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Week 13 Newsletter

September 4, 2018

In your box:

–Incessant rain

–Beets

–Cucumber

–Head Lettuce

–Kohlrabi

–Red onion

–Summer squash

–Tomatoes

A few weeks ago President Trump unveiled a green and yellow hat bearing the slogan “MAKE OUR FARMERS GREAT AGAIN.” Let me begin by saying—it’s about time! I myself have been poor to mediocre as a human being for some time now. I can only imagine how incredible it will feel to be GREAT. And not just GREAT—but GREAT “AGAIN.” This will certainly take me back to my early days as a farmer when I plowed under an entire bed of baby carrots when I mistook which row I was in. Great like the time my first tractor caught fire and burned to the ground just moments after I jumped off and ran for my life. Great times indeed….

Unfortunately his plan for making me great doesn’t actually involve me, since I don’t grow any soybeans on our farm. His basic farm policy seems to be making everyone pay money to people who grew soybeans this year because international tariffs have made American soybeans unmarketable. So soybean farmers get $12 billion dollars, or roughly $40 from every American taxpayer (my math: 12 billion divided by 320 million people). And I confess I’m not sure whether we are paying for this now or if it is being added to our deficit, in which case I’ll get to pay them with interest in the uncertain future. Another way to think of this is that Americans can all go hide $133.93 in each of the 89.6 million acres planted to soybeans this year, so that our great farmers can go find it and not go bankrupt all in one year. So this is all very clear now—I am making myself GREAT as a farmer by giving $160 from our household to the neighbors across the street who planted soybeans that no one wants this year. I get to take the income we’ve made by growing actual food for my actual community and give it to my neighbors who drench their 80 acres of soybeans in carcinogenic chemicals to grow soybeans to feed to pigs in China, except that the Chinese pork producers no longer want American soybeans because of an ongoing trade war that has nothing to do with Chinese pigs or American soybeans in the first place. GREAT!

Handouts do not make farmers great. Pity is a poor reward for a season’s worth of labor. What is needed is an agricultural policy that values food (not ethanol), nutrition (not high-fructose corn syrup), small farms and local community (not incentivizing factory farms and huge landowners). Or better yet—just leave us alone. Drop all the subsidies and let a natural farm economy develop. We’ll see what happens to the ethanol market. We’ll see how much of our great nation is covered with corn and beans when our tax money isn’t propping them up. We’ll see what happens to the pesticide industry when farmers stop using their products because it no longer makes financial sense.

What makes farmers great? You do. You do when you support a local CSA farm. When you shop at the farmers market. When you buy tortilla chips made in Minnesota by the Whole Grain Milling Company. When you drink locally brewed beer with locally grown ingredients. When you buy as much of your food as you can from local farmers growing real food. That’s what makes farming work and what makes farmers GREAT.

Now I will stop being political and talk about the GREAT vegetables in your box this week….

All of the beets this week are yellow/orange but are usually known as “golden” beets. These have the same taste as the usual red beets, but this variety grows reliably and gets quite large! You can use them in any recipe calling for beets and just substitute them for the red ones. An added bonus is that they don’t “bleed” like red beets—these don’t stain and color everything like their red siblings which helps a lot with clean-up! I’ve included a couple recipes combining kohlrabi and beets that you’ll see below. The soup recipe is essentially a kind of borscht, but with kohlrabi taking the place of cabbage in the usual recipe. I haven’t tried this yet but I’m looking forward to trying it later this week!

I had hoped to give basil in the box today but it has rained all morning. Wet basil has a shelf life of about five minutes, so I’m holding off on giving it until next week, provided it’s in good shape by then. Thanks for your understanding—I know many of you need at least a little more basil in your life before winter sets in.

With school starting up again, I know many of you have changing schedules and routines. You are always welcome to change your delivery site if that helps out. Even changing between our delivery days (Tuesday or Thursday) is fine. For all of our sites and addresses, please visit our website at https://foxandfawnfarm.com/farm-share/. Please send me an e-mail or phone call if you would like to make any changes.

Just a couple reminders—please return your boxes! Our backup supply is running low so please bring back any extras you have around the house. Thanks!

Also: don’t forget to mark your calendar for our fall work day/open house on Saturday September 22nd and our fall harvest party on Sunday the 30th. More details to come in the following weeks.

Expected next week: Tomatoes, head lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, sweet pepper, potatoes, chard, garlic and fennel.

 

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