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Farmstead Share 2018

Over the past 3 weeks you have received

First Share

Butternut Squash, Red onions, 5 lbs. Red Maria Potatoes, Collard Greens, Arugala, Rosemary, Parsley, Flowers, Carrots, Tatsoi, Eggs, Milkhouse Yogurt, Spring Day Creamery Evangeline, Elderberry Syrup

Second Share

5lbs Kennebec Potatoes, 10 lbs Onions, Acorn Squash, Kale, French breakfast Radish, Arugula with Nasturtiums, Beets, Farmstead Granola, Eggs, Milkhouse Yogurt, Winter Hill Feta, Thyme tincture

Third Share

1.5lbs Peter Wilcox (Bluegold) Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Romaine Lettuce, Arugala, Radish and Hakurei turnip bunch, Carrot Bunch, Rosemary, Parsley,  Kale, Butternut Squash, Strawberry/Sacred Basil Preserves, Milkweed Seed Packs, Milkhouse Yogurt, Eggs, Spring Day Creamery Deja Blue

And this weeks’ Share

Acorn Squash, 5lbs Ama Rosa Potatoes, Baby Salad Mix, Collard Greens, Thyme bunches,   Cabbage, Carrots, Romaine Lettuce, Eggs, Farmstead Granola, Milkhouse Yogurt, Winter Hill Cheese, 4 Pasture Raised Meat Birds

This week we took 150 meat birds to Commonwealth Poultry in Gardiner, to be processed and packed for your freezers. Commonwealth is a USDA certified slaughterhouse. It is run by a young couple who started the business on their own small farm. Their business grew so quickly that they moved off farm to a larger facility.

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We raised the birds with care, making sure they were on fresh grass each day. We believe this is important for the health of the birds, and ultimately, the nourishment and health of the food they provide us.  I believe that our food holds the energy of the intention and care with which it is raised. I believe you can taste the difference in food raised on small farms.   I like knowing that the animals we raise eat fresh grass, weeds and bugs. That they enjoy fresh air and sunshine every day.

Medicinal Herbs

Elderberry Syrup is one of my families most loved medicinals.  It tastes delicious and is full of Vitamins, A, B, C, minerals such as Calcium, Potassium and Phosphorus, plus antioxidants.   It has been used for centuries to prevent colds and flu.   You can take it every day.  I love to take it straight on a teaspoon or in hot tea as a sweetener.  We also make “Elderberry Soda” by putting it in Seltzer.

Thyme Tincture    This is my go to tincture for Sore Throats, colds and Upper Respiratory Infections.   It is best used at the first sign of cold or sore throat, before the virus can go deep.  I take it and give it to my children in very small doses, 1-2 drops at a time, but I use it often in the acute stages.  Thyme has antiviral and antibacterial properties.   I love to use Thyme fresh and dried in soups and stews all fall and winter.  I do the same with Rosemary.

Farm Seeds  Last week you received 4 packs of Seeds we collected here on the farm.  Poppy, Chamomile, Calendula and Sacred Basil.   I love to give these herbs out because they are easy to grow and they are beautiful!   You can scatter them on the soil now in a place you would like them to grow next year.  You don’t need to cover them or bury them.   They do well when they go through a cold winter.   Then next year you can enjoy their beauty or use them in teas, honeys, salves, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

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Farmstead Share

IMG_9093.JPGOnions are drying, winter squash are ready for harvesting, potatoes need to be dug, meat birds are on pasture, Fall carrots, beets and cabbage are planted, and the children are dreading the end of summer days, must be late August.

For the past 5 years we have offered our Farmstead Share in the Fall. This Share combines all of the nourishing food we cultivate, raise and gather here on our farm.  Storage veggies; potatoes,onions, carrots, beets, cabbage, winter squash. Greens; kale, chard, spinach and arugula, lettuces and culinary Herbs. Weekly Medicinal Fall Tonics like Elderberry Syrup and Fire Cider, plus our pasture raised meat birds and eggs, homemade granola, and weekly yogurt and cheese from small Maine Creameries.  Lots of beautiful and nourishing food to enjoy in the Fall and Winter months.

We offer a Vegan Option, and Medicinal Herb Share for those who don’t want the Full Share.  Shares begin Thursday, October 4, and run for 6 consecutive weeks, ending November 8.  Pick up at our farm or the Maine Coast Waldorf School. For more information about the Share, email Lucretia Woodruff, milkweedfarm@gmail.com

Milkweed CSA App

We believe that eating food grown locally, in season, by farmers who care deeply for the land, animals and people, is deeply nourishing and sustaining for our communities.

