PHCSA Newsletter: Week 6

In this email…

1.  This Week’s Pickup 
2.  News from Ted at Windflower Farms

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday, July 18:  
Pickup #6 (Week B)
– Veg | Fruit | Eggs | Flowers | Dairy

1.  This Week’s Pickup

This week’s pickup is at the usual time and place — 4:30pm to 7:30pm at the PS9 Cafeteria (80 Underhill Avenue at St. Marks Place). If you have a half-share, note that this is an “B” week.
We’re expecting vegetables, fruit, eggs, dairy, and flowers this week!

2.  News from Ted at Windflower Farms

Delivery #6, Week of July 16th, 2013
We’ve just had our annual payroll audit and workers’ compensation insurance assessment. Like having house guests, the audit provides motivation to get our house in order. I can report that our payroll reporting is now completely up-to-date and that our taxes have all been paid. Such a small farm and so much paperwork! Over the course of the audit all kinds of questions were raised about the farm staff. Who performs the work, how are workers compensated, etc? It crossed my mind that you, too, as CSA members of our farm enterprise, might be interested in some of the answers to these questions. It might surprise you to learn, for instance, that there are 21 of us working on the farm this year, including Don, the driver, and his assistant, although, if we each worked a full 40 hours/week, then eight or nine of us would have to find work elsewhere.

Most of the staff works part-time, but a few of us clock in 60 hours a week. Those choosing not to work six ten-hour days/week will tell you they have better things to do than to spend every waking minute at Windflower Farm. One is a homesteader who works with us four days/week and who makes jams and raises chickens and goats. Three are artists, two of whom work two days/week. They are a painter, a pen and ink illustrator and a photographer. One works on another vegetable farm two days a week. Although she can’t get enough of farming, it appears she gets enough of our farm in just four days. In addition, she is a part-time librarian and runs her own medicinal herb business. One is building his own house and is also homesteading. He works with us four days/week. Two women – a mother and daughter – share a full-time slot. Three are minors who currently work two days each week and who will be leaving us altogether once classes resume.

Our full-timers include three couples – all originally from Mexico. With the exception of our minors, everyone has been with us for at least five years, and a few for many more. The exceptions to the rule are the spouse of a long-time employee who joined us this year following the retirement of her father-in-law, and my oldest son Nate, who, having recently completed high school, took the slot vacated by my nephew who left to start his own farm this spring. Our pay scale is simple. Minors (our three high schoolers) earn $9/hour, which might be too much. Adults earn $12/hour, which I know is too little, but it’s all I can afford. Join us at our farm open house at the end of August (24th and 25th, details to follow) and you can meet all of them.

This week’s share will include cucumbers and summer squashes, Hukurei turnips, green onions, leafy lettuce, Winterbor kale, an herb, and either tomatoes or Italian frying peppers (both are just starting). Your fruit share will consist of blueberries. Next week you’ll be getting more of the same, along with beets. New red potatoes will begin coming soon, and this week’s heat and sunshine should help our tomatoes turn red.

Have a great week, Ted

Pickled Hakurei Turnips from a recipe by Early Morning Farm CSA

Hakurei Turnips are not your run-of-the-mill average turnip! These turnips are great raw – sweet and mild, or cooked lightly in stir-fries and soups. They are not spicy and bitter like the standard purple top turnips. In fact, Kids love Hakurei Turnips raw on a salad plate! The greens are also very much edible, just wash, chop and steam or stir fry.

In Japan they are often pickled, you can make a quick pickle by adding a teaspoon of vinegar (rice or white wine) and several pinches of salt to a bowl of sliced turnips.

For each quart jar:

1 cup warm as it will come out of the tap water
½ cup rice vinegar (white wine vinegar could be substituted)
6 Tablespoons sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons salt

Dissolve sugar and salt in the warm water, and add vinegar.

For the pickles we sliced up about 6 Hakurei Turnips, chopped some Scallion Greens, and threw in some Red Pepper flakes for some spice. If you were making these in the fall you might still have some fresh hot peppers coming in your CSA boxes that could be used. You could also try adding Carrots or Radishes for color and another flavor.

Next we packed our jar fairly tightly with the mixed ingredients and poured the liquid mixture over the top. A day in the refrigerator and… Pickles!