16th Harvest Week August 14th - 20th 2002
Season 7
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"Of all our natural resources, water has become the most precious... In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has be-come the victim of his indifference."
- Rachel Carson, from "Silent Spring"


What’s in the box this week:

Red beets (Forono)
Green beans
Asian braising greens
Fingerling and blue potatoes
Tomatoes (heriloom and/or red)
Sungold cherry tomatoes



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Peaches, strawberries, apples and pears



Sat. Sep 21 - Fall Equinox Celebration,
3pm - 9pm

Sat. Oct 26 - Halloween Pumpkin U-Pick,
all day

Nov. 20/23 (Weds/Sat) ***Last box !***

Last weekend I had the rare chance to escape for three days with my family and attend a friend’s wedding. It was held on a farm near the beautiful city of Boulder, Colorado, with its spectacular Flatiron Mountains to the west, and a vista of the vast arid plains to the east. Driving through the countryside, the severe drought affecting the state was painfully visible -- even the Aspen were showing signs of stress by starting to turn color. It struck me how many residential and commercial developments randomly dotted the arid landscape like misplaced mushrooms. Colorado’s drought is affecting everyone in the state. Water shortages have crippled the farming industry, and the need to ration water is shedding light on the unsustainable growth pattern of the last decade. Upon returning home I found a new appreciation for the cool and soothing ocean breeze, and was left with a heightened awareness of how critical water is to supporting and maintaining life on this farm. Since farming is the biggest consumer of water (something like 75% of California’s water is used for agricultural purposes) the question is, are we doing all we can to conserve this precious resource here on the farm, and what alternatives are available to us? - Tom

What's Up on the Farm
With the latest heat we gained some and lost some. The tomatoes should appear in all the shares with regularity from now on, and peppers got a nice boost, sizing up to change from green to red. On the other hand all our caneberries (raspberries and blackberries) could not tolerate last week's heat wave, and consequently all the ripe and half-ripe berries got sunburned. What does a sunburned raspberry or blackberry look like? It has white instead of colored fruit kernels, which affects both appearance and taste in an unpleasant way. Every raspberry grower in the Pajaro Valley was affected. Which makes me wonder: with all the predictions of global warming... might we have to come up with some sort of sunscreen for caneberries?

Last week in the extra fruit share you received pears which were still very firm. This does not mean they aren’t ripe. Pears are picked this way on purpose. Although they have developed all their sugars, their texture needs time to soften. So we pick them firm, chill them for a few days and then set them out to soften uniformly. Some people like them crisp, others soft and buttery. The best way to store pears is in a cool place, and if they’re still firm after a few days, place them in a paper bag together with some other ripe fruit (such as a banana) and this should soften them up in a few more days.

Crop of the Week
When dropping off an order of green beans at the local Health Food store I picked up a copy of their newsletter which featured an article on tomatoes as the ultimate antioxidant powerhouse. The red color in fruits and vegetables is formed by a pigment called lycopene -- a member of the carotenoid family -- which turns out to be a powerful scavenger of oxygen free radicals. Free radicals are supposed to be the primary reason why we age and succumb to age-related conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Scientist have shown that carotenoids, such as lycopene, delays the onset of these degenerative diseases by boosting the body’s antioxidant capacity. The article further pointed out that cooked tomato products (including tomato paste and tomato sauce, even on pizza) pack more bioavailable lycopene, about four times greater, than the raw fruit.

Member to Member Forum
Back in April I put out a request for members to keep a 'diary' of how they went about using the contents of their box over the course of a week. It is one thing to know what to do with this or that veggie, but quite another to develop techniques for using the whole shebang, week after week. I thought the diary thing would be a great way for us to give each other new ideas -- it is so easy to get into our own little ruts, so a fresh perspective can be a nice kick-in-the-pants! Herewith is a diary submitted by member Lois Moore of Willow Glen, on using her share box of a few weeks back. (I hope you all will consider keeping your own diaries and sending them in! - Debbie):

"We left for Disneyland the day after I finished the box. I was so proud to have finished it while getting ready for vacation!" she says.

