News and blog

Welcome to the blog.
Posted 11/22/2020 7:42pm by David Zemelsky.

I can't be the only one totally puzzled by the President.  The thing that I like about him, and in fact the only thing that I like about him is that he's not afraid to act differently.  The only trouble is that his "differently" threatens our country's democracy.  In spite of dozens of his law suits being thrown out of court because there's no substance to any of them, he keeps persisting in the notion that he clearly won the election.  No matter that Democratic and Republican Secretaries of States have both assured the public that this has been the most thoroughly fair election in the country's history.  Fraud and vote stealing-nope.  The peaceful and cooperative transferred of power is an essential hallmark of a safe democracy.  And yet, we're not getting that.  Instead, only silence from the White House (but a ton of rounds of golf!) and a move to throw  the popular vote out in several states.  I just don't get it.  The President doesn't act like he want to do his job.  At the G-20 summit(virtual) the other day, he didn't even stay till the end and instead left to go play golf, again.

The notion that the election was riddled with fraud is the real "fake news".  I truly worry that we will all become skeptical of anything that we hear from now on.  Joe Bidden will have the worlds most difficult job-to unwind four years of the past administration ill advised changes, get American's to finally act smart about Covid and lastly and equally scarry- get us out of this economic hole.  Yes, the economy is recovering, however it is important to point out that there are a million more jobs still lost than at the start of the '08 Recession.  12million Americans, mostly POC are still out of work and likely to remain so without any help from Congress.  It was explained to me by the New York Times Economic Editor that these 12 million unemployed, if they remain that way for over six months, that their prospects of regaining their past level of economic status is dismal at best.  That would mean that as bad as things are for millions, it would probably be accurate to say that for most of them, they'll never get economic stability.  This, to me, is staggering, unfair and needs immediate attention.  Won't happen with the present Majority Leader.  Time and again, in economic stressful times like we're experiencing right now, it has been shown that the best thing is to prop things up until they can right themselves.  The CARES Act was a good start, but now I feel that the Majority Leader is holding these people hostage, as Unemployment Benefits are going to disappear with the end of the year.

This week, we'll have great things for you to help with your Thanksgiving Dinner  plans.  I know that it will all look different this year.   Please remember that we're only doing one Farm Shed Day this week-Wednesday after 2pm.  No markets this week, at all.  Madison is now done for the season.  Cityseed will keep going, resuming on December 5th.  And also, a reminder that we can set up a delivery of your food thru Susie's Smart Shop.  You can arrange that thru the online store.  Her selection is towards the end of the choices.  Its a light blue background, with Susie's Smart Shop on it.

There's still tomatoes to choose from and some of them are red, rather than green.  Green is almost an unlimited supply, and the ripe ones less so.  However, green tomatoes will ripen on the kitchen counter, too.

December will offer you delicious greens, sweet beyond all sensibility-so still no need to go off to Stop and Shop for much of your produce wants.

Thanksgiving for me, is the time to take note of what's going on in our collective lives.  A time to know and be grateful for all the things that we have. And I don't mean material things, but the spiritual things that we keep close to our hearts.  If there's important things missing, and there usually are, there is still room to bring them in.  Not always doable in these stressful times, but sometimes trying helps.

Please stay safe and act smart.  Wear that mask when you're out there.

 

 

Posted 11/15/2020 6:04pm by David Zemelsky.

There's a metaphor here, although I must confess as this letter is being started not totally positive whether its a good metaphor.  You'll be the judge.  But let me tell you first where I'm going and you can see if I'm actually heading there or not.

I'm heading towards thinking about strong values and striving to get the job done right.  It applies not only to business (like Star Light) and now the huge task of getting the two sides of the political parties to figure out how to work together.  Or whether they'd rather just fight with each other and accomplish nothing

Ok.  A few moments ago I found a beautiful sock lying in the leaves in front of the shed.  Not a pair, just one sock  To my eyes, a beautiful sock because its  DARN TOUGH brand.  Made in Vermont and guaranteed for life.  This is not to be taken lightly.  A few years ago, I threw out all my socks and bought 8 pairs (not all at once) of a certain plain style that the Darn Tough company puts out.  No more sorting socks.  This is after what seems like a lifetime of sorting socks for my family.  Life got better after that.  Here's the point.  The Darn Tough Company stands behind their product no matter what.  Star Light has taken that position since day one.  It didn't seem like anything less than your satisfaction would do for us.  We might have messed up here and there, but by and large, if you're not satisfied then whatever you purchased would be replaced or refunded.  Which ever you wanted.  This is how we'll always operate.  Yes, getting money for our products is important to help pay our wages and help further build the business.  All true, but just as true is a belief that what goes out has to be Right (yes, with a capitol 'R'!).

