Week No. 11 – 2011 Season

Your subscription helps teach farming’s next generations

It’s a bittersweet week at Scotch Hill Farm. We say goodbye to Joy, who returns to Dordt College in Iowa to start her sophomore year. Since April, she’s been one of the greatest farm interns we can remember. You can imagine that this work hosting farm apprentices and interns at Scotch Hill more than 16 years has presented all sorts of interactions. Sometimes we've had 3 college students at the same time, sometimes only one. Sometimes people who've interned here were very social, sometimes very quiet. They've ranged in age from 18 to 50-something. The farm itself and our family with 5 children have changed radically over the years, too. We came here with a few garden tools, no active farming experience, no small business experience, no livestock, no farm equipment, no greenhouse, no idea where to begin. We had not even heard of Community Supported Agriculture. I had mostly a newspaper background. Dela had gotten a teaching degree and worked in vocational rehabilitation. To see all the infra-structure and stuff that have accumulated here, to see us working here every day in garden and field, however, can miss the essence of what we've discovered and accomplished in this place, what we hope others find here, too. We serve and protect seeds, soil, plants, animals, birds. It is joyful. It is challenging. It is sometimes tedious and repetitive. It is sometimes filled with wonder and awe. It cannot be done alone. It often requires teamwork, yet sometimes demands scattering to complete multiple tasks to meet schedules. It is a difficult business in a difficult time. It is so much more than a business, and rather the only hope for sustainability on Earth. It is our home and household. It is our wider community and rural neighborhood. A student housing cooperative from Beloit College will be coming here once a week to work for a subscription this fall. We hope to work up a new student share with the UW Madison Slow Food Chapter, which if successful will undoubtedly bring groups of them again this fall to our farm. Blackhawk Technical College has been sending us interns from an agri-business class for several semesters. Then, of course, there are all sorts of subscribers - from Chicago, Monroe, Madison, Milwaukee, Janesville and locally - who come here for food and to support the type of agriculture we practice. We enjoy working with everyone and conversing while we work. We try to impress upon all who help that what we're working with here is alive, fragile, important; that we've got about 160 households expecting the best quality we can possibly deliver; that our home and farm depend on contributions each person makes. This has worked especially well when we've shared the zeal, passion, love for "serving and protecting," tilling and keeping fertile soil. Ours is a 1930s farmhouse, a big frame building that has weathered a lot of storms, survived many ups and downs, warmed a lot of hearts, entertained many discussions. We've managed to provide each intern a private room; great food and opportunities to grow, cook, eat it; an experience with most every farm task, a lot to think about; a monetary stipend, our mutual respect and appreciation. This is part of what you support when you subscribe with our farm. Thanks for making it possible for Joy, for so many others, for us. 

Work and farm party this weekend– Dela and I’ll have lots of interesting work for those who come to help at this Saturday’s Wine, Weeds and Cheese Day on the Farm. From weeding carrot beds, to harvesting tomatoes, to making greenhouse and barn repairs for winter, there’s a lot to do. Email if you need directions. tony@scotchhillfarm.com 

Brown bag it – We still need brown paper grocery sacks sufficient to double bag your subscriptions. Please get them to us every week, if you can. It saves a lot on packing costs.

 This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Cabbage
  • Summer squash (3 varieties, two green and yellow)
  • Parsley
  • Assorted tomato varieties, including a yellow Garden Peach
  • Eggplant (if you get a green variety, it is called Raveena, and it is ripe)
  • Cucumbers
  • Chard
  • Ice box melon variety
  • Beans
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Peppers (one of the most nutrient dense foods available, with triple the Vitamin C of an orange, beta carotene, Vitamin K, folic acid, Vitamin B6) and protection from cancer

Cooking Tips for the Week

Roasted Eggplant (from Dela) Mix ½ cup fresh cilantro sprigs (chopped) OR parley, ¼ cup olive oil, 2 TB lemon juice, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, a pinch of cinnamon. Slice 1 large eggplant or 2 small ones and brush with the herb mixture. Broil the eggplant 5 to 6 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Decrease heat. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F after broiling is completed. Salt and pepper to taste.