In this week's share you will find a small brown bag of dried sage. Sage is a herb that I have only recently began to incorporate in my cooking, and I am hooked! Anything roasted in the oven with sage has rich aromatic flavour that keeps me digging into the pan for every last delicious morsel.
I am constantly amazed in learning how many of our common kitchen herbs are beneficial for health in our minds and bodies; sage is no exception to this rule. Our ancestors who relied on plant based medicine would incorporate these tasty plants in culinary exploits for flavour and for the all benefits their consumption brings. These traditional flavours have been passed down through our recipes but are rarely acknowledged for their powerful healing properties.
Sage or salvia literally means good health, to cure or to save, and has been considered a sacred plant by many peoples around the world. Sage is said to act as a digestive aid, especially when served alongside fatty foods. Sage, steeped in hot water to make tea, is reported to sooth coughs, and to reduce perspiration, depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer's disease. Some women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause. Sage is also used topically, as a poultice, to help fight bacterial and fungal infections. If you would like more information on herbal healing learningherbs.com is a great place to start. As well, a wide variety of books on herbal healing can be found through the Halifax Public Libraries.
This past season the Taproot Herb Division was established. Our mandate is to explore and grow a wide variety of annual and perennial herbs to enhance our CSA and our market. We dried much of what we grew in a walk-in dehydrator. All of our dried herbs have been harvested in the late morning when the plant's potent oils are high in the leaves, for maximum flavour and healing potential. You can look forward to a sampling some of these herbs in the upcoming share boxes. If you are interested in our dried and fresh herbs check out the updated add-ons list, or get in touch with us at email@example.com
I have been using sage, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper tossed with chopped root veggies and squash baked in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees as my staple winter meal. Throw some sausage in the pan and a nice steaming pot of quinoa on the side, and you are sure to nourish all who eat your creations. Sage is also lovely when mixed with butter, or coconut oil, and rubbed on your chicken before it is roasted. I have also been enjoying sage steeped in hot water as a soothing and nutritious tea. It is nice blended with thyme and nettles.
Tonight my friend Amanda is coming over for dinner. I am in the process of making Sage Flat-Bread with Goat Cheese and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
I look forward to hearing about your kitchen adventures with Sage.
1 TapRoot pork shoulder or smoked ham steak @ $5.0/lb average weight 1.77lbs $8.85
1 TapRoot farms stewing hen @$3.50/lb, average weight 2.65lbs $9.28
1 lb package of no-nitrate TapRoot Bacon @7.5/lb $7.50
Total value: $34.13
Stewing hens must be slow cooked either in the slow cooker or in a big pot of soup. They would be a great candidate for coq au vin, a classic french stew that uses a coq (rooster) or stewing hen.
Here is a delicious looking recipe from lazysundaycooking.com.
RECIPE – COQ AU VIN
one large organic chicken 1 bottle of red wine(I used Bordeaux) 1 yellow onion 1 head of garlic 3 carrots(I used mix of yellow and purple) 2 sticks celery 100g bacon 1 cup chicken stock bunch of fresh thyme few dry mushrooms- I used Polish forrest mushrooms 250 g porcini mushrooms salt, pepper olive oil, butter for frying 2 T white flour
Cut the chicken into pieces- wings, breast, legs etc. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Chop the onion and crush the garlic. In a large bowl add chicken, onion, garlic and pour the whole bottle of wine over them. Marinade for a day in the fridge. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the bacon to a plate with a slotted spoon.
Pat the chicken dry, reserve the wine with onion and garlic. Brown the chicken on both sides in olive oil with a knob of butter.Put in a dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, dry mushrooms and bacon. Pour stock and reserved wine. Cook for about 1 hour in 200C/392F.
After that time, take the chicken out, keep in a warm place. On another pan fry porcini mushrooms in butter for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper at the end of cooking. In a meantime reduce sauce from the chicken for 10 minutes. In another pan add 2 T of butter and 2 T of flour. Fry for a minute. Add few tablespoons of the sauce, mix, add another few tablespoons. Add to the pan with the sauce and stir to combine and thicken. Add chicken back in. Cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Nathans animal update:
Storms have been keeping us very busy, I've been spending a lot of time clearing snow and chipping ice out of water containers.
The pigs out on pastures are real troopers, they have made a network of trails through the deep snow, and the pigs walk around this network single file. Very rarely does a pig veer from the path, and if the lead pig decides to stop then they all stop.
The hens are enjoying a lot of scrap cabbage these days. For some reason when they eat purple cabbage, it turns their poo to green!
Thank you very much, and we hope you have a warm week, without too much shoveling.
For a number of years we have been offering work shares. Not many members take us up on it, but the few who do have become an really fun and interesting part of the life of the farm, we can't imagine a season without them now.
2. There will be training time and you will need to give yourself time to ease into the work. We do not do full days to start. Once you are trained, then we will set out a schedule for you that matches the work that needs to be done with the days you are able to work.
3. If you have a specific skill or trade that could benefit the farm, let us know and we can consider the options.
Our vision is that we'd have more CSA members here on the farm taking part in farming and preparing the veggies and shares for pick-up. It is also our vision that our farm makes it possible for members to participate fully without needing to cash flow all of their membership. Whether you enjoy the work on the farm or you need to put your cash towards other expenses matters not to us. Everyone is welcome to ask about work share. If you'd like to be a part of this vision of being with us here working on the farm, please be in touch.
It has been quite a two week stretch of weather events especially when we need to be driving. It certainly has kept me thinking and reflecting.
Ed is getting loaded up and will be on his way soon.
I realize it is Friday and traffic is likely more intense than on a Tuesday. We also realize the weather hasn't been great for you either so there is a lot of snow and slippery conditions.
Thank you for adapting and accepting and supporting as we all embrace or cope with our winter. This morning I was feeling frustrated because I couldn't get the truck in 4-wheel drive and I couldn't get out of the drive way. For about 20 minutes I was clouded with frustration and then all of the sudden, I looked out and I saw how incredibly beautiful the snow is. I can so easily get caught up in the functioning of my own life/farm life and forget to stop and take in all the gifts of this weather, one of which I'd say is beauty.