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LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

WEEK 35 IN PHOTOS

09/02/16 — Heydon Hatcher

Greens! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

September is here, and we are wishing you the best month yet in 2016!  Brandon and Ben from Bouldin Food Forest popped by Garfield this week to chat greenhouse and irrigation.  Fall greens are flourishing!  Check out their verdant beauty and get excited, they are coming your way!  And did we mention, lemongrass?  Grab a bushel at the farmers market, and make that Thai recipe you've been eyeing.

Bouldin Food Forest's Ben and Brandon visit the farm! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bouldin Food Forest's Ben and Brandon visit the farm! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

More greens! Photo by Scott David Gordon. More greens! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall is coming! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Okra harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Okra harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Montana at the helm. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Montana at the helm. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Zucchini harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Zucchini harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Squash. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Squasharvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Zuccs. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Zucchinis galore. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Graffiti eggplant. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Graffiti eggplant. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse meeting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse meeting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse technique. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse technique. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse meeting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greens in the greenhouse. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Our faithful chariots. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Our faithful chariots. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Wide open spaces. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Wide open spaces. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lemongrass harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Lemongrass harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Grab lemongrass at the markets! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Grab lemongrass at the markets! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

FTFP: BRENTON GOES TO SALONE DEL GUSTO!

09/02/16 — Heydon Hatcher

It’s been a crazy August, and I am more than happy to welcome the fall feelings that September brings. Fall greens are popping up on the farm, and this always generates a collective and cathartic sigh of relief on the farm. Along with the advent of Autumn bringing smiles to our faces… I’ve got big upcoming travel plans that I’m real excited about.

photo by Scott David Gordon. photo by Scott David Gordon.

I’ve been appointed as a delegate for Slow Food International’s biennial week-long event, Terra Madre Salone del Gusto! I couldn’t be more proud to represent our country at such a notorious event. This conference will take place in Turin, Italy, and I’m beyond excited to travel overseas. Can you believe that I’ve never traveled abroad? Being a farmer doesn’t allow much time to experience firsthand those pockets of the world that jet-setters always talk about. It’s hard to believe that my job as an organic farmer has opened the door to such a global opportunity. Did I mention I’m excited?! I have no idea what to expect, though Daniel in the office, who recently honeymooned in Italy, tells me that I will have the time of my life.

Besides shooting a Carrabba’s commercial on the farm, the extent of my Italian food knowledge is slim to none. Needless to say, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of Italian food while I’m there. Lucky for me, I’m staying with an Italian host family for the week. Fingers crossed that they have a soft spot for smelly organic farmers. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet people from all over the world who share common interests, namely sustainable agriculture.

 

SLOW FOOD INTERNATIONAL

photo by Scott David Gordon. photo by Scott David Gordon.

Founded in 1989, Slow Food International is a grassroots organization that “prevent[s] the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract[s] the rise of fast life and combat[s] people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.” They also believe that EVERYONE should rightfully have access to good, clean, and fair food. More on that here, if you’re interested.

Food not only affects a person’s well-being, but also influences many other larger-scale parts of community life: politics, culture and environment to name a few; and because of this, great change can be brought about through the growth of this movement. After reading these proclamations on their website, I immediately identified with the message.

With a surge in fast food restaurants being established across Europe and a quickening pace of lifestyle, big and daunting changes were on the horizon in the ‘80s. Spearheaded by Carlo Petrini and a group of fellow activists, this passionate troop recognized their style of life being threatening and rallied around the common interest of preserving the slow life, cultural food/lifestyle traditions, and general “gastronomic pleasure”. The organization had small beginnings, but in only two decades, now emcompasses 160 countries with millions of folks uniting behind the message that Slow Food proudly disseminates.

 

SALONE DEL GUSTO

From Slow Food International site. courtesy of Slow Food International.

Slow Food International hosts a plethora of events. The particular conference that I’ll be attending started in Turin in 1996. Through numerous conferences and forums, the event aims to open up conversation about biodiversity and secure the diverse and rich future of our food. With markets that feature artisans representing all five continents, attendees are able to experience a robust array of worldwide tastes firsthand. Delegates from all over the world are selected to take part in this event.  This year there are over 200 representatives from the US.… The elected group ranges from educators and writers to ranchers and farmers (like me!). This event has quickly risen in notoriety over the years, becoming a benchmark in international gastronomic events. Find more information about the event here.

 

ARK OF TASTE

Another project that Slow Food introduced through their Foundation for Biodiversity that I feel strongly about is Ark of Taste. This is a program that catalogs our outstanding and intricate global heritage of food, bringing attention to traditions from all walks of life that are bordering on extinction. Dedicated to safeguarding heirloom produce, artisanal products, endangered breeds of animals, and an amalgam of many other food genres, the AoT receives nominations from people who are determined to save the tastes, sights, and smells of their hometowns from disappearing forever. At JBG, we have grown some of the produce that is listed in the catalog, some examples being: Sheepnose Pimento, Fish Pepper, and Pequin Peppers, which grow wild on the farm now. Through our transplant sales, we hope to propagate these species so that they are once again more widespread among our community.

Transplant sale. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplant sale. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

I gotta get back to the farm, but am immensely humbled and inspired to be included in this unparalleled event this month! Arrivederci!

If you want to get involved with Slow Food’s Austin chapter, there are tons of opportunities. They facilitate farm tours, happy hours, slow sessions, and so much more! Check out their website for more information.

FIRST FRIDAY STAFF PICKS

09/02/16 — Heydon Hatcher

September means another installment of our First Friday Staff Picks! We love sharing events, adventures, and side projects that inspire and excite us (food-related and not) with our community. Check out our JBG staff-curated list of favorites below!

160303_SDG274393 JBG crew. photo by Scott David Gordon.

Lena: Beyoncé's VMA performance is the only thing I'll be watching for the rest of the year. But at work I've been revisiting the audiobook of Amy Poehler's Yes Please, and creeping out my crew by smiling to myself whenever she curses in full-on Boston accent.

Ada: Lemongrass, and the fact that we're putting it in some CSA boxes this week. Who knew Thai flavors could be so accessible at home? Add whatever CSA veggies you need to use up to a simmering pot of lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chili, stock of choice, lime juice, and coconut milk and thank me later. Mike Mo is on this train, too.

