Tag Archives: eat local

Meet the Farmers of Flying S Farm

flying s farmsFlying S Farms is owned and operated by Ben and Catherine Simmons.  The name, Flying S Farms, came from a family history of flying and reaching for the highest standards so that they may provide you with the best produce possible.  The farm was started in 2003 through a strong desire to produce clean, healthy food through good stewardship and farming practices.

They have a 6 acre natural sustainable farm located in Woodbury, Tennessee.  They offer a wide variety of heirloom and non-GMO hybrid produce. The Simmons Family is dedicated to growing tasty, gourmet vegetables and herbs for families that understand that eating wholesome, nutrient-dense food is the foundation for good health and well-being.

Flying S Farms is also committed to creating a healthy environment. They use cover crops to build soil productivity and practice integrated pest management control. They also use foliar fertilizers that are made with food grade products to promote the growth of their crops. The Simmons Family believes that healthy soil produces healthy plants, which therefore produces healthy people.

Catherine, also known as “The Baking Farmer,” offers many wonderful breads and baked goods. Their kitchen is a licensed facility and operates year round.  They are delighted to offer delicious soups, breads and more for any of your special events.  Her baked goods are certainly not to be missed!!!

Come to East Nashville Farmers Market each Wednesday to shake hands with Ben and Catherine Simmons. Meet your farmer and eat local!

Farmers Bring the Best to their CSA Programs

 

Spring CSA box from Green Door Gourmet includes lettuce, kales, radishes, brocolli, cauliflower, herbs and strawberries.

Spring CSA box from Green Door Gourmet includes lettuce, kales, radishes, brocolli, cauliflower, herbs and strawberries.

Some of our East Nashville Customers know that a CSA program is “Where It’s At”.  CSA’s are in full swing now and can be purchased at several of our farmer vendors at the market including Delvin Farms, Paradise Produce, Green Door Gourmet and Flying “S” Farms. 

A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a great way to help support a local farmer and enjoy the bounty that comes off the farm all season.  Customers sign up and purchase a “share” at the beginning of the season and receive a box of produce weekly or bi weekly from spring to late fall.  Your dollars help the farmers get started in the season when the expenses are high and also guarantee sale of the vegetables that are grown on the farm.  You will be eating seasonally and likely trying new vegetables such as heirloom fingerling potatoes, kohlrabi, fennel, red Russian kale and so many more that our farmers add every year.

Delvin Farms CSA starts 3rd week of may and continues to the end of October. Vegetables are Certified Organic and grown locally here in Williamson county.

Delvin Farms CSA starts 3rd week of may and continues to the end of October. Vegetables are Certified Organic and grown locally here in Williamson county.

CSA shares make great gifts to share with friends and family. Each beautiful box is an assortment of the best produce from the farms.

CSA shares make great gifts to share with friends and family. Each beautiful box is an assortment of the best produce from the farms.

CSA shares make great gifts to share with friends and family.  Each beautiful box is an assortment of the best produce from the farms.

CSA shares make great gifts to share with friends and family. Each beautiful box is an assortment of the best produce from the farms.

 

 

Recipes: Roasted Butternut and Garlic Soup

Ever since the hubs gifted me with a fabulous immersion blender, I’ve been slightly obsessed with pureeing. It’s come in super handy with a baby in the home – applesauce and baby food purees abound! It also makes soups and mashed potatoes (both white and sweet varieties) a snap. When I learned that the skin of a butternut squash was edible, I thought this would be the perfect job for the immersion blender – and it’s amazing.

  • 3 lbs butternut squash
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Halve the butternut squash and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cut the top off the head of garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Lay the squash cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Wrap the garlic head in aluminum foil and set on the same baking sheet. Roast in the oven for an hour.

