27th Harvest Week October 8th - 14th 2003
Season 8
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.



"All that is not given is lost."
- Anonymous


What’s in the standard share:

Warren pears

Veggies and herbs:
Collard greens
Green beans
Fingerling potatoes
Mystery item



... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
strawberries, apples and pears



Sat. Oct 25
Halloween Pumpkin Palooza – all day.
the Banana Slug String Band will be playing!

At the market last Saturday, customers were "ooh and aah-ing" the sweetness and flavor of our Warren pears, and when one con-gratulated me on growing such fine pears I realized that as farmers we are more like facilitators who simply learn how to listen to nature, however imperfectly. Nature continually tells us what she needs and we enter into a call and response relationship. We add compost and grow green manures (cover crops), and nature turns them back into nurturing soil. Nature brings the winter rains and colder temperatures which allows trees to go dormant and rest their energies. In winter we prune the trees, which keeps them invigorated, and as spring turns the orchard into a sea of white blossoms, both insects and human hands help in the pollination to ensure good fruit set. Every crop has its own specific way of growing. As we listen ever more closely we are taught to dance together with all living and non-living things, and become more deeply aware of respecting rather than exploiting the natural world, of which we are an integral but only modest part. And as we are praised for our work as farmers, I realize that we also have a function through our work to praise nature. As a farmer I am continuously challenged to practice and learn about stewardship rather than ownership of the land. Decisions need to be based on an ecological ethic; progress cannot be viewed as short-term economic return by gobbling up all the goodies for ourselves. Instead we must give a thought for those guests who are to come. In recognizing that we are just guests on this beautiful planet, I understand why traditional cultures' rituals and belief systems consider land and nature to be sacred. In truth we don’t own any of it; the crops we grow are but a gift for us to enjoy. Although we get all caught up in buying and selling things we consider our property and thinking that ownership is progress and economic growth is the ultimate indicator of well being, it would seem less stressful and less violent to view ourselves as the ones who belong to the land, instead of living under the delusion that the land belongs to us. – Tom

Early Registration for 2004, and... CSA Gift Certificates!
By now you all should have received a green two-sided sheet inside your box with information about how to sign up for next season and take advantage of our $50 discount for early sign up. If for any reason you missed this or did not receive a copy, please click here for a printable pdf of the form (or call us and we'll pop one in the mail to you if you do not have a printer).

Also – new for this year – Live Earth Farm will be offering CSA Gift Certificates! A perfect holiday gift for friends or loved ones – you can purchase a colorful gift certificate good for a 4-week trial standard share for only $90. Start thinking about it now, as we will have information about it in your boxes very soon. Stay tuned!!

What's Up on the (somebody else's) Farm
Our intern Linnea Beckett reports: Last weekend marked the annual Hoes Down festival held at Full Belly Farm. Early Saturday morning all the interns piled into a car and journeyed north, to the Capay Valley, to celebrate on their land... and, wow! I have never seen anything like it! Plump pomegranates hung heavy from trees lining the entryway that led to a hay bale archway decorated with cornstalks, pumpkins, and purple ribbons which waved welcome to guests in the fall wind. I couldn’t imagine what this place would look like through the eyes of a child. There was an obstacle course, a makeshift waterslide, a straw bale pile equipped with tunnels (the structure was the size of a small castle), ice cream making, pony rides and the list goes on. The kids' area was a wonderland of excitement, exploration and beauty that used the raw materials of the farm. Venturing out to the river and investigating the rest of the land, I ran across workshops in the orchards with a group of people sitting around and observing a tree, touching the leaves and feeling the soil. Others were gathered around a compost pile, adding straw to the decomposing fruit and vegetables while the workshop's leader described various soil 'recipes' useful for growing different kinds of plants. And through it all – through the farm tours, the workshops – I heard the same commentary, "We don’t know all the answers." "We are learning to be good observers, and love to share what we discover." It is the land that speaks to the people who listen, and everyone who spoke submitted their authority to the land. The whole experience was a brilliant breath of fresh air, something I would recommend to people from all places and of all ages. On Saturday evening, while drifting to sleep in the almond orchard with stars twinkling above accompanied by occasional distant laughter and thousands of images of the day running through my head, I hoped that the energy and inspiration necessary to put together such a celebration would be passed on, not only to the hearts of the people that work Full Belly Farm, but also to all that celebrated last weekend. Thank you Full Belly Farm!

Ordering 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.

