CSA Newsletter

Some beautiful potatoes for you!
Some beautiful potatoes for you!

This week we are harvesting our potatoes for the first time, and hope to have a generous haul to give out to the CSA.  Potatoes are a truly versatile crop.  You can plant them in the fall (if you have a warm, well-drained area) and again in the spring.  You can harvest them new, or wait until the plants have died back and the skins have toughened.  You can also easily save seed, as to plant potatoes you merely plant a piece of a potato that has a few eyes.  There are literally thousands (close to 4,000 according to Wikipedia) varieties of potatoes, ranging in all kinds of beautiful colors from pale pink to deep indigo.  Harvesting potatoes is one of my favorite activities on the farm.  Sink the shovel into the soil, upheave the dirt and sift through to find the round, knobbed treasures.  Hopefully you haven’t cut through any potatoes, or the gophers haven’t found them first.

Here’s a nod to the proud and noble potato by Pablo Neruda, noting aptly the politics of the origins of the potato in South America, and it being one of the many treasures plundered by the conquistadors of Spain.

Ode to the potato

you are called
not potahto;
you were not born with a beard,
you are not Castillian.
You are dark
our skin;
we are Americans,
we are Indians.

You are
gentle and profound,
pure pulp, a pure
white rose;
you flower there inside
the earth,
are showered by
of wet islands,
by tempestuous Chile,
by the Chilean sea,
an emerald that pours
its green light
out upon the austral ocean.

of the earth,
the sediment
does not possess
dead metals;
there, in the obscure
softness of the islands,
no one fights for
copper and its submerged
or the blue cruelty
of magnesium.
Hands planted you
in the moist ground
as though stocking a nest.
And when
the thunder
of that evil
the Spanish
black as an eagle of the grave,
sought savage gold
in the burning
of the Araucanias,
its greedy
were exterminated,
its leaders
and when
the poor ruined captains
to stony Castile
in their hands they raised
not a golden goblet
but a potato
from the Chilean sea.

You are honorable
that till the soil,
a hen
you’re a member of the family,
are compact as a cheese
that the earth pours out
from its nourishing
enemy of hunger,
in all
you’ve planted
your victorious and ready
in frozen land or in the ground
of burning coastlines
your anonymous flower
has appeared,
announcing the thick
and steady
birth rate of your roots.

Universal delight,
you don’t await
my song,
for you are deaf
and blind
and buried.
Cooked in an inferno
of oil
you scarcely speak,
nor do you sing
in the fried-fish shops
of the harbours;
when close to the guitars
you are silent, potato,
meal of the subterranean
interminable treasure-trove
of the people.

Anticipated Harvest:

  • potatoes!
  • tomatoes
  • eggplant
  • peppers
  • lettuce
  • tomatillos
  • turnips
  • parsley/celery
  • onions
  • garlic
  • kale/collards
  • cucumbers

Kale is one of my favorite vegetables.  It is so versatile and delicious, I can usually include it whatever I’m cooking. It’s also extremely nutritious and easy to grow.  I encourage you all to start experimenting with kale if you don’t like it yet.  The fall kale is coming on strong and should be particularly sweet and tender these last few weeks of CSA.

Kale with raisins and toasted pine nuts (from Greens Glorious Greens)

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3/4 pounds kale (about 6 cups, chopped)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsps good olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • salt to taste
  1. To toast pine nuts, place on a cookie sheet or pie tin and bake at 325 for 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Take care not to burn them.
  2. Wash kale and strip off stalks.  Roughly chop kale.  Bring the water to a boil in a 10 or 12 inch skillet with a tightly fitting lid.  Add kale and cook, covered, over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, approximately 5 minutes.  Remove and drain, saving the cooking liquid to drink.
  3. Rinse out and dry the skillet, then use it to heat the olive oil over medium heat, lifting and tilting the pan to coat.  Add garlic and saute for 15 seconds.  Add raisins and saute for 30 seconds to one minute, stirring constantly to prevent browning or burning.  Raisins should be glossy and slightly puffed.
  4. Add greens and stir to combine.  Season with salt to taste and cover for a minute until greens are heated through.  Serve hot, garnished with the toasted pine nuts.



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