17th Harvest Week July 30th - August 5th, 2003
Season 8
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"A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
- John Keats


What’s in the standard share:


Veggies and herbs:
Red carrots!
Green beans
Red potatoes
Summer squash
Red tomatoes
Sungold cherry tomatoes
Small bunch of stir-fry mix
Mystery item (cauliflower or heirloom tomatoes)



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



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 beauty of nature is the most perfectly balanced and pleasing to us all, as well as the most accessible and inexpensive," contemplates Veronica Ray in her book 'Zen Gardening.' In the rush of summer when everything seems to explode with life I remind myself to slow down and take in the beauty this piece of earth offers, unconditionally, for us to enjoy. The evening sunlight on a peach tree filled with red fruit, the morning dew drops on a sunflower, or the snapdragons which, like a carpet of colors, accentuate the celebration of the summer season. All strike our consciousness revealing the beauty of nature around us.

It is astonishing how accessible this beauty is to all of us. While our culture seems obsessed with style and fashion, it greatly underestimates our connection with nature and the essential love for beauty people discover in nature. To contemplate the beauty of a flower brings joy which offers a possibility to make our interactions with nature more harmonious and happier. If there is one spot on the farm which stands out more than any other this year, where the beauty of a creative and transformative human-earth relationship is revealed, it is the garden our three interns, Chelsea, Annie and Linnea have created. What was once a bare piece of compacted ground below the green house is now a garden filled with the most remarkable diversity of herbs, flowers, vegetables, grains and cover crops. The garden beds and paths follow the shape and form of the gardener’s imagination, and simple bamboo structures support the growth habits of the rambunctious gourds, runner beans, and tomatoes. The garden is a little sanctuary, offering a more intimate environment right next to our more production-oriented 100-foot rows of field crops. Sometimes I just stand still, in awe, realizing that the farm is a dynamic and always evolving piece of art, where the land reveals the beauty of its infinite and spontaneous creative energy to the rhythm of the four seasons. – Tom

Crop News
A few short hours after my prediction last week that CUCUMBERS would be a few weeks out, Juan came to me holding three nice cucumbers in his hands. "Ya estan listas para piscar," he says with a big smile. So much for crystal balling and not walking the fields enough! With the heat, our cucumbers have finally matured. We are growing two kinds of cucumbers this season: one is the traditional American slicing cucumber; the other is a European type -- long, skinny and striped, with a thin skin and sweet taste -- similar to the more familiar Japanese cucumber. We didn’t stake the plants, however, so you will find them mostly curved instead of straight.

Our second ONION planting is finally maturing; our first crop failed because the winter weeds got the best of them (and us), so they were never able to mature into bulbs (onions are fussy). We are now harvesting the new crop, with their greens still fresh. This not only gives the onions a milder taste, but the tops can also be used for cooking.

SUMMER SQUASH comes in a delightful variety of shapes and colors, with new varieties appearing almost every year. This season we are growing four types. Costata Romanesco, a distinctive Italian zucchini, is prominently ribbed and striped. It is open pollinated, starchy, nutty in flavor, and delicious raw or cooked. Magda is a Lebanese or middle-eastern summer squash, pale green in color. It also has a mildly sweet and nutty taste, and a very thin outer skin which easily shows scratch marks. These are great for stir frying, stuffing and pickling. Our customers of middle-eastern origin will exclusively buy these to stuff with lamb. They are delicious!! And periodically in your share you will find the standard yellow and green zucchini as well. I hope you have fun trying them all and discovering their subtle differences. You won't get all types in your box at the same time, however you should eventually get some of each over the next several weeks.

Lastly – surprise – RED CARROTS! Yes, not all carrots are orange. I can already see some you eyeing them skeptically. Don’t be deceived! They are tasty and orange inside, and supposedly higher in nutritious beta-carotene than regular carrots. Have fun with them!

Goat Cheese Update
We have two news items regarding the raw milk goat cheese that we've been making available to you through your share (see box below). Firstly, after a little experimentation, we have determined that the cheeses don't have to be frozen to stay fresh at the pick-up sites. Stored as they are under ice packs in good quality coolers, they seem to stay quite cold. The chevre may sometimes be delivered frozen, but this will only be when Lynn has too big an order to fulfill the day before delivery. All cheeses will be labeled with the date they are made, and should stay fresh for up to a week. Secondly, Lynn is offering a new cheese – a queso blanco, which is absolutely delicious (taste and consistency is quite similar to mozarella – Debbie). It is a firm (but not hard) slicing cheese, and comes in 5" diameter round 'bricks' about a pound each. You can get a full brick for $12 or a half brick for $6. For those of you who are vegan, be aware that the queso blanco does contain rennett. See text box that follows for ordering details.

Ordering Almonds or Goat Cheese
In 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 butter. 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 cheeses. Currently available are chevre, ricotta, and a queso blanco. All cheeses are left in a cooler under an ice pack or two at your pick-up location (chevre may sometimes be delivered frozen but this does not affect quality). Prices: Chevre and ricotta are $6 per half-pound. Queso blanco is available in 5" round 'bricks' about a pound each for $12 (or get a 'half brick' for $6). 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

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

I spied the red carrots at last week's farmers market in Willow Glen, so I'm excited that we're going to get to try them in our shares! And in other news, the new National CSA Cookbook is hot off the press. I should be getting a copy in a week or so, and will let you know about getting your own copies. Okay, now for some recipes! Here are two from my clippings file. – Debbie

Brown Rice, Tomato and Basil Salad
serves 6

2 1/4 C water
1 C long-grain brown rice (such as Texmati)
2 tsp. coarse salt (I'm sure regular will do!)
2 tbsp. Champagne or white wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. tomatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 C (packed) basil leaves, finely chopped

Bring water to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Mix in rice and salt. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until rice is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Transfer rice to large bowl; fluff with fork and cool. Whisk vinegar and sugar in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Pour over rice. Add tomatoes and basil and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve room temperature.

Couscous salad with zucchini and dried apricots
serves 4

2 C water
1 small zucchini (or summer squash), diced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 10-oz. box of couscous (or equivalent quantity from bulk bin or other source)
1/4 C olive oil (see note below for alternative!)
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
pinch of ground ginger
1 C cooked garbanzo beans
3/4 C diced dried apricots
1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced (maybe you can use some of the green tops from Tom's fresh new onions!)
1/2 C sliced almonds

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in zucchini and let water return to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice, cumin and ginger. Stir in garbanzos, apricots, cilantro, parsley, scallions and sliced almonds. Fluff couscous with a fork to break up any lumps. Stir couscous into above mixture, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, through, about 3 hours.

Note: To reduce fat (or just for a different flavor combination!), substitute 1 C of plain yogurt and 1/4 C orange juice for the olive oil and lemon juice.

*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.