Great Song Farm Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 8
Seventh CSA Distribution
Week of July 25th
Tuesday Pickup July 26th 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup July 30th 1:30 – 4:30 pm

“Did you forget your eggs?” Week
This Week's Selection
Eggplant, Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, Beets, Carrots, Summer Squash,
Zucchini, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard, Dandelion Greens, Mustard Mix,
Parsley, Broccoli, Basil, Tulsi/Holy Basil, Thai Basil, Scallions,
Sweet Onions, Pick Your Own Green Beans

From the Farmers


Greetings Members!

Rain?!? Is it really raining?!?
If that sounds like last week's salutation, believe me, this week it's
a whole lot wetter.  As of 5pm Monday, we've received 1 inch of rain,
equivalent to that 18,000+ gallons spread evenly over the vegetables
that we mentioned last week, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear the
vegetables quoting Oliver Twist - “Please sir, may I have some more?”
before the soil gets really water-laden.  Things are certainly looking
up around here, and not only all those thirsty leaves at the rain
cloud laden sky.  Kate's lameness appears to be healing up just fine,
Anthony's energy is returning to farm-normal from his run-ins with
back pain and Lyme disease, and I can  spot the first ripe tomato from
my current shelter in the stable.  (Don't get too excited, the first
one  means the rest are on their way, but they tend to take a couple
weeks to catch up.)
I'm going to keep this week's message fairly short, as I'm headed out
to consult with a friend about our chicken processing date, and my
pants are pretty much soaked from the worn spot in my rain gear and
the hole in my rubber boots.  To everyone desiring a chicken (or six)
from our Farm this season – I have decided to cancel the second batch
of chickens that I had been planning to rear this fall.  Between the
amount of time they require of me, and the (relatively small) amount
of deposits for chicken from all of you, it seemed the wise thing to
do at this time.  If you have placed a deposit on any chickens in
October, you are welcome to choose from the following options:
(1) a refund of October deposits,
(2) a fresh chicken (per $5 deposit, or all deposits put towards 1
chicken, etc.) on August 7th, or
(3) a frozen chicken (per deposit) available twice monthly until
they're all gone.
Members who have paid a $5 deposit have priority, all others are on a
waiting list and can purchase chickens on a first come first served
basis.  It would be to my utmost preference if you were to pick up
your chickens on the afternoon of August 7th, as that would mean I
would not need to pay for storage in Columbia Cold Storage to freeze
them.  If you absolutely cannot fit your chickens in your freezer
until later, let me know now, and remind me two weeks ahead of when
you will be able to take them, so that I can get them for you from the
big freezer.
I have greatly enjoyed these chickens' company these past few months.
I never named any of them, but I certainly came to recognize a
handful.  There was the nasty guy turned nice, who wanted to peck at
my hands and arms and feet until I realized that calmly placing my
hands over his back and wings with very slight pressure (instead of
swatting at him) would calm him.  And there were to twin buff-red
gymnasts, who were always sticking their heads in through the top of
the grain feeders (instead of eating from the trough), and sticking
their butts up in the air.  And the rooster and two pullets who just
recently learned to hop/fly/flap up on to the roof of their coop for a
better view.  And there was the sad lady, maimed by a visiting dog,
whose legs never healed but who propels herself around with her wings,
and who I finally separated when the others realized her weakness and
began to peck.  For the most part though, flocks (and herds) of
animals appear as a cohesive whole, a unit in themselves,
indistinguishable, both requiring and offering more than any one of
them would if alone– more entertainment, more smell, more interaction,
more feed, and more food.  It's a question many people have – how can
you have known a living being so intimately, and yet be willing to
kill and eat them?  For me, it is both sad and joyful, puzzling and
straight forward.  I am glad to have known them, and look forward to
eating a few.  I hope that you are glad to have seen them at the
weekly vegetable pick-ups, and that you will enjoy them for dinner in
the months to come.   And don't forget to catch the drippings –
anything dipped in chicken fat is to die for!
The 4th annual Beekeepers Association of Northern Dutchess (B.A.N.D)
Potluck and Field Day is coming up on Saturday, July 30th beginning at
1 pm, though you are welcome to stop in anytime.  Sam Comfort and the
bees and other beekeepers will be present to share some food and check
out the hives here.  Come on by.  This is a BYOV (bring your own veil)
event, though the bees here are very friendly.  Check out Sam's
website for some bee inspiration:  http://www.anarchyapiaries.org/
Loving the dark clouds overhead,
Anthony and Jen

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 cherry tomatoes, or take some extra kale.