And that gets me to our new President.  He was not my first choice (maybe Warren or Sanders would have been first for me), but perhaps it is true that he was clearly electable.  President-elect Biden grew a lot during his candidacy, taking wisdom from all kinds of members of his party.  Not just Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but more towards the center Dems from the House and Senate. 

Joe Biden learned how to get things done in the Senate.  It was the Senate that probably saved his life by the bi-partisan support network that surrounded him after the tragic death of his first wife and daughter.  So that is how he tries to get things done, by giving a bit here and taking a bit there.  That, actually is how it used to work before the bipartisan schism has become so wide that its become almost impossible to get anything done in government.  Somehow, people from both sides of the aisle need to learn how to work together.  Sure, I know they've been talking like this for quite a while, but now the stakes have become so high that if something different doesn't happen, we're all going to suffer.  Its like the house is on fire and all creatures need to work together to save to house or we'll have nothing.

But, and this is a big one,  there are things that just can't be compromised on.  Things that would cause racism to grow rather than be extinquished.  Same for sexism, agism and homophobic movements.   I've come to believe that besides the pro-Trump people who advocate for white supremacy, there are also good good  Trump people who want equity in the world.  I still don't understand very well how they could feel that way and still vote for and support Trump, but still believe that their hearts are in the right place.  At least I hope so.  I really do.  I'm looking forward to being able to talk to some of those people who feel that way and try to understand what seems unexplainable to me now.  But I keep hoping.

Meanwhile, it is also my hope that everyone will recognize that this election was not tampered with.  It might have been the best election in history.  There are certainly many conspiracy theories about Russia, Cuba and Venezuela tampering with our system.  Virtually none of of it has been proven in any way.  Just like Hunter Biden's computer-a fabrication.  Trump needs to conceed if only to help the Biden team get up to speed on international intelligence.  As the mayor of Philadelphia said to Trump," Its time to put your big boy pants on and (admit the outcome of the election)"

A Star Light reminder.  Order early to avoid "sold outs" and check back in a few days- your item may come available then.  Check and make sure that you get a confirmation letter for your orders.  No confirmation means that the store, for some reason, didn't receive your order.  Try again and then if that fails, write to us.  Pick up after 2pm on Wednesday and Friday. After 3pm on Saturday.  

I am dazzled by several of what we have to offer, but the radishes and hakeuri turnips  are staggering in quality.  Try them.

Our second caterpillar tunnel should be completed early this week.  I'll take a picture for you.

Oh , and that sock from the above story.  Is it yours?  I"m washing it and hoping that someone will claim it.  Whoever you are, you have great taste in socks.

Please take care of yourselves.  Mask can make such a difference.

Namaste,

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 11/8/2020 6:20pm by David Zemelsky.

It all seems clear to me now- its all about love and just love.  For what seems like an eternity many of us shook our heads about the President, with new books and revelations of  unmistakable crimes of greed and impropriety where ever we turned.  For myself and many many of my friends, we've lived in a state of anxiety about what his actions might do and what might happen next.  Now, no more.  Or I should say after January 20th, no more.  Which is not to say that between now and then, there's no telling what he might try to make sure that the Trump legacy is burned in our everyday life for a generation or more to come.  For some of you, the result of this election might be a disappointment.  And it is to you that I now turn my attention.

Inspite of the fact that I'll never understand (but wish to so very much) the 70 million people who thought he was good for the country-now the fact remains that the USA is as divided as it had ever been before the Civil War.  So, as Joe Biden said, this is not going to be a Democrat administration but one that serves all citizens.  He's got the will to make this happen, too.  Looking at what happens next like a Restoration can be helpful.  For my part, I think that everything from here on out is about love.  Love to all, Dem or Republican.  It is not at all clear how we go forward or how the US Senate will work with the newly elected President. (Infact, there's plenty of evidence that Mitch McConnell will not be willing to work with the President-elect.) It is clear to me that there must be many core values between the two parties that must be identified.  The building is on fire and we all must figure out a way to put the fire out.  And right in the middle of all this is an essential and unmoveable fact- sexism, racism, fascism, and anti environmentalism will have no place to get a footing in the new order.  We can talk about all else and look for ways to provide equity, a way to have decent affordable healthcare and immediately start repairing our very wounded environment.  We can do all this.  Really, there's nothing we can't do if there's a will (or almost nothing).

