I Scream You Scream for Strawberry Lavender Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the best parts of life, because it’s always there for you. You broke up with your girlfriend? Ice cream. You got promoted? Ice cream. It’s 1 million degrees outside and you might be dying from heat stroke? Ice cream. Ice cream is always the answer–no matter what. And if you’ve never tried making your own, it’s time to give it a go. Sure vanilla is cool, but we’ve got everything you need to make strawberry lavender ice cream, so why wouldn’t you?!

We’ve got lavender from Mill Village Farms, raw cream from Milky Way Farms, and strawberries from Sandy Flat Berry Patch! Stop in and pick up what you need, and then get home and make yourself some local ice cream because that’s what all the cool kids are doing..or at least that’s what we’re doing. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound strawberries, trimmed and halved (Sandy Flat grows a juicy berry…)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (Mill Village Farms)
  • 2 cups heavy cream (raw Milk Way Farms cream!) 
  • An ice cream maker

To Prepare: 

  1. Coarsely mash strawberries with sugar, lemon juice, and salt using a potato masher in a large bowl. Let stand, stirring and mashing occasionally, 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer half of strawberry mixture and lavender to a blender and purée with cream until smooth. Return strawberry cream to bowl with remaining strawberries and chill, stirring occasionally, until very cold, 3 to 6 hours.
  3. Freeze mixture in ice cream maker. Transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to firm up.

Ice cream will keep for up to one week, but if it lasts that long you have some serious self control and we applaud you.

 

 

 

 

 

Featured #SwampFarmer: Patch of Heaven Heritage Farm

Jack Robert Photography

Julia and Ron Jaworski welcomed the Swamp Staff into their home in Walhalla, SC with open hearts and lots of treats to eat that featured her open-range eggs! Not only is Julia a veteran of the Army and a Biomedical Engineer, she has also fought cancer to create Patch of Heaven Heritage Farm in 2014. It is an oasis of 26 acres of rolling green hills and forests. Her “henny-girls” spend their days completely and freely exploring all of nature! It’s the epitome of a completely free-range chicken and they have a nice big, safe coop to come home to at night.

 

Jack Robert Photography

Patch of Heaven Heritage Farm is an NPIP Certified farm through Clemson University. This means that all of the 124 Delaware and New Hampshire Red Heritage Breed chickens are tested stringently for disease. The certification also includes an inspection of the soil that the chickens come into contact with. The ventilation in the coop and the freshness of the water provided are also tested, it encompasses every detail of the bird’s life. All of us Swamp Staff even wore special booties while visiting to reduce the risk of any bacteria being transferred from us to the coop ground. To further ensure the health of her flock, Julia has a State of SC veterinarian come to the farm and check the health of the birds twice a year!

 

Happy Ethan, happy chicken! Jack Robert Photography

We, at SRCG, are pretty big proponents of “you are what you eat” and this includes what the food that you eat eats! The chickens at Patch of Heaven eat a completely plant based, Non-GMO diet that follows the recipe that Clemson University uses. The chickens mainly only need this in the winter time when food can be scarcer and in warmer months is tapered off. Since the chickens eat so well, are healthy and happy, Patch of Heaven’s eggs are super golden and have an amazing texture and taste! Julia even says that an egg from a happy chicken can contain less bad cholesterol in it than a commercial chicken egg.

 

So much YUM! Jack Robert Photography

Julia has such a passion for her farm and approaches every day with vivacity. She loves her farm, her chickens, and life. It is this passion and love that make her such an invaluable, positive part of the local food movement and our #swampfarmer family!

Chef Season loooooves chickens!

 

Jack Robert Photography

 

Featured #SwampFarmer: Mill Village Farms

Photo Courtesy of www.millvillagefarms.org

Veggies for a cause! Mill Village Farms exhibits everything we love about supporting local farmers and building community. By supporting Mill Village Farms and buying their delicious and nutritious produce, you are also supporting their skill-development and career programs that help at-risk youth in the area. 

 

Mary and Megan

The farms were created in 2012 by Dan and Noah, the Founder and Executive Director of Mill Village Ministries. While Mill Village Farms now acts as a separate entity under the guidance of Megan, the Farm Director, and Mary, the Farm Manager, it retains the sense of family and community outreach that Mill Village Ministries has created in the West Village of Greenville. There are summer programs that provide paid jobs to youth in the area. This provides invaluable work experience and a team of support. The experience leads to not only skills that the youth can take further into life, but is a source of self-confidence and gratification in seeing hard work grow.