The egg shares are in the fridge in our kitchen area with a check in sheet
on the refrigerator door.  If you were unable to get yours last week,
please pick them up this week.

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.

The Color Purple (cooking advice!)
The beets continue to roll in, and while they are the only
finger-painting food we currently have available, we are now welcoming
the advent of many eggplants.  You may have noticed in past pick-ups
that something listed was not available when you arrived.  There are
many factors in farming beyond the power of us mortal farmers, and not
many plants rely on the same calendar and time tables we do.  For
instance, the broccoli, instead of heading up 30 beautiful broccoli
twice a week, have been trickling in at the rate of 10-15 per
distribution.  There should be more this week, but we can make no
promises.  If you had a chance to grab a head or two last week, please
check with us (or read the chalk board!) first to make sure they are
abundant.  If you have not received any broccoli this past week, and
feel a bit miffed or left out, send an email and we'll set one aside
with your name on it.  We have a couple more plantings of broccoli in
the fall, so everyone who wants broccoli (or radishes, for that
matter) will have plenty of opportunities.
While I'm on the subject of green, anyone have a favored dilly bean
recipe?  Here's one from Joy of Pickling:
Brined Snap Beans
2 pounds tender young snap beans, trimmed
6 small dried chile peppers
6 garlic cloves, chopped
12 black peppercorns, crushed
6 dill heads
1/2 cup pickling salt
3 quarts water
1. Layer beans, chile peppers, garlic, peppercorns and dill in a
1-gallon jar. Dissolve salt in the water and pour enough brine over
the beans to cover them. Push a freezer bag into the mouth of the jar
and pour the remaining brine into the bag. Seal the bag. Store at room
temperature.
2. Within 3 days you should see tiny bubbles rising. If scum forms on
top of the brine, skim it off daily and rinse off the brine bag.
3. Pickles should be ready in about 2 weeks, when the bubbling has
stopped and the beans taste sour. Remove brine bag, skim off any scum,
and cap the jar. Refrigerate.
But, back to the purple.  What do you like to do with eggplant?
Parmesan?  Roasted with olives and feta?  Grilled to a black
perfection?  Starring in a curry?  Mmmm, that one sounds good to me
(though you might want to wait for our tomatoes):
2 medium eggplant
salt
1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sliced garlic
4 tablespoons butter or oil
3 large tomatoes, chopped
add other vegetables to the mix, like zucchini, kale, string beans, carrots...
freshly ground black pepper to taste
about 1 cup water, more as needed
2 tablespoons lime juice
minced cilantro leaves for garnish

Peel the eggplant if skin is thick.  Cut into ½ inch cubes.
Combine oil and mustard seeds in a large deep skillet.  Heat seeds in
pan at medium until seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes.  Add
remaining spices, ginger, garlic, butter, and cook about 5 minutes,
stirring occasionally.
Add vegetables, salt, pepper, water.  Turn heat to medium-low and
cover.  Cook about ½ an hour, stirring once or twice.
Remove cover, adding more water if mixture is dry, and turn heat up to
medium.  Cook until eggplant is very tender, about another 15 minutes.
 Stir in lime juice, adjust to your taste, garnish with cilantro, and
serve.

A Little Something Else

Sabbaths, 2000, VII, by Wendell Berry

Some had derided him
As unadventurous,
For he would not give up

What he had vowed to keep.
But what he vowed to keep
Even his keeping changed

And, changing, led him far
Beyond what they or he
Foresaw, and made him strange.

What he had vowed to keep
He lost, of course, and yet
Kept in his heart.  The things

He vowed to keep, the things
He had in keeping changed,
The things lost in his keeping

That he kept in his heart,
These were his pilgrimage,
Were his adventure, near

And far, at home and in
The world beyond this world.

VIII

We hear way off approaching sounds
Of rain on leaves and on the river:
O blessed rain, bring up the grass
To the tongues of the hungry cattle.