10137 Preston Rd

just off Mondon Hill Road between Hwy 41 and Hwy 50.

Produce Barn is open Sunday Monday Tuesday & Wednesday Farm Phone 352 799 6752 When we're busy in the field, our cells keep us available 352-232-3381 & 352-232-0294

E-mail us , we prefer phone calls rather than emails,beas9781@bellsouth.net

For our Produce Stand locations, dates, and hours please click here.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Eggplant - Nutrition

Pesticide-free Eggplant at Beasley Farm
Despite all the myths and urban legends about its "toxic poisons", Eggplant is a power house of helpful nutrients. It possesses important antioxidants which protect cell membranes. It also scavenges for free radicals, in addition to providing important vitamins and minerals.  


World's Healthiest Foods says:


Researchers at the US Agricultural Service in Beltsville, Maryland, have found that eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Plants form such compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from exposure to the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi.
The good news concerning eggplant is that the predominant phenolic compound found in all varieties tested is chlorogenic acid, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plant tissues. Benefits attributed to chlorogenic acid include antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities.

World's Healthiest Foods . org




Beasley Farm Eggplant Field
For more outstanding information regarding Eggplant at World's Healthiest Foods, please click here.


At LiveStrong.com, even more compelling information is shared:



Eggplant is loaded with vitamins and minerals, but its health benefits extend beyond just adding vital nutrients to a meal. Eggplant contains other compounds that promote good health as well, even to the point of helping to prevent cancer and lowering cholesterol. Once you realize how beneficial eggplant is to your health, you may want to give more consideration to it becoming a regular part of your diet.

Chlorogenic Acid

Chlorogenic acid is a plant compound that is known for its high antioxidant activity. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service found chlorogenic acid to be the dominant antioxidant compound in eggplant. They report that this is significant because chlorogenic acid has a great capacity to fight free radicals, and is also able to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Chlorogenic acid is also antimutagenic, which means it can protect cells from mutating into cancer cells; and it is also antiviral.



Nasunin

Nasunin is an antioxidant compound found in the peels of eggplant. The August 10, 2005 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" reports that a study shows the nasunin in eggplant has antiangiogenic abilities. The Cancer Center at the Angiogenesis Foundation explains that when something is angiogenic, it stimulates new growth of blood vessels and blood supply. While that sounds like it could be a good thing, when it comes to cancer, it is not. Cancerous cells can gain angiogenesis ability, which means they can develop a means to increase their own blood supply, which can cause a cancerous mass or tumor to grow rather quickly. Nasunin in eggplant has the ability to prevent angiogenesis from occurring.

Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals

Eggplant is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help protect against colon cancer and keeps the digestive system regular. The vitamins in eggplant consist primarily of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B vitamins, folate and vitamin C. Eggplant is also rich in minerals, boasting a large quantity of potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. With no fat, six carbs and 27 calories in a 1-cup serving, eggplant makes an excellent addition to any diet.


References



Beasley Farm 2011

So Eggplant fights LDL (that's the Lousy Cholesterol), promotes HDL (our essential cholesterol), provides nutrients for a healthy brain, heart and body, helps fight cancer, and is an inexpensive way to bring interesting, delicious vegetables to your family.

Let's talk about Nightshade vegetables and fruits:

Edible Nightshade Foods

Let's talk about Nightshade vegetables and fruits.

The Nightshade vegetables/fruits include:

Alkaloids (ie: tobacco)
Sweet and Hot Peppers
Eggplant
Okra
Potatoes
Tomatoes

Many people grow other Nightshade vines and plants for their beautiful flowers and decorative berries, which are highly toxic.

To see a more comprehensive listing of these vegetables-fruits-flowers-berries, and how they are used in our daily lives, please click here.

True or False: Raw or Undercooked Eggplant is poisonous and unhealthy to consume. At one time my husband and I adhered to that school of thought, until we did further research. It appears that age, preparation, and frequency of consumption all play a part in when and how much Eggplant, or any Nightshade produce, to eat. 

