Eat Less Beef…We Mean It.

Everyone should eat less meat.

It sounds strange, coming from a grassfed beef farm. But a willingness to look at the whole picture of sustainability is essential to who we are at Foxhollow Farm. Our proprietors call themselves “Land Stewards” not “owners.” This distinction is intentional. As Janey Newton puts it, the idea here is “less about the dominance of the farmer, and more about the harmony between the farmer and the wisdom of the natural world.”

That’s how Foxhollow Farm came to be a grassfed beef farm in the first place, a choice made to replenish the soil and mitigate the effects of years of conventional farming on the land. Biodynamics offered the perspective of our farm as an entire ecosystem unto itself and the idea that everything we need on the farm can eventually come from the farm itself.

This idea of thinking about entire ecosystems brings us back to the topic at hand.

If everyone on the planet lived and ate like Americans do, we’d need approximately 5 Earths to sustain us. The average American consumes a whopping 185 pounds of meat per year. The vast majority of this meat is raised with conventional methods—that is, factory farming in concentrated animal feeding operations. These methods destroy landscapes, pollute water sources and air, contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and require a steady stream of antibiotics and hormones for the animal.

We know what it sounds like. We’re not advocating for veganism, but we are advocating for thoughtfulness.

At Foxhollow Farm, we use a system called “rotational grazing.” Our herd grazes on different portions of our pasture every day, while the remainder of our pastures rests and works on growing more grass. The cows stimulate the grasses’ roots and promote even more growth. Their manure is the best fertilizer we could ask for, and they spread it all over the pasture for us, trampling it into the soil with their hooves.

Since we began using this system hand-in-hand with Biodynamics, we’ve seen our soil become richer, more diverse in beneficial bug species, and more balanced in healthy grasses.  We’ve even seen the reappearance of a native grass species.

We’re not the only ones to notice the way that cows can repair the Earth (see the resource list below).

Everyone could stand to eat less meat, but eating meat very much has its place—and quality, happy, sustainable, local meat has a key place—in healing the problems conventional methods have created. Simply put: Know your farmer. Buy a little less meat. When you do, buy the good stuff.

-Meg Kennedy, Administrative Assistant

Resources:

 


Summer cook-outs, sunset cocktails

It’s barbecue season, and that means that along with grassfed burgers, hot dogs and steaks, you’re going to need the perfect party drink.

Last month, we debuted a signature Sunset Concert Series cocktail, the Tito’s Lavender Lemonade. If you’d like to make it for your own party, here’s how:

Ingredients:

  • Organic Sugar
  • Water
  • Organic lavender flowers
  • Tito’s Vodka
  • Unsweetened (or just slightly sweetened) lemonade
  • Crushed ice
  • Lavender flowers or stems, for garnish

First, make a simple syrup. Bring to a boil 1 part water to 1 part sugar and a solid pinch of lavender flowers. Stir and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, strain the flowers from the mix and put in a pitcher or container you can easily pour from later.

To make the cocktail, place 2 oz Tito’s Vodka, 1 oz of unsweetened lemonade, and 1 oz of lavender simple syrup in a glass, stir, and serve over crushed ice. To be really fancy, garnish with lavender.

Enjoy with friends & sip responsibly!

 


Norton Commons Farmers Market

There’s a new way to get your Foxhollow fix! Beginning Wednesday June 1, we will have a weekly Farm Stand in the Norton Commons Town Center at 10712 Meeting St, Prospect, KY. This mini Farmers Market will be on Wednesdays from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

At the Farm Stand, you can shop our grassfed beef, lamb, pantry items, flowers, and veggies; chat with our gardeners; and, of course, visit with our beloved farm truck Winston!

We are particularly pleased to share this new space with our friends at Rootbound Farm. They will be using the Farm Stand as a pick-up location for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares. Not only is Rootbound a fellow Oldham County family farm, they also seek to farm using organic and sustainable methods to build biodiversity, restore the land, and produce delicious food. To learn more about the good work they are doing, visit their website at rootboundfarm.com.

We are so excited about this new way to collaborate and share our farm and food with the community. We hope to see you there!


Maggie’s CSA

For the 2016 growing season we are offering a 11 week CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) starting June 22nd and ending September 1st. Maggie’s CSA is a partnership where in exchange for an advance fee, members receive a weekly basket of seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers from Foxhollow Farm’s Kitchen Garden. Throughout the season, you can expect to find a variety of delicious vegetables; including Bibb lettuces, spring peas, onions, carrots, kale, collard greens, beets, swiss chard, radishes, leeks, heirloom and cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, green beans, and more! You can also look forward to fresh herbs such as sage, cilantro, dill, basil, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. We’ll round out your box with a bouquet of vibrant farm fresh flowers.

