July 28, 2020 | Volume 11 | Week 8/B
CSA Week 8/B

With summer's bounty coming on in full force, it's a good time to put a little of it by for enjoyment when the snow flies again. (Because you know it will.)

Our great state of Wisconsin, through the UW Extension Learning Store, offers minimally-priced resources that cover the basics in all areas of food preservation, from freezing and canning to making sauerkraut. You can view and print PDF files of some of these publications at no charge.

Never fear--you don't have to spend hours in the kitchen processing bushels of vegetables. In many cases the recipes can be adapted for whatever quantity you have on hand or your patience level, or both.

Here's an additional resource for small-batch canning recipes from Taste of Home.
Week 8/B
Pack List

Beets: red
Eggplant OR Peppers

EOW will also receive:
Onions: Tropea 

**Pack list is subject to change due to harvest and weather conditions
Friday: 9am-2pm
Saturday: 9am-12pm
By appointment for pre-orders and pickups
The Farm: A Living Organism
by Janet Gamble
Biodynamics has been close to my heart for nearly two decades in several capacities: as a gardener/farmer, educator and activist. I think biodynamics takes me to a deeper place of mindfulness and connectedness to life and purpose and the farm is my experiential classroom.

In biodynamic agriculture, each farm is viewed as an integrated whole, as a living organism in its own right. Like a human being, a farm is made up of many different organs and systems. When these are managed and brought together in a dynamic way, they interact positively with one another to support the health and well-being of the whole. And like a human being, each farm is unique, with its own personality and identity. The holistic expression of a farm’s unique potential is referred to as the “farm individuality.” 

The farm individuality encompasses soil types and characteristics—such as mineral content, organic matter, and the mix of sand, silt, and clay—as well as forests and meadows, wetlands and cultivated ground, flowering trees and shrubs, domestic and wild animals, buildings and equipment, and human beings living and working on the land. It also includes the history, character, and purpose of the farm as well as more subtle, energetic aspects of the region and landscape. 

Biodynamic farmers strive to develop an intimate understanding of each element of the farm, and the creative potential of the farm as a whole. From this understanding they work to bring the elements of the farm into right relationship. This process allows the farm individuality to express itself continuously over time and share its gifts of health and vitality with the local community.

Biodynamic farmers work toward balancing the soil and creating a farm individuality that is a self-sustaining whole, where fertility and feed come from within the farm rather than from outside. A closed-loop system has environmental and economic benefits, but there are also more subtle ways in which this approach enlivens the health of farms.

When manure is used from our own livestock to fertilize our crops, we are keeping nutrients within our farm, as well as creating a feedback loop of subtle communication. The animals and plants on a particular farm share the same environment, the same ecosphere, and the same influences— cosmic, earthly, and human. As an animal eats, she senses and takes in substance from the plants on the farm where she lives, and sends this substance through the complex, living system of her body. In the process, she adds enzymes, bacteria, and other living organisms. She then releases a digested form of the plant with a dose of her own essence, as well as a “message” about what is needed to bring that field into greater balance and vitality.

We can then take this manure—this already digested plant material that has now been infused with animal life and an animal’s sensitivity—and further develop it through composting. By creating compost and adding the biodynamic preparations, the whole process is taken to the next level of life, stimulating the vitality, or what Rudolf Steiner called the “etheric” forces. As the composted manure is returned to the fields, the soil receives both nutrients and valuable information carried by these etheric forces, which brings enhanced vitality to the food grown on the farm.
When seeing a farm as a whole organism, the view of weeds, pests, and diseases changes. Each of these becomes a valuable messenger, revealing an imbalance in the farm and inviting us to correct that underlying imbalance. A weed might tell us that our soil has become too compacted; a fly infestation in our cow herd might tell us that we need more wild birds on the farm. Although short-term solutions to manage these problems may be necessary, the biodynamic approach emphasizes learning from these problems and changing management practices to increase the health of the garden or farm as a whole. 

To create a healthy farm individuality, it is also crucial to work with the plants and animals towards adaptation and localization of a given place. The aim is to save as much seed as possible, so the expression of the place is embodied by the plants. Another goal is to “close” a herd of animals so that the genetic base is improving in relation to the place where the herd lives. When animals eat crops from their own farm, out of a soil and mineral complex that has received enlivened fertility through compost and manure from the farm, a subtle but real connection and communication among all the parts of the whole can be noticed. In essence, the natural landscape has been guided towards the creation of an organism that has to some extent the ability to be self-regulating. 

As the human population has grown and technology has increased our ability to extract resources from the Earth, many of us have deep questions about how humanity can continue living on our Earth in a healthy way. The art of working with the abundance and limitations that exist within a closed farm organism is a microcosm of how we might live within the abundance and limitations of our planet. 

