This page contains news, event information, and other items added by the market managers.
New Vendor -- The Skirted Soldier
A great big welcome to our newest vendor
The Skirted Soldier is a female veteran owned operation that specializes in hand blended, loose tea. They source their products from member cooperatives and community supported agriculture groups. Each order is hand blended by a veteran and carefully prepared in food grade packaging and heat sealed for flavor protection. The Skirted Soldier donates 10% of proceeds to female veteran organizations.
They hand blend each package to contain 12 cups of fine loose tea, complete with 12 diffuser bags. Packages are prepared when ordered.
They offer 6 standard flavors:
At Ease At Ease decaf blend will have you relaxing in no time. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains NO ammo (caffeine).
At Ease is a great choice for bedtime or anytime you need to unwind. Our specially blended herbal tea features zero gluten or caffeine so you can enjoy it around the clock. The natural sweetness of the soothing chamomile mixes with the gentle mint flavor to create a smooth satisfying flavor.
Basic Training Basic Training Blend will get you moving in the morning. A smooth breakfast blend that is great for 1st timers. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains ammo (caffeine). Basic Training compares to a traditional blend of teas originating from Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya. It is one of the most popular blended teas. Basic Training is a black tea blend usually described as full-bodied, robust, rich and blended to go well with milk and sugar, in a style traditionally associated with a hearty English breakfast.
Commander The Commander is sure to take charge with this smooth Earl Grey blend. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains ammo (caffeine). The Commander is a tea blend which has been flavored with the addition of bergamot oil, a variety of orange that is often grown in Italy and France. The rind’s fragrant oil is added to black tea to give Earl Grey its signature elite flavor.
Fatigues Blend into the background with a cup of our Gunpowder green tea. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains ammo (caffeine). Gunpowder tea is a form of Chinese tea in which each leaf has been rolled into a small round pellet. Its English name comes from its resemblance to grains of gunpowder. When steeped, gunpowder pellets unfurl into long, luscious leaves with a mildly smoky, yet smooth and refreshing taste. This process releases the flavor and nutrients. Gunpowder green tea may taste much stronger than common green tea varieties so you may not want to use full amount recommended.
First Sergeant Improve morale with our delicious First Sergeant blend. A fusion of Earl Grey and smooth creme with every sip. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains ammo (caffeine). The First Sergent blend combines our Commander, which parallels Earl Grey varieties and blends in a creamy vanilla layer adding a very smooth balance to the bergamot. This blend makes a superb London Fog (just add milk and sugar).
SNAFU great way to mix things up. A comingling of Basic Training and fine German coffee will leave your tastebuds wanting more. Enjoy hot or cold. Contains ammo (caffeine). SNAFU is anything but “situation normal”. It’s great for Reveille or anytime really! The unique blend of Basic training and the finest German coffee is a tangled “situation normal” on your tongue.
Their sampler pack contains 2 servings each of their 6 specialty blends.
Coming soon- they will launch short term deployments of seasonal varieties!
Check out this weeks video featuring The Skirted Soldier at:
New Items from Clover Creek Cheese Cellar
Aged & Grated We had a few wheels that we have aged for over two years like a parmesan. We have grated them for you, making them perfect for flavoring your favorite dish or sprinkling atop your favorite salad.
Smokin’Rodeo Lasso up an adventure with our smoked horseradish cheese.
Happy Easter to One and All
This week we celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday. We wish that God Blesses you and yours. (and, yes, we are open and will be delivering on Friday)
Clover Creek Cheese Cellar
For this week’s video, we are featuring Clover Creek Cheese Cellar. They are one of our original fellow vendors. We have done farmers markets with them for the last 10 years, and Anthony is the current Market Manager for the Altoona Station Farmers Market.
They are currently sold out of their Tussey Mountain and Honduran Harvest cheeses, but just began making cheese again this week.
To see this week’s video, simply go to:
It will open in a new window for your viewing.
Open Good Friday
Just a short note to let you know that we WILL be delivering next week on Good Friday. And a reminder that ordering for THIS week ends at 9pm tonight.
Spring is in the Air
A Rebirth from Winter
We are trying something new this year … we are venturing into videos. Each week we will be producing short videos compiled from pictures taken here at Green"er" Acres Farm and from contributions from our other growers/producers. We hope that you enjoy them and gain a better understanding of where your food and other products are coming from. Sit back and enjoy them and welcome to our family.
