human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist.
They ... have forgotten the secret knowledge of their bodies, their senses,
- - Lam Deer, quoted by David Susuki in "The Sacred
Balance rediscovering our place in nature"
Whats in the standard share:
Veggies and herbs:
Broccoli or cauliflower
Red carrots Chard
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries, apples and pears
Sat. Oct 25 Halloween Pumpkin Palooza
the Banana Slug String Band will be playing again!
A time to pause. Right
now is the time of year when the sun rises and the harvest moon sets on
opposite horizons. Take a moment and stand still, maybe you have a favorite
spot in the garden or somewhere else outdoors, and wait for the days
arrival. Standing, aware of both of these celestial bodies, I am reminded
what a gift it is to be given this earth in the first place. Sometimes
we need to realize that our ancestors probably performed this ritual for
millions of years, standing barefooted, literally connecting with the
earth, probably singing a prayer for the day's arrival. We must remember
that our current lifestyle bombarded with activities, schedules,
obligations and responsibilities is but a fraction of a second
in our short history as human beings on this planet. Not always did we
wake before dawn and commute a great distance to a busy office, where
lunch is a hurried affair in a cubicle, at a crowded sandwich place, or
in the car en route to our next appointment. I hope, no matter how busy
we are, there is time to pause to let our gratitude announce itself to
the earth. "Both mind and body need to engage with the processes
of nature that permeate all life forms," says ecologist Joseph Meeker.
When somebody asks me whether I talk to my plants in the field I feel
a bit embarrassed to admit that I do. But at the same time I want to say
how exciting this conversation is, since it has little to do with talking,
but rather (like in any dialogue) it requires attention listening
to the messages sent ceaselessly by one's own body and by the other life
forms that we share this planet with. Tom
Up on the Farm
Schools are visiting. October is really busy: eight school groups
will be coming to visit the farm. They will be pressing apples into cider,
collecting seeds, planting garlic and onions for early spring harvest,
sowing cover crops in freshly plowed fields, composting, and building
scarecrows. Opening the farm to local schools is evolving into an important
aspect of our operation, and this year we have worked closely with a non-profit
organization, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), to support
their local farm-to-school program.
Drying fruit. Over the last few weeks we have made good use of
our solar tunnel drier by drying pears and tomatoes, and soon we'll be
drying apples. We hope to offer these in the winter and early spring,
both at the farmers markets and in our early CSA shares.
Apples. You may wonder what type of apples you have been receiving
in your shares over the last few weeks. Most of them come from Billy Bob's
Orchard. Billy Peixote is a longtime and passionate farmer who grows some
of the most delicious varieties of apples here in the Pajaro Valley. He
picks his apples at the peak of their ripeness and flavor. Over the last
few weeks the three varieties we received from him are Jonagold
a nice yellow/red mottled apple, Gala, with a red and lightly green striped
pattern, Empire, which has a dark red color, and Pippins which are all
Winter squash. The variety you'll see in your boxes this week (and
which we have most of) are Delicata and/or Sweet Dumplings. Both have
blue-ish dark stripes, but Delicata is more oblong in shape, and Sweet
Dumplings are more round with an indented top. Both are sweet and have
a wonderful nutty flavor.
Early Registration and
If you did not receive our
2004 Early Registration flyer (the green two-sided one we put in your
share box last week) and would like to receive this info, please
click here for a printable pdf of the form, or call us and we'll print
one out and pop it in the mail to you (if you don't have a printer). We
are offering a $50 discount to anyone who signs up for next season before
the end of December 2003, so if you plan on continuing with us next year,
take advantage of this great option!
CSA Gift Certificates we're still working on 'em, but they will
soon be a reality. We have decided to offer certificates in 1, 2, 3 and
4-week 'denominations' (to suit everyone's budget), and each beautiful
color certificate will come with a little gift pack of our very own organic
sun-dried tomatoes. These will make a perfect Christmas or holiday gift
for a friend or loved one, and what a wonderful way to introduce someone
new to CSA! Info about our gift certificates will be in your share boxes
soon, so keep an eye out!
