Monday, June 15, 2009

Heritage Turkeys

We at Grasshoppers will have sign-ups for Heritage Turkeys at each CSA drop-spot this week. After sign-ups (this week), I will contact you about deposits and such. Our turkeys run approximately $4.25/lb. Please input your name and the approximated size of the turkey you would like in the Excel sheet at the CSA drop-spot where you attain your produce, protein, dairy, etc.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Whole Chicken by Jamie Oliver

The Whole Chicken

I feel that people have lost the art of making multiple meals out of a whole chicken or joint of meat. This is a crying shame because it means a lot of perfectly good meat around the country is going in the bin. To help you make your meat go that little bit further, here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of your chicken.
The poached chicken suggestion below should feed 4 people for two meals.

1. Poached Chicken

The first thing to do is to get yourself a good quality, free range or organic chicken and put it in a large pot. Cover it with water and add any veg you have handy. I like to add some chopped up carrots, a few sticks of celery, and an onion. Then I throw in some herbs; perhaps a sprig of rosemary and a bay leaf. Add a few peppercorns, a teaspoon of sea salt and a couple of crushed bulbs of garlic and you’re off. Bring it all to the boil and then simmer for about an hour and twenty minutes. Trust me when I say you are going to get beautifully soft and silky cooked chicken, plus a lovely broth.

The reason I love this poached chicken is that you can make it into a hearty meal all year round by using whatever seasonal veg is available. For example, after the chicken has been poaching for about an hour, you could add some quartered fennel. This will cook with the chicken for the last 20 minutes. Things like beans and peas should go in five minutes before the chicken is ready to come out as they cook quickly.

Basically, as long as you know how long your vegetables take to cook, the choices are endless. Below is a list of veg and their timings to get you started. Keep in mind that if it’s summer time the seasonal veg will cook really quickly and be light and delicious.

• Chopped swedes and turnips – 30 mins
• Cabbage – 20 mins
• Chopped potatoes/ new potatoes – 20 mins
• Quartered fennel – 20 minutes
• Frozen or fresh broad beans & peas – 5 minutes
• Chopped asparagus – 5 minutes
• Spinach – 30 seconds

When your chicken is cooked, take it out of the pot, and use a fork to shred as much meat off the bones as possible. Have a little taste to make sure it’s seasoned enough for your liking. Take that torn up beautiful white and dark chicken meat and divide it among some bowls. To finish off, ladle some of the tasty poached broth and veg over it to make a lovely meal of steaming potatoes, greens and peas. This is a great dinner, especially served with a nice dollop of horseradish sauce or mustard.

The Italians do multiple versions of this dish using shins of beef, shoulders of pork and even poached duck (which is delicious). If you try these, don’t forget that different meats take different times to cook. For duck, pork and shins of beef we’re talking about 3 hours of poaching, or until the meat is falling off the bone.

2. Chicken Salads

You can also use the shredded meat from your poached chicken to make a really hearty salad. In the summer, toss it in with some cooked new potatoes, mixed salad leaves and herbs. Dress at the last minute with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar then serve it up on a big platter. Delicious!

3. Tasty broth

When you make poached chicken you are going to be left with quite a lot of broth. Don’t throw this away! There’s something really nice about having simple, clean, therapeutic chicken broth.
So put it through a sieve, bag it up and freeze it to use later. It will be fantastic as a stock for making risottos, gravy or soups. For an Asian twist, you could add noodles and veg such as sweetcorn, baby corn, pak choi, chilli or sugar snap peas to the broth.

4. After a roast chicken

Because I love roast chicken, and eat it on a regular basis, I am now in a routine where, before doing the washing up, I throw the carcass and any tasty scraps and scrapings from the roasting and carving tray into a pot.

I cover the chicken with water, add some herbs and bring it all to the boil. This also makes a lovely cloudy broth that you can leave to simmer for an hour or so while you watch a bit of telly in the evening. This broth can be used in the same way as above.

