This Week’s Selection
Summer Squash/Zucchini, Cucumbers, Beets, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Kale, Collard Greens, Tomatoes, Okra, Cabbage, Onions, Parsley, Sweet Basil, Thai/Lemon/Holy Basil, Sorrel, PYO Green Beans, Flowers, Cherry Tomatoes, and extra pesto-time Basil
From the Farmers
Some time ago, a friend (and CSA member) suggested this idea for a newsletter: that I write down a day in the life. In the months that followed, I’ve been searching for the perfect day: the typical day, the one which would embody and articulate all the rest. Perhaps today was it, or maybe not at all. But either way, here it is: I present to you one day, amidst so many. May the mundane details somehow point to something deeper, some steady gift of courage which invites us each and all to participate in our lives in the only way we can: with integrity and forgiveness and the steady cadence of faith.
I wake at 6:00 a.m. to my second alarm and climb back into bed to eat three mostly-ripe peaches under covers—another cold morning whispering of autumn. Nothing lures me out of sleep like summer fruit.
A 1.2 mile bike-ride to the farm under a wool hat. Let the chickens out, bring their coop a fork-full of hay for fresh bedding, clean out the water. Water to the cows, check their pasture: they have enough to eat, fresh pasture tomorrow.
Although it is generally against my personal rule to use a computer before breakfast, there are some necessary emails to send, so I begrudgingly stare at a screen despite the hour offering me some of the most beautiful moments of the day.
I clean up the pick-up room from yesterday’s CSA, gathering together the items which we will donate to the Community Action Partnership in Red Hook.
At 7:30, Anthony and I meet and walk to the back pasture where Sunny and Kate wait for our arrival. My relationship with Sunny has left me weary in recent weeks; it is difficult to acknowledge the impact that horse behavior has on me. To suggest that I should not take it so personally, should not be so sensitive, would be to point out the most obvious and most impossible. When Sunny took up his old habit of running away from me while I (try to) lead him, I relinquished to Anthony the role of leading the horses to and fro pasture, fearing for Sunny safety and my self-respect. Two weeks later, I am gradually opening myself to re-establish this relationship. As we enter the pasture, Anthony suggests I lead Sunny to the barn; we find him already bucking and bolting, throwing tantrums to get the horse-fly off his back. When he finds a moment of calm, I halter him and begin our morning training—offering him the only thing I can—false confidence, an attempt at strong leadership, a few moments when he believes he has no choice but to do what I ask. Come. Whoa. Back. Come. Whoa. Back. Back. Back. Get out of my personal space. Pay attention to me even with the horse fly on you. Come.
We make it to the barn together. Water. Feet picked. A bale of hay to split for breakfast. Then my breakfast.
Our weekly volunteer Karen arrives; we happily linger in the shade a few minutes to discuss the two topics of conversation which never seem to tire: the future of our lives, and men. We continue our deliberations and decision-makings into our work: seeding 11 trays of lettuce, the last lettuces of the season which we will hopefully all be munching on come late October. Then there is a bed of leeks to hoe and hand-weed while Anthony and the horses disc the old pea ground for this afternoon’s transplants. Then there is another bed of weedy leeks.
Anthony has made us lunch: rice, fennel onions and parsley sautéd into something rich and decadent, sauerkraut.
Lunch digesting, water the seedlings. A bite of chocolate for self-motivation.
Afternoon seems to bring unanticipated heat. I am alone in the garden, transplanting a tray of flowers whose roots have been seeking more space for about a month now. I ready the two beds where I will spend my evening transplanting fall Kale—leaves which will grow, sweetening and tenderizing in the early frosts of winter. Although the horses have done their part to churn up this soil, there are still weeds to pull, grass to uproot, dead grasses to clear away. The soil is forgiving and giving to my bare feet—a tilth and moisture level which invites the luxury of digging. I feel the rocks which the trowel meets resound through my wrist and back, trying and retrying to find the position which protects my body, distracting myself with breaks during my steady move down the row, a baby kale plant entering the soil every twelve inches. Where the soil is most pliant, I imagine myself swaddling this kale as an infant into a blanket—tender and precise movements to tuck in frantic limbs, soothing and folding and enveloping.
