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Perfect Winter Recipe

In the winter months greens are available in abundance. Here is a quick and easy recipe that tames the strong flavors that greens can sometimes take on. It is wonderful with freshly grated Parmesan as a sauce for a hearty pasta like penne and is equally good as a sauce for fish. It freezes well and can be made up to two weeks ahead of time.

Winter Greens Sauce Verde with Feta and Olive Oil

4 bunches mixed winter greens (kale, collards, mustards, turnip, etc.)

1 small yellow onion, minced

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup Herbsaint 

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 oz french style feta

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Pinch of cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

Fill  a large stock pot  three quarters full of salted water. Cover and bring to a boil.

Sort through greens removing any discolored areas, and trim any thick stems that may be dry and tough. Rinse the greens thoroughly in several changes of water to remove any dirt.

Add the greens to the boiling water. Cover and return to a boil. Blanch the greens for two minutes. Plunge the greens into cold water to stop the cooking and allow to cool.

Remove the cooled greens  Place in a colander to drain. Place greens in a towel and squeeze to remove excess water. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.

Add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional two minutes. Add paprika, thyme and chopped greens and cook for five minutes. Add Herbsaint and raise heat to evaporate the alcohol. Add lemon juice and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree. Add feta and blend until smooth.

Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. The sauce can be used immediately or may be frozen for up to two weeks

-Chef Frederick Heurtin

 

The Chickens (and Duck) Move Outside

Hello!

We are so glad you stopped in.

We have great news, the chickens and duck have moved outside! I think they are as happy about it as we are. While the chicks were real young, they needed to be monitored (the temperature had to be 95 degrees for their first week!), but now that they have their feathers, they are free to express their chicken-ness outside.

They LOVE being outside.

We have a heap compost inside their chicken yard. We layer green waste (vegetable scraps, eggs shells, coffee grounds, etc.) and brown waste (leaves, grass clippings). The chickens love to peck and the vegetable scraps and eat bugs, all the while they are benefitting our compost pile by adding their nitrogen as well as aerating the compost. In a couple months we will have rich, black soil that our plants will love.

One of our most frequently asked questions about the chickens and duck is doing being the only duck in the bunch. We are happy to report that the duck seems to be doing just fine and really enjoys all the attention she gets.

 

I’m not sure she even realizes she isn’t a chicken!

 

Just relaxing in the sun.

 

She is so much bigger than the chicks!

We have had such a good time having the chicks and the duck. Their antics are hilarious!

If anyone is interested in having chickens or has any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. We would love to share pointers and any knowledge we are gaining along the way. 

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Posted at 8:01 PM 30 November 2011

This is monumental!
The zoning for the first ever vertical farm in the US has been approved in Milwaukee, WI on the current site of Growing Power’s operation.
The vertical urban farm will be five stories and it will also include an education center that will expand the organization’s current operations. Visionary Will Allen started Growing Power in 1993 to transform the production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved urban populations.
“The proposed 34,000-squre-foot, five-story vertical farm at Growing  Power’s existing site,  5500 W. Silver Spring Dr., would produce fresh  vegetables and fish, have classrooms, staff offices, a demonstration  kitchen, retail food outlet and food processing. Existing greenhouses  and hoop houses showcasing hydroponic and aquaponic farming, seasonal  hoop houses and a farmyard for cultivation and composting complete the  development.
The initial construction estimate is $8 million to $10 million,  Kaufman said, “but we haven’t gotten down to the hard figures yet.” The  goal is to complete construction in 2012.”
Growing Power’s proposed vertical farm up for zoning review - JSOnline via Pop!Tech

This is monumental!

The zoning for the first ever vertical farm in the US has been approved in Milwaukee, WI on the current site of Growing Power’s operation.

The vertical urban farm will be five stories and it will also include an education center that will expand the organization’s current operations. Visionary Will Allen started Growing Power in 1993 to transform the production and delivery of healthy foods to underserved urban populations.

“The proposed 34,000-squre-foot, five-story vertical farm at Growing Power’s existing site,  5500 W. Silver Spring Dr., would produce fresh vegetables and fish, have classrooms, staff offices, a demonstration kitchen, retail food outlet and food processing. Existing greenhouses and hoop houses showcasing hydroponic and aquaponic farming, seasonal hoop houses and a farmyard for cultivation and composting complete the development.

The initial construction estimate is $8 million to $10 million, Kaufman said, “but we haven’t gotten down to the hard figures yet.” The goal is to complete construction in 2012.”

Growing Power’s proposed vertical farm up for zoning review - JSOnline via Pop!Tech

(via trendd)

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Posted at 3:58 PM 29 November 2011
mothernaturenetwork:

Mediterranean-ish diet tied to better healthEating a diet based on fish, legumes, vegetables and moderate amounts of alcohol is linked to lower chances of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

mothernaturenetwork:

Mediterranean-ish diet tied to better health
Eating a diet based on fish, legumes, vegetables and moderate amounts of alcohol is linked to lower chances of dying from a heart attack or stroke.

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Posted at 4:22 PM 28 November 2011

Wonderful Day with Yard Bird Farm and Oakland Organic

We spent a wonderful day with Yard Bird Farm and Oakland Organic Farm. It is amazing how different the landscape looks as you drive north from Baton Rouge. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. The temperature was cool, the sky was clear, and we even saw leaves that were changing colors!

We were able to attend a hibiscus demonstration at YaSin and Elaine Muhaimin’s home in Zachary, LA. 

They showed us how to make hibiscus jam and chutney, as well as giving us examples of other ways to use it. My favorite was their special hibiscus tea blend. It was absolutely delicious. 

Hibiscus isn’t all that YaSin and Elaine are involved in, they also have free-range chickens that are raised completely antibiotic free, and happy! You can find them selling wonderful chickens, eggs, and hibiscus products at the Red Stick Farmers Market. 

After spending the morning at Yard Bird Farm, we went to Gurley, LA to visit our friend, Hutch McClendon, at Oakland Organic Farm. It is absolutely beautiful. 

The Oakland Plantation was built in 1827 and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes. It is complete with the original kitchen building, as well as dining room. The farm is not just a beautiful, historic home.

Hutch is growing food organically at Oakland and selling at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market, as well as providing food for their CSA. They grow without any artificial herbicides and pesticides. The food is nutritious, delicious, and good for the environment. 

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Posted at 12:48 PM 18 November 2011

The chicks are finally here! We have been waiting and waiting for the babies to come and they came in yesterday morning - that’s right, they are shipped as day old chicks. We got a call from the post office and waiting there for us was a small box with air vents and LOTS of peeping. 

We ordered 4 chickens and a duck. We got 24 chicks and a duck.

What?!

That’s exactly what we were thinking. Turns out they send 20 rooster chicks purely for the warmth and extra padding. It is crazy that their only purpose in life is to be living packing peanuts. 

We are so excited for the chickens for so many reasons. 

  • They are going to be our living compost turners. We compost from Bet-R and Highland Coffees and the chickens will love to eat the vegetable scraps and worms. 
  • They will aerate the compost as well as add nitrogen
  • We are going to get eggs from them!
  • They are fun to watch. We don’t have a TV, so they are our entertainment!

We have to be patient, though. As I understand it, it will be about 6 months before we get to eat any eggs.

That is okay. Good things are worth waiting for.

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Posted at 11:02 AM 04 November 2011