Buy Nothing Day

 

Friends and Comrades,

As we enjoy our families, our turkey and your many blessings; a sinister shadow creeps across the land.  A pestilence that bleeds us dry and erases the color of our souls.  A cheap boredom that bares its insatiable fangs: Black Friday.

I’m not sure it is necessary to talk much about Black Friday.  Whats the point of explicating a mistake we know so well?

Better instead to try and explicate a holiday that has pushed against the Black Friday mob.  Since the early 90′s activists have been urging North Americans to celebrate Buy Nothing Day.  Buy Nothing Day has functioned as a day to withdraw ourselves from the rush of consumerism at a time when its gross features are the fattest.  It could be of real value to participate in this holiday–to enjoy leftovers and immerse ourselves in family and true thanksgiving; a good alternative to the hungry techno-bloodlust at the big corporate outlets.

The 2013 Fall Farm Staff at Loyola Student Farm officially support Buy Nothing Day in opposition to Buy Everything Nightmare.  And even if you find yourself in a pickle and have to buy some pickles for the grandkids; we urge you to make an effort to avoid the madness of the big box outlets.  If anything, think of the workers who are being forced to clock in on Thanksgiving night till early the next morning.

Do we even have to get into the unsustainability of this practice? The absurdity of this consumer deluge? We think not–we know our audience is smarter than that.

With love,

The Milkman

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Winter Days

Its here folks.  We’ve entered the Ice Realm.

Granted, we may bump ourselves back up into the 40s.  Maybe the 50s and if climate weirdness abounds, we might find ourselves lounging on a cozy 60 degree December day.  Still, the spirit of the Cold Moons are calling us to do something important.  The ice in the fields and the dryness on our hands transmit a strong message…Rest!

The insanity of urban hustle, late capitalism and holiday-sales-nightmares drive us to do otherwise.  It tells us that we have to keep hustling, keep working, keep buying.  In most instances, we are forced to do these things. Through rain, shine, sleet and snow, we have to get our wage and pay our rent; that’s how the system works.

Once we abolish rent and transform every mega-mall-shopping-pit into a collective grazing land, we might be able to get around those things.  Until then, we’re forced to keep busy; even if it means trekking through icy winds and black snow sludge to complete the tedium of a morning commute.  Still, we shouldn’t lose the opportunity to rest whenever we can.

Some say that mindfulness can save us in the short term.  Staying present in the sleepy chill of the coming days.  Savoring every slip of morning coffee–every step from the woodpile to the fireplace.  We’ve got the preciousness of a human life to wake to everyday, and perhaps by remaining present in that reality, we could learn to appreciate the simple things and strive less for the silly things.  Maybe this mentality could get us replacing our overtime with afternoon naps.  Maybe we could transplant an hour of holiday shopping with an hour of holiday crafting.  This cold season, lets all do ourselves a favor and deny the American cult of work a month or two of over-productivity.  Let’s gift our bodies and our planet with a little bit of mindfulness and rest.

Here at the farm, we’re trying to take a cue from the vibe of icy sleepiness.  We will be dedicating the last weeks of our Fall season to putting our farm to rest.  The compost is tucking itself in for its seasonal meditation retreat; the dead vegetable stocks are sinking back to the earth, committing their bodies to the health of another generation; the chickens are returning to their coops a few hours earlier, sitting zazen till the Sun disappears; and every young farmer has her eye on one more hour of contemplative silence at the end of a long day.

We send you all  love and pray you take the time to give your bodies the rest it deserves.  Work less, sleep sound and stay present.  We also send our hearts out to those who do not have the luxury of taking time off for themselves.  We align ourselves with the struggles of those burdened by economic need, laboring long hours at low-wage workplaces.  We pray that they may find restorative rest as well.  May their struggle for dignity at the workplace succeed!

Have a sweet one folks! Remember to visit the People’s Farm Stand this Thursday, from 2-6 pm, at 2710 S Country Club Rd, Woodstock IL.

Saludos!

 

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5 Reasons Why You Should Come to The People’s Farm Stand

  1. Our hoop house allows us to grow lettuces year round. If you shop at our farm stand you’ll have the chance to buy our delicious locally grown salad mix!
  2. You can buy beets for your Thanksgiving meal.
  3. Farm Fresh Eggs. We raise our chickens ethically, hormone free and with lots of love. People say that our eggs are some of the best they’ve ever had!
  4. You can have Kale all winter long! If you purchase kale from us you can take it home and freeze it. Check out this link for more information on freezing kale. http://momwithaprep.com/how-to-freeze-fresh-raw-kale/
  5. Get to know your local farmers. Buy visiting our farm stand you’ll have the opportunity to chat with us about the food you are purchasing and know exactly where it came from.

We look forward to seeing you at the People’s Farm Stand every Thursday now through November 21st, from 2pm-6pm!

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CSA Joy and Farm Stand Hopes

Friends and Comrades!

The entire farm staff would like to extend its deep appreciation to our community (in Woodstock and Chicago) for the support they have rendered us this season.  We had a great season at the farm, but none of it really matters without the community’s support.  A farmer’s life is committed to feeding people and without the community’s loyal patronage, we would fall short of our assigned cosmic duty.

