25th Harvest Week October 16th - 22nd, 2002
Season 7
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"A reflection on Paradox: Water wears away rock, Spirit overcomes force, The weak will undo the mighty. May we learn to see things backward, inside out, and upside down."
- adapted from the Tao Te Ching


What’s in the box this week:

Napa cabbage
Sweet corn
Green beans
Dinosaur kale
Potatoes (Yellow Finn)
Winter squash (Sweet Dumplings)
Heirloom tomatoes



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
Strawberries and pears



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

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

PUMPKIN DAY with the BANANA SLUGS. Mark your calendars: On October 26 come and PICK UP your pumpkins from the farm. This year we have a great selection of long-handled jack-o' lanterns as well as a large variety of deeply rich red "Cinderella Pumpkins" (also known as Rouge Vif d’Etamps). These more flattened, vividly red pumpkins have a thick rind with a smooth grained, mild flavored flesh -- wonderful for soups and pies. We also have a wonderful surprise for all the children: be sure to have them at the farm between 1-3 PM so they can listen to, enjoy, and learn some exciting "tidbits" of Earth-Wisdom from... the BANANA SLUG STRING BAND! The Banana Slugs, at home here in Santa Cruz, have dedicated themselves to inspiring children of all ages (myself included) with their music and songs. Not only are they great musicians, but they are also teachers who, through their art, connect us to the magic of our mother earth. We’ll have hot apple cider, snacks, bread baking, and if it gets too cold, a fire to keep us warm. You may want to bring a bag of chestnuts to roast or a snack to share. Hope to see you all here on the farm on October 26th. - Tom

What's Up on the Farm
Throughout the year we have classes from local schools visit the farm, but October is one of the more popular months, with 5 to 6 schools visiting before Halloween. Last week we enjoyed a class of third-graders from the Monterey Waldorf School. Their enthusiasm, imagination and curiosity permeated every corner of the farm. The day was filled with activities from picking berries and collecting seeds, preparing and baking pizza for lunch, playing in the pond, and finally searching the fields for their favorite pumpkin to carry home like a treasured prize. I believe farms can serve their community and especially schools by allowing children to learn things outside their classrooms and books.

Crop Info
Creepy Crawlers in my Corn... it’s not our Pre-Halloween Trick to scare you, but an inevitable visitor in all organic corn known as the "(in)famous" Corn Earworm. This often white-green sometimes red worm is born from tiny little eggs placed by a night-flying moth right on the silks of a maturing ear of corn. Conventionally, corn is sprayed with a range of insecticides to inhibit the development of the worm, or lately companies like Monsanto have genetically engineered corn varieties that carry the genes of a bacteria that make the worms sick. The problems with genetically engineered corn is that we know little about its harmful effects on humans, animals, and other parts of the environment. So, what other tools do organic farmers or gardeners have to keep the worms out? One method is to trap the night flying moth with a nightlight placed around the field. A more labor intensive method that works well on a smaller scale is to place a few drops of mineral oil inside the tip of each ear after the silks have wilted. If you have children who might be interested in a little project they can observe the development of this worm into a moth by placing the ear into a jar with some soil, just like you would to follow the life cycle of a butterfly. Otherwise, simply cut off the tips of the ears and feed them to the birds or your compost pile. Although this is one of the few times you actually receive a live visitor with your veggies, they are harmless!!

Member to Member Forum
Of Interest to Members living within the Santa Cruz County School District: "Get to Know Your School Board Members" on Monday, October 21st at 7pm at Louden Nelson Community Center, a free public event sponsored by School Voices, a local group of parents, teachers and students working toward reform in education. This event is their third annual forum. For further information call (831) 469-4280 or see the web site at www.schoolvoices.org. Santa Cruz City School District faces declining enrollment, inadequate funding from the state, and exorbitant housing prices which, combined, make it difficult to hire and retain new teachers. The four people who fill the openings on the SCCS School Board this year will tackle these and other problems.

