19th Harvest Week September 3rd - 9th, 2001
Season 6



"This food is also the fruit of labor of many creatures.
We are grateful for it.
May it give us strength, health and joy.
May it increase our love."
- Unitarian Grace


What’s in the box this week:

Green Beans
Mystery item?



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Berries and apples



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

Fri. Oct 5 tentative next wood-fired
bread oven baking day
(full moon Oct 2nd)

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

What's Up on the Farm
This year for the first time we decided to take the day off for Labor Day. It feels a bit awkward, since the plants don’t stop growing, and we know come Tuesday we’ll have to work a little harder to catch up with them. But it feels good to pause and take the opportunity to recognize the many ways in which we, through our work, participate, contribute, and celebrate our place within the human community, and therefore also the larger community of nature.

Sun-dried tomatoes! Last week I was excited about finishing the assembly of our solar dryer, but when I tried the first sun-dried tomatoes on Sunday I was even more excited. They are delicious!! Be on the lookout as we are going to place small samplers in your share over the next week or two. For the farm, this is a new and exciting area of experimentation and I welcome your ideas and knowledge about drying fruits, vegetables and herbs. Especially ideas on equipment to prepare and slice things quickly and efficiently.

We had 25 apprentices from the UCSC Ecological Farming Program visit us last week, the same program I attended 5 years ago before starting Live Earth Farm. Their commitment to sustainable agriculture is inspiring and their questions are reflective of the challenges young people face when considering becoming farmers themselves. Two days later I received a phone call from a person who is interested in videotaping and interviewing organic farmers in California. This would be wonderful of course, but the tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans must be harvested first, before I can think about scheduling time for an interview.

Of Interest
Last week one member asked me if I knew of a good source for organic beef and I thought I would share this in the newsletter: Early this year I was invited to talk about our CSA program at a gathering of farmers on a cattle ranch in the hills overlooking San Juan Bautista. This ranch raises their cattle differently from how cattle are typically raised. Almost all beef today, even if it is labeled "Natural" or "Organic", is grain-fed beef. However, on the Morris Ranch the cattle are strictly grass-fed. This means they enjoy a completely organic diet of fresh grass. No hormones or antibiotics are used, and as Joe said the animals grow only as fast as their genetics and the range will allow. The range is also managed to enhance its biodiversity and protect the watershed from soil erosion. According to studies at Utah State University, only grass-fed beef is high in the nutrients beta carotene, vitamin E, and essential Omega 3 fatty acids, among others. One can order grass-fed beef directly from the Morris Ranch. To find out more about your options you can contact them directly at jmorris900@earthlink.net or (831) 623-4595. All I can say is that when I tried their ground beef it was the best I have ever tasted.

Member to Member Forum
Hi -- I'd like to reply to your request last week for 'unusual transportation' stories. Here's how we do it: On Saturday mornings picking up our weekly share has become a special ritual for my husband Taylor, and our twin children, Evan and Claire. The three most often set out to pick up "the goodies" in a colorful caravan consisting of Daddy riding his bike, Claire sitting right behind Daddy in her bike seat, and Evan comfortably tucked in a bike trailer, also attached to Daddy's bike. Where does the produce go, you might ask? Well almost all of the berries get eaten at the pick-up spot, but the rest goes in a backpack that Taylor fills to the brim and hauls home on his back. Even on days when they are not able to bike to get the produce, the kids prefer to have this as a special 'Daddy activity', which means a few minutes of welcome peace for this Mom! - Brighid Lampson, Los Gatos

Mark your calendars... it's coming right up! Our Fall Equinox Celebration will be held on Saturday, September 22nd. Bring something to bake in the new wood-fired bread oven, and/or something to share for the potluck. We’ll have live music, our traditional bonfire to welcome the fall season, games, pony rides, and farm tours.

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. Please submit info to the editor (see below) by Sunday to get it into the following week’s issue. Keep in mind that members don't receive newsletters until the following Wednesday and Saturday (if you're reporting on a timely event).

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

What have we been seeing lots of recently? Basil. Tomatoes. Carrots. Here are a couple of interesting soup recipes which caught my eye. Hope they sound good to you too! - Debbie.

Tuscan Tomato-Basil Soup
(modified slightly from a recipe in my Bon Appetit clipping file)
serves 4

3 tbsp. olive oil
2 C chopped onions
3 or 4 small potatoes (about 14 oz.), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 lbs. tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 C (or more) water
1 C (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
4 tsp. chopped fresh basil

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 15 minutes. Add potato and sauté until light brown, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir until juices form, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Thin with additional water, if desired. Stir in the cup of whole basil leaves. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into 4 bowls and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of chopped fresh basil.

Jamaican Carrot Soup
(from an un-dated San Jose Merc. recipe clipping, credited to a cookbook called "Soups for All Seasons" by Jan Lyman)
serves ?? (makes about 5 cups)

4 C chicken (or vegetable) broth
4 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into half-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. curry powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
dash of Tobasco
salt & pepper to taste
diced apples for garnish

Place broth, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, Worcestershire sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes, or until carrots are very tender. Cool slightly. Blend in batches in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Add nutmeg, Tobasco, salt and pepper. Serve garnished with diced apple.

And since we're on a roll here with pureed soups, here's a modification I made recently to my 'Green Soup' recipe of seasons past (see weeks 15 and 16 from the 2000 season in the online recipe database), which turned out to be particularly tasty! - Debbie

Nutty Green Soup

In the original recipes, you sautéed garlic then added chopped green veggies and broth, simmered 'til done, then pureed all with cilantro, cumin and lemon juice and garnished with pepitas (toasted, salted pumpkin seeds). Well on a lark (and because I'd tasted -- and liked -- other soups where the nuts were a part of the puree, not the garnish), I threw a large handful of pepitas right into the blender while pureeing the veggies, and WOW. It really made for a rich and wonderful-tasting soup! Who knows, maybe you could toast and puree in some other kind of nuts with equally tasty results!

*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.