Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Week's Newsletter

The sunflowers at the farm have headed up! They are standing guard over the cabbages.

11 of this week's boxes weren't stuffed with the we are printing it online this week for those of you who missed your latest installment.

Dear Friends,

Yesterday found us harvesting green beans. Alot of of prose has piled up through the ages about bean picking. Some have commented on the way it "frees the mind to comtemplate the transcendentals". Others on the "monotany made sweet by the conversation of a fellow picker"...Still others have put to page how a row of bean plants, picked, stands as a testament of what mankind is capable of...when at last he makes a go of some seemingly impossible enterprise. Really I cannot tell you whether I agree with any of these depictions. I can say, that as I plucked the slender treasures from their plants nothing....absolutely nothing passed through my mind.

Yet my own "commentary" on green beans was made in minutes when the sky darkened-well, half darkened, like the menacing eyebrow of a robber pirate, the theatrical purple "sky-shadow" painted on the horizon, readying our small portion of the world for high drama. A thunderstorm was upon us, dashing our harvest evening.

As we dashed from the field, hair tossed by high wind-flushed with the excitement of ziggzaggin lightening and cracking thunder I realized quite comically that from my "thoughtless" revery I had sprung into action and instinctively clutched at the two most important things in the field.

I was struggling homeward with my 1 1/2 year old in one arm and a bushel basket of those beans in the other. As I called out to my 4 year old to run ahead faster I felt like some Minnesotan version of Scarlet O'Hara...skirts a 'blowin', tenaciously holding onto "TARA" source of all life...

What was so important about that bushel of beans? Why did I drag it home in the middle of a thunderstorm and find it a safe spot in the house, clucking over it like a mother hen?

We've all had our moments. I admit to savage desire at times for Doritos or some such processed corn product....I've devoured hot dogs before thinking "feedlot pork be darned". Every other day on a farm with animals has one thinking "maybe an 8 to 5 behind a computer would be nice-heck I'd have 2 days off a week!" Those are the days the goats got out and ate your peas, the laying hens pecked one of your meat birds to death, a deer ate 2 cabbages, 6 lettuces, and just about all your corn, your bunnies wscape from their cage because the cats got in an "let them out", your toddlers are throwing pig feces at eachother, and you haven't the time to give them a bath because you have to move 100 new broilers to the field and pick beans...

So why do you give "a hill of beans" for....a hill of beans?? Why do you grab the basket of beans and your child in a natural disaster?

Because those beans are iconic.

They represent one more scrap of effort toward a community that does not have to feed their families food which has been sprayed with toxins. One more step toward direct markets, and away from giant corporations monoplozing food business for money's sake. Every bushel pulled from that field is a handshake with you members that have made a commitment to a 5 acre love note to the land and to society. You have signed your name to a small effort at big change, and every green bean represents hope for a safer healthier, more just, more sustainablem more soulful and more delicious way of life.

We are all a handful of families from the metro area. We have a 2 acre plot of land. At times it's beautiful (cabbages!). At times it's not. (Weeds!) But in the end these two acres are doing more to attract butterflies and bees, increase fertility, interest the neighbors, and feed body and soul than they have done for the last 50 years. How many other similar scraps of land are out there ready and able to do the same? CSA means a plot of land is more than a plot of land, and a group of strangers more than strangers.

CSA makes a bean more than a bean. (And a bushel basket of them worth braving the elements for.) Happy Eating!

"Blessings on thee, little man,

Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!

With thy turned- up pantaloons,

And thy merry whistled tundes;

With thy red lip, redder still

Kissed by strawberries on the hill;

With the sunshine on thy face,

through thy torn brim's juanty grace,

From my heart I give thee joy-

I was once a barefoot boy!

-John Greenleaf Whittier-

The nicest thing you can do for your grandparent, your mother, or your toddler is to serve up a nice old fashioned British tea party in my opinion. (Perhaps iced tea or lemonade in this weahter?) And at least ONCE in your life- no matter WHO you are, 48 year old construction worker or a 16 year old blues guitarist or a 4 year old ballet dancer-you must try a cucmber sandwhich. Delicate, dainty, oh so refreshing.


Cucumber Tea Sandwhiches

Gourmet Cookbook says: "Don't even think about getting out the mayonnaise jar. These must be made with good, sweet butter."

For chive butter:

*3/4 stick unsalted butter softened

*2 tsp lemon juice

*1/4 tsp salt

*2 TBSP chopped chives

For the Sandwhiches:

*12 very thin slices firm white bread. Crusts fed to pigs.

*1 cucumber, peeled and sliced PAPER thin.

*1/2 tsp salt

*freshly ground black pepper

1. Spread chive butter on bread. Arrange 2 layers of cucmber on 6 slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with other 6 slices.

2. Press down gently. Cut DIAGONALLY into quaters. MMMmmm.


Nigella Lawson's Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

"It is unfathomably good with hot frankfurters" Nigella

*2 medium cucumbers

*2 tsp sugar

*2 TBSP white whine vinegar

*2 tsp kosher salt (or 1 tsp table salt)

*1/4 cup finely chopped dill

1. Peel and finely slice cucmbers into wafer thin circles and place into a large bowl.

2. Whisk together sugar, vinegar, salt. Pour over cucumbers.

3. Add chopped dill and toss. Transfer to a shallow dish.


1 comment:

  1. When I read about severe storms in your neck of the north I wondered how Little Flower Farm faired. I'm glad it produced such an inspiring newsletter! Bring on the storms!