Monday, October 8, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 09 October 2012 - Delivery #17

Hello to everyone in our CSA,
As we arrive at the end of the seventeen weeks of the 2012 CSA, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for being members of the ever-evolving and growing community of "eaters and growers" who make up Watershed Farm. I have lived and farmed here on this hill top for over a dozen years and I continue to feel blessed waking here every morning even if it means hearing the young roosters announce their ever increasing testosterone levels a few hours earlier than any civilized creature should find their voice.
I also want to take this moment to thank this season's farm managers, Jon and Teri who will be leaving us in a few months. In answer to my ads for a farm manager last year, they impressed me with their mixture of enthusiasm and experience. They moved across the country to farm on a piece of land that they didn't know, in a climate and community that was entirely new to them. They have done a most admirable job and they brought to it a great deal of professionalism and dedication, not to mention humour. 

I would like to believe that over the course of these last eight months, they truly came to love this place, which was one of the things that I asked them to try to do at the very beginning of the season. As I see it, farming is an act of love. Nourishing the soil, having faith in a seed, feeding people with the fruits of your labour.. it is easy to talk about farming in metaphoric terms but it actually entails an awful lot of very hard and often tedious physical work. Neither Jon nor Teri shied away from embracing that work and the bounty of the garden that you have enjoyed all season speaks to their efforts. While they take their time to figure out their next move, I know that the experience of acting as farm managers here this year was an opportunity that they deeply appreciate and I trust that they will continue to have a positive relationship with Watershed Farm as they forge their own path. 

It is also time to acknowledge the contribution of Lisa Burgschmidt who has lived on the farm since January as an apprentice. While her talents are too numerous to mention here, it should be said that LIsa has become a sheep whisperer, a chicken wrangler, an herbalist, a market vendor and sumac-ade maker, a forager, a harvester and bag packer extraordinaire. Lisa moves on very soon and we will miss her terribly but know that she will remain a great friend to this place and hope that it won't be long before she returns for her first "visit" as a non-working guest. 

As we enter our fourth season at Watershed CSA, we look forward to introducing improvements and changes that will offer you even more reasons to stay on board as members of a community that cares about the environment, the food you eat,  the way it is grown and the people who dedicate themselves to farming as a vocation. Your membership has helped us in so many ways. It is your support and commitment that allows us to be able to offer opportunities to new farmers such as Jon and Teri, and apprentices like Lisa, work-share memberships, subsidized shares, weekly donations to the Cooking Program at The Ark, school field trips and more. 

Our CSA members can look forward to an extended season with our new greenhouse now up and planted out. This allows us to offer you more vegetables both later into the Winter season and earlier in the Spring. The newly minted Monthly Winter CSA is a very exciting development and we will soon have the web site set up so that we can take your orders  and payments for our first Monthly Winter CSA delivery in early November. More on the specifics of the first Winter CSA delivery coming soon...

We are also eager to start planning for next season which brings me around me to reminding you that we are offering an extra early bird special for those who sign on for next season by November 9th. Your $200 deposit will be applied to your 2014 membership at the extra discounted rate. Again, the website will accept paypal payments for this extra early bird discount in just a few days. 

This past weekend was a very special one for my family. My daughter Addie celebrated her Bat Mitzvah here at the farm with over 50 of  our closest family and friends. We dined like kings and queens all weekend, a moveable feast from Friday night to Sunday brunch. Much of what we ate was grown here at Watershed Farm and some came from the fields of friends farms.. but more importantly all of it was grown and cooked with love, which is why it tasted so wonderful. Enjoy your vegetables!

Camelia Frieberg
Watershed Farm
And now Teri's note to all of you:

Hi everyone!

17 weeks ago seems like a long time ago, but it's here: your final CSA basket of the year!  

We are still planning on doing a later add-on shipment on Tuesday, November 6th of some storage crops and (hopefully!) greens from the new greenhouse.  Items that may be available at that time include: eggs, carrots, beets, sunchokes, kale, pumpkins, salad mix, and stir-fry mix.  We also may have some organic stewing hens as we cull our flock for the winter months, provided we can get our girls in to an inspected facility by that time.  I will send out a list about a week before with available items and a price list, and if we have enough interest we can come all the way to Halifax.  Let me know if this is something you would be interested in!

Two administrative notes about tomorrow:
Chester: pick-up location has changed to Chez Glass Lass, 63 Duke Street, 12:00 - 5:00
Mahone Bay: Mateus Bistro is closed, but the bags will be in front of the door under the bench.

The cooler bags that you have been getting your deliveries in belong to you, and we hope you can use them.  If you would like to return any, we can definitely make use of them by re-using them next year or donating them to subsidized share members, and will swing by the locations to pick them up if you do choose to return them.

