What's in the box this week
Family Share: Avocados, Broccoli, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Bunched Greens, Dill,
Lettuce, Onions, Radicchio, Red Beets (loose), Summer Squash, Strawberries.
Small Share: Carrots, Cauliflower, Bunched Greens, Dill, Lettuce, Onions, Radicchio, Red Beets, Summer Squash, Strawberries.
Extra Fruit Share: Strawberries
Bounty Share: Strawberries
Graduation: Live Earth Odyssey
The schoolyear draws to a close and soon the strawbale benches under the Community Willow tree, Wavecrest's favorite gathering place, will remain quiet for most of the summer season. Before the children left last week they scribbled their wishes and reflections on colorful strips of paper and hung them into the tree. Wishes for a better future of their planet, the farm, and for themselves as well as reflections about nature, now all flutter in the wind. Everyday I walk by the "wishing tree" it will be a reminder of our time together and my own prayers of hope will join their dreams and wishes as the wind carries them across the land and beyond.
The successful completion of our first, what I would call Live Earth Odyssey has been inspiring for all of us. The 8th graders are moving on to highschool, I wish them well as they discover new horizons. At the same time I am happy to know we'll welcome back this year's 7th graders in the Fall, as they step into their 8th grade "rubberboots" to lead the next cycle of this Odyssey with their new 7th Grade partners. While the busy summer season is upon us and the students are away enjoying their vacation, I will cherish their gift of poems and quotes and wear their hand-dyed T-shirt as a reminder of the many fun moments we shared.
Maria Montessori's vision was to remove adolescent children from overly structured classroom settings and encouraged more time away from the family, studying civilization through it's origin in agriculture. It was only a little over a year ago that the school and farm decided to take this bold step and create a living on-farm classroom for the Wavecrest Middleschool students. It didn't take long for the student's to feel at home on the farm to explore the complexities of growing, harvesting, preparing, processing the farm's bounty and experiencing the myriad of nourishing results. Whether as freshly baked pizzas, herbal soaps and salves, juices, artistic crafts, and a host of other healthy and even lucrative outcomes. Abstract subjects such as math, biology, nutrition, history, politics, even art and writing didn't end up being just "wordy" intellectual exercises but students gained a richer understanding of these subjects through body and heart centered experiences on the farm.
Last year the farm odyssey kicked off with a three day-long camp and then continued with students and teaching staff returning once a week to spend an entire schoolday on the farm. The outcome of this, sometimes uncharted odyssey, has been remarkable. Not only did the farm become the venue of the school's annual poetry reading and theater performance but the most important experiences probably happened during the regular weekly engagements with the farm, too numerous to list but probably vividly recorded in the children's bodies and minds. Whether it was planting, weeding, harvesting and braiding the garlic, walking underneath rows of blooming plumtrees, catching a treefrog while munching on strawberries, walking in the rain to understand the dynamics of the farm's watershed, pulling a piping hot pizza out of a woodfired coboven, selling herbal tinctures and salves made from scratch or riding the farm's new crawler tractor, these and many more, are all experiences I hope will weave a strong and supporting fabric for each of the children as they discover their place in the world. The odyssey will continue and remember...
"May the farm be with you."
Let's celebrate: Summer Solstice 2008
To honor the arrival of summer I want to invite everyone to join us here on the farm to celebrate the change in seasons. For many, especially our children, it means a time to take a vacation; here on the farm, summer solstice represents a moment of hard earned leisure - a short breather between all the hard work already put in and the big harvest months ahead. So mark your calendars and join us for our Summer Solstice Celebration on Saturday, June 21st.
The day will be filled with activities, from learning about honey bees and extracting honey with Steve Demkowski, to strawberry and blackberry picking (we'll have chocolate on hand for dipping!), to milking the goats and cheese making with Bernadette, to face painting and scavenger hunts, to bread baking with Erin Justin (Companion Baker), to learning about Permaculture and exploring the world of herbs in our Garden Sanctuary with Brian Barth. Farmer Tom will of course be giving farm tours, this time on a tractor-drawn hay-wagon, Kuzanga Marimba will again color the air around us with their beautiful marimba music, we'll light our traditional bonfire at dusk, and last but never least, there will be food, lots of food!
Summer Solstice is actually a time of light and of fire, a time to reflect upon the growth of the season: the seeds that have been planted in the earth and those planted in our own lives. Remember to bring a dish to contribute to the potluck it 's a reminder of what nourishes us, and a small offering acknowledging the change of the season. Hope to see you all here at the farm.
Solstice Celebration - the nitty gritty
How do I get there? Directions are on our website www.liveearthfarm.net
***save gas and the environment and carpool if you can! Try the Friends of LEF Yahoo Group for finding carpool buddies if you don't know other members in your area***
When should I get there? Activities will happen between 12 and 5pm, Kuzanga begins playing around 5, then we break for our traditional potluck around 6pm. After the potluck, Kuzanga continues to play, and then we light the bonfire at dusk.
Do I need to make a reservation, or let you know I'm coming? No.
What is the cost? There is no cost; all we ask is that you bring food to share in our potluck.
What else should I bring? We encourage you to bring your own picnic plates and utensils in order to minimize unrecyclable garbage. We will have a washing station, where you can rinse them when you are through eating. Also, bring a blanket to picnic on, and it gets cool in the evening so don't forget sweaters and jackets.
Can I bring someone who is not a member of the CSA? Yes, certainly! All friends of the farm are welcome! Just remember to bring food to share in the potluck!!
Return of Radicchio and Dill
This week Debbie has been fighting a nasty cold so I am preparing the newsletter which also means that for this week's recipes please use our extensive database on Live Earth Farm's website.
New in the shares this week is one item we haven't had in our shares for many years, lettuce's bitter cousin - Radicchio. Also not very common in our shares, fresh dill.
Radicchio belongs to the Chicory family a zesty relative of lettuce. The one in your shares is a beautiful marbeled burgundy and white head and if you ever wondered what that pretty purple piece of lettuce in the precut or baby lettuce mixes is, it's radicchio. In italian cuisine it is valued for use in antipastos, salads, pasta, and risotto. You can eat it raw or cooked since the leaves are more resilient then most lettuces and are sometimes even used as a leafy wrap for foods to be steamed. I like the strong bitter taste eating it raw in salads and if I prefer a less zesty taste I braise it and dress it with cheese, my favorite, blue cheese. You will get a good amount of radicchio in the next few weeks since the days are getting much warmer and it has a tendency to bolt to flower. For ideas to cook with radicchio look up the recipe database on our website.
The Dill in this week's shares I hoped to put together with the new potatoes which you will soon be getting, however, the timing didn't work out. When you open your box this week you will get a wiff of fresh dill, an unmistakable difficult to describe, gentle aroma. The bunch of dill looks similar to the leaves on fennel, only dill is a darker green. Fresh dill blends well with, as I mentioned, potatoes, but also cucumbers (soon), eggs, summer squash, fish, and beets. If you like to save dill, just lay it out to dry and use it in sour cream dressings and other dishes you might want to experiment with. - Enjoy