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The Souls of Soils

The Souls of Soils

Hey, all!  Shannon here to share some of my "Card Catalog" of random knowledge (as Erin and Olivia like to call it). And because I'm in charge (temporarily), we're going to be talking about SOIL! 

This week I received an email in which someone declared "sustainable agriculture is an oxymoron."  They proclaimed that with all the carbon emissions released from farming, there is no way it can be sustainable.  This person probably isn't connected with their food or even curious to really know how it's created.  But what really broke my heart was that they were completely closed off to the idea that some forms of agriculture can be beneficial and regenerative for the soils and the world. 

Let's take a step back and check out the 10,000,000,000 mile view of soils. To start, they are living!  They're teeming with microbes, fungi, insects, plant debris, rodents, and soooo much more; combinations of sand, silt, and clay make up the soil's texture.  (If you want a fun activity to do with kiddos or on your own, you can try to determine the texture of the soil around you.)  Within the soil, there are carbon bonds that hold it together.  When intrusive practices such as plowing pull up soil up from 1+ feet deep, it cracks those bonds and releases carbon into the atmosphere.  This also allows the now loose soil to easily erode and wash away. 

There are three stores of carbon in the world: Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Terrestrial.  Unfortunately, due to poor farming practices and fossil fuels, much of the carbon from the terrestrial sink have gone to the atmospheric.  BUT, there are solutions that date back millennia that can reverse that, and many of the farmers we work with at Family Dinner are great facilitators of these processes.  Thus, farming in nature's image can and does put carbon back into the soils in the form of soil organic matter (SOM), as carbon is the backbone of nearly everything. 

So what are these practices? 

  • No/Low Till - Seeds are drilled straight into the soil and beds are formed without taking a deep plow to the land year after year. 
  • Cover Cropping - Planting specific beneficial plants so the soil is covered and nutrient levels are increased for the crops going in the following year. 
  • Livestock Integration - Why spend time doing a full field clean up when sheep or chickens can eat the scraps and leave little nutrient nuggets for the next year?
  • Perennial Crops - There's little soil disturbance if the same crops will always be there.
  • Intercropping - Planting multiple species in the same bed to maximize space and nutrient distribution through root exudes (plant foods that work symbiotically with microbes in the soil). Can also work in larger Agroforestry systems with multiple perennial crops.
  • Composting - Taking used plant materials and animal wastes to create natural fertilizers.
  • and so much more! 

I consider myself lucky to be able to talk to our farmers, hear about what they do on their farms, and sit in awe of all the work they do.  I am constantly inspired by the loving way they talk about their soil health and always wanting to improve it.  If you're looking for some inspiration or hope in these times, let me point you toward Hope in a Changing Climate and Kiss the Ground, two documentaries that showcase the power of restoring soil health; Project Drawdown, which lists numerous agricultural solutions to climate change; and our rockstar farmers who are in the soil doing this work every day. 


WHAT'S IN THE BAG? (MA)

Delivery dates: Saturday, 7/16 and Tuesday, 7/19

Note: If you order a "Meat and Fish Share" you will receive just the meats listed, not the "dairy" items (i.e., eggs, yogurt, etc). If you order a "Fish and Seafood Share" you will receive the fish listed, not the dairy items.

Add-on Bread of the Week - Country Round from Iggy's
Add-on Cheese of the Week - Tomme from Winter Hill 
Add-on Fresh Pasta of the Week - Whole Wheat Fettuccine from Dave's Fresh Pasta 
Add-on Gluten Free Grain of the Week - Crackers from ME Crisps
Add-on Grain of the Week - Crackers from ME Crisps
Add-on Mezze of the Week - Tzatziki from Dave's Fresh Pasta
Add-on Pastry of the Week - Chocolate Croissants from Iggy's
Add-on Vegetarian Salad of the Week - Farro Salad from Forge
Add-on Fruit Share Fruits of the Week - Gooseberries from Nourse Farms and Cherries from Ward's Berry Farm

 

