Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is known for its many health benefits, common to most cruciferous vegetables. It can be cooked in a wide variety of ways, but the most common is steaming. This is also the method that retains the most nutrients. Broccoli is very high in vitamins A, C, and K and is also fiber-rich while remaining a low-calorie option.
Many studies have also suggested that broccoli can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. There is also evidence in some studies of anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as vitamins that promote healthy hair, skin, and nails, provide increased energy, and help maintain a healthy body weight.
See below for recipes and instructions on how to freeze broccoli!
How to Preserve Broccoli
Broccoli is both healthy and delicious, and preserving it through the winter is a great way to have it available year-round. Freezing broccoli is super quick and easy. Here’s how:
Broccoli Chowder with Corn and Bacon
· 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
· 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
· 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
· 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
· 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
· 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
· 1 cup whole milk
· Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Increase heat to medium. Cook onion, stirring, until it begins to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add flour; cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes. Add broccoli, corn, thyme, and milk. Cook until broccoli is crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with bacon.
Although Gazanias and Gomphrenas are commonly found in flower gardens, many people lack a familiarity with what they are and how to grow them. Both flowers are relatively low maintenance plants, which flourish in places with full sun and are tolerant of droughts. Likewise, they are both good for planting in containers as well as for groundcover.
Gazanias (sometimes referred to as “treasure flowers”) come in several species, differing primarily in color, and are known to attract birds. They typically bloom from Summer to Fall. Gazanias can be either annuals or perennials, depending upon the specific type.
Gomphrenas also come in numerous species and colors and attract butterflies. They typically bloom for the first time around June, and can continue to through the first frost. Gomphrenas grow to be around one to two feet tall by up to a foot wide. Gomphrenas are annuals.
Both of these plants are excellent additions to any flower garden due to their vibrancy and color. They are also ideal for people looking to attract birds or butterflies to their garden. Now is the perfect time to plant for a long blooming season, so be sure to buy soon. If you’re interested in adding either of these beautiful plants to your garden, we still have both available!
Below: Gomphrena (left) and Gazanias (right)
Want to support local family business, drink beer, and be part of community events all at one time?
Head on over to the New Sarum Brewing Company’s beautiful brewery and tap room! Coming up on the first anniversary of their new facility in Downtown Salisbury, family (or might-as-well be) owned and operated New Sarum Brewing Company is dedicated to creating innovative, quality beers by paying homage to traditional, tried and true brewing techniques. They have been making a name for themselves on the NC beer scene for good reason, and their brews can be found in many Salisbury bars and restaurants as well as Food Lion locations,
They have some great on-tap staples for a variety of beer tastes (I'm a fan of the Blood Orange Wheat) and put out creative limited runs and “infusions” weekly. (Follow their Facebook New Sarum Brewing to keep up-to date on their offerings and events). Their tap-room has an open and welcoming atmosphere and their brewery facility is impeccable. Be on the look-out to get in on one of their regularly scheduled brewery tours and see for yourself!
With several other Salisbury based ventures established, they are committed to local business, and are generously allowing us to use their facility as a Farm-Share Program pick-up location, so we can bring our products to the Salisbury community. Sign-up and have an excuse to grab a weekly pint!
So, if you are looking for something to do, check them out, and then mark your calendars for their anniversary event happening April 29th, beer, bands, food and friends, we are planning on being there!
Worry is unfruitful.
I am trying to focus on this thought as we are knee-deep, and getting deeper by the second into our 2016 season.
This wonderful weather has me forgetting that is it still (already???) March.
We had a very busy winter working on building up the infrastructure at our new property in Healing Springs. Two of our biggest projects including installing a waterstove to provide heat for our home and greenhouse, and building that said greenhouse!
With those projects well underway, we began planning and seeding our early season crops.
Greens, cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower were first. Seeding began at the beginning of January. Our small greenhouse was soon at full capacity. They were moved outside to harden-off and planting was completed this week!
For our early summer crops, we invested in a new grow light set up. Our spare room was commandeered for shelving holding over 15 varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Our first round was re-potted into field transplant and bedding- plant sales trays. We will be selling plants on farm, and through some local stores. Our greenhouse is almost full with our transplants, along with several varieties of cucumbers, squash and melons waiting to sprout!
We prepped the beds for our spring plantings in the fall. However, we had a neighbor with a larger tractor come plow some of our other fields, and Michael has been testing out his new tractor and tiller, prepping our beds for our direct seeded spring crops and summer crops.
Onions, radishes, beets, carrots, arugula and spinach were direct seeded at the end of last week. Sprouts should soon be making their appearance after the rain this weekend!
