Love Notes #6 – July 20, 2016

Soul Fire Farm Love Notes 6 – July 20, 2016

Jonah Vitale-Wolff


(1) Contents of Share

(2) Announcements

(3) Farm and Food Justice News

(4) Recipe




  1. Green string beans (1+ pound)
  2. Lacinato/Dino kale (1 bunch)
  3. Collard greens (1 bunch)
  4. Green cabbage (1 medium head)
  5. Carrots (1 bunch)
  6. Purple top turnips (1 bunch)
  7. Salad mix (~½ pound)
  8. Italian or Thai basil or Dill (1 bunch)
  9. Garlic scapes (1 bunch)
  10. Optional – lentil and zesty sprout mix (1 bag)




PASTURE-RAISED CHICKEN. We have a few chickens left from our first batch if you are interested in ordering. We are also processing another batch of birds on July 27 (next week) and August 17. They can be picked up on the farm or delivered on our normal Wednesday delivery route. You can pay using EBT/SNAP.  $4.25 per pound. Birds dress out at 4-6 pounds. Signup HERE


COMMUNITY DAYS. 8-1 Work and learn together. 1-2:30 Potluck lunch. September 24, October 22, and November 12.  RSVP here.


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.




Reflections on Uprooting Racism Farmers Immersion (URFI)


Part of the work to end racism and white supremacy in the food system is to leverage points of existing power.  This means figuring out how to work with folks with white privilege and positional power.  These are some very Initial thoughts and reflections on the Uprooting Racism Farmers Immersion (URFI).  We look forward to sharing more as our reflection process unfolds from this profoundly rich and complicated experience.


URFI brought together a powerful team of 9 facilitators and 16 other learners from across the region for a popular/democratic education, action and healing experience that we hope to push forward the work to end racism in the food system and beyond.  In envisioning this program, some of us were inspired by Stokely Carmichael’s call for white people to start freedom schools for white people.  We also came together with the understanding that obligation and righteousness alone are not enough for this work to be successful in the long run.


Our team recognized how much excellent anti-organizing and trainings there are across the country and did not feel the need to recreate another theory-based workshop.  Rather we asked ourselves: What would it look like to get out of the eurocentric intellectual mindset of anti-racist organizing and live, breath and make this part of our bodies?

The week took several simultaneous tracks.  First, was anti-racist theory and practice.  Our dynamic facilitation team guided the group through the history of white supremacy construct, white supremacy culture as it manifests in current day, to name a few, all building on previous theory and knowledge and experiences of the group.  The latter half of the week moved from theory to organizing and practice, with the essential question: How do we integrate this knowledge into our professional and personal lives?  The week culminated with creating concrete action plans, next steps, and accountability partners, or “critical friends”.  By the end of the week, there was little space on the barn walls for any more poster paper, sticky notes, commentary, lists, drawings, or anything written to contribute to this goal.


A second track was working with the land as a practice of collective work, honoring those people of color who have endlessly contributed to our current agricultural systems, yet been erased from the story of farming as society narrates it, and honoring the earth as source of all we love and do.  We worked the land together, sometimes in silence, to plant, harvest, weed, prepare beds for transplanting, and then taught the skills to one another.  We learned about listening to the land without imposing our names on it, learned about soils, plant allies, and keeping seeds along with their stories.


A third track was the personal work of the people at the immersion.  Creating caucus space for people with inherited white privilege meant we were able to share candidly in our questions, doubts, and vulnerability.  This took the form of theater work, communicating without language, journaling, and paired listening.  We also took this as an opportunity to task the group with taking a break from “taking” for the week – from cultural appropriation.  What would it look like to not eat food from other cultures without offering gratitude and acknowledgement?  What would it look like to pause, just for this week, from taking from other spiritual practices, music, instruments, language?  It became apparent how much we blindly take in our white culture.  We found how difficult this actually was.  As the week progressed and we sat in our uncomfortable silence, people’s own cultures began to come to to light in the form of work songs and borsch, an Eastern European beet and vegetable soup.  The week culminated with Jonah offering a spiritual bath from the Jewish tradition known as a mikveh.


We offer huge gratitude to all those who facilitated, participated, inspired and supported this work from near and far.  This work is so much bigger than any of us that began a long time ago, and will continue long after many of us are gone.  We can only contribute what we can to healing this world while we are here.  Inside out, and outside in.


Also on the Farm


Sunday was our community workday.  A group of 25 people gathered from as far as Brooklyn, Boston and western Mass, as well as local families.  Every month is a beautifully different crew that reflects the vast community we are part of.  We did some long overdue weeding of grapes, hardy kiwis and elderberries, as well as harvesting beans and raspberries.


Leah and Emet hosted a dynamic group from SUNY Albany’s STEP summer program.  The group of close to 50 students (broken into two groups) built new herb and flower beds in front of the house before creating their own theater and musical advertisements for healthy food as alternatives to mainstream media’s un-healthy food commercials.


We look forward to harvesting our garlic later this week with a group from Kite’s Nest in Hudson and are eagerly awaiting and anticipating what we hope to be our earliest tomatoes ever so we can share them with YOU!.


(4) RECIPE – Cabbage Salad with SPicy Peanut Dressing




  • 3 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. hot water
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 Tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, quartered, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions or scallions, chopped (about ½ cup)
  • Chopped green cabbage (3-4 cups)
  • Shredded carrot (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted peanuts


Instructions  Prep Time: 10 min


  1. In a large bowl, add peanut butter, vinegar, hot water, honey, salt, and pepper. Finely chop the jalapeno, seeding it for a less spicy salad. Add jalapeno into the bowl. Use a whisk or fork to combine until dressing is smooth.
  2. Quarter the bell pepper, removing and discarding the seeds. Thinly slice the bell pepper and chop the scallions. Add both into the bowl, along with the cabbage and carrots.
  3. Fully combine the vegetables with the dressing. Chop peanuts and sprinkle over the salad. Let sit a few minutes for flavors to absorb. Serve.