We will have Christmas trees and wreaths this week – If you would like, please email me. Otherwise, it is luck of the draw!
Mark is looking to rent warehouse space in DC 500-1500 Sq feet. email him Mark@thefarmbus.com.
This week will be the last week of our Wednesday Patriot’s Plaza Market and CSA drop. The building has new owners, and we have unsuccessfully been trying to negotiate an affordable rent from them. We hope to return in the Spring. We will miss all of you, and are so grateful for your support and patronage. Patriots Plaza people will be shifted to the Tuesday, Eastern Market drop, 4-7pm. If you are unable to make this, and have not yet let me know, please do this right away. Thank you for your continued membership and flexibility with this unavoidable situation.
I will be starting a new job this week, my first corporate job in 20 years, so a HUGE life change for me. This means I will be checking emails during breaks on CSA day, and blocking work. If you have an urgent situation on CSA day, please text Mark at 804-397-7337 as I will not be able to check my phone during work except breaks.
This is the last drop of the year for many of you, and we wish you very Happy Holidays. We are grateful for your membership and have loved getting to know you and your family this winter. Next week, 12/20 will be the last drop for most of our weekly folks (put shares on hold if you are traveling!) and then we are on holiday, returning January 3 for all of you. Everyone is welcome to come next week and shop. If you want to order an extra share of anything, please email me so I can make sure to add you in the count.
Mark will have a truck load of maple syrup, apple butter, Wade’s Mill speciality mixes, honey, our Love + Gratitude jams and other pantry items that make great gifts.
Here’s what is in the share:
- young local ginger – I grate this into everything, including salad.
- hydroponic local tomatoes (treat!)
- bibb lettuce
- sunflower microgreens (treat!) – add them to a salad or sandwich, or just eat them as a snack.
- Wade’s Mill corncake pancake mix – These are so good! Wade’s Mill, located in Raphine, VA, is 270 years old and was recently sold. We are so glad the new owners are carrying on the stone ground grains and are glad to be able to work with them. Here’s a news story on the new owners with pictures of the Mill. It is a super cool place, and has a neat store, so visit if you are in that area.
- Maple Syrup – Southernmost Maple (Mike Puffenberger and family) are in Bolar, VA and also do apple butter, maple sausage and that crazy good BBQ we send you. Mike and his family have been friends with Mark’s family for over 30 years and was one of our first farmers on board the Farm Bus when we started. We are grateful that they saw Mark’s vision and we LOVE what they do.
- Edmonds Farm bison chuck roast – this is a treat. Cook it like you would a beef pot roast. This secret is to thoroughly brown the meat on all sides when you start your prep so it has a nice crust on it – that ensures your meat will be tender, juicy and flavorful. Here is a beer braised version, with fresh rosemary and thyme. Chuck roast, whether beef or bison, are one of the most economical cuts of meat, and super delicious. You can modify any beef recipe for your bison. I love to make bison bourgognone also!!! Good luck and enjoy!
Mark has some truly inspired local goods for you this week! Our Thursday Market is still on hold, please visit our other Markets: Tuesday – Eastern Market, 225 7th Street SE 4-7pm, Wednesday – Patriots Plaza, 315 E Street, SW 11-6:30 pm. If you have questions regarding the markets, please call or text Mark at 804-397-7337.
- October beans – these are so good. Here are some ideas.
- Oak leaf lettuce (head) – Thai grilled steak salad – use your bison skirt steak below, cherry tomatoes, cilantro. yum.
- chioga beets – these look like Dr. Seuss beets. Here’s some tips.
- white turnips – you can sautee the tops like any greens. The roots are so sweet and tender. Turnips for people who think they hate them here.
- white sweet potatoes – they are very creamy in texture! Delicious.
- magness pears – autumn salad with pears and gorgonzola
- white slipskin grapes – heavenly.
- broccoli – roasted broccoli with cherry tomatoes and garlic
- black trumpet mushrooms- these are heavenly and I have been just throwing them in with everything, including scrambled eggs, trout, ground beef sautee etc this week. They can be used in place of truffles. More info here.
- acorn squash – stuff them with the mushrooms!! or try this acorn squash salad
- cherry tomatoes
- Edmonds bison skirt steak – I’ve made juniper marinated bison skirt steak a bunch of times and it is super delicious. I’ve swapped out berries for a drop of juniper essential oil (make sure it is supplement grade like doTERRA) and added in the black pepper essential oil (so amazing to just sprinkle on any meats after cooking!) If you are interested in culinary essential oils, email me. Here’s skirt steak with cilantro garlic sauce (I love cooking with cilantro essential oil also.)
