FOOD FOR THE PEOPLE!

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Movement Ground Farm’s response to COVID-19

March 19, 2020

 

We are not going to remind you to wash your hands! And we are not going to send you any links! But we are going to invite you to join us in growing food for the people, and we welcome any suggestions and ideas for how you think the farm can play a more impactful role.

During this pandemic, we will continue to support campaigns, organizations, and movements that are on the frontlines in the fight for racial & environmental justice, gender equality & queer liberation, the human rights of immigrants and refugees, and a global, human-centered, social justice approach to fighting climate change and future globalized threats to humanity.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic (and the fear that will be used as kindling to further inflame xenophobia, racism, and other systems of oppression) we resolve to:

  1. Grow more food by ramping up production and growing more intensively
    • be prepared to help the community in the event of food shortages and price inflation
    • provide free seedlings and transplants and encourage the growth of gardens in every home and on every rooftop
    • maximize produce donations to pantries, soup kitchens, and community-based organizations
    • become certified to accept EBT and collaborate with agencies to offer our CSAs at 50% off to those paying with SNAP & WIC
    • address the criminalization of those who apply for food stamps by offering CSA shares at 50% reduced price for immigrants and refugees who do not have food stamps

 

  1. Reduce avenues for the virus to enter the farm’s space
    • offer paid sick days to employees, understand everyone’s exposure levels, everyone take individual and collective steps to minimize exposure risk
    • switch from large group events to small group events, and be prepared to cancel all events
    • build an outdoor handwashing station with hot water and soap

 

  1. Guarantee safe, clean produce
    • before harvest – sanitize hands, clothes, harvest tools, and crates
    • limit the # of people doing the actual harvest and produce handling
    • sanitize food surface areas before washing and storing produce
    • sanitize CSA boxes, surface areas, and wear gloves while packaging
    • have safety protocols for delivery drivers and with CSA drop-off coordinators
    • have a plan and option in place for door-to-door delivery
    • use USDA-approved, food-safe sanitizing sprays appropriate for small-scale organic farm operations

 

  1. Survive as a farm and as an organization – ready to support families, communities, and organizations for the long-haul
    • have a plan for filling in for staff and worksharers who are on sick leave
    • prepare for farmer’s market cancellations and the resulting loss in revenue by identifying alternative avenues for sales, and ramping up our numbers for box CSA shares

 

  1. Keep the elderly parents safe
    • create separate zones and entryways to minimize parents’ exposure to workers, volunteers, and customers
    • integrate safety measures into the rhythm of the farm’s routines and chores

 

  1. When we can, offer the farm as a space for refuge, recreation, stress relief, and outdoor enjoyment for CSA members, partner organizations, and their family, by following safety protocols such as:
    • Registering and pre-screening visitors through an online survey intake form
    • Scheduling visits only during certain times and days of the week
    • Allowing only one group to visit the farm at a time
    • Making sure that one group only includes folks who live together in the same living unit
    • Capping the size of groups
    • Posting clear farm use rules
    • Making sure we have the necessary infrastructure – port-o-potty, hand washing station, sanitation supplies, etc…

 

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By responding aggressively to SARS-CoV-2, we can guarantee that:

  • Our food is safe! As a direct farm to customer market operation, we have reduced potential points of exposure, eliminated unnecessary produce handling, and we maintained control of the entire process with no involvement from third parties

 

  • You can access our produce without worry! From picking up your boxes at a site where there is minimal risk, to opting for your produce to be delivered right to your front door step

 

  • You can whip up nutritious, colorful, and inspiring meals to get you and your loved ones through the summer, fall and into the winter

 

 

  • You can afford your produce even during moments of disruptions in the global food supply and corresponding price inflations.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP!

We are going to need all sanitized hands on board to help ready the farm to step up to the plate!   Here are a few ways you can help:

  1. We need to survive financially – please sign up for a CSA share soon (payment plans are available) AND/OR spread the word, especially about our “soil amendment special” $10 off sale that ends midnight on March 21.   Not close to us physically? Please support your local farm!

 

  1. In light of the Trump administration’s criminalization of even legal noncitizens who dare to sign-up for supplemental food programs, we will be offering shares at 50% off to immigrant families that are struggling and do not have food stamps.   When you sign-up for a share, please opt to donate money for this purpose. If you are not signing up for a share, but want to donate, you can Venmo us @movementgroundfarm, and write “donation” in the message.

 

  1. Join our Sars-cov-2 Response Team on What’s App – we will be asking folks (who already have a connection to the farm) to help us remotely with things such as: researching and securing a port-o-potty before they run out, finding and securing donated items. Later in the year as we focus on harvesting, this team will be useful for coordinating surplus food donations, finding volunteers to cover for staff or workshare members who are on sick leave or in quarantine.

