Great Song Farm Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 4
Week of June 26, Third CSA Distribution
Tuesday Pickup June 28th 4 - 7pm
Saturday Pickup July 2nd 1:30 – 4:30 pm

This Week's Selection
Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard, Lettuce Mix, 'Hakurei' Salad Turnips, Radish, Arugula, Mustard Mix, Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, Scallions, and Pick-Your-Own Peas

From the Farmers
Greetings Friends and Neighbors!

It has been wonderful getting to know you all at the distributions, to share a favorite recipe, an experience from the day or week or from years ago, or even just your name (please forgive me if I continually ask your name, they are beginning to solidify). Names on commitment forms and checks and emails are coming alive! Even after just this second week one can sense your enjoyment of and increasing comfort with the vegetables and desire to load up a bit more than the first week, which is great. I was especially pleased to see so many people picking peas! Good job! If only I could move myself to follow your lead (though I've had a few when walking by).

I've been watching a barn swallow feed her 3 babies in a nest in the west end of the distribution stable much of the morning. She swoops in with a full mouth, deposits into one or two of their excitedly flapping little beaks, and swoops right back out. Back with another mouthful, and out again. I can't help but marvel at the nest they built out of mud and twigs and grass, how well the 3 young fit in it nice and snug, how the mother is out in the rain deftly flying with outstretched wings as if held by invisible strings descending from the sky to find food for her young. The pair flutter around and make a racket when I rise from my chair. It is thought that having a pair of nesting barn swallows will bring fertility to ones farm. Here's hoping.

The longest day has come and gone and one can still sense it in the vegetables. There have been many times this spring I've expressed that I can watch the vegetables growing before my eyes, but it's really shown itself these past couple weeks. Thanks to the rain and sun we'll be cycling in some new vegetables in the coming weeks, including beets, carrots, and cabbage. The summer squash and zucchini are coming along strong as well, with the basil coming along with it. The summer favorites still have a while until they come into their own: the peppers are just blossoming, the tomatoes moving from blossom to fruit, the melons (!) stretching out and beginning to flower, green bean rows are starting to look a little bushy, the cucumbers are growing a new leaf daily, and the eggplants, well, I have a number of farmer friends who don't grow them because they can be difficult in this part of the world depending on the weather, and they sure are taking their time, but I just know they'll shape up soon and surprise us all!

The onions are starting to bulb now that the days are getting shorter (really, they are, the onions know it) and our small garlic crop should be ready to harvest in 2-3 weeks. In a rare exception we'll be buying in (not certified) organic garlic from our friends Ethel and Tom Barone who have a farm in town and specialize in garlic. Garlic Cloves are planted in the fall (around October) and we were just saying hello around here then and didn't have any ground ready, but we'll be growing and saving our own bulbs from here on out.

With the high sun brings feelings of summers past, of running out into the world and jumping into any body of water one can find, laying on the beach listening to the ocean rhythms, vacations to far away(and nearby but new) places to explore, inspiring workshops and classes to expand oneself, long car rides to visit old friends, moving on into new worlds after graduations, sons and daughters readying to leave the house for the first time, a real coming out of oneself to meet and get to know the world in a new way. And then coming back to visit your old haunts, your family, work, home, the community you live in with a certain freshness, new eyes laid on people and places you thought you knew well. Coming back to really discover yourself, in these places, with these people, as the person you really are.

Enjoying Summer on the farm,
-Anthony and Jen

We travelers, walking to the sun, can't see
Ahead, but looking back the very light
That blinded us shows us the way we came,
Along which blessings now appear, risen
As if from sightlessness to sight, and we,
By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward
That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
-Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 1999

Preparatory reminders for CSA Distribution at Great Song Farm

  • Please remember bags to carry your produce home as well as small bags for small loose greens (arugula, mustard mix, lettuce mix). The bags we provide are strong enough to be reused several times and it pains me to watch so many plastic bags go out the door and end up who knows where. A simple habit to get into! If there is interest we could bulk order organic cotton greens bags to keep them well in the fridge and move away from plastic altogether.
  • Please check the large blackboard standing against the stable when you arrive. There are many important notes on it that we sometimes don't have a chance to pass onto everyone. We don't want you to miss an opportunity to pick some peas, or take some extra kale.
  • The egg shares are in, if you haven't picked yours up check in with us. They are in the fridge in our kitchen area with a check in sheet on the door.
  • Pick-your-Own Peas are still coming in. Lots of snow peas (along the ground next to the trellised peas, don't neglect them!) and some sugar snaps up on the trellis. Please limit your harvest to one pint per peck share, one quart per basket share, unless otherwise posted on the large blackboard during your pick-up. If you are unable to pick-your-own, please let us know, and either one of us or a friendly member will volunteer to pick some for you.
  • Please enter and exit the driveway slowly as it is only wide enough for one car. Watch for folks walking and the undulations of the parking area.
  • When parking, be aware of the large rocks at the entrance of the driveway and please do not drive where the grass is not short as there are outcroppings and rocks lurking.
  • If you will not be coming on your regularly scheduled pick up day, please let us know, even if you will not be switching days so we know how much to harvest and whether or not to expect you.
  • We have an abundance of vegetables, and would welcome many of your friends and neighbors as members for this season. Please feel free to let people know we are still open to new CSA share members.

Learning to love greens again and again (and again)(cooking advice!)

Folks are always anxious for the summer fruiting crops, but in the name of patience please bear with us and enjoy our wonderful greens! We have an abundance of Dill, Cilantro, Parsley, and Scallions to complement them as well. Here are a few ideas that stray from my ordinary:

  • Kale and Collards: chop stems and leaves finely and add to pot. Cook slowly with a little water (on low after simmering) for upwards of an hour with a little salt. When thoroghly cooked, add a nice dense flavorful fat (coconut oil, lard, bacon, butter) and enjoy.
  • I have a soft spot for wilted salads. Take lettuce leaves along with other salad greens (arugula, mustards, beet greens, etc) and place a warm grain or other main/side dish atop. You can also take a whole large lettuce leaf and roll up the warm dish inside it. Gently warming dressing to pour atop salads also brings about a new experience. Toasted nuts and seeds are great additions as well.
  • Most of the greens and herbs can be made into a pesto or sauce to top pasta and other grains, meats, and other vegetables. Place green leaves(kale, parsley, arugula...) into a food processor along with nuts (pine/walnuts/almonds are what I've used) along with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and blend to desired consistency. I also throw a spoonful of south river chickpea miso in to meld and enhance things a bit. You can toss in spices (cumin, coriander, hot peppers), scallions, lemon juice and or garlic along with the greens or herbs depending on what you're looking for. The possibilities are endless!

A Little Something Else
In order to be successful in any kind of undertaking, I think the main thing is for one to grow to the point where he completely forgets himself, that is, to lose himself in a great cause . . . In this way in the same degree does he get the highest happiness out of his work.
- Booker T. Washington, former slave and founder of the Tuskegee Institute