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Organic farming vs ORGANIC farming

As organic food gains in popularity and demand, we all celebrate that our society is increasing their awareness around food.  So what does organic mean these days and are there differences within that category?  The answer is most definitely YES.  So what does LotFotL mean when they say organic?

First of all, LotFotL is certified organic by MOSA.  MOSA inspects our farm annually to verify that we are farming in accordance with certain standards. These standards are put in place by the US government, giving everyone an agreed upon definition of what is acceptable and what is not. They look at everything from how many days you wait between putting down manure and harvesting, to what language we use in marketing, to requiring the farmer to track activity from the seed to the sale and in between. Certifying  helps to build trust between us and our customers and gives a starting place to grow our relationship.  But, there can be a big gap between the practices of one organic grower and another.  What pesticides does the farmer use?  How does the farmer protect, love, and nurture the soil?  These decisions are personal and are the things you learn by knowing your farmer.

One example from LotFotL would be our very limited use of organically approved pesticides.  Although there are  broad spectrum (wide range of bugs killed by) pesticides that are allowed in organics, we hesitate to use them. The producers of these botanical formulas brag about how many different species of “pests” are killed using these products. We do not agree that all bugs are pests and would rather deal with a smaller yield preferential than a destabilized ratio of predator bugs and problem bugs!

Vegetable growing can be very hard on the soil if the operator is not conscientious. The constant mechanical weeding on organic vegetable farms can weaken soil particle bonds, resulting in soil textures and consistencies that over time will be less advantageous for cropping. To reduce these impacts we utilize dairy manure as a great food resource for our soil. That’s right. We feed our soil cow poop! In spreading 10-20 tons of manure per acre in fall, we not only recharge a mineral and nutrient feedstock for the plants, but replenish the soil with carbon and other nutrients that are removed by vegetable harvesting. As the soil’s enzymes and bacteria break this material down, they leave behind the building blocks of humus, a thick goo that helps the soil hold together, and keep moisture nearby.  The tilth(looseness) of our soils would be lacking, had we followed the standard practices of simply applying pelletized chicken manure and trace minerals as needed.

What do these practices mean for your CSA experience with LotFotL? Well, for one, you should take heart in knowing that we are not out here depleting the soil, killing all the bugs, and upsetting the balances of the life process on the farm. Your dollars are not only spent on buying food for your family, but contribute to growing this brand of agriculture: a brand that puts the stability of the biotic community and health of the soil first and foremost.

Caring for the soil and the living community does require some sacrifices.  Some of the bugs we don’t kill with sprays make holes in leafy greens, or hang out in the cabbages and heads of lettuces. Our dedication to preserving the ecosystems of LotFotL might end up accidentally exporting some of our pests and predators to your homes on occasion, despite our best washing efforts.  We do our best to live in harmony as a participant in this system rather than dominate over it. In choosing a more eco-centric view, we have learned to live with a few holes in our greens and tolerate some green worms on our cabbage.

It is our hope that our customers will value the same things that we do.  Throughout the season, we make an effort to talk about how and why things are the way they are in our fields.  We try to celebrate the good the bad and the ugly(ish), while supplying our customers with high quality, delicious, fresh food.  But, we also want to educate about why the ugly (a worm in your broccoli) might be beautiful (saved habitat and healthier eco-system). We hope the time and energy that we put into our soils and the nurturing we give to the farm holds value for you as well.

Thank you for getting to know your farmer and the brand of organic that you have chosen.

 

 

LotFotL’s Winter Squash (carrots, turnips and leeks) Soup with Kalettes

Ingredients
  • 2 tsp olive oilwinter soup 2015
  • 2.5 C leeks, chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin half-circles
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (or sub 3 napa cabbage leaves and a sprinkle of celery seed)
  • ¼ tsp dried chile flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp dried sage
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • ¾-1 lb. butternut squash cubed (about 2½ cups)
  • 1/2-3/4 lb turnips cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 T Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base
  • 1¾ cups water (enough to cover your ingredients)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 20 kalettes pulled from the stalk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
  2. Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, dried chile flakes, thyme, sage and salt. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for one additional minute.
  5. Stir in the butternut squash, turnips,chicken base, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover the saucepan and cook until everything is are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Let the soup cool for 10 minutes, then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Puree until almost smooth, then stir the mixture back into the soup.
  7. Stir in the kalettes, keep soup covered and on low temp until kalette is tender. Add salt and pepper (if desired)
  8.  Best if this sits overnight to let the flavors come together.
  9. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and shredded aged white chedder cheese.

Week 18 Grocery List and Meal Planner

lacinato kale

lacinato kale

Lots of great veggies in the shares and even better recipes in our newsletter this week! Some of the features include Asian greens (with a seared steak salad

Spinach

Spinach

recipe), kale and spinach in small shares (with a wonderful smoothie recipe!), and broccoli, cauliflower, or romanesco in large shares (find a recipe for gratin involving one of all of these wonderful things in our newsletter). Regardless of what size share you signed up for, you’re sure to be delighted with this week’s offerings. Feel free to print off the Week 18 Grocery List and meal planner for your fridge and enjoy your veggies!

2015 LotFotL Pork!

LotFotL 2015 Pork Availability

It is pork season.  As always supply is limited

Delivery begins week of Oct 12, 2015

Details: This year pork will be available in the following ways; meat shares, winter market, and whole, half, and quarter boxes

WHO: Most of the pork available and for sale was raised right here at LotFotL.  We are also working with Dandee Berks out of asdfad to help provide additional meat, specifically for the Winter Meat Shares. His animal husbandry practices are similar to our here at LotFotL.  After our allotted pork has sold out, we will make pork from Dandee Berks available in individual meat boxes as well.

Half, Whole, and Quarter Pork Meat Boxes: This year there will be 3 box sizes available for purchase.  To learn more about what is included in your box click here.

Pricing

Meat Box Pricing: The following prices include kill, cut, wrap, and all the other processing.

  • 140# box(whole hog)-$1050 in full, $200 deposit paid in advance
  • 70# box(half hog)-$575, $150 deposit paid in advance
  • 35# box(1/4 hog)-$310, $100 deposit paid in advance
    Cancelled orders will be subject to a $25 cancellation fee.

Milwaukee County Winter Market: Our pork will also be sold a la carte at this market. To learn more about market details click here.

Meat shares: Shares that include pork, beef, chicken, lamb, and local specialty sausages will become available for sale in October and begin delivery in November.  For more details click here.

WHERE: Pork is available for delivery to all of our Thursday CSA drop sites (click here for details), South Shore Farmers Market (until Oct 17th), and for pick up at in East Troy at Hometown Sausage. Home delivery is also available for an additional fee.

Why: We believe choosing sustainable practices, like pasturing and using organic feed, have immeasurable long term benefits for both our personal health, the well being of the animals, and the overall harmony of the planet. Click here to learn more about  “What it’s like to be a Pig at LotFotL”.

Pick Up and Delivery: There are 3 ways to retrieve your meat

  • FREE – Pick up at Hometown Sausage (W1184 County Rd. L East Troy, WI 53120. 262-642-3264. Note: 35# boxes cannot be picked up at Hometown sausage
  • FREE – Pick up at any LotFotL’s Thursday CSA drop off location on CSA delivery day (click here for details), including South Shore farmer’s market on Saturdays (until Oct 17th).
  • DELIVERY FEE – Delivery to your doorstep Contact us personally to figureout the delivery costs to your door. Pricing will be determined based on your location and the time of day you need delivery.