My hope is that there's a smooth transition of power in January and that between then and now, the Presidents actions won't be so terrible that I'll be drawn to comment on them.  Not that my comments will effect the ultimate outcome!  Concurrently with that, I plan to talk with and understand and figure out what will help people work together.  My own efforts are small compared to what's got to happen, but maybe if more and more people tried to work together we just might have something there.  I can hope, right?  And its all based in a circle of love.  More than ever, we've all got to show love to one another in order to make for a better world. John L. said it all:"All you need is love...."

Now let's talk about food.  We're full of green tomatoes.  As I said last week, they are a gem that needs to be explored.  Fried Green Tomatoes, Green Tomato Pie, Picadelli and on and on.  Here's a website to give you more ideas.  I recommend them, alot.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/15156/fruits-and-vegetables/vegetables/tomatoes/green-tomatoes/?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-category-page&utm_content=20201102

Other important crops to consider are haukeri turnips and radishes.  Both of them have  a crunch that is unbeatable.  Haukeris, you might remember are smallish turnips that do not need to be cooked.  They're fabulous raw.

Salad Green, Braising Greens and Spinach are in the online store, too.  If you see them sold out,  try again because we're trying to make things available in all locations.

And in other big news- we're going to complete construction on our second catapillar tunnel soon.  Probably this week, if things line up correctly.  Big moving ahead news for us.

Lastly, my grandson, Hartley is selling eggs.  And they are wonderful.  This week there'll be 4 dz available in the shed.  $5/dz.  Look for them and grab them up.  Hopefully, more than 4 will be available for next week.

I wish all of you peace and a restful start to your week.  There's certainly lots to be amazed about and still the pandemic to contend with.  Two very different things. Mask work!

Namaste,

David

 

Posted 11/1/2020 6:14pm by David Zemelsky.

In a way, I hate to make my subject line "Trump", as it gives him yet one more place in the spotlight.  It looks to me that one of the reasons that he is ignoring people's needs in regards to Covid(to name  just one of the many needs that he ignores of his constitutients ) is that Covid becomes a more central and important subject than Donald J. Trump.  "Covid, covid covid!", he's been known to say in frustration when the subject gets more air play than himself.

On Tuesday, it could be the start of something entirely new for our country(Biden) or another 4 years with the current administration.  But either way,  Trumpism will continue long past Trump's eventual exit.  And that means that there'll still be people who are holding values (Trump's) that I quite honestly can not understand.  But whether I do or don't understand is not as important as how we're all going to get along.

Its not an easy problem to solve.  I will admit that part of me believes that anyone who is for Trump is lacking in thinking things thru and seeing the truth.  And further, they are lacking in empathy.  There are so many reasons that this is my belief.  But it does smell of a "higher than thou" thought process.  Its just that every day, I'll read something new that Trump has said or done that shows his racist thoughts and a laser focus on worrying most about his welfare (getting elected) and not on the electorates needs (the immediate need for an effective federal strategy on the Pandemic).

See what I mean?  It doesn't take me but a moment to launch into all the frustration I feel towards Trump and consequently his followers. And, many of you won't find fault with that, either.  Others of you-not sure.  The upshot is that I'm digging deep into my toolbox of feelings and realize that somehow, with or without Trump (depending on the result of the election), there are going to be lots of people who have embraced his beliefs, that are still going to be around.  And what to do? My first thought is that  first priority is to understand why they feel the way that they do.  In that way, they won't seem like such a puzzlement to me.  Secondly, dialogue with anyone who'll engage.  Not always easy.  I know that it is totally easy for me and my friends to engage in the latest Trumpism that we read about or heard on the radio  but to have a meaningful conversation from someone from the other side? A challenge.  We, as a nation are going to have to do that, however.  What would be the alternative-Civil War?  Too horrible to even contemplate.  And besides many of the militias- they're armed. Democratics-not so much.  Perhaps we need a feeling in our towns and cities that we can talk with each other.  As a side note, that doesn't mean that we're going to accept racism and/or sexism as an "OK" value that we're going to work with.  Some lines can not and shouldn't be crossed.

Now, back to the farm.  A good week. A big frost. And a big showing at the markets.  I look to Jen and Joel as the backbone of this success.  Steady and total committment on both their parts to grow the best organic food you'll find anywhere.  We use to clearly be the choice for heirloom tomatoes and magical (Carrot Scientist) carrots, but now people are also even more interested in our amazing kale, beets, radishes and pak (bok) choi, to name but a few.  Our soils, as you might know, are treated like they might if there was a health spa for dirt.  As much as we can, we keep the tractor off of it.  And the wonderful diet  of amendments (think like your daily vitamin), compost and gently broadforking the beds ( kind of like fluffing your pillow).  And come to think of it, we call the places where we grow our food "beds".  How perfect is that?!

