Hand off accomplished

We were down to our last 3 pounds of grass-fed ground beef. Imagine! After Steve’s round trip to New Richland this week, for a beef hand off, we are now well situated with ground beef and roasts for sale and for use in Peacemeals. To celebrate, a beef steak & cheese sandwich is on the newest menu rendition!

It is a complicated tale of regulations between the state and the federal government for consumer protection in food safety dating back more than a century. Rules were revised over time for good reason, I’m sure. The main issue is when rules become so burdensome that all players leave the field! In southwest Minnesota there aren’t many choices – a meat desert for chefs who would like to support local farmers. Meat lockers must have a federal meat inspector on site full time or be able to qualify as an “equal to” site.

It was an “equal to” meat locker……otherwise no meat with the current affairs of state!

We keep toodling along…..farm shares this week will consist of a salad mix, onions, frozen berries or veggies, and choices of either: carrots, beets potatoes or cabbage. The last two products, potatoes and cabbage, are Minnesota grown since our crops were flop doodles.  Grrrr 🙂

 

 

Listen, Look, Stop

As a little person, a foreigner in the big city of Ithaca 60 years ago, I remember being taught the importance of “Stop, Look & Listen” in order to walk safely to school. School was downhill from my home with two street crossings. A steep public path with a handrail to help with the climb home, made a short cut between two houses direct to the school. The hidden path still exists to this day – what a riot!

I would like to turn things around……many things… and begin with LISTENING. As a first grader I could see the cars that would run me over – so I stopped first. Times have changed, we can not see the untruths hurtling through the airwaves thus we have lost our sense of where the sidewalk ends, where to stop.

So first, LISTEN for truth. There might be a worthy definition in the Good Book which teaches to act justly, love kindness and to walk humbly with God. Hmmmm

Next, LOOK to verify – remember science class? Oh dear…. There was something called a hypothesis which had to be proven by specific steps that could be replicated.

Finally, STOP. Stop repeating actions that are not life-giving to creatures great and small.

In order to help us on our path together, I have some new Jubilee Good Listen and Look DVD,s “Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, BBC narrated by (Sir) David Attenborough. These are awesome to watch! There are also some good story tellers along with our farm dinners that are scheduled for the winter.

And of course, in order to accomplish all of this we need GOOD, REAL EATS! Farm shares will receive a Jubilee salad mix, kohlrabi, onions, carrots, beets, garlic dry or fresh, Napa cabbage OR Butternut squash, frozen corn OR carrots OR cantaloupe.

Enjoy

Dinners with panache and ganache

I have no crystal ball but choose to plan engaging events for 2019. I will be meeting with the Mountain Lake Chamber over noon today to propose that they sponsor speakers for monthly gatherings of folks. I have contacted a professor from the Bee Lab, a Pulitzer Prize writer, a north pole dogsled expedition group and others. Hmmm

These presenters have experiences and knowledge that will help us build community and treasure the earth we all call home. It is what we are about at Jubilee and I would like to hear what they have to tell us. Come join us!

Do it with panache!

Farm dinners are being scheduled for each month starting with January 18. Then comes 15, 22, 26 as the months pass to April, all most tentative. As soon as the above panache is accomplished then will come the ganache – haha! In plain English….I am still lining up the details – there will be more information to follow as to menu, program and of course chocolate.

Farm shares are coming to their final two weeks. There are bags of salad mix, dried thyme and rosemary, frozen rhubarb/corn/carrots/or cantaloupe, potatoes, onions, kohlrabi, carrots, beets, and a help yourself to garlic. Members will get an allotment for the final pick-up which can be “spent” as they choose before the end of the year…please.

 

Dare to, Dare four

The fall cabbage crop consisted of 400 loose-leafed little poofs rather than solid heads of green leaves, each one cradling the one before. These cabbages began their seedlet life in early June when they were gently placed into soil blocks. The winds blew, rains washed over the land and the sun sent down its warming rays but five months later …. the result was an immature head. We farmers study intensely with work close behind or maybe it is the other way around! The result is the same – it depends on the weather, and that is feeling like we have a dragon by the tail.

What keeps small farmers rising up and taking on each new sunrise? For us…and we are minuscule – off the charts at the bottom – it is the hope that we can encourage a change of how to treasure community and the earth that supports us all. A dare to look at life differently….

In the first game I learned to play – ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ – we ALL fell down and then we would jump up, grab each others’ hands and dance around the circle again. There was no winner. (Originally the tune was about the plague!)  Maybe we need to grab hands again and this time cross fields, borders, rivers and oceans.

Dare four… choose this day to be a blessing…

Therefore… farm share members will not get cabbage this week or greens but what is to bring joy and nourishment are: onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, carrot cake jam OR carrot lemon jam, frozen steak pot pie OR applesauce, butternut squash. Regular shares will also choose: frozen corn OR carrots OR cantaloupe, a savory sauce OR hummus.

Dreaming of sweet alyssum

I have been asked to take all my canned pickles and jams out of the market space. Instead…….the shelves are a ‘display’ of  my cottage food pickles and jams. I go elsewhere to get the items requested. The concern is that customers will be fooled into thinking that the pickles and jams are USDA certified – they aren’t. That requires two food lab tests of each product, a verified formulation and a letter from a process authority. I then fill out a 12 page USDA form to request certification for a small fee…. My plan is to try to make it to the next canning season and work towards federal appreciation for the little bit that is done in this corner of the world. My oh – if I could make sense of it all I would be smelling like sweet alyssum.

On the once pickle laden shelves there is now a non certified library of books for young and old as well as a few books for sale that are interesting just to peruse. A cottage library!

Sauerkraut has been started and is bubbling along well. It began the process in my house but decided to go dormant due to the ambient temperature being in the high 50’s! Once it moved back to Peacemeals it is in fine shape with the warm surroundings.

We have some mighty fine mustards that have been concocted with the expertise of my IT son. I hope to offer soft pretzels and an array of mustards at some point. Does not that sound fun and delish?

Salad mix is limited this week, there is some extra for sale. The amazing fact is that many of the greens survived a -10°F so be thankful. There will also be potatoes, Acorn squash or Brussels sprouts, carrots or beets, onions, frozen applesauce or raspberries, garlic and a quart of non certified organic, non certified USDA, certified delish pickles for the larger share members.

I’m still dreaming ……. and it’s more than just sweet alyssum.