I've been here all week as part of a Wisconsin delegation with the National Farmers Union. We've been walking the halls of Congress meeting with senators, representatives and their aides to try and convey the issues that family-scaled farmers care about. I've sat in lots of congressional offices, stood a lot in hallway meetings, and probably spent the majority of my time hustling through the basement corridors that connect all the various vast buildings that house the congressional offices. Between the 270 of us farmers that came to DC this week, we visited every one of the 535 representatives. I've got lots I'd like to tell you about my trip and I'll be writing up a report today in Reagan International while I'm waiting for my plane to Chicago. I'll post it tonight or tomorrow under the On the Farm tab.
Tonight I'll be hopping off the plane at Chicago and staying overnight so I can be present there for the 30th Farm Aid Concert on Saturday afternoon. As a representative of the South Central Chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union and the Green County Defending our Farmland coalition, I'll be meeting with members of the media backstage to spread the word about a giant CA mega-dairy trying to quietly and quickly re-locate to Green County, just over the Illinois border and right next door to us. I'll also be trying to educate the press and public on the very important water and environmental issues surrounding the re-location of California's desperate dairies to Midwestern rural areas that are largely un-equipped to handle the siting, inspection and environmental impact studies that are required to safely build tremendous industrial ag operations like these. I might try to get a look at Willy Nelson, too!
So I'm flying a bit blind writing up this harvest list today. I did a field walk right before I left the farm and left a picking and packing list for my tiny fall crew. They have texted me this morning that the harvest went pretty much according to plan and that the boxes are gloriously full and beautiful. I am soooo thankful for them. And for you. Thank you for your support of small farms, sustainable agriculture, and the local economy! You can tell I've been talking to politicians all week, no? Here's what's in the box.
Kohlrabi - The first of these! I eat these raw, peeled, out of my hand like an apple. But you might want to shred into salad, or slice into soups.
Peppers - Lots and lots! Generally, blocky ones are sweet and small skinny ones are spicy. Take a little taste before you eat a huge bite!
Arugula - First cutting of the fall. LOTS of arugula salads served out here in DC, and I've been delighted.
Eggplants - Beautiful and thin-skinned. Saute, roast, steam. Pair with white sauces or olive oil and thyme.
Tomatoes - The crew has boxed up your cherries, but you'll be picking out your own heirlooms. There are small boxes made up for you in the cool room - fill them with a single layer of the tomatoes of your choice.
Potatoes - Beautiful Red Norlands
Brussels Sprout Tops - These are the trimmings off the top of the Brussels Sprout stalks in the field. We take the top of now so the plant will put it's energy into sprouts. These leaves are great sliced or dices and cooked like kale or collards til tender. I recommend frying with bacon grease.
Leeks - First of the year! Pair with potatoes in soup or saute.