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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Week 11: Red potatoes & Sage!

Week 11

9.10.19

*depending on Drop-Off Site

Red potatoes

Bundle of sage

Sweet red-turning bell peppers

A full pint of husk cherries

*Yard long beans  and green curly kale for Providence

*Striped German heirloom tomatoes and red Russian kale for Dorchester

*Okra and laccinato kale for Tiverton

*Green beans and Siberian kale for JP

 


 

 

Summer is STILL here with our third to last CSA delivery of the summer!

While the tomatoes are nearing their very end, we were surprised with a new near-perfect flush of large striped german heirloom tomatoes!    Just in time because Dorchester folks never got to experience them yet!   New transplants of beets, lettuce heads, daikon, and turnips are rising in neat rows in the fields … and trays of bok choy, spinach, napa cabbage, and mustard greens await in the greenhouse for a planting this week (or next).

 

Flowers for Justice CSA

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A vigil for Philly was held in Woonsocket, RI this past Sunday, September 8, 2019.

And the Flowers for Justice CSA had an impact this past week!

  •  $300 went to support the Legal Fund of the AMOR Network (Alliance for the Mobilization of Our Resistance).  The legal fund supports immigrants and refugees facing unjust detention and deportation.  Another $300 went to directly support a single-mother from Guatemala who has been facing extreme hardship as she awaits the results of a long battle in immigration court
  • $600 went to PrYSM (Providence Youth Student Movement), who directed the funds to pay for the air fare to transport the body of “Philly” Channara Pheap, to bring him back home to Providence for a ceremony at the Wat Thormikaran temple on Hanover Street, marking the 7th day since his passing.    Philly was the brother of a former PrYSM staff member, whose family now resides in Tennessee.  He was shot in the back and killed by a police officer in Tennessee last week – and his family is NOT going to rest until there is a full, unbiased investigation!  PrYSM worked with the family to get an article out in the Providence Journal, they provided food at the funeral, and will be providing legal and community organizing support from afar, as all the real on-the-ground work will have to happen in Knoxville.

 

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Worksharers Martha, Josh, and Cata, harvest zinnias for the Flowers for Justice CSA

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AMOR (Alliance for the Mobilization of our Resistance) is one of the recipients of the proceeds from our Flowers for Justice CSA.   Here they are protesting the 212-c agreement between ICE and the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department.

 

 

RECIPES

NomNomPaleo rst pepper recipe
Try this Roasted Bell Pepper with Balsamic Vinegar &
Extra Virgin Olive Oil recipe by Nom Nom Paleo

It can be eaten as is or as an addition to other meals like salad, as a side for meat or other protein, to throw into an omelette, etc.  You don’t need to peel off the skin of the bell pepper as called for in the recipe, but it may help to get rid of the overly charred parts.  And roasting of the peppers could be done on a broiler setting of an oven, if you prefer not to watch it closely over your open burner.  Fun fact:  green bell peppers ripen to become red bell peppers (the same goes for the habanero chili pepper, it starts off green and ripens into red)!

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Try this Indian-style Bell Pepper and Potato Stir-fry by
Piping Hot Curry

 

Sage

gingertooth&twine sage herb pasta
Whole herb infused pasta sheets
(photo & idea by GingerToothandTwine on Instagram)

If you want to attempt pasta making, no better time than the present!  Or at least, you could find pasta dough and roll it out yourself.  When at the folding and rolling out stage, try placing whole, clean sage leaves and other herb leaves in between the layers before rolling out again.  You’ll get pretty pasta sheets like above that also will infuse the pasta with the herb flavors.  Yum!  You could also slice up sage thinly and pan fry it with butter to then top off your pasta dishes, or anything really.  I imagine some thinly sliced sage would toast up nicely on top of pizza, too.  But if you imagine anything typically grown and eaten in Fall, like squash & gourds (i.e. pumpkin, kabocha squash, spaghetti squash), apples, or potatoes, these are all good pairings with sage!  Or throw some crushed up sage onto meats with oil, salt, and pepper and cook as usual.

Garlic-Sage-Smashed-Potatoes by Trial-and-Eater
Try these Garlic Sage Smashed Potatoes by Trial and Eater

 

Husk Cherries.. again!

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Martha in the fields picking husk cherries (while enjoying a cantaloupe ice)

Just a reminder about what to do with husk cherries, if you don’t want to just pop them straight into your mouth (though, that’s the easiest route)!  A few posts ago from the Week 8 blog post, we posted about “the Kitchn’s “5 Reasons You’ll Want to Buy Husk Cherries at the Farmer’s Market”.  Suggestions come with links for baking with it, making jam, salad, or salsa, etc.  Of course, you can always just eat it raw out of its husk, it’s a nice treat as is (but a bit of a pain to harvest, so please cherish it or share it if it’s not your taste)!”

 

Kale

sauteed garlic kale by Delish
Sauteed Garlic Kale by Delish.com

All of you are getting a different variety of kale, but it’s pretty much all the same in terms of cooking methods.  Some recipes say you can ditch the stalk of the kale, but you actually can cook and eat it.  It just cooks for a longer time than the leaves.  So chop up the stalks into 1/2 or 1/4 inch pieces and sauté first in the same manner as a recipe you choose, cover with a lid to cook faster, than throw in the leaves as directed.  And give kale chips a try for a crunchy, addictive snack!

 

 

CSA Customer Creations

Suzanne's kabocha SEA seafood curry

Suzanne’s Southeast Asian-inspired seafood & kabocha curry stew (MGF kabocha)

MGF friends & gifted veggie platter

Farmer Kohei celebrated friends’ soon-to-be baby coming into the world with a custom MGF veggie platter!

Katie&Go carrot green shiraae

Katie & Go’s carrot top greens shiraae (a Japanese tofu paste flavored with miso and sesame;  MGF carrot top greens)

Judy bittermelon tokana scallion bok noodles

Judy’s bean thread noodle stir fry with MGF greens (bitter melon, scallions, takana greens, bok choy)

Claire's homemade tomato sauce w: sausage

Claire’s homemade tomato sauce with sausage and pasta (MGF tomatoes)

Casey Cutting itzik salad w: MGF veg

Casey’s itzik salad (MGF green zebra tomatoes & onions)

 

 

On the Farm

MGF Tiverton sunset

Farmer Kohei caught this sunset view at the nearby beach!

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Striped german heirloom tomatoes strangely survived the onset of blight which devastated all of our other tomatoes – these ones are headed to Dorchester!

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Pints of habaneros, southeast Asian chili peppers, and jalapenos, as well as husk cherries before they are packed up into CSA boxes

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Getting ready for the Fall planting – trays of lettuce, bok choy, mustard greens, napa cabbage, scallions, collard greens, and spinach!

MGF tractor making rows

Making new rows in the field with the handy, new, mini tractor!