Love Notes #18 and Job Openings

Love Notes #18, October 12, 2016

By:  Hannah Slipakoff


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


“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” (Christianopoulos/Mexican Proverb) This beautiful group gathered Saturday for Soul Fire’s Seed Keeping workshop with Owen Taylor. More about the workshop below! (Photo: Owen Taylor)



  • Purple or White Bunching Onions – 1 bunch
  • Lettuce heads- approx. ½ lb.
  • Pac Choi- 1 to 2 heads
  • Garlic – 2 to 3 heads
  • Toscana Kale – 1 bunch
  • Potatoes –  approx. 1.25 lbs.
  • Parsnips – 1 bunch
  • Tomatoes – 2 to 3  fruits
  • Jalapeno Peppers – 2 to 3 fruits
  • Green Bell Peppers or Eggplant – 1 to 4 fruits
  • Sugar Snap Peas or Ground Cherries or Tomatillos – heaping handfuls
  • Pie Pumpkin or Buttercup Squash – 1 fruit
  • Optional: 1 dozen eggs
  • Optional: Mung Bean Sprouts


Drumroll.. PEAS! Soul Fire is hiring! You know you wanna join this crew! (Photo: Jonah Vitale-Wolff)


JOB OPENINGS FOR SOUL FIRE FARMERS: We are hiring a 2017 farmer and farm manager to run our 1.5 acre vegetable and fruit operation, 3-acre pasture, 80-100 family farm share CSA program, and ~200 chickens for meat and eggs. Soul Fire Farm is an educational and organizing farm and as such, the farmers support youth and adult learners in farming tasks during certain programs. Farming experience is required. Please spread the word!!! Priority deadline October 25.



SOUL FLAMES is the inner circle of Soul Fire Farm supporters who are committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system and dedicated to supporting the work. Join Soul Flames and be entered to win a date with one of the farmers – Che, Hannah, Amani, Jonah, Dan, or Leah!

Be the flame that lights the fire.


Donations are tax-deductible


  • COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. October 22, and November 12.  RSVP here.
  • UPCOMING EVENTS: We have many public speaking events coming up the fall, including at Yale, Black Farmers Conference, and Young Farmers Conference. We will host an on-farm ancestor healing workshop with Enroue Halfkenny on Saturday, November 19 – currently full but sign up for the waiting list if interested.
  • 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.


We welcomed seed keeper extraordinaire (and SFF board member) Owen Taylor to Soul Fire for this weekend’s workshop, Seed Keeping: Storytelling, Liberation, and How to Save Seeds. Eager learners from the Capital Area, Philadelphia, North Jersey, Western Mass., and New York City gathered for a two-part workshop. First, we learned about the people’s biology of plant nerdery, the state of globalized agribusiness, historical and revolutionary farming events,  and the importance of holding onto and proliferating our cultures and traditions through saving seeds and telling their stories.


Owen often says “the story is in the seed”. This beautiful arrangement of resources, text and plant, provided participants with great inspiration. (Photo: Leah Penniman)


Next, we stepped outside to put our hands and hearts on the land as discovered the field through a seed keeper’s eyes. We covered isolation distances, cross pollination, wet and dry strategies for processing seed, and seed storage tips. Soul Fire Farmers look forward to incorporating more heritage crops for seed saving in 2017!


Plant nerds and storytellers of all ages gathered round as Owen explained the timely process of harvesting lettuce for its seed. (Photo: Leah Penniman)






As the devastating force of Hurricane Matthew hit Hati this weekend, Leah, Naima, and the Ayiti Resurrect family organized to support their dear friends and community members in Komye. While there was no loss of human life in Komye, conditions remain severe and agricultural livelihoods of this vibrant region have been destroyed.

Ayiti Resurrect is mobilizing for immediate support for Komye to help restore people’s farms and homes, and offer means for people to eat. We are grateful to have a long standing relationship with the Komye community that allows us to offer direct assistance to families and individuals without a penny being lost in overhead or NGO bureaucracy.


Crops in Haiti have been destroyed by the storm, making access to food and livelihood incredibly challenging.  (Photo: Andrew McConnel)


Ayiti Resurrect is a grassroots healing collective working in Komye (a rural village in Leogane, Haiti) since the 2010 earthquake. The core collective (Naima Penniman, Beatrice Anderson, Leah Penniman, and Angelique Nixon) are a group of women of African descent with bloodlines in the Caribbean who have built this collective over the past six years. Our collective is Haitian-led, community driven, and diaspora supported.


All funds raised will go directly to the community in need.

We are so grateful for your generosity in this pressing time! Thank you for giving what you can.


Subscribe to the Soul Tribe Eats Newsletter!


Amani, Trumaster, and friends build raised garden beds for the Soul Tribe Eats Garden (Photo: Dan Lyles)


Our farm family at Soul Tribe Eats is celebrating their first birthday by launching their newsletter! Soul Tribe Eats is a food sovereignty project in Albany led by BLFI Alums Dan Lyles and Amani Olugbala. Please click here to sign up for the Soul Bites newsletter and receive news about community meals, harvests, workdays and other Soul Tribe Eats announcements.


As members of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance we hope you join folks around the country, and around the world, for World Food Day this Monday. For information on actions in your area, please visit the USFSA website


Love and Nourishment for the week ahead!!


RECIPE – Creamy Pumpkin Soup


No pumpkin in your share? Don’t let that SQUASH your dreams. This recipe can be made with butternut or buttercup squash as well! (Photo and Recipe: Cookie and Kate)



  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • One 4-pound sugar pie pumpkin or winter squash

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves, pressed or minced

  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves

  • Tiny dash cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth

  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk or heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

  • ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Carefully halve the squash and scoop out the seeds (you can roast the seeds if you’d like—see note—but you won’t need them for this recipe).

  2. Slice each pumpkin halve in half to make quarters. Brush or rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over the flesh of the pumpkin and place the quarters, cut sides down, onto the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or longer, until the orange flesh is easily pierced through with a fork. Set squash aside to cool slightly.

  3. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add onion, garlic and salt to the skillet. Stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, peel the pumpkin skin off the pumpkins and discard the skin.

  4. Add the pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper (if using), and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Use your stirring spoon to break up the pumpkin a bit. Pour in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.

  5. While the soup is cooking, toast the pepitas in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, golden and making little popping noises. You want them to be nice and toasty, but not burnt. Transfer pepitas to a bowl to cool.

  6. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, stir in the coconut milk and maple syrup. Remove the soup from heat and let it cool slightly. You can use an emulsion blender to blend this soup in the pot. I prefer to use my stand blender, which yields the creamiest results—working in batches, transfer the contents pan to a blender (do not fill your blender past the maximum fill line!). Securely fasten the blender’s lid and use a kitchen towel to protect your hand from steam escaping from the top of the blender as you purée the mixture until smooth. Transfer puréed soup to a serving bowl and repeat with remaining batches.

  7. Taste and adjust if necessary (I thought the soup was just right as is, but you might want to add more coconut milk for extra creaminess/milder flavor, or maple syrup to make it a little sweeter).

  8. Ladle soup into individual bowls. Sprinkle pepitas over the soup and serve. Let leftover soup cool completely before transferring it to a proper storage container and refrigerating it for up to 4 days (leftovers taste even better the next day!). Or, freeze this soup for up to 3 months.