Tuesday, November 26, 2019

New Beginnings

Here at Doe Run Farms in Tennessee, we have reached another milestone!  With the end of our autumn season CSA, we are now taking registrations for the 2020 CSA season and celebrating 15 years of operating CSA from the farm.

There aren't a lot of CSA's in our part of the country that have enjoyed this kind of longevity, for many reasons.  One reason is because CSA is not an easy farm model to hang your hat on and from a personal perspective, I'd say it's not for the faint of heart. I've always heard that farmers are gamblers, and being a bit of a farmer myself and a farm wife, I am a believer in that old saying.  The challenges of CSA are many, and so are the rewards.

I'd say some of our biggest challenges are finding enough competent help on the farm, keeping all the equipment running and in good condition, and the weather!  The weather concerns are a constant and a frustration, because we have no control over it.

The absolute best reward for us is the knowledge that we are providing some darn good healthy and delicious plant based food, for all of our farm supporters and their families.  We have been blessed by seeing many children who have eaten our food through the years, grow up and leave home for new adventures.   Many of our Shareholders are "empty nesters" who have "downsized" their CSA shares, but they still continue to support the farm's CSA program.  We can't thank them enough.

Today with "thankfulness" on my mind, in the comfort of our farmhouse with a cup of java nearby, and with the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, I offer a silent prayer that everyone will take time to savor the moments you share with family and friends, reach out to others less fortunate, and say a prayer for peace in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Warm Thoughts on a Cold Day

 Today was spent working on our website updates to reflect the 2017 CSA season.  We opened registration on Friday and folks are signing up to take advantage of the discounts we offer for early registration.  It was not so much like work today since I sat by our tree typing and taking an occasional sip of hot tea.The mist and colder temps outside and the coziness inside only made it more enjoyable. 

Yesterday was put up the tree day at our house.  I love putting on the ornaments saved from year to year and remembering all the years many have been on our trees.  Some were made by our children, some are just plain old but have a history, and a few have been added recently.  We leave our tree up until the Epiphany, but one year stands out in my mind as having it up much longer.  Our children were small and when it came time to take it down, they begged to leave it up longer, and so we did.  I teased them that if we left it up much longer we would have to decorate it for Valentine's Day.  Valentine's Day came and went and the tree was still up-I think we took it down in March. They loved it!

Some of my favorite things about Christmas:

The season of Advent and Midnight Mass
Hot chocolate and donuts on Christmas Eve
The hugs I get from my family during the holidays
The smell of good food being prepared in the kitchen for Christmas brunch/dinner
A nice glass of boiled custard with a bit of rum or bourbon added
Candy orange slices, but they must be really fresh
The colors red and green
The aroma of fir and pine boughs
The sight of holly bushes at the farm filled with red berries
Time spent around the table laughing with family and friends
Home made fruit cake..I truly love it
The sound of jingle bells
The crib beneath our tree

Most likely if you take time to think about your favorite things at Christmas, you would get nostalgic just like me.  Give it a try, you'll be surprised at how many favorite things that come to mind.

We wish everyone a blessed holiday season filled with love and a peaceful heart!

Until next time, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday, September 25, 2015

A Thought for Today

Living on the farm, we think a lot about nature. Likely, it's because we are surrounded by nature here, but mostly because it affects the outcome of everything we do.

Sometimes nature rewards us, and sometime it smacks us in the face! We can never predict exact outcomes and we must always remain flexible, no matter what!

We appreciate the beauty nature offers us - whether the skies are cloudy or blue! We love the smells of freshly mowed pastures here at the farm, the beauty in the color and shape of something as simple as an eggplant, or the aroma of the tomato plants that fill the high tunnels in early summer!

No matter where you are, you can too can appreciate the beauty of nature. Just slow down your pace a bit, and take a moment to look around.

Blessings today and everyday!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Loving Quinoa Before Quinoa Was Cool!

Quinoa, tricky to spell, but oh so good! Maybe you also enjoyed it before it became so trendy, but if you haven't tried it-you are missing out on a really good thing!

The nutritional breakdown shown on the package tells you how chocked full of protein, fiber, folic acid and lots more good things to help keep cholesterol in check and keep your circulation humming along! But the best part is how good it is how easy it is to incorporate into recipes your family will enjoy! (Personally I love the texture)

Quinoa is good lots of different ways; use it as you would rice or bulgur, and even as a substitute for pasta!