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

Deborah Madison and Jesse Cool... where would we be without their in-sightful cookbooks? - Debbie

Lacquered Tofu Triangles with Green Beans and Cashews
from "This Can't be Tofu!" by Deborah Madison
serves 4

1 carton firm tofu [Deborah's 'cartons' are never defined by size -- by context (and by trying one of her recipes from this cookbook), I've decided that her 'carton' of Tofu is the larger size... not the smaller 10 oz. packages now available. - Debbie]
1 red bell pepper (or one of Tom's red peppers would work fine)
1/4 lb. green beans
1/2 tsp. Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp. mushroom soy sauce
3 tbsp. regular soy sauce
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
5 tsp. roasted peanut oil
5 scallions, incl. the greens, sliced diagonally into 1/3" pieces
1/4 C toasted cashews

1. Drain the tofu. Cut it crosswise into slabs about 1/2" wide. Cut each slab in half lengthwise, then cut into triangles. Blot well with paper towels. Cut the bell pepper in half lengthwise, remove the veins and seeds, then cut each half into three long strips. Cut each strip into triangles. Tip and tail the beans and cut them into 2" lengths. Toast the Szechuan peppercorns in a dry skillet until aromatic, then grind to a powder and set aside.

2. Combine the next 5 ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.

3. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a wide nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, without disturbing, until firm, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook the second side. The tofu should be golden, but still tender to the touch. Remove and set aside.

4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and, when hot, add the green beans. Stir-fry over high heat for 2 minutes, then add bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Return the tofu to the pan and season with a few pinches of salt and the Szechuan peppercorns.

5. Pour in the soy-sauce mixture and cook, moving the pan back and forth rap-idly to coat the tofu and peppers. Turn off the heat before it reduces too much. Top with cashews, and serve over rice.

Cornmeal-crusted Cod with Garlicky Spinach
from "Your Organic Kitchen" by Jesse Cool
serves 4

"The combination of cod, cornmeal, and spinach in this recipe is wonderful. A few drps of hot sauce can really pull it all together. Allow about one bunch of fresh spinach per person."

[Since we never get that much spinach in our box in any one week, I'd feel free to supplement with chard or kale! - Debbie]

4 cod or scrod fillets (~4 oz. ea.)
1 1/2 C buttermilk
1 C cornmeal
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (I'm sure cilantro would do if you don't have parsley - Debbie)
1 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1 tsp. ground red pepper
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. fresh spinach, steamed
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 tbsp. soy sauce
Zest of 1 lemon

The night before serving, place the fillets in a bowl and pour the buttermilk over all. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.

Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a pie plate, combine cornmeal, parsley, oregano, thyme, salt, black and red pepper. Remove fish from buttermilk, shaking off any excess. Dip in the cornmeal mixture, turn-ing to coat completely.

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 fillets and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, or until browned and the fish flakes easily. Place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with 1 1/2 tbsp. of the remaining oil and 2 fillets.

Wipe the skillet clean and heat the remaining tbsp. oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spinach, lemon juice, and soy sauce and cook for 3 minutes, or 'til heated through. Place on a serving platter and top with the fillets. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Collards with Potatoes [and Bacon]

from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison
serves 2 to 4

"Bacon, made without nitrates and from wholesomely raised pigs is superb, especially with these greens, but just leave the bacon out if you're not a bacon eater."

2 bunches collard greens or a mixture of collards and kale
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 medium yellow-fleshed potatoes, scrubbed and coarsely diced
3 or 4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces, optional
2 tbsp. peanut or olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 plump garlic cloves, finely chopped
good pinch of red pepper flakes
hot pepper sauce or vingegar for the table

1. Strip the collard leaves from the stems and wash the greens. Bring a few quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and the greens, then simmer for 10 minutes. Scoop them into a bowl. Add the potatoes to the cooking water and simmer until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned. Set it on paper towels to drain, discard the fat, and wipe out the pan.

3. Return the pan to the heat, add the oil, and when it's hot, add the onion. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.

4. Coarsely chop the cooked greens, then add them to the pan along with the garlic and pepper flakes. Scoop some of the potato water into the pan as well so that everything cooks in a little moisture, adding more water as needed.

5. When the potatoes are tender, scoop them out and add them to the greens. Add the bacon, then toss everything together. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Keep everything distinct or mash the potatoes into the greens. It's messy-looking this way but especially good. Season with pepper sauce or vinegar to taste.

*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.