We are planning quite a bit of expansion this season with both our markets and crops. We will return to the Lexington Market at the Depot, as well as continue at the Piedmont Triad Farmer's Market in Greensboro and have an on-farm stand in Healing Springs.
We will continue to partner with our lovely neighbors, The Persimmon Branch Farm, to bring their delicious peaches to you.
As always, please contact us through comments, e-mail or facebook with your thoughts, or if you are looking to get your hands on produce.
Our Facebook page (The Fine Farming Company), is more regularly updated with pictures and happenings!
“Since garlic then hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath.” – Salerno Regimen of Health.
I finally got our garlic in today, but still need to mulch. planted 2 1/2 lbs total.
The health benefits of garlic are vast. Boosts immune systems, lowers blood pressure, and has antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
Want to know how and why? Check out this page:
Garlic Health Benefits
It also tastes delicious!
If you are interested in planting garlic, now is the time. In the southeast, Garlic planting time is between Halloween and Christmas.
Can you plant grocery store garlic?
The answer is, You don't know what you'll get. Grocery store garlic is often treated to prevent sprouting. Which may be a problem for you, when you are hoping to sprout it in the ground! It also may not be the best variety to grow in your area.
Invest in some good seed garlic. It is pricey, but you will have a better chance of getting a good crop and being able to save your own seed garlic for next year!
We chose to get seed Garlic from Sow True Seeds. They are out of Asheville and have good information and varieties specific to our area (the Southeast).
We chose three varieties (2 soft neck and 1 hardneck).
You want your soil to be tilled deeply, bedded, crumbly, and soft. I pulled up the plastic on one of our beds near the strawberries, it is some of the softest soil on the farm.
Plant cloves with the pointed end up about 2 inches deep and 5 inches apart.
Fertilizer your soil with granular fertilizer or compost. Mulch heavily with straw for the winter.
Happy Garlic Planting!
“The only advice I can give to aspiring writers is don’t do it unless you’re willing to give your whole life to it. Red wine and garlic also helps.” – Jim Harrison
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
So long now I've been out
In the rain and snow
But winter's come and gone
A little bird told me so
Strawberry picking is in full swing and our first round of summertime planting is almost complete!
The strawberries had a little recovering to do after our extended bout of cool, cloudy weather. Not ideal for firm, smooth, sweet berries! But we hope you'll agree they are thriving in the beautiful spring days we are having!
Some of our newest plants in the ground include:
-cucurbiates (zuchinni (golden and green), yellow squash, patty pan squash, pickling and slicing cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelon)
-tomatoes (heirloom, beefstake, red slicing and cherry tomatoes)
-peppers (green bell, red bell, jalapeno, lunchbox, banana, anaheim, pablano, italian sweet)
-eggplant (black, white, purple asian)
I myself am glad that planting is almost done because although is is rewarding to look back on a long row of little plants ready to take off on their own, it sure is hard on a back!
Our greens are loving life right now, and onions, spinach and lettuce are going to be aviable starting the next couple weeks.
Be looking for updates on produce box availability and pick-up locations and market stand set-up!
We were very lucky to have some strawberry picking guests to visit this week!
It brought back lots of special memories of me and my sisters picking berries on our family's farm. Seeing everyone out there made me really happy and hope that next year we will be able to open up to pick-your-own!
They also got to sneak a peak at some of the tomatoes coming on in the hoop house, we are counting the days!
Cease endlessly striving for what you would like to do and learn to love what must be done. - Goethe
It is been a busy few months for us as the weather warms up!
We have been working hard to keep on schedule to have our products ready for harvest and market (to your kitchen!) as soon as possible!
Some of our activities include:
-Seeding for the field and greenhouse
-Breaking ground and making bed rows
-Erecting a hoop house
-Transplanting our baby plants!
-Building our mobile produce trailer
-Starting on the never-ending task of weed control
We are excited to report that we have collards, kale, cabbage (green, red, napa and pak choi), green onions, large sweet onions, lettuce (green leaf, red buttercrunch and romaine) and tomato seedlings in the ground, all enjoying this warm moist spring weather!
In the greenhouse, we are watching squash, melons, cucumbers and tomatoes upon tomatoes sprout and grow!
Out in the field, we have beets, spinach, arugula, cilantro and carrots peeking their way out of the soil. They will be loving this rain to keep the soil soft and moist.
Green berries are heavy on our strawberry plants and should be ripening for harvest starting the first week of May!
Flowers are appearing on our hoop house tomatoes and kale and collards are already in the weekly (alright, daily....) meal rounds in our kitchen!
Still lots, and lots of work ahead but taking it one day at a time!