Spring Greens: Swiss Chard

What is it? It’s a beet, minus the root. But unlike regular beets, chard produces big, tender leaves and crunchy stalks. The leaves are a bit milder than spinach but with the same texture. They are mild, sweet, earthy and just slightly bitter. The stalks remind me of celery with a sweet taste similar to beets.

To prepare, I simply rough chop the leaves and finely chop the thicker stalks so that the two parts cook in about the same time. Steam or sauté and toss with butter or olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. I like the contrast between the tender leaves and the crunchier stalks. Serve this as a side or toss with cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese. Yum!

We will have Swiss Chard at Empire Market and Webb City Farmers Market for you on Saturday. Plus our lettuce mix, market mix, kale, green leaf and romaine lettuce, spinach, mixed petite greens, cilantro, parsley and mint. All the microgreens and spring greens! Plus beautiful French Breakfast Radishes.

You can pre-order from our store here or Empire’s Curbside Pickup here. Call or text me too, 970-980-9395.

Be well!
Karen

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Spring Farming Adventures

It seems like there is always a crazy dip to freezing temperatures right around the time we are ready to transplant tomatoes. We put them out to harden off anyway. Doug tucked the tomato seedlings under heavy row cover last night in preparation for the hard freeze. We were expecting a low of 31. When I looked at the the thermometer this morning, it registered 25 degrees!

Yikes! Did they freeze? That would set us back 6 weeks!

I was very happy to see that the plants were fine. Thank goodness! We’re not out of the woods yet though, there are 4 more weeks until our last frost date. Spring, it’s a raucous adventure.

Tomato plants hardening off prior to transplanting.

We’re bringing more spring greens to market on Saturday. Our lettuce mix, market mix, mixed greens, baby kale and microgreens.

See you there!

Karen

OakWoods Farm News

Farm Happenings

Hello friends,

Welcome February! Now that we have finally passed through the Persephone period, the days are getting longer quickly and our plants will finally return to actively growing. Elliot Coleman named the term “Persephone Days” for the time of year when daylight falls below 10 hours per day referencing the daughter of Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest in Greek mythology. It’s during this darkest time of the year that plant growth essentially stops. Here at the farm, that period starts November 22 and ends January 19.

Now in February, we have kicked seeding and transplanting into high gear. The high tunnels allow us to get plants in earlier than we could outdoors. We’re thankful.



At market this Saturday we’ll have all kinds of microgreens, a bit of baby kale and spinach. With longer and hopefully more sunny days to come, I expect lettuce mix to return to market in mid-February. The high tunnels are packed with plants just waiting for the sun to return!
 
Be well, stay well!
Karen

P.S. If you know people you think would be interested in news from our farm, please forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at Subscribe Here.

Winter Farmers Markets

Well, winter is settling in now and all our outer gardens have been put to bed until spring. I am breathing a sigh of relief and enjoying the slower pace of the winter season. It’s a regenerative time for both people and the planet.

2020 is behind us and we’ve been planning for 2021. Doug, Stephen, Mark and I are excited about expanding our protected cover growing space this winter by adding more high tunnels. We will be able to grow more produce for you.

As we end 2020 and begin a new year, I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your business and your continued support of OakWoods Farm. I know that you have many options in the marketplace for purchasing produce. Thank you for choosing us. We are committed to providing you with the freshest and best quality organic produce and look forward to serving you in the years to come.

And now on to Winter Farmers Markets…

Although we have slowed down a bit for the winter, and take a break over Christmas and New Year’s, we are tending winter greens in the high tunnels. And believe it or not, there’s still weeding, seeding, and transplanting to do. We’re bringing microgreens, lettuce, spinach and kale to winter farmers markets on Saturday’s at Webb City Farmers Market and Joplin Empire Market. Stop in and chat with us.

Wishing you a new year filled with wonder, contentment, friendship, joy — and abundant good health!

Karen

Doug weeds lettuce in high tunnel 3.

Kale Yeah Baby!

It’s greens season here at OakWoods Farm and kale is one of our favorite superfoods. It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds and it works well in dishes from salad to soup. And locally harvested kale is the best! Come visit us this weekend and pick up a bunch at Webb City Farmers Market and Joplin Empire Market.

Here are some of my favorite ways to prepare kale:

Kale Chips. Try lightly crushing the chips and adding them to popcorn. Our farmhouse Cayenne Chili Pepper Salt adds a tasty kick to this recipe. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/kale-chips-51186450

Kale Smoothie. You can be as creative as you want with smoothie ingredients. Green smoothies provide fiber, calcium and vitamins A, C and K, as well as powerful phytochemicals. I like to add a scoop of protein powder. https://www.thekitchn.com/kale-smoothie-recipe-23059434

Kale Salad. Substitute your favorite apple and you can use parmesan instead of pecorino. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/kale-and-apple-salad-recipe-2112013

Kale Pesto With Pasta. Use any pasta you like. Mama JoJo’s has fresh pasta at Webb City Farmers Market. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-pesto-with-whole-wheat-pasta

Ricotta, Kale & Mushroom Toast. I like to top this toast with a fried egg. Mushrooms are available from Salt and Light Farmhouse and Mo’ Mushrooms. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/ricotta-kale-and-mushroom-toast

And of course, Zuppa Toscana. Pick up a hearty bread to dip in the soup from The Bearded Baker or Farmhouse Bakery at Empire Market or from Reddings Mill Bread Company at Webb City Farmers Market. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/copycat-zuppa-toscana-5565099.

– Farmer Karen

2019 Opening Day at Webb City Farmers Market

Welcome Farmers Market spring and summer season! Come and celebrate Easter weekend with us! We’re bringing plenty of organically grown, fresh harvested local greens to Webb City Farmers Market and Joplin Empire Market. Featuring our OakWoods Farmhouse 8 variety lettuce mix. Plus our spinach mix which contains different varieties selected for taste, texture and color, and a selection of microgreens, fresh parsley and mini head lettuce. Continue reading