What's in the Box?
Notes From the Field
Welcome to week 6 of your CSA! We are happy to be offering up our first delivery of tomatoes and hot peppers this week. Maybe not quite enough to make salsa, but it won't be long and we will be swimming in them. Be sure to check out the information below about the different types of peppers we included in the distribution - you'll want to make sure you know what you have before taking a bite out of them!
I wanted to make sure we introduced our second farmer - Treasa Sowa. Treasa owns and operates Treasa's Treasures, both at her home in Au Train, as well as on our land as part of our farm incubator program. She is one of the most hard working people I know, and her produce shows it. You will be able to find Treasa's produce in your shares this year, as well as at the Marquette and Munising Farmers Markets.
Treasa has always been attracted to gardens and farming since she was very young. Her Grandma Daisy would haul her in a wheelbarrow to her garden as a toddler. Treasa grew up on a farm south of Chatham.
She started working in the dairy barn at the MSU Experiment Station in 1973. Later, she married a farmer from Trenary, who was formerly employed there. They dairy farmed, ran an 85-cow beef herd, 350 ewe sheep flock, and 2000 tap maple syrup operation over the years. Farm tours and field days were held. Lamb market prices were terribly poor, so in 1996, Treasa wanted to go back to dairy farming, so they gradually developed a 60-cow herd of Registered Jerseys. Her beloved Jerseys were rotationally grazed on pasture six months of the year and bred to all freshen in a two-month calving window. All cows and calves had a name. In 2002, juustoa was being made in a licensed, small cheese plant attached to the milk house.
Moving on, Treasa worked for six years in housekeeping and the kitchen at a local hospital, while struggling to build a farm out of nothing. She has been a vendor at two farmer's markets since 2010, and also sells a small quantity to the Marquette Food Co-op. Treasa has been in the Michigan Farmers Market Association's Certificate Program, and is the Market Manager for the Munising Farmers' and Artisans' Market. She has served two years on the MIFMA Board of Directors. She was introduced to seed saving as a child from her grandma, and still has a few family heirlooms. Last year, Treasa became an MSU Master Gardener Volunteer Program Trainee. She will be seeking projects in which to use the required 40 hours of community education volunteer work this year. Her small farm near Au Train is Certified Naturally Grown and MAEAP Certified. She has participated in the USDA GAP Program. She has two 30' by 72' hoophouses, one from the MIFMA Hoophouses for Health Program. Transplants are grown in a 17' by 24' heated greenhouse. Treasa keeps honeybees and a few chickens. She practices biodynamics, companion planting, planting for beneficials and permaculture. She is grateful for the opportunity to gain additional production space, and to learn new ideas to incorporate on her present small farm. Treasa has two children and two grandchildren. She is married to John Sowa.
Recipes and Resources
You got a couple of peppers in your box this week - one sweet and one hot. The picture above shows the different types we included, as well as their rating on the Scoville scale, which represents how hot they are. The higher the number, the hotter the pepper.
We haven't grown a lot of hot peppers in the past, but we are sampling several varieties this year to see what people like. There are more options that will likely be included in your upcoming shares, but if you have any thoughts on the peppers you received, feel free to take a minute to give us feedback by using the button at the bottom of this newsletter. We'd love to hear what you have to say!