tecolote20150319-122

The Owl Through a Camera Lens

You may have noticed some changes on our site and we are excited to be able to roll them out! In addition to spiffin’ up the website, we have been so fortunate to partner with a rockstar photographer, Keeshi Ingram, of Keeshi + Photo. She is an Austin-based photographer specializing in documentary style photography, which suits the farm just perfectly. Keeshi’s talent of capturing the beauty in even the simplest of moments makes these hot & sweaty (and just a little bit shy) farmers blush. Keeshi does an amazing job capturing every detail of Tecolote. The people. The field. The veggies. The sunlight. As you all know, we are passionate about local organic food, but also the greater meaning of  ‘local food’. Through Keeshi’s exquisite photos we hope to capture the daily operations of the farm and offer our customers a beautiful, real and organic look at the little farm that works so hard to bring the best quality vegetables to your kitchen. We are so grateful for the amazing work of this artist, and look forward to bringing more of Keeshi’s photos to you soon. Check out more of Keeshi’s photos in our new Gallery!

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Blackened Blue Potato Salad

Blackened Blue Potato Salad by Potatogoodness.com 6072911 Ingredients 1 pound small purple potatoes Olive oil 1 pound flat iron steak 1 tablespoon blackening spice 2 cups Vidalia onions, sliced 4 teaspoons garlic, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 1 1/2 pounds spinach, stemmed and washed 1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled bleu cheese Bleu cheese dressing (optional) Instructions Simmer potatoes until tender, drain and cool. Cut potatoes in half. Brush cut sides with oil; grill over gas or charcoal until grill marks form. Coat steak with blackening spice. In large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil; sear steak on both sides to desired doneness. Remove steak from pan and let rest. Wipe out pan, heat 2 teaspoons oil. Add onions and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, but not browned. Add spinach and sauté just until spinach starts to wilt. Mound spinach on 4 plates, dividing it equally. Carve steak into thin slices; arrange on top of spinach. Top with potatoes and sprinkle with bleu cheese. Serve with bleu cheese dressing on the side, if desired. Powered by Recipage Photo and recipe from PotaoGoodness.com. Find the original at http://www.potatogoodness.com/recipes/blackened-blue-potato-salad/

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Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots

Mashed Yellow Turnips with Crispy Shallots by The Union Square Cafe Cookbook, by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano 6072910 Ingredients 1 1/2 cups light olive or vegetable oil 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 5 to 6 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rings 2 large yellow turnips (rutabagas), about 4 pounds total Kosher salt 1 cup whole milk 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Instructions Heat the oil and unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reaches 220 degrees F. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook until they are a rich golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. The temperature should stay below 260 degrees F. Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well, and spread out to cool on paper towels. Once they have dried and crisped, they can be stored at room temperature, covered, for several days. Peel the turnips to remove the waxy skins and cut them into generous 1-inch chunks. Place them in a saucepan with water to cover and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until easily pierced by a paring knife, about 35 minutes. Drain. In a separate saucepan, heat the milk and salted butter over low heat until the butter has melted and the milk just begins to simmer. Puree the turnips in several batches in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. With the motor running, add the melted butter and milk in a steady stream. The turnips should be smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, season with 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper, and reheat, stirring, over medium heat. Serve piping hot, sprinkled generously with crispy shallots. Powered by Recipage

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Leek & Turnip Soup

Leek & Turnip Soup Ingredients 4-5 turnips, cut in small chunks 3 small potatoes, cut in chunks 3 leeks, white parts only 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup parsley, chopped 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1 tablespoon butter 1 1/2 teaspoon salt 6 cups water or stock 1/2 cup milk Instructions Saute the first 6 ingredients in the butter for 5 minutes. Add the water (or stock) and salt, and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor, add the milk, and reheat. Powered by Recipage

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Damon’s Awesome Turnips

Damon’s Awesome Turnips Ingredients 4 strips bacon 1 medium onion 1 large bunch turnips with greens ½ tsp sugar pinch nutmeg 1 sprig rosemary (1 tsp dried) 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Salt and pepper Instructions While heating a large skillet over med-high heat, chop bacon into 1” pieces Cook bacon until nearly crisp, about 10 minutes While the bacon is cooking, Thinly slice the onionCut turnips into quarters, and cut those into ¼” quarter-rounds Chop the greens coarsely and the stems into small piece Remove bacon to drain on a paper towel Empty about half the bacon grease from the skillet so that 2-3 Tbsp of it remains Cook the onion in the bacon fat until translucent Add turnips to the skillet (reserve greens)Add the sugar and the nutmeg Finely chop and add the rosemary Add the stems When the turnips are nearly tender, add the greens, Worcester, vinegar, and the bacon Cover and cook 5 more minutes Mix, and salt and pepper to taste Powered by Recipage

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Thai Cucumber Salad

Thai Cucumber Salad Ingredients ½ cup rice vinegar 2 T. sugar 1 tsp. salt 2 T. chopped fresh hot chilies ½ cup sliced shallots 2 cups sliced cucumbers 2 T. chopped peanuts 2 T. chopped cilantro or Thai basil green onion for garnish Instructions Combine the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Combine the vinegar mixture with the chilies, shallots and cucumbers; mix well. Serve immediately or the cucumbers will become soft. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. Add garnish. Powered by Recipage

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Asian Ma La Cucumber Fans

Asian Ma-la Cucumber Fans   Ingredients One half pound Cucumbers, Japanese, or Kirby 1 teaspoon Salt, kosher 1 One half teaspoon Oil, peanut OR 1 One half teaspoon Oil, corn 1 teaspoon Ginger, thinly cut 1 One half teaspoon Garlic, minced One fourth teaspoon Chili, red, dry, flakes One fourth teaspoon Peppercorns, Szechuan, brown One half teaspoon Soy sauce 1 tablespoon Vinegar, rice 1 One half tablespoon Sugar 1 teaspoon Oil, sesame Instructions Remove the tips from the cucumbers, then cut them up into 2inch lengths. Grasp cucumber lengthwise between chopsticks held in a Vshape on a cutting board, then cut the cucumber crosswise at 1/8inch intervals into a fan (chopsticks prevent knife from cutting clear through the cucumber.) Toss the cucumbers with salt and set aside for thirty minutes to soften. Drain, rinse with cold water, then press gently between palms to remove excess water. Heat a wok or mediumsize heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot enough to sizzle a bead of water slowly. Add corn or peanut oil, swirl to glaze bottom, then reduce heat to low. When hot enough to sizzle a ginger thread, add ginger, garlic, chili, and peppercorns. Toss until fully fragrant, about ten seconds, then add a pinch more chili if your nose tells you it’s needed. Add cucumber, toss to combine, then add soy, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil. Toss until sugar dissolves and liquid is hot. Taste and adjust with a bit more sugar if needed to bring out the full flavor of the chili. Scrape the mixture into a shallow bowl and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. Before serving, remove most of the peppercorns. Powered by Recipage

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Benedictine Spread

Benedictine Spread   Instructions peel, seed and grate or mince 1 medium cucumber press the pulp in a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible combine with 8 ounces softened cream cheese add a tablespoon of finely grated onion add a dash of hot pepper sauce and 1/4 tsp. salt (or as much as you prefer) stir in a tablespoon or so of mayonnaise for proper consistency stir until smooth and refrigerate to let flavors blend will be best in a day or two serve on crackers, bread rounds or as finger sandwiches, or use as a dip Powered by Recipage

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Easy Brining Pickles

Easy Brining Pickles   Instructions Pickle these larger “cornichons” whole or as bread-n-butter pickles in a clean glass jar using a ratio of 1 c. boiled hot water to 1 Tbspn. salt. Add garlic cloves, spices, sliced onion, sprigs of dill, maybe a bay leaf. Close the lid tight or cover with saran wrap. Enjoy after 1-2 days, for up to 3 weeks. Old-fashioned pickling the brining way. Powered by Recipage

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Cucumber-Lime Agua Fresca

Cucumber-Lime Agua Fresca   Ingredients 1 pound cucumbers, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 2 cups ice cubes 1 cup green seedless grapes 1 cup cold water 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 10 large mint leaves plus sprigs for garnish Instructions Additional ice cubes (for serving) Puree cucumbers, ice, grapes, water, and lime juice along with 10 mint leaves in blender. Strain. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. You can add sugar or agave nectar if you like it sweeter. Fill 6 glasses with more ice; pour agua over. Garnish with additional mint sprigs. Powered by Recipage

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Fried Traviso Radicchio

Fried Treviso Radicchio 6072527 Ingredients 2-3 Treviso Radicchio Vegetable oil for deep-frying For the batter 9 T all purpose flour 1 egg 1 T olive oil 1 egg white salt scant ½c beer Instructions To mate the batter, sift flour with pinch of salt into bowl, break egg into middle and add olive oil. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon to prevent lumps, then stir in the beer. Cover and let sit for at least 30 min. Stiffly whisk the egg white in a grease-free bowl, then fold into the batter. Remove the largest outer leaves individually from the radicchio and cut the hearts into thin wedges. Heat the oil for frying in a large pan. Immerse each leaf in batter and fry in the hot oil, turning frequently so that it browns evenly. Repeat with the wedges. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately. Powered by Recipage

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Penne with Caramelized Onions & Radicchio

Penne with Caramelized Onions & Radicchio 6072901 Ingredients 1 lb. penne or ziti pasta salt 1 large head radicchio 2 t. olive oil 1 jumbo onion, thinly sliced 1 T. balsamic vinegar ¼ tsp. Pepper 1 c. frozen peas, thawed ¼ c. crumbled ricotta or goat cheese Instructions Cook and drain penne, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Meanwhile, cut radicchio lengthwise in half. Remove core, then cut crosswise into ½” slices. Set aside. In 12″ skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add onion and cook until browned and soft, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add vinegar, pepper, and ½ teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute longer. Increase heat to medium-high; add radicchio and cook 2 to 3 minutes until wilted. Add onion mixture, peas, and reserved pasta cooking water to penne; toss to mix well. Serve, sprinkled with cheese. Powered by Recipage

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Pasta with Radicchio & Gorgonzola

Pasta with Radicchio & Gorgonzola 6072899 Ingredients pasta penne a small portion of Gorgonzola cheese (or Roquefort – or another blue cheese if you just can’t find it) 1 head of radicchio Parmiggiano Cheese a bit of onion salt Instructions Put a big pot of water on to boil. Wash the radicchio and cut it into really small chunky slices. Start cooking the radicchio in a medium-sized frying pan, then add the onion. Next, pour some olive oil (find the best one you can), and add salt. When the radicchio becomes darker and softer, add some drops of wine and keep cooking. When the water starts boiling, add a handful of salt and enough pasta for two. Add a small handful of salt, then stir and cook pasta according to directions As a final step, add the gorgonzola to the frying pan where the radicchio is cooking and stop the fire. Stir it up so that the gorgonzola melts. ¡Voila! The sauce is ready. Finally, once the pasta is well cooked, pour it into a colander and mix it with the sauce directly inside the frying pan. Mix well, add some freshly ground parmiggiano and serve. Powered by Recipage

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Onion Pie

Onion Pie from basketeer Joan Neuberger 6072524 Ingredients 3 sweet 1015 onions 4 leeks olive oil thyme salt and pepper pie crust 1 to 1½ c. milk 2 eggs bread crumbs Instructions Sauté sliced leeks and onions in olive oil. Season with thyme, salt and pepper. Saute until wilted. Let cool some, then spread on bottom of homemade or store-bought pie crust. Mix together the milk and eggs, then pour over the onion. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Powered by Recipage

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Roasted Beet Salad

Roasted Beet Salad by adapted from cooks.com 6072522 Ingredients 12 med.-sized beets (about 3 lbs.) 1/4 c. red wine vinegar 1 T granulated sugar 1 1/2 tsp. honey-style mustard 1/2 tsp. paprika 1/4 c. light olive oil 1/4 c. vegetable oil 1 1/2 tsp. poppy seed 1 c. fennel, cut into 1/2-inch dice 3 tbsp. chopped fresh chives Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash beets well. Trim stems to 1 inch and trim roots. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and bake until tender about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and slip off skin. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in bowl. While beets are roasting, make dressing in the bowl of food processor. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard, paprika and salt. Pulse a few times. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive and vegetable oils through the feed tube. Remove to a bowl and fold in poppy seeds. Toss beets with 1/3 cup of the poppy seed dressing. With a rubber spatula, lightly fold in the celery or fennel and 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. Add more dressing or save for another use. Sprinkle remaining chopped chives on top of salad. Powered by Recipage

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Red Devil Cake (Featuring Beets!)