The first video can be found at:
We unfortunately can not post videos through this weblog at this time, but we will also post them to our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/greeneracresfarm/) Please like and follow our page to stay up to date.
We are also currently working on a downloadable Harvest Book that you will be able to purchase from our market. This with be a complete book about all the fruits, vegetables and herbs generally available through our online market. It will outline descriptions of the items, how to store them, how to use them, recipes, and how to preserve them, as well as pictures of the items. Each book will also come with a handy 2 page shortcut sheet listing the storage recommendations contained in the book. Great to print out and hang on your refrigerator.
Good Friday, March 30th
Just a reminder that Good Friday is next week, March 30th. I am still awaiting confirmation from my grower/producers about who will be open for that week. I will send out a separate short email once I have a better idea who will be available (probably Monday evening.)
New Grower/Producer Waiting in the Wings
And finally, we have a new grower/producer waiting in the wings to join our online market. When her items are listed we will send you all the details.
Raw Milk Is BACK!!
Raw Milk is BACK!!
Clover Creek Cheese Cellar has been bringing new babies into the world and is now offering their Raw Milk again. It is in limited quantities at this time, but will be steadily increasing.
Easter is only 3 WEEKS away!!
What is your favorite recipe for Easter? What kind of activities do you like to do with the kiddos at Easter?
Many people like to make hard boiled eggs, Deviled eggs, and colored eggs. Now, one thing many people using farm raised eggs for these activities know, farm raised eggs are far fresher than store bought. This often means that when you hard boil fresh eggs, the white of the eggs tends to stick to the shells, making it harder to peel them. The way to make it easier… Buy your eggs NOW and let them sit in your fridge until ready to hard boil them. As the eggs sit they develop a larger air sac within the shell which helps to release the egg from the shell. What many people do not realize is that the eggs that you buy in the store are already 3-4 weeks old.
And a hint from Kerri Stoltz of Heritage Hills Farm: “If you steam NEW eggs in a veggie steamer you can peel them perfectly EVERY TIME!!!!! BOIL 1 inch of water, THEN ADD your VEGGIE STEAMER with 1 Layer of eggs, set time 13 – 15 minutes…..remove immediately and place in cold water until cool enough to handle and peel.”
New Herb Plants and Avacado ‘Trees’ For Sale
We have started many new herb plants for the spring. We have seeded numerous seedlings in each 4" pot. They will be perfect for planting outside once all danger of frost has passed, or left in a pot on your window sill. Currently we have sweet basil and parsley. Coming soon… Cilantro, Dill and Sweet Marjoram.
We have also started several Avacado plants, from their pits, in 4" pots. While they are not cold hardy in our region, they can be grown in LARGE pots. They may take 8-20 years to bear fruit when grown in a heated greenhouse or atrium. They have attractive foliage and can be seen as a true challenge for the grower wanting an adventure.
Winter Got You Down?? Try a Spring Tonic!
Winter Got You Down?? Try a Spring Tonic!
So what kind of Spring Tonic are we speaking of? Sassafras tea. Sassafras tea is made from the root and bark of the sassafras tree, a deciduous flowering tree native to North America. The flavor of the tea is reminiscent of root beer, which is why many early recipes for that refreshing beverage include sassafras. Native Americans used sassafras tea as a “spring tonic,” to “purify the blood of winter stagnation.” This shrub or small tree is the first plant to come to life in the spring. When brewed, it develops a pleasing red tea that is highly aromatic.
According to the website, Organic Facts (https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/sassafras-tea.html) While there are health risks to consuming an excess of sassafras tea, this tea can have a positive impact on your liver, circulatory system, immune system, skin, lungs, respiratory tracts and joints. Much of these benefits come from the volatile compounds in the tea, including alpha pinene and antioxidant tannins.
- Immune System – Sassafras tea has been traditionally used in small amounts to treat the symptoms of cold and flu. It can help to reduce nasal congestion and relieve inflammation in the sinus cavities and throat.
- Skin Health – The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of this tea make it particularly effective for skin health. It can aid in the elimination of eczema, psoriasis and other inflammatory issues when consumed in low to moderate amounts.
- Detoxify the Body – As a liver stimulant, sassafras tea can help detoxify the body faster and also cause the body to sweat, which can further eliminate toxins through the skin. This tea also functions as a great diuretic, meaning that it speeds up urination, which is when excess toxins, fats, salt and water can be flushed out of the body. For this reason, sassafras tea is also known to boost kidney health when consumed responsibly.
