Love Notes #21, November 2, 2016

Love Notes #21, November 2, 2016

By:  Hannah Slipakoff



Throwback to Chicken Transitioning during BLFI 3. Our amazing alum, Sammi Gay, shared some photos this week and we can’t resist passing on the images of beauty and joy that truly capture Soul Fire Farm! (Photo: Sammi Gay)

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


  • Lacinato Kale – 1 bunch
  • Salad Mix- approx 1 lb.
  • Purple Cabbage- 1 head
  • Bok Choy- 1 head
  • Chinese Cabbage- 1 head
  • Cilantro- 1 bunch
  • Garlic – 6 heads
  • Onions- 4 to 5 fruits
  • Leeks- 1 to 2 fruits
  • Sweet Potatoes- several roots
  • Butternut Squash- 1 fruit
  • Daikon Radish- 1 bunch
  • Green tomatoes- 4-8. See recipes below!
  • Optional: 1 dozen eggs
  • Optional: Spicy Fenugreek, Green and French Lentil 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.


FINAL 2016 COMMUNITY DAY. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. 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.



Wow, ABUNDANCE! Welcome to November at Soul Fire Farm… while temperatures have been dancing in the low twenties in the evenings, our field is continually bursting with vegetables and our hearts are lit with the steadily warming flames of amazing movement work. We are truly blessed to be stewards of this land and co-conspirators in the effort to build a just and sustainable food system.


Local Abundance. Last week Leah and Jonah had the honor of working with Texas-based organizer Pancho Arguelles to co-facilitate a day-long food justice training for the Hudson Valley Farm Hub.  Thanks to Caracol Interpreters Cooperative, facilitators were uphold the values of language justice by having simultaneous interpretation for the entire day.

 The Farm Hub is a local organization with amazing potential. Their work represents a broad spectrum of the current realities of United States agriculture; reinvigorating large family farms, transitioning to organic, commercial production, building  just labor practices, multi-tiered farmer training, non-profit farming, and kindling relationships between all levels of farm workers- from compañeros in the field to executive directors in the office.

 It is so imperative that we give our all to fostering unity in farming work- genuinely growing justice out of years of stolen land and labor takes persistence and commitment. We are so glad we have local partners on this journey!



Comrades at Westfield State University. (Photo: Westfield State)


Last night, Leah participated on a panel titled “Alternatives to an Unjust Food System” at Westfield State University, near Springfield, MA. She was honored to share the space with leaders from New Lands Community Farm, Nuestras Raices, and Gardening the Community– three organizations with deep roots in Western Mass. Together they covered strategies for decolonizing food from the field to the table, building youth leadership, and land access for people of color and new immigrants.


Holding up their duty, fighting for freedom through in-depth organizing! (Photo: BLLI participant)


National Abundance.  Soul Fire jumped from the local sphere to the national as Cheryl and Naima repped the farm at the Northeast Regional organizing summit of the Black Land and Liberation Initiative. Guided by the BlackOut Collective and Movement Generation, leaders from the region converged in Philadelphia for intensive visioning, strategizing and training sessions as part of the effort to launch a trans-local, Black-led land reclamation and reparations initiative. Naima shared this amazing photo with us, and the wise words of Frantz Fanon; “For a colonized people, the most essential value is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring us bread, and above all dignity.”


(Photo: BUGS)


The Soul Fire family is fired up to join in community at the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference happening this weekend in Harlem, NY! Leah is honored to be moderating the keynote panel on Saturday morning and leading a workshop with dear friend and board member Jalal Sabur on Sunday. It gets even better, Climbing POETree is performing to close out the weekend. You don’t want to miss this! Register NOW

che and hannah.JPG

#SoulFireSelfie! Good thing I wiped the soil off my face! (Photo: Rowe the Dog)


Sentimental Abundance. Last, but not least, ABUNDANCE of gratitude! This is the last week of the season for the amazing Cheryl DeSanctis and yours truly, Hannah Slipakoff. We’ve had the incredible joy of working as Farm Managers in Training here at Soul Fire for the last seven months. As winter moves in, it’s time to grow our work beyond this healing land. We could spend all day reflecting, and sharing heartfelt words about the power of this project, but we’ll use the rest of our time to transplant onions for Spring 2017 harvest! When you cut them open and cry because of their freshness, we know you’ll be thinking of us! Reach out and stay connected- you mean a lot to us!


Love and Nourishment for the week ahead!!


RECIPE – Asian Greens Stir-Fry

You probably want to hold on to this recipe for next spring!



Recipe adapted from The Kitchn. (Photo: The Kitchn)


8 to 12 cups chinese cabbage and bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons dry sherry or Shao Hsing rice wine

1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable broth

2 teaspoons soy sauce

3 medium cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon minced jalapeño chiles, with seeds (optional)

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (optional)



1. Cut Up the Ingredients: It is very important that all the ingredients are cut as directed in the ingredient list. The most important key to making a good stir-fry is cutting each ingredient to a uniform size as specified above. Cut the vegetables and set them aside in a bowl. Cut the aromatics as directed and set them aside as well.

2. Make the Sauce: In a small bowl, combine the sherry (or rice wine), broth, and soy sauce.

3. Heat the Wok or pan: Turn on a stove burner, as high as it will go. Set a 14-inch wok over this high heat burner. To determine when the wok is hot enough, start flicking droplets of water from the small bowl into the pan after 30 seconds. As soon as a bead of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, the wok is heated and ready for stir-frying. Do not overheat the wok.

4. Pull Wok off the Heat and Add Oil: Pull the wok off the heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil.

5. Put the wok back on the heat. Add the garlic and chiles (if using), and stir them for 10 seconds or until fragrant.

6. Add the Vegetables: Push the garlic up the sides of the wok and add the greens. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the greens begin to wilt.

7. Add the Sauce: Pour the sauce mixture around and down the sides of the pan instead of directly into the center (to prevent cooling the pan and lowering the cooking temperature). Stir-fry and toss to coat the greens.Cover and Cook for 15 Seconds

8. Uncover and Stir-Fry: Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 to 60 seconds, or until the greens are bright

Additional Notes:

• Substituting Other Vegetables: Substitute up to 4 cups of chopped firm vegetables or 8 to 12 cups of another leafy green for the lettuce or baby bok choy in this recipe.