“To Be or Not To Be”… a 501c3

Stick_Fig
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!!

resist_logo

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

 

winter_sunrise

 

 

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

red_jala

Red Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese & feta

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

 

 

20368935_1594624517278399_4580407776718718149_o

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)

Judy's shishitos 1

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)!

 

Closing Out Summer & Week 12

Week 12

 

September 17, 2019

*depending on Drop-Off site

Green kabocha OR Red kuri winter squash

Eggplant

Blue potatoes

Parsley & Marjoram bundle

*Pea pod tendrils & Bittermelon for PVD

*Pea pod tendrils & Yard long beans for JP

*Pea pod tendrils & lunchbox peppers for Tiverton

*Poblano peppers & Red-ripening shishito peppers for Dorchester
(Sorry Dorchester, we ran out of pea pod tendrils!!!)

Freebie item:  Unripe, green tomatoes!


 

Second to last Summer CSA!!!

Week 11 CSA box, Dorchester

Week 11 CSA box (last week)

If there’s still remnants of last week’s CSA box, here’s some tips to make use of everything!  Let’s reduce our food waste together!  Here’s a website I appreciate with tips on reducing food waste, how to store some foods, plus recipes to maximize your produce (even when it’s wilty or yellowing), www.foodwastefeast.com.

Still have your sage laying around and unsure what to do?  Make sure it’s been cleaned and is dry.  You can leave it bundled on the counter in a cool and dry place and let it dry out; it can take up to a week.  Once it’s completely dry and brittle, then store the sage leaves in a tight container/ spice jar and it will be ready for use whenever you are ready!

Still have kale?  Separate the leaves from the stalks.  Trim stalks and cut up into small pieces.  Cook into soups to soften up.  I have even chopped it up and sautéed, and cooked it into rice porridge.  Use the leaves for braising down with your tomatoes into a nice sauce for meats, other protein, or pasta.  Cook kale leaves and stems into a nice curry or other soup, which is nice for the somewhat cooler temperatures.  Or parboil the kale, let dry out in a single layer, then freeze for use later on.

Still have potatoes??  Boil them in salted water until a fork can pierce through it easily.  Drain and roast them at 400ºF with olive oil, crushed sage, and salt until it’s golden and crispy.  Feel free to flavor with other seasonings like a dash of cumin, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, 5 spice powder or garam masala.

Still have tomatoes?  Even though it’s not recommended to store tomatoes in the fridge because it’s said to give them a mealy texture….. if you can’t use them up in time and need to prevent it from expiring, throw them in the fridge!  Chop them up and freeze into small portions to use in sauces or soups in the future.  Or blend them and can it properly (sterilized jars and seal with water bath) so it can be shelf stable for the winter. If you don’t have the time to can your saucy tomatoes, freeze it so you can have a taste of summer tomatoes during the colder months.

Husk cherries???  Haven’t had a chance to pop them straight into your mouths?  Give them all to Judy 😀 (my little one really enjoyed them, too, and liked peeling them with me)!

 

RECIPES

 

Kuri & Kobocha Squash

Red-Kuri squash

Red kuri squash (photo from rareseeds.com)

You’ve seen kabocha squash maybe twice in your CSA shares this summer, but here is what red kuri squash looks like (see photo above).

Naturally Ella kuri squash curryTry a Red Kuri Squash Curry by Naturally Ella

This is a vegan curry recipe using coconut milk, vegetable broth, and added swiss chard. But you can use whatever type of broth you have on hand, and can substitute kale for the chard.  Just add the kale into the pot at the same time as the broth, as it needs a little longer cooking time.

Laylita carmelized squash recipe
Here is a Dulce de Zapallo or Caramelized Squash
in Spiced syrup by Laylita’s Recipes

This recipe reminds me of my childhood.  My grandfather used to make a light dessert or snack for me and my sisters.  He would cook down small slices of yam into a honey-colored, sugar syrup; it wasn’t quite caramel yet, but a thick and golden syrup.  We all used to love to snack on it.  So why not do something along those lines with these sweet squash gourds??  Play around with the different spices to flavor the syrup, and how light or dark you would like for the syrup to cook down.  Sounds yummy and….dare I say…feels a bit like Fall?!  Be sure to clean the skin off your squash, as you can eat the skin of the kabocha AND the kuri squash.  While cooking down, the skin also will hold the squash together longer.

Look back a few posts for kabocha squash recipe ideas.  But you really could use the kabocha and kuri interchangeably in recipes.

