everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven."
- Ecclesiastes 3:1
Whats in the standard share:
Veggies and herbs:
Kale or chard
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries, pears and/or apples, and melons
Sat. Sep 20 - Fall Equinox Celebration
4pm - 8pm
with the Banana Slug String Band!
Sat. Oct 25 Halloween Pumpkin Palooza
the Banana Slug String Band will play here too!
Celebration this Saturday, September 20th from 4 to 8 pm. Music
with the Banana Slug String Band, potluck (so bring a dish to share!),
games and farm tours, apple pressing, bonfire, fire dance and more!
The Heat was On. For
a surfer last week's heat wave was wonderful even if there weren't any
waves. But when temperatures soar over 90F here on the farm we instinctively
enter survivalist mode. I'm reminded how all life on this planet hangs
on an incredibly fine but well tuned thread of environmental conditions.
Our fog-loving plants such as strawberries, blackberries, lettuce, spinach
and the like went through a serious baking cycle. Water is our lifeline,
and we rely on irrigation during the long and dry months of summer and
early fall to grow the diversity of crops we offer. On the farm, hot days
like we had means irrigating at night and getting all field work done
by noon. I thought of all the farmers in Europe this summer, and last
year's East Coast farmers, who suffered substantial losses due to prolonged
drought conditions and extreme heat. We live on borrowed time as we pump
water from our rivers and underground aquifers to grow crops that wouldn't
survive here otherwise. Water conservation is essential if we want to
preserve agriculture in the Pajaro Valley. Currently we are running a
water deficit, causing saltwater intrusion to contaminate the local drinking
water for communities along Monterey Bay. Since farming uses more than
70% of California's water, it's imperative to develop and implement better
conservation practices. Here on the farm we only have a limited supply,
which forces us to test different cropping systems and irrigation methods.
Knowing when and how much water to apply to a particular crop is both
an art and a science. There are many variables to consider, such as soil
type, specific crop requirements, delivery systems and weather patterns.
The farm is a living organism; like a child it changes every year, and
we learn about its character, and what it needs to grow into a more sustainable
Winter Shares. I am still working out the logistics. If you are
interested in a winter share and did not already put your name on the
survey cover sheet (front page of your checklist a few weeks ago), please
call the farm at 831.763.2448 and leave your name and your interest in
a winter share. Thanks! Tom
is not just a label. At last Saturday's Willow Glen Farmers market
a new member took me aside to express her appreciation for the food we
grow and how it has made a difference in her husband's health. To his
surprise, he received a "normal" blood analysis during a recent
testing, and she believed that this change was partly due to the produce
she receives weekly from us, which has changed their diet, both regarding
the ingredients they use and how they are prepared. It was nice to have
such a personal and positive reinforcement, as it makes every moment on
the farm worthwhile. With all the "hype" we are seeing recently
about organic foods, it is good to be reminded that the advantages of
organic farming are not only good for the earth (reduced soil erosion,
improved soil health, less contribution to global warming, and reduced
water pollution) but also good for our bodies. According to a study published
in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, organically grown apples, pears,
potatoes, wheat and sweet corn showed substantially higher mineral content
than the same items grown under conventionally grown methods: Calcium
63% higher; Chromium 78% higher; Iodine 73% higher; Iron 59% higher; Magnesium
138% higher; Potassium 125% higher; Selenium 390% higher and Zinc 60%
Goat's Milk Items and
Almonds miscellaneous info
It's harvest time at Anderson Almonds (see their website www.andersonalmonds.com
for wonderful pictures and explanations), so our arrangement with them
is temporarily on hold. You can still purchase from them, only delivery
will not happen through us.
<> Always concocting new ways to use her bounty of goat's milk,
Lynn Selness is now making yogurt! This yogurt is extremely tasty and
full of acidophilus (good bacteria for your gut). It has the consistency
of kefir, creamy and soft, not thick like commercial yogurts that add
gelatins and other thickening agents. Lynn will add yogurt to her list
of cheeses and milk, and you can get 1 qt. for $4.
