Tag Archives: community supported agriculture

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.

-Betsy

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Po-ta-to, Po-tah-to…

Potato planting has commenced at Yokna Bottoms Farm!

Cool, dry, blue skies…couldn’t have been a more lovely day to tuck seed potatoes into the soft, dark bottomland soil…As farmers and aesthetes, we couldn’t help but take a few minutes away from planting to photograph these downright beautiful spuds:


Mountain Rose, Yukon Gold, & Purple Majesty

We’ve got 1,000 lbs. of seed potatoes going into the ground and are expecting to harvest in about 110 days, somewhere around the middle of June, maybe a little earlier. Be on the lookout for these interesting and tasty varieties:

Red Lasoda – “Beautiful smooth red skin with pure white flesh. Known as the best storing red potato, will keep for months.”

Yukon Gold – “Thin, smooth eye free skin and buttery, yellow tinged flesh.”

Rio Grande – “Not your average russet, Rio Grande has elevated levels of antioxidants along with exceptionally high yields and well above average storage qualities.”

Mountain Rose – “Gorgeous, rosy-skinned and fleshed tubers, these versatile, all-purpose spuds are deliciously moist but not waxy textured. Mountain Rose is extra nutritious and high in antioxidants.”

Purple Majesty – “These ever-so-delicious potatoes are purple through and through—with wine-dark skins and succulent purple flesh.”

French Fingerling – “A petite, sleek and slender heirloom potato. Its rose colored skin is thin and smooth. Its flesh, creamy yellow and splashed with pink, is succulent, firm and waxy. Thin delicate skin doesn’t need to be peeled. It has a robust, nutty, earthy and buttery flavor when cooked.”

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Why a CSA?

Why a CSA Farm?

Because of the ice, I am staying home today and sitting by the fire. I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss the reasons why I am starting an organic Community Supported Agriculture Farm.

I moved to Mississippi from Atlanta in the fall of 2007 to teach at the University of Mississippi. While I loved living in Atlanta and gardening at my suburban home (see photos), I soon discovered that the rural lifestyle of Lafayette County suited me well.

When I came to Oxford, I knew that I wanted to find some property to build a home on. In order to get settled into my new job at the university, sell my home in Atlanta, and find the right property, I decided to move into a temporary residence. For 18 months, I rented and lived in a small cabin behind the home of local painter, Robert Malone, in the artists’ community of Taylor, Mississippi, 6 miles south of Oxford. In October of 2007, I found and purchased the 19 acres that is now Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm. In August 2008, Bill Todd Construction (highly, highly recommended) began work on my home. I found the plans for a 1900 square foot, three bedroom, 3 bath home with a 360 degree wrap-around porch. Bill Todd and I also designed (and Bill built) a garage with a 600′ apartment loft with a 6′ x 18′ deck. The home was built to maximize energy efficiency and includes supplemental wood heating (a fire place with a blower) and a south-southeast exposure to maximize solar energy. The home was built with reclaimed brick and heartpine beams, includes a metal roof, Hardyplank siding, tankless water heaters, a skylight, and sewage treatment system.

From the beginning, I have planned to use the land for food production. The reason I built the loft was to have a living space for a “farm manager.” My biggest problem is that I work 60+ hours a week at the university and having someone manage the farm is essential. Fortunately, last October (2009) Daniel and Alison Doyle, along with their newborn baby, Sophia, agreed to take on the role. What they lack in experience, they make up for in enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and work ethic. Without going in to too much detail about CSA’s other than to say that I experienced them (and their incredible produce) in Atlanta through various farmers’ markets and the organization Georgia Organics http://www.georgiaorganics.org , a CSA is a perfect model for utilizing the land for food production. This is not a money making endevour for me; rather, my only goal is to support local food production, encourage sustainable agricultural practices, and to provide a center for community agricultural, educational, and artistic activity.

Yokna(patawpha) Bottoms Farm is is a cooperative CSA. In others words, while we will sell “shares” to provide capital for the farm operations, our primary desire is that members earn shares through volunteering to work on the farm (more on this later) and/or providing much needed resources (loaning or donating a tractor, fencing material, manure, compost).

Our current plan is to devote 50% of all produce to sell at (and support) local Farmers Markets in Taylor, Oxford, and Water Valley. The proceeds from the sale of this produce will be used to finance farm operations. The remaining 50% will be divided into equal shares to be distributed to the members. The intial offering of the farm will be capped at 50 shares; however, the number of actual shares will determine the level of our initial plantings (my plan is to make a per share list of everything we plant–for example: for each share we might plant 5 tomato plants, 5 pepper plants, 2 of several different types of squash, 1 cucumber plant, 10 bean pants, etc.). My current thinking (subject to discussion and modification) is that one share will cost 25 volunteer hours, or $250.

More to come …

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