Angelic Organics Farm News

Week 13 -Saturday - September 13, 2008

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Raul is a team leader on the crew. He has worked at Angelic Organics since 1998.

This Week's Vegetable Notes - by Diana Nolden, assistant growing manager

I have a fondness for potatoes. The funny part about that is that I don’t eat many. However, I enjoy all parts of our potato production. It was one of the first seedings with which I was involved during my first season at Angelic Organics. I remember dumping the cut pieces into the hoppers and watching as the pronged wheel would spear the spuds. They would be carried to the back of the hopper and dropped down into the hills. My job was to follow behind and toss a seed in whenever one got missed.

In the following years I have been a part of the order and pick up of the seed. We try to get all varieties from Vermont Valley Farm in Blue Mounds, WI. My family farm is just a half hour north from Blue Mounds, so it was my idea to pick up the seed on my way back from a weekend with my parents. I roped my dad into helping me, not that he minds. He calls it his trucking job, and this year even invited a friend along for the ride. Sometimes there will be a few extra seed pieces left that I can bring home for my Mom’s and Grandpa’s garden. When I asked what varieties my grandpa wanted, he showed interest in anything but the all blue. I asked why not and he relived a story about getting sick on blue ice cream and never feeling the same about blue foods.

Then there is the harvesting of potatoes, which really gets you down into the dirt. It is a treasure hunt as you sweep the soil away from the tender tubers, searching for rock shaped gems (see newsletter harvest week 16 of 2006 to read the story about the real potato pirates). The red buckets full of spuds are dumped into “ghost bins” and stored in the barn basement ready to be packed. Weighing and bagging of potatoes is always a favored activity in the mornings of late fall. It keeps us in the barn basement until the sun rises and hopefully the frost is gone.

I have heard that “people like potatoes” (The book Farmer John is working on will have more on this). The potatoes in your box this week are a mix of Yukon Gold and Dark Red Norland. We hope these are just the beginning of a record potato harvest. I like potatoes too, from seeding to harvest to when they are on my plate. I have aspirations to eat more potatoes, maybe I can make some soup or potato salad.

 

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What's In Your Box

Bob writes...

Please note: this box summary is written the week before you receive your box. It is updated but not all the boxes packed for your delivery day will be exactly the same, although it is likely that all the boxes at your dropsite will be the same. Some things may be in your box that are not listed, and some listed things may not be in your box. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all your vegetables.

The page numbers listed below refer to cooking tips and recipes in Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables as provided to all shareholders. Some recipes are listed at AngelicOrganics.com/RecipeService

BRASSICAS-pp. 248-269

Broccoli - Saute the leeks in olive oil and toss with steamed broccoli and a little salt.

Cauliflower or another Broccoli

ROOTS

Potatoes-Yukon Gold and/or dark Red Norland; Amy likes these mashed with their skins; We did discover some spoilage in these potatoes. We tried to cull out the rotted ones. We don't know if it's the variety or the early rains. We still have a lot more potatoes to harvest and we will improve our inspections on these harvests. We are sorry if we missed any in your bag. pp. 289-294

FRUITING CROPS

Winter Squash-a red kuri and/or an acorn, try a squash soup in this cool weather; pp. 307-315

Heirloom Tomatoe(s)

Tomatoes-unlikely; not bagged, pp. 228-235

Peppers-pp. 215-222

Eggplant-maybe, According to the survey, people find these the hardest to use. Joanne loves these curried. There are lots of recipes on the web. Here is one similar to the one she uses; pp. 174-180

ALLIUMS-pp. 121-128

Onions-red or yellow storage

Leek(s)-pp. 205-210

COOKING GREENS-pp. 81-94

Kale-likely, mix of winterbor and redbor; you can steam and add to the squash soup.

Arugula-Somewhat hole-ly. Even though for the season as a whole, the flea beetles have been scarce, this crop of arugula has been their favorite. Actually, Bob hadn't noticed any flea beetles for over a month (until he noticed a few during the arugula harvest). But the holes in the arugula proved they've been munching. We polled those on the crew who love arugula and they said to give it. But we do so with some reservation --Please fill out the survey below (online version) to tell us what you think of it (and remember, it didn't really take up that much room.) Crew member Ben suggest making some arugula pesto--his recipe uses approximately 2 cups of arugula leaves, 1/2 cup of walnuts(he says you can also use the traditional pine nuts), 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese(he's even tried cheddar and said it was good), 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 garlic clove or more to taste. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor. You can drizzle the olive oil into the food processor to get just the consistency you want. Recipes also vary as to when precisely to add the parmesan, but Ben says he adds it right away in the food processor. Also, depending on the saltiness of the cheese, you may find you need to add some sea salt.

