Newsletter #17 – October 9, 2013

Contents of Share

  • tomato mix (2-3)Alicia helping cleanupcherry tomatoes or husk cherries (1 bag) – These may not look fantastic, but their flavor is still almost unbelievable
  • hot pepper mix – Thai hot/birdseye, cayenne or Jalapeno (1 bag)
  • broccoli or cauliflower (1-3 heads) or sugar snap peas (1 pound)
  • lacinato kale (1 bunch)
  • collard greens (1 bunch)
  • cilantro (1 bunch)
  • fall salad mix with arugula (5/8 pounds)
  • delicata or buttercup winter squash (1-3)
  • dozen eggs or sprouts

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Monday October 14, Fall Gathering for CSA shareholder and Soul Fire friends. Work morning and potluck.  8-1: work time.  1-3: Leah in deer costumepotluck lunch.  This is a day schools have off, so we thought we take the opportunity to invite you and your families to the farm for a morning of helping out with a project, and an afternoon potluck.  Meet some of the other folks that our food goes to. We will send out an email shortly with more details.
  • RETURN YOUR BOXES.  You can leave all these items where you get your share and we will retrieve them each week.
  • 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 wash 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.
  • We are still looking for a delivery van for next season that will accommodate our continued expansion.  If you have any leads on something efficient, in decent shape, and affordable, please let us know!
  • 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.
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website, along with lots more, including educational resources and recipes.

Food Justice News

 
November 8-10 marks the fourth annual Black Farmer and Gardeners Conference in Brooklyn.  This conference has grown to be a powerful space for working on healing and dialogueing about the inequalities and injustices in our food system.  The conference was spearheaded by Karen Washington, founder of Black Urban Growers (BUGS), after attending a workshop Leah facilitated in the summer of 2009.  The workshop was a space for people of color to dialogue about creating a space for POC in the food system, and reclaiming their connection to land and agency in the food system in the face of health epidemics, teh decline of black farmers, and the malnourishment of low income communities.  So, needless to say, the conference is dear to our farm family.
The Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference is presented by BUGS, an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table.  In November of 2009, this alliance began organizing and hosting a series of community events with the purpose of starting a conversation around food:  Where does it come from?  Who is providing it?  Why don’t we see more black farmers at the farmers markets?  What is the relationship between our individual health and the health of our communities, and why does it matter?
Read more at their website and consider attending this year’s conference to bring inspiration back to our communities here.
Recipe – Roasted Winter Squash
 Fall

Ingredients

winter squash

salt

Cooking oil (safflower, canola)

honey or maple syrup, for drizzling (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash the squash as you will not remove this.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Slice the stem off of the top of the squash and remove the bottom. Slice into rounds. Remove the seeds.
  4. Place on an oiled baking sheet.
  5. Liberally drizzle with oil and season with salt. If desired, sprinkle with the herbs and drizzle with the honey or syrup. Use your hands to coat the squash in oil and salt.
  6. Roast for 40-50 minutes until its very soft and beginning to brown on top.
  7. Serve with skin.  It will be tender enough to eat, or cut away as desired.
Farm News
The storm blew threw with drenching rains and winds that made raincoats seem pointless.  We were soaked with this warm late summer offering.  And as the winds died down, and the rain tapered, the skies gave way to clear starry night.  Morning revealed fall.  So different from the morning before.  Barren trees that could no longer hold on to their leaves, welcoming the chance for rest after a season beholden to the sunlight.  The coolness in the air was familiar, yet different from before.  Deeper, more permanent.  The low sun in the sky.  On the tail of the storm our dear friend and apprentice Alicia departed.  Closing out four spectacular months on the farm.  Four months when our crew got into a groove that produced more food than we have even seen on this farm, worked on countless projects, prepped much of the farm for next season’s plantings, and all with a spirit of celebration, appreciation and abundance.  Our crew this summer has been fantastic.  No matter who is working with who, you can hear laughter from the fields, or look over to see people intent in conversation.  Alicia was here from the beginning of July and quickly took on leadership roles, ownership of the projects here, and became everyone’s friend.  She worked diligently with intention.  Her quiet demeanor should never be mistaken for a lack the boldness of her spirit and grandness of her heart.  Alicia was inquisitive and dedicated to learning everything she could possibly soak up, be involved in conversations and decision making.  But more than anything, Alicia loved  everyone around her.  And this defined our crew this summer season.  All who joined our crew for a day or a week were infected by this 
grandiosity of vision and love. 

Junsan

 
Change is imminent in all of our lives.  For us at the farm, we spend nearly everyday outside, through much of the year.  Small changes in weather, sunlight, clouds patters, what the forest animals are telling us, all of it defines our spirits and our bodies.  By the time winter comes, we have gone through a natural acclimatization over months of change.  As we slowly peeled off layers of clothing as spring turned to summer, we bulk up our coverings as summer turns to fall turns to winter.  Physiologically and spiritually we are ready for what the seasons have to offer, allowing our bodies to adapt.
 
We are harvesting the final food from the fields over the next few weeks.  In fact, probably close to half of the farm is prepped for the winter and early spring planting.  The CSA has two weeks after this one.  Three for those of you who have pitched in at the farm this season.  The late fall/winter greens harvest will start early November.  And hopefully shitake mushrooms as well.

Dennis Banks gets shelter

 
This past weekend in the enveloping mountain misty rain, we joined close to 300 people from all over the world for the 20th Anniversary for the Grafton Peace Pagoda.  The night before we hosted Tom and Joan Vanacore and their family from Vermont, as well as GaNna and his daughter from Mongolia, via Washington DC.  GaNna is a treasure to this world, playing a central role in preserving traditional Mongolian culture.  He is a costume and mask maker who organizes a 108 dancer show of traditional dance.  He said ti took him 10 years to make all the costumes.  GaNna is now embarking on building a Peace Pagoda in Mongolia.  And of course, as the wonder of our lives has it, Leah ended up dancing with GaNa and his daughter for the ceremony, wearing a multilayered brillantly adorned costume and giant mask to embody a dee   r spirit.  Upon getting off the stage, she stated, “Never know what you’re gonna do when you wake up n the morning.”  

 

 
This two and a half hour ceremony felt so timeless.  Leah and I also offered prayers of peace from the Jewish tradition to accompany traditional Buddhist prayers, Muslin and Christian prayers.  Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, spoke through his stories, ones that my Western mind did recognize as profound lessons until I stopped looking for the thesis statement, introduction and conclusion of his talk.  You would never imagine that these Japanese monks and native people of this land came from such different backgrounds and place, thousands of miles and thousands of years separated.  Yet their closeness and unity seemed seamless.  Elder Buddhist monks holding umbrellas over Dennis Banks as he spoke stories of how intertwined their liberation struggles are.  The ceremony was followed by a feast beyond measure with flavors as diverse as the people eating it.  Junsan called the weather of the day mist-erious.  I would have to agree with her, as we were all held by the mystery and profoundness of the moment of being together, and the sacredness of this place.

Mongolian Dance