 

  1. We are looking for donated items in order to make sure we can set up two separate zones, with a barrier between the family’s living quarters and the workers and worksharers who will need to be here everyday running the farm operation. We are looking for the following items:

 

  • Coffee maker
  • Electric hot water kettle
  • Microwave
  • Rice cooker
  • Cubby holes or lockers to store personal items

 

  1. Last, we will be looking for 7 amazing workshare hero/ines – drivers offering farm-to-door delivery and folks who are skilled and efficient in weeding, seeding, planting, and cultivating. We will especially be looking for individuals who have a clear plan in place to limit their exposure and risk factors to covid19 and/or can work within our own safety guidelines for ensuring a safer farm environment.   Workshare applications will be sent out within a week and posted on our website and facebook page.

 

  1. Comments, suggestions, ideas for collaboration? E-mail us at movementgroundfarm@gmail.com

“To Be or Not To Be”… a 501c3

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Good morning!
Thanks for being part of my journey, and now our journey, into building a community-driven movement farm.   I wanted to take this opportunity to share our progress in transitioning the farm into a non-profit organization.
  • Why are we becoming a non-profit?  Especially at a time when so much of our movement work is structurally embedded in a system that prevents us from connecting our campaigns and our bases from the movement work happening electorally?   Why file for a 501c3 when we know that the chase for money leads to mission-drift, increased administrative work and spending, and makes us dependent on corporate profits and the wealthy class?
  • The decision was not taken lightly – and we are still in discussion of exploring a few other alternative formations.   But in a nutshell, the primary reason is to bring in more funds in order to do more than just run a farm –  that means bringing in additional staff lines to support programming that can advance grassroots movement work.
  • We will work towards a different model of foundation funding – by working with a select few funders and donors who want to create a partnership and agree to give multi-year grants, and we will also limit the amount of funding we need to bring in each year
  • We will be taking proactive measures to support and not out-price small farms that do not have the same access to funding.  We will build in a small farms solidarity line item in our budget and support small farms by purchasing their produce to add to our CSA.  And we will be conscious of not directly competing for funding with movement organizations that we are working with.
  • We will have a greater level of autonomy than most non-profit organizations that we know of, in that we will always be generating between 50- 70% of our income on our own through produce sales
  • This past year, the Transplant Committee has been hard at work drafting by-laws, seeking legal consultation, revising our vision and mission, and exploring funding options
  • We are honored that one of the most important foundations supporting radical social change in the United States – Resist Inc. – has agreed to serve as our fiscal sponsor!
  • We will be recruiting folks to serve officially on our board of directors over the course of the next two months!   If you’ve got what it takes to churn out work through a collaborative process and now is the right time for you – please consider the opportunity to serve as a founding board member!   Please email me at movementgroundfarm@gmail.com

Stay tuned for more announcements about hiring, our 2020 CSA program, and opportunities to join our 2020 Work Share team!

And one more thing, THANKS RESIST!!

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Searching for a Farm Manager

The winter has been restful, and busy, as we bunkered down to plan out our next steps after experiencing our first growing season in Tiverton.   There’s a lot of exciting news and developments that we will be announcing and rolling out over the next couple of months.  But first things first.

We need a Farm Manager!   And we are looking to hire as early as March 1.  This will be a full-time and year-round position which we hope will help the farm build and anchor a solid farm team.   Of course, we are looking for more than just a Farm Manager.   We are looking for someone who shares our vision for social change, our defiant values to combat systemic state violence, our belief in the power of youth and community organizing to affect the radical and transformational change that is being required of our country and the world at this brief moment in history.   We are looking for someone who is just not cool with the culture of whiteness and gentrification that surrounds access to healthy food in our neighborhoods, and someone who is excited about growing food for communities of color.   We are looking for someone who is equally excited about growing beautiful and bountiful produce as they are about hosting social justice gatherings and movement retreats.   If you think you might know of a person, definitely reach out to me.   If you think you can help send this job announcement out to list-serves or your social networks, please do!

And do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the job.   Here’s the link with the full job description, including required skills and experiences, compensation, and how to apply.

https://movementgroundfarm.wordpress.com/farm-manager/

 

Thank you!

Kohei Ishihara

 

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Red cabbage, Red jalapeno

Red vegetables derive their color from natural plant pigments found in phytochemicals (plant based chemicals) called lycopene and anthocyanins. Lycopene may help reduce risk of heart attacks and certain types of cancer, most notably prostate cancer. Anthocyanin is thought to improve heart health and the overall function of the body.   So this week, in addition to eating for fun, sustenance, nourishment, and energy, eat for your heart!

 

MENU

Red Cabbage

Red basil (aka thai basil)

Red Russian kale

Red onions

Baby lettuce w/ red mizuna

Red bell peppers for Providence

Red shishito peppers for Tiverton, JP, and Dorchester

* Rotating items – you might receive these this week or another week – okra, yard long beans, green beans

*Free item – red jalapenos!

 

 

Note on the Onions & Cabbage!

