Monday, September 15, 2014

A Big Day for Elmwood Stock Farm, Week 18 CSA News

Are you Signed Up for the FALL SEASON? Go online or call us at the farm to organize your Fall shares today. 

Elmwood Stock Farm is honored to have received the “Farmer of the Year Award” at the CRAVE Festival this past Sunday in Lexington. The award, sponsored by Good Foods Coop, is one of five civic awards given each year to recognize folks in the community that have helped to develop a stronger local food scene in the Bluegrass. The CRAVE Food + Music event, in its second year, has already outgrown its location in South Lexington with the tremendous turn out of local chefs, restaurants, and food businesses, and the organizers are bound to figure out how to make it bigger and better next year. Our thanks to the award selection committee for recognizing the value of local, organic food production.

Also this past Sunday, The Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK), hosted the first annual “Dirt Revival”, a fundraising event for the non-profit organization. The farm field day, held on an organic farm outside of Louisville, featured an Elmwood Stock Farm organic grass-fed steer. Some 250 people got to see Dr. Gregg Renfro, from the UK College of Agriculture, de-construct an entire side of beef for the nine chefs standing by to prepare each in their own style for guests to enjoy. The rib-eye and porterhouse steaks were raffled off as another form of fundraising. OAK has a mission to educate growers about organic farming techniques and to educate consumers about the value of organic foods. Thanks to Rhona and Ramsi, organic farmers and owners of Ramsi’s Café on the World on Bardstown Road in Louisville for opening their farm, and educating folks about the availability of organic food.

Over the years, we have volunteered our time to organizations like OAK in an effort to grow the availability of and knowledge about organic foods in the area. A big part of attaining that goal is increasing demand for organic foods, not only locally grown foods. We encourage you to become a member of OAK and attend some of the field days and educational events throughout the year. The 5th Annual Conference will be the first weekend in March with top shelf speakers and workshops planned for growers and consumers. OAK maintains an active Facebook site and website.

You may also be interested in supporting the Lexington local food scene by spending time at the Lexington Farmers Market (LFM) as a “Friends” Ambassador of the Lexington Farmers Market (FOLFM). The staff of the LFM can only be in so many places at once, so the volunteer Ambassadors assist vendors and customers at the busy weekend markets or attend special events around town. The Friends also plans special promotions on behalf of the market. We gladly can get you connected with them.

Another way you might enjoy helping organic farming is to make a donation to Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF). This organization funds organic farming system research projects in the US. Good organic research projects are often left out of mainstream funding sources as there are more variables to consider and several growing seasons may be required for the systems to develop. Agricultural research dollars have trended to new technology or new chemicals, rather than ecological systems development. OFRF has a board of highly respected organic farmers and consumers that direct the research priorities, award grants for on-farm research, and educate policy makers in Washington DC.

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) is another non-profit organization active in our area. SSAWG brings together organizations throughout the Southeast around the issues of farming, local food, and food security. There is a benefit in sharing each other’s successes, and building coalitions is important in building stronger local food economies. SSAWG hosts a four-day event every winter where 1200-1500 farmers and local food advocates convene to share ideas, learn sustainable production techniques, reconnect with like-minded folks, and have fun. The next conference will be in warm Mobile, AL in January.

This past weekend was very unusual for us to have such an active social afternoon off the farm in the middle of the season, but we do appreciate the recognition at CRAVE and the opportunity to participate with OAK. It means a lot. We’ve told you before, but we really mean it: we appreciate your support of organic through your CSA farm share and your loyalty for Elmwood Stock Farm. There is still a lot to do to increase awareness about the benefits and availability of local organic food. There are a lot of good people working for the cause. We look forward to continuing working with you along the way!  

In Your Share :

Dried Beans


Kale Greens
Hot Pepper
Patty Pan Squash
Green Onions


Potato and Kale Soup with Sausage, makes 6 servings

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large leek or bunch of green onions, sliced and cleaned
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste if desired
freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ tsp dry marjoram
½ tsp anise seed
½ C dry white wine
4 C chicken or vegetable broth
1½ pounds new potatoes, cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks (about 4 C)
6-8 oz andouille sausage (or Elmwood brat or sausage) halved lengthwise and sliced
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves chopped (about 8 C)

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and leek/onion and cook, stirring often until the leek/onion is starting to soften and the garlic is fragrant but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in carrot, celery, salt, pepper, marjoram and anise, increase heat to high and cook, stirring often until the vegetables are starting to soften and the bottom of the pot is starting to brown slightly, 5 to 7 minutes.  Add wine and cook until mostly evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add broth and potatoes, cover and bring to a boil. Stir the stew, then layer the sausage on top followed by the kale, cover and return to a boil. [Note: There will be what looks like a LOT of kale on top that will gradually steam down.] Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  Stir and serve.

Chop Suey, thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe that she loves when using fresh celery! Of course, we have to recommend using Elmwood’s organic beef if you don’t have pork on hand already.

2 lbs pork
2 T oil
1 C diced onions
1 bunch celery, including leaves, sliced
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1-5 oz can water chestnuts, chopped
3 T soy sauce, or to taste
1 tsp ground ginger, or to taste
2 C boiling water

Cube pork and dredge in flour. Warm a pan with oil, then brown pork in the pan.  Once the pork is brown, add remaining ingredients. Simmer covered for one and one-half hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice.

Roasted Celery & Blue Cheese, adapted from an online recipe

1 bunch celery, leaves trimmed and set aside, stalks halved lengthwise
½ C diced celery
1 ½ T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T honey, divided
1 C apple juice
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
¼ C walnuts, toasted and chopped
¼ C fresh celery leaves, chopped
Pepper, freshly ground 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Submerge celery halves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a baking pan.  Drizzle oil, then 1 T honey, over celery. Season with salt. Pour apple juice into pan and roast until celery begins to brown, about 20-25 minutes, watch carefully if using narrow celery stalks that it doesn’t burn.  Transfer celery to a platter. In a small bowl, mix blue cheese, walnuts, celery leaf, and remaining celery. Season with pepper. Spoon over roasted celery, drizzle with remaining 1 T honey, and serve.