26th Harvest Week October 22nd - 28th 2001
Season 6



"I just come and talk to the plants, really -- very important to talk to them; they respond, I find."
- Prince Charles


What’s in the box this week:

Bok choi
Broccoli or Cauliflower
Green beans
Kale (dinosaur)
Winter squash (butter-nut)
Mixed bag of fruit
Mystery Item?



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
melons, strawberries



Last shares (Week 30)
will be the week of November 19. Stay tuned for possible special share pick-up instructions, as this is Thanksgiving week!

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR WILLOW GLEN MEMBERS ONLY: There will be a change of pick-up location starting Saturday November 3rd. As in previous years the Willow Glen drop-off location changes once the farmer's market closes for the season. Our drop-off will be the same as in previous years thanks to Lori and Mike Zink, who have offered their home again for this purpose. Attached to this newsletter is a map with directions and other instructions. Please review them carefully to minimize any confusion. If you have any questions please talk to any of us at the market or contact us at the farm. Thank you!!

What's Up on the Farm
We are gearing up to receive over 100 children that will be visiting us from different local schools over the next 2 weeks. I particularly enjoy seeing how children interact with the plants and animals. The experience of how and where food is grown and understanding the difficulties and joys of relying on your hands and the earth for a good meal each day is something few kids have. Kids who have a closer connection to their food, who understand where it comes from or take part in the process of growing or preparing it, have an easier time understanding other things as well.

Recently I was asked by a few members if we ever grew cabbage or kale. I had to smile as I explained how in the past we tended to have too much of these crops, causing many members to frown over not knowing what to do with four heads of cabbage accumulating in their fridge. Now we grow them only at the beginning and end of the season. This week look for kale in your share -- a variety known as dinosaur kale. The name in itself may entice the younger ones to try this highly nutritious green! Read more about kale under Crop of the Week. Also new in your share this week is butternut squash. You can store these for a long time (1-3 months) and as we enter into the cooler days of fall and winter, that sweet warming squash will find its way into your hearts and tummies. Don't forget to look up Debbie's delicious and creative recipes on our website for winter squash, kale, and a host of other more unusual and/or abundant crops you receive with your weekly share.

Of Interest
Hello it's Kristin again, back with a follow-up report on the "body burden" issue. Several newsletters ago I requested feedback on how best to talk about the issue of body burden (the chemicals we all carry in our bodies), a question we are wrestling with at Pesticide Action Network, where I work.

I got feedback from a few of you. The common themes were: "Yes, it makes sense to talk about the issue"; "We should find a way to collect this information on a regular basis and use it to track how we're doing with our policies to protect public health"; "I've often thought testing for chemicals should be part of our annual physical"; and "We need to be very careful about talking about contaminated breast milk in a culture which unfortunately doesn't support breastfeeding very well."

All of this is quite useful input and I thank you. Interestingly, the government of Sweden has monitored chemicals in breast milk for many years (we have no such program), and does use it to make important policy decisions about regulating chemicals in the environment. And the issue of how to talk about the fact that our breast milk is contaminated is indeed a difficult one -- the last thing our organization wants is to provide ammunition for the formula companies, which are aggressively promoting their products at the expense of our children. Yes, chemical contamination has compromised nature's most perfect food for infants -- but even so, breast milk is far superior to formula in ways documented around the world, including providing a "rescuing" effect from the chemical contamination that takes place during fetal development.

This past week I had the tremendous good fortune to work closely with author Sandra Steingraber (author of Living Downstream), helping her launch her national tour to promote her second book "Having Faith: An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood." Sandra explores all of these issues from both the personal and scientific perspectives, as she chronicles her pregnancy and breastfeeding experience with her daughter Faith, now three years old. For those interested in more information on these issues, I highly recommend her book, along with the following websites: www.toxicexposure.org, www.nrdc.org/breastmilk, www.panna.org, www.steingraber.com.

