June Thirteenth


I’m reading a book, or listening to a book while I work, right now by Robin Wall Kimmerer called Braiding Sweetgrass that seems to have come into my life at an appropriate time.  Robin is a Native American woman who is a biologist, writer, teacher and mother.  There are many profound lessons in her book that are still soaking into my reality, but at present I am contemplating something she and the Haudenosaunee people call the “Thanksgiving Address” that I feel compelled to share with you. 

I am attempting to raise my children to be aware of their consumption.  To think twice about their use of plastics, fossil fuels, waste and materials of utilization which are great.  While there is an acute awareness of what we are expending and the effects of our consumption, I wish also not to teach them to feel guilty or ashamed or sorry for their own existence.  Is there a way to exist on the planet and consume resources, but also a way to honor that which we are taking?  A way to kill a plant or an animal and show respect and reverence at the same time?  I have struggled with, and see others struggling with, their own carbon footprint and consumption and I have wondered if all humans really are all ‘bad’. I wish not to raise my children to think such things about themselves. 

What I like about the “Thanksgiving Address” is that if all death and consumption begins with awareness and deep gratitude for that which we are taking, rather than an attitude of entitlement and dis-contentment that stems out of unmet expectations, we are already behaving like honorable beings.  The Thanksgiving Address asks you to examine your own relationship to nature.  The Thanksgiving Address teaches mutual respect, conservation, love, generosity, and the responsibility to understand that what we have done to one part of the Web of Life, we have done to ourselves.  In expressing gratitude, we become spiritually tied to the forces that sustain us and invest in their care and protection. 

On a farm where there is death and life and rain and wind and plastic and human bodies all around us, this subject is relevant.  Every day we take so much.  Many days it feels like we take much more than we give back to the land. The challenge is to find ways to reciprocate.  While I do believe that gratitude is powerful and many times our gratitude is enough, I believe that we can do more. 

We can do more by protecting beneficial insect and wildlife habitats.  We can teach our friends and family about the importance of buying organic food and protecting our water.  We can use every morsel from our CSA boxes and buy less food from far-away places.  We can walk more.  We can purchase sustainably sourced foods, recycle building materials, and support nature conservancy and protection in our neighborhoods.  We can teach our children how to do these things.  We can teach them to express gratitude for that which they are consuming.  We can teach them to be spiritually connected to the life forces that produce all that they consume.  This is how healing and reciprocity happens. 

In a time of resource scarcity, when is there a better time to talk about this?  Let us remember our ancestors and the simple ways we can give back for all that we receive. 


What's in the Box?

2 lbs. Red Potato-  These are potatoes we kept in our cooler all winter long from harvest last fall.  When we bagged them they were dry with only a little dirt on them, but after we had them out of the cooler for a while they started to sweat and become muddy.  Please be careful with the potato bags when removing them from your box as the bags are weak and the potatoes a bit muddy.  We will plan to wash the potatoes for next week.  Store your potatoes in the fridge for them to keep longer!

Kohlrabi-  If you're not familiar with this vegetable, it is in the brassica (or cole) family-the same as cabbage, broccoli, radish, turnips and so many others!  Kohlrabi are also called the "ground apple".  They're crunchy with a texture similar to an apple, but with the smooth, mild flavor of cabbage or even radish.  You'll need to peel off the tough outer layer of the kohlrabi to enjoy the crunchy inside.  The leaves of the kohlrabi can be eaten like kale, so don't throw them out!  Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or fried or baked or spiralized or really ANYTHING you can dream up.  They are very versatile!  Store in the fridge.

Hakurai Salad Turnips-  These are the white globe shaped roots.  The smoothest textured turnip you'll find that is wonderful eaten raw like a radish.  They are lovely shaved thinly, sliced or grated onto salads.  They have a sweetness to them that makes them great for snacking.  The Pearls of the box this week!  Store in the fridge.

Spinach- A little more than a half pound of spinach for everyone this week!  Store in the fridge in a plastic bag.

Green and Red Oakleaf Lettuce- One head of each red and green oakleaf this week.  We hydro-cool our lettuce by dunking them in tanks of water after harvest.  This gets them pretty clean, however your lettuce should be washed again before eating.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Green Curly Kale- Gorgeous bunches of green curly kale this week.  The kale and collard field is looking nice this year.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Cilantro- We had a nice cilantro harvest this week.  The cilantro looks and tastes fabulous.  Store in the fridge.

Next week’s best guess:  Kale or swiss chard, kohlrabi, lettuce, salad turnip, potato, green onion, maybe broccoli, maybe snap peas, hopefully cilantro.



Kale with Red Beans, Cilantro and Feta Cheese

Hakurai Turnip and Apple Salad

Braised Turnip Greens with Apples

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing