14th Harvest Week July 30th - August 5th 2001
Season 6



"I have that itch that farmers have had for the past 10,000 years: to plant hope, to work toward success and to accept what comes."
- Steve Beck from Esalen’s Farm & Garden


What’s in the box this week:

Green beans
Summer Squash
Bag of mixed fruit
Mystery item?



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Berries, and an additional bag of mixed fruit



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
Created from the earth, sculpted by many feet and hands, and inspired by the spirit of laughter and imagination, a beautiful cob-structured bread oven emerged this weekend and became the home of a peaceful and contentedly sleeping baby dragon. Approximately 18 people from 13 months of age and older spent the weekend working on this project, guided by Charles in the building and inspired by Debbie in the art of working with the earth. Once you see our creation, you will understand how magical a time we had. See below for a story about this event written by member and participant Ken Eklund. And although we can't put pictures in the paper version of this newsletter, our editor says she'll see if she can't post a few on the web version.

Oh deer, where has all the lettuce gone? A young and hungry family of deer have been munching on our veggies to the point where we have lost a substantial amount of our lettuce crop. So, don’t be surprised by the small size of your lettuce this week.

Beans and more beans: We are "blessed" by the most bountiful green bean harvest in the history (only 6 seasons) of Live Earth Farm. Last week we picked more than 1000 pounds of beautiful tender green beans. So, check out Debbie’s delicious recipe for ratatouille, hmm!!!

Mystery item on Saturday: Everyone who received their share on Saturday last week probably wondered what that strange-looking black-skinned root vegetable was. If you tried it you probably discovered that it was a horseradish. This type is a Spanish horseradish and is particularly pungent. It tastes great salted on bread, or as a side dish to spice things up a bit.

Sweet and hot peppers on the horizon: As Debbie walked through the fields this weekend, she eyed the first peppers and pumped me for information as to when they would show up in our boxes. With the exception of the yellow fleshed ones (which you may see soon...), most are of the red variety. So although they appeared pick-ably sized to Debbie, they are still green (both in color and ripeness!). As soon as they start turning red however (their flavor --especially the Italian and Romanian-type peppers -- is rich and sweet), you should start seeing them. Probably another 3 weeks.

Of Interest

No Loafing Around: A great crew gathered this past weekend, and now there’s a fabulous wood-fired bread oven on the farm, made by many hands out of natural materials. It’s almost done -- it just needs a little time to dry out and cure, and then get ready for some great breads and pizza!

How will it work? You build a fire in the oven, to heat it up. Then you scoop the fire out and put your bread inside, and close the door. The oven’s innermost layer holds the heat and humidity at the perfect levels for baking (and there’s a smoky twang too!).

When the crew arrived Saturday morning, they found a pedestal for the oven all ready, built out of "urbanite" (concrete debris) by our guide Charles and Tom’s nephews from Germany. Charles had also formed an arched door and a baking floor out of brick. The crew molded the oven’s inside space out of sand; then they mixed natural clay and sand to form the inside thermal shell of the oven, and packed it over the sand mold; then they took handfuls of rice straw, soaked them in clay slurry, and covered the inside shell with a thick insulating layer. Then, on the next day, the crew used "peanut butter" (an adobe composed of clay, sand, and aged manure from Peanut, the farm pony) to top the straw layer with a protective shell, and added a decorative lizardy creature to be the oven’s happy guardian.

If you were there, then you remember digging sand out of the old paddock, and clay out of the hillside, and pushing the cart to fetch manure and straw. And measuring out shovelfuls onto an old tarp, and adding water, and people rushing in to dance this mess around. Then everyone scooping up handfuls, and squishing it among their fingers, and loving the feel of it. And people and kids scooping the mix into buckets, and scooping it out again onto the oven’s sides and top, and gently patting it into place, and running their hands to make it as smooth as Buddha’s belly. And people laughing and talking, kids running here and there, dogs barking, and the joyful fulfillment of the work of hands.

***click on a thumbnail to enlarge it (and see more!)**

oven sand core

the cob dance

the thermal layer

making 'insulation'

the insulation layer

the creative layer

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.

Crop of the Week
The tomato (lycopersicum esculentum) is a close relative of the potato and native to western South America. The word ‘tomato' is said to derive from the ancient Mayan word ‘xtomatl’. It wasn’t until the 16th Century at the time of the Spanish invasion that the tomato made its way to Europe, where it was first regarded with suspicion, as most fruits related to the tomato were considered poisonous. Thousands of varieties are known and hundreds actually cultivated. Enjoying a fresh vine-ripened tomato is one of the great pleasures of the summer season. At the farm we grow mostly heirloom varieties which have been selected through generations for their flavor, color, and nutritional content. Those which may lack in cosmetic appeal more than make up the difference in flavor and color. Also, the cherry tomato we grow, ‘Sungold’, is the best of all we have tried over the years, with a wonderful tangy sweetness. This year we are also growing paste tomatoes, which are meatier and well-suited for sauce or slicing.

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

More on garlic. And finally... eggplants! Yippee!! - Debbie

Quick and Easy Roasted Garlic
Fellow member Heddi Craft says for 'those of us who can't stand to wait 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours' for their roasted garlic, try this: Break head into cloves (don't peel), toss 'em with oil, spread on an oiled baking sheet. With the cloves separated this way, they only need 10 - 15 minutes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven, and are ready when they feel soft when pressed with the tines of a fork. Cool slightly, then peel (she says it seems to work best if you peel from the bottom of the clove). She says they're perhaps not as caramelized as in the traditional method, but I bet if you just leave 'em in the oven a bit longer you'd get the caramelization.

Only in Tom's mind does ratatouille contain green beans, but y'know, I think they'd be a perfectly fine addition! Traditional ingredients are eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, garlic, onion, and fresh summer herbs, usually (but not limited to) basil. The simplest method involves throwing 'em all in a pot and cooking 'em together in a kind of melange. Some like to cook each ingredient separately and combine them at the end, to preserve each veggie's integrity. Ratatouille also has multitudinous ways of being served, from hot over rice or pasta, or in a bowl with bread, to room temperature, to chilled as an appetizer, to even baked in a savory pie! And all cooks insist the flavor is better on the second day. Given our box ingredients this week, this is how I'd make it: cut up all the above-mentioned veggies. Sauté the onion (and peppers, if we have 'em) in olive oil, adding a few cloves of crushed garlic after that. Add the eggplant, stir and cook a bit to soak up the onion-garlicky-oil. Add plenty of tomatoes, and squash (and those green beans!), maybe a splash of red wine, several chopped basil leaves, maybe some thyme or oregano, and simmer until you like the way it looks and smells. Add salt and pepper to taste, maybe a bit of cayenne if you want some kick. Serve as your mood suits you!

*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.