Maggie’s CSA is available for pick up at Foxhollow Farm or Delivery. On-Farm Pick ups are Wednesday afternoons 3-7pm or Thursdays 9am-4pm. Delivery is available on Thursdays between 11am and 2pm at your home or work for an additional fee. Space is limited as this is a small CSA so sign up today.

Traveling this summer? No worries! We are flexible. Just let us know your out of town dates and we will offer extra veggies and flowers the week before or after you are out of town. If you prefer, we can offer shelf stable items like jams, dried herbs, teas, and specialty pickles to make up for the weeks you are away.

Price for on-farm pick up: $375

Price including delivery: $425

You can sign up by purchasing Maggie’s CSA on our on-line shop or you can call (502)241-9674 and pay by credit card or check.

The CSA funds will directly support Foxhollow Farm’s Garden Internship Program.

Thank you for supporting Foxhollow Farm and all your local farmers. I look forward to seeing you this season!

Maggie

4th Generation Steward of Foxhollow Farm and Gardener


Spicy Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Tzatziki

This recipe is perfect for entertaining. It’s delicious, and serves a crowd. Try it for the pool parties and bbqs that are coming as our weather soon warms.

Spicy Greek Meatballs

(makes approximately 60 meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. Foxhollow Farm ground beef
  • 2 lbs. Foxhollow Farm ground lamb
  • 2 ½ cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated asiago cheese (any hard Italian cheese will do)
  • 5 eggs (like those from Roots Underwood)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil (plus 2 tbsp for pan)
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp Foxhollow Farm cayenne pepper

To make: Grab a large bowl and combine all ingredients—your clean hands are the best tool for this! Shape the mixture into tablespoon-sized meatballs. Set aside. Heat the additional 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat. In batches, brown the meatballs on all sides and ensure they are cooked through the center (usually 10-12 minutes). During the wait time, you can prepare your sauces! Remove the meatballs from the pan and onto a plate until ready to serve, or into the crockpot to keep them warm while serving!

Spicy Classic Tomato Sauce

(makes enough to accompany meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp Foxhollow Farm cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • [Optional: ½ cup dry white wine]

To make: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee until tender. Add the garlic and sautee until fragrant. [Optional: deglaze the pan with wine] Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When ready, serve over meatballs or add to the crockpot to keep warm!

Cool Tzatziki Sauce

(makes 3 cups, enough to serve with meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 English or baby cucumber, peeled
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (we recommend full fat!)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

To make: Finely dice the peeled cucumber and squeeze in a dish cloth or paper towel to remove most of its juices. This will prevent your sauce from becoming watery as it sits. Combine all ingredients and add more salt to taste if needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (overnight is best) before drizzling over Spicy Greek Meatballs prepared with tomato sauce.


Ramps Pesto

Sure Signs of Spring: Ramps

As the cold melts away, one of the first signs of spring in the forests at Foxhollow Farm are ramps, a delicious wild leek that pops up in the woodlands of Kentucky in early spring. You will spot these wild edibles’ tulip-like leafy greens growing in patches in shaded areas of the woods.  Ramps are a nutritious allium high in vitamin A, C, and K. They are also high in iron and filled with beneficial minerals which protect your heart and support a healthy immune system.

What makes ramps so special?  A few things.  One, ramps have a fresh flavor that is a distinctive mix of garlic and onion.  Two, all parts of the ramp are edible, from the white bulbs to the purplish pink stems to the green leaves.  Three, they’re scarce!  They’re a wild species that grows slowly and is only in season a few weeks a year.

Because of this scarcity, we highly prize the wild ramps that grow at Foxhollow Farm and only harvest them sustainably.  If you are lucky enough to find some in your neck of the woods, be sure to only take no more than 1/8 of the bulbs in the patch to avoid over harvesting. You can cut the leaves and stems above ground for a more sustainable harvesting method.  Either way, you’ll be able to make a variety of recipes.

The pungent bulbs are similar to garlic in shape and application; a little goes a long way. The spicy leaves make delicious pestos and add an extra punch to sautéed greens and stir fried dishes.  We have a recipe for ramp pesto (below) that we love spread on a 100% grassfed beef burger, fresh off the grill.

