Week No. 12 – 2012 Season

What’s better than making money? Making a farm our legacy forever

Very little that we do at Scotch Hill “makes money.” Everything that we do sustains life. This thought came to me as I scurried about 2 days this week to cut blocks of hay one last time before August and September sunshine gives way to cloudy colder weather, rain and frost. Our John Deere field tractor purred ‘round the fields, thanks to repairs a neighbor and a dear volunteer subscriber (both great mechanics) helped make happen over the past week. And in the course of cutting hay, of course, I had to stop and replace broken blades on the haybine. I drove a little car back and forth from garage tools at the farmstead, to the disabled equipment in the rented field. I drove into the hardware store to find stronger drill bits to bore out a broken bolt. I paid for parts, tractor gas, and on and on. Most of our lives engaged in farming are like this. Daily, we spend, spend, spend the money we receive from vegetables subscriptions. It all feeds the soil, the seeds, the plants, the animals, the farm, the people. I confess that I had a very hard time years ago, letting go of money standards, which seem to dominate most vocational paths in our nation. If we truly commit ourselves to working for a food system that can be sustained as a legacy for our children, however, we have to completely change how we think and act. We have to redirect emphasis away from efficiencies solely focused on profits. Mother Earth needs us to live this way. She needs us to work daily to restore local food systems that do not put such huge volumes of carbon in the atmosphere. She needs us to know that soil where our food is grown is not being exploited, water is not being poisoned, workers and animals are being treated humanely. Happily, our time, our money, our lives are used up in this service. The reward is in the work, not from it. It’s also in knowing that you appreciate what this means, how it tastes. Thank you! Late summer and fall volunteering –We neglected to remind folks in last week’s newsletter about the mid-month volunteer work day, which came and went this past weekend. Calendar details are posted to our website and Face book page, but no one has to limit volunteer work visits to a certain day of the month. Most any day (Monday through Saturday) we would welcome volunteer help.  A number of subscribers have camped here a night or two this summer, too. Email or call us ahead of time to make sure we will not be away from the farmstead in one of the rented fields when you arrive. Confirming a visit ahead of time is a very good idea. This week on the farm – Our son in-law, Aaron Deschenes, has been as great a guy as we could have asked for our daughter Holly, and we’re both so very glad to have them both living more than 8 years now with us at Scotch Hill. Like Holly, Aaron grew up around livestock and vegetable production over in Minnesota. Family farming becomes so much a part of us that we can’t let it go. Even though Aaron makes a living working out of an office in Madison, he spends every spare minute helping around our farm and raising poultry. Aaron has about half-a-dozen turkeys still available for Thanksgiving. If you are interested in purchasing a bird from him, email him at Aaron.Deschenes@yahoo.com

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Ice Box Melon
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet corn (small ears in this stand were all that the drought and coons in the tree line left for us)
  • Cabbage and/OR cabbagettes
  • Summer Squash
  • Peppers

Photos of this share help you identify each variety and can be found by the website or Facebook

Cooking Tips for the Week

Summer soup, From The Green Thumb Cookbook, Rodale Press: Saute 2 small onions, thinly sliced in 2 tablespoons olive oil until transparent. Add broccoli trimmings and any other leftover vegetables and vegetable trimmings on hand; cook 1 minute. Add 2 carrots, grated; tops of 4 stalks of celery (if available); 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste); 5 to 6 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer gently for 1 hour. The amount of water you need depends on your supply of vegetale trimmings; use enough water to just cover the vegetables in the pot. When cooking is completed, puree the soup in a blender if desired, until almost smooth. At serving time, warm the soup slighytly and stir in 2 to 3 cups of fresh yogurt, figuring ½ cup of yogurt per cup of soup. Makes about 2 quarts.