CSA Week 2- Guest Blog

Just got home from vacation. Grabbed my share and some bacon Saturday and headed out…again. Isn’t that the way summer is? Fresh and busy and awesome.

I knew we were barbequing steaks so I grabbed my kale and garlic scapes to put it in the cooler along with my spinach to throw in my eggs in the morning and my Groundworks bacon.

Here’s what I did. I made a Kale Garlic Scape Bacon sauté to go along with our bbq’d steaks. I’m not a fancy cook…I stick to things that are available and pretty simple ingredients.

  1. I cut my bacon into small pieces and threw them into my cast iron until browned. I removed it from the pan and drained most of the bacon grease, but went ahead and left some in the skillet. Let’s face it, it’s great fat to cook in and then there’s no need to add any salt.IMG_8247
  2. I chopped my garlic scapes into ¼ inch pieces and threw them in my cast iron IMG_8253skillet with a tablespoon of bacon grease from the bacon I had just cooked. I cooked them for about 3-5 minutes on medium to medium low heat, until softened.
  3. I was at the cabin, so I quickly tore the kale into bits and pieces and threw it in the pan with the scapes. I guess I sautéed it for about 5 minutes.
  4. When the kale was tender I added my cooked, chopped bacon back into the pan with the kale and scapes and mixed until combined.
  5. I served those greens right alongside that steak and it was delish.

I was joking with my husband that I would be writing to you about kale 14 different ways by the end of the summer…but it actually might be true.

Last night I made a GIANT salad with that delicious green mix and added the choppedIMG_8263 green onions, and cut up kohlrabi. I also chopped up some carrots and a lime. I made a spicy Latin seasoned elk burger. The intent was for a lettuce wrap, but I used the greens that I had. I am always improvising. If you don’t have butter lettuce, make a giant veggie meat salad. I layered it all up, squeezed lime on top with a little strawberry vinaigrette I had on hand. It was crunchy and spicy and perfect for a summer dinner.

My intent for the beets is to remove the greens to sauté and quarter the beets to roast to have alongside a bbq’d chicken breast or leg or thigh. Whatever I have in my freezer when I go look tonight. J

That’s just how I roll.

Happy Tuesday. Happy 2nd Week! Happy First Days of Summer. Til next week…

Hi! My name is Lindsey. I am a teacher, a photographer, and a lover of food. I’ll be sharing what I do with a farm share for the week, from culinary delights to green smoothies, to sharing the delicious veggies with my border collie/aussie/produce testers. I hope you enjoy reading it!Lyndsey Johnson

Message me on Facebook “Lindsey Johnson” or you can reach me at lindseyaturner@yahoo.com by email. I look forward to hearing from you!

CSA Week 1- Guest Blog

Not going to lie. I look forward to the first share of the year EVERY year. Every year, I realize that the greens I’ve been eating have been just…okay.

week1 blog_2

I had the privilege of getting an early taste and it’s good people. It’s full of gorgeous greens…all kinds…rainbow chard, leafy lettuce, kale and spinach. There’s also some beautiful little crisp green onions and gorge radishes.

As some of you know, I’m a teacher and it’s the last week of school which means that it’s a busy time of year people. There’s not a lot of time for meal prep. Just survival mode. When I’m in survival mode, I make my go to meal. A frittata. It’s our fave. What I love about it is you can use your chard, your spinach OR your kale. (Best save your amazing lettuce, radishes, and green onions to be tossed in a fresh vinaigrette to accompany any meal.)

Here’s what I did. I made a Parmesan Kale Frittata with dill. YUM.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile….

  1. I chopped a medium yellow onion and got that going in my cast iron skillet with aweek1 blog_3
    tablespoonish (this is a word) of bacon grease for about 5 minutes on medium to medium low heat, until softened and a little brown.
  2. As that was rolling, I prepped and washed my kale. I LOVE KALE. I love the denseness and flavor and how it holds its shape, even when sautéed. I tore it straight off the stalk from the bottom up and tore it into manageable pieces and gave it a wash.
  3. I added the kale to the onions and sautéed it until softened…about 5 minutes.
  4. As that was cooking…I prepped my egg mix. I cracked 8 eggs, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, a splash of half and half and some salt and pepper. I gave it a little stir with a wire whisk until mixed.
  5. After the 5 minutes of sautéing of the kale and onion, I poured the eggs on top right into the same skillet. I let that cook just until I could see the edges cook.
  6. I then added a ½ cup to ¾ cup of grated parmesan cheese all over the top and threw that bad boy in the oven for 15 minutes. When I pulled it out of the oven, I gave the top a little sprinkle of dill…

Just like that greens galore, kale this time, turned into dinner. So yum.