Remove from oven, allow to cool until you can handle the squash and garlic. Place the squash halves in a bowl and puree with immersion blender (or blend in a stand mixer). Squeeze 5 to 6 cloves of the roasted garlic into the puree and run the blender to combine. (Wrap the rest of the head back in aluminum foil. It should keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.) Add the broth a 1/2 cup at a time until the soup reaches a consistency that is appealing to you. Add thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.

Recipes: Stuffed Bell Peppers

With the influx of fall greens added to the last of the season’s tomatoes and peppers, I dusted off this recipe and updated it a bit. I’ve made a couple of tweaks (using farro instead of ground beef) that both make the recipe vegetarian and account for what I have in my pantry. Never be afraid to experiment! Cooking is at it’s best when it is personalized. This is a great recipe to use up leftovers – both vegetable and protein as well. You could break up leftover burgers, chop up leftover chicken, use leftover rice, and add any number of leftover vegetables to add to the filling. A variety of cheeses can be substituted (cheddar, mozzarella, feta – again, experiment!) or can be admitted to make this recipe vegan.

  • 4 medium bell peppers (I like red, but used green here)
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked farro
  • 3/4 cup cubed or grated Kenny’s Farmhouse Norwood cheese
  • 5 roasted roma tomatoes, crushed
  • 5-8 cloves roasted garlic (I use 8; I like garlic!)
  • 1/2 cup chopped, sautéed swiss chard
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a paring knife, cut off tops of peppers and carefully remove seeds and ribs of peppers. Drizzle small amount of oil inside each pepper. Place cut-side up in a baking dish.

Filling: In a bowl, combine farro, 1/2 cup of the cheese, tomatoes, garlic, and chard. Stir to mix and salt and pepper to taste. Divide into four parts and and spoon into the peppers. Top with the rest of the grated cheese. Add a 1/4 cup water to the baking dish.

Bake in the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes and serve. Delicious as a side or entree!

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Recipes: Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

With the cooler weather, I’m craving soups and toasty breads. Since I’m the veggie lover in our household – as well as the soup lover – I’m trying to encourage our littlest man to enjoy them too! This soup, however, was all about my tastes since it’s pretty spicy. It was really easy and can be made with minor adjustments (vegetable broth instead of chicken) to be vegetarian and vegan.

  • 3 lbs red bell peppers halved and cleaned
  • 1 head garlic (or less, if you prefer)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • crushed red pepper or hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to broil (around 350 degrees). Lay the red bell pepper flat, skin side up on a cookie sheet (I put down a layer of aluminum foil first for easier clean-up). Core the tomatoes, wrap in aluminum foil, and set them on the cookie sheet as well. Cut the top off the head of garlic so a few of the cloves peek through, drizzle in olive oil, and wrap in aluminum foil. Place foil wrapped garlic on pan too.

Place the baking sheet under the broiler for 15 to 20 minutes or until the skins of the peppers blacken. Turn off the oven, pull out the peppers, and toss them into a gallon sized ziploc to steam. Return the pan to the hot (but off) oven and let the tomatoes and garlic finish roasting.

In a 2-quart pan, drizzle olive oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Add thyme, bay, and onion. Sauté until onion is soft – 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth. While broth is heating, pull out peppers and rub to remove skins. Add each pepper half as you have removed the skins. Remove tomato and garlic from oven. Add whole tomato and squeeze out as many of the garlic cloves as you like. (I like my food garlicky, so I added 7 or 8.) Add rice wine vinegar. Continue to simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaves. Using a stand blender or immersion blender, process until smooth. Return to pot and season with salt, pepper(s), and/or hot sauce to taste. Serve hot!

Johnson’s Honey – Vendor Highlight – East Nashville Farmers Market

If you’ve spent any time at our East Nashville Farmers Market at all, you’re sure to have seen Mr. Thurman. Per his apron, he’s known as the “Old Drone”, but sales representative Thurman Harris comes across as dear and sincere – “old” is not the first descriptive that comes to mind. When I interviewed him for this highlight, he shyly told me how he doesn’t use computers or have an email address. There is no web site for the business, but the product is delicious nonetheless!

