Newsletter #6 – July 24, 2013

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   Contents of ShareCER_9502-13resize

  • green or yellow string beans (1.33 pounds)
  • cucumbers (1-2)
  • red or rainbow chard (1 bunch)
  • green cabbage (1-2 heads) or collard greens (1bunch)
  • celery (1-2 heads)
  • carrots (1 bunch)
  • lettuce (2-3 heads)
  • salad mix (3/4 pound) – wash thoroughly
  • sweet or Thai basil (1 bunch)
  • dill with flowers (1 bunch)
  • scallions (1 bunch)
  • dozen eggs or sprout mix (green  lentil/mung bean or french lentil/zesty mustard mix)

Announcements

  • Please RETURN YOUR BOXES, JARS, BAGS and clean egg cartons.  You can leave them where you get your share and we will retrieve them each week.  Try not to rip the boxes when breaking them down.  Better to keep them assembled.
  • WASHING YOUR VEGGIES.  We do not extensively wash veggies before delivering them to you.  We will do some washing if there is a lot of dirt on greens and we always wash root crops.  In general, this allows the food to stay fresher longer.  It also means you need to wash your veggies before consuming them.  For greens: fill a bowl with cold water.  Soak greens in water for a minute.  Drain water and repeat two more times.  Dirt will rinse to the bottom.  Bugs should float to the top.CER_9453-5resize
  • We are looking for a delivery van.  If you have any leads on something efficient, in decent shape, and affordable, please let us know!
  • If you are a shareholder, you have the option of volunteering 5 hours over the course of the season in exchange for an additional week of food in the fall.  Be in touch to schedule your work with us.
  • Pasture raised poultry for mid summer and fall is available for pre-sale here.
  • Remember that you are always welcome to visit socially and/or to volunteer. Give a call to schedule a time.
  • All of our newsletters are archived on our website, along with lots more, including educational resources and recipes.

Food Justice News – Mighty Environmental Justice Adventures Captured in New Comic Book

For those of you that work with young people or live with young people, or just enjoy a good graphic novel, this looks like a good resource for talking about the importance of environmental justice, of which food justice is central.

A new comic book series titled Mayah’s Lot attempts to explain the everyday challenges of environmental justice advocacy through graphic novel storytelling. The main character of the series, Mayah, is recruited into the environmental justice movement when she discovers that a Los Angeles-based, greenwashed company is planning to use a lot in her neighborhood in New York to dump toxic waste. The community group Mayah joins helps her fight the company off by showing her the ropes of public policy advocacy. In the strip, Mayah becomes “Earth Girl,”a  jade-costumed superhero armed with something of a zap gun.

The conflict is resolved not by a single, caped crusader with special powers, though, but through the empowerment of Mayah’s community, which is divided into task groups and then dispatched to raise awareness, monitor pollution and do research. The moral is that no one leader can protect communities from environmental hazards, but rather that environmental justice is about “people coming together to improve their community, standing strong, [and] finding a legal solution.”

Rebecca Bratspies, a professor at City University of New York School of Law and founder of the “Center for Urban Environmental Reform,” created the book along with graphic artist Charlie LaGreca and middle school students in Queens. In Greenversations, a blog run by EPA, Bratspies said that she and LaGreca help students “identify environmental problems in their neighborhoods,” which the students then will turn into comic book narratives.CER_9517-16resize

The first story in the series is simple and accessible, but also keenly illustrates some of the more nuanced problems the environmental justice world faces, such as police keeping residents from working in lots in their own neighborhood, even to beautify them, or polluter companies serving obscured public notices buried in the back listings pages of newspapers.

Download Mayah’s Lot here.


Recipe – Garlic Steamed String Beans

Prep Time: 7 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients:

1 pound string beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons tamari
4 tablespoons tahini
Juice of half a lemon

Directions:

Wash beans, chop ends off and cut in half. Fill a pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place beans in a steaming basket and place over boiling water. Cover beans and steam for 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine garlic, tamari, tahini and lemon juice. When beans are done, add them to the garlic mixture. Mix until string beans are coated and serve.

 

Farm News
We welcomed Leah home from an epic week-long journey last week, but also one that Leah takes in stride with all her brilliance.  So, highlight on your farmer Leah.  First, to the National Black Theater in Harlem to rehearse, where she will be performing aerial silks trapeze this coming weekend, and be the first ever trapeze performance at this historic theater.  Then off to her motherland of Haiti to connect and plan for this coming year’s continuation of Ayiti Resurrect project, helping facilitate the planting of a community orchard and revitalizing local economy, all while dynamically engaging students from her school.  Last February Leah and students raised all their travel and programming funds, and planted close to a thousand trees in 4 days.  The community is near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake.  This orchard is not only a piece of P1020049resizerevitalizing the local economy, but also a powerful piece of healing from such devastating loss.  This year, her group will plant more trees, as well as develop means to create value added products, such as dried mango.  And if that wasn’t enough, Leah returned to New Orleans to an award for her teaching.  She wont tell you, but This Haiti project she is doing with her students received first place honors among all project-based schools nationally.  Go Leah!  She also just got word that she will be giving a local TED talk on  education.  If you ask me, this is what the world needs to hear.

Abundance on the farm continues as the first offerings of summer have come into harvest: cucumbers and beans.  Tomato plants have been loving the hot weather of last week and have reached eye-level.  Cover crops on various parts of the farm – Japanese buckwheat, oats, vetch, field peas, clover –  are working hard to mine nutrients from the soil and air and make them useable for future plantings, not to mention offering a surrounding of beautiful flowers and foliage.  We are delighted to see them thriving, but have been thrilled to find tens of thousands of honey bees also delighting in sipping nectar from the tiny buckwheat flowers.  Working close to these plants, it is hard to ignore the whir of activity and sonorous wings, as if in a meditative mantra.  We do not currently keep honey bees, but are ever so grateful for our insect world partners, working hard to pollinate our farm.

We have also started harvesting and drying significant amounts of medicinal herbs from our house herb garden that was planted this spring.  Rebecca Hein of underground Alchemy donated close to 30 varieties of plants from her gardens in Albany.  We are abundantly grateful to Rebecca for sharing such healing and nurturing plants for our family.  Also, the last of our peas are shelled and in our freezer, which is starting to fill up with goodies from the season.  Wow!  And I almost forgot.  We harvested our garlic!  Despite my overwhelming fears that it had rotted in the ground, the harvest looks pretty good.  We did lose about a quarter of the harvest to the wet condition earlier this season, but thankfully will still have plenty to share with you all.  It is currently curing in our barn.  We will share it with you in the next week or two.  Finally, I want to give a big thank you to our wonderful assistant manager Capers, who in addition to being a skilled, wonderful to be around, positive, fun, and so many other things, is a fantastic photographer.  It is thanks to her that this year’s newsletters are graced with such potent images of our lives here.

Blessings for your week!