We also want to send out an extra burst of love to our CSA.  The value of our CSA rests in the name: Community-Supported Agriculture.  The CSA provides us with fundamental material support for the sustainable practices we are pursuing.  Likewise, our heroic shareholders allow us to consistently feed a community that we learn to know and love.  We think about the members of our CSA as we harvest every week.  Their participation places a pearl of human spirit into every vegetable and fruit we harvest; allowing us to trail-blaze a new paradigm in agriculture whereby community-centered planning replaces the chaos and alienation present in a purely market-based food economy. We don’t want to pack up our food and ship it off to a horde of anonymous consumers: we want to know the people we feed.  We want our food to build and sustain communities.  Our CSA enables us to do such holy work.

Finally, the Loyola Student Farm is happy to announce a new endeavor! This November, we will be launching a pilot Farm Stand at our farm in Woodstock, IL.  The Farm Stand will provide the surrounding community with fresh herbs, greens, salad mixes, popping corn and select root vegetables.  These items are growing in great abundance in our greenhouse and hoop-house.  We are committed to ensuring that the community has access to these goods.

The People’s Farm Stand will be open every Thursday, 2-6 PM through the month of November.  The farm’s address is 2710 S. Country Club Rd, Woodstock, IL 60098.

For those who can’t make it, you will still be able to keep in touch with the Loyola Student Farm through our blog and social media outlets.  We hope everyone has a delightful Autumn!  May you all be peaceful, happy and healthy!

 

 

 

 

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How to pop your student farm popcorn–Pan Style!

The variety of popping corn that is in your CSA share today–Red Beauty–is perfect for a good kettle pop.

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You will need to hang our corn bundle somewhere in your house, preferably a drafty place to dry for about 1 week. It is almost finished drying, but some ears are not quite there yet. To test if it is ready to pop, get a frying pan heating on the stove on high heat with 1 Tbsp of cooking oil. Toss in 20 kernels or so, and sprinkle them with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to medium, and cover with a lid. Toss the kernels every minute or so until they start popping (5 minutes at the most). If the kernels don’t pop, or blacken before they pop, then they are not quite ready yet.

Repeat this same process as above once the popcorn is sufficiently dry, except now you can fill the full pan with up to one solid layer of kernels, depending on how much you want.

Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy!

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Lemony Carrot Salad with Dill

A mixed greens salad is always refreshing, but every now and then it’s good to change up the colors on your plate. You’ll find carrots and dill in your CSA this week, so why not do something different with your carrots and try this carrot and dill salad. It’s simple and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups grated carrots, (4 medium-large)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onions

Preparation:

  • Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add carrots, dill and onions; toss to coat. Chill until serving time.
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Fried Green Tomato Bliss

Howdy!

So this past week we got a couple of folks at the market asking if we had any green tomatoes.  It dawned on us that not everyone was looking for a fat, juicy tomato–some people were searching for a little bit of youth in their food.  So in honor of those people, we added green tomatoes into your CSA share.  Here is a simple recipe for fried green tomatoes.

Remember, no one said organic food had to be healthy.  Let’s break out of the kale cosmos for a bit…

FIXINGS:

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  •  3  medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Cayenne pepper if you want more of a kick.

RECIPE

  1. Whisk egg and buttermilk.  Set aside and breathe.  Then return to preparations.
  2. Combine salt, cornmeal, pepper and cayenne with 1/4 of flour mixture in a bowl.  Keep the other half of your flour set aside.
  3. Slap flour onto the tomato slices and then submerge it into the buttermilk goo.  Lather gooey tomatoes in the cornmeal mix.
  4. Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet (if you don’t have one, you lose); heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.
  5. Register for the next available 5k race to work off the health effects of this meal.

Have fun!

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It’s All About the Leaves

Are you wondering what to do with the Brussels sprout greens that you found in your CSA this week? What about your beet greens? Well this week’s recipe will show you an easy way to incorporate these nutritious greens into your meal!

Roasted Beets & Sautéed Greens

Serves 4

1 bunch beets

1 bunch Brussels sprout greens

¼ cup grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbsp. onions, diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted.
  2. Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.
  3. When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute. Tear the beet greens & Brussels sprout greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the greens as is, and the roasted beets sliced with either red-wine vinegar, or butter and salt and pepper.
  4. Eat & Enjoy!
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Taking Care of Your Mint

The culinary mint included in your share this week is a perennial herb that enjoys a nice bit of sun each day. A South facing window sill would be best to take you through the winter. If you have a garden, planting the mint out in the garden is a fine thing to do come spring. But watch out! Mint can really spread and take over if given the room. Watch it carefully.

Otherwise, if you are growing your mint indoors, a regular and even watering is important. I would recommend watering every other day if possible. If you feel that the soil is very dry, however, you might have to water every day. It just depends on the humidity in your house and how much sun the mint gets each day.

And Good Luck! Let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks,

The Farm Team

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The Last Living Eggplants

 

This is probably the last week we’re gonna have the holy Eggy P, so  we thought we’d give you a nice recipe to live it up.  Here is a simple recipe for ratatouille with tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and garlic.  We gave you zucchinis last week, so maybe you’ve still got it hanging around for a last minute ratatouille explosion.  The rest of the stuff is either in your CSA ration or at the market.

Cook Time: Half an hour.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 eggplant, cut as you please
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped as you desire
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut as you love it
  • 3 to 4 small zucchini, cut as you’d fancy
  • A bit of basil
  • Big pinch of oregano
  • Little pinch of thyme

Preparation:

In a  saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add eggplant; stir until coated with oil. Add peppers; stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking. Add tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs; mix well. Cover and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender but not too soft.

Serve and eat.  Dance in the streets and sing the hymn of Eggplant.  This is her last week. Until next season folks.

Long live the CSA!

 

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