 

The farms that make up Mill Village are located in three different areas of Greenville and Easley. These farms are located in places that can be deemed “food deserts.” A “food desert” is an area where access to fresh, whole foods such as vegetables and fruit are unavailable to the people living there. These are usually in rural or low-income neighborhoods where access to transportation is limited. Mill Village Farms has created community farms that provide healthy, affordable, nutrient rich produce to these areas. Walking around these farms was truly an amazing and heart touching experience for the employees here at SRCG.

 

A Hydroponic Tomato Tower!

The team at Mill Village Farms works tirelessly to secure grants to be able to continue operations and to expand the practices they use in working towards complete sustainability. There are many different farming practices involved to produce the Appalachian Certified veggies at Mill Village Farms. Currently, there is a mixture of both hydroponic systems, where vegetables are grown in natural nutrient-dense flowing water, and traditional soil farming. The farms are also in the process of updating their aquaponics system. Aquaponic farming systems utilize the sustainable system of providing fresh, organic nutrients produced by fish to hydroponically grown plants that in turn help purify the water being used.  The farms are in the process of becoming Organic Certified, and while the process for that can take a bit, they are currently practicing everything that encompasses organic farming. The farms are a great model for all that can be done in a small space with maximum impact on the community surrounding them.

 

Veggie Washing Master!

Mill Village Farms has also taken over the Crop Stop in West Greenville that was originally run by Clemson Extension. This is where all of the veggie cleaning and storage happens. All vegetables are super fresh when arriving to customers, arriving in our store and to the public after being harvested that morning. The Crop Stop provides both dry and cool storage as the farms grow to provide for a larger consumer base. There is also a community kitchen that is being renovated so that people from the area can come learn and benefit from the process of canning. Keep an eye out for the Mobile Market driving around that goes to low-income neighborhoods, food deserts, and business parking lots to sell fresh vegetables to people right off the truck!

 

Mill Village Farms is one of the best examples here in Greenville of teaching everyone, no matter their background, the benefits of getting to really know your food. Furthering farming and nutrition education to the public and providing a healthy source of meals and support are the foundations of SRCG and we are so happy to partner with Mill Village Farms to support this cause. We even have some of the youth that have graduated from the summer program working in our store! Feel free to ask us how to get involved or visit their website www.millvillagefarms.org for more information.

 

 

Mill Village Farms, Megan and Mary, you all are doing amazing work and we are so excited to have you as a part of our #swampfarmer family!

 

Featured #SwampFarmer: Putney Farm

Donna and Leonard Photo: Chelsea Peeples

Putney Farm is a natural bird heaven located in Honea Path, SC that has been providing SRCG with beautiful rainbow “Easter Eggs” and duck eggs to sell to our customers since we opened! Donna Putney and her husband Leonard have created an oasis on their farm where chickens and ducks are free to roam and live healthy and natural lives. The flock is the epitome of both “free-range” and “pasture-raised” in that the birds have over 10 acres of land that they are free to roam and feast on as they like. These terms can be tricky to understand in the current market, so seeing first-hand how happy and free the hens are at Putney Farm was amazing. With plenty of wooded areas and bushes for cover, as well as a few roosters to keep them safe, predators are naturally warded off. We loved seeing the chickens and ducks dashing excitedly around us!

 

Since 2006, Putney Farm has grown to include over 375 heritage breed chickens and 30 ducks. Donna has selected over 8 different breeds of heritage chickens for Putney Farm that are absolutely beautiful. A heritage-breed chicken is a variety that hasn’t been genetically altered or cross-bred for many generations and can also be called “heirloom.” Not only are these chickens wonderful to look at, the many varieties that Putney Farms includes result in the rainbow assortment of colored eggs that you see at SRCG! The difference in color depends on the breed of the chicken; the beautiful green eggs that you see are from the Americana breed more commonly referred to as “Easter Eggers!”

