Summer has arrived — its official not only with the sweltering heat but also what’s in season. This past Saturday we were able to provide you with 3 fruits in the box: blueberries, peaches, & plums! This coming week you can look forward to the possibility of nectarines. Summer isn’t truly official without melons, pies, cooking outdoors, roasting corn, and sweet ice tea. So, in the celebration of summer this week’s recipe is a twist on an old classic: blueberry peach pie.

Like eggplant & citrus the peach also hails from Asia. Surprisingly is a distant relative of the almond! The peach traveled West along the silk road and was cultivated in Persia and along the Mediterranean. Its genus species name (Prunus persica) suggests that it originated in Persia but historical accounts have shown that the Persians brought the peach with them from China. The peach first appeared in America in the 17th century. Peaches were not in commercial  production until the mid-19th century.

The nectarine is a cultivar of the peach and has been referred to as a ‘peach with plum skin.’ Not much is known about the history nectarine but what is known is that it quite possibly existed long before the peach.

The mystique of the peach has its place in many cultures, in China the peach symbolizes longevity and possible immortality.  In Vietnamese culture it symbolizes peace and happiness. Its many amorous qualities may have something to do with it nutritional content which has protein, potassium, and vitamin C.

So all that nutritional goodness could be reason enough to enjoy that sweet tempting dessert: the blueberry peach pie.

Recipe:Blueberry Peach Pie

Map of Farms:

GlobalWarmingThe debate continues on whether global warming exists or not.  Is it caused by humans?  Is it nature just going through its phases?  Or is it a little bit of both?  Whether you believe in global warming or not, it’s no secret that we create a lot of waste and then dump it on other countries.  According to The National Geographic, the average American throws away 4.4 pounds of trash every day.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 27 percent of our trash is food waste, which creates methane in the landfills.  This carelessness is becoming expensive, especially during these penny-pinching times.  So global warming or not, how can we help the environment and save some money?

  • Compost your food scraps/waste or feed it to animals.  You would be surprised at how many dogs and cats love veggies, and chickens will eat just about anything.  You can bring your compost to the Hollygrove Market’s compost bin, or you can feed them to the newest Hollygrove residents — our hens!  Make sure that you don’t throw into the compost pile any bones, meat or oil-based substances.
  • Eat more veggies!  According to the U.S. Geological Survey, a meat-based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day.  A plant-based diet requires 300 gallons per day.  You still crave that meat?  Reduction in meat and balance between the two is always a safe bet.
  • You’re already doing this one – buy locally!  On average, produce travels 1,500 miles before finding a tummy.  Buying locally ensures that the produce is fresh and more nutritious since it is picked when ripe, and it supports your local economy!

Here are some other non-food tips:

  • Set your refrigerator to 37-40 degrees.  This will keep everything cool enough without wasting electricity.  Along the wall or in the back is the coldest area for items that require cooler storage.  If it’s time to purchase a new refrigerator, look for an Energy Star rated-fridge.  The 2009 version uses 40 percent less energy than the conventional refrigerator in 2001.  They also consume 20 percent less energy than required by the federal standards.
  • If you have a convection oven, consider using that over your traditional oven.  If you don’t have one, consider getting one.  They cook 25-30 percent faster.
  • Run your dishwasher only when it is full.  This can reduce your water usage by up to 35 percent, not to mention savings on your energy bill.  Here’s a tip that you may not have known: running the dishwasher at night saves even more energy.  Power plants generate electricity more efficiently during off-peak hours.

Above all, eat your food!  We’re all guilty of the need to slow down our schedules so that we not only enjoy our food but also to eat it!  So sit down with your family, call a friend, or have some alone-time and eat your Hollygrove veggies!

And now for your weekly recipe and the Farms Map:

Recipe: Roasted Fairy Tale Eggplant

Map: Farms

IMG_0553Makin’ Groceries nowadays is a tough thing to do. Walk into any local grocer and you may find yourself feeling like you are in a horror movie: contorted faces and a few sighs or even gasps. All the drama you may be witnessing is over the cost of food and other necessary household items-maybe even you catch yourself having those exact same mannerisms like we do sometimes.