- Bacon (Miltons I think) – try skillet turnips and potatoes with bacon
Fall/ winter shares are LIVE for you to sign up for. I am so excited. The honey crisp apples we got last week were so delicious! And there are more this week PLUS Apple Cider! If you are interested in signing up for Fall, please do so now here! Make sure to review our FAQ and Policies, as many of your questions may be answered there. Please share us with your friends!
- Details: Starts the first week of October, runs 24 weeks with a two week break for winter holidays for Christmas and New Years,
- Prices are $45/week for produce, $32/week for meat and dairy shares, $120 for Full share (produce, meat, dairy and bread). Add ons are available for eggs, bread etc.
- Locations: Eastern Market, Patriot’s Plaza, and 7th/G drop (will revert to Eastern Market if we do not get 10 people.)
PROMOTIONS/DISCOUNTS (for shares only, does not apply to member fees)
- PAID IN FULL upfront for the FULL share (includes produce, dairy, meat, bread) GET 10% off. Members still pay member fee. Expires 11/1. Coupon Code is WHOLESHEBANG16 (there is a place to enter it during checkout). We appreciate our paid in full, full share members because your commitment is the glue to help us do what we do. You provide us working capital to work with our farmers in the best possible way at the beginning of the season, and supports our local farming micro-community. Our farmers put in a HUGE investment at the beginning of THEIR season for us, and this way we are able to pay them back in a timely manner. THANK YOU!
- MILITARY DISCOUNT – 10% – for ACTIVE or VETERAN MILITARY – Thank you for your servce! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for your verification and code. For those of us who have been with us before, the code is the same, so search your email or ask me again.
- REFERRAL REWARDS PROGRAM – For every friend, family member, co-worker or random person you refer who joins, you receive a $25 credit that goes towards FREE FOOD! Make sure to tell your friends to use YOUR NAME when they sign up, so you get your credit. THANK YOU!
What will you get? Virginia is a very diverse 4 season growing state – greens grow straight thru! We also work with innovative farmers using greenhouses and hoop houses to stretch the seasons. Many items are picked and stored, such as apples, root veggies and squashes. Mushrooms move indoors.
- Fruit: pears, grapes, different apples (straight thru), asian pears, possible late raspberries.
- Veg: pumpkins, squashes, beets, turnips,carrots, leeks, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, rutabagas, greens like chard, spinach, creasy greens, kale, kalettes, cauliflower, broccoli, romanesco, we are hoping for fresh ginger and turmeric, and more.
- In addition as the season progresses, or if we have bad weather (snow, cold and ice can affect greens and either items growing), you will start getting 1 or two pantry items or added value item – this helps us get thru the winter season with diversity and supports our farmers who are preserving, drying or otherwise using their harvest from earlier in the year. What might you get? honey, applesauce, apple butter, maple barbecue sauce, fermented veggies (kraut), dried black beans, frozen corn, buckwheat flour, Wade’s Mill (400 year old mill) cornmeal, polenta, grits, baking mixes and other grains, sorghum molasses, Virginia peanuts, Twin Oaks soy foods, heirloom popcorn, our own jam, and more.
If you have questions about the Fall share, email me. Join Now, and Support the local food system.
MILK!! YAY!! I have great news for dairy folks — Old Church Creamery milk is BACK this week!! so exciting – this is the best milk ever, from the best cows, Jersey cows! We are hoping yogurt and kefir will return in about a month or so. If you find yourself having difficulty getting thru the milk, it is great to cook with (think soups, chowders, custards, old fashioned tapioca so good with our eggs) and It is easy to make ricotta (see Simona’s ricotta in 5 minutes on our Facebook group), mozzarella, yogurt and kefir. You will have to get cultures for everything but ricotta – We love Hill’s Kitchen! Tell them we sent you.
And YES!! we have a Facebook group for our CSA! IPLEASE post pictures of your share, recipes, and more. This is our online community and you will find recipes, tips, photos and more here. I also post updates there if there are changes in the share, and other information about delivery. What kind of stuff do you want to see on our group? let me know! Join here.
Greens – You will start to see more greens as the weather cools off – lettuces, salad mixes, arugula, spinach, kale and more. The more delicate greens need to be eaten quickly – plan to cycle them in earlier in your week, and hardier greens like kale later. Take a look at all your greens when you get home and are putting them away and do a little prep with them so they last longer – its work, but worth it. Here’s a guide to keeping your greens fresh.
Event – We will be at the Payne Elementary School Fall Festival this coming Saturday. Can you come help us for an hour or so? We need members to help us with fall membership drive – your experiences help! and will also have a mini pop-up market and will be raffling off some goodies. If you can help, email me. If you are invovled with an event you think might be good for us, let us know!