Lemongrass! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Lemongrass! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Texas County Fairs. Recently went to the Gillespie County Fair... the oldest continuously running fair in Texas founded in 1881. We didn't have fairs like this where I grew up, and I thought the 'biggest pumpkin' contest was just a thing of Americana past. So many old cowboys and young 4-H stars. And so so so many cute pigs.

Speaking of the fair, one of my favorite parts was looking at all of the show chickens. Discovered a couple of new breeds, including the Swedish Flower, that I'll definitely be adding to my backyard flock next spring.

Nellie: Pace Bend cliff jumping. With the higher than usual water levels of Lake Travis, the cliff jumping was a little bit less daunting.

Mike Mo: The Sichuan Braised (JBG!) Eggplant at Wu Chow. Might be the best bite of eggplant I've ever put in my mouth. Well, well worth the $12. Ada and Nellie are on this train, too.

Photo compliments of Wu Chow. Photo compliments of Wu Chow.

Andrew Thompson: Utopia Fest is coming up. I'm stoked about the pre-show and the actual festival. So much good music. Plus my friend's band The Stacks are playing.

My band (Midwest State of Mind) just got back from a tour, and just came out with a new music video.

Ericka: Colombian Music Night at SquareRut Kava. I will be giving chair massage, plus the music is awesome.

Missoula: Me, just in general. My cuteness, my paws, my crimpy ear hair. Follow my instagram, plz.

 

The Llano River is the worst, okay?

A photo posted by Missoula Broussard (@chermissoula) on





Heydon: STRANGER THINGS. If you haven't already, do yourself a favor, forfeit 8 hours of your regular schedule and binge watch this original Netflix series, pronto. Millie Bobby Brown is just the bee's knees. And everything Jimmy Fallon, of course. If you haven't seen this gem of an awkward interaction between two star-crossed lovers, watch it now.  Always makes me cringe and laugh 'til I cry simultaneously.

Kenny: Kyle Kinane and Neil Hamburger at The Mohawk on September 11th! Standup comedy is that one last everything-is-in-shambles psychological lifeboat that works when nothing else can. Even crappy, awkward open mics make me forget my troubles.

And lest we forget our fallen alien, Prince Rogers Nelson. Check out the video for "Starfish and Coffee" from the Muppet Show. It's one of the best things I've ever seen.

Jordan: Farmer as Artist at Prizer Gallery. I submitted some pen & ink pieces... stop by and see them in person!  The show is on display until October 1. You can check out some more of my art on my website, too.

JBG in general: Art of the Brew event happening this Saturday at FAIR MARKET. Combines two of our favorite things: local craft beer + local art. If you check out this event, be sure to see Jester King's contribution by Sean Gaulager who sourced some of his materials from the JBG scrap metal pile.

A giant and heavy-hearted farewell to Phil - He's been here since 2013. Jumped on as tomato crew, then worked wholesale, and lastly, managed the packing for farmers markets. He and his one-eyed dog will be very sorely missed!

Phil and the barn crew. photo by Scott David Gordon. Phil and the barn crew. photo by Scott David Gordon.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 5TH

09/05/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 5th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 5th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Cucumber, Pickling
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Mustard
Herb, Peppermint
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Pepper, Jalapeno
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Medium Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Sweet Potato
Greens, Tatsoi
Herb, Peppermint
Okra
Radish, Red
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Sweet Potato
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Yellow
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Greens, Mustard
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Turnip, White Japanese

JBG IS NOW HIRING A DELIVERY DRIVER

09/05/16 — Farm

Our chariots. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Our chariots. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is seeking an experienced candidate to join our team of delivery drivers.   This position will include a wide variety of deliveries including CSA Home Delivery, CSA Pickup, and Restaurant Deliveries.  This driver will work closely with our CSA as well as Wholesale Managers to ensure that all deliveries are made in a timely manner.

JBG offers the opportunity for community members to be provided with the best quality, locally grown, organic vegetables possible. In just 10 years, the farm went from a 30x50ft garden in an urban backyard in East Austin to a now 205-acre organic vegetable farm based on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. Our CSA has now grown to more than 1,700 members in four major metropolises and we provide fresh, year-round, organic produce to CSA members, multiple farmers markets, local restaurants and grocery retailers, including major chains like Whole Foods and HEB/Central Market.

Responsibilities

Depending on route, delivers vegetables to CSA members homes, pickup locations, or delivers restaurant orders Safely operates JBG box truck or cargo van and delivers produce in a timely manner Works with CSA Administrator to complete CSA home delivery routing using provided software Shows up for shift on time, sometimes beginning as early as 6:30 am Coordinates with office staff to better optimize driving routes Checks all invoices to ensure order is complete before delivering Occasionally packs late orders for customers and delivers

Qualifications

Ability and experience driving a variety of vehicles Experience operating very large trucks (including manual or automatic transmission) is not required but preferred Valid TX driver’s license with a clean driving record Experience using a forklift and a pallet jack Able to work morning shifts as early as 6:00am Self-directed and independent worker An interest in agriculture and promotion of local and organic farming highly preferred

Physical Requirements

Ability to lift 60 pounds and mobility to ascend and descend the rear end of a box truck. Ability to load trucks in a timely manner to ensure earliest delivery possible Ability to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation is dependent on experience. Expected salary range is $11-$12/hour.

To apply, please send a resume and two professional references to jobs@jbgorganic.com with “Driver” in the subject line.

Johnson’s Backyard Garden’s provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sex, age, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. The duties listed above are general and not an exhaustive list of tasks performed on the farm. We are committed to training, developing, and promoting from within the company based on performance.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 5TH

09/06/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 5th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 5th

Medium Box
Bok Choy
Cucumber, Slicing
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Peppermint
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Radish, Red
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO WITH CRISPY PROSCIUTTO

09/06/16 — Heydon Hatcher

IMG_2444by Megan Winfrey

Fall is by far my favorite season. I used to say summer, back before full-time jobs and motherhood, when summer meant days of endless swimming and sunbathing and late nights under the stars with friends. These days, the reality of rabid mosquitos and scorching hot playgrounds has me stretching out my neck towards fall, desperate for its arrival. My recipe this week is a fall favorite, I just couldn't help myself. And I can't wait to make it again throughout the season, because it is just that delicious.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto
  • 2 small or 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 3 tbs. butter
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices of prosciutto, torn in half lengthwise
 

Heat the olive oil and 1 tbs. butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the butternut squash and season with salt, pepper, and the chili powder. Cook, turning gently, until the butternut squash is golden brown and tender but not falling apart. Remove to a plate and reserve for later.

