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February 2014 Newsletter

 I want to give you an update on our application with Charleston County to do events at the farm.

We have withdrawn our application for Special Events. Here’s why, as expected, a couple of our neighbors and their family were at the hearing. They had a lot of negative comments and untrue things to say. A lot of misinformation was given to the BZA board.

The main focus was the dirt road. We have a legal right of way across the neighbor’s property to reach our property (our family has been using this road since the early 1800’s). Some of the neighbors are wanting us to maintain the dirt road. However we have no control of the road because it is not our property.

We felt like the BZA board was losing focus of the real intent of the application, so we have withdrawn the application. We were trying to do the right thing.

What does that mean for the future of events at the farm. Actually it will not change anything, just make us have to go into the county office building more often to get individual permits instead of a one time permit. We do not have to have permits for any agriculture events which is about 90% of what we do. We should have all of our permits for already scheduled events by the end of next week.

Thank you all for writing letters and a special thank you to the ones who came out to the meeting. We are humbled by all the support. We will continue to have events and hope you will continue to attend them.

My friend Sharon says I put too much personal stuff in the newsletter but I say that the farm is personal so a farm newsletter is about me and my family. So on a personal note, today (2/25/14) is mine and Rick’s 25th wedding anniversary. Wow how did 25 years go so fast. I don’t think Rick realized what he was getting when we got married. He didn’t just marry me but he married this farm and my family too. Farming wasn’t his dream but mine.

I love him for allowing me to follow my dream. I could have worked somewhere else and made a lot more money. I could have worked somewhere else and probably been in a lot better physical shape. I could have worked somewhere else and worked a lot less hours. Rick has learned over the years that no matter what we are doing, eating dinner or going to the movies, or entertaining friends, if the cows are out, we drop everything and run. The local weather report is the most important thing on TV and he should not talk while I’m trying to listen.

Our lives revolve around weather and animals. While we never had children, I’m still responsible for 100’s of living creatures and the responsibility can sometimes weigh heavy. I do think Rick appreciates living here in God’s Country. I know every time he watches the moon or sun rise over the Stono River in front of our house, he comments on how lucky we are to live here so maybe he doesn’t mind that I’m following my dream.

One of the reasons I got married in February was because it is normally a slow month on the farm. This month has felt anything but slow. It seems like there has been something going on every second all month. There are always a lot of meetings to attend in the off season so I have been traveling a lot. Starting a winter CSA vegetable program for the first time has kept us busy also.

We’re getting ready to plant vegetables for the Spring/Summer CSA now too. This is a good time to update the website and flyers. This crazy weather has not made work on the farm easier either. I doubt the non farm person has any idea has much extra work snow and ice makes for us on the farm. We have to feed extra hay to the cows, make sure the pigs have extra bedding, and make sure the chickens, ducks, and turkeys are protected from the cold wind. T

hen there’s the water problems. We have to make sure all the pumps are protected from freezing so that we can water the animals. We have to break up the ice in the water troughs so the animals can drink. It makes me so very thankful for our crew.  They have been here every day no matter how bad the weather and done everything without complaint. This time of year is also fun as I pour through seed catalogs. February is the time to get a jump on planting onions and potatoes. We’re getting seeds going in the greenhouse so we can have good transplants to put out in the field after the chance of the last frost.

We’re getting ready for the baby chicks for the Rent A Chick program. Those chicks will be the replacements for our laying hens. Washing all those eggs is not one of the fun things. The baby calves are starting to be born.  The circle of life begins again. We have a lot of fun events coming up on the farm. The next big event is the Battle of Charleston on March 22nd and 23rd. We are hosting the Mega Mud Run Challenge on April 12th. We’re hosting our first ever Foam Run on May 3rd.   We are taking reservations for Rent A Chick. It’s time to sign up for the regular season CSA vegetable program. We will start delivering vegetables sometime in April but need to know how many people are doing the program to know how much to plant. We are also taking reservations for Summer Camp. Be sure to look at our calendar to see when all the events are coming up. I’ll have more info in the next newsletter  on the Spring Wing Thing that Sea Island Chamber of Commerce is hosting here. We are doing another Farmers Breakfast with Angel Oak Restaurant on March 29th. We are also providing the meat for a Beer Dinner at Angel Oak on March 13th.

Lots of things to do so plan to join us for at least one if not all of the events. Calendar  March 13 Beer Dinner Angel Oak Restaurant March 21 Living History School Day Battle of Charleston March 22-23 Battle of Charleston March 28 &29 Rent A Chick March 29 Farmers Breakfast Angel Oak Restaurant April 12 Mega Mud Run Challenge April 13 Finger Lickin Chicken Wing Fling Thing April 15 MUSC Earth Day Celebration April 18 & 19 Rent A Chick April 19 LLF Farm Tour April 26 Charleston County Earth Day Festival May 3 5K Foam Fest May 31 Light/Foam Run June 6/16-20 Summer Camp 6-8 year olds June 6/23-27 Summer Camp 9-11 year olds July 14-18 Summer Camp 6-8 year olds July 21-25 Summer Camp 9-11 year olds Feature of the Month                                                                                                                                                                                                                          T

he Battle of Charleston is our feature this Month. The Battle of Charleston is March 22nd and 23rd. This year we will be reenacting the Battle of Burdens Causeway which took place not far from the farm. This is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Causeway. We have a lot of activities going on this year. The actual battle will take place both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Saturday morning begins with a talk on the Civil War History of Johns and James Island followed a period Ladies’ Social. After the Ladies Social there will be 2 talks about Civil War history. At 3:30 there will be a live cooking demonstration featuring Chef Jay Kees of Angel Oak Restaurant followed by the Cast Iron Chef Competition. The competition will include a secret ingredient and must be cooked in a cast iron skillet over an open fire. Sunday will have a period church service followed by a lightning round of lectures about Civil War military and civilian attire. Both days both soldier and civilian camps will be open to visit and medical demonstrations will take place all during the day. We’ll have food concessions too. Cost is $10 per person for all day. Check out the website for a complete schedule of events or the Facebook page

Special of the Month                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This month we are offering our pork sausage on special. Normal price is $6 per lb.on special this month for $5/lb. Our pork is pastured raised, heritage breeds and have no antibiotics or hormones.     

Recipe of the Month                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sweet Potato and Turnip Gratin 2 to 3 pounds white turnips, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick 2 to 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup grated imported Parmesan cheese 1 cup bread crumbs            2 cups heavy cream Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 3-quart casserole. To blanch the turnips, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the sliced turnips and cook 5 minutes. Remove them and drain thoroughly in a strainer. Gently combine the turnips and sweet potatoes. Place a layer of the vegetables in the casserole and dot with half the butter. Sprinkle generously with tarragon, salt, and pepper, and cover with half of the Parmesan. Make another layer. Top with the bread crumbs and pour the cream around the sides. Dot with the remaining butter and Parmesan. Bake until the vegetables are soft but not mushy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The gratin can be made ahead several days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator and reheat for 30 to 45 minutes in the oven, or reheat in the microwave.

Variation Omit the sweet potatoes and double the amount of turnips Please be sure to check out all of the upcoming events at the farm. If you have any questions or more information, just call or email us. Hope to see all of you soon. Helen Legare-Floyd Legare Farms 2620 Hanscombe Pt. Rd. Johns Island , SC 29455 843-559-0788

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