Week 6 July 6th 2012 CSA Newsletter

Volume II, Issue 10
CSA week 6, For the week of July 6th


This Week’s Selection

Hakurei Salad Turnips, Cabbage, Kale, Swiss Chard, Carrots, Beets, Yukina Savoy, Komatsuna, Mustard Greens, Te You (baby broccoli), Scallions, Lettuce, Dill, Cilantro, Pick Your Own Peas (pick carefully, some aren't as tender!)

From the Farmers

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This past Wednesday was July 4th, Independence day in the United States.  200 some odd years ago we fought for and won our freedom from Great Britan's tyrannical rule , and drew up a Declaration of Independence.  We toss around the word freedom quite often, but what does it really mean to you?  Free from what?  Or towards what?

A friend asked me recently if I ever upon waking have any doubts regarding my vocation.  Is this where I should be and what I should be doing?  Do I have a choice?  Why do I farm?

I find farming to be a place where I can exercise freedom as a adult human being.  Each moment I am presented with a new situation that demands my attention, and I must decide how I will work with it (or, actually, I choose to).   It is never the same situation twice, even though it may seem so superficially.  I might be startled or surprised, tired, bored, overwhelmed, sad, overjoyed, or indifferent with what has just come into being.  I might be familiar with the situation, I might have had to deal with something similar or may have read of something or someone in a similar place, and can walk that path once more.  I could be taken by my feelings and emotions and react before I can even perceive what is happening.  I could despair and walk away defeated.  I could assess the situation and act out of an ethical or cultural compulsion, doing what is socially accepted, traditional, 'the way it has always been done'.  But to act out of freedom requires me to strip myself down and move beyond the emotions and to drop my affiliations with culture and society, family, race, nation, state, religion or political party and find a place within myself where the answer lies.  I gladly take on this responsibility, even cherish it.  It is a blessing to have a place filled with so many beings that are such apt receivers of love that to act in love and freedom can happen without second thoughts.  These beings on the farm, the bees and flies and dragonflies, the horses and cows and chickens and the flowers, the yarrow and the milkweed and the echinacea, the carrots, the purslane, the lambsquarter, the frogs, on and on, are so giving of themselves out of free love without judgment, simply because they are unable to be conscious and judge as a human.  Here is another human gift and dilemma, that of discernment and what to do with it.  My non-human comrades constantly inspire me to 'Live through deeds of love, and let others live with understanding for each person's unique intentions.'  This is the most difficult work with freedom, that one can only truly be free if one allows all other beings that same freedom we strive for.  It may seem that you can think you are free and act in such a way but are drawn to an antipathy for the world, and bind yourself down to it.  You think you may have the answers, and are in control.  Now, in a conversation between humans it is easy to be dualistic and separate and go back and forth trying to communicate your thoughts to the other, but the rest of the universe calls you into a different conversation, one where you may think you are going back and forth but the world is staying just where it is and is still communicating the same thing.  If you could only drop your shame of being human or your fear that your brain does not know or can't control and be with it. ' A moral misunderstanding, a clash, is out of the question between people who are morally free. Only one who is morally unfree, who obeys bodily instincts or conventional demands of duty, turns away from a fellow human being if the latter does not obey the same instincts and demands as himself.'

This clash, this conflict, this suffering is not something that comes from above or outside but is a free choice you make.  And as such this freedom can be seen as a unwanted burden that requires consciousness and proper attention. This is what we create space for, our own freedom and intrinsically yours as well.  Simple, still somewhat guided things like how much to pay for your share, what to fill you basket with, and whether or not those peas are worth picking but important none the less as well as the creative opportunity to explore the farm or share a little piece of your life with us.  To come Tuesday, or Friday, or not at all, or both.  To get your vegetables elsewhere.  It is a balancing act, as most of us are so unfamiliar with freedom that when it presents itself we don't have the slightest idea what to do with it.  Please let us know if we can open things up more, if we can answer any questions, if you'd like to become a little more intimate with life on the farm.  Or don't.  Whatever you do, let yourself be loved. If we are not to be free, what are we?

towards freedom
-Anthony and Lisa

(Italics Rudolf Steiner)

"Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking and structures that shape and inform our lives."
-Joseph Bueys

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.