I hope these ideas are helpful. They are certainly tasty. So give them a try and use up all of that chicken!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For the week of June 10 . . .

This week!

Head lettuce by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.
Kale by Vital Foods, Oldham Co.
and Valerie and Pavel at Fox Hollow Farm, Oldham Co.
Scapes by A Place On Earth Farm, Henry Co.
Kohlrabi by O’Daniels Farm, Warren Co.
New potatoes by O’Daniel Farm, Warren Co.
Strawberries by Berries On Bryant Station, Fayette Co.
Collard greens by Vital Foods, Oldham Co.
and River Farm Organics, Oldham Co.
Cucumbers by O’Daniel Farm, Warren Co.

* * *

I hope you are all enjoying your first few weeks as CSA members. Green is the
vegetable theme this time of year in Kentucky, but more and more variety will come in the next few weeks. I have heard talk blueberries in the next couple of weeks. (yay!) This week's produce share features a lot of nutritious greens from The Vital Foods Program out at the Fox Hollow Farm Center. You can feel good when you buy produce from the Vital Foods program. You are doing something good for your body, your earth, and your community! Their produce is always free of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It is also nutrient rich, because they care for the soil and the life in it. You are also helping to support them as they work to educate others about the benefits of home gardening, buying local, caring for the earth, and cooking more in the home. They are a not-for-profit farming and education organization located on Foxhollow Farm, just minutes from Louisville.

Here is an invitation from the Fox Hollow Farm Center:

Canning and Food Preservation*
June 11th 9am-noon

Join us in welcoming our Oldham County extension agent to the farm! In this three hour class, participants will help prepare a variety of food to be canned. Pressure canning and water bath canning will be demonstrated. All safety concerns will be addressed, a short informational video on food preservation will be viewed, and the latest guidelines on safe home canning will be distributed. Participants will take home two canned items that they helped to prepare. $30

* Class size is limited. Pre-registration is required to reserve a spot and ensure that we have enough supplies.

For more information on any of these programs contact Derek or Christina at:

* * *


Grasshoppers will have sign up sheets at the drop off next week for CSA members wishing to order vegetables and fruit in bulk quantity for canning and preserving. We will also start taking orders for turkeys! The holidays may seem far away, but turkeys have a very short window for laying eggs. We have to have our order in to Mr. King by the first week in July. I will post a price list on the CSA blog this week.

Lindsey Gibbs
Grasshoppers CSA Coordinator

* * *

Kohlrabi Gratin


  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled (I use a serrated knife to remove the peel)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup grated cheese ( I use parmesan or crumbled goat cheese)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rub the inside of a small, shallow ceramic casserole with the garlic. Grease it with the butter. Meanwhile, slice the kohlrabi very thinly. You may want to first cut it in half from end to end.
  2. Lay the kohlrabi slices in the casserole overlapping like shingles, seasoning them with salt as you go. You may make two or three layers. Cover with the cream and shake the casserole a little to distribute the salt.
  3. Lay the casserole on a baking sheet and place in the oven. As the cream browns, break it up and push it under the cream underneath, scraping any brown bits from the side of the casserole and incorporating those as well. Continue doing this for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the kohlrabi is perfectly tender and the cream has been almost completely absorbed.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the gratin and continue baking until the cheese is completely melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

    This recipe is great served with a simple green and strawberry salad and crusty Blue Dog Bread!


Although the kale is roasted, not fried, it becomes crispy and salty, almost like french fries. (Although far superior!) This kale recipe is incredibly healthy, too. It boasts a whopping 309% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, 201% vitamin C, 14% calcium, 10% iron, 3 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and it only has 112 calories and 1 gram of saturated fat per serving!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 6-8 cups chopped fresh kale, hard stems removed
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt


  1. Place a rack on the lowest shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread kale out on a sturdy baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Toss to coat completely.
  3. Place on the lowest rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and stir so that kale can get crispy all over.
  5. Bake another 8 to 12 minutes or until kale is crispy. It should be just lightly browned and crispy to the touch. If kale still bends, rather than crackles, when you touch it, it isn’t done yet. Return it to the oven. Turn down the heat if it is getting too brown. Continue cooking until crispy.
  6. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with sea salt and serve immediately.