Add the chicken stock to a saucepan and put over low heat. Keep warm until ready for use.

To the same skillet, add 2 tbs. butter over medium low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low. One cup at a time, begin adding the warm broth to the pan. Continue stirring gently until all of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup. Add salt and pepper as you go. Test the rice after 5 cups of broth, it should be tender but still have a little bit of bite. Add another cup of broth if necessary.

While the rice cooks, crisp the prosciutto. Heat the oven to 375ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lay the prosciutto out evenly with 1/2" of space between. Bake until the fat is golden, about 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through. When done, drain on paper towels and set aside.

When the rice is done, add the butternut squash and turmeric, toss to combine. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Serve immediately, with the crispy prosciutto right on top.

WEEK 36 IN PHOTOS

09/09/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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Week 36, can you believe it?  We are psyched to have the fall crops coming in, and a nice balance of sun and rain. Come see us at the markets this weekend - we have radishes!

Eggplant. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Eggplant. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Coming soon. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Coming soon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse work. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse work. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Montana, hard at work. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Montana, hard at work. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Zinnias. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Zinnias. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Pretty in pink. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Pretty in pink. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

BEE! Photo by Scott David Gordon. BEE! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall is in the air. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall is in the air. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Radishes! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Radishes! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Psyched to get our hands on these! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Psyched to get our hands on these! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

FTFP: FLASHBACK FRIDAY

09/09/16 — Heydon Hatcher

Yeehaw! I think it’s ripe time for a Flashback Friday, right?! We’ve come a looong way here at JBG... What’s that song? Baby, we’ve come a long way…? Anyhow, I was recently cleaning out my house and found this photo album made by a couple of my golden oldie staffers, Grit and Steven Mattern. They were some of the first volunteers (OGs) that helped me in the original backyard garden (along with Matt Pelkey, of course). The book is a medley of snapshots from everyday life on the farm in 2008, the first year that I began farming full-time. Took me right down memory lane, and really got me thinking about when we were really starting to get things rollin’ at Hergotz.

blogimage4 photos courtesy of Grit and Steven

I started farming in 2005, in the backyard of my family home on Holly Street real close to downtown Austin. It was just a hobby back then... I still had a full-time job working for the Department of Interior, managing the Bureau of Reclamation’s Water Conservation Program. We planted seeds in the Fall of 2004, and by the Spring of 2005, crops were ready. At the time, the Sustainable Food Center HQ was located just a block down from my house in a trailer (and only had three staff members!). Talk about convenient! An idea popped into my head one day and I immediately acted upon it. I moseyed on down the street, and asked them in person if I could sell my backyard produce at the SFC Downtown Farmers Market! They gave me a ‘heck yes,’ and so began my stint of vending at the farmers markets in town. Crazy, right? I was so excited to be included, I went home immediately and dusted off my old vintage tie-dyed and batik tablecloths that I used for selling grilled cheese from my VW when I was following the Grateful Dead around... Man, those were the days... but I digress. I sold about $100 worth of veggies at that first farmers market and was over the moon. I was bitten by the farmin’ bug, and boy, did I like it.

In 2006, we got whiff of an idea to start a CSA program. At this point, my hobby had totally usurped the backyard. My wife kept telling me that it was getting out of control, and with 4 crazy kiddos in tow, let’s just say it didn’t give them much space to run around and be a kid.

photos courtesy of Grit and Steven photos courtesy of Grit and Steven

Thus, we bought the farm on Hergotz, real proximal to the airport, in the summer of 2006. We continued the journey in 2007, farming solely with volunteers… and then in 2008, I decided to take the jump, quit my job, and farm full-time. No longer having the income security of said job, and having to support the family exclusively via farming was a tad terrifying to be honest. It was a huge leap of faith, one of those make-or-break moments in life.

The first year ended up being awesome! We were doing so much at once: buying our new house off Craigslist (seriously) + our first tractor, and not to mention, the somewhat shocking transition of living in downtown Austin to living in the COUNTRY, or the Dog’s Head area of Austin, as people sometimes refer to it. We built composting sawdust toilets for the intern trailer, and reached out to our CSA community to donate furniture to furnish them. We built a barn and put in an irrigation system to get water to the crops. It was such a great year, and we learned so much. It’s amazing what a little drive, tenacity, and a handful of hard-workin’ folks can do. We didn’t sell to restaurants or go to the farmers markets that year, we only provided for our quickly growing CSA customer base, and holy moly, did we make it happen!

photos courtesy of Grit and Steven photos courtesy of Grit and Steven

That same year, we also filmed a Friday Night Lights episode at the farm, hosted an Outstanding in the Field dinner where Jesse Griffiths of Dai Due cooked up a storm, and had a potluck dinner where folks chased the farmer. I wore a handmade luchador mask during the chase. It was pretty wild to say the least.

photos courtesy of Grit and Steven photos courtesy of Grit and Steven

After reminiscing about the old times, thinking about how so much has changed, my marketing manager, Ada, pointed out that things really haven’t changed. Things are the same, but different. We’re still running around like chickens with our heads cut off, hosting the occasional photo shoot, planning dinners on the farm, and farm events. We’re even still busy trying to build greenhouses. And Jesse Griffiths is still doing his fabulous thing with Dai Due Supper Clubs... and Matt Pelkey is still here, minus some of the chops, making sure our CSA program is top notch. Here's to the future of this crazy ole farm! 'Til next time, folks.

JBG crew today. Photo by Scott David Gordon. JBG crew today. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Speaking of dinners on the farm and farm events, mark your calendar! Black Star Co-op Happy Hour on Thursday, Sept. 15th from 6-8pm at at 7020 Easy Wind Dr. Ste. 100. Ample parking in the back. Are you a Black Star regular? Never been to Black Star? Either way, we promise this Burnet brew pub will be a worthy destination. Aside from cranking out some amazing beers + food, this co-op deserves all the cred for sourcing locally and taking care of their people. For all CSA Members, there will be an extended happy hour featuring $3/selected pints and $5 snacks featuring JBG produce, of course (menu TBA). Enter to win some special JBG treats including vintage JBG t-shirts or an add-on of a specialty crop to your next delivery.

