Archive of ‘farmer’s market’ category

Knox Vegas “Farms” will not be selling tomato plants this year

Heirloom Tomatoes

For those of you that aren’t local readers, just ignore this post unless you’re fascinated with heirloom tomatoes. I’m trying to get word out to the wonderful people that have bought tomatoes from Marcus and me for the last 7 years.

Knox Vegas “Farm” will not be selling our heirloom tomato, eggplant and pepper plants this year at the Market Square Farmers Market. This would have been our 8th year selling. I’m quite heartbroken. I love being a part of the community of vendors. I adore talking to people about gardening and helping beginning gardeners succeed with their first attempts.

As I’ve stated before – heirloom tomatoes are my drug of choice, and it’s my mission in life to get as many people as I can addicted to them. Marcus and I are really going to miss being a part of all that this year. However, I’m dealing with some health issues, and it’s too much for Marcus to do this all by himself. We don’t really have a choice other than to skip this year.

I figure the only people who check my blog will be our hardcore customers. You all are awesome, and I hope to get to talk to you when we visit the Market Square Farmer’s Market every week this year.

I will be glad to grow a few plants for my friends & regular customers, as long as I have the seeds for the variety you want, or you’re willing to order those seeds. My cut-off limit for this is 100 plants – I won’t be able to deal with higher numbers of plants. Make sure to talk to me before you buy seeds. There are a lot of seed companies that don’t have very viable seed, or their seeds don’t grow true to type. I can also combine seed orders to save you money on shipping.  

Here are links to the lists of tomatoes I’ve grown through the last few years:
2012 list
2011 list
2010 list 

Those of you who have bought from us understand that I always try a few new varieties each year. I haven’t narrowed which varieties down yet, but if you want to give any of these new varieties a shot, let me know. And if you’d rather I just pick out some for you to try, I’m glad to do that too. Just let me know if you have any specific things you want, like size, color, shape or use for the tomatoes.

Those of you who live locally, can you share this post either on Facebook or email to friends that have been customers in the past? It looks like it’s going to be an early spring this year, and I’m worried people will wait to buy plants from us and won’t buy tomato seedlings from another source. 

As always, if you have questions about varieties (or just gardening in general), please email me at the address on my ‘About‘ page or reply to this post, and I’ll be glad to help. Remember that a lot of heirloom varieties sold at various garden centers near us do not do well here. I’d be glad to give you my opinion on any variety you might find. And as I tell you every year: no matter what Martha Stewart says, don’t buy Brandywine! It produces very poorly in our region.

I’m going to miss you all so much this year!!!!!

Tomato seedlings

Eat Your CSA – Using Your CSA Vegetables – Week 4


This gorgeous spread is courtesy of Colvin Family Farms - for more information on this project, read the guidelines here.  If you’d like to join in with me, feel free to post links to blog posts where you talk about how you’re using your CSA produce.  Or just post a comment if you don’t have a blog.  I’ll also be tweeting about how I use my CSA box on twitter using the hashtag #eatyourCSA.  If we get enough participation, I’ll start a weekly round-up post as well.

Here’s what was in our box for week number four:
2 heads of lettuce
1 head cauliflower
1 large zucchini
4 straightneck squash
1 large pattypan squash
1 bunch radishes
1 bag kale
1 bag arugula
1 small bag new potatoes
6 small cucumbers

Farmers Market Purchases:
Peaches from Mountain Meadows farm

Swiss Chard (can hold in garden)

Leftovers from last week:
1/2 head napa cabbage
2 onions
1 turnip
garlic scapes

Breakfast – carmelized onion, summer squash & lardon frittata, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread (recipe coming soon), peaches, coffee with Cruze Farm milk
Lunch – leftover zucchini & summer squash fritters, sliced turnips & radishes
Dinner – homemade onion rings (3-4 parts beer to 2 parts flour until pancake batter consistency, dip rings in & deep fry at 350 degrees), homemade potato chips, salad with creamy caesar dressing & spicy croutons

Breakfast – Eggs in Hell, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread, blueberries
Lunch – salad with creamy caesar dressing & spicy croutons
Dinner – salt boiled new potatoes, steak, refrigerator pickles, sauteed radish greens
Snack – zucchini-carrot-ginger bread

Breakfast – 2 hardboiled eggs, bacon, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread
Lunch – salad with arugula, leftover steak & radishes
Dinner – zucchini “pizza” w/ frozen pork ragu sauce

Breakfast – summer squash sauté topped with cheddar cheese, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread
Lunch – salad with arugula, leftover steak & radishes
Dinner – sushi with friends

Breakfast – summer squash sauté topped with cheddar cheese, bacon
Lunch – kale & lentil salad, steamed new potatoes
Dinner – stir-fry with ground pork, napa cabbage, onions & summer squash

Breakfast – Eggs in Hell (onion, chipotle, tomatoes, kale)
Lunch – leftovers – kale & lentil salad and stir-fry
Dinner – salad, summer squash falafel, tzatziki sauce

Breakfast – last piece of zucchini bread, fried eggs
Lunch - leftover summer squash falafel, tzatziki sauce, cucumber refrigerator pickles
Dinner – Taco Bell – too hot & tired from garage sale pricing to cook!

