Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Attention! We've got a new blog

Hi everyone! We've created a new blog because Blogger just doesn't suit our needs and is NOT user friendly. Check out our new blog and make sure to subscribe via the RSS feed!

It's also accessible from just going to our website and clicking on the link at the top titled "Blog."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's do it again!

Hello! Cant believe its already time for the Farmers Market again! The week flies by with farm work, wedding planning and our full time day jobs! Luckily were able to squeeze in lots of family time too since thats the fuel that keeps us going!
What well have at the market this week:

Salad mix
Romaine lettuce
Mustard Greens
Green Garlic (this may be the last of the season!)
Free range eggs
Pasture-Raised Beef (various cuts and ground)
Potted plants and herbs

Can you believe the temperature is going to be in the 90s on Sunday and Monday!?! Im kind of excited since its a sign summer is coming… but Im dreading all the weeding that will have to be done in the sweltering heat. Guess its time to just get use to it! Unfortunately the lettuce doesnt really like the 90 degree weather so to circumvent the possible loss of flavor, (this happens when spring lettuce experiences summer temps) were going to have a major harvest this weekend and have TONS of bagged salad at the farmers market on Saturday. Look for some fun recipes too!  We REALLY enjoyed the market last weekend! Maybe it was sleep deprivation, but I couldnt stop smiling the whole time we were down there. The people that frequent the farmers market are so awesome and friendly and interesting! Plus theres just this satisfaction that shoots through my whole mind and spirit when I can share healthy food that Hans and I grew. Come see us this weekend… downtown Bloomington, across from the Courthouse! 7:30-Noon rain or shine. (FYI… we pretty much sold out by 9am last week so get there early for the good stuff!).

(Hans and I at 5:45am on Saturday before the first farmer's market (part ecstatic... part exhausted!). 

One last thing… if you havent heard Kellys Bakery and CafĂ© is hosting a Local Flavors night next Friday the 28th. Its a 3 course meal made with local fresh food. Shes making strawberry shortcakes with our eggs! Kelly is a huge supporter of local farmers so its time we show her our support as well! Heres a link to more info and how to reserve your spot!

A recipe out of the vault (Will also be available at the market this weekend)!

Herbed Romaine Salad with Strawberries
1/2 cup raw (unsalted) pistachios10 to 12 oz. romaine lettuce hearts, cored and roughly chopped
1/3 cup fresh tarragon, torn into small pieces
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
12 ounces strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons m
inced shallot (about 1 medium)
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons mild olive oil
6 ounces good-quality mild feta cheese (see Notes), cut into triangles
Preparation1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pistachios on a large baking sheet and bake until very lightly toasted (they should still retain some green), 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
2. In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, tarragon, mint, and half of the strawberries. In a small bowl, whisk together lemo
n juice, shallot, honey, and salt. Drizzle in olive oil, whisking constantly, until mixture is emulsified. Drizzle dressing over lettuce mixture and toss well.
3. Divide lettuce mixture among plates, and then top with remaining strawberries, toasted pista
chios, and feta triangles

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our first farmers market is only 3 days away! Its so hard to explain the range of emotions Hans and I are feeling. Were excited to meet lots of people and talk to them about food and the farm and hear their stories and recipe ideas! Were anxious about how were going to get everything harvested, transported and set up in time (you should see us trying to put up the tent)! Were frustrated there arent more things ready to be picked but hopeful what we do bring to the market will be high quality and the absolute freshest!  Stop by and say hi! Wed love to meet you!

Heres what well have this Saturday:

Green Garlic
Mustard greens
Salad mix
Potted tomatoes, peppers, herbs and perennial flowes
Free Range Eggs
Pasture-raised Beef

Here's a tasty idea for weekend brunch using fresh PrairiErth eggs and our green garlic!

Green Garlic Scrambled Egg Toasts
·       1 stalk green garlic for every 3 eggs 
·       butter
·       milk or cream
·       dense wheat bread or levain
Chop green garlic like you would a scallion. Feel free to use all the green part as well as the white part. Beat eggs and add 2 tablespoons milk or cream to eggs. Slice bread thinly and leave near toaster.
SautĂ© green garlic in desired amount of butter over medium flame for a minute or two. Add beaten egg mixture to pan and reduce flame to its lowest possible setting. Stir constantly. As the eggs heat up they will start to steam a little and maybe stick to the bottom of the pan. Add some salt and pepper. Take the pan off direct heat to slow the process down. . The longer it takes, the better it'll taste. It should take at least 10 minutes to cook 3-5 eggs this way. Throw the bread in the toaster. As the eggs finally congeal, spoon onto toast, and cut to desired size.

