12th Harvest Week July 16th - 22nd, 2001
Season 6



"Nature speaks in symbols and in signs."
- John Greenleaf Whittier


What’s in the box this week:

Carrots (small)
Green Beans
Summer squash
Fruit (either a basket of berries or a bag of peaches)



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
One bag of peaches and one basket of berries (either strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries)



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.

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

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

What's Up on the Farm
Summer has arrived here on the coast, with its cool, moist, and foggy weather pattern. As Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco." This makes for a good day to transplant our lettuce, broccoli, spring onions, and flowers, but slows down the ripening of our favorite summer fruits, i.e. tomatoes, peaches, plums, etc. Where is the basil? This year we got off to a late start with basil. Typically we transplant it in early April, however it was cold and the slugs decided to have a early summer feast. So your pesto will have to wait about 2 weeks, but when the time comes you'll know... as you will recognize your box by the scent of fresh basil.

If you ever thought farms were isolated, rural, sort-of backward kind-of places, you’d be surprised. Live Earth Farm seems as popular a destination as San Francisco, with five languages spoken and visitors from places as exotic as Thailand and Brazil. This morning as I stepped out of the house I said, "Guten morgen" to my German nephew Bernhard, visiting from Thailand, "Bon jour" to Constance’s stepbrother visiting from Paris, "Bon dia" to Tina, a friend visiting from Sao Paolo, and Juan, who was loading seedling trays on the pick-up, greeted me with "Buenos dias." "Good morning Kara" was my first greeting in English, as I see her waking up with a cup of coffee in her hand. Diversity at Live Earth Farm doesn’t stop with the crops in the fields, but spills over to a place where the land seems to enjoy connecting with a variety of human flavors as well.

Of Interest
UPDATE from Constance on the MINI-CAMP:
Hello mini-farmers! Our summer "mini-camp" is coming right up (Aug. 3rd starting at 10am until Noon on the 4th, with an option to arrive on Friday the 2nd to set up camp) and already we have 7 families registered. Our maximum this year is set at 12 families, so please call Constance at (831) 763-2448 if you want to join in the fun.

What is mini-camp? It is a special opportunity for children (and their parents!) to spend time on the farm, as a community, and to experience a close relationship with the land. Most of our time is spent going into the fields and harvesting crops that you would otherwise find in your box. You can imagine how making a salad for 30 people can easily take 2 to 3 hours just for harvesting: lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, onions, carrots, radiccio, spinach, summer squash and cucumber all need to be located on the farm, introduced properly (which family do they belong to, how do you harvest them, and how do you identify the ripe ones), harvested, and placed in each person's or child's basket... all without losing a few toddlers in the tomato patch or getting side-tracked by the ripe peaches in the orchard! Actually, getting side tracked by the beauty, vibrance and taste of the fruits and vegetables is integral to the process! Ummmmmmm... now you understand how almost all of our time is spent having fun in the fields. Other times will be spent in the pool relaxing after our hard labor, doing art work such as painting with Nature's own materials, and of course preparing a meal with the food we harvested (as well as cleaning up!). Since Saturday will be a full moon, we will also have a night walk with the kids, to interact with the plants and the trees under the moonlight (which I particularly look forward to!). Naturally we will spend a fair amount of time around the bonfire as well, so anyone who wants to bring "organic" marshmallows is welcome. What do you need to bring besides marshmallows? The camp starts at 10am after breakfast on Saturday, so if you arrive on Friday night (which I recommend), bring food for the pot-luck dinner at 7pm, as well as breakfast food for Saturday morning (we will have hot water for tea and coffee). The rest of the weekend we will provide the food, which will be mostly vegetarian. So bring all your camping gear, some wine or beer if you like (we will not provide alcohol), warm clothes for the evenings, bathing suits (floaters for kids who do not swim well) and towels, lots of sunscreen and hats, and your musical instruments. One last note: we are hoping that the wood-fired bread oven will have been built the weekend before mini-camp (you may contact Charles at (831) 663-1161 if you want to help in this great project!), and that we will be able to use it to make bread during the mini-camp... yummy! See you soon at the farm! -- Constance.

Member to Member Forum
If you wish to communicate something to the rest of the CSA membership, or start a dialog among members on a particular topic, 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.

Crops and Critters
My son and his friend got attacked by a bunch of angry yellowjackets while biking at Nisene Marks (a Regional State Park near Aptos) the other day. Yellowjackets are in season now, so as we spend time picnicking, hiking, camping, harvesting or selling fruit, or taking out the garbage, the threat of their sting make them unwelcome intruders. Yellowjackets are a far more severe threat than bees, because they do not have barbs on their stingers, which makes them able to insert them repeatedly into a victim. Honey bees can only sting once, losing their barbed stinger (and their life at the same time) as it is left behind in the victim's skin. On the other hand, yellowjackets play an important role as scavengers and predators of such insect pests as caterpillars. So how do we strike a balance of coexistence? Yellowjackets are attracted to sugary (i.e. soft drinks) and protein-rich (i.e. meat and dog food) food substances. One of the most common food sources for jellowjackets is garbage. One strategy to avoid stings is to reduce their habitat. Keep their attractants to a minimum: be careful when cooking and eating outdoors, and avoiding wearing perfumes or bright colors. Walking barefoot puts you at risk for stings because they nest in the ground. Barefoot or no, be aware that squashing yellowjackets releases a chemical alarm signal to rest of the hive to attack the intruder. A good way to control them is by trapping, and you can find specially-designed traps in most hardware stores. If you have a nest of yellowjackets on your property and you feel it’s necessary to have it removed, we recommend you get professional help. The least of all toxic methods is removal by vacuuming. If you are hypersensitive to wasp or bee stings, consult with your physician for recommendations of proper treatment. Otherwise, the most common treatments are applying ice and/or commercially available products like Sting Stop (herbal & homeopathic). (The reference I used for this information on yellowjackets is a book called "Common Sense Pest Control" by William and Helga Olkowski and Sheila Daar. -- Tom)

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

Green beans seem to be in abundance lately, so here are two simple recipes from my clippings file (both happen to be from Bon Appetit magazine) - Debbie

Lemon-Sage Green Beans
serves 6

1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
1 lemon
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. finely sliced fresh sage leaves (about 6 large leaves)

Cook beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Zest your lemon. If you don't happen to have a zester, simply cut off strips of peel (yellow part only) with a vegetable peeler, then cut those strips into very thin slices. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tbsp. of zest and the sage, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beans and toss until heated through. Season with salt & pepper.

German Sweet-and-Sour Green Beans

serves about 6 (original recipe was for 10... I reduced it - Debbie)

1 1/2 C red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
1/3 C chopped fresh parsley

Boil vinegar and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to about 3/8 C (about 45 minutes). Add butter and whisk until melted. Cool. Cook beans in boiling salted water until just tender, about 5-6 minutes. Drain beans and set aside. Put vinegar mixture into bean pot and bring to a simmer, then add cooked beans and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Mound beans in a bowl, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

*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.