For those unfamiliar with this jewel of a vegetable, its appearance somewhat resembles a hot air balloon. Picture the turnip-shaped globe as the passenger section; its multiple stems that sprout from all parts of its globular form resemble the many vertical ropes, and the deep green leaves at the top represent the parachute. Kohlrabi is often mistakenly referred to as a root vegetable, but in fact it grows just above ground, forming a unique, turnip-shaped swelling at the base of the stem. You can cook Kohlrabi or use it raw like you would cabbage for slaw.

Kohlrabi possesses many attributes worth notice:
- Low in calories, only 19 for a half cup raw, sliced
- High in dietary fiber, 2.5 grams for one-half cup
- Potassium content peaks at 245 grams for one-half cup
- Vitamin content for that same one-half cup includes 25 I.U. vitamin A, 43.4 mg. vitamin C, 11.3 mg folic acid, and 16.8 mg. calcium.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For the week of June 2 . . .

What's in the box?

Strawberries by Berries on Bryan Station, Fayette Co.
Head lettuces by Finger Pickin’ Farms, Palmyra IN
Large bok choy by Barr Farms, Meade Co.
Fresh peas by Elmwood Farm, Scott Co.
Kale by Vital Foods, Oldham Co.
Collard greens by Vital Foods, Oldham Co.
Garlic scapes by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.
Green garlic by Field Day Family Farm -OR-
Radishes by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.

This week's share

This week's produce boasts early greens and legumes of spring - bok choy, snap peas, and lettuce - as well as tangy radishes and the last of the sweet strawberries. If there is something you need that is not in your box this week take a trip down to the Phoenix Hill Farmer’s Market after picking up your share.

Phoenix Hill Farmers’ Market
829 East Market Street
May 5 - October 27, Tuesdays 3pm - 6:30pm
Vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, baked goods, plants, and cut flowers

One of the joys of being a CSA member is knowing exactly where your food comes from. Each week we'll try to give you some insight into who grows your food. This week's bok choy is grown by Barr Farms. Settled in cozy Rhodelia, KY, Barr Farms sits in beautiful rolling hills right near the Ohio River. The farm, owned by the Barr family for seven generations, is now under partial ownership of the youngest Barr farmer, Adam. He and his fiance Rae (yay!) run a vegetable and meat CSA that makes its way to many a plate in the surrounding areas.

Adam went off to college, leaving the farm behind - but as soon as graduation hit, the call to return to land was incessant. He wanted to come back to the farm and change the way things had been done. Granted, his father and uncle ran a decent cattle farm on the property, but now Adam was loaded with information on pesticides and treating the earth in a more respectful manner. He became impassioned to supply local families with the healthiest of foods right from his own land.

Adam mentioned the Native American outlook that we should create systems and traditions that are capable of lasting for seven generations, and feels it’s quite profound that he is in fact the seventh generation to farm on the property. He has chosen to make a decision to treat the land with such respect and reverence that he wants the new sustainable system he is implementing to last for seven generations more. While this may seem like a lofty goal, his calm demeanor, tireless work ethic and true dedication to making sure that his customers know all about how the food was raised under his care, it seems like there is no way that Adam Barr can fail.
From: Down to Earth blog.

Adam Barr is also the president of Community Farm Alliance (CFA). To learn more about the Community Farm Alliance visit

* * *

Fresh Pea and Radish Salad


  • 2 cups fresh pea pods
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced radishes
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white wine
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil


  1. Remove tips and strings from snow pea pods; cut lengthwise into very thin strips.
  2. In a large bowl toss snow peas and radish slices; arrange mixture on salad plates.
  3. In a screw-top jar combine vinegar, oil, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Shake well and drizzle over salad. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 6 servings.

Braised Kale


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly green onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons minced green garlic or scapes
  • 8 cups (firmly packed) torn and stemmed kale pieces
  • 2 cups basic chicken stock (recipe below) or veggie stock
  • Splash cider vinegar


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, kale, and stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes; add a splash of cider vinegar in the last minute of cooking. Remove from heat. Serve immediately.

I included a chicken stock recipe because everyone should know how to make their own, and it is a great way to use every part of the whole chicken.

Basic Chicken Stock


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half
  • 2 pounds raw chicken bones, rinsed in cold water
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, over high heat, add the oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours.
  4. Remove the stock from the heat and skim off any scum that is on the surface.
  5. Strain the stock through a large fine mesh sieve. Discard the bones and vegetables.
    Yield: 3 quarts

I LOVE Kale!!
Kale is a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium and B6. Kale, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties, particularly when chopped or minced.

The First CSA Week

This week's share . . .


Asparagus by Bluemoon Farm, Madison Co.
Green Garlic by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.
Beet Greens by Rolling Fork Farm, Boyle Co.
Strawberries by Caseland Farm, Scott Co. (conventional)
Spinach by Rolling Fork Farm, Boyle Co.
Radishes by Fox Hollow Farm, Oldham Co.
Salad Mix by Rolling Fork Farm, Boyle Co.
Chard by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.
Kale by Field Day Family Farm, Jefferson Co.


Cow cheese by Kenny’s Farmhouse, Barren Co.
Goat cheese by Capriole, S. Indiana
Pork by Ridge Acres Farm, Breckenridge Co.
Beef by Dutch Creek Farms, Shelby Co.
Milk by J.D. Schrock, Logan Co.
Pastured chicken by Barr Farms, Meade Co.
                        and Ridge Acres, Breckenridge Co.
Organic chicken by Earth’s Promise, Shelby Co.
Pastured eggs by Dutch Creek Farm, Shelby Co.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Getting Started!

Grasshoppers and our many Kentuckiana farms are excited to have you as a 2009 CSA member. We know that many of you are trying Community Supported Agriculture for the first time. In this first post we will talk about what CSA is, and what to expect throughout the season.

Farming is a risky business, because Mother Nature has a mischievous way of upsetting the best-laid seasonal farm plans. When compounded with the risk of speculative markets – that is, not knowing who the buyer for your food will be come harvest time – a farm has little to no security. Community Supported Agriculture changes this. By committing to the entire season, you have already guaranteed the farms a fair price and secure quantity of crops to grow. Because you invested in them, they are committed to doing the best job they can of producing flavorful, healthy food and handling it appropriately.

Grasshoppers' Role

Grasshoppers is an entirely local food distributor, owned by four Kentucky producers, to assist other Kentuckiana producers in finding a market. Our local food economy lacks the “infrastructure of the middle.” This means that while there is direct farm marketing (or door to door marketing), and standard distributors who are scaled to work with industrial farms, there is nothing in between. Grasshoppers is just entering our third season of business and has worked with over eighty farms. With 84,000 farms in the state, (the fourth largest number in the country!), there is much more work to do.

Our job with the CSA program is to coordinate with the farms what to grow, establish fair pricing, and help provide a way to get the food to the city. It is our job to be your connection to the farms – to let you know where the food is coming from, and what is happening in the farm community. It is also our job to fill the baskets as best we can with eight to ten seasonal items. Sometimes it may be necessary to substitute a conventionally grown item, to make sure there are enough items in the box, or if there is a special item we don’t want you to miss. We will always let you know in the newsletter when a substitution is made.

Your Role

You’ve done the hard part already – you sent us a check that gave farms the market they needed to put all these plants in the ground with confidence. Now your job is to pick up your shares each week. If you will be out of town, send a lucky replacement or feel good knowing that your food will be donated to someone who needs it.

Your other job is preparing and eating the veggies and other food. We will assist you with recipes in the newsletter each week, and with tips on how to store and preserve certain items.