Farm update!

Hey guys! It’s been a while huh? Okay about 3 months but who’s counting?


In the past week, we’ve had a lot going on.  Some 4-H conference kids (a Department of Agriculture sponsored youth academic conference) came visit us to learn about the farm, do a weed and insect scavenger hunt, and make seed bombs.  We found two black racer snakes and a black widow the same day (one of which was spotted to the right of Manny directly after the picture above was taken).  We were having a real problem with weeds in our tomato and pepper patch, so we laid down a thick straw cover between the rows and tucked in the plants to keep out the competition (tomatoes below, before the new straw).  Other than that, we did some weeding and checking for insects on our cucurbits, beans, and potatoes, and fertilized some plants that needed an extra boost.


We also have a few new-ish workers on the farm who are past due on their introductions: Rebecca helps part-time at the farm juggling also working on a Masters in Food Science, managing her own garden, sheep, chickens, and four year old! Dara  is majoring in Microbiology and has just completed her sophomore year. She enjoys pumpkin diving as a hobby! Justin is an English major at Carson Newman and avid runner and marathoner.  Nora is returning to the farm (one of the first interns in the program) after working a few years at a wildlife conservation park in Knoxville.

Now, the good stuff.  Here are some recipes for some of our vegetables and herbs that we are harvesting and putting in our CSA boxes this week:

Bulgur and Radish Salad

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups bulgur
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 6 large red radishes
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber

In a 3-quart saucepan, boil the water over high heat.  Remove from heat and stir on the bulgur, oil, lime  juice, salt, and pepper.  Set aside to rehydrate bulgur and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, chop parsley and cut radishes into thin, small strips.  Slice tomatoes and cucumber.  Stir the parsley and radishes into bulgur mixture and spoon onto the center of a serving plate.  Surround with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and serve.  Makes 4-6 servings.


Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

  • 4 lbs chopped and peeled tomatoes (Roma if possible)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 sprigs chopped parsley
  • 1-2 chopped dried peppers
  • 1 lb Cooked ground beef or 1 lb cooked spicy Italian sausage (optional)

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large iron skillet.  Add onion, basil, garlic and salt and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Add tomato, parsley, oregano, peppers, and sugar and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours (a long time but worth it!), stirring often until the sauce has thickened.  Add beef or sausage and serve over cooked spaghetti and with Parmesan cheese.  Makes 6 servings.

Recipes from Mary at the Granola booth at the Farmer’s Market and “From Asparagus to Zucchini-A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce”

We’ll be back to give you some more updates next week and hopefully catch you up on our progress from the last 3 months but until then come visit us at the market on Wednesday, eat well, and enjoy!