Tag Archives: local produce

What’s Green Garlic?

June 5th, 2014
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Green garlic

Looking through your produce share, you might mistake green garlic for the spring onions you’ve been receiving the last few weeks. Green garlic is a rarity in grocery stores but a great addition to farm-to-table cooking.  Green garlic is simply young garlic which is harvested before the cloves have begun to mature. What results is a vegetable with a deep green stalk and a pale white bulb.  The flavor is that of mild garlic.

How to cook green garlic?

Chop or slice the white, light green, and the first few inches of the dark green leaves (as long as they are tender).  Sauté as you would regular garlic.  When cooked, your green garlic will sweeten a bit.

You’ll also love the health benefits of green garlic…

“Garlic is notable for its immune-boosting qualities, is a natural antibiotic and can help the body block infections. If you suffer from anemia or low iron levels, garlic also helps to keep iron levels high. Most people know that vitamin C helps increase iron metabolism, but garlic contains the protein ferroportin that carries stored iron from inside a cell to outside of the cell, assisting the body as needed.

Due to its richness in polysulfides, garlic also helps protect against heart disease. And if that’s not enough, garlic is rich in manganese, a mineral linked to HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol. When manganese levels are high, HDL is high, and vice versa.” ~ FitSugar.com

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Try these easy green garlic recipes…

Spring Garlic Fried Eggs

Courtesy of Sylvie

Image source: thecrepesofwrath.com

Green Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms

Photo by inpatskitchen

Photo by inpatskitchen

Grilled Green Garlic

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Photo credit: 8ateateight.com

>> Get more green garlic recipes on our site <<

Summer Squash From The Morrisons

June 4th, 2014
The Morrisons' incredible squash

The Morrisons’ incredible squash

Summer squash season is about to be in full swing!   Soon, the produce shares will be seeing a bounty of beautiful zucchini and yellow squash, all Texas-grown by our farmers, Jacky and Cindy Morrison of Morrison Organic Farm in Comanche.

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Look for a postcard from The Morrisons in the bin of your latest produce share.  Here’s an excerpt from the letter they wrote…

The Morrisons

“You have no idea how much the partners at Urban Acres help & inspire us!  As a member, when you get your produce from Urban Acres, like us, you become ‘stewards of the land’…We are so grateful for being able to continue to do what we love and promise to strive to grow an abundant supply of fresh organic vegetables for you.”

 

 

They’ll also be supplying us with local radishes and okra.  We hope you enjoy this produce that was grown for you with love!

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To help you anticipate all the fresh summer squash coming your way, we’ve put together some easy recipe ideas.  In case you’re wondering, here are some tips on how to cook summer squash, and yes, they can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Italian Style Zucchini Boats

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Image source: prouditaliancook.com

Baked Yellow Squash with Mushrooms

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Image source: myvegancookbook.com

>> Get more squash recipes on our site here <<

You Don’t Want “Perfect” Produce

May 29th, 2014
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Meet “Pigtato”

A potato that resembles a pig, a peach with a nose, and holey greens…these are a few of the “imperfect” items you might see in your organic produce share.  We’re here to reassure you that it’s completely normal and even a good thing!

Why does organic produce have blemishes?

Although it can be an adjustment to get used to produce in your share that’s shaped oddly or has some holes in it, you don’t necessarily want “perfect” produce.  A few holes and imperfections in your produce are a very telltale sign that it’s organic – it means the produce is not sprayed with any chemicals to repel the pests.   If you have your own garden at home, you know that all produce looks different and that a dent or hole in a tomato doesn’t take away any of its amazing, sweet taste.

For more info, read What’s With These Holes In My Kale?

Why does produce look “perfect” at other grocery stores?

Most big grocery store chains – even those that sell a lot of organic produce – are concerned with a perfect “look” to the produce…because customers demand it!  Several of our local organic farmers say they are unable to sell produce that isn’t perfect-looking to many of their big chain accounts.  Sadly, this often leads to unnecessary waste and continues to fuel the expectation that produce should all be waxy, perfectly shaped and unblemished.

According to Beth Mitcham, a post-harvest researcher at the University of California at Davis’ School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, our preference for uniform, camera-ready produce is shaped partly by marketing and partly by USDA regulations that stipulate all commercially grown fruits and vegetables must be at least 90 percent blemish-free.

