Duncan Farms Review

Duncan Farms is a local farm located just outside Huntsville in Gurley, AL. The farm is situated on 50 acres of land and the farm ensures sustainable operations by participating in CSA, or Community-Shared-Agriculture.

If you have never heard of Duncan Farms or CSA programs, 2020 is a great year to learn more and get involved in supporting the farmers and agriculture in our community. Personally, I look forward to local farmer's markets every summer, but I struggle to find similar fare during the off-season. Duncan Farms offers a year-round CSA subscription program that includes 2 deliveries a month of fresh, locally-grown produce and meat unique to each season of the year. Each delivery costs $50, which may seem high to some, but it is equal to or less than the cost of a trip to Whole Foods or even Publix for similar items.

My December CSA delivery included a dozen eggs, one bunch of green onions, a bag of microgreens, a pound of pork sausage, a pound of filet mignon (four filets total), a pound of ground beef, turnips, and homemade Kitchen Sink relish.

I wasn't sure how I would like letting the farmer put together a basket for me, but it actually helped me meal-plan much easier since I knew which ingredients I had to use. The first night, we pan-seared the thawed filet mignon in a hot, oiled cast-iron skillet. Since the filets were so petite, they only needed to be seared for a few minutes on each side. Toward the end of the cooking time, I added a couple tablespoons of butter to the pan and spooned the melted butter over the filets as they finished cooking.

We also boiled the chopped turnips for a few minutes before roasting them in the oven with chopped sweet potatoes and onions. Lastly, I washed and tossed the greens in a homemade dressing for a simple salad. For the dressing I mixed a couple of tablespoons of olive oil with juice from half of a lemon, salt and pepper, and a Greek seasoning.

The filets were deliciously tender, and the turnips and greens tasted freshly-picked. From eating grocery store greens for so long I didn't realize that microgreens could be so flavorful on their own! The tangy lemon brought out the natural sweet, earthyness of the greens without overwhelming the flavor.

For our next meal, we used the ground sausage, eggs, and green onions to make a quiche. We browned the ground sausage, green onion, and a green pepper in a skillet before adding it to a pre-made and pre-baked pie shell. We topped the sausage and veggie mixture with a whisked egg, cheese, and heavy cream mixture, seasoning it all with both salt and pepper.

Although we haven't used the ground beef or relish yet, we anticipate using them this week to make beef sliders. In all, I enjoyed participating in Duncan Farm's CSA program and appreciated how they paired both in-season as well as complimentary ingredients with one another. Right after my delivery arrived, I received a helpful email from the farm that included sample recipes for the items. My experience felt personalized from start to finish, and I felt good knowing that I was putting whole, healthy foods into my body, I was supporting local business, and I was lessening food waste while caring for natural resources. I just can't wait until Spring when I can schedule a tour of one of my new favorite farms!


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