gardening is about is growing food, not about speculating. Its continuity,
its about always having something to eat, always having something
- Bob Cannard, a Sonoma County farmer, as quoted in
Michael Abelmans book From the Good Earth
Whats in the standard share:
Veggies and herbs:
Beets (Chiogga or red)
Bunch of greens (either
chard, mustard, or kale)
Peppers (hot Hungarian
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries; raspberries or blackberries; and either melon, peaches,
or Pink Pearl apples
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!
Food - the universal language
of our world community. My most vivid memories from family reunions
always centered around meals we shared. I was again reminded of this,
during our reunion last week. The gathering of family and friends around
a meal became our favorite ritual. And preparation and sharing of food
became the conduit for bridging time and space and renewing our bonds
as a family.
I always love to go to village markets when I am in Europe -- they are
not just a quaint weekly neighborhood event for entertainment and picking
up a few groceries. Our family stayed at a place near Palamos, a fishing
town 2 hours north of Barcelona along the Costa Brava, and the market
there has been around as long as the town itself... probably a few centuries
before Columbus set foot on the American continent. People are accustomed
to doing most of their shopping there. The town square and adjacent streets
are closed off, and filled with hundreds of vendors. I accompanied a family
friend and professional chef (who was in charge of preparing the meals)
to the market one morning. It was a real treat to follow him around observing
the seriousness with which he considered the food he bought. Each selection
was scrutinized for its freshness and quality, and he consulted each vendor
before making a purchase. By the water the fish market was busy. Prices
seemed really high, and the local delicacy, 'gambas' or prawns were scarce.
People were complaining that the hot weather has seriously affected farmers
as well as the regions fishing industry. However, our cart didnt
show any sign of such scarcity as we headed back home, making a few more
stops to buy wine, bread, and cheese. By going to farmers markets
here or anywhere in the world one realizes that the preparation of food
did not begin in the kitchen, but in the marketplace where the selection
of the specific ingredients themselves and their quality determines the
outcome of the final dish. The quality of the meals we shared contributed
directly to the atmosphere of our time together as a family. Reflecting
on this, we should recognize that the language of food is universal; the
impulse to feed is common to all cultures, rich or poor. Community and
food are intimately related, yet in our 'modern' world this relationship
has become a marginal one at best. Growing, procuring and consuming food
are one of the most vital and intimate activities in any society. They
nourish not only our bodies but our minds and spirits as well.
from the Field
Fall is here!?! Labor Day. I might have just imagined it, but Fall seems
to have poked its nose through summer's blanket. In the next couple of
weeks this will become more apparent as our veggies and fruit change to
reflect the change of season. As a CSA member, you can integrate and become
more conscious of your own cycles with those of nature. The fall fruit
will be predominantly apples and pears (strawberries will continue as
long as the weather stays dry). Raspberries and blackberries are slowing
too, and peaches are finished. A melon patch is just starting to ripen,
so we can expect a few of those. On the veggie front, more broccoli soon,
cabbage later in October, as well as winter squash. Peppers are late this
year, and the early yellow wax Hungarian peppers are supposed to be hot,
but vary from not hot at all to mildly hot or very hot. Experiment by
tasting small bits of each pepper. A pepper is almost always hotter closer
to where the seeds are, so the tip is often milder than the shoulder of
the fruit. More herbs such as parsley, chives and thyme will be available
in the next few weeks. Mark your calendar, as we will celebrate the official
start of Fall with a celebration here on the farm on September 20th. Children
will especially enjoy the music and entertainment of the Banana Slug String
Please continue to spread the
word and let friends, neighbors, co-workers know about our CSA program.
Although we are closer to capacity, shares are still available. Brochures
should always be in the inside back pocket of your pick-up site binder,
so feel free to take a few to give out. Or if you'd like, call us and
we can send you a flyer to post in your children's school, or your neighborhood's
local shop or bulletin board. Thank you!!!
|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 (and milk!).
Currently available are chevre, ricotta, and a queso blanco. Cheese
and/or milk are left in a cooler under an ice pack at your pick-up
location (chevre is sometimes 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). A quart jar of milk is $3 (please
remember to return your empty jar to the cooler at your pick-up site
the following week!). Supply is somewhat limited. Contact Lynn Selness
at (831) 345-8033 to place an order, then mail a check to Summer Meadows
Farm, 405 Webb Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Member Sumana Reddy mailed me this wonderful soup recipe. - Debbie
Spicy Bulgarian Tomato Dumpling Soup
from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant
"This tomato soup with its characteristic semolina dumplings is usually
topped with a sharp Bulgarian cheese called kashkaval (when prepared
in its native country). And the semolina makes the dumplings chewier than
all-flour dumplings and adds a nice flavor as well. My variation calls
for couscous rather than the traditional semolina meal used in Bulgaria.
Prepare the soup in a pot with at least a 10-inch diameter to allow all
the dumplings room to rise to the top."
1 lg. onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 C chopped fresh tomatoes (or drained canned tomatoes)
2 to 3 tsp. hot chili powder (Sumana cut this down to 3/4 tsp. and says
it was still spicy)
2 tbsp. unbleached white flower, sifted
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 C vegetable stock, tomato juice or water
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, separated
1/4 C quick-cooking couscous
1/4 C boiling water
3/4 C unbleached white flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. fresh dill weed (or 1 tsp. dried)
1/3 C milk or vegetable stock
grated sharp cheddar cheese or kashkaval if available (optional)
In a medium soup pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil, stirring
frequently, until the onions begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and cook
until the onions are golden and the tomatoes soft. Stir in chili powder,
flour, salt, and pepper and mix well to coat the vegetables evenly. Pour
in the stock slowly while whisking diligently to completely dissolve the
flour. Coarsely blend the soup in a blender or food processor and return
it to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for
20 to 30 minutes. While the soup simmers, prepare the dumplings.
