Welcome to the 2017 Season!

May 25, 2017

Dear 2017 CSA Members:

Well, the shock of Trump is somewhat over.  Or are we adamantly remaining in a state of shock and unacceptance?   Now that the dust has settled, despite the everyday onslaught of more political explosions, we know that Trump is merely an inflated puppet controlled by petroleum, the wealthy 1%, the Zionists, the military and prison industrial complexes, the right-wing conservatives, and CEOs and oligarchs across the globe.  One day, Trump’s balloon will tear and it may whizz around in a crazy whirlwind creating a spectacular display before it settles on the ground, or it may deflate slowly over time, or it may just burst and end in seconds.   When that happens, our systems will be reconfigured by the powers that be – petroleum, the wealthy 1%, the Zionists, the military and prison industrial complexes, the right-wing conservatives, and CEOs and oligarchs across the globe.  Or, will grassroots people power, movements for social change, and advocates for the environment be ready and organized to take the lead?   Organizers organize to be ready for these moments.   

While Trump is shocking and baffling and “good for ratings”, the real worry is the seismic shift to the right at a time when the world is teetering upon so many inter-related, unsustainable and unstable conflicting systems.   That this ahistorical, uncooperative and self-aggrandizing form of old school white supremacist patriarchal capitalism is resurging at a time when insurmountable global challenges demand that we must unify, coalesce, coalition build and compromise.   Unfortunately, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and homophobia continue to be both profitable enterprise-ideologies, tactics for dividing and conquering, and often the best tools for the Capitalist 1% to amass power.     

There is much work to be done!   And while some have pulled back and given up, others have ramped up the pressure.   Our community – one of organizers, activists, youth leaders, and social workers – have always been on-the-ground, have always remained steadfast; and just as they have been doing for the past 10, 20, 30 years, continue to bring compassion and struggle to those who are the most in need.  

That is why we at Movement Ground Farm have aligned ourselves with partners who are on the frontline of movements for social change in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.   And we want to thank them for not only the work that they do but also for hosting as CSA drop off sites!   We hope you take the time to check them out online, attend their events and actions, donate, and meet everyone in-person during volunteer work days, workshops, or our harvest festival. 

·         PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement) – our CSA drop off host off of Elmwood Avenue in Providence – has been part of two campaigns that are reaching headway this year: one of which may pass the most comprehensive racial profiling bill in the nation, the other of which may see an incredible international victory for immigrant and refugee rights!   

·         Grassroots International works to connect folks in the U.S. with global peasant and small farmer led movements which address the root causes of poverty and climate change while fighting against the corporate take-over of people’s rights to grow their own food. 

·         The FANG Collective – based in Pawtucket, RI seeks to escalate resistance to the fracked gas industry while supporting other movements for justice.

·         AARW (Asian American Resource Workshop) based in Dorchester, MA – is a member-based organization that uses arts, education, and activism to build the skills and political analysis of Asian Pacific American communities in Massachusetts. 

·         The Olio Culinary Collective is a worker-owned business dedicated to sustainable sourcing, workplace fairness, and brings organizers, activists, and food enthusiasts together, often while donating profit to support key organizations. 

The vision of Movement Ground Farm is to empower and connect people, families, organizations and movements to their food, land, and to a deeper sense of community!   Food brings people together!    Places to convene in the open air are scarce!    Often times, we come together using food that is grown thousands of miles away, and through its processes, pollute our earth and exploit the workers and farmers.    What would it be like if we brought people together using fresh-off-the-vine foods, grown right here, using sustainable earth-friendly methods, and that everyone had some hand in growing that food?   What if refugee elders could connect to their children and grandchildren by sharing their wisdom and secrets of plant cultivation?   What if whole families and communities became less reliant and spent less money on corporate foods, and edged slightly towards a level of food sovereignty and autonomy?  What if the vegetables we grow can be transformed into jams, pickles, and hot sauces, and our organizations and families can generate an alternative stream of income?  

Our vision is to work towards these ideas, build a hub for local food distribution, and offer our land as a space for transformative gatherings and retreats!

Thank you for becoming a 2017 CSA member!    You have invested in not only quality, fresh food, but you have also invested in our vision!   