Check out the store carefully this week.  We're offering you green tomatoes this week.  If you haven't delved into the world of them yet, you are in for a treat.  Green Tomato Pie, Green Tomato Relish, Green Tomato Soup.  The list goes on and on.  They're good.  You'll see!

Catapillar Tunnel Update.  One of the two houses is finished!  This is so cool for us.  We added instantly 1500 square feet under plastic.  The second one is coming soon, too.  Here are two pictures to give you an idea about how they look.                           

Lastly, here is a link to my favorite academican-Heather Cox Richardson, a professor at Boston College in History.  Every day she puts out a newsletter outlining the important things that happened in the news feed that day.  But much more than that, she puts her historical prospective on what she is talking about.  I find her exactly perfect for me.  Today, she's writing about hope,a subject that needs a lot of help in these very strange times. And  I hope you take the 4 minutes that it would entail to read what she is thinking about.  It brought tears to my eyes because sometimes, it seems that its hard to find things to feel hopeful about.  (sorry for all the "hopes", it just worked out that way!  Here's the link.  https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/october-31-2020

Have a great week and lets fasten our seat belts for this election.  Its maybe going to be a bumpy ride.

Namaste,

 

Posted 10/24/2020 3:17pm by David Zemelsky.

Dear Kind Souls,

In very recent times, two candidates for President won the popular vote but lost their bid for the presidency.  Al Gore in 2000 received 500,000 more votes and in 2016, Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes.  Whatever happened to one man/(or woman)one vote?  The answer lies in the Electoral College-a complicated system that I'll say up front, do not fully understand.

What I do understand, though, is that this is, like so many other parts of our system a flawed and racist establishment, who's main goal is to suppressed the votes of people of color (POC).  When our founding fathers were busy both working out that "all men are created equal", they were also figuring out a way for the South to increase the number of people that would help establish the number of representatives to send to Congress.  They did this by counting 3 out of every 5 slaves, even though this population weren't allowed to vote (among everything else they weren't allowed to do).   Never mind the fact that woman would have to wait even longer to be able to vote.

After the Civil War, the South still adamantly held on to this system and further disenfranchised POC by counting the bodies of African Americans for the purpose of representation but doing everything they could think of to keep them away from the voting booths.  This, of course included, lynchings, poll taxes, intimidation by the Klu Klux Klan to name but of few of the heinous things that happened.

And even later still,1969, there was a strong bipartisan move to abolish the Electoral College.  It overwhelmingly passed the House, but ended up dying thru filibuster in the Senate.  The Electoral College does not further democracy- it only ties its hands.  My hope is that a new administration will find a way to change this system.

It overwhelms me at times, how much of our origins as a country as seeped in a puzzling and two faced picture, where by it looks like we're advocating for equity in our society, but in reality its just an elaborate illusion meant to preserve power for white men.  Strong words, perhaps, but is there any doubt in your minds that when Trump saids "Keep America Great", that one needs to say ,"Great?   Really?  For whom?"

Which is a good segway to our new catepillar tunnels, (well not really a segway, but I needed to change subjects!) that arrived in hundreds of pieces this week.  There's going to be two tunnels, each 15' x 100'.  This translates to an increase in tilled soil under plastic by as much as a standard sized tunnel (3000 square feet).  We"ll be putting them up shortly and sharing pictures hopefully as we go.  This means that we're going to have more great greens and more carrots from the Carrot Scientist.  Maybe less "sold out" at the store.

Its kind of a kit.  Or maybe a bit like a lego set.  In any case, this is our tunnel all laid out on the ground, ready to be made into a hoop house.

Meanwhile, we're growing serious greens, both for cooking and salad that you can still get right thru the end of 2020.  Remember that you can pre order from our online store starting at 7:30PM this Sunday.  Pick up days are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the Farm Shed or at the Madison Market on Friday from 3-6pm or at Cityseed in New Haven from 9-1pm.

Just as a shout out, if any of you are acquainted with a good and reasonably priced company that creates websites, which would include an online store, please let us know.  Thank you.

And as Joel so well articulated a few weeks ago, we (meaning Joel, Jen and myself) are gratiful that you put some of your food trust in us.  It means everything to us.

Here's to a great week and Namaste

David

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 10/18/2020 12:58pm by David Zemelsky.

Remember, store opens now on Sunday at 7:30!  We think that will help those of you who's schedule keeps you away from the store when it opened on Monday at 8AM. Makes sense.