Why are we doing this? Just a chance for CSA Members to gather, swap veggies stories, and meet some of the JBG crew... Ever wonder who are behind your weekly bounties? Meet the hands that plant, water, harvest, wash, sort and pack your CSA shares. Put a face to the names you e-mail and chat with over the phone. Say hello to your modern-day milk man, aka the delivery drivers who make bring you your veg. High five Brenton, whose outta control backyard garden set this whole thing in motion. You get the idea!

Also, Save the Date: Saturday, October 22nd. JBG Member-Only Potluck. We hope all CSA members mark their calendar and plan to join us for this member-only Potluck on Saturday Evening. We'll set some long tables, turn on the twinkle lights, and all gather for a shared meal to celebrate fall's bounty and your commitment to the CSA model. What's a CSA without the Community? Stay tuned for more details on this intimate and spirited dinner on the farm.

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 12TH

09/13/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 12th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 12th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Braising Mix
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Herb, Papalo
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Turnip, White Japanese
Medium Box
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Pepper, Jalapeno
Radish, Daikon
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Bok Choy
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Peppermint
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Pepper Bell, Purple
Radish, Daikon
Turnip, White Japanese
Individual Box
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Tatsoi
Melon, Farmers Choice
Radish, Red
Squash, Butternut

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 12TH

09/13/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 12th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 12th

Medium Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Sweet Potato
Greens, Tatsoi
Herb, Peppermint
Okra
Radish, Red
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini

CHILLED TATSOI SALAD WITH SESAME, ORANGE, AND GINGER

09/14/16 — Heydon Hatcher

by Megan Winfrey

Every once in awhile, usually at the turn of the season, something will appear in my CSA box that I've not only never cooked with, but never even heard of before. I LOVE it when this happens! The challenge gets me all pumped up, and I immediately start scouring the internet for information and recipes. This week, that mystery vegetable was Tatsoi, an Asian green also known as "Chinese flat cabbage." It's packed with vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, and potassium and has a nice mild flavor like spinach, but heartier. I found a delicious sounding recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen and modified it slightly. I can't wait to do more with this new-to-me green, and hope y'all will get creative as well!

img_2742

Chilled Tatsoi Salad with Sesame, Orange, and Ginger

  • 1 bunch of tatsoi, stems trimmed, cut into strips
  • 2 tbs. soy sauce (I use Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
  • 2 tbs. rice or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. orange juice
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha or other Asian hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
  • 5-6 orange slices


img_2738

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with water and a few ice cubes and set aside. To prep the tatsoi, I layered the leaves on top of one another in a stack and sliced cross-wise into strips.

 

When the water boils, add the tatsoi and cook for exactly 1 minute. Remove immediately with a colander or slotted spoon into the ice water. Give it a good stir so the leaves don't bunch up, and leave to cool while preparing the dressing. You can make the dressing right into the bowl you plan to serve the salad in, or even a tupperware container to store in the fridge for later.

 

Thoroughly mix the soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, hot sauce, ginger, and sugar in the bowl of your choice, then thoroughly drain the tatsoi and add it to the bowl. Chill in the fridge for an hour or longer, turning the salad over a few times to make sure the leaves are coated in dressing.

 

Before serving, quickly toast the sesame seeds until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes over medium heat. Serve the salad cold with the sesame seeds and orange slices as garnish.

EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: MONTANA STOVALL, DIRECT SEED LEAD

09/16/16 — Heydon Hatcher

160310_sdg275169

Time for another installment of our Employee Spotlight series!  We hope that these interviews will help acquaint you with the folks on the farm who are largely responsible for keeping the delicious JBG vegetables rolling out, week after week.

This episode features the immensely hard-working and loyal Montana Stovall, who took a minute out his busy week to meet with us. He joined JBG in 2013 as our Tomato Cooler Inventory Manager, and has taken on many different roles and responsibilities throughout the short three years he has been a part of the team. We love Montana, not only for his long red hair, but also for his tractor prowess and mechanical mindedness. Dedicated and quick-to-learn, he has become an integral player at the farm, and we are grateful for his tireless work. Farm community - meet Montana!

Where did you grow up? I grew up around Amarillo, TX. My family runs a 2900 acre grain farm. I grew up around that, but I moved to Dallas when I was three or four.

What brought you to JBG? I was selling vegetables for the farm I was managing at the time at the HOPE Farmers Market on a Sunday. I’m talkin’ up my CSA, and had some beautiful produce, but nothing like what JBG had down at the end. So, this guy [Brenton] is checkin’ me out, and his kids are like, ‘Dad, come on! Let’s go!’ but he sticks around for a minute to give me his card. He tells me he wants me to come out to his farm, and I said I wasn’t interested, but good to meet you, etc…

So, I head back to our farm, do the books, and realize we have just enough money to make it through the end of July. That’s when farming is really tough for Texans. I mean, it’s just really hard to farm in August. At JBG, our fall is phenomenal usually, but right now, especially. Most other farmers take off in August. They do their CSA in the spring, for four or five months, do a little bit of wholesale, and then take off in August. They will regroup around right now, second or third week in September, do a little bit of over-winter stuff and get an early jump on next year. That’s kind of the standard Central Texas rotation, and what really differentiates JBG from the rest, and ultimately that’s why I’m here. We have everything, 70 different crops at market, if not more, and you get to farm year-round!

But, back to the story… two or three weeks after he approached me at the market, I was working for him (after I finished my commitments with the other farm). That was back in 2013.

back in 2013. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Back in 2013. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What is your current role at JBG? I am the Direct Seed Lead. Historically, I’ve been Angel’s helper, doing bed prep and fertility. [Angel is the JBG tillage lead/manager. Angel + Montana work very closely, and their whole work day is pretty much planned together.] Then, I would always watch and help Brenton do the direct seeding. All the direct seeding used to happen via Brenton on Saturdays, but Brenton started trusting us, and giving it to Angel and I to do. So, Angel would drive, and I would walk behind him... or be out in the middle of the field with a clipboard, checking the bed, checking the seeds, or adding more seeds if I needed to. Since we often find ourselves understaffed, here and there, or seasonally, I just decided to free up Angel so he could do something else, and that way we could get more done. That’s just how it happened! So, I’m the main direct seed guy for about a year and a half/two years now. I get the seeds, go out, and do my thing.

Montana. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What have you learned from your role? I’ve always been about trial and error, and trying new things. That really helps my job, because the conditions are never the same. We’re constantly adapting to new ways to plant - we’ve done some crazy stuff when the conditions just aren’t right, or the soil just won’t dry to get stuff into the ground.