Stay tuned for an email in the next few days about our first CSA delivery – this Tuesday, May 30th!

 

Sincerely,

Farmer Kohei Ishihara

Movement Ground Farm

 

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It’s Spring! (Yesterday)+CSA 2017

It’s about time for a farm update. Yesterday marked the first official day of spring, but we’ve been getting underway with spring tasks for the past month–our onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and herbs are seeded, the property is getting cleaned up and organized, the tractors have been tuned up, and we’re all feeling grateful to be back outside again. Since we haven’t updated since the last week of last year’s CSA, there’s a lot to talk about…starting with this year’s CSA!

We now have 90 open slots for our summer CSA.  If you wanted to know what farmers do all winter, the answer is “plan out what it will take to be able to grow enough food for even more people.” So if you missed out last season, now is a great time to sign up. As usual, all our vegetables are organically grown, non-GMO, and free of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. Here is where you can sign up and read all the details about what we do and what we offer.

Meet the new meat menu! We’re now offering two Cornish game hens and a Pekin duck (aka “Peking”) as part of the summer share, to go along with all your organically grown vegetables. Our fall share will include a turkey, processed right before Thanksgiving so it’s as fresh as possible. All poultry is pasture raised on our property and fed organic grain, our own vegetables, and whatever they can forage in the fields!  The birds help us out by fertilizing our fields and eating insect pests, so buying a share is a great way to support symbiotic farm practices.

Vegan? Vegetarian? Don’t worry— if you don’t eat meat or eggs, you can opt out.

Don’t know how to cook this stuff? We’ll be doing some free cooking workshops, too…just in case you want to learn how to cook a duck, or how to use that bittermelon you got in your CSA box.

We have 2 new CSA drop-off locations in Pawtucket (at the FANG Collective office) and Cambridge. We’re excited to see how these new relationships progress over the season, particularly as we grow as a farm and advance our own land and community-based social justice mission. Our other drop off locations are below–the same as last season.

Ready to sign up? Click here. If you want to see a breakdown of prices by week plus a list of our drop-off locations, see charts below. (Note: we can offer reduced-cost CSAs to low income families, and we have a payment plan. Click the signup link for more info)

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Ok, enough talking shop. Here are some spring sights from the farm…a reminder that it’s (maybe) getting warmer, finally?

 

Last Week of Fall! 12.13.2016

 Last Week of Fall!   12.13.2016

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As our partner organization, PrYSM, celebrated its 15th anniversary, it becomes the target of a vicious act of hate and intimidation. 

It was great to see so many CSA members supporting the Providence Youth Student Movement at their 15 year anniversary!   Unfortunately only a few days after, vandals broke into their office, reassembled furniture, and hung a noose from the ceiling.  Here is a short article.  In what could only be a hate crime and an act of intimidation, PrYSM has chosen not to respond by increasing their own surveillance (e.g. installing video cameras)  or by getting the police involved, but instead has chosen to reinvigorate it’s campaign (also called the CSA: Community Safety Act) to hold the Providence Police accountable for acts of misconduct and brutality, which, if passed, will make the whole city (as well as the PrYSM office) a safer place to be.   They need all the help they can get to ramp up the pressure to get this legislation passed before January 20th!

If you can support PrYSM during this time of need, consider making a donation HERE.  If you want to get more involved in the organization and help them pass what will be the strongest municipal legislation against police brutality perhaps in the nation, consider attending their upcoming meeting on Friday, January 6th, from 6 – 8PM at the PrYSM office at 669 Elmwood Avenue, Providence RI. 

 

Farm update

We are done for the year!    It is now time to get some more rest!   But not too much rest, as plans for next year’s season have to come into fruition within a few weeks.  Then, seeds need to be ordered.  And our first day of seeding – if you can believe it – already happens in February!   Also to be part of shaping next year’s plans, I would like to invite you to a farm-fresh brunch at the farm on Sunday, January 8th, 11am – 2pm.

