Friday, March 27, 2009


Barbara Hyman and Ed Goff have submitted a recipe each from the potlock dinner a few weeks ago.


Below are two recipes submitted by cooks (well, Ed and me) who brought dishes to the CSA potluck a few weeks ago. If I receive recipes for other dishes we enjoyed then, I'll pass them along. Barbara

Saffron Carrots and Parsnips
Ed Goff
2 lbs. carrots, julienned
1 large parsnip, julienned
1/4 c olive oil
1-2 cubes vegetarian vegetable bouillon
(Non-veg option: Use chicken stock instead. Mmmmmm!)

1/2 tsp. powdered saffron or 2 pinches saffron threads
small sprig fresh rosemary, diced
Sautee carrots in olive oil with bouillon over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add parsnip and saffron. Continue sauteeing until tender and slightly caramelized. Add rosemary and toss.

Mixed Green Salad With Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette

Barbara Hyman and Southern Living

1 (5-oz.) bag mixed salad greens, thoroughly washed
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup peeled, cubed jicama (about 1/2-inch cubes)
6 tablespoons Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette (below)
Toss together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Serve immediately with Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
Makes 3/4 cup
* 1/2 cup cider vinegar
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
* 2 tablespoons lime juice
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup olive oil
Whisk together first 6 ingredients; add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk well before serving.

Happy Eating!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life on Eden's Farm

There is sooo much going on in the news locally and in DC I don't know where to start.


This may be a good place to start before you head out to lunch.
Fortunately, I think most of you know it is better to pack a salad and some fresh veggies for lunch.

But then there is always Lazare!

But, in order for us to continue to get to eat locally farm fresh, from your favorite farm of choice, we need to keep DC out of it. They need to focus on the far away farms, not farms where we can go talk to the farmer if there is a problem with something they grew or raised.

This is an interesting story about a piece of legislation that has been circulating and starting rumors. It is so vague that it encompasses just about any and everything anyone ever grows or raises. A bit much. Farming is labor intensive enough, without having to spend all that mental energy on staying ahead of the paperwork the gov't wants to put us through.

And of course there is the weather - cool front coming in means no tomatoes get planted just yet. But hopefully, the temps will stabilize in the next few weeks. We have some starts going, and more on the way. Also we'll be putting in peppers, squash, cukes and zukes to name a few things.

If you have jumped the gun and put out your warm season veggies already, you may want to get glass jars ready to cover them with before the temps drop too far. Less than 55 degrees and a tomato plant isn't happy. This can open them up to being susceptible to disease and pests, like caterpillars or aphids, etc.

In organic growing, we work with nature, the seasons, etc., so we try not to rush things or push them along, thus keeping the need for intervention lower.

I think we'll have lettuce and spinach, cabbage and the last of the pok choi this week. The mizuna mix seems to have some more life to it, just those early varieties are all bolted out. But, there is radicchio coming, too, and looks like kale in the mix. Beets are still growing as well. We may really get several more weeks out of this winter season!

In the meantime, there are potatoes and onions planted. Thank you to workshare members Sam, Theresa, Monica and their friend Marcus who came out Saturday morning and planted while Iris, one of our regular members, helped me harvest and distro the shares.

How many teenagers does it take to plant 900 ft of potatoes?

There was a half bushel of pok choi left in the truck while we were distributing, so if you want some - come out and get it! I'm looking for an outlet to donate it to.

And some good news for those of you living up north - I spoke to a farmer colleague of mine who is opening up for some more shares. Pam at Rose Creek Farms in Sunset will be glad to talk to you. Tell Pam I said hi! And keep checking Local Harvest's site for new pick your own options as well as new CSA projects.
Small farms are in such desperate need, we need to do what we can to protect our precious resources of land, clean water and healthy, clean food by helping good folks stay encouraged to farm their land - not sell it to developers, or be beat down by legislators trying to support the large agribiz companies. We may not be able to save the world, but we can affect our own back yards. Stay informed, supporting those who support small farming operations and buy locally grown food.
Unfortunately, in Dallas, that is not easy to do. Shed 1 down at Farmer's Market has a mix of local and veteran dealers. But, if there is a local farmer to be found after 4 am, they'd likely be in shed 1. Organic? You need to ask. I found 1 local and organic farm, 1 time down there. Granted, I don't get to shop much there as I'm here working Saturday mornings usually. But we are trying to get more of the farms in TOFGA up here to the Market Day events, which start soon! April 4th is our first one. We'll probably not see much in the way of produce as not a lot of farmers work through the winter, but we're trying to find some to come. JuHa will be here with her grass fed beef and pork, lamb, etc. And our CSA member Charity Gordon, will have her home made Stevia Gardens tea available.
OK - the rain is ending and I've work to do. Farmers do have to do their paperwork, too, when the soil is too wet to play in....
Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lazare - bar and restaurant now serving....

