|30th Harvest Week||October 16th - 22nd, 2006||
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sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent
on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing
else in the universe to do.”
What’s in the box this week: (content differences between Family and Small Shares are underlined and italicized; items with a “+” in Family Shares are more in quantity than in Small)
Sat. Oct 21
Last weekend we hosted another of Brian's permaculture courses (Brian lives on the farm), and I had the opportunity to share some of my thoughts with the group about the evolution of the farm and its Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. Before our meeting I stopped by the barn to look for something that could symbolize what I was going to talk about. My intention was to grab an apple, but instead I spotted a basket of huskcherries (they look like little tomatillos, however they contain a pale yellow fruit you can eat fresh). I picked one out of the basket, and then a misshapen fingerling potato caught my eye, because instead of one finger it had three. It had turned green from sitting outside, and so looked like a gnarled green hand – definitely something the kids would love to see, with Halloween just around the corner. Next, I couldn't help but notice the bright red Early Girl tomatoes which were harvested and neatly stacked in crates for Sunday's Farmer's Market. So I grabbed a tomato too, with plans to eat it later for lunch. It wasn't until I spotted the hot yellow Hungarian pepper sitting on one of our packing tables that I suddenly had a flash of inspiration. I picked up the pepper and looked at what I was now holding in my hands: a husk cherry, a brown-green potato, a yellow hot pepper and a sweet red tomato – all members of the same family called Solanum.
So I showed the permaculture group how what I had collected points to Nature's interconnectedness, and explained how farming, for me, is an on-going lesson of listening to nature, however imperfectly, in order to facilitate and nourish the ever growing diversity of relationships on this farm. It is the complexity of community, human and beyond, which ultimately creates the stability of this farm. A few years ago I reflected on the role of being a farmer and it still rings true today: "...Nature continually tells us what she needs and we enter into a call and response relationship. We add compost and grow green manures (cover crops), and nature turns them back into nurturing soil. Nature brings the winter rains and colder temperatures which allows trees to go dormant and rest their energies. In winter we prune the trees, which keeps them invigorated, and as spring turns the orchard into a sea of white blossoms, both insects and human hands help in the pollination to ensure good fruit set. Every crop has its own specific way of growing. As we listen ever more closely we are taught to dance together with all living and non-living things, and become more deeply aware of respecting rather than exploiting the natural world, of which we are an integral but only modest part. And as we are praised for our work as farmers, I realize that we also have a function through our work to praise nature.”As a farmer I am continuously challenged to practice and learn about stewardship rather than ownership of the land. Decisions need to be based on an ecological ethic; progress cannot be viewed as short-term economic return by gobbling up all the goodies for ourselves. Instead we must give a thought for those guests who are to come. In recognizing that we are just guests on this beautiful planet, I understand why traditional cultures' rituals and belief systems consider land and nature to be sacred. In truth we don’t own any of it; the crops we grow are but a gift for us to enjoy. Although we get all caught up in buying and selling things we consider our property and thinking that ownership is progress and economic growth is the ultimate indicator of well being, it would seem less stressful and less violent to view ourselves as the ones who belong to the land, instead of living under the delusion that the land belongs to us. – Tom
What's Up on the Farm
The fields are in transition; we’re harvesting the last of our peppers, the basil is finished, fields are being cleared and turned over, cover crops sowed, and we’re pruning and trellising the blackberries. We will likely be harvesting Jerusalem artichokes next week, and carrots and green onions will be back in the shares again. In preparation for next year we’ll be planting our fava beans over the next couple of weeks, and already this weekend we’ll be planting next year’s strawberries! The tomatoes are still holding steady, and we should have them at least until the end of October, if not until the end of the season – if the weather holds. The kale and collard greens you’re getting in your shares now and over the next couple weeks are from a new planting and the crops are beautiful.
A Must Read
Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” wrote a timely story for the Oct. 15th edition of the New York Times Magazine entitled “The Vegetable-Industrial Complex.” I think it is the most lucid writing yet on food safety, industrial vs. local food systems, and the E. coli contamination of spinach story. I encourage you to make the time to read this, and to send anyone you can think of to this link to read it as well. Michael is a phenomenal writer. You can click on the link above to read it. I have also posted it on the “Interesting Stuff” page on our website, so if you ever want to send someone else to read it, it may be simpler to send them there than to have them navigate to this particular issue of our newsletter. – Debbie
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
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Baked Squash with Kale and Pear
*Click Here* for a link to a comprehensive listing of recipes from Live Earth Farm's newsletters going back as far as our 1998 season! You can search for recipes by key ingredient. Recipe site is updated weekly during the season.