food companies in the world, with its bottles of deep-red ketchup sitting on millions of kitchen tables. But it has expanded its offerings to include Ore-Ida French fries and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.
For the year ended Oct. 28, the company reported $11.6 billion in revenue and $1 billion in profit. It generates a majority of its sales in Europe, but its Asian markets are growing "quickly. And it has improved its net sales for eight consecutive fiscal years.
- from NYTimes regarding the buyout by Warren Buffet's firms
America has these "Pearly Mussels" in rivers which have been dying out due to pollution in rivers among other things -
I found these and scrubbed them for gifts.
Read more reports and learn more about the history of these pretty shells here.
This is a photo of buttons that were stamped out from these shells.
I am working on a cheese platter of local cheeses for the holidays and any celebration. Many customers want to buy local but are lacking the resources for a variety of choices all in one place. Of course, there are farmers markets, now in winter as well as summer, CSAs, orchard and farm stores, health food stores, Amish markets, small artisan purveyors and distributors, even some supermarkets, and online sites. All give customers a good variety of local farmer, artisan, and baked goods. But to get a variety of cheeses from small farms and cheesemakers - already tasted and reviewed for balance and diversity in a cheese presentation - that is the aim for this package. I think the more we small producers come up with creative ways to present and sell our products the more we can capture the consumer interest over the large commercial manufacturers!
This is the label I printed for the basket.
After I printed the label, I came across a little cheese store - La Petit Fromagerie - in Clinton NY. It has a great selection of cheeses - not all from NYS. It's nice to welcome and support local small businesses. So I am initially tasting their offerings with feedback from customers, as I learn more about other artisans before completing the selection process. My ultimate aim in creating this collection of cheeses is to support small farmers, artisans and bakers - not necessarily in NY - however I make them a priority because the travel distance and energy is still a consideration! In places like Vermont, Wisconsin, and California - they have been putting resources into small cheesemakers for a longer period of time. Coach Farm was one of the first Chevre cheesemakers on the East Coast - but there are still many varieties and styles of cheese not available in this country... note to young farmers we still have room too grow in cheesemaking.
Here are a list of cheeses I've tried, descriptions, and tasting notes: Chevre, Poplar Hedge Farm - NY - fresh goat cheese made from his small herd goat's milk fresh - the flavor is not bold - this is a relatively new cheesemaker - really nice to work with. Mt Tam, Cowgirl Creamery - CA - "smooth, creamy, elegant, 8 oz, triple-cream. It is made with organic milk from the Straus Family Dairy." rich cheese (triple cream) - nicely done! Moses Sleeper, Jasper Hill - VT - "similar in flavor to a French Reblochon but with a milder rind from Ayrshire cow's milk"our initial impression is that this cheese qualifies as a brie and melted nicely when baked but there were no memorable attributes - except we are happy to support a local brie product.
Capri Classic Blue, Westfield Farm- MA- "goats milk cheese log external blue chevre powdery blue rind is a striking color that develops on the surface and slowly ripens toward the center."we all liked this cheese very much - distinct and delicious cheese - a staple for every cheese platter! Barely Buzzed, Beehive Cheese Co - UT - "milk from Jersey cows, hand-applied rub of French Superio lavender buds and a Turkish grind of "Beehive Blend" coffee from the Colorado Legacy Coffee Company." subtle yet aromatic flavors of the lavender and coffee rub! we would purchase again -very unique! Wild Boar, Creminelli Fine Meats- UT- mixture of field harvested Texas wildboar and all natural pork belly, seasoned with cloves and juniper berriesI think everyone liked this at the party - I am a vegetarian - it looks the part of a fine artisan salami! Forest Berry Preserves, Darbo- Austria- Okay this is an example of BIG - but they started as the Darbo family and now produce in a large manufacturing facility - can't hold that against them - purchased the jam on sale but will seek more local preserves - not hard to find.I used this jam mixed with dried figs purchased at Clinton's Natural Food Market in bulk - made fig cookies from an Italian cookie recipe - everyone loved them but I have made better - good figs and jam not too sweet!
Cana de Cabra, Spain - "A soft ripened goat cheese log from Spain much like the French Bucheron. The cheese is aged 21 days and is buttery and delicious. As it ages, the flavor intensifies... I would purchase this again - very and rich texture -a triple cream goat cheese!
Brie, Ferme de Jouvence, France - "small dairy near Versailles, France. It has an assertive mushroomy flavor, with notes of garlic and hay, and its body is wonderfully luscious and silken." noted Saveur Magazinea very "stinky'" cheese but that could be good - the flavors are very strong - the texture was a pure melted brie -naturally! I would prefer this cheese young with less aggressive flavors but kudos to the farm in France!
Rogue River blue cheese, Rogue Creamery, Oregon - "wrapped in grape leaves macerated in pear brandy. A creamy, crunchy-smooth texture ... hints of sweet pine, wild ripened berries, hazelnuts, morels and pears. Rogue River blue is made during the autumnal equinox and before the winter solstice from Brown Swiss and Holstein cow’s milk, certified sustainable by Food Alliance. The cows graze in 1250 foot elevation pastures bordering Rogue River, where they eat a variety of pasture and native grasses, hop clover, wild herbs, Himalayan blackberries and wild flowers, supplemented with grass hay, alfalfa and grain off the ranch." excerpt from their website a very pricey cheese and would not be my first choice for a blue cheese but I will try again and write more! Selected Items at this writing: aged goat cheese - Cana de Cabra, Spainfresh goat cheese - Chevre, Poplar Hedge Farm- NY blue goat cheese - Capri Classic Blue, MAaromatic cow's milk cheese - Barely Buzzed, Beehive Cheese Co - UTcharcuterie - Wild Boar, Creminelli Fine Meats- UTtriple cream cows milk cheese- Mt Tam, Cowgirl Creamery - CA Still Searching: more Northeast cheeses a good brie made in the US, of possible replace Spainish cheese with something similar Sheeps milk cheeses
We grow sustainably, preserve open spaces & ecosystems, care for animals, support the arts, facilitate local products & economies. A large part of our work is philanthropic, our Horse, Hound, & Farm Rescue's mission is adopting hound dogs, wild horses, and supporting other family farms. We work in concert with wildlife preservation, artistic creations, and horticultural traditions. We were awarded a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant in 2005.