- Break Fevers – One of the classic uses of this tea is for stubborn fevers that don’t seem to break. Traditional medicine practitioners have been relying on the anti-inflammatory properties of sassafras tea for generations when they need to break a fever and start the healing process.
- Digestion – Small amounts of sassafras tea can help ease digestion by reducing inflammation in the gut and digestive tracts, while also helping regulate your bowel movements, meaning that it can eliminate both diarrhea and constipation.
- Circulation – Sassafras tea has an anticoagulant nature to it that helps with thinning the blood, making it less likely for you to suffer from blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
- Inflammatory Problems – People who suffer from gout, joint disorders and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, can benefit from the detoxifying and stimulant nature of sassafras tea. When consumed responsibly, this tea can relieve pain and discomfort very effectively.
How to Make Sassafras Tea?
Sassafras tea can be prepared quite easily at home, and only requires sassafras root, a pot of boiling water and a strainer, as well as honey or sweetener to improve the flavor.
- Purchase or gather sassafras root and wash it thoroughly. Cut off any excess plant material, such as the green of a potential sapling or the tips of the roots.
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add the roots (a small handful). While the roots steep, the color will begin to change to a deep red or brown.
- Once the roots have steeped for 5-10 minutes, strain the mixture to separate the roots and any plant material.
- Add honey or sweetener for flavor.
(Note: Return your root to your pot and cover with water to keep hydrated. Roots can be re-brewed until it losses it color and/or taste (often 2-3 times). [May causes a slight discoloration to your pot, we recommend using an older pot for this tea])
This tea can be served hot or cold, and most herbalists do not recommend more than 1-2 cups per day for no longer than a month. This should be used as a treatment, rather than a consistently used preventative measure, due to the health concerns associated with this tea.
Side Effects of Sassafras Tea
As noted in the above website, There are a number of serious side effects that can result from drinking sassafras tea, including the following: Sweating, High blood pressure, Vomiting, Rashes, Hallucinations, Chronic disease, Cancer, Liver damage, Miscarriages
Safrole is one of the primary active ingredients in sassafras, and it is a proven carcinogen, meaning that it can significantly increase your risk of cancer. In laboratory studies in the 1970’s, lab rats were injected with massive amounts of the pure, extracted safrole oils, which lead to cancer in those rats. This lead to the FDA ban on the oils.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and children should avoid using sassafras tea, as it can cause miscarriages for pregnant women, and can cause severe side effects in children (as listed above).
If you are having surgery, drinking sassafras tea can be very dangerous. It slows down the nervous system, which provides some of its health benefits, but in conjunction with anesthesia, the amount of safrole found in this tea can be a major complication, and can be fatal.
Only use sassafras tea in extremely limited quantities, and only with permission from a trained medical practitioner, who can ensure that it won’t have negative interactions with any other prescriptions or medications you may be using.
We are selling our highly-prized sassafras root (not extract) that is harvested in late winter from our own patch of Sassafras Trees behind our house. We then clean and dehydrate it for long term storage.
Freshly Made Lard Processed This Week
Green"er" Acres Farm made two huge batches of their own home processed lard this weekend (approximately 100 pounds of beautiful pure white lard.) Our lard is not hydrogenated like some brands seen at your local grocery store.
So why use lard? Isn’t it unhealthy? My doctor would freak out!
We hear this quite frequently as the asking person is turning their nose up. Home processed lard is actually making a come back in favor of many health professionals.
In recent generations, lard has seemed to completely disappear from home kitchens. Until the early 1900’s, lard was a staple cooking fat across the globe. It was the secret to perfectly flaky pie pastry, crispy fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and luscious gravy.
Now, when people hear the term lard, they immediately conjure up a vision of clogged arteries. It’s time to set the record straight – lard is a healthy cooking fat and deserves to make a comeback in kitchens everywhere.
According to a recent article found on the Prevention Magazine website (https://www.prevention.com/food/should-you-be-eating-lard,) Recently, lard has come back into fashion and become a fat of choice for many nutritionists, Paleo dieters, and hordes of famous chefs, including the Food Network’s Alton Brown, who proclaimed lard to be the best cooking fat ever.
Isn’t lard full of the saturated fat that doctors warn can clog up your arteries?
Well, not really. Saturated fat makes up only about 40% of the fat in lard and actually isn’t as bad for your health as doctors used to think. In fact, many experts now argue that eating saturated fat is good for overall health. Recent studies have found that eating more saturated fat doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease at all, while some studies show it can raise good HDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease when combined with a low-carb or low-sugar diet.
