Monday, March 12, 2007

3/14/07 newsletter

Two Small Farms Newsletter
Issue Number 387, March 15th & 16th, 2007

Table of Contents:

1) In your box this week
2) Loaves and Fishes by Tereza Coraggio
3) Signing up for 2007; pick up site etiquette
4) Pick Up Site Etiquette
5) Blogs
6) Photos
7) Recipes
8) Who put what in the box
9) Unsubscribe
10) Two Small Farms Contact Information

1) In your box this week:
Leeks, Carrots, Turnips, Cabbage: either red or savoy, Cooking Green(either kale or spigarello),
Fennel, Parsley, Apples, Radishes (note: the email newsletter was incorrect in saying winter squash:
you will all get one color of cabbage and no winter squash.)

This week's list: bookmark it if you like: I try to have it updated by
Monday night, sometimes by Mon. am:


2) Loaves and Fishes

For the last three years, I've taken up Two Small Farms on their offer
to match donated shares. But I've donated both shares to the charitable
organization and Two Small Farms has given me my box for free. Using
rounded numbers, it works like this: I write a check for $1400 at the beginning
of the year. At the end of the year, I get a receipt for $1400 from the
charity. This deduction saves me $350 in taxes. I would also pay $700
for my own vegetables, which adds up to $1050 saved. For a mere additional
$350, I'm creating a $1400 benefit in wholesome, nutritious food for people
in need. I'm also supporting community agriculture, diverting money from
agricorporations, lessening the use of aluminum, and buying fewer weapons
for the military. What a deal!

The first two years, I donated my shares to the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, who
picks up right at the farm and sends me a receipt. But this last year, I
wanted to be more personally involved. So instead, I pick up three boxes at
my drop-off site and bring two to the St. Francis Soup Kitchen (off River St. in Santa Cruz,
behind Lloyd's Tires.) The staff there exclaims over the fruits and
vegetables as if I've brought them gift-wrapped presents. It always
does my heart good to connect with the friendly crew, led by Richard, the
clean-cut ex-seminarian who lives next door.

Often, I take the easy route and deliver early in the morning for a
leisurely conversation with Richard or the custodian. But sometimes I
end up there after 10, when the highly-efficient kitchen cranks into gear and
the clientele is waiting for the showers to open at 11. All of the homeless
I've encountered have been courteous, offering to help carry bags, or have kept
to themselves, seeming shy and withdrawn. I've never been solicited for
money, although someone once asked me for a ride. Like the hospice work
I do, it's helpful to think through your boundaries ahead of time, and
have rules to fall back on - such as volunteers not being allowed to give
money or rides, or to accept gifts (yes, it happens.)

If you have the time, however, I've found that the homeless have
fascinating stories. They became less foreign to me in a peculiar way. There's a
hermitage in Big Sur called the New Camoldolese. When Brother Julian
was still Tony the postulant, we used to lament their dependence on Costco.
He'd come from a monastery in upper New York where they grew their own food.
A deer-proof fence was expensive, however, and he was only a novice. But
one Easter, now-Julian invited me into the monastic enclosure to see the
miracle garden. A steeply-sloped wall of rocks rose like Rapunzel's tower and
circled a half-acre. Tiers within it showcased every type of plant,
sported hidden grottoes and sprouted new trees. Crowning the garden was a cross
with spring-fed water dripping from the arms into a deep basin. It
overflowed into furrows that snaked through the garden. "We picked up rocks every
time we went for a run or a walk," said Julian. "The only thing we had to
buy was the chicken wire and latch for the gate. It's all thanks to him."
Julian jerked his head towards a scruffy-looking guy rolling a cigarette.

His name was Igor, and he'd shown up one day willing to work for food.
Over several visits, he and I became friends. In his Slavic accent, he told
me stories about being homeless that included kayaking through Europe and
being the gypsy king's master scavenger in southern Spain . He told me about
finding a watermelon-shell filled with perfect fruit in the dumpster
behind the World Trade Centers. "So much waste," he said. He had walked
through the Sonoran desert and lived alone in lost Anasazi caves. Around the
monastery woods, he'd built ingenious hide-aways, forged secret paths down the
cliffs, and squirreled away a sleeping bag in an ocean-side crevice. He was the
most resourceful person I've ever met and, come the collapse of the empire,
will be a very good person to know.

