30th Harvest Week Oct. 29th - Nov. 4th, 2003
Season 8
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"How do we act on the fact that we are more ignorant than knowledgeable? Embrace the arrangements that have shaken down in the evolutionary process and try to mimic them, ever mindful that human cleverness must remain subordinate to nature's wisdom."
- Wes Jackson, quoted in the book Biomimicry by Janine M. Benyus


What’s in the standard share:

Warren pears

Chiogga beets
Sweet corn
Green beans
Summer squash
Mystery item

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries, apples, pears, and pineapple guavas



Last box of the season is Weds. Nov. 19th/Sat. Nov 22nd

It was so hot on Saturday for our Pumpkin Palooza that cooling off with the water hose turned into a spontaneous circle game and the cider press standing in the cool shade of the trees never stopped crushing and pressing apples into sweet cider. Although we tried to stay cool we still fired up "Toastie" our wood-fired oven, and Annie baked fresh bread which tasted delicious warm out of the oven. There are still a lot of pumpkins so please come get them before Halloween. – Tom

Notes from the Field
The fields around our home, which make up about a quarter of our cultivated acreage, typically only get planted once a year due to a more limited water supply. Compared to all our other fields where we have abundant water and everything is still in full production, the soil here is dry, and has been tilled and sown with winter cover crop seeds. A little rain now would not only give the earth some much-deserved relief, but also allow the seeds in the ground to germinate without irrigation.

The orchard is turning colors and the leaves are starting to blanket the soil beneath the trees. Now is the time plants pull their energy into the over-wintering roots or seeds, and we accept that light is giving way to darkness, and we tend to turn inwards. With the many school children that visit the farm throughout the month we like to reflect about nature's cycles and to understand and most importantly experience the seasonality of our own lives. It always surprises me to see how quickly children enjoy the freedom of being able to roam, discover and explore the land here. I wonder sometimes why we keep children cooped up in buildings to learn about life, when just outside their door is a classroom filled with genius and wisdom. As Janine Banyus says in her book Biomimicry, "When we stare deeply into nature's eyes, it takes our breath away... we realize that all inventions have already appeared in nature in a more elegant form and at a lot less cost to the planet." I hope that we always encourage that spontaneous sense of wonder, play, and magic when we step into nature's classroom.

Crop Notes
We always tend to plant our sweet corn towards the later part of the season and hope for a warm fall. Last weekend, the warm weather pushed the corn to maturity. As we enjoy a late crop of sweet corn, I wondered when we had it last year and, alas, it was at the same time, just around Halloween. Here is a little history about this "New World Grass." Corn has been a staple food nourishing native peoples in both North and South America for thousands of years. Native Americans called corn "mahiz," which means "our life." The word is the source of corn's popular and botanical names. Corn was traditionally grown with its other two sister plants, beans and squash, which also provided for a more nutritionally balanced diet. Corn is relatively easy to grow if you pay attention to a few important details like choosing the right variety, germinating seeds in warm soil, enhancing wind pollination, and avoiding some particularly ornery pests (alas, the ones we don't have much control over until they're on our kitchen counter are corn earworms).

Gift Certificates are here!
Our gift certificates are now available!! These would make great Christmas or holiday gifts, and what a wonderful way to introduce someone to the experience of Community Supported Agriculture! The flyer in your box this week will have the details, but to summa-rize, we are offering gift certificates in 1, 2, 3 and 4-week Standard Share 'denominations.' As a bonus, each beautiful color certificate will come lovingly packaged with a batch of our fabulous organic sun-dried tomatoes! The cost (per certificate 'package') is $30 for a 1-week trial, $55 for 2 weeks, $75 for 3 weeks and $100 for 4 weeks. Get more than one! Spread the joy of CSA!! If you missed the flyer with details, feel free to call or email and we'll see that you get one.

Goat Cheese Special
Lynn Selness of Summer Meadows Farm (our local provider of hand-crafted goat cheeses) has a special offer, for people who don't want to go without during our 'off' season. She has been making and freezing extra chevre, and says if kept frozen, it will keep well for at least 6 months without degrading. So if you want to stock up for the winter, she is offering it at $10/lb. (instead of $12), OR, the bonus discount of $45 for 5 lbs! Call Lynn at (831) 345-8033 to place your order soon, as there are only 3 weeks left to our season!

Also, a polite reminder from Lynn: she says, "PLEASE return jars!" Those of you who have been getting yogurt from her in glass quart jars... she needs them back for re-use. You should be returning them to her (leave them in the cooler where you pick up), not recycling them. Call her if you have questions.

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.

Aaaah.... sweet corn – I can taste it already! I know it is harder to grow here on the coast than in the Central Valley, so enjoy it while you can. It is a real treat to be receiving it in our CSA boxes. And I have always wanted to make the corn stock recipe which follows. What a wonderful way to use those cobs that otherwise are just composted! - Debbie

Corn Stock
from "Fields of Greens", by Annie Sommerville
makes about 7 cups

"Corn soup needs a light stock, one that won't discolor the soup as other vegetable stocks would or take away from the delicate, sweet flavor of the corn. Make this conservative stock with the shaved cobs after you've removed the kernels. Of course you can use whole ears of corn if you have an abundance."

Shaved corn cobs, broken in half or 3rds
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 medium-sized potato, sliced
1 celery rib, sliced
5 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, in their skin, crushed with
the side of a knife blade
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. peppercorns
9 C cold water

Combine all ingredients in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. Pour stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid as you can from the vegetables, then discard them.

Wondering what to do with the stock once you've made it? How about a soup with onions, peppers, corn kernels , sage and cumin? Or onions, corn kernels, summer squash, peppers, and basil? Or something spicy with a dab of adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies? Or something creamy with corn, potatoes, cream and cheddar cheese? (There's a great corn and cheddar chowder on the recipe database on the website.) Or simply freeze it for later use. As you can see, there are multiple possibilities. Exercise your culinary imagination! - Debbie

Spicy Corn Kernel "Pan" Cake
from "From Asparagus to Zucchini," the cookbook of the Madison (WI) Area CSA coalition
serves 4

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 heaping cups fresh corn kernels (from 6 to 8 ears)
2 tbsp. minced fresh basil, cilantro or parsley
2 tbsp. minced green onion (scallion)
1 to 2 tbsp. minced jalapeño or serrano pepper
3 tbsp. cornmeal
3 tbsp. flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for garnish: fresh basil, cilantro or parsley and your favorite salsa

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Measure oil into a heavy, ovenproof, medium-sized skillet (cast iron is best) and heat pan in oven 30 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients except the last two in a bowl, then press evenly into hot pan. (Don't stir corn in the pan, or the "crust" won't form properly.) Bake 25 – 30 minutes, until edges are brown and crispy. Run a spatula around the outer rim of, and underneath, the corn cake to loosen it from the pan. Wearing hot pads, place a heat-proof serving plate face down over the pan and invert pan so cake drops onto plate. Gar-nish with fresh herbs and serve with salsa.


*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.