Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Community Supported Agriculture

2014 Fall Community Supported Agriculture
We have several membership options this fall; a vegetable share, an egg share (available only if you get a vegetable share), and a chicken share.

Please read the descriptions and pickup location details below...and then sign up! >>>Sign Up Here<<<

Fall Vegetable Share
Every Wednesday: October 1st- November 5th
A subscription to Bluebird Farm allows you to share our harvest! Members buy a "share" of our harvest and receive an assortment of seasonal, fresh, vegetables and herbs weekly for 6 weeks from October 1st-November 5th. 
 The mix of vegetables in the fall will be all kinds of greens from kale to collards to arugula.  There will also be root type vegetables like winter squash, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, and scallions.  
Fall vegetable share: $120 ($20 week, average) 

Fall Egg Share
You may sign up for a fall egg share if you also sign up for a fall vegetable share.  Our free-range pasture hens lay less eggs in the fall with the waning daylight.
Small Egg Share (1 dozen eggs every other week)
3 dozen total: $15.75
Large Egg Share (1 dozen every week) 6 dozen total
          6 dozen total: $31.50
Double Egg Share (2 dozen every week) 12 dozen total
          12 dozen total: $63

Fall Chicken Share
Small shares of 6 chickens
Large shares of 12 chickens

The fall chicken share is a great way to get our tasty chickens every month in October, November, and December! The fall chicken share is best for folks who have a smaller freezer or not much empty space in their chest freezer.
Get the special CSA chicken price of $5.75 lb for whole chickens and $9.50 lb for entire cut-up chickens!
Bluebird Farm pastured broiler chickens are fed certified organic non-GMO grains.  Our chicken tastes great! Do you want robust, flavorful chicken? We raise a hearty outdoor chicken breed outside on fresh pastures in clean air.  Meat from healthy, happy birds takes on a whole different flavor and texture-it tastes like chicken for a change! 
Our chickens are frozen and sealed in heavy duty vacuum sealed packaging.  Chicken keeps without freezer burn for at least 6 months in the vacuum packaging.  
At pickup, you can select whole chickens and/or cut-up chickens. Our CSA prices are $5.75 lb for whole chickens and $9.50 per pound for an entire cut-up chicken.  A cut up chicken includes 2 boneless breasts, 2 leg quarters, and 2 wings. 
How it works:
As a 2014 Chicken CSA member, you pre-pay a portion of your total chicken price when joining, and you use that pre-paid CSA credit at each chicken pick-up.  
Pick-up your chickens once a month in October, November, and December.  At each pick-up, you select your chickens, we apply your pre-paid CSA credit, and you pay the balance of the total for that pick-up.
Small Share.  6 chickens total.  $120 pre-paid member credit. This gives you a $40 credit towards 2 chickens at each of the 3 distributions.
  • 2 chickens every month in October, November, and December. (This gives you a $120 credit towards 6 chickens through the fall season. )
Large Share: 12 chickens total. $240 pre-paid member credit. This gives you an $80 credit towards 4 chickens at each of the 3 distributions.
  • 4 chickens every month in October, November, and December. (This gives you a $120 credit towards 12 chickens through the fall season. )
Example: You purchase a Small Share of 6 chickens and pay $120 at the beginning of the year.  This gives you a $40 credit at each of the 3 distributions. (2 whole chickens per month).
At the first chicken pick-up in October, you select your 2 chickens, and they weigh 3.95 and 4.25 lbs.  The total for those chickens is $49.20, but since you are a CSA member and you pre-paid $40 per pickup, your new total is $9.20.
 Chicken sizes: The exact weight of each chicken varies. The chickens range in size from 3.5 to 5 lbs. Whole chickens are $5.75 per pound for CSA members. You select your chickens at pick-up, but we won’t be able to reserve certain sizes of chickens.

Fall Pickup Locations

Bluebird Farm
Directions to the farm available at www.BluebirdFarmNC.com 
Vegetables: Oct. 1st-Nov 5. Pick up your vegetable share every Wednesday from 4-6pm at Bluebird Farm. Pickup your box of veggies in the walk-in fridge at the barn. 

Chickens***: Pickup your chicken shares once a month in October, November, and December.
  • October: Pickup at our farm from 4-6pm.  
  • November and December: Pickup in downtown Morganton at Fonta Flora Brewery from 5-6pm. (Farmers get a night on the town!  ;)
***Please remember, if you've signed up for a chicken share, you'll need to pickup your chicken share once at Bluebird Farm in mid October, and twice in Morganton (November and December)

Please thank the kind people at Morganton Natural Foods for hosting our CSA pickup location!
Vegetables: Pick up your vegetable share and egg share every Wednesday from 4-6pm in Morganton at Morganton Natural Foods at 306 South Sterling St. 