Leftovers for next week:
1 head cauliflower

Eat Your CSA – Using your CSA Vegetables – Week 3


Here’s what was in our box for week number three:
Napa cabbage
2 heads of lettuce
2 medium heads broccoli
1 head cauliflower
3 onions
2 zucchini
3 crookneck squash
2 yellow squash
1 bunch radishes
3 turnips

Farmers Market Purchases:
Raspberries from Mountain Meadows farm
Daikon radish from Terraced Gardens Farm

Swiss Chard (can hold)

Leftovers from last week:
Lot of blueberries left from picking them at Blueberry Hill
1 1/2 bulbs of green garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
garlic scapes

Breakfast -hardboiled eggs, VG’s Bakery pastries (so good!), raspberries and blueberries
Lunch -lettuce salad with creamy dill dressing and canned salmon
Dinner – Birthday celebration! Homemade eggrolls (cabbage, carrots & shrimp), homemade plum sauce canned last year, Momofuku pork buns & crack pie, lots of bubbly!
Snack: sliced radishes & turnips

Breakfast -bacon, coffee, raspberries & Advil :)
Lunch – salad with creamy dill dressing, hamburgers
Dinner – pizza with radish leaf pesto, ricotta cheese, mozzarella & zucchini, sliced radishes

Breakfast -German pancake with raspberries, fried egg, coffee
Lunch – broccoli & soba with toasted sesame sauce, blueberries
Dinner -Salad with poached egg and lardons

Breakfast -summer squash frittata, blueberries and raspberries
Lunch – leftover broccoli & soba with toasted sesame sauce
Dinner – roast chicken, blanched broccoli & cauliflower with buttermilk bagna cauda

Breakfast - summer squash frittata, blueberries
Lunch – salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner – Leftovers from my birthday dinner & daikon radish relish

Breakfast – 2 hard boiled eggs, blueberries
Lunch - salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner -Stir-fry with tempeh, turnips, green onions & napa cabbage

Breakfast – carmelized onion, summer squash & lardon frittata, blueberries
Lunch - salad with lettuce, leftover roast chicken and buttermilk dill dressing
Dinner – zucchini & summer squash fritters, zucchini-carrot-ginger bread

Leftover for next week:
1/2 head napa cabbage
2 onions
1 turnip
garlic scapes
handful of blueberries

Put Up:
Radish leaf pesto – freezer


Other people blogging about their CSA experiences!
My Farm Fresh Adventure
Snowflake Kitchen

Eat Your CSA – Using your CSA Vegetables – Week 2

Week 2 CSA Vegetables


Here’s what was in our box for week number 2:
Bag of kale
Pint of strawberries
2 Heads lettuce
Medium head of cauliflower
Bulb green garlic
Large head of cabbage
2 zucchini
3 assorted summer squash

Farmers Market Purchases:
1/2 pint blueberries
More Blueberries picked from Blueberry Hill

Jalapeno peppers
Swiss chard – can hold in garden

Leftovers from last week:
Bok Choy
Bulb of green garlic
garlic scapes (from garden)

Washed Kale

Breakfast – eggs scrambled with swiss chard & garlic scapes, strawberries
Lunch – steamed sugar snap peas with cauliflower tahini spread & tzatziki sauce, strawberries
Dinner – stir-fry with ground pork, onions, bok choy & cilantro
Late Night Snack – bacon wrapped jalapenos & homemade rhubarb syrup soda

Breakfast – fried eggs, strawberries, raspberries & blueberries
Lunch – leftover stir-fry
Dinner (at my parents) – grilled chicken breast, noodles and salad

Last dinner at my parents’ old house. They’ve lived there 21 years!

Breakfast (at my parents) – fried egg, German pancake with strawberries & blueberries
Lunch (at my parents) – huge salad
Dinner (traveling) –  Pal’s Sudden Service – Goodbye Kingsport!

Goodbye Kingsport! Hello Knoxville!

Breakfast – fried Eggs & blueberries
Lunch – garam masala roasted chicken, straightneck squash sauteed with curry powder, indian spiced braised kale (cumin, cayenne, ginger & garam masala)
Dinner – leftovers from dinner, gin cocktails (watching the Transit of Venus!), cauliflower tahini spread with crackers

Breakfast - summer squash frittata
Lunch – salad with homemade creamy peppercorn dressing & canned wild salmon
Dinner – hamburger patties, leftover Indian spiced kale, zucchini bake (made by rehydrating sun-dried tomatoes in Cruze farm milk, sprinkled with romano& mozzarella  cheese

Breakfast - summer squash frittata
Lunch – salad & leftover zucchini bake
Dinner – celebratory meal out because my parents closed on their new house in Knoxville!

