Week No. 2- News. Vegetable list, Recipes
Tony & Dela Ends family at Scotch Hill Farm, Brodhead, Wis. – Our 20th Season
What’s important to you? In your heart, in your mind, in your behavior, in your soul. What’s really important to you?
An intimate friend or loved one? A place you find dear? An activity of work or something you love to do? A prized possession of some sort, something priceless for whatever reason?
Over time, through life’s many stages, what’s important to us changes, sometimes drastically. What is enduringly important to us, to our health and life, may not even be obvious to us most, if not all, our lives.
People die. Places change. We become incapable of doing something, or lose interest. Things get broken, or lost, or taken. What is essential for us to live, and move, and have our being – whether we consciously realize it?
A reading of Wendell Berry’s this past winter led me to the life and work of Liberty Hyde Bailey, the father of American horticulture as a science and not merely a hobby. By the fire at night in our farmhouse, Dela and I each read one of the many volumes Bailey wrote during a long, remarkable life.
Bailey wrote “The Holy Earth” in 1915 as part of a series he hoped would inspire a new perspective of environmental stewardship. Bailey died the year I was born, 1954. I’m ashamed that almost 60 years passed before I even became aware of his name, let alone of the rich body of his work and thought.
Yet my partner Dela, this place we call Scotch Hill, the soil across which I have lovingly labored for 20 years, and my children as well as each of you, turned me fully and completely to much the same way of thinking as Bailey’s before I even read “The Holy Earth.
“We are so accustomed to these essentials – to the rain, the wind, the soil, the sea, the sunrise, the trees, the sustenance – that we may not include them in the categories of the good things, and we endeavor to satisfy ourselves with many small and trivial and exotic gratifications; and when these gratifications fail or pall, we find ourselves helpless and resourceless. The joy of sound sleep, the relish of a sufficient meal of plain and wholesome food, the desire to do a good day’s work and the recompense when at night we are tired from the doing of it, the exhilaration of fresh air, the exercise of the natural powers, the mastery of a situation or a problem – these and many others like them are fundamental satisfactions, beyond all pampering and all toys, and they are of the essence of goodness. I think we should teach all children how good are the common necessities, and how very good are the things that are made in the beginning.”
Each day we rise to work in planted and transplanted vegetable beds, down long rows of all kinds of varieties of heirloom and organic crops, our hands nurture the important things, the “good,“ created things of life.
Each moment we work humus formed from our compost piles, or nutrient-rich vetch into the soil around our plants (rather than chemical fertilizer), and lay mulch of sweet-cereal smelling wheat straw, oat straw or prairie grasses – all of which we grew, harvested and baled for suppressing weeds around these same vegetable varieties (rather than employing herbicides), we serve and protect the important things in life.
Each moment we spend thinking, conversing, laughing, or fretting together over this food, over a recipe, over a garden or field, over how to enduringly as a Scotch Hill Farm community sustain the Earth, its climate, its creatures, its resources, we discover the “essence of goodness.”
This week’s vegetables:
Red Iceberg lettuce, spicy greens, Pink Beauty radishes, turnips and their greens, leaf lettuce mix, onions, endive, asparagus (3/4 lb.), winter gold potatoes (use immediately or refrigerate), a gift of Dela’s cream cheese from our goat milk.
Megan Adams, who has been revolutionizing our web site, has put up recipes for you via a link to facebook; Dela has posted a photo of the vegetables to help identification and Karen Ebert is blogging again weekly about what she does with our vegetables. Connect to all of this via www.scotchhillfarm.com. Call me at 608 897-4288 (farmhouse) / 354-3243 (cell), or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to let us know when to expect your volunteer visit.