***Bloomington Farmer's Market Info*** 
Downtown Bloomington THIS SATURDAY on the Square (our stand is right in front of the old courthouse). Hours are 7:30-noon rain or shine! 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Questions To Ask Your Farmer

Good evening! It's almost time for the Farmers Market and with all of the information out there on sustainable farming, organic food and buying local I thought I'd offer 5 questions that responsible farmers would LOVE for you to ask! See... here's the deal:  we love to talk about what we do... almost as much as we love to share our food with you and your family. So ask away... to know where your food comes from! 
1) Are your cows 100% grass fed? Were they ever given antibiotics or hormones? This is important because when cows are raised on pasture or in fields, they graze outdoors and have plenty of room to roam. They also have a variety of diverse grasses to eat. Cow's stomachs are designed to digest grasses, so it’s best to find farmers who allow their cows to graze on pasture.
2) Is your farm certified organic by the USDA? When a farm’s products are certified with a third party label, such as the USDA, some of the work is done for you in terms of investigating into their sustainable growing methods. Being Certified by the USDA involves an annual inspection of not only the farm, but the farmer's records, seed suppliers, and the entire farming process. 
3) How many different types of produce do you grow? Many sustainable farmers rotate crops among different fields, allowing those not under production to lie cover under a cover crop just as clover or oats. This keeps the soil healthy by providing a natural fertilizer when it's tilled under and lessens the chances of potential diseases and pest problems. 
4) How are your Chickens raised? On a pasture outside? Caged? Confined inside?There have been studies that have shown the healthiest meat comes from animals raised on pasture, so you ideally want to find poultry that has been raised outdoors in a natural state. The most important factors are the number of animals raised together, the size of the space they live in, and if they are provided with straw and other materials they would naturally have access to outdoors. Ask your farmer to describe the enclosure the hens are kept in, and how much room they have to move around. Don’t rely on labels for your answers. Many egg cartons say “cage-free” or “free range,” but those labels can apply to birds that are packed into a crowded building, with little or no access to the outdoors.
5) Can I come visit your farm? Sustainable farmers are very open about how they raise their animals and grow their fruits and vegetables. Consider asking to visit their farms to see exactly how the animals are raised and how their produce is grown. Many farmers welcome visitors...PrairiErth Farm sure does!  

Come visit us at the Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market this year! It opens on May 15th! Here's the link to their webpage... they have weekly updates on what tasty stuff you can find each week: 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Herb and flower Highlight!

This spring I’ll be starting a new organic perennial herb to plant along our vegetable gardens. Echinacea Tennesseensis! Its a beautiful pink coneflower with thin petals that curl inward rather than droop outward like other coneflower varieties. What’s so exciting is that this rare beauty is on the Endangered Species list and is only grown in very few parts of the country. It’s very useful for organic vegetable gardens because it attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Our untreated, organic seeds will be started indoors and in our transplanting house on the farm. Once they develop into seedlings we’ll plant them in our perennial gardens and also in larger pots for sale at the Bloomington Farmer’s Market.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

If January is this busy what's July going to be like?!

It's been a busy January full of conferences and meetings. Dave spoke at the Indiana Horticulture Congress in Indianapolis and the whole family was invited to come with! Hans has been meeting with local vendors to introduce our upcoming crop and has gotten great reception! We've had the chance to meet lots of really awesome, knowledgeable people and be a part of some really worthwhile groups this month. So I'd like to take a moment and say thanks for the constant advice and information and all the hard work to propel the local and sustainable way of living forward further and further!

Have you seen Food Inc or Fresh? Excellent movies, very passionate and informative! Dave, Hans and I were able to join our Slow Food of Springfield friends for a viewing of Fresh last weekend and really enjoyed the community spirit and willingness to support local farmers! We hope movies like this will educate the public and shed some light on why we need sustainable agriculture and to support small farmers.

A final note... Hans has been working SO hard getting seeds started for our onions and leeks! I see new green sprouts every morning when I wake up and creep downstairs for a cup of coffee. Seeing bright green growth in the cold dark mornings of February leaves me very excited for the coming Spring and planting season! (I type this as the snow is falling.. we're suppose to get 3 inches tonight!). I've been ordering lots of fun culinary herbs and gorgeous flowers from the mountains of seed catalogs we've been getting. I have to say Johnny's and Baker Creek have been so wonderful to us. Lots of help getting the right tools and varieties of plants. I posted some video of Hans working on setting up row hoops and also the ongoing construction of our large hoop house. I can't believe it's almost built! Whenever Hans leaves to go work on it I always hug him goodbye and thank him for building our future!

Take care!