Farmers Join the Gym: Summer CSA ’11 – Week 17

 In CSA Newsletter

Mike and I own one yoga video, called Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga. It collects dust the entire growing season. Once the fields freeze, we bust Bryan back out and begin mending a season’s worth of tension in our bodies. This video is fantastic – in my opinion. The language is clear, the music isn’t too out there, and the focus is really on the spine. An added bonus is that is was made in the nineties; Bryan sports long, Kenny G-like hair and does the entire video in cut-off  jean shorts. The problem is, after three winters of living on County Road J, I can recite the entire video by heart. Tone and all. This is the achilles heel of the home exercise video.

As I look ahead to the coming winter, I’m beginning to think about how to take care of our bodies  – without enduring another winter of Bryan. Our style of farming is so physically active. We have to exercise in the winter, or we just go nuts. But when you live out on country roads, winter exercise options are very limited. In addition to Bryan’s yoga video, Mike and I love to cross-country ski around our land. To do this, we need deep snow (enough to cover all the stubble and cover crops) and a docile child willing to hang out for 40 minutes on my back.  I can’t tell you what the snow will do this year, but I can tell you that Zea’s back-pack riding days are over.

So what’s a farmer to do for winter exercise?

When I first suggested joining a gym to Mike, he thought I was joking.  Getting sweaty indoors?  Exercise for us is usually an outdoor thing.  I explained to Mike that I learned a nearby gym would actually provide childcare for Zea while we worked out. Hmm. That’s a powerful lure to gym membership.  The other night Mike and I sat on the couch and chatted about the idea. We went back and forth. Hemming. Hawwing.  Then I noticed the yoga video on top of the television. I took one look at the cover, with Bryan and his jean shorts, and decided it was time to check out the gym.

Explaining to a gym membership salesman that you are a farmer and would like a seasonal gym membership is a funny experience. Most people don’t think of fit and active young people when they think of farmers. They think of older men with big bellies who drive tractors – and rightfully so, as many of the farmers we know fit this description. I’m not sure that the salesman actually understood what we did through the other months to stay fit and why we would only work out in a gym from November through early March. But bless his heart, he met our needs. We bought a 12-month membership, but have been granted 3 years to use it.  The salesman smiled when it was all done and said, “You just might be the first farmers to belong to this gym.” Definitely.

In your box this week, you will be receiving some mixed peppers. We say ‘mixed’ to mean that they are peppers that didn’t turn all the way red.  A pepper is green when unripe and turns red/orange/yellow/purple when ripe. The tomatoes are still hanging on. You will receive a mix of romas, heirlooms, and slicers.  With all the rain the last couple of days, the spinach is quite turgid and will break and crack easily. It will be best cooked into a dish, like a lasagna or the cream-sauce recipe listed for this week. Regular members will receive a delicata squash this week. Please note butternut, festival, acorn, delicata, and kuri squash can be interchanged in many recipes. EOs, check out the spaghetti squash recipe from last week.

Below are some final notes, in no particular order:

1. Buy a Calendar! MACSAC has produced a calendar called Farm-Fresh 365.  The creators say it features seasonal menus and brings stories from local farms into the home. All proceeds benefit MACSAC’s programs. Primrose Community Farm = the February pin-up. The cost through us is $11.95.  Let us know if you’d like to order one. We’ll deliver it to your site.

2. Check out the article, “Cilantro Haters, It’s Not Your Fault” from the NY Times.

3. THANK YOU for a wonderful harvest party. The barn was rocking – great music, good food, flip cup, and dancing kids… phenomenal. We can’t wait until next year’s!

Enjoy your veggies, Mike, Cassie, and Zea

In the Box:

  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Delicata Squash – REGs
  • Garlic
  • Leeks ” EOs
  • Lettuce, Red Summercrisp ” EOs
  • Lettuce, Romaine – REGs
  • Onion, Red
  • Pepper, Mixed Bell
  • Pepper, Mixed Carmen
  • Potatoes, Yellow ” EOs
  • Spaghetti Squash ” EOs
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes – Mixed

REGs = Regular members only EOs = Everyother members

This Week’s Recipes:

Week 17: Everyother Group A – Wednesday, September 28th