Great Song Farm Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 10
CSA Week 9, week of August 7th
Tuesday Pickup August 8nd 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup August 13th 1:30 – 4:30 pm

This Week's Selection
Cabbage, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Melons, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard,Dandelion Greens, Parsley, Broccoli, Basil, Tulsi/Holy Basil, Thai Basil, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Tomatoes, PYO: green beans, cherry tomatoes, flowers
From the Farmers
Greetings Friends and Neighbors!
When Jen and I conceived the idea of this farm, it was much greater than we could ever hope to realize on our own - a distant dream of sorts that could only come to fruition with much help. We prepared some ground (with help, of course), brought on animals to care for, planted seeds, surveyed the neighborhood for folks interested in participating in the farm, fell asleep under a mulberry tree, and somehow here we are, truly reaping the fruits of our labor as the melons and tomatoes, squash and cucumbers begin piling up. Thanks to harvest and wash team regulars Betti Steel and Sheila Buff (and all those who pitch in otherwise), we are still somewhat relaxed despite the recent growth of our harvest. This past week has underscored the term harvest, as we now have a barn Full of hay (700 square bales) and our chickens, who arrived as day old chicks the day of our open farm celebration, have been transformed into nourishment thanks to many skilled hands. These were two large jobs, two of many which we could not have done alone. We'd like to sincerely thank Bob and Ben Zitz and Family and Darren Davidowich for pitching in with the hot, dusty, itchy, scratchy, tiring to no end but somehow enjoyable and extremely satisfying job of cutting/baling/transporting and then, on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, unloading the hay from our back fields to the upper level of our barn. Swing by and take a look if you're interested, it is truly a sight to see, hay stacked up to the ceiling of the big barn, enough to feed four hungry mouths through the cold, long winter until this time next year! We also had a great crew out to help us beginning at 5 am Sunday morning to help harvest our chicken crop: Betti and Larry Steel, Debra Blalock, Anthony Cuccia, Justin Logan, Matt, RJ, and Christy from the Children of the Earth Camp, and Ashley Loehr brought 70 birds safely to the other side and onto many welcoming plates in a truly impressive clean and conscientious manner, all in a morning! And I certainly can't forget Jen's boyfriend, Jon Ronsani, who jumped in for both events AND ran a farm of his own. THANKS to all! And to everyone else who is part of this farm as eaters and moral supporters, seeing your faces each Tuesday and Saturday helps bring us through the rest of the week, knowing where this food is being enjoyed.
Speaking of grand dreams and visions, now that we're coming up on being halfway through our first season, it's time to seriously consider how our next year might be shaping up. With the hay crop off the back fields, we're looking to plow up 3 or so acres on the hilltop out back to allow us to rotate the vegetables around and give the front field a rest as well as begin experimenting with growing grain to augment our bathtub full of rice. We're getting serious and are picking up a grain drill (to plant with) and a small pull behind combine (to harvest) from Bob Zitz and, depending on how the land plows up and the weather cooperates, could be planting up to an acre of various grains (wheat/rye/barley/oats/spelt/emmer/millet/corn/who knows what else) this coming fall and spring. Our pick your own crops will stay close to the distribution stable for your convienence. The bathtub of rice, which is just now heading out and making rice seeds, might expand into the front field by the greenhouse, becoming more of an in-ground paddy situation. This one is a bit more involved (and so is more doubtful to soon be fully realized), but it is on the short list. Depending on how these projects manifest, we may have some grain to share with you all in some form next summer/fall. We are very fortunate to have Wild Hive and Lightning Tree farm so close by, but grain is such a staple of most diets and is something that is not currently supplied by local farms otherwise, so we're seeing where these humble beginnings might take us. This is just one of many projects for this winter and the coming year to bring this farm closer to our vision, which is honestly always evolving. We'd love to hear your ideas too! Let us know what you'd like to see, what we can produce and provide to our community or other dreams we as a farm community can bring to life.
Dreaming with eyes wide open,
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.
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.
Summer Greens (Cabbage and Collards)(cooking advice!)
The height of summer brings a time when it is difficult to grow tasty tender young greens for salads and such, but we have many tasty tender sweet cabbages and the collard greens are looking a little less like something to fan yourself with and more like something to eat for dinner. I cook both in a similar manner, simmering the collards a bit longer to get them tender.
Braised Cabbage/Collards
Remove core and stems from cabbage/collard. Slice cabbage/collards into very fine slivers. Place in a pot with water to cover the bottom, and add a bit of salt to taste and bring the water out of the greens. Slice an onion and add it to the greens. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the greens until they are cooked to your desired tenderness (the cabbage takes around 15 minutes, the collards close to 30, but keep an eye on them to be sure not to overcook them) I like to add butter to the Cabbage when done cooking and something acidic (vinegar or tomatoes) to the collards along with coconut oil or cooked bacon/lard, depending on how you swing.

A little something else
Cloths of Heaven (submitted by member Melanie Parks, inspired by last week's poem)

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half-light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
-William Butler Yeats