HERBS-pp. 102-120

Basil

Thyme or Oregano

SALAD GREENS-pp. 136-141

Lettuce-baby heads of Nevada (a green summercrisp) or Black Seeded Simpson (a green leaf); Black Seeded Simpson is one of the best tasting varieties according to Johnny's Seeds.

About 1 year ago, on September 14, 2007, at around 6:20 p.m., Lora Krogman, our dear friend and colleague, died in a car accident. She and Diana (who has nearly completely physically recovered) were on their way back to the farm from visiting a nearby apple orchard (the same apple orchard that was hit by a winter tornado earlier this year). Lora was 31 years old. Lora’s valued responsibilities at the farm included keeping the bees, maintaining the flower beds, co-managing our biodynamic applications, managing human resources, making vegetable and fruit newsletters, hosting volunteer workers and guests, and assisting me, Bob, at every turn. In 1999, I first met Lora when she was visiting her friend Jennelle, a farm intern. Nothing happened after that first meeting until months later when Lora attended a party that Farmer John threw in April of 2000 kicking off that year’s growing season and intern arrivals. Those who know Farmer John well know that he loves celebrations. After that party, it was clear that there was a connection and mutual interest between Lora and myself. We soon started a relationship and in a couple of years she moved to the farm. Just as I am very grateful that my life led me to Angelic Organics (in 1995), I am also very grateful that Lora came into my life. Lora became my partner and I expected that one day I would become her husband. Unfortunately, the accident changed things drastically. The impact on all of us here at the farm, upon the farm itself, and upon Lora’s friends and family has been great.

In many ways, however, Lora still lives on. From the flower gardens, to the bees, to the fields, to the people, her presence is still felt. And my own journey since her death has been profound, substantial, and fruitful. I realize that this is not necessarily the place for me to go further into the details of how I have changed in the aftermath of this event. And while there is a part of me that would like to share more with you of my experiences, my learnings, and my beliefs--all with the hope of contributing to your lives, just as any of you, I imagine, would like to help my life and the lives of others as well--it is clear to me that this is not the place for such details. Still, on the surface, I would like to acknowledge Lora’s continuing existence. I would also like to acknowledge the significant contribution that Anthroposophy has made on this process and in my life. For aside from the Biodynamic approach to farming that we use here and which has sprung from this movement, Anthroposophy includes a great amount of guidance regarding life, its meaning, appropriate actions, and death and the thereafter.

Lora has inspired me beyond what I could have imagined. My capacity to love has grown. My capacity to live has grown. One great trait of Lora’s was her need to resolve (just now as I looked back on emails I sent to Lora back in 2000, I noticed that I had already referred to her as “The Great Resolver”). She resolved but with great kindness and gentleness. I still am learning much from her. Before I close, I would like to mention a couple of items. First, I do intend, as soon as this winter, to publish on the web Lora’s poems and perhaps portions of her journals. Also, I may consider publishing the experiences, thoughts, and discoveries that approach me as I continue forward and as I continue my relationship with Lora. When I begin either of these, I will consider sending out an email alerting those who might be interested.

As I look back at the newsletters from last year beginning with September 19th (www.AngelicOrganics.com/NLLora), I am given some great perspectives on where I was then and where I am now. Now more than ever, as I wrote in week 21 of last year, I can take comfort in the quote from page 196 of Rudolf Steiner’s book entitled Staying Connected: “Life--you lift and bear me; you make sure that I move forward.”

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Don’t forget the fall open house is coming up -- Saturday, September 20th from 11 am - 4 pm, with pumpkins galore and more. Click here for more details.

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Reminder: Last week we placed a 2009 brochure in your box with a $50 discount coupon. This coupon expires September 30, 2008. The Multi-Year Offer(LINK) has also been extended to September 30, 2008.

 

Coming Soon...Broccoli, Carrots, Winter Squash, Leeks