Sunday, August 19, 2012

Farm Talk: Joys and Disappointments

Hello Farm Folk,
Farm Update
To be an organic farmer is to get used to a steady diet of joys and disappointments. And we're getting loads of both these days! The joy of completing the garlic harvest (28,000 bulbs total). The disappointment that the peppers and eggplants are taking so long to set fruit (slow recovery from the drought). The joy of ongoing rains! The disappointment of having to outsource veg for our CSA, due to crops that haven't worked out (again due to drought). The joy of physical farm work, and the incredible people we get to farm with each day. The disappointment of aphids eating our greens. And the pure joy of fresh tomato, basil & onion salads! Both the joys and disappointments offer gifts. As the dog days of summer continue, it's the little daily joys that keep us happy and motivated. Yet, it's the daily disappointments that help us to grow as farmers and as people. The crops that haven't worked out have taught us lessons on how to be better farmers. And dealing with disappointment is helping us to grow spiritually, as we learn to keep an even-keel, and practice gratitude for all that is going well. We need the joys to keep us going. We need the disappointments to keep us growing and learning. I LOVE FARMING SO MUCH --- it is just so cool how growing veggies teaches us key life lessons!

Stories From the Field
Hi, My name is Jessica Reeve and I am an intern at The Cutting Veg this year. I am in the middle of a two year Masters of Environmental Studies program at York University focusing on food systems and community activism. I am also currently gaining experience as an intern in an urban agriculture CSA in Toronto as well as doing some food policy and food advocacy work.As I have come to learn more about the food system and the importance of local food production it made more and more sense to learn how food is grown in addition to knowing the theory and practice around food production. Having that knowledge will also support the more sustainable lifestyle that I intend to lead. The Cutting Veg provides this opportunity in a part-time format that is easy to fit into most schedules. They also ensure that everyone is supported and is getting everything that they can out of this experience. I love going to the farm and getting my hands dirty. Having your hands in the dirt is a really calming and satisfying experience. After being stuck in a classroom all year it feels amazing to get outside and do something really practical. I am learning new things every day and am developing a new appreciation for the amount of work and love that goes into growing food organically. Every single person working at The Cutting Veg is amazing and I can't think of better people or a better way to spend the good part of the year.  My favourite farm task is harvesting rainbow chard. It is so fun to make sure that each person receiving that bundle gets a variety of colours in a nice bouquet.

Produce this Week
This week members should expect to see, from The Cutting Veg: Chinese Garlic, Kale, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Onions, Parsley. From Pfennings Organic Farm: Eggplant, Purple Peppers, Corn.

New this Week, at Your CSA
We want your feedback! The good, the bad, and the ugly - we'd like to hear what you think about your CSA experience so far. Drop us a note in the feedback box provided at your CSA this week. Also this week - recipe cards! Keep an eye out for a new recipe each week, using the veggies in your share. Have a recipe you'd like to contribute? Drop it in the feedback box too! We would be thrilled to pass it along.

Volunteers Welcome
Each week we welcome volunteers to the farm from Sunday-Friday, 7:15am-4pm. If you are interested in helping on the farm this week or next, please rsvp to and mention what day you want to come, and if you need directions to the farm, or a lift (leaving at 6am from Bloor & Christie area). Hope to see you on the farm soon!

1 1/2 cups ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup cucumbers, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
¼ cup yellow pepper, diced
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 large ripe avocado, diced
1 cup tomato juice, low in salt
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Cayenne pepper or black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, mix basil, tomato juice, olive oil, garlic, lime & lemon juice, cayenne & black pepper, and salt. Blend in the food processor. Pour the mixture in a large saucepan. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill before serving.

That's all the news from the farm for this week. Until next time, Keep Livin' on the Veg!

The Cutting Veg Farm Team

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