Newsletter #18 – October 26, 2012

Contents of Share

  • red russian kale (1 bunch) – Lots of greens this week because we still have a lot of food in the field and want to share as much as possible with you.  Store the greens in a plastic bag and they should keep for a while.
  • lacinato kale (1 bunch)
  • collard greens (1 bunch)
  • parsley (1 bunch)
  • butternut squash (1-2 whole squash)
  • sweet potatoes (2+ lbs) (courtesy of Roxbury Farm) – We had an insiders route to the epic sweet potato harvest at Roxbury.  Wait till you see these things!
  • brussel sprouts (~1 lb)
  • broccoli or cabbage
  • onions (2.5+ lbs)
  • dozen eggs or sprout mix (brown lentil, mung bean, zesty mustard mix)


  • This is the last week of the CSA.  If you volunteered 5 hours or more we will have an additional fall box for you next week.
  • Please look for an end-of-season survey shortly.  The info in these is a great help to help us shape the future of the CSA to meet your needs.
  • RETURN YOUR BOXES. We will be around to gather the boxes.  Not necessarily next Friday, but leave them where you usually do so we can get them during the week.
  • Whole pasture raised natural chickens are available here.
  • Remember that you are always welcome to visit socially and/or to volunteer. Give a call to schedule a time.  The house is cozy and the land is beautiful.
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website
  • Please also like us on Facebook.  There are larger picture albums there, and more being added each week.
  • I will be sporadically writing farm updates throughout the off season, and then starting up again regularly next spring.  Please let me know if you would like to be removed from the list.

Food Justice News

from Maria Whittaker

Food Sovereignty is the aspiration of billions of human beings to have the truly democratic, just, sustainable and supreme control over their food and agriculture and to have a natural and harmonious relationship with nature and each other. This doctrine or manifesto is often credited to the International Peasant’s Movement, La Via Campesina. My research, has shown however, that its origin, including use of the phrase, food sovereignty, lies in the indigenous communities of human society, including North American indigenous communities. (Interview with Robert Frio of Victoria Island, Canada at the La Via Campesina People’s Forum on Climate Change, Cancun Mexico, UN Climate Change Forum, December 2010. )

International Peasant’s Movement Seven Principles of Food Sovereignty
1.Food: A Basic Human Right.
Food is a basic human right guaranteed by all societies to their members regardless of ability to pay but as the necessary sustenance for life. Food is foremost a source of human life and energy, not a commodity to be traded for accumulating of wealth, profit and power.
2. Agrarian reform.
Agrarian reform guaranteeing all people, regardless of nationality, gender, race, ethnicity, religion and class access to land, credit, training, information, and technology and a life with dignity.
3.Fair Trade.
Societies must recognize food first as a necessity for life rather than an item of wealth through trade for some. Societies must prioritize food production for domestic consumptions as a source of life over a good to be traded for money. Food imports must not displace local production nor depress prices.
4.End Corporate Domination.
End corporate domination of our food and agriculture from what we eat to what we grow and to how we grow it.
5. Social Justice and Peace.
Food and agriculture must not be used as a weapon or tool for exploitation and oppression of the people.
6. Democratic control.
Peasants, small farmers and all of us must have truly democratic power over our own societies’ food and agriculture.
7. In Harmony with Nature.
Food sovereignty envisions an ecological agriculture in harmony with nature which cherishes and sustains our earth and ecosystems. Genetic material in seeds and livestock breeds are used wisely and with respect for the generations of indigenous peoples who developed them. We farm and eat in harmony with the earth and its ecosystems, preserving its resources, land, water, seeds and livestock breeds, and soil.

RecipeGrilled Sweet Potato Wedges

There are so many ways to use sweet potatoes.  Im sure you all could teach me a bunch.  Here is one quick way to prepare them that I thought would be good.


  • 2-3 sweet potatoes, cooked through, cut into wedges
  • Canola, safflower or other high heat oil, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon Bobby Flay Poultry Rub
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Brush the potato wedges with oil and season with rub, salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, until nicely marked.  Whisk the syrup with the mustard. Brush the potatoes with the glaze and turn a few times to caramelize. Yields 8-10 servings.

Farm News

This is the last week of the regular CSA, which also mean it is the last weekly newsletter.  I have found great joy writing about our happenings here each week.  Many of you have offered words of praise and encouragement about my ramblings.  It is a time I look forward to at the end of the week, after the harvest is in, after the shares are packed, I sit in a reflective space to share offerings of what we do here.  At one point, writing was a chore Leah and I would divy out, and scramble together to try to send off something about the week.  Now it is a sacred time I set apart from others.  A sort of dynamic mindful meditation.  I still always start with, “There’s nothing to write about this week.  What did we do?” trying to remember what happened the past week.  Inevitably that question leads to paragraph after paragraph, and the multitude of stories that compose our lives at Soul Fire.  So blessed with abundance.

You all are a huge piece of that abundance.  I have heard a lot of gratitude coming our way for the food we grow and the work we do.  But really, you all are the ones to thank.  Thank you for supporting this work of ours that is so passionately driven from our hearts.  Thank you for your dedication and connection to local agriculture and our farm.  And thank you for allowing us to give so abundantly.  We are so fortunate to be able to steward this land, and further share it with you.  To give is such a great blessing.

Appropriately, this week has been a welcomed slow one.  But not before last weekend.  Saturday morning we slaughtered the final chickens for the season.  We had a small but quick-to-learn group, including my Mom, Liz Vitale, who picked up chicken processing very quickly.  Go Mom!  Mark Russo, our very first intern, returned to join us for the day, and our current helper Tia and her sister Laura.  The morning was clear, cool and a calm silence permeated our work.  Amazing how silence has such a presence.

We were cleaned up and eating lunch by noon before heading to Story Harvest celebration in Troy.  A masterfully organized event with a parade down the streets of north Troy, giant puppets from Bread and Puppet, Korean drummers, and food. Oh food under the leadership of Ellie Marcovitch!  For those of you that have been to the Sanctuary for Independent Media, you know what the space looks like.  Now picture that space filled to the brim with rows of tables, all packed with people, and a kitchen filled with a community potluck.  And to celebrate the victories of the year; where alternative media, food and community come together.

We were also delighted to see Soul Fire Farm on the big screen for the first time.  The Sanctuary’s Youth Media program shared the final edit of their visit here earlier in the season.  View it here, and then picture it on a 40 foot screen.  Very cool!

Sunday we hosted a canning workshop with community elder, Mother Isola, originally from Mississippi now living in Glens Falls.  In all her grace and talent, Isola shared a lifetime of knowledge and skills with us as we canned whatever we could get our hands on.  Hour after hour we stocked the woodstove and processed, stuffed and canned tomatoes, beets and apples.  Isola also shared stories with us about her life growing up.  “The only things we bought at the store were flour, shortening and sugar.  Everything else we put away.”  Isola brought one cookbook with her that looked weathered from a rich life full of stories.  Missing its cover, strewn with book marks and notes, its owner’s comb shoved between the pages.  The words on those pages only tell one part of what it has seen.  The title read, “The Settlment Cookbook.  The Way to a Man’s Heart”.  I guess times change, but food is always there.

Have a wonderful and blessed Fall and Winter.  Look for the occasional updates from Soul Fire and please feel free to come visit any time.  The house is always warm.

May the abundance that is fill your life!