BIG frost last night.  This only means sweeter carrots, salad, kale and our other greens.  Its what the plant does when its cold.  It saids to itself ,"Holy whatever-I'm going to die.  There must be something  I can do to stop this"! And the simple answer is that there is.  Whenever a plant gets threatened, it puts out more carbohydrates in an effort to lower its freezing point.  And yes, when you see the word "carbohydrates", you should think sugar because that's exactly what it is-sugar.  And that's where the sweet comes from.  Carrots, at this time of the year are only sweeter when they're dug up from snowy places in December/January.  The carbohydrate loading there is even sweeter.

While we're talking about carrots, here's a glimpse of how we can deliver you carrots by Mother's Day 2021.  We've got a simple chart that we follow that I'll tell you about shortly.  We plant carrots sometime in mid-November.  They'll germinate before the end of the year or shortly thereafter.   After that, we  carefully weed them and care for them over the next 5-6 months.  Last years crop was so well maintained that I was almost reluctant to spoil them by harvesting them (just kidding!).  So all winter, they don't look like too much, just tiny cotyledons with no true leaves until the length of the day gets long enough to recommence photosynthesis.  The schedule is important.  If you plant too early, the carrot will immediately go to seed as Spring comes on.  You find the date (usually the very end of January) when the length of day gets longer than 10 hours.  From there, you count 12 weeks earlier on the calendar.  That's somewhere in mid-November.  That's your date.  Plant then.  Seeds are so incredibly smart.  They know when things happen and respond to the length of day.  If you're looking for a humbling experience, then all you really need to do is contemplate how utter smart this tiny thing is.  Its as if it has a brain of its own.

Therefore, you should feel that all the greens and pak choi and radishes that you get now will be extra sweet with the colder weather.

David Attenborough, the iconic film maker recently stated that he gives the planet 80 more years. 80 more years?! Its such a startling revelation.  And I'm quite sure that he didn't make that comment lightly, either.  When I contemplate the direction we're going, my hope is that we mobilize as a race to protect and help sustain the planet.  Truly. 

Remember though- for those of us who believe that the President represents an existential threat to our planet (as I do), that even if he leaves office tomorrow (a whole other conversation!), our planet is still dying and in need of dire help.  

I can't pretend to know the right course of action here.  I'm participating in postcard campaigns, taking care of my own health as best I can, urging everyone to vote (that'd be all of us!), signing petitions and trying to be as light as I can on the planet.  Pretty mild stuff.  Wish my own actions were heavier.  But I believe that if all of us mobilizes in some way to help make the planet kinder and more about  our collective good, that the world will be better for it.  AND, it wouldn't hurt if Dems won back both the Senate and the Presidency!  Not that I think that Dems have all the answers.  The party, needs to be pushed to action way beyond its now normal comfort range.  Just as Bidden has liberalized his platform (not socialized, as the Fox people would have you believe), we need to see the Dems take the bold and courageous approach of actually making sure that every citizen's needs for decent housing,water, wages and education (to name but a few) is met.

The biggest take away that I want you to have is to make sure that you know what's happening and vote (but not often!).

I hope you find what you want at the online store.  I know that it can be frustrating sometimes to see your favorite item "sold out".  But remember to check back in a few days to see if the item comes back.  We're determined to make sure that if its on the list, then we have it in stock.  That can make us a bit cautious at times. Once we see that we might have more of an item, we'll reopen it on the online store.  Maybe a tad awkward, baut it gets the job done.

Be safe. Wear your mask in public places and lets all help keep our numbers down!

Namaste,

 

 

Posted 10/5/2020 5:37am by David Zemelsky.

 

Christine Cohen(candidate for State Senate)?  Jump down several paragraphs.

Caterpillar Tunnels? Yes! I mentioned them two weeks ago and forgot to tell you about them the following week.  First off, Star Light has High Tunnels(also known as Hoop Houses)-6 of them to be exact.  We use them extensively every month of the year to make our growing season longer.  In the Summer, we'll grow tomatoes, basil, ginger, turmeric , eggplant and peppers.  Because they're constructed with a plastic cover, its warmer in there and we can plant things sooner and leave them in the ground longer.  Later, after these Summer crops go, we'll plant claytonia (another great conversation about this little known green will be later in the season), kale (both baby and large), spinach, chard and bok choi.  This is our Winter Warehouse-a supply that helps us have fresh food for you all Winter.  I call these vegetables Winter Warriors because they'll battle the cold with ease and stay delicious, viable and healthy all Winter.  Caterpillar Tunnels are narrow and short compared to a High Tunnel.  And for that reason, look very much like a caterpillar.  Joel applied for a state grant to experiment with these caterpillar tunnels and they accepted his application.  State pays half-its like a 50% off sale.  When they're up, you'll get some pictures.  We'll be able to increase our available Winter square footage for a very reasonable rate.  Additionally, we can grow later tomatoes in there.  So, to be continued.

