Week No. 20 – 2011 Season

How healing, hope come from food, in Community Supported Agriculture

All day, I thought about each of you. I went about my farmwork: weeding cool season crops in the “old” high tunnel greenhouse; bolstering corners of the greenhouse against cold; covering spinach, turnips, kale, carrots, radishes, kohlrabi against frost; pulling up tomato stakes, putting machinery away. It just doesn’t feel like the last week of the 20-week season. Farmwork calls to me every day of the year. Yet in my heart I felt that painful dread that comes upon me when I must tell someone good-bye. I wondered what I could say to you that would bring you back to us again? That’s selfish, isn’t it? Yet I assure you this farm, this family needs every single household that supported us this year, and then some, to survive. Modern day politicians speak and write often to us about hope, even as many economic and environmental conditions of our lives become progressively more hopeless. I hope something for you, however, from this experience in eating, cooking, supporting fresh, organic vegetable production. It’s something I hope stays with you always even if Scotch Hill Farm is one day no more. This is what I hope you learned from Scotch Hill Farm. A truly good and healthful food feeds the heart. It brings to mind the grower, the love of the Earth, the ground, the seed, the plants, the animals, the cycle of life. It nourishes the soul. It satisfies the spirit. I think this should be the test, really, of whether one enters an eating place, of what goes into the shopping cart or basket, of what we purchase and prepare for loved ones, children, visitors. I also wish for you always, the peace that is in the unexploited animal, vegetable and mineral. As Alan Watts shared in his message for an age of anxiety more than 50 years ago, these three lovely elements of our health hold the secret for feeding hearts as well as bodies. We cannot center ourselves in them or be at peace like them unless we commit ourselves to them. This cannot be for a mere season or even for an entire year, but for a lifetime. Community Supported Agriculture is not a fad, nor an experiment. Tony and Dela, or any other farmer committed to stewardship for that matter, are not something to try for a time, like trousers or skirts, and then discard. The organic environment, given life by the practices of our food and farm, are alive or dead, depending on the degree to which you give them hope. Contact us at dela@scotchhillfarm.com or tony@scotchhillfarm.com Please tell friends about us. Please help us grow together. 

Fall /November shares – We’ve signed up 45 people for the double-share deliveries we’ll make in the first week of November and one week before Thanksgiving. We can add a few more, if you let us know to do so right away. Visits and volunteering are also still welcome here, right through the winter. Just let us know in advance dates you are available to make sure we are here and can accommodate you. 

Upcoming sales and events – Look for us at the:

Corsino’s Open House for Artisans and Farmers, Sunday, Oct. 23, 1 to 3 p.m.; 322 N. Lombard, Oak Park;

Faith in Place Winter Farmers Markets: Sunday, Nov. 6, noon to 3 p. m., Faith Lutheran Church, 3801 Madison Ave., Brookfield, Ill.; AND Sunday, Nov. 13, noon to 3 p.m.; Unitarian Church, Elgin, 39W830 Highland Ave., Elgin, Ill.;

Plymouth Church Alternative Gift Fair, 2717 E. Hampshire, near UW Milwaukee, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 20,

We’re looking for more opportunities to give talks on CSA; sell our farmstead products in benefits for non-profits; and take part in winter markets and events. Please link us to such contacts you may have. Thank you.

 This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Greens Mix
  • Yellow potatoes
  • Broccoli OR Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut Squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Red mustard
  • Peppers
  • Celery

Cooking Tips for the Week

Potato Kale Soup (from Dela) Saute one chopped onion or leek in two TBSp butter with a chopped garlic clove and 2 TBSP chooped celery until just cooked and soft. Add 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock and two large potatoes cubed. Cook potatoes in stock until soft, then puree. Remove stems from a bunch of kale, chop and add to the soup 5 minutes before serving. Do not over-cook the kale or it will taste too strong. Salt and pepper to taste. Cooked sausage, ham or Scotch Hill Farm lamb brats are a nice addition for a heartier winter soup. Also, hot peppers can be added if you like a spicy soup. Kale is one of nature’s best medicines. It’s very good for you!