Woody Nightshade-Flower

According to the Huffington Post, the answer is FALSE.


False, raw eggplants are not poisonous. However, the leaves and flowers of the plant can be toxic. Plants in the nightshade family -- which includes eggplants, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and tomatillos -- contain an alkaloid called solanine, which in very large doses can be poisonous. For the average adult, 400 mg of solanine would be life-threatening. Vegetables in the nightshade family contain anywhere from 2 to 13mg of solanine and eggplants contain 11mg at the most. So you would have to eat 36 raw eggplants to cause any harm.
Therefore, there's no need to be concerned about eating reasonable amounts of raw eggplant. You should, however, be wary of green potatoes. They turn green when they're exposed to the light, skyrocketing their solanine levels -- so eating green potatoes is not recommended. Neither is eating the leaves of any nightshade plant.
There are some people -- a very small percentage of the population -- who are allergic to nightshade vegetables and cannot eat them. Other people might find that brushing up against the plants causes skin irritation, but it's no more than itching. As we know, these vegetables are not poisonous, otherwise we wouldn't be eating potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, etc.
We of course do enjoy fresh tomatoes raw, but potatoes and eggplants? They're not so tasty raw, but that doesn't mean they can't be eaten raw. So the moral of the story is ... keep eating eggplant! It's delicious in many forms.

Woody Nightshade Berries

According to Answers.com, Eggplant and all Nightshade plants should be used with caution:  



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tasty and Healthy - March 29, 2012

Welcome to this week's newsletter! We're continuing our "freezing" tips and suggestions, and offering some great recipes for side dishes for Easter, including an inexpensive alternative to traditional ham. Recipes are shown below. Some canning information is mentioned below as well.


Joann and Rolo are doing the usual - harvesting, weeding, and planting! 
In addition to the items listed below, the pesticide-free Spinach is trickling in (at this time, you might want to phone to reserve it). We also have a very small field of Flat Leaf Kale. Reservations are suggested for this pesticide-free crop as well. Usually we plant only the curly leaf. We have found that the Flat Leaf wilts a little more quickly. When you get it home, please plop it in cold water. It will come back as vigorously as our other greens, ready for cooking or back in the refrigerator.

We're still busy harvesting pesticide-free cruciferous vegetables! To read all about Cruciferous Veggies and see our farm photos, just click here.

Please phone ahead if you are interested in canning tomatoes. We will purchase your produce when the prices are best.


Please phone if you would like us to bring greens to the satellite locations. It's our way of ensuring the freshest, best quality produce available.

The Red Rhubarb Swiss Chard have proven very popular. Slightly milder than the "White" Chard, this will prove to be a short-term crop with the way the warm temperatures are going. 





Preparing fresh beets is a colorful experience, so you may wish to use gloves when peeling them. Click here for how to process beets and to learn a little about their nutritional qualities. 








Time's Moneyland Magazine wrote an article last August explaining the pros for freezing meals in advance - for convenience, nutritional value, and to save money. Would you like to learn about freezing or canning meats, poultry, fruit and vegetables? "Food-Skills-for-Self-Sufficiency.com" has some great tips. Click Here to get started.


To freeze greens, please check out the "pick your own" website by clicking here for a brief tutorial. Do you enjoy video "how-to's"? Then please click here for a great three and a half minute home movie. Here is one more person's take on freezing Chard. These tips are great for any of the greens we sell on the farm.


For more information about freezing vegetables, please see our page here. Joann also offers Bargain Boxes - these are flats of vegetables ready for someone to dice, chop, or slice and place in baggies for the freezer. For more information about these flats please phone the farm.




Thanks for always brightening our days by visiting one of our locations every week. It's so good seeing familiar faces, sharing recipes, and hearing about your lives. Please feel free to phone the farm for special requests or special orders. We'll do everything we can to accommodate you. If you need something from the Farmers Market in Plant City, it is best to phone by Wednesday afternoon.

Did you know the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regularly makes "surprise" visits to our farm to test our soil and plants? We always pass with flying colors and tests reveal no trace pesticides. For more information about our farming techniques, and the testing we undergo, please click here.



