Farm Notes March 22nd: Walking to Spring CSA is Here!

Hello from Tant Hill Farm! We are so excited about the Spring season and all the surprises it has in store for us The weather has been a little strange but we just go with its flow! Our new baby Chicks are growing so quickly, by July we will have more Organic free range, soy and wheat free eggs to offer! Our Walking to Spring CSA session starts today, pick up at Main Street Farmers Market and Nutrition World Farmers Market.

We are at Nutrition World Farmers Market every Saturday from 11:30am-1pm.

See you at Main Street Farmers Market!

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March 22nd Produce

Here are the items you can expect at Market {M} and in the CSA {CSA}:

  • Toscano Kale {CSA} Red Russian and Siberian Kale {M}: check out this recipe from the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith. Don’t throw your stems away!! Kale Salad with Apples and Peanuts
  • Rainbow {M/CSA} and Giant Ford Hook Swiss Chard {M}: while you can use just about any green in our latest recipe – Chard Onion Cheese Frittata – I like how quick Swiss chard cooks down. Thinly slicing the stems and cooking them with the onions is an added bonus!
  • Dragon Tongue and Spicy Asian Mustard Greens {CSA}: did you know mustard greens are linked to cancer prevention? They are also touted as cholesterol lowering machines, along with kale and collards, so be sure to get your daily dose of these greens! The Spicy Asian Mustard has a Horseradish bite that is tamed when cooked. Mustard Greens are amazing with your scrambled eggs in the morning!
  • Tender Collards {CSA}: Collard Green and Pecan Pesto is a great recipe as the weather is starting to warm. Basil is not the only green you can use for pesto. You can also use your favorite nut if pecans are not your fancy!
  • Red Kitten Spinach {M/CSA}: this is the most beautiful spinach I have ever grown! The dense texture, the arrowhead shape and the stunning burgundy coloring is so vibrant! Check out Blackwell Smiths recipe for Warm Red Kitten Spinach Salad.
  • Organic, Range Free, Soy and Wheat Free Eggs {M}: here is a muffin-type meal that would be great with any number of our greens – Quinoa Kale Bites. A few eggs bind together quinoa, kale (or other greens) and cheese to make a healthy on-the-run meal.
  • Green Onions {CSA}: Add these beauties to any salad or meal.
  • Herbs: Parsley {M/CSA}, Rosemary, Garlic Chives, English Thyme and Sweet Mint {M} Here is a great site on how to store and prepare your herbs. Herbs. The herbs will store well in the bag they come in!
  • Edible Asian and Arugula Flowers {M}. Flowers make a great addition to your Kale salad. If you love presentation, this will take it to another level!
  • Medicinal and Nutrient Dense Chickweed for Smoothies, Teas or Tincture. See Chickweed is a Star for some great info on this amazing Herb!

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” Thomas Edison


Kale Salad with Apples and Peanuts from the Kitchen of Blackwell Smith

Hello from Tant Hill Farm! With the abundance of Nutrient dense greens this time of year our body screams out for them! Its part of the seasonal eating. With these greens are beautiful stems that are full of nutrition as well. Some may cut the stem out and use the tender leaves. but please don’t throw them away. There are multiple uses for these stems, check out This website for some great ideas. If you are unable to use the stems, an addition to a compost bin or pile will guarantee it goes back into the earth. Below is a recipe from Blackwell Smith. His recipes are quick and delicious. Have fun with your Greens and stems, your body will love you for it!

From Blackwell Smith:

Stems in greens. What do you do with these? Basically if you don’t simmer them in a pot, puree in a smoothie or slice them very small, you may end up with something undesirable, tough or stringy. We have a recipe that will help you get the most out of your produce. It’s simple, easy and quick. You can keep it in the cooler for few days or eat it right out of the mixing bowl.

Kale salad with apples and peanuts
Ingredients
1 bunch of your favorite Tant Hill Farm kale
1 apple
1/3 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon fresh ginger fine chopped
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Directions
-hold kale in one bunch tightly slice stems no more than a 1/8th inch slowly moving up the leaves
-cut apple off of core, lay flat, cut thin strips
– pour all liquid ingredients and ginger into mixing bowl and stir together
– put kale, peanuts and apples into bowl and mix with dressing
– serve now or save for later
You could use almonds instead of peanuts. Oranges can substitute for apples. Summer fest or mustard would make excellent additions or substitutes.
Remember fresh food is the best food!!!

“Fall Into Greens” CSA Session Starts Soon!

Hello!

