CSA Newsletter #12 – September 14, 2012

Contents of Share This Week

  • summer squash and/or zucchini (3-4)
  • cucumbers (3-4)
  • heirloom tomato mix – If some fo your tomatoes are firm, let then sit out and ripen a little more.  Tomatoes taster best when stored at room temperature, not in the refrigerator.
  • carrots  (1 bunch)
  • chard (1 bunch)
  • Lacinato kale (1 bunch)
  • brussel sprouts (~3/4 pounds)
  • sugar snap or snow peas (~3/4 pound)
  • basil (1 bunch)
  • garlic (2-3 heads) – Now fully cured and will keep for many months.
  • dozen eggs or sprouts (brown lentil, zesty mustard mix, mung bean)


  • Well, the hens are back in action.  Kind of odd, but we will aim to get you eggs regularly again, and let you know if it will be different
  • PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE return your boxes.  They are the most important thing you can return.  The other stuff egg cartons, and clean, clear plastic bags is secondary. If we ever have a box shortage, we will deliver your shares in brown reusable shopping bags that we would also need to get back.
  • Remember that you are always welcome to visit socially and/or to volunteer. Give a call to schedule a time.  Thank you so much!
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website http://www.soulfirefarm.com/?cat=3
  • Still a few pasture raised, whole chickens for sale (around 5 lbs). We can deliver with you shares.  Order here.

Food Justice – Honoring Ourslves with Healthy food!
From a presentation given by Leah at the Black Farmers Conference.  Found in the resources section of our website here.) Last week we talked about truly democratizing the food system and access to land, two major motivations for our work.  This week is a snapshot of both the tragedy of the health epidemics in communities of color and lower income communities, particularly black population, but also the means to healing.

Healthy Eating in 3 Steps

  1. Eat real food
  2. Not too much
  3. Mostly plants

Our Current Struggle
Health Statistics for African American People (Source: Center for Disease Control, 2008) http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/sr10_249.pdf

    • Percent of men 20 years and over who are obese: 37%
    • Percent of women 20 years and over who are obese: 51%
    • Percent of men 20 years and over with hypertension: 39%
    • Percent of women 20 years and over with hypertension: 44%
    • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or that everything is an effort are more common in non-Hispanic black adults than any other population
    • Difficulty with physical tasks such as climbing stairs, walking ¼ mile, lifting objects is more common in non-Hispanic black adults than any other population

“According to the surgeon general, obesity today is officially an epidemic; it is arguably the most pressing public health problem we face, costing the health care system an estimated $90 billion a year. Three of every five Americans are overweight; one of every five is obese. The disease formerly known as adult-onset diabetes has had to be renamed Type II diabetes since it now occurs so frequently in children. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association predicts that a child born in 2000 has a one-in-three chance of developing diabetes. (An African American child’s chances are two in five.) Because of diabetes and all the other health problems that accompany obesity, today’s children may turn out to be the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will actually be shorter than that of their parents. The problem is not limited to America: The United Nations reported that in 2000 the number of people suffering from overnutrition–a billion–had officially surpassed the number suffering from malnutrition–800 million.”
Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

What gets in the way of choosing health?

Words from the Wise

For it as you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
— Psalm 139:13-14

“Globalized industrialized food is not cheap: it is too costly for the Earth, for the farmers, for our health. The Earth can no longer carry the burden of groundwater mining, pesticide pollution, disappearance of species and destabilization of the climate. Farmers can no longer carry the burden of debt, which is inevitable in industrial farming with its high costs of production. It is incapable of producing safe, culturally appropriate, tasty, quality food. And it is incapable of producing enough food for all because it is wasteful of land, water and energy. Industrial agriculture uses ten times more energy than it produces. It is thus ten times less efficient.”
Vandana Shiva

Real Food is…

  • grown on living soil, enriched with compost and cover crops, free from harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • biodegradable, meaning that it contains only ingredients that were once living or mineral, nothing manufactured
  • local, “shake the hand that feeds you” – farmer’s market, CSA, grow your own
  • colorful, fresh, diverse, and beautiful

Not too much food means…

  • eating when we are hungry
  • drinking lots of water, so we are not fooled into thinking we are hungry
  • eating only until our bellies are 50% full
  • relaxing about food – waiting until the end of the line to eat is okay, feeling hunger for some time is okay
  • offering thanks before and after eating to keep the “kavanah” (intention)

Mostly plants…

  • Plant foods use a fraction of the earth’s resources to produce as compared to animal foods; this means more land, water, and minerals for other people on the planet and for other beings
  • Plant foods are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You will live longer on this beautiful earth.
  • Lots of raw foods! Try for at least one raw meal each day. A breakfast smoothie is a simple way to start.
  • At least 50% of every meal and snack should be fruits and vegetables.


