Farming helps us feel, find our place and order of importance in the world
Sunday, I picked pole beans in a high tunnel greenhouse until it got too hot to stay on a ladder. I then weeded snow peas in the overgrown pea rows, periodically moving hoses and sprinklers across the farmstead garden beds. I moved on to weeding corn mechanically in the late afternoon, slowly creeping across the baked earth and making a cloud of dust as I went. As the sun began its descent, I brought a tractor and rotary mower home to clear away spent beds of garlic and spinach for replanting. So many memories now, season to season, as I move around fields and along country roads. I weed around piles of rocks we use to hold down floating row cover and plastic to protect crops during frost and cold. With high 90s and pro-longed heat in the forecast, cold seems only a distant memory. Just 12 weeks till threat of frost again, can that be true? I look down the grass and clover driving paths between so many beds of vegetables. Just 10 days ago, I was mowing down lush growth. No grass is in view now, only burned brown and white remnants almost everywhere. Was it really that short a time ago? So much of a day on the farm is spent interacting with the Natural, physical world, now becoming so distant for much of the human world. Even Dela and I often see each other working apart from a distance, or only think of each other working at separate tasks, in separate fields. To farm is often to feel a very small part of a much bigger picture, a frail human being moving around so much life going on among tens of thousands of plants, hundreds of thousands of soil life, insects and birds. It is hard work, especially during pro-longed drought, but we are always grateful to work among the miracles of life. You make it all possible. You have this in common with us. This is our community of agriculture, which you support. Thank you!
Holiday week reminder –If you have vacations planned next week over the July 4th holiday, please include our vegetables in your plans. Our Chicago subscribers, please remember to pick up on Tuesday, July 3 (NOT Wednesday, the 4th), according to the regular hourly timetable at your regular delivery point. Lindsay Steele will be driving for me that day while I’m volunteering in Africa. Randy Gavin will stand in for me on Thursdays the next two weeks with Madison area deliveries. For all subscribers in Illinois and Wisconsin, please let us know ahead of time if you want us to donate your subscription to the Inspiration Café (4715 N. Sheridan Road, between Lawrence and Irving Park). Simply let Dela AND me know by email, by at least the Sunday before delivery. Chef Matthew Petersen has been teaching the homeless to cook with our donated fresh vegetables there for several years. We are on the menu, in fact, for fresh seasonal salads. I commend their food to you. It’s delicious! If you’d rather a neighbor, friend, relative, or co-worker pick up your vegetables when you are out of town, that’s fine, too. To alert us of donations, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
This Week’s Vegetables are:
- Snow peas
- Pole Beans
- Spring Onions
- Lettuce Mix
- Broccoli OR Cauliflower
- Mizoona Asian Greens (can be cooked or eaten raw)
Photos of this share help you identify each variety and can be found by the website or Facebook.
Cooking Tips for the Week
From The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters: Pesto is more than a pasta sauce. It’s delicious on sliced tomatoes, as a dipping sauce for vegetables, on a pizza, or as a sauce for grilled chicken and vegetables. Pick the leaves from 1 bunch of basil, to yield about 1 lightly packed cup. In a mortar and pestle, pound to a paste: 1 garlic clove, peeled, salt. Add and continue to pound: ¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted. Add: ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer this mixture to a bowl. Coarsely chop the basil leaves and put them in the mortar. Pound the leaves to a paste. Return the pounded pine nut mixture to the mortar. Pound the leaves and pine nut mixture together. Continue pounding as you gradually pour in: ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary. Variations: substitute parsley or rocket for some or all of the basil; substitute grated pecorino cheese for half of the Parmesan; use walnuts instead of pine nuts.