Week 4 (Chicago Week 2)

List of This Week’s Vegetables!

  • Early onions
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Green Wave Mustard Greens
  • White Icicle Radishes and Cherry Belle Radishes
  • Turnips with Greens
  • Orange Oriole Chard
  • Broccoli OR Purple Peacock Broccoli/Kale
  • Snow Peas (mixed varieties)
  • Lettuce Mix
  • Little Bok Choi

What’s the one thing, most essential thing, we control?

Plates of fresh spring vegetables from Scotch Hill Farm – in lovely, imaginative creations – grace their tables.

You’d think Madison’s finest chefs had arranged the harvest of our hard work. Such beauty, thought and care. Is all of that really from our farm!

Yet this handiwork bears names as familiar to us as the ground we worked, the beds we formed, the plants from which this produce came. Megan, Nick, Rhonda, Callie, Karen. Forgive me if I cannot name you all. There are too many to name. 

Dela scrolls along with her Ipad, reading aloud to me your words from the Scotch Hill Subscribers’ Blog, especially, from emails, too. It is each of your voices I hear, though, mingling in my heart and mind with hers. I see your smiles, recall your laughter and pleasant conversation. My heart warms inside.

I think of every dear subscriber who has taken time to come by here, pitch in a little, enjoy this place we love, share a meal and glass or cup of something; or host a delivery point; drop us a line of thanks, appreciation, or encouragement. 

You share stories of the meals, too, special events, celebrations, holidays. We all know food – not money – is the fundamental source of life and health – or death, or ill-health. Yet it is also in its richest gifts the source of social feeling, spiritual and communal life and health.  

What you share with us, what we share together, is in this era the one thing a mass food system and all the big industrial or commercial operations cannot take away from us. It is the one thing they cannot copy, imitate or reproduce more “efficiently,” more cheaply for their own profit.

It is a relationship, a priceless, loving, nurturing relationship. 

Historic traditions of synagogue, church, temple and mosque all related – around food, over food – to people who tended plants and animals, produced crops and livestock, fishers and orchardists, farmers and herders.

From creation stories that honored life, served and protected fertile soil, humanely treated and spiritually celebrated living things, came a vocational definition of ecological identity and relationship.

In this way, I believe with all my heart that each one of you is a farmer. You honor in your community support, in your pleasurable creation and consumption of meals, this relational family, place, set of practices, organic and sustainable products.

I honor you. In our hearts I’m sure each of us here honors each of you. Thank you for being more in this relationship to Scotch Hill what our Earth desperately needs.

Tips on freshness and CSA post-harvest handling

When I’ve watched Dela year after year managing so many volunteers, neighborhood teens, part-time workers through seasonal harvests, I’ve observed how much fresher all root crops and their greens stay when they can drink long from shallow water after harvest. 

Doing this in transit with our delivery points today is extremely difficult and with present arrangements, impossible. Yet each of you can re-hydrate vegetables such as turnips and beets in a little water after you get them home.

All fresh produce needs to be obtained from delivery points as quickly as possible, and gotten home out of the heat of summer as early in the day as possible and home into processing, refrigeration or storage in your kitchen. We do the best we can with as limited help and budgets permit. We cannot thank you enough for volunteer visits. Please schedule a time or times to come visit and help. We’re already 20 percent into the delivery season. Don’t let time and good intentions slip away.