Saturday: The children ate the carrots raw while they were feeding the carrot and radish tops to our chickens. The onions were cara-melized for pizza. Strawberries and plums were eaten as snacks through Tuesday.

Sunday: Lunch: open-faced radish sandwiches made with buttered bread and sliced radishes -- we saw it on a German children's video; my children did not like it, but I thought it was okay [Interesting coincidence! I'd just run another member's story about radish sand-wiches a few weeks ago, only he'd learned it from a childhood trip through France! - Debbie]. Dinner: beets cooked and sliced (lefto-vers went into beet pickling solution in fridge), green squash sautéed with cilantro.

Monday: onion tops, garlic, broccoli and all the greens got used in a Thai dish made with tofu and peanut sauce, served over rice.

Tuesday: Lunch: the last of the plums, fresh; Dinner: beet tops and leftover squash chopped up, mixed with spaghetti sauce and served over spaghetti (my four-year-old's idea -- she ate it, too!) and pickled beets.

Wednesday: picnic dinner with friends: green beans French cut into Italian green bean salad with a mustard vinaigrette, the last few strawberries sliced into a strawberry Jell-o mold, a nice green salad made with all the lettuce and the cucumber, and the last of the pickled beets.

Thursday: baked potatoes.

Friday: yellow summer squash steamed and served with lemon.

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

Lois provided me with some of the recipes she used above. - Debbie

Greens & Tofu in Peanut Sauce
from Sunset International Vegetarian Cookbook
serves 4 to 6

(Lois sez, "delicious blend of flavors, and Asian greens such as Tatsoi are good.")

1/3 C crunchy peanut butter
1 can (7 3/4 oz.) sweetened coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 tbsp. ea. white vinegar & soy sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. ground)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. cayenne or ground red pepper
1 tbsp. peanut or salad oil
2 C ea. thinly shredded cabbage & spinach
1/2 C thinly sliced green onions (incl. tops)
2 C bean sprouts
1/2 lb. firm tofu, cut into half-inch cubes
8 oz. rice vermicelli or Chinese wheat flour noodles, cooked, or 4 to 5 C hot cooked rice
1/2 C crisp onion flakes (optional) (available in Oriental grocery stores)

In a small pan, combine peanut butter, coconut milk, garlic, vinegar, and soy. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until well combined, then continue cooking, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add ginger and red pepper. Heat oil in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add cabbage and spinach and cook, stirring often, until greens are slightly wilted (about 2 minutes). Stir in onions and bean sprouts, then add tofu and peanut sauce; stir gently to mix well. Cover and cook just until heated through. Serve over noodles and, if desired, sprinkle with onion flakes.

Italian Green Bean Salad

from Betty Crocker's New International Cookbook
serves 4 to 6

1 lb. green beans
Vinaigrette Dressing (see below)
Lettuce (optional)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small onion, sliced
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese
Ripe olives (optional)

Remove ends from beans. If beans are large, cut French style into lengthwise strips. Heat beans and 1 inch salted water to boiling. Cook uncovered 5 minutes. Cover and cook until tender, 10 – 15 minutes, French style 5 to 10 minutes; drain. Prepare vinaigrette dressing. Pour over warm beans and toss. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hrs. Remove beans to lettuce-lined plate with slotted spoon. Add tomatoes and onion. Sprinkle with cheese; garnish with olives.

Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/3 C olive or vegetable oil
2 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. prepared dark mustard
dash of pepper

Pickled Beets
from The Victory Garden Cookbook
makes 1 quart

4 C cooked/peeled/sliced beets
1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
1 C cider or wine vinegar
1 C beet juice or water (or a combination)
1/4 C sugar (Lois's notes suggest 1/2 C)

Heat vinegar, beet juice/water and sugar just long enough to dissolve sugar and pour over beets and onions. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate 4 to 6 hours before serving. They'll keep a week or even longer, but beets will gradually soften.

*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.