FROM THE FARMERS
Sixteen years ago, I raised my first crop of sweet corn to sell at the Berea Farmers Market. Corn led to tomatoes and a u-pick strawberry patch while I was in high school. When I went away to college, my dad kept things going, starting as many as 10,000 tomatoes to plant when I finished my final exams. After graduation, I came back to the farm dreaming of livestock: laying hens, broiler chickens, turkeys and cattle.
Through the years, many of my farming dreams have become reality…but always, reality has a say on how my dreams manifest. Birds and worms eat sweet corn, and late frost kills strawberries. We’ve thrown wheelbarrows full of tomatoes onto the compost pile when demand did not match our ambition; wheelbarrows full of eggs when a business deal fell through. Two falls, flocks of blackbirds have transmitted fowl cholera to our poultry. And as many of you know, this past year, after a devastating bovine virus outbreak, we decided to transition out of the feeder calf business for good. Farming has its risks, including the heartbreak that comes when you live into your dreams.
Farming also has its rewards: a steady supply of good food for our own table (and what is better than that?); a sense of belonging to and investment in our community; physical vitality; kinship with the natural world; the sense of purpose that comes with always learning and changing and growing. But even the risks turn into rewards: disappointment teaches patience and loss gives way to new life. As our cattle suffered in the dead of last winter, the CSA seed was planted and took hold.
As we began to plan for the season, CSA membership sprouted, and our optimism grew. By paying up front for a share of this year’s harvest, members gave us resources and motivation to farm in accordance with our experience and our values – distancing our farm from the commodity food system, supporting our community, growing healthy food, and taking care of our land… to READ THE REST
A good time was had by all on Sunday at the potluck. The weather was cold and rainy, so we quickly cleaned out the greenhouse, built a fire in the stove and enjoyed the food. Thanks to everyone who made all that wonderful food.
WEEK #26 CSA Share Contents
- LETTUCE & SUGAR SNAP PEAS
- SWEET POTATOES
- BUTTERNUT SQUASH
FARM NOTES & EVENTS
- Last regular CSA delivery, October 30
- 2012 FALL CSA starts, November 6
- Berea Farmers Market moves indoors, November 16
- Order your Thanksgiving Turkey, pick-up @ farm November 18
Here’s a recipe I came up with this week in a hurry, trying to make good on a huge canvas bag of Jimmy Nardello peppers that had been sitting in our fridge since the first frost. One of my favorite ways to impart brightness to winter meals is to throw in a bit of frozen pesto, made (usually in a hurry) with end of summer, sun-ripened crops. Traditional basil pesto works well, but so do peppers! Pesto makes great pizza sauce, sandwich spread, seasoning for curries and stir fries, baked potato topping, pasta/quinoa/rice topping, and more. Spread pesto and cream cheese on a bagel, dilute with olive oil and lemon juice for a salad dressing, or use it just about any way you can dream up with eggs. Note: for the amount of each ingredient in this recipe, I suggest a range that will work well in all combinations. Make your pesto to suit your taste.
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
- 1-2 lbs red peppers
- 1/4-1/2 c roasted cashews (walnuts, pine nuts, or pumpkin seeds)
- 1-3 cloves chopped garlic
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut peppers in half and remove the tops, seeds, and any moldy or soft spots. Place them on a baking sheet (no oil necessary) and roast until the skin just begins to char.
Use a food processor to pulse cashews and garlic to a medium-fine grind (hint: roughly chop garlic beforehand to ensure even distribution). Process in the roasted red peppers. Note: if you are wary about the char, taste a particularly blackened pepper. If you’re not a big fan of the flavor, wait until the peppers cool and remove some of the char for a simpler sweetness.
Add olive oil to suit your consistency preference, and add salt to taste.
Fresh pesto will store in the refrigerator for a couple weeks. You can also freeze portions in ice cube trays or half-pint jars. For cubes, once the pesto is frozen, put cubes into a plastic freezer bag for storage.