Monday, April 14, 2014

Summerville Farmer's Market & Wishbone Heritage Farms

  After weeks of planning and scheduling, a group of 7 of us were finally able to take off for the Summerville Farmer's Market and visit to Wishbone Heritage Farms in Ridgeville, South Carolina.  So on a beautiful, sunny, warm day in April, we departed for our destination, full of excitement and anxious to be off on this new adventure.
  After a brief stop to pick up Lynn from Southern with a Twist, we took the scenic route she suggested following Camp Mac Boykin Road and Old River Road. Winding and turning along the way, we passed by Pax's Landing, Elliot Landing and other landmarks as Lynn gave us a brief history lesson on the land and the various things to take note of. Soon the road led to I-95 and took us south to I-26 and into the town of Summerville.

Summerville Farmer's Market
  We located the farmer's market at 200 South Main Street with little trouble, and scurried to find parking spots. Wow doesn't even begin to describe this bustling market, crowded with people and more than 80 vendors.  We wandered and split up, some admiring the fresh pasta from Rio Bertolini's Fresh Pasta Company, others the Low Country Olive Oil, hot German Pretzels, fresh produce, pork products from our friends at Sunny Cedars Farm and so much more!

  This is a wonderful farmer's market and it's no surprise why people flock there.
Rio Bertolini's Fresh Pasta, Co.
They offer so much variety and have so many wonderful local farms and artisan's represented. Who wouldn't love it?  We bought fresh pasta, fresh raw milk, gorgeous beets and brats. Thankfully we also remembered to bring coolers but we did have to stop to buy ice on our way to lunch.
  After a very nice lunch at The Crab Shack's in Coosaw Creek we were off to meet David Gravelin at Wishbone Heritage Farms!

Cabbage, Beets, Turnips, Collards, Kale and more!
  What an awesome place David and his partner, Andrea, are creating. Located at 327 Myers Mayo Road in Ridgeville, South Carolina on about 17 acres, they have slowly but surely added pastures and pens, habitats and more for the wonderful animals they raise.
  When you first meet David you'll know you're talking to someone passionate about what they are doing and what they provide to the community.

  "We believe in local sustainable agriculture and raise animals and produce to the highest standards of health and flavor with absolutely no hormones, medications, antibiotics, or pesticides. 

  We are passionate about helping people rebuild a relationship with their food, where it comes from, how it is raised, and how best to prepare it.  
  We are here to be part of the local Summerville & Charleston communities and provide nourishment and education for our fellow citizens. We do not purchase and we do not sell outside of SC whenever there is a plausible alternative. "

  Following David's lead, we toured around the farm, walking from one area to another marveling at all we saw.  Chickens and ducks in one area, pheasants, quail and bunnies in another.
  There were large fenced areas where larger ducks were wondering around, chickens eating a fresh watermelon, Toulouse Geese were spreading their wings, and a pastured area deep in the thick of the trees where the Tamworth pigs are allowed to range and feed on a variety of vegetation, including the acorns they love.

  The Tamworth originated in central England in the counties of Stafford, Warwick, Leicester, and Northhampton. Prior to 1815, dark red and grisly pigs were found largely in these Midland counties. In this region, there were dense forests of oak and beech trees where the pigs were kept to forage in the autumn and winter. The breed takes its name from the village of Tamworth in Staffordshire.
The characteristics of the Tamworth reflect the breed’s centuries of selection for an outdoor life. Pigs of this breed were expected to find their own food, especially mast (or acorns) of oak and beech forests. Long heads and impressive snouts enable these pigs to be efficient foragers. Long, strong legs and sound feet give Tamworth pigs the ability to walk for considerable distances. Ginger red coats make the pigs adaptable to a variety of climates and protect them from sunburn.
Tamworths have an active intelligence, and they are agreeable in disposition. (Excerpt from The Livestock Conservancy).

