Thinking beyond the growing, or buying to the greater good, season upon season
Our Allis Chalmers 1945 All Crop Harvester this week paddled across the last row of wheat we planted last September. It took several weeks to combine the full section of wheat. We squeezed grain harvesting into all the other work we do to keep growing vegetables. We hope to “clean” some wheat this year with a fanning mill our son Micah is helping restore. A baker in Milwaukee has been asking to buy organic wheat from us. Mostly, though, our wheat and oats feed sheep, chickens and dairy goats. The ancient machine we use to harvest small grains worked marvelously this year. Or maybe yours truly has finally learned a thing or two about using the old implement? It seemed odd to be combining wheat in weather that feels so cool, more like autumn than August. I felt that bittersweet sensation of finishing the task with anticipation and wishing the harvest would never end. Farming is so like aging. We “put another season’s promise in the ground,” feeling giddy with expectations of youthful spring. We grow through all the challenges, “tilling and keeping” serving and protecting into maturity. We fall into comfortable routines, only to discover there is eventually (and a lot sooner than expected) an approaching end to all good seasons. Our withered snow pea rows now choked with weeds began dismantling this week, too. I reached for a row marker that I uncovered with the push mower. “April 20” read the planting date, and I thought about how cold and rainy it was on the day I put those seeds in the ground. How long ago it seems now in August. A wooden sign Dela first painted 20 years ago, and which a subscriber re-painted 10 years later, got a third makeover this week. We even had to replace the wood this time, so weathered had the original become. We gave a young teen worker the task of sprucing up the over-grown flowerbed around this sign. Another part-time worker got extra hours this week, helping take down fence-line weeds as tall as our biggest tractor. What workshop attendees who come to Scotch Hill Farm this Sunday will be looking for, however, are not appearances. The sessions Dela will lead for the Women in Sustainable Agriculture programs of www.mosesorganic.org blend observations and experiences on 19 years of Community Supported Agriculture. And Dela’s contributions to CSA were noted in a feature story this past week in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Your weekly food purchase from our farm helps make all of this possible. The giving, in the getting, goes far beyond our appetites and lives, season into season. Volunteer helpers still needed – If you have time to help us get ready for the CSA workshop on Sunday, we’d love to have your help, especially Saturday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. We said good-bye to one of our paid part-time summer helpers this week, as she heads off to college for the first time. As we trend toward the latter part of each growing season, volunteer help becomes all the more appreciated. Please consider a visit and lending a hand if you can. There is much canning and soap-making to do now, too. Learn by helping Dela in our shed kitchen.
This Week’s Vegetables include:
- Sweet corn (6 ears)
- Cucumbers H-19
- Tomatoes (3 lbs.)
- Peppers (some hot, some not)
- Garden Extra every delivery point gets something different (broccoli, OR okra, OR beans)
- Bright Lights Chard
- Boxed Juliet and Sun Gold salad tomatoes
- Eggplant OR summer squash
- Shuyho Long OR White Cucumbers
Cooking Tips for the Week
Adapted from .The Vegetarian Student Cookbook: Great Grub for the Hungry and the Broke, 2010 – Chile Pasta Bake: Fettuccine and tagliatelle take very little time to cook, which makes them the perfect ingredient for a quick evening meal. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Drop in 8 oz dried fettuccine or tagliatelle and cook according to the package instructions. Heat a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat; add 2 summer squash chopped, 2 leeks OR onions chopped; 2 garlic cloves crushed and dry fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 or 2 red chiles OR hot peppers, seeded and finely chopped, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley (if available), 2 ½ cups passata (strained tomatoes) and 3 tablespoons sour cream. Drain the pasta and add to the chile sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately.