Middle Way Farm 2015 CSA - Week 4
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What's in the Share

For Delivery Wednesday, June 24

Standard Share
Beets - 1 bunch - $2.50/bunch
Broccoli - 1 lb bag  - $3.50/bag
Carrots - 1 bunch - $2.50/bunch
Cabbage, Green - 1 head - $2.50/head
Garlic Scapes - 1 bunch - $1.50/bunch or 3 for $4
Green Onion - 1 bunch - $2/bunch
Salad Mix (baby lettuce) - 6 oz. bag - $3.50 or 2 for $6
Snap Peas - 1 bag (.75-1.25 lb depending on harvest) - $4/bag


Available for Custom Order
Chinese Cabbage - $2.50/head or 2 for $4
Collard Greens - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kale - $2/bunch or 3 for $5 - choose Lacinato (flatleaf heirloom), Winterbor (green curly), Redbor (red curly)
Kohlrabi, Green & Red - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Swiss Chard - $2.50/bunch 
Spring Turnips - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4

Seconds* Produce

Baby Kale (seconds) - 6 oz. bag - $2 or 2 for $3.50
Chinese Cabbage (seconds) - $1.25/head or 2 for $2
Salad Mix (seconds) - 6 oz. bag - $2 or 2 for $3.50
Kale (seconds) - $1/bunch or 3 for $2.50 - choose Lacinato (flatleaf heirloom), Winterbor (green curly), Redbor (red curly)

*Seconds is a term we use on the farm to describe produce that is not marketable or is leftover from CSA packing, farmers market, etc. This is usually the produce that the crew and I eat. The only thing to be aware of is it will be older and have reduced shelf life than the "firsts" you normally receive, hence the reduced price! Offering seconds is a way to cut down on some of the waste of dealing with a lot of highly perishable produce and while giving you a cheaper price for a still perfectly good to eat product. 
Available for Bulk Order 
  1. Turnips - $1 per pound. 2 lb or 5 lb bags. 
  2. Kohlrabi - $.75 each. 10 bulbs

Berry Patch Farm Fruit Share
Strawberries - 1 quart

Every other week share - EVEN Number Week

If you have an every other week share and didn't get fruit last week, you will this week!

Sandy Hill Farm Egg Share

Every other week share - EVEN Number Week

If you have an every other week share and didn't get eggs last week, you will this week!

Plant Starts Available for Custom Order

All plants are $2 each or 3 for $5

Aroma - Hybrid green Italian type, slow to bolt
Rosie-  Beautiful purple leaf hybrid, flowers readily. Ornamental and edible. 

Perennial Herbs 
Rosemary - $3.50 per plant
Garden Sorrel - early season, perennial lemony green
Winter Savory - perennial version of summary savory

Flat leaf - Italian type

Morning Glory Hanging Pots
12" pot - $15
9" pot - $12
Dear CSA shareholders,

How about the clouds this week, and last night in particular? I got to enjoy a spectacular view looking east from Ames towards the backside of the thunderstorms that were building and rolling through central Iowa all morning and afternoon. But then I got onto Facebook and saw several Grinnell friends posting just stunning photos of mackerel skies that I was seeing from a distance. My friend Julia, whose farm in Ames I was visiting, said she had recently put this Ralph Waldo Emerson quote in her CSA newsletter (so copying her): "The sky is the daily bread of the eyes."

The soil is finally drying after the torrential rains of June 11 & 15. I am hoping to get some tilling, mowing, and fall planting done early this week before we get rain again. Harvesting and weeding are dominating farm work right now. June is a critical month for weed control, as the warm season annual weeds go into overdrive (particularly with a lot of moisture) and quickly overwhelm whole plantings. I then have to decide whether to "rescue weed" the planting, or give up on it and mow it to prevent the weeds from going to seed. Its a never-ending struggle season to season, but as an organic farmer I look at weeds not as an absolute enemy but as part of the system of checks and balances within farm ecology, a necessary constraint that we must work with as part of being in relationship with nature through agriculture.

I hope that weeds aren't overtaking your gardens!  If they are, now is the time to take charge and show them whose (temporary) boss. 

Your farmer, 


The Power of Observation

I've lately begun a routine of doing a whole field walk on Sunday afternoons before writing the newsletter. It gives me a chance to check on and confirm the items that I want to include in the share that week, which I've usually been thinking about since that last share was packed on Wednesday. Theses walks are also a time for me to put an eyeball on everything growing on the farm and notice areas that need to be weeded, plants that need to be harvested, areas that should be mowed and tilled, pests that need to be controlled, and check on the conditions of various crops. 

I once heard the phrase "the best fertilizer is farmer's footsteps." How true! As the farm grows, its harder and harder for me to keep an eye on everything happening in the field. In the busyness of the season, its so easy to just forget about a corner of the field or even a whole planting of something. This time of year, it seems like plants and weeds have observably grown from morning to evening. A planting of salad or arugula can go from ideal to past date in just a few days. Conditions can change that fast.  In addition to my Sunday field walk, periodically throughout the week I try to observe as many areas of the farm as I can. This weekly and daily observation is so important to catching problems before they blow up out of proportion, particularly with pests and weeds but also with keeping everything harvested in a timely fashion and determining what produce is on the horizon.

Its hard to overestimate the simple power of observation. Not knowing is okay, if we know that we don't know something. I may not know how to address every problem or situation that arises on the farm, but if I'm aware of a problem I can at least learn through watching its development and putting it in context, even if I can't directly address it. I can also look at references and talk to peers and mentors about it. Dealing with the weather, ecology, and plants is a constant lesson in humility and unfolding mystery. Its not knowing what we don't know that can really hurt us. 

Lots of problems fester in the dark that go away in the sunlight. We need to keep sweeping the flashlight of our attention across the contours of our daily lives and environments to illuminate what is there and bring it into awareness. This doesn't mean we have to have all the answers or that we can finally tidy up the eternal messiness and complication of life. But, at least when we see what is there, we're less likely to blindly stub our toe on something or stumble and fall. Close observation also means that we can be aware of small miracles and beauties that might have otherwise passed unnoticed, unacknowledged, and uncelebrated from our lives. These are daily reminders of what its like to see anew. 

Place Your Custom Share Order!

What's New in the Share

Green-top Carrots - I don't mind bragging a bit to say that I think the carrots I grow (as well as many other locally produced carrots) are in a category of their own. They are almost a different vegetable from what you get in the store, sweeter, cleaner tasting, and brighter in color. If you feel bad about throwing the tops out, they are indeed edible! They can be used as an herb or garnish like parsley, added in with other cooking greens, and used for juicing and smoothies, but should be used or discarded within a week or so. The roots will keep much longer. Always store both roots and greens in sealed plastic bags in your crisper drawer to keep them from drying out in the fridge. 

Green Cabbage - Cabbage is maligned by some because they have eaten it when its been overcooked (usually boiled) and turned to mush. Put away that pot of water and break out your frying pan. Cabbage is great sauted. Add carrots, apples, and onions for more diversity and meats like sausage or a vegetarian protein like tofu to make it a meal. The Recipe of the Week, Kenyan curried cabbage, is hands down my favorite way to eat cabbage. Keep the whole cabbage in a sealed plastic bag in your crisper drawer, and it will store well for several weeks and more. You can also use half or a quarter of it and keep the rest in a plastic container for a week or so. 


1 small to medium cabbage head
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp salt

Remove unpretty outer leaves and slice the cabbage in 1 inch thick strips. Peel and slice a large onion. Peel and grate 2 medium carrots.

Heat 2 tbsp butter and sauté the onion for 3 minutes before adding the shredded carrot and cabbage. Cook everything, over low heat, until the cabbage softens. This should take about 10 minutes. Stir now and then.

Combine 2 tbsp flour with 1 tsp curry power and 3 tbsp milk. Stir until it’s a lump-free paste.

Once the cabbage has softened, make room in the center and pour in the paste. Cook for a minute before pouring in 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt and lots of pepper. Stir well, pop the lid on and simmer for another 10 minutes.

What's on the Horizon...What's on the Way Out

Radishes are now done for the spring! Look for cherry radishes as well as other interesting varieties this fall. 

The last of the spring turnips will be harvested this week and stored in the cooler and will be available for custom order for the next several weeks. Purple top and scarlet turnips will make appearances in the fall. 

The zucchini and cucumbers are now established and growing - should be harvesting both by mid-July, if not earlier. 

After green cabbage this week, look for red and savoy cabbages over the next several weeks. Chinese cabbage will also be making a re-appareance as more dense, mature heads from the second planting, which is nearly ready in the field. 
Did I mention how much I've enjoyed the clouds lately?
Kenji from the Grin City Collective staff has started to work part-time for me on the farm. He's a great friend and presence on the farm and I'm excited to have him (formally) involved in the operation. 
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