Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's Time to Talk Turkey!

Turkey Talk!

At the farm we are now taking pre-orders for Elmwood Stock Farm's organic specialty breed turkeys. We take orders by phone or email prior to the holidays, and payment is made at pickup. Turkeys can be picked up the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 19th) at the downtown Lexington farmers market, or make arrangements to pickup at the farm on Friday or Monday (Nov. 18th or 21st). Shipping is also available within the Continental US. All of our turkeys are processed under USDA inspection and will be freshly frozen for food safety.

As one of only a few farms in the US to raise organic certified heritage breed turkeys, we are proud to have these special turkeys to offer. We appreciate your interest in serving a locally produced, organic turkey – you can taste the difference and you will know you are serving the best!

ALL TURKEYS at Elmwood Stock Farm in Scott County outside of Georgetown are Organic Certified free ranging turkeys that are raised outdoors on grass pasture. They are raised the old-fashioned way, on fresh green grass and clover pastures with wholesome grains, resulting in moist, flavorful turkey. Not only are Elmwood turkeys raised naturally, free from any synthetic inputs, flavor additives, or stimulants, but everything that every turkey eats is organically raised grain or grass pasture.

Pasture-based grass farming has recognizable
health benefits resulting in a product with good saturated fats and high omega-3 fatty acids. The use of certified organic grain means our turkeys are more expensive to produce, but you can take comfort knowing no GMO grain and no synthetic chemicals are used in your food. Organic Certification ensures third party verification of our production practices and ultimately results in better health for you and your family this Thanksgiving season.

HERITAGE Breed -- A heritage turkey is not one particular breed, but made up of a group of breeds. At Elmwood, we care year-round for our own breeding flock in order to raise Bourbon Red (named after Bourbon County KY), Narragansett (the oldest known American turkey breed), and the Slate turkeys (also found on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste that promotes the survival of near-extinct foods).

Some characteristics that distinguish these very rare Heritage turkeys from the standard broad breasted variety are slower growth, more proportionate breasts to legs, and the ability to naturally breed. There is a better balance between the dark meat and white meat, which means roasting a bird to perfection is much easier, and the meat has a richer flavor. Heritage turkeys will never be as large as broad breasted turkeys though they eat certified organic grain for 28 to 30 weeks resulting in the healthiest, most flavorful, best turkey you will ever taste.

Heritage Breed Organic Turkey
Expected dressed weight: under 7 pounds - $69.00
Expected dressed weight: 7 – 8.9 pounds - $109.00
Expected dressed weight: 9 – 10.9 pounds - $129.00
Expected dressed weight: 11-13.9 pounds - $149.00
Expected dressed weight: 14-16.9 pounds - $169.00
Expected dressed weight: 17-18.9 pounds - $189.00

STANDARD Broad Breasted Breed – These broad breasted bronze turkeys are similar in size and shape to a supermarket purchased turkey, but the similarities end right there! Our turkeys are raised outdoors in our pastured system that provides a diet enriched by grasses, fresh air, adequate exercise, and sunlight. Our bronze feathered turkeys free-range on fresh green grass or clover pastures supplemented with wholesome organic grains, resulting in moist, flavorful turkey.

Standard Broad Breasted Bronze Organic Turkey
Expected dressed weight: 12 – 15 pounds - $109.00
Expected dressed weight: 17 - 20 pounds - $119.00
Expected dressed weight: 21 + pounds - $139.00

The costs of cheap food are hidden in healthcare, environmental cleanup, and dependence on pharmaceuticals. You might have heard the phrase “Visit the farm, not the (f)pharmacy,” to establish a personal path between good nutrition and good health. The many months to care for heritage turkeys and the use of certified organic grains for better animal health results in high production costs. The resulting high purchase price for specialty turkeys reflects the true costs of safe and wholesome food.

When Slow Food USA added American heritage turkeys to its Ark of Taste, it tremendously helped to spread the knowledge that eating these turkeys is necessary in order to support the maintaining of breeding birds and moving the breeds to lesser degrees of endangerment.

To learn more about Heritage Turkeys visit the website for the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory. As more is known about vanishing breeds of heritage livestock, efforts are underway to promote awareness and prevent the extinction of animals like Bourbon Red, Slate and Narragansett turkeys.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 22, Final Week of Summer CSA

From the Farm

We want to give you our whole-hearted thanks for your commitment to Elmwood Stock Farm this year through the CSA program. Your partnership with the farm allows us to plan in advance of the season – and that plays out in so many different ways. Financially we are able to purchase seed, heat the greenhouses to grow the transplants, hire employees, and begin growing. During the season, we get to meet and talk with some of you, or exchange emails – many farmers never have the opportunity to interact with the people that eat the food they grow. On those very challenging days, it helps to know we are growing good food for real people that want and appreciate it.

We survey our membership each season to help us improve our CSA program. We know how it works from the growing side – it is your turn to tell us how it works from the eating side. The survey was sent by email already – if you need a paper copy, please let us know. We thank you in advance for your time and thoughts.

Elmwood Stock Farm will continue to attend the Saturday farmers market in downtown Lexington, outdoors in Cheapside Park, through Thanksgiving and we hope to see you there. We also attend the indoor market inside Victorian Square, downtown Lexington, each Saturday morning of the winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar). We will have some winter vegetables, pantry items like dried beans or garlic powder, jarred salsa and tomatoes, fresh eggs, and organic beef, chicken and turkey. We are also available if you want to place an order and then come by the farm to pickup. Contact us by email or phone.

We continue taking pre-orders for our Heritage breed and Broad Breasted breed Certified Organic Turkeys – contact us by email for oodles of information to help you decide if one of these special turkeys is the perfect fit for your holiday gathering or celebration.

Finally, as a current member of Elmwood’s CSA program, you will get first option for renewal for our 2012 season. We hope to finalize details for next season (dates, pickup sites, pricing) by the end of this year and we will alert you by email. Often people look to a CSA share as a holiday gift idea.

Thank you for the work on your part to pick up your share each week, make time to prepare healthy dishes from whole foods, and for sharing news about our program with friends and neighbors. Eat well!

In Your Share
Items in shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share many not contain every item listed below.

Butternut Squash

Garlic – organic

Fresh Herbs - organic

Kale Greens –organic

Peppers - organic

Spaghetti Squash

Sweet Potatoes – organic

Tomatoes - organic

Cabbage - organic

Okra - organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Pasta with Autumn Squash, Prosciutto, Celery Leaves and Parmesan
recipe from Janet Fletcher’s Fresh From the Farmers’ Market, serves 4.

2 T unsalted butter
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 ounces prosciutto, minced
1 pound hard-shelled squash, peeled and diced in 1/3 inch cubes
½ pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ C coarsely chopped green celery leaves
1 pound dried orecciette, cavatelli or favorite pasta
2/3 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter with oil in a 12 inch skillet over moderate heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add prosciutto and sauté 2 minutes. Add squash and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat seasonings. Add ½ C water. Cover and simmer gently until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in celery leaves.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta and return it to pot. Add sauce and cheese. Toss well, and then serve.

Sweet Potato Burritos
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing a recipe she adapted from Though the original called for kidney beans, but she believes any bean will yield good results. For extra flavor, she suggests substituting salsa for the water when making the bean mixture. Yummy!

1 T vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 C cooked or canned black beans, drained
½ to 2 C water
3 T chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
Juice of one lime
4 C cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash.

Gradually stir in water to desired consistency, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Stir limejuice into sweet potatoes. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve with salsa and sour cream.