I have to close with a heartfelt thanks to Tom and Constance for hosting yet another fabulous cider-drinking, pumpkin-harvesting event on a perfect cool, crisp Saturday this past week. We (my two-year-old Connor and I) even found some stray raspberries on the drying vines to enjoy! Living our urban existence in downtown San Jose, we treasure the fact that our children feel so at home at the farm. Thank you!

Member to Member Forum
Nothing this week.

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 (click here) by Monday morning 10am to get it into that 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).

Crop of the Week
Kale (Brassica Oleracea): Before you debate the fate of the bunch of kale in your box this week, here are some impressive facts about this often under-appreciated vegetable. Kale is the most ancient and among the earliest cultivated member of the cabbage family. It was a favorite vegetable in ancient Rome, and has remained a particularly popular vegetable in Scotland and Ireland for many centuries. In this country Kale has not achieved this widespread appeal. The largest consumer of kale is Pizza Hut, but not for eating! It is used only to decorate their salad bar! Nutritionally, kale is vastly superior to most vegetables. It is rich in vitamin A, C, and the mineral calcium. It is also an excellent supplier of vitamin B and other minerals. It surprised me to learn that among all the cultivated vegetables, Kale boasts the highest protein content. It has a distinct, but not overpowering flavor and is interchangeable with broccoli and other hearty greens in recipes. (Excerpted from "From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm-Fresh, Seasonal Produce.")

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

Many members converged on the farm last Saturday to get their pumpkins. More than one requested pumpkin-type recipes for this week's newsletter. "Good idea!" I said. - Debbie.

Regarding Pumpkins and Winter Squash

"If you are planning to bake pies and/or cakes with winter squash and have a choice, choose a squash with dry flesh," says the new Joy of Cooking. The good news is that we're getting butternut squash in our shares this week, whose flesh, 'Joy of' says, "...is rich, sweet, dry, and superb." In contrast, my experience (back in my pre-CSA days, mind you) with your typical Halloween-carving-type pumpkin was that it had a pale, disappointingly-watery flesh when cooked. Consequently I haven't tried cooking a Jack-o'-lantern since (mostly because I prefer to carve them!). Which means I haven't tried cooking one of Tom's pumpkins yet either. My negative experience may have been because I steamed the flesh – so I bet if you baked it instead, you'll have better results. 'Joy of' suggests baking a pumpkin whole: deeply pierce it in 4 to 5 places around the top with a knife – air vents to keep it from exploding. Set squash in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet (it may ooze sugary juices) and bake in the middle of a 375 degree oven until flesh tests tender when pierced with a thin skewer or knife. A small squash may take 45 minutes... a larger one up to 1 1/2 hours. When done, cut squash in half, scoop out and discard seeds and strings, and use flesh as desired.

Winter Squash Ideas
(from my various Bon Appétit clippings)

<> Pureé roasted butternut squash with orange juice and a touch of ginger.

<> Season chunks of roasted pumpkin with walnut oil, brown sugar & ground ginger. Toss with dried cranberries.

<> Mash winter squash with apple butter and a little chicken broth. Top with crispy bits of bacon and fresh thyme.

<> Pureé roasted pumpkin with chicken broth and a little garlic; use it as a sauce for purchased cheese ravioli.

<> This one I love: pumpkin pie bruleé(!) Bake your favorite standard pumpkin pie recipe (i.e., not a chiffon type). Refrigerate until thoroughly cold -- at least 2 hours and up to one day. (It is important to do this chilling step or the pie will not glaze properly under the broiler.) Preheat broiler. Sprinkle pie evenly with 2 tbsp. sugar. Broil until sugar melts and begins to carmelize, turning pie for even browning, about 1 minute. Let pie stand until topping hardens, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle pie evenly again with 2 more tbsp. of sugar. Broil again until sugar browns, about 1 minute. Refrigerate pie until topping hardens, about 30 minutes. Serve or keep refrigerated no more than 2 hours longer (or hard sugar crust will begin to liquefy).


*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.