Swiss Chard with Bacon

Swiss Chard and bacon go great together!  The flavors and textures of these two foods complement each other perfectly, and when you combine them, you’re in for a real treat. So if you have both on hand, try this recipe:

Ingredients:

 

IMG_3673
Everything you need to make bacon Swiss chard! 

3 Slices bacon, chopped

 

1 Bunch Swiss chard

 

1 Tablespoon Virgin Olive Oil

 

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Cooking Steps

 

  1. Separate the chard’s leaves from the stems. Chop the stems into 1 inch pieces, and cut the leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. Wash thoroughly, keep them separated, and then set them aside.

    IMG_3680
    Chopping up the stems into 1-inch pieces. 

 

  1. In a large skillet, add the olive oil and set heat at medium high. Once skillet is heated, add the chopped bacon, and cook until it is browned.

 

  1. Add the stems to the skillet, and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring regularly.

    IMG_3685
    Cooking the chard stems. 
  2. Add the chard leaves to the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes; the chard leaves should shrink and soften somewhat, but still retain some crispiness.
IMG_3687
Steam rising from freshly added chard leaves! 

Add salt and pepper to taste. Once the leaves are cooked, your Swiss chard with bacon is ready to serve. This dish goes great with meat or fish; it is also a great at breakfast alongside some farm fresh eggs.

IMG_3689
Ready to serve! 

We will have plenty of  field-fresh, organic Swiss chard for sale this saturday at the Litchfield Hills Farmers market. Come visit our stand from 10 a.m. to 1 PM. If you want to make this recipe,  you can buy some delicious, grass-fed bacon from Laurel Ridge Farm’s stand there, too!

Advertisements

Quick Update: Come for the Pickles!

fullsizeoutput_9c7
We have fresh pickles now!

Hi everyone! Just a friendly reminder that we will be at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market tomorrow, from 10 a.m. to 1 PM. We hope to see you there!

And if you are there, you’re in luck; we are now offering our new line of freshly canned pickles! We will have traditional dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, and summer squash pickles for sale this weekend. All of our pickles are made from organic produce grown right here on our farm in Woodbury, Connecticut.

Of course, we will be offering our fresh organic produce as well. We will have fresh radishes this week, mustard greens, and rainbow Swiss Chard available, as well as several other favorites.

Our second planting of Chioggia beets is going well; they should be ready in a few short weeks, too.

Garlic-Ginger Tuscan Kale!

Tuscan Kale

We grow several types of kale here on our farm. However, our absolute favorite is the nero di Toscana, or Tuscan kale. Our Tuscan kale is an heirloom variety we purchased from the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Company. It is a fast growing, hardy green that outpaces the weeds in our garden, always a plus!

Tuscan kale is delicious. Unlike more conventional kales, nero di Toscana’s leaves are soft, and can be enjoyed uncooked in salads. One or two leaves are also a great addition to a smoothie or protein shake as well. This kale is extremely healthy; it is loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, and like other kales, is purported to be a “superfood” that has even greater health effects  if eaten regularly. In any case they are a versatile and delicious green that aren’t often available in your local supermarket.

Over the past few weeks, customers have often asked the best ways to prepare Tuscan kale, since it is so different form the standard kales they are used to. We love to turn ours into a tasty side dish, and make garlic-ginger Tuscan kale. This is a really simple recipe; here is everything you need to make some garlic-ginger Tuscan kale of your very own today:

Ingredients
Everything you need for some delicious garlic-ginger tuscan kale!
  • 1 large bunch of Tuscan kale
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

On a cutting board with a sharp knife,  remove the soft green part of the kales’ leaves by running the knife along the “spine” of each leaf; discard the stems (hint: they are great in compost, and your poultry will love eating them as well!). Cut the remaining leaves into large pieces, and then wash them in a colander under cold water.

IMG_3579
Washing the kale in a colander

Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat, then add your oil. Stir in your garlic and ginger, and let it cook for one minute. Ensure you stir it frequently, and don’t allow the garlic or fginger to burn.

Place the kale leaves in the pan, and let them cook on its side

IMG_3582
Kale in the frying pan. 

for one minute. Then flip all of the leaves and let them cook for one minute more. Add salt and pepper to taste, and your garlic-ginger kale is ready to serve.

Garlic-ginger kale is a great compliment to a meat dish, like pork or beef; pair it with some grass-fed pork from the Laurel Ridge Farm and a nice Chianti if you have the chance!

IMG_3583.jpg
The delicious finished product! 

We will have plenty of our delicious Tuscan kale on hand this weekend at the Litchfield Hills Farmers market. Come get some, and enjoy a meal of your own garlic-ginger Tuscan kale this week!

Delicious Zucchini Fritters!

It’s mid-summer, so that means there is no shortage of zucchini squash right now. It is growing like crazy, and we plan to have a ton of it for sale at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market over the next several weeks.

HC37FCLZQSmvJy1QqDmIZQ
There is A LOT of Zucchini out there right now!

People often get “zucchini fatigue” around now, mostly because sautéing zucchini night after night can get pretty stale after a while. But if all that zucchini you buy or grow ends up in a bland sauté, you are really missing out. Zucchini is a versatile food that can be prepared in a variety of ways. And one of our favorite meals this time of year is a heaping plate full of zucchini fritters!

Zucchini fritters are really easy to make. Here is everything you’ll need to serve some with your dinner this evening:

IMG_3550
Everything you need to make some delicious zucchini fritters.
  • 2 large zucchini squash
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper

Cut off the two ends of your zucchini, then wash them thoroughly under running water.  Then, using a food processor or box grater, completely grate your zucchini into thick, short strips. Place your grated zucchini into a large mixing bowl, and then mix in one teaspoon of salt. Set this mixture aside for about ten to fifteen minutes, so the salt can help draw out some of the moisture.

IMG_3554
Mixing all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. 

After the mixture has set, pick up a handful of zucchini at a time, squeeze all of the water you can out of it, and then place each handful into a new mixing bowl.  Add the two beaten eggs to this bowl, along with one teaspoon of ground ginger. After you’ve mixed in the eggs, stir in one teaspoon of baking powder, one cup of flour, and ½ teaspoons of salt and ground black pepper. Stir this entire mixture with a large spoon until it is thoroughly combined.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, and add two tablespoons of olive oil. Once the pan and oil are heated, add the zucchini mixture approximately 1½  table spoon at a time. Shape each  “blob” of zucchini mixture you add to the pan, so that they are uniformly round and relatively flat; they should resemble a pancake. Sauté each side of your zucchini fritters until they are golden-brown in appearance, about three minutes per side. Add more olive oil to the pan as required.

Once your zucchini fritters are done, they are delicious if you top them off with a

IMG_3557
Top your zucchini fritters with some sour cream!

heaping tablespoon of sour cream and grated parmesan cheese. Season them with salt and pepper to taste as well. Zucchini fritters make a terrific pairing alongside roasted chicken breast and sautéed greens, such as the Tuscan kale we grow here.

So take advantage of all the zucchini to make easy, unique meals like these fritters.

Come see us at our stand this Saturday at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market. We’ll have plenty of zucchini on hand this weekend if you want to try these delicious zucchini fritters for yourself!

The Very First Sale

We finally did it!

Today Acre of Independence Farm sold our organic produce at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market. This was the first time we ever sold anything, and it was great!

IMG-9108
SOMEONE has to feed these guys before we head to Litchfield! 

It was also a LOT of work. We woke up at 5 a.m., and picked and washed most of our produce this morning. Hand-washing 100 pounds of beets takes a long time. Then we packed everything up and loaded our truck. But we weren’t ready to leave just yet. We still had all of our everyday farm chores to do. We had to water the garden, feed the poultry, and take care of the new baby chicks making a racket in my office. Once all that was done, we hit the road for Litchfield.