As mentioned in past letters, we're totally in Fall mode.  There's still one hoop house with tomatoes from the Summer, but all else are growing those Winter crops.  Pictures coming soon.

I've received some important and provocative reactions to something I recently wrote about "he's not my president".  This statement seemed to have hit a very sore spot with these individuals.  I don't, of course wish to cause pain here.  My only goal is to share many of the feelings that I feel about the state of our country.  There is no presumption on my part that my perspective  on our world is  insightful  but rather, one of many thoughts that I feel a need to share with all of you. In other words, I'm no punster, just one individual who thinks that our system needs a huge shaking up and some realigned priorities.  As a member of my mailing list, you've an opportunity to read these thoughts or skip them.  Ok, its early and maybe I"m not being as articulate as I want.  I'll leave by saying that it feels like a privilege to be able to share my thoughts with all of you.  I'm not a Twitter guy, so this works best for me.

Back to letters that I received.  The big take away from these letters is that my position (he's not my president)  does not further both sides getting along-that it makes this division even deeper.  I won't disagree with that.  Further, the writers stated, both parties must get along and be civil if there's to be any progress in meaningful work being made.  The close relationship of the late Judges Ginsburg and Scalia were cited as examples of opposing views finding a middle ground. 

To all of this, it would hard to disagree.  Waring parties will only fight and nothing gets accomplished. Ginsburg and Scalia respected one another and found common ground in life's simpler pleasures (like Opera and travel).  I think of myself as someone who knows a bit about getting along and listening to alternative ideas and suggestions.  All reasonable concepts -I'm open to them.  But this is where it stops for me.  It is virtually impossible for me to think of being able to come to common ground with a Republican Party that would rather stay loyal to Trump than speak their own truth because of a fear of losing there own elected positions. It is also impossible for me to think I could agree with a President that only holds his own interest as valid, that humiliates anyone and everyone that gets in his way, who holds racist views, who is unable to listen to the basic premise upheld by Science that climate change is real, dangerous and a threat to all life on this planet,who lies continuously to suit his purpose,who believes that there were "really good people on both sides", who did not see the precious value of John Lewis,POW's, Ruth Beder Ginsburg and so many many more.

This is a place that I can not go.  Can't.  I know that I'm just one voice, but there are many of you who feel the same way.  In my heart, I'd love to be able to figure out a way for  us "all to get along".  I was raised by parents who thought getting along was important.  I've done the same for my own magnificent grown up children.  But having said all this-figuring out how we can make peace with the value system above-its not going to happen.

These letters that I've written are dangerous in a way because of their unfiltered nature.  That's deliberate.  Their content has drawn some negative comments, which I accept.  They're just a glimpse into one person's mind and I've decided to take a chance and trust you with whatever comes out.

Lastly, the subject line of this letter "Christine Cohen Knocked To The Ground"  has to do with a very large sign of her's in my neighbor's yard. The other day, while walking by it with the dogs, I noticed that someone had knocked the sign over.  Its big, maybe 4' by 6'.  The implications here are that someone from "the other side" wanted to let it be known that its ok to deface Democratic messages.  I'm sure that some Dems have done the same.  This kind of childish play serves only to rub in our faces disdain.  Maybe my statement about the President does the same.  I don't know.  Or maybe the big difference between the two acts is that the sign pushers was a physical act of violence (well, not a lot, but still violence) and mine was just a statement.  Frankly, I'm not sure, but I hope you'll think on when its ok to say that someone's value system (the President) will never ever work for you, your family or the country.

Please have a great week.  I hope our vegetables will help sustain you in these trying times.  They're grown with love-this I know.

Namaste,

 

Posted 9/27/2020 7:57pm by David Zemelsky.

Dear Everyone,

As I write this, I do not have permission to divulge particulars of the wedding that I would like to talk about.  A regular customer who loves Jen's flowers (for great reason) requested wedding flowers for her proposed wedding on the top of Camel's Hump Mountain (fourth highest in Vermont, 4083') this weekend.  So Jen obliged and then some.  Glorious, glorious flowers that were actually a miracle unto themselves considering that she lost a great deal of flowers to frost on both Monday and Tuesday.  Kind of like having your hands tied behind your back. 

