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THE HIGH SCHOOL FOR PUBLIC SERVICE YOUTH FARM
After a week away, spent with my family in Maine, it's always grounding to return to the Youth Farm. As you might imagine, a week spent amongst 70' tall Hemlocks and White Pine, wide lakes and Acadian mountains can conjur a mild case of culture shock. Indeed, the noises and smells of the city were amazingly foreign to me after just seven days in central Maine. I returned to work on market day, arriving as early as I could muster to take in the many inevitable changes that can take place in a just one short week. As expected, there were many exciting developments to behold: the farm was looking lush -‐ very much in its late August glory: corn and potatoes looking ready for harvest, many new beds prepped and planted, Okra climbing to 5 feet tall, Cosmos bursting along the perennial border... The many minute changes that happen on a daily basis are the wonder and sometimes the bane of farmers: the privilege of getting to witness the beauty of growth in many small forms is, in and of itself, quite fulfilling. It is a mark of work accomplished, of laborious effort being rewarded. On the other hand, it also means pulling out the old to-‐do list and adding to it: stake the ever-‐growing Eggplant! Ripening tomatoes need extra trellis to support their weight! Deadhead the Calendula! Harvest Bitter melon! Weed the Chard! Don't forget to pick the Parsley in the hoop house! And on, and on. Our trainees and youth are becoming excellent observers (and list-‐makers) as they spend more time here on the farm. To stay on top of it all, we have an inexhaustable master lost of tasks that, somehow, all get checked off bit by bit, thanks to serious team work. If you're ever interested in knowing just how the Youth Farm runs, ask us the next time you're on the farm to take a peak at our Task log. And then, thank a trainee, or a Youth leader, or a market worker, for all that they do. Farmers, students, and consumers -‐ together with the vegetables, flowers, bees and butterflies, we make a remarkable team. -‐ Farmer Molly
Farm News and Notes
Community Volunteer Day Saturday, September 15th, 10am-‐2pm Join us at the Farm and get your hands Dirty! Please bring a healthy lunch, a water bottle, and work clothes. No open toed shoes or sandals. Youth under the age of 13 must be supervised by an adult. Have an extra refrigerator? If you would like to generously donate an unwanted or extra refrigerator to the HSPS Youth Farm, please let us know! Remember: You can always come join us for volunteer work during our farmers market -‐ Wednesdays from 2:30 to 6:30.
Week 1 · June 20, 2012 · www.hspsfarm.blogspot.com Week 11 · August 27, 2012 · www.hspsfarm.blogspot.com
Flower of the week
Meet a Farmer! Martha Jackson
This week the languidly beautiful Bells of Ireland take center stage. Suddenly our second crop of these very green, charming, and slightly aromatic flowers have burst forth and are at their peak harvest stage. For Shambhala members, you're seeing these lovelies in your shares today. Farm members received them last Wednesday. Moluccella
laevis, as they are known in Latin botanical terms, flowers in summer -‐ though they seem to prefer cooler spells over heat waves, and partial shade over direct sun. Our current crop is growing in a well-‐fertiized bed that w as created this summer with lots of hard work and effort from summer youth leaders. Bells of Ireland, or, "Bells" as they're affectionately called, need lots of Nitrogen to grow tall and strong and green. Mission accomplished -‐ this is our best crop of Bells yet! Bells originate from Turkey and Syria -‐ not Ireland -‐-‐ though some believe these spikey gems bring good luck. Enjoy!
RECIPE: Swiss Chard with Shallots Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, finely chopped 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 bunches Swiss chard, rinsed well 1 tablespoon apple cider v inegar 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut off and discard chard stems and any tough center ribs. Thinly slice leaves. Set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shallot and pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add chard, vinegar and salt and continue cooking, tossing often, until wilted and softened, 3 to 4 minutes more. Or, to cook in the microwave, place shallot, oil and pepper flakes in a very large microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until shallot is soft, about 1 minute. Add chard, vinegar and salt and toss. Microwave on high, stopping to stir every minute or so, until chard is wilted and soft, about 6 minutes. Pour off any excess liquid before serving. Week 1 · June 20, 2012 · www.hspsfarm.blogspot.com Week 11 · August 27, 2012 · www.hspsfarm.blogspot.com
1) What is your favorite thing about farming? I love being outside, getting to work with my hands, and the great connections that are possible around good food. 2) What do you do for a living? I farm! Sort of -‐ I work part time at the Youth Farm as the Assistant Farm Manager, which involves a combination of farm work, education and training, and administrative work. 3) How did you become interested in farming? My interest in farming grew out of a passion for food and concerns for my own health in our food system. I realized I wanted to participate in the system as more than just a consumer, and that growing food fits my interests and abilities. 4) What is one thing you've learned through the farmer trainee program? As a co-‐facilitator of the program, I get the double benefit of continuing to hone my farming skills through Bee and Molly's teaching while also building experience as an educator and mentor. I'm learning way too much to name just one thing -‐ but the importance of organized systems for record-‐keeping and communication on the farm is a big one. 5) What is your favorite vegetable? Why? If I had to pick just one, I might say kale -‐ I love that I can eat it all winter (and summer) in so many different dishes that I never get tired of it. Although callaloo is becoming another favorite this season. 6) Have you worked on a farm before? I did a very brief apprenticeship at Garden of Eve in Long Island a few years ago -‐ though it was at the end of the season, I got a feel for what farming is like and confirmed that I wanted to pursue it in the city.