While a biodynamic farm strives to be self-sustaining and in some ways self-contained, it is not closed to the world. Tremendous energy streams into the farm daily from the sun and stars, and rain and wind bring water and minerals. A similar generosity and abundance is expressed from the farm individuality toward the wider world when the farm is healthy. Embedded in the farm individuality is life-giving potential, not merely to avoid exploitation, but to offer rejuvenation.
Beet & Cucumber Salad
3 medium beets, trimmed
1 medium cucumber, unpeeled, cut into ¼" thick rounds
¼-½ c. sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 t. honey
2 t. apple cider vinegar
¾ t. Dijon mustard
3 T. vegetable oil
¼ t. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap each beet in foil, enclosing completely. Place on rack in oven and bake until beets are tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool in foil. Peel beets, then cut each into 6 slices.

Arrange beets, slightly overlapping, on half of large platter. Arrange cucumber slices on other half. Scatter onion in center. (Can be made 4 hours ahead; chill.)

Whisk honey, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables.

Servings: 3-4
Recipe adapted from: epicurious.com
Greek-Style Green Beans
Recipe author's note: " Pay careful attention to the details here. Technique is all."

1 LB fresh green beans, tipped and tailed
Vegetable oil cooking spray
3 T. olive oil
About 1 T. medium to finely chopped garlic (5 or 6 cloves)
1 large fresh tomato, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few dashes of cayenne
½ to 1 t. dried dill (2t. -1T. fresh)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When water is boiling, add green beans and cook for 2 minutes. Drain well, then rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Spray a large, heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet with a tight-fitting cover with oil, and set it over very low heat. Add olive oil, scatter garlic over it; add blanched green beans. Scatter tomato over beans. Don’t stir.

Still keeping heat as low as possible, cover beans and let them just barely cook, without stirring, for about 40 minutes. I know it’s hard, but keep on not stirring; leave the heat low enough so that nothing burns. If you like, you can push a few beans back to check on the garlic at the bottom of the skillet. It should not be browning, merely cooking very, very slowly. Some of the beans will be browned on one side, which is good. If this hasn’t happened yet, cover again and cook for 10, even 15, minutes more.

When beans are soft, uncover and stir gently. It's unlikely, but if there’s a noticeable amount of liquid in the skillet, turn the heat up and, stirring gently but constantly, evaporate the liquid off. You want soft, barely-holding-together green beans. They should be slightly shriveled-looking and browned lightly here and there, with a bit of the garlic-tomato jam sticking to them.

Turn off the heat. Salt and pepper the beans, sprinkle with cayenne and dill, stir one more time, and serve.

Servings: 4-6
Recipe adapted from: thesplendidtable.org
Cabbage & Chicken Wraps
¾ LB thinly sliced chicken or turkey breast
6 c. shredded cabbage 
½ t. caraway seed, crushed
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. prepared mustard 
4 flour tortillas (8" to 10"), warmed
chopped fresh tomato for garnish, optional

Heat 10" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 3 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Stir in cabbage and caraway seed. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 3 minutes or just until cabbage wilts, but remains crisp. Remove from heat. Stir in mustard-mayonnaise sauce until well mixed.

Spoon mixture evenly down center of each warm tortilla. Add optional tomato. Fold sides of each tortilla over filling; roll up. 

Servings: 4
Recipe adapted from: bettycrocker.com
Marinated Summer Vegetable Salad
8 oz fresh green beans
1 (15-oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes 
3⁄4 c. celery, thinly sliced diagonally
½ c. chopped green or colored sweet pepper 
3⁄4 c. thinly sliced red onion 
3 T. sherry vinegar
1 T. honey
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. kosher salt
3⁄4 t. black pepper
6 T. olive oil
1⁄4 c. chopped fresh basil
1 t. chopped fresh thyme

Fill a medium bowl with ice and water. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add green beans, and cook until crisp-tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Plunge into the ice water using a slotted spoon or tongs. Let stand until thoroughly chilled, about 5 minutes. Remove beans and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into 1-inch pieces, and place in a large bowl.

Add chickpeas, tomatoes, celery, peppers, and red onion to bowl with beans. Set aside while you prepare the vinaigrette.

Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Drizzle vinaigrette over the vegetables, and toss to coat.

Cover and chill until onions are tender and vegetables are flavorful, at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, tossing occasionally. Toss with basil and thyme just before serving. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Servings: 8

Recipe adapted from southernkissed.com
Turtle Creek Gardens, LLC | 262-441-0520 |
Janet Gamble, Farm Manager: farmmanager@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com
Christi Lee Ehler, Newsletter Editor: newsletter@turtlecreekgardenscsa.com