Farmer John Writes: The Fling of the Pig
Harvest Week 11, August 28th – September 1st, 2018
Your Box This Week – Saturday Deliveries:
Please note: this summary is written before we pack your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. Share contents often vary over the course of the week. And, as always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Fruiting Crops — Spaghetti Squash and/or Red Kuri Squash and/or Pie Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers (in bag)
Cooking Greens — Kale, Brussels Sprouts Tops
Salad Greens — Lettuce
Herbs — Dill, Cilantro
Sign up for the Free CSA Meal Planning Service
Make sure you sign up for the Local Thyme CSA meal planning service we offer with your share. Local Thyme offers storage and handling tips and recipes customized to each week’s share. It has received many great reviews from our shareholders. Check out this sample recipe: Simmered Tomato and Hot Pepper Salsa.
Here is a link to storage tips and recipes for tomatoes from the out-of-print Farmer John’s Cookbook: https://angelicorganics.com/ao/images/recipes/tomatoes.pdf
If you read Farm News regularly, you know we have had mighty struggles with weather this year. For those who don’t read the newsletter regularly, they sadly aren’t fully relating to their box and to their farm. They are getting snapshots with insufficient context. I’ll add that this season, amazingly, we’ve had the fewest complaints and the most praises ever. That’s been gratifying, though my mood has generally been one of great concern for the crops.
Brussels Sprouts Are Tops
This week, we are giving Brussels sprouts tops. Very popular amongst many of our shareholders. Learn more about Brussels sprouts tops here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/dec/09/why-brussells-sprout-tops-are-good-for-you
Pumpkins and the Gladiolas—Farm Field Day, Saturday, September 15
It looks like we will have plenty of big orange carving pumpkins for our shareholders at the Farm Field Day coming up on Saturday, September 15. And the gladiolas in the U-Pick garden look like they will be blooming then. I hope you can come. Learn more about the Field Day at www.angelicorganics.com/field-days-for-shareholders/
Where There’s Not Smoke
I wrote about my challenging smoke alarm and weeds in Week 10 Farm News. It starts like this, “Recently, a smoke alarm went off in the farm office, where there was no fire nor smoke. It wailed and wailed. I couldn’t turn it off. I couldn’t take out the battery—it seems the case was sealed. It had a pause switch, which didn’t make it pause. I banged on the alarm. It wailed. I shook it. It screamed. I ran water over it. It squawked. I put it in a bowl and filled the bowl to the brim with water. It kept squawking. I tipped the alarm over, re-submerging it. It gurgled squawks (or did it squawk gurgles?)”
I am offering this long teaser above, because last week’s tale reminded me of a story I wrote for Farm News probably 20 years ago, The Pig Completes the Bunny. You can also find the story on page 348 in the Appendix of Farmer John’s Cookbook, if you can find Farmer John’s out-of-print Cookbook. (If you have been a shareholder for many years, you might find it on your book shelf.) The point of the story was to offer a comprehensible analogy to an Anthroposophical perspective on grains, herbs and spices. I’m not sure my analogy was successful. The end of the story makes me think of the intractable smoke alarm and weeds featured in Week 10 of Farm News this year.
The Pig Completes the Bunny
Have you ever had a bunny live with you? They are so cute. But the problem with this bunny, Jasmine, is that she does not want to be handled–maybe petted a little–if it’s done just so–but definitely not picked up. When I look at her, I want to pick her up and cuddle her. I find it unfulfilling that she is so cute and fuzzy and I can’t pick her up. She totally freaks out when I try.
There is also a stuffed pig in the house. It is fat and pink, about the size of a football. The pig snorts, says “I love you” and then squeals, whenever I walk in front of it or pick it up. Something just triggers it-movement, sound, light–I’m not quite sure what.
Yesterday, Jasmine nuzzled the pig for a while and the pig expressed his love over and over– “snort, snort…I love you…squeal, squeal…snort, snort…I love you…squeal, squeal…” Normally, I would hate this pig. It’s just the kind of thing I don’t want in my life. I would not want it anywhere I could see it, or even in storage where I might run into it a few months from now. But I am really into this pig. Why?
In Anthroposophical cooking there is the premise that grains move towards completion as they are growing, but they never complete. Certain spices and herbs complete the process, which is why well seasoned grains sometimes can impart a deeply satisfying experience.
Well, this pig completes the bunny the way a spice completes a grain. The pig feels the way I think Jasmine would feel if I could pick her up and squeeze her.
I am sure that if I squished and hugged Jasmine the way I would like to, because she is so cute, I would cause her great anguish, but the pig…the pig I can hug to my heart’s content while admiring Jasmine across the room. The pig completes the bunny process.
One night, months ago, the pig started saying over and over “snort, snort…I love you…squeal, squeal”, no matter how many rugs and blankets I heaped on top of it. At 2 a.m. I flung the pig into the yard. When I got up in the morning, it was still yammering. Even today, after thousands of snorts, love declarations, and squeals, it still musters relentless whispers of love.
I suppose that, since I am reflecting today on the context that Farm News gives to your box of vegetables, I should offer this context within which The Pig Creates the Bunny occurs in the appendices of the cookbook—that’s 17 pages of appendices’ context.
Appendix A: Vegetable & Herb Availability from Angelic Organics . . . . . . . . .334
Appendix B: Illustrated Vegetable Identification Guide ……………….336
Appendix C: Vegetable Storage Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .339
Appendix D: Complementary Herbs & Spices:
Introduction and Chart by Louise Frazier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .344
Appendix E: Simple & Good Whole Grain Cookery:
Introduction and Chart by Louise Frazier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346
The Pig Completes the Bunny by John Peterson ……………………348 Appendix
H: A Collection of Anthroposophical Outtakes on Foodstuffs . . . . .349
You might want to check these indices out, even print some of them, maybe even laminate some. It’s quite a trove, much of which I had forgotten about.
You can view the appendices above in this PDF.
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Angelic Organics Learning Center
Come out to this NEW program and catch the last of the Summer weather with Prairie on the Farm: Pizza and Beer on September 22nd. Prairie Street Brewing Company will teach parents how to brew local beer while the Learning Center takes the kids to make pizza from scratch. Then we’ll come together for a delicious meal and outdoor movie. Sign up now at LearnGrowConnect.org/Events.