forget not that the earth de-lights to feel your bare feet and the wind
longs to play with your hair."
- Kaklil Gibran
Whats in the standard share:
Chinese (garlic) chives
next week: cauliflower and broccoli
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries and raspberries (cherry tomatoes and plums soon!)
Aug 8, 9, 10 - Childrens 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
the Banana Slug String Band will play here too!
Help us increase our Summer
Membership: This is a great time for enjoying the flavors and bountiful
diversity of crops the summer season has to offer. With this bounty in
mind, we would like to reach our goal of 350 members during the month
of July. Our community of members has just reached 300 and although we
reach out through conventional venues such as local newspapers, farm events,
displays, fliers and brochures, it is through your support in the form
of sharing your experience as CSA members with friends, in your neighborhood,
at work, schools and community organizations that most people find out
about our CSA program. I thank you for helping us in our outreach efforts,
and ask for your continued support in order for us to reach our membership
goal this season. As I have mentioned in the past, our CSA depends on
this cooperative relationship in order to operate sustainably. Remember,
you are not simply paying for healthy, locally-grown produce -- it is
much more than that. You are also supporting sustainable agriculture (a
form of farming which aims to achieve a more harmonious relationship with
the earth) by buying directly from a farm that stewards its land. You
are also supporting social sustainability, because we strive to provide
our workers with fair wages, a healthy work environment, and an opportunity
to live decent lifestyles. You are also supporting education. Last year
we had approximately 300 children visit the farm, and this year in addition
to multiple school visits, we are expanding our education program by working
together with a local non-profit organization (CAFF - Community Alliance
with Family Farmers) to support their Farm-to-School program. And every
year we sponsor interns, who live and work and learn on the farm, hopefully
to some day take what they learned and be involved in sustainable agriculture
or organic farming. And we will continue to have our children's mini-camp,
seasonal farm events, and workshops. It is important to promote this multifaceted
connection between your CSA membership and all of the above, not to mention
the food you consume and the land and the people who grew it. We hope
you can help us by reaching out in your community and promoting our CSA,
sharing with others what you enjoy by being a member of Live Earth Farm.
Thank you, and let us know if there is any way we can participate.
Question posed by young Connor,
from Willow Glen, "How do seeds start to grow when they are so hard
on the outside?" That is such a good question since we cant
see seeds once they are planted in the soil. Most plants ensure their
survival from one season to the next by wrapping all their growing instructions
and some food (to get them started) into a tough armored capsule. This
capsule will only open if the conditions outside allow the plant to grow
healthy and strong. Most of the time when we plant a seed, we plant it
into moist soil. It is the water in the soil that the seed will absorb
to soften the tough seed coat. Everything inside the seed will wake up
and stretch, pushing against the seed coat. The first plant part to erupt
from the seed is the root, searching for water and food in the soil. If
things feel right, the first leaves will push upwards through the soil
surface to catch the light from the sun, to turn into food. For a seed
to grow, not only will it need water, but also all the other things we
humans need to grow healthy bodies, such as air, warmth, light, and good
food. To see for yourself how a seed starts growing, try putting a bean
or sunflower seed between moist paper towels (remember to keep it moist!).
This way you can peek and watch for yourself what normally goes on below
ground. Its like a little miracle of nature, to see a plant being
born from a tiny seed.
Next week: "How do carrots grow legs and look like an octopus?"
Crop of the Week
Green beans. On Friday last
week we started picking our first green beans of the season, which adds
another variant to our seasonal concerto. Green beans are one of our staple
crops, grown in succession (planted every 7 to 10 days, weather permitting).
We plant 8 to 10 times, and in a good year we are still offering them
come Thanksgiving! Unlike most fibrous commercial green beans, the Blue
Lake variety we grow is picked tender, crunchy and slightly sweet. Different
from most dried beans (which require a long, warm growing season), the
'snap' or 'green' beans grow best in moderate, cooler climates like ours.
