Full Share: Hakurei Turnips, Red Potatoes, Salad Mix, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Sweet and Red Onions, and Basil

Partial Share: Red Potatoes, Cucumbers, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Salad Mix, and Onions

Hello CSA members!

After a long week, I was really relishing the idea of getting some extra sleep on Sunday morning. So, when I was woken up at 6am by a “crop duster” airplane making laps around the canola fields across the river, I was less than enthused. As Rebecca and I headed to our field to catch up on work, the plane continued it’s work (6 hours total), often making it’s turns 200 feet above our farm. I put in a call to Andy at CHS agronomy, who hires the plane to spray. Two years ago, this same thing happened, and I was very proud of myself then for keeping my cool and offering a diplomatic solution of having the plane fly north/south, rather than east/west, so that the plane would not be flying over our farm and dripping it’s contents on us. I was told this was a great idea. So, when Andy picked up this time, I asked what had happened to our arrangement. He sighed, said it wasn’t his fault, and that the pilot was a private contractor. I told him that we had an agreement, and his failure to follow it indicated he was not taking my concerns seriously. And then my lid popped off. For those who know me, this doesn’t happen often. I give him credit for keeping his cool, because I directed some withering fire in his direction. Professionally of course 🙂 We talked all about the rights of farmer (mine as well as the one spraying), drift, who monitors drift, the industry stance that ag chemicals are safe (as long as they don’t drift) , etc. But at the end of it all, he knew he couldn’t offer me a satisfactory answer. He had to spray because there was a large pest load, and he didn’t want the crop to lose value, because the highest priority was to ensure that money was made on the crop. And if that meant applying pesticides by airplane on a breezy day right where people live, then so be it.

And that sum’s up the predicament we face today in this country. We have prioritized profits to such a degree that we struggle to factor in other values that are important to us. Human health, nutritious food, a clean environment, vibrant and resilient economies, social justice, and being a good neighbor. I’m not mad at or criticizing the farmer who sprayed. I’m not even upset at CHS. And I’m not claiming our food crops were drifted, because I don’t think they were. I’m upset that our food system has become dominated by the chemical/industrial mindset, when I know that there are better, healthier ways to grow food. And I’m frustrated that many people are disconnected from the the land and the food system. I bet half of the people who saw that plane thought it was a stunt plane, and had no idea it was spraying pesticides. For real. We as a society just have very little understanding of where our food comes from and the practices that are used, and this plays right into the hand of the agro-chemical industry. So, Rebecca and I are speaking out more this week. We’re not trying to offend anyone, or any way of life, but we’d like to see a long needed dialogue start to occur between consumers and agricultural producers. And this requires awareness. Enough with the chemicals! Which just so happens to segue into my next point.

On August 17th, we are hosting a farm dinner to celebrate local food, sustainable farming, and to launch a group I’ve been working with for over two years, named Glacier F.E.A.S.T. (Farmers and Eaters Advocating Sustainability Together). And this group is all about building a community food system that puts those important values back into our food. It’s going to be a great night. A optional farm tour beginning at 5pm. At 5:45, we move into appetizers, drinks, and dinner. All the ingredients will be sourced from regional sources with organic or sustainable practices. That means the wine (Ten Spoons Winery in Missoula), the beer (Wildlwood Brewing in Stevensville), the beef (Montana Better Beef in Kila), the lamb (Hansen Farms in Kila), and the veggies (wanna guess?). All vetted for their production practices….no greenwashing allowed. Chris Dimaio from Three Forks Grille will be leading the culinary team in preparing a unique and values-filled meal. I’ll give an introduction to our group and what we’re working on, and how it involves everyone in the community. And, we have a guest speaker. Bob Quinn, who is an organic farming pioneer from Big Sandy, Montana, originator of Kamut brand wheat, scientist, entrepeneur, author, and generally inspiring guy will give a closing talk on his food system experiences, especially as it relates to regenerative agriculture. I think it’s going to be a wonderful night.

The dinner is limited to 100 people (I think there’s only 70 tickets left at this point), and you can find the link to them at twobearfarm.com

So yeah, I’m feeling a bit fired up. And I haven’t really mentioned your CSA share yet, so I apologize. And I should say again that we do appreciate our members for making that important choice to support and eat local and organic food!

This week’s share is dense. It looks small in the picture, but there’s no fluff. We finally dug some potatoes for those who have been patiently waiting. I think it will be worth it….some baby reds that are creamy and delicious. The iconic red potato is most widely known for roasting and serving with butter and parsley, but I think you’ll enjoy it anyway you cook it. The first main season sweet and red onions are ready, the summer squash and cucumbers are in full swing, and we even had a batch of Hakurei Turnips pop up. And more Sungold tomatoes! With that line up, we added basil a the last minute as it seemed a necessary addition that goes so well with so many of the other vegetables. We even considered cauliflower, but I felt like 4 weeks in a row might be pushing our luck :). Oh, and we harvested half of the garlic today, so that should be coming up in a few weeks for those who have been asking! Here’s a recipe for a zucchini, onion, basil dish. Or how about some rendition of this farm stand summer bowl?

Thanks for listening 🙂 See you at CSA pickup.