A hidden agenda

It should be a known fact by now that we have an agenda – be it in hiding or rooted in the ground in full sun. Hint: it has to do with caring for each other… growing creatively….and cultivating community.

It is spring and time to throw off the covers! Our three garlic beds, each 260 feet long, are now cleared of their winter quilts of hay and soaking in the sunshine. They are standing straight and green and will make for many pounds of garlic if all goes well.  Another allium family member is the onion…..which has been part of the farm share box each week since last summer. Whew!

Besides being great flavor additions to recipes, both garlic and onions have tremendous medicinal benefits. These include the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Without going into all the details, fresh onions and garlic are good things to include in meal preparation. Onions and garlic are best stored in the coldest part of the refrigerator. If they start to accumulate, they can be frozen, dried or pickled.

There is a molecule called allicin found in alliums (onions & garlic), which when in a trio, has been shown to produce a substance called ajoene which can be as potent as aspirin by preventing blood clots. Hmmm both of those names, allicin and ajoene, sound like names for a baby girl!

Farm shares will ENJOY more onions, a salad mix, frozen cantaloupe, jam or pickles, spinach and a choice of either tomato sauce or beet pesto (both with alliums)! Hey Ho!

May your days be full of sunshine and your dinner tables yielding good eats!

 

Brrr to grrrr

The thermometer has reached -9°F and amazingly….the spinach and lettuce in the high tunnel is standing straight and green! We hope to harvest greens from these beds in April. There was a point that we thought all might be lost but whoo whoo! we are still farmers – always looking for rainbows when the sun shines on dark times.

Fungus gnats have invaded our greenhouse and what a bother they have been! Their larvae munch on a young plant’s new roots deep in the soil. Nematodes are coming to the rescue via US mail. Tracking their trip, they have gotten as far as Lancaster, PA. Hmmmm The newcomers are rumored to love the taste of the ones chopping off all the roots. It’s a gruesome world out there, does survival comes to the ones with the biggest mouths?

Farm shares will receive a wonderful salad mix with micros this week along with a bags of spinach and/or kale. Onions, frozen: raspberries, carrots, rhubarb or corn will be the other choices.

Ready to munch good eats? Always!

Fire and wind

Oh I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen wind, and the sunny days, well, we have one today!

Beginning with fire – Steve was up most of Monday night getting our central boiler furnace going again. On a warm day, we let the fire go out since there is no need for more heat in the buildings. Then, of course, with freezing weather it is a struggle to build up the bed of coals in the reaction chamber which keeps the fire burning under the stacked logs. I am sleeping cozily in my bed all the while….

Wind? I picture a large, blustery, cloud-like face with balloon cheeks and pursed lips somewhere north of here that is blowing for all it is worth. Then the south wind takes a puff. What is wind exactly? Our greenhouse has roof vents to let out the heated air on sunny days, but in extreme southern wind conditions these vents are kept closed so they are not ripped off by the forces outside. We work out a different circuitous method to cool the building down…using the climate battery and a few open windows.

In the meantime, our remaining high tunnel takes a beating and we are hoping that the equipment to rebuild the other wind-torn high tunnel arrives on the next sunny day without thoughts of fire or wind!

Farm share mini members will enjoy a box of: spinach, a large salad mix, the last cabbage, the last carrots, onions and potatoes – the larger boxes can choose:  frozen tomatoes or cantaloupe and dried Jubilee garlic powder.

Hey Ho, a free cookie to anyone who can recite the poem: The Moon’s the North Wind’s Cookie” which is the first line, so that is 1/8 of the way to a bite!

The stuff of laugh

Most Tuesday nights, a stop is made at Jubilee Market before the ‘delivery’ family heads off across town to their Bible study. All of our grains, dried beans, chips and sunnies arrive in this manner from Whole Grain Milling located near Welcome. This past week, the whole wheat bread flour had been milled and bagged the same day it was delivered to us. Imagine!

I am now a baker of sorts and fresh bread and buns come from these awesome grains grown almost next door. It’s my ‘stuff of laugh’ to keep me feeling blessed rather than stumbling under the weight of distrust and violence on the opposing side of the scale. I know the extended farming family who carefully watches over their land and crops. It’s a connection that I celebrate at each delivery visit. This ‘stuff of laugh’ is passed on to every Jubilee customer, whether it is realized or not. One needs to pass 101 Reading Between the Lines to comprehend what is going on.

All of our flours are available for bulk sales. Apple Crisp Bread is this week’s tasty choice. Today, the recipe will be tweaked, yet again, to find that perfect combination – haha!

Farm shares this week will enjoy: a wonderful bag of salad mix; storage veggies: onions, McCones sweets, Black Spanish radishes; frozen: melon, leeks or tomatoes; frozen carrots, broccoli, corn or rhubarb.

My college years were in the south and the ‘staff of life’ and ‘stuff of laugh’ came out sounding similar. Maybe our perceived differences are the same – the tongue is often the trickster…..

 

 

Immune to evil

Curiosity got me checking out my family tree. One branch leads to 3 brothers landing in Worcester County, Massachusetts from England in 1670. Another to Cornwall, where Lydia Rachel Tregelles left her home and traveled the treacherous seas to marry my great grandfather, only to die in childbirth after my grandfather was born. One most interesting, takes me back to a daughter of Malcolm II, King of Scotland – (“Duncan” in Shakespeare’s Macbeth….wouldn’t you know). The Hershey name, as in chocolate, also fits in.

There’s a branch that is still shrouded in mystery that leads me into slavery and clipper ships from Bermuda. There is much to ponder. How immune am I to evil? It has affected much more than out to the 7th generation.

I was listening to: http://kopn.org/dc/fs/02-16-17%20Food%20Sleuth%20Radio.mp3   . Warren Porter, Ph.D. professor of zoology and environmental toxicology at the U. of WI-Madison, when he spoke about his research on the health risks from ingredients (glyphosate + inerts) in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This affects ALL of us! It is not a bunch of hooey. In very small amounts, below the levels of what is considered “safe”, these molecules target our immune systems, which over a lifetime(s) take us to places we do not want our children to experience. We are reaping the winds of evil intent and not paying attention.

I can feel overwhelmed these days, with the lack of justice, loving kindness and humble attentiveness to the One who was here in the beginning. There are inspiring happenings that push the darkness aside. Back to that family tree: one branch landed in North Carolina where they were expected to own slaves. It was not possible to be loving and just is such a locale so they moved west.

I want my immune system to be strong and on the alert for anything that wants to diminish its response to evil intent. It is our ‘north star’ for Jubilee, for everyone who walks in, for families and the next generation…and the next…and the next….

It’s in the food we grow and share with our CSA members (whether you know it or not)! This week’s collection will be: our one of a kind salad mix, carrots (that chose to go sweet in challenging times), onions, radishes, an organic…rather large MN yellow potato, a choice of frozen veggies and….frozen aronia berries. All that sends a strong message to our immune systems, brain intelligence and the strength to do what needs to be done…for kindness’ sake unto the 7th generation…of course.