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

Members Samhee, Greg and Samera Shim of San Jose sent me an enthusiastic email for a vegan pizza with peppers they concocted and wished to share with everyone. They also say, "thanks for providing us with such great ingredients! I feel like my kitchen creativity has been taken up a notch as a result of being challenged with so many ingredients." Hear that Tom? Ya got fans! - Debbie

Vegan Pepper-rooni Pizza

one Acme herb slab, cut in half to open it up as 2 pizza crusts OR one Alvarado Street California Style pizza bread
Pizza sauce (we like Muir Glen Organic)
Crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced (a whole bunch -- 1/4 to 1/2 pound)
Lots of California dry-cured olives and some kalmata olives, chopped (more, proportion-ally, of the dry cured olives)
1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
A whole mess of peppers, thinly sliced into strips (we used all that came in the box!)

Cover the crust with sauce (brush olive oil on the Acme slab's rim first). Pile on the mushrooms, sprinkle on the olives, gently place the tomato slices on top so they cover everything, then pile on the pepper strips (really, pile them on!). Sprinkle all with sea salt, drizzle (liberally) with olive oil, grind some black pepper over the whole pie(s), and bake for about 30 minutes or so at 350 degrees F. Eat and enjoy!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

This is a fabulous corn-cooking tip which I learned from fellow member Charles Limbaugh at last year's Fall Equinox Celebration (or was it the Pumpkin Day?). It is so simple, and the flavor is truly outstanding. Here's the scoop: mix up a bowl of saltwater (dissolve a bunch of salt in water, say 1 tbsp. in a half cup, or salty to your taste). Heat your grill (charcoal, gas, whatever). Shuck your corn (and chop off those wormy, proof-they're-organic tips!). Now all you do is grill your corn over the hot coals, basting frequently with the saltwater. Keep basting and turning the corn (every few minutes) until the kernels begin to get brown on all sides. Remove from the grill and eat! No need for butter or anything else – it just tastes great!! Try it and see for yourselves, and I think you'll agree.

Stuffed Squash variation

Last week I included a recipe for stuffed Delicata squash. This week I tried the recipe using the Sweet Dumplings, and it worked fine. Only thing I did differently was instead of slicing the squash in half lengthwise, I sliced off the top like a lid, carefully scooped out all the seeds, then stuffed and put the lids back on and baked. They took longer than the Delicata; just bake until they start to feel soft to the touch, and maybe the outer skin starts to brown. Also, I ran out of apples, so I used dried cherries instead. Ah, the joys of experimentation!

Kale with Chicken-Apple Sausage

Okay, while we're in 'make it up' mode, here's another suggestion for kale, some-thing I did about two years ago and liked... so I wrote it down (actually, I just jotted down the ingredients, but...) Serves 2.

1 bunch kale, washed, greens stripped from stems and chopped (clinging water is okay)
1 smoked chicken-apple sausage (I like Aidell's, but any similar apple sausage'll do)
1 apple, quartered, cored, and then cut into bite-sized pieces
half a small onion, chopped (optional)
small spoonful of honey

The smoked sausage is usually already cooked, so it is just a matter of heating it through. Slice or chop up the sausage. If using, sauté the onion in a little oil 'til it starts to get soft. Add a splash of water, and the cut up sausage and apple. Bring to a simmer. Simmer a bit, until the sausage starts to give off flavors to the juice and the apples start to soften. Stir in honey, sprinkle with salt and paprika. Dump in kale and cover to steam/wilt with the now-formed pan juices (add a splash more water if the pan is getting dry). Stir to incorporate, then turn off heat and keep warm until ready to serve. This goes really well with a side of winter squash (baked, steamed... whatever you like) and mashed potatoes, but would also go well over rice (brown or white). Be sure to pour on the flavorful juices!

Spinach with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Toasted Parmesan Crumbs

(can't you tell? It's another Bon Appetit clipping!)
serves 4 [I modified it a little – Debbie]

1 C coarsely crumbled fresh breadcrumbs, ideally from crustless French bread
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
10 C (packed) cleaned spinach (~10 oz.), coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (or soak some of Tom's and chop)

Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; drizzle 1 tbsp. oil over. Stir until golden brown, about 5 minutes then remove from heat. Toss with Parmesan and set aside. Heat remaining tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add spinach and tomatoes; increase heat to high and stir just until spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with toasted Parmesan crumbs.


*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.