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The Leaf
CSA at Crown Point 
Weekly Update

October 24 and 26, 2012
Volume 15, Main Season, 
Week 21

Crown Point on Facebook


Sometimes, even adults play with their food. Copied from an old friend's Facebook page (with permission).  Thanks Brette!


cp bw americana green back 3 


This Week's Anticipated Share:


Napa or Head Cabbage
Winter Squash
Radishes
Collards
Arugula
Lettuce
Carrots
Onions
Tatsoi
Garlic
Leeks
Beets
Dill

Open for Gleaning: 
Pea Shoots
Hot Peppers


This is the LAST "A Week" of the 2012 Main Season!!!

If you were assigned to the A Weeks for your optional or biweekly shares, you (or your share partner) should come this week.


Pie Shares

For all you with Pie Shares, Diane has already delivered the last pie of the season, frozen. It is a quiche, and can be found in the freezer (to the left of the brown cabinet in the barn).


Upcoming Events at Crown Point:


Labyrinth Walk, Wednesday, October 24, 6:00 p.m.
Come for an Autumn reflection of the Earth's bounty through your personal labyrinth journey. We will begin with a  group reflection, offer suggestions for your journey, and engage in discussion afterward, if there is interest. Donations greatly appreciated!

Winter Tiny Tillers
Don't miss the opportunity to dress your 3-5 year old up in his or her favorite snowsuit! Sessions this winter are Autumn Leaves (11/8), Terrific Turkeys (11/15), The Earth is My Friend (11/29) and Nature at Night (12/6). All session meet from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m.  Registration form and payment due November 1st. $32 for all four sessions.  

Please contact Jonna (jonna@crownpt.org; 330-668-8992 x102) for more info about the Labyrinth Walk or Tiny Tillers.


Wish List

  • large pieces of brown cardboard (black ink only)
  • "clean, " pesticide-free leaves
  • work gloves
  • rain gear
  • buckets
  • hoes
  • wheelbarrows
  • chocolate
  • inexpensive tablet computer and bomb-proof case to make my organic record-keeping much, much easier!!

The Reality of Being Organicorganic


"Organic happens in the office!"

When I was a graduate student of Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of my cohorts proclaimed this statement one day. Prior to academia, he had worked several seasons at a large, renowned organic farm in southwest Wisconsin. Gregg had worked his way up to a management position at the farm, and had been responsible for some of the record-keeping needed for their organic certification.  I remember groaning in solidarity when I heard about some of the paperwork they had to do. Little did I know that one day, such joys would be under my purview as well.

Don't get me wrong--I believe strongly in the central philosophy of organic farming, and I think the certification can sometimes be helpful for distinguishing between the farms that merely say what they do, and those that do what they say. 

But like anything else in our society, the only way to prove that you are doing what you say is by providing a mountain of paperwork to that effect. Here's how organic certification worked for us this year:

1. Last February and March, I compiled copies of all our purchases of seed, fertilizer/soil amendments, and pest management supplies for the 2012 season. We had purchased seeds and root stock from no fewer than a dozen companies, so this was quite an endeavor. Additionally, I made maps of our fields; outlined how we conducted greenhouse growing, nutrient and pest management, irrigation, and other farm processes; made copies of soil tests; and included a number of other documents. Then I made copies of all the copies because OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association, the agency that among other things, serves as a third party organic certifier) required two copies of the packet. The entire compilation was probably around 80 pages.

2. In July or August, I received a letter requesting more information about some of our nutrient and pest management inputs. I got together the additional documentation, and sent that in as well.

3. I was contacted by the person who would serve as our inspector last Friday morning, who set up an appointment for yesterday. Since I had never received a checklist of documents to have prepared for the inspection, I asked her what I should do to get ready. She gave me a long list of records to have available. Now, half of those requested records do not exist, because I had no idea that I was supposed to have been keeping them.  Most of the records we have kept this season are what Tim had kept in the past--I assumed that would be good enough. As the inspector explained to me, the rules change each year in terms of what the National Organic Program (administered by the USDA) requires, and so the third party certifiers (like OEFFA) have to adapt their policies accordingly.  Anyway, to prepare for the inspection, I spent all last Friday afternoon, and about four hours on Sunday, getting together additional documents, organizing my files, and cleaning a season's worth of junk off of my desk.

4.  The inspector arrived at around 9:00 a.m. yesterday, and didn't leave until sometime after 1:00.  In this time, we went through the files I had sent in last March and made corrections and additions to them, dug up additional documents needed, walked around the entire farm, and then went over a list of action items (mainly, providing several more documents) I should do.  She will send our packet back in to OEFFA with her notes and findings, and then OEFFA will ultimately make the decision on whether to certify us for 2012-2013 or not. The inspector sounded very optimistic that we should be fine--that for this being my first time going through an organic certification process, we were very organized, and we could pretty much rest easy.

