lose a holy curiosity."
- Albert Einstein
Whats in the standard share:
Veggies and herbs:
Red beets (no tops)
Red and blue potatoes
Tomatoes (dry-farmed, regular red, Sungold cherry and heirloom)
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Blackberries, peaches and strawberries
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!
Children bring out the
Magic. Blessed with beautiful warm weather, the farm hosted another
fun-filled and lively Childrens Mini-Camp last weekend. On Friday,
eleven families, including our own, set up camp around the fire circle
or someplace nearby wherever the ground was level enough to pitch
a tent. After dinner and lighting the fire, Constance led the group for
a night walk. The moon, almost full, bathed the landscape in its silver
light, bright enough to explore the orchard and hide in the shadows of
the trees. As we entered the blackberry and raspberry patch our exploration
of the farm became a treasure hunt as we strained our eyes and probed
the vines with our fingers to find a few ripe berries. "I got a soft
one!" "yummy!" "oh, this one was sweet!" "ergh...
sour!" and "jackpot! I found two!!" were the excited calls
as we combed the dark vines in search of berries in the moonlight.
Playing Hide-and-Seek turned out to be one of my most treasured moments.
Adrian, one of the youngest in the group and so not able to keep up with
the older night explorers, held up his arms to me asking to be carried.
This immediately made me part of the children's group trying to hide from
the adults. As Adrian and I found a good hiding place in the shadow of
a peach tree, we detected two soft, ripe peaches dangling in front of
us. Consequently, Mom found us in no time after the 30-second count, due
to the slurping sounds we made while eating the juicy fruit, suddenly
unconcerned with being discovered.
We woke on Saturday to a sunny blue sky and spent the morning harvesting
the farms summer bounty. More peaches and berries, now easy to spot
by daylight, were made into delicious fruit salads and a warm peach crisp.
The harvest filled everyones baskets with potatoes, tomatoes, carrots,
melons, cucumbers, zucchinis, onions, basil... enough to feed us all.
Harvesting and preparing the meals together as a group, slowing down and
simplifying our lives enough, if just for a few days, made us all appreciate
the generosity and aliveness of the land. The simplest things experienced
in the present moment always seem to offer an opportunity to reconnect
with nature, like savoring a warm freshly-picked cherry tomato, making
hideaways in the tall patch of Sudan grass (our summer cover crop), smelling
fresh basil, digging and pulling up red and orange carrots, or biting
into a freshly-baked pizza topped with just-picked ingredients.
Every time children experience the land on this farm I recognize how much
they need nature. Children need to stain their faces with peach and berry
juice from fruits picked fresh off a tree or vine as they watch a hummingbird
or bee fly and dance around a flower. The truth is we need to experience
nature because we are nature. Nature is our ultimate classroom, and children
are always ready, right now, to learn from it. With only a few things
every child can embark on this lifelong apprenticeship their sense
of wonder, the guardianship of an elder, and a little unstructured time.
It is my hope that this farm will always serve as a place where every
child, even the ones within us adults, can experience a stronger connection
with nature and remember, as John Muir observed, that everything is connected
to everything else. Tom
from the Field
This week we begin our pear
harvest. We will have to pick them over a two- to three-week period instead
of all at once, since due to a very non-uniform (ratty) bloom each tree
has fruit of different maturity on it. Once the pears are harvested they
will be chilled for 10 days in order to achieve more uniform ripening.
Pears, like avocados, are picked hard and ripened off the tree. All of
this means that pears will appear in your shares around the first week
of September and their cousins, the Apples, soon thereafter.
We still have shares available.
Please continue to spread the word and let friends, neighbors, co-workers
know about our CSA program. We try to always make brochures available
in the inside back pocket of your pick-up site binder, so feel free to
take a few to give out, or call us and we can send you a flyer to post
in your neighborhood's local shop or bulletin board.
National CSA Cookbook
I said I'd talk about this
more after I got my copy, so here's the scoop: The cookbook is called
"Recipes from America's Small Farms Fresh Ideas for the Season's
Bounty" and was created by two members of a CSA in Manhattan, NY.
One happened to be a cookbook author, the other, a book producer, and
it was through their own experience of CSA that they realized this book
needed to happen. So they contacted CSAs, farmers and chefs from across
the country soliciting recipes and stories (this is how I learned about
it). But this is not just another collection of recipes. It is a very
thoughtfully assembled book that guides you through cooking not only by
season but also by vegetable family/type, and is full of useful tips as
well as great stories about CSA farms and farmers across the country.
It is also a useful reference for cooking with 'what's in the box.' Although
the book is now available in bookstores, the authors are offering this
cookbook to all CSA members of contributing farms (yes, we have some recipes
in there and Live Earth Farm has a sidebar!) at their cost (50% off list)
plus postage. This comes to about $10.50 apiece. So if any of you are
interested in getting a copy, email or call me and we can assemble a group
purchase (see bottom margin of newsletter for contact info). Debbie
|Ordering Almonds or
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
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Fellow CSA members John and Wendy Maschino sent me this week's charming
recipe, for kids of all ages! - Debbie
Bear Face (open face) Sandwich
serves... as many as you make!
Take one of Tom's Heirloom tomatoes a big one, 4" in diameter
and cut a 1/2" thick round slice right through the middle.
You might get 2 or 3 slices total, depending on tomato thickness and shape.
Cut out the stem and growth spots and serve these outside pieces to the
adults at the small table, or add them to the bowl of marinating tomatoes
and sliced red onion.
For sandwich bread we like Orowheat's "Health Nut." It has the
right shape, taste and consistency, but who knows what's in it. It'll
be great when Toastie gets fired up again after her long rest!
Take one slice of bread and slather it with 'Best Foods' mayo, or any
health conscious alternative if it tastes as good (If so, let me know
what that is, sez John)
Center the tomato slice on the bread. Season with lemon pepper, grated
parme-san cheese and garlic salt. Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil or
Now take one of Tom's small red tomatoes and cut off the pope's nose (the
pointy end), about 3/4 to 1" diameter. Put it in the middle of the
big tomato slice on the bread. That's the bear's nose.
Cut a 1/2" thick slice through the middle of the same little tomato.
Cut that slice in half. Place each half upside down and round side out
on the two bread bumps at the top. That's the bear's ears.
Use a small tomato wedge shape for a smile and two small pieces for eyes.
Make bear's whiskers and eyelashes with small placements of basil or oregano
leaves yes, bears have whiskers too! If you have flowers pinched
from the herb, make a ribbon at the top of the bear's head; that was the
one tied on by a little girl when the bear was just a cub. Bear really
liked the ribbon a lot, and has worn it ever since.
Serve at room temperature.
John says, "I haven't played with cilantro, purslane or shredded
cheese on the bear's face yet, but who knows?"
a quickie on Radicchio
We are getting radicchio fairly often, but don't limit it to just a salad
ingredient! My hands-down favorite way to prepare it is to cut it in half
or quarters through the root end (leave root attached to keep the leaves
together), baste it well with olive oil (I use my hands), sprinkle well
with salt (the salt is important) and pepper, then grill it 4 to 5 minutes
per side, until browned and soft. It is really yummy this way! Serve with
other grilled veggies (summer squash is great, grilled tomatoes are great
too) and/or along with your favorite spaghetti and sauce! - Debbie
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.