She places most of the blame squarely on us, the consumers. Mitcham contends that we are ignoring our innate food-selecting instincts and “buying with our eyes” rather than with our noses or our taste buds.

~ Daphne Miller, Daily Herald  – read the rest of the article here

You can be a part of the change by celebrating your imperfect, organic produce and educating others. 

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Member Becky shows her peach with a nose

We love the imperfect look of organic produce straight from our local farmers, and we’d choose delicious over perfect-looking any day.  And we hope you do, too.

Community Day – Celebrating Oak Cliff, Real Food, and Texas Farmers

May 23rd, 2014
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Photo: Travis Lilley

Last Saturday was our first annual Urban Acres Community Day – what a blast!  Thanks to everyone who came out to the Farmstead on the perfect warm, breezy spring day to celebrate Oak Cliff, real food, and Texas farmers.

There was fun for all ages…

Kids hopped over a ring of hay bales and adorned our parking lot with names and pictures written in chalk.  They played with pinwheels and chased after bubbles without a care in the world.

Photo: Travis Lilley

Photo: Travis Lilley

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Photo: Travis Lilley

The petting zoo was a hit, filled with potbellied pigs, goats, ducks, chickens, and bunnies. 

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Photo: Travis Lilley

Photo: Travis Lilley

Photo: Travis Lilley

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Photo: Travis Lilley

Adults kicked back on the patio, mingling with friends old and new.  We were serenaded by an awesome local band while enjoying locally-inspired food from the Farmstead kitchen: grass-fed beef hot dogs with homemade kraut and pickled turnips, homemade strawberry and blueberry hand pies, Maine Root soda and Holy Kombucha on tap.

Photo: Travis Lilley

Photo: Travis Lilley

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Photo: Travis Lilley

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Photo: Travis Lilley

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Photo: Travis Lilley

Even some of our local Texas farmers were able to slip away from their daily tasks to be a part of Community Day – Hudspeth Farm from Forestburg gave out samples of their delicious raw milk.  My Father’s Farm from Seguin showcased their microgreens. Garden Harvests from Waxahachie shared their chard and beets.  And Texas Honeybee Guild came with a fascinating display of live bees.

Hudspeth Farm giving out raw milk samples // Photo: Travis Lilley

Hudspeth Farm // Photo: Travis Lilley

My Father's Farm from Seguin, TX showcases their microgreens // Photo: Travis Lilley

My Father’s Farm // Photo: Travis Lilley

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Texas Honeybee Guild // Photo: Travis Lilley

Some of our other local friends were there for the fun, like OakFit (Oak Cliff’s new community-driven gym), Scott Calvin Pottery, Gecko Hardware, and Dallas Fire-Rescue.

OakFit // Photo: Travis Lilley

OakFit // Photo: Travis Lilley

Scott Calvin Pottery // Photo: Travis Lilley

Scott Calvin Pottery // Photo: Travis Lilley

Photo: Travis Lilley

Dallas Firefighters // Photo: Travis Lilley

Gecko Hardware’s superstar rooster mascot, George, was toted around like a puppy all over the Farmstead and even participated in yoga on the lawn by our local studio, Sync.

George with folks from Gecko Hardware // Photo: Travis Lilley

George with folks from Gecko Hardware // Photo: Travis Lilley

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George watches Sync Yoga on the lawn // Photo: Travis Lilley

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Sync Yoga on the lawn // Photo: Travis Lilley

As our special thanks, all Community Day attendees went home with a free sapling of a Bur Oak tree to plant in the neighborhood.

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Photo: Travis Lilley

At the end of the event, we overheard a little girl say to her parents, “I wanna go back to the petting zoo!  I want to spend the rest of my time there with the animals.”  And we were reminded that this is exactly what our Urban Acres community is about – connecting people with their food, the land, and each other.

From all our staff and volunteers, THANK YOU for letting us be a part of this amazing community!  See you again soon.

UA volunteer with Marketing Coordinator Barbara Bailey // Photo: Travis Lilley

UA volunteer Courtney with Marketing Coordinator Barbara Bailey // Photo: Travis Lilley

UA staffer Jackie // Photo: Travis Lilley

UA staffer Jackie // Photo: Travis Lilley

>> SEE ALL COMMUNITY DAY PHOTOS HERE.

Member Highlight: Dr. Kelsey Brown

May 7th, 2014
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Kelsey

It’s time to get to know more of your fellow Urban Acres members!

