Sep 172012

KyV Farm’s Second Annual Farm-to-Table dinner will be the talk of the town with their fresh, seasonal vegetables showcased by the expert chefs at the Floridian,
St Augustine.


People are getting more excited about fresh vegetables and especially organic, seasonal and local foods.  Farm shares are the perfect way to incorporate these foods into a diet. On Thursday, November 29th the Floridian and KYV farm will team up once again to celebrate the start of a new the season. 

 The Floridian ( is a casual restaurant in historic St Augustine that showcases fresh, seasonal and local meats, dairy and produce from these very farms in order to support the local community, environment and the economy.  Head chef Genie McNally has been working in the restaurant industry for fifteen years.  She learned many of her culinary skills through a catering company and later opened a stand at the local farmers market called dujour market. 

 Their stand was so popular that she moved on to the next step to open her first restaurant, the Floridian, that has recently celebrated its two year anniversary.

Genie is excited to participate in this farm to table event because fresh, local and seasonal foods are exactly what the Floridian focuses on.  It’s been really amazing to see, even over the past year, the community’s growing awareness of the need for Farm-to-table food and what it does for the region’s farmers and producers.”


The feature farm for this event is KYV farm (, a certified organic farm located in Switzerland Florida is owned and run by farmers Francisco Arroyo and Vivian Bayona.  They offer a seasonal farm share program, tours, workshops and an apprenticeship program. KYV farm opened their doors in 2006 after relocating to Jacksonville to be closer to Francisco’s sister who had been living in the area since 1988. 

  The biggest challenge they faced was promoting the CSA/farm share product when little was known about it at the time; however the hard work has paid off as the biggest reward has been the growth over the years through the entire community’s support and participation. In 2011 KYV farm gained their USDA Organic certification to meet the public’s demand for local organic produce to support their healthier lifestyles. They are so excited about participating in this farm to table event to showcase that their fresh produce can be used in both basic preparation and can be taken to the next level in a gourmet setting such as this event.  Vivian stated “Last year’s event at the Floridian was such a success, I know this year will be even better!”

Tickets for this event will go on sale beginning October 1st.  Ticket prices are $65 for a meat option and $55 for vegetarian. The dinner consists of a four course menu with the option to buy wine or beer separately. The first seating will be at 6pm and second seating may be offered at 8pm if the earlier seating sells out.

Parking the night of the event will be subject to availability around the St Augustine area.  There is a parking lot located across the street with meters spaces.

Contact the Floridian St Augustine to purchase tickets (904) 829-0655 or contact Dawn Hutchins directly for more information at (904) 534-4252.
 Posted by at 9:38 am
Jun 052012

If you are a member or future member of a CSA this letter is important to read and may answer many of the questions everyone has about last year’s share and what local farmers face throughout the year. 


Membership Report CSA Season 2011-2012
Dear Farm Members:

Our season began November 15, 2011 and started off strong with the warm weather crops such as cucumbers, eggplant, yum-yum peppers, tomatoes and winter squash. Due to the mild winter weather, the season ran straight through for the full 24 weeks with no breaks in the schedule and ended on April 19, 2012. Also, because of the mild weather, we were able to offer a Mini Season for 6 weeks starting the first week of May. Overall for the regular season, we had over 250 members this year!

We currently offer drop-off service to members on Tuesdays and pick-up at the farm on Thursdays. We also sell to wholesale customers, like natural food stores and local restaurants, as well as to non-members at the farm on Saturday mornings, and at 5 different farmers markets throughout the week. Some members have commented on the condition or quality of the vegetables and our commitment to the members. We want everyone to know that our first commitment is to the CSA membership. Our vegetables are harvested on Monday for the Tuesday drop off and Wednesdays for the Thursday pick up members. The drop off bags are packed at the farm on Tuesday mornings and delivered to the drop off locations. On Thursdays, the vegetables are laid out at the farm for the members to pick up on their own. There is more flexibility if members wish to swap out a vegetable for more of another. Only after the members have received their shares are wholesale or market customers considered. However, if a crop is not ready to be harvested for the drop off or pickup members, it may be ready for picking in time for one of the markets and past ready or rotting if we hold it for the next week’s drop off/pickup. The markets and wholesale customers are needed to offset the costs of farming.

