7th Harvest Week June 12th - 18th, 2002
Season 7
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"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few."
- Shunryu Suzuki


What’s in the box this week:

Asian braising mix
Red and/or Chiogga beets
Bok choi
Collard greens
Purple kohlrabi
Red onions
Spring onions
Summer squash
Mystery Item



... and if you have an extra-fruit share:
4 more baskets
of strawberries



Sat. Jun 22 -Farm Work Day, 9am - 4pm (breakfast at 8am)
RSVP by June 20th

Sat. Jun 22 - Summer Solstice Celebration 4pm - 10pm, with The Banana Slug String Band!

Sat/Sun Aug. 3&4 - Children’s Mini Camp,
10m Saturday - noon Sunday. Optional early arrival Friday night.

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

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

We are pleased to welcome two new interns to the Farm this season: Linnea Beckett, from Chico, California (who recently graduated from college in Portland), and Andres Bermeo, who is here from Ecuador to learn English and organic farming skills. Neither skipped a beat as they jumped right in to help with the seemingly endless stream of farm chores. Already they've been weeding the tomatoes, harvesting fava beans, picking flowers and making bouquets, kneading bread dough, delivering CSA shares and assisting me at the Willow Glen Farmer's Market. We hope to expose them to as much of our farm life reality as possible during their internship, and hope they each discover what they most connect and harmonize with. I am sure the Farm will also benefit from their presence -- not only from their physical energy (another way to say sweat and hard work), but also from their unique skills, creative ideas, and enthusiasm. We hope they have a wonderful season !!

Farm Work Day postponed: It seems the June 8th date was not a good one for many of you, so we are rescheduling it for Saturday June 22nd, the day of our Solstice celebration. Since many of you plan to come to the celebration anyway, it may be easier to schedule them together. We'll start at 9am, and serve breakfast at 8am. One project I think would be fitting would be to plant our Pumpkin patch, so bring the children! This way they can have their own patch, and the opportunity to watch its lifecycle. Please RSVP by June 20th though, so we know how many workers to expect!

What's Up on the Farm
Strawberry Fields Forever... Last year I complained about not having enough of them. This year we are having a "bumper" season so far, and we can "berrily" keep up with them! So I encourage everyone to think about creative ways to consume and process more of strawberries. Let me know if you are ready for baking, jamming, freezing, drying or chocolate dipping (hmm)... we can drop off extra flats at your pick-up site (6 baskets for $8).

In the last two weeks you may have noticed some variations in ripeness. Some are a bit overripe, while others are still white on the shoulders. The reason is that we are currently growing two new varieties besides our standard Seascape. One is called Aromas (large and pointy), and the other is Diamante (plump, shiny, with a more rounded tip and white/red flesh). Both are everbearing varieties (i.e. not day length sensitive and can flower and fruit year 'round). What we have noticed, however, is that both of them take 1-2 days longer to fully ripen than the Seascape variety. Typically we pick the whole patch at the same time (which is more efficient), and we pick three times a week, watering in the off days so it’s not too muddy when we pick (not fun to drag muddy boots around with your back bent over). However the Diamantes and Aromas are not at their full ripeness under the Seacape schedule, and are overripe if we leave them on the vine for another 2-3 days until the next scheduled picking. Consequently we will change our picking schedule, and hope to achieve a more uniform ripeness in the next week. You also may have noticed a few moldy berries in the last couple of weeks. This is primarily due to the heat. When the berries are picked too warm or have a slight sunburn, they tend to mold a bit quicker.

Crop of the Week

Purple Kohlrabi belongs to the cabbage family. Debbie calls it the "Sputnik veggie" -- it has long-stemmed leaves which extend out and up like spokes from a distinctly space-ship-shaped corm (that is actually a swollen part of the stem which grows above ground, rather than part of the root which grows in the ground like a beet or carrot). Kohlrabi comes in two colors, purple or pale green. It originated in northern Europe, and is fast growing and more drought tolerant than most brassicas. The corms are best eaten young when they are the size of a tennis ball or smaller. They should be peeled before cooking, especially if they are older, as most of the fibers are in the outer parts of the corm. I personally like it grated raw into my salad, a bit like Jicama.

Member to Member Forum
Fellow member Maryjo Aloi of San Jose, a practitioner of homeopathy, recently learned about (and wanted to alert everyone to) the following upcoming legislation: "Did you know that many alternative health care practitioners are doing something which is technically illegal in the state of California by practicing their professions? There is a bill going to the State Assembly Health Committee this month called SB577. It will change the California medical practice act to legitimize and enhance the professional atmosphere for alternative practitioners, as well as encourage their interaction with conventional medical practitioners. You can find information about this bill at the California Health Freedom Coalition website www.californiahealthfreedom.org. Please go there and find the information to write to Assemblywoman Helen Thomson to urge the committee to vote in support of SB577! If you are in support of this legislation, please do this as soon as possible as this legislation will be coming before the committee very soon!"

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

Many members have commented on the plethora of bok choi we've been getting, so I dug up a San Jose Merc recipe for it which featured it as a main ingredient. Also, a variation on carrot-apple salad, and another strawberry-using idea (for strawberry storage tips, go to the recipe database on our website or click here). - Debbie

Steamed hot and sour bok choi
(from "A Spoonful of Ginger," by Nina Simonds)
(modified slightly to suit our CSA bok choi)
Serves 6

2 1/2 lbs. of bok choi
2 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 1/2 tbsp. minced scallions, white part only
(I'd use Tom's spring onions – Debbie)
For sauce:
1/4 C soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. Chinese black vinegar OR Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. hot chili paste OR dried chili flakes

Cut root base from bok choi and discard. Separate, rinse, and drain leaves. Cut leaves in half lengthwise. Cut halves and stems into 2-inch sections. Using your hands, toss fresh ginger and scallions with bok choi in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together. Arrange bok choi on a heatproof plate or a piece of parchment or wax paper in a steamer basket. Fill a pot or wok with several inches of water and heat until boiling. Place bok choi in steamer (if using a plate, set it on an empty tuna can with ends removed). Put lid on steamer and cook 5-6 minutes, or until bok choi is tender. Arrange steamed vegetable on a serving platter, spoon on dressing and serve.

Beet-carrot-apple-raisin-walnut salad
A few years ago in this newsletter, I expounded on the flexibility and fun of carrot-apple-raisin salad (8th Harvest Week 1999). But this year, in my never ending quest for new and different ways to use box veggies I serendipitously discovered that adding grated raw beet to the mix was a charmer! (Not to mention another great way to sneak those beets into your meals.) So try this: grate up a few carrots and a raw beet (scrubbed and peeled lightly with a vegetable peeler first). Add cut up apple, a handful of raisins, and some nuts (toasted if you have the time and inclination! A few mintues in the toaster oven does the trick). Stir in a dollop of mayo to incorporate everything and serve! You can enhance the mayo with a little lemon juice, honey and cinnamon for added yum.

Breakfast polenta with warm strawberry mash
(I made this one up last Saturday when trying to use up my 7th basket of strawberries!)

Make yourself a pot of soft polenta (lots of cookbooks explain how – it's easy.). Remove stems from/wash a bunch of strawberries, throw 'em in a pot and smoosh 'em up with a potato masher. Add a dollop of maple syrup and simmer over medium/med-low heat while you make that polenta. When polenta is done, stir in some butter until melted and incorporated. Put a serving of polenta in each bowl and top with a gen-erous spoonful of warm strawberry mash!

*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.