CSA Week 2

Volume II, Issue 6
CSA week 2, For the week of June 8th

Come pick-up your CSA vegetable share this week!

Saturday Folks, pick up is this Saturday, June 9th from 1:30-4:30
Tuesday Folks, pick-up is this
Tuesday, June 12thfrom 3:30-6:30

Shares are still available—if you have a friend in need of vegetables, we’re growin’ them, so send them our way.

We continue to welcome your generous contributions to Share the Harvest, funding which goes exclusively to support shares for those who are in need of community support at this time in their lives.  Any amount--no matter how small--makes a difference, so please consider making a donation. 
Checks can be made payable to Great Song Farm.

 Great Song Farm is pleased to announce that we are now able to accept SNAP benefits. If you would like to pay for your CSA membership using your SNAP benefits, please let us know.

 Check out our photos of Friday afternoon with horse trainer Barb Stanley of

Betti learns how to lead Sunny around the pasture.

Larry and Kate share a moment of bonding.

Our CSA member, friend, and neighbor Warren came out to work with Kate and Sunny as well.

This Week’s Selection

lettuce, garlic scapes, hakurei salad turnips, salad radishes, bok choi, baby broccoli budding green—te you, kohlrabi, mustard greens, kale, arugula, a touch of pick your own peas—(enough for an afternoon snack, and a tease of what will be coming in full-force next week)

From the Farmers

Dear Friends,

There seems to be a certain pre-ordained cadence to my days lately, a rhythm dangerously close to tedium which I have been unable to extract myself out of in order to enter the greater and more generous landscape of life and loveliness in this little corner of Milan. The endless backlog of transplanting—the farmer’s equivalent to a mound of office papers piling up on your desk— has a tendency to obstruct my clarity, my vision beyond the relentless work-ness of the work. It is a dangerous place to be, in the midst of magic, but unable (unwilling?) to find the safety of the space to acknowledge it, to see the wondrousness for what it is.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this all the time. After all, it is early June in this loving little valley, and we are bathing in the sunlight of some of the longest days of the year. To prove it, everything grows and ripens around us with extraordinary speed—grass too plenteous for the cows and horses to eat, weeds shooting up where there was bare soil the day before, a garden full of surprises. The gifts of early summer offer themselves once more: there are fields of strawberries to be picked and eaten at
Thomson Finch Farm in Ancram 7 days a week; there are growing chicks turning into chickens—climbing up the steps outside my kitchen window and finding sand piles to climb on top of in their daily quest for adventure; there are piles of greens and turnips to be munched on for each meal in quantities greater than my belly can hold (which I do hope each of you are delightedly digesting as well); in summation—the abundance surrounds me, and I only have to be an open and willing participant in it.

Anthony holds a great gift of living to, and within, one’s own capacities—living and working without extending one’s self to such a degree to be detrimental—to self or others, to plants or animals, or to the whole farm organism. I notice again and again how he seems to be accomplishing more than me, even with taking time for himself, yet I never seem to be able to shift myself through this transition and learn how to prioritize self-preservation, knowing the accomplishment of tasks will come as a natural response if I am preserving time for self-discovery. My main struggle with striking this balance is: I love this work; I truly enjoy each aspect of the whole lifestyle of farming (okay, perhaps minus the cows escaping from their pasture and running throughout the Milan woods for two hours on Monday morning). What would I do if I were not weeding peas or mucking horse stalls in my “free time”?

As always, Wendell Berry seems to offer me some simple words which offer a proper reflection on my backlog of transplants: “Take today for what it is, I counsel myself. Let it be enough.” In light of this, there is no “backlog” but simply an array of plants—living beings patiently waiting their turn to be tucked into the earth, to grow and thrive and feed us. When things get done they will get done, and in the meantime, I am just one small part of the greater workings of this farm, toiling as best I can, giving just exactly enough.


In recent weeks, Jen has decided to step back from her work at Great Song Farm for the remainder of the season; Jen will be transitioning to work with her fiancé at
Lineage Farm—a CSA a bit North which serves communities in Hudson, Poughkeepsie, and Brooklyn. Jen will be around at pick-ups this week to say her goodbyes to members and friends (although she isn’t too far away, and will surely be around for a community party here and there in the future).  

Except for the lack of Jen's presence, life here at Great Song will continue as normal--so please continue to expect 21 more weeks of the freshest, healthiest, and most delicious vegetable shares which we can offer.  Although we will feel the burden of one less farmer, Anthony and I feel confident in our ability to carry through with the season, with the continued support of this strong community.

As we transition from making this a three-person opperation, to a two-person opperation, we welcome volunteers who would like to come out and help with harvest and washing, or weeding and transplanting. Let us know if you'd like to come out and spend some time in the fields with us--we'd love to have you.


