For the next two weeks we are letting both of our fantastic interns Lauren and Luca take the stage and tell you a little bit about their experience here at the farm as they prepare to transition to their own operation. We have come to rely on the both of them as integral parts of our farm and their skills and humor will be missed. We truly wish them the best of luck!
For those of you who are jumping on our CSA bandwagon this fall I don’t believe we’ve met. My name is Lauren and I’m part of the two person team of apprentices here at Burge with my husband Luca. We’ve been living and working full time on the farm for the past 7 months learning and observing from our farm manager, Cory, what it takes to run a fully functioning, “for-profit”, organic farm. While it hasn’t been easy by any measure, it’s been incredibly rewarding. I think it says a lot that we’ve endured a Georgia summer and we’re still finding things to look forward to each day and that we still have the desire to ask questions. A continual process of observation, evaluation, and action- farming as an occupation is all about making plans and changing them in an instant. It’s great training for life because you are forced to deal face to face with the fact that there are an incredible number of things which are out of our control. This continual challenge is what has kept us from getting bored and I think what has ultimately attracted us to choosing this occupation, at least for the time being, as something we want to pursue.
The thing to know is that we came into this experience with no expectations. Our only hope was to come out of it having gained enough knowledge to claim proficiency in running a farm should the desire exist. While I know I haven’t learned everything there is to learn about farming, a few good concepts have been instilled in me for example, time is a relative concept. This realization came about when our one seemingly simple task of cleaning the Winter Squash evolved into a 5 day ordeal. I’ve also learned that it’s sometimes about speed and being fast (think of running to dunk greens in cold water after having them wilt instantaneously in the summer sun a moment after harvesting them) while other times it’s about being detail oriented and thorough (weeding the smallest, most delicate little carrot tops). I’ve learned that local sustainable farming wouldn’t be possible without conscious consumers or co-producers like yourselves and that marketing and good business skills are just as important as getting the food in and out of the ground. I’ve learned that many hands really do make light work and that having a good sense of humor can get you through almost any situation. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that I love to farm and that I have the will to do it every day.
In less than two weeks we will be moving to a new farm but it will be our own and we are super excited about it and the thought of trying to employ the knowledge we’ve gained on this farm to start our own small venture. We’ll miss Cory (we’ll probably call him every week to ask questions and get advice) and we’ll miss all of you who are rooting us on in your own different way, through your passion for good food and your support for a more local economy. I hope you’ve enjoyed the produce as much as we’ve enjoyed growing it for you. We’re all doing great things and I hope it will continue far into the future. I wish you all the best and lots of good eating to come!
This week in your CSA box you can expect to find:
-1 Bunch of Chinese Sprouting Broccoli OR 1 bunch Pak Choi
-1 Bunch Arugula
-1# Apples (Beech Creek Farm)
-2# Sweet potatoes
1 Mixed Bag Sweet and Spicy Peppers
1 Bunch Collards
1# Mixed Winter Radishes
-1 African Winter Squash
Notes and ideas:
-We’ve got some great items in this weeks’ box, and we are most excited about the first harvest of collards this season. These little baby collards have been kissed by the cooler nights over the past week, and they taste delicious! Just remember to wash them thouroughly before cooking, because nobody likes sandy collards… We also have some delicious Choy Sum, or Chinese sprouting broccoli this week which is a green with a wonderful crunchy stem. Try chopping it and folding it in to rice, pasta, or polenta with a savory sauce. Because it’s crunchy and sweet, its great for kids to eat raw with a bit of dressing. It’s also great just stir-fried by itself. One last note, the winter radishes the you are receiving again this week are fantastic! Remember to add a little acid to balance the basic nature of the root and it’s like eating a completly different vegetable. Also, must people don’t consider cooking radishes, but when roasted they turn sweet and tender like other root vegetables- give it a try!
-This past week we participated in the Field of Greens event and we partnered with the culinary students of Le Cordon Bleu to make a wonderful winter squash soup. They also gave us almost 1000 recipe cards for participating, so you will find one in your box this week in lieu of our usual written recipes. Enjoy!
-We still have room available for the dinner at the farm this Sunday (Kudzu Supper Club). If you’re on the fence, just consider that we will have a roaring fire, great company, unbelievable food, estate wines, and a generous jolt of cold-brewed Vietnamese coffee to fuel your journey home. We plan to have everyone out on their way by 7:45pm, so it’s not too late. Also feel free to send this to any friends that might be interested and we will happily extend the $65.00 offer, they just have to email me to receive the deal. Email me back if you can come too. It’s going to be great!