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.

We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again.

The visible
and the invisible

working together
in common cause,

to produce
the miraculous.

I am thinking of the way
the intangible air

passed at speed
round a shaped wing

holds our weight.

So may we, in this life

to those elements
we have yet to see

or imagine,
and look for the true

shape of our own self
by forming it well

to the great
intangibles about us.

~ David Whyte ~

Beet the Heat!

The beets are beginning to roll in, and if you only have poor childhood memories of these sweet ruby red beauties you are missing out!  Here are a few ideas:

Beet and Beet Green Gratin
This gratin is beautiful if you pair chioggas or golden beets with red beets. It is good hot or cold.
2 bunches (6 to 8) beets (preferably one red and one golden or chioggia), with the greens (about 2 pounds beets and 3/4 pound greens)
Salt to taste
3 eggs
3/4 cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup chopped chives (1 bunch)
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Roast the beets. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then cut the ends off, slip off the skins and slice across the equator.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens in two changes of water. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the pot of water comes to a boil, salt generously and blanch the greens for about one minute. (You can also steam the greens until they wilt, one to two minutes). Transfer the greens to the ice water, then drain and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet, and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant. Stir in the greens. Stir together for a minute, season the greens with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish with olive oil. Beat together eggs, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, milk, chives and the Gruyère. Gently stir in the greens and beets. Scrape into the gratin dish. Bake 35 to 40 minutes until set and lightly browned on the top. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.
Yield: Serves six.

Beet, Citrus, and Avocado Salad

This is a beautiful salad of contrasting flavors and textures. The juicy, acidic grapefruit plays off the earthy beets and the creamy, nutty avocado.
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon walnut oil
2 tablespoons canola oil
For the salad:
1 bunch beets (about 1 pound), scrubbed and roasted
1 pink grapefruit
1 medium-size or large ripe but firm Hass avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
1. Mix together the lemon or lime juice, the ground cumin seeds, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the walnut oil and canola oil.
2. Peel the roasted beets, and slice or cut in wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
3. Cut away both ends of the grapefruit so that it sits flat on your work surface. Cut the skin and pith completely away from the fruit, following the natural curve of the fruit from top to bottom. Hold the grapefruit in your hand over a bowl to catch the juice, and cut away each segment from between the membranes.
4. Arrange the beets in the center of a platter, and surround with the grapefruit and avocado slices. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, and drizzle any grapefruit juice in the bowl over the grapefruit and avocado. Sprinkle on the basil, and serve.
Yield: Serves four.
Grated raw beet salad

People who swear they hate beets love this salad. It’s a North African-inspired mixture of grated, uncooked beets dressed with orange and lemon juices and a small amount of olive oil. It makes a great starter when you’re serving something robust as a main course, like a couscous.1/2 pound beets
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon minced chives, mint or parsley (or a combination)
Salt to taste
Leaves of 1 romaine heart
1. Peel the beets with a vegetable peeler, and grate in a food processor fitted with the shredding blade.
2. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice and olive oil. Toss with the beets and herbs. Season to taste with salt. Line a salad bowl or platter with romaine lettuce leaves, top with the grated beets and serve.
Yield: Serves four.

Beet Hummus Recipe


  • 1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*
  • 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
  • 5 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons)
  • Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.


Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired.
Chill and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
Eat with pita chips, or with sliced cucumber or celery, or on a crostini with goat cheese and shaved mint.
Makes 2 cups.

A little something else…

A Rescue
Today I wrote some words that will see print.
Maybe they will last "forever," in that
someone will read them, their ink making
a light scratch on his mind, or hers.
I think back with greater satisfaction
upon a yellow bird--a goldfinch?--
that had flown into the garden shed
and could not get out,
battering its wings on the deceptive light
of the dusty, warped-shut window.
Without much reflection, for once, I stepped
to where its panicked heart
was making commotion, the flared wings drumming,
and with clumsy soft hands
pinned it against a pane,
held loosely cupped
this agitated essence of the air,
and through the open door released it,
like a self-flung ball,
to all that lovely perishing outdoors.
~ John Updike ~