Well, soon to be serving anyway, produce grown at Eden's!

Located in West Village, Lemon at Cole - Next to Cru Wine Bar

We have a new friend to our farm. Chef David Gilbert, of Lazare in uptown, has asked me to grow some veggies for his new restaurant! How cool is that?! David sought out local food and contacted me almost 2 years ago - before we'd ever even stuck a shovel in the ground - to help him connect with local food producers for his project.

Chef and Staff getting ready for the first night of "mock" service

Specifically, he's asked for some gourmet potatoes, carrots, squash, funky cucumbers, and wax beans. We'll be putting in some of these things for the restaurant - don't worry, we'll put in plenty extra for us, too!

But, here is a good reason to eat out - now that you can eat healthy with the local food they'll be featuring - as it is in season. They'll be using tasty and tender all natural, pature raised chicken from Dominion Farms and all naturally, locally grown herbs and produce from a few various farms in the area - including Eden's Garden.

Lazare bottles its own sparkling and filtered water.

Chef Gilbert asked me to speak to his staff last night about my passion for growing tasty, nutritious and FRESH food. It was a great group of young folks, eager to come see the farm and excited to be able to offer their customers great food, growing locally. Chef is going to have his staff come to the farm for a field trip to help out now and then, too.

First night of service with one of Eden's lecturer 's, and a friend of mine,
Kerry Stallo - Age-Intercept, Inc.

He said it will give them a good connection with the food they are serving/preparing. And it is neat to see who will be preparing and serving what we grow. Just as it is so neat to see who is eating it from the CSA group! It is just great to have that connection.

I think this will be a great relationship not just for my farm and its members - Chef has agreed to share a few recipes with us and even offered to do a cooking demo at some point - but for other local farmers and ranchers, too. (Wait till you see what he can do with ordinary produce!)

Be sure to check them out and watch their blog, too. (see link above) I hope you will go check them out next time you have occasion to let someone else do the cooking. And be sure to tell them you are a supporter of Eden's! Tell them I said hello, too.

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

The Latest from Big Brother

I'm sure glad I follow Brad's blog, he does all the work for me. ; )

You need to keep abreast of the latest nonsense from the gov't. Folks, we really don't need someone to hold our hand and tell us how to get our food, do we? Farmers have been growing food and getting it to their customers for many years before the FDA, USDA, etc., were ever dreamed up. Something tells me, those organizations came into being to help regulate the big boys - where the problems generally come from.

If you know who you get your food from, and if there is a problem, then there is no need to "track" your food - you go back to your farmer.

I realize we have an inperfect system, but more and more regulations are not the answer. Pretty soon, they will be regulating your back yard garden - this is written so broadly, that is why it has so many people up in arms.

Please keep yourselves informed, and let your legistators know how you feel, too. Generally there are links on the various emails that come out and on the websites linked to sign pre-written petitions.

In the meantime -let us be thankful for the rain! More on the way Monday to help water in what we get planted tomorrow. : )

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's almost here!

The promise is 2"-3" of glorious rain over the next 3 days, which would be awesome! The plants are looking pretty good, but they would sure look much fuller and grow bigger with some rain. There's nothing like it to soak the soil good.
The ground was tilled today and fertilized with some alfalfa based organic fertilizer so we're ready for the rain to wash it all in and get cooking. Then we'll come back and bed up the soil so we can plant the warm season produce.

Larry and Farmer Jack - lots of wisdom shared today

We're looking at a LOT more space needed as melons, cucumbers, squash and such take up a lot of room, spreading out those runners all over the place. (for those of you who want to try it, I see mags showing folks growing some things as big as watermelon up a trellis with queen size panty hose to hold the melons up.) And we're looking to put in eggplant, one of my summer favorites, and of course, tomatoes. Everyone's summertime favorite.
We're going to cool off again though, as usual, for this weekend - and probably have one more snap of cool before ol' man winter finally lets go. So it is a bit too early to get those warm season things in the ground. The rain that comes this weekend will cool that soil off again and putting warm soil loving plants into cold soil spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E as Travis Tritt would say. Yeah, some years you can get away with it - and some years you set yourself up for a buggy disease disaster. We'll play it safe....

