Great Song Farm Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 14 Week of September 4th, 2011

Great Song Farm Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 14
CSA Week 13, week of September 4th
Tuesday Pickup September 6th 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup September 10th 1:30 – 4:30 pm


This Week's Selection
Winter Squash, Tomatoes, Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard, Parsley, Basil,  Tulsi/Holy Basil, Thai Basil, Tomatoes, Beets, Carrots
PYO: green beans, cherry tomatoes, flowers
Bartlett Pears and Gala Apples from Threshold Farm
From the Farmers
Dear Friends,
Take a moment and imagine yourself sitting in the quiet of your home, in front of your computer.  The gentle hum of the fan cooling its inner workings, the brightly lit screen showing you what you’ve asked for (most of the time, at least), the air just the right temperature, the humidity non-existent, the entire universe of human information at your fingertips thanks to the internet.   Now bring yourself into a grassy meadow, sitting on the ground.  It is late Summer (it could be anytime while sitting at the computer) and perhaps there are birds heralding the morning, insects singing their songs, the air a little heavy and warm but cut every so often with a much welcome breeze, the warm sun at your back.  The grass blowing around and swaying to and fro, flowers blossoming, some withering away making way for fall, the moon just setting over the horizon.  The entire universe happening live in front of you.  There are many times when I try to meld these two worlds by sitting in the grass on the computer, but it seems that the computer is not one that melds well as the world outside the screen is quickly forgotten.
I have not known a life without computers.  Since early elementary school they have figured into my habits of interacting with the world at large, beginning with gaming, encyclopedia on CDROM, and AOL with a 9600 baud modem to studying computer science in college through today when there is nary a day that goes by that I don’t check my email and surf a couple regular websites to stay in touch with the world, do a little research, only to glance up from the screen an hour (or two) later after being distracted by what this wonderful machine has to offer. 
Last week the power adapter for my laptop stopped working.  At first I was a little disheartened that the freedom to sit in the grass and surf the internet at will had been swiped away.  I still made nightly trips to the Steel’s computer to make the rounds and research some burning questions, and still spent much longer than anticipated, but I felt that I was more in control of my actions.  I found time to write letters to friends, read some books I had been meaning to get to, worked on a few pending projects and cleaned up a bit.  Unscattered my messy brain.  And this morning, when presented with the task of bringing this newsletter to you sitting at the computer, I cringed slightly, trying to figure a way to pull a scrap of paper off the table and write with my hand and have it reach you all via email.  Alas, just as above, the 2 worlds do not blend.
I write not against computers or technology in general, but want to ask who and how does our technology serve?  Are we conscience of our use, are we still free willing in our actions?  Where are our technological habits leading us?  What void are they attempting to fill, and are they the correct measures to bring us comfort, friendship, knowledge, inspiration, skills?  How do machines feel to our bodies, how do they affect our society and economy, how do they move our pace of life?  I am grateful that I have this opportunity to write this newsletter and send it far and wide via email, to people who I do not see regularly and those that I do.  But for me the click-clack of the keyboard in front of a screen will never replace the formation of letter with my hand, and even less can it replace a spoken conversation in person, our body language and facial expressions.
These questions of technology use are asked daily on the farm.  When presented with a task, we take the opportunity to choose how to accomplish the work appropriately, that is, which tools do we have at our disposal and how do they fit into the way we want to live our lives?  Who made the tools, where were they made, how were they made, where can they be purchased and serviced, what kind of energy do they consume, how do they accomplish the task at hand, how does it affect our social relationships? We too are under economic stress of sorts and time constraints that push and pull us to make less than ideal decisions but our quality of life and the quality of life of the surrounding community, our fellow human beings and the world at large at are always in mind.  When events such as last week’s storm shake us out of our daily lives these questions become even more present and make us look at the design of our lives: our dependence on electricity, on food and goods from far and wide, the state of our roads and bridges, our sources of clean water, our connections with our community.  They shake us into realizing what is truly important.
Love via email,
-Anthony and Jen

How to be a poet (to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
 
Wendell Berry

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.

Delicate Squash? (cooking advice!)
The long striped zepplin shaped winter squash we’re handing out now are called delicata, a relished early fall treat as they don’t store too long.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe:
Delicata Squash Casserole
1 large delicata squash or 2 small ones
1 small yellow onion
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 TBL butter
Wash and scrub the squash. Cut off both ends. Scoop out stringy center and seeds with a slender sharp knife, discard. Hold squash firmly on a cutting board and with a sharp chef’s knife slice very thin.  Peel the onion, slice, then chop coarsely with the chef’s knife.
Layer the delicata slices and chopped onion in a souffle dish or shallow casserole dishes.
Dot the top with butter, and cover with grated Parmesan cheese.
Cover with lid or foil and bake at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes. To brown the cheese remove the cover the last 10 minutes until golden brown. This dish is so sweet you will think you added sugar to it. It is just the natural sweetness of this delicata squash.
Enjoy!

A Little Something Else
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.

And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.

When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.

Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.

Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.

Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.

Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry