Week 8

Week 8: Better with Friends!

There's a whole microcosm of life on a sunflower--in this photo, I believe we have a bumblebee, a stingless bee, several flea beetles, and an unidentified beetle, though any other dilettante (or bonafide!) entomologists should feel free to correct me.

Click here to fill out a preferred veggie form, and/or scroll down to see what's in the box this week.

Thanks to Jake and Casey, who came out to our first work party! We had a successful day of varied projects. When Jake and Casey arrived, they were just in time to help us transfer the chicks to their new mobile chicken tractor home, which we had just completed. Only two escapees we had to catch, and then they were all settled.

Picture taken this morning, after they had gotten over their initial fear of the coop part of the chicken tractor.

And since the chicks were no longer in the nut house (the cage-like structure protecting Brad’s nut tree seedlings), Brad (with Casey) was able to move it back over the top of the seedlings, after composting and mulching over the top of them.

Eleanor, Jake and Casey did some work in the garden, tying up the jumble of tomato plants and weeding.

We spent some good time scything and macheteing the ragweed field. Before we could get started with that, though, Eleanor had to peen the scythe blade, which basically means to hammer the blade to a finer, sharper edge, in this case using the help of a peening jig to guide the process.

So old-timey!

Unfortunately, in one of our first uses, the blade had gotten a couple of small cracks that had to be chiseled out before continuing. Though it was slightly nervewracking to have to cut into this nice metal tool we had just paid good money for, Eleanor quite enjoyed feeling like an old-timey blacksmith. Since its repair, the scythe seems to have no problems. Here’s a picture of Jake trying his hand at the scythe during the work party.

Featuring: a dramatic sky, and ragweeds almost twice the height of a human!

As a reminder, we’ll be having a second work party Saturday, August 11. The workday will run from 10 am to 6 pm, with a tour of the farm at 9:30 and 6, and homemade pizza dinner at 6:30. Whether you’re a member of the CSA or not, we hope you’ll join us! There’s plenty to do and we appreciate the help! If you are interested, it'd help us plan if you fill out this form.

In the Box

Welcome to the box, Garlic (the first crop we planted way back in late October when we bought the place)! Welcome back Radishes! Hurry up Tomatoes, seriously, you are taking FOREVER to ripen!)

  • Salad Mix
  • Kale*
  • Basil*
  • Carrots (no tops, but tops available upon request)
  • Cilantro (only available upon request...got a little left out there)
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Summer Squash (for most! if you don't get a summer squash we will add either peas or tomatoes to your box unless you tell us you don't want peas or tomatoes!) (Costata Romanesco Zucchini, Bennings Green Tint Scallop Squash, or Yellow Crooked Neck Squash, fill out a preferred veggie form if you have a preference!)
  • Garlic
  • Radishes
  • Eggs (for some)

*We have lots of this! Want only purple basil? Only Thai basil (if you haven't tried this or noticed, it has a distinctly different flavor...kind of like licorice)? Double the kale? Just let us know on the preferred veggie form!


Farcous! (French for "savory pancake thing with a bunch of green stuff in it")

This is another of Brad's favorites to make. It is one of those that is not exacting and can take all sorts of modifications.

2 eggs

Bunch(es) of Green things (Kale is what we use, Swiss Chard is what originally goes into it, but Eleanor purchased the seed this year and, well, she hates Chard, so no Chard! Probably will make it in the rotation next year though!)

2-4 cups of flour

1-3 cups of water/milk

3-15 cloves of Garlic

Medium Onion

Salt and Pepper to taste

1. (optional) after stripping your Kale (take two fingers at the base and move them up the stem and the leafy parts just fly right off!). Cut any tough thick ends off the stem and then chop the rest of this stem up into tiny tiny bits. Get these going in a pan with some oil or water. Brad likes including Kale stems when he can. He figures with how fibrous they are they are probably nutritious? I doubt there will ever be funding for Kale stem nutrition science to back this up though...

2. Chop up the garlic and let it rest.

3. Chop up the onion and either add it to your currently cooking kale stem pan or just add it to a pan with some oil.

4. Chop up all that green stuff decently tiny (no bigger than a pinky finger?) and add it to a bowl with cracked eggs, milk/water, salt and pepper and garlic.

5. Add your onions (and optional kale stems) and mix it all around. Need more "batter" add more flour and water. Too soupy: add flour. Too dry: add water. Unsure? Move onto the next steps and see how it goes, then adjust accordingly!)

6. Get a pan cooking with oil or butter. (Brad likes being generous with these which turns it more into a fritter than a pancake)

7. Ball up that batter and drop a circle of it on the pan. Cook it like a pancake (or fritter!)

8. EAT! We like putting dollops of Yogurt on these when we are feeling healthy and mayo/sriracha when not!

Experiment with this one! We've added carrots, zucchini, feta cheese, and much more to the mix with great success.

Brad's Food Philosophy Corner

Brad shares his reasons for farming, one per week!

Reminder of What Matters

We really only need a few things to live. Food, shelter, water, air, (companionship? purpose?). At times I've forgotten this and gotten all worked up about something I thought was important, but really, ultimately, wasn't. I find it interesting a book like Walden still resonates with people today when the message basically boils down to "hey, you know you don't have to buy and live these fancy lives, right? Like, you can just go get what you need from nature…”

Some might consider the ability to reflect, read about, and be in a position to grow/forage your own food and build your own shelter a privilege only a small percentage of humans can afford. No doubt they are correct…which should give us collective pause – how did the ability to directly access our necessities, something early humans had abundantly, become something for only a select few?

Regardless, I find understanding nature better and focusing my attention on the necessities of being human through “direct access” to food and shelter a reminder of what truly matters for humans versus what the various influences of culture and personality have come to teach me are necessities. It is probably a recent development that we need “reminders” about this. While technological advances in food-getting and shelter-making have allowed us to shift our focus away from those areas, that shift can cause us to forget that most of this other stuff we do focus on – and some of it is very important!-- is not actually necessary.