Gran'ma Angie thanks you for the bags! She hopes you will keep on bringing 'em. Thanks for "recycling" your plastic bags with us! It helps us keep prices down.




From the Farmers Market:

Florida tomatoes
Eggplant
Cucumbers
Beautiful HUGE Red Peppers 
and
Red and Green Bell Peppers
Red and Green Jalapenos (be sure to remove the seeds!)
Sweet Cubanella Peppers
Poblano Peppers
Radishes
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Baking Potatoes
Florida Red Skin Potatoes
Red and White onions
Celery
Romaine (sweet and super fresh!)
Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Lemons
Strawberries
Nice Honey Tangerines
Wonderful Fresh Herbs in 4" pots


Beasley's Pesticide Free Spinach
Beasley's Pesticide Free Flat Leaf Kale
Beasley's Pesticide Free Savoy Cabbage
Beasley's Pesticide Free Beets
Beasley's Pesticide Free Swiss Chard
Beasley's Pesticide Free Collards



Where we will be this week:

Monday - we will be at the Cloverleaf location. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with us.

Friday - Rolo will be at the Spring Hill location. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with him.

Saturday - Rolo and Joann will be at the Hernando County Farmers Market on Hwy 19 with nearly 80 other vendors! Come browse, shop, and visit with your neighbors - it's an all 'round enjoyable time. You'll also be supporting local businesses by visiting their booths. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with us.

Saturday and everyday - Gran'ma Angie, Nana Phyllis, Joann and Rolo will be at the Produce Barn until 6PM. Fresh Cut Pesticide-free Greens will be eagerly awaiting you in their little wading pool.


Sunday - Rolo will be at the Towne Square Market Place in Spring Hill near Chili's on Hwy 19 from 8AM-3PM.  If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with him.

For our Calendar of Locations, and special times and dates for Marchplease click here, or click on the Calendar Tab at the top of this page.



Some of our favorite "freezeables" are shown below.



Freezer Ideas:





Meal Ideas






Quotes for this week:

“Wake up every morning with the thought that
something WONDERFUL
is about to happen."
~ Unknown 


“Life is full of beauty. Take time to notice it. Notice the bumble
bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell
the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the 
fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."
~ Ashley Smith.




As always, thank you for your encouragement and support. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do what we love most - FARM!


Looking forward to seeing you soon,

Roasted Vegetables - Easy Recipe

Super Easy Recipe for those who enjoy using their ovens.


Integrating that lone potato, pepper, carrot or squash in a meal isn't that hard. Why not try oven-baked vegetables to bring out new textures and flavors, inexpensively and easily, without boiling, frying or microwaving. 


Invite family members to choose which vegetables they would like to have roasted to suit their tastes.

Sometimes asking children to prepare and select 2 or 3 different veggies helps get that "magical five" into their daily dose.




Surprisingly, all the vegetables "finish" cooking at the same time, but if you prefer much crunchier peppers, celery or squash, add them to the oven about half way through the baking time.




Ingredients:

  • Favorite vegetables (root vegetables are excellent, however we enjoy just about all our vegetables in this manner).
  • Olive Oil (or Grape Seed Oil)
  • Italian Herbal Seasonings (OR your family's favorites OR seasoning packets such as Ranch, Taco, Asian, Herbal for a change in flavor)
  • Salt, Pepper as desired
  • Cookie Sheet and Parchment Paper (this prevents sticking and burning  - and helps with clean-up, too!)



Method:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Chop Vegetables into desired shapes and sizes. 


The smaller the sizes, the shorter the cooking time.
Place into plastic bag.




Add oil and Italian Herbal Seasoning (or seasonings of your choice. Substitute with seasoning packages if desired).

Twist top of bag, and shake well so that all the pieces are coated.


Place parchment paper on baking sheet, spread out vegetables, add a tiny amount of kosher or sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.




Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes, depending on chopped sizes, and desired doneness.










Roasting cauliflower produces a rather nutty taste. 


