CSA is about people! Organic brings us together with nature
Perhaps marine biologist Sylvia Earle said it best when she ruminated, “The question of today is not will we let nature slip through our fingers, but rather will she will let us slip through hers?”
Clearly, when we act in protection of the environment we are really protecting the people who depend on it. Consider that more than 25% of the world’s fisheries depend on coral reefs. Consider next that a Caribbean-wide study by the Royal Academy of Sciences found that the top two reasons for coral destruction, more than global warming and over-fishing, were 1) Unsustainable shoreline development and 2) Conventional agriculture. Consider again, if you may, that the Journal Science reported that organic mixed-crop agroforestry sequesters more carbon and promotes more water-and-air-cleansing soil biotic activity than even wilderness areas and perservation park lands.
So, with your CSA you are doing more than keeping your dollars in your local community -you are contributing to the conservation of the USVI’s environment and its people with every meal.
Here at Ridge to Reef Farm in Caledonia valley, we follow the Hawaiian practice of “Ahu Pua’a,” where we take care of our watershed as keepers of the headwaters while providing for the needs of our islands. Well, at least we try our best. We are just people after all, and nobody’s perfect. But together, we are more than people -we are a community. With local organic food production, we live a life where people and nature are one.
Eat slowly. Eat intentionally. Let our healthy land become part of your body. Listen inside.
And after that, let us hear from you -how was your first week? Your feedback will help shape our CSA for weeks and seasons to come!
~ Nate, Director
Turmeric: an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and potassium.
WTF (What's That Food)?
This week's strange food item: Turmeric
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and is native in Indonesia and South India. Traditionally it was called "Indian saffron" because of its deep yellow-orange color. It has been used as a healing remedy, textile dye and condiment.
How to use it:
Turmeric can be enjoyed raw or as a powder.
In order to make powder, boil it, dry it and grind it into a very fine consistency.
Powder should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place (if available). Fresh turmeric should be kept in the refrigerator.
Fresh turmeric as well as powder can be used in salad dressings, rice and curry dishes. It also is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
Meet the Farmer...
Patrick J. Boulger, farm manager
Patrick started his farming career as a child in his father's backyard garden in California. Nonetheless, he had to wait until he was 20 to finally put his hands into Ridge-to-Reef-Farm soil.
Back then he was a student in the Ridge to Reef Beneficial Farmer Training Program where he specialized on Agriculture and Solar Systems (see in the Video below).
Because he just could not get enough, he stayed for the rest of the year 2009 and took an apprenticeship to further expand his knowledge about our valley and the plants as well as animals that live in it. Subsequently he headed further north to Athens Georgia where he filled the position of assistant manger at Roots Farm. That is where he worked his first CSA.
After having had a small farming break, he rediscovered his love for dirt and plants and came back to his current home, St. Croix, in last October. Now says he enjoys combining "different skill sets, knowledge, experience and intuition in order to create delicious and healthy food with the help of Mother Nature and a super motivated farm crew."
From the field...
After the first CSA week and some dry days, Patrick was finally able to get on the tractor and work the eight 100 foot rows out in the swales/ fields. To get to the fun part of planting the crew had to further prepare the beds with forks, rakes and hoes.
This is when Matt felt like a princess planting sunflowers all over. I am sure that transplanting eggplants and peppers was not less fun for him and the rest of the crew.
Apart from playing princess in the fields and weeding, the farm crew had a catch-chickens competition. Everyone who has been up at the farm knows that sometimes this is more than necessary (even though the chicken situation is becoming better every day). In order to improve it even more, "Chicken Exodus" plans have already been made. More about that in later editions.
In addition you can look forward to green onions, boc choi, tatsoi, more radishes, kale, collards, a variety of cucumbers and flowers and much more that have been seeded last week and are nourished by the gentle rain we had the last few days.
To be continued...
~ Nadja, apprentice
PO Box 2903 - Frederiksted USVI 00841 - www.visfi.org - firstname.lastname@example.org - 340 220 0466 Ridge to Reef Farm @ the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute
Secret Garden- resurrection of the tree nursery
The Week's Harvest
Cucumbers Lettuce Radishes Chard, Collards or Kale Arugula Mizuna or Tatsoi Green Bananas Green Papaya Basil Turmeric Eggs
Green Papaya Salad with Turmeric by Julia
Makes 6-8 Servings
You need: 3-4 medium green papayas (papayas with orange spots are ok too) 2 cloves of garlic 4 small turmeric roots 4-6 basil leaves 3-4 tablespoons olive oil 2-3 tablespoons apple cider or balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper
Directions 1. Peel away tough outer layer of papayas. Once you reach the light colored flesh, keep peeling fleshy layers into a serving bowl until you reach seeds.
2. Peel and chop basil, garlic and turmeric roots very fine then add to papaya.
3. Pour on live oil and vinegar, add a dash of salt and pepper.
4. Toss with hands to blend flavors and let sit for 10-15 minutes for flavors to soak in. Enjoy!