August 11, 2012 

letter head csa

"The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard."



I looked down at my breakfast this morning and realized with surprise that every single thing on my plate was from the farm.  I love it when that happens!  It's nice to feel so connected to my nourishment.  My kids and I often before meals offer thanks, and list where everything came from.  The cows in the field that made the cheese, the tomatoes that came from the vine outside, the bread that came from the stalk of wheat, the salt that came from the ocean, the berries from the forest edge.  You get the point, and you don't have to source everything locally to take a moment to reflect on this.  I like to image the olive tree which gifted me it's oil, as it is a non-local staple in my family. We find it fun and it paints a beautiful image in my mind and a deeper sense of gratitude for my meal. Then, even if you didn't pick it, you can absorb the beauty of it's growth in your imagination.  I pray it deepens in them a sense of awareness of wise and healthy food choices that support the health of their bodies and the earth they inhabit.  We eat many products that do not come from the farm. Farmer's Markets and the frederick co-op, where I do most of my shopping, are awesome for educating us as to the whereabouts of our food and the practices of the farmer.

Sowing Seeds cabbage
We are busy planting seeds this week!  And I am typing this newsletter  indoors, while listening to it rain fall upon them.  I can imagine them under the soil, drinking it up, swelling with the gift from above, ready to unfold, rise up and share the bounty hidden within them.  New seeds coming up are such a joy!

The green house is again home to many young plants, such as, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts, all of which in transplanted in the coming weeks. The lettuce has germinated nicely under a shade cloth, as it likes to germinate in cooler soils.  The spinach didn't come up so well and may need another planting.  Jesse planted 8 beds of sweet peas yesterday, and I look forward to their return.  The sweet pea plant is a such a delicate, whimsical beauty, with it spiraling tendrils, lovely flowers and sweet fruits.  The summer squash you have been receiving in your share is about done for the season, but another row is full of flowers, and we just seeded 5 more rows to see if it will extend a little longer into the fall.  The winter squash plants are growing abundance and we hope will fill up with a variety of fruits for the fall harvest.

This week we hope you enjoy more green beans!  Please know they freeze well, if you aren't in the mood to eat them all up now, it might be a nice treat in the winter when local food is scarce.  The tomatoes are honestly overwhelming.  We have filled every corner and rack of the kitchen with them.   We intend to send home a few pounds this week, from big heirloom brandy wine and beefsteaks to smaller better bush round reds,  and a mixture of "rainbow" cherries.   These also make a nice winter treat if chopped and frozen or canned.  They are wonderful dried in a dehydrator if you have one.  I just learned a tip from a neighbor at the farmers market, that I tried out and worked well.  You can line a cookie sheet lightly with olive oil, lay out your sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with a little sea salt and let rest in the oven on the lowest setting (mine is 170 degrees).  The trick is to put a wooden spoon in the oven door to promote airflow and keep the temperature down.  Works if you do not have a dehydrator, while not as nearly energy efficient.  It does take a while, and overnight works well for me.

If you would like to can or freeze tomatoes for storage, please contact me,  We have half bushels available for $15 or whole bushels for $25 and can send along with the delivery.   Garlic is also available by the pound to *flavor your sauce* at $9/lb for members.

We are sending more garlic, which has been cured and can be stored away if we are sending more than you use in a week. 

Storing garlic uncovered, such as in a wire-mesh basket inside your cupboard or beneath a small overturned clay pot, is ideal. You can also store garlic in a paper bag, egg carton, or mesh bag. Just be sure there is plenty of dry air and little light to inhibit sprouting. To avoid mold, do not refrigerate or store garlic in plastic bags.  If you are interested in buying a few pounds of extra garlic, maybe for those tomatoes you are going to can, or just to keep around for the coming year.  Please feel free to contact us about that as well. 

We joined the Berkeley Springs Farmers Market this year, which was a new venture.  I am finding I deeply enjoy the experience, although I admit I had my reservations about the commitment at first.  It is a great opportunity to share up and downs, ideas and advise, questions and answers with other farmers and local food supporters.  I learned from a customer a couple of week ago, who was purchasing our eggplants, that when eggplant is picked early in the morning, it's inflammatory proprieties are lower. The are more settled in the roots and haven't risen up into the fruit yet, as they do later in the day.  We do pick them very early Saturday morning, so this was good to hear, although I haven't any information to support this, I thought it was worth sharing.  When picking calendula flowers for salve, I have always picked them early in the day after the dew has lifted, as the oil in the flower are most available before the heat of the sun, so I believe there is truth in harvesting at different times for flavor and potency.

Please note that we will not run any deliveries on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1st and 2nd.  This week we will be taking a break from ALL CSA Deliveries, and will resume the following week.  I will send a reminder with delivery notices. 

Hope you enjoy the locally grown goodness, and delight in knowing it's fresh, clean, and picked right before you received it! 
Thank you for joining us this season to share in the harvest and all of it's beauty, nourishment, and healing.  

Please contact us any time with questions.  You are always welcome to come visit!

  Amin and Halima2
Peace and Blessings~

Halima Willett 
Fall CSA
September 22nd thru November 10th
Fall Swt Potato Harvest
Kids helping with Fall sweet potato harvest  
We are inviting new members to join us for the Fall season!  
 If you have a Spring/Summer membership and would like to continue through the fall, we are now accepting enrollments.
Please share with others this opportunity to support local agriculture while receiving the healing nourishment it provides. 

This Weeks Harvest


Bunch of Swiss Chard
Lots of Heirloom Tomatoes
"Rainbow" Cherry Tomatoes
First of the Tomatillo's
A Cucumber or two
A couple of Green Peppers
A couple of Long Purple Eggplants
Big bag of Green beans
2 bulbs of Garlic
Generous bag of Basil

Swiss Chard

swiss chard
The bunch of greens that has been arriving in your share is Swiss Chard.
 "Chard is a member of the beet family, selectively bred for its leaves rather than it's root.  Although char is often referred to as Swiss Chard, the champions of this versatile vegetable are the French who add it to soups, stuffing, pates, and pancakes.  Like all dark green leafy vegetables, chard is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and carotenoids.  Chard should always be eaten cooked as it contains oxalic acid that may irritate the mouth and intestinal tract.  These are neutralized during cooking."

~ Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions Cookbook

Simple Chard Recipe

Several leaves of chard
1 zucchini sliced into half moons (part of one if it is huge)
Half an onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 T of olive oil
Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onion for a couple minutes.
Add Zucchini for a few minutes more
Add Chopped chard and garlic and stir until chard is wilted.

Serve with your meal.
Goes will with eggs for breakfast, as a side to lentil soup, or on a grilled panini, just to name a few suggestions.

Cucumber Yogurt Soup

Freshly harvested cucumbers

4 cups peeled, seeded & grated cucumber
2 cups water
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 to 1 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp  dill
1 Tbs honey
minced fresh mint

Combine all ingredient, except mint, until well blended, and chill until very cold.  Serve topped with mint.