<> Clarification: the rennet Lynn uses in her queso blanco is vegetable
rennett and is not an animal product good news for vegans!
Almonds or Goat Cheese
Almonds from Anderson
Almonds are currently not available through the CSA as they are
busy with the fall harvest. See their website www.andersonalmonds.com
for the latest info.
From Summer Meadows Farm, just across the Pajaro Valley from
Live Earth Farm, you can get raw goat milk cheeses, milk and now yogurt!
Cheeses are chevre, ricotta, and a queso blanco (made with vegetable
rennett). Milk and yogurt are by the quart. Yogurt is cultured with
acidophilus. Your cheese, milk and/or yogurt orders 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 of milk is $3, and a quart of yogurt is $4 (please remember
to return empty jars to the cooler at your pick-up site the following
week! Lynn re-uses them). 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
Having trouble using your radicchio? What about those scallions? - Debbie
Pan seared radicchio-veggie pasta
from Debbie's own kitchen
serves 4 or so
Although I love radicchio grilled, I also like variety, and so recently
experimented with applying the heat with a skillet instead of a grill.
My husband gave this two thumbs up, so I think I was successful!
1 head radicchio
1 large clove garlic, peeled
a couple small tomatoes
a big handful of green beans
pinch or two of dried thyme (optional)
pasta of your choice
fresh parmesan to grate (optional)
Cut the radicchio into wedges then chop into bite-size chunks (cut out
stem end). Chop tomatoes, set aside. Wash, top and tail green beans and
cut into pieces (or leave whole if desired). Boil beans in salted water
5 to 8 minutes, drain and set aside. Heat a pot of water for your pasta
(pasta can boil while you're cooking sauce). Heat a large skillet over
high heat (careful!) add some olive oil and radicchio, stir briefly to
coat, sprinkle generously with salt*, then
cover. You want the radicchio to sear, but be mindful: keep a close eye
on it. Reduce the temperature some if it makes you nervous. Check on it
every minute or two, poke/stir it around a bit, and when it looks browned
and nicely limp, crush and add the garlic (and optional thyme), allowing
to sizzle for half a minute or so, then add the tomatoes and prepared
beans. Stir and cook a minute or two more, just until tomatoes start to
soften and flavors mix. Serve hot over pasta like linguini (or alternatively
you can mix with penne or fusili-type pasta) and pass the parmesan!
*oops I left this important step out in the
paper version of the newsletter! Mea culpa!!
Scallion, Potato and Herb Puree
from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison
"Scallions come in many shapes and sizes, from tiny and red to thick
and green and very very long. Potatoes are, of course, delicious with
leeks, so you can expect they'd be good with scallions, and they're a
perfect vehicle for herbs, whether bracing parsley, a handful of chervil,
tarragon, or whatever herb you love. It's completely optional, but I often
add a little cheese goat cheese or sheep's milk feta for a bit
of tang, Gruyere for a richer version. Leftovers are delicious browned
in clarified butter or olive oil. Measurements are flexible."
1 lb. potatoes
salt and pepper
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 to 3 C chopped scallions, including some of the greens
1/3 C chopped parsley, chervil or other favorite herb
1/2 C crumbled goat cheese, optional
1. Peel the potatoes (I don't peel 'em but you can if you prefer
Debbie) and cut them into chunks. Put them in a saucepan, cover with cold
water, and add 1 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, about
25 minutes. Set aside a cup of the cooking water, then drain.
2. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a skillet, add scallions and toss to coat. Season
with 1/2 tsp. salt, add 1/2C water and cook gently until softened, about
3. Combine scallions and potatoes in a bowl and mash with remaining butter,
parsley, and enough of the reserved potato water to make a smooth, light
puree. (Use warm milk or cream if you prefer a richer dish.) Stir in cheese,
if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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.