Seeds of Hope Farm CSA Newsletter, Week 18, November 20, 2012

A Farewell Post…

This Week you’ll find in Your Share:

• Garlic

• Butternut Squash

• Sweet Potatoes

•Swiss Chard or Collard Greens

• Carrots

• Turnips

• Spinach

• Young Spicy Mix

• Green Tomatoes (some ripened up!)

• Sage

• Parsley

• Thyme

From Your Farmers…

Well the end is here.

I’d like to send out a huge thank you to all of our members for helping get this project off to a great start. We had a great trial year, and plan to go bigger, better, and smoother now that we’ve gotten through the first growing season. We really appreciate the support, the complements, the sharing,  the compost, leaves, dinners, making friends, and seeing you all enjoy something good, healthy, and real that we got to help  provide.

Through the winter, please keep in mind that this is YOUR farm. You have influence in what is grown and how things are done. The more participation and feedback from you we receive, the better our farm will be. We’d really like to see a few more surveys returned from a couple weeks back, and if you have anything you’d like to share, please get in touch. Your input helps decide what goes in the ground next year, and what doesn’t and how much. 

We are looking forward to next year, reaching deeper into the community, having 24 members, increasing our impact in Spanish Lake. Even if you haven’t signed up, but would like to be involved next year, please send us your contact info so we have an idea of who’s back on board.

I’d also like to send out a big warm thanks to all of our staff at CAASTLC, BP UCC, Op Food Search, and Lincoln U who helped us succeed. Also, to Randy and Jehad, for their devotion, work, input, and pushing on with me through all of the first year trials. 

And of course, to our great Mother Nature, the provider of all that we are, live, feel, breathe, and do. While much of what we do in our modern world does not fit into her plan, she pushes on, and keeps on giving. She does not scold, or punish, but merely keeps on being herself, guiding through  living.She is patient, she is kind, she does not envy, she does not boast. She always protects, always trusts, ..much like something else we likely well know. We give thanks, by giving our love in return.

–Gabriel

I want to offer my gratitude this week to our farm members, who share our vision for a healthier community.  It has been gratifying to get to know you all through the 18 week CSA term.  Today may be the final pick-up day of the year, but we’re still at the start of a very good thing.  Momentum is on our side!  Keep in touch!  We promise we  will too.

If you have not signed up for the 2013 term, we hope you will soon.  With your input, we will be growing for you and your family and getting more of the vegetables you love into your weekly shares.  Next year plan on more opportunities for learning self-sufficiency skills like gardening and canning, more delicious monthly dinners with Operation Food Search, and seeing add-on options for honey and farm-fresh eggs.

–Randy

Season Extension…We’ve talked about it with a few of our members. And a going over of it with the field…because of the limited variety we can offer, and only the weather can say for how many weeks. Pricing and amounts available depend on how much interest we have.

To give an idea of what will be available, here is our list:

Kale, spinach, chard, garlic, butternut squash, lettuce, carrots, and herbs. ( sage, rosemary?, thyme, oregano) Amounts of each will likely be smaller than they have been in recent shares. We would target for something like a $10 bag. $6 for subsidized members.

That said, if you ARE interested in continuing a share, please contact us by Monday and we will put together a plan, and send the plan back to interested parties. If Monday gets by and you are still interested, let us know.  Call or email, 566.8643, or email ghahn@caastlc.org

Food for Thought…It’s funny to think of Thanksgiving week foods and how they got their place. Seasonal eating. And of course fall is the most bounteous time of year…the storage foods still around, some summer plants still in the ground. And really, who wants pumpkin pie in spring? Sweet potatoes? It’s just not the same. Our bodies are calling us to get in line with the foods provided. Native Americans did it, and now we can give thanks in the same fashion.

As for the Thanksgiving week share…

We’re really happy about our last round, a wide variety of goods for any holiday feast. The colors well reflect the time of year. We hope you’ll really enjoy the last offering of sweet potatoes and the first of butternut squash. The collards and chard were picked small and tender, probably some of the finest cooking greens we’ve offered.

We’re finally offering the spicy mix at its most desirable size as well, young and with only a hint of spice. They’ll well complement any salad, stir fry, or soup you toss them in. The cooler temps seemed to have sweetened up the carrots a bit too. The white ones..mmmm.. And yes some are quite short, and they’re supposed to be. We chose that type to do well in a clay soil. You’ll notice they’re thick and short.

This Week’s Recipes…

This week’s recipe comes from our good friends just across the river in Godfrey, Illinois. I worked under this awesome pair for a season, and learned a ton about farming and good grub. Eric and Crystal run the Community Supported Gardens at LaVista, a beautiful CSA farm in a magical place atop the bluff. Fall 2011 I attended an outdoor cooking workshop they hosted where I learned this recipe:

1 or 2 butternut squash (halved and seeded, and grilled until semi-soft…baking works just as well, and

remember to use the seeds)

4 cups of water or broth

1 cup of milk

Salt& pepper to taste

2-4 tbsp agave nectar (or honey)

Flash fried sage (as much as desired) 

Grill the butternut and flash fry the sage. (flash fry using a high heat oil)

Cut the skin off of the squash. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. (a blender can be used if the squash is added a bit at a time)

Heat soup on low for about 15 minutes. Top with sage when serving.

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