Great Song Farm Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 9
CSA Week 8, week of July 30th
Tuesday Pickup August 2nd 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup August 6th 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Egg Week!
This Week's Selection
Cabbage, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard,Dandelion Greens, Arugula, Mustard Mix, Parsley, Broccoli, Basil, Tulsi/Holy Basil, Thai Basil, Scallions, Beets, Carrots, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Tomatoes
From the Farmers
Greetings Friends and Neighbors!
Another Monday morning quickly moving into afternoon (it actually just rolled over as I was typing, how time slips away) and here I am writing the weekly newsletter to inform and inspire you, to bring you into the fold of the happenings of the life of the farm, and I'm going to discuss water and community.  Again. It's not that these are issues constantly pressing on me heavily, but rather that they are those relegated to the background that we hope will and often do work themselves out. It is a relief and blessing when water gathers and precipitates from the sky without much assistance on our parts; no water lines to lug around, valves to turn on and off, or the need for kind calls asking for a short break in our irrigation so someone can shower. We are provided for. Last weeks rain was a small enlightening for me of the qualities water brings to life and those qualities that a shortage or lack draw back, exacerbate, or create anew. The sense the plants projected prior to and after the rain was for me astonishing. In setting up this very small, trickling means to bring water to our crops we have, using the resources at hand, taken on the responsibility of bringing consistent water to best sustain their life. It may not be much, and it may be a bit of work, but thanks to the 3 weeks of dry weather followed by the cooling, quenching rains last week, we know we should start early (now) before those signs of lack show themselves, and we are assured that our work is well worth it as a life feeling is received in the presence of healthy plants. It requires discipline, and constant monitoring to know where water is most needed. There are difficult decisions and choices on where to distribute it first, which plants require it more readily in order to fruit well or maintain healthy growth patterns. It also calls forth another realm of awareness and responsibility, that of respecting our personal as well as watershed, regional, and global water sources. Here we are, a small beginning farm looking to bring fresh produce to our community and when turning on the hoses to bring water to the fields and animals, to cook and clean and drink with, we must in these days realize the luxury of being able to turn a knob and receive clear and clean water. Something so simple that is easily taken for granted. Not being aware of the national news, I'm often in a bit of shock when someone brings others' experiences to my awareness, such as the drought striking Texas . The image of large oak trees cracking and falling over from lack of moisture is unsettling to say the least. But we live in the temperate northeast, we don't have to concern ourselves with such things! They have their troubles, and we ours. What can we do?
What can we do? I almost feel that there is nothing more to say now about community. It's been laid out well enough above. We have the ability to care, to serve, and respect, each of us, as little and insignificant as our capabilities may seem. But we cannot wait until an epic drought befalls us to begin to water. The signs of lack are showing themselves now if we are awake to them. As daunting as they may seem, we must begin today. We are being called upon to bring whatever we have, most importantly our own hearts and minds and hands, and lay aside the enclaves we have set up to enclose ourselves, in order to open up, to meet our own needs and those of others. To let each other know what we need, to welcome help, to step outside ourselves to help others, to realize the joys of sacrifice and service. To know what is necessary, to slough off all that is not and to help bring to life what is. No one is going to step in to 'save' us. The cracking tall oaks and 'our' national debt seem so far away as to be almost incomprehensible. We may not be feeling the physical repercussions of these events ourselves, but they are making themselves present nonetheless, and we must listen closely to their call and what they are asking of us. We are extremely blessed to live our lives as they are. How do we best nurture each other and our community?
Simply blessed,
Anthony and Jen
PS – Our chickens will be meeting the end of their physical lives this coming Sunday. Jen will be emailing those that have expressed interest in taking some home in the coming days detailing the situation. Please mark some time this coming Sunday afternoon, August 7th, to pick yours up to save us freezer space. It's looking like early afternoon. We'll also begin purchasing apples from our friends at Threshold Farm, a biodynamic orchard in Philmont, to sell by the pound in the coming weeks, so please let us know if you'll be interested so we can purchase the proper amounts.  We have descriptions available of their varieties for your consideration.
We can do no great things, only small things with great love. – Mother Theresa

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.
Check out the film Bag It, a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. I was screened last week in the area and might be around otherwise, keep your eyes open
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.

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.
Boothby Blonde (cooking advice!)
Our cucumbers are starting to come in after some initial struggles (we believe insects/earthworms/chipmunks/? ate many of the seeds we first planted). Some with smooth skins (some call them 'english, ours are actually a 'beit alpha' type from Isreal), other more traditional looking (long and slender with some spines), and the short, pale yellow cucumbers are a variety called “Boothby Blonde”, named after the Boothby Family from Maine who had been saving and selecting the seed for years. We'll also soon have long, curly asian cucumbers, and one variety from India that gets plump and 'ripens' to a certain extent, it's yellow skin becoming russeted brown, and which is often cooked. But there are no flames to speak of today, though the recipe has a little fiery spice to it. Below is Member Joan Berland's cucumber salad recipe which many of you enjoyed at our 'Open Farm' gathering this spring.
Cucumber Salad
1 – 2 Cucumbers cut into 1/4” slices
2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
¼ C Sugar
2 Tbsp Water
½ tsp Salt
2 Scallions, finely chopped
a few springs of cilantro chopped
hot peppers to taste (not much!)
  • Combine rice vinegar, sugar, lime juice, salt, water, and scallion in a mixing bowl. Stir well to dissolve sugar and set aside until ready to serve.
  • Add cucumbers, chiles, and cilantro and toss several times. Let sit 30 minutes to develop flavor. Discard most of the dressing and transfer to a serving dish.
A Little Something Else
The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. 

The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

William Butler Yeats