Besides, lard is lower in saturated fat than other animal fats like butter and tallow, and higher in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat—the type that gives olive oil its health halo. Lard is made up of 50% monounsaturated fat—compare that to only 32% in butter and 6% in coconut oil. Plus, in its natural form, lard has none of the trans fats that we know are bad for you.
Also, according to information found at the Empowered Sustenance website (https://empoweredsustenance.com/lard-is-healthy/), 1) An analysis of more than 300,000 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that there is no evidence that saturated fat consumption raises the risk of heart disease, 2) A low fat diet has been shown to increase triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease, 3) The director of the large Framingham Heart Study concluded, “We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”, 4) Saturated fat intake raises HDL cholesterol, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, and 5) The “diseases of modern civilization” including heart disease and diabetes skyrocketed as animal fats were replaced with factory fats including vegetable oils and margarine.
Using lard in cooking
Because lard contains more saturated fat than veggie oils, it doesn’t go rancid as quickly and has a higher smoke point, making it better for frying and high-heat cooking. “The chemical makeup of saturated fats is very stable,” Nichols says. “Unsaturated fats like those found in vegetable oils, on the other hand, tend to go bad and change structure the longer they cook.” This means oils like canola, corn, or olive cooked at a high heat or used repeatedly (like in restaurant fry cookers) can start to break down and release free radicals, which then lead to inflammation.
If that’s not enough to convince you, lard also just makes things taste better—there’s a reason your grandma used it in everything from pies to scrambled eggs. Due to the neutral flavor, it also works exceptionally well in baked goods.
So why buy lard from my local farmers?
First, most brands of lard sold in your local grocery or “big box” stores is hydrogenated. Hydrogenation, complete or partial, is a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquid oils to turn them into a solid form. Partially hydrogenated fat molecules have trans fats, and they may be the worst type of fat you can consume.
The lard produced by Green"er" Acres Farm is made from the hogs that we raise for our own consumption and to make the whole hog sausage that we sell once a year. Our hogs are treated well and killed in a humane manner. We then boil the lard on-site, rendering and pressing it though lard press that has been used for generations on the farm and filtered through cheesecloth, We then freeze the blocks of solid lard (it naturally hardens from a liquid state when left to sit at room temperature) in vacuum-sealed bags. This allows the lard to be kept for up to 3 years without going rancid. You can then simply remove it from the freezer, cup off what you need to keep on the counter in a jar, and return the rest to the freezer for longer keeping.
Try some lard today!
We offer our lard in several sizes. Try some today. We are so confident that you will find it a superior cooking oil that we offer you a money back guarantee. If, for any reason, you are not happy with Green"er" Acres Farm’s home processed lard, simply return the unused portion, and we will issue a refund of the entire purchase price.
How About This Weather?
So how is everyone weathering these strange weather patterns? One day it is freezing cold, the next it is in the 50’s and then it dumps wet, heavy snow. Please be safe out there and take care of yourself.
One of the best ways to take care of yourself is to eat a healthy diet, free of excessive chemicals and preservatives. And we are here to help you. All of our growers/producers use the most sustainable growing methods possible. The “Our Growers” tab will provide you with more information about each grower, and as always, feel free to contact us with any questions.
We are currently in the part of the year well there is very limited produce, however, the days are lengthening and green is on the way. In the meantime, we still carry a large selection of meats, eggs, dairy as well as natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. And for those with a sweet tooth, we also carry delicious baked goods.
Market Still Open
Sorry we did not send out an email yesterday, but YES we are still open.
Not many changes to the items available this week.
We are happy to announce that when we did an inspection of our high tunnel this weekend, we found that the salad greens that we have over-wintered are coming back and sending up new growth. We should have limited quantities of salad greens available for purchase in a few weeks.
We also have new herbs started in our grow room at this time. They are up and have their first leaves on. Once they have a few sets of true leaves, we will pot them up into four inch pots and will offer them for sale. They include sweet basil, parsley, dill and cilantro.
Back at the Market-- Maple Syrup
We are happy to announce that Heritage Hills has maple syrup back in stock. And they are now carrying their Kombucha scobies for anyone interested in making their own Kombucha drinks. This is a live, active culture.
Clover Creek Cheese Cellar is currently drying off there cows in anticipation of calving season. Their raw milk will be unavailable until about Mid-March. They do still have artisan cheese and beef.