Red Devil Cake by from Mollie Katzen 6072521 Ingredients 1 ¼ cups beet puree (whirl cooked beets in blender: fresh cooked or canned.) 3 eggs 1½ cups sugar ½ cup vegetable oil 1 tsp. vanilla ½ tsp. salt 1½ cups unbleached white flour ¾ cup cocoa powder 1½ tsp. baking soda Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously oil the baking pan (9 inch square or round pan). In a large bowl, beat the eggs well. Thoroughly whisk in the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt and beet puree until very smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan. Serve topped with confectioners sugar, whipped cream, or frosting. Powered by Recipage

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Carrot Top Pesto

Carrot Top Pesto by variation from basketeer Carolyn Reynolds 6072520 Ingredients 1 cup (20 grams) lightly packed carrot leaves (stems removed) 6 Tbsp. (90 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil 1 large garlic clove ¼ tsp. kosher or fine sea salt 3 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted (see Note) ¼ cup (30 grams) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano Instructions In a food processor, combine the carrot leaves, oil, garlic, and salt, and process until finely minced. Add the pine nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add the Parmesan and pulse just until combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Notes Toasting pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, and pumpkin seeds brings out their flavor. Spread the nuts or seeds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in a preheated 350-degree oven, and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the nut or seed. Alternatively, nuts and seeds can be browned in a microwave. Spread in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high power, stopping to stir once or twice, until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Watch them closely so they don’t burn. Powered by Recipage

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Carrot Soup with Sesame Seeds & Chives

Carrot Soup with Sesame Seeds & Chives by adapted from Bon Appétit / April 2003 6072519 Ingredients 5 tablespoons butter 3 ½ cups chopped carrots 1 cup chopped leeks or sweet onion ½ cup chopped celery or fennel 6 cups low-salt chicken broth ½ cup whipping cream ½ cup sour cream 1 t. oriental sesame oil 2 cups ½ inch bread cubes (from day-old crustless French bread) 1 ½ T. toasted sesame seeds 2 T. chopped fresh chives Instructions Melt 2 T. butter in heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, leeks, and celery. Cover and cook until vegetables soften slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Whisk cream, sour cream, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil into soup. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.) Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter with remaining ½ teaspoon sesame oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and sauté until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Bring soup almost to simmer over medium heat. Ladle into bowls. Mound croutons in center of each. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives and serve. Serves 6. Powered by Recipage

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Carlo’s Minestrone Soup

Carlo’s Minestrone Soup from Cook.com Ingredients 1/2 lb. red beans 1 lg. or 2 sm. ham hocks 2 carrots, sliced 2 celery stalks or fennel bulbs 1 bunch Swiss chard or Beet Greens, chopped 1 c. green beans 1 onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 2 c. cooked small elbow macaroni 1 bay leaf 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 tbsp. Oil Instructions Rinse beans, cover and soak overnight. Drain beans and add with ham hocks and bay leaf to a large pot. Cover with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer 2 hours or until beans are practically done. Remove ham hocks, cut off meat, and return to pot. Add carrots, fennel, beet greens & green beans When they are almost cooked, add macaroni. In a small fry pan, add onion, oil and garlic. Cook on low until transparent. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cook 10 min, then add to large pot. Powered by Recipage

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Moroccan Squash Salad

Moroccan Squash Salad 6072517 Ingredients 3 lb (1.5kg) buttercup or butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into 1/2 inch/1.3 cm cubes. (I’ve used a variety of the summer squashes) 1 cup raisins 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp light brown sugar 1 tsp salt 1 tsp ground cumin 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley 1/2 cup toasted almonds slivers Instructions Cook squash in large pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until just knife-tender; add raisins during the last minute of cooking. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, brown sugar, salt, cumin cinnamon and cayenne in large serving bowl. Add squash, raisins, cilantro and almonds. Toss lightly to coat. Serve at room temperature. Powered by Recipage

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Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip

Moroccan-Style Spicy Carrot Dip by 6072516 Ingredients 2 lbs carrots (peeled and cut into rough chunks) 1 tbsp sugar kosher salt 1 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 2 cloves garlic (minced, about 2 teaspoons) 1 ginger (1-inch knob, grated on the medium holes of a box grater) 2 tbsps capers (drained) 1/4 cup pitted green olives (roughly chopped) 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves or cilantro 2 tbsps harissa (or more to taste, see note above) I used mango chili paste 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil Instructions Place carrots in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1/2 an inch. Add sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is a golden blond caramel color, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and immediately add half a cup of water. Transfer carrots and caramel to the bowl of a food processor. Add cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, capers, olives, parsley (or cilantro), and harissa. Pulse until the carrots are roughly chopped, 6 to 8 one-second pulses, scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary. With processor running, drizzle in most of olive oil, saving a couple tablespoons for garnish. Season to taste with more salt. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil, and serve with warm flatbrad, pita chips, or rice crackers Powered by Recipage

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Baby Carrots & Turnips with Garlic Cloves

Baby Carrots and Turnips with Garlic Cloves by from Roger Vergé’s Vegetables in the French Style 6072515 Ingredients Cloves from 2 large heads of garlic (or, lots of green garlic) 9 ounces baby carrots 5 ounces baby turnips 3 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon sugar Salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley Instructions Peel garlic and put into a saucepan with 1 quart cold salted water. Bring to the boil and cook 2-3 minutes. Drain the garlic. (With green garlic, cut into clove-size pieces, and boil for 1-2 minutes.) Peel the carrots and turnips. Cut into pretty, bite-size pieces. Put into a heavy saucepan with ¼ cup water, a pinch of salt, 2 T. butter, and the sugar. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove the lid, raise heat to high, and completely reduce the cooking juices. Put the remaining tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat; when it begins to turn golden, add garlic and sauté until lightly golden. Add the garlic to the carrots and turnips. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley, and serve in a warmed serving dish. Powered by Recipage

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Happy Cinco de Mayo with Cilantro, Onions & Garlic!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! What better way to celebrate than with a tasty feast featuring lots of Tecolote cilantro, onions and garlic! Check out our Tecolote goodies featured on The Green Spork’s blog. Wondering whatto do with all that cilantro, onions and garlic? Here are some ideas perfect for Cinco de Mayo!      

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Orzo with Mustard Greens

Orzo with Mustard Greens by Fresh Food Fast” by Peter Berley 6072222 Ingredients 1 ½ cups orzo 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 lb. mustard greens, chopped grated zest of 1 lemon 1 cup freshly grated asiago or parmesan cheese Instructions Cook orzo in salted water until al dente and drain. Return to pot over high heat and stir in butter. Add mustard greens and lemon zest. Cook until greens wilt, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with freshly grated cheese to top. Powered by Recipage

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Green Salad with Beets

A beautiful green salad recipe from a CSA member, Marilyn Scher.Thanks for this jewel of a recipe, Marilyn! Green Salad with Beets by Courtesy of Marilyn Scher, Basketeer for Many a Year 6072221 Instructions Scrub a few beets (trimmed a little bit) and throw into a baking pan with a splash of white wine, a couple of smashed garlic cloves, juice of half an orange, a few thyme sprigs and a dash of salt–seal tightly with foil. Bake @ 400° for about 45 min. to an hour (depending on how large the beets). Remove, cool & discard any remaining liquid. Peel the beets, slice, and reserve. When ready to serve, toss the sliced beets with washed, chilled salad greens, some crumbled ricotta salata cheese and the following vinaigrette: red wine vinegar, olive oil, kosher salt, ground pepper and some grated orange zest. Powered by Recipage

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Roasted Turnips & Kohlrabi in Wine

“From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce,” from the Madison Area CSA Coalition, 1996 Roasted Turnips & Kohlrabi in Wine 6072220 Ingredients (Serves 4) 3-4 peeled and cubed turnips 1 cubed kohlrabi 2 cups red wine ½ cup honey chopped carrots optional Instructions Place turnips in saucepan Add remaining ingredients and enough water to barely cover. Simmer until tender. Pour into baking dish and bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Serve with rice &/or chicken. Powered by Recipage

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Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Slaw

A light and fresh salad adapted from Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Cooking Kohlrabi, Carrot, and Apple Slaw by Tecolote Farm 6072218 Ingredients 1 medium or 2 small kohlrabi 1 carrot – I used two, and surely more are fine 1 crisp apple, your choice For the dressing 1½ t cider vinegar 1 t olive oil 1 t coarsely chopped parsley Salt and pepper to taste Instructions Peel kohlrabi and carrots. Thinly slice, cut into matchstick pieces, or grate kohlrabi and carrots. Core the apple and cut into quarters, then matchsticks or cut into small dice. Place kohlrabi, carrots and apple into a mixing bowl, and set aside. In a small bowl whisk (or shake in small jar with lid) together remaining ingredients, for the dressing. Pour over slaw mix and toss to incorporate. Powered by Recipage

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Escarole with Lemon Breadcrumbs

Escarole with Lemon Breadcrumbs by Tecolote Farm 6072217 Ingredients 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 3 tablespoons butter 1 cup bread crumbs 2 finely chopped green onions 2 lemons, zested, plus 1/2 lemon 1 Tecolote escarole, thinly sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper A few grates nutmeg 1/2 cup chicken stock A drizzle honey Instructions Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and the butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter melts add bread crumbs, onions and lemon zest. Toast the bread crumbs until golden Transfer to a bowl and return pan to heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan and then add the escarole. Turn escarole in oil to wilt, then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the stock and honey and simmer over low heat 2 to 3 minutes to mellow greens a bit. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over greens, top with the bread crumb mixture and serve. Powered by Recipage

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David’s Sunday Afternoon Meatball & Escarole Soup

David’s Sunday Afternoon Meatball & Escarole Soup   Keywords: soup/stew 6072216 Ingredients 1 chicken or duck carcass chicken broth or chicken bouillon (enough liquid to cover the carcass) Oregano Salt 1lb ground lamb or beef 2 Eggs 2 slices of bread, crumbled 3/4 cup parmesan, grated garlic zest of 1 lemon 1 head Escarole Instructions For the Broth Boil a chicken or duck carcass in chicken bouillon or broth to make a doublerich stock. The longer the better. Add a little oregano and salt to taste. Refrigerate, then skim off fat from top of pot. *Alternatively, use good quality boxed chicken broth. For the Meatballs In a mixing bowl combine 1 lb. ground lamb or beef with 2 eggs, 2 slices crumbled bread, 3/4 to 1 c. parmesan grated, garlic, lemon zest. Mix until well incorporated. Roll into ping pong ball or smaller size. In a skillet over high heat brown the meatballs, turning 3-4 sides. Set aside. For the Soup Tear up 1 entire head escarole into 3-4 inch pieces. Add meatballs and escarole into broth at same time. Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat, then turn it off. Let sit for a little while, then ladle into deep bowls. Serve with some crusty bread, and maybe some roasted poultry meat, along with a big leafy green salad (spinach would be nice). Powered by Recipage

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Vegetable Potpourri Lettuce Wraps

Vegetable Potpourri Lettuce Wraps by Tecolote Farm 6072215 Ingredients Any vegetables you have laying around (mushrooms, carrots,etc.) 1 head of iceberg lettuce Teriyaki sauce Oriental dressing (optional) Garlic/seasoning (optional) 1 small lime (optional) Chinese noodles (Ramen, etc.) Instructions Cut up any veggies into bite-sized pieces and put in frying pan…crispier veggies work best. Eggplant adds a ‘meaty’ texture if you want that. Crumble a pack of noodles into the frying pan along with vegetables. Add garlic, onion, or your favorite seasoning. For the sauce, I’ve found the best combo to be teriyaki sauce and several spoonfuls of oriental dressing, but you can use just teriyaki, or soy sauce, or whatever you like. Add sauce to the pan with vegetable mix. Briefly stir-fry mixture until noodles are tender and spoon into large seperated lettuce leaves. For extra-soothing refreshment, squeeze fresh lime into mixture. Roll up the lettuce leaves and mixture like a taco, enjoy! Wonderful served cold also with the lime. Powered by Recipage

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Kale & Black Bean Salad with Beets, Pepitas and Avocado