 

Menu

Celeriac

Red & Green Leaf Lettuce

Nappa cabbage

Yellow onions

Roasting potatoes

 

 

 

RECIPE IDEAS for CELERIAC

Silky celeriac soup with smoked haddock

Silky celeriac soup with smoked haddock by BBC Good Food

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Chowder of scallops, celeriac, potato, with carmelized pear on the food newtwork

Cauliflower & Celeriac chowder by Confessions of a Foodie

Mashed Potatoes and Celery Root

Mashed potatoes & Celery Root by Williams-Sonoma

Celeriac coleslaw

Celeriac coleslaw by BBC Good Food

Leek, celeriac, and chicken soup by Sydney Markets

Apple & celeriac soup

Celeriac & Apple soup on http://www.jamieoliver.com

Whole roasted celeriac by Morsels and Sauces

Week 9: Microgreens!

Week 9: December 6, 2016

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Menu

Microgreens

Long Island Cheese (squash)

Chinese Broccoli

Bag of mixed baby salad greens

Radishes or beets depending on pick up location

Farm update: Short blog this week.  Even though work is winding down, the waning sun light hours plus the collective collateral stress of the season is getting to me.. and things feel just as busy as during the summer.  Plus this week, I am doubling down on helping with PrYSM’s 15 Year anniversary!  I hope to see you all there!    Sorry for the glossy pictures, my phone camera lens is scratched again.

 

Microgreen Recipe Ideas

In A Taco

 

Microgreen recipe Chipotle Lentil Tacos with Avocado and Microgreens

Chipotle Lentil Tacos with Avocado & Microgreens by Naturally Ella

A Top a Soup

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Congee (rice porridge) w/ microgreens by the Curious Coconut

Over A Salad

Microgreens Salad recipeMicrogreen salad from PBS

Week 8: Farming Trumps Hate 11.29.2016

Week 8 – November 29, 2016

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In this issue:

A farm update

Recipe ideas

The farm’s response to Trump

Support PrYSM at their 15-year anniversary

Farm Update

Serena and I are hard at work reflecting on the 2016 season and making plans for 2017!   I will share these with you on this blog, and I’m also going to be hosting a brunch on Sunday January 8th (11am – 2pm) for those who are interested in getting more involved.  Although we fell behind and did not seed cover crop, I feel good that we did successfully plant three beds of garlic and two beds of strawberries!   Strawberries will begin bearing fruit in late May, and we will be offering garlic scapes (the delicious green tops of the garlic plant) in June before harvesting the garlic bulbs in August.  It looks like Spring in the green house!   We got rows of lettuces, spinach, Chinese broccoli, and baby kales and mustards for salad mixes.  This is going to last me well past the CSA, so please come by this winter and get some fresh greens!

We also had a very successful second annual Barter Day.  The goal is to bring together farmers, hunters, fishers, foragers and homesteaders for a no-cash fun-filled event where we can slowly build up a local non-cash economy.   Rules are (1) no cash, (2) you must make the product yourself, (3) you must verify where and how you sourced your ingredients.  It is much more fun than Xmas!   In addition to scoring some chicken, goat, squid, and beef, participants walked away with the following products:

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Kombucha, Scoby (kombucha starter), kim chi, beer, root beer, and yogurt.

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Thai chili peppers, ketchup, mustard, raspberry and cranberry jam, and chutney

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Fire cider and herbal tinctures for digestion and strengthening the immune system

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Tobacco, hops, calendula salve, edibles, CBD chapstick and lotion.

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Baked goods, cranberries, honey, and a wild chicken of the woods mushroom!

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This Week’s CSA Menu

Red cippolinni onions

Norland red potatoes

Cabbage and kohlrabi greens

Daikon/ hakurei radishes

Komatsuna greens/ Spinach

For the record, on week 6 we gave Adirondack blue potatoes, yellow cippolinni onions, green leaf lettuce head, mizuna, and various produce depending on pick up location.  On week 7 – for thanksgiving week – we gave sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cranberries, cilantro, and scallions.

