by Zoë Abram
We’ve all been to a workshop today at the Seed Farm, an incubator farm in the Lehigh Valley. We’re back and ready to rest before tomorrows harvest, full of new ideas and inspiration and having had some great conversations with other people excited about farming vegetables on a small scale. We saw some really cool equipment useful specifically at a scale similar to ours. We also heard about the Seed Farm’s model which encourages young people to start their own farms by providing a supportive structure starting with one year of training and followed with an opportunity to rent land, greenhouse and walk-in space, and equipment at low rates. I feel, as always, so grateful to be doing this work and part of a growing number of people interested in growing food for their communities using responsible, regenerative practices.
This week I wanted to share an article and a recipe with you. Both of these things, the inspiring one and the delicious one, are in my mind right now as part of how lucky I feel to be part of this work. The article is by Josh Volk, a farmer and writer in Oregon whose writing always makes me to think more deeply about growing food, especially about CSA. I find it important and helpful to check in about how other farmers are thinking about the work they do and the way they conceptualize the CSA model. This article talks about the differences Josh finds between growing for CSA and growing for market. Some of it mirrors our experience and some of it is different, but I hope it can serve as a good access point for thinking about the role this CSA plays in your lives and also gives you more information about how important it is to the grower and the way growing food happens. Here is the article: http://slowhandfarm.com/Blog/Entries/2011/7/23_Community%2C_the_first_word_in_CSA.html
This recipe is from the most recent Colchester Cooking Class, with Beth Rocca. This was the first class I attended here, and I was so impressed! I learned a few key things that made me more confident and gave me a broader range of ideas for things to do with Colchester produce. This recipe is for a tomato vinaigrette. The dressing is that beautiful orange color that fire-roasted tomato soup turns. It feels rich but it has only tomatoes, herbs, salt, vinager and oil in it. I hope you like it as much as I do!
10-15 plum tomatoes — Quartered and seeds removed (When we made it in cooking class we didn’t use plum, we used normal red tomatoes and it worked great!)
quarter cup salt
1 clove garlic.
half teaspoon pepper
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups olive oil
Place tomatoes and salt in a colander and let sit a few hours or overnight to draw out moisture and acidity. Rinse excess salt from tomatoes. tomatoes. Puree in the blender with remaining ingredients. (We also added basil to the blender, and a very small amount of onion … maybe one slice of onion. You can also add a small amount of garlic.) Strain and chill.