Here is what we anticipate being in the share this week. Keep in mind the share list is what we THINK will be in the share, and can often change last moment due to availability, weather and other factors – so we ask you to be flexible. For instance, the list has already switched around this weekend due to the excessive wind and rain our area received this weekend. I will continue to try to get the list to you as soon as possible as I understand many of you like to preplan your meals, but Mark works so closely with the farmers, he often doesn’t have it finalized until late Sunday.
- mushrooms – These are so delicious! Here are tips on storing mushrooms. Poached eggs with shiitake and tatsoi toasts. Yum. Recipe calls for duck eggs (see if Mark has any) otherwise use hen eggs.
- totsoi spinach – This is so delicious and versatile too! Here is a guide, and recipes. Hope you love it!
- spicy salad mix – here’s Mark Bittman’s roasted beet salad with walnuts and goat cheese.
- yellow wax beans – Try Warm Yellow Wax Beans with Bacon vinaigrette – its a cross between a salad and a side dish and VERY yummy! Skip the bacon to make it vegetarian.
- beets – Beets are really amazing! We have gotten them all summer as they were growing, and now they have been harvested and stored. They are really good for you, and chinese dietary therapy indicates they help you build blood. So many ways to use them – I love to roast them as it brings out the sweetness. I love them in salads, in soups, in sides and you can even bake with them like these vegan fudgey cupcakes. You can also use them as a sub for tomatoes like this nomato marinara sauce by my friend Amanda at the Curious Coconut (great if you are nightshade sensitive or supporting autoimmune issues.) Try French Peasant Beets with wine. Here is Victoria Boutenko’s delicious raw borscht!
- broccoli – wow. this sounds amazing. Pasta, broccoli and ricotta! You can easily make your own ricotta by following Simona’s suggestions on our Facebook page.
- apples – how about a healthy caramel apple?
- garlic – how to store garlic. how to pickle garlic.
- cherry tomatoes – enjoy these lovely late tomatoes. add them to salad, top a pizza, or add to the yellow bean recipe above.
- hot chili peppers – I usually dry hot peppers to use later in the year. Here’s a great guide to preserving chills. Last year I made my own chili powder from dried chilis. There are lots of good recipes out there, but this one from Alton Brown starts with fresh chilis that you pan roast. When you make your own, you control the flavor, the heat and best of all, no additives. When working with hot peppers, be careful. Here’s a safety guide. Here’s how to infuse vodka with chili peppers. Here’s how to infuse honey, vinegar and oils with peppers.
- delicata squash – This is my favorite squash – Wash it first, then cut in half, scoop out the seeds with the serrated edge of a grapefruit spoon (best squash and pumpkin tool ever!) and roast with a little butter, salt and pepper. You can also cut it into rounds and sautee it. Keep your seeds, and roast as a snack, or to top soups and salads. The skin is edible on delicata, so don’t throw it out. Here ‘s a guide to squash and its skins from Deborah Madison — All her recipes are amazing.
- niagara grapes – grapes are one of my favorite fall fruit. These do have seeds (i eat the seeds), but pack a powerful flavor, so I encourage you to get your kids to try them. They are relatively fragile, so eat them or do something with them before too many days go by. Here’s a great guide to them and some recipes to try. Remember grapes are poisonous to dogs, so don’t feed Fido any.
- trout filets – Virginia Trout Company – We really love these! So fast, easy and delicous. You can easily pan fry them with butter or coconut oil, or get fancy with these recipes. These are great for kids – no need to worry about bones. Baked Trout with shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes and ginger. I would use the cherry tomatoes for this.
- Puff BBQ – Southernmost Maple — This comes from our maple farmers, Mike Puffenberger andhis family at Southernmost Maple. They are from Highland County, the “little Switzerland” of Virginia. They are famous for their maple products, and especially this BBQ! It comes frozen, and all you have to do is heat and eat! It is really packed into the container. Just add some sides, and you have an awesome meal.
- Polyface Pork Chops – try these Grilled Pork Chops with Grapes from Mario Batali – it calls for Concord grapes, but he says you can sub, so our grape this week would be really good I think. The Polyface porkchops are perfect for this recipe. I used to see Mario Batali shopping at the Union Square farmer’s Market when I lived in NYC, and I loved to watch him talk to the farmers and see what he was getting and try to figure out what he was going to make. Major Chef Crush. We are so lucky to be close enough to Polyface Farms to work with Joel Salatin and his family. Joel is probably the world’s most famous farmer.