Submit Your Chicken Recipes & Win a Farmstead Gift Card!

August 18th, 2014

roast chickenWe know, we know.  Cooking chicken can get kinda boring.  Especially with the arrival of our Urban Acres Meat Shares (Pastured Chicken and Grass-Fed Beef), we want to give you lots of ideas on how to enjoy these high-quality meats.  Who isn’t looking for fresh interesting ways to prepare one of the most common meats available?

Thanks to our wonderful local farmers at Windy Meadows, we have what we feel is the absolute best local pastured chicken available. It truly makes a difference in flavor when you’re using meat from a healthy, pastured animal.

We’ve already shared the best way to roast a whole chicken and how to make chicken stock.  Here are a few more ideas we’ve rounded up…

Image source: TheKitchn.com

Image source: TheKitchn.com

Now, we’re turning it over to YOU!  Our members and customers are constantly inspiring us with recipe ideas, so we thought we’d take it to the next level…

Simply post a comment below with your favorite chicken recipe and WHY you like it.  Entries close at midnight CST on Sunday, August 24th.  On Monday, August 25th,  we’ll randomly select one person from the entries who will win a $100 gift card to Urban Acres Farmstead!

** Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you win! 

Ready, set, go…

Meet Our Friends At Highway 19 Farms

August 14th, 2014

Supporting local farmers is one of our greatest passions at Urban Acres.  The more small-scale family farmers we get to know, the more we understand the many risks associated with going into farming as a career.

For example, one of the realities facing a local farmer is that they may grow an entire field of produce and then not be able to sell it to anyone. Frequently, local farmers take their produce to a local buyer, only to have it rejected due to size and appearance stipulations.  As we continue to grow, we’d like to pay it forward and continue to help young farmers remove some of those risks, making it easier for them to successfully pursue their passion and be able to provide for themselves and their families.

Thanks to your support, we’re able to “incubate” young farmers like Bobby Bevers from Highway 19 Farms in Athens, TX. When we incubate a new farmer, we give them the peace of mind that they have a partner to “go to market” with, freeing them up to focus on what they do best – growing delicious, organic food.

Bobby from Hwy 19 Farms

Bobby from Highway 19 Farms

Bobby and his crew are currently cultivating 8 acres of land near Athens.  If you tasted the juicy watermelon we had at the Farmstead this summer, you enjoyed some of the fruit of Bobby’s labor.

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Watermelon in the fields at Highway 19

Tomato plants at Hwy 19 Farms

Tomato plants at Highway 19 Farms

Charleston Grey watermelons from Hwy 19 Farms

Highway 19 Farms’ Charleston Grey watermelons at the Farmstead

The mild summer has been treating our friends at Highway 19 very well, but the dry and hot weather the past few weeks has been challenging for them and their crops.  They just planted another round of summer produce such as yellow squash, pickling cucumbers, and slicing tomatoes and are also gearing up for the fall.  Their greenhouse is filled with trays of broccoli and cabbage seeds.  They’ve been doing constant ground prep and just planted pumpkins in hopes of having them ready by Halloween.  We can’t wait!

This is hard to believe, but the team is also already planting fruit for next summer! They’re about to plant strawberries in hopes of harvesting the first crop as early as March, depending on when it gets warm.  We look forward to tasting those beautiful berries next spring.

With your dollars and your voice, you can continue to do your part to support start-up local farmers like Bobby at Highway 19 Farms.  Thank you so much for being on this journey with us!

Fig Frenzy

August 7th, 2014

fig basketWhoa!  Local figs from Gundermann Acres are back (both in the produce shares and for sale at the Farmstead), and our Facebook and Instagram are blowin’ up with ideas on how you’re enjoying your local, organic figs.  We thought we’d share them all here so you can get some great ideas and inspiration…

From our Facebook page

  • Ellen G: Ate them fresh over the weekend. I made the fig tart on the Urban acres website today! Tomorrow in a salad. We got two baskets!
  • Karrie S: I’m raw vegan.. just gonna eat them plain.. I love them!
  • Dena J: They are incredible and we are just eating them plain.  What a treat!
  • Carol K: Love figs, we just ate them.  Like them just the way they are.
  • Chris C: Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Figs Recipe | Epicurious.com
  • Sherlie B: Wrapped with prosciutto, fresh basil, and goat cheese inside, drizzle with balsamic glaze and EVOO.
  • Animal Rights & Rescue of North Texas: Gone the first day.
  • Sherri M: Planning on grilling ours to serve with steak at my daughter’s suggestion (a dish she had at Uchi in Austin)
  • Kathy T: Loved them in our share.  Just ate them fresh & they didn’t last long!  Hope we get more!
  • Laura D: Fig Frangipane Tart
  • Mary M: I was lucky enough to get some in my share last week and we loved them!!
  • Parigi Restaurant: We did them like this…y.u.m.

parigi figs
From our Instagram

  • christinaisblue: I made jam with them! Can’t wait to put it in my coconut yogurt.  I found an easy recipe here.
  • bmkphotog: Fig Swirl Ice Cream.
  • tracy1314: Roast pork with fig sauce!
  • mamasimpson: I made a fig tart with honey yogurt sauce.
  • bananarama427: Goat cheese, fig and pancetta pizza!
  • raquel81: i was wondering what to do with mine. i cannot wait to eat them!