We should see chard regrowing slowly but surely, the lettuces are pretty and we should have 2 more of those heirloom varieties to try I think this weekend, the mesculin will be getting another cutting, another variety of pok choi is just about ready, and we'l see if we can get some spinach, and beets, along with our herbs, too. The cauliflower just doesn't look good. I asked ol' Jack today what the thought it was and he wasn't even sure. I suspect it just didn't get enough of what it likes early on - it is a pretty picky plant sometimes. Drats.

We had a very nice variety in our first winter harvest.

Kathryn, one of our CSA members, brought some of her students out today for a tour of the farm. They are in an environmental science class. We discussed some basics of soil, the renewable energy system, what crops were in and what we were planning to plant and the importance of preserving and establishing more small farms in and nearby urban areas and how CSA was an important component to that. I gave them handouts on NAIS, which we should've covered more in depth, the renewable energy set up CSA member Herb and volunteer Leo have engineered for us, and on the history of Community Supported Agriculture as pioneered by Robyn Van En.

Everyone was greeted by Chief, who I was keeping up past his bed time, which is dusk if you're a rooster, and Shelby the barn cat. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to get to share my passion about farming and local healthy food with young people - who may one day get excited enough about local food and want to farm, too! Hey, you never know?!

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Why CSA?

As a multi-tasking type person, I sometimes get "hit" with thoughts that will surely perish from my mind if not written down at that moment. So, rather than cutting seed potatoes right now, I elected to share those thoughts in what seemed to be a season of insecurity and confusion in our fledgling project....(I wasn't sure I could continue to cut and type at the same time....volunteers welcome, bring a sharp knife.)

Saving the Small Farm
Small farms across the country are closing up by the hundreds, maybe more, year after year. Part of this is due to a fickle market. Cheaper, prettier food, and any food in any season, is often available to the food buyer who used to support the small, family, local farm, until they found a way to increase their bottom line for shareholders and give them strawberries in December, through large, factory and often foreign farms. Now, it is also true that this is not the only reason for the decline or demise of small farms, many simply close up and sell the land off to a subdivision developer or Super Wal Mart because none of the kids want to carry it on, or the growing government bureaucracy has put them out of business, but it can be argued that it is a large contributing factor. Sadly, the eaters are the ones paying the price with availability of less nutritious food - along with the disappearance of our farmland by the tens of thousands of acres a year. This in and of itself poses various threats to our environment and, ultimately, survival.

As stated in my initial letter to the many who inquire, Community Supported Agriculture is, in some cases, the ONLY way small farms can get up and running and stay in business. That is, in large part, why Community Supported Agriculture was nurtured in this country by pioneer Robyn Van En. She recognized the critical nature of preserving our small farm infrastructure and getting this good, life-giving food to anyone who desired it.
Such was the case for Eden’s start up - CSA was the only way it was going to happen. And that it was indeed a start up is something I try to make painfully clear in my initial contact with each and every one of the folks who continue to reply to my initial inquiry as to the interest of having local produce in the DFW area.

Of those initial 80+ people, most read that it was a start up and a bigger risk than they apparently wanted to partake in. And that is quite understandable. Without looking, I believe my letter stated that if you had a bit of the entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to get in on the ground floor of something that was sure to experience bumps in the road, then this CSA group may be for you.

When I state that CSA may not be for everyone, that is not meant to be an insult or to insinuate that a person is any less serious about their dedication to the cause of local food or small farms, etc. There are just several ways of supporting the causes we share an interest in. Directly relying on getting your food, or your income, from a farm is probably the riskiest of ways and those participating, both in the farming and in the eating, are very special people dedicated to selfless acts that result in the fortifying of themselves and their families; in the way of parents that feed, often on the fly, local, and the freshest around food, to themselves and their kids; as well as the farmers who choose this way of life – probably ranked up there among one of the most thankless jobs one can choose. However, some of us do choose it willingly- and gladly we are seeing a resurgence of city dwellers learning to farm – often giving up or reducing hours at, very well paying and often cushy, careers, for a quality of life for themselves and their families not usually found in a cubicle.

