Summer CSA: Week 4

The hero of the share this week? Burgandy purple sprouting broccoli. Outrageously stunning, fun to pick, delicious to eat. What a treasure. So glad we gave this variety a whirl.

So, I was going to write a rain blog, but guess what? I’ve written like five of those over the last 10 years. Click here, to read the rain blog from 2018, the last time it got dry like this. We are on sandy soil right now instead of silt/loam which holds moisture better than sand. Think” hot beach” when you think of our fields right now. We do have irrigation this year (town water, $$$, yikes!!) and we are running some kind of irrigation almost 24/7 to keep plants alive (and growing). A little rain would go a long way.

Instead, I’m going to write a little about the book(s) I’m reading and work I’m doing, in my attempt to educate myself more on how to dismantle systems of white oppression so I can be ready to take action. For years I have struggled with the manifestation of my desire to “be part of the solution”. I studied environmental policy and sociology in college and basically decided it was “too depressing” so I started working on farms so I could be “a part of the solution.”

What an incredible amount of privilege to chose to put aside dealing directly with systemic environmental justice problems so I could go learn how to farm. Second, without all my class privilege I don’t think I could have afforded to say, “hey, it’s ok, I will make almost no money for years so I can learn how to do this job that might not make any money.”

After more than a decade of farming full-time, I’m not sure I’ve done much more than promote an overly idealized, white-colonizer version of sustainability in the form of the “small family farm”.

I’m going to stop here, because I want to make sure you know the things I am watching and reading. And because I don’t have much clarity beyond my need to keep reading, keep listening, even when its painfully uncomfortable, and I need to be ready for change.

The book I’m reading is “Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds” by adrienne maree brown. (I’m also simultaneously re-reading “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler, which is one of the foundations for the authors understanding of emergent strategy). I’ve meant to read this book for years. I should have read this book years ago. It sings to me – I almost feel guilty for how much joy I derive from it.

“Emergence is a way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions” – Nick Obolensky
“Emergence emphasizes critical connections over critical mass, building authentic relationships, listening with all the senses of the body and the mind . . . Emergent strategy is how we intentionally change in ways that grow our capacity to embody the just and liberated worlds we long for.” – adrienne maree brown

Without having finished the book I already know it is an incredible guide, not only for how to work more deliberately support and make space for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, but how to reinvent the way I have been trained to exist in the world so that I can be a better collaborator, a better ally, and maybe transform my entire approach to farming and life?

I also tuned in to a portion of the Juneteenth Broadcast hosted by A Growing Culture on Friday as I bagged greens for market. I don’t think you can watch a recording right now, but I think it will be available soon. I got to hear Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms speak for the first time. I’m going to paraphrase, because I can’t yet find a recording to get a direct quote but, during his presentation he said, ‘agriculture in America is the result of Europeans stealing too much land from indigenous people and then stealing African people in order to have enough labor to farm it.’ There is a lot more to what he said than that, and I have since read subsequent articles he has written which clearly articulate other ideas I have been exposed to over the last few years . . . read “Small Farm’s Aren’t The Answer.”

I don’t have presentable takeaways from this work yet, other than I have a growing understanding that I’ve been doing lots of things wrong, perpetuating injustice and there is so, so much room to grow, change and evolve as a person and as a business so the effort and energy I put into the world can directly move us all closer to a “just and liberated world.” AMB


Eastern Black Swallow Tail in the greenhouse last week. Protecting pollinators is important – not as important as social justice and dismantling systems of oppression. We can do both.

What’s in the Share:

The first cucumber and zucchini: 1-3 fruits depending on yield
Carrots
Peas!
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Head Lettuce
Scallions
Choices (2): (lots of odds and ends this week) kale, escarole, scapes, cabbage, beets, extra lettuce . . . maybe a few other things)

Recipes:

WHAT IS PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI?https://www.olivemagazine.com/guides/best-ever/best-ever-purple-sprouting-broccoli-recipes/Purple Sprouting Broccoli is a nutty, more tender version of traditional broccoli and it’s even better for you. Higher in Vitamins C and A, fewer carbs and more protein. You can use it in any recipe that calls for broccoli or try out one of these recipes designed to highlight this variety.
CHICKEN AND SUMMER VEGETABLE TOSTADAShttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-summer-vegetable-tostadasThese tostadas are as pretty as they are delicious. If you’d prefer a vegetarian option, skip the chicken and throw in some black beans!
SNAP PEAS WITH MEYER LEMON AND MINThttps://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-snap-peas-with-meter-lemon-and-mint-recipes-from-the-kitchn-81633On the rare occasion that the kids and I don’t polish off the snap peas by the time we get home from picking up our share, I love to sauté them which really brings out their flavor. This recipe has all the flavors of the season with Meyer lemon (I won’t tell if you use a regular lemon) and fresh mint.
CURRIED COUSCOUS WITH BROCCOLI & FETAhttps://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/curried-couscous-with-broccoli-fetaAnother quick and inexpensive vegetarian summer main dish that can be made in advance and served up whenever you’re ready for it. For an extra protein kick you can add grilled chicken or steak.
FRISEE SALAD WITH ROASTED BEETShttps://www.finecooking.com/recipe/frisee-salad-with-roasted-beets-orange-vinaigretteFrisée is a type of lettuce in the chicory and endive family. It has a slightly bitter or peppery flavor and looks exactly like it sounds. Pair them with beets and an orange vinaigrette in this side salad – add grilled chicken for a main dish.

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