12th Harvest Week June 25th - July 1st, 2003
Season 8
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.



"The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to be-come destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence."
- Thomas Berry, from "The Dream of the Earth"


What’s in the standard share:


Chiogga beets
Bok choi
Napa (Chinese) cab-bage
Baby chard
Yellow Finn potatoes
Summer squash
Mystery Item

green beans next week!



... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries and raspberries or blackberries



Aug 8, 9, 10 - Children’s Mini Camp
Friday evening to noon Sunday

Sat. Sep 20 - Fall Equinox Celebration
3pm - 9pm
with the Banana Slug String Band!

Sat. Oct 26 Halloween Pumpkin Palooza
all day.
the Banana Slug String Band will play here too!

The circle of people just kept growing and growing and winding in all directions around six tables filled with wonderful gifts of food. It was definitely the largest circle ever gathered on this farm to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Every time we form this circle I am inspired, and recognize how in celebration, even if just for a brief moment in our busy lives, we transcend boundaries and acknowledge our interconnectedness and that which gives us sustenance to participate in the dance of life. Thank you for celebrating with us in welcoming the summer season. – Tom

[and from our intern, Linnea] As the circle expanded, Tom’s mother’s grasp continued to tighten around my hand. She stood there shocked and amazed. All she could mutter was, "So many people!" I smiled at her, she smiled back and then turned the smile to her son who was on the opposite side of the circle. Tom’s father peered over her shoulder and whispered to me, "Did you see the pictures from the first Summer Solstice?" Just a few days ago the old photo album was brought down from the shelf, and within the pages we found pictures of about fifteen people gathered around a table smiling as they celebrated the farm's first ever Summer Solstice. "Fifteen people," he said, "and look now."

Kids on the Farm
Small Wonder. Never does the keen sense of observation of children cease to surprise me when they roam and search the farm for adventure and discovery. During Saturday’s celebration I felt a little tug on my arm and Kristin Schaffer's little girl Linnea held up a fluttering moth in her hands, asking, "What are these, farmer Tom?" The moth she held was an Oak moth, one of thousands fluttering around and nesting in our oak tress right now. I have been watching them with dismay since last fall when they first appeared, noticing that the caterpillars can munch a tree bare of leaves. It didn’t take long before I felt another tug on my arm, and Linnea had returned with her friend Morgan, to show me an egg, a pupae, a caterpillar and a moth. Their faces where beaming at having discovered each stage in the life cycle of this insect, and my worries about the pest problem melted away as I noticed the beauty and magic these two young girls held in their hands..

Kid's Corner
Tom has an accumulation of questions from children and plans to address them here next week!

Goat Cheese via your CSA
This is Debbie speaking. At the Farm Fiesta two weeks ago we met a Live Earth Farm neighbor who raises goats and makes her own cheeses and has for many years. We got to talking, and we have agreed to offer her fresh cheeses to you, our CSA members, to be delivered weekly with your share! Her name is Lynn Selness, and she runs Summer Meadows Farm. Here is a note from Lynn:

Hello! We’re happy to meet you and offer you a share of our snowy white goat cheeses. I’ve milked goats for 28 years to nourish my 7 children. We moved to the sunny slopes of Mt. Madonna with one of our Nubian does, and in two seasons she became the matriarch of nine more does -- no bucks! It seemed a sign from God that it was time to start a milking herd and share our bounty with you! We are offering two cheeses right now, both mild and rich (no "goaty" flavors), cultured with my buttermilk: a French chevre, and a ricotta. We hope to also offer a soft-molded cheese, but have not yet come up with a way to successfully get it to you at this time. We'll keep you posted. Use our cheeses to gourmet up a sandwich, quesadillas, Italian dishes, or eggs. We welcome you to visit us and meet our happy goats. You’ll feel like Heidi surrounded by 18 sweet nuzzling kids in our high pastures at Summer Meadows Farm.