  The livestock is pasture raised, free of antibiotics and hormones and humanely put to sleep before being processed at the Williamsburg Packing Company, a federally certified humane animaprocessing plant by the FSIS (Food Safety & Inspection Service) of the USDA.
  One of the things I liked best was when David talked about making his products available to all income-levels.  No, it might not be on the "high end," or most desirable cut of the hog (or other livestock), but the hocks and other products, which are wonderful when prepared properly.
  This young farmer can also guide you on the best way to cook it. Braising the meat, low and slow, turns some wonderful pork hocks into the best thing you have ever eaten. I know, I've prepared some recently and they are delicious.
Pork Hocks, German Potato Salad and Cabbage 
   So, think you can't afford it?  Think again.  Humanely raised pastured livestock, free of antibiotics and hormones should be available to all of us, and it is. Will you need to rethink how you budget, and look at real food?  Yes!  Is it worth it? Yes!  It's simply better for you, better for your family and simply delicious to eat.
  It's my sincere belief we need to support our small, local family farms more.  By supporting them with our dollars, we help them continue to do what they love to do, which is provide you and I the best possible product, humanely raised to sustain us.
  Bonus!  David saved me a Goose Egg to try since I've never eaten one.  He swears it tastes just like a fresh farm egg, only with a bit richer yolk taste. Just look at the size of it compared to a large chicken egg!  Wow! I also bought a Whole Roasting Duck to cook later, which we will enjoy immensely!


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Farm Fresh in the Kitchen

This week's Farm Fresh in the Kitchen blog is "all about STRAWBERRIES!"  You know, those luscious little red berries who make their appearance here every Spring ... the ones you wait all winter for ... well they're back!

Did you know? The heart-shaped silhouette of the strawberry is the first clue that this fruit is good for you. These potent little packages protect your heart, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer. 

Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity and are a good source of manganese and potassium. Just one serving -- about eight strawberries -- provides more vitamin C than an orangeThis member of the rose family isn’t really a fruit or a berry but the enlarged receptacle of the flower. Choose medium-sized berries that are firm, plump, and deep red; once picked, they don’t ripen further. First cultivated in ancient Rome, strawberries are now the most popular berry fruit in the world. In provincial France, they were regarded as an aphrodisiac. These red gems may be good for your heart in more ways than one. 1. web md

Fun Facts!  
  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine year old's picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.
  • Eight strawberries will provide 140 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids.
  • Native forms of strawberries adapt to various climates and are indigenous to every major continent except Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
  • The fruit size of the very early strawberries was very small.
  • Seventy per cent of a strawberry's roots are located in the top three inches of soil.
  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.
  • One cup of strawberries is only 55 calories.
  • There is a museum in Belgium just for strawberries.
  • Strawberries are a member of the rose family.
  • The flavor of a strawberry is influenced by weather, the variety and stage of ripeness when harvested.
  • On average, there are 200 seeds in a strawberry.
  • Ninety-four per cent of United States households consume strawberries.
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the annual per capita consumption of fresh and frozen strawberries is 4.85 pounds.
  • Strawberries are grown in every state in the United States and every province of Canada.

Tip - Use a vinegar wash to help keep your berries fresh longer!

Now, where can you go for some fresh, South Carolina strawberries?  Fortunately for us, there are several local farms right here in Sumter County where these lovely little berries are available!

Dorr Farms - 5225 Dorr Acres Rd., Gable, SC 29051. Home -803-495-2639, Cell - 803-983-9342
email -
You pick: $10 ($5 half gallon)
We pick: $12 gallon ($6 half gallon)
Available sizes: 1/2 gallon and one gallon
Hours: Monday through Saturday 3-6 p.m. the field is open (we are always here for early birds)
Payment accepted: cash and checks only
Dorr Farms attends The Sumter County Farmers Market in the American Legion Building 

Stafford Farms, Cottle Berries - 4105 Dubose Siding Rd., Sumter, SC 29153. email
You pick: $11 ($4 half gallon) We-pick: $13 ($4 half gallon) Available sizes: 1/2 gallon and one gallon Schools pick quart containers for $4 each  Some schools and groups opt for a 2 qt container with handle for $5 Hours:  Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m. Payment accepted: cash, check, and credit card Website: Facebook:  Cottle Farms

Willard Farms - 1220 S. Brick Church Rd., Gable, SC 29051. The market 803-495-8802 or Jay Willard 803-938-2814
You pick: $10 ($6 half gallon)
We pick: $11 ($7 half gallon)

Available sizes: 1/2 gallon and one gallon
Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays noon-6 p.m.
Payment accepted: credit cards, debit cards, cash and check
Facebook: Willard Farms

The market at Willard Farms offers a variety of  favorite jar products, including everyone's favorite "Summer Tomato Salad Dressing." They also offer premium, hand dipped ice cream, home made fudge or their famous "Willard Burger" hamburger, voted "Best in the State," hot dogs, chicken salad and more.