If you were to ask anyone on the street what it meant to be an organic farm, they would probably answer something like "a farm that doesn't use any fertilizers or pesticides."  If you were to ask me (especially today), I would answer "a farm that can keep records, and has a well-functioning copy machine."

But when it comes down to it, what I would like for YOU all to understand is this:  organic means to use sustainable farming practices that build and conserve soil while not contributing to water pollution; that uses only approved nature-based inputs; that plants organic seed as much as possible, and that focuses on providing produce that is fresh, pure and safe for consumers.  

For Liz, Byron, Nate, Erin, and the turkeys (who aren't organic because their feed isn't, but are being fed only non-GMO feed with no antibiotics added),

Amy


The Back Story on your Share This Week

Carrots

The whole season, no carrots, no carrots, no carrots. Then boom. We grew carrots. Or more precisely, the rains we finally got this fall did. You will get the Hercules and/or Bolero varieties this week, which are big, fat, storage types.  To all you shareholders who helped to weed and THIN the carrots this fall to produce BIG carrots--Thank you!! It worked!!


Radishes

These are a pretty, round red variety called Crunchy Royale. They aren't super hot, and are nice raw in salads, or can be sliced and sauteed in butter.  Note that you can use the tops (the leaves) too!! Kim, our former Education Coordinator, makes Radish Top Soup all the time!  I'm not sure if this is her recipe and she's not answering my phone calls right now to confirm it, but it sounds as if it is pretty close to hers.


Collards 

These are the big leaves with thick stalks in a rubber-banded bunch.  Collards are cooking greens, and can be blanched, steamed, or braised in liquid.  If you chop up the stalks to use them too, they will require an even longer cooking time. Collards greens are a standard of southern soul food (here's a recipe that has instructions for a vegetarian version), but it turns out there are some super-hippy-crunchy-granola uses for it as well:  Collard Green Smoothie


Cabbage

You will get either a Napa (Chinese) cabbage, or a drum-head cabbage (the Tendersweet variety).  Both can be eaten raw in salads; cooked by sauteeing, steaming, or in soup; or if you are adventurous enough, fermented as sauerkraut or kimchi.  


Arugula

This slightly bitter but flavorful leafy green will be cut and weighed out for you in a plastic bag in your tote. Arugula is great raw in salads, or gently wilted.


Tatsoi

This Asian green is similar to Bok Choi. We will likely bunch a few plants together. The dark green leaves look a little bit like spinach, but they aren't the same thing. Tatsoi can be chopped raw in a salad, but is probably best stir fried. Here's a stir fry recipe where you can use your carrots too.  Side note: this recipe is from the very first farm I ever worked on, outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan!


Winter Squash

We are happy to report that much of the squash that I thought was unworthy has actually cured quite nicely in the greenhouse, and is good to go into your shares this week!  Note: due to the dearth of winter squash this season (and all the old fashioned Jewish guilt I felt on the subject), I was able to procure some from another farm, Basket of Life in Peninsula.  Although they don't go through the organic certification process, Farmers Heather and Eric use only organically-approved inputs on their farm, and they are excellent growers. We will put their squash in a labeled basket, so you know which squash came from our farm, and which came from theirs (in case it matters to you).


You will get to choose from a few varieties this week, which most likely will include Delicata, Carnival, a Kabocha variety, and others. We will label the variety types so you know which is which. Different types of squash have varying cooking times, but in general, I find the easiest way to cook winter squash is to cut it in half, scoop out seeds and innards, put face down in a pan with some water and a little oil, and bake at around 350 degrees. When it is mostly soft, you can flip them cut-side up, turn on the broiler, and add a little butter and brown sugar to the middle. Let them brown a little on top, and enjoy!


Dill

I'm sorry we didn't have more of this back when we were harvesting cucumbers!  I had run out of seed, and didn't want to pay the shipping to get another packet at that point....Anyway, we have it now!  Dill is not only a great complement to fish, but to your other veggies as well! Here's a recipe for Cabbage Slaw with Dill to try out. P.S. If you have an egg share, I recommend going the distance to make your own mayonnaise for it. It's not a requirement, of course, but homemade mayonnaise from "real" eggs is out of this world.


PYO Gleaning

Peas:  There are 3 beds total. I don't think there are many peas out there, but if you like the tasty shoots to put in your salads or to add to your stir fries, go ahead and pick some! Stick to the soft stems--nothing too stemmy.


Hot Peppers:  There are still some decent ones left, if you haven't gotten your fill.


The other PYO crops are pretty sad at this point, but help yourself to whatever you want out there, until we can make the time to start cleaning out that field!


Update about Cardboard (and Leaves)!

We are still actively accepting your donations of cardboard and leaves!  Note:  I found out at the organic inspection yesterday that only brown cardboard with black ink is okay to use. So if you have cardboard with a glossy finish, or that was printed with colored ink, you can leave it at home (or bring to the green Paper Recycling dumpster by the metal barn).





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Crown Point Ecology Center
PO Box 484
Bath, Ohio 44210
US

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