Breakfast - eggs scrambled with swiss chard & garlic scapes
Lunch - salad with creamy peppercorn dressing & canned wild salmon
Dinner – picnic dinner after picking blueberries: teriyaki chicken strips, Asian coleslaw(not a good recipe – threw the leftovers in the compost pile) & blueberries

My sister, Ally, picking blueberries with us.

Leftover for the next week include 1 1/2 bulbs of green garlic, 1/2 head of cabbage and garlic scapes (these keep for weeks in a bag in the crisper)

Using Your CSA Vegetables – a Mouth From The South Project


I’ve encouraged a lot of my friends to join CSAs. For those of you not familiar with them, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You basically buy a share from a farmer at the beginning of the growing season and each week you get a box of food from them.  Some of my friends have joined and while most of them ended up loving being a member, it was a bit of steep learning curve for a few of them.  Other friends have told me they could never join a CSA because they have no idea how they’d use all the vegetables they got.

I usually produce a fair amount of produce from my backyard garden and I buy whatever else I want from the farmers market.  But I remember how daunting (exciting also!) it seemed when I first started trying to eat locally and seasonally. Then add to that the challenge of a box of CSA veggies.  It’s one thing to plan a menu and go out and buy everything to make that menu.  It’s another to get a box of produce and plan a menu around that box of produce.

After talking with a few friends, I got to thinking a few weeks ago that I would like to give people some very practical advice on how to use up the vegetables from a CSA share.  I understand what it’s like to be busy.  My husband and I own our own business, we have a 120 year old house we’re completely renovating from top to bottom, I have a fairly large garden, we have several side businesses and activities, and we own many, many cats. I do greatly enjoy cooking but I don’t have time to make fussy meals.  I wanted to show how real people eat real food – CSA style.

So my husband and I decided to sign up for a CSA share a couple of weeks ago with Colvin Family Farm.  Why did I choose Colvin Family Farm?  Mainly because I’ve bought produce from them before and I’ve always been impressed with their offerings.  They also were one of the few CSAs still accepting members and I was delighted they still had room.  So we’ll be getting a full share of vegetables until mid-November.  And I’ll be blogging about it each week.

Each week, I’ll post what we got in our CSA box.  I’ll also make note of what I have to harvest in my garden.  If there’s any vegetables left over from the previous week, I’ll make a note of that as well.  If we don’t eat vegetables before they go bad, I’ll share what gets chucked into the compost bucket.

I’m going to wait to post all of this until after the week is over and here’s why: It’s really easy to make lots of lovely, healthy dinner plans and menus.  Many food sites do this.  It’s a lot harder to actually follow those plans.  I want to actually post what we really eat – not some imagined idea of how I’d really like to eat.  So if we say “Screw it!” and head to Taco Bell, I’m going to actually tell you that.  Now if I end up drinking five margaritas in two hours or eating an entire pan of bacon, I won’t necessarily share those quantities.  This is to help give you practical ideas on how to use up your CSA box, not to give you more evidence of what a lush I am.

I’ll be sharing recipes on a regular basis for really tasty ways to use up your CSA veggies.  I won’t post exact recipes for some of the things we eat because I don’t cook a lot of the time from recipes.  I throw stuff in a pot, I don’t measure and I hope for the best.  I will link to blogs or recipes online if they’re available.  I’ll also share the resources – websites, books, blogs, gadgets – that help me with my menu planning.

Here’s a little information about the way we eat right now.  We’re on a very tight budget so we tend to stick to cheaper cuts of meat, especially beef because we only buy that from local sources.  We’ve cut back a lot on the carbs in our diet for health reasons so while pizza and pasta aren’t verboten, they don’t make a lot of appearances at our table right now.  We’ve also been cutting back on the amount of salt and refined sugar we eat, so if you indulge frequently in those two things, you might want to add a little more to the recipes I post.

I’m not a fan of overly complicated recipes so don’t look for me to impress you with my cooking wizardry. Every once in a while, I like to get fancy but I’m mainly interested in putting tasty, healthy food on the table without it taking hours or dirtying up every dish in my kitchen.

I’m very lucky in that neither I nor my husband require meat and potato type meals in order for a meal to feel like dinner.  We’ve been known to make meals entirely based on snacks. That’s not the rule but don’t be surprised if you see that from time to time.

I don’t use processed foods for the most part. I don’t like what’s in them and what they do to my body. However, late at night (usually after drinking those five margaritas), I’ve been know to make up a pan of Rotel dip.  I try to make myself feel better by throwing in some cilantro from the back yard.  Make of that what you will.

Tomorrow I’ll post what happened the first week with our first CSA share.  If you’re participating in a CSA – I’d love to hear what you’re doing with your vegetables.  Feel free to join in in the comments or tweet about it using the #eatyourCSA hashtag on twitter.


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