forget not that the earth de-lights to feel your bare feet and the wind
longs to play with your hair."
- Kahlil Gibran
Whats in the box this week:
... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Berries, and a bag of mixed fruit
Fri. Aug 24
First Bread-making from our Wood-fired Oven! starts 5pm
Sat. Aug 25
Tomato Salsa and Sauce-making Day starts at 10am
Sat. Sep 22 - Fall Equinox Celebration,
3pm - 9pm
Sat. Oct 20 - Halloween Pumpkin U-Pick,
My head is filled with wonderful
images and impressions from the recent events here on the farm. I see
the children playing and sculpting with clay found on the farm, running
through the fields, petting and playing with the animals, picking ripe,
plump raspberries and strawberries, and searching for that perfectly soft
and warm peach in the orchard. I hear screams of excitement when they
discover strange looking bugs, frogs and snakes. Throughout the day adults
and children spend time picking a diversity of fruits and vegetables which
are then prepared into tasty, nourishing meals. As the full moon rises
over Mt. Madonna, we gather around the fire to roast a few marshmallows
and sing a few songs before falling asleep. Both the building of the Bread
Oven (see the pictures on our website, newsletter
week 14) and the sharing of a weekend with 11 families during our
Mini-Camp confirms that our farm produces much more than just food. It
also produces a sense of connection and community spirit. As a farmer
I am inspired: I believe that this sense of community is what gives us
the incentive to continue working in new and creative ways.
Up on the Farm
tomatoes are in full production and not only will you receive a bountiful
quantity in your shares, but we are also organizing a Tomato Salsa and
Sauce making day on August 25 starting at 10 oclock for everyone
who would like to enjoy the flavor of these summer fruits in the cold
and wet winter months. Shirley Sprinkles, a longtime member from Willow
Glen who loves tomatoes, will lead us in this tomato "jamming"
session. Please call or send us an e-mail to confirm your participation.
We are picking the last of our peaches for the season, and by the end
of the month we can expect the first Warren pears and Gala apples.
With our newly built bread oven we are planning to have regular bread-making
days once a month, so keep an eye out for further announcements. The first
such "bakeout" will take place August 24th starting at 5
o'clock. Anyone you would like to stay for the tomato saucing next day
is welcome to sleep over at the farm.
Crops and Critters
Weeds on the farm: I often
get asked how we control weeds since this is typically considered one
of the most labor-intensive aspects of organic farming. Most of the time
we forget that many of our crops have been selected from ancestors that
live in the wild and grow in weed-like abundance in their natural habitat
and places of origin. The term "weed" does not always indicate
that a plant is undesirable, or that it cant be beneficial under
certain situations. I believe that by establishing a cropping system where
the growth and development of our cultivated crops is not compromised
by the presence of weeds, they have a beneficial role on the farm. Weeds
can cover disturbed and bare soil very rapidly to reduce soil erosion,
such as on our paths and in the furrows between crops. Certain weeds attract
beneficial insects, and increase the organic matter and nutrients when
we incorporate them back into the soil. On the farm we have certain weeds
that have both culinary and medicinal value such as the plantain, purslane,
mint, sheep sorrel, nettle, mustards and many others. So dont be
surprised when you find a common weed in your box one day! And when you
pull weeds in your own garden, you may want to think for a moment and
contemplate their benefits. A great book on weeds is called "Weeds
of the West" published by a consortium of authors from different
Universities and Extension Services.
Member to Member Forum
Thank you Tom, Constance and
David for a great weekend at the farm. This was the second annual Children's
Mini Camp our family has attended. We started our weekend with the traditional
setting-up-camp-in-the-dark. Tom came to Randy and I with a big-hearted
laugh and said that he knew that we would pick our usual spot near the
house up on the hill. Now the secret is out. Yes, It does have the best
view of the valley and is the flattest site on the farm to pitch a tent.
We had just enough time Friday night to sit by the fire and say goodnight
before heading off to bed.
Saturday was very busy from the beginning, but Tom made sure all the adults
had a very strong cup of coffee to get us started with our breakfast.
After breakfast we spent time harvesting food for the day, starting with
the yummy strawberries and ending up with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers,
green beans and, last but not least, raspberries. We sat down for a great
lunch and relaxed by the pool.
The wonderful idea of working with clay was inspired by the wood-fired
oven. The children mixed clay and sand (similar to the production of cob
used for the bread oven: a mixture of clay, sand, and aged manure from
Peanut the farm pony -- fondly referred to as 'peanut butter'), and then
were asked to take it in their hands and mold a vegetable that they might
have remembered picking an hour earlier in the field. It was amazing to
see the vegetables which came to life in clay!
The day ended as always, with a great camp fire and sharing of stories
and songs. Oh, and of course ORGANIC MARSHMALLOWS!
Well, I could go on about the weekend but Tom would get embarrassed. So
I will end with a heartfelt thank you to Tom and his family for having
the courage to follow their dreams and for letting me and my family be
a part of it.
Blessings, The Sprinkles Family -- Shirley, Randy and Morgan
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
the newsletter editor.
Summer squash is turning
into a regular box item lately, so here are two recipes from 'Gourmet
Vegetarian Feasts' by Martha Rose Shulman which looked easy and sounded
good. Note: although the recipes say 'zucchini', you can mix and/or substitute
any summer squash with equal results (I think, anyway!) - Debbie
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C unbleached white flour
4 tbsp. powdered milk
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C safflower oil
1/2 C mild honey
4 heaping tbsps. orange or ginger marmalade
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C milk
1 C grated carrot
1 C grated zucchini
1/2 C chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter muffin tins. Sift together flours,
powdered milk, salt and spices. Beat together eggs, oil, honey, marmalade,
vanilla, and milk. Stir in grated carrot and zucchini. Quickly stir wet
ingredients into dry, and fold in walnuts. Spoon into muffin tins, filling
3/4 full, and bake in preheated oven 20 minutes. Cool on a rack, or serve
serves 4 to 6
1 tbsp. safflower or peanut oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. curry powder (or more, to taste)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 lbs. zucchini, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
2 tbsp. water or vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped mint or cilantro, for garnish
Chutney or raisins, for garnish
Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onion and garlic until onion
begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add ginger, curry powder and cumin
and sauté another 3 minutes. Add zucchini, stir together for a
minute or two, and add water or vegetable stock. Cook 15 minutes, stirring
from time to time. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings.
Remove from heat. Serve with grains, garnishing with chopped fresh mint
or cilantro and chutney or raisins.
PS - okay, I know we don't generally get as much as 2 lbs. of zucchini
in any one week, but I figure you all can make the necessary adjustments!
Or throw something else in there if you need to 'bulk it up'. Tom seems
to like adding green beans to everything... try throwing some of them
in! - Debbie
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.