8/15/18- Coming Home to the Farm
Hello CSA members and farm lovers. By now I have had the opportunity to speak to a few of you and am looking forward to meeting more of you as time goes on. I have recently taken over the post of Office Manager here at Red Dog Farm. Though the position is new to me, the farm is not as this summer marks my seven-year anniversary of my arrival at the farm. To say the least, I fell in love with the farm and Jefferson County. After working in the field on and off for a few years, and spending a few more years away from the farm, I am thrilled to return to the farm to manage the office. Walking around the familiar fields, popping into the Farm Stand, sitting down at the kitchen table, well it all feels a lot like coming home.
While walking around the farm, listening to the crew members and perusing the changes that the farm has undergone since I was last here, it is hard to not reflect on the journey the phases of life takes us on. I have often looked upon the plant life cycle as a miniature for our own human life cycles. Within one growing season a seed will germinate, first sprouting its false leaves (cotyledons), then true leaves, then it is off to the races for adolescent development. The farm’s winter squashes have certainly caught my eye in my trips out to the field. After the flower blossoms and hosts a great many busy bees, the squashes lounge about in the field, growing and growing until they are ripe for the picking and storing for the long winters. In these last few weeks you can really begin to see how the stigma of the blossom becomes the hardened bottom of the squash once it matures. I’m no squash’s bottom!, but I also feel like I have grown and matured with my time on the farm and look forward to what is in store for the times to come.
Now at the August halfway point it feels like fall is just around the corner, with a brisk damp in the wind and the smell of damp dry grass. While I will miss the beach days, the days of rich potato-leek soups, winter squash curries, celeriac slaws, cider and woodstoves do have an appealing draw to them. Back at the farm, life is good.
What is a CSA anyways?
Community-supported agriculture is a lot like it sounds. The community banding together to support the local agriculture system. The CSA model has been in place for nearing thirty years and creates a space for community members and the people who grow their food. Having support from the community early in the season is both a supportive and financial benefit to the farm: knowing that there are excited CSA members looking forward to their first shares of the season can bring a cheery thought to slogging through muddy fields in March and the income from the year’s shares already signed up for gives the farm the capital needed to buy the seeds and pay the crew while the future food is growing. We are so thankful to be in a community so supportive of our agriculture system and we take it seriously that the CSA is more than just the weekly produce share: it is our shared community.
For more information check out this Local Harvest write up.
Leeks: tips on how to clean them
Leeks are delicately delicious, but by way of how they are grown often have some dirt tucked in the layers. To wash the leeks, start by rinsing the outer layers. To keep the leek long (as in the recipe below), slice into the leek lengthwise and fan the leek open, allowing you to rinse between the layers. OR if you are planning to chop the leeks for your recipe you can go ahead and chop them, place them in a bowl and cover with water and give them a little stir. Scoop the leeks out of the water, leaving the dirt at the bottom of the bowl.