Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Week 17

We worked hard last week trying to bring in as much of the food from the field as we could before the rains came. Many hands made light work of the squash field and I learned how to back the trailer out of the barn. John had injured his back and was on "Mommy duty", carting Emma around to one or another after school activity. This left me to attempt the skills I usually depend on John for, like trailer navigation.
At any rate, after my heartbeat and adrenaline slowed from backing up the trailer, we all marveled at the beauty of the squash piled high in the barn and the bags of potatoes and onions lining the walls. The days here are filled with harvesting and freezing and canning. This weekend, I focused on apple pies. In some manic attempt to preserve all the apples, I set a goal for myself of 24 pies... I made 9 on Sunday. At Emma's school, there are a few apple trees planted between the main building and the portable classroom units. We always taste a few when we are at back to school night and this year we noticed that once again, the trees were heavy with fruit, untouched, and dropping apples to the ground at a rapid rate. There was much debate around the table about how to approach the apples, a midnight run with headlamps...a mid-day stomp in protest with students watching....finally, I asked the principal about the apples and suggested she have the students pick them and serve them in the cafeteria. She mentioned something about USDA regulations and cafeteria food and said we could pick as many as we liked. So, as the middle school children are served Red Delicious apples imported from China, my child transports a tasty apple back to her school that we picked at peak ripeness and keep stored in the barn. There are enough apples out there for a few week's worth of middle school lunches and enough picking to get those kids moving....maybe for a gym class activity, we could call it everyday PE, activities that feed us, house us and keep us warm. Rather than scooter tag in the gym, these kids could grow and harvest food, build structures and chop wood. Authenticity is a lacking concept in our educational system, propagated by fear of lawsuits and over-regulation. Next year, I'll push harder for an all-school apple harvest and hope that we can collectively pursue activities in our school system that link children to the apple trees in their back yards.

The rain didn't squelch Flora's obsession with her new rain suit. As always, she was ready to milk, collect eggs and feed livestock and poultry. Chores were all trumped by the appearance of large puddles, the size of which would challenge any rain boot/suit donning, producing one soggy toddler. Maybe next year she'll be big enough for waders.

Harvest List:
Long Island Cheese pumpkin
Blue Hubbard squash
Acorn squash
soy beans (edamame)

The soy beans are best steamed or boiled and served with salt. They can be popped out of their pods by the individual eater or shelled and served alone or as an ingredient.

Don't be overwhelmed by the squash. They can be decorative and delicious. All of the squash we are distributing this season is edible, chosen for appearance and taste. In recipes, squash and pumpkin are interchangeable. Enjoy!

Our final work party will be Saturday, October 19th. Mark your calendars!

And, we have been processing turkeys this week. They are available for pick-up for those who have purchased a turkey share and for sale for anyone who would like a turkey for their freezer.
It's first come-first served so don't miss out!!!!

Blessings on the meal-
Stacy and John

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Stacy,
    That apple story is an outrage!

    If they cant serve them for lunch, maybe a school group could pick the apples and make a bunch of pies for a fundraiser, or donate (pies or apples) to the soup kitchen. Or the local girl scouts could.