At the end of every season, we send out a membership survey to find out what were the favorite and least favorite vegetables offered over the course of the season. The top 5 vegetables from the survey from May of 2011 were: carrots, broccoli, lettuces, tomatoes, and beets. As a result, more of these vegetables were offered during the 2011-2012 season. Daikon radish, bok choy and kohlrabi were the least favorite and likewise, their offering was reduced this season. Please continue to fill out the surveys; they help us to plan out our growing season.

Some of the great benefits of being CSA members include knowing your farmer, fresher, locally grown organic vegetables, classes, workshops and potlucks and harvesting opportunities! This season was no different, with two harvesting opportunities for the members: green beans last Fall, and our Spring potluck in April, where members could pull their own potatoes, and pick their own green beans, wax beans and English peas in April. Approximately 50 families attended and learned about the different organic farming practices in a tour with Francisco, and in addition, got the experience of harvesting their own vegetables. Afterwards, everyone shared a potluck lunch, and finished the day with a delicious slice of a KYV Farm cake, prepared by one of our members!

Tour de Farm 2012

 Although most people enjoyed the milder winter temperatures this past year, it presented additional farming challenges. The freeze in December damaged the broccoli; the winds in March damaged the hoop houses and the tomato plants. In addition, the cool spell that we had in April, combined with the much needed rain, caused the tomatoes to suffer from late blight, which was the same disease that was responsible for the Irish Potato Famine.

We thought we would provide some general information about the CSA, organic farming and the growing season since we have received many comments and questions from the members, in person and in response to the membership survey. First off, Local Harvest offers some useful information about Community Supported Agriculture, as well as some tips for CSA members. You can find these two articles here:

Pie Model at Tour de Farm

Florida is a unique location to farm in, because it presents many problems due to the heat, the soil and insects. Having an organic farm compounds that problem because most of the maintenance of the crops is done by hand vs. the spraying of pesticides and conventional farming. Many of our members have also questioned why a certain vegetable is not available at a certain time of year. Because of the heat in Florida, our growing season is different than the rest of the country, for example, sweet corn grows in May here as opposed to August and September in the Northeast. This past season, because the Fall weather was so warm, we were able to grow potatoes for the Fall and offered them to the members in December, however, they are commonly harvested in the Spring. We think this link provides a good overview of the growing season in North Florida, as well as the obstacles we face in farming:

2012 Farm Pot Luck

We have made some revisions to the CSA for next season, and we have opened up the 2012-2013 season to the members. (Please go to our website and reserve your space for next season) We will not be increasing our membership prices; however, we will be including a surcharge for the drop-off members, and in addition, adding a home-delivery option, for a fee.
In addition, many members commented on the quantity of each vegetable offered each week and would like to see more of each vegetable. Therefore, next season, we will be offering larger amounts of each vegetable, but fewer total numbers of vegetables for each week. For example, last season, beets were offered in a bunch of 3. Next season, the beets will be in a bunch of 6. Currently, we offer a selection of 8-11 vegetables and we will reduce the number of vegetables to between 7-9. This past season presented a challenge with the citrus due to the mild winter. As a result, the trees were finished producing early and this created issue with regard to having to credit members for many weeks with no citrus. As a result, next season we will not be offering a citrus share, but will only have bags of citrus available for purchase, when available.

As a final reminder, please note that you can recycle your newspapers here, we use them for packing the boxes of vegetables. Also, the warm weather is the time of year when the chickens are laying faster than we can get egg cartons to put the eggs in! Therefore, please bring your old egg cartons back. You can also bring your vegetable scraps to feed the chickens!

We would like to thank you for your continued support. Through you, we are able to continue doing what we love; growing and bringing you clean food. Thank you all for inspiring us everyday to farm for the community!
Francisco and Vivian
Organic Vegetables & Specialty Citrus
Community Supported Agriculture Wholesale Distribution
Francisco Arroyo and Vivian Bayona
1670 Borrow Pit Rd. Switzerland, FL 32259
Cell: (787)232-7359 or (787)232-2234

 Posted by at 10:49 am
May 092012
Don’t miss out on the giveaway – there is still time!  On May 12th I will be giving away some of my favorite things – a 3 pack of Justin’s Chocolate Almond Nut Butter, Red Star Nutritional Yeast, Bag of Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats and a Coconut Water.    

