The biting insects don’t like the blood of people who dread dying. They prefer the blood of people who can imagine themselves entering other life-forms, These are the ones the mosquito sings to in the dark and the deer fly orbits and studies with yellow eyes.
Galway Kinnell, The Biting Insects
It seems that my ability to manage my personal stress level lessens with each passing year; I am having to re-learn, as often times as not by the forceful-support of those around me, how to “relax”—how to live at ease in my surroundings, how to accept the help of others, how to not let the moods or demands of other persons affect my groundedness and my relationship to my work.
Luckily, I am surrounded by teachers. By receptive, kind listeners, by gentle souls, by patient mentors, by surprise guests and friends and volunteers—quiet offerings of wisdom, unexpected guides on my journey—each with an anecdote, a word of advice, a gesture of humor and lightness, a hand to share in the burden of the work.
On Wednesday night, Anthony and I joined a host of other young and beginning farmers, along with various members of our community, at the Germantown Library for the Beginning Farmer Discussion which accompanied the traveling exhibit: The New Farmer Narrative Project. The night was an opportunity to both hear about the research which Anna Duhon of the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Project has been compiling over many months of interviews and surveys of new farmers in Dutchess and Columbia Counties, and also a time for farmers to connect with the community—respond to questions about their goals or background or enterprises, and participate in discussions about the future of small farms in our community.
I was honored to sit alongside my fellow new farmers: this montage of well-spoken, hip, personable, and fearless folks who have chosen to devote their life’s work to growing food for those around them. We are an eclectic and passionate mix—driven by a vision, supported by a community, nurturing the land to which we belong in heart and body. We work hard. We eat well.
We joined a handful of farmers for the after-party at Fog and Thistle farm, sitting around tiki lights enjoying a beer and sharing the woes and wonders of farming: the struggle of cultivating crops in a drought—losing sight of the plants in a cloud of topsoil that the tractor stirs up, the new herd of sheep and lambs stricken with internal parasites, the recently cut hay field which seems unwilling to grow back without the blessing of precipitation, the pests, the ponderings, the staggering beauty of grazing animals: teeth expertly ripping mouthfuls of forage under an evening sky.
Driving home, late but enlivened, I felt abundantly grateful for the narratives of others—honest stories which I could relate to, which grounded me in a sense of purpose for my work, alongside the knowing that I am not alone in my struggles—in my doubts, my accidents, my seemingly ceaseless work.
The tiding which this work brings is one of purpose: there is no question as to my duty, my occupation, the work which I am driven to do in this incarnation.
There are many questions which I hold as to how we as farmers—as CSA farmers—relate to our community and to those who support us: Are we meeting your needs? Do we offer a service and a product which fits into your life, your family, your home, your diet? Are we supporting you?
Though we are blessed with your presence and your feedback each week as you come to pick-up your vegetables, and so grateful for this direct communication, I invite your response, if you feel compelled. What is the role of the small-sustainable farm in this community? How can the CSA model evolve and grow to reach more people, to further support your needs—physical and spiritual, to provide a sustainable future for farmers, communities, and land?
In patience, healing, and vegetables,
Lisa and Anthony
We travelers, walking to the sun, can’t see Ahead, but looking back the very light That blinded us shows us the way we came, Along which blessings now appear, risen As if from sightlessness to sight, and we, By blessing brightly lit, keep going toward That blessed light that yet to us is dark.
Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 1999, IV
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).
We are selling reusable, breathable produce bags for $1 a piece for small bags, and $1.50 a piece for large bags.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 845-758-1572.
Have Do you have friends and family who would like to join us as CSA members for the rest of the season?
CSA shares are still avaliable for the remainder of the season on a prorated basis:
How does it work with sliding scale?
You choose what you are able to pay for the season:
For Example: If you would like to pay $435 for your peck share, divide this by 22 weeks for the full season ($19.77) and multiply by the number of weeks you will be sharing with us for the remainder of the season (14 weeks would be $276.81).
I'm a bit early on sending this one out, as we won't be harvesting our garlic for another week or two, but tuck it away until then...
Spaghetti with Kale and Garlic Chips
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, which was adapted from Gourmet, November 2008
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise though I am sure crosswise would work as well 1 medium onion, finely chopped, or a handful of scallions, cut into 1-2 inch "chuncks" 1/2 cup dried currants (we skipped this) 2 pounds Kale, stems and center ribs finely chopped, or removed, and leaves coarsely chopped separately 1/2 cup water 1 pound spaghetti--whole wheat come recommended 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, cut into slivers 6 ounces feta, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Pay attention to the garlic and don't let the oil get too hot! Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Cook onion or scallions in oil remaining in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add currants and cook, stirring, until plumped, about 1 minute.
Stir kale stems, if using, into onion mixture with water and 3/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium-high heat until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in kale leaves and cook, covered, until stems and leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (2 tablespoons salt for 5 quarts water) until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water and drain spaghetti.
Toss spaghetti with kale, olives, and 1/2 cup cooking water, adding more cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with feta and garlic chips.