This past weekend the sunshine and warmer days made me yearn for spring. The winter "cabin fever" has certainly taken its toll on all by this time, but these sporadic days of hope are very welcome.

At the farm, I was able to satisfy a burning desire to get some field work done. There seems to be a curse on me when I want to plow. Everyday last week I watched the weather and checked the field conditions. I knew the lack of rain and no ground cover would get the earth to dry up. The warmth and breeze on Friday and Saturday were all I needed to get into the field!

By Sunday I was ready. I did my chores and went for the tractor. No go. Cranked and cranked, but the engine would not engage. I start checking things over to see that the fuel filter had burst a gasket, and it was leaking fuel and letting air into the system. On a Sunday, no parts stores are open.

So on to Monday morning. I ran for the filter and got the tractor going again. I was also able to wrangle up a crew to help spread compost. 200 tons to be more exact. It takes a while, so two neighbors with bigger equipment went for the fields with loads of rich, fertile manure and compost.

I hit the field just in time. As I was turning over the sod, I could feel the cooler breezes coming in and the occasional mist of rain. At about 6:30 I parked the tractor back in the barn having plowed the last field for the spring. Around 7 PM it was raining. For a farmer, that's a good day.

-Happy Farming
Trevor and the FFM Team
Last Chance For Early Bird
On the heels of plowed ground and spring planning, our Early Bird pricing expires March 1st!

Commit to the season early & support your local farmers for our best pricing.

If you bring a check payment to your pick up this week, it will be entered into your account just in time for the deadline!
Small Share -- $605 upfront ($27.50/bag)
Large Share - $935 upfront ($42.50/bag)
Mini Share - $660 upfront ($30/bag)
Ramen 101
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert in Ramen. Today, it's a very trendy food and has a somewhat cult following. To me, it reminds me of BBQ. There are a bunch of different styles with no single style being "all mighty." Those who know their style profess their allegiance to some core techniques. I am more neutral than that.

Ramen started for me just a few years ago. Ben, the owner of Fluffy Duck Bakery, introduced me to his friend Alex, at that time the executive chef at Spice Kitchen. The two of the were going to host a ramen pop-up at the bakery. They needed pork belly, pork bones, and skin from Ohio City Provisions.

One day after hours they came by to use our kitchen and kettle to make their broth. I had started the broth hours before with pork bones, skin, onions and carrots. I had it a little higher than I usually let stock bubble. He wanted it to boil.

When Alex showed up, he turned the kettle to max and stirred in green onions and a few hot peppers. After about 20 minutes of a rolling boil, we drained the stock out of the bottom of the kettle (at home you can strain it through a colander into another pot) into buckets. We placed the buckets in the sink surrounded by ice. With an immersion blender, he mixed the broth so that it would chill rapidly AND emulsify (suspend) the fat into the broth. This made for a cloudy, almost creamy white broth that had a thick, sticky mouth feel from the emulsified fat and the gelatin from the skin. It was delicious.

For today's bag, it's not possible to give everyone fatty pork skin to fold into their broth, and the chicken stock is a more versatile ingredient should you want to use it for something other than ramen.

The Marinated Pork Belly - How to Cook
Alex and Ben also marinated pork belly, tied it tight into a roll, and cooked it sous vide until tender. This was added as the meat in their ramen. Today's pork belly was marinated in a sweet Japanese rice wine (Mirin), soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sake.

Our alternative is to provide you with cubes of marinated pork belly that you can simply simmer in the chicken stock on the stovetop or braise in the chicken stock in the oven.

A few weeks ago, I tried it out with good success. Simply bring your stock to a boil. I added a bottle of beer to mine to add some extra volume. I added the marinated pork belly to the braising liquid and brought it to a soft simmer on the stovetop for approximately an hour (until tender).

Strain out the pork belly and add your vegetables, cut to a size that they will cook quickly. I had cut up matchsticks of carrot, turnip, and radish. I like some crunch, so I only boiled them for a few minutes. In my case, I was able to cook my ramen noodles and matchsticks of vegetables together in the broth. Cook until noodle is tender. If your vegetables are larger chunks, cook them first and then add in the noodles. The noodles cook up within just a couple minutes.

Stain out the noodles and vegetables from the broth into another container and chill the liquid as described above (in an ice bath) and blend with an immersion blender. You may need to add some water if the liquid has reduced down too far.

Place your pork belly and vegetables in a bowl. Pour the broth over top. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish as you like with pickled vegetables, poached egg (or fried), or anything your heart desires.

Blueberry Bread Pudding
Bread pudding has a very long history. Food historians have traced it back to the Roman period. It can be made savory or sweet. It has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Nowadays you can find it in upscale and trendy restaurants all over the world. It is most popular in the south, with many restaurants putting their own spin on it.

This blueberry bread pudding is one of my favorites! Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday were the inspiration for this dessert. In New Orleans they serve their bread pudding the best way - warmed, topped with fruit or nuts, and a side of bourbon creme anglaise (cream based sauce). Here is a creme anglaise recipe that would pair perfectly with this blueberry bread pudding. 

- Chef Ashley
Featured Product
Smoothie Parfait Bundle
If you are still trying to keep with your New Year's Resolution to cut sweets, and you're like us, you may be struggling to satisfy your sweet tooth for dessert.

Without the fresh fruit of summer, it can be challenging to find something satisfying other than ice cream and chocolate. All good choices, of course.

This week's featured product is the Smoothie/Parfait Bundle that we've created with some of our favorites to satisfy our cravings. The bundle includes some healthy alternatives, with natural sweetness.

What's included in the bundle?

Velvet View Original Yogurt - Made in Big Prairie, Ohio, this yogurt was created as a value add product for the the dairy farm when milk prices were very low in 2012. The milk from their red Holstein cattle travels just 17 feet from the milking parlor to the pasteurization where the cultures are added. The final product, yogurt, is simply cultured milk. No additives, thickeners or stabilizers needed.

Cinnamon Raisin Granola - Most granola varieties contain nuts and cane sugar, and we were looking for a nut-free, naturally sweetened version. Chef Ashley was up for the challenge, and created this granola using applesauce and sorghum as a sweetener.

1 pint of frozen berries - picked at the height of the summer season and frozen immediately for eating in the winter months when fresh, local fruit is limited. When berries are ready to be harvested in the summer, the fruits don't give a break from harvest over the weekend or when the farmers don't have an order. If you let the fruits ripen on the plants for too long, it can do more damage than good if not picked in time. To help the farmer over the weekends or beginning of the week when demand is low, we invest in the extra product in the summer months for future use this time of year when we're all craving some local fruits.

Reserve your bundle online!
Find the Smoothie Parfait Bundle in the Value Add section of the store.
$10 promo price this week!
Special Orders need to be placed & paid for in full by Tuesday at midnight to be delivered on this week's routes.
Winter Omnivore
Ramen Noodles
Blueberry Bread Pudding
Marinated Pork Belly

Winter Vegetarian
Ramen Noodles
Blueberry Bread Pudding
Frozen Green Beans
Frozen Cauliflower Rice

Winter Carnivore