Love Notes #16, September 28, 2016

Love Notes #16, September 28, 2016

By:  Hannah Slipakoff and Jonah Vitale- Wolff


  1. Contents of Share
  2. Announcements
  3. Farm and Food Justice News
  4. Recipes


A close-up shot of our perfectly organized wood pile! Thanks to Community Day volunteers for warming our hearts, now and next winter! (Photo: Hannah Slipakoff)



  • Curly Parsley or Italian Parsley or Cilantro- 1 bunch
  • Onions- 2 to 3 roots
  • Lettuce Mix- approx. ½ lb.
  • Spinach – aprox. ¾ lb.
  • Garlic- 2 to 3 heads
  • Rainbow Chard- 1 bunch
  • Winterbor/ Curly Kale- 1 bunch
  • Easter Egg Radishes- 1 bunch
  • Cucumbers or Summer Squash – 1-2 fruits
  • Tomatoes- 2 to 3 fruits
  • Jalapeno Peppers- 2 to 3 fruits
  • Green Bell Peppers-
  • Ground Cherries or Cherry Tomatoes or Tomatillos- heaping handfuls
  • Optional: 1 dozen eggs
  • Optional: Mung Bean Sprouts


Leah and Emet at an Upstate BLM Action in September. Interested in ending racism through food sovereignty work? TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER for the Hudson Valley Young Farmer’s Coalition Ending Racism Training at Soul Fire- October 15th. Apply here (Photo: Press)



  • COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. October 22, and November 12.  RSVP here.
  • UPCOMING EVENTS: We will host an on-farm seed keeping workshop with Owen Taylor on Saturday, October 8 and an ancestor healing workshop with Enroue Halfkenny on Saturday, November 19. Please join us!
  • REGISTER TODAY: On October 15th We are facilitating an Undoing Racism Training for the Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition.  Apply here. Applications  are due today!
  • SOUL FIRE ON STAGE: On Sunday, October 2nd, at Bard College, Storyhorse Documentary Theater will be showing Good Dirt, a live-art performance piece chronicling the lives of Hudson Valley farmers… including Soul Fire! More info here!
  • GARLIC FOR SALE: We have a beautiful hard-neck garlic for sale for eating or seed! All orders can be placed by-the-pound (a pound is roughly 1 quart) and picked up at the farm or delivered on our weekly Wednesday distribution route. This garlic will store for months, so stock up for your winter supply. Garlic also makes a great gift! Contact us if you are interested. $9 per pound. $12 for seed garlic.
  • RETURN YOUR BOXES AND JARS please. You can leave them where you get your delivery. If you break them down, please make sure not to tear or bend any of the tabs, or just leave the assembled box for us and we are happy to break it down.
  • WASH 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.
  • KEEP FOOD FRESH, EASY: Store leafy greens in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. To revive wilted greens, dunk them in ice water and dry in salad spinner or with gentle toweling. To make it easier to use greens on the go, wash and chop them in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag. Then you can just grab a handful to add to your eggs, smoothie, soup, or saute. Quick and easy.



The garlic processing crew, lead seamlessly by Neshima, at work on Saturday’s Community Day. (Photo: Jonah Vitale- Wolff)



Over FIFTY radiant individuals graced the farm with their presence at Saturday’s incredible Community Day. We processed over 150 lbs of garlic, made several dozen quarts of sauerkraut, clean the yoga mats that have supported the physical wellness of our hundreds of visitors this season, chopped and stacked over two cords of wood, AND completely re-shaped our hillside orchard!


Power of the people! Caring for the earth and each other last Saturday (Photo: Jonah Vitale Wolff)


The power of the people is what it takes to move a hillside. Literally. We built terraces, or terrazas, a technique taught to us by our campesino campañeros in Oaxaca. These terraces will be used to greatly expand our medicinal and culinary herb production, while also serving as a countermeasure to the threat of erosion, keeping our baby tree’s nice and strong.

So what happened on this land that sparked this project?

Step 1: Highly degrading land use practices of European farmers from the past 250 years resulted in two feet of topsoil eroding to the bottom of the field. It looks like a mess, but we put the soil back into the field as the base of the terraces.

Step 2:  We laid out terrace walls roughly along the contours of the land to slow water down.

Step 3: Volunteers built terrace walls. We use logs and sticks from the forest. These are only there to hold the soil in place until the roots of the trees are established.

Step 4: We fed your friends well and moved that soil with people power!

Step 5: Top dress with compost and plant cover crop to encourage soil life, nutrients and stability. Leah planted dutch white clover and oats to enrich the soil, and daffodil bulbs to deter voles from eating the roots of the trees. Next spring, WE PLANT MORE MEDICINE AND FRUIT!

In this process, we honor the collective work party, tequio or konbit, and simple technologies based in community. These practices have been feeding people on marginal land for thousands of years, and, the truth is, 70% of global food production is from small home scale gardens, NOT agribusiness. Let’s give credit to the brilliance of Black and Brown farmers and look to them for solutions to our global food crisis!



This is what sustainable agriculture looks like: community, ancestral farming traditions, and lots of LOVE! (Photos: Jonah Vitale Wolff)


When all the volunteers departed on Saturday, their creative and collaborative energy stuck around to fuel us for the week ahead. Yesterday, Leah on behalf of SFF spoke at SUNY Cobleskill, a public agricultural college about 1.5 hrs West of Grafton. The school brings together students from NYC and from rural upstate NY with very different experiences and worldviews. The group was blessed to share so many powerful reflections after a dinner and SFF lecture. They had honest, courageous, and heart-ful conversations about racism in farming and food… There were many tears shed, which is often an indicator that something meaningful is going on!

One student felt particularly touched by the evening.

“When I tell my friends I am studying at an agricultural school, they say I am white. Now I can tell them that we as African American people have a long history of agriculture that has nothing to do with slavery. My aunt grows her own food. She is black. I am studying to be a farmer. I am black.”


SUNY Cobleskill (student instagram post).JPG

Inspiring Social Media post from a SUNY Cobleskill Student. Leah was also able to reunite with some of her Tech Valley High School Students who came to the presentation!


Love and Nourishment for the week ahead!!


RECIPE – Radish Salad



We’ve heard some farm share members asking about different radish preparations. Enjoy this simple salad or loads of other creative radish recipes with some inspiration from this New York Times piece. (Photo and Recipe: NYT Cooking)



  • About 6 radishes, thinly sliced

  • ½  tablespoon salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • .5 tablespoon orange juice

  • Ground mild chilies to taste (optional)

  • 1 tablespoons chopped mint or cilantro


  1. Combine radishes with salt, and cover with water in a bowl. Let sit 15 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Meanwhile, stir together the pepper and fruit juices.

  2. Toss radishes with dressing and chilies. Taste. Add more salt, pepper or lime juice as needed. Garnish with herb, and serve.