 

Blue Potatoes

Blue potatoes

Blue Potatoes (photo from almanac.com)

Same-ish potato, but BLUE!!  These blue potatoes actually hold more vitamins and antioxidants than their white potato counterparts.  So eat up!  These have a moist texture  and are great for mashing or frying, but eat them up however you like them.  With smaller/medium-sized potatoes, you could go without peeling; it helps add texture, and when roasting, adds crunchiness.  Slice up thinly into coins and cook into an omelette or frittata, flavor with your parsley and marjoram!  If you like fries but don’t want to actually deep fry, slice them up thinly, lengthwise, toss in oil and salt, than roast them at 475ºF until really golden brown and crispy.  While still hot, toss with minced parsley & marjoram with a little salt to taste.  Try this baked salt & vinegar fries recipe by Rasa Malaysia.

 

Pea Pod Tendrils
(aka pea shoots, aka pea pod stems, etc.)

pea pod tendrils

Pea Pod Tendrils (photo from CookingLight.com)

Pea pod tendrils are the young, tender tips, which include delicate leaves and stems, from pea plants (typically from snow pea plants).  These are tender greens and usually will expire quickly, so use them in the NEXT COUPLE DAYS!!  These can be eaten raw in a salad (really tasty and adds a nice crisp texture), as a topping for your sandwiches or burgers, added to wraps or spring rolls, or added raw into your cold noodles.   Or they can be lightly cooked as a simple stir fry (see below).

dou miuSimply cooked Snow Pea Leaves Stir Fry by I Heart Umami blog

 

Tomatoes

NYT easy one-pan spaghetti
With all the tomatoes of the season, and its decrease in supply starting to signal the coming of the Fall season… I figured another tomato sauce and pasta recipe wouldn’t hurt!  Especially since this is a one-pan recipe (see above photo) that doesn’t require you to boil a HUGE pot of water just for the pasta.  Find the recipe here.

 

 

CSA Customer Creations

Susana dried chili
Susana’s great use of her bulk chili peppers–homemade, dried chili flakes!

Shirley's corn soup w: rst pepper top
Shirley’s corn soup with pureed, roasted peppers

 

 

Kohei’s Farm Meals at Home
Left:  wild purslane and garlic stir fry
Top right:  sautéed squash tendrils & blossoms
Bottom right:  buttered, steamed carrots

 

 

Left:  Judy’s farm scramble (with MGF tomatoes & bell pepper)
Right:  Judy’s salad (with MGF arugula & tomatoes) and
roasted corn & sunflower seeds

 

Judy power smoothieJudy’s power smoothie with fruit & veggies (using MGF beet & raw bittermelon)

 

 

Left:  August & Vanessa’s processed & jarred assorted tomatoes
Right:  August & Vanessa’s blistered rainbow shishito peppers

 

August Flower for Justice
Flowers for Justice CSA appreciation

Thank you to everyone who has supported and bought a share of our first-ever, experimental Flowers for Justice CSA.  Though we’re not much of florists, these gorgeous and colorful plants, flowers, and nature do speak for themselves.  Farmer Kohei wanted to see more direct connections between his work, Movement Ground Farm, and community organizing (his first job and calling, prior to the farm life).  And being the sole, full-time farmer and business owner meant little time for involving himself in much else.  Though connecting the farm with movements, the community, and organizing were values that were part of founding MGF, Farmer Kohei still wanted to see more.  Thus, grew the seeds for this Flowers for Justice CSA.  And the response to it has been AMAZING!!!!

The proceeds from this flower share program go directly to support families who are being torn apart by state-sanctioned violence in the form of Immigrations Customs Enforcement (ICE), specifically to support these families’ involvement in the immigrant rights campaigns of three local, grassroots organizing groups.  These groups (Providence Youth Student Movement aka PrYSM; Alliance for the Mobilization of Our Resistance aka AMOR RI; and Asian American Resource Workshop aka AARW) are at the center of organizing in Providence and Boston, two cities in which MGF has a customer base, and support.  Farmer Kohei wrote last week about the impact some of those funds already were making with two out of three of these local community groups.  So thank you again for the support!

 

 

On the Farm

 

Flea beetles ravaging some or our greens like bok choy and arugula :(.
And here is one of the ways MGF is trying to naturally repel these insects.

MGF hen of woods mushroomFarmer Kohei was glad he was able to forage for mushrooms…STEPS away from his door!
Here is hen of the woods mushroom.

MGF okra
Our okra plant continuing to grow beautifully.
Fun fact:  did you know the young, tender leaves of the okra plant also is edible?
So many parts of the plant to enjoy!