It’s been a while but we wanted to let you know that we are excitedly gearing up for our fall CSA session! Here is what you need to know:

  • We focus on nutrient dense Powerhouse Greens and various other vegetables, such as:
    • Variety of kale, tender collards, mustard greens, mild & spicy Asian greens, Chinese cabbage, green cabbage, Swiss chard, pak choi, kohlrabi, radish, carrots, beets, salad turnips, daikon radish, mache, cress, variety of lettuce, lettuce mix, spinach, arugula, green onions & garlic
  • It lasts 12 weeks starting the end of September or early October
  • The cost is $370 but you can receive a 5% discount when you sign up for the Winter and Spring sessions at the same time
  • We offer two pick up locations
    • Main Street Farmers Market: Wednesday from 3:30 – 5:30
    • Nutrition World: Saturday from 10 – noon

Contact Mark & Gina to learn more or sign up!

We look forward to seeing you this fall!


Deep Winter CSA Starts Next Week!

Hello!

We won’t be at market tonight but are looking forward to the Deep Winter CSA starting next week (Jan 20th)! As always, the contents of the first share will depend on what is ready, but we anticipate the following items:

  • Kale
  • Tender Collards
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spigarello Broccoli Rabe

If you want to plan ahead, check out our Recipe page for ideas. Don’t forget, you can always buy extra produce and receive an extra 10% as a shareholder. This is great to keep in mind if you want to buy extra for preserving. We have a number of posts that focus on preserving the harvest:

See you at market next week!

 


GreenTrips Article

Hi everyone!

We wanted to share the recent GreenTrips article. It discusses the numerous benefits of Mark & Gina’s use of bicycles on the farm. You can find the original article here, but I have copied the text below for your convenience. Let us know if you have any feedback!

For most of us, the word that immediately comes to mind after the word “farm” is “tractor”.

While Mark and Gina Tant, the owners of Tant Hill Farm, still use traditional heavy machinery for work, to get around the farm they have opted for a human-powered device.

“This thing came up at the same time we were buying our tractors and equipment—the biking idea came up as we were starting the farm,” Mark Tant said. “There’s another farm that uses bikes too … I remember thinking it makes total sense.”

“It’s always been a dream of both of ours,” Mark said, describing his first forays into farming.

“Our kids are grown; the last one graduated college last year, so we left Nashville with the view of finding some land and we landed in the Chattanooga area”, he said. “We both have always felt like we wanted to get out, away from the city, and spend the rest of our lives living off the land,” he said. With self-sufficiency in mind, the Tants settled in Lafayette, GA.

“We didn’t know anything about farming,” he admits. “I left my job of 28 years as a biomedical technician. We knew a little bit about food, but how to grow it we learned over time. We didn’t even own a lawn mower when we started looking,” he said. “We just picked it up. It was just a natural part of what we were trying to accomplish by living off the land and growing our own farm.”

As the Tants became more familiar with farming, their biking plans formed as well. “We bought five bikes about four years ago from an auction—it was a big farming auction—and some of the farmers were standing around saying ‘who wants a bike?’,” Mark said, recalling that the farmers were anxious for the next lot in the sale. Mark bought the bikes, but never used them. “It’s been in the thinking stage for a while; we just didn’t make the move until this year. We’ve picked up two; we plan to pick up a couple more just to be able to use them in place of a four-wheeler,” he said.

Adding bikes into their daily routine has provided many benefits, starting with practicality and fuel savings. “There’ll be times when I might be back (on the other side of the farm) somewhere on a tractor, and then I’ve got to get back here. If the bike is ready to go, it’s a ten-times faster method. It’s also an efficiency thing; the property is graded down from 1000 feet to about 100, going from the back to the front is all downhill. I can fly from the back to the front, and get a little workout getting back up. Throughout the day, all that adds up,” he said, adding, “we do see this as conserving fuel for sure, and that is one of the benefits: saving on the fuel costs.”

Mark has found health benefits as well. “I like it because I had knee surgery about five years ago, and the doc said I could extend (the knee’s health) out based on how I use it, so the bike will help a lot on that front.”

Mark also enjoys knowing that biking around the farm helps them contribute to more sustainable agriculture. “We do have a view for land conservation,” he added, “so we like the idea of going light on the environmental Impact. The bikes will help with that.”

Small farms are at an interesting point, Mark said. While their numbers have decreased in recent years, the growth of community support has emboldened farmers to try new things. The benefits of incorporating biking on the farm have grown out of that freedom. “I am at the age right now—57, 58, 59—it’s the average age of small farmers and small land. We’re serious about finding partnerships for young people, about picking up this land and carrying it on.”

“Now, even that 58-year old owner sees the possibility that his land can be held in a way that is better for the rural community and even for the urban community. So not only are bicycles part of what we’re doing, but (it) seems like every year we’ve got something new going on.”

Mark reminded us that “Farmers are the real rock stars. We’ve been idolizing the wrong people for too long.”  While they’re not likely to fill a stadium, we certainly think Mark and Gina Tant are rock stars for their innovative use of bikes for getting around on the farm. Incorporating cycling and other transportation options into your routine can bring you just as many benefits, regardless of how rural your surroundings are.

If you have a story about how you get around with GreenTrips, we encourage you to share it with us at greentrips@chattanooga.gov.