One day, because Igor had made me see the homeless differently, I commented
on the weather to a guy wearing a garbage bag riding a heavily-laden
bike. His name was Rainbow Scooter and he was riding from Portland to Florida
to raise money for Katrina victims. In every town, he'd gone to the
newspaper and asked people to donate to the Red Cross. The rain and the Red
Cross' reluctance to be represented by a homeless person kept him in Santa
three months. Through him, I met Tom the homeless mystic, who quotes
verbatim from an ancient scripture called the Trimorphic Protennoia,
among other gnostic gospels. I also met Bear, who told me that "Coincidence
was God's way of keeping her anonymity." He would know. They'd held a grand
wake or him after an ambulance took him away. The next morning, a taxi
dropped him at McDonald's. "I didn't know angels took taxis," his buddies said.
And then I met James, who performed a song on the guitar written by the
oldest, train-hopping tramp. I can say honestly that Woodie Guthrie had nothing
on this song.

What surprised me were the intelligence, warmth, humor and community I
found, down there at rock-bottom. I was also glad, however, that I'd
taken small steps within the boundaries where I felt comfortable. I hope that
this year we might use all 10 of the boxes Two Small Farms offers to match.
But if that's not feasible within your charity portfolio, you could just
give someone a quarter or a dollar with a smile and a kind word. You might
be surprised by what you get back.

p.s. I just received an email from Scooter (a.k.a. Terry Hunter) in
Louisiana . He's clocked 3000 miles on his bike with 1300 to go.

Tereza Coraggio, CSA member

[note: Two Small Farms will match whole-year donations, up to a total
of 7 matched donations per year. We still have room in this 'program' if
you're interested. -2sf)


3) It's the first week of the CSA for 2007!

**We are trying to make reminder phone calls to everyone picking up
this week since it's the first week of the year. (Just like the doctor's
offices do!) IF you don't need a reminder phone call, please reply to this
email. We *may* get the message in time and spare you the phone call. Please put
= No Phone Call Needed = in the subject line so your email doesn't get
caught up in the other spams, questions, bounced and other emails we get after
sending out our newsletter. Please also include your name and usual pick up
site in the email, Thank you. **

Last Minute Signups:
If you're hoping for a box this week but haven't told us yet, please
Call by Monday afternoon: Zelda: 831-786-0625 We'll add to the harvest numbers
today but when they're full we'll start signing folks up for starting next
week. Thank you.

About this newsletter:

Starting this week it's every week through Thanksgiving. This email
version is free for anyone who wants to receive it, current members, lapsed
members, relatives and friends of either above group, members of other community
supported agriculture programs etc. If you don't wish to receive this
email letter every week through Thanksgiving (and then monthly in the
winter), please reply to this letter with unsubscribe in the subject line. Thank
you. We don't like junk mail anymore than you do.



. At your pick-up site, you should find a stack of boxes and a
separate bucket with flowers. Please check off your name on the sign-in
sheet. That way we know who to call if a question arises at the site.

. If you get flowers, check off your name on the flower list.

. If for some reason your name is not on the list, do not pick
up a box. Likewise, please do not take flowers unless you have paid for a
flower share and are on the flower list.

. Call Zelda at 831-786-0625 or email,
for clarification, or try Jeanne at 831-786-0286, or Julia at

. Your produce comes in a plastic bag in a farm box; remove
your veggies by lifting out the bag, then fold the farm box and leave it
with the other empty boxes in a neat pile. We count on reusing the empty boxes
every week to keep our costs and waste down (The waxed boxes are not
recyclable and cost over $1 apiece). To fold the boxes, turn them upside down,
grasp the bottom edges and pull the tabs out.

. NOTE: Please do not correspond with us via the sign in
sheets! If there is a problem at the site that needs immediate attention, please
call or email us rather than just writing a note on the sign-in sheet. We do
not return to the site and do not pick up these sheets until we drop off
the boxes the next week. For the same reason, please DO NOT LEAVE CHECKS
at the pick-up site. You can mail them to the address above.


