CSA Week 9, for the week of August 4th

Volume II, Issue 13
 

This Week’s Selection

Summer Squash/Zucchini, Cucumbers, Beets, Carrots, Swiss Chard, Kale, Collard Greens,Tomatoes, Okra, Fennel, Sweet Walla Walla Onions, Lettuce, Parsley, Sweet Basil, Thai/Lemon/Holy Basil, Sorrel, PYO Green Beans, Flowers, Cherry Tomatoes


We're ON, even with the predicted rain:

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.


Please bring: dinnerware, a dish to share, a blanket or lawn chair, weather-appropriate clothing, friends, etc.

All ages.

Dancing encouraged.

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.

From the Farmers

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Sometimes I wonder just how so much gets done around here, as though I do my fair share of work I know that I am limited, in skills and time, strength and willingness. The amount of help we receive on a daily and weekly basis is absolutely incredible when I sit down and think about it, from all of the friendly faces that stop by to lend a few minutes or hours from across the street or down the road or drive hours to spend a few days or a week or two to the horses and the birds and the insects, the earthworms and the flies and the bees, the 'weeds',the trees, the rain and the sun and the moon, the wind, the deer and the woodchuck, the tick and the mosquito are all doing their part. They are helping to harvest and wash the vegetables, weed the gardens, seed, water the seedlings, transplant, straighten up and reframe our barn, pull our disc harrow and cultivator and wagon, eat flies and worms, transforming plants into humus and soil, feeding the birds and the dragonflies, pollinating flowers and making honey, covering the ground, transforming sunlight and air and water into plant matter, grazing our pastures and woodlands, and as we move towards the woodchuck and the tick and the mosquito it gets a bit more difficult to put into words just what their physical manifestation 'does' for us, but none the less I am grateful for what they have to show and teach us. Beyond what we can see they provide to us materially, they bring sound and movement and ideas, questions and inspirations, challenges, companions, conversation, joy, support, life, something to bring me out of myself again and again, always moving far beyond anything I could ever expect.

A few weeks ago our first official 'intern', Michael, arrived to his tent home for the next two and half weeks. A recent English literature undergraduate moving on to graduate school and perhaps beyond, having little to no farm experience, growing up and living currently in Brooklyn, I did not expect such a wonderful experience. He settled in quick and was moving and setting up the irrigation by the end of the second day as happily as one can, as frustrating and tiresome as it can be. He woke early (hours earlier than normal) to harvest and wash, worked longer than we asked, weeded the seemingly endless rows, and still gladly helped keep the kitchen clean and was polite around the house. He jumped right into conversations, asked many great questions, made friends with all our friends and neighbors. All for a somewhat dry place to lay his head at night and a few meals a day. It quickly felt like he had always been here and it was a strange feeling as his departure crept up so soon.

A friend I met while taking a farming course the past two winters, Gino, arrived to lend a hand after seeing the state of our leaning barn this past winter. A carpenter by trade interested in exploring biodynamic farming, Gino immediately knew what to do and in between checking out and thinking about the puzzling barn and getting it more upright, he tiled our bathroom and wired our kitchen outlets and lights on his first visit last month. He came back this past weekend to help get the barn successfully into a more stable position and frame it so we can store our winter hay along with a few other folks, notably Theo and his backhoe (which ended up doing a little bit of sand and clay moving and straightening up while here) and our new friend Rich P, who's hard work and good spirit is really helping to brighten and straighten this place up (not to mention bringing in the greater portion of our garlic crop!)

Of course there is Betti and Larry, lending a hand and support with so much I don't know where to begin. And our neighbors Sheila and Nick, a vital part of the harvest and wash crew. A young woman, Karen, who declined another paying farming job to continue volunteering on the farms she is working with. The list is seemingly endless. and you, and you, and you, for choosing to participate in this off the wall experiment, eating what we have to provide gratefully, supporting us financially, letting us watch your children chase the chickens, sharing a small story from your week, earnestly asking about mine, knowing we have so much to learn and teach and share, to speak and to listen and hear, to show, to illumine, to give, and accept, and love.

in deep gratitude
-Anthony and Lisa


Love

Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills.
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn't matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.
~ Czeslaw Milosz ~


Upcoming On Farm Events and Apple Shares Reminder (put on with much wonderful help, actually very little of our own doing)!

Bee Day with Sam Comfort of Anarchy Apiaries
Please join us this Saturday, August 4th for a yearly gathering to celebrate the lives of the Honey Bees.

Potluck lunch 12 noon, with visits to the apiary following.

Guided tours of the apiary with an inside look at the different types of hives and a little history.

Questions.

Maybe some answers.

Fun people.

Tasty Food.

Please bring a dish to share, flatware, a plate/ bowl/ cup, a blanket or lawnchair, and friends.

http://anarchyapiaries.org/


Apple Shares
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



Sonnets to Orpheus, Part 1, III

A god can do it. But tell me how
a person can flow like that through the slender lyre.
Our mind is split. At the crossroads in our heart
stands no temple for Apollo.
Song, as you teach us, is not a grasping,
not a seeking for some final consummation.
To sing is to be. Easy for a god.
But when do we simply be? When do we
become one with earth and stars?
It is not achieved, young friend, by being in love,
however vibrant that makes your voice.
Learn to forget you sang like that. It passes.
Truly to sing takes another kind of breath.
A breath in the void. A shudder in God. A wind.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~



Finocchio!