The green bean is native to Central America. Fossil seeds found in Mexico
date back to 5400 BC. In the Americas, beans are traditionally grown among
the corn, and supposedly French Huguenot refugees in Britain were the
first to grow green beans in the 1500s, hence the expression "French"
bean. Although green beans are not as high in protein as their dried cousins,
they are a good source of vitamin A and C, as well as dietary fiber. My
favorite and simplest way to prepare them is to steam them a few minutes
and toss them with butter, a little salt, and chopped chives or parsley.
Goat Cheese Redux
Regarding the goat cheese we
talked about in last week's newsletter (if you missed it, remember: our
newsletters are all online), it is important to know that the chevre is
made from raw (un-pasteurized) milk (the ricotta is heated above pasteurization
temperatures in the process of being made though). Also, Lynn (who makes
the cheese) performed a test to be sure the cheese would stay cold at
pick-up locations, and we are pleased to report that, after more than
10 hours left outdoors in the middle of last week's heat wave, the inside
temperature of the test cooler was only 45¾F and both cheese samples were
still frozen solid.
Ordering Almonds or Goat
both cases, contact the seller directly to place your order and to pay
(do not order through Live Earth Farm). We will deliver your order (usually)
the following week with your share.
From Anderson Almonds, a certified organic, small, family-owned
and operated farm, you can get almonds or almond but-ter. Almonds are
available raw, roasted, or roasted and salted. Almond butter comes in
15 oz. jars. Prices: 5 lbs. almonds
+ 1 jar almond butter, $32; Almonds only (5 lbs.), $25. Almond butter
only, $10, or a 6-pak of jars for $32. A case (25 lbs.) of almonds (raw
only) is $120. Contact Mele (rhymes
with 'jelly') Anderson at (209) 667-7494 or go to their website at www.andersonalmonds.com.
From Summer Meadows Farm, just across the Pajaro Valley from Live
Earth Farm, you can get raw goat milk chevre or ri-cotta, made fresh then
frozen, and delivered (frozen) and left in a cooler at your pick-up site.
Prices: either cheese is $6 for a
half-pound, or get a half-pound a week for 4 weeks for $24. Supply is
somewhat limited. Contact Lynn Selness
at (831) 345-8033 to place your order, then mail your check to Summer
Meadows Farm, 405 Webb Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
I have been saving this green bean recipe since the beginning of the year.
Submitted by Kathy Keenan of Los Gatos, she says, "children love
these almost as much as french fries no kidding!" - Debbie
Crispy Green Beans
by Kathy Keenan
1 to 2 lbs green beans
lots of chopped fresh garlic
Arrange the green beans in a single layer on baking sheets. Drizzle with
olive oil and coat the beans. Sprinkle with garlic and sea salt to taste.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. They come out looking ugly,
but they are delicious!
Warm Red Cabbage Salad with Pecans
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison
serves 4 to 6
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small red cabbage, about 1 1/4 pounds, quartered and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly milled pepper
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese or mild feta
1 red apple, quartered and thinly sliced
1/4 C pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1 tbsp. each chopped parsley and marjoram
1/2 C pecans or walnuts, toasted
Heat the garlic, vinegar and oil in a wide skillet, add the onion, and
cook for 30 seconds. Add the cabbage, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook
over high heat, tossing constantly with tongs. When the leaves begin to
soften and change from red to pink, remove from the heat. Add the remaining
ingredients and toss just enough to combine them, then remove from the
heat. Season with plenty of pepper and serve warm.
Re: toasting the nuts (tip from Debbie)
If you have a toaster oven, I've discovered the quickest and easiest way
to toast nuts is to make a little tray out of aluminum foil, scatter the
nuts in it, then literally 'toast' them (using the toast button or setting)
for a few minutes. Warning: nuts can go from toasted to burnt really quickly,
so keep a close eye on them! I've found that pecans toast quicker than
walnuts, because they are sweeter. If you don't have a toaster oven, you
can do this in a moderate-heat regular oven.
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.