Please join us at Salamander Springs Farm this Saturday October 12 for a CORN HARVEST & SHUCKING PARTY from 1-5 p.m., followed by a community meal with our black beans, cornbread, & squash. We may also be harvesting sorghum, peanuts, sweet potatoes, shelling corn or dry beans...
Stay for a bonfire, star gazing & music following our meal...The king of the night sky in autumn & winter, the constellation of Orion is now rising above the eastern horizon by 10:30 p.m. Bring warm clothes and BYOB for the evening. Invite friends & family and bring your tent if you'd like to camp out! We'll have guests camping here from as far away as Philadelphia and Florida that weekend. We are hoping that Kayla fly in from Spain too (what's the word Kayla?)! Let us know if you need directions (859-893-3360).
See message from Mirra, below, “Blessing the Cornfields!”
P.S. We are bringing our c.1904 International Harvester corn sheller to shell popcorn at the market--at 110 years old, it still works like a charm! Give it a try when you come to market.
THIS WEEK IN YOUR BOX:
Sweet Potatoes - Bradshaw Red: bigger ones for baking + a bag of tender shoots for stir fries or roasted veggies. Last week you got O Henry White; this week try another heirloom variety, Bradshaw Red, with wonderfully sweet fleshed, tender and pink skin! The big ones are great baked and the bag of smaller side shoots are excellent chopped for stir-fries or oven-roasted or make a nice addition to soups. Keep freshly harvested sweet potatoes WARM (about 85-90 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, mizuna & flowers - savor the tender crispness of cool fall weather with those homemade salad dressing recipes we posted back in May!
Colorful Bunch of Autumn ROOTS - a mix of carrots, Daikons, radishes & beets!
Kale for all! We have a bunch for everyone this week of this favorite nutrient dense green!
Fall Greens & Brassicas! - choose any 2: Bok Choy, Kohlrabi, Chard or Mizuna. You’ve had the tender, lacy Japanese Mizuna in your salad mixes. The larger greens also makes a wonderful stir fry green when larger.
Summer Squash or Zucchini - last of summer’s goodness...if you’d like to freeze a bunch for the winter, we have more at the market. Look up freezing summer squash at www.pickyourown.org if you need some pointers.
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!
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 you up on these chilly fall evenings, and put some flavor in your soup beans. 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!
Parsley, Basil Rosemary, & Thyme nutrient-rich greens & herbs to season your fall veggies.
Flowers - Mirra’s special bouquets to cheer you!
Clementine Bakery's Bread & goodies to warm you!
Blessing the Cornfields
-a message from Mirra
I love this work! Every day is new with challenges and surprises. Last night we shared supper with our new neighbors, Will and Laura. It was a celebration meal; as they construct and move into their home down the hill, We moved our freezer from the electricity at their place to the solar power at the Salamander Springs homestead, with help from neighbors Will and Sky. In the coming days we will watch to see that our system is able to make the the ice that keeps our veggies cool and fresh!
Also happening on the land: we thank the good spirits for help with a healthy cornmeal crop that did well, withstanding a challenging growing season. It was hard to set strong roots on soggy ground. I was blessed to get into the field and harvest the fallen stalks of corn. I took the machete to the base of the plants and dragged them out of the field where I removed each ear of corn. This was challenging and a little itchy. We began saving seed of the biggest best ears for next year's crop. The kernel colors are so rich and varied, like eye candy! Each ear is a surprise combination of white, red, blue, orange, even purple hues. The harvesting process truly adds to the deliciousness of our corn bread; to greet the tall stalks in all of their glory and to peel back the husk of each unique ear before setting out to dry. We are excited to share the fun with you this weekend!
Below are some passages that I selected from Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha in the section titled, "Blessing the Corn Fields." -Mirra Ester
"Sing, O Song of Hiawatha,
Of the happy days that followed,
In the land of the Ojibways,
In the pleasant land and peaceful!
Sing the mysteries of Mondamin,
Sing the Blessing of the Cornfields!
Buried was the bloody hatchet,
Buried was the dreadful war-club,
Buried were all warlike weapons,
And the war-cry was forgotten.
There was peace among the nations;
Once, when all the maize was planted,
Hiawatha, wise and thoughtful,
Spake and said to Minnehaha,
To his wife, the Laughing Water:
"You shall bless tonight the cornfields,
Draw a magic circle round them,
To protect them from destruction,
Blast of mildew, blight of insect,
Wagemin, the thief of cornfields,
Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!
When the noiseless night descended
Broad and dark o'er field and forest,
When the mournful Wawonaissa
Sorrowing sang among the hemlocks,
And the Spirit of Sleep, Nepahwin,
Shut the doors of all the wigwams,
From her bed rose Laughing Water,
Laid aside her garments wholly,
And with darkness clothed and guarded,
Unashamed and unaffrighted,
Walked securely round the cornfields,
Drew the sacred, magic circle
Of her footprints round the cornfields.
No one but the Midnight only
Saw her beauty in the darkness,
No one but the Wawonaissa
Heard the panting of her bosom;
Guskewau, the darkness, wrapped her
Closely in his sacred mantle,
So that none might see her beauty,
So that none might boast, "I saw her!"
Summer passed, and Shawondasee
Breathed his sighs o'er all the landscape,
From the South-land sent his ardor,
Wafted kisses warm and tender;
And the maize-field grew and ripened,
Till it stood in all the splendor
Of its garments green and yellow,
Of its tassels and its plumage,
And the maize-ears full and shining
Gleamed from bursting sheaths of verdure.
And the merry Laughing Water
Went rejoicing from the wigwam,
With Nokomis, old and wrinkled,
And they called the women round them,
Called the young men and the maidens,
To the harvest of the cornfields,
To the husking of the maize-ear.
On the border of the forest,
Underneath the fragrant pine-trees,
Sat the old men and the warriors
Smoking in the pleasant shadow.
In uninterrupted silence
Looked they at the gamesome labor
Of the young men and the women;
Listened to their noisy talking,
To their laughter and their singing,
Heard them chattering like the magpies,
Heard them laughing like the blue-jays,
Heard them singing like the robins.
And whene'er some lucky maiden
Found a red ear in the husking,
Found a maize-ear red as blood is,
"Nushka!" cried they all together,
"Nushka! you shall have a sweetheart,
You shall have a handsome husband!"
"Ugh!" the old men all responded
From their seats beneath the pine-trees.
And whene'er a youth or maiden
Found a crooked ear in husking,
Found a maize-ear in the husking
Blighted, mildewed, or misshapen,
Then they laughed and sang together,
Crept and limped about the cornfields,
Mimicked in their gait and gestures
Some old man, bent almost double,
Singing singly or together:
Wagemin, the thief of cornfields!
Paimosaid, who steals the maize-ear!"
Till the cornfields rang with laughter,
Till from Hiawatha's wigwam
Kahgahgee, the King of Ravens,
Screamed and quivered in his anger,
And from all the neighboring tree-tops
Cawed and croaked the black marauders.
"Ugh!" the old men all responded,
From their seats beneath the pine trees! "