Newsletter #19 – October 23, 2013

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Contents of Share – Final Week!

  • easter egg radishes (1 bunch)
  • daikon radish (1-2)
  • spinach (.5 pounds)
  • lettuce (1-3 heads)
  • arugula (1 bunch)
  • tatsoi or pac choi (1-2 heads)
  • beets, carrots, or sweet potatoes
  • green onions (1 bunch)
  • cilantro (1 bunch)
  • butternut winter squash (1-2)
  • garlic (2-4 heads)
  • dozen eggs or sprouts

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Soul Fire Fall/Winter Offerings – This is NOT a CSA.  Eggs, sprouts, salad greens, spinach, kale, collards, chard and maybe even shiitake mushrooms, carrots, scallions, and radishes.  Sign up here for your regular delivery of food from Soul Fire starting in November and running through March.  First come, first serve basis.  Some items are limited.
  • RETURN YOUR BOXES.  We will be around next week at delivery time to pick up your boxes, so leave the in the same place as normal.  Thank you so much for being so good about this.  It is an immense help to keeping things running smoothly here.
  • October 30 is extra share week – For those of you who pitched in at the farm this season, next week, October 30, is your extra fall share.  We have so much good stuff to share with you in gratitude for your help.  It will be delivered to the same location at approximately the same time.  We will most likely use bags. 
  • Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference, November 8-10.  For more info and registration.
  • 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.
Recipe – Daikon Radish pickles (You have practically all the ingredients in your share this week!)
 
You have probably been wondering what to do with those daikon radishes.  You may even have them still sitting in your fridge from the past few weeks.  Not to worry.  They are wonderful as a preserve, making them into a pickle.  You can make a quick pickle by modifying any quick pickle recipe, or you can try this more traditional Korean fermented pickle.  You can also lightly sautee them for a stir fry or roast them in the oven.
 

Ggakdugi Kimchi (Korean Pickled Daikon Radish)

Ingredients

For two 24-oz jars, you’ll need:

For brining: 1 large daikon, about 3 cups worth, cut into 1-inch chunks or strips

2 tbsp salt

For spicy seasoning:

1 2-inch knob of ginger, grated or minced finely

4 or more cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp fish sauce (optional)

2-4 chilies or 1 tbsp chili paste

2 tsp sugar

Scallions, or chives or whatever alliums you wish

For non-spicy seasoning:

2 tblsp sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

Directions

Cut daikon into 1-inch chunks or thin strips. In a big bowl evenly mix 2 tbsp of salt over the daikon.

1) Fill up the bowl with water until the daikon is covered. Put a plate over the daikon and something heavy to weigh it down. I use my mortar. Leave overnight at room temperature.

2) The next day, drain the brined daikon into a colander and rinse. With your hands, squeeze out excess moisture.

3) Seasoning mixture for the spicy version. Take a knob of ginger and a few garlic cloves, and whole chilies if you’re using them, and mince it in the food processor. Dump it into a big bowl and add a few tsps or so of shrimp paste, a tbsp or more of Korean chili paste (the more the spicier), and 2 tsp sugar. Mix thoroughly and taste. Make adjustments if necessary. Add any scallions or greens, then the drained daikon. Use gloves if you don’t want your hands to get smelly.

4) Pack the kimchee into jars about 75% full. You don’t want to fill it to the brim as the kimchee will actually bubble as it ferments and may pop the top if it’s too full. But do pack the kimchee into the jar tightly so that it can ferment better.

5) For the non-spicy version Add 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 or 2 tbsp of sugar, depending on how sweet you want the pickles to be. Mix with the daikon thoroughly and pack into the jar.

6) Fill the jar with water. Screw the lid on tightly and in about a week, it’ll turn to pickles. Try eating some fresh if you like, or set the jars at room temperature for a few days to ferment, then refrigerate.  If you choose to ferment the kimchee, leave the lids loosely screwed on and place the jars in a dish.  The fermentation process will make the liquid bubble up out of the jar.  Seal after a few days and refrigerate.

 
Food Justice News
 
In anticipation of the upcoming Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference, Leah and I were featured on a panel of 8 amazing acitvists, growers, and organizers on WBAI, NY.  The link for the show is here.  The show was moderated by our friend and colleague, Jay Smith.  The panel consisted of Suzanne Babb, Beatriz Beckford, Dara Cooper, Ray Figueroa-Reyes, Eric Michael Rodriguez, Karen Washington, Dennis Derryk and Malik Yakini.  Look up any one of their names to check out the scope of this work and you will be profoundly inspired.  I know it was nothing short of a great honor to share sace with these people. To continue the conversations that are just touched on in this radio show, come to the conference November 8-10.
 
Also, world food day just passed, but events and ways to get involved continue.  http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/act for more info.
 
Farm News
 
Sunrise.  The time in between.  This glorious time of day that begs of reflection.  Before the sun crests over the mountains.  Bright enough to see that the first frost graced this land last night.  As the sun emerges from its resting place, the shadows grow long, leaving pockets of frost where the sun cannot reach.  As if a painter’s pallet working in black and white.  The time I am writing this.
The timing of this frost is so fitting, as today is the final regular distribution for the CSA.  This has been a monumental season for us.  More shares than ever before, with more food.  Close to 20 visits from youth programs, including starting our work with incarcerated youth, foster homes, and deepening relationships with several groups.  The beginning of our winter retailing.  High tunnel.  Chicken housing.  Barn renovation.  Expanded fields.  Long term apprentices.  Best dance party in the capital region.  Close to thirty newsletters.  Fantastic photos from Capers.  Albany Food justice Coalition.  But above all, a rich community that believes in the work of creating a just food system, and participating through anything form being a shareholder to organizing a community meal to working on the farm.  In the coming months I will write less frequently, but don’t let that fool you.  We will be hard at work planning for the coming season, expanding the reach of our work and food in food desert neighborhoods, harvesting from the winter beds, working in Haiti, presenting at the Black Farmer’s Conference, and maybe having some fun.
This transition time is the sunrise of the year.  A time for reflection.  We are so grateful to you, the shareholders, who receive our food with such gratitude that makes this work so nourishing.  I cannot think of a greater blessing than to share our harvest and hard work that we pour our hearts into.  We will be sending out a shareholder survey for you to offer feedback so we can continue to improve for future seasons.  We take this very seriously, so if you have the 5 minutes to share our feedback, it would be greatly appreciated.  As existing shareholders, you also get first dibs at next year’s CSA slots.  We will contact you in January to hold your space.
Please remember that you can sign up for the coming season of winter harvest.  This is not a CSA, but rather you get to choose what you want and how much.  Sign up now, and we will be in touch weekly with what it available for you to order.  Deliveries will start early to mid November depending on availability.
And finally, we leave you with not only what has been a fantastic season of harvest, but a smattering of some of the choice photos from Capers’ farm gallery.  Enjoy them.  I am only including a few here, so go to our website for more.
Have a blessed fall and winter.