Chickens: Pickup your chicken shares once a month in October, November, and December.
  • October: Pickup at our farm from 4-6pm.  
  • November and December: Pickup in downtown Morganton at Fonta Flora Brewery from 5-6pm. (Farmers get a night on the town!  ;)

VegetablesPick up your vegetable share every Wednesday in Hickory.
  • October 1st-29th:Pickup at our market stand at the Wednesday Hickory Farmers Market from 10-3pm.  
  • Final veggie pickup is on November 4th at Youssef 242 Restaurant from noon-2pm. (Farmers' Market will have ended)
Pick up your box as early as possible during the market to ensure the freshest produce.
Chickens: Pickup your chicken shares once a month in October, November, and December in Hickory.
  • October: Pickup at our market stand at the Wednesday Hickory Farmers Market from 10-3pm.  
  • November and December: Pickup at Youssef 242 Restaurant from noon-2pm. (Farmers' Market will have ended)

Charlotte Regional Farmers Market
Pickup your share(s) at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8am-noon.  

Vegetables: Oct. 1st-Nov 5. Pick up your vegetable share every Saturday from 8am-noon.
ChickensPickup your chicken shares once a month in October, November, and December from 8am-noon. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Flying Coop and Storm Destruction

We had a 30 minute storm that has really affected the farm Monday afternoon.  (Silver Creek property, not where CSA pickup their boxes or where our freezers are. We had no damage at the Bluebird Drive property.) We had 50-60 mph sideways winds, hail, and a torrential downpour.  The fast moving storm made a sudden 180 degree twist of direction while over the farm (and us.) We all took cover in the tractor shed and hoped that the tall tulip tree didn’t come down on us. In the meantime, 3 giant walnuts at the top of the farm were ripped up.   

Here’s the damage report: Our 5 ton chicken coop wagon was picked up and pushed 100 feet away down into a creek drainage. Almost all of the animals on the farm were okay- all except for 15 hens that died.  Our eggplant and pepper hoophouse was folded in half, and our 4 tomato hoophouses had their 100 feet x 30 feet of plastic ripped off.  One of our piglet huts that weighs about 1000 pounds was picked up and flipped upside down. The piglets were not in the house at the time. The one acre of fall vegetables is shredded up.  A majority of the plants should survive, but it is too soon to see if their ability to thrive and produce much food is ruined. 

We’ve never experienced a storm like this, but we are very lucky that we have escaped without any physical harm to ourselves and without and long lasting damage to our farm.  We just been picking up the pieces today and putting them back together.  

This is all of us feeling a little lucky that we aren't out in the storm! The storm was wild to watch! Clockwise from top left: Hannah, William, Keegan, and Melissa. 
Yes Hannah and Keegan are sitting on kids go carts!

It took  2 tractors, 1 skid steer, and 1 dump truck to pull it out without flipping.

We have 6 hoophouses....1 is badly damaged, but we can salvage parts.

William is in stock still...

Shredded fall crops

Yes those are little bits of shredded kale on the ground

Friday, August 22, 2014

Peach and Tomato Salsa

Charlotte Farmers Market

Peach and Tomato Salsa Recipe

Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: Varies by season
Serving: 6-8
The peaches were delicious in this salsa. I like that peach salsa is a little less acidic than a regular tomato salsa. Not only is it really good as an appetizer with tortilla chips, it's also really good as a topping for fish or pork; who would have thought? ;)
·         1 lb tomatoes, diced
·         1 bell pepper (4 oz), seeded and finely diced
·         2 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
·         1 medium onion, finely diced
·         1½ lbs peaches, diced
·         ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
·         2 Tbsp lime juice
·         1½ tsp salt, or to taste
·         ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1.    Chop tomatoes and transfer them to a large bowl.
2.    Finely chop seeded bell pepper and jalapeños. Finely chop onion and transfer all your veggies to the bowl.
3.    Dice the peaches. I liked the slightly larger dice for peaches to give them more of the center stage in this salsa. No need to peel them. You won't notice the peels and the color is prettier with the peel on. Transfer peaches to your bowl.
4.    Add Chopped cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro, 2 Tbsp lime juice, 1½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired. Fold everything together until well mixed and enjoy!

Cherry tomatoes

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Beer Brats

Beer Bratwurst Sausage

Would you like that with a mustard sauce?

Gently simmer a Bratwurst sausage in a light beer for  a few minutes. Then finish the Bratwurst grill. You can also switch the links to a dry skillet or put the sausage under the broiler.   

