Interacting with your farm and farmers, feeling the impact of what we all do
Autumn is trending quickly into winter here at Scotch Hill. Yet there is still much to do. We need volunteers both inside and outside our hoop house greenhouses. Putting gardens and fields to bed for winter. Dismantling metal, wire and baling twine tomato beds. Gathering up plastic row cover, rolling up drip tape and hoses used to irrigate crops, so that they do not freeze outside. Cleaning up stalls and putting down fresh straw for mother goats and sheep as they carry their young before birthing in spring. Mulching trees and shrubs planted last spring as a new border against chemical drift. Helping make or wrap goat milk soap for winter farmer’s market sales. Helping finish a workshop for the farm in a metal building. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with specific dates and times you can come to the farm. We’ll coordinate schedules with Dela. Impact of your dollars – A community supported organic farm is more than a source of food. It is a place where ground has not lost its sustaining, life-giving organisms. From the micro-biotic soil life, up through the roots of plants, out into stems, branches and vines, and into the mouths of domestic livestock and people, an entire ecosystem of life is supported. It is a relational place where minds and hearts connect, where life regains a little control over its vital resources. It is a getaway destination where supporters can get outside, exercise, think in a quiet, uncluttered landscape, actively give back for all the soil gives. Our community’s support at Scotch Hill this year reached out to a group of Girl Scouts and their moms from Oak Park, Ill., who came to harvest, weed, milk goats, learn. It brought weekly talks and snacks to Isthmus Montessori Academy in Madison, Wis. (and their oldest children on bi-monthly trips to help at the farm). It connected 35 young growers in a sustainable agriculture women’s group in a full day of workshops, tours and interaction with Dela and Tony. And it is sending Dela as a panelist in several workshops to a women in sustainable agriculture conference this week in Missouri. The farm comes to you – Each winter, as days shorten, plants go under protective plastic and floating row cover, cold and cloudiness retard plant growth, the life and the work of a farm family must somehow keep generating income to cover expenses. We take what we keep growing and the goat milk bar soap, liquid soap, laundry soap, pet shampoo Dela makes on the road. Our first benefit and fair trade sales this year are the most important. They come in November and December when many of us do our holiday shopping and meal preparations. Please join us, come meet us if you can. Please tell others about these events, too. School Fundraiser for Isthmus Montessori Academy, 255 N. Sherman, Madison, Friday 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to noon, Nov. 8 and 9; Winter Farmers Market – benefit for farm crisis fund with Faith in Place, Glenview New Church, 74 Park Drive, Glenview, Ill., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 23, Plymouth Church Alternative Gift Fair – Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 24; 3131 N. Summit, Milwaukee, Wis.; 42nd International Gift Shop – Quaker Friends Meeting peace efforts benefit, 3224 N. Gordon Place, Milwaukee, Wis., Friday, 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 6 and 7 More events upcoming – watch website for postings.
This Week’s Vegetables include:
- Broccoli spears
- Green tomatoes
- Peppers OR Eggplant
- Spicy Greens Mix (brassicas, oriental kale, purple kale – add to salads, stir fry; soup or eggs)
- Red & White Turnips (greens healthful, too)
- Gold Potatoes
- Dilled pickles in a glass canning jar
- Bright Lights Chard
- Acorn Squash
- Kohlrabi (grate into slaw or slice into stir fry)
- Bok Choi
- Leaf lettuce Mix
- Collard Greens
- Tomato sauce in a glass canning jar
Cooking/Preservation Tips for the Fall/Winter Share
Most greens can be preserved for use later in winter. Blanch for little more than a minute in boiling water; cool immediately with cold water; place in zip lock freezer bags, and store in a freezer. Potatoes and squash need a dry, cool place (but must not freeze), as storage. Consult the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook we sell to subscribers year-round as a fundraiser for the Madison area CSA coalition, for additional preservation tips.
Dela’s Cooked Collards or Greens - Brown several chopped cloves of garlic in ¼ c olive oil OR bacon fat in a skillet. Add chopped greens (collards, mustard, turnip, cabbage, spicy greens mix). Cook over medium heat (with ½ cup water for collards this is essential, but not necessary for other greens). Add an equal amount of vinegar and honey, sugar or molasses. Cook until tender. Add salt, pepper, spices and herbs to taste.