Archive for August 2012

CSA Newsletter

I’m struck in this moment by the peach tree in my yard. It’s just a wee thing, 12 feet tall and growing next to the chicken coop. I never planted this tree, neither did the land owners here. Instead it came in with some compost, a gnarled little pit tossed into the pile on a summer day, left to it’s own devices. When I moved here, almost four years ago, it was a spindly bit of root stock, sad sickle leaves covering it’s few branches, looking a little misplaced in the yard, next to the shed that the land owner’s kids had painted with flowers and clouds. In fact, that year, sometime mid-summer, it was mistakenly weed-wacked along with the rampant blackberry, and I never expected to see it again.

Every year since I’ve almost peripherally taken note of the thing. Someone over for lunch will comment on it. “Oh, you have a little peach tree right there,” they’ll say, and I’ll nod, but almost not quite believe it, because, really, how does something as tender as a peach just grow on its own? I mean, it died once, so why would I place my attention on something so destined to fail, so fragile it takes whole orchard set-ups and specific varieties just to survive the strange weather and frosts of the foothills?

Looking at it now, I realize that I have been captured by that little sweet thing without even knowing it. It has four peaches on it, ripening in the heat, fuzzy like little kitten paws and the color of rainbow sorbet – orange and pink and green. In fact, I almost feel like crying, I am so struck by the beauty of this tree that has grown up all on its own.

What if I could regard my own growth like this perfect little peach tree? How relaxing, to consider my evolution to be as beautiful as this one right in front of me. I’ve been growing up a lot this year, learning to love and learning to be my most authentic self and learning to take risks and be true. It’s been hard, but how different it is even in this moment to consider that my process has been just as natural, just as painful, just as wind-tossed, and just as fruitful as that of the peach.

Ok, so now I am crying a little bit. And I’m feeling a lot of love for not only this peach, but my yard, the wind today, the overhead sprinklers drizzling the lettuce sprouts, the river that awaits my afternoon visit, my sweet lover flying across the world to hike great mountains, all the great mountains that watch over us, and the ripe peach, from another little peach tree, that sits on my table and smells like heaven. And of course the peach pit beneath, which will make it’s way into my compost, and sprout, and be pulled inextricably, in it’s own sweet time, to become something beautiful.

Love,

Maisie

Anticipated Harvest:

  • Tomatoes!
  • Summer Squash – we are going to give you a lot, be prepared.
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers?
  • Beets/Carrots
  • Basil
  • Tatsoi
  • Turnips/Radishes/Cabbage
  • Greens – Kale/Chard/Collards
  • Garlic

Recipe

I know I don’t always give out complicated recipes, but more and more I realize that I hardly ever try complicated things in the summer. I just make a salad, and put everything delicious in it. So, with that being said, I want to encourage you all to use your grills and ovens this week, especially with the summer squash and eggplants. Because all you need is a little brush of olive oil and sea salt, and shazam, you’ve got gourmet. I have been appreciating eggplant, sliced 1/4 in thick, grilled both sides, and just plain like that. Same thing with the tomatoes even, roast them before you make a sauce or salsa and the caramelized flavor of acid and sweet come right out. Have fun!

CSA Newsletter

That’s it. I give up. I give up knowing, trying, striving, avoiding. Instead I will accidentally mow over the hose in my yard and then try to unearth its remains from four years of grass. Step on a bee, open the freezer and drop a glass jar of last-years pesto on the floor, jam my hand starting the rototiller, leave the whole cart of flowers out in the sun, and come home to find my box of draining honey comb infested with ants.

Sounds good to me. Because considering the tranquility and ease of my life – sleeping in a quiet meadow, picking soft leaves of salad mix in the morning, drinking fresh carrot juice for lunch, a dip in the river in the evening – a daily debacle is just like a healthy dose of castor oil from mom. Builds character, keeps us on our toes, makes us resilient, cleans out the system, and most importantly, allows us to let go. Well, I don’t know if castor oil allows us to let go per se, but certainly the unexpected messiness of living does the trick for me. One moment I am happily picking spinach, chatting with willow and miranda, and the next minute I’ve got the van loaded with veggies to go to town and my tire is flat.

So I surrender. To my experience in the moment whether I judge it to be a “good” one or “bad” one. I don’t expect to escape the inanities and awkwardness of living, and in fact I welcome them as a wake up call to appreciate all the beauty and balance that exists. Consider then the inherent blessing the next time you drop your plate, jam your finger, or lose your keys. It ain’t so bad when you take into account that you have a plate full of food to eat, all your fingers to wiggle, and a way to get yourself around town to visit the ones you love. I know I will be trying to channel such grace when I pick the tomatoes this week, crawling through rows we yet again spaced too close together, and yet continually grateful for the abundant harvest these plants provide. Happy eating and appreciating this week!

Love,

Maisie

 

The Anticipated Harvest:

  • Tomatoes!
  • Hot Peppers
  • Basil
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Summer Squash
  • Greens/Cabbage
  • Tomatillos
  • Green Beans
  • Sunflowers – Bring a jar or baggie to carry home!

 

Ian’s Friend’s Grandmother’s Summer Squash Recipe:

SUCH a great way to use up that huge summer squash that got away from you (or us in this case). Just shred the zucchini up and along with chopped onions and some olive oil, fill a cast iron pan with the stuff. Put in Garlic and Salt to taste. Cook on low heat for up to an hour (!), stirring occasionally. What you want to get is that caramelized flavor from the squash and onions browning but not burning. Serve up warm or store in the fridge and serve cold with thinly sliced bread, rice crackers, or whatever. SO GOOD.

Quite possibly the bee who stung me…

Quite possibly the bee who stung me…

 

Dinner In The Field Upcoming!

Living Lands Agrarian Network is hosting its 3rd Annual Dinner in the Field Benefit Dinner on Saturday August 25th at 5pm. This has been a glorious event the past few years, and I would love to have some Soil Sisters CSA members representing! This is a great opportunity to support our agricultural education work while dining with the Living Lands community in a lovely farm setting. Diners will enjoy an exquisitely crafted meal, wine, flowers, candlelight, and inspiring conversation with like-minded community members and farmers.  In The Kitchen will serve a bountiful menu of fresh and delicious dishes featuring organically grown peak-season vegetables and meats from Soil Sisters, Red Rocker, and other Living Lands farms.

You will also be able to tour one of our unique farm sites. Lost Hill Farm serves as the home site for our interns; as an experiment in permaculture and homesteading; and as a community gathering space. It boasts a ½-acre garden, many native plants, top bar bee hives, a laying flock, a sacred space, and myriad fruit and nut trees. Talk to Willow and I at pick up for more information or visit the website to sign up!

081212

 

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