Newsletter # 16 – October 1, 2014

Contents of ShareP1020790resize

  • tomatoes (4-5 red, 1 yellow)
  • tomatillos (1 bag)
  • hot peppers (1 cayenne, 3 jalapeno)
  • bell peppers (2 fruits)
  • scallions (1 bunch)
  • cilantro (1 bunch)
  • rainbow carrots (1 bunch)
  • Red Russian kale (1 bunch)
  • braising greens (1 bunch)
  • lettuce (2-3 heads)
  • turnips or parsnips (1 bunch)
  • garlic (2 heads)
  • brussel sprouts (2/3 pound)
  • cucumber (1 fruit)
  • optional: dozen eggs and/or sprouts

  • Soul Fire handcrafted calendula-comfrey salve made with olive oil, beeswax and our own naturally grown herbs. Ample 4 ounce jars for only $9 (50% of retail). Show some love to your skin as autumn air advances. Free delivery with your CSA share on October 22 and 29. Order ahead. Limited availability.
  • We have pullet laying hen chickens for sale if you want to start your own flock or add to an existing one.  20 week old laying hens will come into production in a few weeks.  $14 per bird.  $13 if you buy them all.  Let me know if you are interested or forward this to anyone who is.  We will also be retiring our current laying hens 18 months old, and offering them the first week in Novemeber at $5 per bird.
  • Please read about our plans for Sabbatical next year in Newsletter #13, as we take the time to do some powerful reflection and development our organization, infrastructure and international networks of solidarity with farmers.
  • COMMUNITY WORKDAY/SKILLSHARES.  Last one of the season.  October 25 – garlic planting, firewood, building stone retaining wall, prepping high tunnel for spring planting.
  • Please RETURN YOUR BOXES.  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.
  • WASHING 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.
  • If you are a shareholder, you have the option of volunteering 5 hours over the course of the season in exchange for an additional week of food in the fall.  Be in touch to schedule your work with us, or come to a workday.
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website, along with lots more, including educational resources and more recipes.  Thanks!

–  Jalapeño Garlic SauceP1020785resize

Wondering what to do with all those hot peppers or jalapeños?  Try this...

Makes four 4 ounce jars
  1. Vegetable oil, for brushing
  2. 20 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  3. 12 medium jalapeños
  4. 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  6. 2 cups chopped cilantro leaves
  7. Pinch of sugar
  8. Salt


  1. Brush two 9- or 10-inch cast-iron skillets with oil. Add half of the garlic and jalapeños to each. Cover and cook over low heat, turning the jalapeños occasionally, until they are blistered all over and the garlic is softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Peel the jalapeños and discard the stems, seeds and cores. Peel the garlic cloves.
  2. Transfer the jalapeños and garlic to a blender and add the olive oil, lime juice and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Scrape the sauce into a bowl, stir in the sugar and season with salt. Transfer the sauce to jars and refrigerate.
Food justice News
P1020797reiszeThis new book was just passed on to us, and we are excited to spread the word and collaborate with these women from Other Worlds.
We know you care about what you eat, how it was produced, and who was harmed or who benefited in the process. Everywhere, people like you are reclaiming the food system from multinational agribusiness and putting it back in the hands of small farmers, low-income famlies, farmworkers, guardians of Native culture, and health-conscious communities. Read about these efforts in Other Worlds’ new 140-page book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Systems in the Americas. The result of five years of research and interviews from throughout the hemisphere, the book describes strategies to in food justice and food sovereignty. An appendix and popular education curriculum offer hundreds of concrete ways to learn more and get involved.
Farm News
Wait until you see the photos from this week.  The earth is painted brilliance.  One last hurrah before a deep exhale and resting for the winter.  We live in such a unique part of the world where there are four very distinct seasons.  And with them, we are in constant transition.  A reminder to hold intention and reflection to ourselves.  I am grateful to have a beautiful tradition passed on to me by thousands of years ancestors.  We celebrate the Jewish new year followed by an intentional time of introspection and reflection.  It could not come at a more appropriate time of year.  My whole life!  What more of a blessing could I ask for?  This Saturday, we will be fasting and praying with our Jewish community on the occasion of Yom Kippur.

On the farm, the weeds are slowed, farm is being cleaned up and prepped for rest.  Winter squash, sweet potatoes onions and garlic are curing for storage.  Potatoes are stored away.  Hoop house is full of our winter crop of kale.  Freezer is packed with berries and meat.  Cans of tomato sauce and sauerkraut.  Wood sheds are stacked to the brim.  Kids are back at school.  Quiet.  This is what we do as homesteaders.  Stretching the abundance of the season, in material and spirit, into the more silent times of year.

I have been busy cutting a timber frame for our new barn space.  We will be raising this in two parts sometime this month.  Ya know, old fashioned barn raising style?  Many of you have expressed interest in checking this out, so please stay connected if this is of interest to you.

Last weekend, Leah traveled to NYC to co-host and facilitate a fundraiser for Ayiti Ressurect.  The event was an incredible lineup of artists, speakers, and tasty bites, and raised a significant funding for this work to continue.  You hear us talking about how amazing this project is.  Started by Leah’s dear sister, Naima, the project is now in its fourth year, and is a project of both of their hearts.  What you don’t hear as much, is the profound manner through which this project has connected these sisters powerfully with their ancestors, their brilliant mother, and each other.  It is work that has become integrated into the folds of Soul Fire as well, creating an international community of solidarity with farmers.  What if all of us, all of our work, had this profound connection to these central pieces of who we are?  What would the world look like then.

     This Saturday is also the 21st anniversary celebration of the Grafton Peace Pagoda, our dear neighbors.  While we won’t be able to be in attendance, we encourage you to join this powerful ceremony with this space created in dedication to working in solidarity with indigenous people of this land, and creating sacred interfaith prayer space.  We are also lending pumpkins to decorate the shrine for the event.  So when you get your pumpkins in a few weeks, know that they have a little extra special with them.  Finally, I would like to share the strong connection we have with one another, so well expressed in a message from Christian Collins, a dedicated Peace Pagoda volunteer: “I’m understanding more and more the really vital work you guys are doing over at Soul Fire and ways it aligns so beautifully with Peace Pagoda work, regenerating and healing soils, real and spiritual.  Glad to be a part of this even just a little bit.”  YOU are part in infathomable ways.  Thank you for your work.P1020804resize