Big days in the fields lately. Plant, water, big harvest, sleep... repeat. We transplanted over 600ft of fall crops yesterday. Feels crazy to say that the winter kale is already in the ground, but because sunlight gets so low in October, it's important to get winter crops in early so they have enough time to grow while the sun is out. Things slow way down after September.
We need to catch up on some zzzz's so today we'll leave you in the hands of the one, the only, Wendell Berry:
Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
“Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” from The Country of Marriage, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. 1973. Also published by Counterpoint Press in The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 1999; The Mad Farmer Poems, 2008; New Collected Poems, 2012.
THIS WEEK'S HARVEST: Heirloom Tomatoes, New Girl Slicing Tomatoes, San Marzano Sauce Tomatoes, Italian Eggplant, Cured Cabernet Red Onions, Sweet Peppers, Summer Squash, Hakurei Turnips, Striped Armenian Cucumbers, Crane Crenshaw and Sarah's Choice Cantaloupe Melons, Cauliflower, Kraut Cabbages, Chioggia Beets, Rainbow Carrots, Komatsuna, Red Russian Kale, Dino Kale, Arugula, Spicy Mustard Mix, Little Gem Lettuces
U-PICK in the GARDEN: Amethyst Green Beans, Frying Peppers, Padrones, Jalapeños, Husk Cherries, cut flowers, perennial & annual herbs.
U-PICK on the FARM: Cherry Tomatoes, Wild Himalayan Blackberries
Kraut Cabbages: Over the next few weeks we will put out a bins of cabbage meant for kraut. These cabbages don't have to fit in your bag and you may take several. Below is our favorite simple kraut recipe to inspire....
From the book Fermented Vegetables by Kristen and Christopher Shockey
This recipe yields about 1 gallon of kraut
2 heads (about 6 pounds) cabbage
1 1/2-2 tablespoons unrefined sea salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons dried dill
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely grated
1. To prepare the cabbage, remove the coarse outer leaves. Rinse a few unblemished ones and set them aside. Rinse the rest of the cabbage on cold water. With a stainless steel knife, quarter and core the cabbage. Thinly slice with the same knife or a mandoline, then transfer the cabbage to a large bowl.
2. Add the dill, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of the salt and, with your hands, massage it into the leaves, then taste. You should be able to taste the salt without it being overwhelming. Add more salt if necessary. The salt will soon look wet and limp, and liquid will begin to pool. At this point, add the garlic. If you've put in a good effort and don't see much brine in the bowl, let it stand, covered, for 45 minutes, then massage again.
3. Transfer the cabbage to a crock or 2-quart jar, a few handfuls at a time, pressing down on the cabbage with your fist or a tamper to work out air pockets. You should see some brine on top of the cabbage when you press. Leave 4 inches of headspace for a crock, or 2 to 3 inches for a jar. Top the cabbage with one or two of the reserved outer leaves. Then, for a crock, top the leaves with a plate that fits the opening of the container and covers as much of the vegetables as possible; weigh down with a sealed, water-filled jar. For a jar, use a sealed, water-filled jar or ziplock bag as a follower-weight combination.
4. Set aside the jar or crock on a baking sheet to ferment, somewhere nearby, out of direct sunlight and cool, for 4 to 14 days. Check daily to make sure the cabbage is submerged, pressing down as needed.
5. You can start to test the kraut on day 4. You'll know it's ready when it's pleasingly sour and pickle-y tasting, without the strong acidity of vinegar; the cabbage has softened a bit but retains some crunch; and the cabbage is more yellow than green and slightly translucent.
6. Ladle the kraut into smaller jars and tamp down. Pour in any brine that's left. Tighten th kids, then store in the refrigerator. This kraut will keep, refrigerated, for 1 year.