Anyway, their concept was to climb the mountain (3.5 miles of pretty grueling uphill) and have their friend officiate for them.  As it turned out, they got up to the summit only to find that there were literally tons of people already there, making social distancing impossible.  So Mariah (that's the bride's name), being flexible went to Plan B, which was to get married by a beautiful river the next day. 

Since starting to write this letter, I've learned that it would be ok to share the pictures, which delights me and also underlines a very important thing.  Love is everything.  If you only remembered every day that "love is all you need" then so many of the terrible and haunting ills that are experienced by so many people would go away.  Sounds simple, but yet seems elusive in this divisive stage of our country's existence.  Yesterday, my sister told me that she's working on a plan to make the world a better place by suggesting that we all focus on simple, direct and helpful ways to always show love in the world.  I'm thinking about it, as I write these words.

Mariah has given me a poem by e.e. cummings to think about.  Goes something like this"

Honor the past but welcome the future
And dance your death away at your wedding…
Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born
Yours is the darkness of my souls return
You are my sun my moon and all my stars'

Yes.
You are my sun my moon and all my stars. 
You are the rope let down into my well.
in the words of Rumi, I cannot say my gratitude

 


In closing, we of Star Light are grateful to all of you for being part of what we try to do for all of you-provide real food. Stay well and take care of yourselves

 

Posted 9/14/2020 6:50am by David Zemelsky.

I belong to a men' group.  Its been about 4 or 5 years. I forget because my sense of time is terrible.  Anyway, we meet every other Tuesday evening for 2 hours.  The main purpose of the group is to really be in touch with the feelings inside of us.  Easy, you think?  Not so much for me.  But I work hard at it.  Its important for me to make sure that what's inside is known and not buried.  Its helped me in so  many ways, both professionally dealing with chefs, farm market customers and in my relationships with family and friends.  Sometimes, I see myself remaining in this group for the duration.  Who knows?  There's 10 guys and with zoom, two of us who had moved to other parts of the country can now rejoin the group.  Zoom isn't bad for what we do, but not, of course as good as seeing my guys in person.  We're an eclectic  group, but one thing that holds us together is our hearts.  Each of us is concerned, and committed to helping who ever needs supports.  And like any group of people, those needs can sometimes be great.  So the big take away here is the strong heart and strong empathy of each of them.

Ok. I mention this as a backdrop for an issue that was written about last week- people who like the President.  Here's the thing. Without going into too much detail, the President is not my President.  He is unfit for the job in my humble opinion and dangerous for the security and welfare of each of us.  His inept handling of the pandemic alone has cost lives.  I'm not going to go on, however anyone who wants to hear any more that I think on the subject and share their views, just write.  This President does not show empathy or heart when people need it the most.  And therefore, it makes me feel that people who support him may also be devoid of this features.  AND, I could be wrong. And here's where I'm getting confused.  That's why I'm sharing this feeling with you.

One or two members of my men's group are for the President.  These are good good people who care about me and every other member of our group. If I was in crisis, they'd have my back.  I know this just as strongly as I know that the moon will get bigger and the sun is going to come up tomorrow.  So on the one hand, I've got strong supportive friends.  And these same friends support a President who seems only interested in one thing-getting reelected. I'm clearly wrong therefore-people with strong loving hearts can also support someone who doesn't understand this way of living on the earth.  I am left with the gnawing question-how do these two opposite values comfortably exist in my men's group friends?  Last week, I invited anyone to help me understand any of the attraction for him (the President).  I heard from no one.  But being a bit relentless,  this week is a follow up on the same question-why him?  I really want to know.  Granted, my needs are pretty irrelevant in the scope of things but a constructive conversation between people who disagree will only make the world a better place.

Even though the leaves have barely begun to turn, we're already into Winter mode here at Star Light.  Actually, its been that way since July, when we planted all the carrots and some other root crops that we're going to be offering to you in December.  Joel's planting lots of spinach, and that is something that we'll be able to offer in a few more weeks (maybe 3).

And having gotten you thinking about Fall, the tomatoes are still at full flavor.  Remember the dehydrator?  Now, there are many dried tomatoes that we'll be offering to you once the fresh ones are gone.  Dried tomatoes have been voted by the Tomato Council of New England Growers (I just made that up) as the number one Christmas present for 2020.  And this year, they're going to be packaged handsomely with original art.  Can't wait to show you the label!

Lastly, the usual reminders.  Pre-orders are only completed when you get an email confirmation.  Try again, if you don't get the email.  CSA still remains the best way to get our food at the best price.  We'll be honouring your balance right into next year, so sign up and save (sounds like a slogan, right?)

