33rd Harvest Week November 19th - 25th, 2003
Season 8
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"Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were."
- Black Elk


What’s in the standard share:

Bag of dried pears

Veggies and herbs:
Basil or thyme
Chiogga beets
Cabbage (red or green)
Bag of baby lettuce
Large bag of potatoes
Winter squash
Stir-fry mix


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



Please return all empty boxes to your drop-off site by the end of the week!! We will collect them next week. Since each one costs us $1/25, we reuse them as often as possible. Thank you!

At the end of another season I am amazed how we have, yet again, danced a full circle. What allows Live Earth Farm to celebrate the conclusion of another season is due to the generosity of others. If I really think about it, it is the generosity of a multitude of living beings, from the often forgotten soil organisms to the dedicated and creative human community. By comparing farming to a seasonal dance, farming feels more like an act of balance, where the most difficult challenge is to surrender control, in order to allow nature's wisdom to lead. I believe this dance is a labor of love, and at the end of each song and each season, I still have hope. Although farming is filled with errors and mistakes (mostly human), there are moments one experiences perfection. It takes just an instance of that realization to enable me to continue to dance with all the inconsistencies and mistakes that come along.

Besides the busy schedule of everyday farming, we had the opportunity to reach out to both CSA members and the local community at large. Thanks to Linnea's efforts and with the help of our other two interns, Chelsea and Annie, we were able to offer more than 600 children from local, private and public schools the opportunity to visit the farm on guided field trips. Also, for the first time, we hosted the Annual Farm Fiesta organized by CAFF (Community Alliance with Family Farmers), a public event to connect consumers and farmers from the central coast. Our Solstice and Equinox Celebrations were lively and nourishing events to honor, as a community, the land where our food is grown. We are grateful for your commitment and support for the Farm's CSA program, and inspired to embrace yet another season of growing food that nourishes the very people who support and keep this farm alive.

I know some of you may be ready for a break from your weekly box of surprises, however many of you have mentioned how you dread having to return to shopping for veggies in the grocery store during our "off season." This is one reason we are committed to start MARCH 15, almost a month earlier than usual. In the meantime we also recommend that you check out you local farmer's markets. Live Earth Farm sells winter vegetables at both the Santa Cruz Farmer's Market on Wednesday afternoons 2:30 -6:30, and at the Los Gatos Farmer's Market on Sundays from 9am -1pm.

Soon the farm will be very quiet. Most of the workers will be leaving to go home to see their family and friends in Mexico. Linnea, Chelsea, and Annie will all take off to explore the world. Debbie is planning to continue to manage the Farm's CSA program. The website will be updated by the beginning of January for 2004, and I will keep you posted with monthly Farm Updates and Activities. My family will also take a break in some warm more tropical place for a couple of weeks. I can't tell you where, since my wife is organizing a surprise trip for my 40th birthday, which was in June, and hers, which will be in December.

Thank you everyone for your support and participation this year. From all of us here at the farm we wish you many blessings and a peaceful holiday season, inviting you to join us for another bountiful and nourishing season next year. – Tom

One last reminder on Gift Certificates and Early Registration
Take Advantage of our Early 2004 Registration: Next year's CSA season will start MARCH 15, and you'll get a $50 discount if you sign up before December 31st and commit for 6 months or more. You can print the application form off our website at www.liveearthfarm.net by clicking on "2004 Early Sign-up" (or click here to go there directly). Fill out the form and mail it to us with a $100 deposit to reserve your space for next year.

Live Earth Farm Gift Certificates: These certificates are beautifully designed and colored, and each comes with a small bag of our very own sun-dried tomatoes. You can now view a color picture of the certificate on our website under last week's newsletter (Week 32 – November 12th – 18th), and if you misplaced or did not receive our flyer with the ordering information, we should have a link on our website any day now that will allow you to print an order form directly. If all else fails, you can always call us at (831) 763-2448. I think this makes a great gift -- one that is unique, healthy, and introduces someone to Community Supported Agriculture, i.e. local, seasonal, organic produce!