Cream the butter with the egg yolks until smooth. Place the couscous in
a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over it and cover with a plate or
pot lid and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Add the steamed couscous and
the flour, salt, dill and milk or stock to the butter mixture and blend
well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff and then fold
them into the couscous mixture. Drop the dumpling batter into the simmering
soup by rounded tablespoons and cook, covered, about 15 min. The dumplings
will rise to the top; scoop one out and test it to be sure it is thoroughly
cooked. Serve immediately, topped with fresh parsley and cheddar cheese,
Jesse Cool is one of my favorite chefs and food writers. Here is a
1999 San Jose Mercury News column of hers on pesto (think 'cilantro pesto,'
as we're getting it this week). Since she doesn't include an actual Cilantro
Pesto recipe (only describes it), I'll try my hand at giving you one at
the end, if you're unsure of quantities. - Debbie
Use whatever ingredients are in season to make flavorful pesto
Basil pesto has universal popularity because of its versatility. But I
like to make pestos from herbs other than basil. Keeping seasonal cooking
in mind, using the best of what's growing, has led me to a handful of
interesting alternatives. At this time of year [article was from mid-October
of 1999], I still use whatever remains of my basil crop, discarding the
part that is going to seed. My Italian parsley plants are still in full
regalia. Recently, I harvested a big handful of basil leaves and the same
of parsley and made a parsley/basil pesto. It was lighter, fresher and
less intense than pesto with just basil.
Another favorite, cilantro, can be used alone or blended with Italian
parsley. Because cilantro stems are easy to grind up, you don't have to
be so careful picking off the leaves. Wash the bunch thoroughly and chop
off the top, leaves and stems.
Cilantro pesto is a great condiment for fish or chicken or even served
with tropical fruits such as papaya, mango or pineapple.
Sometimes I sneak a little mint into pesto. A few leaves added to basil,
cilantro or parsley pesto give an interesting and fresh undertone.
And in the winter, I make pesto out of sun-dried tomatoes. As with most
pestos, it is great with pasta, but at Flea St. Cafe [a restaurant of
hers in Menlo Park, CA], we also like to use it as a spread on sandwiches,
on bruschetta with melted mozzarella or on top, or spooned onto polenta.
For most pestos, the basic recipe includes garlic, lightly toasted pine
nuts, fresh herb leaves, olive oil and an aged Italian cheese. I have
used slivered almonds instead of pine nuts and found that you could hardly
tell the difference. Some people use walnuts in pesto for a more distinctive
My favorite Italian cheese to use in pesto is Asiago. It adds a depth
of flavor and creaminess that usually gets raves from my family. For the
olive oil, I often blend a bit of pungent and fruity olive oil with a
larger quantity of a ligher, less intrusive one.
The traditional preparation is made with a mortar and pestle. Unquestionably,
you will get the best and creamiest pesto imaginable when you use this
old-fashioned technique. But when you are in a hurry, a blender or food
processor works.IWith the mortar and pestle, the leaves are crushed slowly
and gently, releasing more of their oils. With a food processor or blender,
the leaves are cut, and though the pesto is good, it is different, less
aromatic and not as creamy.
To store pesto and keep it from turning brown, transfer it to an airtight
container and, before sealing, cover the top with a thin layer of olive
I nteresting additions to any pesto are a pinch of hot peppers, lemon
zest or juice, or a few tablespoons of a more powerful herb such as rosemary
Parsley mint pesto
makes about 1 cup
2 cloves garlic
1/4 C toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds
2 C packed Italian parsley leaves
1/2 C mint leaves
1/2 C grated Asiago cheese
2/3 C olive oil
Salt to taste
In a mortar or food processor, mash garlic and nuts to make a paste. Gradually
add parsley, mint leaves and cheese, using a few tablespoons of olive
oil to help puree. Keep adding oil until pesto is consistency you desire.
Season with salt.
Makes about 1 1/2 C
1 C sun-dried
tomatoes, rehydrated with warm water (If you want a low-fat pesto, save
some of the water used to rehydrate tomatoes and use in lieu of some of
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C toasted pine nuts or almonds
1/2 C grated Italian cheese
5 large basil leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 C olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
In food processor, puree softened tomatoes with garlic and nuts. Add cheese,
basil, lemon juice and enough oil to make a thin paste. Season with salt
Cilantro Pesto (Debbie's version)
1 to 1 1/2 C washed
(and dried!) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
about 1/2 C packed Italian parsley leaves (some stems okay)
1/4 C toasted pine nuts, almonds or walnuts
1 to 2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 C grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
approx. 1/2 C good olive oil
salt to taste
(I've always made my pesto in a food processor -- I don't have a mortar
and pestle big enough -- and am plenty happy with the results. - Debbie).
In a food processor, pulse the cilantro and parsley until fairly finely
chopped. Add the crushed garlic and toasted nuts and process until nuts
are ground up and garlic blended. Add the cheese and pulse to blend. Add
the olive oil through the processor's feed tube, while processor is running.
This way you can add more or less, until the desired consistency is reached.
Season to taste with salt.
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.