MrThurman
His table offers a variety of bee products and the honey is packaged in a multitude of sizes. He has honeycomb as well as pollen available for purchase. The jarred honey is available in Wildflower, Orange Blossom, and the diabetic-friendly Tupelo (from the blossoms of the Tupelo tree).

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Additionally, honey sticks are a favorite delight at his table. My brother-in-law loves to keep them at his desk to add to his tea at the office. I’ve seen several little ones make a bee-line (pun intended) for the table begging for one as a treat. They come in traditional honey as well as several flavors: apple, grape, blueberry, raspberry, and cherry.

HoneySticks

 

Drop by the table today to chat with Mr. Thurman and peruse the sweet treats!

Sunday Morning Pancake Mix – Vendor Highlight – East Nashville Farmers Market

Sunday Morning Pancake Mix b-w

 

Samantha Williams has a sunny smile and a winning spirit about her. She told me that she started Sunday Morning Pancake Mix as an experiment on her kitchen counter. Her husband had started making pancakes every Sunday for their family, and it made her start thinking. She enjoyed having this fun new tradition, but what was the cost to her family nutritionally?

As a compromise, they began mixing whole grain flours. Soon they were milling bulk grains in a one-cup coffee grinder. Their final recipe includes nine freshly-milled, organic grains: wheat, rye, buckwheat, barley, brown rice, oats, spelt, milo and cornmeal–with a little flax for good measure.

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Samantha’s goal was achieved – they had turned an over-processed, nutritionally-deficient breakfast staple into a wholesome, nutritious meal that is still easy to prepare and is locally sourced. She describes the finished product as “heavier than a regular pancake but lighter than a hoe cake with a delightful flavor and hearty texture.”

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You can find Samantha and her beautiful pancake mix (and usually a kiddo or two) at the East Nashville Farmers Market each week as well as on her Facebook page: My Friend Who Loves to Cook. You should also know that Samantha isn’t finished with her kitchen experiments; she has a gluten-free product in the works as well!

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Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese – Vendor Highlight – East Nashville Farmers Market

Meet Jennifer Starks, of Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese:

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Her friendly face and bubbling personality won over my little lovebug in about 5 seconds flat. My camera, however, could not hold his interest. Jennifer does the Tennessee Sales and Marketing for Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, and you can find her at the market every week offering delicious samples of amazing cheeses such as these and more:

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Kenny’s Cheese was inspired by a trip to Europe fifteen years ago. Kenny Mattingly decided he would try using the milk from his family farm of 120 dairy cattle to produce Gouda cheese using Old World, handmade techniques. As you can see from the varied menu above, the venture was a success, and they now offer a much wider variety of cheeses. I’m a huge fan of the new Yazoo Sly Rye Cheddar as well as the Tomato Basil. Truth be told, I have yet to find a Kenny’s Cheese that I haven’t liked!

THS KennyJared

All of Kenny’s cheese are made from raw milk which preserves the naturally beneficial enzymes in the milk that aid in the digestion of lactose and promote the absorption of calcium while providing a richer depth of flavor that you have got to try to believe. Additionally, Kenny goes a step further and uses vegetable-based rennet to coagulate the cheese keeping their products vegetarian-friendly.

KennyMeetTheCheesemaker

All of their cheeses are aged, hand cut, and packaged on the family’s 200-acre farm in southeastern Barren County, Kentucky near the community of Austin. You can taste the care and passion that they pour into their products.

KennyCuttingTheCurd

This week, my family and I tried out one of the farm’s newer cheese offerings – their Fresh Mozzarella. I tried a slice, and it was amazing (I know, I know – I keep saying that, but it’s true!). The cheese was milky and fresh and creamy. However, what you need to know is this: My husband is the definition of a picky eater. He only eats cheese melted on or into his food, and he’s ridiculously picky when it comes to his mozzarella. He has officially declared this to be the best mozzarella he has ever put into his mouth! We made chicken parmesan with the fresh mozzarella melted over the top. It browned beautifully and melted perfectly. As you can see, I couldn’t wait to take a picture until after I’d dug in:

chicken parm

I can’t wait to get to the market today and try another of their cheeses! Maybe I’ll choose the havarti . . . or the horseradish cheddar . . . or maybe the new curds?

