Dearest Sizzling Hot Seekers of the Freshest Flavors in Town -
This is Farmer Brooke and pardon me but DAMN !! My sunburnt booty is EXHAUSTED. (I am sure I can speak on behalf of all my rowdy and righteous BADSEED farmers when I say that). The August heat is hard on our ole' bones and it is hard on the crops as well. I bet we could all use a nice big hug from our favorite customers this "first" Friday from 4-9 PM at the BADSEED Farmers Market. Come to think of it, us farmers will be really sweaty and surely smell bad, so you might want to skip the hug and just buy some summer squash or tomatoes instead. Deal??
Anyway, I have an extra good excuse for being tired this week. As most of you know, this is mine and Dan's last season on our beloved BADSEED Farm. Last year our idyllic urban farm came under attack by the City and we have been battling to stay afloat ever since. I won't go into the whole mess (I am sure you caught a whiff of it in the papers somewhere along the lines), but the brighter side of the coin is that we have purchased 13 glorious urban acres on the East side of town, re-zoned it Agricultural, and will be creating an off-grid diversified farmstead complete with an organic orchard, vineyard, and vegetable production as well as heritage animals. All of this in the heart of KCMO!! (and yes folks.....we will be getting our GOATS back!!!). Aaaaahhhh! Easier said then done, right?? The real challenge is managing both farms at once. We are currently in full production on BADSEED Farm, and the workload on the new site is nothing short of terrifying especially for two low-tech (totally broke) organic farmers.
Right now we are prepping the entire 13 acres for both vegetables and fruit trees. Yesterday (which happened to be the hottest day of the year reaching 100 degrees) we spread 4 tons of ground limestone by hand. We only have 6 more tons to go!! So that is 10 tons total, or to be a bit more clear - 20,000 freakin' pounds!!! Like I said, we are very low-tech. We don't possess big machinery for handling such jobs. Furthermore, we are "old-school". Our two hands are the tools we trust and know best. You should have seen us though.....it was totally nuts. I am a whopping 104 lbs and Dan is an even more impressive 148 lbs (yeah yeah yeah, we are really small), and we kept joking that we were 252 lbs up against 20,000. But hey, Team 252 is tough as nails. We tackled that freakin' limestone with more gusto than you can ever imagine. Dan and I have chosen a hard life and we may have very well bitten off more than we can chew. However, when it really boils down to it, muscles and machines don't mean a thing. All you really need is sheer determination, passion, and heart....and believe me, we have no shortage of that. Stay tuned for up-dates. We hope our edible oasis in the city will someday serve as a successful national model for large-scale, diversified urban agriculture. We believe that Kansas City can responsibly feed it's people off it's very own (wasted) land with creative planning and progressive policy....AND (of course) "tough as nails" farmers to grow the food.
***Sexy Veggie of the Week***
This week's runner-up is the totally wild and wonderfully wicked TWO FOOT LONG CHINESE RED NOODLE BEAN!!!!
Yeah, I am not joking! These long ladies really do exist and they happen to be my favorite bean to grow in the whole wide world. They boldly trellis up my massive corn stalks and gracefully hang from the plant like some other-worldly red serpent swaying in the deep blue sky. They taste just as wild with a nutty, crisp, and fulfilling flavor. Eat em' raw or fry em' up Asian style in hot oil, garlic, peppers, and spices.....or don't eat em' at all!! For all you "fashionistas" out there, where em' around your neck like organic/edible jewelry......OR whip you husband with them when he misbehaves. Dan and I like to pull the "lady in the tramp" move....(ya know, when the two dogs are at the Italian restaurant and they slurp up the same piece of spaghetti on opposite ends until they connect in a kiss). Try it with a noodle bean. Life doesn't get any better than that!
This week's grand-prize-winner (move over Spinach) is none other than SWEET POTATO GREENS!!!
That's right, these leafy ladies taste better than Spinach and are truly an under appreciated delicacy. Largely grown and enjoyed in Asian cultures, sweet potato greens possess an incredibly creamy and delicious flavor when cooked. In some countries, Sweet Potatoes are only grown for their highly coveted greens which come in an impressive array of varieties. BADSEED Farm will have several - Beauregard and Japanese. (If you can tell the difference you get the bunch for free). Like most greens, they can be sauteed, stir-fried, steamed, or tossed in soups. I personally adore sweet potato greens and would pick em' over other greens any time of the year, but they are a SUPER treat in August when all other leafy greens have bitten the bullet in the heat and won't return until Autumn.
**I have included a couple very simple recipes at the end of this e-mail, but I suggest getting creative and pairing them with PJ'sShitake Mushrooms. What a combo!!!
Pictures are attached. You know the drill - print them out, blow them up, & plaster them all over the men's room!!
*Silver Sweet Corn (quantities are very limited!! come early)
*GARLIC (in German White......roast these babies whole and gorge yourself with creamy garlic goodness!!!)
*Summer Squash (in Costata Romanesca, Raven, Eight Ball, French Patty Pan, White Scallop, and Yellow Crookneck)
*RAINBOW CHARD(oooh my God....what else can I say?)
*Onions (sexy Italian Cippolinis!!!! and more)
*Assorted Hot and Sweet Peppers
*Chives, Chocolate Mint, Savory, and Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley!!
*BASIL (in Lemon, Thai,Purple Ruffles,Purple Opal....ANDGenovese!!!)
*Two Foot Long CHINESE RED NOODLE BEANS!! (this week's runner-up)
*Sweet Potato Greens!!!!!!! (better than spinach and this week's grand-prize-winner)
*Red Velvet OKRA (just a tiny selection as these velvety pods are just starting to produce, more to come as the heat rolls on)
*Heirloom Tomatoes!!! (succulent beauties in all shapes, sizes, & colors......come right at 4 PM if you want the full selection!!!!)