We are excited to introduce a new staff member, Staci Brindle! She’s a nutritionist, food blogger and veggie junkie that it is as wild about local organic produce as we are. You can check out her blog, The Green Spork, but she will also be sharing some of her tasty creations here at Tecolote, like today’s recipe featuring this weeks harvest of curly kale. In addition to being a Jill-of-all-trades (including a love of farming) Staci has website and graphic skills that she’s bring to the Farm. Stay tuned for exciting changes coming to the Tecolote site and social media. Perhaps the best part is that Katie finally has some help in the office (woo hoo!) Today’s recipe is a seasonal take on a simple kale salad. This recipe explains how to ‘massage’ the dressing into kale, which is an important step. If you have never massaged kale you will find that this extra effort softens the kale and transforms it into a tender, delicate salad showstopper. It’s especially nice on a spring day enjoyed outside with a chilled glass of your favorite white wine.   Kale & Black Bean Salad with Beets, Pepitas & Avocado by The Green Spork Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 0 mins 6070743 Ingredients 8 stalks of kale, washed, dried and destemmed 1 cup red cabbage thinly shredded 1 Tbls. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil 1 tsp. soy sauce 2 Tbls. raw tahini juice of 1 lemon 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed 2 medium beets, cooked, peeled and cubed 1 avocado cubed 1/8 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 1 Tbs hemp seeds, or seseme seeds Instructions In a large bowl tear the kale into bite sized pieces. Add the shredded cabbage to the bowl, and admire the beautiful color combo. Add the […]

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2015 CSA Sign Ups Available Now

Happy New Year! We hope that the coming year brings you Health and Peace! Katie and I have been marveling at the changes that have happened surrounding food here in Central Texas since we started farming here 21 years ago. When we began, the few farmers markets that existed were flooded with Mexican produce, restaurants wouldn’t even talk to local growers, and not a CSA existed in Texas or even the South. Well, we’ve come a long way. For most of us here in the Austin area, the availability of quality food is so much greater now. Of course the marketing potential for the trend has not been lost on companies both large and small, so that everywhere we turn we see a new craze. “Farm fresh” seems to apply to about anything. Whole Foods will now deliver California produce to your door, and even “local” produce often changes hands 2-3 times before it gets to the consumer. We are starting to feel “old-fashioned” now. What we are, and have been doing for 2 decades, really seems so simple. Harvesting seasonal produce in the cool of the morning, and bringing it to people’s houses within 24 hours is what we do. We are happy with the sustainable scale at which we operate, and are given meaning by having a relationship with those who eat our food. Our goal is not to make piles of money or build a huge business. We are content with our place in the community and appreciate your making it possible to do what we do.  We hope you’ll join us for the upcoming spring and summer season! With sincere thanks for your support, David Pitre,  2.5.15   HOW TO SIGN UP As always, we strive to begin deliveries the week after Spring Break & SxSW, […]

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Caponata – Eggplant Relish

from  thatsmyhome.com 1/4 c. olive oil 1 lg. onion, chopped 1-1/2 c. celery, coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 c. peeled and diced eggplant 1 lg. red or green pepper, chopped 1/2 c. chopped black olives 2 tbsp. capers 4 lg. tomatoes, chopped 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce 1/4 c. red wine vinegar 1/4 c. sugar (or less of honey) 3 tsp. chopped fresh basil pepper to taste Heat oil in lg. fry pan – when hot, add garlic, onion and celery; sauté till soft.  Add tomatoes, eggplant and pepper and sauté 10 minutes. Add rest of ingredients, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes or more. Should be thick and condensed. Chill. Serve at room temperature with crackers or good Italian bread.

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Butternut Squash in Fresh Green Curry

This simple fresh curry paste takes only minutes to prepare. It envelopes sweet, golden chunks of butternut squash with a beautiful & savory green sauce in the time it takes the accompanying rice to cook. Try making it with any prepared curry paste for an even simpler dish. 1 winter squash, about 1½ pounds 2 tbsn. coarsely chopped shallots or yellow onion 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic 1 tsp. peeled and coarsely chopped fresh ginger 2 green New Mexicans or Padrones 3 tablespoons plus ½ cup water ¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves/ stems 1 can (14 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk (1 ¾ c) 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. salt ¼ c. fresh thai basil leaves Trim off the stem and blossom end of the squash. Halve lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds & fibers. Cut into large chunks and carefully peel each chunk. Cut peeled chunks into 1-in. pieces. You will have about 4 c. Set aside. In a small food processor or blender, combine the shallots or onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, the 3 T. water, and ½ cup of the cilantro. Grind until you have a fairly smooth paste, pulsing the motor and stopping often to stir down the sides of the container and incorporate all the ingredients. You will have about ¼ cup bright green paste. Set aside. Shake the coconut milk can well. Spoon out ½ cup into a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it thickens and releases its sweet fragrance, about 3 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for 1- 2 minutes, mashing, scraping, and stirring until the paste is dissolved into the coconut milk and heated through. Add the remaining coconut milk, the remaining ½ cup water, the sugar, salt, and butternut squash. Raise the heat to high and bring […]

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Butter Braised Turnips and Bucatini

from Sunday’s NYT magazine via basketeer Juli Berwald, who adds: I confess I didn’t have any bucatini on hand, and used penne, which worked fine. Katie’s note: We ate lots of simple pasta in Italy (for Slow Food Internatl.) with this sage/browned butter sauce. Perfect for these Italian turnips! Peel and dice 3-4 turnips into about 1/2 inch cubes. Melt 2 Tbs. butter in pan and sauté turnips until they start to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2/3 cup of veggie or chicken broth, some white wine, and 1-2 Tbs. of chopped fresh sage. Cook about 10 more minutes until nearly all the liquid is absorbed. Toss in the cooked pasta. Add a little Parmesean cheese & buon apetito!

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Bell Pepper Sauté over Polenta

4 Servings — Low-fat 1 Tbs. olive oil 2 red bell peppers, cut into 2 x 1-inch strips 2 yellow bell peppers, cut into 2 x 1-inch strips 1 tomato, cored, seeded and finely diced, or 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp. dried 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley Polenta 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 11/4 cups cornmeal 1 Tbs. unsalted butter 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions: 1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Cover and cook until peppers are soft and browned all over but not mushy, about 7 minutes. 2. Add tomato, garlic and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Stir in basil and parsley. Keep warm over low heat. 3. Make polenta: In medium saucepan, bring broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Slowly drizzle in cornmeal, whisking continuously. Reduce heat and cook, whisking continuously, until polenta reaches the consistency of soft mashed potatoes, about 5 minutes. Whisk in butter and cheese. 4. Spoon mound of polenta on each serving plate and top with vegetables. PER Serving: 328 CAL; 9 G PROT; 9 G TOTAL FAT (4 SAT. FAT); 36 G CARB.; 13 MG CHOL; 321 MG SOD.; 4 G FIBER  

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Two Collards Recipes

Both greens recipes from epicurean.com Vegetarian Collard Greens collard greens olive oil chopped onion liquid smoke (optional) Creole seasoning or salt, white, black & cayenne pepper for seasoning Chop onion and sauté it in the olive oil. Add just a sprinkle of the liquid smoke to the oil before heating. Add the greens, still wet to the pot. Season with a liberal sprinkling of Creole seasoning or salt, white, black and cayenne pepper (to taste). Let them steam for a few minutes, then add hot water if it looks as though they may burn. Usually you only need about 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until the collards are tender. Normally they are served with a bottle of pickled peppers in a shaker bottle. The hot vinegar is used to add more seasoning to the greens at the table. Mixed Greens Southern-Style 1 ham bone 1/4 pound salt pork, cubed 3 pounds collards, kale, turnip greens, and/or mustard greens Salt & freshly ground Pepper Boil the ham bone and salt pork in 6 cups water for 45 minutes. Wash the greens carefully, remove tough ends of the stalks, and chop up the rest along with the greens. Add to the pot and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. At that point the water should almost have disappeared and the salt pork will have melted away. Remove the ham bone and scrape any bits of meat back into the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. “Save a ham bone to make this. The greens can vary according to what is available, but there should be a good proportion of collards. Southerners would serve in soup plates with hot corn bread to mop up what they call the pot liquor.”

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Turnip Puff

6 cups cubed turnips 2 T. butter 2 eggs, beaten 3 T. flour 1 T. brown sugar, packed 1 t. baking powder salt and pepper 1 pinch nutmeg 1/2 cup fine breadcrumb 2 T. butter, melted Cook turnip until tender, drain and mash (by hand). Add butter and eggs and beat well. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, seasoning and nutmeg. Stir into turnip mixture. Pour into a buttered casserole dish. Mix breadcrumbs and butter and sprinkle on top. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until light brown on top.    

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Chimichurri Sauce

(sounds like something Mary Poppins would say, doesn’t it) 2 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled, and chopped coarse 1 or more hot peppers, stemmed, seeded, chopped coarsely 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves (optional) 1 cup fresh parsley leaves (use more!) 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon salt Combine garlic and jalapeno in food processor and pulse to mince finely. Add oregano and parsley; pulse to chop, but not too finely. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. Great as a sauce with just about any meat or fish dis

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Salmon Pesto Pasta

 from   The Way the Cookie Crumbles 8 oz pasta 12 oz salmon salt and pepper 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice 5 oz evaportaed milk 1/2 cup pesto (recipe follows) grated Parmesan, for serving Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt, and stir to dissolve. Add pasta and stir. Allow to cook to al dente, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position. Heat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place salmon on the foil. Season with salt and pepper, and rub with lemon zest and olive oil. Broil until flesh is firm and salmon is no longer translucent, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with lemon juice. Flake fish into bite size pieces with a fork. Set aside. When pasta is cooked, drain and discard water. Add the evaporated milk to the empty saucepan and cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Return pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Remove the pot from heat, and add the salmon and pesto. Stir to combine. Serve with additional lemon wedges and Parmesan cheese. Top with tomatoes if desired. Pesto 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted 5 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled 2 Tablespoons Italian parsley 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil salt 1/4 cup grated Pamesan cheese “Bruise” the basil leaves in a food processor fitted with the dough blade (the one that’s not as sharp) for a few pulses. Replace with the steel (sharp) blade. Toast nuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add to teh food processor. Add the garlic cloves to the skillet and toast, tossing frequently, until the skins are toasted […]

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Classic and Fresh: Basil Pesto Recipe

2 cups of fresh basil, packed 3 cloves of garlic (more of less depending on how spicy you like it) ¼ cup of pine nuts ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese A pinch of salt and pepper to taste In a food processor, pulsate basil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese until everything is mixed in with each other. Slowly add extra virgin olive oil and pulsate again until everything is fully combined and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!  

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Turnips with Herbs

Since we rarely give vegan recipes, thought some of you might appreciate this. From a customer. Tonight I made the turnips with veggie chickun (quorn style), organic white wine, and safflower butter with a pinch of salt and green garlic. You sauté the garlic and turnips (quartered or smaller if you like) in the butter until they brown a little. Add fresh rosemary, oregano, sage, as much as you like for flavor, then add the “chickun.” Toss and cook for a few minutes on medium heat, then add the white wine and cook down until you have a nice saucy consistency.

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Beets with Parsley Butter

6 medium size fresh beets, about 1¼ lbs.,  tops removed  2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, or 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground pepper to taste 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley Cook beets in boiling water until tender, about 25 to 35 minutes. Drain, cool slightly, slip off skins, and trim off tops. Cut into 1/4 inch thick slices and place in a saucepan. Add butter, basil, salt, and pepper, and cook until heated thoroughly. Turn into a warm serving dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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Carlo’s Minestrone Soup

taken from www.cooks.com 1/2 lb. red beans 1 lg. or 2 sm. ham hocks 2 carrots, sliced 2 celery stalks or fennel bulbs 1 bunch Swiss chard or Beet Greens, chopped 1 c. green beans 1 onion, chopped finely 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce 2 c. cooked small elbow macaroni 1 bay leaf 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. pepper 1 tbsp. Oil Rinse beans, cover and soak overnight. Drain beans and add with ham hocks and bay leaf to a large pot. Cover with 3-4 inches of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer 2 hours or until beans are practically done. Remove ham hocks, cut off meat, and return to pot. Add carrots, fennel, beet greens & green beans When they are almost cooked, add macaroni. In a small fry pan, add onion, oil and garlic. Cook on low until transparent. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cook 10 min, then add to large pot.

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Bihari Green Beans Masala

Yield 2 to 3 servings  Ingredients 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil 2 tablespoons sliced almonds 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 3/4 cup coconut milk 3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces 1 teaspoon lime juice 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Method 1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish. 2. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes. 3. Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes. 4. Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. If desired, serve accompanied by plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.  

