Newsletter #3 – July 2, 2014

CER_1940-31resizeContents of Share

  • shell, snow or sugar snap peas (1 pound) – Shell peas have a tough pod that you do not eat.  Pop them open and use the peas only.
  • toscana or winterbor kale (1 bunch)
  • collard greens (1 bunch)
  • Napa cabbage (1-2 heads)
  • salad mix (~3/4 pound)
  • turnips (1 bunch)
  • cilantro (1 bunch)
  • dill (1 bunch)
  • garlic scapes (1 bunch)
  • Optional: dozen eggs or sprouts


  • Pasture Raised Chicken is now available for pre-order.  Chickens are raised on pasture, all natural, young and tender. They are $4.25 per pound. Birds dress out at 4-6 pounds. We will have 50 birds for sale ONLY ONCE this season.  They can be picked up fresh or frozen. Please sign up HERE.
  • WASHING YOUR VEGGIES.  We do not extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you.  We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always rinse root crops.  In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer.  It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them.  For greens: fill a bowl with cold water.  Soak greens in water for a minute.  Drain water and repeat two more times.  Dirt will rinse to the bottom.  Bugs should float to the top.
  • Workday. Saturday August 16 – Chicken processing.  8-1.  1-3 Potluck.
  • If you are a shareholder, you have the option of volunteering 5 hours over the course of the season in exchange for an additional week of food in the fall.  Be in touch to schedule your work with us, or come to a workday.
  • We need more sheets.  If you have old bed sheets we can use them. One of our harvest secrets is that we harvest into damp sheets instead of fancy crates. This allows the crops to stay super fresh post harvest by evaporative cooling. If you have any sheets you are looking to get rid of, we will gladly take them off your hands.  You can leave them at you delivery location for us to pickup.  Thank you!
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website, along with lots more, including educational resources and more recipes.

Food Justice News


The following excerpt is from La Via Campesina’s position statement on the UN’s International Year of Family Farming.  Read their entire statement here.

La Via Campesina is an international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. It strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.

La Via Campesina comprises about 164 local and national organizations in 73 countries from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Altogether, it represents about 200 million farmers. It is an autonomous, pluralist and multicultural movement, independent from any political, economic or other type of affiliation.

La Vía Campesina’s position on the International Year of Family Farming – 2014 (excerpt)

A space for the promotion of concrete policies on peasant family farming

(Harare, June 2014) La Vía Campesina defines participation in the International Year of Family Farming, propelled by the UN in 2014, as the creation of a space for discussion and collective action to to push Food Sovereignty that has peasants and small farmers as a basis. All throughout the world they continue to grow and distribute healthy, self-produced food in their towns, in stark contrast to the commercial food industry, whose priorities are profit and speculation and whose strategy is to make agriculture increasingly dependent on agro-toxics, increasing their profits through the sale of herbicides, whilst damaging and contaminating natural resources.

In La Vía Campesina, we believe that we have to use this year to redirect agriculture towards a model of Food Sovereignty which will generate employment, provide healthy food, and respect natural resources. We call for the creation of an alliance between countryside and city, that it might revive the peasants’ dignity and highlight their great contribution to food production; we need important political changes, both for our tables and for our fields.

…read their entire statement here.
Recipe – Jonah’s Raw Kale Salad (with secret sauce)

  • 1 head kale, shredded
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon miso
  • 1 teaspoon agave syrup or other sweetener
  • sea salt (enough to very lightly coat kale)
  • black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds


De-stem kale, and compost stems.  P1020464resize

Mix salt and shredded kale in mixing bowl.  Massage kale vigorously to created marinated/wilted effect on kale. Set aside.  This makes it much tastier and easier to digest, giving it a “cooked” texture.

In blender, add shredded carrot, finely chopped garlic, olive oil, sesame oil, black pepper to taste, and miso.  Blend until smooth.  Add more olive oil or a touch of water so blends easily.  Pour over and mix into kale.

In a hot un-oiled cast iron skillet lightly toast sunflower and pumpkin seeds.  Until lightly brown.  Do not over toast!  Add as topping to kale.

Farm News

As I write this, eighteen sets of hands are dirty with the reality of returning to the land and the soil that has fed our families and communities for generations.  This is the inaugural week of Soul Fire Farm’s Black and Latino Farmer Immersion.  A week that has been nothing short of magic.  Standing in the face of the opressive systems that have misguided our food system resulting such gross inequities.  But our work is not rigtheous.  Our work is out of a love for land and all those that eat from its offerings.  All those that deserve to be connected.Words cannot convey the depth of connection in these four days alone.  The building of family.  The tangible transformation of vision to reality right before our eyes.  This week is testament to that central statements in our mission, to reclaim our collective right to be connected to land and have agency in the food system.  Our family this week has expanded from our nuclear farm family, apprentices and friends, to welcome ten participants from various reaches of New York City and locally from Troy and Albany.  Leah’s sister Naima Penniman has joined us as a co-facilitator for the week, along with other people from our community holding space for reflection.
Some of the abundant highlights so far include – Naima’s restorative movement breaks in the shade; soil class where metaphors comparing hip hop to cation exchange capacity are well understood; proudly learning to use our bodies correctly as we weed, mulch, and harvest; laughter, singing, and riddles in the fields; Beatrice’s walking meditation; Adaku’s refletive labyrinth; Neshima decorating us all with mud designs during Jonah’s natural building talk; Emet articulating what we all feel during evening gratitude time “I just feel so intertwined with you all.”  All this in addition to cooking whole food, in-season meals together, dancing, laughing, sharing, singing, harvesting, planting.  At our daily reflections people share their challenge, not from a place of discouragement, but as places for growth while knowing we all hold one another to succeed.   If your overflowing bag of food this week tastes a little different this week it is because it was harvested by all these hands here, putting their driven intention into everything they touch.  Love that is passed on to the food we share with you.

And for me, if that was not enough, two more things stand out.  First, as we mulched, a large section, for some reason, it came up, that two short summers ago, my speech at my brother’s wedding was based on the premise of mulch as love.  Next thing I knew, I was reading my speech in the brussel sprout and collard patch to hoots and hollars of affirmation. Is this real that this space exists?  I ask myself.  Second, is the comfort with which Leah is walking this week.  On top of facilitating complete novices on the farm, coordinating meals for close to twenty, hosting, lodging, being a mother, partner, and most importantly caring for herself, Leah is walking with an ease of feeling at home.  “This is my favorite week on the farm, ever,” she proclaims.P1020468resizeA big thank you goes out to all of you who supporting us this week.  Those of you sharing your tents, those of you who came out before the immersion to help prepare food, who dropped off prepared food, gone on toilet paper runs, to those who offered your ear and suggestions as we were visioning and planning this week, and lastly, to the Honest Weight Food Coop, who donated lots of food to this week in the spirit of a community owned food store. 

Other exciting news to share, Food Fight, a short documentary created by Albany-based Youth FX, and featuring Soul Fire Farm, will be having its international premiere in Malayasia!  It will screen as part of the 7th Annual Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival in October 2014.  You can watch the documentary here.  Food Fight will be Youth FX’s first ever internationally screened film!  Congratulations to the powerful visionaries, Bhawin Suchak and Gaetano Vaccaro, and all the young people making such fantastic films.

More reflections to follow.  Gotta go cook lunch right now so I’ll leave it at that.