Spring CSA week 12

Good Morning, Farm Fans!

Ok, right at the start- I’m not going to make any disparaging comments about the weather this week. As much as I’d like to wax poetic on the miseries and rewards of 100 degree heat, we are through the looking glass at this point and it’s time to grin and bear it….
As we get ready to wrap up the season (only 2 deliveries after this one!), I wanted to remind all of you to consider signing on for the fall, if you haven’t done so already. We have a wonderful 2nd season planned and we would love for you to join us! We will be opening up spaces to the folks on our waiting list by this time next week, so you may not be guaranteed a spot after that point (you can resubscribe here ). We are also working on our end of the season survey, so look for that in the next few days and if you can, please take a few minutes to fill it out- it’s the best way for us to learn from you on how to do a better job!
This week we are fortunate to add another voice from the farm. This time you’ll hear from Sara, my wife, unpaid farm assistant, cheerleader, and fellow CSA customer. Take it away Sara!
Hello There,
I am Sara, Cory’s wife, and mother to our three girls; stay at home mom extraordinaire!  I really enjoy living on the farm and being involved in the nuances of growing, harvesting, and the community that is so imperative to local farming.  While farming is certainly hard work, there is a slowness that shines through the farm.  It provides a respite from the other things in life that make us harried and frazzled.  I embrace the local food culture and community and find it to be a great motivator.  This attempt at a simpler life grants me patience when Cory says that he’ll be home when the sun goes down, even if that means that cooking dinner and putting the kids to bed will be a solo task.  When I look at the farm, the long hours of hard work are made visible by the bounty of vegetables, freshly weeded rows, and mud-stained shirts!

It has been quite a journey that has led us here to Burge, one that has had many uncertainties along the way but has reaped great reward.  If you told me at the beginning of my 13 years with Cory that I would marry a farmer, I would certainly have laughed in your face!  Upon graduating from college, Cory took the time to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Somewhere between Maine and Georgia, he learned that farming was his passion.  As it turns out, he has an amazing ability to grant action to what he learns, and makes a very good farmer.

It’s not so uncommon for young men and women to finish school with a feeling that for one reason or another, they don’t want to work in a traditional setting. An increasing number of young folks who possess an affinity for the outdoors, food culture, sustainability, and end up farming.  If you haven’t seen Grow! the movie, you should definitely check it out if you have any interest in the changing dynamic of the people growing our nation’s food.  The median age of farmers today is 57, so it is up to us, the 20 and 30-somethings, to ensure the quality and future of our food, land, environment, culture, and world.  I guess this is why we chose this life.  These are the things we think about…  Maybe it’s having a young family, seeing the little faces of our children, that has made us so passionate about how we live and what’s to come, but there is no way that I can feed my kids pre-made dinners or convenience foods on the go, and forgo the ritual of sitting down, all together, around the dinner table that was such a part of my own upbringing, and also of Cory’s.
 I am from the south.  Food is our culture.  Not in a Paula Deen way, but in a remembrance of the long Sunday lunches with Grandparents and cousins, the vegetable truck that delivered field corn to my Grandmother’s house, and seeing her putting up food for the winter.  There is magic in pulling out a bag of frozen peach slices in the winter, that brings the longing and memory of summer days in every bite.  And in the interest of keeping that tradition alive, here we are, canning, saving some of that summer harvest to savor in the winter.  I cannot wait to crack into a jar of tomatoes in January!   And in the meantime, I for one am enjoying every harvest and keeping the southern tradition alive for my girls.  I hope that one day it will ground them in a way that nothing else can.
June, July, and August bring an abundance of food, as well as the “summer schedule”  of early mornings, long lunches, nap, and more work in the evening.  Which, ironically, is how the whole tradition of the big southern lunch took hold in the first place!  So here we are, come full circle, trying to meld the modern life to a time that seems long since past, a time that’s seeing a new awakening.   Raising our kids on the farm is a beautiful thing. When you see a 1, 3, or 5 year old kid eating raw okra from the field or exclaiming the joy of a sugar snap pea, it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile.  Mind you, I am not saying that our kids eat all of their veggies (I have found that the less we cook the vegetables, the more they seem to like them), but at thier young age they know and respect where their food comes from, and that is irreplaceable.  That being said, it’s not always easy, what with activities, school for the kids, and all the other things that keep us running around during the day while Cory is at home, but we’ll get there. We eat from the farm and try to live within the parameters it sets- now if I can figure out how to bake fresh bread, I will really feel like I’m doing justice to being a “farmer’s wife!”  And sometime, not so long from now, I will be back to work, the kids will be in school, and hopefully it won’t all seem like a blur!  I’m putting my photography degree to good use, documenting these days that seem so long, while the years are flying by!
Thanks for being a part of our farm!
-Sara
In The Box

This is good week! As you can tell from the amount of produce in the box, we have a lot of food coming through the farm right now. Also this week we are offering our first canned item- let us know what you think!

-1 Canteloupe
-2# Mixed Tomatoes
-1# Cucumbers
-1.5# Zephyr Squash
-1.5# Eggplant
-1 jar Spicy Bread and Butter Pickles
-1.5# Mixed Potatoes
– 4 Onions
– Small selection Mixed Peppers
Recipes and Ideas

Ok, since where running behind this week, we don’t have enough time for a bunch of recipes, but we did receive a couple from fellow CSA member Sheri Roberts. As always we appreciate your feedback, so if you have a recipe or a preperation tip you would like to share, by all means send it in!

Oven Fried Eggplant
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
1 Tbs. minced onion
1 lb. sliced unpeeled eggplant
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Combine mayonnaise and onion.  Spread evenly over eggplant slices.  Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and italian seasoning and dredge eggplant in mixture.  place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake for 12 minutes, turn and cook for 12 minutes more or until golden.  Recipe from cooking light.

Tomato Relish

This recipe is fabulous with black eyed peas, beans, other peas…..
15 tomatoes
2 red chili peppers
2 banana peppers
2 bell peppers
2 cups sugar
1 cup vinegar
3 onions
3 Tbs. pickling spice
Chop all ingredients and combine in pan.  Cook over medium heat for 2 hours or until cooked down and thickened.  Relish should be dark red in color.  Put in glass jars and process.  Can substitute various peppers for different heat factor.  Will keep in pantry for year or so.
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