Seeds of Hope Farm CSA Newsletter, Week 8, September 11, 2012

This week’s veggies lovin the generous shade under the oak trees. Taken at the farm.

Share:

Cabbage

Potatoes

• Garlic

• Hot, Mild, and Banana  Peppers

Tomatoes

• **Melon (for farm pickup)

Okra

• Cherry Tomatoes

• Green Beans

*note: the printed newsletter mentioned onions. This was a misprint, not a forgotten item. They will be in your share next week.  Sorry for the misprint, Gabriel

Next Week You Might Find:

Potatoes

     Zucchini

     Garlic

     Cherry Toms

     Okra

    • Greens

    • Garlic

    • Parsley

From Your Farmers…   Everyone is invited to attend the crop mob this Sunday at the farm. We plan to have a full work force in effect to help the field into fall. Join us for some transplanting, weeding, spreading compost, and a tasty farm lunch. Event runs from 9-1. Wear your dirty work jeans and a smile! See you then. Send RSVP or questions to Gabriel at ghahn@caastlc.org or Randy at rtempel@caastlc.org.

**Subscribers who are picking up on-farm will receive a sun jewel melon today. Woodson and Bel-Ridge subscribers should have one next week. They are just now coming on and we are dividing distribution to maximize the melons everyone will get and so they can be received at top quality rather than being stored for two weeks. Also…due to recent heavy rains, some of the melons are splitting. We will refrigerate the melons and encourage you to use them quickly in case they happen to split.

Eat Like You’re Poor Food is expensive, and becoming more so. Too few crops make up the bulk of our diets. We are paying with our pocket books, but the heaviest cost is with our own health and our environment we depend on for daily life. In poorer parts of the world, people with the space to grow their own food often do so. By this act, these ‘poor’ people avoid the diseases so common in the Western world that we obtain through overconsumption of processed foods.  The idea is if you can grow it, it’s good for you and the world at large.

“Simplify, simplify.”  Thoreau said it twice for emphasis. Consider: enriched bleached flour and oatmeal cream pie. Complicated. Tomato and red pepper.  Simple. Easy. And cheap if you grow it. Simplify what goes into our bodies, simplify our world.  See this week’s recipe. You’ll embrace the simplicity, and your health will thank you.

On the farm….the rain has really helped fall get off to a late but good start. It also put quite a damper on our established crops of tomatoes, beans, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant. The four inches of rain two weekends ago followed by 1.7 this weekend knocked the blossoms from the green beans, hence the lowered weight in this week’s share. Tomatoes are split city, as are the cherries. Zucchini is puzzling us, and producing only male flowers. Our friends at the Lincoln U extension are helping us to resolve the mystery. The lettuces and greens mixes look pleased by the cool nights, and winter squash is bulking up. Stay tuned for cool weather crops.

In your share you’ll find the banana peppers with the okra. Jalapenos and anaheims are with the green beans. The anaheims have been extremely mild. They are a hot pepper, but after recent taste tests I’d call them a sweet pepper. So don’t be afraid to put ‘em in the pan. The sun jewel melon is an Asian variety that is lightly sweet, crisp and delicious. Enjoy your September melons before the cool down.  Baby cabbage?  Yes. Great for fish tacos. The great side of baby cabbage is it allows for using the whole thing and avoids finding that half head of spoiled cabbage five months later.       –Gabriel

Food For Thought…

You may have read in recent news that Stanford  University released a study indicating that conventionally grown produce is as nutritious as organically grown produce.  A lot of people are drawing the conclusion that buying organic is therefore not worth the premium at the grocery store or farmers market.  At the farm we want to weigh in on this debate, discuss some of our values, and explain some concise reasons why we act the way we do here at Seeds of Hope Farm. 

Our mission is to bring our corner of Spanish Lake greater access to affordable fresh produce.  To accomplish this, we choose to practice organic methods for multiple reasons.

We are feeding families we know and care about and we want to assure them that by becoming part of our community farm they are receiving clean and safe food.  Good agricultural practices like cleanliness of work materials and surfaces, worker hygiene, and proper post-harvest processing go a long way toward serving this end, but by practicing organic methods we also eliminate synthetic pesticide use which often leaves residues on food, even in trace amounts, that have been linked to health complaints and developmental problems, especially among young people.

By abstaining from harmful synthetic pesticides and choosing instead to fight pests with natural alternatives that have low environmental impact and no effect on human health, we are offering safe food for your family and providing meaningful employment without putting workers in harm’s way.

Seeds of Hope Farm’s produce is distributed hyper-locally.  We are a neighborhood farm and a source of security for the neighborhood –food security.  Most food in this country is grown one place and consumed another, with days of refrigerated trucking often separating farm from table.  It is established that the nutrients in food, whether grown conventionally or organically, break down over a period of time.  If you are concerned about nutrition it is therefore preferable to get fresh foods on your dinner table, and supporting local agriculture and local food distribution makes it possible.

The organic movement originally emerged as an expression of environmental concern.  We want to be good stewards of this half-acre little churchyard and ensure its healthy soils can serve future generations just as well.  We strive to encourage what the planet needs most: biodiversity.  That means establishing an ecosystem with integrity, enhancing the natural appeal of the neighborhood, and creating habitat for hosts of beneficials from honeybees and ladybugs to bats and barn swallows to help us do our work.  We’re willing to bet that feeding the planet doesn’t require harming the planet.

And we want to prove to the naysayers, those who claim that organic yields aren’t as high as conventional, that this farm feeds its share of families. This year we went from a nicely manicured lawn to a functioning farm harvesting nearly ten thousand pounds of fresh produce (so far) benefitting hundreds of low-income pantry recipients, farm subscribers, restaurant diners and area grocery shoppers, all in the midst of a drought that seriously disrupted the project of conventional agriculture this year and which promises that the empty calories courtesy of soy and corn monoculture, linked to so much obesity in America, will be an even worse deal for our pocketbooks as prices inevitably rise.

It’s not an accident or gimmick that we care about organic, and it cannot be separated from our mission of providing clean, fresh, and nutritious whole foods, good employment, and a green community institution and gathering place.

Randy Tempel, CAASTLC Community Garden Coordinator

If you have any questions feel free to call me at 314-614-0412, or continue the discussion here, online

This Week’s Recipe….is brought to you by farm lunch.

This week we enjoyed (more than one time) a delicious lunch comprised of tomatoes, garlic, whole anaheim and jalapeno peppers sautéed in olive oil. We made the rich red stew, and dipped bread straight into it after adding a dash of salt. It’s good enough to make a meal. Truly.

Please know that because you’re not slicing the peppers, the heat will not come through in the dish, only their flavor. Up to you whether you choose to eat them. Also, every anaheim I’ve eaten this week  has been very very mellow.

How to: Warm a skillet. Add olive oil. While the oil warms, cut some tomatoes into large chunks. Peel and smash a couple of whole garlic cloves. Toss them and  a couple of whole anaheim and jalapeno peppers(the ones with the green beans) from your share into the pan. Turn the heat up.  Sautee until peppers change color, lightly stirring so as to not break the peppers. Dump the tomatoes and their juice in and cover. Stir now and then. When you see the sauce as you’d like to enjoy it, remove from heat and enjoy. A French loaf would be great for dipping, but any old bread would do.

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