Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Last Week of Distribution

 This weekend is Of Farms and Fables!
This presentation is the result of over 2 year's worth of work for the Open Waters Theater Company. A core group including actors, the playwright, the director, and designers did "on-farm research" here at Broadturn as well as at Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth and Kay-Ben Farm in Gorham. They spent lots of time with us and asked us tons of questions. They planted, weeded, mulched, and harvested last year, and (some of them) this year too. The original play was written over the winter, and rehearsed throughout Fall. The work and dedication of Jennie Hahn and her company is palpable in the final piece. But, she will be the first to tell you that the final piece is not necessarily the point. What she has done is brought people together in a way that has enriched the experience of farming for the farmers. This is community theater, as if there has ever been any other kind of theater.

Thank you to Jennie and everyone involved, including those of you who come to see the production this weekend at Camp Ketcha.

 Friday, October 28, 7 pm

Saturday, October 29, 2 pm
Saturday, October 29, 7 pm
Sunday, October 30, 2 pm
For more information and some inspirational words, see the Of Farms and Fables Blog. For tickets, go to Brown Paper Tickets.
We'll be there, along with our 2 stars...Emma and Flora are both part of the show.

The Harvest List takes a bow for this, our last week's distribution:

Lettuce --some have been small or huge or strangely speckled but we only missed one distribution of lettuce this season! This week, two small heads to finish it off.
Kale --who joins a CSA without the expectation of kale?
Cabbage --if you still have the previous week's cabbage in your fridge, you could probably store this extra head on a cold porch for another week, or make it into kraut! The simplest recipes are usually the best.

Potatoes --If you don't still have some of these from previous weeks then you are eating too much carbs!
Parsley --Another CSA favorite. "What CAN'T you use parsley with?!"
Broccoli -- I understand that a worm that floats out of a boiling head of broccoli is very unappealing. If you experience this, just take it at proof that we try to use the absolute minimum of sprays (though there is an organic approved one we could use) on our vegetables.

Onions --One of the first seeds we plant in February, before our interns arrive... 10,000 little seeds... 
Parsnips --uh oh here's a hard one... usually we leave these in the ground and we harvest them in the spring-- but they are ready long before anything else is even planted so the CSA never gets them. I honestly have not eaten them in the fall, but I see them at farmers markets, so we grew them for you. I like them best as a part of a roasted root medley which includes onions, garlic, potatoes, beets, and/or carrots.
Garlic --After we distributed fresh garlic (sometimes referred to as "green garlic") in July, we cured (dried) the rest of it in the barn so that it could be planted in October. With garlic we save the biggest and best heads as planting stock so it's kind of a set-up for temptation. Everyone saw it sitting there, and I started getting questions about it. Well, we finally planted a nice 400 ft. bed for next year --that's 3/4 more than we had this year, and we have a little left-over. As much as I enjoy being a scrooge, everyone gets a left-over garlic head. Next year there will be more to go around.
Rutabaga --Our old neighbor when we lived in Cumberland was Elwin Hanson, the Turnip King. He grew 10 acres of rutabaga for supermarkets throughout the Northeast. At 40,000 pounds per acre, that's a lot of ugly roots. We grew just 50 feet of it, because according to Elwin, "yep, some folks like 'em".
Sweet Potatoes --Just 5 years ago no one was growing Sweet Potatoes in Maine. Our friend's the Snell's were some of the first farmers to try it out, and now it's all the rage. They get sweeter with a few weeks in storage which ought to be a warm, dark and dry place... probably in the kitchen inside a paper bag. They were only harvested last week, so let them sweeten up for another week or so.
Fennel --We made a great dish last week: caramelized fennel, leeks, kohrabi in butter and wine... a perfect mixture of sweet and savory.
Squash --We still have some survivors of our disastrous squash season. We planted enough to absolutely weigh you down with winter squash, but it was not to be... next year.

To end the CSA here is a poem I read the other day by one of our favorite Maine poets:

Potato Diggers

Robert P. Tristram Coffin

The men have marched from one dew to the other
With levelled backs and hands like forward feet;
Their thighs have been wide open to the sun,
October has burned them deep into the marrow.
They have run the dark soil through their hands
And seen it whiten and resign its mysteries.
They have run their fingers through the earth
And felt out fruits which have the feel of flesh
And warmth of flesh, and left them heaped behind.

The men are drunk with fragrance of brown earth.
They cannot stand erect, their necks lean over;
Their fingers are turned inwards on their palms
As if they still had preciousness to hold.
Their heads are ringing with the hymns of blood.
They feel the pull of earth along their bellies;
Their knees are bent apart, the savory earth
Is high up in their bodies as the heart.

These men have walked for one day with the beasts
They walked with long ago. They have been creepers
On the ancient nursery floor. No words
Are in them now; they are like infant children
Creeping surely home to food and rest,
Like children quiet on the lap of night.

Blessings on the meal,

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if there is a connection to the NYC Giligo beach killer and burlap bags?