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
Member Carol Magnoli submitted the first recipe, and says it is by Dorothy
of 'Dorothy McNett's Place' in Hollister, Carol's favorite cookware and
kitchen specialty store. She has made this before, and loves it. Also
I found a great blurb on Sweet Dumpling Squash on the internet. Hope you
like! - Debbie
Radicchio, Spinach and Shrimp Salad
by Dorothy McNett, Hollister
1/2 to 1 small head radicchio
4 - 5 C fresh spinach
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/3 C dry white wine
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. sea salt (coarse is nice here)
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 C cooked baby shrimp
freshly ground white peppercorns
Cut the radicchio into thin julienne. Tear the spinach and toss the greens
together in a bowl. Whisk together in a glass measuring cup the balsamic,
wine and salt. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil and add the shrimp
to warm them and to coat with the oil. Put the shrimp on the greens. Add
the balsamic mixture to the oil and cook and stir over high heat until
the liquid has reduced about by half. Pour over the greens and toss, adding
pepper to taste. (Although the recipe doesn't call for it, Carol likes
to crumble just a tiny bit of gorgonzola into the salad for a few little
bursts of flavor!)
Sweet Dumpling Squash a tidy bundle of yummy carotene
(excerpted from a 1999 internet posting by Betsy Kline of the Post Gazette)
"Squash. People love it or hate it. But how can you hate a little
green-and-cream-colored orb called a Sweet Dumpling? This tiny squash
they often weigh in at less than a pound is true to its
name: It's so sweet that it needs no seasoning, unless you prefer a shake
of salt and pepper. Butter? Who needs it? This little gem is buttery by
itself. One small squash is a perfect 2-serving size. And it's a snap
in the microwave. We like to serve it as is, in the skin, as a side dish
with chicken or fish. The flesh is a bright orange. Just take a spoon
and dig in. Or scoop it out and mash it with a little salt and pepper.
It doesn't get any simpler than this. Nutritionally, it's a bundle of
vitamin C, a range of B vitamins and beta carotene. It's also popular
as an ornamental, grouped with other tiny squash, gourds and pumpkins.
We usually find them plentiful in markets in late fall, then they disappear.
Stock up they keep for 3 to 4 months in a cool, dry place."
Sweet Dumpling Squash (the recipe!)
1 Sweet Dumpling squash
Salt and pepper, to taste
Microwave: The squash can be microwaved whole. Just pierce the skin with
a fork a few times, put it on a paper towel in the micro-wave and zap
for 6 to 10 minutes on high. Once cooked, slice and remove seeds, taking
care because it will be extremely hot.
Or slice in half top to bottom, scoop out seeds and place cut sides down
in a mi-crowave-safe dish with about a 1/2-inch of water. Depending on
the size, it might take 5 to 8 minutes on High. Test with a fork. It should
be tender but not mushy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Conventional oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake whole or sliced in
half, cut sides down on a cookie sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until
tests tender with a fork.
Variation: For those with an insatiable sweet tooth, serve with a sprinkle
of brown sugar and chopped pecans.
Green Salad... without Greens?
from Debbie's own kitchen
Hankering for a nice 'green' salad with fresh tomatoes to go with dinner
the other night, but at a loss because we're not getting lettuce right
now (and I'd used up all my spinach already), I came up with this idea.
A few nights before I had pre-cooked a bunch of green beans (topped and
tailed them, cooked them in boiling salted water 6 or 7 minutes until
tender, then drained and rinsed them in cold water to hold the color,
then refrigerated) because I figured they'd be handy for a quick re-heat
side dish if needed. But instead of re-heating them, I made a simple vinaigrette,
tossed the cold beans with this, placed serving-sized piles on nice white
salad plates and scattered small red tomato wedges on top. Looked very
Italian, and went great with our pasta dinner. The vinaigrette was just
a splash of white wine vinegar, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, pinch
of salt, a bigger pinch of herbs de Provence (rubbed to bring out their
flavor), a few grinds of black pepper and some olive oil, whisked together.
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.