We have this spacing system in the computer for seeds, but it’s not really up to par. Because everything is ALWAYS changing, you have different conditions, different times of year, different ways of growing, if markets want bunch vegetables, or a bulk crop… we’ve had issues and it’s not always super easy, but it’s super interesting. At the end of the day, you just have to trust it and be super attentive. A small mistake could turn into a big mistake... The only thing I really worry about is that if I mess up, it might be two more weeks until the crop hits the market stand… the diversity that we have at the farm always makes me feel better though, because we will always have 14 or 15 really quality items in full abundance for the CSA and markets.

What does your life look like off the farm? Full of kids (5 kiddos!), garden dirt, and cars and trucks (FUN FACT: Montana worked as a mechanic in Pennsylvania before he became a full-time farmer, and has 6 ASE certifications!). I find myself always having a project or two or three laying around. I like to grow tomatoes a lot in the spring, or really whenever I can… I’ve got a big tomato garden. Right now, I have a big pepper garden, since my fall tomatoes died.

Besides that, it’s a full schedule - we balance the kids and all of our responsibilities. In the morning, all the kids are up at 5:30, we streamline breakfast, and then they’re on the school bus at 6:20. My kids are 5, 5, 7, almost 9, and I have a newborn. It’s fun.

Montana and his family (minus the newborn!) Montana and his family (minus the newborn!)

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Do you cook a lot? What’s cookin’ in your kitchen? I LOVE to cook. Right now, I’m into smoking with pecan wood. I grow Numex Chilies, the green kind, but right now it’s the season for red ones. I smoke the red Numex Chilies, and make pots of beans. That’s just the best flavor in the world. I’ll have to send you some of my next batch. Besides that, I’m into kale. I’m a huge kale fanatic. I eat kale all the time, and almost every day when it’s in season. I picked a small bunch yesterday - the first of the season!

Since you’re such a big kale aficionado, what else do you like to do with kale? Kale with peppers and onions… just on the skillet, medium to high heat, a dash of olive oil… on the heat and off the heat, one or two minutes and that’s it. With the really sweet, over-wintered kale, I like to make kale chips. When it’s really in abundance, we eat pan after pan of kale chips - it’s awesome.

160225_sdg272316-1 Photo by Scott David Gordon.

What might people be surprised to learn about you? Well, I was a DJ… played lots of electronic music from ‘02 - ‘09 (a different side of me than the Grateful Dead + bluegrass lovin’ guy that people know).

What’s your favorite and least favorite crops to grow? Least favorite: Rutabaga, because I don’t like to eat it.

Favorite: Tomatoes, that’s my favorite… or carrots, or cilantro, or watermelons. I love a big, juicy, red watermelon. I’ve got a lot of favorites.

What’s your favorite season? Spring. March is my favorite month... my birthday is March 14 which coincides with our last frost date. So, Montana’s birthday rolls around, and it’s time to plant our first batch of tomatoes!

If you were stuck on a desert island, and could only have three things, what would they be?
  1. My family
  2. My vegetable seed box that I have been collecting and saving over the years… that has all kinds of weird, random seeds that I grow at home (stuff that we don’t usually grow at JBG - I like having different varieties in my home garden).
  3. My JBG hat
Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Staff Survey - If Montana were a veggie, what would he be, and why?

Ada: Shishito. One of my favorite peppers and a classic JBG crop.. just like Montana. Classically JBG and an old-school favorite. Mostly pretty mild, but 1/10 times you better watch out because you might get some spice.

Charlotte: Montana would be a shishito pepper; usually mild but sometimes reeeeal spicy.

Krishna + Brenton: We second Ada and Charlotte.

Matthew Pelkey: A smoked Numex (Hatch) Chile, best taste, and just the right amount of smoke.

 

Thank you to everyone who came out to the CSA Happy Hour last night. Missed this gathering? No worries, we hope to do another!

WEEK 37 IN PHOTOS

09/16/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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Week 37 gave us a little time to finally take an updated JBGroup photo at Hergotz! Check out these farm-fresh faces!

It's been a milder week temperature-wise, and the fall greens are really coming in. Watermelons of the yellow variety are here! Yellow?! Yes, that's what we said! Yellow watermelons are headed to the markets this weekend - grab an armful before they're gone!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Happy Hour at Black Star Co-op last night!  We hope to have another one soon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor fun. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Early morning tractor fun - seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bok choi. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Baby greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Baby greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvesting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greens on greens on greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greens on greens on greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bunches. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bunches. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Charlotte, workin' that walkie talkie. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Verdant fall. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Verdant fall. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Baby greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Baby greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Coming soon! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Coming soon! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Working on the greenhouses. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Working on the greenhouses. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunflower harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunflower harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunshine! Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunshine! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

 

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 19TH

09/19/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 19th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 19th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Pepper, Italian Yellow
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Patty Pan
Turnip, White Japanese
Medium Box
Bok Choy
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Greens, Sweet Potato
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Potato, Sweet
Turnip, White Japanese

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 19TH

09/20/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 19th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 19th

Medium Box
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Farmers Choice
Okra
Pepper, Jalapeno
Radish, Daikon
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini

TOM KHA GAI

09/21/16 — Heydon Hatcher

img_2813by Megan Winfrey

This citrusy, creamy, spicy soup is everything I could ever want in a meal. I crave it year round, but I could eat it every day during winter. It has all of my favorites - lime, cilantro, ginger, chicken, mushrooms, fresh chilies, and creamy coconut. It might just be my "last meal" meal. Until making it, I didn't realize that lemongrass played such a huge role in the amazing flavor of my favorite dish. But WOAH - I can't believe how delicious and fresh lemongrass broth is. So, if you've received these grassy stalks in your CSA box or have seen them at the market, you've gotta make this ASAP! I didn't have time to hit up the Asian grocery store, so I used basic substitutions for a few of the more obscure ingredients and it turned out perfect. You might even have all of the ingredients already on hand!

Tom Kha Gai

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz. ea.) full fat coconut milk
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, cut into 2" pieces, crushed
  • 6 slices peeled fresh ginger (or 8 slices peeled fresh galangal)
  • Zest of 1 large lime (or 16 kaffir lime leaves, torn)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbs. Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbs. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbs. Asian chili hot sauce
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, wiped and sliced
  • 5 small fresh chilies sliced paper-thin
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


*I used the bottom of a spice jar to crush the lemongrass.

