Author Archives: Betsy Chapman

Summer Harvest, Fall Planting

Seasons Overlap on the Farm

We’ve been enjoying these unseasonably cool August days as we gear up for fall planting!

While we’re still harvesting summer crops, we’re preparing the ground, tending seedlings in the greenhouse, and getting seeds in the ground for our fall growing season.

We’ll continue having eggplant, okra, squash, sweet and spicy peppers, and potatoes through the summer, but it won’t be too long before sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, lettuces, greens, and turnips appear on the market table!

Look forward to seeing your smiling, vegetable-loving faces at Midtown Wednesdays and Saturdays and OXCM on Tuesdays!

Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes

Delicious fare from Pastry Affair

Try this seriously delicious sounding recipe recommended by Yokna Bottoms CSA member Sierra Cannon. We’ll have just about everything you need to make Parmesan Stuffed Tomatoes at market this week!

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The Girls of Summer…Goodbye, Taylor & Julie!

It’s been the Summer of the Epic Interns at Yokna Bottoms Farm! Boy, did we luck out when we got these two…

During their three months with us, Taylor and Julie spent countless hours in the field and at market – weeding, tending the chickens, hauling heavy loads of potatoes, waiting on customers, and everything else in between.

Over the summer, they lightened the load of the farm crew, earned our respect and admiration, and also became our friends.

It’s rare to find such incredible work ethic and the dogged determination it takes to get through long, hot, challenging summer days on the farm – but these girls have got it!

We’ll miss you, Taylor & Julie!

The Yokna Bottoms Family

When Life Hands You Basil, Make Pesto!

Heat-loving basil, a native of India, is thriving right now! We’ve got rows and rows of this sweet and pungent culinary favorite thriving in our fields, ready to throw into your favorite pasta recipe!

Our basil is perfect for pesto and delicious with squash – try asquash and basil frittata for a light summer supper or lovely brunch dish!

We’ll have buckets of basil at Midtown Market from 7-11 a.m. Saturday and OXCM from 3-6:30 p.m. Tuesday…See you there!

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Who’s Your Farmer? Buy Local, Eat Well

Yokna Bottoms heirloom tomatoes

Access to local food is growing! With three weekly farmers markets, Oxford residents have more options to shop directly from local growers and producers.

Yokna Bottoms is proud to sell at every market:

Mid-Town Market
Wednesdays  8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 7-11 a.m. Saturdays

Oxford City Market
3-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

Going to the grocery store can be a chore, but shopping the market is an outing – a place to take the kids, catch up with friends, listen to music, sample local goodies, and get to know your farmers.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find when you shop local:

Sweet Mardis honey

Summer bounty from Bost Farm

Pumpkin Creek blueberries

Fresh Gulf shrimp from Patti Belle’s Seafood

Spice up your life with the Spicy or Not Veggy

Cherry Creek peaches

Come see us and our farmer friends and eat well all week long!

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I Am the Egg(plant) Man… Goo Goo G’Joob

Tahini Roasted Eggplant

Lord have mercy – we have a lot of eggplant! We hope y’all are enjoying these big, meaty beauties. Unlike more dainty vegetables (um, lettuce, that would be you), eggplant holds its own as either entree or side dish. Excellent grilled, fried, sauteed, or en casserole, eggplant makes for a great meat substitute and is right at home in your favorite Greek or Italian dish. We’ve got several varieties including Black Beauty, Black King, Ping Tung, Raja, and Machiaw. With this easy preparation you get the classic flavor of smoky, sesame infused baba ganoush without all the work! Tahini Roasted Eggplant 1 lb. Eggplant, thinly sliced 3 TBSP Tahini 1 TBSP Olive oil 2 Cloves garlic, minced 2 TBSP Lemon juice Parsley, chopped Salt & Pepper Toss eggplant with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees until brown, about 20 minutes.

Canned Goodness! Our delightful and hardworking interns Julie and Taylor have been cooking up a storm! These two have been invaluable additions to the our summer crew and now they’re adding value to our surplus summer veggies by turning extra tomatoes, green beans, peppers, and onions into pickles, sauces, jellies, and jams. Look for Yokna Bottoms canned goodies this Saturday at Mid-Town and Tuesday at OXCM. And take a minute to thank Julie and Taylor for their contribution to the local food scene!

