Week 2

This Week’s Vegetables

  • Nancy Butterhead Bibb Lettuce
  • Iceberg Crespino Lettuce
  • Romaine Plato II Lettuce
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Nastursiums (edible flowers)
  • Two Radish Varieties ( Cherry Belle and Pink Beauty or  Easteregg)
  • Arugula (spicy green)
  • Leaf Lettuce Mix
  • Leeks

Embracing change in 21st  season at Scotch Hill Farm

Each of us brings experiences and expectations to a season of growing and eating from Scotch Hill Farm.

Returning May 11 from 6 months of working in the Republic of Congo, I was struck by how much Dela, Jenna and our oldest son James had done to prepare a rich season of fresh vegetables for you. So many beautiful beds of vegetables were growing, transplanted and seeded. 

I recognized changes in myself, too, as I felt fulfilled – not usurped – in a new role I’ve begun a process of accepting. Sustaining a legacy – a healthful, organic, secure future – for this ground, this place, this food system, and its communities, its children, means eventually a handing-off to younger bodies and souls.

I’m happy to share this joy in my heart to see our adult children, James in garden and field, also Micah and Miranda with baby Charlie, working to renovate buildings into a working goat dairy. I’m happy to sense in their lives and work, with dear Jenna, now, too, the fruit of what Dela and I have ourselves learned, taught and shared from Nature and the Created world.

Our first potluck and spontaneous work event, May 17, brought 7 households from Madison, Brodhead, Chicago and Milwaukee to Scotch Hill. For one longtime subscriber, it was an exciting and rewarding first visit.

When you – our community of support – come to spend time with us, helping grow and eat wonderful food right here at its source, it feeds our souls and spirits at Scotch Hill Farm. Volunteer help each day, each week and month of this season, is absolutely essential if we are to deliver consistent varieties and quality of fresh vegetables to you this season.

When you share in person with us your stories, your thoughts, your lives, it builds and secures relationships necessary, even vital, to sustainability. We outline a calendar of farm events for you on our website each year.

Yet it is the volunteer work visits people make through the week, of a morning, afternoon or evening, that gives us a boost we need as harvest, delivery and packing vegetables is added into the production cycles of planting, transplanting, weeding and cultivating. Not all tasks here are physically demanding. Trellis applications for long rows of pole beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and peas are time-consuming, but not at all strenuous contributions that any volunteer can make.

Many crops need to be mulched with straw or prairie grass, which can save us many weeks of weeding and help keep production labor costs within our small farm’s means. There are inside tasks weekly, too, such as weighing and bagging produce on packing days. Converse with us over some tasks. Meditate and enjoy the quiet at others. Enrich your Scotch Hill Food experience with us.

I looked back through our newsletters from the 2005 11th growing season briefly before I wrote this installment to you. It brought back many memories.

We still had a child showing animals in the county fair. We were raising funds to defend rural waters and wells against concentrated animal feeding operations. We had about 75 subscribers that year, and we were feeding them without hoop houses, specialized tractors and equipment.  And one week we quoted a number of enthusiastic subscriber comments – about the food, about volunteer experiences, about what they learned from us, what they cooked and enjoyed with our produce.

This can be our experience together this year, no matter what the weather, or Nature, or climate change throw at us. Please help us make 2015 another great year.

Other ways to get the most out of our CSA

Dela reminded me this week, too, to make sure everyone of you knows to equip your kitchen with a salad spinner, colanders, paring knives and other essentials to clean, process and prepare your fresh vegetables weekly.

We keep post-harvest handling to a minimum. It can undermine the quality of delicate greens and fragile varieties to spray them off too far ahead of mealtime. It would drive up our production labor costs and your share prices, too. Please be supportive and courteous of our delivery site hosts. Patronize the business site hosts, too; they save us time finding and securing delivery points each season.  Be sure to read the newsletter. Thank you!