Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Big Red Farmstand, Wednesday October 9, 1-5PM

Hello, friends --

This week finds me (Jake) writing your farm updates instead of Emma.  She and the loyal members of the Big Red Farm Crew are out harvesting all the fresh produce for tomorrow's farmstand, while I am confined to my sickbed.  Latin students get Spanish teachers as substitutes today, and Big Red Farm readers get me -- I hope I won't disappoint.
"The world and our life in it are conditional gifts.
We have the world to live in and the use of it to live
from on the condition that we will take good care of it."
-Wendell Berry 

I have spent some of my time in bed re-reading the essays of Mr. Wendell Berry of Henry County, KY, whose books never stay on the shelf for the very long at our house.  In his writing (which includes poetry, novels, short stories, and pieces of non-fiction), Mr. Berry carefully describes the decline of rural life in our country and the agricultural crisis that we now face.  And he was featured this past Sunday on Bill Moyers' program on public television.  If you have a spare moment, the interview is well worth a watch.

Particular thanks this week go to all the good folks at Carter House (especially the Hanewald family) who featured lots of Big Red Farm Produce at the annual dinner celebrating Carter's founding.

And thanks to Tom Collins, Kevin Mattingly, and everybody else involved with the "Journey of the Universe" conference for including the farm in this weekend's conversations.    

Finally, one more reminder that we're only open on Wednesdays for the rest of the fall.  Thanks again to everyone who came out to support the Saturday farmstand throughout the summer. 


Winterbor Kale
For those of you who have been waiting all summer for kale, we are happy to announce that we picked our first bunches of this cool-weather crop this week.  We're growing three varieties of kale at the Big Red Farm this year (Lacinato or Tuscan, Red Russian, and Winterbor). Kale has shot to superstardom in last few years.  A farmer friend of ours says, "We used to get complaints that there was too much kale in the CSA share.  Now all we hear is that they want more kale."  There are lots of good ways to incorporate kale into your fall meals and we'll feature more of them in the coming weeks.  For this week, Emma -- and you'll be relieved to know that Emma is still providing the recipes here -- recommends these crunchy kale chips.  

And while there is still eggplant to be picked, why not make some baba ghanouj?  Making it has to be easier than spelling it.  And it's delicious. 

Tim, Rudi, and Big Red Farm hives.

Last Wednesday we had an exciting visit at the farm from the NJ State Apiarist, Tim Schuler.  Just when you might begin to wonder about the functionality of government (on, say, Capitol Hill), the taxpayers' own beekeeper comes to inspect your hives and give you advice on maintaining your colonies.  I love it.   

We have had two to three colonies going strong all summer here, but the big question now is whether they have laid up enough reserves to survive the winter.  If all goes well, we'll harvest honey next summer.  That is, however, a big "if," since honey bee populations worldwide are in serious peril right now.  This past winter, one third of American honey bee colonies died from Colony Collapse Disorder.  Scientists and beekeepers are struggling to find the cause of this mysterious die-off.  More and more, the research points to a particularly toxic mix of pesticides and fungicides used in industrial agriculture.  "But why," you ask, "would that affect the bees on the Big Red Farm, since you don't use those chemical sprays?" Well, honey bees will forage in a large area (something like a circle with a diameter of 3-5 miles), so honey bee health becomes an indicator of the overall ecological health of a particular area.   Fingers crossed for our hives this winter. 

And in case we needed a reminder of the importance of honey bees in our lives, there was a nice segment called "Dance of the Honey Bee" this past Sunday on Bill Moyers' program on public television.  There's a theme developing here...

The second welcome visit on the farm this week came in the form of a steady downpour on Monday.  This summer was, as you'll remember, very wet in our area, but the fall has been relatively dry so far, and some of our fall crops were beginning to suffer.  So we did a little dance of glee and gratitude when the sky opened up on Monday.      


This week, we hope to have the following available ON WEDNESDAY ONLY in front of Edith Chapel, from 1pm to 5pm:

·              Baby Lettuce Mix - $2.50 bag
·              Beets - $2.50 bunch
·              Carrots - $2.00 bunch
·              Chard - $2.50 bunch
·              Eggplant - $3.00 lb
·              Flowers - $2.50 bouquet
·              Garlic - $1.50 bulb 
·              Kale -- $2.50 bunch
·              Assorted Onions - $2.00 lb (limited quantity)
·              Colored Peppers - $4.00 lb
·              Hot Peppers - 2 for $1.00
·              Potatoes - $4.50 quart
·              Summer Squash - $2.00 lb


The Big Red Farmstand will be on the Lawrenceville Campus for the fall.  Right now we're located in front of Edith Chapel.  Enter campus by the main gate on Route 206 (opposite the Lawrenceville Post Office and Craven Lane), and bear right into the circle.  The Chapel is about halfway around the circle, and you'll see our sign.  Don't forget your shopping bags!

No comments:

Post a Comment