15th Harvest Week August 6th - 12th 2001
Season 6



"And forget not that the earth de-lights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair."
- Kahlil Gibran


What’s in the box this week:

Green beans
Melons (butterscotch)
Summer squash
Mystery item?



... 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,
all day

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.

What's Up on the Farm
The 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 o’clock 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 can’t 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 don’t 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

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d 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

Zucchini-Carrot Muffins
makes 24

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
3 eggs
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 warm.

Curried Zucchini
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

*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.