1st Harvest Week April 30th - May 6th 2001
Season 6


"As you eat, know that you are feeding more than just a body. You are feeding the soul’s longing for life, it’s timeless desire to learn the lessons of earthy existence -- love and hate, pleasure and pain, fear and faith, illusion and truth -- through the vehicle of food. Ultimately, the most important aspect of nutrition is not what we eat but how our relationship to food can teach us who we are and how we sustain ourselves at the deepest level of being."
- Marc David


What’s in the box this week:

Fresh red and yellow
Green garlic
Rainbow chard
Fava beans
Potatoes (Yellow Finn)
Red beets


... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
three more baskets
of strawberries!



Sat. May 19 - Open Farm Day, 1pm - 5pm

Sat. Jun 23 - Summer Solstice Celebration,
4pm - 10pm

Sat/Sun Aug. 4&5 - Children’s Mini Camp,
noon Saturday - sundown Sunday

Sat. Sep 22 - Fall Equinox Celebration,
3pm - 9pm

Sat. Oct 20 - Halloween Pumpkin U-Pick,
all day

All of us at the Farm are excited to welcome you in celebrating our 6th season of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Every year we have been blessed by this land to provide you with an abundant, nourishing and flavorful bounty of fruits, vegetables and flowers. It is wonderful to grow food and care for the land, knowing the community it will nourish. At this year’s Core Member’s’ meeting we talked at length about how to better share information throughout the CSA membership and strengthen their link with the farm. How could we improve the communication between the farm and the CSA members? How best to provide a forum for the members to communicate amongst themselves, share ideas, alert each other about pertinent events or organize activities? The solution, we decided, was to expand the weekly newsletter! What you see before you is the 'premier issue' of the Live Earth Farm (Com)Post, your new and improved newsletter! We have increased it to two pages (2-sides), to accommodate the additional information. It is something of a work in progress, so as we get feedback from our members over time, it may evolve. We hope you enjoy the changes!
- Tom (your farmer) and Debbie (your editor)

What's Up on the Farm
It’s Springtime and everything is birthing and coming alive. The energy can sometimes feel overwhelming. Farming is like a dance, where we are asked to harmonize with the rhythms of nature. School children were visiting, the goats are giving birth, the greenhouse is packed with young seedlings ready to be transplanted, while the strawberries are juicy and red waiting to be picked. Soil preparation, sowing, weeding, and watering are always part of the farm routine. The first farmers’ markets have started and more than 150 people have joined the CSA this year (by the end of May our goal is to have 200 members, so please help us spread the word!!!). Oh what a dance it is!!! It is the joint effort and enthusiasm of so many committed people who allow this farm to truly dance and come alive. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Juan, Marcos, Lucio, Jonathan, Jose and Luis are all back from last year, their commitment and experience are the foundation for the work that happens in the field. We are really happy to welcome Kara Brown as our farm intern. Many probably have spoken to her already, as she will be this years’ CSA coordinator while taking on many other challenging farm responsibilities. Many of the changes that we have been able to implement in the "off-season", i.e. a new CSA database and this new and improved newsletter, would not have been possible without the help and dedication of dear "Chez"Debbie Palmer, our recipe guru and now also editor of this newsletter. We hope that everyone has the opportunity to connect with the farm and it’s community as much as possible and we welcome your participation and ideas throughout the season.

Crops and Critters
The weather, you will hear me talk and moan about a lot throughout the season. April sure was a month to moan about. The wild temperature swings we had in April were a challenge to time our plantings. It got so warm for a while that we started planting our summer crops hoping for an early start, such as green beans, toma-toes, cucumbers, summer squash, but then all of a sudden winter came back with freezing temperatures. Our first sowing of green beans didn’t germinate, however we were lucky our transplants survived the shock. The pear blossoms were affected by the frosty weather and as a result the fruit set was much less than last year’s record crop. The peaches look nice and our raspberries are starting to bloom. Gain some, lose some. That’s farming...or is it gambling?
Our two mother goats, Fawn and Star (Santa Theresa breed) have given birth to a total of 6 baby goats (3 each, which is very unusual; typically goats only have 1-2 kids at a time): 5 girls and 1boy. At this rate, fresh goat milk and cheese will someday make it into your shares. If you have a chance to visit the farm, on OPEN FARM DAY MAY 19, come say hello to the kids, they are adorable!

Of Interest
What is Community Supported Agriculture: It is my desire to share some thought provoking ideas on the state of agriculture in this country and how CSAs can create the possibilities for a new social and economic basis for agriculture. I invite everyone to share their ideas and use this space to bring to our attention issues that affect our lives and discuss ways we can do something about them. As a first step (next week) I would like to reflect on the Community aspect in Community Supported Agriculture.

Member to Member Forum
If you wish to communicate anything to your fellow CSA members, this is the place to do it! Please email or call me (editor -- see contact information at the bottom of the page) no later than Saturday to get your item into the next week's newsletter. It could be anything from sharing information you have about a pertinent event that you think other members might be interested in, to requesting information from other members. It could be a sustained dialog on a particular subject over a few weeks (comment and reply). This section will evolve with the various needs of the membership. Events and items with dates will be added to the calendar.
One event slated for this summer: fellow member Charles Limbaugh wants to organize a wood-fired bread-oven building project on the farm. Details about when and how you can participate will be posted here when they are nailed down.

Crop of the Week
Onion (Allium Cepa) (This information is courtesy of From Asparagus to Zucchini by the Madison Area CSA Coalition.) There are 300 species of onions within the allium genus. The bulb onion is indisputably the most universal seasoning used by humans. Believed cultivated since prehistoric times, the onion seems to have originated in the middle East and Southwest Asia with references dating back to 3200 B.C. The ancient Egyptians saw the concentric circles of the onion as a symbol of the universe and treated it as an object of worship. The compact and modified leaves of the onion form the edible bulb. This is the plant’s nutrient storage for the following year’s growth. Our onions are reddish purple, white or yellow. The pungency of an onion directly reflects the amount of sulfur in the soil in which it is grown. The sulfur turns into sulfuric acid when in contact with the water in eyes, causing the cook painful tears! Beyond it’s flavor the onion has been touted for its various health and healing benefits!

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact the newsletter editor.

Hi, me again! Just a small note to those of you who may be new to the CSA this year: there is a database of recipes from the last 3 seasons on the farm’s website. It is searchable by key ingredient or by harvest week. Just click on the link called ‘Debbie’s Kitchen’ (from the Weekly Newsletter page of LEF's website) or click on the link below (for those of you viewing this newsletter via the web instead of via the paper version) and you’re there! Also, I would like to encourage members to contact me if they have either a recipe or preparation tip they’d like to share. Okay... on to the show!

Fresh Fava Beans
A delightful treat! If you like edamame, you’ll like favas. Open and remove beans from pods (pods are not edible). Drop them into boiling salted water for a mere minute, then remove with a slotted spoon. Slip skins from beans (pinch one edge of the skin and you kind of squirt them out). My favorite step at this point is to simply salt them and eat them warm, like a snack, but they can also be tossed into pasta dishes, soups or salads, or sautéed with garlic and herbs and pureed. Leave water in the pot for a while after removing the beans and watch it turn pink, then purple! No kidding!!

*Click Here* for a link to a comprehensive listing of recipes from Live Earth Farm's newsletters going back as far as our 1998 season! You can search for recipes by harvest week OR by key ingredient. Recipe site is updated weekly.