see a world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
- William Blake
Whats in the standard share:
Red Russian kale
French breakfast radishes
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Sat. Jun 21 - Summer Solstice Celebration
4pm - 10pm
with Kuzanga Marimba!
Aug 8, 9, 10 - Childrens Mini Camp
Friday evening to noon Sunday
Sat. Sep 20 - Fall Equinox Celebration
3pm - 9pm
with the Banana Slug String Band!
Sat. Oct 26 Halloween Pumpkin Palooza
the Banana Slug String Band will play here too!
Hands and faces of the farm.
The day we pack your shares is always busy and exciting. We harvest, wash,
bunch and bag all the produce and neatly sort it into crates called 'lugs'
before it is divided up amongst the boxes (click
here for picture). The colors, textures, and smells are strong and
vibrant, and I smile to myself as I think of all the members who will
soon open their boxes to receive this nourishing sustenance alive with
the earths energy. What members don't see though is the effort and
dedication of all those who have planted, cared for, picked, and carefully
packed this food. I sometimes think that the real difference between a
large and a small farm is that one is "high-tech" and the other
is "high touch." Everyone here at the farm has a special relationship
with the land, and connection to this community, and I would like to begin
introducing you to them. Juan left his home state of Guanajuato, Mexico
over 15 years ago, to work and live here in the Pajaro Valley where the
climate and crops are similar to those of home. Before joining us, he
worked on large, conventional strawberry and vegetable farms. I met him
four years ago, when he was seeking to change his work away from the monotony
and risk of riding tractors and spraying pesticides all day. He expressed
a desire to work on a smaller, more diversified farm like ours. The match
was perfect. Juan not only brought incredible skills as a tractor operator
and a self-taught mechanic, but every fiber of his being is connected
with the land he cares for. Farming is his passion, and he has a keen
sense of observation, an intuitive understanding of the land and crops,
and works with a wonderful natural rhythm. Juan and his family have become
a fundamental part of this farm, contributing far more than the work of
their hands in caring for the crops you enjoy every week. Tom
Last week we talked about how
choosing to buy local contributes to a stronger and more sustainable economy,
as well as a healthier environment and stronger community. New CSA member
Alison England of San Jose pointed out yet another advantage: consuming
locally grown produce and other food items is actually better for your
immune system. Over time the micronutrients from the local soils as well
as pollens (in locally produced honeys, for example) build up in your
system and act as a kind of immunotherapy, helping to desensitize your
body to local allergens.
Education on the Farm
Farms and gardens are great
teachers. Children seem to understand instinctively when they taste, dig,
plant, harvest, and smell things. Last week we had a group of 4 and 5
year olds on the farm. They were all excited to visit the newborn baby
goats. They experienced not just the cute and cuddly babies, but also
saw how goats eat, sleep, and of course poop, which caused no end of giggling.
Besides strawberries, the kids were fascinated with picking snails off
the artichoke plants, and then later feeding them to the chickens. Most
of the teaching came not from talking, but from just being together and
enjoying the farm with no particular agenda in mind. Every year we experience
more visitors to the farm, especially children and young adults. Live
Earth Farm provides an excellent opportunity for people to reclaim their
connection to food, and to understand and experience the cycles of this
land. In just a few short generations we've relinquished nearly all power
to grow our food to distant farms. Of course we can't all go back to the
land, but we can reconnect with the pleasures of this vital process of
growing food. The Farm offers this opportunity, as well as farmers markets,
and school and community gardens. And if you have your own garden, this
is the perfect place to feel that connection.
Memberships are still available...
We want more members! Wed
like to reach our goal of 300 members by June, and have about 50 shares
to go to get there. Word of mouth is best, as is giving our brochure to
someone you think might be interested. Some people leave brochures or
post a flier at work (take them from the back of the binder with your
checklist in it, or call Debbie at the farm and she can email you a flyer
or arrange to get you more brochures). Many thanks go out to all of you
who have been helping us with our membership already. And if you have
any suggestions of ways to reach out to new places and people, let us
Although we do our best to
let you know exactly what you will be receiving each week, at times some
crops aren't quite ready to harvest when we think they will be (good ol'
mother nature), and so box contents can be difficult to anticipate. So
in order to give us some flexibility, we will sometimes add or change
the box contents depending on crop ripeness/availability in the field.
