Welcome to the 2013 Season at South Farm! We are glad you are a part of our Community Supported Agriculture program. We’re kicking off our season with our new (virtual) newsletter format. Keep reading to hear about farm happenings, what you’ll find in your share, and tips for preparing your fresh farm food.
Note from an Apprentice
Therapeutic Farming by Greg Eames
My name is Greg Eames, I am originally from a small city named Portsmouth in the Tidewater area of Virginia. I joined the Kentucky National Guard in 2008 and for the past four years I have been a member of the 20th Special Forces Group based out of Louisville. During that time I have been to Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and most recently, Iraq. I returned from Iraq in 2011; my unit was the last Special Forces unit to leave Northern Iraq (Baqubah, Tikrit, Kirkuk, Balad). These places have been making the news recently as violence levels in Iraq have continued to escalate. I only mention this to you for you to get an understanding of what the situation was like while my unit was there. At the time, American forces were the focal point of contention within the country, and most of the resources held by various militias were directed towards teams such as my own. Incoming mortar and rocket fire onto our base was a daily occurrence; in addition to being shot at and blown up every single time we left the confines of our base.
I returned in November, 2011 a different person than when I had left. And while many of my brothers in arms never admit it, I came back with problems. In addition to suffering a career ending back injury, I also struggled with anger issues and mild PTSD for the better part of the next year. Through my friends and my loving girlfriend I was able to maintain my discipline enough to complete the fall and spring semesters of school, although with great difficulty. When I began treatment for anxiety related to PTSD in January 2013 I thought that things would get better overnight. I figured that these magic pills the VA would give me would just make my nightmares go away. Unfortunately this was not the case, and for the next three months I struggled to attend classes as my body tried to adjust to the new medications I was throwing at it on a daily basis.
Around March a friend of mine, James Campbell, invited me out to his farm in Bourbon County just north east of Paris. He invited me to come spend the weekend up there with him to relax and shoot and just get away for a few days. What happened that weekend has undoubtedly changed my life. For the first time in almost two years I was at peace. Sitting out in the field looking at the cows on the neighboring property: there was no noise, no bombs, no incoming artillery fire, just peaceful silence. It was that weekend that I decided, along with my father (a 23 year veteran of the Coast Guard) that within the next two years the two of us would start an organic livestock farm here in the greater Lexington area. That is why I am here at the CSA working, learning, and planning my future which for the first time in a while looks bright.
Being out on the farm picking the strawberries you’re getting this week was strangely relaxing, if not a bit fun. This program has so far given me an avenue in which to focus my energy in a productive way. I want to thank you for supporting this CSA, because it is through your subscription that a person like me is able to come here and learn the basics of farming to establish a solid foundation in which to build the rest of my career.
For May 30, you’ll find:
+ 1 bunch Red Russian Kale
+ 1 pound Spinach
+ 1 pound Braising Mix
+ 2 Kohlrabi
+ 2 pounds Fava Beans
+ 2 bunches Baby Carrots
+ 1 quart Strawberries
+ A Tomato Plant
+ 1 bunch Garlic Scapes
+ One item in your share this week is Braising Mix. The Braising Mix includes spicy greens. To mellow their flavor, we recommend cooking them! You may find some small flower stalks in the mix. These are edible, and actually quite tender, so be sure to enjoy them!
+ Fava Beans make their debut in our CSA this year! This crop may not be familiar to everyone. Fava Beans require shelling twice. First, remove the beans from the pods. Second, blanche the beans to remove the outer hulls. There is more information on fava beans from last week’s post here, and a recipe below.
+ You’ll also find Kohlrabi in your share, or as I like to call them, the “alien vegetable.” While they’re not actually from outer space, you may be scratching your heads about how to prepare them. Can we recommend our fan favorite recipe, Kohlrabi Hash Browns? Kohlrabi needs to be peeled, and it can also be used chopped fresh as an addition to salads.
+ Also included are Garlic Scapes (the flower stalk of the garlic plant). I recommend using them to make pesto you can use on pizza or for a bruchetta or as a dip for carrots. Simply remove any portion that is a little too tough, put them in a food processor and add olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
Fava Beans Ragout
From “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters
Shelled: 2 pounds of fava beans
Cook in boiling water for 1 minute or so and then cool in ic ewater. Drain and pop the beans out of their skins.
In a heavy saucepan heat:
1 Tbsp olive oil or butter
2 small spring onions, trimmed and sliced crosswise. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes. Add peeled fava beans.
1 small green garlic, trimmed and sliced crosswise and dash of salt
Pour enough water to come up 1/4 inch in the pan. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 4 minutes or until fava beans are tender.
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
2 Tsp choppped parsley or chevril
Swirl to combine. Season to taste.
Kohlrabi Hash Browns
From “Farmer John’s Cookbook”
This makes a unique bed for serving just about any meat, or try it with eggs instead of traditional potato hash browns.
4 medium kohlrabi bulbs, peeled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2 Tbs dried bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 tsp dried red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs butter
plain yogurt or sour cream
1. Grate the kohlrabi and wrap it in a dish towel. Squeeze out excess moisture.
2. Combine eggs, onion, bread crumbs, salt, ginger, red pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add
black pepper to taste. Stir until well blended.
3. Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet. Add the kohlrabi and press down firmly with a sturdy spatula. Do not stir. Let the kohlrabi cook until brown, 5-7 minutes. (If thekohlrabi is in a layer thicker than 1/4 inch, you may want to stir it up after the last 5-7 minute to let the inner part cook and brown.) Serve
with yogurt or sour cream.