Onions were not cured properly so they may not store for a long time.   If parts are spoiled, they can simply be cut out.   And while we did soak the cabbages for quite some time in water, it may not have been enough for encourage the cabbage worm to vacate!   So be on the lookout!

 

 

 

This week’s bouquets!

 

 

RECIPE IDEAS

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Red Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese & feta

https://clubfoody.com/recipe/red-jalapeno-peppers-stuffed-with-cream-cheese-feta/

 

 

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Charred Red Jalapeno Salsa

https://pinaenlacocina.com/2017/07/27/salsa-de-jalapeno-rojo-tatemada-charred-red-jalapeno-salsa/

 

 

FAMOUS CHEF SPOTTED!

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End of Summer 2019 CSA!!

Week 13

 

September 24, 2019

*depending on Drop-Off site

Bundle of chiogga beets (aka candy cane beet)

Shallots

Bundle of flowering green shiso

 ~ Gift of Farmer Kohei’s homemade husk cherry jam! ~

*Lacinato kale & Red bell peppers for Providence

*Green curly kale & Striped German tomato & Red shishito peppers for JP

*Lacinato kale & Bittermelon & Red bell peppers for Dorchester

*Green curly kale & Yard long beans & Striped German tomato for Tiverton

 


FARM UPDATES

MGF lacinato kale

View of the sunset from our row of lacinato kale (aka dinosaur kale)

This is the LAST WEEK for our 2019 Summer CSA!!!  It has been 13 weeks filled with growth, challenges (i.e. dealing with hoards of flea beetles attacking our poor arugula, bok choy, or komatsuna!), weather extremes (i.e. a delayed start in growing due to periods of rain, or the summer heat waves), our first time being at the Westport, MA Farmer’s Market, having the company of the Ishihara family nearby…!!!

It certainly has been an adventure.  Thank you for continuing this journey with us! And if you’re joining us for the 2019 Fall CSA, we will be seeing you in a couple weeks.  There will be a one week break, and then we will begin the Fall CSA on Tuesday, October 8th.

AND…. to mark the transition from summer to fall, and to continue on with a similar tradition since we’ve begun Movement Ground Fall… we will be holding a HARVEST CELEBRATION for our CSA Members!!!

Sunday, October 6, 2019
12:30pm – 3:30pm
Potluck-style Community Meal
with one FEATURE meal of MGF curry noodle soup
(some additional farm produce available for feasting)

Where:  at the farm, 592 Puncatest Neck Road, Tiverton, RI
Cost:  1 ticket for 1 CSA member, each additional person $10, children 10 and under free
Parking:  street parking

RSVP via https://forms.gle/W2Bo6MkfBHpsYsrL6

 

This week’s latest Flowers for Justice bouquets (left) and farm stand display bouquets using the bolted, flowering carrot tops (right).

 

RECIPE IDEAS

Beets

Susan Ferry kohlrabi, beet, carrot (apple) salad with herb

Susan’s CSA salad of kohlrabi, chiogga beet, & carrots (with apples and cilantro)

 

Flowering Green Shiso

Green Shiso Flower

A flowering green shiso plant

The above photo is of a similar shiso plant that has flowering buds attached.  This week you’ve been given some green shiso leaves with almost flowering buds.  You can EAT and incorporate the slightly herby and lightly floral, and oh-so-pretty buds along with the actual shiso leaves!  Yum.  See below photo for an idea.  Sprinkle the buds onto scrambled eggs, deviled eggs, pasta dishes, rice bowls, fried rice, sushi, wraps… anything!

Farmer Kohei’s fresh and local tuna with flowering shiso buds & shiso leaves
Left:  tuna sashimi plate sprinkled with shiso buds, decorated with shiso leaves
Right:  tuna cucumber shiso leaf maki roll, plate decorated with shiso leaves

A few posts ago, I’ve posted a few different shiso recipes to feature the unique herb.  Read here for more shiso ideas.  As for the flowering buds, think of it as a light garnish and have fun garnishing it on everything!  Really, try pulling the shiso buds off and test it on any food:  a grilled cheese, on top of hummus, your hot dog…

 

CSA Customer Creations

Kohei's Golden Beet dairy free cake

Farmer Kohei’s golden beet, vegan cake with vegan cream cheese frosting, & sandwiched in the between the layers is his very own husk cherry jam

MGF chili peppers medley

Judy can’t wait to dehydrate these spicy little chili peppers, and make her own ground chili pepper powder! (Inspired by Susana’s creation from a previous week)

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Judy’s blistered shishito peppers, later topped with a light, sweet soy dressing

It’s been a slow week for cooking projects, it seems, as we haven’t gotten a lot of shared photos of anyone’s cooking.  I swear I’m not only posting my own food photos 😛 !!  Please keep cooking up a storm and inspiring us with your own meals (then promptly take photos of it and share it with us)!