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In a large pot, combine broth, lemongrass, ginger, and lime zest. Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat, add the coconut milk, stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce, stir well, then let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer until tender, another 4-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and simmer for another minute. Ladle into bowls, top with fresh cilantro leaves, and float the chili slices on the surface. Serve over cooked white rice, if desired.

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WEEK 38 IN PHOTOS

09/23/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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This week we went to SafePlace, an amazing organization doing critical work to keep women and families who have suffered from domestic abuse, nurtured and fed, with Jake Sussman, founder of Music, Tech & Food. From the money raised at Music, Tech & Food's various food drives, we were able to resume our sponsored share program donations to SafePlace (we've been delivering here for 5 years!). Each week, we deliver fresh veggies (a welcomed change of pace as most of the donations are in the form of canned goods) to the shelter so that clients have access to healthy meals. They are in constant need of volunteers to help out in the pantry if you want to get involved

We also visited the ladies running the HOPE Farmers Market this past Sunday, listened to some live tunes, and vegged out.  At River Road, we are busy planting cabbage, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, endive, bok choy, fennel, dill, beets, carrots, parsley, cilantro, and eleven (can you believe it?) new radish varieties.  We are drowning in Asian greens, too!  Check out the main post this week if you want to learn more about these interesting and new leafy greens!

160918_sdg296596 Racquel re-stocking sunflowers. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Family fun-times at market. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Family fun-times at market. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Looks radish-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Looks radish-ing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Soup, anyone? Photo by Scott David Gordon. Soup, anyone? Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morgan with a melon pass-off. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morgan with a melon pass-off. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Startin' 'em young. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Startin' 'em young. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

The HOPE crew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. The HOPE crew, Morgan, Holly + Racquel, thanks for all the hard work in the heat! Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Early morning harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Early morning harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato green sunrise. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion green harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Kale details. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growin' greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dainty blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dainty blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall green galore. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall crops. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Cheesin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Cheesin'. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplants going in. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants going in. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Escarole harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Escarole harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Curly kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Curly kale. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Montana, checkin' out the situation. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Montana, checkin' out the situation. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Fall crops filling in. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Fall crops filling in. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor times at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor times at JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tractor portrait. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tractor portrait. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sweet potato blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sweet potato blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

ASIAN GREENS: DEMYSTIFIED

09/23/16 — Heydon Hatcher

TGIF, y’all! If you’ve visited us at the farmers’ markets lately, you might have noticed the influx of leafy greens at our stand. Despite the steady face-melting temps, the crops are telling us that Fall is in fact on our doorstep. But, before you start pulling out your coziest Autumn sweaters in anticipation, let’s ponder a likely scenario... As you were perusing the medley of different greens this past weekend, grabbing a handful of kale, then moving onto the display of collards, you happen upon a mysterious and enticing bunch of greens. Perplexed by its shroud of enigma, you look around to your fellow market-goers for answers… What is it? Where did it come from? To your dismay, none of your market buddies know either! Fret not, farm friends, for what you most likely discovered was one of the many Asian greens that we have rolling out to market this season. This week, we hope to lay to rest some of your lingering inquiries, and make these puzzling and hard-to-identify leafy greens more accessible.

Market greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Market greens. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

We all know leafy greens are healthy... but why? Well, the nutritional value of the spectrum of dark, leafy greens boasts tons of potassium, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the list goes on! Vegan or lactose intolerant? These greens are a great source of calcium and iron as well. Chock full of carotenoids, flavenoids + antioxidants, integrating any and all leafy greens into your diet can ultimately aid in immune function, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. With tons of dietary fiber and low in calories, these veggies are great for weight maintenance, too. The USDA suggests that adults consume at least three cups of leafy greens per week, but with all that flavor, why not more? If these benefits aren’t a catalyst for you to step out of your “kale + collards comfort zone” (as Ada calls it) and explore the varying hues of green, we don’t know what else will!

Bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bok Choy - Translated directly from Cantonese, bok choy means ‘white vegetable’. Probably the most recognizable of all the Asian greens, this white-stemmed crop is a part of the Brassicaceae family (Fun fact: these guys are relatives of the turnip!) and also a type of Chinese cabbage. If you’ve been to a Chinese restaurant, you have probably seen this green offered on the menu as an ingredient augmenting a meaty dish or sauteed by itself.  When cooking, the greens’ texture turns silky and the stems remain pretty crunchy.  Ever had baby bok choy?  This crop is delectable in any state of maturation. Grab a bunch of these mild greens next time you are at the market!

Choi Sum. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Choi Sum. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Choi Sum - Identified most easily by it’s dainty (and ever-so-tasty) yellow blooms and long stems, it is also a part of the Brassicaceae fam.  Translated as “vegetable stem” from Cantonese, choy sum boasts “a flavor between cabbage and spinach, sweet with a kick” says Mike Mo. A staff favorite here at JBG, this crop is great raw in a salad, stir-fried with other veggies, or a quick saute.  If you want to impress your dinner guests, add the flowers to any salad. Not only is it a beautiful embellishment, but also a tasty addition. Check out the Staff Survey below for some recipe ideas.

Tatsoi. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Tatsoi. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Tatsoi - With an aesthetic similar to that of a baby bok choy, these dark green and very round leaves with their mild taste have become increasingly popular in North American cuisine.  Likened to spinach, tatsoi has an almost creamy texture when cooked.  This tenacious little crop thrives in cooler temperatures, and can even survive below freezing!  Our resident recipe-blogger delved into a cooking escapade with this green last week, check out this simple yet yummy dish!

Komatsuna. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Komatsuna. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Komatsuna - Hailing from Japan, this crop translates literally as “greens of Komatsu” (fun fact: named after a town that used to heavily cultivate this leafy green in the 1600s, Komatsugawa). Sometimes confused for tatsoi, komatsuna has lighter green and glossier leaves, with thinner and longer stems. Otherwise known as Japanese mustard spinach, this vegetable is great steamed or added to a salad.

Braising Mix. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Braising Mix. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Braising Mix - We know that this little bag of unidentifiable greens can sometimes be daunting, but this mixture of leafy deliciousness could add tons of flavor to a soup, or just dump it out and eat it raw, simple as that! The perfect amalgam of mild and spicy, this power-green combo is a mix of red mustard, green mustard, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage.

