Posts Tagged 'CSA'

Proud to announce: Rachel’s Eggs ranked 4th by Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute recently updated their Organic Egg Scorecard. Our certified organic Rachel’s Eggs have been ranked 4th among over 120 farms across the nation, with 2160 of a possible 2200 points and a “5-egg” rating (2001-2200): “Exemplary”—Beyond Organic!

Here’s the link to their latest report; http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/

click here to see OUR scorecard, with 100 points in 19 of 22 categories!

Our assortment of heritage breed hens rotate around our farm’s avocado grove in their chicken tractors, a bottomless pen designed to keep them safe from predators. They’re moved at least twice a week to fresh pasture, where they scratch around for goodies. They’re supplemented with certified organic, soy-free, non-GMO feed. During the wintertime, our eggs are snapped up as add-on egg shares by our CSA members, with a waiting list. Between mid-April and October, when the CSA isn’t operating, anyone can purchase our eggs though our ‘summer offers’ program.

Our other local organic egg producer, PNS Farms, who we mentored a few years back, has a 5 rating as well, with 2120 points out of 2200. Our CSA members also enjoy their eggs.

Missed GrowFest! 2012? Here’s a second chance to get your seedlings…

seedlings

What: Heirloom tomato (and other) seedlings for sale, and a few other goodies plus Rachel’s eggs, smoked eggs, Fruits of Summer dried fruit mix, honey, the new book Field to Feast, feed for your plants…

When:  THIS Saturday, November 3rd

Hours: 10am-2pm

Where: at the farm  (note the farm is not normally open to the public, so if you miss out, please don’t come another day-your next chance will be Dec 2nd when we return to Pinecrest Gardens market)

Directions to the farm: go West on Bauer Drive (SW 264th St) to Redland Road (187th Ave). CONTINUE on Bauer Drive across the intersection, for 1/3 mile.  Look for the flags and signs. Watch for a 7′ coral rock pyramid on your left (driver’s) side. You’re here! You’ll see our farm sign hanging on the fence. Park along the swale, and enter by the West gate, on the gravel driveway. Proceed all the way to the big metal building at the rear. (don’t bother asking for the address-you won’t get here with it-trust me-just follow the directions above. For you GPS addicts, look for zip code 33031-1787, and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ABOVE!

See you there!

…aaaand, we’re BACK!

After a dormancy approaching 2 years (really? really!! time flies!), I realized it’s time to crank up this blog again – just in time for the new season.  We didn’t REALLY fall off the face of the earth. We’ve continued to send out emails, and have been active on Facebook, with some Tweeting thrown in from time to time, but I know that a number of our fans don’t “do” Facebook, not everyone is on our email list, and many don’t appreciate being bombarded with constant emails. So, I’m brushing off the rust, oiling the gears…ready to blog it!

Lots of things have happened in the intervening months. It’s the cycle of  life on a farm – preparing, planting crops, weeding, harvesting, selling, delivering, removing, recharging, then starting all over again. And in between each one, there’s weeding, dealing with unexpected stuff – sometimes good, sometimes not – more weeding, and in the summer, mowing and mowing and mowing – oh, and weeding! Then somewhere in the mix, throw in a crop of baby chicks to replenish the flock, after decimation by coyote and feral dogs… yep, life on the farm is NEVER boring.

Bee Heaven Farm collage

Last year on the farm

We saw new markets start, and others die out. The Homestead Market at Losner Park and the Overtown Market on 10th Street did not return in 2011-2012, and were sorely missed. But the slightly less hectic pace let us concentrate on the Pinecrest Gardens Green Market, where we had a great season. We’ll be back in Pinecrest in December.

Last year we started using Farmigo’s  CSA software system. We’ve fully automated our CSA enrollment process and are now able to offer more flexibility with share options and payment plans. In the summertime, when the CSA isn’t running and we don’t sell at the farmers market, we’ve always had a prepaid system (open to anyone) to order seasonal summer items – mainly tropical fruit. We implemented Farmigo’s webstore functions for this, and expanded our summer pickup locations to include the Upper Eastside Market, where our more northerly customers could pick up their orders without having to schlep down to Joanna’s Marketplace in the Dadeland area or to the farm in Redland. That’s worked out really well!

Our CSA options expanded last year, with the discovery of locally-grown Sem-Chi certified organic rice right in the Clewiston area barely 100 miles from the farm, and the debut of local salt farmers Midge & Tom with their Florida Keys Sea Salt. As more local organic (or pesticide-free) producers come online, we continue to develop additional stability and more variety in the shares.  We’re always looking for new crops, too. We have an amazing opportunity in South Florida to explore tropical food crops not available in the rest of mainland USA, and we’re all about that! Of course, Mother Nature always has the last word.

…see you around!

Cornucopia Institute posts Miami Herald article- Bee Heaven owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land

desc

via Bee Heaven Owner: Organic farming is good for the foodie — and the land.

Asian Mix

Our Asian Mix a.k.a. Braising Mix is a truly nice product, especially this time of year when we get consistent cool nights and bright sunny days with the occasional cold front. I love this time of year as much as our greens do. Everything is lined up just right for the healthy development of Brassicas (the family of plants that include most of the greens we grow, including Mustard, Kale, Pei Tsai, Tat Soi and many others) right now. The days are getting longer so there is more sunlight for photosynthesis. At night, when I take a walk with my head lamp on I can see the leaves covered with dew standing perky and fully hydrated. They have developed a strong root system by now so they are never without water or nutrients. The quality of these plants really comes through in our Asian Mix. We’ve harvested it twice for the CSA and we bring it to the Pinecrest Farmer’s Market every Sunday.This is Pei Tsai growing out in the field. This is a delicious and not so well know Asian green that we love and grow every year. It’s a fast growing plant that resembles something between a cabbage and lettuce, so it is great both raw and lightly braised. It has a light, sweet flavor with hints of cabbage and the texture is crisp but soft.

This is Lacinato Kale, a.k.a. Dinosaur Kale, which most people are familiar with. These plants are seeded in the beginning of the season and produce abundantly until the very end. They get sweeter the cooler it is. The kale in our Asian Mix adds heartiness and turns it into something that is very braisable.

This an example of what goes into the mix. From left to right, Yukina Savoy, Lacinato Kale, Osaka Purple Mustard, Pei Tsai, Red Russian Kale and Tres Fin Frisee. It’s a perfect balance of textures and flavors!

Here we are mixing 80+ pounds of the freshly picked leaves for the CSA. When they are all laid out on a table it is pretty spectacular.

This is the finished product, 1/2 pound per bag. We sell these at the farmer’s market for $4.50/each. One bag is enough to make a beautiful salad for up to 5 people or a few salads for a couple. When cooked, greens shrink down substantially in volume, but the nutrition in a dish accompanied by them is very high so you wont need much.

The pictures below where sent to me by Emily, one of this season’s interns.  They are so beautiful I had to add them to this post.

BEAUTIFUL!

Thanks Emily.

Rachel’s Eggs

variety of eggsOnce you get used to cooking and eating truly fresh eggs from chickens that live on grass and eat bugs, there is no going back. They are so beautiful and inspiring to have in the fridge. The CSA is starting in less than 2 weeks and the majority, if not all, of the eggs will be going out to many families throughout South Florida. I will miss them and I hope you really enjoy them!


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