 

Putney’s eggs are not only beautiful, but super tasty and nutrient dense compared to common hybrid white varieties that you find at many grocery stores. Have you ever been curious about the duck eggs we at the store, but aren’t sure if you should try them? You should take the leap! Not only are they creamier than a chicken egg when scrambled, they also contain twice the nutritional value. They are super high in Vitamin A and B-12 as well Omega 3’s and good cholesterol that help to support healthy brain function. Duck eggs can also be used in baking as a substitute for chicken eggs! They are bigger and fluffier when whisked (definitely no complaints there!) than a chicken egg so make sure to substitute correctly.

 

I spy with my little eye…CHICKENS!!!

Donna and Leonard have never altered their land in an unnatural way. The chickens and ducks have lived their lives pecking on chemical-free soil that is rich in nutrients and bugs, a natural source of protein. Putney Farm is both Certified SC Grown and Appalachian Grown. The feed that is left out to supplement the natural diet the chickens have is Non-GMO, but with the availability of natural foraging the animals don’t eat much of it. If a bird were to fall ill (which very rarely occurs) it would be isolated and no antibiotics would be used. Donna has an extensive knowledge of natural herbs, plants, and healing medicines that help to keep the flock healthy.

 

Putney Farm also takes sustainability one step further by taking SRCG’s compost each week back to their farm! Not only does this reduce waste for our store, the birds on the farm are provided with additional sources of nutrients and contribute to creating more nutrient-dense soil. It’s a complete circle of sustainability! This compost soil that is then created at Putney Farm is used as a natural fertilizer for the no-till garden located on the property. Donna has introduced our customers to native plants that she grows in the garden as well as forages for such as Shiso and Lamb’s Quarter. Both of these plants have beneficial properties when brewed in tea or eaten to help with inflammation. Keep an eye out for them in the store soon!

Yum Plants!

Donna found her love in farming when she wanted to adapt a healthier lifestyle after recovering from a serious illness. A healthy body starts on the inside! She is a big supporter of natural living and was a nurse for many, many years in Florida and Illinois. She transitioned to becoming known as the “Plant Lady” to start and has designed the gardens at both GSP International Airport and Haywood Mall. Both Leonard and Donna have a ton of fascinating bits of knowledge to share, including Leonard’s duck herding method of holding out your arms and only wiggling your fingers. We’ve dubbed them his “Bird Spirit Fingers.” Donna’s trick to tell if the eggs you get are fresh is to fill a bowl full of water and if the eggs sink they’re good!

 

Professional Duck Herder

The wealth of knowledge and the open hearts that both Donna and Leonard have at Putney Farm creates a unique and beautiful addition to our #swampfarmer family!

Risk it for the Strawberry and Cream Biscuit(s)

The best people in the world will tell you that the best part about Spring is of course…strawberries! And even better? strawberry and cream biscuits. Homemade strawberry and cream biscuits that is…

If the sounds of making biscuits scares you, take heart! You’re not alone. It can be a daunting task, but with the right recipe, making biscuits from scratch is really quite easy! Lucky for you, our beloved Chef Season has created a simple and easy to follow recipe that will have you baking in no time. Check it out! And if you like this recipe, you’d better consider joining us for one of our Cook Local cooking classes!

 

 

Strawberry and Cream Biscuits

Makes 12-15 biscuits

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 cup cane sugar                                                                                             

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (We love Happy Cow Creamery’s butter!)

1 cup fresh local strawberries, quartered

1 cup heavy cream, chilled (We love AtlantaFresh‘s heavy cream – made in Atlanta from 100% grass-fed cows!)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. 
  3. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is about the size of a pea. 
  4. Gently stir in the strawberries until they’re coated with flour.
  5. Add the heavy cream into the flour mixture a splash at a time and stir until just combined into a shaggy dough.  You may not use all the cream.
  6. Place dough onto a floured surface.  Using floured hands, divide, stack, and press the dough 5-8 times.
  7. Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 3/4- inch thickness.  Cut out rounds of desired size.  Place biscuits on the lined baking sheet very close together and to the sides of pan. 
  8. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

Light, flaky and delicious, these are a serious crowd pleaser. Whip up a batch for breakfast or dessert and then sit back and enjoy the praise that’s sure to follow your incredible biscuit making skills. Just don’t forget to stop by the grocery and buy the best possible ingredients!