As for the rest of the greens, toss the spinach in a smoothie this week. Chop the chard and sauté it up in a stir fry. The lettuce…toss lightly with a favorite dressing and just enjoy the freshness of the season.

Let me know if you have any questions about my randomness in this recipe, or my go to smoothie or vinaigrette recipes. I like to make things up. You’ll figure that out. I’m a little random.

Happy First WEEK people! Welcome SUMMER 2017!

Hi! My name is Lindsey. I am a teacher, a photographer, and a lover of food. I have been a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member since the very beginning of Groundworks Farm from their early beginnings to the current farming year. Message me on Facebook “Lindsey Johnson” or you can reach me at lindseyaturner@yahoo.com by email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Fresh Food Meets Fitness

Every season, in order to make fresh veggies distributed through our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program more accessible, subscribers are able to choose between two weekly pick up options.

This season, we are pleased to announce ‘The Peak’ as our new location for the entire 19 week season! We appreciate their commitment to fostering wellness in our community, and we believe this new partnership highlights the idea of building wellness from the inside out. 

The midweek pick up option will now be located at The Peak, 1800 Benefis Court, from 430pm-6pm. The season starts June 7, and we’re looking forward to seeing you all at the farm stand soon!

The Peak Health and Wellness Center is pleased to partner with Groundworks Farm this summer as we provide a pickup location for fresh, locally grown produce.  Our 65,000 sq ft facility is located at 1800 Benefis Court, and has a large fitness floor, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, 3 pools, a hot tub, saunas, steam rooms, and so much more!  Stop in for a tour while you’re in the area.  We’d love to make you a part of our Peak family and help you reach your fitness and health goals.

Peak-Logo-Black

Introducing “My Season in a CSA”!

Every season, we swap recipes and food ideas with CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members and Farmer’s Market-goers. We have been incredibly inspired by hearing how each household transforms our produce into fuel for their families. This season, we want to share that creativity by asking one of YOU to take us through the season as a member!

Enter: “My Season in a CSA”. This series will feature weekly posts from our guest blogger, walking us through their ‘fresh food lifestyle’ as a CSA member. She is creative, health conscious, and is always giving us drool-worthy accounts of her delicious culinary delights. Now, it’s time to share them with YOU!

Lyndsey JohnsonHi! My name is Lindsey. I am a teacher, a photographer, and a lover of food. I have been a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) member since the very beginning of Groundworks Farm from their early beginnings to the current farming year. To me it was exciting to be able to buy local produce from a local! The farm has blossomed and transformed into a thriving supplier of seasonal produce as well as organic pork and beef. I am proud to be a shareholder.

I felt excited when Audra approached me about being the Groundworks Blog contributor for the 2017 farming season. I think she began to consider me as a likely candidate as I would excitedly approach her when I picked up my share weekly, and exclaim my fave creation of the previous week’s share. So, I guess she thought I would be the person to share my excitement on the blog to a greater audience!

So here’s my introduction to the blog. I’ll be sharing what I do with a farm share for the week, from culinary delights, green smoothies with all that kale, to sharing the delicious veggies with my border collie/aussie/produce testers. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Message me on Facebook “Lindsey Johnson” or you can reach me at lindseyaturner@yahoo.com by email. I look forward to hearing from you!

Spring for Fresh

The renewal and energy that emerges with the arrival of spring is both palpable and contagious.

IMG_0132
As fresh as it gets: Corn right off the plant!

This season, our efforts to spread the word about CSA are focused on the idea of cultivating a “fresh food lifestyle”. We recognize that our members are not choosing CSA as the most convenient route to source their weekly groceries, but are excited about how freshness can transform tastes on a plate, and the value of a local food system. Much like the excitement of spring, this mindset is contagious. Whether your commitment revolves around the appreciation of freshness, maintaining ties to sustainable agriculture, or a desire to maintain a local economy and community, we thank you.

Our hope is that this excitement and commitment continues to spread, as new opportunities to ‘grow’ local agriculture emerge and existing ones are bolstered by the anticipation of local eaters. After all, a fresh food lifestyle starts on the plate.

We’ll see you at the farm stand,

Audra & Eric

Read the rest of our  2017 spring newsletter!

Bartolo!

IMG_3420It’s pretty amazing to be seeding next season’s cabbage, while still enjoying perfect cabbage from the last.

This is the mighty ‘Bartolo’, our Fall Harvest Share cabbage from 2016- still going strong.

This week, we seeded well over 1,000 plants down at Parker Farms Greenhouse (where we do all our seed-starting), began high tunnel ground preparation, and made hash browns and coleslaw from last season’s bounty. I’d call that a win.

Don’t forget: Sign up for 2017 has begun! Make your subscription Here!

Winter Farm Happenings

future-home
Future home our new high tunnel, made possible with a grant through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

The coming of winter marks dramatic shift here at Groundworks Farm, although we can’t admit to having slowed down much since the end of the 2016 growing season! Now that the days are getting longer though, we’re beginning to put winter planning into action to prepare for our next growing season.

