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Stone Hollow Farmstead is an artisan farm located in Harpersville, Alabama.  Stone Hollow produces dairy and creamery products, along with canned goods, eggs, fresh flowers, herbs, skin care, and more.

Tuesday Table

SPRING PREVIEW 2018, POST 3

Michael Celozzi


Welcome to the SHFS CSA 2018

We are so excited about the 2018 CSA program and thrilled you are joining us as we travel through the South (and sometimes beyond -- I will explain later). We love to farm, and we love our friends who farm.

We also much admire our “Southern Maker” friends who have been a large part of our lives the last 6 years.

All of our Artisan friends (farmers, makers, chefs, vintners, distillers and brewers) are so amazing we have to include them in our CSA often!

To ensure you get to experience not only their foods or their craft but also their sweet farms, shops, restaurants and beautiful faces, we will be highlighting one or more of these special souls each week beginning with this week.

These “artisan” profiles will provide details about their business, share information of where you can find their products and leave you with a glimpse of just how wonderful they really are!

You will also meet some very forward thinkers who have provided and continue to provide amazing platforms for artisans and their clients to gather.

Local is the best option on so many levels. It creates community and honors the hard work of all artisans within our community! Supporting a local CSA program allows its members to share in the abundance of crops during a blessed season while also softening the blow to a farmer in the event of a failed crop. We will discuss this more in another post.

We also just think it’s fun to make connections with all of our Artisans. Knowing the farm and the farmer and the chef whose dishes are made with the fruits of the local farmer and whose serving their famous local fare on the pottery of another local maker while his guest sips on a local kombucha and eats delicious goat cheese from Stone Hollow!

How it works

Every Tuesday CSA bags will be available at your specified locations at their specified times. If you run into a snag and can’t make your pick-up point -- don’t worry! Your bag will be available the rest of the week at The Pantry.

When you're out of town

Call ahead and let us know. We will give you a gift certificate to double up on a share when you need extra food. Holidays and vacations seem to be popular times to use the gift certificate. If you would like, gift a good neighbor or loved one and have them pick up your bag when you're away.

What’s in the bag

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As you would expect, SHFS CSA will always be filled with delicious seasonal southern staples, i.e., squash, tomatoes, okra, peas, salad greens, etc. Additionally, there will be the unique or unusual item that helps us mix it up a little. We like to get out of our box, so we always grow new releases, strangely shaped veggies, edible flowers and ... can’t give all the secrets away! 

Each week, on the “Tuesday Table,” we will post a full detailed description of the items contained in the bag, the farm and farmer who grew them, and recipes on how to serve them. We will also let you know growing practices:
Certified organic
Sustainably grown (follows organic practices)
Naturally raised, grain fed, grass fed etc.
Touted health benefits
Vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, etc.

Defining “Local”

SHFS CSA supports Local as follows:

1. community local
2. state local
3. regional local
4. national local

What does this mean?

We always build the majority of the CSA weekly share from community local. Beyond community, we gather state and regionally. We reach beyond our community for one reason -- it isn’t available here or is of lesser quality.

An example of one of our regional collaborations is with the purchase of citrus. We purchase citrus from Mr. Dean Castner in Apalachicola, Florida in November every year.

Why?

While there are exceptions to most any rule, generally speaking, we do not have the best natural environment for citrus. This affects availability and consistency. Occasionally we purchase citruses grown locally, but it is rare.

How do we find these small farmers who aren’t local?

Here is one story. There are many more to come! There used to be a restaurant in Cahaba Heights, The Oven. Maybe you remember -- George owned it. Anyway, one day it was gone, The Oven had closed, and I never knew what happened.

These days Russ and I spend our vacation time at Indian Pass. One weekend we had taken our oldest granddaughter down. She and I were in Apalachicola shopping on Sunday afternoon and found a gelato shop. When we walked inside guess who was behind the counter ... George!!! We spent a bit catching up, and while standing chatting I noticed a strange fruit on his counter. I inquired about it, and he told me that a man named Dean would come by on occasion and sell fruits in November. He didn’t know his last name or how to reach him. So we finished our gelato and said our goodbyes. My granddaughter Dailey wanted to go to the souvenir shop, and I just couldn’t get that weird fruit off my mind.

So while Dailey was filling her basket with her favorite sea shells, I walked over to the cashier and asked if she knew of a local man who sold citrus named Dean. She said yes!!!! His wife is right over there and pointed to her. She worked in the pharmacy!!! Dailey left with a bags of shells, and I left with Deans cell phone number!!! The next day I called Dean. He lined up a few friends, and the next day we left for home with 700lbs of freshly pickled kumquats, ponderosa lemons, Buddha's hand, calamondins and Meyer lemons! That’s how we meet our favorite artisans. Six years later, we still buy his entire crop each November.

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Nationally comes in to play with items like orange blossom honey, pine nuts or olive oil. We don’t have access to orange blossom honey locally, and we as foodies think you can’t live without it! So we made a friend in California, and we buy their honey (and their unique fruits such as Bergamots and Buddha hand citrus). It’s direct from the farmer -- a farmer I have known for five years. Her name is Destiny. No middle man! We also love and can’t live without a delicious olive oil, so we source from a local lady in Crestline who owns an olive ranch in California. They press their own olives into a delicious oil, and oh it is so delicious! What more could you ask for? Supporting a local craftswoman who loves farming beyond her borders!! We love good relationships and good food, and with this philosophy we can’t miss!!!

Connect

Many of our members post beautiful photos of finished dishes made with ingredients from their CSA on Facebook and/or Instagram. For 2018 we are encouraging everyone to also share on the Tuesday Table. Feel free to post recipes that you have made with ingredients from your share along with interesting techniques and beautiful photos of the dish. You can post on the Tuesday Table comment section found at the end of the recipe section for the week. When you like and share ideas, we all benefit!

We are here to help if you have questions or concerns, so please dial us up if need be.