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Beet and Fennel Salad

Shared by basketeer Amy Tharp Nylund from How to Cook  Everything by Mark Bittman 4 medium beets (or 8 small) 1 fennel bulb 2 T olive oil 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 T minced fresh basil salt and pepper to taste Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash beets well, then wrap individually in  foil and bake, on a baking sheet, for 45 to 90 minutes (depending on size) until a thin bladed knife easily pierces one. While they are  cooking, trim the fennel and chop it into 1/2 to 1-inch dice. Remove the beets from oven and plunge them into ice water until cool.  Peel them and cut them into the same size dice as the fennel. Toss the beets, fennel, and remaining ingredients together and serve immediately.

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Purée de Fenouil

   from  http://frenchfood.about.com   2-3 fennel bulbs, stems & tough outer leaves removed, minced (save fennel leaves for garnish) 2 leeks, white &light green part, cleaned &minced ½ cup butter (1 stick) ½ cup dry white wine 1½cups cooked white rice salt and black pepper Melt the butter over medium heat and add the fennel and leeks, stirring to coat with the butter. Sauté 5 minutes. Add the wine and cover, reduce heat slightly and cook for 30 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor, add the rice and process until very smooth. (For an even finer texture, pass the purée through a sieve.) Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. To serve: Garnish each serving with a sprig of the feathery fennel leaves. Can be made ahead and reheated in the top of a double boiler. Serves 6

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LEEK, SCALLION, & FENNEL GRATIN

From Local Flavors by Deborah Madison, and shared by basketeer Derek Stuart 3 large leeks, white part only 2 fennel bulbs sea salt & ground pepper 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter 1 bunch scallions (I say use some green garlic instead– K) ¼ c chopped fennel greens 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2 large eggs 1½ cups milk or half & half ½ cup grated parmesan or gruyere 1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter 2-quart gratin dish. Chop leeks into 1/2-inch pieces & wash, separating the rings. Let them soak while you trim fennel. Slice fennel very thinly, including the core. Bring skillet of water to boil, add fennel & pinch of salt. Simmer about 2 min until fennel is translucent, drain. 2. Melt butter in wide skillet. Remove leeks from soaking water and add to pan with fennel. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add scallions and cook for another 5 minutes. Add fennel greens and lemon zest, salt, & pepper to taste. Scrape veggies into prepared dish. 3. Beat eggs and milk together and add 1/2 teaspoon salt plus cheese. Pour over veggies. Bake until top is browning, about 40 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes, then serve.

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Farmgrass Fest 14

FarmGrass Fest ’14 on April 6, 2014

  Mark your calendars for Sunday, April 6, 2014. A beautiful day of bluegrass, food and fun on a real working farm, benefiting local Texas farmers via the Growers Alliance of Central Texas’ medical emergency fund. To purchase tickets and get more details on the great line up of bands,  visit www.farmgrassfest.com Advance tickets are a huge value – only $15 for 5  amazing bluegrass bands, in a comfortable rural setting on the beautiful Simmons Family Farm in Niederwald, Texas. Enjoy Spring, Local Farms, Bluegrass Music, and Fantastic Farmers Market Food!

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Local, Sustainable Farms for Andy Brown as Travis County Judge!

Tecolote Farm joins forces with local farms and food businesses to host a meet and greet with Travis County Judge potential Andy Brown this Saturday, February 22, from 11:30 am -1 pm at Barr Mansion. Green Gate Farm, Edible Austin, Springdale Farm, Hausbar Farm, Barr Mansion, and so many other local sustainable and organic food businesses are supporting Andy Brown. Local, organic small plates will be served, and all are welcome. Please rsvp to jordan@voteandy.com, or on the Facebook event page: Let’s Talk Food with Andy Brown! We as farmers prefer to stay out of the political limelight, but sometimes it’s important to share what you know. In case you don’t remember Tecolote Farm’s battle over our groundwater loss from 2008-2010 with Travis County, read here.  The Travis County Commissioners Court was generally friendly and open to finding a solution at the time, save for one Commissioner: Sarah Eckhardt. She is running for Travis County Judge now, and our experience with her character is such that we are strongly endorsing Andy Brown.  In addition to the vindictive tone and lack of support or openness she demonstrated, there were issues with her policy, especially considering that she was viewed as THE sustainable/green commissioner. Read on to see what water lawyer Drew Miller, who represented us pro bono in the battle, summarizes about her unfriendly positions toward this local, organic, sustainable farm: “Sarah Eckhardt was steadfast and uncompromising in seeing to it the County was able to, with impunity, pump a neighboring organic farm’s long-producing well dry by locating the County’s new wells nearby and pumping the heck out of those wells – including by wasting that groundwater. She was steadfast and uncompromising in making sure that the County would hide behind the antiquated rule of capture, while hypocritically assailing that legal […]

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Fennel Lemon Soup

Mediterranean Cookbook provided by our farmworker, Colin Peden 2 T. olive oil 1 onion, roughly chopped 2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced 2½ c. chicken stock grated lemon zest of 1 lemon ¾-1¼ c. milk salt/pepper fennel leaves for garnish Deep fry lemon zest for garnish in ½” oil a few seconds until it changes color. Heat olive oil and cook onion on low for 5 minutes. Add fennel and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes until the fennel is tender. Puree until smooth. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.  In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

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Pink (Beet) pancakes

(from basketeer Suzanne Geiger, who says, “my finicky 2-year-old loved these!”) 2 medium-large beets (steam til soft enough to puree) 1/4 c. applesauce 3/4 c. water 1/2 c. ricotta 1 ¼c. pancake mix Cooking spray 1 T. vegetable oil Puree together the beets, ricotta, and water; pour into good-sized mixing bowl. Add applesauce and pancake mix. Stir enough to mix it, but not overly so. Batter will be lumpy. Coat a griddle/non-stick skillet with cooking spray on medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil. Spoon the batter onto the skillet in less than 1/4 c. amounts for small pancakes. Cook as you would normal pancakes. These pancakes will turn out a beautiful magenta color. Can be frozen and dropped in the toaster for eating later. (Taken from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook, by J. Seinfeld)

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Escarole and Pine Nuts

1 head escarole, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons pine nuts Bring 3 quarts water to a rolling boil. Separate the  escarole leaves and rinse thoroughly. Drop leaves into the boiling water and boil, covered, until tender, about 35 minutes.When the escarole is tender, drain thoroughly and let dry. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Roughly chop the escarole. Add the garlic to the hot pan and saute until the garlic begins to soften and turn a light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and cook until the nuts are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole and stir until well-cooked and very soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately as a side dish (contorni) or allow to cool to room temperature to use in another recipe.

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Beets with Leeks in Wine

 1/2 lb. young whole beets 3 thinly sliced leeks 1/2 t. ground pepper 1/2 t. cumin 1 c. beet stock 1/2 c. sweet raisin wine or muscatel Cook beets, drain, reserve liquid, and slice. Put them in a saucepan with leeks. In a mortar, grind pepper and cumin. Add to the leeks and beets. Then add stock and sweet wine. Pour this sauce over the vegetables, bring to a boil, then simmer till leeks are cooked The lovely deep color of this dish adds beauty to your table. Serve with chicken or game birds, with brown or wild rice

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Braised Fennel with Parmesan

from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, 1997 2 T. butter or olive oil 2 to 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered lengthwise Salt and pepper 1/3 cup dry white wine or water 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Chopped fennel greens or parsley Preheat oven to 325 F. Steam the fennel for 10 minutes, then arrange in a baking dish large enough to hold the fennel in a single layer with butter. Dot with butter or olive oil, season (S&P) , and add the wine. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, baste the fennel with its juice, then add the cheese and continue baking until the fennel is completely tender, about 10 minutes more. Serve with chopped fennel greens or parsley.

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Chicken with Creamy Sorrel Sauce

serves 4 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 1 small bunch of sorrel (about 3 oz) 3 tbsp butter 1/4 cup chopped shallots 1 cup heavy cream (I used light soy milk) 1. Pound chicken breasts slightly to flatten evenly and season with half of the salt and pepper. Roll the sorrel leaves into a cylinder and cut crosswise into thing slivers to make about 1 cup. 2. Heat the butter in a large frying pan. Add the chicken breasts and cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until pale golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. 3. Add the copped shallots to the frying pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the sorrel, cream and remaining salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is white but still moist in the center. From: The 5 in 10 Chicken Breast Cookbook: 5 ingredients in 10 minutes or less by Melanie Barnard and Brooke Dojny

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Beet, Leek & Gorgonzola Crostini

Recipe and comments courtesy of basket customer Dawne Anderson Spinale 3 med. beets (3/4 lb.), trimmed and scrubbed 4 thin slices Italian bread, cut in half, or 8 slices French bread 1 small leek, white part only (or use 1015 onion, since you have it!) 2 T. chopped Italian parsley (or Thai Basil?) 2 T. white wine vinegar 1 T. extra- virgin olive oil salt & freshly ground pepper to taste 2 oz. Gorgonzola 1. Use your favorite method to cook beets. When cool, peel and dice or chop roughly in food processor. If you use the food processor method, your beets will stay on the crostini better. . . 2. Preheat oven to 350. Bake bread slices in single layer on baking sheet until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes. (You can also toast or grill.) 3. Slice leek lenghtwise into quarters, then thinly slice croswise. Transfer to a colander and rinse well to remove any sand. press out excess water. (You can also use finely chopped shallots. i bet green garlic would be interesting, too.) Press out excess water. In a bowl, combine the leeks, beets, 1 T. parsley, vinegar and oil. Season with salt & pep. 4. Spread each toast with some of the gorgonzola. Top with some of the beet mixture and sprinkle with remaining 1 T. parsley. Serve immediately. Makes 8 crostini for 4. (I think more . .

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Baked Squash

cut up about 2 pounds of yellow squash and one medium onion put in a saucepan with a minced clove of garlic and a teaspoon of salt add 1/4 cup water and bring to boil cover, reduce heat and cook about 20 minutes, until squash is tender drain well and mash mix with: 1/4 to 1/3 cup evaporated milk a tablespoon of butter a cup of grated Cheddar cheese 2 well-beaten eggs  1/8 tsp black pepper if the mixture is soupy, add some crumbled saltines to thicken it transfer to a greased casserole top with a mixture of 1/4 cup crumbled saltines, 2 tablespoons melted butter and 3 tablespoons grated cheese bake at 350 for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling

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Baked Beets & Onions

“This is what I do with the beets I get each week.” -Shea Brooks, basket customer 1 bunch of beets sliced ¼” slice 1 onion sliced thin french fried onions (optional) parmesan cheese creole seasoning s & p, olive oil, butter Layer beets and onions in a casserole dish, sprinkle each layer with parmesan cheese, creole seasoning, salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil and dot with butter. Cover and cook for 45 minutes in 375º oven. Uncover, sprinkle with french fried onions (if using) and bake for another 15 minutes uncovered until casserole is bubbly.

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Bacon and Leek Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach

from DOLCIDOLL You will need: 3 rashers of rindless bacon 1 leek a handful of baby spinach leaves 1 onion 2 cloves garlic 10 button mushrooms 1/2 cup single cream 1/4 cup white wine Olive oil Prepared Pasta What to do: Chop onions, leek, garlic and mushrooms. Julienne the bacon. Rinse the spinach. In a large frying pan, heat your olive oil and then add the onions, leek, garlic and bacon. Fry for several minutes until the bacon is browned. Add the mushrooms and fry for another five minutes or so. Splash in the white wine and season with salt and pepper. Add spinach. Let the white wine reduce by half, then add the cream. Stir well. Add to prepared pasta and serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese.

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Agua Fresca de Pepino con Limon

Makes 4 6-ounce servings. In your blender, add: 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup hot tap water, blend to dissolve sugar (use sugar to taste) 1 medium cucumber, washed, ends cut off (do not peel) juice of 2 large limes or 4 small limes 1 cup water 12-16 ice cubes Cut cucumber into 2″ cubes and add to blender along with lime juice and water. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes, as many as needed to make the drink really “chilly.” Blend until drink is consistency of a smoothie. Pour into a wine glass and serve immediately. If you want to add some pizzaz, add one ounce of clear tequila for a refreshing margarita.

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Warm Orzo Salad with Beets & Greens

Serves 6, as a side dish 3/4 pounds beets with greens 1/4 cup pine nuts 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 ounces orzo pasta 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled kosher salt & freshly ground pepper Heat the pine nuts in a dry skillet, over medium heat, until they begin to brown. Watch them carefully, as they will burn in a flash. Remove from the heat & transfer to a bowl. Set aside. Peel the beets & slice them into bite-sized pieces. Remove the stems from the beet greens & slice the leaves into strips. Wash the greens thoroughly to remove any grit. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced red onion & garlic. Cook until the onions are tender & golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low & add the beet greens. Cover & cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the beets in a pot of salted water, until just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the beets from the pot using a slotted spoon & set aside. Return the water to a boil & add the pasta. Cook, according to the package instructions, until al dente & drain. Add the orzo to a bowl, along with the beets, pine nuts, beet greens & crumbled feta. Toss, season with salt & pepper to taste & serve.