IMG_9092
Putting up the tent was a team effort! 

The Litchfield Hills Farmers Market is great! There are wonderful vendors there, many of whom have worked there for years. And any nervousness and first day jitters on our part melted away after we met many of the friendly, helpful, and experienced people to our left and right. What a great group of people! And those vendors had some unique offerings, too. If you want coffee-infused maple syrup, grass-fed Connecticut beef from Laurel Ridge Farm, hard-to-find gourmet mushrooms, or custom-made herbal teas,  you need to check out this market.

FullSizeRender-37
These carrots didn’t last long today!

Anyway, we set up our stand according to plan in a nice spot, and before long, we made or first sale!  By mid-morning, we’d sold out of carrots, and customers bought out all of our Chioggia beets shortly after that. When the market ended at 1 PM, we didn’t have much to pack up, most of our produce was GONE!

We have a lot to learn, and will probably made a bunch of mistakes today between waking up and shutting down our stand; we’ll probably make a bunch more between now and next week, when we set up our stand again at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market.

But hey, we’re farming. We are doing what we always wanted to do. We are working hard and having fun together. We are growing great organic produce, and we are going to keep getting better at it. Every day we’ll think about how we can make this farm better, and deliver hard-to-find, high quality items to our customers. We hope you’ll stick around with us along the way.

IMG_9090
Our T-shirts were a hit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See you in Litchfield next week!

The Acre Goes LIVE!!!!

IMG_8936
COme get some of our Chioggia beets this weekend!

Hey everyone!

After DECADES of dreaming about starting a farm, we finally did it!  Our farm is up and running in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. And this weekend,  we will be GOING LIVE!

Acre of Independence Farm will have a stand at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market starting Saturday, July 14th, from 10 a.m. to 1 PM.

We will be offering high quality, organic, heirloom produce that you won’t be able to find in any grocery store. Cosmic purple carrots. Japanese daikon radishes. Tuscan Kale. And of course, our signature candy cane Chioggia beets. We’ll have tons of yellow and zucchini squash, pickling cucumbers, and other fresh greens too.

Please come see us at the Litchfield Hills Farmers Market from 10 to 1 this weekend, at the Center School Parking Lot, Woodruff Lane, Litchfield Connecticut. See you all soon!

Welcome!

IMG_3236
Natalie and Bob installing honeybees in their new home!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the Acre of Independence! We are a family-owned farm in Woodbury Connecticut. And while we’re small, we have BIG aspirations. We are a military family starting our second act, and are determined to transform our small homestead into a farm that delivers high quality, hard -to-find produce and other items to market.

IMG_3295
Humble beginnings: our vegetables, June 2018.

We are starting small this season. We  planted our fields with rare and heirloom varieties of tomatoes, greens, beets, squash, and cucumbers, and plan to hit the local farmers markets this summer. We’ll have fresh organic produce, as well as preserved foods, such as pickles and jams. We also established an apple orchard and planted several types of berry bushes this year as well.

In seasons to come we plan to expand the farm, and have more to offer our customers. Next spring we’ll establish a herd of dairy goats (watch for cheese and soap!) and our beehives should “bee” mature, so we’ll have fresh honey and beeswax  available, too. And our produce offerings will only get better.

Our vision is to provide our customers high quality, hard-to-find farm fresh items at the most competitive prices around. And we are determined to enjoy ourselves as we do it!

But why come to this website? After all, company websites are a dime a dozen, right? Well, stay tuned. We spent nearly 25 years as a military family moving every two years or so. We loved, it, but all the while we dreamed about starting our own farm. And now we are working our fields and living the life we’ve always talked about as we moved from post to post. For us, that is really exciting! If you check in every once in awhile, we will share our experiences and our knowledge, so that you can put it to practice in your own little homesteads. Maybe we can help you avoid some of our beginner’s mistakes, too.

Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you around!