I milk my goats and make cheese every day, so to keep it all at maximum freshness for you since deliveries are only twice a week, I will freeze them (yes you can freeze goat cheese!). The frozen cheeses will be dropped off at the farm the morning of delivery, and will be in a cooler at your pick-up location, in a ziploc bag marked with the type of cheese, the date made, and the name of the person who ordered it. To place your order, call me, Lynn, at (831) 345-8033 and mail your check to Summer Meadows Farm, 405 Webb Road, Watsonville, CA 95076. Your cheese will come with your share the following week. Try a half-pound one-time sample for $6, or get a half-pound a week for one month (4 weeks) for $24. Please keep in mind I have a somewhat limited supply, so it will be first come first served, but I and my goats will do our best to keep everyone supplied!

And now, from Debbie: Lynn gave me a sample of her fresh goat cheese at the Farm Fiesta, and I can report that it was truly wonderful. I will try to keep a small, regular blurb in the newsletter about the availability of this goat cheese (as well as the almonds and al-mond butter from Anderson Almonds which I talked to you about earlier in the season), so that people who don't see the newsletter each week will still get the ordering info. Remember – place your order with Lynn, NOT us. We are just delivering it.

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

Napa cabbage is the newbie this week, and bok choi is back after a goodly hiatus, so let's focus on those. - Debbie

About Chinese (Napa) Cabbage
from the All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking

The so-called Chinese cabbages compare to our common cabbage as romaine lettuce compares to iceberg. Like icebergs, com-mon cabbages have round heads with thick, crunchy, mild-tasting leaves. Like romaines, Chinese cabbages have oblong heads with thin, juicy full-flavored leaves. The Chinese cabbage we see most often is the pale green Napa cabbage... Store, prepare and cook as for common cabbage but do not overcook, or their lovely flavor and texture will be destroyed... Affinities are for other Asian vegetables [like bok choi!] and flavors.

Cabbage and Potatoes with Smoked Ham
from same 'Joy of' as above!
4 to 6 servings
8 C water

4 Yellow Finn potatoes, washed and quar-tered (peeling optional)
2 tsp. salt
1 small head green cabbage, cut into sixths and cored [per advice above, I think this is okay to try with Napa cabbage – Debbie]
6 oz. smoked ham, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
ground black pepper to taste

Put potatoes, water and salt together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. When boiling, add cabbage wedges, and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are done (12 to 15 minutes). [If using the Napa cabbage, I'd only add it for the last 5 to 6 minutes... remember, you don't want to overcook it! – Debbie] Drain and immediately toss with smoked ham and parsley. Arrange on a platter and serve with lemon wedges or a cruet of vinegar, and horseradish and/or mustard, or chutney.

Simple Cooked Chinese Cabbage

from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison

This Asian cabbage cooks quickly and is even milder than European varieties. Allow 1 1/2 lbs. or more for 4 servings. Chop the whole cabbage, including the firm white base, into strips of whatever width appeals to you. Heat a few tablespoons water or rice wine in a wide skillet, add the cabbage, and sprinkle with salt. Cook over medium-high heat, turning the leaves with tongs, until wilted. Drain, then toss with dark sesame oil, roasted peanut oil, or butter. Garnish with chopped parsley, cilantro or dill; snipped chives; toasted sesame seeds, or Gomashio (a mixture of black and white sesame seeds and sea salt).

Cold Chinese Cabbage with Cilantro
from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

Macerate finely diced shallots in white wine vinegar for 15 minutes or so. Slice Chinese or Napa cabbage very thin, toss with the shallots and vinegar, some good olive oil, and salt and pepper. Let the cabbage sit about 10 minutes so it starts to wilt. Add a handful of fresh cilantro leaves and serve.

Linnea's Favorite Bok Choi
from Linnea Beckett (our farm intern)

At the farm kitchen earlier this year, Linnea showed me her very favorite way to eat bok choi. This is about as simple as it gets, and the beautiful flavor and succulent texture really sings! – Debbie

Separate bok choi stems from their base, wash well to remove all dirt, and trim bottom as necessary. If it is baby bok choi, you can leave the heads whole (or cut them in half lengthwise). In a wok or skillet, simmer bok choi in a modest amount of water until just tender (the leaves are bright green and the stems are just beginning to get translucent). Add some shoyu or soy sauce to the water and serve! You can put them in a bowl with tongs so people can help themselves, but Linnea likes to just eat with her fingers (and roll her eyes with gustatory pleasure!)

*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 key ingredient. Recipe site is updated weekly during the season.