From the Farmer

Week 9 – 7/8/2013


In Your Share this Week

CABBAGE: check out this week’s All About Cabbage.  You’ll see one of two different kinds of cabbage this week and next – a conical green cabbage called Tendersweet (great for slaw, eating raw, in salads, etc.) or a small red cabbage, also sweet and one of my favorites.  The red is excellent for all of the above but also for cooking; I like it cooked in stir fry or mixed with balsamic, carrots, fruit, etc.  The red will keep for some time, the green you’ll want to eat in the next couple of weeks (this week!). 

You’ll notice the red is smaller than usual.  We call these “Bachelor cabbage” – use a whole one at a time, no plastic wrap needed.  Same sweet taste but personal sized. Keeping the fridge clear of clutter.  Let us know what you think – should we grow more of these mini-cabbages? 

TOMATOES: first tomatoes are showing up in your shares.  We grow a variety of tomatoes: red slicers, cherry tomatoes, heirlooms that come in purple, pink, yellow, white, red, green, and striped.  Tomatoes are a unique crop in that they will continue to ripen after being picked.  We try to give you a mix of tomatoes that are ready to eat and some that will ripen later in the week.

The heirlooms are generally ready to eat and will need to be eaten quickly – they don’t store well.  The red and pink slicers keep much better; a full color and slight give to a soft squeeze will tell you they’re ready.  If they’re more orange than red, leave them on a windowsill, in a paper bag, or just on the counter.  Don’t store them in the fridge!  And tomato trick #3: cut with a bread knife.

POTATOES: first of the potatoes coming your way.  We’re harvesting Red Pontiac, a red-skinned, white-fleshed beauty.  This variety has been around a long time and we don’t see it going the way of the automobile company of the same name – Michael Knight couldn’t save the Firebirds, but I hear this is David Hasselhoff’s favorite potato.  Red Pontiac is a moist potato – GREAT for mashed potatoes.  They cook up quickly for breakfast, too, on the side or in quiche or frittata.

These items may also show up in your box this week: eggplant, garlic scapes, and cherry tomatoes.  If not this week, coming soon!


Meet Your Meat producers

Mike Peterson of Mount Vernon Grassfed at the Farm Stand this Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm

No doubt you’ve heard us throw out words like “holistic,” “grassfed,” “pastured,” and “natural” and then mix them up with important sounding verbiage.  What does this mean – and what does it have to do with your food?  Does it matter?  Why?  And how much do you want to know about your hamburger?

This Saturday, we’ll let Mike Peterson convince you himself.  Mike is visiting from Mount Vernon Grassfed in Sperryville, Virginia with all things beef and pork.  This means samples – and answers to your questions about how to prepare grassfed meat.  He’ll also tell you about their Planned Rotational Mob Grazing practices, their guard llama and guard donkey, and their remarkably happy pigs. 

Mike is a former chef and now raises livestock with his wife Molly (a professional photographer we work with at Willowsford).  They raise 100% grassfed and grass finished beef, lamb and pastured pork – holistically, humanely, and without the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics, hormones or chemical inputs.  They are great people and great farmers. 

Read Mike’s article “Where Does Your Food Come From” in Paleo Magazine.

See you at the Farm Stand and until then, be great


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41025 Willowsford Lane, Aldie, VA 20105

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23595 Founders Drive, Ashburn, VA 20148

Phone: 571-297-6900

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