This week's bag features one of my favorite recipes -- Ratatouille. And it makes me anxious for summer knowing that squash, zucchini, and fresh tomatoes will be back again soon! Just reheat and serve. You can eat is as a standalone dish or side dish, atop pasta (included in the vegetarian share), or spice it up with the andouille in the omnivore share.

Also, it was brought to our attention that there was a mixing error with some of the pancake mix that headed out on routes last week (Wednesday in particular). The grain mill that packed this for us made 67 batches with 15 bags per batch; it could have been one batch or a handful of batches with a measuring error. We don't know, but if you did have a negative experience, we'll gladly replace this for you.

If you have made your pancakes and they have tasted off (bitter has been a common describing word from customers), we apologize for the unexpected issue. Several of our team members have tried multiple bags without issue, and we are hopeful that the remaining mix we have is as expected. We have packed extra pancake mix on the trucks to replace your bag if you encountered this issue. Please just let the greeter know and we will get a new mix to you (we do not need the old mix returned).

Trevor & the FFM Team
We spent last week doing inventory and found that we are heavy on a few pork items. So, 15% off this week on these pasture raised pork items.

Shoulder Roast

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with our festive green sausage --
Feta & Spinach Poultry Bratwurst

Made with fresh spinach, Goat feta and a blend of ground chicken/turkey.

*sausage is packed in a hogs casing

The old saying is to plant grasses in a month with an R. March is one of those. September is another. These are two of my favorite months to try to get something established.

In the fall, I usually try to pick a field that needs to be overhauled and reseed it completely. This is easier said than done as you need good weather to do this - dry enough to work the ground with a good chance of rain immediately after seeding.

Last year, I was late doing this. I had a 5 acre parcel that I seeded last April that "crusted over." My timing was perfect - worked the ground just right and seeded it literally hours before a rain. But then the rain that came was a torrential downpour, and it rained for days. The finely tilled soil took a pounding and as the sun came out, a hard crust formed on the surface. This prevented the tender plants from escaping - instead, a "nurse crop" of weeds arrived and stayed. $1,000 in seed down the drain.

Then I had hoped to redo the worthless pasture in September. I missed my opportunity and didn't get to it until first of November. By this point, I knew I didn't have enough time to establish a mature enough crop to withstand the winter. I decided on a faster growing annual crop - annual rye grass - that I could cut for hay or graze in early summer, then follow it up with a fast growing warm season annual like sorghum. This would get me to the fall again and I could try to establish a good permanent pasture in the fall.

In this scenario, I'd either drill in the seed or broadcast and rake to finish. The drill provides more precise seeding rates and works great for single varietal or pelleted seeds that are uniform in size; the broadcast and rake is cheaper (labor and equipment) and faster, but it requires more seed.

Another concept for how to plant seeds is to let mother nature do it for you. That's what frost seeding is. The concept is that during the freeze-thaw cycles of the spring, the soil will freeze and heave into a honeycomb shape. When it thaws during the day, it will relax down again and pull any seeds on the surface to below the surface.

To execute, we simply walk around the field and broadcast seeds on the ground. The germination rate is lower than with a drill, but it's very fast and relatively effective at filling in a pasture. The trick is picking the right seeds. Clover, a legume, has a very small seed that works great for frost seeding. Most grass seeds are too large and don't work that great.

Last year, you may remember reading about my experiments with frost seeding a hay/pasture field with a mixture of oats, annual rye, and triticale to add tonnage to 1st cutting hay. I experimented on a 17 acre field and the seed was expensive.

What I found was that the oats didn't take well - maybe 10% germination - or it was crowded out in the pasture. The annual rye took well, but after 1st cutting it tended to go to seed (no feed value then) well before the other grasses and legumes in the pasture were mature. It essentially became a weed.

I decided that experiment was a lot of work and a lot of money for minimal results. I could have simply reduced my grazing season by a few weeks and fed hay for the same price and less work.

I've had success in the past with red and yellow clover. They take great to frost seed, grow quick, and the cattle love them. Clover seed is also cheap and takes only 5 lbs per acre to fill in; compared to 20 or 30 lbs for some grasses and annuals.

So cross your fingers and hope we get some freezing nights and sunny days these coming weeks so we can finish our spring seedings.

Apples (Golden Delicious)
Ground Beef

Apples (Golden Delicious)
Hot Cereal