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Week 2 Newsletter (June 29, 2017)

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

Tom putting the final touches on the boxes

Jo harvesting Napa Cabbage

Week 2 crop list:

  • Braising mix – all
  • Pac choy – all
  • Arugula – all
  • Red kale – all
  • Napa cabbage – all
  • Romaine – all
  • Mint – all
  • Asparagus – half
  • Scallions – single
  • Radishes – full/single
  • Green kale – full
  • Chives – full

Farmer notes

  • Have yourself a salad or two this week
  • All day rain yesterday for harvest – arugula is pretty wet
  • Put some mint in your water bottle or dinner water pitcher
  • Red kale can be sautéed or put into a cold salad
  • Veggie of the week is napa and choy –  these can be used as a wrap, stir fried with other veggies or added to rice, made into a slaw, or raw in a salad
  • We are beginning to see red in the raspberry patch!
  • Brassicas (kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) are inching their way to the box
  • 4th of July is next Tuesday – if you will be gone on Th.  make sure you have someone dependable to pick up your produce
  • We reuse our boxes, ice packs and egg cartons so please return them to us, and be very careful not to tear the boxes. Check out the videos on our Facebook page.
  • Wash all the produce before you eat it

Selling CSA –

People are more and more conscious of the fact that Food Matters!  Food nourishes our bodies, food gives us the energy to live our lives, and food is very enjoyable.  Folks are understanding that nutrient dense foods and chemical free foods make them feel more vibrant and healthier.  They get it that fresher, more local food is better tasting and higher in nutrient value.  A greater number of our neighbors are interested in where their food comes from and who grows their food.

And, as expected, a good capitalistic society responds.  There are organic food sections in most of the places that we can purchase groceries, including at convenient stores.  Amazon has bought out Whole Foods to diversify and get its hands into the market.  Green Apron and other companies will bring the groceries to your doorstep.  Farmer’s markets are offered during the week as well as the weekends in most suburban cities and small rural towns.  And CSA’s continue to adapt and try to remain attractive in this competitive market.  This is all good.  This is how capitalism, at its finest, demands that businesses and entrepreneurs remain creative, alive, interesting.

However, I have witnessed several CSA’s close their barn doors over the last couple of years, definitely a higher ratio than before.  More CSA’s are also selling wholesale or at various farmers’ markets.  I have chosen, up to this point, to grow exclusively for my CSA members.  I like to concentrate my fields, time, and energy into doing the best that I can, and offering the best product that I can to the CSA.  One selling point of a CSA model that is different than all the other choices out there is that while you are a member, EARTH DANCE FARM is YOUR FARM.  This is why we invite you to visit us.  This is why we have work-day opportunities, camping weekends and the fall party.  This is why I write this newsletter.  This is why we have a Facebook page, photos of who we are and what we do.  This is why we have a ‘Meet Your Farmer’ article in the newsletter.  CSA has the great potential to bridge the gap between producer and consumer like no other model can.  We have an opportunity and a responsibility to make a concerted effort towards this end.

It is great to be your farmer and I hope you enjoy this week’s box!

~Norm

Vegetables of the Week: Napa Cabbage and Pac Choy

Napa Cabbage

Napa Cabbage (also known as Chinese Cabbage) is a cruciferous plant related to other brassicas like Pac Choi, Broccoli, and Cauliflower. It can be used as a wrap, in stir fries, added to rice, made into a slaw, or raw in a salad. It can also be added to soups or be used to make a quick Kimchi. Napa Cabbage is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin K, loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and has very few calories. Try out these recipes or mix together your own tasty dish!

Quick Kimchi – Kimchi usually requires a long brine time, however, you can also make a quick and easy overnight version.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3+ cups of shredded Napa
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sriracha (or other garlic-hot pepper sauce)
  • 3 Tablespoons of rice or white wine vinegar
  • 4 chopped Garlic Cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon of salt

Here’s what to do:

  1. Mix it all together and let chill overnight in the fridge

Napa Wasabi Slaw

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Tablespoon wasabi paste
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 4+ cups napa cabbage
  • 6 medium carrots (shredded)
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

Here’s what to do:

  1. Whisk wasabi, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and orange juice until thoroughly combined.
  2. Toss with cabbage, carrots, scallions, and sesame seeds.

Pac Choy

Pac Choy (a type of Chinese cabbage) has played a large part in traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine. It can be used in many of the same ways as Napa Cabbage, including in soups, salads, stir fries, and much more. Pac Choy is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, K, as well as iron, calcium, and magnesium. You could even try grilling them with this sesame garlic glaze:

Grilled Pac Choy with Sesame Garlic Glaze

What you need:

  • 8 large stalks of Pac Choy (including greens)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons of a chili garlic sauce.

What to do:

  1. Prepare your charcoal or gas grill
  2. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili garlic sauce
  3. Cover the Pac Choi in the sauce and place on grill over medium heat
  4. Grill until stalks are tender (about 3 minutes)
  5. Serve with rice, Asian noodles, anything else you might decide to grill up, or perhaps a Napa Wasabi Slaw

Meet the Farmer

The chance to work at Earth Dance Farm is an opportunity not only to learn about how to farm, but to learn about where our food comes from. With supermarket shelves filled with processed goods, it is easy to forget that most of our food at one point or another was a small seed in the ground. In order for that small seed to become what we eat, it must be grown and cared for. Working at Earth Dance Farm provides an insight behind the scenes into what it takes to grow local, sustainable, and healthy foods. In this week’s edition of Meet the Farmer, we get to learn about Tom.

Tom

Hi all,

I’m Tom. I grew up in West Allis, Wisconsin (a suburb just outside of Milwaukee) and recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I studied History and Psychology. Through my history classes I learned about the deep connections we have with the land and how the United States has been shaped by farming. Leading up to my graduation from college, I spent a significant amount of time researching careers and jobs I thought I might be interested in pursuing. I strongly support locally grown produce and local businesses, and wanted to try something new after college. Therefore, I decided to work for Earth Dance Farm because it gave me the opportunity to experience living on a farm while learning how to produce my own food. I am excited to watch our crops grow and enjoy seeing our completed boxes each week.

Enjoy your produce!

Follow us on Instagram @EarthDanceFarm

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