For more local area farms, or to find one near you, check out the following links:
Certified South Carolina
Local Harvest
Eat Local Grown
Farmer's Pal

What's FRESH and when in South Carolina chart here

Today's recipe Strawberry Cream Delight (click for printable version)
Pin it here

1 (6 oz.) pkg. strawberry Jello
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups fresh strawberries
8 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. Cool Whip
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups graham crackers
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups melted butter

Mix Jello in boiling water; chill until almost set. Add strawberries and keep chilled until ready to use.
Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip; set aside. In a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan, mix the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter and press into the bottom of the pan. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust.  Pour jello and strawberry mixture on top of the cream cheese mixture. Chill 1 hour before serving. Cut and enjoy this delicious strawberry delight. Scrumptious!

Click for a collection of Strawberry Recipes (click for printable version)

Until next time,
Farm Fresh in the Kitchen is a feature of

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Jack's Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Jack is a long-time friend who has a specialty of creating/baking a variety of cheesecakes in just about every flavor imaginable.  My personal favorite of his is this Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake. He recently made not one, but two for me ... one for my retirement pot luck and one to take home. Oh my goodness, it is so good.  I shared some with my grandsons, and my oldest grandson, Ethan, declared right there and then he had to have this cheesecake for his birthday!  Well, I reached out to Jack to see if he could make me one, but he was going to be out of town, so he gave me his recipe! Whoo Hoo!!!!  So in honor of Jack, here is his recipe.

2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 - 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup Creme de Menthe
3 farm fresh eggs
3 - 8 oz. sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until combined. Beat in creme de menthe chips.  Pour into crust-lined pan. Place spring-from pan in a shallow baking pan and bake 50-55 minutes or until center appears nearly set (mine took approx. 60 minutes).  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack 15 minutes.  Loosen crust; cool for 30 minutes. Remove side of pan; cool cheesecake. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.

Ganache (optional)
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate baking squares chopped
4 oz. heavy cream (whipping cream)
Before serving, in a small saucepan heat cream until just hot over medium heat (do not boil). Add chocolate pieces and stir until melted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly; beat briskly every few minutes. Ganache will thicken as it cools. Once ganache has cooled some and thickened slightly, pour over cooled cheesecake.


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Monday, April 7, 2014

Farm Fresh in the Kitchen

Would you like to raise backyard chickens but have no idea where to begin?

Have you thought about trying it, but don't want a huge upfront investment?

Would you like to enjoy YOUR OWN pastured farm fresh eggs and experience the wonderful health benefits they provide?

Not sure about the health benefits?  Take a look!  Eggs from hens raised on pasture — as compared to the official USDA data for factory-farm eggs — contain:
Farm Fresh Eggs from Paradise Acres Farm

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • Three times more vitamin E
  • Seven times more beta carotene
Read more here

This week's "Farm Fresh in the Kitchen" Blog takes you to Paradise Acres Farm located at 374 Gettys Road, in Elgin, S.C. There'll you meet Denise and Tom, and possibly run into their 2 Great Pyrenees, Missy and Trixie and cat, Bashful.  

Paradise Acres Farm is a small family farm dedicated to producing fresh and naturally grown fruits, vegetables, and eggs for the local community. They produce products free from harmful fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.

Hen and Chicks at Paradise Acres Farm
"We began our journey in the spring of 2010 with a dream to have beautiful orchards that produced naturally grown fruits and berries free from pesticides and harmful products.  We had a few fruit trees to start, but quickly found ourselves planting tree after tree after shrub until we had blossomed to over 170 fruit trees and bushes of all varieties.  Quickly to follow the orchards where rows of unruly vegetable plants. We soon realized that the produce we were growing was not reaching maturity because of bugs, pests, deer, birds, and disease!  So, after some brainstorming, we decided that we would need some help to remain all natural and produce fruit at the same time.  Enter the chickens (insert gasp here). We raise free-range chickens, turkeys, ducks, and guineas who are lovingly and sometimes enthusiastically guarded by our dogs Missy & Trixie and our cat Bashful.  We allow our chickens and friends to range our 20 acres as they wish.
Hen and Chicks at Paradise Acres Farm

This summer would you like to raise some backyard chickens?  

Would you like to:
  • collect your own farm fresh, healthy, natural eggs?
  • know exactly what the hens ate to produce your eggs?
  • Do a test-run before you invest in your own Hens?

