Week No. 17 – 2011 Season

Extending Scotch Hill’s impact, from Missouri to West Africa

Dela and I will have less time during the upcoming “off-season” to sign up subscribers for our 2012 Growing Year. Both national and international programs have invited us to share some of what we’ve learned with other small-scale farmers in the months upcoming. We’ll be making a Farmer Forum presentation on using prairie grass straw mulch in organic vegetable crop production at the National Small Farm Conference in Missouri on Nov. 3. Then, in January, we’ll be traveling to Senegal, West Africa, for two weeks of presentations on organic compost-making and adding value to livestock production by making finished goods, such as goat milk soap. For me, this will be a return trip to Senegal, where I taught in a public school for 2 years in the Peace Corps. That was 35 years ago, and I’m amazed to be returning there now with Dela through the Farmer to Farmer program of the National Cooperative Business Association with the United States Agency for International Development. I owe a lot to the people of Senegal. They taught me to reverence food. They taught me the importance of living justly and fairly. I’m grateful for a chance to be going back with Dela, who’s also had a tremendous impact on my life, teaching me to love farming as a way of life. In between and after each of these trips, Dela and I’ll be taking part in winter farmers markets, school and non-profit benefits, and fair trade sales in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. We hope to restore our second income from goat milk soap, which fell sharply in 2009 and 2010 with the national economic downturn. The top 30 skin care product companies are all foreign-owned. Buying a high-quality, long-lasting, moisturizing soap made on this family farm in southern Wisconsin keeps your dollars in this region. Putting an early deposit on your next season of vegetables will help us expand the impact of Scotch Hill Farm’s work to other farms. Without securing your support for our farm again next season, we’ll have to expend much time and money seeking out new subscribers. Advertising dollars are scarce here, and we spent many hours circulating flyers door-to-door and at special events last winter near a number of our delivery points. Please email us at dela@scotchhillfarm.com or tony@scotchhillfarm.com for a 2012 sign-up form. Our community wants and needs your continued support. 

Fall November Share – We can still take on about 15 more subscribers for the double share delivered the first week of November and in the week before Thanksgiving. This will be our third year to provide this hearty option, which features a wide variety of cool season vegetables, root crops and early high tunnel greenhouse varieties. Each of the two deliveries in November has between 15 and 20 items. Income from these subscriptions is vital to our farm over winter. More details are available through our website order forms, or contact us at the farm by email or phone.

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Spicy Greens Mix
  • Turnips
  • Carrots
  • Assorted green and ripe tomato varieties
  • Eggplant OR Summer Squash
  • Chard
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Assorted Peppers
  • Fall Spaghetti Squash

Cooking Tips for the Week

 Spaghetti Squash and Winter Squash tips (adapted from Asparagus to Zucchini)

As a general rule, the smaller the squash, the shorter the time it can be stored. Cook and use your spaghetti squash as soon as you can. Most winter squash is easy to bake. Slice most squashes in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place facedown on a cookie sheet. Water may be added around squashes to avoid drying out and hasten cooking. Squash flesh may also be basted with oil or butter. Squash will need 40 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on size. Cook until very tender but not charred. Try spaghetti squash served hot with butter and Parmesan cheese or your favorite tomato sauce. Bake according to the previous instructions. Flesh is done when it scoops out easily in spaghetti-like strings. You can actually use this squash as a spaghetti substitute with your favorite sauces. Winter squash boasts 10 times the vitamin A content of summer squash. It is high in potassium, too.