Today we’re highlighting a long time member – Dr. Kelsey Brown from our Southlake location. Kelsey is the owner and practitioner at the Vine Family Chiropractic Center located in Grapevine. In addition to running her practice and volunteering her time to organizations near and dear to her, Kelsey enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She enjoys cooking and searching for healthy alternative choices for her family. Kelsey will be a future contributor for our blog, educating about how to take care of the body and soul.

Kelsey, what inspired you to become a member at Urban Acres?
I knew my family needed some more options for organic foods, and inexpensive options at that.

When and why did you decide to start eating healthy, wholesome food?
I went to chiropractic school 4 years ago and realized that I had gained considerable weight, had allergies all the time, and was dependent on sodas and coffees throughout the day. I started small and just incorporated more fresh veggies on a daily basis. I eliminated my soda dependency, allergies, and my energy level has been amazing!

What is your favorite part about the co-op style produce?
I get things that I would NEVER buy on my own, and can explore how to prepare them!

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Do you grow any food at home? If so, what’s growing in your garden right now?
I do not have a garden due to rental status and the lack of a green thumb. I used to help my grandparent in the garden as a child, and there is nothing better than a hot tomato (from the sun), sliced with some salt!

What is your favorite fruit? Veggie? Why?
I would have to say cauliflower for its shear versatility. You can make it roasted, steamed, like mashed potatoes, as “rice,” and as a salad.

What is your favorite site to get recipes from?
Civilized caveman cooking, he has great options for a paleo diet, and his recipes are delicious even if you don’t follow a paleo diet.

Do you have any produce tips to members?
Get on Pinterest! I live on there, especially Urban Acres’ site. If you get something in your share that you are unfamiliar with, Urban Acres will have easy to use recipes to help you prepare it.

Please, share one of your favorite “real food recipes” with us.
I love mixing all the amazing veggies from my Urban Acres share.

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Veggie Stir-fry

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp Sesame oil
Vegetables (chopped)
Ginger (freshly grated)
Salt
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add veggies and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, and ginger and cover until reaches desired softness.
  3. Serve over Brown rice or cauliflower “rice” with coconut aminos or Bragg’s Amino Acid!
  4. Enjoy!

It’s Mint to Be!

March 28th, 2014

Urban Acres has a great surprise for its members this weekend. The produce bins will be full with the fragrant smelling mint. Urban Acres provides new recipes in its produce finder on a weekly basis, but for today’s blog Barbara Bailey, our marketing coordinator, will share her thoughts. Barbara begged for days to be able to write this blog and we are curious to hear her information.

As soon as I saw the produce list for this weekend, I immediately volunteered my recipes for the Urban Roost. Of course, I was inspired by the lovely herb ~ mint. I started to write my prize winning recipe for the best Mojito on the planet when I realized, that …(ahem) I do work for a health conscious company. And since I haven’t found any organic rum, I had to slightly alter my Mojito recipe to be acceptable by the standards of Urban Acres.

The best way to create the fizzy taste of a virgin Mojito is to use the ~ oh so delicious ~ kombucha. Kombucha not only will make this drink refreshing but also will calm your gut.

Kombucha Mojito (serving size for one)

- 11 mint leaves
- 1/4 lime, halved
- 1 tsp raw sugar
- 2 oz HOLY green apple ginger kombucha *
- 1 cup ice, crushed
- mint leaves, for decoration

* You can buy this and many other flavors by the growler at the Farmstead.

Muddle the mint leaves, lime, and sugar until the mint flavor releases. Add the ice and pour the kombucha over it. Stir with your muddler, decorate, and enjoy.

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Barbara’s virgin Mojito

After drinking a glass of this tasty drink, you might start to think what else you could use the rest of your mint leaves for. Well, if you like to pamper yourself after a long day of work, you have to try my homemade body scrub. I love the smell of mint and coconut, so I came up with a recipe to keep the fragrance lingering with me all night.

Coconut Mint Body Scrub

- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

Mix all ingredients together and keep it in an air-tight container for up to a month.

Barbara's natural body scrub

Barbara’s natural body scrub

Use in the shower by gently rubbing the sugar scrub over your body. You will love the smoothness and smell of your skin after using this natural body scrub.

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Well friends, we promised Barbara that if she gets enough requests on our blog, she can share with you her prize winning Mojito recipe.