Do all this and more without any long term commitments or expensive cost associate with owning your own flock.
Try the Rent-Laying-Hens Program, new this year!
For $350 the Paradise Acres Rent-Laying-Hens program includes everything you need to produce your own eggs for the duration of your rental period ... AND Paradise Acres will deliver everything you need right to your backyard.  (delivery fee included within 40 miles of Paradise Acres Farm)  Before the weather turns cold, we’ll return to pick everything up and the hens will return to Paradise Acres Farm. (Purchase available in case you fall in love with your hens).
With our program you’ll get:
  • 2 Laying Hens that are already producing eggs
  • Portable Chicken Tractor (coop with run)
  • Bedding for the nesting box
  • Feeder
  • Waterer
  • 100 pounds of feed
  • Delivery, Setup, and Pickup
  • Instructions
Our standard rental periods start in May or June and last for 6 months.  After 6 months, we’ll pickup the hens and equipment. Call for a quote for destinations further than 40 miles.  Longer or shorter rental periods are available.
You’ll get an average of 8 to 12 eggs a week from 2 hens.
A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your Rent-Laying-Hens. 
To contact Paradise Acres Farm, call 803-427-6943 or email
Find Paradise Acres Farm on Facebook
Shop their online store
Today's Recipe:  Crustless Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Quiche (click for "print friendly version)
5 farm fresh eggs
1/3 cup diced onion
1 small head fresh broccoli, diced into small pieces
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup half and half
1-2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375.  Spray 9 x 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.  Placed diced onions, broccoli, and bacon in bottom of pan.  Whisk together 5 eggs, half and half, seasoned salt and course-ground black pepper; pour over onions, broccoli and bacon.  Top with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until eggs are set. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot with a fresh fruit cup for a satisfying meal.  
Until next time,
Note - Any of the livestock farms featured on this blog practice humane husbandry and use no antibiotics or growth hormones.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Veggie Pasta Salad with Bacon

When the weather warms up some we enjoy all kinds of salads from an Easy Macaroni Salad to Potato Salad,  Coleslaw and more!  This Veggie Pasta Salad with Bacon incorporates some fresh veggies, pasta and bacon in a delicious sauce!  Dig in!

2 cups Bow Tie Pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1 small head broccoli, chopped
2 small carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
6 tbls. white vinegar
2 tbls. sugar
1 tbls. parsley flakes
Course-ground black pepper and Himalayan salt, to taste

6 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled, reserved

Options - add cooked, cubed chicken or ham for a complete "meal-in-one" summer dish.

Cook Bow Tie Pasta in a large pan filled with boiling water until barely done, or al dente'.  Drain and rinse well with cold water.  In a large bowl add cooked pasta, chopped broccoli, carrots, celery, onion.  In a small bowl, mix all other remaining ingredients, except cooked and crumbled bacon, until well blended.  Pour sauce over top of veggies and pasta and mix well with a spoon; mixture will look soupy.  The pasta will absorb the liquid as it cools.  Spoon into a covered bowl and store in the refrigerator several hours. Before serving, mix well with a spoon, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Top servings with crumbled bacon. Serve cold with your choice of grilled or barbecued meats. 


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Monday, March 31, 2014

Tuna Salad

There's really nothing special about this recipe, other than I love it every once in awhile!  It's quick, satisfying, easy, and versatile.

1-12 oz. can light tuna or albacore in water, drained
1 slice onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
5-6 large black olives, sliced
1 tbls. sweet pickle relish (make your own)
1 tbls. mayonnaise, or more to taste
dash of sea salt or real salt and pepper, to taste

Drain tuna fish well.  In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well until combined.  Cover and chill about 1 hour before serving to give all the flavors a chance to blend.

  • Serve over baby spinach or mixed salad greens 
  • Top on slightly toasted bread 
  • Make it a "tuna melt" by topping tuna salad on toasted bread with cheese slices; slightly melt cheese by putting sandwich in your microwave for about 10-15 seconds.
  • Add it to macaroni salad for a light summer dish


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Friday, March 28, 2014

Chili Cheese Fries

This might take a little planning, but they are the BEST ever!  You need to cut some fresh potatoes into fries, make some chili (you can do in advance and and either "put it up" in a pressure canner, freeze it, or use leftover chili from a previous meal), get some shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream ... and you're ready!

2 cup homemade French fries
1 cup homemade chili
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Dollop of sour cream
Salt to sprinkle on potatoes

Heat 2" oil to 325 degrees in a large fry pan or deep fryer. Add potatoes carefully (they will splatter) to the hot oil and cook 6-8 minutes; drain fries from oil and place on paper towels. Let sit 10 minutes or up to 2 hours.  When ready to cook, increase heat to 375 and fry 5 minutes or until crispy. Sprinkle with salt. Meanwhile, put chili in a pan and cook over medium heat until heated through.  Remove from heat and top hot French fries with heated chili.  Add shredded cheddar cheese and top all with a dollop of sour cream and enjoy!
Options - add sliced jalapeno peppers if desired.


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