November 3, 2012

letter head csa

garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself.  ~May Sarton


Reflections of the year

As we draw to a close of this years' CSA, I have been reflecting on all the seeds planted, some bearing fruit, others not.  I enjoy looking at the pictures of spring and feel a sense of excitement for the
Spring Scallions
Start of the season with a bed of scallions
time to spend in reflection over the winter and the chance to move into the next growing season, having another year of experience.  I will admit, I also feel a sense of sadness for all the seeds we planted that did not bear fruit.  Each seed teaches us a lesson though, and if we can cultivate patience and perseverance, we only hope that through our witnessing and willingness to strive on, we will continue to steward an amazing harvest in the coming years, God willing.

The spring peas were abundant and beautiful, and we were able to share them generously and for this I am grateful.  In my hopes to repeat this in the fall, we came to realize that peas aren't a crop that seem to produce here as well in the fall.  At first thought, it was the weather, but in talking with a farmer friend and others, it became clear that it must have more to do with the pollination.  The pollinators that care for and help this crop along, aren't so abundant in the fall.  All of those beautiful rows of peas stood there full of flowers, that lacked the support of the pollinators to bear fruit.  However, peas fix nitrogen into the soil and are often used in cover crops, so with patience, the gift may unfold in a future crop supported by the nourishment they left. More and more we see the intricacy of how creation is orchestrated and learn to be more observant and tune in to working in deeper harmony with it all.  

  The summer squash this year was delicious, and we were happy with the harvest we received.  Next year, we hope to inter plant more of the
zucchini in flower
Zucchini Blossom
marigold family in amongst it to promote a longer season, as they detract the squash bugs that seem to enjoy squash as much as we do!  Watching those gorgeous yellow flowers unfold was a priceless experience, that I leave the season in deep gratitude for. Along with the squash bugs, cucumber beetles seemed to cause the most damage to the garden this year.  Jesse ordered a gallon of clove oil and is making traps in an effort to thwart their population earlier in the season next year.  The scent of clove oil is similar to the pheromone the cucumber beetle are attracted to.  This is something we are looking forward to in the coming year.  Turkey's are something I am pondering as well, if I can get my husband on board.  We hear they are voracious pest eaters and do not tear up the beds scratching the way chickens do.   I did enjoy the summer cucumbers and look forward to the planting of new seeds!

During your early June share, we ended up with a bumper
June Potato Harvest
June Potato Harvest
potato crop, that came as quite a surprise, as it sprung off of missed potatoes from last falls harvest.  We didn't end up with the fall potato harvest we planned for, but did receive a surprise harvest we didn't anticipate.  Along with those potatoes came bunches and bunches of scallions.  What a compliment they were to one another.  Many of the scallion we harvested we hoped would continue on to plump onions to be stored for the fall, which didn't turn out that way, but you can be sure we will be asking about this during winter workshops and see if we can't refine our onion growing techniques.

Sweet Potato
Sweet Potato Harvest 

During mid-summer, it seemed there would be no end to the green bean and tomato harvesting.  Andy spent endless hours picking, picking, picking....  About the time I thought our customers were going to be overwhelmed by green beans, they began to lay down in exhaustion, alongside Andy!, and were rested on the compost pile in service to creating nourishment for the coming years crop.  About that time, we were able to dig sweet potatoes!  This is an exciting task, which is fun to invite the kids to join in.  The final weeks of your share will include these delicious jewels of the earth.

With this coming weeks share, we are sending along the end of the harvest for many of you, as this is the final week for many half share members.  Next week is the final scheduled delivery for the 2012 season.  We are grateful you choose to purchase a share in support of maintaining a culture of small diversified farms in the landscape.  The word diversified means so much more to me, with the example of the sweet peas.  As we strive to grow a variety of crops and  choose to grow organically, we create a diversity of vegetables, but also homes for pollinators. 

Last weeks storm was rather intense to say the least.  Thank God, the only damage we saw was minimal, but many of the greens were "juiced" as Jesse says. The turnips are coming along slowly with the tattered greens and cold, gray days.  For some reason the beets grew over the summer, but didn't germinate into the fall. There are parsnips to dig for
Broccoli Sprout
Our first seedlings of 2012
the final share and butternut squash to share this week!  This week, we will include white sweet potatoes, which is a new crop for us.  We are also going to send several bulbs of garlic so you have extra to save for the coming weeks.  The share this weeks seems a little light to me.  As my husband says, this is the spirit of the CSA, we ride the wave together.  Some bags are abundant, some times the weather knocks them back a bit.  I like to share the ups and downs with you, in effort to connect you more deeply with the harvest you receive.  All in all, we feel the season was amazing and we are so thankful to have shared in the harvest with you.  We pray it brought you into new creativity in the kitchen, deep nourishment in your being, and many blessings for your choice to choose local agriculture.


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!

   Sunflower Art
Peace and Blessings~ 

Halima Willett 

This Weeks Harvest
tat soi
Butternut Squash
White Sweet Potatoes
Collard Greens
Asian Greens
Storage Garlic

Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
butternut chickpea salad




Yield: 4 servings

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash
(about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley


For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste


Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

Roasted Garlic Spread garlic harvest
4 large or 6 small bulbs of garlic
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T oregano or sage
2 T water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a toaster oven to 375.  Cut off the top 1/4 inch of each bulb of garlic to expose a bit of the center cloves. Don't cut the root end or remove skin.  Bush with oil, allowing come to soak in to the cloves.  Bake 45 min, or until soft. Allow to cool; remove outer skin of bulb, seperate cloves, and squeeze out the soft garlic. Combine with oil, oregano, and liquid and stir well.  This makes a delicious enhancement to whole grain breads or with a touch of lemon for greens.

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