Notes from the Farm

For this week’s notes I would like to share the first CSA newsletter I wrote back in July of 2007 while farming in Santa Cruz, CA.   I stumbled upon a copy of it recently, and was pleased to find how much of it resonates with the work we do here at Massaro each day.
The Way of the Farm
I once lived in a Buddhist temple in Japan.  The head abbot was the master of the temple.  After him was the head chef.  Nobody between them. This was an acknowledgement of the extreme importance of quality food being prepared for every meal; without food you can do no good for yourself and no good for others.
As farmers, we have the great privilege and responsibility to grow food for this community.  But this community is not just inhabited by us people.  There are untold numbers of insects, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians who want to live off this land as well (not to mention wild plants and weeds that we choose not to cultivate) and their claim to live here is just as important as ours.  So, how do we manage this need for so many things to survive here?
1. Attract beneficials:  By planting native perennial plants and flowers throughout the farm we create habitat for all sorts of native creatures who prey upon the pests that eat our crops.  Beneficial farm predators here include: gopher snakes, wasps, syrphid flies, hummingbirds, owls, domestic cats and more.
2. Physical barriers: Fencing keep deer and others out. Fabric covering over crop beds
keep out pests such as flea beetles.
3. Remove/Suppress weeds:  Weeds must be pulled from the soil continuously.  Mulch and cover crop are used to keep weeds from coming up, flame torches are used to burn weeds out.
4. Trap pests:  Traps catch pests much like  a predator catches prey but returns the prey to the soil to continue in the life cycle through the work of scavengers and decomposers.

I call these practices “The Way of the Farm”, because they are intended to create and maintain a harmony between agriculture and ecology, much like the abbot of the temple seeks to find and create harmony through “the way” of living.  While in Japan the abbot taught me to say “itadakimasu” before eating any meals.  It is meant to give thanks and honor to Mother Nature and all its creatures that have made this food possible.  As we work the fields here and observe the cycles of life, it would be appropriate for farmers to say this as well.   Itadakimasu.
 
Best,
Farmer Steve and our Farmers: Adam, Alyssa, Dan, Jalyn, Kelsey, Nikki, Sara, Shannon, TW and Tyler

In This Week’s Distribution

Our Harvest:  Mixed Zucchini and Yellow Squash, Cucumber, Sorrel or Dandelion Greens, Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Radish, Salad Turnips
U-Pick: Closed this week; Cherry tomatoes will be ready soon
Fruit Option: Blueberries

Know Your Farmers

There are many reasons why you might have signed up for our CSA this year, one of which might be that you want to know more about your food, including where it comes from, how it is grown, and who is growing it.  Put simply, you want to know your food and know your farmer.  We have an incredible team of farmers here working to bring you a bounty of fresh, organic, delicious produce, and over the course of this CSA season, we’ll include a note about someone from the farm staff so that you can get to know your farmers.
Sara grew up in the neighboring town of Orange and comes back to the area after studying and practicing sustainable food and agriculture in Washington, DC and in Central America. After completing her MA in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Sara moved to Nicaragua, where she continued to develop skills and interests in tropical agroforestry. Her love for connecting people to locally sourced, seasonal food and recipes extends across borders and she is excited to be back home to join the Massaro team for the 2017 season. When she’s not on the farm or at the farmers’ market, Sara can be found fermenting lots of produce or making hot sauce!

Recipes and Cooking Tips

This week we have an illustrated recipe courtesy of one of our New Haven pick up subscribers.  Have you made a great dish that you think others might enjoy?  Please email us the recipe and we’ll try to include it in a future newsletter.
Massaro Fritata
recipe and photo credit Austin Bryniarski

Open Farm Days This Week

This Tuesday from 2:30-5:30pm we’ll be hosting our signature Open Farm Days in the Learning Garden, adjacent to the big red Dairy Barn. This is an experiential learning opportunity for kids in the garden.  During these drop-in sessions, kids can experience a little of what it means to be a farmer – watering and weeding, harvesting vegetables, exploring bugs, digging in the dig bed, tasting herbs or planting new things!
This week we’ll be harvesting the last of the garlic, summer squash, kale, replanting lettuce and some flowers. We’ll be squashing squash bugs, sampling purselane and maybe even some sorrel.
Not limited to any specific age, all kids are welcome. Be sure to look for the announcement board at the garden entrance to see what’s happening. Open Farm Days alternate Tuesdays & Fridays from 2:30-5:30pm throughout the summer.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Friday, August 4, 2017
Break for Summer Camp
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Friday, September 1, 2017

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