Week 7 (Chicago Week 5)

List of this week's vegetables

  • Cabbage
  • Green beans (Provider and Maxibel varieties)
  • Last of the snow peas
  • Summer squash (zucchini, Patty Pan and Y-Star)
  • Mixed beets with healthful greens
  • Long and short cucumbers
  • Rosa di Tropea onions
  • Lettuce mix

Finding community in a farm & farmers

I love every person who’s subscribed to our vegetables. I love their impulses for good. I love their appreciation for healthful, flavorful foods. I love their courage to buck valueless, poisonous practices that dominate every aspect of contemporary life, which money rules, controls and threatens.

I love that our subscribers put their money where their mouths are. I love that they’ve stepped away from the impossible expectations of the convenience mandate. They put a human, personal transaction ahead of what’s quick and easy.

That’s us – Tony and Dela. That’s Scotch Hill Farm. That’s varieties of seeds, plants and animals that will be lost to conventional extinction without what we do. That’s humbling, inspiring. That’s love.

A number of the good and decent people who’ve subscribed to our farm’s seasonal produce– whether for 1 year or 20 years – have let me meet them, talk to them, care about them as human beings with the same values. In these instances, I’ve come to love them even more.

I love the sound of their voices – encouraging, friendly, positive, I love things they’ve said that were profound at times, funny at times, caring always. I love memory of every social and cooperative or supportive encounter we’ve had together over food and farming, ecology and justice, even simply over daily life.

Isn’t this what community is? Love for people, places, vital practices that keep us alive and healthy. Human beings associate for myriad aspects of life held in common. Yetonly when friendship, work and love – in committed cooperation – hold these commonalities together can we discern true community.

In practicing Community Supported Agriculture, we think first about the food, the financial support and cost of it being raised by organic, safe, healthful standards. Yet so little do I hear or read said deliberately about the importance, the vital importance, of its now unique sense of community.

Last week’s newsletter alerting our community to suffered losses to our farm in a storm drew almost immediate responses from two subscribers. Both have taken the time before to drive a distance to our farm, work with us, get to know us, share their families with us.

I felt such warmth and genuine support in their words. The world would have what we do seem small and insignificant. Circumstances, policies and attitudes can make it seem impossible at times. Love can make it go on, and on, and on – with strength and courage. I thank every one of you.

Visit and help in a group? Rhonda, our long-time Milwaukee delivery point host, has organized a work visit to Scotch Hill for this Saturday, July 16. Three others so far from Milwaukee have contacted her about carpooling here to help out and potluck. It’s always fun when local, Chicago and Madison supporters gather here too. Wherever you live, please join us if you can.

Soil Sisters Farm Tour: Before summer slips away, please plan ahead to join us for the Soil Sisters Farm workshops and tour, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 5 to 7.  We invite our subscribers and their families or friends to camp out at our farm that weekend. Whatever your tent or camper size, even some couch-friendly sleeping bags while space lasts, feel free to spend one or more nights here. We are active members of (and Dela holds volunteer positions with) the event’s sponsors – Wisconsin Farmers Union and Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service. For details about this celebration of Wisconsin Farms and Rural Life, go to www.soilsisterswi.org

Intern from France: Elise Riviere, a student from the Normandy countryside, is to arrive this week for a month-long internship at our farm. She is going to get a lot of hands-on vegetable farming experience and will be studying differences in organic agricultural practices here from Europe. She becomes one of more than 20 young people who’ve interned or apprenticed here. Your food dollars here help provide room, board and stipends for them to learn the fundaments of organics. Merci!