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 Esalens Farm & Garden
Whats in the box this week:
Bag of mixed fruit
... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Berries, and an additional bag of mixed fruit
Sat/Sun Aug. 4&5 - Childrens 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,
Up on the Farm
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, dont 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 Debbies delicious recipe for ratatouille,
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.
No Loafing Around: A great
crew gathered this past weekend, and now theres a fabulous wood-fired
bread oven on the farm, made by many hands out of natural materials. Its
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
ovens innermost layer holds the heat and humidity at the perfect
levels for baking (and theres 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 Toms nephews from Germany. Charles had also
formed an arched door and a baking floor out of brick. The crew molded
the ovens 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 ovens 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 ovens sides and top, and gently patting it
into place, and running their hands to make it as smooth as Buddhas
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!)**
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 weeks newsletter.
Crop of the Week
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 wasnt 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.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd 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!
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.