11th Harvest Week July 9th - 15th 2001
Season 6



"When we see land as a community to which we be-long, we may begin to use it with love and respect."
- Aldo Leopold


What’s in the box this week:

Green beans
Summer squash
mystery item
(first tomatoes???)



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
1 basket of strawberries plus 1 bag of peaches



Sat/Sun July 28&29 -
Wood Fired Bread Oven Building project

Sat/Sun Aug. 4&5 - Children’s Mini Camp,
10m Saturday - noon Sunday. Optional early arrival Friday night. (See Member to Member Forum in the 5th Harvest Week's Newsletter for details!)

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

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

What's Up on the Farm
I just got off the phone with a fellow farmer, and when I asked him how he was doing he said, "At this time of year, the treadmill is going so fast you have to be careful not to be thrown off!" In the middle of the season farmers don’t get to talk to each other very much. Generally not until we slow for the winter do we check in with each other. This is because we are all caught up in a similar whirlwind -- the activity levels on our respective farms are reaching their peak, and every farmer is concerned about sustaining that momentum for the rest of the season. Right now with green beans and tomatoes maturing, the harvesting routine jumps into high gear with daily pickings for the CSA, farmers markets, local stores, and restaurants. Sowing and transplanting of successive crops for late summer and early fall continue, and we must constantly battle the flush of weeds before they get out of hand (which they often do). The weather, with its hot spells, has kept us on our toes making sure all our crops get enough water. Water is the lifeblood of the farm. The person in charge of watering (the 'Aqua -wizard') must stay in constant touch with the pulse of this precious commodity by understanding the supply-and-demand needs throughout the entire farm, and seeing that those needs are met on a timely basis.

As I take the time to reflect on the current state of the farm, I am aware that the underlying fabric which holds this farm together is a creative community of people, both on and off the farm. And because I farm from within the context and support of this community, I don’t feel the same pressure of being "thrown off the treadmill" as my fellow farmer-friend. Every week I observe how members share recipes, and discuss the joys of eating in-season and cooking/consuming high-quality food. Many members' diets now include a much higher proportion of fruits and veggies (than in the off-season) due to the variety, quality and quantity of produce they receive in their shares. They view food as a gift that enriches, and are not caught in the "cheap food" syndrome of the competitive market. Their food dollars are spent to stay in, and support, the local and more rural communities around the Bay Area. This kind of community agriculture has actually inspired young people to consider farming (a rare thing to see nowadays), by allowing them to discover that 'connection to the land' via working and living on our farm. I am convinced that this sort of community agriculture is an exciting and creative experiment that will encourage more local sustainable farms.

Of Interest
This section of the newsletter (similar to the Member-to-Member Forum) is also open to member contribution. We invite you to share information about your work, hobbies or interests in this space, much like Kristen Schafer did with her stories about the International Treaty on Persistent Organic Pollutants a few weeks back.

With that in mind, here is my own story: One of our drop off sites is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, and last week I delivered the shares for this site accompanied by my son, David, and nephew Bernhard (visiting from Thailand). We coincidentally ran into Mark Chaffey, who was looking for his weekly veggie-box. Mark offered to show us one of the research vessels that just came back from a trip studying underwater volcanoes in Hawaii, and we got a personal tour of the remote-operated submarine or vehicle (ROV) that was used on the trip. Amongst all the impressive and complicated equipment, computers, and control rooms on board, that which my 7 year old (with his keen eye for toys and games) most delightedly keyed in on was the dart board hanging inside the vessel’s main hall. It was exciting for all of us to get a glimpse of this incredible equipment used to research our oceans. MBARI has a very informative and interesting website reporting on the latest work that the center is involved in. Mark pointed out that a substantial part of MBARI's research is directed toward understanding the role the ocean plays in the global carbon cycle. Human activities since the industrial revolution are believed to have a substantial impact on the earth’s atmosphere by releasing large amounts of carbon from the burning of fossil fuels. Covering two-thirds of the earth’s surface, the ocean plays a large role in the global carbon cycle, so to understand the impact we have on the planet, we need to understand what’s going on in the surface and deep waters of the world's oceans. By knowing more about the impact of our activities, we can work towards lessening our negative impact, resulting in a better environment for us all. Mark works at MBARI as an electrical engineer, and leads the group of engineers involved in the electrical designs of the ROVs used for MBARI’s deep-sea research program. Thanks Mark, and let us know of any more exciting news from the deep-ocean world.

Member to Member Forum
If you wish to communicate something to the rest of the CSA membership, you may use this forum to do so. To submit something to be included here, please contact the editor (see below) by Sunday to get it into the following week’s newsletter.

Crop of the Week
The green bean, botanically known as "phaseolus vulgaris", originated in Central and South America. It is also found wild in western and central Mexico and Guatemala, growing in the mountains at 1500 to 6000 feet, as well as in the Andes in Peru, Bolivia, and Ar-gentina. Today, cultivated beans are variable in their growth habit (bush or climbing), pod color and texture, and seed color. The green beans we grow are the so-called "Blue Lake" variety which are fast growing, and require warm soils to germinate and mature (we lost two plantings in the early spring due to wet and cold weather). Nutritionally, the fresh bean is not as high in protein as the mature, dry shell bean. However, generous amounts of vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium and potassium characterize the green bean's addition to the summer’s wealth of health. Enjoy!!

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

At last Saturday's farmer's market in Willow Glen I asked Tom what ingredient he thought might warrant attention in this week's recipe column, and he said, "potatoes". So here, from an undated clipping in my files (looks like Bon Appetit), is a recipe for...

Swiss Chard Gnocchi
serves 6

1 lb. potatoes (sez Russets, but who cares... Fingerlings'll do fine - Debbie)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/4 lb. chard, stems/ribs removed (who knows how much 1 1/4 lbs. is... just use the whole bunch in your box)
1 lg. egg
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 3/4 C (about) flour

Steam potatoes until very tender (about 20 min.). Cool slightly, peel if you like (I don't) and mash thoroughly in a large bowl. Mix in salt & pepper.
Meanwhile, steam chard until wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain, cool, and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Finely chop, then add to potatoes. Stir in egg and oil. Gradually mix in enough flour to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Dust a baking sheet with flour (I lay out a sheet of waxed paper myself). Working in batches and using floured hands, roll about 1/4 cup of dough on a lightly-floured work surface to form a 12-inch long rope. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece into an oval ball and then using a whisk, gently roll each ball down the length of the wires, making a ribbed impression in the gnocchi (I hold the balls in the palm of my hand and use the tines of a fork). Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet and repeat the above process with rest of dough. (At this point, gnocchi can be frozen right on the baking sheet, then transferred to a ziploc bag for future use. Cooking is the same for fresh as frozen. - Debbie) Working in batches, cook gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, or sauté in butter and sprinkle with fresh parmesan. Or... use your imagination!

*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.