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PAULA’S WATERMELON MARGARITA

From Edible Austin newsletter July 2012 1½ oz. watermelon-infused tequila* ¾ oz. Paula’s Texas Orange ½ oz. fresh lime juice Combine ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with small wedge of watermelon. * Combine 1 liter Republic Plata tequila and 8 cups watermelon in a large nonreactive container and roughly mash up watermelon. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours. Strain through a sieve, reserving liquid.

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Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad

From Kathy Freston: vegan, makes 4 cups 1 large watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds 1 small white onion, sliced into thin rounds 1/3 cup orange juice 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground) 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar splash of rice wine vinegar (optional – adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness) Directions:  Slice your onion and radish. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl – toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!  

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White Turnip Soup

from the Old Farmers’ Almanac Cookbook 4 medium-sized turnips 1 large onion 3 T. butter 3 slices bread Salt and pepper 2 egg yolks ½ c. cream Slice and coarsely chop the vegetables and cook them slowly in the butter for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups boiling water, salt & pepper, and bread, which you have first dried out in a slow oven and crumbled. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, then puree it. Reheat over low heat, stir in a mixture of the cream with the beaten egg yolks. Serve at once. Garnish with parsley and a little diced raw green garlic.

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Wilted Spinach Salad

10 to 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and torn into bit-size pieces 1/4 cup minced red onion 5 to 6 radishes, thinly sliced 2 hard-cooked eggs, 1 chopped, 1 sliced 2 to 4 slices bacon 1 to 1 ½tablespoons bacon drippings 1 ½ tbsp. sugar 3 tbsp. vinegar 1 tbsp. water ½tsp. salt 1/8 tsp. pepper Place prepared spinach in a large bowl. Add onions and radishes. Refrigerate, tightly covered. Cook bacon until crisp; remove to paper towel and set aside. In a small jar or measuring cup combine drippings with sugar, vinegar, water, salt and pepper.Refrigerate all ingredients until just before serving. When ready to serve, heat dressing just until mixture boils. Toss the chopped egg with the greens then pour the hot dressing over greens mixture; toss again lightly. Top with sliced egg and crumbled bacon. Serves 6.

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Yard Long Beans with Garlic

Found online at countingsheep.typepad.com 1 pd (500g) Long Beans, washed and cut into 2″ long pieces 1/4 tsp (1ml) salt 1/2 tsp (2ml) sugar 1 TBS (15ml) dark soy sauce 1 TBS (15ml) Chinese RIce Wine like Shaoxing or dry sherry 2 TBS (30ml) water 2 TBS (30ml) peanut or canola oil 2 medium scallion or green onion cut into 1/2 inch pieces 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced 2 oz (56g) ground pork Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add the beans and cook for approx 1 minute, drain and rinse with cold water. In a small bowl combine the salt, sugar, soy sauce, rice wine. Heat wok or large saute pan to high and ad the oil. Add the scallion/green onion and the garlic and stir fry for 5 seconds, add the ground pork (if using) and fry for 1 – 2 minutes

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Herbed Warm Pasta Salad

 from Better Homes &  Gardens website 16 ounces spaghetti or fettuccine 2 cups small arugula leaves or torn fresh spinach 1 cup packed assorted fresh herb leaves such as basil, chives, oregano, savory, thyme,  tarragon, or Italian flat-leaf parsley 1 cup fresh curly cress or watercress leaves 12 – 16 cherry tomatoes, halved Olive oil Lemon wedges (optional) Salt 1. Cook spaghetti or fettuccine according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large serving bowl. 2. Add arugula or spinach, herbs, curly cress or watercress, and tomatoes. Drizzle with oil (about 2 tablespoons); toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Squeeze lemon over each serving, if desired. Serve at room temperature. Makes 10 side-dish servings. Herbed Warm Pasta Salad from Better Homes and Gardens website 16 ounces spaghetti or fettuccine 2 cups small arugula leaves or torn fresh spinach 1 cup packed assorted fresh herb leaves such as basil, chives, oregano, savory, thyme, tarragon, or Italian flat-leaf parsley 1 cup fresh curly cress or watercress leaves 12 – 16 cherry tomatoes, halved Olive oil Lemon wedges (optional) Salt 1. Cook spaghetti or fettuccine according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large serving bowl. 2. Add arugula or spinach, herbs, curly cress or watercress, and tomatoes. Drizzle with oil (about 2 tablespoons); toss to coat. Season to taste with salt. Squeeze lemon over each serving, if desired. Serve at room temperature. Makes 10 side-dish servings.

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Creamy Avocado Linguine with Meyer Lemon and Arugula

by sylvia fountaine, feasting at home blog January-5-2013 A creamy vegan pasta in a flavorful creamy avocado sauce, bursting with bright flavors of Meyer lemon, tossed with fresh arugula. 8 oz Linguine 2 ripe Avocados 3 T Meyer Lemon Juice 3 T Good olive oil 3/4 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp white pepper 2 whole garlic cloves generous handful arugula 1 tsp Meyer lemon zest Boil 8 oz Linguine in salted water. Puree the rest of the ingredients ( except arugula and zest) in a food processor until completely smooth, scraping down the edges. When Pasta is al dente- drain and place in a bowl. Toss pasta with avocado puree and a handful fresh arugula. Taste for salt. Garnish with Meyer lemon zest and fresh cracked pepper. Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 15 mins Total time: 15 mins Yield: 4 servings

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Cavatelli with Bacon and Arugula

From Food & Wine • 1/4 pound(s) sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips • 1 onion, chopped • 1 3/4 cup(s) canned crushed tomatoes (one 15-ounce can) • 3/4 teaspoon(s) salt • 1/4 teaspoon(s) fresh-ground black pepper • 1 pound(s) frozen cavatelli • 1 1/4 cup(s) arugula, stems removed, leaves torn in half (one 2-ounce bunch) • 1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan directions 1. In a large stainless-steel frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until almost crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan. 2. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the salt and the pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 3. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the cavatelli until just done, about 10 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce, bacon, arugula and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Stir until the arugula just wilts. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the top. 4. Notes: Cavatelli Options: Look for cavatelli in the frozen-foods section of your grocery store. If you prefer, substitute frozen egg noodles or gnocchi in equal amounts for the cavatelli; they have a similar doughy chew. This dish could also be made successfully with spaghetti or, even better, spaghettini. 5. Variations: Use 1 1/4 cups watercress or spinach, large stems removed, instead of the arugula. 6. Wine Recommendation: Barbera is unique among Italian reds in that it is fruity and very high in acid, yet has almost no tannins. These qualities make the wine remarkably adaptable to food, particularly tomatoes. Try an unoaked Barbera d’Alba for a delicious match here.

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2014 CSA Renewal Time

Happy New Year! We hope that 2014 is fulfilling and joyful for each of you. On January 2nd, I came out of the house to start the day and met Mercedes (our favorite long time crew member) face to face with smiles. We were both convinced somehow that 2014 was going to be a good year. Maybe it was intuition, or maybe it was reflective of how farmers are quick to forget the last year and always think the coming year will be better. Looking back on the last few years, it is obvious Austin has changed so much, as has the local food landscape. Many farms and restaurants have come and gone, and the plethora of new farmers, farmers’ markets, food distribution companies, etc. is overwhelming. We are proud and honored to have been here so long and to have taken part in shaping the state of Austin Food. We are proud to be Texas’ oldest CSA and to have a history of selling to local restaurants long before it was the “latest thing”. While Katie and I are in some way involved with just about every local food and farming related committee, board, and group that exist around Austin, we have never really been self-promoters and marketers. We have always felt our produce should speak for itself. Unlike many of the latest food marketing businesses, we have tried to keep our CSA operating in a simple manner to keep prices as low as we can. We have avoided selling “add ons” and others’ products because we feel we can only honestly vouch for what we produce ourselves. With all the choices out there, we are honored that so many of you continue to support us. If we could ask anything, it would be that you tell your friends, colleagues, […]

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2013 Marks 20 years at Tecolote Farm!

We are thrilled to celebrate 20 full years farming the rich blackland prairie soils of our beloved home farm this year.  So much has happened to us, to Austin, to eastern Travis County in two decades, not the least of which is the community of people that has in one way or another sprung up via an affiliation with our farm.  Buoyed by this network, we are ready to start the next twenty years strong, with many new projects in the wings, and a strong, committed team. Speaking of our Farm Crew of Destiny, we just received this lovely, hand-crafted Christmas present from 2012 crew member and rising manager, Earl, who put this enduring Tecolote Farm philosophy into a physical reminder for the wash area: Nice work, Earl! Additionally, this pastry chef-turned-farmer co-wrote our grant application to the Austin Food and Wine Alliance , and we were selected! AFWA received 30 applications, from which they had to choose only 3 grant award winners. We were proud to accept the grant, which will help us get our longstanding plans off the ground to 1. raise heritage breeds of pastured pork and 2. offer subsidized CSA shares for low income families in the area. Thank you to the grant selection committee and to the Board of Austin Food and Wine Alliance- we know we were in good company and you had hard choices to make. These are just a couple of the big things happening in 2013, our 20th anniversary year! We are accepting new CSA members for the 2013 season. Prices are not going up and we’ll be delivering the same Awesome, not Perfect vegetables that have kept Austin happy for 20 years! Check out our CSA page for more information.   Merry Christmas~ Happy New Year!

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Pan-Fried Squash Fritters

from CSA basketeer Michelle’s  award-winning food blog, http://foodieisthenewforty.com/ I started with 2 patty pans and 2 magda squash. Shredded it up in my food processor, along with a small spring onion, also from Tecolote. Added in two eggs, a cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and a whole cup of flour. The (source) recipe calls for only 1/4 c of flour and suggests that the batter will be “almost a dry mix” at this point. But even after a full cup of flour, it wasn’t even close to being dry. So I did what most home cooks would do; I  cheerfully ignored the recipe and started frying flattened spoonfuls in a skillet with a little peanut oil. It worked. Katie’s note: We made these last night. Topped with sour cream and oodles of diced garlic chives. I used about 7 squash and 4-5 eggs. Delicious!

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Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…

Summertime, and the cookin’ is easy: slice up some cucumbers with tomatoes, sweet onions, and pour on a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Voila! You can find the ingredients for easy Greek Salad or for grilled okra or Roasted New Mexican Chiles at one of the Saturday farmers markets where we go these days: Downtown Austin (SFC famers market downtown) or Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Both are Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm. At the downtown market, find us at the shady northwest corner (on 5th and San Antonio) next to the coffee and breakfast tacos.

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Field and Feast visits Tecolote

  Cecilia Nasti came out to the farm on the same evening that our crew was shooting skeet after work. She wasn’t ruffled, however, to hear gunshots at an organic farm. Her “real job” at Texas Parks and Wildlife has her covering hunting issues as well as natural places of beauty for their radio pieces about Texas Parks.  She recently did a story on nothing other than… skeet shooting. It was a true pleasure to hang out on the back deck with this Austin original and our one-time neighbor. Her love of food, gardening, and cooking is evident: her Field and Feast show, which airs on KUT every weekend and took the place of Growing Concerns, is her own baby. She does it to spread the good word about farm-to-table connections. Her podcast about Tecolote is airing on KUT this Saturday, April 28, at 11:55 a.m., or Sunday, April 30, at 11:01 a.m. You can also hear the podcast anytime from her website.

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The Farm Crew of Destiny

We have a fantastic farm crew this season, and we are so grateful. They are smart, engaging, curious, dedicated, funny, and reliable. They have been logging many 9 and 10 plus hour days, yet still they bring smiles and great attitudes to the farm day after day. The Farm Crew of Destiny this spring includes many return farmers. The returnees have wisdom and encouragement to share with the first-time farmhands, or those new to Tecolote’s quick pace and attention to detail. The crew has been working so efficiently that post-work happy hours are well-deserved and promising to be frequent.  Teamwork, cooperation, group responsibility, and communication are thriving, and it shows. It doesn’t hurt that new manager Lorig has a relentless dedication to smooth sailing and positive feedback, or that Meche has been with us for so many years. We started the season with an Orientation Day in late March, complete with greenhouse cooling system briefings, doggie distractions,a full “parking lot” of mini-trucks, a few riveting volleyball games, and finally, more time on the porch.              

