we most need to do is to hear within ourselves the sounds of the earth
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Whats in the box this week:
Three, possibly four baskets of strawberries (Seascape, Diamante,
Small bundle of
red Russian kale
Sat. May 18 - Open Farm Day, 1pm - 5pm
Sat. Jun 22 - Summer Solstice Celebration 4pm - 10pm, with The Banana
Slug String Band!
Sat/Sun Aug. 3&4 - Childrens 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,
Earth Day I spent gardening
with my son David. Sundays he knows I will give him my undivided attention,
so at breakfast he tells me he wants to work on his garden. David has
been preparing a small plot behind the house next to the chicken coop
and today he wants to plant. Carrots, radishes and spinach, corn, runner
beans, purple beans, lemon basil, amaranth, and poppies are his seed choices
and from the greenhouse he picks a few sunflower, watermelon and tomato
plants. His imagination is his guide, and as I watch how his spontaneous
decisions of where and how to plant defy all logic I realize I am witnessing
a childs joy and happiness connected with the earth. It is that
face-to-face, nose-to-nose, eyeball-to-eyeball experience interacting
with the elements that stays with us. It is hard to explain this feeling,
but once you have known it, it can never be forgotten. Its that
heady sense of exhilaration at just being right there, right then. Is
it possible that we can make room for these feelings, as abstract and
as difficult to explain as they may be, to guide our decisions and nurture
a sense of respect for this web of life which we are connected to and
called upon to preserve?
Looking around us, it is easy to feel overpowered by the enormous forces
destroying our planet and it is easy to give in to cynicism or despair.
However, contrary to all odds, ordinary people like you and I have won
the most unpromising and unequal of battles. One small way to make a difference
is to take charge of what we put into our mouths. Buying locally grown
food is a first step towards the health of our own bodies and of our local
communities. Your participation in a Community Supported Agriculture program
is also a step towards nurturing the interdependence among humans, the
soil, the plants, and other creatures that we must have if we hope for
a future on this very small planet. Community Supported Farms are emerging
across the country. Roughly one thousand currently exist and mature, and
as Robyn Van En, a pioneer in the CSA movement once said, "CSA is
a viable contender to the reckless and unsustainable food system to which
we have grown accustomed. CSA strives to be socially and economically
responsible, to educate and empower, while providing good food, one of
the basic necessities of life... It is a participatory means to securing
your food supply for today and future generations."
Up on the Farm
Last week we had Marty and Kathys Family Network Preschool children
visit the farm. Through their eyes the farm is a little adventure, where
a big strawberry will light up their faces, or pulling a carrot out of
the soil is exciting and saved like a little treasure. Throughout the
year we welcome members to organize visits to the farm and get a glimpse
of the land and the process of growing and caring for the food that comes
to you weekly.
Diseases: The peach trees are suffering from a severe case of peach leaf
curl. This disease is worse in cool, foggy, wet weather, which we are
all too familiar with here on the coast. Since we do not spray our trees
with anything except compost teas we had a hard time keeping it in check.
Typically the trees will outgrow this spring disease, however the fruit
size will turn out to be smaller come harvest time.
Crops: This year we diversified our potato planting (almost 2 acres) with
a mix of red (Red Norland), yellow/white (Yellow Finn, Russian Bananas,
and Yukon Gold), and blue (Peruvian Purple) potatoes. So, come the 4th
of July we might instead of sweet corn for your barbecue offer a "patriotic"
mix of red, white and blue potatoes.
This is another new newsletter
idea. Have questions about something in the box, or about organic farming
or ?? Email or call us and we'll see if we can answer it here in the newsletter.
I had this idea because I had questions of my own, and I figure I was
not alone! Debbie
Q: What was that frilly, parsley-looking green in last week's stir-fry
mix? When I was washing it I took a nibble out of curiosity, and it had
the most incredible hot-pepper flavor; to me it was evocative of hot cinnamon
candies or hot radish. What was it??
A: Curly watercress. We're getting a bunch of it all by itself in this
Q: How the heck are we supposed to distinguish between green garlic and
leeks? There are times they look almost identical.
A: You're right. When the garlic is young, it has not yet formed its distinctive
'bulb', and the branching of the upper green leaves is indistinguishable
in appearance to that of leeks. Your most dependable method of determination
is your nose... give 'em a good sniff (maybe score into the flesh with
a fingernail to get a good whiff) and your nose will tell you which is
garlic and which is leek.
Member to Member Forum
I wanted to put forth a request
to my fellow CSA-ers [this is Debbie again]. This is something I thought
would be both interesting AND valuable to share with everyone, if some
of you were willing to do this. My idea is that if one or a few resourceful
members (the more the merrier) would keep a diary of how they went about
using the contents of their share in any given week, and then be willing
to report this back to us, their story would be a valuable learning experience
for the rest of us. Any willing takers?
To contribute to this forum (or the newsletter), please submit your info
to the editor (click here) by Monday
9am to get it into the following weeks issue. Keep in mind that
members don't receive newsletters until the following Wednesday and Saturday
(if you're reporting on a timely event!)
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
the newsletter editor.
Here is another recipe with
a lot of bang for its 'simpleness' buck . Don't get 'blaahhed' by the
title... it really is very tasty; tastes very pasta-like! Also, I am including
a 'repeat' about fresh fava beans from the first harvest week newsletter
of last year (favas are an early season goodie). - Debbie
Sauteéd kale with lemon and parmesan
from an undated San Jose Mercury News recipe clipping of mine
1 bunch kale, washed and trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (I like to simply
hold the kale by its stem and strip off the leaves, then coarsely chop
them - Debbie)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 1 inch of water in a large pot to a boil. Add kale and salt. Cover.
Cook, stirring once, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Return
kale to pot. Drizzle with olive oil. Reheat. Add lemon juice, red pepper
and Parmesan and toss.
Fresh Fava Beans
Fresh favas are a delightful treat! If you like edamame, you'll like favas.
Open and remove beans from pods (pods are not really edible). Drop them
into boiling water for a mere minute, then remove with a slotted spoon.
Slip the greyish skins from beans if they are large (pinch a hole in one
edge of the skin and you can kind of squirt them out), but if the beans're
small, I'll leave the skins on. My favorite step at this point is to simply
salt them and eat them warm, like a snack, but they can also be tossed
into pasta dishes, soups or salads, or sautéed with garlic (green
garlic!) and herbs and pureed.
Here is something interesting that I discovered by accident when preparing
favas by boiling: if you leave the cooking water in the pot for a while
after removing the beans, it will turn pink after about 10 - 15 minutes,
then darken to purple as it cools! No kid-ding!! I sure as heck wish someone
with a chemistry background would explain this one to me.
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.