HALF SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery
Pescatarian Protein - Cod from Red's; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery
Vegetarian Proteins - Tofu from Heiwa Tofu; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Raspberries from Nourse Farm; Swiss Chard from Clark; Cucumbers from Langwater Farm and Kitchen Garden Farm; Mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm
Grain - Shells from Seven Hills Pasta
Special Treat - Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Forge

WHOLE SHARE 

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Cod from Red's Best; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Pescatarian Protein - Cod, Bluefish from Red's; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins - Tofu from Heiwa Tofu; Empanadas from Buenas; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Cod from Red's Best; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Raspberries from Nourse Farm; Swiss Chard from Clark; Cucumbers from Langwater Farm and Kitchen Garden Farm; Mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm; Green Beans from Brookford Farm and Langwater Farm; Eggplant from Kitchen Garden Farm
Grain - Shells from Seven Hills Pasta
Special Treat - Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Forge; Peach Walnut Bread from Do Good Kitchen

 

DOUBLE SHARE

Omnivore Protein - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Cod and Tuna from Red's Best; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Pescatarian Protein - Cod, Bluefish, Tuna from Red's; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins - Tofu from Heiwa Tofu; Empanadas from Buenas; Dumplings from Mei Mei; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Paleo Proteins - Chorizo from Feather Brook Farms; Cod and Tuna from Red's Best; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Raspberries from Nourse Farm; Swiss Chard from Clark; Cucumbers from Langwater Farm and Kitchen Garden Farm; Mushrooms from Fat Moon Farm; Green Beans from Brookford Farm and Langwater Farm; Eggplant from Kitchen Garden Farm; Broccoli from Iron Ox Farm; Corn from Ward's Berry Farm
Grain - Shells from Seven Hills Pasta; Spelt Bread from Iggy's
Special Treat - Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Forge; Peach Walnut Bread from Do Good Kitchen


RECIPES (MA)

(from Shannon)

Cream Cheese Pasta Sauce - Cream Cheese! Shells! What dreams are made of! 

Chard, Chorizo and Egg - One-pan wonder! You know my affinity for 1-pan meals because who doesn't love an easy clean up?!?

Smashed Cucumber Salad - My roommates and I looooove this salad. So easy and so tasty. 

Tofu and Mushroom Stir-Fry - Half hour to dinner--yes, please! 

Grilled Cod - Have I accidentally typed "Grilled God" multiple times now? Yep. But worth it - don't heat the house, crank this recipe on the grill! With some Grilled Eggplant!

Corn on the Cob - I found this article last year and also tried all of them and will not go back to cooking corn any other way than on the grill. SO easy. 

Baked Bluefish - Not going to lie, the picture just looks real pretty on this one! Hope it tastes as good as it looks! 

Tips and Tricks for storing your food and getting the most from your shares can be found here


WHAT'S IN THE BAG? (ME/NH)

 

Delivery date: Saturday, 7/16

Note: If you order a "Meat and Fish Share" you will receive just the meats listed, not the "dairy" items (i.e., eggs, yogurt, etc). If you order a "Fish and Seafood Share" you will receive the fish listed, not the dairy items.

Add-on Bread of the Week - Semolina Rolls from Rosemont Market & Bakery
Add-on Cheese of the Week - Katahdin Cheddar from State of Maine Cheese Co.
Add-on Fresh Pasta of the Week - Whole Wheat Fettuccine from Dave's Fresh Pasta
Add-on Gluten Free Grain of the Week - Gluten Free Granola from Lucy's Granola
Add-on Grain of the Week - Cinnamon Maple Crisps from Maine Crisps
Add-on Mezze of the Week - Hummus from Rosemont Market & Bakery
Add-on Pastry of the Week - Blueberry Muffins from Two Fat Cats Bakery
Add-on Sausage of the Week - Chicken Spicy Italian from Tide Mill Organic Farm
Add-on Treat of the Week - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Big Sky Bread Company
Add-on Vegetarian Salad of the Week - Farro Caesar from Rosemont Market & Bakery

 