I invite you to read below the preview of the forward to a book I often suggest to people interested in local farming, Community Supported Agriculture and/or, local food.

I think that in come cases, CSA has become an abbreviation and the meaning behind it, has become lost. It is my sincere desire to help make local, healthy and safe food – or as my friend Farmer Brad calls it, “Righteous Food” - available to anyone in the community (extended as it may be), who so desires to seek it out by working however I can to preserve open land in the urban area I live in. Some may get theirs through paid shares to the farm’s harvest, some may work for their food, and others may receive it out of the generosity of others while others yet may only choose to purchase through a co-op or market days or a local restaurant that may serve it some day. But it is my passion, and just short of an obsession, that those who grow it and those who eat it be preserved - somehow - and CSA is indeed a good start. It is only through the dedicated and loyal support of the communities around the small farms, that this is possible. If we all continue to follow the way we've always done things, we'll keep going the way we've always gone.

I like how Dr. Gussow closes her forward, “if we all want to keep eating, we need to keep farmers in business; and if we want to keep farmers in business” ….., basically, she says, we collectively need to think outside of today’s way of thinking.
I couldn’t agree more, and have found overall, that I really enjoy this new feeling of community, love, support and caring that has begun, actually from the very start of this project, and will continue to grow as we all grow in relationship to one another in our community. That, and the good health that comes from all of this, is what it is all about.

Preview this book
Sharing the Harvest
By Elizabeth Henderson, Joan Dye (FRW) Gussow

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What is NAIS?

For more info on NAIS -

We can make a difference - go to "take action" page on FARFA's website (above link). Thank you. And tell your friends. Local food needs the help of our city cousins to survive.

Eat Your Food - Naturally!

Back To Reality!

Farmer Brad - FARM ON!

Day 2 of the Grower's Symposium was really good.
We got a run down on good varieties to grow and a work shop on the history of Brad and Jenny's farm and how their Community Supported Agriculture group helped them get their start out in Brenham. They have grown their operation from 27 families up to over 100 this season! Think of all of those healthy people!

After a wonderful lunch, we trekked over to Brad's farm and he walked us through with Dr. Novak from A&M and we got some great ideas and info on everything from soil types, cover crops, insect identification to how NOT to do various things.

All the while we were in the company of other like-minded folks who are dedicated to providing more local, healthy food in their various areas. People were from all over, too, Ohio, Arkansas, Fort Worth and lots of folks from Central Texas of course, too. Austin has a huge jump on us here in the DFW area, that is for sure.

Gathering for our technical farm tour.

I got to see Boggy Creek Farm in Austin - what a great place! About 5 acres in the heart of a little neighborhood on the east side of Austin. The place was crawling with folks buying up the local produce, fresh coffee, fresh baked bread and just visiting! A lot like our Market Days - which will start up again soon - April. (Next preorder day is March 14th by the way.)

Market Day at Boggy Creek Farm in Austin

Well, hope you like the new pics, and I'll put a scrap book on the web site later, too.

Here is Miss Carol - my gracious hostess, and her menagerie of critters....

For those of you interested in perhaps growing a bit of your own food at home;
I'm in the process of ordering some seeds and will have some extra seed potatoes available at the shop. I've not scheduled an "open" date yet, but I'm in the process of securing Jay Mertz, founder of Rabbit Hill Farm", to teach a basic organic vegetable garden class hopefully in March.
Watch your inboxes for info on the class and spring shop hours. I'm slowly starting to rejoin the real world. It's good to be back.....

And now for a real taste of reality....
Check out the info Farmer Brad brought us on NAIS on this link (scroll down to the podcasts) - keep sending in your letters to your congress people - we don't need big brother inputting chips into our chickens, horses, etc. (and soon, the way they are going, ourselves!) The proposed program does nothing to chip the animals in the large factory farms - just the small farms, where the least of the problems occur. Hope none of you work for the chip industry, but it looks like they are the ones who stand to make the money off this deal if it goes through. That is a LOT of chips sold. Plus, we the farmers will have to log every step of our lives to the gov't. via a microchip and GPS on our farms. Nice eh? Makes one want to disappear.....

Eat Your Food - Naturally!