30th Harvest Week November 19th - 25th, 2001
Season 6



"Give us thankful hearts... in this season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun, and rain and peace... let us remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independ-ence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form."
- W.E.B. Du Bois, from "A Grateful Heart," edited by M.J. Ryan


What’s in the box this week:

Asian greens
Winter squash
Mystery Item?

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


Stay tuned for monthly newsletters, to come during the off (winter) season, to keep everyone abreast of the upcoming 2002 season!


I can’t believe I am writing my last newsletter of the season. As I sit in front of the computer this chilly Monday morning, it is the first time I truly realize that we’ve made it through another season. Thoughts race through my mind like the "Leonids" streaking across the night sky, as I try here to summarize the farm’s 6th seasonal dance. Farming is an act of trust in nature, and we can’t take a good harvest for granted. Like farmers everywhere in the world, I am filled with thankfulness that our hard work has been rewarded by a bountiful harvest. The most gratifying feeling, though, is that the earth and food we grow is not linked to the highest price it fetches in the marketplace -- but rather it directly nourishes the very people that make the operation of this farm possible. Thank you everyone for your support and participation this year. From all of us here at the farm we wish you a peaceful, and love-filled holiday season.

Although things will now slow down for us in the fields, we have a long list of projects that will keep us busy this winter. There's repair and maintenance needed on all our farm machinery, small construction jobs like fixing roofs, building a small kitchen in the barn and new tables for the greenhouse, and developing a new record-keeping database. We are also exploring how we can provide more affordable housing for some of our workers. Many farm workers are forced to leave the Pajaro Valley because of the high cost of living. But the sustainability of a farm depends on its workers, and therefore it is imperative that we find ways to help our own workers maintain a decent and affordable lifestyle.

LOOKING AHEAD TO NEXT SEASON... We hope to be sending monthly '(Com)Post' news to you during the winter. After compiling all the survey information we will develop our new schedule, prices, and program description for next year. As many of you have indicated an interest in the Early Season share, we plan to start the 2002 CSA the first week in April.

This season's most memorable experiences for me have been the community events. I am left with images of children embarking on foraging adventures around the farm, reemerging periodically with smiling, red-stained mouths from eating strawberries and raspberries, tomato seeds splattered over their shirts and pants, soil stains on hands, knees and faces, and carrying basketfuls of different farm-found treasures. It is so important for children to see first-hand where and how their food is grown, and to experience for themselves the interrelationships and joys of nature. I intend to continue expanding and directing more of our efforts towards making the farm a place where young people can experience the importance of organically-grown food and sustainable farming.

The building of the wood-fired bread oven was truly one of the highlights this year, and many thanks go to Charles Limbach, whose inspiration and determination made it a reality. Thanks also to Debbie Palmer, who most of you know only as the weekly source of delicious and creative recipes in the newsletter. What you may not know is that she's the one who added that extra bit of magic to the art of bread baking by sculpting "Toastie," the sleepy baby dragon who adorns the oven's dome. Not only that, but without Debbie’s tireless support and dedication every week we would not have such a wonderfully edited newsletter. Every week, all I do is email her the content, and like magic, the following day edited and formatted newsletters are delivered to my doorstep! [I don't drive 'em out there, Kinko's does! - Debbie] And the smooth management of this year's CSA is in large part due to her support in developing our new CSA database at the beginning of this year. Thank you Debbie! [You're most welcome, Tom! It's been a pleasure.]

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

Hoo-boy, what am I gonna do next week when the CSA season ends? Live Earth Farm deserves a well-earned break, but I'll be going into box-withdrawal nevertheless! First though I must come up with the final recipes for the season. Lori Zink of Willow Glen got wind that we'd have potatoes this week (after a bit of a hiatus), and requested a recipe for Colcannon, an Irish potato dish with cabbage or kale. And although we won't have pumpkins in our last share, it seemed fitting to conclude with this Turkey-alternative stuffed-pumpkin recipe faxed to me by John Maschino of Watsonville (it does use lots of other box ingredients though).

Colcannon (the Kale version)
from Jane Brody's Good Food Book

1 lb. potatoes, washed but not peeled
1 lg. bunch of kale, washed, de-stemmed and shredded
1 lg. onion, chopped
1/4 C milk
1 tbsp. butter
3 oz. sharp Cheddar or other hard cheese, coarsely grated, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, and salt

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain (reserve cooking liquid) and set aside to cool some. Boil kale and onion in potato water, adding more water if needed, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Peel (if you like) and mash potatoes with milk and butter, then stir in kale and onions. Mix two-thirds of the cheese with the potato mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Before serving, heat it through in a moderately hot oven (btwn. 350 and 475 degrees – temp. not critical) until cheese on top has browned slightly.

Stuffed Pumpkin

Ingredient quantities are entirely contingent on how big a pumpkin you're stuffing. This recipe is otherwise very flexible, with a few caveats noted by John and his wife Wendy, from their 15 years of making this for Thanksgiving!

<>One 'Sugar Pie' or other flavorful cooking pumpkin;
<>Crumbled, dried whole-wheat bread (with a little leftover cornbread if you have it), and cooked brown rice, in 2-to-1 proportions bread-to-rice (John says to rinse the cooked rice well or it gets gummy);
<>Diced cooked potatoes, with skin;
<>Diced raw onion, celery and apple;
<>Grated (or chopped) carrots;
<>Cut up dried fruit 'sweetmeats' such as prunes, apricots, raisins and cranberries;
<>Salt, pepper, basil, savory and oregano, celery seed and sage, to taste (be careful with the sage – a little goes a long way, and too much can ruin the dish. Just a pinch of dried sage is best);
<>Several cloves of garlic, chopped;
<>Vegetable broth and melted butter;
<>Additional optional ingredients: water chestnuts, mushrooms, and walnuts

Cut top off pumpkin, in a somewhat jagged shape so the 'lid' will fit better after baking. Scrape out all the strings and seeds from the interior, saving the seeds to toast if you like. Set pumpkin aside until ready to stuff.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients but the broth and melted butter. Moisten ingredients with broth and butter, using your hands to toss, until stuffing is lightly moist to the touch, but not wet. (Add more liquid or bread crumbs if your mixture is too dry or too wet respectively.) Taste for seasoning.

Pack stuffing loosely into pumpkin and replace lid. Place stuffed pumpkin in a greased baking pan. A pan with a good rim is necessary, as the pumpkin can exude juices when cooking.

Bake for several hours at 300 degrees. Pumpkin is done when it is browned and slightly deflated-looking on the outside, and stuffing is hot all the way through.

John says that the stuffed pumpkin is quite fragile when cooked, so use extreme caution if you plan on transferring it from its baking pan to any kind of a serving dish! It is best served right from the pan it was cooked in.

Remember when you go to dish that each serving should include a goodly spoonful of the cooked pumpkin flesh along with the stuffing!

Remember also that you can just as easily stuff several small pumpkins as you can one big one.

John recommends serving this with a good cranberry sauce of some sort.

I myself would open a nice, buttery bottle of chardonnay to go with!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


*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.