Sometimes we leave out the oil in order to achieve a different flavor and/or texture.




Vegetables which are roasted have a richer flavor, enhancing meals and providing interesting tastiness when preparing them for soups or side dishes such as mashing or served with sauces. 




Roast Eggplant, Sweet Potatoes, or Potatoes may be sliced lengthwise, in disks or cubed to create finger food, or prepare for layering in casseroles, as an alternative to frying or boiling. 


Oven-baked Peppers are excellent additions for omelettes, sides, or garnish.





Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jack’s Simple Scalloped Potatoes


Ingredients:

1 can cream of celery soup
1 onion, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup milk
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper (or to taste)
2 cups grated extra sharp cheese (try the Vintage White from Cabot YUM!)
2 scallions, chopped (if desired)
6-8 baking potatoes, thinly sliced

Hint: Place sliced potatoes in ice water to prevent discoloration prior to baking.
2 quart casserole (sprayed with cooking oil)

Method:









  1. Sauté onion and bell pepper in olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Alternate layers of potato, onion and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over layers. 
  3. Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer until potatoes are tender.
  4. Garnish with scallions if desired.
More Scalloped Potato Ideas:


Scalloped Potatoes


(with white cheese, onion, celery and green pepper)

















Scalloping potatoes can easily turn any dish into a casserole!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups of milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning (optional)
6 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced *
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheese

*note: Salad Shooter makes quick work of slicing potatoes!

Preparation:
  1. Pour milk, seasonings and flour into well sealed container and shake vigorously until well-mixed. Periodically shake to keep blended.
  2. If using 13x9 pan, make 2 layers.
  3. If using deeper casserole dish, make 3 or more layers.
  4. Spray Pam into dish, and make layer of potatoes. Sprinkle some of the chopped vegetables and cheese on top, and pour some of the liquid on top.
  5. Make another layer as above, and perhaps more, depending on the type of baking dish being used.
  6. Bake at 350F for approximately one hour.


HINT: to decrease making time, place sliced potatoes in microwave with 2 tablespoons of water, cover, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then begin the layering process. Decreases cooking time by 20-30 minutes.


More Scalloped Potato Ideas



Curried Sweet Potato Fries


This delicious and vitamin-packed alternative to standard french fries is from the treasure-trove of gluten-free recipes found on Mary Frances' website "The Gluten Free Cooking School".

She has some fantastic recipes we hope you will enjoy.

Curried Sweet Potato Fries Recipe
(Yield: 2 side servings)
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
1 tsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. Madras curry powder

Preheat the oven to 400. Peel the potatoes and slice them into strips the size of steak fries. Place the fries on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Scatter the madras curry over the fries and then toss with your hands. Pop the fries into the oven for 25 minutes. Don’t take them out until the tips of the fries start to turn dark brown.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tasty and Healthy - March 22, 2012

Happy second day of Spring, everyone! 




Joann and Rolo have been harvesting, weeding, and planting! 
In addition to the items listed below, the pesticide-free spinach is trickling in (at this time, you might want to phone to reserve it). We also have a very small field of Flat Leaf Kale. Reservations are suggested for this pesticide-free crop as well. Usually we plant only the curly leaf. We have found that the Flat Leaf wilts a little more quickly. When you get it home, please plot it in cold water. It will come back as vigorously as our other greens.


We're sorry to say that all the Cauliflower plants were lost during the first hard freeze of the Fall. We'll try again another year, and hope for the best. Thanks for understanding.




The Red Rhubarb Swiss Chard have proven very popular. Slightly milder than the "White" Chard, this will prove to be a short-term crop with the way the warm temperatures are going, so you may wish to try some soon. Because these big "bouquets" of chard are reasonably priced, and pesticide-free, we suggest freezing them for use in casseroles, soups, stews and side dishes for summer months.





To freeze greens, please check out the "pick your own" website by clicking here for a brief tutorial. Do you enjoy video "how-to's"? Then please click here for a great three and a half minute home movie. Here is one more person's take on freezing Chard. These tips are great for any of the greens we sell on the farm.


