Great Song Farm Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 12 Week of August 21, 2011

Great Song Farm Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 12
CSA Week 11, week of August 21st
Tuesday Pickup August 23rd 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup August 27 1:30 – 4:30 pm

This Week's Selection
Cabbage, Summer Squash, Zucchini, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard,Dandelion Greens, Parsley, Basil, Tulsi/Holy Basil, Thai Basil, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Beets, Carrots
PYO: green beans, cherry tomatoes, flowers
Maybe: Melons, Broccoli, Lettuce, Arugula, Mustards
From the Farmers
Dear Friends,
Here we are, halfway through our first season together. How is the farm (for you)? People are always asking me how the farm is and the conversation far too often takes a similar form:
How's the farm?”
You must work long hard hours and not have any time for anything else, especially this time of year.”
Actually, I ….”
I don't know how you do it, all those long hot hours and the physical labor, not something I could ever think of doing.”
It is always very perplexing to me how most people view the life of a farmer, even and especially those who are farming or have farmed as one of endless toil, being in a sense enslaved during the growing season. It is unfathomable to most that our work here is a joy, a welcomed burden of sorts, to have this opportunity to grow food and feed people. Yes, we work outside no matter the weather, and there is much physical labor, and we are certainly at the will of the farm and nature at some inopportune times, but these are viewed more as opportunities rather than liabilities. One comes to appreciate the seasons, the warm sun rising in the sky to burn off the dew and setting earlier and earlier after warmer July days that had us taking after lunch naps under trees and working later as the sun slowly set. Working directly with one's hands, moving tender leaves aside to pull a weed, digging your hands into the soil to place a young transplant in its new home, carrying boxes of melons and cabbages through the fields, walking back and forth the trail out to the woods behind a horse and a log for firewood bringing in this winter's wood leaves one ready for bed at the end of the day, but look at what we have and are continuing to create! The weather may say that we're seeding today and working late to get transplants in and foregoing an outing with friends, or that we won't step foot into the fields because of torrential rain, or that we're in the headlights of a truck at 10pm to bring in hay bale after hay bale after a long day and heaving bales for the past six hours, and there's nowhere I'd rather be or anything I'd rather be doing despite prior plans. We are intimately connected to this plot of land and it's place among the heavens and the earth; We're just getting to know each other and have a long way to go, but we are committed to listening and care and health for all.
This farm brings the opportunity to provide for the majority of our own needs through our labor and the resources of the farm as well as providing for the needs of others, contributing to their survival and happiness. We can exercise our creativity as fully as the greatest artists, we can plan and experiment and live out our dreams, we can live simply and in assurance that our actions are supporting others to live as we live, to be enabled and even encouraged to seek, to experiment, to plan, to create, to dream. What more could one ask for?
And you, our friends, neighbors, shareholders, members, supporters, are what make this possible. You bring us great encouragement. We want you to be enjoying this farm as much as we are! Halfway through this first season together, how is this relationship working for you? What can we do to make your experience joyful and free? Are we meeting your expectations? What have you enjoyed thus far, and what would you change? Has there been too much of any produce, are there vegetables and fruits you'd like to see more of? How does the pickup scheduling work for you? Please let us know! We're attaching a simple survey that we'd love you to fill out and bring in at your next pickup to help us in our planning for next season (we're already underway!).
On the current produce front, our later plantings of Kale, Chard, and Collards are coming in and we'd like to offer the opportunity for you to freeze some of these hearty greens for your wintertime enjoyment. Please let us know if you'd be interested via email and we'll harvest some for you in half bushel increments. We also have 2 plantings of green (and yellow and purple) beans going strong, so come pick to your heart's content and freeze some of those too! The plum tomatoes are bearing heavily and we will begin offering them on a pick your own basis (we had been picking, but now it's your turn!) so you can make sauces and pastes and dry them if you'd like.
Listening for your yearnings,
-Anthony and Jen
This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and greivances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privelege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.
Life is no 'breif candle' to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
- George Bernard Shaw

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.

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.
To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to the stars and the birds, to babes and sages with an open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden, grow up through the common”
- William Channing
Put 'em up (cooking advice!)
For those unfamiliar with freezing greens such as kale, chard, and collards or green beans for the winter, here's a quick rundown of the process. Despite their differences the process is the same for both.
  • Look through the greens or beans to make sure they are all clean and there are no inedible portions. Clean then up a little if needed. Some people prefer to remove the stems from the kale and collards and the stem ends of green beans.
  • For the greens, cut them up into the size you'd like to be eating them this winter.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. You will be blanching the greens/beans quickly to cook them just until they begin to brighten up and become a tender. Depending on how much you are looking to put up and the size of your pot, you can place all of the produce in the boiling water at once and then dump it through a colander or place some into the water and then fish it out with a strainer utensil. The produce will be in the boiling water for 30 seconds – 1 minute, just keep checking itevery 10 seconds or so.
  • After removing the produce from the hot water (either through the colander or with a utensil) run it under cold water to immediately stop the cooking process.
  • Once cooled, pack plastic bags (quart or sandwich size are nice depending on how many you'll be feeding) with the greens/beans and toss into the freezer awaiting the depths of winter when you'll be craving them!
The truth is that man needs work even more than he needs a wage. Those who seek the welfare of the workers, should be less anxious to obtain good pay, good holidays, and good pensions for them than good work, which is the first of their goods. For the object of work is not so much to make objects as to make men. A man makes himself by making something useful.
-Mahatma Ghandi

A little something else
When you work you are a flute
through whose heart the whispering
of the hours turns to music.
To love life through labor is to be intimate
with life's inmost secret.
All work is empty save when there is love,
for work is love made visible.
-Kahlil Gibran