Herb"N"Gardener, Lew Edmister (Westside, KCMO)
From the Lips of Lew:
"for those of you out there who remember newspapers, and most specifically, the comics page - there used to be a strip called cathy, whose namesake was a totally stressed young lady with appropriately frizzed hair. when she was overloaded with her comic situation her neurotic exclamation would be a scream of "aaaaack". that's how this hellish heat makes me feel and my precious heirloom tomatoes are responding much the same way. they are reluctantly yielding fruit - but they are. same with the sweet little cherries.
okra loves this mess and i hate to pick okra, but i'll have some. kales don't seem to mind anything except perhaps time, so i'll have both kales and collards. they'll even be special priced so you can freeze a bunch of them. i'm babying a couple patches of previously picked arugula and maybe it will yield a nice batch for friday. if i can find anything else it will be because a cold front blew in and cooled my sweaty self. AAAAAAACK!!!!!"
JJ Farms,John Kaiahua(Raytown, MO)
*Gorgeous "Islander" Purple Sweet Peppers & Green Bell Peppers
*Kale & Swiss Chard
*Japanese Long EGGPLANT!!!!!
*Red and Yellow Onions
Bigg Blue Farm,Stan & Carmen Biggs (Mosby, MO)
*Red Slicing Tomatoes
*Potatoes in Yukon Gold and Red Viking
*Peppers and Eggplant
*Zucchini and Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash
PJ's Mushroom Farm, Paul & Judy Miller (Warrensburg, MO)
*Only the BEST fair-trade/organic/micro-roasted coffee in town!!
Get yourself some beans or grab yourself a mug.
COFFEE BY THE MUG IS ONLY $1.00!!!!
.....speaking of "liquid elixirs", the lovely Angela Hoffman with her Wheat Grass Shots & Trays will be greenin' it up with her oh so sweet winter wheat!!....not to mention SEASONAL SMOOTHIESwith mind-blowing herbs and garden flavors galore. **Angela uses local/organic produce in the most wonderful & refreshing concoctions. Drink up and cool down!!
Aged & Fresh varieties includingPrairie Bloom (a bloom-rind crotin style cheese with a rich and creamy center), Taum Sauk (a distinguished and nutty, appropriately aged, raw milk cheese), Osage Orange (a European-style muenster with a beautiful washed rind),Moniteau Blue(only the best damned blue on the planet), Herb Crusted Chevre (adelightful fresh cheese in a flavorful herb crust), Marinated Chevre (fresh cheese relaxing in scrumptious olive oil, red pepper, and herbal goodness)and Greek-styleFeta(residing in a salty brine that will make your head spin....sooo good)
Our new order has arrived!! We will have freshly ground & locally grown whole wheat flour, whole wheat pastry flour, unbleached all purpose white flour, malted all purpose flour for bread baking, & blue corn meal !!! A bakers dream.....
RAW HONEY!!!....YES!! Les Miller (our wicked honey man) has a delightful new batch ready to go. He will be a buzzin' this Friday with that godly golden nectar and bees wax to boot!
and, of course, Kombucha Mushroom Tea (Brooke's home brew)
*Sunday, Aug 15th, 1-6 pm at the BADSEED Market, 1909 McGee, KCMO, 64108
Ah, the tomato!! So versatile and delicious, you must learn to capture it in the summer for fall and winter eating. This very red day of recipes will include preparation of a smooth and delicious pureed tomato sauce. Learn the quick ways of cleaning tomatoes and the benefits of the food mill—giving you both sauce and juice from the same tomato.
Another must for tomato season is salsa. We will prepare two types: cooked and oven roasted. And how about catsup/ketchup? Are you ready to be one of those people who actually makes their own? You will learn this simple recipe, along with a similar one for pizza sauce. *Pressure canning
Cost of Class - $60
**To sign-up for this 5 hour intensive Pressure Canning workshop please download a registration form at www.badseedfarm.com
LIVE NUDE VEGETABLES!! and other organic delights...
EVERY FRIDAY AT BADSEED
- farmer and mistress of the BADSEED
An Urban-Organic Farm & Market Celebrating Local Food, Culture, & Community
Ingredients One bunch of sweet potato leaves (volume of the untrimmed bunch was 6-10 Qt.) 1-2 hot dried red chilies 1-2 cloves of garlic Salt, soy sauce, pepper to taste
Fill a pot with water and put it on the stove over high heat. The pot should be large enough to hold the leaves, and there should be enough water to cover the leaves.
Strip the leaves from the branches. The thin stems that attach the leaves to the branch are tender enough to eat, so there is no need to remove only the leaves. Wash and drain the leaves.
Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.
Chop the chilies fine, and combine with the garlic.
When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and carefully add the sweet potato leaves. After 2 minutes, remove and rinse with cold water. Chop the leaves. (This step was recommended by the cookbook to remove traces of natural slime from the leaves.)
In a large skillet or wok, heat some vegetable oil over high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic and chilies. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.
Add the greens, then stir-fry the mixture until the greens are tender, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, or other flavorings to taste.
1 bunch (around 300 gms) Sweet potato (Camote) Tops, washed, cut into bite sized pieces 4 large tomatoes, chopped 1 large onion, chopped 1/3 C rice vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar) 1 T sugar (or more if you prefer a bit sweeter taste) salt and pepper to taste
1. Blanch the leaves in boiling water. Drain. Immerse in cold water bath. Drain again.
2. Mix the rice vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper together.
3. Arrange the sweet potato leaves on a platter. Top with tomatoes and onions. Drizzle with the vinegar-sugar mixture.
An Urban-Organic Farm & Market Celebrating Local Food, Culture, and Community