Thank you for being part of Watershed Farm's CSA. It's an amazing thing to grow produce for 62 members of our local community. The “C” in CSA is community and now you and all of us on the farm are a community. Some might think of a CSA as a community coming together to support a local farm, but you can spin it around and think of it as creating a community out of like-minded people, who all care about where their food comes from and put that into action. My hope is that, even though the weekly produce deliveries are over for the year, the community will continue to thrive for years to come.

We decided to each write a little note on the occasion of the last CSA to say our goodbyes and thank yous:

Lisa Burgschmidt
I have always been passionate about good food, and especially cooking it and feeding it to people. But this was the first year where I helped grow food for strangers, and I loved it. It's a lot of work to get vegetables from a tiny seed, to your CSA bag. In the busy months of the summer, there were times when I felt more like a headless chicken than a farm apprentice (only there was a lot less blood). This season I learned a lot about starting, growing, harvesting and packing vegetables. The more I learned about those things, the warier (and let me tell you, I was pretty damn wary to begin with) I grew of conventional, pesticide-intensive agriculture. We worked hard to get your food to you as fresh as possible, and it made me wonder what those big companies (even a lot of the organic produce you buy in the store is all the way from California) do to their vegetables to make them still appear fresh when they reach the grocery store. .. I think that in this point of the brewing food revolution, it is an experiment both on the part of the farmer, and you, the customer, to find a method that works for both of us. I am excited to see CSA's growing in popularity, and to acknowledge that there is a lot of young farmers in this area. Nova Scotia actually has the highest population in Canada of young farmers right now, and to me that speaks volumes about this place. I've been in Nova Scotia for a little over a year now, and I have more than fallen in love with this tiny little province, and the people that call it home. My time here on Watershed Farm is drawing to a close as well, though I too plan to stay in the area, after going back to visit friends and family back west in November. Have a lovely autumn folks.

Jon JenkinsWhen thinking over this past growing season, I think about all of the hours of work, all of the crops planted, all of the successes and all of the things I would do different next time. I loved it all. But, the most amazing aspect of farming at Watershed was a bit surprising, something I had not expected or even thought about. Just as we have formed a community through our CSA, the most amazing thing to me, was being part of a community of local farmers. We've been fortunate enough to develop friendships with many small-scale farmers in the area. What do farmers love to do when they're not farming? Talk about farming. Teri and I have spent more then one day off visiting other people's farms seeing how they grow vegetables and raise animals. All of the farmers were nothing but supportive, always willing to share their knowledge and always encouraging us to keep farming. Its amazing to be in an industry where knowledge and practices are freely shared without hesitation. A benefit of being outside of the corporate farming world, is that corporate secrets don't exist out here.

Teri Dillon
There are many things I could talk about in the past growing season, but I would have to say my favourite part of this year was the teamwork it took to grow food for everyone.  We worked so that the work was shared and if one of us was behind or needed a hand with something, the others would help out.  I'm glad that Jon and I are as good of a team as we thought coming out here, and this will hopefully carry us well in future farming endeavours, as well as life in general.  Lisa was a trooper, and we couldn't have done a moment of it without her.  We also had a lot of help from work shares and WWOOFers, which always seemed to come at the right time and were always more fun than I expected.  No farm is an island: it takes a team of people working together to make things happen (especially when you're doing things the right way, which is often synonymous with the hard way!).  I also found a love for Nova Scotia and am so happy and thankful that we found Camelia and this opportunity on Watershed Farm.  I have learned more in the past year than I have in the past 10 years, which is why this was such a rewarding experience.  Thank you for being a part of our first CSA, we will never forget it, and I hope that you will continue to be a part of the change you want to see in the world. 
In your basket this week:

A mix of yellow, orange, purple and red ones.  We think these are the most gosh-darn delicious carrots we've had all year.

If you haven't made borscht this season; you must!  A fellow vendor at the Bridgewater market used my recipe and made some a couple of weeks ago and was impressed.  I've given the recipe before, but I'm giving it to you again just because it's so good:

RECIPE: Stephanie’s Ukrainian Borscht
1 lb. Beef or pork bones with some meat on
3-4 quarts water
2 t salt or to taste
½ t ground black pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
½ C diced or shredded carrots
1 C diced or shredded potatoes
1 t dill weed (finely crushed FRESH stems and leaves)
2 T white vinegar
1 C shredded cabbage
½ C green or yellow wax beans
¼ C peas
4-6 medium beets shredded or chopped (when fresh leave some stems on)
1 can pre-cooked white beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
½ pint half and half cream or any sweet cream