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Daikon Recipes

Daikon Salad  Recipe

Daikon salad by Japanese Cooking 101

Namasu (Daikon and Carrot Salad) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.comPickled daikon and carrot salad by Just One Cookbook

Balsamic Roasted Daikon-2

Roasted daikon, carrots, and peppers by Sarah’s Cucina Bella

Komatsuna (aka Japanese Spinach)

Chinese-Style Komatsuna in 5 Minutes

Chinese style Komastuna by Washoku Guide

Boiled Komatsuna & Deep-Fried Tofu

Boiled Komatsuna and deep fried tofu by Washoku Guide

Simple Rice Mix with Komatsuna and Pork Belly

Simple rice dish with pork belly and komatsuna by Washoku Guide

Komatsuna greens in ginger almond miso sauce by Eating Appalacia

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Sauteed hakurei & komatsuna by Nutmeg Granny

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The Farm’s Response to Trump

What is the farm’s response to reactionary white supremacism + a rollback in civil rights and environmental protections + global warming denialism + xenophobia and racism + sexism and homophobia + the further privatization and dismantling of health care, public health, and education + the rampant support for the full occupation and neo-colonization of Palestine + the possible undoing of the thawing in relations with Cuba and the nuclear disarmament agreement with Iran +  the global rise of white supremacy, rightward shifting, and further political instability across Europe?

I never thought I would be one to quote George W. Bush Jr. but I think he came up with the perfect phrase – “An Axis of Evil” –  which he used in an Islamophobic context, but which I think is much more useful to describe not only the rise of Trump in the United States, but the growth of anti-immigrant sentiment and blatant white supremacy across Europe.

This new white supremacist axis of evil demands that we stand up to face a series of existential threats, now closer and more likely to implode than ever before.  It requires us to see and grasp onto that sliver of hope.   It compels us to focus on the here and the now, and the everyday radical acts of solidarity and love that we have the power to enact.  It invites us to dream of another world that somehow must be possible.  And for many of us, the night of December 31st, 2016 will be our own personal moment of reckoning, and a chance to perhaps make the new years resolutions of our lives!  Grant us all the internal strength and calm to respond to this crises as an opportunity to love, fight, organize, plant, cultivate, and share more than ever.  Let us all take this as an opportunity to put our highest values and dreams into action, and an opportunity to fully be more human.

For the farm, this axis of evil does not change the mission or purpose of the farm; contrarily, it makes our mission and vision even more important than ever before.

  • In the case of disruptions in our global food distribution system, local food production will become even more important.   We will support and lead efforts to strengthen and create local food systems that are healthy, just, and rooted in community.
  • It is also important to be able to provide a full diet and the only way to really do this (aside from trying to grow and produce everything by myself) is to build alliances with other farms with shared values.
  • Look to acquire new land and a new facility that can accommodate overnight retreats and larger gatherings.   A land, landscape, and facility which gives us the capacity to fulfill our purpose of offering transformative and grounding experiences.
  • Continue to strengthen our commitment to food access, one family at a time, offering a reduced cost CSA to lower income families
  • Create an alternative revenue stream to fund the non-commerce side of the farm (the retreats, events, workshops, and gatherings) as a way to speed up our progress on marching towards our vision.

Another way to concretely respond is to support those who have been and are continuing to lead the struggle on the ground, every day.   For the past 15 years, the Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM) has been empowering Southeast Asian youth to lead community organizing campaigns to make change in Providence and beyond.  What does it mean to be a queer Southeast Asian young person today under a Trump administration?   How must it feel to grow up knowing that your administration is waging war on your identity and your body?    When you visit PrYSM you can feel the power of love, of family, of community that developed generations of leaders, critical thinkers, and just extraordinary friendship.  Think about what a small group of young people have done over the past decade:

  • An immigrant rights movement centralizing the issue of Cambodian Americans
  • The formation of a Queer Southeast Asian political and cultural identity that is connected to progressive grass-roots organizing
  • Southeast Asian youth taking on police misconduct and abuse, and providing the infrastructure for the local Black Lives Matter movement
  • A vision that promotes radical social change and explicitly grounds their work in the values of love and family
  • Over a thousand youth served over the course of a decade – from court advocacy to housing to college applications

This group, and its spirit, is what we will need now, more than ever before, going into 2017.  

Please join me in celebrating their 15 year anniversary this Friday, December 9th at 7PM.   You can learn more on their facebook page, and buy tickets through Eventbrite.

Thank you for your continued support.  Please join us for a farm brunch on January 8th if you would like to be part of the conversation and the effort of putting plans into action in 2017.

 

Very sincerely,

Farmer Kohei