Get creative in your kitchen and come up with some ways you'd like to use quinoa, it pairs well with nuts, tomatoes, greens-especially kale, in salads, with onions, feta cheese, olive oil and one of my favorites, black beans.Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Recipe type: Main, Salad, Side, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Eggs
Prep time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 4
  • 1-2 C cooked quinoa
  • 1-15 oz. can garbonzo beans
  • ½ C summer squash, chopped
  • ½ C cucumber, chopped
  • 2 T basil, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped
  • 1 cob corn, cut off the cob
  • ¼ C feta (optional)
  • dressing: juice from ½ lemon
  • small pinch saffron
  • ⅛ to ¼ t smoked paprika
  • good pinch pepper
  • to taste salt
  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch ground ginger
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • olives (optional), for topping
  • lemon slices, for serving
  1. Combine the quinoa with the beans, veggies, herbs, and feta.
  2. Whisk together lemon juice through ginger. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking it in, creating an emulsion.
  3. Mix dressing with salad.
  4. Serve topped with olives and a squeeze of lemon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Super Moons and Meteor Showers

Though I didn't see the meteor showers, the super moon in the night sky was something to behold! Nature gives us so much to enjoy and appreciate, if we will only take a moment out of our busy lives to really look at what's around us! Sometimes we get so busy on life's merry-go-round that we fail to see what's unfolding right before our eyes! 

Living on the farm, we are very attuned to nature, everything here revolves around nature.  When we sow seeds, when we plant, and when we harvest all are dependent on what is happening at that time, in nature.  Many farmers (including my grandparents) like to sow seeds when the moon was in a particular phase- either waning or waxing. Many of us like to "companion" plant vegetables, or plant flowers along  with our vegetables that will naturally deter unwanted pests in the garden.  We are not separate or apart from nature. 

When you have a "sit down" meal with your family (which we hope is often), maybe spend a moment thinking and discussing the role that nature played in the wonderful meal you are about to enjoy. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Things Past and Future

                                                Nature at Work
This is the continuation of a blog we began awhile back, then stopped until the realization set in that we to get back "on track" with it, so here begins our humble attempt to do just that! We hope you enjoy our farm blog.

Today marks the half way mark in our spring-summer CSA program.  Hopefully, through our farming efforts we have been able to contribute not only to the health of our Shareholders, but to their pleasure as well. This season as in past seasons, has had it share of "ups and downs" here on the farm.

Some examples of those "downs"  are the time we forgot to pack the Cheese shares for our deliveries and had to apologize big time for doing such once we realized we had left the farm without the Cheese. And, like the time a few weeks before our season began one of our delivery drivers left us for a full time job. (he was employed part time at the farm). After that, of course we did not forsee that the driver we hired to replace the one that left us before the season opened,  we would be losing to another full time job during our delivery season.  Doesn't anyone need to work part time anymore?

We've had our "ups" as well.  Those are all  the times when Shareholders share their family photos enjoying their veggies or fruit from their farm shares that they post on Facebook for everyone to see. And we always love having our students come to the farm to help us during the season-not only are they enthusiastic, great kids, but they really are a wonderful addition to our farm.  Then, there are the "thank you's" we get in emails from Shareholders saying how much they enjoy our vegetables and fruit, and also the smiles we see first hand when we fill in on delivery days. (we still do that).  

So all in all, so far its been a pretty darn good CSA season.  We are always trying to find ways to make our farm's CSA program better and implement fresh ideas  so come forth with any and all suggestions you may have to help us with that. YOU are the main ingredient in our farm's CSA recipe for success.  

Speaking of recipes, here's a good one for you today since we have pickling cucumbers (also great for snacking out of hand) available in our online Country Store.  They are small and crunchy!  This is a recipe that can be used to "pickle" radishes, peppers or beans as well.  

Pickling Recipe for Veggies
This is a really simple recipe that can be used for pickling a wide range of vegetables. I have used it for cucumbers, kohlrabi slices, radishes, summer squash, peppers and beans. ~ Michelle Bandy-Zalatoris - adapted from "A Taste of Home" recipe.

Refrigerator Pickles
3 to 4 pounds pickling cucumbers
20 fresh dill sprigs
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
16 peppercorns
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/4 cup canning salt
Cut each cucumber lengthwise into four spears. In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers, dill, onions, garlic and peppercorns; pack into clean canning jars. In a nonreactive stainless steel pot, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir just until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucumber mixture into jars, leaving approximately ½ of space at the top; cool slightly.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Yield: approximately 48 pickle spears