One such project is the construction of a new high tunnel. The new tunnel, or “hoophouse”, will better enable us to rotate crops that are dependent upon the protection of this passive solar structure. Tomatoes, peppers and other ‘hot house’ veggies will rotate between the two houses, as will spring crops such as June roots and early season greens.

As many will remember, January marks one year since losing a barn last year in a fire. Though we have elected to hold off on re-construction of a building for animals, this new ‘vegetable barn’ will be a significant advancement and improvement upon the cornerstone of Groundworks Farm: The market vegetable garden.

In addition, you can look for the following additions and events coming this spring:

Monthly Market– This spring, we’ll begin a monthly opportunity to connect with the farm prior to the Farmer’s Market season, offering a more convenient outlet to purchase pork, lard and beef. Stay tuned for details!

“My Season in a CSA*”– Weekly blog posts from a CSA member all season long, detailing how their CSA share is used each week. Recipes, preservation ideas and stories: Hear more ideas on how to better integrate into a fresh food lifestyle.

Keep in touch, and hopefully, we’ll see you all very soon!

*Community Supported Agriculture

A Season of Thanks

thanks-family-photo

Since beginning farming seven years ago, the Thanksgiving holiday has taken on a whole new meaning. Not only do we get the opportunity to express and appreciate how truly fortunate we are, but in doing so consume the very fruits of our own labor. Pumpkin pies, potatoes, and ham or chicken (we don’t always have turkey!!) are each prepared with the intimate knowledge of where and how it was grown. It’s a simple satisfaction, going around the table and acknowledging where each dish was ‘cultivated’, but one we have grown to love.

The origin of the Thanksgiving holiday trace back as far as 1621*, when it was observed  as a celebration of a successful harvest. Like centuries ago, not only can our family celebrate in the harvest, but each of our supporting members and their families, acknowledging the commitment and support of a whole community throughout the season.

A growing season for our 3-acre market garden is made possible through ‘membership’ in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Each season, willing families and individuals enter into the risk and the bounty of what the season has to bring.

This season, we hope that abundance in some form has graced your tables and lives, and we express our sincere gratitude for being a part of ours.

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving_(United_States)

Late Watermelon…radishes

Fall Radish Greens

img_3011

Despite the best laid plans of farmers, the timing- among other things- doesn’t always work out. With the week’s preview of winter in the forecast, we decided to pull the watermelon radishes for the final week of CSA. (Though not quite ready, they are also not likely to survive the nighttime ‘teens forecasted.) The small roots and beautiful young greens were a treat in this simple recipe, and the whole bunch disappeared into a single meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 bunch radish greens, greens chopped and radishes sliced

4-6 slices side pork- optional

1 T lard ( use half if adding pork)

3-4 cloves garlic

2 T sesame oil

1 T +1tsp. plum vinegar (may sub. red wine or other vinegar)

1 T Braggs liquid amino or soy sauce

2-3 c cooked rice

Sliced almonds

Lightly brown side pork, add lard and radishes/greens and garlic. Cover and simmer for up to 10 minutes, or until greens turn soft and dark green.

Add remaining ingredients-except almonds. Serve over rice and top with sliced almonds.

So long summer: Enter Fall

img_2983

It’s pizza night. Starting to assemble the ingredients, beginning to make the mozzarella, and babysitting homemade marinara on the stovetop: It’s hard to imagine a more blessed kitchen. Along with freezing nighttime temperatures and the beautiful low light, fall brings a time of reflection. The frantic summer harvest ceases, and under a harvest moon, the fall gathering begins. It’s high time to check in here at the groundworksfarmmt.com blog, and to fill everyone in on the happenings of late.

img_0822The garlic is all in, processed and sorted. It was a banner year for our German Extra Hardy garlic, and we’re looking forward to exploring new markets and making good use of a generous harvest.img_2801

The final round of pigs shipped for the year, leaving us with a nice supply to fill upcoming orders. (By the way, if you haven’t placed an order yet for this fall, you still can!)

img_2952

The farm hosted its first on-farm catered dinner, featuring homegrown pork sandwiches, dilly yogurt potato salad, tomato-soaked kale salad, and an herb-infused dark chocolate wafer. It was a taste of summer at the farm, and a fun group to serve!

Other recent farm happenings in early September:

The garden got its first (and pretty hard) frost of the fall.

This little farmer turned 5.

img_2925 img_2964

This big farmer turned… a year older too.

It’s week 15 of our summer CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, the spinach is up, the fall lettuce growing, the potato harvest has begun, and there’s much more to come from Groundworks Farm.

See you at the farm stand!

 

Fort Shaw, Montana