Be safe as you go about your days.Namaste.

 

Posted 9/7/2020 6:16am by David Zemelsky.

Dear Friends

Everything that's on my mind sooner or later swings back to opportunity, equity and racism.  Everything.  And it also gets in my way sometime.  While I know that I'm not personally responsible for the haves and have nots in this world, it doesn't mean that I don't forget the fact that White Privilege  is real and my own position in the world was partially determined by that.

And that is why I thought we should talk about Nutrition (with a capitol "N") and the devastating effects that the lack of Nutrition plays out for those of us who do not have the access they should have for good food.  It should seriously be noted that my knowledge of nutrition is not very deep.  But I do know two very important things.  One, that the vast percentage  of people that have been hospitalized for Covid-19 were suffering a comorbidity disease previously.  Hypertension, obesity diabetes, morbid obesity, coronary artery disease and asthma being most common.  (Based on a group of 5700 people in the New York Area).  Two, that people of color, statistically are much more likely to suffer from these ailments compared to White people. And in looking just one step deeper into this fact, it is not the color of the skin that is significant but the economic opportunities and access to good food that determines the health aspects of either race. And clearly, people of color's access to economic opportunities is much more apt to be restrictive compared to white people.  I think, we all know that.

Simply stated, because many more People of Color (POC) do not have the economic stretch of White People, their diets are found to be heavy on less epensive empty calories versus important vegetables, fruit and protein that are often either too expensive or inaccessible (food apartied) to these folks.  This directly leads to many of the conditions listed above. And, of course, POC who have an economic disadvantage do not own these disorders by themselves.  Many White People suffer them, too.  But we're talking the much higher occurrence proportionally to the overall population.  Meaning, because POC are often behind the White population in income, they are more limited in being able to get good nutritious food.  And that's all about race, equality and making the playing field level (which it isn't).

What to do about it?  Oy, if I only knew.  For my part, I'm hoping to convince anyone I see to the ideas above.  Star Light consistently gives money to the CT Food Bank and donates food to the St. Vincent Food Kitchen.  But most importantly, we need to have the right people in elected positions who know, understand and feel empathy for those of us who have less and are willing to fight for the interest of POC as fiercely as if it was their own children who are lacking basic good foods. My own conviction is that the present President is lacking in all those qualities. He is only concerned about his own interest.   The recent article in the Atlantic which tells how the President can not understand the sacrifice of the fallen soldiers should  get the point across.  "They're all losers" I'm reasonably sure that the majority of the people on our mailing list feels similarly.  Selfishly, I'd love to hear from any of you who supports the present Administration and try to understand your reasons.  This is something that I've wanted to hear for a while.  Around the Thanksgiving Family table, it is easy for me to visualize family members coming to emotional blows.  That wouldn't happen with me (I hope!).  I'd just listen and then finally, I might begin to understand people's support for the present Administration, cause I really don't understand.

Meanwhile, please remember to get absentee ballots, if you're going in that direction.  Also, there are countless postcard drives that are designed to help get out the vote.  If you don't know where to find one, ask me and I'll help get you connected to the right people.

Moving on...

With the cooler weather will be coming pea tendrils.   Cooler weather gives us more sturdy and flavorful greens, particularly lettuces.  Check out the mixed greens and the lettuce heads.

One whole hoophouse is now emptied of tomato plants with the aim towards a quick crop of greens before our winter planting.  There are still a strong strong quality and quanity of the tomatoes, but its important to note that we're looking at our end, rather than our beginning.  You won't be able to eat a fresh Striped German Tomato in February!

There won't be cherry tomatoes in the store this week, but there are ways to get them, still.  We encourage those of you who are picking up at the shed to let us know that you might want cherry tomatoes and we'll do our best to make it happen for you.

CSA has been so strong and important for us this season.  Your balance is good so don't feel like you have to spend all your money before the season ends.  We'll be able to keep rolling over your balance for as long as you want. Remember that we're a Four Season Farm and will have fresh greens, spinach, roots and other things anytime this Winter. CSA is great for Star Light and for you.  You get a decent amount of our food for a great price and Star Light gets cash when we need it most (all the time!) and a hopefully loyal tribe of excited food eaters that are looking for optimum nutrition, freshness and great taste. Is there anything better?

Lastly, this week we had 5 or 6 people who ordered and paid for their food just not show up.  When you order, note the day and earliest pick up time so that you won't forget.

Thank you for reading this.  It is a privilege for me to be able to write to you every week.

Namaste,