According to the media this past week food prices are on the rise again. There several reasons for spikes in the economy of food supply and demand. Some predictions are that long after the recession is ‘over’ the habits we have changed during this (that) time is expected to have a lasting effect.  However, it seems that watching or reading the news is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. Do this but don’t do this. Grow your own food but worry about lead which by all means is important concern but the recent NY Times article bounces back and forth between:

“Harmful even at very low doses, lead is surprisingly prevalent and persistent in urban and suburban soil. Dust from lead-tainted soil is toxic to inhale, and food grown in it is hazardous to eat.

Thanks in part to the influence of the local-food movement and to economic considerations, more households in the United States plan, like the Obamas, to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year. . . seven million more households than prior years. . .

Soil is likely to contain high levels of lead if it is near any structure built before 1978, when lead-based paint was taken off the market, or if a building of that vintage was ever demolished on the site. Pesticides containing lead were often used on fruit trees, so land close to old orchards is also of concern. And beware of soil around heavily trafficked roadways; it, too, is probably laced with lead. But environmental engineers and soil experts said any place is potentially tainted.”

That’s just the first page. It almost felt like we were re-living the last eight soil_art_workyears of lives: be afraid, be very afraid.

Okay so now we are afraid what are we supposed to do?

Continue to pay high prices for food with what seems like an ever shrinking wallet?

Grow your own food but be certain that somewhere lead or no lead there may be some other contaminants. Amendments will have to be made–requiring more work and learning about how stirring up the soil in your backyard may be potentially harmful to your children is enough to send anyone over the edge.

One answer may be to make better informed decisions (from sources you may not even like or trust but will help in the decision making process; digesting both sides of the story), make time to learn about gardening, cooking, and eating the food you may have grown or purchased. All of the work it takes to making and applying those decisions are much harder than going to the store to purchase your food.  Sometimes you have to remember there is no such thing a perfect or ideal environment and right now the American public demands control with transparency especially when it comes to food.

Fear and the media’s use of fear is a highly motivating factor so now is the time to take things into your own hands and Get Your Dig On!

For more thought provoking articles check out:

The Jew & the Carrot’s post about Planning Ahead for Sustainability’s Sake.

NY Times: Food Prices: Myth vs. Reality

NY Times: Glorious Food

And now for your weekly recipe and the Farms Map:

Week 31 Recipe:Mushroom Ragout

Week 31 Map:farmer map wk31

Fortunately in life sometimes we find ourselves in a position where we are doing something we love or maybe we loved it all along and never realized we were passionate about it.

Our passion: Food. Everything about it: the culture, the personalities (or the industry slang: Back of House staff, the chefs, dishwashers, prep cooks, line cooks), eating it, reading about it–well, it has moved beyond obsession to possession or at least that’s how it feels sometimes and that is a good thing, ahem, umm. m. .mostly.

Hollygrove Market & Farm works to bring the background players of food production (whether it is growing, harvesting, or preparation i.e. cooking) into the forefront. We have recently completed several garden beds and have food stuffs in limited quantities currently growing on site in our efforts to expose those ideals and test the ideas of the current food system. Slow Food and Slow Money aren’t new ideas they have simply– been out of favor because our current views of logic (economically speaking) have changed because it may be easier to disconnect or dis-associate ourselves with the truth or absolute existence of the current systems and our nature.

George Orwell said it best:

“A human being is primarily a bag for putting food into; other functions and faculties may be more godlike, but in point of time they come afterwards. A man dies and is buried, and all his words and actions are forgotten, but the food he has eaten lives after him in the sound or rotten bones of his children. I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for example, could have never happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables at the end of the Middle Ages, and a little later the introduction of non-alcoholic drinks (coffee, tea, cocoa) and also of distilled liquors to which the beer-drinking English were not accustomed. Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks, or bacon curers, or market gardeners.”–The Road to Wigan Pier


Strikingly blunt and we couldn’t agree more.