For more information about freezing vegetables, please see our page here. Joann also offers Bargain Boxes - these are flats of vegetables ready for someone to dice, chop, or slice and place in baggies for the freezer. For more information about these flats please phone the farm.




Did you know you brighten our days by visiting one of our locations every week? It's so good seeing familiar faces, sharing recipes, and hearing about your lives. Please feel free to phone the farm for special requests or special orders. We'll do everything we can to accommodate you. If you need something from the Farmers Market in Plant City, it is best to phone by Wednesday afternoon.

We're still busy harvesting pesticide-free CRUCIFEROUS vegetables! To read all about Cruciferous Veggies and see our farm photos, just click here.



Please phone if you would like us to bring greens to the satellite locations. It's our way of ensuring the freshest, best quality produce available.



Did you know the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regularly makes "surprise" visits to our farm to test our soil and plants? We always pass with flying colors and tests reveal no trace pesticides. For more information about our farming techniques, and the testing we undergo, please click here.



Gran'ma Angie is still in need of bags! Thanks for "recycling" your plastic bags with us! It helps us keep prices down.


From the Farmers Market:

Florida tomatoes
Eggplant
Cucumbers
Red and Green Bell Peppers
Green Jalapenos (be sure to remove the seeds!)
Sweet Cubanella Peppers
Poblano Peppers
Radishes
Carrots
Sweet Potatoes
Baking Potatoes
Red Skin Potatoes
Red and White onions
Celery
Romaine (sweet and super fresh!)
Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Lemons, Limes
Nice Honey Tangerines
Wonderful Fresh Herbs in 4" pots


Beasley's Pesticide Free Spinach
Beasley's Pesticide Free Flat Leaf Kale
Beasley's Pesticide Free Savoy Cabbage
Beasley's Pesticide Free Beets
Beasley's Pesticide Free Swiss Chard
Beasley's Pesticide Free Collards







Where we will be this week:

Monday - we will be at the Cloverleaf location. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with us.

Friday - Rolo will be at the Spring Hill location. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with him.

Saturday - Rolo and Joann will be at the Hernando County Farmers Market on Hwy 19 with nearly 80 other vendors! Come browse, shop, and visit with your neighbors - it's an all 'round enjoyable time. You'll also be supporting local businesses by visiting their booths. If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with us.

Saturday and everyday - Gran'ma Angie, Nana Phyllis, Joann and Rolo will be at the Produce Barn until 6PM. Fresh Cut Pesticide-free Greens will be eagerly awaiting you in their little wading pool.


Sunday - Rolo will be at the Towne Square Market Place in Spring Hill near Chili's on Hwy 19 from 8AM-3PM.  If you would like any of the pesticide-free greens, please phone to reserve them, so that we know to bring them with him.

For our Calendar of Locations, and special times and dates for Marchplease click here, or click on the Calendar Tab at the top of this page.

It's the perfect time to be making soups and stews which contain Greens. Collards, Swiss Chard, Cabbage -- chop them at the very last minute. Allow their magical phytochemicals to activate by letting set for a few moments, place them in your pot for 3-5 minutes, and serve. Freeze your leftovers. We freeze ours in single serving containers, as well as double-portion containers. Perfect for quick lunches or dinners. Freezing soups and stews stretches your Food Dollar, maximizes your time spent in the kitchen, and frees you up for other things. AND they are healthy. It's important not to overcook vegetables, or they lose important nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Some of our favorite "freezeables" are shown below.



Freezer Ideas:




Quotes for this week:

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, 
but like morning light it scattered the night 
and made the day worth living.” 
~ F. Scott Fitzgerald


No matter what you might be going through, 
the ending will be greater than it's beginning. 
As long as you still breathe, you have a purpose to fulfill
and usually the one who gets in the way  
of that fulfillment is your own self. 
So let go of your fears 
Get up, and get out of your own way.
~ Unknown 



As always, thank you for your encouragement and support. Without you, we wouldn't be able to do what we love most - FARM!


Looking forward to seeing you soon,


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