Easiest Tomato Sauce

Our fabulous neighborhood just celebrated its 10th Annual Tomato Art Fest, and I really hope you got to get out and enjoy it! In honor of the celebration, I wanted to post a tomato-centric recipe. This is the go-to tomato sauce in our home. It’s easy and delicious and can handle any number of additions. It uses the whole tomato (no peeling or coring!), and if you don’t have quite enough tomatoes, you can throw them in the freezer whole and defrost them when you’re ready to make this recipe. Simplicity. Makes life better!

Easiest Tomato Sauce

  • 4-5 pounds of tomatoes
  • 3-4 shallots
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • crushed red pepper
  • dried basil
  • dried dill
  • olive oil

Mince shallots (or onion – we use shallots because my hubs is allergic to onion) and garlic. Saute in about a tablespoon of olive oil for about three minutes – until translucent and fragrant. If you have an immersion blender, you can transfer these now to a 2 quart sauce pan (or you could just saute them there in the first place). If not, transfer to a stand blender. Add the tomatoes two or three at a time (remove any stems or bad spots) and pulse until smooth. Pour the puree into the 2 quart sauce pan. Continue to puree tomatoes and add to pan until all are pureed. Place pan over a medium heat. Season with salt, pepper, basil, and dill to your personal liking. We like a heavy dose of dill in our house. Bring the sauce to a low simmer and allow to reduce until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Other optional additions could be (cooked) ground meat, spinach, diced veggies, mushrooms, or quartered or diced tomatoes if you prefer your sauce chunkier. We have been known to run two pots of sauce as I prefer chunky and the hubs likes it smooth.

One other tip is to create a large batch and then freeze the sauce (I like to do 2 cup portions) for later use. It’s always nice to have prepared tomato sauce on hand. Having sauce that you prepared (and for which you controlled all the ingredients) makes it twice as nice!

Recipes: Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

It’s obvious that I’ve become slightly obsessed with quinoa, isn’t it? I actually have a new recipe that I want to try using farro, but I haven’t yet been able to find it. Let me know if you know where I can get some! This recipe is my version of one that I found online in an effort to make the most of the veggies I had on hand. We had made a large pot of tomato sauce from all the tomatoes we’ve gotten lately (we make a big pot and freeze it in 2 cup portions), and I had poblanos, onions, and bell peppers. This didn’t turn out to be the most beautiful dish ever created, but it more than made up for it by being DELICIOUS!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

  • 2 cups tomato sauce (I’ll post one of our recipes soon)
  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I cooked mine in vegetable broth for additional flavor)
  • 1 large green onion, or 3 small ones
  • 1 small bell pepper (preferably red or yellow)
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 1 ounce queso fresco
  • olive oil
  • salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice the bulb(s) of the green onion. Chop and reserve the green parts. Remove the seeds from the bell pepper and dice. In a medium pan, saute the pepper and onion in olive oil over a medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Quarter the plum tomatoes and add them and a pinch of salt to the mixture, cooking until the tomatoes break down – about 2 more minutes. Add the quinoa (and any other cooked veg that you like) to the mixture. Stir to combine and turn off the heat.

Split the poblanos and remove the seeds. In a 9×9 pan, layer about half a cup of the tomato sauce across the bottom. Nestle the poblano halves in the sauce. Ladle the quinoa mixture into the poblano halves. Ladle enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the poblanos over the top. Dress with the green onions and crumble the queso fresco over everything.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve! (Should make enough for 2 meals or 4 sides.)

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