I’m excited about pumpkin pie! And all the rest of the fabulous foods that make Thanksgiving one of my favorite holidays. In Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer, she devotes a whole chapter to The Honorable Harvest. Her stories are mostly about collecting wild foods but the ethical code she describes hold true for farming (and other endeavors) as well. When she was growing up… “the guidelines for the Honorable Harvest are not written down, or even spoken of consistently as a whole – they are reinforced in all acts of daily life.” Even though there is no list, based on all her experience she begins to write some of the tenants down. The ones that rang true for me include:
Know the ways of the ones who take care of you, so that you may take care of them.
This makes me think of the earthworms, and what we need to know about their life cycle in order to take care of them so they can continue to help us. Less tillage = happier worms.
Harvest in a way that mimimizes harm.
This affirms our commitment not to drive out into our muddy fields to harvest this time of year because of the damage that would do to our soil. It’s definitely harder for the people, but better for the planet.
Use it respectfully. Never waste what you have taken.
This is the reason I was up too late last night making applesauce before the fruit my neighbor gave me went bad. And when all else fails we make compost so it goes back to feed the soil.
It is the reason I love the CSA model – for the shared commitment we make to each other and for the ongoing conversations we share which continue to inspire us together to make honorable choices about food & farming & life.
Give thanks for what you have been given. Give a gift, in reciprocity for what you have taken.
I am thankful for good food & friends & family. And I’m bringing gifts of food (of course!) and compassion. Hope you also have lots to give thanks for during this holiday season!
Amazing recipes for everything in your Thanksgiving share are available to members at Cook With What You Have. If you joined our Winter CSA you will find your password in the member email. Enjoy 24/7 access to recipe inspiration!
This week your share may include…
- Brussel Sprouts: One of my favorite things to do is mix the sprouts with a little salt & olive oil and roast them under the broiler. Make sure and stir several times and turn the pan around so they all cook evenly. Doing it this way they are nicely carmelized on the outside but never overcooked. I also love Gnocchi & Sprouts with Pesto.
- Red Cabbage: Makes a festive holiday slaw.
- Carrots: Yum!
- Celery: This may be slightly stronger flavored than the celery that you are used to so taste a bit before you put it out with the peanut butter : ) Leaves and stems are perfect for cooking – makes a great addition to stuffing, soups & au gratin potatoes.
- Garlic: The garlic we harvested this summer has been drying in the barn for the last 4 months. We finally had a few rainy days to get it cleaned up and sorted. The bounty is clear – many big beautiful heads of Chesnok & Music.
- Tuscan Kale: Love these dark green skinny savoyed leaves of the kale with many names… Dinosaur, Black, Toscano. It is tasty no matter what you call it! Holds up well in cooked dishes and also makes a great raw kale salad.
- Parsley: Flat leaf Italian parsley
- Yellow Nicola Potatoes: Golden skin & golden flesh – these are great for roasting and mashing. Also, if you are eating fewer carbs this is a good potato as it rates lower on the glycemic index than most.
- Delicata Squash & Pie Pumpkins: Delicata are among the sweetest of all winter squash and are often compared in flavor to a sweet potato. Cut them in half length wise, remove seeds, and bake, cut side down in the oven until the top is soft and the bottom is starting to caramelize. Or cut them the other direction and make Squash Rings. If pumpkin pie NOT from a can is on your holiday menu you should definitely try my Grandmothers recipe. These pumpkins also make great squash soup and pumpkin muffins.
- Shallots: I’m a big fan of shallots – they have such a nice delicate flavor. They usually store for months, but ours had a stressed out start because they got the wrong potting soil and never quite recovered. We’re giving out lots in the share so you’ll have plenty and if you find a bad spot just cut out around it and use the rest.
Coming soon… Lovely Leeks!