Week No. 12 – 2011 Season

Children help remind and teach what community is all about

I saw our five children’s faces Monday. I saw that wonder, fascination, intense interest, earnest questioning. I heard their voices – youthful, energetic, curious at the start of the day, then tired, yet satisfied as the day wore on. They weren’t actually our children. Yet they, with their terrific parents from Park Ridge, revived all that magic I used to feel working along side our children when they were little. We were all discovering together what’s really important in life. Dela was our guide. Nature presented the lesson plans. Garden, farm and field were the classroom. There were others here feeding that magical spirit this past weekend. Joy’s parents drove here 9 hours from Minnesota and pitched in for a full day before taking her back home and on to college. Central Wisconsin’s most fabulous worker share Courtney from Madison brought her younger brother. Halena, also taking advanced studies and researching at UW Madison, came a remarkable, fantastic third time to help out. John and Colleen, second-year subscribers from Berwyn, brought along another interested and amazing couple. Katie and Lindsey, third-year subscribers from Andersonville, worked two days and camped out a night in a garden path. Sarah came to work along side Joy one last time. Dorian, who started out here as a worker share before working here several years part time, and dear neighbor and part-time worker Ciel pitched in a day for free. We harvested tomatoes, melons, eggplant, beans, peppers. We weeded carrot beds that had gotten out of control. We re-stretched the plastic on our 2010 high tunnel, and we continued slow repairs to the storm damaged 2008 high tunnel. Attempts were even made to repair our old bucket tractor. The sheep and goats got tons of extra weeds extracted from the garden. Dogs and cats got petted, carried around and worn out from Frisbee-throwing and abundant loving. And a whole lot of eating, conversing, laughing, even a little crying at Joy’s parting, took place. We felt the things in common, the community, in what we do. We got the support that keeps us from feeling overwhelmed at having always too much to do to feed so many others and ourselves. And the “culture” – searching, finding, listening, teaching, discovering, together like innocent children – that our nation needs to survive in a resource-dwindling world, was revived in food and farming. 

Work and farm party ANY weekend– Dela and I always have lots of interesting work for those who come to help. Almost any Saturday and many weekdays in these final 2 months of the regular season can be potluck visit, work party, or Wine, Weeds and Cheese events on the farm. Canning, soap-making, weeding, harvesting, making greenhouse and barn repairs all continue before winter. Introduce your loved ones and friends to our farm. Even one experience touching the plants and feeling the soil, seeing exactly what provides a source of secure, healthful food, might turn a soul toward sustainability and true nourishment. Email if you need directions. tony@scotchhillfarm.com 

Talk on Food and Faith this Saturday – Third-year subscriber and chef Matthew Petersen has given me the honor of speaking to a group he’s had meeting through the summer at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Addison near Wrigley Field in Chicago this Saturday, Aug. 27 He’s organizing a potluck for the session, which runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. If you’d like to take part in this session, maybe even introduce a friend, co-worker, neighbor or relative to your CSA and farm on this day, email matthew@ejpetersen.com For anyone who pre-orders a sample bag of vegetables from us for this Saturday, we’ll donate 10 percent of the $35 price for the bag to The Inspiration Kitchen, where Matthew teaches people in need to cook. If you want, we’ll also donate the vegetables to the kitchen, as we’ve done with subscribers who indicate in advance they’ll be out of town.

 This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Savoyed Cabbage (wrinkled leaf)
  • Summer squash (from yellow Zephyr, round yellow Patty Pan, and pale green to almost white Madga or Lebanese varieties – view color photos of all three at the Johnny’s Seed web site)
  • Assorted tomato varieties
  • Juliet plum tomato
  • Eggplant (if you get a green variety, it is called Raveena, and it is ripe; also white and shades of purple varieties)
  • Dragon tongue wax and purple beans, crisp enough to eat raw; great in salad, lightly sautéed or in stir fry
  • Ice box red and yellow fruit water melon varieties, or orange and green fleshed cantaloupe varieties
  • Green Beans
  • Assorted Peppers
  • Last Cucumbers of the season
  • Basil

 Cooking Tips for the Week

 Summer Vegetable Stew (from Dela) Warm 2 TBSP olive oil. Add 2 cups chopped onion and 6 minced garlic cloves. Cook until translucent. Add 1 medium eggplant and 1 medium squash, sliced. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add ½ cup chopped basil, 2 ½ cups water, 1 cup cut green beans, 2 cups chopped peppers, 2 cups chopped tomatoes, ½ cup dry red wine, 1 TBSP lemon juice, 1 TBP dill, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 15 to 20 more minutes. Sere with cheese or yogurt if you like.