HALF SHARE

 

Omnivore Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm
Pescatarian Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm
Paleo Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins & Dairy - Tofu from Heiwa; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm
Fruits and Veggies - Kale from South Paw Farm; Cucumbers from Goranson Farm and Langwater Farm; Butterhead Lettuce from South Paw Farm; Summer Squash from Dandelion Spring; Hakurei Turnips from Dandelion Spring (Paleo Shares only); Raspberries from Nourse Farms (Paleo Shares only)
Grains - English Muffin Bread from Big Sky Bread Company
Special Treats - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Big Sky Bread Company

WHOLE SHARE

Omnivore Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Sausage from Colvard & Co. and Broad Arrow; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery
Pescatarian Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Lobster Bisque from Red's Best; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery
Paleo Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Sausage from Colvard & Co. and Broad Arrow; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins & Dairy - Tofu from Heiwa; Farro Caesar from Rosemont Market & Bakery; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery
Fruits and Veggies - Kale from South Paw Farm; Cucumbers from Goranson Farm and Langwater Farm; Butterhead Lettuce from South Paw Farm; Summer Squash from Dandelion Spring; Hakurei Turnips from Dandelion Spring; Raspberries from Nourse Farms; Green Beans from Langwater Farm (Paleo Shares only); Bunched Onions from Iron Ox Farm (Paleo Shares only)
Grains - English Muffin Bread from Big Sky Bread Company
Special Treats - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Big Sky Bread Company; Peanut Butter Cookies from Two Fat Cats Bakery

DOUBLE SHARE

Omnivore Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Sausage from Colvard & Co. and Broad Arrow; Skirt Steak from Pine Ridge Acres; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Pescatarian Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Lobster Bisque from Red's Best; Whole Cleaned Squid from True Fin*; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Paleo Proteins & Dairy - Haddock from True Fin*; Sausage from Colvard & Co. and Broad Arrow; Skirt Steak from Pine Ridge Acres; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Vegetarian Proteins & Dairy - Tofu from Heiwa; Farro Caesar from Rosemont Market & Bakery; Spinach and Feta Pierogi from Jaju; Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese from Springdale Farm; Butter from Casco Bay Creamery; Eggs from Feather Brook Farms
Fruits and Veggies - Kale from South Paw Farm; Cucumbers from Goranson Farm and Langwater Farm; Butterhead Lettuce from South Paw Farm; Summer Squash from Dandelion Spring; Hakurei Turnips from Dandelion Spring; Raspberries from Nourse Farms; Green Beans from Langwater Farm; Bunched Onions from Iron Ox Farm
Grains - English Muffin Bread from Big Sky Bread Company; Granola from Two Fat Cats Bakery
Special Treats - Chocolate Chip Cookies from Big Sky Bread Company; Peanut Butter Cookies from Two Fat Cats Bakery

*Super frozen to -60ºC which means zero ice crystals rupturing cell structure while defrosting which means zero difference from fresh and zero issues searing. ❤️


RECIPES (ME/NH)

(from Joe)

Thai Cucumber Salad - First cukes of the season! This recipe from Andy Ricker of Pok Pok fame, is one of our fav ways to use. For a simpler, less Thai pantry heavy version, check out this version.

Raspberries - First raspberries of the season! Just eat 'em raw.

Smoky Raspberry Paloma - Or make it boozy. I whiffed on mentioning how amazing strawberries and mezcal are while strawberries were still in season (if you froze some, I implore you to try), but raspberries are a great stand in.

Yellow Squash Casserole - First summer squash of the season! I mean... not really much more to say here other than, "Yes, please."

Grilled Haddock and Summer Squash Packets - Any white fish would do here and you could just as easily (probably more so) bake it. Easy, tasty, downright healthy weeknight meal right here.

Miso Roasted Japanese Turnips - The Hakurei turnips from Dandelion Spring that are in most of your shares are so freaking good. Amp them up with some miso and caramelizing.

 

Tips and Tricks for storing your food and getting the most from your shares can be found here.