Week No. 19 – 2011 Season

Lessons from a shared season, nurturing roots and movements

Brilliant scarlet, orange, yellow – like turning leaves before they fade to cold darkness. Days shortening now, many autumn sunsets find me in a tractor seat, thinking about Nature’s colors and changes. Mowing spent corn stalks. Harvesting sunflowers. Working up soil to plant winter wheat. Dismantling the beds for 3,500 tomato plants.We’re still digging sweet potatoes, still tending fall crops, still combing frosted vines and plants for any vegetables the recent plunging temperatures missed (or we saved). Yet everywhere we feel Nature shifting, turning, bending our world toward winter. Like the tired plants and seeds, we feel ourselves slowing, withdrawing from the vibrancy of summer garden and field. Before Dela and I committed ourselves to farming, before we settled here at Scotch Hill, I paid little heed to Nature, except during extreme weather events or very rare travels, viewing countrysides from moving vehicles or brief excursions. I missed so much, trying to be “upwardly mobile.” Nature is an intimate now. It is our teacher, mentor, friend. What seems alien, unpredictable, out of control to me now, are the centers of power, distant from the soil we turn, nurture and serve. What these power brokers do – affecting jobs, mortgages, markets, housing, economics, politics – directly affects the subscribers who support our farm, or who don’t support us. Unfolding seasons, cycles of soil, plant and animal life are reliable, predictable. An impersonal, faceless human world is not. Without a rooted community, empowered and enabled to support us, Dela and I can’t easily or securely plan through the winter for another growing season. We cannot plan through life into our old age. Unless significant numbers of us establish ties, none of us can foster the farm and food system, the agri-culture that can sustain us. Canadian journalist and author of The Shock Doctrine Naomi Klein spoke to some of these tractor thoughts of mine a few days ago. She reminds us a lot more is at stake these days than a single farm’s life and production. “Only when you stay put can you grow roots. This is crucial. It is a fact of the information age that too many movements spring up like beautiful flowers but quickly die off. It’s because they don’t have roots. And they don’t have long term plans for how they are going to sustain themselves. So when storms come, they get washed away.” http://www.thenation.com/article/163844/occupy-wall-street-most-important-thing-world-now In these last days and weeks of the 2011 growing season, we entreat you to keep alive this work, friendship and love we’ve enjoyed together. We shared that over food. We shared that in good health. We nutured a movement of Community Supported Agriculture. Contact us at dela@scotchhillfarm.com or tony@scotchhillfarm.com Please tell friends about us. Help us grow. 

Fall /November shares – We’ve signed up 39 people for the 45 double-share deliveries we’ll make in the first week of November and one week before Thanksgiving. Let us know to include you if you are interested. Please help us meet our farm goal and budget if you can.

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Greens Mix
  • Russet (primarily baking) potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Mostly green (saved before another severe frost) and a few last ripe tomato varieties
  • Pumpkin
  • Chard
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Assorted hot and Bell Peppers
  • Parsley
  • Onion

Cooking Tips for the Week 

Chilean Squash (from the Moosewood Cookbook by Bollie Katzen, 1977) Saute one cup chopped onions, two to three large cloves crushed garlic, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground coriander, a dash of cayenne, a dash of black pepper in 2 Tbs olive oil until onions and garlic are translucent. Add 1 ½ cups chopped mixed red and green peppers and 1 tsp salt. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes. Add saute to 4 cups cooked squash or pumpkin, mashed or pureed, along with 2 cups of corn (fresh or frozen) and 4 beaten eggs. Mix well. Taste to correct seasonings. Spread into a buttered 2-quart casserole and top with 1 cup grated cheddar. Bake at 350 degrees F in an oven, 20 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered. Serves 4 to 6.

Quick Slaw – Dear friend Sarah Clarkson, who helps and stays with us several days each week, made the most delicious slaw with one of our remaining tiny cabbages. She sliced sweet red pepper, minced garlic and shredded turnips into the colorful and delicious salad. Try a little of it without mayonaise or dressings that may cover up as much as they enhance Nature’s flavors.