Week No. 8 – 2011 Season

We are the community solution the Earth’s been waiting for

Over the winter, I read a lot about sustainability. I traced back as best I could over 40 years of scattered works and the statements of individuals and groups of thousands of mostly scientists. All were grappling with what IS NOT sustainable about our use of non-renewable resources; dwindling sources of energy, reliance on fossil fuels, rapidly rising population, pollution and carbon, food systems and food security; climate change and global warming. The more I read, the more I became convinced that our world needs to figure out what IS sustainable and how we can make sustainability a likely outcome of our time here on Earth. Dela gave a talk on sustainable agriculture in a panel at a workshop this past Sunday. Sponsors of the event for south-central Wisconsin hoped 20 people would attend, but 40 showed up. Many of these people, Dela said, seemed hoping to make career and life changes to help their families become more self-sufficient. It’s probably safe to say that many, many more people share a general concern that much of our world seems to be spinning out of control. From our little corner of the Earth and our attempts to make it better, I’ve come to think a lot about the “community” in Community Supported Agriculture. I think the word is a great starting point for addressing many of our sustainability challenges and concerns. I actually think that we all .should get as concerned about “Community Change” as many people are about Climate Change. If we do, we might begin to look with greater warmth, interest and compassion at those all around us. We might recognize how much we have in common concern, spirit, ability with people where we live, this place and its natural resources we need and call home. Might this help us act together to regain control over the essentials for living sustainably? For the young woman from Madison who came – all day – to tie and weed tomato plants last Saturday; for the couple who harvested Maxi Belle beans with their two little boys here all day Sunday, and took their turn picking up produce for 20 households in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Milwaukee. For you in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, who’ve committed to 20 weeks of supporting organic agriculture and local food, community is becoming as real as any sustainability issue we hear studied or debated. – we’ve all stopped waiting for someone else to solve the big problems. We’re doing it ourselves. 

Farm visits– Just call or email us ahead of time when you’d like to come give us a hand. There is always more to do here than we can possibly get done. We so appreciate your visits and help as you are able. 608 897-4288, 608 354-3243 (cell): tony@scotchhillfarm.com / dela@scotchhillfarm.com Thanks for all our community that supports this agriculture!

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Pole Beans (Fortex – round, and Northeastern – flat; both cultivated to get 9 to 12 inches long, and yet stay moist and crisp)
  • Maxibel French beans (these were grown in a rented field where we have no access to water; they’re usually moist and crisp at first picking, but have suffered in the extreme heat of recent weeks; cook them in water with a little butter)
  • Zucchini
  •  Eggplant (if you get a green variety, it is called Raveena, and it is ripe)
  • Summer Squash (varieties include zucchini, Madga – a pale green, Zepher – elongated, yellow and green, Patty Pan – round , scalloped, bright yellow)
  • Basil
  • Cucumbers (Shuyo Long and H19 Little Leaf Traditional)
  • Cauliflower
  • Garden Extra: in addition to your 8 to 10 varieties of vegetables this week, you’ll find a bonus --- Okra OR broccoli OR melon)
  • First tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Beaver Dam hot pepper

Cooking Tips for the Week

Easy Cheesy Squash Bake (adapted from Penzey’s) Combine 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and cut in wedges; 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, or other green squash, sliced; 2 small yellow squash, sliced; ½ tsp thyme, 1 clove garlic chopped, 1 tsp basil (more if fresh; and ½ cup grated cheddar cheese. Place in a buttered, 1 ½-quart baking dish. Top with ½ cup parmesan cheese). Bake 35 to 45 minutes. Serves 4.

Creamy Cucumber Soup (from Julia Child) Peel, scoop out seeds and chop 4 cucumbers. Toss in white wine vinegar and salt. Let stand. Simmer a soup base of ¾ cup celery, 1 ½ cup onions, 2 cups chicken stock, 1/3 cup raw white rice, 4 cups additional liquid stock and milk. Add cucumbers and liquid to the soup base with rice. When rice is tender, puree in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a dollop of cream, cucumber slices and fresh dill.