8th Harvest Week June 19th - 25th, 2002
Season 7
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here to download the pdf file.



"To live is not enough, we must take part and celebrate."
- Pablo Casals


What’s in the box this week:

Asian braising mix
Red or Chiogga beets
Bunch of greens (either kale, chard, collards or bok choi)
Summer squash
Small head of Napa cabbage
Mystery item



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



Sat. Jun 22 - Farm Work Day, 9am - 4pm (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

Join us in celebrating the beginning of Summer! Our Solstice celebration is coming up this Saturday, June 22nd. Our farm celebrations are intended, among other things, to honor the connection between the food on our table and the land that gave rise to it. The soil we work is a fertile source not just for agriculture but also for celebration. Just as crops and methods of cultivation differ greatly from place to place around the globe, so too do the celebrations associated with nature and its bounty. By the time the longest day of the year arrives we've typically cultivated the soil and planted all our summer crops. We are now tending them and preparing to harvest their bounty. Summer will bring lots of tomatoes, green beans, basil, cucumbers, summer squash, peppers and eggplants. Every crop has their season, and by celebrating the solstice (or the equinox) we acknowledge that our lives and and our nourishment are connected to the rhythm of these seasonal cycles.

Our celebration will start at 4pm and continue until dark (10pm or so). We’ll have our traditional bonfire around 7:30 PM. The kids will have scads of fun things to do, from picking strawberries, to riding Peanut the pony, to face painting, to listening to the Banana Slug String Band's favorite earth songs (around 5 o’clock), to playing with the baby goats and chickens, to learning how to braid garlic and help light the fire. As always, we will have a potluck, so bring a dish to share. We’ll be baking bread, grilling vegetables, and provide refreshments. We encourage everyone to bring an instrument or a story to share, but most importantly bring yourselves!

Reminder: At 9 o’clock Saturday morning (same day as our celebration) we’ll start our Farm Work Day. Anyone interested in getting their hands dirty and spending most of the morning and early afternoon working in the field, please RSVP by Thursday June 20th and then come on down to the farm... there's lots to do. Hope to see y'all on Saturday! - Tom

Q: What's the difference between dirt and soil?
A: So often we refer to soil as dirt, however according to Webster, dirt is defined as "excrement, something worthless, a filthy substance." Soil, on the other hand, is described as "any substance or medium in which something may take root or grow; disintegrated rock with an admixture of organic matter and soluble salts (humus)." The truth is, soil is a dynamic, living environment made up of mineral and organic constituents. It is home to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of different species of microbial organisms. Those organisms provide nutrients for plants and build organic matter in the soil. As their populations diminish, so does the nutrient value of your foods. (borrowed from "Cooking fresh from the Bay Area") John Robbins in his latest book "The Food Revolution" quotes a study published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition that analyzed the mineral content of organically and conventionally grown apples, potatoes, pears, wheat and sweet corn over a two year period. Organically grown crops had a 63 to 390 percent higher content of essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, potassium, iodine, chromium and selenium.

Crop Gossip
Since the beginning of this year’s CSA program you have been getting garlic in different stages of development, starting with the young and slender green garlic (easily confused with leeks), to the now familiar bulbous, clove-laden head. This year we have a lot of garlic with which to make braids (a great way to store it that doubles as a nice decoration for your kitchen!). It is most commonly known as a culinary herb, but is also purportedly useable as an antibiotic and antifungal. It is a potent immune-system stimulant. I read a story about how a garlic poultice (s small piece of garlic crushed into a paste with a little cooking oil), placed on the bottom of the foot and covered with a bandage overnight treated a bad case of bronchitis on a seven month old child. It has also been used successfully in treating warts.

Member to Member Forum
***nothing this week*** If you wish to get something into this forum, please contact the newsletter editor by Monday 10am or so to get your info into that week's newsletter.

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

Zucchini. Cauliflower. Beets. - Debbie

Baked Zucchini
My mother-in-law makes this dish all the time (it's another simple-and-tasty winner); I finally got around to asking her for the recipe so I could share it with you guys:

2-4 zucchinis
tomato sauce
onion and garlic
grated cheese (jack, colby or mild cheddar)

Slice zucchinis in half lengthwise and scoop out centers. Sauté centers with onion and garlic in a little oil. Add oregano and tomato sauce. Place zucchinis in a shallow oiled pan, sides touching. Fill them with sautéed mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10 to 15 minutes more. Serve hot.

Quick Cauliflower Snack
I'm on a roll with moms here! My mom used to make this often, and so naturally I carry on the tradition when I have cauliflower in my house! Essentially all you do is make a zippy cocktail sauce with catsup, prepared horseradish, and a little lemon juice. Cut the cauliflower into florettes (raw) and serve with the sauce for dipping. Yum!

Chocolate Beet Cake
(this is a repeat of a hands-down favorite recipe from last year, for the benefit of all you newcomers to the CSA!)

1 1/4 C beet puree (see below)
3 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 1/2 C sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

The beet puree can be made ahead of time. Basically, cook them any way you like... boil, bake, whatever, then puree them. A 'done' beet can be easily pierced with a fork or knife tip. The fastest way to cook beets, however, is in a pressure cooker. Scrub but do not peel them, and cook over an inch or two of water (at least 2 C of water for large beets), at high pressure for 11-13 min for small (3-4 oz) beets, or 20 - 22 min for med to large beets (5-6 oz)*. After they're cooked and cool enough to handle, cut off stems and root and slip off skins. Cut cooked beets into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor. If your puree is too 'dry', you can probably add a tiny bit of water or beet cooking water, but only enough to make it whirl. It should be pretty thick. When I made my puree, I was short quantity-wise, and so I simply added some homemade apple butter to make up the difference (don't be afraid to be creative, I say!). Also, if you are the type of person who likes substituting some whole-wheat flour into recipes that call for regular flour, add a touch more baking soda to compensate (for example, I used 1C white and 1/2C whole wheat flour, & added 1/8 tsp. baking soda to amount shown).

Okay, here's the rest of the recipe instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and dust with flour a bundt pan (or 8-9" square pan). In a large bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in sugar, oil, vanilla, salt & beet puree. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa and soda. Add to wet ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 45 - 50 min., or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and serve (with sliced strawberries & ice cream -- mmmmm!!).

*this information courtesy of a wonderful cookbook called "Cooking Under Pressure" by Lorna J. Sass

*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.