CSA Newsletter #16 – October 12, 2012

Contents of Share

  • brussel sprouts (1+ pound)
  • red russian kale (1 bunch)
  • collard greens (1 bunch)
  • carrots (1 bunch) – These carrots are awesome late season carrots.  They get sweeter as teh season gets colder.  We had some pest damage but still wanted to share these with you.  Please pardon some of their appearances.
  • lettuce (2 heads)
  • parsley (1 bunch)
  • brocolli or caulifower
  • dry coriander seed (1satchel) – This is a wonderful spice that you can grind up in a pepper grinder or coffee grinder
  • dozen eggs or sprout mix (brown lentil, mung bean, sunflower seed, zesty mustard mix)


  • October 20, 8-12 we are slaughtering the final chickens for the season.  If you are interested in joining us to volunteer just watch, this is your final chance for the season.  Please contact us if you are interested.
  • Pre-order your whole chickens here.  We can deliver with you shares.
  • RETURN YOUR BOXES PLEASE.  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
  • Please also like us on Facebook.  There are larger picture albums there, and more being added each week.

Food Justice News
While I don’t completely agree with Giminez’s conclusions, this is a good account of one very important side of the fight for food sovereignty.

The Fight Over Food Deserts – Corporate America Smacks Its Way Down
Eric Holt Giminez

See whole article here.

Hunger and food security stem from poverty, that in the US comes from unemployment and poor wages. The solution to food security in America must come through a revitalized food economy — one that pays workers a living wage, that includes worker and minority owned businesses, and that keeps food dollars in local communities. Walmart does none of that.

Seventeen percent of American jobs are in the food system, and those jobs are among the lowest paid in the country. If food industry leaders are serious about improving food access, they need to start by tackling food insecurity where it starts — with sub-poverty wages. No amount of fresh produce will cure America’s food and health gap unless it comes with a commitment to fight its root causes — poverty and inequality. To really fight food deserts, the Obamas should start by supporting living wages for workers and support the food businesses that create true economic development in the communities that need it most.


Did anyone else try that fried green tomato recipe from last week?  I did last night, and am head over heals in love.  We had some tomatillo salsa imported all the way from Coxackie, NY too.  Incredible!

Chickpea-Beer Battered Brussels Sprouts

Makes about 20

  • 1 bag frozen brussels sprouts (about 20)
  • 1.5- 2 cups chickpea flour (can be regular flour too)
  • 1.5 cups beer
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • dash sea salt, black pepper
  • oil for frying or baking

1. Mix together chickpea flour, smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper.  Add beer and stir until combined. You want batter to be pretty thick so add flour until it reaches that consistency.

2. Lightly grease a baking sheet using oil.

3. Dip each brussel sprout into the beer batter, coating thoroughly.

4. If baking: 400F for about 15 minutes, or until the bottom of the dough starts to brown. Flip and bake another 5 minutes, or until the topside browns as well.

5. If frying: fry in hot oil until crispy and brown.

Farm News

Our week started Saturday at the Beginning Farmers course being held over the next 8 weeks at Hawthorne Valley Farm.  We were the first farmer presenters in the course and were exuberantly welcomed by a room of glowing, ambitious faces.  The room was packed with close to forty students from a diverse array of backgrounds, ethnicities, races, and ages.  There were urban growers, food activists, current farm interns, and even existing ranchers.  All looking to grow their visions for their connection to land and food.

It being the first session of their program, the day focused on visioning and goal setting.  Leah and I put a lot of intention into our own planning and reflection, and even share such work with our community in various ways.  It seemed only appropriate that we be there to share our journeys to being farmers and operating Soul Fire Farm in the way we do.  We shared intimately about our personal stories, personal and farm finances, as well as convey how deeply we connect with the work we do.  “No matter what,” we encouraged, “do your work from your heart.  Then you will know it is right.  All else follows.”

Monday we were joined for a second time this season with a visit from the Produce Project from Troy.  Many of the young people were coming to Soul Fire for their second visit, meaning we were able to build and continue to deepen our connection not just with the program, but also with the individuals.

Ellie Marcovitch started the day with a photography class.  But this way no ordinary how to use a camera.  She is brilliant.  Ellie used capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) to encourage moving in ways we do not normally, even mimicking animal movements, and ultimately looking at things from a different perspective.  Way to go Ellie!  It’s not every day I get to play capoeira, so it was a joy to start the day this way.

We moved to working in the field, sheet mulching another quarter of our expansion area.  Let me say, this group can work.  We laid paper and hay over 3600 square feet in under an hour.  All the while watching Rowe catch mice from under the hay bales.  I t was like a live Discovery channel hunt scene right before our eyes.

Cooking lunch is always an event.  We love it.  Time to talk, play, and yes, eat.  Lots of clean plates here on Monday after lunch.  Local ingredients and employing the fine culinary skills of Ellie, means we heard some of the youth saying things like, “I didn’t think I would like it, but damn, this is good!”

Leah and I were also asked to work with the group to do some reflection, both personal and organizational.  We were utterly impressed at everyone’s willingness and ability to speak vulnerably, honestly, and directly to themselves, their peers, and ultimately the group and leaders.  This takes a lot of courage, so a big appreciation of everyone in the Produce Project for taking the chances they did to work towards ultimately creating the best program they can.  Being a facilitator of such work is incredibly rewarding and nothing short of an honor to hold space for such introspection to happen.

The day ended with Food Justice charades.  Letting ourselves be more light hearted and have fun before parting ways.  We are already looking forward to their next visit!

We have a new helper on the farm.  Tia Fattaruso comes from Greenfield, MA for three days a week.  Her and I have been having a blast working and cooking together.  Let me just say, this woman knows how to work!  And how to effectively and efficiently be on a farm.  Stuff gets done before I even look at it, let alone say anything.  We emptied a 6 month old compost pile, including finding some very interersting things, the best of which was a pair of pants where the label read, “80% cotton, 20% polyester.”  The pants looked like net stocking.  I am definiteyl getting some ideas for compost art.  The greenhouse framing is all figured out and should be complete soon.  The perennials look amazing after a thorough weeding.  And, if that wasn’t enough, Tia is a pastry chef at Greenfield’s cornerstone establishment, The People’s Pint.  Tia’s Mile High Apple Pie, happened to be gluten free here at Soul Fire.  Amazing how much apple pie you can eat.

Finally, I would like to share our newsletters more widely with people.  If you can think of anyone that would be interested in being more connected to our farm and the work we do through receiving these weekly updates, please put us in touch.