We’ve had some high moments followed by a few low moments this week. There has been sun, rain, happy cows, hungry gophers (damn it!), and some much needed wine drank straight from a can! I tell ya, some evenings there is nothing that can cure broken spirits or sore muscles quite like a little wine. If you haven’t heard of the lovely folks behind the Underwood Can of wine from Union Wine Co. you should check them out! Made in Oregon and perfect for outdoor sipping.
This past week we’ve been busy tilling under our cover crop in the upper field and prepping beds for all of our crops that require drip irrigation– Tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, eggplants, watermelons and winter squash. We prepare 35 beds (all are 150 feet long) spread compost, line up the drip irrigation and then roll out the black plastic to cover each bed. It’s quite the project but we’re making a lot of headway! A lot of these crops are getting ready to leave their cozy home in the greenhouse and head out to the field. It always amazes me how quickly things mature in the spring. It’s hard to keep up!
Our first farmers market of the season is tomorrow morning! We’re still a few weeks out from having a lot of variety but we’re really excited to reconnect with our favorite customers and fellow farmers. It should be warm and sunny so if you live in the area swing by and say hi!
I hope wherever this weekend finds you that you all get to relax a bit and spend time with people your stoked to be around. Hopefully a few tasty beverages and meals are on the menu too! Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm!
We’re heading to the farmers market this weekend with a truckload of mustard greens! We’re still a few weeks away from having a lot of variety to bring down to the market so the first couple will be very “green” heavy. With that being said, we hope folks love spring greens as much as we do! This recipe for wilted mustard greens and balsamic glazed chickpeas is a wonderful dish that celebrates one of my favorite seasonal greens. Spicy mustards pair really well with the sweet and tangy chickpeas and pungent blue cheese crumbles. I hope you all enjoy this simple side salad as much as we do.
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm!
Mustard Greens with Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas
PREP TIME 10 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, if from the can drained
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
pinch of salt
Wilted Mustard Greens
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 stalk green garlic (or sub 2 cloves of garlic) minced
2 large bunches of mustard greens, tough stems trimmed and roughly chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon stone-ground mustard
small handful of blue cheese, crumbled
Prepare the chickpeas by heating the olive oil in a large dutch oven or pan (you’ll be using this pan for the mustard greens so make sure it’s large enough) over medium high heat. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring often, until they begin to brown up a bit, about 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey and salt. Continue to cook until the chickpeas are coated in the balsamic/honey mixture and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Spoon the chickpeas into a bowl and set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the mustard greens and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook until they begin to wilt and turn bright green, about 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering turn the heat to low and cook for about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the mustard and toss to coat. Using tongs or a slotted spoon place the wilted greens on a serving platter and top with the chickpeas and blue cheese crumbles.
*Use this recipe as a guid
*Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary
We have been on a mad spring clean to clear out/eat everything from our chest freezer in order to make room for the upcoming farm season. This was literally the last of the pork sausage from last season and we are stoked to be reunited with our favorite farmers and ranchers this coming Saturday at the first farmers market of the 2016 season! It feels like the first day of school every year when the market re-opens and we are eagerly awaiting the chance to reconnect with our favorite farm buddies. We know everyone has been busy gearing up for the season and it’s hopefully going to be a great year for our local shoppers and growers.
If you live near a farmers market (or even within an hour of one) I encourage you to make an effort to support the growers and ranchers near you before heading to the grocery store. I know that’s not possible for everyone, but for those of you that do have access to local produce, meat, and dairy I hope you take advantage of the accessibility. Maybe toss out your grocery list and see what’s available at the market first before deciding what’s for dinner. Farming and ranching are both incredibly hard ways to make a living and if we can all be a little more thoughtful about where we spend our money the better. Not only is food tastier when it’s freshly harvested, but it’s pretty damn cool to shake the hand of the person who grew/raised your dinner and visa versa! Honestly, when Taylor and I sit down to dinner and sprinkle cheese on our pasta from our favorite cheese maker or grill up steaks from our friend Tim’s ranch we feel like these folks are sitting right at the dinner table with us. It’s amazing how much more connected we become to our food when we can put a face behind the meals that we eat. This is what inspires us to continue doing what we do even when we feel like quitting. Food is medicine and our community is what makes us thrive.
This recipe is a lovely combination of spicy sausage, sweet fennel and tangy ricotta cheese. It’s a simple pizza that is bursting with flavor. Taylor was pumped to have a little meat on his plate and I was stoked at how damn good our house smelled while this pie was baking. Simple, wholesome and delicious. For my vegetarian friends out there or folks who don’t have access to locally raised pork you can skip the sausage and try sautéing chickpeas in a little olive oil with some smoked paprika, garlic and salt. I think it would be a lovely alternative!
Cheers from Tumbleweed Farm!
Fennel, Sausage and Ricotta Pizza
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes
1 ball of pizza dough
3/4 pound spicy pork sausage, casings removed
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup full fat ricotta cheese
1 Tablespoon spring garlic, minced (or 1 clove of garlic)
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
sprinkle of salt and pepper
Serves 1 pizza
Preheat the oven to 500F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven while it preheats.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir the sausage occasionally to break the sausage into small pieces. Add the sliced fennel and continue to cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes longer.
Roll pizza dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Drizzle a little olive oil over the curst. Combine the ricotta and spring garlic in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Layer the sausage/fennel mixture over the pizza followed by spoonfuls of the ricotta. Top with the sliced red onion, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle the pizza with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
*Use this recipe as a guide
*Adjust measurements and ingredients
*Cooking times will vary from kitchen to kitchen