Getting to know each other by food, becoming best friends with Nature
For long-time subscribers, opening this week’s bag of produce will be like greeting old, familiar friends. For those new to our farm, the bag may be filled with strangers. It can take as long to build a relationship with varieties of food as it does to make friends. It takes effort, energy, time, patience, commitment. We have to plan more, budget, dig deep, think. We have to be imaginative, creative. Yet that’s what makes relationships fun, enjoyable, long-lasting, healthy. Health is what this realtionship – all realtionships, really – are about. Our Earth groans from the strains of the foreign world we humans have created. For too long, we’ve allowed economies and politics to move us all into an atmosphere and life style where intimate relationships with people, with food, with all of life are optional, anonymous. Community Supported Agriculture brings us back home together to many things in common, to relationship-building. We relate to the communities of healthy soil, seeds, plants, birds, animals. We farm together. We introduce others to our farm through the Scotch Hill events, newsletters, website, communication with farmers Dela, Tony and family and our subscribers. Our success this season will be measured by how much time we spend getting to know our food – in the kitchen, at the table, in the garden and field. We can’t do this alone. We have to try each other’s recipes. We have to learn new names. We have to develop and master new survival skills for busy (and often unhealthful) lives. We bring the bag home each week. We look over the week’s schedule with the vegetables. We plan meals. We work the vegetables into each meal until they’re gone, or we put them up, preserve them, for winter. The Asparagus to Zucchini CSA cookbook is a great resource. We can still get it to you at delivery points at a 25 percent discount off the retail price ($15). Be sure to read the new approach to eating seasonally. We’ve set cooking demonstrations, canning and food preserving sessions, with our vegetable varieties in the calendar of farm events this year. You can “like us” on Facebook for pictures, updates and interaction with other farm members throughout the season. Along the way, we’ll all become better friends, best friends with Mother Earth, Mother Nature, this wonderful living world.
Brown Paper Grocery Bags – Packaging your vegetables in waxed cardboard boxes each week would cost our farm $9,000. It would probably inflate the cost of each person’s share by $50 or $60. When you bring us your recycled brown paper grocery bags, it saves us both that expense. Some bags have come back and forth to our farm for 7 or 8 years. Think of all the trees that has saved! Please bring your bags to your delivery point each week. Be gentle to those bags. Flatten them out, but do not fold them up. They last longer; it helps them stand open, 50 and 100 at a time on packing shed tables, as we fill them with vegetables each week. Some folks use canvas bags, but even they can forget them at home. We need 100s of double-bags on hand each week. Please bring them to us.
On the farm – Our interns Peter, Lindsay and Katie have gotten to know a lot about farming and growing food in their first few weeks here. You can find out what they’re discovering at the first farm work Saturday, June 16. Potluck, BYOB and one of us will do simple food cooking demos with early-season veggies. Some vegetables have insisted on early harvest. We’ve already lost most Chinese Cabbage to early heat. Spinach, cress, leeks, scapes and Asian greens must be harvested now. Most early crops are 2 weeks or more ahead of schedule; so are the insects and weeds. It’s keeping us on our toes!
This Week’s Vegetables are:
- Chinese Cabbage
- Lettuce Mix
- Salad Selects (Mizoma greens)
- Freckled Romain, (a speckled variety)
- Garlic Scapes (an early cutting from the plant that helps the bulbs get bigger; use as you do cloves)
- Bok Choi
Cooking Tips for the Week
From 2012 Farm Intern Lindsey: Heat sesame or olive oil in wok or frying pan. Add chopped garlic scapes. Cook on medium heat, just long enough to release aromas of fresh garlic into the oil. Remove scapes. Set aside. Thinly slice turnips and radishes. Saute for a few minutes. Add roughly chopped leeks and bok choi. Cook for a few more minutes. Add roughly chopped cress and re-introduce the garlic scapes to the vegetable mix. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over rice.