"Meat" our newest farmer - Walnut Run Farm
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We’re so excited to welcome Walnut Run Farm to the Malvern Farmers Market this Saturday. I think you will find their farming practices quite impressive.

They are the real deal - they raise all of their own animals on their 65 acre farm located in Honey Brook, Chester County. They personally tend to them all day long. Their transparency in their animal care and sourcing is important to us.

There will be an exception for the first month or two with chicken as they were not ramped up to take on our market under short notice. We have given them permission to source chicken from another farm - and we’re still working on that as they will only source from a farm with comparable standards to their own.

A Note From the Fishers of Walnut Run Farm – 

We are looking forward to joining Growing Roots at the Malvern Farmer’s Market this season, starting on Saturday, May 11th! We plan on attending the market every Saturday with meats, eggs, and cheese. At Walnut Run we uphold high standards in terms of using organic and holistic farming methods and ultimately, healthy food. We aim, not just to satisfy, but to impress. So much so that you’ll tell your friends!

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What makes our meats special? It is simply because it is raised in as natural a way as possible. Our beef herd is carefully managed using the rotational grazing systems. We move our cattle from one paddock to the next to fresh grass multiple times in one day. This keeps fresh grass in front of them while it also gets them off the residual grass quickly which promotes a faster regrowth. Also noteworthy is that being out with the cattle so frequently makes for a calm, relaxed beef herd. These practices all contribute added value to the meat by providing a better taste, better texture, and yes, better nutrition.

Our pork is all chemical-free, GMO-free, and the rare soy-free. We feed them skim milk, yogurt & cottage cheese whey from our own dairy cows’ milk. Our pork is raised in a loose housing environment!

Our broiler (meat) chickens are raised in a model corporate farming cannot copy. They are kept in portable shelters (predator protectors) that can be moved across the grass. We move them once or twice daily to provide them with ample greens and fresh dirt for chickens to rummage through. They are supplemented with chemical-free and GMO-free grain that is grown in Berks County PA. While pasture raised chickens do not grow as fast as they do in commercial settings, we feel our chicken is superior in flavor. Plus, it’s grown naturally…..no medicated feeds, antibiotics, hormones, etc.

The layer chickens are also cared for in a similar fashion. We source their feed right out of Berks County. Again, it is grown right – no chemicals and no GMOs, plus we get the soy-free feed. It is said to compromise egg production slightly, but the tradeoff is maximum quality!! We do carefully source some additional eggs from our friends to help fill demand. But of course, they have to come up to all our specs. The brilliant yellow-orange color that you’ll see in the egg yolks bears ample witness of our emphasis on quality. There’s no need to say more.

Also, our popular cheese. It is made by Alpine Heritage Creamery, a Lancaster County Farm that uses the same farming practices as Walnut Run. They captured a number of awards with their cheeses. We will have sharp, smoked, and medium cheddar, Dutch Country Swiss, Pepper Jack, and the new one – Yogurt cheese. Free samples on all our raw milk cheeses will be available at the booth.

We invite you to make a trip to the farm to see it for yourself. You can drop by randomly, or you can contact us to make sure someone will be here to lead the tour!

Melvin & Linda Fisher and family, Esther (9), Elmer (8), Hannah (6), Barbie Lynn (3), and Nathan (1)

Walnut Run Farm, 284 Walnut Road, Honey Brook PA 19344

LisaComment
Asparagus - get your fill this season!

Asparagus, one of the earliest signs that spring has sprung at the farmers market! There are so many ways to enjoy this nutritious and delicious vegetable. Here’s a sampling of some tried and true recipes:

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Nutritional Benefits of Asparagus

Asparagus is low in calories, high in fiber, a good source of folate and vitamin K, as well as a host of other nutrients. Its good for you and delicious too!

How Does Asparagus Grow

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Asparagus is a perennial. Farmers start asparagus with asparagus crowns, a spidery looking root mass. It takes asparagus crowns about 2 - 3 seasons to mature properly to produce asparagus stalks.

There is something prehistoric in appearance when looking at a field of asparagus. The stalks emerge from the ground looking just like the stalks we purchase at the market. It looks like someone just stuck them in the ground.

Now that you know how asparagus grows and how good it is for you - feast away!

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LisaComment
Thank You Blake's Mother: Peach Curd Tart

So ever since I laid eyed on those stunning rosemary shortbread tart shells from Blake's Mother's Cookies they have been burning a hole in my imagination. What to do, oh the possibilities!

It's peach season, and I love the combo of peaches and rosemary. This was the recipe that made me fall in love with the flavor combo, a cocktail, of course, bourbon of course, Peach and Rosemary Cocktail, sinful! 

