For all organic farmers and those who want to learn to farm organically, YOUR conference is coming up, January 26-27, 2017.
Meet the “World-Wide Organic Winners” along with an excellent list of speakers, at the MOA Conference at the Kansas City Sheraton at Crown Plaza, Kansas City, MO. The daily program agendas are available on the conference website.
The hotel has extended its discounted room rate of $119 per night (plus taxes), so call 816-841-1000. Dial 0, ask for “In-house Group Reservations” and tell them your are registering for the MOA conference. And of course, be sure to register.
My grandmother was born in New Iberia, Louisiana, the place they make Tabasco sauce. So you’d think she’d have cooked all sorts of spicy Cajun food. Au contraire; my Nana was Scots-Irish, and aside from her delicious gumbo, her flavoring was mild. One dish of hers I always loved was her steamed okra dipped in oil & vinegar dressing. It’s easy and pretty foolproof.
First, you steam the okra in one of these steaming basket thingies for about 6 minutes, a tad longer if it’s huge.
While the okra steams, prepare a standard oil & vinegar dressing:
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard
a little basil (dried is ok)
Pour some dressing into an individual dipping container (we use small custard cups) for each person. When the okra is done, serve everyone some of it. To eat it, grab the head and dip the rest of the pod into the oil and vinegar. Small pods are eaten in one bite; larger ones may need to be double-dipped, hence the individual bowls!
-Rachel B., webmaster
CSA members and other farm stand visitors will have noticed the spiky green vegetable that some have called the Lady Gaga of vegetables. Allow us to introduce you to Romanesco, aka Romanesco Broccoli. It’s actually an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea. Its texture is much like cauliflower, with a mild, broccoli-like taste.
Like cauliflower, it’s yummy roasted or steamed or sauteed. Notice how it always seems to get paired with garlic, lemon and Italian spices. Bon appetito!
Here’s an early April view of the greens in the high tunnel! At left, we have kale. The light green is lettuce. The next row is spinach, and in the right-hand row are several kinds of greens, from French Sorrel in the front to turnips in the back.
Below: Rosie with the granddaughters, in front of the High Tunnel.
Share-Life is a sole proprietorship in Saline County, Missouri, near Marshall, owned and farmed since 1929 by our family, currently Rosie and Jim Thomas, Jr., with Jim Thomas, Sr.. On our 10 acres of land we grow Certified Organic produce that we distribute to our CSA customers, Columbia Farmer’s Market customers and restaurant partners.
CSA season is over now, but Winter Farmer’s Market is going strong! Look at that gorgeous chard, and those bright yellow cauliflower. Notice, too, that there are FOUR types of sweet potatoes here. From back to front, we have:
- Your standard sweet potato – these are either Beauregards or Oklahoma Reds.
- Banettas – light orange sweet potatoes that are white inside. They are definitely still sweet potatoes, but a bit more subtle, closer to a white potato.
- Burgundies – these are the sweetest sweet potatoes, and are dark orange inside.
- Purple sweet potatoes – were not sure of the exact variety, but they are purple inside too!
Jim, Sr. at the Winter Market stand in Columbia. Sweet potatoes and cauliflower in the foreground
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion
3/4 cup water
2 bunches Kale, finely chopped (about 8 cups, uncooked)
1/3 cup sour cream at room temperature
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Melt butter in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté. Remove onions and set aside.
Cook kale, water, salt and pepper on medium high heat until water is dissipated, 7-10 minutes. Drain.
Whip cream until smooth and thin.
Add kale and onion. Mix until warm. Add nutmeg
“It’s not the amount of rain – it’s that it rains every day.” That is why CSA customers are mainly getting potatoes, onions and kale (and some peppers and cukes from the hoop houses) lately, instead of green beans, okra and cabbage, says Jim Jr.. “We’ve got the corn planted, but we’re not sure what’s going to happen with it.” So much depends on getting some sunny days between rainfalls – just a few days without rain will let the summer vegetables thrive. If it doesn’t rain on your 4th of July picnic, get ready to make some Purple Potato Salad with our Majestic Purple potatoes. And about that kale: one of our customers’ husband doesn’t like kale. Or at least he didn’t, until he tried Creamed Kale. Now, he can’t get enough of that vegetable!
Jim Thomas Jr. and Sr., planting potatoes
Riding down the row, planting the potatoes
Jim Thomas, Jr. and Sr., unrolling the paper to cover the ground and keep weeds down
The other week, a customer came by and said, “Your vegetables are the best tasting in the whole market!” We thanked him for his kind words and he said, “No, really! They really taste the best!” We think the quality of our soil helps our vegetables taste the best. Here in Marshall, Missouri we’ve been utilizing good soil practices for 15 years, and it shows in the taste of our produce.