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Spring Greens Pesto

CSA basketeer Christina found this cool recipe from a gluten-free slow cooking blog, and adds, “Everything  is vegan, but you can substitute parmesan for the nutritional yeast for amore traditional style pesto. It looks so good in that turnip soup too. ” recipes and images courtesy of: http://healthyslowcooking.com/2012/04/23/potato-turnip-soup-with-spring-greens-pesto/  Spring Greens Pesto gluten-free, soy-free 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup orange juice 4 cups greens (collards, kale, arugula, spinach, etc.), stems removed and chopped ¼ to ½ cup nutritional yeast 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil or extra orange juice 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (or plain lemon juice) ½ teaspoon smoked salt (or plain salt to taste and a few drop liquid smoke) After you prep the greens add the water and orange juice to a sauté pan on medium heat. Add greens and cook until greens are tender, but still bright green (about 10 minutes). You can add extra water in cooking if it gets too dry. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until grainy or finely minced but not pureed. Add extra olive oil, water, or orange juice if the mixture is too thick. Makes 1 to 2 cups pesto   Is recommended as well  in this soup: Slow Cooker Potato Turnip Soup   2 cups turnips, peeled and chopped 4 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped 4 cups water 1 tablespoon vegan chick’n bouillon 1 sprigs rosemary, 2 to 3 inch or 1/2 teaspoon ground salt and pepper to taste 1 to 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk, optional Add everything except salt, pepper, and almond milk to your slow cooker. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Remove rosemary sprig and discard. Puree using an immersion blender. If you want a thinner soup add the non-dairy milk and blend it in also. Add salt […]

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Sorrel Soufflé

From Monday basketeer Stephanie Johnson. Hi Katie, Here’s the recipe for the souffle.  It was really good; cheesy and tangy!  I love sorrel.  I had never even seen sorrel before I got my first Tecolote bunch however many years back it’s been.   It was actually quite easy to make, I hope lots of people will try it!   Love, Stephanie Sorrel Soufflé   (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Cheese Soufflé in How to Cook Everything) 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick butter), plus 1 teaspoon ¼ cup flour 1½ cups milk, warmed until hot to the touch 6 eggs, separated Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Dash cayenne or 1/8 tsp. dry mustard 1 cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese, like aged asiago, Pecorino Romano I small shallot, minced 1 cup sorrel puree (1 bunch, stemmed and sautéed in 1 Tbsp. olive oil until it becomes a puree   Preheat the oven to 400°. Use the teaspoon of butter to grease a 2-quart soufflé dish or other deep baking dish, such as a Corningware-type dish. If you want to make individual soufflés, use a little more butter and grease four 1 ½ – to 2-cup ramekins. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the remaining butter. When it foams,add the flour and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring, until the mixture darkens a bit, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to avoid lumps, and then cook until the mixture is thick, just a minute or two longer. Turn off heat and stir in the egg yolks, salt, pepper, cayenne or mustard, cheese, shallots and sorrel puree. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt, just until they hold soft peaks. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the beaten whites into the batter, and […]

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Great Story from the Statesman’s Addie Broyles

Read Addie Broyles’ Food section cover story from April 11, 2012: After long battle over water, Tecolote Farm finally moving on! It has been a long four years since our wells dried up here at the original farm.  Statesman writer Addie Broyles tells the tale of how we keep on keepin’ on.

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The Best Spinach Salad

Love this recipe from CSA basketeer and cooking master Kristin Schell, of The Schell Cafe 4-6 cups fresh spinach 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts 2 tbs fresh lemon juice (appx one lemon) 4 – 5 tbs extra virgin olive oil * 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese salt & pepper to taste Squeeze the lemon into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Add olive oil and wisk until emulsified. Taste and add more lemon or olive oil to taste. Add salt and pepper. Gently tear spinach and add to the bowl. Top with toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese. Toss and serve. *The general rule of thumb for making a vinaigrette is a ratio of 3:1. 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, in this case lemon juice. I like this dressing lemony, so I use a more equal ratio.

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Chicken and Chard Enchilada Casserole from Epicurious

1 pound Swiss chard, rinsed well and drained 2 garlic cloves, or to taste, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large whole chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds), cooked, boned, and shredded (about 1 1/4 cups meat) vegetable oil for frying the tortillas twelve 7-inch corn tortillas, dried at room temperature for 30 minutes, or until they are leathery and curled but not crisp 2 1/2 cupsMexican-style tomato sauce 1/2 cup chicken broth 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack (about 6 ounces) 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cut the stems from the Swiss chard leaves and chop them and the leaves separately. In a large skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it is fragrant, stir in the Swiss chard stems and 1/4 cup water, and cook the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leaves are tender. Drain the Swiss chard mixture in a bowl toss it with the shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste. In a skillet heat 1/4 inch of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, in it fry the tortillas, 1 at a time, turning them, 3 to 4 seconds, or until they are softened, and transfer them with tongs as they are fried to paper towels to drain. In a bowl thin the tomato sauce with the broth, spoon about 1/3 cup of it into the bottom of a greased 13- by 9-inch baking dish, and arrange 4 of the tortillas in one layer over it. Spread the tortillas with half the chicken mixture and half the Monterey Jack, spoon about 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce over the mixture, and cover it with 4 of the […]

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Squash-Rice Casserole with Sorrel

3 cups sliced zucchini or other summer squash (about 2 1/2 lbs) 1 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup liquid– chicken or veggie broth 1/2 of a bunch of sorrel (1/2 lb?), stems removed 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 2 cups cooked rice (brown or white) 1/2 cup cottage cheese 1/2 cup tofu 1/4 cup italian seasoned dry bread crumbs 1/4 tsp black pepper 3 eggs 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees 2. Combine first 2 ingredients in a pan. Cook until squash is looking tender. 3. Process the squash, onions and liquid. Pour over the rice. Process the cheeses, tofu, sorrel. bread crumbs, pepper, eggs. Pour over the rice. Stir to combine. 4. Pour into an oiled 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm.

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Gumbo Z’herbes (Green Gumbo)

from The New Orleans Cookbook by R. Collin A Lenten dish, Gumbo Z’herbes was traditionally served on Good Friday. Legend had it that you would make as many friends as the number of different greens you put in the gumbo. No longer exclusively a Lenten dish, gumbo z’herbes is often prepared with meat, as in this recipe. Greens (as many of these as are available: a minimum of 5 is adequate, 7 is ideal!) 1 bunch collard greens 1 bunch mustards 1 bunch turnip greens 1 bunch scallions 1 bunch parsley 1 bunch watercress 1 bunch spinach 1 bunch beet tops 1 bunch radish tops 1 head green cabbage 1 bunch chicory 1 bunch carrot tops The Gumbo Base 1c. chopped onion ½ lean baked ham, cut into ½-in. cubes ½ lb. Creole (Polish, French garlic) smoked sausage, cut into ½-in cubes (pan grill briefly and drain fat) 1 large ham bone, sawed into 3- to 4-in lengths The Roux (you can also opt for Fiesta’s or Quality Seafood’s “Pat’s Roux” pre-made) ½ c. vegetable oil 2/3 c flour The Liquid and Seasonings 2 qt. plus 1/3 c. cold water 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/8 tsp cayenne 2 crushed bay leaves ½ tsp. dried thyme ½ tsp dried marjoram 2 whole cloves 6 whole allspice Wash all the greens thoroughly, trim off any touch stem ends. Place the damp greens in a heavy 3- 4 quart saucepan, add the 1/3 cup cold water, and heat on high. When the liquid starts to boil, cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to medium, and cook the greens for 12-15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain the greens, reserving the liquid. Chop the cooked greens fine and set aside. In a large 7- to 8-quart heavy pot or kettle, heat the oil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low […]

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CSA Tagine with Romano Beans

Yield : 6 to 8 servings Cooking Time : 40 minutes Ingredients 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced 1½ teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground turmeric Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots (or dates, raisins, cranberries) 1 can (14 oz) sliced, stewed tomatoes (or about 1 pound fresh, preferably peeled and seeded) 2 cups vegetable stock 1 cup cooked or drained canned chickpeas 8 medium carrots, cut into bite-size chunks 2 zucchini (or other squash), cut into bite-sized chunks 1 kohlrabi, cut into bite-sized chunks 2-3 cups romano beans, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used the whole bag from our basket, not sure of exact measurement) Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup whole wheat couscous   Directions 1. Put the oil in a deep skillet (I used a 5 QT chili pot) with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add the ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 2 minutes. 2. Add the dried fruit, tomato, stock, chickpeas, carrots, kohlrabi, romano beans and zucchini, a large pinch of salt, and a good amount of pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the vegetables are just tender. 3. Add the couscous (stir in slowly to make sure all couscous is submerged) and cover about 5 minutes. Couscous should absorb liquid. Remove from heat, fluff couscous mixture, serve hot by itself or with a dollop of plain yogurt. If you have leftovers, serve cold over spinach for a cool summer salad.

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Greens with Roasted Peanuts & Red Pepper

adapted from Deborah Madison’s America: The Vegetarian Table, 1996 This is my (non-southerner Katie’s) favorite greens recipe. 3 large bunches mixed greens (chard, collards, turnip, kohlrab) 4 qts. water salt 3 T. peanut oil 1/3 c. (or more) raw peanuts 3 cloves chopped garlic 1/2 tsp. crushed dried red pepper chile vinegar Remove stems from greens and chop coarsely. Add greens to salted boiling water and cook to taste, “anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on where you’re from.” Really, 30 minutes should be plenty! Drain, pressing out excess moisture, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the peanuts, halved or chopped, and fry until lightly colored. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Add garlic to hot pan and cook for 1 minute before adding the crushed pepper and the greens. Toss them in the oil and cook until heated through. Add the peanuts. Taste for salt, and serve with chile vinegar on the side (if you have some—it’s also good without it).

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Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad

vegan, makes 4 cups 1 large watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds 1 small white onion, sliced into thin rounds 1/3 cup orange juice 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground) 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar splash of rice wine vinegar (optional – adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness) Directions: 1. Slice your onion and radish. Place in a large mixing bowl. 2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl – toss well. 3. Place in fridge to chill overnight. 4. Serve! From Kathy Freston

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Carrot & Daikon Refrigerator Pickle

Adapted from the Splendid Table LIQUID 1 1/2 cups water 3/4 cup white vinegar 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon table salt VEGGIES 3 c. grated carrots (about 8 carrots) 3 c. cups grated Daikon Combine the liquid ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Grate the veggies and transfer to a refrigerator container (I use glass to make sure it’s ultra-clean). Pour the liquid over the veggies, pressing if needed to submerge. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Drain before serving.

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Roasted Eggplant Soup

Adapted from Bon Appetit Serves 4 3 medium tomatoes, halved 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise (I used all that was in the basket) 1 small onion, halved (eh, mine was medium) 6 large garlic cloves, peeled 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth 1/4 cup heavy cream (you can add more to taste, or skip this entirely) 3/4 cup (about 3 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese ( I substituted this for the curly cress) Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on a large baking sheet, or two smaller ones if you, like me, have a tiny oven. Brush or drizzle vegetables with oil then roast them for 20 minutes, pausing only to remove the garlic cloves (the original recipe had you keep them in the whole time, and mine, sadly, burned) and returning the pans to the oven for another 25 minutes, until the remaining vegetables are tender and brown in spots. Bring chicken or vegetable stock to a boil. Remove from oven and scoop into a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, the thyme and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes (mine took longer). Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until it is as smooth as you’d like it to be. (Or, if you have an immersion blender, you can do this in the pot.) Back in the pot, add the cream and bring the soup back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in four bowls, sprinkled with curly cress.