On a trip to the kitchen for water, I spontaneously lay myself into the grass, back to the earth. I have maybe not lain down like this in months and I am somehow surprised at how supported I feel—the gentle curve of hillside fitting into the arch of my expansive back, which somehow seems to always find ways to contract when occupied in labor. In the shade of the pine, I am attentive to the small and irregular creek of some branch too imperceptible for me to distinguish, moving with wind or weakness.
I transplant until almost nightfall, seed one tray of parsley—a winter-hardy herb to live in the greenhouse through the winter—while the mosquitoes bite me and the sun fades into a place inaccessible to my straining eyes.
I wash the dirt off my face and neck, arms and legs, hands and feet. To the small and perfect cabin which is offered to me as my home. To writing—giving formalized expression to the words which have been constructing and deconstructing themselves in my head and heart all day. A few messages to friends, to each of you; a brief picture, a thread, an articulation of an experience, a confession, a story, a memory, a day.
In honor of each of your days,
Lisa and Anthony
A Little Something Else
To the Holy Spirit
O Thou, far off and here, whole and broken,
Who in necessity and in bounty wait,
Whose truth is light and dark, mute though spoken,
By Thy wide grace show me Thy narrow gate.
Blue Cheese Cole Slaw?
Want to explore what to do with a head of cabbage and manifest a little side dish we call Cole Slaw? Check out http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12570289 this story for a whole host of recipies (and a rich history too).
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 small head green cabbage
4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled
2 cups (16 ounces) mayonnaise (make your own with Sparrowbush eggs for something that will really blow your mind—the best recipe is in good old Joy of Cooking)
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) crumbled Roquefort blue cheese
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cut the cabbages in half and then in quarters and cut out the cores. Set up the food processor with the slicing blade and place the pieces of cabbage, one at a time, lying horizontally in the feed tube. (If they don't fit, cut them to fit lying down.) Place the feed tube pusher on top and turn on the processor. Don't push on the feed tube pusher or the slices will turn out too thick. Continue with the remaining red and green cabbage quarters. (Or skip this, and just use a good sharp knife and a little bit of extra time and muscle). Transfer into a large bowl, discarding any very large pieces. Before you pour the dressing on the salad, save a handful of the grated vegetables to decorate for serving.
Change the slicing blade for the large shredding blade and cut the carrots so they also lie down in the feed tube. Since the carrots are hard, replace the feed tube pusher and press firmly with the food processor on. Add to cabbage.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, both mustards, vinegar, celery salt, kosher salt and pepper. Pour enough mayonnaise dressing over the grated vegetables and toss to moisten well. Add crumbled blue cheese and parsley and toss with vegetables. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more to allow the flavors to meld. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Benefit Concert for Great Song Farm Share the Harvest (free and reduced vegetable shares) Fund and Potluck Dinner
Please join us on Friday, August 10th for a concert on the farm.
5:30 Potluck Dinner
6:30 Live Music
Margeret Glaspy (https://www.facebook.com/mglaspymusic http://margaretglaspy.bandcamp.com/)
Shy Hunters (https://www.facebook.com/ShyHunters http://shyhunters.bandcamp.com/)
Jolie Holland (http://www.jolieholland.com/)
Rain or Shine.
Donation $10-5 to support Share the Harvest free and reduced CSA shares.
Beverages by donation.
Please bring: dinnerware, a dish to share, a blanket or lawn chair, weather-appropriate clothing, friends, etc.
We are located at: 475 Milan Hill Road in Milan (outside of Red Hook) off of 199
Please come into the drive that says "CSA parking" and park in the grass. Carpooling encouraged.
We will be providing Biodynamic/Organic Apples (and perhaps pears depending on availability) from our friends at Threshold farm in Philmont, NY (~30 minutes north, just outside Hudson) via apple shares. Each share is 1/2 peck (~4-5 pounds) each week at your regular pick up. The first 8 folks to sign up will receive a share, latecomers will be put on a list and we may be able to pick up more. Shares begin in mid-August and go through Early October.
6 weeks of apples for $50, sign up this week please! There is a form attached, or bring $$ to pickup. Apple varieties to include Paulared, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Jonagold, Cox Orange Pippin, Macoun, Ida Red and More. Check out Threshold farm here: http://www.valleytable.com/article.php?article=012+Up+Close%2FHanna+Bail+and+Hugh+Williams+of+Threshold+Farm