You need about 1/2 of a can or bottle of a light beer- Yuengling, Budweiser, Highland Razor Wit or any light beer that you have. (No IPAs or dark beers, please!) Put 6-8 ounces and the sausage links in a pan, put a lid on, and heat to med-low. Simmering gently are the key words. You should see some little bubbles once the beer is heated, and you can flip the sausages several times.   You don't have to fully cook the sausage this way, just get the sausage mostly cooked.  Gently simmer the sausages for about 8 minutes and then finish cooking the sausages until the links are nice and crisp and the pink is cooked out.

Don't cook for too long- our sausages are flavorful and they are lean, so you don't want to dry them out. 

Chicago Beer Brat Mustard Sauce:

Take 1/2 bottle of Dijon or stone ground mustard (8-10 ounce bottle and put in a small sauce pan. Add 1/2 cup of the hot beer after you've simmered the bratwurst. Stir the mixture at a medium heat, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes until the the mixture thickens.  You may turn down the mustard and beer mixture anytime you need to check on the brats on the grill.

 Enjoy your Chicago Beer Brat Mustard Sauce on each bite of your Bratwurst!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Order Your Lamb Pack Now!


We have a few lamb packs available now for pickup this Saturday and a few other dates.

 Hurry, order right now! See below for our ordering details. Our lamb packs sell quickly! If you miss out this time, we’ll have more lamb packs ready around October.
 Our lambs are raised on grass pastures. No grain for fattening.  Fat from grass pastures only.  Rotationally grazing for healthy land and healthy animals.

 Lamb Packs:
Vacuum-sealed, frozen.
Approx. 1/3 of a lamb.  You’ll get a great variety of amazing cuts of lamb for roasting, stewing, broiling, and grilling. Vacuum-sealed, frozen.
 Approx $175.
1 leg of lamb roast (average 2.75 lbs) •2 packs thick lamb rib chops- 2 chops/pack (0.85 lb/pack)
•2 packages of thick lamb loin chops-2 chops/ pack, (0.55 lb/ pack) •4 packs of ground lamb (1 lb/pack)
•2 packs of lamb stew/kabob meat (1 lb packs) •1  free pack of meaty riblets for broth 

8/2 Sat. Hickory Farmers Market, 8-noon
8/2 Sat. Morganton Farmers Market,  8-noon
8/2 Sat. Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, 8-noon
8/6 Wed. Hickory Farmers Market, 10-3pm
8/6 Wed. Bluebird Farm 4-6pm
8/9 Sat. Hickory Farmers Market, 8-noon
8/9 Sat. Morganton Farmers Market, 8-noon
8/9 Sat. Charlotte Regional Farmers Market, 8-noon

Pay at pickup with check or cash.  No deposit necessary.
Each Lamb Pack costs approximately $175, however the actual total of your Lamb Pack can be between $160-$190 after your lamb is weighed and prices are calculated.  Since we organize and total the lamb packs just before market, we can’t have a total ready for you by phone or email in advance of the pickup date.  

Order Now: 
Please email by 1pm Friday 8/1 for pickup Saturday, 8/2. All other orders after 1pm can be picked up either Wed 8/6 or Sat 8/9.  Please email back BluebirdFarmNC@gmail.com with the following information:

1. Name, Pickup Location and Date.
2. Number of lamb packs.
3. Requests for any additional items of lamb with your lamb pack. First come, first serve. (ie: additional 2 lbs ground lamb and 1 leg of lamb roast)  We will try our best to accommodate these requests, but we pack any additional items just before market, so additional items will be a surprise! We will add them to your lamb pack total.

Lamb Prices per pound for Lamb Packs and additional lamb items
Ground Lamb        $11/ lb
Lamb Kabob           $11/ lb
Leg of lamb roast  $14/ lb
Lamb Chops           $19/ lb

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Grilled Peaches and Bone-in, Thick Pork Chops with Marinated Pole Beans

Those of you who have had our amazing pork chops, you know the robust, savory flavor of our thick bone-in chops after you’ve grilled them…Everyone who eats meat or who cooks meat for other people should check out the marinated pork chop recipe below.  

Grilled peaches, bone-in thick pork chops, and a marinated pole bean salad- YUM! Summer! You can’t go wrong when you’ve marinated pork chops for a few hours.  So, if you are a little nervous about grilling very thick pork chops, you’ve got to try this method…it is a little harder to overcook marinated pork chops.  

You want to go for a nice rosy pink on the inside of the pork chop. I always say “If it is underdone, you can always put it back on the grill for 30 seconds to a minute, but you can’t undo it if you over cook it!”

Now we don't have any peaches for you (we support other farmers and purchase local peaches), and we don't have any pole beans for you (we mainly grow that harvest labor intensive crop for our CSA as a tasty treat.) But you can find some flavorful peaches and nice beans at the farmers market. Just remember to seek out someone who is selling their own fruit and produce and support a farmer directly!