5) Blogs

Three New Blogs for your blogging pleasure:

1: Two Small Farms! We have our own blog. I plan to post (and have
referenced every week to refer to) every newsletter. And Zelda, Jeanne
and I can post other notes and news even if it's not time to send our weekly
newsletter. You can sign your email up to that blog, it's different
than signing up to our newsletter. I'm thinking this is the wave of the
future, but I will use both systems: blog and regular as-usual email letter at
least during this season. Oh: and you can comment too, although you may need
a blogger or google account, these accounts are free if you don't already
have one. Let the Recipe Discussions Begin! -julia

2: Andy Griffin's Blog: Andy's writing posted on at least a weekly
basis, again with comment possibility. You can sign up with your email on this
one too if you like. It has an RSS feed as well. Just don't ask me what an
RSS feed is and we'll all be ok. Julia

3: Michelle's CSA blog: Michelle has been a long time csa member and is
doing a weekly (or more often?) blog that documents her CSA experience,
including how she's using the box each week.


6) Photos:



Turnips: (this photo is of gold turnips, you might also have red ones)


7) Recipes from Julia

Julia's short notes on this weeks box:

Eat all the green stuff in the first 3 days: the radish greens can and
should be cooked up and eaten (possibly raw too, if you like raw radish
greens) but these should be eaten in the first day or two max. Take a
look at radish greens in the supermarket that are several days or even weeks
old if you need a reason why to eat them up quick! The parsley might hang
out for up to a week.

The rest of the box will keep at least a week in the fridge. The winter
squash can be stored at room temperature but out of the sun. If it has
a nick in it then cook it up within a week or two.

Why are the carrots and turnips 'topped'? Because it's spring and the
hail and other winter conditions make the greens not look as nice as they do
in the summer/fall. These are fresh, we assure you. Recipes links below:

I'm behind in getting out this important first of the year CSA
newsletter, so I'm just going to include my recipe links for the vegetables, I
promise to put new recipes in future newsletters. I've put lots and lots of
time on the following links, and remember: google is your friend. (hint, when
I'm looking for something I type: turnips, recipe so I edit out all the
poetry, images, etc about the turnip. You can also add other
descriptions like 'low fat' or 'low salt' or 'kid friendly' etc.

What I plan to do with this week's box: (from Julia)

Roast the turnips! Cube and toss with oil and S & P and garlic cloves
if you like and bake in the oven til browned a bit and cooked through. This
also works very well with beets and other root vegetables.

Cook the cooking greens (whether kale or spigarello or cabbage) with
garlic and a bit of oil and eat as is or top rice or stuff a tortilla. YUM. I
try to consume something like this at least a few times a week.

Fennel: shaved into a salad by itself or used as a celery replacement
in most cooked dishes, like cooking it down (chopped up) with onion at the
bottom of a soup or tomato sauce.

Radishes: greens can be cooked with the kale/spigarello. Radishes are

Carrots and Apples are munchies too.

Leeks: I'm an allium fiend. I might make a simple leek carrot soup,
hold the potatoes. YUM.


Alphabetical Recipe Database:

Individual Recipe Links:




Cooking Greens:

Radish Recipes:

As I find recipes I can post them to the blog:

8) Who put what in the box

>From High Ground: Flowers, Radishes (Stephen hopes his spinach and
>salad will be ready next week! I hope so too! -julia)

>From Mariquita: Leeks, Carrots, Turnips, Fennel, Cooking Green,

>From Everlasting Gardens: Winter Squash (butternut?)

>From Billy Peixoto: Pippin Apples

To see a picture of the 2 farm families:

9) Unsubscribe/Subscribe From/To This Newsletter

10) Two Small Farms Contact Information
Two Small Farms
High Ground Organics/Mariquita Farm
Organically Grown Vegetables
P.O. Box 2065
Watsonville, CA 95077


Anonymous said...

Leek greens (not the white part)

After washing & cutting off the nice white tops, I grilled these in a grill pan moistened w/ a little olive oil until they were slightly charred & somewhat softer. They were delicious! I am sure this works best with young, tender leeks.

Could use this either hot or room temperature with asparagus. Top
w/crisp bacon (pancetta?) bits, slivers of parmesan cheese, anchovies, crisp garlic
croutons, a poached egg,.....

-Penny Lockhart

Susie Bright said...

I appreciated Tereza's post about donations and how she crunched the numbers on the tax benefits. I'd never thought of that.

I laughed, though, when she explained how the homeless have become "less foreign" as her relationships with SCAP and the Food Kitchen have grown I know what she means... It's just that when the shoe is on the other foot, it's middle class people who seem "foreign" and bizarre, unpredictable and cruel, nutty and hard to relate to!

I'm so glad you've started this blog. I am writing you while I eat my first "Greens Tacos" of the season. I'm dripping garlic on my keyboard. HOORAY, the season has begun!!!