Hon Tsai Tai. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Hon Tsai Tai. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Hon Tsai Tai - Identified most easily by it’s long, purple-y stems, hon tsai tai has a slightly sweet, mild taste. Like choi sum, this crop grows beautiful and sweet little yellow flowers that you will sometimes spot when you are sifting through the bin at market. This fun-to-say crop could be the new champion of your signature salad or soup!  Give it a try!

Still confused? We hear ya, it can be super bewildering, but hopefully we painted a more understandable picture of the plethora of Asian greens we offer. If you are overwhelmed by all the recipes and are having a hard time utilizing any of the aforementioned greens, just treat ‘em like spinach (that’s what we do)!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Staff Survey: What is your favorite Asian green, and how do you use it?

Matt: Choi sum. I was eating the flowers raw last weekend. Tastes like broccoli. Great stir fried with other veggies.

Tracy: Braising mix. On a sandwich with horseradish white cheddar, spicy brown mustard, ham and pepperoni with a generous bed of braising mix. Super spicy!

Ada: Choi sum. Super quick saute, beginning with stems and followed by leaves and flowers. Quick dash of soy, squeeze of lemon, and black pepper. Put on everything, or eat alone. YUM.

Charlotte: I second Ada and Matt! Choi sum, raw or sauteed is mind-blowing.

Ciara Peacock: I like using the big Bok Choy leaves to make wraps, as an alternative to tortillas. So sturdy and flavorful!

 

Save the date! Don’t miss our CSA Members Only Potluck on 10/22 and a Farm Tour with Slow Food Austin on 10/23!

HONEYDEW MINT SORBET

09/28/16 — Heydon Hatcher

img_3094by Megan Winfrey

Fall has officially arrived, in our CSA boxes as well as in the cool breezes we've enjoyed this week. Hasn't it been amazing? My recipe for this week spans the seasonal gap and will give you one last taste of summer. So simple and refreshing, this will surely become one of your favorite ways to use your melon bounty until the actual end of the season (which we know can take awhile in Texas). There are tons of different combinations to experiment with such as cantaloupe and honey, watermelon and lime, honeydew and jasmine, the list goes on and on! So have fun with this one, and know you're not getting the added sugar of the store bought stuff.

Honeydew Mint Sorbet
  • 1 honeydew melon
  • 1 cup mint simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
For simple syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup packed fresh mint (stems ok)
 

Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut away the rind. Dice the flesh into 1" pieces and lay out evenly on a sheet pan. Freeze for 1 hour and up to 6.

Prepare the mint simple syrup by adding the water and sugar to a sauce pan. Roughly chop the mint, add to the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then strain into a clean bowl using a fine mesh strainer. Press down on the mint to release as much liquid as possible. Leftovers of this simple syrup will stay fresh for 2 weeks in the fridge, in a sealed container.

In a high powered blender or ice cream machine, combine the frozen melon, mint syrup, fresh mint leaves, and lemon juice. Blend on high until completely smooth. Pour into an airtight glass container and freeze until solid. Eat within the week for best results!

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** I added about 1/4 cup of water to the blender in order to get everything smooth, and I shouldn't have. My final product was a bit ice-y and the flavor became somewhat muted. It was also difficult to scoop and I couldn't get pretty round scoops like I'd wanted. It is still DELICIOUS and I've mostly been sharing it with my toddler and making fizzy cocktails with it. Next time instead of water, I'll add more simple syrup, more lemon juice, or another fresh fruit juice.

**BONUS RECIPE**

That's a lot of green on those plates! Photo by Kate Tynan. That's a lot of green on those plates! Photo by Kate Tynan.

After Heydon's super informative blog post on Asian greens last week, I feel compelled to share the simplest, most delicious salad with y'all. It's a real crowd pleaser and literally has 5 ingredients - lemon, olive oil, salt, fresh grated parmesan, and greens. My friend made a GIANT bowl of this salad at her recent birthday celebration. Not one leaf went uneaten and I heard nearly every single person mention how utterly delicious it was. I know right, how can such a simple salad be so good? It's because it allows the flavor of the greens to really shine through. I wouldn't make this salad with iceberg, but pick any of the Asian greens JBG is offering and you'll be good to go.

I like to mix a bag of arugula with a bag of the braising mix - which consists of red mustard, green mustard, tatsoi, and Chinese cabbage - in a huge bowl, add the other ingredients to taste, and consume the entire thing in one sitting. Now that's getting your greens!

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CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 26TH

09/28/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th

Large Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Dino
Greens, Sweet Potato
Herb, Lemongrass
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Pepper, Italian Yellow
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Patty Pan
Turnip, White Japanese
Medium Box
Bok Choy
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini
Small Box
Beet, Red
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Collards
Greens, Dandelion
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Pepper, Serrano
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Individual Box
Beet, Red
Bok Choy
Greens, Sweet Potato
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Potato, Sweet
Turnip, White Japanese

CSA BOX CONTENTS WEEK OF SEPT 26TH

09/28/16 — Scott

CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th CSA Box Contents Week of Sept 26th

Medium Box
Bok Choy
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Dandelion
Greens, Kale, Curly
Herb, Spearmint
Melon, Watermelon, Red
Okra
Potato, Sweet
Squash, Butternut
Squash, Zucchini

 

WEEK 39 IN PHOTOS

09/30/16 — Heydon Hatcher

160929_sdg297753by Charlotte and Kenny

Rain over the weekend put us at a stand-still early in the week, so we are taking care of projects around the farm like fixing implements and weed-eating. We're loving this cool weather, and crossing our fingers that it sticks around for good. Asian greens and our new salad/braising mixes are super delicious... we are making salads every day and loving every minute of it! As of last Friday, the first artichokes are in the ground, too!

Butterfly migration has started, so we are seeing more of their pretty pollinating selves in the fields. Our cover crop of Sunn Hemp is full of bright yellow flowers which is attracting even more pollinators as well! Check out their brilliant blooms below!

Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Morning dew. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Vicente on bok choy harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Vicente on bok choy harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Bird's eye bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Bird's eye bok choy. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion greens texture. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion greens texture. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Dandelion greens harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Growing. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Greenhouse construction. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Greenhouse construction. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Seeding. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Transplanting. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Brenton in Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Brenton in Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Roxy and Brenton in the Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Roxy and Brenton in the Sunn Hemp. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunn Hemp bloom. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunn Hemp blooms. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Sunn Hemp forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Sunn Hemp forever. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Watering transplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

 

21 REASONS TO JOIN (OR RE-JOIN) OUR CSA THIS FALL

09/30/16 — Heydon Hatcher

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Could it be? Is it finally here? These fall breezes have us woozy with excitement. This week we sat down and listed a handful of reasons why you should sign up for a CSA with us! Are you a lapsed CSA member? Maybe it's time to ponder re-joining us! We miss you! With the influx of delectable leafy-green-heavy crops and autumn in the air, 'tis the season to join our farm community and get yourself a CSA share!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

1. SUPPORT LOCAL

By joining our CSA, you are supporting a locally owned and operated business. Buying local helps our economy as well as supply jobs and support the livelihood of fellow Austinites. Unique local businesses are part of what makes Austin and Texas so special!

Our CSA can augment your regular weekly shopping list, ensuring that you have some of that scrumptious local produce in your diet, too! A little goes a long way!

2. Good for your Health

Farm-fresh vegetables are jam packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Two and a half cups a day says the FDA? Ain’t no thang with a CSA headed your way.

3. Freshest-Possible Veggies

Cultivated in East Austin and harvested no more than a day or two before reaching your doorstep, these vegetables are at peak nutrition and flavor. Getting a CSA share with JBG means you know exactly where your food is coming from and how it's grown. GMO? Heck no! Come out for a volunteer day, see your crops in the field, and ask your farmers about it!

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

4. Know your Seasons

Eating locally connects you to the seasons, to the land, and to your own health and wellness. Cucumbers will cool you down in the summer, while braised collards will warm you up when the temperatures start to drop. Enjoy the best pico de gallo of your life during the short window when cilantro, onions, peppers, and tomatoes all overlap, and we promise you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff again. You'll get acclimated with the seasons on a whole new level, and learn about what naturally grows when and why.

5. Try New Foods

With farmers who are constantly chompin’ at the bit to try a new crop, who knows what will show up in your CSA box. From the array of Asian greens to the broad pepper spectrum, keep your mind wide open to a whole new world of vegetables you never even knew existed.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

6. Experiment in the Kitchen

With JBG veggies arriving every week, you will have to innovate in the kitchen. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new!

7. Protecting our Environment

By supporting JBG, you are ensuring sustainable land management, and organic certification guarantees that we never spray harmful chemicals on the farm.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

8. Reduce Food Miles

It's estimated that the average American meal travels over 1500 miles before making it to a dinner plate. With all of that fuel, even a plant-based meal might not be so eco-friendly. We do wave at the planes going by, though, our farm is just 10 miles east of the Austin-Bergstrom airport!

9. Flexibility

Gone on vacation for a week or a month? No problemo, we make it super easy to postpone your weekly deliveries. Got a big family, or just feeding yourself? We have 4 different box sizes that cater to your lifestyle. JBG also offers add-ons of local eggs from pasture-raised hens, and small batch locally roasted coffee as well. Customize your box with your favorite veggie and ditch the ones you aren’t keen on.

Photo by Scott David Gordon. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

10. Get involved with our CSA Community

With member-only dinners, happy hours, plant sales, cooking classes, yoga + races at the farm, PYO-events, we really emphasize the “C” of CSA. We want the farm to connect awesome people, whether at one of the aforementioned events or at your community pick-up site! Speaking of exclusive farm events, be sure to join the fun at our upcoming CSA Member Potluck on 10/22!

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11. JBG on the WWW

On our website, you can stay current on farm events, sign up for our weekly newsletter, grab storage tips from our veggie guide, check out the weekly CSA content list, peruse weekly photo-updates from the field, and check out our recipe blogger’s latest CSA culinary exploration.

12. Farm Community on the WWW

If our website isn’t enough, our CSA community loves sharing how they innovate with their veggies on social media outlets. Check out our Instagram or FB, we love re-posting awesome recipes, photos, and videos from the community. Running low on recipe ideas, and want to see what other folks are doing with our produce? Check out our jbgorganic hashtag!

Potluck. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Potluck. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

13. Farm Access

Located on the Colorado River, JBG’s 200 acres of verdant crops and brilliant blooms are often otherworldly. As a CSA member, you will have access to our little oasis of wilderness whether it be at a JBG CSA event, or through volunteering!

14. Know your Farmers

Montana seeds the crops, Ada champions our marketing efforts, Brenton and Charlotte manage the fields, Krishna crunches numbers, Matt and his crew carefully pack every single CSA box... we love our people, and think you will, too. Come and meet us, we are regular Austin folks, just like you.

Charlotte. Photo by Scott David Gordon. Charlotte. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

15. Farmers Markets

If you pick up at one of our many farmer’s markets, you have the ability to switch out veggies that you aren't fond of with the bounty we offer at our FM stands. Pretty cool, right? On top of that, it’ll get you outside interacting with people, and who knows what hip and healthy folks you’ll meet!

16. Farmers Market Staff

Our FM staff is the best in the biz (okay, okay, we are super biased), but seriously, introduce yourself! They know all the veggie hacks, hail from all over the place, and have all kinds of talents and alter-egos. Artists, teachers, law students, musicians, dreamers, writers, you name it! Bop on by and learn something new while browsing through our market crops!

17. Feed Those in Need

Thanks to the support of our CSA members, JBG is able to donate thousands of pounds of produce every year to large operations like SafePlace, Central Texas Food Bank, as well as grassroots efforts like Nubian Queen Lola who are all helping to keep Austin’s hungry, nurtured and fed.

SafePlace. Photo by Scott David Gordon. SafePlace. Photo by Scott David Gordon.

18. WACKY and WONKY FRUITS and VEGGIES


19. JBG hats

Reppin’ on your head but not on your plate? Add some JBG veggies to your diet and see what we’re all about.

20. FOOD MAIL!?

In a world where the fast-paced, high tech lifestyle seems ubiquitous, who doesn’t love a box full of veg-surprises on your doorstep?! It’s like food snail mail! We sometimes even leave little personal notes about what's going on with the crops and/or upcoming events! 

21. Farm Work-out Videos!



#tbt to the glorious day, about a year ago, when Erica Nix and her amazing flock jazzed up the farm.

A photo posted by Johnson's Backyard Garden (@jbgorganic) on


Eat healthy AND get movin'! Check out more of the actual video here.

 

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***Contributions by Nellie Stephenson + Ada Broussard
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