Monday July 16

Week Fourteen!

New this week: Red Potatoes, Different Tomato Variety Offerings, Fairy Tale Mini Eggplant (by the pint)

Notes: We have lots of milk right now. If you'd like to order extra for cheese making or just drinking, just make a note of how much you'd want in the notes section at the end of the order form. 


As with each order, please consider your needs for the week and order accordingly.  You'll notice slight changes and additions week to week as the season evolves, but rest assured there will always be plenty available each week! 

Without further ado, here is the order form link.
Orders are due by Tuesday night
Thursday afternoon delivery.

Feel free to browse any past issues for additional recipe ideas! 

Pictured above: A peek at the summer pasture: Clovers, some dandelion and plantain, and mixed grasses (mainly fescue, but also bluegrass, Timothy, and orchard grass). Coming up to about mid-calf. Lookin' good!    
Farm Note

Week 14, wow! Lots of news this week!

Next season sign ups: 
To secure your spot for the Fall just send us a quick email saying you'd like to sign up. If you can believe it, Both Valley Spirit and us at Pink Elephant have already been making our way from the fields back into the greenhouse to start seedlings for the Fall. Those fall tops we all love--Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli--all get started around now for harvest in October/November. If nothing else, the garden will teach patience. :) The Fall season will officially start with the first delivery on Thursday August 23 and will go through November.     

Some housekeeping to officially closeout this current season:

Get your Calendars out! 
Next week, the order for July 26, will be a "double order" week--you'll place an order for the equivalent of two deliveries, the 26th and August 2nd. Ordering for the 2nd takes the season to a full 16 weeks. (You'll remember we built in a "vacation week," which some of you have already taken. Ordering double for the 2nd is that "vacation week." If you made an order every week, this is your "free" week.) 

Vacations for everyone!
On the subject of vacation, the farmers need a little break, too! You might notice the Fall season will begin on August 23, leaving us a two week break between seasons. On our end, this will be a time for a quick getaway and recharge off the farm--Jenny and I are planning a short trip to Georgia to see Jenny's sister. She lives in Brazil, but will be visiting with her daughter, her first child who is just six weeks older than Alma. We may also scoot over to Nashville for a few days to see some old friends. Otherwise, the break from the CSA will also give us a little more time to focus on getting all those wonderful fall crops in the ground--I guess you could call it a "working vacation." :) Come the 23rd we'll be ready to hit the ground running again--recharged from seeing long-distance family, and, ideally, a sense of being (mostly) caught up on the farm. 

We also hope this break will give everyone a chance to catch up in the kitchen. Use up that random eggplant or squash floating around the back of fridge, pull the left over chicken bones out of the freezer and try your own long simmered bone broth. In other words, get the fridge cleaned out, organized, and ready for the next 16 weeks. :)  

Finally, don't forget about the Farm Day at Valley Spirit. See details below. 

Week 14, wow, there we are!

(I do hope that made sense...please reach out with any questions if something seems a bit muddy...)       
Here's a couple pictures of Alma, our daughter. We've been affectionately calling her "ladybug" "ham-bone" and "stinkbug" (when she, you know...). She's usually eating or sleeping, but recently she's been out in the pasture helping me move the cows or harvest basil.  

Good grief, she's already going on 11 weeks old! Yikes! Everyone says time flies with the little ones, but goodness, eleven weeks! She's been pretty great. I might be a little bias, but I sure do think she's the best. :)   

Farm Tour and Fun Day
July 29th

Valley Spirit Farm
Campbellsburg, KY


Time: Gather around 2 pm 
Address: 1054 McCarty Ln. Campbellsburg, KY
Food: Potluck Style... BUT ...The Valley Spirit crew will be firing up the grill, serving meat and tossing a salad.
Farm Tour: After eating, we'll take a walk around the farm and see everything that's going on--gardens, high tunnels, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, barn cats, etc.

PLEASE RSVP by replying to us at if you intend to join us (Just to give us an idea of how much meat to throw on the grill).  
Don't forget, we reuse all sizes of our glass jars, lids and any clean egg cartons! Please set those out for us to pick up week to week (and any crates/boxes you might have as well). We try to mark all of our jars with a pink dot on the bottom.
  1. MONDAY: An email with a link to your order form will go out. Orders are placed online and once you click submit, you will receive a confirmation email of your requested items.
  2. TUESDAY: Orders are due by midnight on Tuesdays.
  3. WEDNESDAY: We will harvest and gather all items for your box.
  4. THURSDAY: Pickup at the farm or Delivery to your house! Delivery: leave 2 coolers on your porch or let us know if there is a fridge we can access for storing everything. Pickup: Come to the farm anytime after 2 pm and pickup from our walk-in cooler. 
  5. ALL WEEK: Cook and enjoy! And any feedback is always welcome!

Recipes -- All About Eggplant 

I'm sure everyone knows how to can their tomatoes, or sun-dry them, etc. But, Eggplant is, I'm sure a less familiar veggie to preserve.

Here's the technique from Bon Appétit: Preserved Eggplant  ...They even recommend the "Fairy Tale" eggplants. :)   

Joshua McFadden's technique is kind of a combination of pickled eggplant and preserved eggplant (his method is the one I most see in Italian cookbooks).
It's pretty simple and forgiving: 
Any type of eggplant works. And really any shape works--long and slender, or in rounds. Just make sure they fit into your jars.

For 1 lb of eggplant toss with 2 teaspoons of salt, or enough to coat and draw out the moisture. Let them sit in a colander for 2-8 hours in the refrigerator. Blot dry with a paper towel. Then squeeze out anymore moisture you can with your hands.

Then, while back in the colander, place plastic wrap on top of the eggplant and then place some heavy cans or jars on top to, yes, get out even more moisture. Press like this for another 2 hours or so. Blot dry again.

Finally, toss with 1/2 red wine vinegar (again this is for 1 lb eggplant, so adjust accordingly). Pack into your jars, along with any additions (garlic, basil, pepper flakes, etc.) and cover with olive oil. Make sure to tap the jars to make sure the oil finds its way into all the little crevices. Close up the jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a month. But let them rest for at least a week before using.

McFadden's preserved eggplant is more of a condiment than anything else. Put it on sandwiches, etc. as the Bon Appétit suggests. But McFadden also suggests finally chopping them and folding them into meatballs within nuts, raisins, breadcrumbs, and feta. Or chop it and toss with cooked pasta, herbs, chili flakes, ricotta, and lots of olive oil.  

Then there's Baba Ganoush (see video below)
Follow us on Instagram for more farm photos!
Your Valley Spirit Farmers! 
Caleb, Kelly, Judah & Rebekah Fiechter on the left. Joseph, Abbie, Ruth and Angus Monroe on the right.
And from Pink Elephant Farm & Kitchen, Jenny Vaughn and Justin Owings.
As a reminder, this is all new to all of us. Please feel free to reach out at any time with any and all questions or concerns. We want this to be a highly positive experience for all of us, and a big part of ensuring this is keeping the communication and feedback lines always open. Let us know what's going on--what you liked, what you cooked, how veggies are storing and holding up for you, etc.. 
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