Bon Appétit | June 2012
by Jeff Cerciello
Farmshop, Santa Monica, CA
yield:Makes 6 to 8 servings
·         1/2 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
·         1/2 cup vegetable oil
·         3 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram, divided
·         2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
·         2 tablespoons minced garlic
·         1/4 cup white wine vinegar
·         Freshly cracked black pepper
·         4 1 1/2"-thick bone-in pork chops (about 1 pound each)
·         4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
·         8 cups (1 1/4 pounds) pole beans (such as Romano, haricots verts, yellow wax, or green beans), trimmed (You can use half as much beans if you’ll have other side dishes, just reserve half as much vinaigrette and half the shallot or scallions)
·         1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot rings  (I substitute the lovely white and light green scallion stems)
·         3-4 semi-ripe peaches, halved, pitted
Pork Chop and Pole bean vinaigrette: Combine 1/2 cup olive oil and vegetable oil in a measuring cup. Combine 2 tablespoons marjoram, Dijon mustard, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk oil mixture into herb mixture until creamy. Season to taste with pepper. Transfer about 1/4 cup dressing to a small bowl; cover and chill.
Pork Chop Preparation: Season pork chops with 4 teaspoons salt. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag; pour remaining dressing over, spreading evenly to distribute. Seal bag; chill for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
Pole Bean Preparation: Cook beans in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain; transfer to a large bowl of ice water to chill. Drain beans; pat dry. Transfer beans, remaining 1 tablespoon marjoram, and shallot to a medium bowl; toss with enough reserved dressing to coat and season with salt and pepper.
Pork Chop Grilling: Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Remove pork chops from bag, scraping off excess dressing. Grill chops, turning occasionally on all sides, until browned on the outside and cooked til they are slightly pink inside , about 14-20 minutes total. (Be sure to cook thick chops on the edges, too, and melt the thin strips of white fat; they'll cook more evenly.)
Peach Grilling: Place peaches in a medium bowl; drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Grill peaches, cut side down, until they begin to soften and char, 4-6 minutes. Transfer pork and peaches to a cutting board; let pork rest for 10 minutes.
Slice peaches. Serve pork and peaches with bean salad.

Epicurious.com © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Auntie Bonnie’s Potato Cucumber Salad
From the cookbook, How it all Vegan, 1999.
This tangy, tart salad will tickle your tastebuds.

2-3 cups new potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp fresh dill, chives or parsley, chopped
¼ cup green onions
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
¼ cup flax oil (or your choice of salad type oil)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2-3 cups cucumber, cubed
In a medium pot, boil the cubed potatoes in water until they can be pierced easily with a fork.  In a small bowl, whisk together the chosen herb, mustard, vinegar, horseradish, oil, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.  Once the potatoes are done, drain and rinse under cold water until cool.  In a medium bowl, mix together the potatoes, cucumbers and dressing just before serving. 
Marie’s adjustment:
I like to give the potatoes a quick rinse, then pour the dressing over the partially-cooled potatoes and refrigerate for a few hours.  Then mix the cucumbers in before serving.  This lets the flavor soak into the potatoes more.
·         Variation: Add some healthy protein- Chop boiled eggs into large chunks and sprinkle over the salad after combining the cucumbers into the potatoes.

Cold Cucumber Soup
·         3  medium seedless cucumbers, peeled and chopped
·         3/4  cup(s) thinly sliced green onions
·         1  tablespoon(s) lemon juice
·         1  teaspoon(s) lemon zest
·         1  teaspoon(s) sea salt
·         1/2  teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
·         1 1/2 cup(s) vegetable broth (I use water)
·         1/2  cup(s) sour cream (I use plain yogurt)
  1. Place cucumbers, green onions, lemon juice, lemon zest, sea salt, pepper, and vegetable broth in a blender or food processor and puree.
  2. Stir in sour cream and chill until very cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Serve topped with additional chopped cucumber, green onion, and lemon zest.

Here is a link to 15 garden fresh squash and zucchini recipes.  http://www.thekitchn.com/summer-squash-15-recipes-for-z-120015  Try the Zucchini Garlic Soup.  It is good cold.  http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-zucchini-1-32520

Teeny Zucchini with Onions

From Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2001

Note: squash can be substituted for zucchini
Health Note: We like to get include some other form of protein in our meals, when not eating meat with a meal. We tend to eat meat just 3 times a week. The walnuts in this meal are a great protein source.

1 lbs baby zucchini or 3 medium zucchini
1 tblsp. Olive oil
1 Small Onion, cut into thin wedges
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ tsp dried oregano, crushed
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Rinse and trim zucchini. If using medium sized zucchini, cut each in half lengthwise, then turn into ½-inch slices

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion. Cook for 6-8 minutes until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally. Add walnuts, oregano, salt, and pepper to mixture in skillet. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Makes 4-6 servings.