Great Song Farm Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 20 Week of October 16th, 2011

Great Song Farm Newsletter
Volume 1, Issue 20
CSA Week 19, week of October 16th
Tuesday Pickup October 18th 4 - 7pm

Saturday Pickup October 22nd 1:30 – 4:30 pm

This Week's Selection
Escarole, Endive, Parsnips, Radishes, Carrots, Salad Turnips, Rutabegas, Leeks, Collards, Kale, Swiss Chard, Lettuce Heads, Parsley, Culinary Herbs, Sweet Peppers
PYO: Flowers
From the Farmers
Dear Friends,
This season has brought many challenges and opportunities for us to learn and grow, both individually and as a community.  As fall slowly comes bearing upon us (we have 4 more weeks together!) I have been reflecting a bit, trying to put myself in your shoes and asking ‘how do I envision my relationship with the folks that grow my food?’, or for that matter, anyone who produces a good or service for me.  One of the pillars of this farm has been trust, trust that is based on a full and open knowledge of the happenings around here, a certain transparency we are striving towards.  We want you to also know of the ideas and ideals behind this farm, the spirit that drives us in a sense.  This is a bit of what the ramblings in this newsletter attempt to convey.  One part of this farm that has not been directly discussed much has been our financial situation.  This is often the one thing even those open about all else will hold close to their chest, something that is taboo to discuss in the open.  Economics are often a touchy subject, with people holding strong beliefs and casting judgment and there never being enough to go around.  What is enough?  What is our goal in doing the work we do?  We farmers live spare but wealthy lives, and are looking at the prospect of taking on off-farm winter work when there is so much to be done here on the farm to care for the land, to grow more and better vegetables, to make spaces for humans and animals to inhabit comfortably, to repair equipment to allow us to complete these tasks better, to enhance your experience when you visit the farm.  We too have things we must pay for, and money can be tight.  Faced with this situation, we are looking forward to sitting down together as farmers (we will soon be 3, with my partner Lisa joining Jen and I this coming week for the unforeseen future ahead) with the ledger of what we have spent our inaugural year and what we are budgeting to spend on keeping up the farm next year (with the luxury of no land rent thanks the Betti and Larry) and are hoping to find enough money to meet our meager needs.  A somewhat tall order for a second year business, but with all the help and kindness we’ve received it seems quite plausible.  We can be taken care of by your support and in turn can focus on providing an abundance of healthy, great tasting vegetables.
We are also looking forward to sharing what we have spent this first year alongside our projected budget with you, including our ‘salaries’, not for your approval but simply for something for you to consider if you’d like, one more facet of the experience of getting to know your farm and farmers.  We do however allow you the opportunity to choose how much you’re able to support us financially through our pricing structure.   In planning this farm we have also strongly taken into account your means to afford to be able to support us, and how many of you we might need to ask to support us, and how many of you we can reliably provide with vegetables and the full farm experience while doing a great job of caring for the rest of the farm, and are hoping to somehow complete this balancing act.  This is part of the reason we offer a sliding scale for each of our vegetable shares, and are willing to work out individual payment plans, and offer reduced rate shares for those unable to afford the full price, because we know you value our vegetables and the opportunity to visit the farm and farmers and want to do our best to bring that to whoever would like to partake, whatever their financial means. 
This Saturday we will begin offering shares for next season.  We would love for you to join us for our second season; if you’d like to join us and finances are tight, just give us your word and we’ll save you a spot.  If you’re hesitant to rejoin, please let us know of your reservations and perhaps we can accommodate you.  Please also help us spread the word, as the sooner we’re able to secure shareholder the more we’ll be able to focus on caring for the farm and providing an outstanding experience next year.  We have learned so much this year and are planning to mend our many mistakes and make many more next year!
Won’t you join us?
-Anthony and Jen (and Lisa)

Important PostScripts:
Our fall celebration/rock picking party is THIS Saturday, October 22nd at 2 pm.  Please be prompt!  We’d like to get the farm tour started on time so we can share food and company before the evening shade sets in.  Spread the word, invite your friends!  We’ll begin with a farm tour, head to our back fields that we’ll be growing on next year to pick rocks with the help of Sunny and Kate (equines) and Dick and Jane (bovines), and then come back to the barnyard for a potluck dinner together.  PLEASE remember to bring plates, cups, and utensils, even if you don’t bring a dish.
We’re planning to plant our garlic crop for next season this coming Friday afternoon.  If anyone would like to come and lend a hand by placing a few cloves of garlic in the ground we’d love to have you.  We’ll begin around 2pm.  We’ll also be breaking apart heads into cloves Tuesday during CSA pickup if you have a few extra minutes and would like to join the circle.

The healthy social life is found
When in the mirror of each human being
The whole community finds its reflection
And when in the community
The virtue of each one is living.
-       Rudolf Steiner
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.

Evolution is moving towards totally uncompensated work. No one rejects the idea and no one can change it. Whereas Greek workers performed their work in bondage to their master and modern workers are compelled to work for pay, in the future all work will be performed freely. Work and income will be completely separated. That is the healthy state of social conditions in the future.
-       Rudolf Steiner

S Kah Roll (cooking advice!)
For those unfamiliar with escarole, it is a brother to endive, which is sometimes found in mesclun salad.  A little less bitter than its brother, escarole, it thrives in this cooler weather and is a great addition to a hearty white bean soup.  Here’s a simple recipe for everyday escarole.

Braised Escarole with Garlic and Lemon



Break off the leaves of the escarole and wash them individually, taking care to remove any soil at the base of the stems. Shake the leaves dry, stack them up, and slice the escarole crosswise into ribbons about 1 1/2-inches wide.
Place a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Toss in the garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and lemon slices; cook and stir for a couple of minutes, tossing to combine. Nestle the escarole into the pan and saute until it begins to wilt and shrink down, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the escarole with a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes until the escarole is tender.

The wellbeing of an entire group of individuals who work together becomes greater the less individuals claim the income resulting from their own accomplishments for themselves—that is, the more they contribute this income to their fellow workers, and the more their own needs are met not through their own efforts but through the efforts of others.
-       Rudolf Steiner

A little something else (contributed b y Betti Steel)

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks