Sunday, September 2

New this week: Pork Loin, Ground Chuck, Round Steak, Spicy Lettuce Mix, Mini Romain Lettuce, Baby Kale, Bulk Shishito Peppers, Tomato Seconds 

We are offering Tomato Seconds by the 5 lb increment. These are tomatoes that have a blemish, soft spot, or a crack, or is somehow just not perfect. These would be great for processing into sauce or salsa, or try your own tomato paste (see recipe below). Just cut the blemish off and use the parts that a re still good. 

Just so everyone gets the memo, I'll leave a couple of the notes below... 


  • Schedule: We are changing up the schedule slightly for the Fall season. Deliveries/pickups and order forms will be on a bi-weekly basis (every other week). So just like you did for the final delivery of the spring season, you'll order each time for a two week period. Pricing will stay the same--it's still a 14 week season plus some big Thanksgiving bonuses, just with seven total deliveries. *For more info on why we're making this shift, see below.* 

    Additionally, starting with a delivery on September 5th, deliveries will come on WEDNESDAYS instead of Thursdays.   

  • A special note on ordering Milk: You'll have the option in the order form to get your milk request all at once, or to break up the order over the two weeks. We're happy to deliver fresh milk each week, but know the milk should be perfectly drinkable throughout the two week period.    


Finally, here is this week's order form.

+ Delivery for this order is WEDNESDAY Sept. 5th. Expect us sometime between 4-7pm. 

+ Please complete this order by MONDAY night so we can harvest on Tuesday. 

+ Remember, you are ordering for two weeks. 

+ And please remember to set out a couple coolers so everything can stay crisp until you get home. 


Pictured above: We met up with the previous farm owner for a char, and discovered the above picture of the farm. I'm not trying to get you in the mood for dreary winter weather, but it was really fun seeing s couple older photos of the farm. So much is different.  
--Farm Update-- 

We had a delightful time chatting with the previous farm owner of our farm, what we're calling Pink Elephant Farm. I don't think Scottie (the previous owner) had an official farm name, but we're told one iteration at one time was "The Beeches" named after the large beech trees once on the property. Folks around here mainly know it first as the "Wilson Farm" and most recently as "Scottie's Farm." When we first arrived and were exploring the county, we'd often tell people we bought Scottie's old place and everyone knew exactly who and where we were talking about. 

If chatting was a delight, discovering this old picture hanging in a guest bedroom was just the icing on the cake. We've managed to talk with a number of folks about this old farm and have even seen a number of pictures, but this one stands out as particularly special. I presume it was taken by Scottie's son, who is pilot and would often fly over the farm. It shows pieces of the farm that are no longer around--the tobacco stripping room on the large tobacco barn, the very large dairy barn behind the house, fences, old farm roads, and older trees that succumbed to the strong winds we can get on the ridge land. It tells a small part of the agricultural story of Henry County--a small diversified farm consisting mainly of dairy and tobacco. Now the story is mainly one of farm consolidation and the planting of corn and soy beans on what used to be pasture, or was at least considered "too steep to plow."     

Our farm is over 200 years old. It's a wild responsibility to carry it on, and for lovers of old things such as Jenny and I, participating in this history is say the least. It's little morsels like this picture, or the unearthing of bricks or milk pails in a barn or even arrowheads in the fields that remind us of this history and actually help remind us of our place. We're reminded we are very small to the universe and to Time, and that we are simply stewards to a place that has been here before us and is likely to be here after us.     


+ Country-Fried Steak 

+ Tomato paste or "Tomato Conserva" if you're feeling fancy. 

If you're trying to preserve tomato season for those deep winter moths, you might try Joshua McFadden's "Tomato Conserva" aka tomato paste. McFadden notes "because you're making [tomato paste] with fresh tomatoes at their peak, good olive oil, and care and attention, the result is like no canned tomato paste you've ever had."

He calles for 8 pounds of tomatoes, which will yield about 2 cups of paste. 

Here's the recipe (slightly condensed) 

Core the tomatoes and roughly chop them. Pile into a large pot with a wide surface and add 1/4 cup olive oil. Bring to a simmer. 

Reduce your heat to whatever temperature keeps the tomatoes simmering (but don't scorch them on the bottom!) and cook until you have the consistency of a tomato sauce--30-50 minutes. Work the tomatoes through a food mill, or if you don't have a food mill, use of fine mesh strainer. You're looking to remove the skin and seeds. 

Heat your oven to 300 and oil a baking sheet or whatever vessel you use in the oven--13 x 18 sheet pan, 9 x 13 baking dish, etc. 

Add your tomato sauce and bake until the consistency goes from liquid to a thick puree, about 3 hours. Tend to it regularly to not let the edges brown or caramelize. Use a spatula to move the outer edges to the middle, and the middle to the outer edge. You're aiming for even cooking throughout the 3 hours, so move it around a fair amount. 

Reduce the heat to 200 and bake for a long as you can, up to over night. It won't need much attention by now, but you should still check it every now and then. 

It will freeze great, or it can even be canned.   
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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