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Farmer David on Community-Supported Agriculture

Outside of the Agro-industrial Pipeline by David Pitre Happy New Year! Here’s to Health and Peace for all of us. As always, we are excited about the coming year on the farm. One of the common traits successful farmers share is a poor memory, which allows us to specifically forget the trials, tribulations, and sore muscles of the past year while getting all giddy about the fresh young plants in the greenhouse ready to go in the ground. It’s wonderful to be able to start fresh each year. As many of you know, we have struggled with water issues on our farm. This year we are starting to develop for farming new land about 12 miles east of us. We have planted onions there and hope to grow some of our potatoes, melons, and winter squash.  The soil there is wonderfully rich and water appears to be plentiful. We are very thankful that the opportunity for the new land arose and that we are making it work as a new farm. You, our CSA members and regular farmers market shoppers, may not know it, but you are doing something radical.  You are supporting and investing in a relationship that flies in the face of the anonymous global marketplace.  You are creating a direct connection between the growing of the food that sustains you and your family. It is a personal relationship built on trust and respect. As we make decisions on the farm, and grow and harvest produce, we have many of your faces in our minds. It is similar to the visions of family or friends you hold as you cook in your kitchen. You have their health and happiness in mind as you cook, and it guides how you do it. This gives great meaning to what we […]

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January 2012 Flood

The first month of the new year is coming to a close, and a soggy, fecund close it is. Photos of Decker Creek and most of Tecolote Farm flooding have been astounding many of you. Living on a perennial creek quite literally has its Ups and Downs! We have seen the creek rise like this several times in the 19 years we’ve lived here, but last Wednesday night’s rain took the prize for the most rain we’ve ever had in 24 hours. We topped 6 inches here at the main farm, and the River Farm in Bastrop County had closer to 7 inches! The vegetables are out of the flood plain, though, by design, so we were able to come to market last Saturday with an abundant supply of greens, roots, herbs, and broccoli. We’ll be back again for the first Saturday of February at the downtown market. The Swiss Chard is more beautiful than ever, with its rainbow of Bright Light colors fully saturated in the overcast wet environment. Hurray for replenishment!   [nggallery id=1]

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Lorig’s New Year Epiphany

Why I’m returning by Lorig Hawkins, Tecolote Farm Manager-in-Training On the last day of 2011, I proudly put my first full farm journal on my bookshelves. I was so giddy and proud at the fact that I have been farming, or rather, learning how to farm, for a year!   You see, from the moment I knew this work was for me I have documented every moment I have spent farming. For all you super geeks out there you will be happy to note I have gone one step further and after re-reading my notes I have indexed everything into topics that I can then reference in a larger notebook. Whether it was at Urban Roots, Tecolote Farm, or any other farm I’ve visited, I’ve made a point to write down everything I could remember from that day, as small as it seemed.  Because believe me, if you listen closely, are aware, and work really hard to see the bigger picture and make connections, you learn something extremely valuable every time you step foot in the fields. And I couldn’t be more fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from David and Katie at Tecolote.  He may say it flippantly or in passing but David will make comments that will guide you forever as a farmer; you just have to be listening.  And guys, I’m listening and writing it all down! And as I shelve that first year notebook I eagerly pick up the next one, labeled 2012.  This year I will continue at Tecolote for their regular spring/summer CSA season.  I am returning for more, hungry to learn, hungry to work and sweat and ache, and hungry to continue meeting people who care about their food, and their farmers, and care about making it all accessible.  I am so excited […]

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Arugula Salad with Lemon-Parmesan Dressing Bon Appétit | April 2009

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel 4 cups (packed) baby arugula 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes Blend first 4 ingredients in processor. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Cover; chill up to 3 days. Combine arugula and tomatoes in large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat.

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2012 CSA Sign-ups & RAIN!!!

Now taking 2012 CSA sign-ups! 2012 CSA Subscription Agreements coming soon (within the next two days)-              email me at tecolotefarm@gmail.com beforehand to reserve your spot for our award-winning, long-standing vegetable delivery service! Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson at the Paramount Stateside Theater last night was a lovely way to end a weekend full of a slow, soaking, stuck-in-the-mud kinda rain. I’d like to pay tribute to both of them and the poem which Edible Austin’s Marla Camp asked Wendell to read last night: Water                                         from Farming: A Handbook by Wendell Berry I was born in a drouth year. That summer my mother waited in the house, enclosed in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind, for the men to come back in the evenings, bringing water from a distant spring. veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank. And all my life I have dreaded the return of that year, sure that it still is somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul. Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me, and I am the faithful husband of the rain, I love the water of wells and springs and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns. I am a dry man whose thirst is praise of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup. My sweetness is to wake in the night after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.

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First Fall CSA ever off to a great start

We had a wicked 22° wake-up last Friday morning, which gave us quite a scare. Although we had much of the field covered in anticipation of the low 30s, we couldn’t possibly have covered everything. The cucumber and squash plants were flattened, and any pepper and eggplant rows we hadn’t covered were toast. Everything suffered a little-even the cold-hardy beet and turnip tops were cringing, but as you can see from today’s basket, plenty survived with nutritional and aesthetic radiance. Our fear was that the head lettuces would be history, but just look at that romaine! We’ll have red iceberg for you next week, and probably beets as well. As my father, a lifelong citrus farmer, tells us, “You know you’re the biggest gamblers there are.” That’s farming. But the payoff is worth it at dinnertime. Our eldest, Zachary, will come home from India next Sunday. We are daydreaming of our first meal all together again, sharing life over dinner.Thanks for your support & appreciation of good food. Now, may the freezes be light and the baskets be heavy. October 24, 2011 Welcome to the First Ever Fall Tecolote Basket Season! “Wonder of wonder, miracle, miracle!” Here we go with our first-ever Fall CSA at Tecolote Farm! It didn’t seem like such a bad idea at the time: taking July off of our regular basket season to celebrate our two eldest children’s graduations from High School and Middle School, to show them that even farm kids can  occasionally have a summer vacation worthy of a first day back –to-school essay.  It didn’t seem like such a bad idea that we would make up for this lapse from real life by having a Fall CSA season. But then September was in the 110s, or at least never below 95. Not a […]

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Local Food Fair on October 23 to celebrate inaugural FOOD DAY

Local Food Fair to celebrate Austin’s CSA farmers, local farmers markets, and other ways to get locally-grown food! Kick off the inaugural national Food Day a day early with a Local Food Fair in the pecan tree-shaded two acre yard behind Third Coast Activist Resource Center at the wonderful 5604 Manor Road Austin, TX 78723. Our farm will be set up there with information on our CSA and some produce for sale. Other CSA farms and farmers market reps, along with local delivery services, will be there to answer questions about their services. Music by the Kudzoo Brothers will keep our toes tapping. Cooking demonstrations on the hour at our sponsors, the Sustainable Food Center‘s tasting tent. Let us know if you’re coming with an RSVP here at the Food Day website!

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Lentil Soup with Greens

1 Tbsp. olive oil or unsalted butter 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 1 head of fresh garlic, diced 1 carrot, cut into small dice 1 cup French green lentils or other lentils 1 bay leaf 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, w/ liquid 1 tsp. salt & dashes black pepper Fresh greens, cut into strips (chard or spinach) 1/3 cup raw rice 6 cups water or broth, or a combination 1 tsp. red wine vinegar In a large soup pot, heat olive oil /butter and then sauté the onion, garlic and carrot, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft (about 5 minutes). Add greens and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Add lentils to the pot, along with bay leaf, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the rice, stirring to blend well, and continue to cook for 25 more minutes until the rice and lentils are cooked. Adjust the seasoning, and add the vinegar. Serves 4-6. courtesy Marilyn Scher

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New well for the River Farm

After some weary years of wrestling with water lines and digging trenches for buried pipe and electric cable to a new small production well at our original Webberville farm, we are going to Hawaii going to do it again! At the new River Farm in Utley, Bastrop County, down on the Colorado River, about 12 miles east of our current farm. The well-diggers were there all day yesterday, and are at it again today, trying to find a good, dependable source of well water for us for many more decades of organic vegetable production. Fingers crossed, hopes high, looking for water when it’s oh-so-dry. We welcome all well-wishers (haha), prayers, hopeful thoughts, thunderstorms, etc.

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Keeping the faith

We hope you have all survived the hottest, driest central Texas summer in recorded history! While our plans to take the kids on a road trip to the mountain ranges of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana preceded knowledge of the horrendous summer that lay ahead, in retrospect we feel very fortunate that we weren’t picking okra in 107° all July!! I know many of you missed the okra, melons, tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumber-melons that late summer baskets bring, but have no fear: we’ll be doing summer season as usual starting again in 2012. The real question on everyone’s mind, though, is: “Will there even be a fall season in this dratted weather, and, if so, when will it start?” We planned and were excited about a fall CSA (our first ever), so we plunged right in- despite the daunting late August/early September weather- and got seeds started in plug trays (in the cooler!) and transplants in the hot ground. We wanted to start the first week of October, or last week of September. It has been an act of hope planting into hard, dry ground full of clods, and keeping the soil moist enough to entice germination and continued life. We sent Zachary, our eldest, up to Jarrell one day with the truck and trailer to purchase 3 round bales of corn stalks for use as mulch. The newly-transplanted peppers and eggplants wouldn’t have survived without protection, and there was not a stalk of untreated hay or straw to be had within all surrounding counties. Corn farmers who lost their crop still baled the stalks to sell for feed to hay-starved livestock, beneficial at least for caloric value. So, the short answer is: “Yes, we still plan to do a Fall CSA, and hope to start in mid October.” The […]

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The end of August

We had big hopes for this fall: our first ever Fall CSA season and the development of our new raw land down on the river into farmland. Our water woes will be greatly diminished when we can farm on land with a better water source. Oh how we miss the days of our hand-dug well chugging through drought years without missing a beat! For now, though, there is but one hope: the return of RAIN to our soil. Without rain, fall crops will wither in the endless heat and hot ground. Without rain, mesquite abatement and deer fence construction on the new land will be nearly impossible.  We’ll keep going, as other area farmers have done all summer, because Texas farmers are tough, and fairly hardened to the cruel weather.  But I don’t know if we’ve ever wished for the end of August to signal the end of summer so badly.  The shade cloth-covered greenhouse is full of baby vegetables wanting to make their way in the world. September can go either way, but I’m all for making it as different from August as it ever gets. Get out your dancin’ shoes- there’s a 20% chance of rain Friday-Sunday -and let’s all bring that rain to Texas!

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Water Solutions

For three years, we battled the County to find a solution to the loss of our groundwater caused by their pumping massive amounts of water up to East Metro Park’s playing fields and catch-and-release fishing ponds. They didn’t come through, thanks in large part to the obstructive response of Commissioner Eckhardt. So we went back to doing what farmers do best: figured it out ourselves. Solution #1 The new well (which we located via the research done by UT Professor Jack Sharp’s Hydrogeology class) is installed and operating. While producing half the volume of our previous well, and thus not enough pressure to directly supply our drip irrigation system,  it is possible to irrigate with this groundwater through a storage tank and sand filter set-up. Farmers have always been known for innovation. Even though our groundwater was sucked out from under us by over-development in our area by subdivisions and County parks, we have survived! Solution #2 Looking ahead, we realize that our proximity to Austin (14 miles from the capitol building) and the fact that we live in a county where the then current Director of Natural Resources (Joe Gieselman)  said, “The best and highest use of their land (Tecolote Farm) is no longer agricultural” makes our future not so certain.  Farming is so important, and a county which goes on the record to discourage farmers from nurturing fertile soil to feed the local community is essentially pushing them out. As a matter of survival, we purchased a parcel of land another 14 miles the other way (east) in Bastrop County. We continue to farm Tecolote Farm proper, but our first crops went in the ground at the new land in Fall 2011. We lovingly call the new place the River Farm, as it was first coined by the […]

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Summer goodness…. in more ways than one!

[slideshow] photos courtesy of ACC photography student Chelsie Ybarra We will still be at the Austin Farmers Market Downtown and the Cedar Park Market on Saturday, July 2nd, then we’re loading up the kids for a 4th of July food fest with friend and farmer Loncito, of Loncito’s Lamb fame, before heading out of town for a little graduation (wow, you grew up fast!) celebratory road trip. The kids sure are growing up fast, and farm life doesn’t leave much time for summer vacations. Our kids work hard right alongside us, and we’re treating them to a real summer vacation this year for a change: a little road trip, complete with camping and backpacking in cooler elevations! In spite of the relieving effect of last Tuesday night’s wonderful, seemingly miraculous one inch rain, I still think we picked a good year to let the fields rest in July and August, and take up again in September. What a summer we’ve had already, and here Tuesday, June 21st’s Summer Solstice supposedly just marked Summer’s First Day. Ha! Although we don’t have too many summer crops planted, we do have a few that were intended to help us get through our CSA deliveries. Well, they were a little late in making, so come down to the market for the only tastes of Tecolote Summertime you’ll have this summer! David and I will each bring a taste of TOMATOES and tomatillos, and we’ll have just a sampling of gorgeous purple eggplant. Still lots of great late spring goodness happening too-here’s what you’ll find on our tables at  the Cedar Park Farmers’ market (Lakeline Mall parking lot, behind Sears and Dillards) and at SFC Farmers Market Downtown (I’m at 5th/San Antonio corner of Republic Square Park). Please check out our Facebook Page  and like […]

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Green beans, romano beans, puffy clouds, and growing teens

Took seven of us almost three hours to pick all the green beans the other day. Hot- 104 degrees yesterday- when the first relatives came in to celebrate the two graduations happening this and next week. Here’s the cloud that ended the 104 degree day, and the kids who played below it.  8th grade and 12th grade graduations coming up- big times around here. I forgot to take a picture of all the green beans and romano beans in the cooler. Hundreds of pounds! Thanks to Texas French Bread, Monument Market, Eastside Showroom, and Farmhouse Delivery and Greenling for taking some of these off our hands! Also, our CSA customers have been ordering extra! There will be lots more for YOU at the markets this weekend!!