Today I did a super informal mini lunch-n-learn for a small CSA group I set up at my company.  I went over how to store, clean and prep some of the veggies they might get from their farm share with KYV Farm.

We had a great time!  Thanks so much to the group that attended!

So let’s talk about peas…..

for English peas, or any nice fresh peas you just don’t feel like shelling, I’ve got your solution!  Simply steam them, season and then suck the peas right out of the shell.  Easy peasy! 

Steamed Edamame Style English Peas
Serves 4, Serving size – about 1 cup
Vegan, Gluten Free

4 cups fresh English Peas – in Pods
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp coarse sea salt


1. Steam English peas 10 to 15 minutes or until just softened to your taste. Try them at 10 minutes and if they still seem too hard to you, try them again in 2 minutes.

2. Top with olive oil and sea salt.

3. Mix and serve.

 Sorry all, nutrition info not available

Apr 302012
KYV Farm Potluck was yesterday and a good time was had by all.  We picked wax beans, green beans and English peas, pulled potatoes and ate some amazing food.  As you can see by the photos – the family is growing.  I can’t wait for next season as I’ve got some fun workshop ideas up my sleeve.
On the way home, my mom and I agreed – this is something the kids will remember forever and will take with them through adulthood.  As the saying goes – the children are our future and what a great future we have in store for us.



 Posted by at 8:53 pm
Apr 242012
Earth Day was also the Slow Food First Coast Tour de Farm where all the local farms open their doors for samples, tours and lots of fun. I, of course, was at KYVFarm all day!
 There were fresh eggs and lots of veggies for sale at the market.  From noon through the rest of the day people were lining up.

Slow food First Coast organized four volunteers to help with veggie prep, traffic and questions. Heather has also been a KYV CSA member since the very beginning!
I arrived at 10AM and started working on the veggies along with other friends and neighbors.

Shannon and Vivian worked the tables all day!

Minorcan Datil Pepper products were up for sale.

Pie in the Sky was selling fresh pies.

Veronica, also my photographer for the day, scored a coconut cream pie.
Chefs Genie and Jeff from the Floridian made a creamy rutabaga salad, kohlrabi slaw and marinated green beans. 
Chef David Scalisse from Sawgrass made a lemony bean salad.

My photojournalist and her sister Viviana.


The children loved getting involved.

The animals got lots of love.

Francisco’s hard work has really paid off.  Many thanks for all the work that you and Vivian do to provide healthy and delicious food for our families!

 And thanks to Veronica for being my most excellent photographer. 

 Posted by at 2:00 am
Apr 142012

Happy Saturday all! Sorry for the repost but due to technical difficulties, the info didn’t save in the body of my update. 


The Tour De Farm next Sunday the 22nd is where local farms in Northeast Florida will throw open their doors to the public to explore and taste.  Please come visit me at KYV farm where I am volunteering and meet the farmers Vivian and Francisco.  I hope to meet you soon!

“This tour is for anyone who wants to learn about local food production – where the food comes from, and the people who produce it. Families, individuals, groups of friends, cyclists, all are welcome!

You can attend an educational farm workshop, meet great chefs, taste produce right from the field, take a walking tour of the farm, and lots more.

Please take the time to look over our TOUR TIPS [on the link below] to help plan your trip. Suggested tours will help you make the most of your day!

Visitors are welcome from 12 noon to 5 pm – farms will not be ready for you before noon.”
Please click here for the Tour De Farm info.