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Strawberries

IMG_8600.JPGWe are excited to be offering U-Pick strawberries to our farm community this year. We raised these berries using Biodynamic farming practices, spraying only compost and medicinal herb teas.  We are learning a lot about the practice of Organic strawberries and why there are so few available in the marketplace.  Organic Strawberry farmers usually get just one year of harvest,  because it is very difficult to keep weeds from taking over. Hand weeding takes a lot of time and labor, which is why most farmers go the conventional route. We have been mulching with straw to keep the weeds down, and the berries clean. We chose the berry varieties for sweetness and resilience, over size.  We think they’re the sweetest berries we’ve tasted! $2.75lb, approximately $4 quart. You can also have us pick them for you, $6.50 quart if you come to the farm.   For more information or to schedule a picking time call, text or email Lucretia.  207-295-5292, milkweedfarm@gmail.com Follow us on Instagram @milkweedfarmIMG_8593

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Winter Thoughts

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As we approach mid winter, the days are beginning to lengthen and it is the time of year when we begin the work of planning for the new year in earnest.  After much consideration this fall and early winter, we have decided to take a year off from our Summer CSA to have more time for our family this summer.    We will still be planting and planning for our Fall CSA, raising many more root crops, alliums and winter squash, plus our meat birds and Medicinal Herbs.

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Covering new Strawberry fields with straw mulch

Last spring we planted a quarter acre of strawberries and have been caring for them with biodynamic treatments, and hope to offer U-Pick here at the farm this summer.  We are very excited to offer strawberries that have not been treated with herbicides or pesticides.   We are also offering more options with our Fall CSA including the Full Farmstead Share, Vegan Share and Medicinal Herb Share.   We are looking forward to having time to work on areas of the farm that have needed our attention, but have not had as much time as we would like to attend to, like our apple orchard and other fruit trees, plus more Medicinal Herbs.  We are also excited to allow some areas of the farm to lie fallow for a year, and to be planted in cover crop.   We are grateful to all of you who have supported our farm and we hope you will continue to do so, and to support other local farmers this season, while we take a break.   Our application for our Fall Shares is up and we hope you will consider a share this fall.   See our 2018 Milkweed Farm Application Form  to sign up for a share!

With gratitude,

Lucretia

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Thanksgiving Share

IMG_6893The 5th Farmstead Share

Carrots

Butternut Squash 

Sage Bunches

Shallots

Parsnips

Watermelon Radish

Baby Kale Mix

parsley

Red Maria Potatoes 

Salad greens 

Farm Eggs

Wholesome Holmstead Yogurt

Hahn’s End Eleanor Buttercup cheese

Milkweed Fire Tonic

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.   I love the sentiment and simplicity of sharing a home cooked meal with people I love, and remembering how grateful I am for all I’ve been given.  I love having a whole day devoted to cooking one meal and the time to savor it.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to use some of the veggies, herbs and Medicinals you received in the share.

In your share last week you received a tin of our freshly Ground cayenne pepper.   All summer long we harvested bright red cayenne peppers  and dried them, collecting pounds that Muriel ground last week for you.  Cayenne is a powerful medicine as well as culinary herb.  It has been used for centuries to help with circulation and warming.  My favorite way to use it is in a hot drink with lemon and honey.  Follow this link to read more about the healing benefits of Cayenne. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-cayenne-pepper/

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Milkweed Cayenne

You received our Fire Tonic this week,  which is made with our own honey, Thyme, Garlic, Onions, Cayenne, Horseradish and Apple Cider Vinegar from Willow Pond Farm in Sabbatus.  I like to take a teaspoon daily to support my immune system and as a preventive for colds and coughs.

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The Red Maria Potatoes are delicious roasted or made into mashed potatoes.  I leave the skins on for both.  All of the veggies you received in this weeks share can be roasted together with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  If you dried any of your Thyme or Rosemary, add it to your roasted veggies or in your stuffing, along with the fresh sage and parsley.