Want to get your hands on some ramps?  Foxhollow Farm will be offering ramps by the pound in limited quantities.  Call 502-241-9674 or email info@foxhollow.com for details.

Ramp Pesto

1 Bunch of Ramp Leaves (about 2 cups roughly chopped)

3 Ramp Bulbs, quartered

1 Handful Fresh Spinach (about 1 cup)

2 tablespoons Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Toasted Pine Nuts

1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Pinch Foxhollow Farm Crushed Red Pepper

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Place all the above ingredients, excluding the olive oil, into a food processor. Pulse a couple times to start mixing, then turn on medium speed and slowly pour in the olive oil. Once all the olive oil is poured in continue to mix until it is a smooth consistency.

Enjoy as a spread with your 100% grassfed beef burger!


Derek Lawson, Louisville’s Favorite Farmer!

After weeks of spreading the word about our Master Cattleman and his dedicated work with our herd, we are thrilled to announce that Derek Lawson is officially Louisville’s Favorite Farmer in Edible’s Local Hero Awards!  We are so grateful to those who voted in support of sustainability, mission-driven farming, Derek, and Foxhollow Farm.  On the farm we have long called Derek our hero, and it’s wonderful for his work to be acknowledged by the community at large.

So what does it mean to be Louisville’s Favorite Farmer? As Edible Louisville describes it:

We define it as someone whose business offers high-quality local products and maintains high standards in social and environmental practices, food sourcing, regional economic impact and commitment to promoting a sustainable food system.

This truly describes Derek’s role at Foxhollow Farm, and we could not be happier that he received this honor. The icing on the cake, however, was being able to throw him a surprise party to announce his Favorite Farmer Local Hero award and celebrate his five years on the farm with friends and family. 

Also celebrating with us were several other nominees recognized by Edible in the Favorite Farmer category:  our Partner Growers Roots Underwood and Pavel’s Garden, and Foxhollow’s own head gardener Maggie Keith!  We set out to honor our Master Cattleman and have been overwhelmed with support for our farm community and mission.  Synergy—the increased effectiveness that results when two or more people or businesses work together—is central to our work on this land and we are proud to farm alongside these folks.

If you would like to learn more about Edible’s Local Hero Awards and see the list of winners and nominees, visit Edible Louisville’s website.  To get to know Derek Lawson a little better, check out our earlier blog post.


sunset concert series

2016 Sunset Concert Series

After months of planning our 2016 Sunset Concert Series, listening to many YouTube videos, and connecting with local artists, we are ready to share our concert line-up with you.  We are thrilled to be hosting some of the region’s best artists, some local names you might recognize, and some brand new collaborations as well.  We wanted to make sure there was something for everyone in our series, and these talented folks represent a wide range of musical styles.

We have Dan Van Vechten’s self-described “folkpop”; Brigid Kaelin’s “alt-country cabaret”; the bluegrassy harmonies of The Moonlight Peddlers; a collaborative tribute to the cross-generational alt-rock of Beck; and a night of blues and funk to cap off our season. You’ll find the full list by concert below, as well as links to the artists’ websites, if you’d like to do a little homework before concert day.

As always, our events are family-friendly—kids under 12 are even admitted free (while you’re at it, bring your leashed fur babies too).  Just reserve their free ticket here.  You can also purchase a Series Pass now, to ensure you have a spot at each concert.  These get you 10% off the face-value of tickets and are only available until May 13.  Got a favorite?  Tickets for individual concerts are also available.

Events are rain or shine.  Bring blankets and chairs, even a tent on rainy days, to set up comfortable concert viewing. Coolers and outside food or drink are not permitted.  For more concert FAQs visit here or email info@foxhollow.com

Without further ado, our line-up!

May 13:  Dan Van Vechten and Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters

June 10:  Brigid Kaelin & the Brigid Kaelin Band with The Birdies

July 8:  The Moonlight Peddlers and The Hart Strings

August 12:  Midnight Vultures:  The Music of Beck – Cheyenne Mize with Curio Key Club

September 9:  Laurie Jane & The 45’s and Soul River Brown & The Fountain Band

 


Spicy lamb meatballs

Spicy Lamb Meatballs

The weather is finally warming up, shouldn’t our meals too?  Add a little spice with this twist on a classic recipe. 

Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Makes ~30 meatballs

(adapted slightly from epicurious.com)

Ingredients

½  teaspoon caraway seeds

½  teaspoon coriander seeds

½  teaspoon cumin seeds

1 to 2 teaspoons Foxhollow Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (you control the heat!)

1 small potato, peeled

1 pound Foxhollow 100% Grassfed Lamb

1 tablespoon minced onion (white or yellow)

1 ½ teaspoons finely grated Pecorino

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

Preheat broiler.

Place potato in a small saucepan; add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir first 4 ingredients in a small dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, about 2 minutes.

Finely grate potato into a large bowl.  Add spice mixture, ground lamb, and next 4 ingredients to bowl; mix with your hands until well combined. Form mixture into tablespoon-size (1″-diameter) meatballs.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally, until golden all over and done through the center, about 6 – 10 minutes.


Foxhollow Farm - Grassfed Beef & Biodynamic Farm

Our Local Hero

One of the most important pieces of advice we pass on to people who call us is to know your farmer. That’s important for a few reasons. Firstly, it means you’re buying local. Secondly, it gives you a chance to see if your food values match that of the person who raises your food. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it gives you the chance to understand and pay respect for the long hours and dedicated work that goes into feeding our community.

At Foxhollow Farm, our unsung hero is Derek Lawson, our Master Cattleman. For the past five years, he’s skillfully led the grassfed beef program here. To celebrate his fifth anniversary with the farm, we invite you to join us in nominating him for Edible Louisville’s Local Hero Award.

Derek grew up around conventional farms, but has chosen a very different path. He studied at Murray State, gaining a B.S in Food Animal and Equine Science. He finished his Masters, specializing in Beef Cattle Rotational Grazing, while working full time at Foxhollow. While he brings a wonderful educational background with him, it has been his passion, impeccable standards, and innovative practices that have made him invaluable to Foxhollow Farm and the community at large.

Derek’s approach to raising cattle manages to be practical while never compromising his philosophy. He is incredibly thoughtful and incorporates carefully selected typical and rare cattle breeds: including red and black Angus, Barzona, Short-Horn, Corriente, and Jersey. He studies and adapts genetics over generations of cattle to breed and raise animals that are perfectly suited to our land, the unpredictable Kentucky climate, and an all-grass diet.   Laura Riccardi Lyvers, a biodynamic consultant, describes Derek’s innovative methods: “He likes thinking out of the box.  And he dares to do things differently if there is hope for a healthier herd or pasture.” As Derek’s vision for our herd comes to fruition, his day-to-day practices, such as continuously moving the cattle to fresh pasture and his commitment to no hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs as well as his careful curation and meticulous practices result in healthy animals and incredible flavor.

Derek holds his fellow cattlemen to the same rigorous standards. He is an active member of the Oldham County Cattleman’s Association. He is committed to teaching new farmers, and donates his time leading tours for people from all backgrounds; from the busloads of FFA members, to top investors attending the National Slow Money Conference, to local Garden Clubs. He personally visits and mentors farmers through our Community Raised Program, encouraging them to raise their cattle using the most earth-friendly and sustainable methods of rotational grazing that fit each individual farm. Paul Keith, a cattle farmer in our Community Raised Program, explains, “He’s helped me with a grazing plan and has it all outlined. He helped with explaining about minerals and what they do for my cattle—he’s not stingy with his information. If I have a problem I’ll call him and ask. He always has new insight on things.” He takes pride in what it means to be a beef farmer, to be responsible for the land, and to do right by your cattle.

His passion for his work as a cattleman is apparent. He and his family live on the farm, and Derek makes himself available to his cattle 24/7. He’s been known to search out a stray calf into the wee hours or give physical therapy to an injured calf. Over the course of so many hours spent, he develops a relationship with each animal. Driving through the pastures with Derek, odds are that he can not only name a cow’s parents and calves, but also tell you a funny story about some antics she got into last summer. Riccardi Lyvers says it best, “He has a way with cattle.  I have seen guys that can work cattle well, for sure.  But I hadn’t seen, until I worked with Derek, someone who actually seems connected to the herd or the individual animal.  He flows with the moment and the animal and in his quiet, peaceful way, the animal does what he wants or needs it to do.” For Derek, farming is personal.

At Foxhollow Farm, we could not be more grateful to Derek for the care he brings to his life as a farmer. That’s why we would love to honor him as one of Edible Louisville’s 2016 Local Heroes. Vote by visiting Edible’s Local Heroes survey and entering Derek Lawson as your *** “Favorite Bluegrass Farmer” ***