Back in the running

Red and green oakleaf lettuce, Swiss chard and space spinach have been harvested, washed three times, sanitized, duly given a shake-up and mixed well, weighed, bagged and are now waiting happily in the refrigerator to be shared around a dinner table. Transparency beginning with our work habits, soil and plant health management to the ever present clear plastic bag that salad mix is presented in are key factors to our existence. Not much is secret – except for recipes – haha.

Salad mix takes a break in July and August, those being the typically hot months that bring on the bitterness. Cultivated lettuce has been domesticated from its bitter wild lettuce cousins, but there still remains the tendency to revert back to the ancestors.

When there is an urgent message to be communicated…three “t’s” come into play: truth, transparency and time. I am often in Bilbo Baggins shoes: “I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” (JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring)

This week there will be oodles of choices: salad mix, Delicata squash, Acorn squash, Celery, turnips/radishes, Brussels sprouts, watermelon, tomatoes, head lettuce, onions, garlic and sweet peppers. Plenty more options for sale! Make it worth the running…..

Is it a rocket salad?

What’s in a name? I would choose a Rocket Feta Salad, it sounds intriguing compared to Arugula Feta Salad….both being about the same thing…cousins in the mustard family or green leaves with a kick.

What is arugula good for? There are good amounts of calcium and iron along with vitamins A, C and K. If you know your vitamin alphabet …. vitamin C is water soluble, meaning it can easily be lost in extra cooking water. I like to use small amounts to brighten a salad or sautéed veggie dish. Throw it in after the heat has been turned off.

Arugula is for sale this week and for farm share members. When the weather turns cool, the leaves are not so spicy. There will also be beautiful head lettuce (be gentle with it), Pac choi, spinach, Brussels sprouts, Hakurei turnips, watermelon radishes, daikon radishes, tomatoes and a chunk of watermelon….since they come in 20# size….the farmer gets a bit carried away;)

Silencing the buzz

A handy-dandy electrician just left Peacemeals after having switched in a new gizmo for an obnoxious buzzing one. At times its buzz pitch would reach alarm levels and I would turn on another noisy machine to lesson the impact – more racket hid the truth.

Yep, truth is not the obvious winner – it seems to become apparent after much searching and consideration of things far distant. There are too many gizmos sending out hummings and growls that truth is lost in the din. Excuses are made and life suffers from the largest to what still remains unseen. How dare we continue this path?

Our work as farmers is to provide the best produce to inspire folks to be strong and wise in their communities; to always have an extra place at the table. Truth might visit so let’s be ready with spinach, leeks, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, Brussels sprouts, Hakurei turnips and fennel.

Salt and grass

I was shocked one day, to look up from chopping onions, to see a police officer in full gear who was waiting to inform me that there were complaints of my mowing grass into the street. I know all about the whys and wherefores but everything on our street goes down a storm drain we paid for and into our own ditch rather than to the lake. I gathered up several cantaloupes and took one to each of my neighbors to sweeten the mistake I made. The greater offended one swept up my dried remains of day lilies! The next day, I looked up to see a city staff person who was there to inform me….

In the Good Book, we are told to be salt – to give flavor to the world around us; to inspire just actions, to love mercy and to walk this earth as sojourners. “Ollie Ollie in come free” – the can has been kicked and there is room at the table – for those in hiding, or in bondage and for those of us in control. Along with the salt and pepper shakers, I hope there are adobo, berbere and fenugreek present – I need to get to know them better.

We are within days of the autumnal equinox – we follow the calendar and thus fall farm shares begin the first week of October. Lots of choices to make today: Kale/Parsley/Jalapeño peppers, Melons, Brussels sprouts, Onions, Potatoes, Kohlrabi/Raspberries/Broccoli, Hakurei turnips/Beets, the last cucumbers; Juliet tomatoes and Sweet Peppers.

It’s better to trample grass….even if it has been shwooshed into the street than to walk on flavorless salt. Be the change that is hoped for – hey ho!

Chou de Bruxelles

Our family lived in Brussels for several years to learn French and tropical medicine at L’Institut de Médecine Tropicale d’Anvers. Steve took the train everyday to Antwerp to study all the strange tropical ailments in French – he passed with his usual aplomb. I stayed at home with two cherubs and a sprout on the way.

The ‘sprout’ ended up being late by my midwife’s standards; they wanted to hustle me off to the dreaded hospital but we convinced her to wait. Having a doctor for a husband has come in handy in some instances. Our ‘sprout’ began his life at 11 pounds in a downstairs apartment. After all the hubbub, I stumbled up 4 flights to my mattress on the floor, passing out at each landing. We cleaned out a drawer for the baby bed and life’s adventures continued.

Brussels sprouts are tricky – even the spelling – the lack of an apostrophe throws me off. These tiny sprouts began their lives in Brussels, thus their name in English. In French, it translates to ‘cabbage of Brussels’.

Sprouts love northern climes, as do all types of cruciferous veggies. Delicious roasted, stir-fried, thinly sliced in a salad or sauteed with a sprinkling of cheese and herbs. Boiling them is tricky. If over-cooked, they turn grey and stinky which is probably the reason for their negative acceptance.

Along with Brussels sprouts there will be choices of onions, potatoes, cucumbers, garlic, peppers, melons, raspberries, spinach, broccoli and beets.