Dear Members and Friends,
On the reallyreallyhot days, the too-hot-to-think-and-work-at-the-same-time-days, we farmers spare ourselves the misery of dust and debasement, and find mid-day work indoors—content to struggle over the finesses of balancing our 2014 farm budget over a glass of water and a blowing fan.
As the summer moves upon us—one startling heat wave, and one ripe tomato, at a time—my mind, heart, and intention move me closer to the reality of partnering with Anton to co-run Good Work Farm next summer, 2014. On the days when I have the opportunity to spend a few morning hours with my hands in the dirt weeding onions and seeding fall lettuces here at Good Work, my mind occupies itself wondering over the selections which we will together make available for CSA members next spring and early summer.
Is it too early for me to be planning your menus for next May? If we are going to overwinter scallions and leeks for next Spring’s harvest (literally, to sew seeds this fall which will sprout into seedlings, then stay in the ground in a state of dormancy over-the-winter, re-awakening to grow again next early Spring as the days lengthen, ready to be harvested in May or June), then we’d better be placing orders with seed
catalogues about now.
In this way, I feel myself more and more becoming part of Good Work Farm, becoming your farmer—even though I have not met most of you yet—incorporating myself into this living farm entity in some seamed or seamless transition. I am aided in this process through writing, a supple tool which allows me to connect with my fellow humans—to share my story, to translate my mundane and surreal experiences of earth and food and work, into a set of images: tactile, stimulating, judicious. I hope, I hope, I hope.
As I move through the second half of this season, the welcome fall, the humble winter, and the dawning of next year’s season of growing, I hope to use writing as a branch, weaving myself into Good Work Farm through the steadiness of word and story.
For now, Anton and I: we are looking for landowners who we share a compatible vision with. We are
looking for land: that smells rich, that looks like it might retain nutrient but drain water, that is spacious enough to feed eighty local families and two working horses. We are scrutinizing soil maps, searching for sample lease documents, admiring barns, and making connections with neighbors we didn’t know. We are finding horses on-line to enchant us, to consider “test driving“ all the way in Clyde, North Carolina; we are drooling over digital images of these elegant beasts and wondering if we have enough skill to handle them firmly. We are building ideas and building a farm. We have firm ground to stand on: Anton and Sarah, and now Anton alone, have built this farm and gathered this community, and now we prepare to shift slightly, to wiggle, walk, work, and dance our way into the next step of this farm—continuing out of the same graceful vision, carrying with us the same commitments to the food, the land, the people, and to one another.
Farmers are naturally people of faith: we must be in order to be successful, rather than debilitated, in the face of spontaneous challenges, inclement weather, and inexact futures. We seek, and find, adventure in the quotidian; the adventures our scary and delightful, for the stakes are high (feeding people!) and the learning curve is steep, but somehow, most of the time, the adventures only serve to offer us another generous portion of the faith we so dearly need to do it all again.
In hot days, ripe fruits, and farmer faith,
Lisa and Anton
Confession: I am not good at measuring and cooking at the same time. Below is an attempt to offer you a recipe for a tasty, smoky, teriyaki style Baba Ganoush, but be prepared to have some room for inner and outer exploration. Usually in the summer I like to keep my vegetables pretty plain: a little salt, a little butter, but let the flavors of the season speak for themselves. But something inspired me to add a little spice to
my eggplant, and this is what came of it...
Makes one pint of Baba and 1/2 pint of teriyaki
the white part of one leek, finely grated into a juicy pulp
1 T fresh grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a dash of olive oil, and
a dash of coconut oil
salt and ground black pepper
a healthy spoonful of each: ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika
2-3 T maple syrup (or honey)
a dash of tamari (or soy sauce)
1 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 T lemon juice
1 generous T miso (I used a 3 year dark brown rice miso to add some umph)
To make the sauce:
Heat oils in small saucepan on medium-low. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and spices and heat, stirring, until fragrant (another minute or two). Add rest of ingredients except for miso, stirring. Off heat. Add miso and incorporate. Let cool.
For the Baba:
2 small or 1 medium/large
2 T tahini
1T ("a dash") of lemon
salt to taste
2 T or more olive oil (extra virgin)
1 clove of
garlic, crushed and sliced
2 T teriyaki sauce (to the right)
basil, sliced thin
To cook the eggplant:
Eggplant, whole, can be grilled, baked, or cooked as I did, for a smoky aroma that steams the insides by
keeping the skin in-tact. Coat skins with coconut oil with your hands. On open flame on your gas burner: set whole eggplants on your range on medium heat, keeping constant watch, about 2-3 minutes per side, moving frequently to assure even cooking. If you're using one large eggplant, this process will take longer. Another option is to pre-cook stove-top for smokiness, and then throw in the oven at 400 for 10-15 minutes to assure the eggplant is thoroughly soft.
Be prepared to clean your stove top well.
When cool: Chop off tops and peal skins (should come off easily with your fingers).
In food processor, or mashing with a fork/ potato masher, combine all ingredients except basil leaves and mix until smooth, or your desired consistency. Add more olive oil/ lemon juice as desired for
extra smoothness. Add basil and pulse one time.
Serve as a thick salad dressing atop a bed of lettuce, with an extra scoop of teriyaki on the side.