Look for a 'mystery item' if you cant find whats on the list
in your box! But if you know we really left something out that should
have been there (i.e. it was in others' boxes, but somehow not in yours),
please let us know and we will do our best to compensate you.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Kind of a mish-mash for you this week. - Debbie
Kohlrabi the 'sputnik veggie' returns!
flattish purple spheroids with the leaf stalks jutting out from their
equator would be kohlrabi. I should have pictures of 'em up on the recipe
database by next week. Kohlrabi is not a root vegetable like carrots or
beets. The bulb is actually a fat part of the stem, and grows above ground.
Both the bulb and the greens can be eaten. The simplest, and my favorite
way to eat kohlrabi is raw: Simply peel off the purple skin much like
you would with jicama, cut into slices or sticks for dipping, or into
thinner slices or matchsticks for tossing into salads. But kohlrabi can
also be cooked. Prepare as above and add to stir-frys for crispness like
water chestnuts. Alternatively, kohlrabi can be boiled and mashed like
or along with potatoes, or baked in gratins. FYI there are green kohlrabi
too we're just getting the purple ones now.
I love making this the rice comes out bright green and redolent
of cilantro. It is great with Mexican food (as an alternative to red rice),
but would go well as a side dish to, oh... lots of things!
lots of fresh cilantro, washed, roots removed (but it's okay to use the
Cook rice however you normally do. While your rice is cooking, in a separate
pot blanch cilantro in boiling water about a minute to soften. Fish it
out with tongs or a slotted spoon and drop into a blender with a tiny
bit of water and purée. When your rice is done cooking, simply
fold/stir the pureed cilantro into it until evenly mixed, adding salt
to taste. It's that simple!
Roasted Fennel and Onion
(adapted from a Dec 1996 recipe in Gourmet magazine)
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
2 fennel bulbs, washed, stalks trimmed flush with bulb
2* onions, stalk trimmed and root removed, quartered lengthwise
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut each fennel bulb lengthwise into 4 or 6 wedges and in a roasting pan
toss fennel and onions with butter, oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Roast vegetables, stirring once halfway through roasting, 25 minutes,
or until tender. Add vinegar to vegetables and toss to coat.
*the onions in our boxes are starting to size up, but if you only have
smaller ones, just use more and halve them or leave whole!
excerpted from "Tassajara Cooking," a marvelous, 30 year old
'cooking book' by Ed Brown
"The idea is that somebody is going to eat some lettuce. Why not
just rinse off the earth and serve it? If you appreciate and enjoy lettuce
like this and the other people eating do also, read no further, nothing
could be simpler. But maybe a little salt is added to bring out its natural
taste. What happens when salt is added is that the water is drawn out
of the lettuce. It goes limp, loses its crisp. With cabbage this is appropriate,
but lettuce leaves, more delicate than cabbage, don't have crisp to spare.
The answer to this is get the lettuce coated with oil first. The salt
won't penetrate nearly as fast. But now the lettuce is sure gummed up
with oil. What cuts oil is vinegar. A bit of zing, too, not bad. So that's
the basic dressing: oil, vinegar and salt. Beyond this basic dressing
we can explore ways to further amplify, mollify, pacify."
"Washing and drying lettuce. Dirt is one of the most unappetizing
things that could garnish lettuce. It may be that only the outer leaves
of the head of lettuce need washing. These leaves will often have some
dirt tucked away in their folds or at the base of their stalks. ... [But]
wet lettuce will water down the dressing, and the oil will not stick to
the leaves, so it must [also] be dried." [Debbie speaking now. I
ran out of room in the paper version of the newsletter and had to wrap
it up in 3 short lines of column space!] Spin well in a salad spinner
then wrap in a dish towel and blot or shake. Leave wrapped 'til ready
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.