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>> Get more fig recipes here on our site.
The figs are gonna go fast at the Farmstead this weekend – get them before they’re gone. :)  And please chime in below and let us know how you’re enjoying your fresh figs!

Meet Our Friends At Hudspeth Farm

August 6th, 2014

Did you know the Urban Acres Meat Share is here?   By popular demand, you can now add on a meat share of 100% Pasture-Raised Chicken and/or Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished Beef to your produce share!

We introduced you to our chicken farmers last time, and today we’d like you to meet one of our wonderful grass-fed beef farmers, Hudspeth Farm.  Dale and Linda Hudspeth of Forestburg, TX are providing the 100% grass-fed/grass-finished beef that’s in our meat shares.  hudspeth

The Hudspeths do not use hormones, growth promoters or any type of antibiotics – they only use what is known as “natural methods of production” for their grass and soils such as fish oils, microbials and minerals.

Did you know that oftentimes, beef marked “grass-fed” in grocery stores has only been partially fed grass during its lifetime?   Many beef farmers “finish” their beef on grains, so they are not 100% grass-fed.  Hudspeth Farm’s cattle are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.  No grain is ever fed to grass-finished animals, and grass-finished beef has superior health benefits.  Hudspeth’s healthy soils and fresh grass make for healthy animals.

Hudspeth beef also makes for a great, juicy burger.  Try our meat share today and let us know what you think!

burger_zps864a915d

Roasting Whole Pastured Chickens: Everything You Need To Know

July 31st, 2014

In case you haven’t heard, the Urban Acres Meat Share is here!  If you’re already receiving a produce share, you can now add on a meat share of 100% Pasture-Raised Chicken and/or Grass-Fed/Grass-Finished Beef.

Andy trying a Gundermann fig

Andy trying a fresh fig at a local farm

In honor of the new meat shares, we thought that everyone should know how to perfectly roast a whole pastured chicken.  Here’s a tutorial straight from our UA staffer and food connoisseur, Andy Minton.

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Whole Roast Chickens

roast chicken

Mike and Connie Hale and family

Mike and Connie Hale and family

The chicken we sell at Urban Acres is 100% pasture-raised from Mike and Connie Hale’s Windy Meadows Family Farm in Northeast Texas.  Their chickens are hatched on site, ensuring a stress-free start. They are not only cage-free and free-range, but pastured, meaning that the chickens live out their days in fresh air and sunlight. They receive organic feed free-choice to supplement the nutrition they receive from their natural diet, which includes insects and their pasture grasses, which have been pesticide and herbicide free for nearly thirty years.

Most of Windy Meadows’ whole chickens are called “fryers.” This means they’re between 2.5 and 4 pounds total. They are sold without gizzards/innards for ease of roasting (they use these components in-house to reduce waste). If you’re looking for gravy, they are all sold neck-on. Keep the neck for gravy. Seriously.

Roast these whole chickens. This is the recipe to use.  Know this concept. It is the best way to cook a whole chicken. End of story.

Don’t bother trussing the old way with butcher’s twine. Do this. It’s easy.

If you’re not cooking for a family/new girlfriend, let it rest for 15 minutes under an aluminum foil tent. Then eat it with the fingers. Don’t forget the “oyster.” It’s the best part. If you don’t roast chickens, you’ve never eaten one. The cooks eat them before plating.

Or carve them this wayCarving will look ugly your first 5-10 times, but then it magically becomes showroom pretty.

Keep the bones/carcass to make your own chicken stock.  Here’s a great tutorial.

Summer At The Farmstead

July 29th, 2014

Have you been by the Farmstead lately?  On one side of the building, the edible cactus and container gardens are flourishing.  While you’re there, take a photo op on the tractor donated by Farmer Dan.

farmstead tractor summer 2014-2

On the other side, “the girls of the coop” are enjoying their summer too, especially when they get organic food scraps from our kitchen.  We swear those chickens eat better than us sometimes!

farmstead chickens july 2014

The patio is constantly evolving, surrounded by reclaimed wood planters full of native plants and herbs.

farmstead flowers

farmstead chocolate mint

Feel free to touch and smell them…they’re for you to learn!    We also use these fresh herbs in our Farmstead kitchen.

farmstead rosemary

And don’t worry about the heat – our new mister fans will keep you cool while you enjoy some good eats…

farmstead misters

…like our new homemade quiche made with local and organic ingredients.

farmstead quiche

And Artisan Pizza & Ice Cream on Fridays & Sundays…

farmstead pizza

We also have locally-brewed kombucha, Crazy Water, refreshing salads, plentiful local produce, and more to help you beat the heat.

Follow us on Instagram @urbanacres for more photos and current happenings.  Hope to see you this weekend!