My favorite way to eat parsnips is roasting them and adding them to soup. Here is a recipe that includes butternut squash.  It calls for tarragon, but I’d replace it with sage.  https://www.mydarlingvegan.com/2014/01/megans-roasted-parsnip-and-butternut-squash-soup/

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Roasted Parsnip Soup

It is really quite miraculous that we’re still harvesting  fresh greens from the fields and from our un-heated tunnels.  I am grateful for visionaries like Elliot Coleman, fourseasonfarm.com,  who has changed the way we think about farming here in Maine, and all over the world.  20 years ago, you couldn’t find fresh greens after October, or for that matter, much of anything grown in Maine after Labor Day.  Now we have year round Farmers Markets and hundreds of CSA’s grwing the most nutritious food available.  This is something to be hopeful about, and grateful for.  This weeks salad greens are a mix of baby leaf lettuce and hardier greens such as tatsoi.  I love a simple dressing of olive oil, fresh Garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper.  I use an immersion blender to get it creamy and the garlic well blended.  The Watermelon Radish is a beautiful and tasty addition to any salad.

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And, finally, this morning as I stepped out of the green house, after a very early start, already feeling tired and the day barely begun, I paused to notice this sweet scene, and my heart swelled with gratitude for the beauty and simplicity of farm life.

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I am thankful for your continued support of our small family farm.

Warmly,

Lucretia

 

 

 

 

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Farmstead Share #4

The long, warm days we experienced this fall left us a bit complacent and not fully prepared for the cold and snow that arrived late Monday night.   Harvesting carrots and greens the last few days has been a chilling experience to say the least.   The good part is that the cold makes for the sweetest carrots and greens of the year!

 

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The 4th Farmstead Share

Carrots

Leeks

Kale

Cilantro

Beets

Spinach/Tatsoi mix

Kohlrabi

Wholesome Holmstead Yogurt

Wholesome Holmstead Cheese

Milkweed Chicken

Milkweed Farm Eggs

Fresh ground Cayenne Pepper

*Next weeks Thanksgiving Share will be ready for pick up on Tuesday November 21st.   Please let me know if you will pick up at the farm, or if you will want your box delivered to Maine Coast Waldorf School that afternoon.

Tess Hamilton asked me to share the following with you…..

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I so appreciate the support I received this past week as I launched my bagel venture.  The number of orders exceeded my expectations, and I am so grateful for the enthusiasm!  In my first week, I learned that baking 10 batches was far different than baking a single batch, and I want to be sure that the variability did not sacrifice quality.  If you loved your Farmstead Bagel(s), please spread the word. If it was not the very best bagel experience, please give me the benefit of your feedback (criticism is particularly valuable as I try to dial in the recipe and technique etc) by calling me at 603 738 2901 or emailing tesshamilton9@gmail.com.  I am committed to quality so if I ever fall short, please give me the opportunity to make it up to you with free replacement Farmstead Bagel(s) the following week.  In these coming weeks, I will be baking batches for Friday the 17th, Sunday the 19th, and Tuesday the 21st.  Please text me with orders (1-2 days in advance is best although I usually bake extras).  Below is my bagel baking story:

 

I have loved the creative and social aspect of cooking since I was very little, but it wasn’t until a year ago that glutinous items re-entered my eating repertoire.  After being gluten-free for 6 years, I decided to teach my body to tolerate gluten on the same day I received a Fellowship to travel the world for 12 months.  Bound for remote and nomadic communities in 12 countries, I was clear that I wanted to be able to eat and enjoy anything that was enjoyed by people with whom I would be living.  I began by including one bite of gluten each day and worked up from there until I could enjoy every single fresh baked chapatti in India or homemade noodle in Mongolia.  

Upon arrival in a new country, I might not share a language with local people, but we could always share the making and enjoyments of a meal.  Like the potluck dinners that brought friends and family together during my childhood and college years back in the States, sharing slow community meals abroad was a grounding, connecting, and unanimous daily celebration.  

In my travels, I began to learn the chemical magic of working with flours and wheats:  barefoot on the soft soil of India, bringing bowls of dough into my tent at night in Chile to help the dough rise for fresh pan in the morning, hunting for flat rocks to diffuse the heat of a wood fire covered with metal to make an oven, frying cinnamon rolls in Monduli Tanzania to thank neighbors who shared with me new recipes of ugali and mahindi each day. The richness and diversity of flavors around the world left very little to miss about American cuisine, but I found myself hankering for bagels, a rather odd craving since I hadn’t even been eating bagels when I left home.

Soon after arriving home from my year of travel, I had a brunch date with a beloved childhood teacher in the one room schoolhouse where I attended 1-3rd grade.  She suggested I bring something to go with eggs, and I decided this was a perfect opportunity to bake my first batch of bagels!  I love the process of baking bagels and was getting lots of positive feedback – I began thinking about how I could share my bagels with a broader audience. With such amazing support at Milkweed Farm, this dream is becoming a reality!