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Pretty pretty

Whether you’re visiting Farmer Dave at the Cedar Park Farms to Market or Katie at the Downtown market, you’re sure to find the prettiest, crispest, tastiest, freshest produce anywhere. And, if that’s not enough, it’s certified organic and certified good! Let us hear from you if you want us to continue at Sunset Valley…[slideshow]

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May 14th is Three Market Saturday

You can find us at three Saturday farmers markets starting May 14th. All three go from 9 am to 1 pm, but be sure to arrive by 10:30 a.m. for the best selection. You can find us at the downtown Austin Farmers Market, the Cedar Park Farms to Market at Lakeline Mall, and back again at Sunset Valley Farmers Market, We’ll be bringing gorgeous red turnips like those pictured below, as well as our wildly beautiful Tecolote “Fiesta Beets”~ a riotous color splash of golden, blood red and hot pink Chioggia beets in mixed bunches. Salad mixes and large leafy greens are still here- enjoy them before the summer devours their splendour! In addition to beets, turnips, watermelon radishes, DAIKON radishes, escarole, radicchio, flat-leaf parsley and lots of leafy greens, we are still selling some of our hand-drilled birdhouse gourds. If you’d like to pre-order some of these lovely garden adornments or would prefer some gourds without amendments, email us at the farm at tecolotefarm at g mail dot com and we’ll set some aside for you.  Lebanese summer squash are coming in like wildfire, and they are super tasty in all their thin-skinned flavor. Our friend Emmett Fox at Asti likes to slice them thinly on a mandolin, long-ways, and dress them a ricotta salata, lemon, oil, and basil-mint drizzle. Simply divine. Please come find us at a market this coming Saturday! We’d love to share the freshness of the garden with you.

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Miracles of drip irrigation

The summer heat is early upon us this year, and the ground cries out for rain. Luckily for us, our new well is trickling a steady stream into the holding tank and allowing us to irrigate as needed. The crops are still vibrant and beautiful, as can be seen from CSA customer Christina’s photo stream or local food blogger Kathryn’s Austin Gastronomist post. Quality comes through, from the color and moisture of the fresh delivered vegetables right on through to your healthy diet and body! We have about 6 spots left on one of our CSA routes- and only 10 weeks left in the spring/early summer season to enjoy it!

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Our candle burns at both its ends…

It’s amazing what gets done when it just has to. Farming takes up pretty much 8 days a week these days, yet there’s still college and high school applications to do for graduating 8th and 12th graders, still Slow Food happy hours to prepare, still sleep to be had when the getting’s good. Getting into the 21st Century this spring has been keeping me busy too- what with Facebook and Twitter and this new website, I’m learning the ropes the regular way: by doing. It’s always nice to get a little help, though, so Addie Broyles’ CSA Openings article in the paper  today was a pleasant surprise. It’s true that we have about 10 more spots available for this season, most of them on our Wednesday route (that’s you, South and East Austin, Travis Hts., Zilker, and Westlake!) We’ve had an unbearably long waiting list for most of our time in Austin, and here’s why: In today’s basket, for instance, subscribers received sweet mustard greens, escarole, turnips (the really good ones), beets, heirloom radishes, spinach, a huge bag of spring baby lettuces, a spring onion, green garlic, shallot scapes… and that was just today, their third week of deliveries. Quantities are ample, vegetables are beautiful, life is working (even if it is 8 days a week!)

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Spring in full Swing

Spring goodness is in full swing here at the farm.  We’re headed to two farmers markets this Saturday (Cedar Park and Austin Downtown) with so much goodness. Even though it would be easier to run a farm stand here on the farm, we thoroughly enjoy mixing it up at the markets and making our produce accessible to more people. We found a Mustard green that is much sweeter than any of the American or European greens. It’s sweeter and not quite as pungent. Great flavor. Kale and Collard Greens will be in ample supply. Traditionally, a lot of these greens were a spring tonic after a winter of heavy foods (meats and cheeses). Try a white bean-sausage & kale soup. Also, try to get your hands on one of our gorgeous, huge ESCAROLE, with beautiful blanched hearts and weighing in at a few pounds each! Have you checked out our heirloom LEEKS? They’re big, blue, and beautiful this year. Several varieties of heirloom radishes will grace our tables, and both freshly-dug (not yet cured) GARLIC, and also young, no need-to-peel GREEN GARLIC. Our salad mixes are tender and come in two flavors: Euro Mix~heirloom lettuces mixed with baby Italian cutting chicory and arugula and a blend of heirloom baby lettuces. One more week til we have our baby carrots and red beets. Radicchio and kohlrabi looking good for next week.  Fennel not too far off either.

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Join the Tecolote Farm yahoo listserv to share recipes

If you are interested in sharing and receiving recipes using the vegetables we grow, you can join our Yahoo listserv. All messages will come to the moderator first for approval, so you won’t get all those accidental replies to all! Here’s the link to join: Click to join tecolotefarm Hope you’ll come out to the farmers markets starting up again in mid-October.

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Upcoming Events at and around Tecolote Farm

April 1: CSA starts! Join today to get in on one of the final slots. Our Friday first day is April 1, Monday’s is April 4th April 2: Return to Cedar Park Farmers Market for the first time in 2011, and to Austin Farmers Market Downtown for our second week of the season. We’ll have heirloom spinach, snow pea tendrils, green garlic (a red heirloom variety), beautiful heads of Romaine, and more April 10: ATX Food Swappers meet at Tecolote for a one-of-a-kind food sharing experience. Tickets are required for this event. Please get directions and RSVP if space is still available here. April 17: Katie is the featured speaker at the culminating event of the Journey with Food series . This one hour event is free and open to the public. It takes place at the First UU Church at 4700 Grover Avenue, and is broadcast on cable TV channel 10 later in the day. More details here. April 21: Slow Food Austin Happy Hour here at the farm from 6-8 pm. Small donation to Slow Food at the gate. Should be beautiful then, as it is now. As you can see, folks, April is looking mighty busy above and beyond the work of actually growing all this good food, so we will wait until early May to host our Annual CSA Members Potluck and Farm Tour.

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Make new friends, but keep the old

First week back at the farmers market today. Thanks for coming, y’all! Sold out of our tasty spinach and green heirloom garlic in no time. Couldn’t BELIEVE the excitement over our tender Snow Pea Tendrils- we’ll definitely do those again in the future (and hopefully, next week!) So good to see all of our old friends, and meet some new ones. Since we only brought a sampling of the bounty soon to come, we had lots of time for chatting and catching up- what a treat! Even got to snuzzle with babies and take a stroll through the market.

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Back to the Farmers Markets!

We are joyfully returning to the farmers market March 26, 2011 with delicious heirloom SPINACH, tender SNOW PEA TENDRILS, and fresh and tasty GREEN GARLIC. I will be downtown at the Austin Farmers Market on 4th St. (at Republic Square Park). The fields are beautiful and ready to deliver a great myriad of root vegetables and leafy greens for the next couple months to come. Ahhhhh, spring.

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Moving into the twenty-first century… but keeping our veggies old school

We are so excited about the potential of our brand-spankin’ new website! Recipe searches, announcements, photographs, online payments~ the possibilities are endless.  As the first vegetable delivery service in all of Texas, we operated for over a decade with a waiting list 3 to 5 years long. Having a website sounded like little more than a vehicle to ensure our waiting list grew to an unmanageable length, and we avoided it like the plague! Now there are more than a few farms offering their own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations, and almost just as many other businesses re-selling various farms’ goods and wares. While we intend to retain the quality we’re known for, we’ve expanded somewhat and are happy to offer CSA memberships with no wait for the first time ever! Word of mouth and the taste of our produce still have the phone ringing with “How Can I Join?” inquiries, so we want to make it easier for you to get answers to your questions here on the website.  We decided to “go public” with it even though it’s a work in progress. Hope you enjoy watching the modernization of Tecolote Farm. Don’t worry, though: the vegetables will retain their timeless, Old World “fresh from the garden” quality!

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Pioneers of CSA

CSA – or Community-Supported Agriculture- is a way for people to interact directly with a farm: to know their farmer, to eat food harvested mere hours before delivery, and to secure farm viability in their community. The CSA model was introduced into the United States by Robyn Van En and Elizabeth Hendersonin 1985.  We were honored to be selected to co-teach an intensive short course on CSA with Elizabeth at the 2010 Southern SAWG’s Sustaining Family Farms Conference.  People partaking in a CSA form an agriculture-supporting community:  a community which keeps its food production local, organic, and delicious. This is a  mutually beneficial relationship between the farmer and the Tecolote Basketeers. Your early financial support allows us to buy seeds and pay workers in the winter months, and our early labor and time investment pays off in your reserved share of the harvest. Our vegetable delivery service has always grown by “word of mouth” and our customers tell so many friends about the delicious and unique vegetables delivered to them that we had a 3 to 8 year waiting list for over a decade! Happily we have increased our numbers some, due to acquiring a larger delivery van and farming new ground, and for our 2012 season, we can offer you direct entry spots without the wait. Having brought the CSA farm-to-table model  to Texas in 1994 – just 9 years after its U.S. inception, Tecolote Farm is a pioneer for CSAs in the South.  25 years of vegetable farming experience translate into your weekly enjoyment of a diverse, healthy supply of great-tasting vegetables!  The Tecolote Farm subscription service, or CSA, started out with 16 customers our first season. Since then we have grown to 225 weekly basket deliveries, and continue to limit membership to ensure the kind of personal […]

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Water Woes

We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of community support given to Tecolote Farm during our three year water trial. While Travis County chose to hide behind the Rule of Capture and not do anything to help alleviate the damage caused to our groundwater supply and our financial well-being, we learned so much about how much Austin community members value their local farmers.  From your letters, emails, and phone calls to showing up at County court hearings and helping build our networking base, we felt held in the heart of all that is good about Austin. We believe our efforts would never have made it as far as they did without the incredible support our CSA customers, farmers market shoppers, neighbors, and community liaisons made on the behalf of this local, organic farm. One County Commissioner member estimated the County received over 15,000 pleas via email and telephone to “help the farm”.  If that wasn’t a mandate on publicly elected officials, what is? Good News is: We did drill a well at one of the sites suggested by the UT study, and now have a low production well on our property again. We are very grateful to the Hydrology students led by Jack Sharp for the preliminary work they did, which facilitated finding the well site.  Because the water production from this well isn’t sufficient to run the farm, we have also purchased additional property in agriculture-friendly Bastrop County next to another organic farm. There we will raise more beautiful organic produce, with a more reliable water source to keep our future steady! Hallelujah for the USDA’s Farm Security Administration’s low interest loans. Following are some notes from when we first tried to get the website up and running in 2009. Funny how what the County said they would do […]

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Who we are and what we do

Tecolote Farm operates the longest-running CSA in Texas, and was first certified organic in 1994. We started with 16 CSA customers, and have since provided countless Central Texans with fresh, delicious vegetables – many rare, heirloom varieties not often seen in stores. Before farming near Austin, we had the pleasure of farming in the beautiful Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska (long summer days! deep glacial soil!) and in central coastal California. We grow over 150 vegetables on our organic farm near Webberville, 13 miles east of the capital. We start all of our own vegetables, including heirlooms and heritage breeds, and everything we sell is grown and harvested here, at Tecolote Farm. We systematically follow the highest possible standard of quality and freshness. Produce is available via our CSA to subscribers in the spring/summer, and from late March to early November at the downtown Austin Farmers’ Market, the Cedar Park Farmers Market or the Sunset Valley Farmers’ Market. Thanks again for your interest in local, fresh & healthy (the secret’s out: it tastes so much better!) Did you know: in 1900, more than half the U.S. population lived on farms, 46 million out of the 76 million total population? By 1950, only 16 percent of the population – 23 million people – lived on farms. By 1990, there were 3.9 million people living on farms, only 1.6% of the total population. From Katie’s multi-generational roots in California citrus ranching to David’s family background in Louisiana rice farming, we are proud to represent the new face of farming!                         

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Many thanks to Keeshi + Photo and Twisted String for their photography contributions