I love curds, but most of use think of only citrus curds. Well, peaches make a beautiful curd as well! Here's the recipe I used for my peach curd - it is yummy! Let your peaches get super sweet and ripe to really highlight the flavor. 

The rest of this recipe is simply concocted from what was easy and using ingredients I had on hand. I filled the tart shell with one batch of the peach curd. Beautiful. Then, since I had some creme fraiche on hand I whipped together about a half cup of creme fraiche with a tablespoon of honey. I put that mixture into a piping bag and spiraled it onto the top of the cured, then used a skewer to marble the creme fraiche into the curd. 

The tart shell comes with a glaze, basically red current jam - sweet, slightly tart flavor. I diced one peach and mixed the cubes with about 2 tablespoons of the glaze and allowed it to sit for about an hour. As the peach cubes macerate in the glaze you'll see them start to give off their juice - it's a process called osmosis, not that its important, or that you need to know, that's just what its called - random facts! Just before serving, drain the juice from the cubes and scatter them onto the top of the marbled curd. For how easy this is, it looks darn impressive, and tastes even better!

Lisa
Jammin' It with Cherry Tomatoes!
7 pounds sounds like a lot of tomatoes, but it's not as intimidating now. 

7 pounds sounds like a lot of tomatoes, but it's not as intimidating now. 

Bob from Down to Earth Harvest got the jump on tomatoes at the market this season, in a big way. Buckets and buckets of them, especially cherry tomatoes. Saturday he convinced me that I couldn't go home without a 7 pound box of sungolds - my favorite, super sweet - I was weak, my defenses were down. I couldn't refuse the opportunity to make a batch of one of my absolute favorite jams - Smokey Sungold Tomato Jam from Marissa MeClellan's Food 'n Jars.  

Marissa uses big size yellow tom's for her jam. I love the sungolds. The first step in the recipe is  to slice the tomatoes. Seriously, 7 pounds of sungold tomatoes, the size of my thumb, sliced? Looking for the easy button here - there aren't enuf hours in the day to slice 7 pounds of sungolds. At the same time, I didn't want to leave them whole and risk the skin of the tomato creating an unpleasant texture to the jam. Solution: food processor! I was nervous it wouldn't be able to handle slicing them and would end up mushing them, and I was ok with that, the alternative was slicing by hand, and that was not going to happen. But it did a great job! Lookie here:

The rest of the ingredients are easy to come by. The recipe calls for hot pepper flakes. I've gotten hooked on Aleppo pepper flakes - a distinctly different flavor, somewhat fruity hot. There's another pepper in the recipe, smoked paprika, made from pimento smoked over an oak fire and then ground to a powder - - - don't worry, you can purchase ready to use. I love this stuff! It gives a lovely smokey flavor.  

For the recipe, please visit the Food 'n Jars website. Marissa used big yellow tomatoes for her batch of jam, good, but not as sweet as the sungolds! 

The result - jars of Sungold GOLD - tomato-y, smokey, a smitch spicy, sweet! This jam is incredible on so many things: burgers, eggs, cheese, chicken and more!

Lisa
Cherry Tomatoes - small but mighty!

Our farmers are starting to bring cherry tomatoes to market, in buckets! Down to Earth Harvest has had an impressive tomato haul this season. All shapes and sizes and colors, each with their own quirky name and flavor profile. My favorite - sungold - sweet!  And while these little dudes are tasty in salads, don't underestimate their cooking potential. 

Talk about a simple dinner for the family - blistered tomatoes, Aunt Mamile's Cavatelli and Day Spring Farm sheep's milk crotin.

Ingredients:

  • one quart cherry tomatoes
  • onion, about 1/2 cup chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 pund cavatelli
  • cheese, one cup grated - I used Day Spring Farm crotin
  • basil leaves - a handful
  • if you like a little spice I suggest a healthy sprinkling of Aleppo pepper

In a large stainless steel pan, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions and tomatoes, and over medium high heat saute till the tomatoes start to blister. Keep cooking, allowing the tomatoes to release their juices. Start mashing the tomatoes with the back of a spoon to break them up (wear an apron!). Cook them until they look like they need some liquid - add the wine and allow to cook off.Season with salt and peppers (black and Aleppo). 

While your tomatoes are cooking you can cook your pasta. I am login this cavatelli pasta from Aunt Mamie's - it does a great job holding onto the sauce. Cook to al dente, drain and put into a serving dish. Toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil and the grated cheese, stirring while the cheese melts into the pasta. Add the blistered tomatoes. Stir in the basil. Serve. Enjoy the compliments!

Tomorrow - Smokey Sungold Tomato Jam. This stuff rocks!

Lisa