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Recipes!

Hello everyone! This is Muriel-stopping in to send love and light to all of you as we approach the holiday season.

I wanted to share a couple recipes with all of you, that my little family has been enjoying since the start of the Farmstead Share!

GREEN PESTO

1 Bunch Parsley

1 Bunch Kale

2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

1/3 cup good quality olive oil*

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds, or nuts of your choice

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

*We like “California Olive Ranch” olive oil.  They have a wonderfully rich and flavorful olive oil, that we use universally for cooking, and finishing.  We made the switch to domestically grown olive oil, after my midwife (having returned from a trip to Italy, during which time she stayed with a family and their olive farm) told us that olive oil from Europe commonly gets diluted with cheaper oils, before being shipped to the US and sold as “100% olive oil”.  

Combine all ingredients in food processor, and process for up to 3 minutes for an extra creamy and smooth pesto!  We have been enjoying this with every meal- combined with eggs in the morning, spread on whole grain toast for a snack, and at dinner (see next recipe!)

 

ROASTED WINTER SQUASH WITH ZAHTAR SUNFLOWER SEEDS, FETA,

AND GREEN PESTO

1 Large Squash: I like Kuri because you don’t have to peel it, but Butternut works too!

2 Large onions

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup sunflower seeds, untoasted

2 Tbsp butter

1.5 Tbsp Za’atar*

1/2 cup cubed feta

1/3 cup green pesto

Salt and Papper to taste

*Za’atar is a Syrian spice blend you can purchase through Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants  out of Litchfield, ME!  Its a wonderful combination of Sumac, Cumin Seed, Thyme, Paprika, Sesame Seed, and Sea Salt.  Make sure when you are purchasing, that you buy the Syrian blend, and NOT the Lebanese-which is also a nice blend, but totally different…

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Peel and quarter onions.  If using butternut squash, peel before removing seeds, and chopping squash into 1.5 inch chunks.  Place in roasting pan with onions and olive oil, and roast, stirring every 20 minutes for 1-1.5 hrs until you have dark color on the squash and onions.  Remove from oven, salt and pepper to taste.

While squash and onions are roasting, toast your sunflower seeds, by placing them in a small sautee pan with butter, and toasting just until you can start to see and smell them toasting. At this point, add Za’atar and toast for another 30 seconds.  Immediately remove from heat, and place on a plate to cool. If you leave them in the hot pan, they will continue to cook, and possibly burn.

To assemble, top roasted squash and onions with cubed feta, toasted sunflower seeds, and some slightly warmed (I like to place it in a sautéed pan for a minute or two over low heat to get it pourable) green pesto drizzled over the top.

Serve with brown or white rice!

 

 

 

 

 

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3rd Farmstead Share

 

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In your Farmstead Share this week

Potatoes

Parsley

Carrots

Red Cabbage

Rainbow Chard

Arugula

Kale

Thyme

Kohlrabi

Pasture raised Chicken

Farm Eggs

Bard Owl Creamery Goat Cheese

Wholesome Holmstead Yogurt

Granola

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Please remember to bring your own box, bags, or cooler to the farm to pick up your share.  This week, with the extra chicken, there will be a lot of weight.

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Tess Hamilton, who lives and works on the farm, will be offering her own homemade bagels to our farm community.  She makes them in small batches and is using our wood fired oven to bake them.  She is making Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic bagels and Sesame, Sea Salt.  You can buy them for $2 a piece or packed in 3 or 6 pack bags, for $5.00 and $10.00 respectively.  My family and I, who are bagel lovers, think these are the best bagels we’ve ever tried, and I think you will too!  To order text Tess at 603-738-2901.  Pick up at the farm, or we can deliver them to MCWS when we bring your farm share on Friday afternoon.  Maine Coast Pick Up at 3pm, under the roof of the Community Hall.  Chickens will be packed in a cooler.

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Many of you have asked if we’re raising turkeys this year, and are disappointed to hear that we are not, but we wanted you to know that our friends at Applecreek Farm are raising organic pasture raised Turkeys and still have some to sell.

From Abby,

Apple Creek Farm raises certified organic, pasture raised turkeys that are available FRESH for pick-up on Saturday, November 18 or Tuesday, November 21 at the Brunswick Farmer’s Markets.  For more information info@applecreekfarm.me or call Abby at 948-3022

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Follow us on Instagram @milkweedfarm

 

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Tempest

IMG_6572A week ago we were woken in the early hours to what sounded like battering surf against our little house.   The word “tempest” came to mind as I lie in bed unable to sleep.  I was sure our hoop houses would be ripped apart, and then I remembered our pastured meat birds and fully woke with a feeling of dread.  I woke Michael, who can sleep through anything, and we put on our rain gear and headed out to the back pasture where 150 meat birds were parked in their moveable  houses.  Only to find no houses and soaking wet birds scattered all over the fields doing nothing to save themselves from the weather.  After 3 hours of searching with a small flashlight, we recovered 2 of the 3 house and rescued most of the birds.  In the morning we woke, still cold from the wind and rain, to find our farm scattered with everything that hadn’t been tied down.  A week later our neighborhood is still without power, and we are keeping generators running to  keep our chest freezers full of meat frozen.  Despite all of this we got through our second Farmstead Share with the help of our fabulous work shares.  We even made Halloween costumes and went trick or treating.  Our theme this year seemed prophetic, for weeks the kids had been trying to come up with an idea, finally settling on “weather!”  Clouds, raindrops, sun, moon, rainbows and a leprechaun of course!

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The 2nd Share

Beets

Cilantro

Romaine lettuce

Kale

Butternut Squash

Leeks

Heirloom Tomatoes

Garlic

Elderberry Syrup

Farm Eggs

Wholesome Holmstead Yogurt

Hahn’s End Lynn cheese

Elderberry Syrup is one of our family favorites!  The kids love to mix it with sparkling water and make their own healthy “soda”.  I mix it in herbal teas as a sweetener, or take a spoonful whenever I remember.  Want to know more about the    healing properties of elderberries? Go to herbwisdom.com and search Elderberry.

 

 

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First Farmstead Share

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We successfully started our Fall Share Season this week, and gave out over 40 shares full of nourishing food for your pantry!  Many of you have asked about storage, so here is a quick guide to the best storage for a variety of veggies.

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Greens and herbs are best stored in the fridge in plastic bags.  You can soak your lettuce heads, cut off the ends, and spin the leaves for longer storage.  The spinach and arugula have been washed and spun.

Carrots, beets,  apples, and kohlrabi need cold storage like your fridge.  Keep them also in plastic and they will last months.

Winter squash keeps best around 50 degrees and out of the sun.

Potatoes and onions like it cooler, around 40 degrees (or anything above freezing).  A cool basement or garage works well, or a part of your house that isn’t heated.

The first of our meat birds weighed in around 7lbs.!  I think the best way to cook them is to roast them around 375 degrees for about an hour and a half to 2 hours. I cut up 2-3 onions and put them in a big cast iron pan surrounding the chicken with onions, and any other veggies you want to roast like carrots, potatoes, and winter squash.   This makes for the best gravy!!  I also love to coat the bird in butter,  salt, and herbs like Rosemary.  You can hang your Rosemary to dry for use this fall and winter.  Fresh parsley is lovely chopped and put on top of the roasted veggies.

After that first meal of roasted chicken, I cut off the meat to use in chicken salad for kids lunches (great with carrot sticks!) or a meal of chicken pot pie.  All the bones should be used to make a nourishing broth that can be used for any soups or frozen for later use.  I simmer the bone broth all day until they begin to fall apart. I strain out all the bones and meat.  Then you have the stock to use. Some ideas… creamy potato soup, carrot ginger soup, onion soup, chicken with rice noodles and kale!  I like to throw in fresh herbs, more onions and carrots.

 

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Potato soup

This was a good year for onions!  And, if you’ve been a member of our farm, you know I LOVE onions.  I like to say “an onion a day keeps the doctor away”, although in our house it’s more like 3 onions. IMG_6539 I carmelize onions most days to put in omelettes, tacos, salads, quiche.  To carmelize, slice the onions thin, 2-4 onions is ideal as they cook down a lot.  Put some butter or olive oil in a pan and cook on low until they are golden brown.  Check them every now and again and stir so they don’t burn.

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This is the first year we’ve given out our own apples!  The variety is an Heritage Apple called Liberty which is from Maine.  We are trying to grow our apples organically  using biodynamic methods.  It is very challenging to grow apples without the use of pesticides, but as the mother of 4 children I am committed to raising healthy food without toxic

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Pie!

chemicals.  This means the apples won’t look perfect,  and sometimes you may see a worm in your cabbage or broccoli, but I find that comforting knowing that it’s much healthier and safer.

And as for family favorites, Apple pie is right at the top of our list, and we love it for breakfast!

Warmly,

Lucretia and family

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