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

Hello everyone! Right now I'm feeling an odd combination of melancholy and wistfulness... melancholy because I must 'go without' for 3-plus months, and I will miss my box (okay, I'll probably go to the Los Gatos Farmer's Market and get what I can, but it is not the same!). Wistfulness as I imagine the joys and surprises that next season will bring. I am hopeful that mother nature will be kind to all the crops Tom's started already – the artichokes, the strawberries, the garlic and onions – and that the farm and the CSA will do well, with full membership and happy eaters. I hope you all will continue with the program next year. It is so worth it, I can't say more. But...! I CAN give you all one last hurrah of recipes. Take care all, and see you in 2004! – Debbie

Simple Skillet Turnips and Apples
from the Rolling Prairie Cookbook
serves 4

1 tbsp. canola oil
1/2 C chopped onion
1 medium apple, copped (approx. 3/4C)
3 C chopped turnips (1/2" cubes)
1/2 C fresh apple cider or juice
1 small cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. salt

Heat oil in a large skillet over med. heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add apple and sauté 2 more minutes. Add turnips and rest of ingredients. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir occasionally, and add more liquid if necessary to prevent sticking. Simmer until turnips are tender, approx. 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

and now for a fancier turnip recipe...

Roasted Root Vegetables scented with Apple and Mustard
from Your Organic Kitchen (modified slightly)
Serves 8 (but you could halve it to serve 4)

3 C apple cider or juice
1 C fruity white wine (like Gewürztraminer)
2 tbsp. smooth Dijon mustard
3 tbsp. butter
4 -5 lbs. root vegetables, both sweet (like carrots and chiogga beets) and savory (like turnips and potatoes) [yes, I know potatoes are a tuber, not a root veggie. This, and the chioggas, are my modifications to the recipe to accommodate box ingredients. Allow me a little poetic license! – Debbie]
Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a saucepan, reduce the cider/juice, wine, and mustard over high heat to 1 1/2 C. Whisk in the butter and pour over the vegetables, tossing to coat. Season with salt and pepper and place in a single layer in a large roasting pan in a preheated 375 degree oven. Roast for 1 hour or so, or until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender. Stir 3 or 4 times while roasting to promote even browning.

And something to use that fresh thyme!

Cheddar and Thyme Biscuits
from a Bon Appétit clipping
makes approximately 28 biscuits

1 1/4 C buttermilk
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
3 C all purpose flour
2 tbsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 C (packed) grated cheddar cheese (8 oz)
3/4 C (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into half-inch cubes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix buttermilk and thyme in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to blend. Add cheese and butter; rub with your fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Add buttermilk mixture and stir until soft moist clumps form. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; press out to thickness of 1/2" and cut out biscuits with a 2" round cookie cutter. Gather dough scraps and press to 1/2" thick to cut additional biscuits. Transfer to two ungreased baking sheets, spacing 2" apart. Bake 10 minutes. Reverse position of sheets and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes longer. Transfer biscuits to racks. Best served warm!

This next recipe came from a friend and fellow CSA member Mark Stevens of Saratoga. I have made this dish more than once, and it is ABSOLUTELY delicious! Alas, he only copied a page for me out of his cookbook, so I cannot credit the source (it doesn't show).

Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Butter and Sage
source unknown
Serves 6 (but again, can be easily made in more or less quantity to suit)

3 lbs. butternut squash (about 2 small)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped (both Mark and I use lots more garlic!)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 to 16 fresh sage leaves

Heat oven to 475 degrees F. Peel squash and scoop out seeds. Cut flesh into strips about as wide as a finger, then toss w/oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and spread on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until squash is tender and well browned, about 30 minutes. Melt the butter over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown. When the butter is walnut-colored, pour into a bowl with the sage leaves. Pour over the squash, toss and serve. Note from Debbie: I like to crisp the sage leaves in the butter. If you add them at the beginning while you are browning it, they will get crispy and crunchy and fragrant. Try it either way!

Lastly, how about this fancy potato appetizer, to serve at a holiday party with champagne or martinis!

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Creme Fraîche and Caviar
from Dec. 2003 Bon Appétit
12 servings

4 lbs. unpeeled small fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 1/2 C chilled creme fraîche or sour cream
2 oz. black caviar (about 1/4 C)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine potatoes and 2 tbsp. oil and rosemary in a large bowl. Sprinkle w/salt and pepper and toss to coat. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with 1 tbsp. oil. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in single layer on prepared sheet. Shake pan slightly to prevent sticking. Roast until potatoes are brown, crisp, and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on sheet. Place bowls of creme fraîche and caviar on large platter surrounded by potatoes and serve.

*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.