Pan African Studies Community Education Program

Living and Raw Foods

All Live Food

Queen Afua’s Wellenss Program

Dr. Llaila O. Afrika

Journey to Wellness. Online Health Magazine for African Americans. http://www.journeytowellness.com/

Black Doctor: Your Daily Medicine for Life

What is your intention in regards to our health and the health of your people, going forward?

A Few Recipes

Raw Fruit and Nut Bars

In a food processor, blend until smooth (or crush the nuts and cut/mash the fruits into a paste)

  • 1 cup nuts/seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds)
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup raisins or dates
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Press this “crust” onto a greased cookie sheet
Over the crust, grate

  • 3-4 medium apples (to cover)

Cut into 2 inch squares and place in the dehydrator overnight or until chewy OR cook in the oven at 225 degrees.

Raw Kale Chips (again)

Remove the stems from

  • fresh kale leaves

Rub the leaves gently on all sides with

  • olive oil

Then sprinkle on a small amount of

  • salt

Place kale chips in the dehydrator until crispy or on a cookie sheet in the oven at 225 degrees

Raw Collard Green Wraps
1 bunch of collard greens
2 oz. of sprouts
2 tomatoes
1 avocado
olive tapenade*

slice the middle out of the collard greens and smear on the tapenade, top with tomato, avocado, sprouts and roll up.

Olive Tapenade
•1/2 cup black olives
•1/2 cup green olives
•1 tablespoon capers
•2 cloves garlic
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 teaspoon lemon juice
•1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
•¼ cup pine nuts or almonds
•2 sundried tomatoes
Mix all the ingredients in your food processor or blender until you reach a chunky consistency.

Tropical Kale Smoothie
1 large ripe banana, peeled, frozen
10 kale leaves, de-stemmed
1 cup pineapple
3 dates, pitted
3 ice cubes
1 1/2 cup pure water
Pour the water and toss the banana, kale, pineapple, and dates into the blender. Blend. Then add the ice. Blend again until smooth. Can be frozen into a Popsicle.

News on the Farm

The farm team is in our groove.  Things are beautiful, abundant, and damn efficient.  We are keeping the farm weed-free, growing great food, teaching youth, and managing to work on a lot of regular infrastructure projects.  We finished a major house project of adding a extra layer of insulation to the foundation so our toes will be warmer all winter.  This was a lot of digging.  So big ups to interns Sindhu and Dane for sticking with it to the end.  They report they are feeling good and stronger than ever.  Which is not uncommon for interns who join us.

Peas in your share this week are so exciting to be sharing.  If you visited the farm this spring you probably remember the 7 foot wall of peas right in front of the house.  Well, these are no different, creating a green, living, and tasty wall once again.  Cucmbers are on their way out.  I hope you all have your stores of pickles.  Fall cauliflower and brocolli  will be coming before too long and is looking downright amazing.  We love growing these crops in the fall because there is little to no pest pressure and the weather is perfect.

And finally, a big shot out goes to maybe the farm’s biggest unsung hero: Rowe, our dog.  Rowe gets especially busy this time of year as the animals emerge from the woods to stock up their food stores for the coming winter.  This means that deer, turkeys, weasels, mice, foxes, racoons, woodchucks, you name it, descend on this great food source that is our farm.  Veggies and chickens.  However, despite being the only farm in our area, and surrounded by miles and mile of forest, which is habitat to all these animals, we have not had a single crop or livestock loss to predation.  We owe this thanks almost entirely to Rowe.  She spends her nights keeping dutiful watch over the farm.  If you have ever spent the night , you know she is very active when the sun sets, chasing and barking at anything that comes within the field perimeters.  Then she spends her days lounging and giving love to whoever she possibly can, and never barks at a soul.  I watched her bolt off this week down the field after a flock of turkeys, preceded by a few deer.  She figured out how to herd turkeys and deer!  Amazing!  We are all a quite impressed and in awe that she knows what to do, and does it so well, especially given she is our first dog. Now if only we can teach her to catch cabbage moths.

Have a great week.