Small Family Farm CSA

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October Fourth

Have you heard of Biodynamic farming?  I have seen the term “biodynamic” defined many different ways, but put simply it is the holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food and nutrition.  It takes into consideration the more subtle influences of the wider cosmos on soil, plant and animal health.  It is a very spiritual and esoteric approach to farming that was strongly appealing to me in my early and more romanticized days of farming.  I loved thinking about how the pulling, shifting and changing influences of the cosmos were impacting the naked plants and animals standing beneath the sky, so vulnerable and exposed to the raw atmosphere. 

To call yourself a biodynamic farmer, technically, you should be making, stirring and spreading many of these 6 special ‘preparations’  or tea-like potions (as I like to call them), on your farm at specific times of the season-technically.  It can be very time consuming and involving to participate in the concept this way.  In the early years, we did all that stuff, but have slowly moved away from it for lack of time to commit to the endeavor.  But in it’s foundation, Biodynamics is an approach to farming that takes into concern ecological, social and economic sustainability.  This is something that I feel many CSA farms do quite well if their ‘hearts’ are in the right place.  Yeah, I think that’s a big part of Biodynamics as well, farming with your heart, as well as your head. DSC 0352

Adam and I make a nice balance in this way.  He uses more of his head in farming and I use a little more of my heart.  I believe it takes us both to make the farm what it is today.  But I secretly like to dream about the magical side of farming.  Simply watching a little seed, practically a piece of dust, turn itself predictably into something as huge and perfect as a symmetrical as a head of cauliflower.  I love to think about the chemical and microbial life and activity happening beneath the soil surface in such a cool, dark and quite place.  It must sparkle down there.  It certainly is buzzing in it’s own way. 

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Biodynamics (and a handful of other philosophers as well), talked about how a human is like an upside down plant.  If a person was a plant, our head would be in the ground.  We would do our thinking, expanding, eating, and mineralizing in the soil.  Our spinal cord would be our stem and our sexual organs would be pointed upwards to the sky like a flower.  I giggle a little to think about how plants and people are similar, yet so different in this way.  We’re all just fun cellular structures of stardust and water and bacteria.  I merely think it’s fun to think about all of this from a little different perspective once in a while.  It helps lift the weight of it all. 

Our farm is not a “Certified Biodynamic Farm”, nor do I ever think we will be.  But I do think we fall into the category of ethical and conscious farmers that aim to support biodiversity and sustainability.  Farming is spiritual in a way.  I believe we were called to it.  Like Lemmings we hypnotically followed the light here.  Under some kind of spell we signed the papers and bought the farm.  Still, to this very day, we faithfully and somewhat unbelievably remain devout to the task and will forever make preparations to start the cycle again for yet another season, like an heirloom plant re-seeding itself each year in the same place of the garden.  Or like an old perennial, we come back each year in the same place we were planted many years ago. 

Soooo....What's in the Box????

Tomatoes-  Just one or two lonely tomatoes per member this week.  Tomatoe are officially out of season after this box;(  Sad, but all good things must come to an end.  We had a great run on them! 

Fennel Bulb-  One fennel bulb per member.  Fennel is lovely shaved very thinly on top of a salad.  It is also wonderful sautéed or caramelized with onions or in place of onions.  Fennel has a licorice flavor when eaten raw and most of that licorice flavor disappears once it has been cooked.   Fennel is in the same umbelliferae family as celery, dill, parsley, parsnip and carrots.  A fun new flavor to give your life a little variety!DSC 0373

Sweet Bell Peppers-  4-5 Sweet Bell Peppers per member. You may have received a red bell, yellow bell, orange bell or a mix of red and yellow sweet carmens which are the longer sweet peppers that come to a point at the tip.  Very fun and delicious!

Mini-Sweet Peppers-  The mini-sweet peppers are small and could easily be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are in fact, sweet!  The mini-sweets come in yellow, red and orange. There was just one or two this week stuck in a brown paper bag along with your tomato and hot peppers. 

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These are also called bananna peppers.  Sometimes hot, sometimes not!  They are also sometime red or orange as they 'ripen'.  These are tucked in the top of your tomato bag.

Jalapeno Pepper-  These are the small green pepper in your tomato bag.  They're hot!

Yellow Onion-  One or two yellow onions, depending on the size for everyone because you simply can’t make dinner without onion!

Spinach-  Half pound bags of spinach for everyone this week!  A fall fan favorite!

Green Top Golden Beets-  One large golden beet per member this week with the greens still attached.  Remember that you can cook with the greens of beets and use them like spinach or swiss chard.  Golden beets are fun to cook with because they won’t bleed the red color into your dish like a red beet will.  Easy to sneek them into a soup or dish where no-one will notice! 

Green Curly Kale-  One small bunch of green curly kale this week to make sure you have plenty of greens in your diet! 

Broccoli-  One large and beautiful head of broccoli per member this week.  Broccoli loves to be kept very cold, so be sure to get this guy into your fridge as soon as possible! 

Cauliflower-  One head of cauliflower per member this week.  Some very fine looking cauliflower indeed! 

Acorn Squash-  These are the large greenish looking winter squash toward the bottom of your box that is shaped like an acorn.  Acorns will keep very well if left on your counter in your kitchen at room temperature. 

White or Purple Kohlrabi-  Remember these guys from the Spring boxes?   Kohlrabi also loves the cooler weather of the Fall.  Remember to peel the outer edge off to enjoy the crispy and crunchy inside as a snack with your favorite veggie dip.  The leaves of the kohlrabi are also edible!

Russet Potatoes-  2 pound bags for all. Russets have a very nice texture that holds up well in the cooking process when added to soups or stews.  Russets are also very nice simply baked in the oven.  Remember that we do not clean our potatoes.  They typically hold up better with a little soil on them.  They will keep fine at room temperature for months when freshly dug like this. 

Diakon Radish-  These are the long, while radishes with the greens still attached.  Diakons are usually a very mild radish, but we found that these had a bit of a bite to them.  The greens can be used in a stir fry or however you wish to cook with them.  We love diakons simply cut into veggie sticks or coins and eaten as a snack, but they are also very commonly found in Kim Chi (like a fermented sauerkraut with other veggies and ginger and hot peppers).  Diakons keep teriffically well if kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.  A fine storage root. 

Next Week's Best Guess:  Peppers, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga, leeks, spinach, celeriac root, hot peppers, romanesco


 Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Cream of Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

Shaved Fennel Salad Recipe