Salamander Springs Farm/Permaculture Organics

  (Berea, Kentucky)
Permaculture in Practice: Shopper's Basket CSA
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OCTOBER 1 CSA - Autumn Blessings & Goodbyes

Dear CSAers,

Autumn is a beautiful and sometimes bittersweet time of year.  As crops die and we say goodbye to the abundance of summer, it also means goodbyes to folks who have been part of the Salamander Springs Farm family.  Kayla’s time for departure for Spain came quickly.  While she is dearly missed here, it was a real joy seeing her growth over the last 2 years and watch her "take wings" to Spain to share her many gifts.   We also said bittersweet goodbyes to Jacob Mudd this week, tempered by upcoming plans for visits until his return next season with his partner, Faye.   
In the river of loss that came with my father’s illness and passing, I have felt blessed by a community that keeps me from turning inward on myself.  The Permaculture in Practice Workshop on the farm September 14 and 15 both deepened and widened that community.   Our Clear Creek neighbors and fellow CSA members, Phillip, Kathy & Peanut, not only participated but helped to make the weekend happen.  Our Saturday evening meal was enjoyed in their newly renovated one-room schoolhouse on Swinford Farm.  Fellow CSAers Barbi & Evan also participated, and we are blessed with Barbi’s amazing gifts as a photographer, capturing beautiful details of the Permaculture workshop and the farm, with a perspective that helps the rest of us see more clearly!  To see photos of the weekend,  you can go directly to  Barbi & Evan's site:   Their photo page is also linked to the Salamander Springs Farm’s “Flickr” of photos & permaculture education slides,

Mirra and I found end-of-season rejuvenation at the SE Biodynamic Farming Conference in Red Boiling Springs, TN this last weekend, where I have taught workshops for a number of years.  Not your typical conference, it is held on a beautiful organic farm...such a joy to go to a conference where you eat vibrant, healthy food, sleep breathing fresh air, and feel the spirit of community rejuvenating your soul!

Speaking of community, the Berea Solar Tour is this Saturday, October 5, from 10-2 p.m. with Salamander Springs Farm is one of 5 sites on the tour.  If you haven’t been to the farm, this is a great opportunity to learn how we live off-the grid, including solar electric, passive solar, natural building and rain water catchment systems.

JOIN US FOR CORN HARVEST & SHUCKING!  These next few weeks we are harvesting popcorn & cornmeal, along with other winter staple crops, and would love to have you to come out and help any weekend (or weekday)!  On October 12, we’ll have a husking party, meal and a bonfire..,let us know if you can join us (859-893-3360).
May you enjoy the fruits and roots of autumn this week, and the rejuvenation of time with community!

SWEET POTATOES- a few bigger ones + a bg of tender shoots – O’Henry is one of our heirloom varieties, with wonderful sweet white flesh, tender and nutritious skin - baked, boiled or however you like them! The smaller side shoots are excellent chopped for stir-fries or oven-roasted or make a nice addition to soups  Freshly harvested sweet potatoes want to be WARM (about 90 degrees) for about a week after harvest to cure their skin for longer storage.  A sunny window (in a paper bag or in a basket covered with a cloth) or the top of a refrigerator is often warmer than the rest of the room.  After that they will keep best at room temperature in your kitchen.  Never refrigerate sweet potatoes--these sub-tropical beauties hate cold!

SALAD MIX! tender crisp romaine & red sails lettuce with mizuna - to be savored with those homemade salad dressing recipes we posted back in May!

Japanese DAIKONS w/ GREENS - Daikons are tasty in a stir fry, sliced, greens & all... and soo good for you.  See Mirra’s recipe below!

CARROTS - colorful bunch of red, yellow & orange varieties!

YELLOW STORAGE ONIONS – store up to 6 months because they have more sulfur than the sweet onions you received earlier in the season.  Sulfur can make you cry, but it is good for you!

OKRA - a few okra are good in many dishes, from quiche to stir fries to soup, even with cooked potatoes.  Breaded fried okra is popular for lots of okra since too many can give you a slimy texture, but a few is just perfect.  .

BOK CHOY  or  KALE & KOHLRABI  See past blogs for nutritional value of Bok Choy - raw or stir-fried, as you like.  Fall Kohlrabi is just starting to come on.  See nutritional info below.

SWEET PEPPERS – We have some really sweet and flavorful Italian varieties of peppers--like Jimmy Nardello's Roasting, Carmen or Corno di Toro. You can select sweet Bell peppers, too, if you prefer.

HOT PEPPERS - Take a selection to warm up with on these chilly fall evenings, and put some flavor in your bean pot or Whippoorwill Peas.   We have Límon, Thai, Habanero, Paprika, Jalapeno, and Cayenne.  If you are not into hot peppers, we have sweet bananas, too, or we can give you an extra sweet pepper!
Basil – while there are still tomatoes, basil is a must...

BUTTERNUT SQUASH (“Ponca”).  These are a smaller, more manageable sized butternut--so sweet baked, roasted or anyway you like it.  Also make an excellent curried soup like the recipe posted last week...

SUMMER SQUASH & ZUCCHINI - a bit of summer is still here!

PARSLEY so good for you, in salads, soups ,quiche or stir fries...Look back at our May blog for the nutritional goodness of parsley!

Clementine Bakery's BREAD & BAKED GOODIES  so yummy!


MIRRA's Awesome & Easy DAIKON Stir Fry:
Get your frying pan hot with some tasty oil. Sesame oil, Peanut oil, or olive oil will do the trick. Slice accross the root of the daikon radish for circles about 1/4 inches thick and lay them out on the pan.  While the radish rounds are browning , chop up the greens, (yes, they are edible too)!  Allow the radish rounds to brown on both sides and remove them from your pan. Throw in your greens with 1/3 cup water,  1 Tbsp. lemon juiceand a dash of soy or tamari sauce. Cover the greens with the pan lid and cook em’ down until you are satisfied with their tenderness.  Now you can throw the radish rounds on top and serve it hot.  Enjoy!



  • Since ancient times, Chinese have believed that eating DAIKON radish and other brassica group vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and napa immensely benefit overall health.

  • They are are one of very low calorie root vegetables. Fresh root provides just 16 calories per 100 g., nonetheless; they are a very good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.

  • DAIKON, like other cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables, contains isothiocyanate anti-oxidant compound called sulforaphane. Studies suggest that sulforaphane has proven role against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its cancer-cell growth inhibition, and cyto-toxic effects on cancer cells.

  • Fresh roots are rich in vitamin C; provide about 15 mg or 25% of DRI of vitamin C per 100 g. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C helps the body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevention from cancers, inflammation and help boost immunity.

  • In addition, they contain adequate levels of folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium. 

  • Further, they contain many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene, which are flavonoid antioxidants. Their total antioxidant strength, measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 1736 µmol TE/100 g.


  • Mildly sweet, succulent kohlrabi is notably rich in vitamins and dietary fiber; however, it has only 27 calories per 100 g, a negligible amount of fat, and zero cholesterol.

  • Fresh kohlrabi stem is rich source of vitamin-C; provide 62 mg per 100 g weight that is about 102% of RDA. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful anti-oxidant. It helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps the human body protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body.

  • Kohlrabi, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol that are supposed to protect against prostate and colon cancers.

  • It especially contains good amounts of many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that acts as co-factors to enzymes during various metabolism inside the body.

  • Knol-knol notably has good levels of minerals; copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus are especially available in the stem. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

  • In addition, its creamy color flesh contains small amounts of vitamin A and carotenes.

  • Kohlrabi leaves or tops, like turnip greens, are also very nutritious greens abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.

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