Lisa and Anthony

A Farewell Message
From Farmer Jen

We have only now shared our greetings for this season, and yet I find myself needing to wish you well as I prepare to travel along a different path. Much has changed in the past week, surprising us all to a certain extent. I am, of course, talking about more than the dip and subsequent soar in the temperature.

Much of this spring and past winter found the three of us heavily involved in planning and bringing about the CSA and vegetables for this season at Great Song Farm. Somewhere along the way, I decided to propose marriage to my boyfriend, Jon Ronsani. Time flies by so rapidly when we're busy farming, sometimes I miss the build-up to intensity of certain gut feelings. Unheedingly, I tried to push them aside, certain that this farm was to be my life-long endeavor, and focusing on seemingly more time-sensitive responsibilities. However, these particular gut feelings were not to be denied, and this past month or so they just about bowled me over. Lisa, Anthony, and I started conversations about the future of this farm and my place in it.

We discussed various aspects of the situation - work load, financial, and heart concerns all emerged. Simply put, we came to a point in discussions where it made sense for me to resign as partner and farmer at Great Song Farm, in favor of working with my beau at Lineage Farm outside of Hudson. My heart, my dreams, and my love lie with Jon, even as I grieve leaving Great Song's beautiful environs, lovingly supportive land owneres, and fantastic members.

Your presence at these first vegetable pick-ups of Great Song Farm's second season - smiling, joyful, and grateful to be entering the realm of fresh vegetables from the farm once again, strongly reaffirms my desire to continue with CSA farming.

May you continue to be blessed with the simple, sweet melody of Great Song Farm, in the process of being composed by your farmers Lisa and Anthony, by your farm land owners Larry and Betti, by the animals and the earth, and by you, dear members.

I will be present at this coming Saturday and Tuesday pick-ups, offering my hand to shake, my arms to hug, and my smile in farewell.

In friendship, warm wishes, and farewell,
Jen practices asking Kate to back up.

Preparatory reminders for CSA Distribution at Great Song FarmPlease remember bags to carry your produce home as well as small bags
for small loose greens (arugula, mustard mix, lettuce mix).

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.
You can email us at
greatsongfarm@riseup.net or call at 845-758-1572.

Culinary Delights…

Some notes on this week’s selection of vegetables…

Those white round Hakurei Turnipsare my number one snack food this time of year. They are a precious treat, only coming around in the spring and fall, so savour them while you can. Cook in a stir fry, or eat raw; the greens are super-tasty too, but best to cook.

Te you, also known as Chinese broccoli, kailaan, or Chinese kale, is a popular Chinese green vegetable with thick, tender, crisp, delicious stems. Tasty raw or cooked—buds and all.

Our Mustard Mix is a mélange of mild greens which can be cooked or eaten raw in a salad.

Great Song chef and farmer Anthony recommends slicing and cooking these little deep pink salad radishes—sauté in a bit of butter or olive oil along with a touch of water on medium-low heat, toss in some well-sliced or minced garlic scapes, add a pinch of salt, and cook until tender.

Kohlrabi, this beautiful purple mystery of a vegetable, can be used in much the same way as cabbage, or sometimes replaced for potatoes. For example, my first kohlrabi experience was making grated kohlrabi fritters or pancakes in a cast iron pan from my mother’s CSA farm about 3 years back. But you can cook and eat the greens too! Here is a recipe for a slaw/ salad, best eaten immediately after preparation:

Kohlrabi and Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts (or try with sesame seeds or cashews)
Not to be redundant, but this too was adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1-2 medium sized kohlrabi heads, pealed and shredded
a touch of kosher salt, to taste
1 handful of arugula, washed and cut into thin strips
1/8 cup fresh lime juice (from about 1 small lime)
1 spoodful of Dijon or other salty prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 cup peanut or olive oil
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the grated kohlrabi with the salt. Transfer to a colander and let it drain for an hour or two, if you have the time.

If you’re not a salt lover, after draining, taste a piece of kohlrabi and if the level of salt doesn’t appeal to you, rinse and drain the kohlrabi.

Put the salted, drained kohlrabi back into your (rinsed and dried) large bowl and add the sliced arugula. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard and cumin together. Add the peanut or olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified. Toss the salad with the dressing and add the roasted peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

A little something else…

One more by Yusef Komunyakaa…

Nighttime Begins with a Line by Pablo Neruda

So my body went on growing, by night,
went on pleading & singing to the earth
I was born to be woven back into: Love,
let me see if I can’t sink my roots
deeper into you, your minerals & water,
your lead rot & gold, your telling & un-
telling of the oldest tales inscribed
on wind-carved rocks, silt & grass,
your songs & prayers, your oaths & myths,
your nights & days in one unending lament,
your luminous swarm of wet kisses
& stings, your spleen & mind,
Your outrageous forgetting & remembrance,
Your ghosts & rebirths, your thunderstones
& mushrooms, & your kind loss of memory.