 Posted by at 10:32 am
Mar 052012
Have lots of veggies you don’t know what to do with?
Want to know what veggies are best to can, how to prepare them and what equipment is needed? 
Learn all the ins and outs from our member expert, Melanie Harris, as you nosh on samples and chat with members (and future members!).
Located at 12752, Edenbridge Ct, Jacksonville, FL (The home of member Melanie Harris.)
Only $15 for members and $20 for non-members
This is the next workshop I’m organizing for KYV Farm. The main focus will be on canning but we will also learn about other methods of preservation. Space is limited so respond early and be prepared to bring a chair and have a great time.
Contact me with RSVP at chefdawn(at)hotmail(dot)com. 
Hope to see you there!
 Posted by at 9:52 am
Nov 232011
My first CSA bag of 2011 from KYV Farm!
There was such variety in this first bag that you just don’t find or even think of to buy at the grocery. (Vivian, let me know if I’m missing the names of any veggies. There were so many!)
Green Beans
Two types of Lettuces
Bok Choy and Broccoli Rabe (my new favorite veggie)
Yum Yum peppers
I was starving when I got home from the pickup so I created this super quick wrap.  I simply stuffed a wrap with some store bought spinach and artichoke hummus, tangy balsamic dressing I had whipped up, a couple of the baby lettuce leaves and some chopped sweet yum yum peppers.
A wrap is the perfect thing to stuff with whatever you have on hand for a super fast meal!
Yum Yum Wrap
Serves 1
Vegan, Gluten Free
1 brown rice tortilla. such as Food for Life (or any wrap you have on hand)
2 Tbsp quality store bought hummus, I use Natures Healthy Gourmet
2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette (or dressing of choice)
2 lettuce leaves, KYV Farm
Handful yum yum peppers, chopped, KYV Farm
1. Spread hummus over wrap; top with lettuce leaves and peppers; pour balsamic dressing over evenly; wrap.
Estimated Nutrition Info
1 Serving

Amount Per Serving

Calories 259.3
Total Fat 11.3 g
Saturated Fat 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 328.5 mg
Potassium 282.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 35.9 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 5.0 g
Protein 4.9 g

Vitamin A 53.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 7.9 %
Vitamin C 126.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 2.1 %
Copper 9.0 %
Folate 14.7 %
Iron 6.0 %
Magnesium 6.2 %
Manganese 19.3 %
Niacin 2.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.0 %
Phosphorus 6.5 %
Riboflavin 2.9 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 6.3 %
Zinc 4.0 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nov 182011
Farm to Table Dinner at the Floridian in St Augustine

First order of business….a glass of wine.

And a peek at the restaurant, pre-event…

My Mom getting a glass as well before the guests arrive…

The Guests of Honor, Francisco and Vivian from KYV Farm

My friends Courtney and Anthony were there for the first seating!

My only regret is that I didn’t get any photos of the vegetarian dishes as I started eating them too quickly! (ok and the other regret is that I didn’t have someone else taking photos. I barely got any.).
End of Summer Rolls

Tracy from Slow Food, MJ and Kathleen from Timberlin Creek (remember the school garden I visited?)

Autumn Greens Salad

Green Tea Brined Cartwheel Ranch Pork Chop with KYV Winter Squash Hash with Satsuma Reduction and Radish Slaw

Tracy, MJ, Kathleen, Vivian and me!

Tracy said a few words at the event about Slow Food and thanking everyone for coming…

Francisco stood up to give a touching and heartfelt speech about the trials, tribulations and rewards of running a farm…

I love this photo of everyone watching as he spoke…

The peas featured in the Autumn Salad inspired this pasta recipe.

This dish includes all veggies that are in season right now in Florida.  Simple, comforting and delicious. This combo can’t be beat!
Pasta Alfredo with Fresh Peas, Spinach and Eggplant
Inspired by nothing other than the fresh veggies from the farm
Vegan and Gluten Free
Makes about 8 1-cup servings

2 cups uncooked, shelled peas
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt

8oz brown rice (or whole wheat) pasta

2 small eggplant (I used white Japanese), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
5 cups Chinese spinach (or baby spinach)

Alfredo (half this if you don’t like a lot of sauce)
2 cups plain, unsweet non-dairy milk (or milk of choice), I used rice milk
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella shreds (or shredded cheese of choice), such as Daiya
1/4 nutritional yeast (optional)


1. Fill a medium pot about 2/3 full of water; bring to a boil; add peas, bay leaf and salt.  Reduce heat and simmer about 35 minutes or to desired tenderness.  Drain and set peas aside in a large bowl.

2. In the same pot cook pasta to package directions; spray with cooking spray and toss to prevent sticking; pour into pot with peas.

3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medim heat; add eggplant and onion; cook stirring frequently for 10 minutes; lower heat, add garlic and cook an additional two minutes; stir in spinach, season all with salt and pepper and toss until spinach is wilted. Toss vegetables in with peas and pasta.

4. Pour milk, cheese and nutritional yeast into pot peas were boiled in.  Heat over medium low heat until just bubbling, stirring frequently until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.  Pour over pea, pasta and vegetable mixture, toss to coat.  Taste and add seasoning if necessary.
 Posted by at 1:33 am