Week 28 Recipe: Not your Mama’s Hash

Week 28 Farms: Farmer Map

Recently some of the staff at HGM&F, Ashley Locklear & John Burns, have been reading about Tassajara cooking. Tassajara cooking is based on Zen Buddhist views of being mindful in both actions and thought while applying it to every step of the cooking process. Tassajara is the work of Edward Espe Brown who in the early 70’s published a few notable cookbooks however he refers to them as guides, “the skeletal framework.  You must fill in the flesh according to your own nature and desire. Your life, your love, will bring these words into full creation. This cannot be taught. You already know it. So please cook, love, feel, and create.”

“We need more cooks, not more cookbooks.” -Charles W. Brooks.

Tassajara Cooking and Little Nell in Colorado help shape and inspire the simple ans easy recipe this week; it’s also cheap roasting chickens stuffed with lemons, mushrooms, and fresh herbs. It also puts to good use the fava beans that have been making an appearance in your box over the past few weeks with a fava bean and radish salad. Hope you enjoy this delicious recipe as much as we did.

Week 27 Recipe: Lemon & Garlic Chicken

Week 27 Produce:Farms

This past Saturday you may have been pleasantly surprised to find radishes in your box. Here in the Southeast you may not see too many Spring or Summer radishes; as Spring quickly gives way to Summer you may start anticipate Creole tomatoes, okra, cucumbers, sweet corn, potatoes, and much more.

eatThe inspirations for the recipe for your box this week are simple and inspired by a classic Vietnamese sandwich which is very similar to a Po Boy. The Bahn Mi Pho the term has quit blended with the French meaning: “Salad Sandwich.” This salad sandwich is a product of French Colonialism in Indochina and uses the traditional ingredients of Pho, a gloriously simple and tasty traditional Vietnamese soup. It has pickled toppings such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes along with different choices of meat or tofu. It often includes something else decidedly French on the sandwiches: a spicy version of aloi as well as a thin layer of butter.

In some regions, Banh mi, can also mean bread. The bread, as we all know, is the most important part of the sandwich: it is the frame of the vehicle which is filled with other earthly delights awaiting inside bite after bite.

The Hollygrove Market & Farm has used what nature has decided what is best and in season to fill our bahn mi pho. The recipe includes a unusual sounding use for radishes, which happens to be quite tasty, was offered by Patrick Hamilton, a WWOOF (worldwide opportunities on organic farms), of L’Hoste Citrus in Braithwaite. Radishes are packed with asboric acid, folic acid, and potassium. Radishes also like most other root vegetables are also very filling because while being mostly carbohydrates they offer only 20 calories per bulb which leaves you with a low caloric intake but a satisfied feeling of being full.

We hope you enjoy this simple recipe as much as we did!

Week 26 Recipes: Hollygrove’s Salad Sandwich

Week 26 Produce: Weekly Farmer Map

The staff here at Hollygrove Market & Farm we pretty much live, eat, & breathe everything about food. Whether it is falling asleep reading seed catalogs, catching up on the Green News featured daily in the New York Times, or simply cooking, sampling, and cooking some more. We are always trying to reinvent old favorites and maybe come up with a few new ones (usually through a serendipitous accident)– all of which is based on at least four ingredients included in your weekly Buyers’ Club box.

A few weeks ago, some of the staff at Hollygrove Market had a chance to check out (finally) Cochon’s Butcher. Butcher has a awesome selection of cured meats as well as an impressive selection of sandwiches both of which you may not find anywhere else in the city proper. We purchased a few items: head cheese & a 1lb of andouille sausage. If you love classic New Orleanian foodstuffs as much as we do, then it should come as no surprise that the Baby Shiitakes added to a classic pot of  Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya enhances both flavor and texture– earthy smoky undertones. We strongly encourage you to try the recipe because believe me I can eat the classic New Orleans Chicken & Andouille Jambalaya every week until the day I die.

Also if you had chance to stop by the market on Saturday, the Master Gardeners we at it again! Even braved the rain! Soon a Spring planting will rocking out front–all of which will have an educational purpose.  Thanks to all the volunteers who came, conquered, and rocked out this past rainy Saturday!

Recipe: Smoky Jambalaya

Week 22 Map:

Hollygrove Farms