CSA Newsletter#4 – July 20, 2012

Soul Fire Farm CSA Newsletter
Week #4 – July 20, 2012

Contents of Share this Week

  • green string beans – 2+ lbs
  • yellow string beans – 1/2+ lbs
  • summer squash (patty pan, yellow crookneck, or zucchini), OR eggplant, OR cucumbers
  • chard – 1 bunch
  • tatsoi or pac choi
  • lettuce – butterhead and majestic red
  • green onions – 1 bunch
  • leeks – 1 bunch
  • carrots – 1 bunch
  • dill – 1 bunch
  • parsley – 1 bunch
  • eggs or sprouts (mung bean, brown and red lentil, spicy mustard mix, chick pea)

Recipe Ideas

Green Beans: A humble yet noble player in good health
by Ellen Kittredge.

Ask yourself….What are the most nutritious vegetables on the planet? My first thoughts might be kale, broccoli, garlic, tomatoes, and other such lauded veggies. The humble green bean would probably not come to mind initially. However, since green beans (also known as string beans) are such a common summer vegetable, I wanted to share a healthy way to prepare them, and I decided to look into their nutritional content as well. I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

Green beans definitely hold their own when it comes to their nutritional status, coming out on top for nutrient content when compared to other members of the bean and pea family. Specifically, green beans have a great variety of anti-oxidants, vital combatants to oxidative stress (free radicals) in the body. Green beans also contain a good amount of silicon, which is an essential mineral in bone health and in connective tissue health.

And did you know that green beans contain a significant amount of Omega 3’s? The Omega 3 content is fairly large in comparison with the number of calories per serving. Research indicates that green beans are good for cardiovascular health, and it may be a combination of their omega 3 (ALA) and antioxidant content that is responsible for this. In addition to cardiovascular benefit, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that the anti-inflammatory compounds in green beans may directly or indirectly play a role in the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes. Hail to the humble green bean!

To preserve the majority of the nutritional benefits it’s best to steam for no longer than 5 minutes. Please enjoy the recipe below!

Garlic Steamed String Beans

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Yields: 8 servings


1 pound string beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons tamari
4 tablespoons tahini
Juice of half a lemon


Wash beans, chop ends off and cut in half. Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place beans in a steaming basket and place over boiling water. Cover beans and steam for 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine garlic, tamari, tahini and lemon juice. When beans are done, add them to the garlic mixture. Mix until string beans are coated and serve.

Food Justice News

Food justice is not just what we do at Soul Fire and write about for you to learn from and support.  Food justice is something everyone can get involved in.  No, you don’t have to have a farm.  In fact, there are so many ways to get involved!

One group that has been leading the food justice movement in the past several years is the national Growing Food and Justice for All initiative. This Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based group hosts free monthly conference calls that are open to anyone who wishes to join in. GFJI and its host organization Growing Power also organize one of the nation’s premier food justice conferences, which also takes place in Milwaukee (from September 9-11 this year).  We have friends and colleagues presenting at this year’s conference. As much as we’d like to be presenting we will be… well, farming!

Check out the GFJI website to learn more about the conference calls, listserves, the conference, and to get a broader perspective on the work that you are supporting by being part of Soul Fire Farm.  www.growingfoodandjustice.org/About_Us.html

Farm News and Notes

We had some delightful visitors from NYC come on Saturday.  Rupal Sanghvi and Agnieszka Gasparska work closely with our intern Kristin on food system research and organizing in the city.  And, as we do with any able-bodied people, we put them to work.  This time harvesting garlic.  The crop looks wonderful and will be in your shares in a few weeks, once its fully cured.

The rest of the week seemed fairly quiet for a change on the farm.  Neshima was off to summer camp for the week, Leah was off mid-week to Black Liberation and Community Development Workshop, and intern Alex spent a few days with local innovative homesteader Julie Harrell.

The rain has been a delight.  We spent as much time as possible working in it.  Kind of like the drought of the soil has been a drought of our spirits that finally replenished.

PESTS!  This is the first time we have had significant problems with insect pests at Soul Fire.  Squash beetles!  Potato beetles!  Flea beetles!  Cabbage moths!  Japanese beetles!  We have been losing sleep the last few weeks trying to figure out what to do while we watch whole crops get eaten away.  Fortunately, one of Kristin’s many amazing attributes (I stress the MANY) is that she is a professional researcher.  Kristin has applied her stellar research skills to the task and come up with a pest management plan, that, after a week of methodical implementation, seems to be getting things under control.  We have some new non-toxic concoctions being sprayed on the plants anywhere from twice a day to once every few days.  Nothing is chemical based – soapy water spray, and even our very own home grown garlic, onion, hot pepper spray.  Since we have been applying these mixtures to some of the veggies, we would recommend making a special point to wash your tatsoi, pac choi, summer squash and zucchini this week.  Nothing dangerous, just might taste a bit spicy and garlicky if you don’t wash your veggies.

Guess that wasn’t such a quiet week after all.  Have a wonderful week!