Week No. 18 – 2011 Season

Week of volunteer visits makes community come alive at Scotch Hill

Angels descended on Scotch Hill Farm this past week. Amazing feats were accomplished because of them. Longtime friend to our CSA farm Sue Pastor brought a dozen students from an environmental studies class she’s teaching at Edgewood College in Madison. They toured the farm, then helped harvest tomatoes and begin the long fall task of dismantling tomato beds. A trio of Beloit College students came, too, helping weed carrots, chard and lettuce, and harvesting tomatoes, as worker shares. Park Ridge subscribers and friends Anne and Dorothy helped package vegetables and make goat milk soap. Courtney and Sarah from Madison have become like family to Dela and me, in their weekly work visits this season. Three-year subscriber from the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago Lindsey stopped in to help a second time this season on his way from a business trip to Madison. He ended up helping me for 24 hours, and when he left huge doors and a 20-foot draw-down curtain were protecting our high tunnels from cold weather. On his heals, friend and 3-year subscriber Matthew Petersen sent a dear friend from Evanston, Jeff Shwom, our way for a 3-day volunteer work visit. It is really difficult to even recall all of the things Jeff helped do during his time with us, harvesting sweet potatoes, helping son Joel and son in-law Aaron re-roof a machine shed, cleaning up our main transplanting greenhouse, bagging winter rye from our harvester, walking our squash rows one last time before mowing and disking, helping trim trees overhanging our goat barn, helping fill our spreader with compost for garlic planting, milking goats. Jeff was a real joy to have here, and we’re humbled by this act of kindness he selected to start his Jewish New Year. The best volunteer week we can remember was concluded with help from three dear Milwaukee subscribers of 3 years, Rhonda, Dale and Mike, who weeded endive and helped dismantle tomato beds before taking back vegetable shares for our Washington Heights CSA group. Deep, deep in our hearts, Dela and I felt all week the warmth and friendship, the important things in common of community. And everyone has vegetables, a more secure farm and farmers to show for the week of hard work. Thank you one and all. 

Don’t forget - Please remember to patronize and thank the independent, local businesses who host our delivery points this year. We also welcome Maya Essence fair trade store as a new delivery point this week. Check out the lovely and useful items in their store on North Lincoln in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago. We’re also still taking a few more fall shares and beginning in earnest to recruit subscribers for the 2012 season. Contact us at dela@scotchhillfarm.com or tony@scotchhillfarm.com .

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Spinach
  • Eggplant OR Summer Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Mostly green (saved before another severe frost) and a few last ripe tomato varieties
  • Leaf Lettuce Mix
  • Chard
  • Cilantro
  • Beets
  • Assorted hot and Bell Peppers
  • Fall Acorn Squash

Cooking Tips for the Week

 Baba ghanoush is a Levantine dish of aubergine (eggplant) mashed and mixed with virgin olive oil and various seasonings. A popular preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. Often, it is eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes. In the traditional method, the eggplant is first roasted in an oven for approximately 30 to 90 minutes (depending on the size of the eggplant) until the skin appears almost burnt and the eggplant begins to collapse. The softened flesh is scooped out, squeezed or salted to remove excess water, and is then pureed with the tahini. There are many variants of the recipe, especially the seasoning. Seasonings include garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, salt, mint and parsley. 

Coalition Calendar Recipes and Menus – Scotch Hill Farm might never have gotten involved in Community Supported Agriculture had it not been for the Madison Area CSA Coalition www.csacoalition.com . We saw a newspaper public calendar announcement for one of the coalition’s early CSA farm tours. We’d been looking for a way to revive this farmstead, which was all that remained of a century-old dairy farm that went out of business in the 1960s. The tour gave us the courage to start our own CSA, and the coalition has been helping us stay the course ever since. In the 2012 coalition calendar, Scotch Hill Farm is one of the CSA growers featured. This calendar features recipes each month and original menus. We can get it to you in our last 2 weeks of delivery for $11.95. Proceeds help the coalition keep growing and helping organic growers in central Wisconsin and the region.