Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Twenty-Eighth

A very interesting thing is a woman farmer.  A female farmer with a husband and aspirations to have children is suddenly an astounding endeavor.  Who will farm when the woman becomes a mother?  Who will do a full day of tractor work while the mother is tending to a new life?  Who will lead a harvest crew for 8 hours in the wind, rain and heat while the mother is mothering?  How does a farmer-mother allocate her tasks?  What tasks can she afford to re-assign?  How much of a farmer will she still be when she becomes a mother? 

I find myself with a new found respect for the domestic farm wife.  For the life of me, I never understood why any woman would want to ‘enslave’ herself to the home and child rearing.  I believed that women were powerful, intelligent and capable creatures who couldn’t be contained to traditional roles or occupations.  So, finding myself to be one of those strong and “capable” women, I went right on ahead and turned myself into a farmer, of all things.  I imagiBrussel_HarvestAdrianne and Adam playing in the Brussel Sproutsned a farm with chickens and pigs and eggs and a big garden and a loving husband, and oh, yes, children!   But I never really had much more than the vision figured out, while I assumed that the details would be sorted out later.

I suspect that I’m not the first woman in the world to start wondering how she’s going to keep her job and raise her children at the same time.  After all, I must not forget that I’m an American woman and I should be able to do both of those things at the same time.  And because I am an American woman, I want to do both of these things at the same time.  Perhaps this is my dilemma.  Possibly traditional roles for men and women are much more practical and functional than we are willing to admit to in our twenty-first century lives. 

Female farmers are popping up all over this country.  The desire to reclaim land, nurture it to health and “heal” all that has been broken in the world of farming is drawing woman in from the depths of even the largest cities.  Farming has become and is still becoming so barbaric, so invasive, and so hostile that the land itself has given up.  Tender-hearted, idealistic, and passionately driven women are taking out loans, confusing their families and themselves and buying up old run-down farms with depleted soils and a few saved seeds in their coverall pockets.

I promise you that these women have no idea what they’re getting themselves into.  I know this because I am one of those women.  Many, if not most of them, also have loving husbands, boyfriends and partners.  No one can do this kind of work alone, as it would eventually defeat you.  Ultimately, though, these women wish to build families and the path before them is no longer straight, but split.  These women must learn how to unearth a new kind of strength, direction and motive within themselves.  One can only hope that the children these woman and their husbands are raising will carry with them a new kind of wisdom and respect for land that is foreign to even the most progressive of our minds.   

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

Russet Potatoes-  Our Russets this year are on the medium size.  Definately some smaller ones mixed in the bunch, but russets are a nice mix to have thrown in.  They're skin is a bit more rough, but they have a firm, white flesh that holds up well when boiled and baked.  

Spaghetti Winter Squash or Buttercup Winter Squash-  The Spaghetti Squash are the yellow, football shaped squash.  Their flesh is stringy, yet soft like spaghetti.  Buttercup Squash has a blue-green outer skin with a nice orange flesh.  Buttercups are very creamy and soft when cooked.  They can be dry, so cooking with plenty of extra cream, butter, or your favorite forms of moisture-adding ingredients really makes the buttercups shine!  To cook winter squash, slice lengthwise, scoop seeds out and bake face down on a pan with a little water at the bottom for 1 hour until flesh is soft.  brusselsJillian and Adam poking around the brussels a little more.

Bulk Scarlet Nantes Carrots-  More orange carrots!  

Brussel Sprouts- Did you know that brussels grow on a stalk?  You do now!  This is our first time ever being able to give CSA members brussel sprouts in the history of our little CSA farm (6 years).  Every year we plant them, but are always disappointed in them somehow too much to give them.  There is a lot to learn in growing brussel sprouts!  They're still not perfect looking, but we'll keep working on that for future years.  You'll need to do a little clean-up work by peeling away one or two of the outer layers on the brussels before you cook them up.  Just snap them off the stalks and clean them up before cooking!  

Sweet Bell Peppers, Poblano Peppers-  We were able to give everyone around 4 peppers agian this week!  The dark green, pointed peppers are called Poblanos or Anchos.  Sometimes their seeds and the membrane between the pepper wall and the seeds can be hot on occasion, so be careful!  Technically Anchos are considered a hot pepper, but their flesh is rarely hot.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper or Cayenne Chile Pepper-  Hungarian hot wax peppers are yellow to orange to red and have a thicker wall, the cayenne peppers are long and skinny and have a very thin wall.  The cayennes are great for drying, just set it somewhere in the kitchen until you're ready to plop the whole thing into a pot of chile.  

Yellow Onion-  Another onion!  Oh boy!  

Tomatoes-  The tomatoes are on the green side this week.  They've been ripening in the field and in our cellar much more slowly these days.  This will surely be the final week of large bags of tomatoes!  A few more next week but much, much less.  Allow them to sit on your counter at room temperature to ripen.  Do not place them in your refrigerator until they are ripe and only if you need to buy yourself more time before you use them up.  

Yellow and Purple Beans-  The final week of beans.

Mustard Greens-  Yes, mustard greens.  Mustard greens work great anytime you want to add cooked greens to any of your favorite dishes.  They are also great in Indian/Nepali cooking when making Saag.  Mustard greens are also great mixed in with your lettuce salad greens to be eaten raw.  

French Breakfast Radish or Cherry Bell Radish- Yum!  The radishes are great this time of year! Not too spicy, very crunchy and far from woody!  Don't forget to use their greens in cooking as well!  Radish greens would be a nice addition to your Saag.  

Red or Green Leaf Lettuce-  Another head of lettuce this week.  They've really bulked out in size!  

Recipes

Fresh Greens Pasta Pie

Spaghetti Squash Recipe

Indian Saag for using Mustard Greens

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash