Newsletter #8 – August 7, 2013

  CER_9388-8resizeContents of Share

  • green string beans (1/2+ pound)
  • yellow string beans (3/4+ pound)
  • cucumbers and/or Japanese cucumbers (3-5)
  • collard greens (1bunch)
  • beets (1 bunch)
  • celery (1-2 heads)
  • carrots (1 bunch)
  • lettuce (2-3 heads)
  • salad mix (1/2 pound)
  • dill heads (1 bunch)
  • Thai or lemon basil (1 bunch)
  • scallions or leeks (1 bunch)
  • dozen eggs or sprouts (green lentil/mung bean or french lentil/zesty mustard mix)


  • Please RETURN YOUR BOXES, JARS, BAGS and clean egg cartons.  You can leave them 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.  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.
  • Pasture raised poultry for mid summer and fall is available for pre-sale here.
  • Remember that you are always welcome to visit socially and/or to volunteer. Give a call to schedule a time.
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website, along with lots more, including educational resources and recipes.

Food Justice News

Part of our “The Media Does Not Control My Mind” curriculum has been discussing how the media uses tactics to sell foods tat are detremental to the ealth of individuals, ultimately resulting in the epidemic of health issues facing low income, blakc and latino communities.  Part of our discussions is about how these tactics take over, or colonize the minds of people, young and old.  We use this video to talk about how the media has colonized the minds of these young people and community who made this video, which glorifies processed, unhealthy, empty foods.

Fortunately, there are group responses to this video, including this video that just came out.  While we dont have big money, or corporate power on our side, the power of creativity, grassroots commmunity efforts, and our belief in each other are our greatest tools of change.  So we hope each young person that comes here understands their place and inherent value in this system that has taught them otherwise, and to be that agent of change.

More of our curriculum can be found on our website here, and is constantly being updated and added to.


Recipe – Carrot MuffinsCER_9851-2resize


  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Grease and flour 12 muffin cups. Heat oven to 375°.In a mixing bowl, beat the oil with eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract.Combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients; stirring until blended. Fold in the shredded carrots.Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or granulated sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes.

Farm News

This time of the season comes around like a welcomed deep breath after diving into cold water.  As if a gift to farmers.  The fields are filled with food and plants hanging heavy with fruits, shading the ground below.  The weeds slow down their seemingly urgent march to the sky.  More bounty comes in to harvest each day.  It is not uncommon to grab a sweet cherry tomato or red raspberry while walking from one job to the next for a nurturing energy boost.  It is also the time of year Leah is on the farm for that other kind of energy boost.  Just enough change up of energy and spirit to further invigorate the work crew.

This time of year also is when our youth programming is in full swing.  On Monday we hosted the Produce Project from Troy.  We love our growing and deepening relationship with the Produce Project, including the staff and some of the young people that have now been to Soul Fire multiple times over the past few years.  It is a mutual opportunity for sharing and critical reflection, and to get some solid work done, like harvest all the potatoes in one and half hours.  With a knowledgeable group like them, the farm tour gets into more details about systems, refinement, and discussions about the implications of our farming practices.  It is also an opportunity for us to get into some more involved curriculum.  As affirmation of our strengethening ties, Neshima and Emet joined the youth for a frolic at Grafton Lakes State Park just down the road.  When we went to pick them up, we found them as part of the group, integrated with the teens.

Our expanding youth programming this year also means many new groups are joining us for our programming.  We hosted a group of young people from Parsons in Albany for the first time.  The group was delightful.  Engauging in our introduction games, tour, and eventually pairing off with a farm crew member to weed some of the vegetable beds.  Harvesting together, cooking toegether, and finally, we shared our “The Media Does not Control My Mind” curriculum with them.  This starts with watching several television commercials for fast food and other unhealthy foods, deconstructing the sales tactics being used to sell the product, discussion, and everyone’s favorite part, making our own commercials.  We had a basketball game gone awry, an incident with a brownie, and one group breaking out into song to the tune of .  So good.  At our closing appreciation cirlce, several youth shared that they thought this trip was going to be boring and waste of time, but rather, shared that they loved it and didnt want to leave.  Loving the food.  Loving having fun.  And loving feeling comfortable and being treated with respect.

Our youth programming pauses next week because, our family is going away on a much needed vacation.  Did I mention it’s a great time of year?  We can actually leave for a week.  this means that the farm will be under management by Capers, Alicia and Sade.  You can expect some surprises in next week’s newsletter, and maybe even shares.  And I almost forgot.  Next week is Sade’s last.  That means this is my last chance to write about her before she leaves.  I should say that each time someone leaves Soul Fire, they get to choose what meal they weant and what dessert.  Naturally, Sade chose Texas style chili and ice cream.  I think our mostly vegetarian diet here has left her wishing for piles of meat.  I gathered this from context clues, that every time Sade went away, she her highlights from being away were without fail about the restaurants she went to, and how delicious the burgers were, or how many packs of M&Ms she got.  This is a woman passionate about her food, and not shy of her vices.  Sade has been a lighthearted delight to have on the farm, bringing her perpetually positive attitude, solid quiet presence, and always, innate comic relief.  Sade returns to College Park, MD for her last semester of college as well as rejoining her growing family with her new baby brother.  We wish Sade the heartiest of hugs (and meals) and aundant blessings for her next steps.  Thank you for all that you brought here. We will miss you!