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Week 16: The C in CSA

Community means various things to each of us; each of us participate in the CSA model of food for various reasons.
The Armours began the share program at Four Winds before many farms were doing such a thing in the area. The idea was to help farmers have financial capital to get the season going rather than waiting for markets to start, as well as for another harvest during the week between markets (many plants can’t wait a whole week!). The farmers and members are mutually invested in a thriving farm and both parties share in the joys and hardships.
As more people adopted this model, CSA styles developed: some are a gleaning of excess from main crops; some, like Second Wind, focus on variety and multiple weeks of crops; some are specialized around one type of crop like greens or roots.
Each of these options creates different avenues of education as a customer and communication with the growers. Because of the intimate nature of our particular situation, we all get close over the season! Some of you have been seeing one another at distribution for years and have built lasting friendships. You all see me on all the days–rushing, resting, stressed, laughing, running behind, looking ahead, on the adventure that is learning how to run a small farm business. I get to hear about your lives to varying degrees and we see each other more regularly than most of my friends!

The human connection of our CSA is special in today’s society, where we have fewer and fewer gathering places around food that include one another.
You know one of your farmers! You know other folks who are also supporting your farmer! I know my consumers and get to hear directly about how they use the produce I’ve grown! Your collective feedback affects what I grow so we aren’t mediated through anyone else!

WE are the “C” in CSA.

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A dear friend and member of the wider-farming community of the Hudson Valley prepared bouquets for the Garrison members who are far away from U-pick. Check her out, Stars of the Meadow flower farm!

This week’s share potentials:
Tomatoes–cherries and lots of paste! These rich flavored varieties can be eaten raw but shine when they are cooked.
Eggplant, okra, tomatillos, the last of the summer squash, or green tomatoes for frying or currying!
Sweet Peppers
Hot Peppers
Escarole
Scallions or Radishes
Beets, Carrots, or Leeks
Potatoes will start to make an appearance
Garlic for everyone
Arugula, Lettuce Mix, Spinach, Yukina, Spicy Mix, and head lettuce options
Kale, Collards, Chard, or Mustard Greens!
Cilantro, Tulsi, or Parsley

The potato crop this year struggled. Everyone will get at least one week of big lovelies, but I’m going to go ahead and give the teensy potato poppers, as I call them. These little guys are still so tasty and fun to cook in a skillet or roasting. Don’t spend time peeling, just throw them in with your favorite oil until they are a little less than your desired softness, then add some peppers, onion, garlic, squash, etc.

Here’s a great recipe from Member Carla:
Smoky Eggplant Dip
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Eggplant (These ingredient amounts are for one small to medium Italian eggplant but will work with 3-4 Asian eggplants and baking time will be less)
1/4 C onion chopped
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1 Tbs Good strong tasting Olive oil
1/2 Tbs seasoned rice vinegar or fresh lemon
Chopped tomato (I used half of a big Italian plum tomato
1/4-1/2 tsp (Smoked) Sea Salt and or (smoked) paprika (depends on how big your eggplant is)
A few grinds of fresh pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp of dried oregano less if fresh

Rinse and place eggplant on a baking pan. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until the skin has darken a bit in color, looks puffed and taught and is fork tender. Turn oven off and let it cool in the oven. It will have collapsed. Rip open the skin and you should be able scrape out the contents. Discard the skin. Chop up the eggplant and mix in all the other ingredients. Taste to adjust seasoning. This is ready to eat immediately but if you can wait one day the vinegar slightly pickles the dish and the smoke flavor becomes even better.

“You can purchase Smoked Sea Salt on Amazon prime and I’ve seen it in the specialty spice section at adams fair acre farms. Smoked paprika is available at most grocery stores. Really try to get smoked salt. It’s fantastic used on roasts, potatoes, avocado, sliced tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. It’s also good on grilled pineapple with brown sugar or watermelon. Careful a little goes a long way.”

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The most perfect pepper of the season!
It’s a hard balance to be patient for ripening, but get the fruit before they rot!

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Here’s to the community we’ve built and continue building.
Down with disjointed, fractured food systems, up with strong economies built on exchange of real wealth where we are in this together,
Lyds

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