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On the Menu… Caprese Salad Bites & Farm to Fork Field Trip

We may be sweltering in the humid deep South but we’re eating like the locals on the sunny, windswept Isle of Capri, enjoying the island’s signature salad of basil, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella: Insalata Caprese.

Our lovely sugar sweet, pink-fleshed German Lunchbox tomatoes make charming little Caprese salad bites. This heirloom variety offers heavy yields of firm, egg-sized tomatoes, perfect for snacking, salads, or tucking into lunchboxes.

Only available commercially since 2006, German Lunchbox seeds were carefully saved by a Missouri man whose family brought the variety with them upon immigrating from Germany.

And so Italy and Germany join forces to create this adorable, tasty summer appetizer…

German Lunchbox Caprese Salad Bites

German Lunchbox tomatoes, halved
Basil leaves, cut into strips
Fresh mozzarella, bite-sized pieces
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Top tomato halves with cheese and basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil. A smidge of white balsamic reduction here would be lovely, but is optional.

Farm to Fork Field Trip

University of Mississippi Rebel Quest kids enjoyed a day on the farm, complete with potato digging, hanging out with the chickens, and a farm to fork lunch prepared by Chef Joel Miller of Ravine using Yokna Bottoms veggies and chicken from Zion Farm in Pontotoc:

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Oodles of Noodles: Funtastic Chinese Noodle Beans!

Just as everyone’s figured what the heck to do with kolhrabi, we’ve added another unusual but delicious vegetable to the market table: Chinese Noodle Beans!

These long, skinny whip-like beans are vigorous growers prized for their firm texture and rich, complex flavor – sweet and earthy.

We’ll have both green and red varieties and unlike most burgundy hued beans, the Chinese Red retain their lovely color after cooking.

These incredible 18 inch long wonders are perfect for steaming, grilling, adding to your favorite salad, and stir-frying.

Betsy’s Noodle Bean Shiitake Stir-Fry
Mr. Brown has delicious local shiitake mushrooms – pick some up at OXCM and Mid-Town and tell him we sent you!

1 bunch Chinese Noodle beans, ends snapped
8 oz. Shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed
1 TBS. sesame oil
1 jalapeno, diced
1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 TBS. ginger, grated
Dash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar

Get your biggest wok or skillet hot, toss in sesame oil, onions, pepper, and beans. Cook til tender but crisp. Remove from pan, drizzle in a bit more oil and add mushrooms. Cook til they’re lightly browned. Add beans, ginger, garlic, dash of soy sauce and rice vinegar and cook just a minute or two more. Serve with red quinoa or jasmine rice and Sriracha.

Farm Talk

Farmer Betsy’s visit to Studio Whimzy’s Healthy You Creation Camp:

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Patriotic Potatoes: Happy 4th of July!

Cookouts, parades, fireworks, and potato salad – as American as apple pie!

We hope you’re putting your Yokna Bottoms RED, WHITE, & BLUE potatoes to good use this 4th of July. Our patriotic potatoes are delicious, sustainably grown , and perfect for your Independence Day celebration!

Try this recipe for United “Tates” of America!

If you haven’t tried them yet. pick some up this Saturday morning at Mid-Town Market from 7-11 a.m.

Summer Lovin’

Tomatoes. Squash, & Eggplant

Summer Squash & Eggplant Bake

When it comes to summer farmers market veggies, the the eyes are indeed often bigger than the stomach…And occasionally people (um, me) come home from market with armloads of delicious summer goodies having forgotten that they (again, me) are leaving town the next day…A troubling, albeit delicious conundrum…Needless to say, I just had a really big dinner:

Summer Squash & Eggplant Bake
Sauteed Balsamic Green Beans
Rosemary Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Sliced Cucumbers
Peaches, Berries & Cantaloupe

Try this easy, light casserole showcasing Yokna Bottoms squash, eggplant, and tomatoes:

Summer Squash & Eggplant Bake

2 lbs. eggplant, sliced*
2 lbs. summer squash, sliced*
3 medium tomatoes, sliced*
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced*
3 cloves garlic
Fresh oregano*
Fresh thyme
Salt & pepper
Olive oil
*available at market this week

Salt eggplant and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse and drain. Drizzle a little oil in the bottoms of a good-sized casserole dish. Layer slices of eggplant and squash in dish, drizzling with a little oil, sprinkling salt and pepper, and tossing in onions and garlic as you layer. Top with tomato slices and herbs.

Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for about 35 minutes. You could top with some homemade bread crumbs and/or a little cheese if you’d like.


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Summertime… And the Living is BUSY!

Lone volunteer sunflower

Signs of summer are popping up all over the farm – in the form of a lovely volunteer sunflower, a crew of great WWOOFers and interns, healthy tomato and watermelon plants, and long, busy days.

We’re stepping quick these days to keep up with planting, harvesting, cultivating, distributing to CSA members, and participating in three weekly markets!

This week’s market tables saw the first squash, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers of the season. We’re looking forward to a bountiful summer and want to hear about what you’re doing with your summer veggies.

Summer squash cornucopia

Blushing Purple Russian tomato

Melon blossom

Farm Lunch: Killer Kohlrabi Cakes

Delicious kohlrabi cakes and stir-fry

The Yokna Bottoms crew was recently treated to lunch by awesome WWOOFers Reynaldo and Hannah, who are not only great workers but great cooks. They whipped up these tasty fritters with our most unusual/bewildering vegetable: Kohlrabi!

We’ll only have kohlrabi for about a week longer, so act fast and try this easy recipe courtesy of Reynaldo:

Yokna Bottom’s Super Quick & Easy Kohlrabi Fritters

Kohlrabi comes from the Austrian name Kohlrübe which means “Turnip Cabbage”. It is in the same family as broccoli, cabbage, and collard greens and is enjoyed extensively in German speaking countries as well as in southern India. Kohlrabi is rich in fiber, protein, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and other nutrients. These kohlrabi fritters will not only be a huge hit at the family table (kids love them!), they’re super easy to make. The unique robust flavor of the kohlrabi cakes can be described as light vegetarian crab cakes.

1 Kohlrabi, peeled & shredded
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Flour
Oil for frying
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Herbs

Simply mix the Kohlrabi, eggs, flour, salt and pepper, and herbs in a bowl. Scoop about 1/3 cup into the frying pan and fry both sides till golden brown.

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Field Trip! Kids on the Farm

Sampling some farm food

Nothing we like more than getting kids out on the farm! On Wednesday forty-six young adventurers from UM Horizons Summer Learning Program marched down the road to the fields to spend the afternoon with the Yokna Bottoms Farm crew.

We dug potatoes (which they found utterly fascinating), hung out with the chickens, and talked about our favorite veggies and how we grow them.

Then we all headed over to the shade for a farm food tasting featuring just-harvested carrots, turnips, beets, and broccoli plus some homemade kale chips.

After an enthusiastic sampling of veggies, they all went home with handfuls of fresh lavender and mint.

Stop and smell the lavender

It’s U-Pick Time!

Summertime and the berries are juicy…

Sunday, June 22
4-7 p.m.
26 CR 471

We’ve got ripe blackberries all over the farm and we’d love to share them!

FREE for CSA Members
$10/per family or no charge if we split the pickings

Natural bug repellent strongly suggested along with long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes.

Call Betsy at 662-380-2367 for directions or questions.

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Mississippi Mud! Sweet Potato Planting & Farm Field Day

A muddy but bountiful harvest day!

Mud has been a dominant theme on the farm as of late and we’ve been doing our best to not let it slow us down. (Believe it or not, the internet actually provides detailed instructions on how to properly walk through mud: How To Walk Through Mud and Not Get Stuck. Wish I’d read that one a little earlier in the week…)

Anyhow, in spite of the weather, we’ve managed to harvest and distribute lots of good food for our CSA members, plant some sweet potato slips, and are looking forward to having folks out Saturday for a farm field day.

With all we’ve got going, we sure are happy to have lots of extra help from our awesome residential interns Julie and Taylor #1, new WWOOF guest Reynaldo, and in-town interns Susan, Taylor #2, and Kelly.

Here’s the gang with Farmer Jeff – taking advantage of today’s unusually dry weather:

Getting sweet potatoes in the ground

Taylor #1 with an armload of sweet potato slips

We hope to see you all at Mid-Town Market on Saturday and out on the farm that afternoon for some good old-fashioned family fun!

Here’s what we’ve got planned:

Yokna Bottoms Farm Field Day
Saturday, June 14
26 CR 471

Farm Activities 
4-8 p.m.
Community Potato Dig
Blackberry Picking
Farm Tours and Fun Info Sessions
Farm Food Potluck

Drum Circle & Open Jam
8-10 p.m.

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