I am always surprised to see people take to vegetables I thought were unfamiliar, or that folks didn't like, and I am curious as to how Fennel is going to go over. Here is a little overview for the uninitiated.

All of fennel is edible, though it's the meaty bulb that gets used most. (The fibrous stalks make a great addition to the soup or stew pot, while the leaves, which look like dill, may be used as an herb, a great way to add a boost of fennel flavor.) The first step when handling fennl is to cut away the stalks close to the bulb. Trim the root, if necessary and pull off the outer layer if it looks dry or discolored. The bulb may then be cut into wedges for braising or roasting. sliced into strips for pasta or to cook with fish or chicken, or very thinly sliced, preferably with a madoline, to use in a salad. It can also be diced like an onion for salsas. Once cooked, fennel is also delicious pureed for sauces or soups.


Italian Fennel And Onion Risotto

Ingredients:
1 cup Italian Arborio rice
3 + 3 T e. v. olive oil
2 medium to large onions, coarsely chopped
1 medium to large fennel bulb, white part chopped coarsely
1/4 cups fresh Italian basil, finely chopped
A few little pieces of the fennel green leftovers
1/2 cup dry white wine, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio
6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup pecorino Romano cheese
2 T butter or yogurt butter
1/4 cup Fresh, finely diced, Italian Parsley
!/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
Preparation:
Set chicken stock to a slow simmer in a large sauce pan or soup pan, add in basil and fennel green scraps.
In a large cast iron skillet or large non-stick skillet, heat 3 T olive oil to medium low.
Add the onions and fennel, and cover. Let the vegetables soften and release their juices for at least ten minutes. Remove to a separate bowl.
Add the other 3 T of olive oil to the same pan for 30 seconds, then add the Italian Arborio rice.
Toss with rice a few times to coat it well with oil. This helps the rice to absorb the cooking juices slowly. It also helps create the silky texture that we so love in a really professionally done risotto.
Add the onions and fennel back in with all their incredibly flavorful juices.
Also, add the wine and let it reduce by about 3/4.
Now you add a ladle or two of the barely simmering stock, stir a little, make sure the developing fennel and onion risotto is completely covered with juices and simmer over low heat. let it just simmer for a few, until the liquid is absorbed and the liquid level is just below the top of the rice.
Add more stock. You don't have to stir this time but make sure the rice is completely covered again.
And just keep repeating this for about fifteen or so.
Let the level of the liquid in your risotto reduce by about half.
It's now time to taste for tenderness of the rice. If the rice is tender enough for your personal taste (we like it really tender with just a tiny bit of crispness), add the cheese and butter, stir them in thoroughly and let the risotto continue to cook until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then remove from heat.
Please let the dish stand for about 5-7 minutes


Italian Fennel Salad
Ingredients
* 1 bulb fennel
* 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tablespoon white vinegar
* 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice
* Salt & pepper

Preparation
Cut green stalks and fronds from top of fennel bulb. Rinse bulb well. Cut from top to bottom through center of bulb. Core should be exposed at the bottom. Remove the hard white core with a couple of angle cuts that form a “v” that points to the top of the bulb. Slice fennel into strips about 1/2 inch by 2 or 3 inches. Pour in olive oil, vinegars and lemon juice and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Makes 4-6 servings.



Italian Fennel Casserole

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound fennel
2 tablespoons oil (preferably olive)
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (14 ounce size) tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces fresh brown breadcrumbs
2 ounces grated Cheddar cheese


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

First prepare the fennel by discarding any coarse outer leaves and the root base and slice the bulbs very thinly. Keep some of the feathery tops for a garnish.

Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the chopped onion and garlic. Add the slices of fennel and cook these for a few more minutes, turning them over in the pan.

Put the tin of tomatoes into a small bowl and break them down slightly with a spoon. (This makes them easier to stir into the fennel.) Add the tomatoes to the fennel and onion mixture and season well.

Cover the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a lightly greased 1.75l/3pt oven-proof dish.

Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle over the top, then bake the casserole for 15 - 20 minutes until the top is nice and crisp.

Serve immediately.

A little something else...
Red Bird Explains Himself
“Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow
and I was the song in the summer leaves, but this was
only the first trick
I had hold of among my other mythologies,
for I also knew obedience: bring sticks to the nest,
food to the young, kisses to my bride.

But don’t stop there, stay with me: listen.
If I was the song that entered your heart
then I was the music of your heart, that you wanted and needed,
and thus wilderness bloomed that, with all its
followers: gardeners, lovers, people who weep
for the death of rivers.
And this was my true task, to be the
music of the body. Do you understand? for truly the body needs
a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work,
the soul has need of a body,
and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
beauty of heaven
where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart.”
~ Mary Oliver ~