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
Whats in the standard share:
... 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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.