"April Share" Week 3 April 24th - 30th, 2002
Season 7
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"What we most need to do is to hear within ourselves the sounds of the earth crying."
- Thich Nhat Hanh


What’s in the box this week:

Three, possibly four baskets of strawberries (Seascape, Diamante, or Aromas)
Red beets
Fava beans
Green garlic*
Small bundle of
red Russian kale
Spring onions
Curly watercress*

*see "Q&A"




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 - 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

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 child’s 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. It’s 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."

What's Up on the Farm
Visits: Last week we had Marty and Kathy’s 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 week's box!

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 week’s issue. Keep in mind that members don't receive newsletters until the following Wednesday and Saturday (if you're reporting on a timely event!)

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d 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
serves 2
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.

*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.