Traveling the transition path

There have been nine Thanksgiving birthdays in my life – how old am I? Transitioning into the medicare years…I am glad that a president thought it worthwhile to support the elderly back when I was whipping around on go-carts and climbing rain forest trees with my gibbons.

In my elder years, running has transitioned to a trot and my feet forget to lift themselves over frozen ice chunks. Running began about 30 years ago when my youngest son learned to ride a bike and I could escape the house with him in the lead. We would run down our mountain and onto Freedom Road, named for the underground railroad, and I would ponder those earlier days when good folks were in fear for their lives.

This is our 11th year farming under the auspices of Jubilee Fruits & Vegetables, LLC. Quite remarkable! How many CSA members have been with us from the start in 2010? Our focus was always to offer the best produce for body and soul and to encourage thoughtfulness towards our communities and the one planet we all call home. Hopefully that came through clear as a full moon on new snow – all sparkly with anticipation.

Stories have an ending or a sequel as does this one. Steve and I will be transitioning away from this beautiful spot of earth in the coming year. We knew the last chapters would take us elsewhere but did not know the timing. Our plan is to keep farming as we have been, with the usual Jubilee Market & Peacemeals hours until the unknown future date. Our hope is that other individuals with similar focus will hop, skip and jump forward for the awesome privilege of providing quality produce that is grown locally using renewable resources.

This week’s farm share will include choices for: garlic, kohlrabi, Hakurei turnips, cilantro, green cabbage, Brussels sprouts, frozen cantaloupe, salad mix, frozen leeks, frozen celery, frozen applesauce, frozen raspberries or aronia berries. A choice of a cookie or bun for fun!

Packing in joy

When loneliness or sadness overwhelms me, I start packing joy. These little parcels glitter like spangles throughout the day and fit snugly in my memory box to lift me to brighter spaces.

Beets were packed in quart jars for pickles as well as pasta sauce and pizza sauce from summertime tomatoes. Raspberry jam will be the joy parcel for the morrow. I have multitudes of blue quart bottles that need some joyful filling. Peppernuts?

Farm shares will be a list of choices…joyful ones! Salad mix or frozen veggies; leek, tomatoes, radishes or turnips; Swiss chard or kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts or green cabbage, beets or garlic, onions or sweet potatoes, potatoes or squash and frozen raspberries for the larger shares.

Gearing down

There was growling from my large mixer when it kneaded a batch of Apple Crisp bread dough on Saturday. Not a happy sound! Steve and I had planned to take on the task of cleaning out the gear box in January during our “vacation”. Instead, we moved the date up two months and accomplished the job in 6 hours last Sunday afternoon!

There were gears upon gears both horizontal and vertical, metal shafts, double nuts, washers of all sizes in a thick bath of dark goop. Each object was schlupped out of the gruesome mess and laid out in consecutive fashion on the table. I had the clean hands and managed the video and gave the helpful advice along with extra oomph to loosen cranky nuts. Every piece removed found its rightful spot in a clean bath of special grease. Ta dah! The mixer now hums a merry tune and bread can once again be forthcoming.

Gears. Across the oceans and many years ago, my family’s vehicle was a Dodge power wagon. This was one powerful beast. It could winch up washed out mountainsides during the monsoons. All of the passengers would have to walk as it slowly pulled in the chain and inched its way up. The low range gears were clicked in and our lives depended on the strength of the tree that the chain was attached to. We traveled through flooded rivers, across treacherous log bridges barely the width of the power wagon and helped to haul out upended fellow travelers with the gravelly strength of those gears.

I’d like my epitaph to read: Here lies a low range gear, one that pulled us out of the washed out ruts to reach the mountain top.

Good eats for the road: salad mix, Napa cabbage, leeks, Brussels sprouts, JUBILEE CARROTS, Hakurei turnips, winter squash, kohlrabi, cilantro and onions. Where else can you find this assortment grown. Farm share members are special folks!

Let’s celebrate

Next week is our anniversary year for fruit and flowers; Jubilee Market & Peacemeals has been keeping us out of mischief for four years! Imagine – I can’t! We are going to celebrate by serving a hot fruit chai along with some other fruity oddments.

Botanically speaking, winter squash is a fruit not a vegetable due to there being seeds inside rather than lofted high in the air on an aging flower stem. Winter squash is typically eaten as a savory dish like a vegetable, except for the extravagance this time of year with pumpkin pie which hearkens to its fruitiness.

A new store on the edge of town carries fruit vaping cartridges; evilness on all counts! Anyone up for a protest group? We could distribute real fruit for our action statement as well as a banner “Build community – not cemeteries and landfills”

The farm share fruit choice this week will be: apples or apple sauce. On the vegetable side: beets or leeks or Brussels sprouts, Charlie’s sweet potatoes, salad mix or potato leek soup, Hakurei turnips, acorn or delicata or potatoes or onions.

Favorita jam

For want of use a jam was made. For want of a jam a sandwich was made. For want of a sandwich a menu was made. For want of a menu a visit was made. For want of a visit a search was made. For want of a search a computer was used and we found a restaurant in Eden Prairie that served a Chicken Parmigiana, Bufala Mozzarella, Tomato Jam sandwich!

An elegant evening meal of many tastes and plates was served. The sandwich I had come to sample was delicious along with all the other good eats. My Favorita Jam is still tops; I serve it grilled with Swiss cheese. I am in good company even though it seems a little far-fetched on this spot of earth.

Favorita is the name of the cherry tomatoes we grew this summer. Tomatoes are a fruit and thus jam is most normal. It is a wonder how we choose food that is acceptable. I walked into a well-known huge grocery store while on the jam adventure and was shocked that EVERYTHING was came in a package!

The less traveled path often holds the truth – you may find Favorita Jam in a sandwich!

This week there is a choice of salad mix, spinach, Napa cabbage, green cabbage, Delicata or Acorn squash, onions, potatoes, turnips & radishes, garlic, leeks and Brussels sprouts. Hey Ho!