(Meat is optional, but good for flavor) 
Boil bones in the water (skimming) until meat falls off, cut up and return to pot.  (If the bones are very fatty you may want to remove the fat or wait until the next day when the soup has cooled and remove it then).  Add salt and pepper, and other ingredients (except cream) in order given.  Be sure to add vinegar before beets or the soup may turn orange (does not affect taste).  Boil until vegetables are tender.  Turn heat off and add sweet cream (do not boil).  Serve.
Note: If you want to freeze some soup, don’t add the cream.  Just put in a plastic container and add the cream after you bring it to a boil.
- I don’t measure anything exactly—that’s what makes it unique.  If you don’t have soup bones, boil some round steak chopped in little pieces or ground beef.    

Stir-Fry Mix
The stir-fry mix this week is a mixture of kale, chard, asian greens (tatsoi, yukina savoy, ruby streaks, mizuna, red mizuna, red choi, pac choi), nasturtiums and broccoli florets, which makes it literally a meal in a bag!  We tempered our over-eating this weekend by enjoying a bag of stir-fry mix sauteed in a little bit of oil and some salt and pepper, and I was happy to find that it was as delicious as it looked.  It's nice when healthy things are delicious, too!

The parsley was too beautiful to pass up this week.  I hope you make some really delicious tabouli salad or a big pot of soup!

Autumn Herb Medley by Lisa, Hobo Crow Teas
This is a mixture of herbs that were grown from seed (or existing perennial herbs) here on the farm. They were harvested and hung to dry, then processed by hand and mixed into a   scrumptious herb medley of Marjoram, Oregano, Thyme & Summer Savory. It's my favorite mix of cooking herbs, mostly because its so versatile. You can sprinkle it on your eggs, omelet, cheese or garlic toast, as well as use it in pasta sauces, on pizza, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, in a salad dressing, as poultry seasoning. .. really, go wild with this herb mix, go to town with it, throw it on anything you like, enjoy.

This crop truly surprised us this year: not only are they prolific, the plants also make a great windbreak and people go nuts over them at the farmer's market!  I've printed off the recipes I gave you the first time and have been handing them out at the market, and since we haven't found a recipe to beat the ones I gave last time, here they are again:

RECIPE: Cream of Sunchoke Soup
1 lb jerusalem artichoke, peeled and cubed
1 lb yukon gold potato, washed and cubed
2 leeks, halved, rinsed and sliced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 cup cream
1.5 (50 ounce) containers chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 ounces baby spinach leaves

1 In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium high heat until the scent starts to bloom.
2 Add onions, leeks, and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. About 5 minutes.
3 Add Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
4 Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to keep at a low boil.
5 Cook 15-20 minutes, or until Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes are tender.
6 Reduce heat to low. Using a stick blender, or by transferring to a blender, puree soup until smooth.
7 Stir in cream.
8 In warmed soup bowls place 1/3 cup baby spinach leaves and ladle soup over until it covers spinach.

RECIPE: Sauteed Sunchokes
1 lb sunchokes/jerusalem artichoke
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 Scrub or peel artichokes.
2 Slice each artichoke to 1/4 inch thick slices.
3 In a Wok or frying pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium-high heat.
4 Add sliced artichokes, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley; stir well to coat artichokes.
5 Stir-fry for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
6 Do not overcook artichokes, they should be slightly crunchy.
7 Serve immediately.

These are very small, tender lettuce heads, and Lisa is sharing her secret family recipe for dressing:

RECIPE: Seizure Salad Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise
juice of half/whole lemon
good few dashes of Worcestershire
3-6 cloves of finely minced garlic
fresh ground pepper.

Combine all ingredients, mix into salad, top with home-made croutons, and enjoy.

I think this is one of the first recipes I ever learned as a kid, I loved this dressing so much I could eat it with a spoon. . And sometimes I did. . .This recipe is a little vague, as I've been making it for so many years that I don't really measure anything, I usually make it to taste. (I'm sort of a garlic enthusiast)

Full share members also get:

BeansJust in case you didn't get enough last week, some more beans.  As Lisa and I were freezing our butts (and hands) off picking them this morning, we decided that we haven't had enough beans yet this season, nor could we ever get sick of them: So I hope you haven't either!

Brassica MixJon loves these little cabbages that you are getting along with cauliflower, broccoli, or romanesco broccoflower.  

Thanks again for being a part of Watershed Farm's 2012 CSA; it's people like you who make all the difference.

You can find us at the Lunenburg Farmer's Market every Thursday from 8-12. 

Teri DillonWatershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
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