our bodies are sustained with this food, may our hearts be nourished with
true friendship and our souls fed with truth."
- prayer from "A Grateful Heart"
Whats in the standard share:
Broccoli or cauliflower
and special --
a small bouquet of
Peruvian Lilies! One for
each Standard Share!
... 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!
Members with children may
find that joining our CSA adds an extra challenge to the pot, especially
if they havent seen or tried some of the unusual and odd-looking
vegetables before. While it may be a challenge, it can be fun as well.
By not getting your produce from the store, children will suddenly recognize
that vegetables, "their" vegetables, have a face, and are grown
on a real farm, "their" farm, by real people like farmer Tom
who gave them a ride on his tractor, or Linnea who picked strawberries
with them. I encourage everyone especially children to take
the opportunity this season to get to know your vegetables, both through
the experience of learning how to cook and eat them and by visiting the
farm. Going to pick up your share, for example, can become a weekly ritual
children look forward to, especially if they know they can expect to taste
something yummy. This may also get them interested in the more suspicious
looking stuff. On Saturdays at the Willow Glen Farmers Market I
have fun meeting the kids who accompany their parents to pick up their
share. Some will ask me questions about the farm, and others would like
to sit in the drivers seat of the delivery truck, or help me make
a sale at the market stand. Kristin Schafer, who with her husband Jim
and their two children Linnea and Connor have been long-time members of
the farm, suggested we have a "kids' corner" in the newsletter
that shares stories, and answers children's questions about farming, plants,
eating and preparing vegetables. I think its a great idea! So below
is our first 'Kids' Corner.' I encourage you to send me your children's
questions or stories, to be included in the newsletter. Let the fun begin!
Our first question
for this column comes from Kristin Schafer's daughter, Linnea. "Why
are strawberries called 'straw' berries?"
Answer: The strawberry belongs to a large family called Rosaceae,
and if you think that sounds like the strawberry is related to the beautiful
rose in your garden, you guessed it right. Also related are other beautiful
and great-tasting fruit such as apples, pears, cherries, peaches, raspberries,
and blackberries. Strawberries are also called 'walking plants,' because
they send out runners to look for new ground to make more little strawberry
plants. Since strawberries grow low to the ground, the berries will touch
the soil, and so once upon a time, gardeners and farmers who wanted to
avoid having their red sweet juicy fruit get eaten by soil critters and
go rotten would mulch them with straw hence the name, strawberries.
Today, instead of straw we use a plastic mulch which not only keeps the
fruit healthy, but also reduces how many times we have to bend over to
Water Quality. What kind of
water do we use to irrigate our vegetables? A few months ago the press
released a finding that vegetables, particularly winter lettuce coming
from southern Californias Central Valley, were found to contain
"perchlorate," a chemical used in making rocket fuel. It seems
that the Colorado River, a main source of irrigation water in southern
California, was carrying high levels of this compound somewhere
in the 20 to 50 parts per billion range. Here on the farm our water comes
from 300-to-400-foot deep wells, and has been tested for drinking water
quality. Fortunately for all of us, the Pajaro Valley is not home to any
industrial sources of pollution. Although we are blessed with clean water,
the biggest issue affecting our agricultural community is the overuse
of groundwater. It raises concerns that depletion may result in saltwater
being drawn in from the ocean and mixed with the groundwater. Farmers
along the coast had to shut down wells because the water in them had too
much salt. Conserving water by using drip and micro-irrigation systems,
as well as growing less water-demanding crops, will be increasingly more
important to protect this area's groundwater resource.
this season are radicchio and fennel. Radicchio belongs to the chicory
family and is closely related to its cousins escarole, Belgian endive,
and curly endive. It is a red, broadleaf, heading form of chicory. Most
popularly grown in Italy (where at least 15 well known kinds are grown),
it ranges in shape, color and taste. This is the first time we are growing
it at a large scale, since many members encouraged me to. It makes a great
addition to salads and tastes wonderful lightly grilled or roasted. I
really enjoy the crinkly shape and color which ranges from green-purple
to maroon with white midribs. The variety we grow is called "Leonardo"
and is considered a non-forcing type of radicchio. Nonforcing radicchio
forms a head under normal growing conditions, whereas a forcing variety
will form a head only after freezing weather.
The fennel you've been getting recently, with its beautiful feathery green
foliage, looks a little bit like celery and is often confused with dill.
This tall, aromatic perennial belongs to the parsley family and is native
to southern Europe and the Mediterranean area, especially near the sea.
The fresh leaves and tender leaf stems are used as a boiled vegetable
and are sometimes served raw in salads or with other vegetables. The flavor
is like that of anise or licorice. Fennel is very good for digestion and
is often used with meat dishes such as chicken, pork, beef and fish.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
No, the lilies are not for eating they're for dressing up the dinner
table! But DO eat the radicchio! - Debbie
from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"
by Deborah Madison
"Chicories, endive, escarole, frisée, dandelion and radicchio
[are] interesting greens [which] range from slight to pronounced bitterness.
They take well to fragrant nut oils, shallots, sharp vinegars, and pairings
with citrus, apples and pears, walnuts and hazelnuts, and bleu cheeses.
They also stand up well to hot dressing, which sweetens their bitterness."
As you will see from below, however, radicchio is not just for salads!
from "Vegetables on the Grill" by Kelly McCune
Trim the base of the radicchio head without removing it completely, leaving
the leaves attached. Slice the entire head in half lengthwise if the head
is large. Rinse gently under running water and allow to drain. Brush with
olive oil and grill over medium-hot coals for 3 to 5 minutes a side, or
until browning, and until the thickest part near the base is tender when
pierced with a skewer.
Radicchio Seared in the Skillet with Mozarella
serves 2 - 4
also by Deborah Madison, only this time it is from her newest book, "Local
Flavors, Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets"
1 lg. head radicchio
3 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 (4-ounce) ball fresh mozarella, cut into thin rounds
Rinse the radicchio, then cut it into wedges about 1 1/2 inches across,
keeping the root ends intact. Brush generously with olive oil and season
well with salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet* over medium-high
heat. When it's good and hot, add the radicchio. Press down on the wedges
to ensure contact, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until browned,
about 5 minutes. Turn and cook on the second side. The red will turn brownish,
and the leaves should get crisp in places. Scatter the garlic over the
radicchio, add the vinegar, and cover with the cheese. Cover the pan and
cook just until the cheese is soft, 2 or 3 minutes. Season with pepper,
arrange on a platter, and serve.
* if you have one. If you don't (like me), just use a regular skillet.
Should be fine. Debbie
Pasta with Golden Fennel
serves 4 - 6
also from "Local Flavors" (sounded yummy!)
2 or 3 lg. fennel bulbs, incl. the greens
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 to 1 lb. fettuccine
Parmigiano-Reggiano or Dry Monterey jack cheese
"Caramelized fennel is the only vegetable in this pasta, but it's
enormously flavorful. You can also serve the fennel as a vegetable. Cut
it into thicker, heftier pieces, but still cook until golden and caramelized."
Peel or discard, if badly bruised, the tough outer layers of the fennel.
[I think you can skip this step with Live Earth Farm's fennel -- the bulbs
are fairly small, and so fresh, they probably need only a good washing.
Use your judgement. - Debbie] Quarter the bulbs, setting aside the greens,
and slice thinly (the core will cook to tenderness). Heat a large pot
of water for the pasta. Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter w/the olive oil in
a wide skillet. Add fennel and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally,
until browned in places, 7 10 min. Season with 1 tsp. salt. Toss
with the lemon juice, then add 1 C water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered,
until the liquid has evaporated. Add another 1/2 C water and continue
cooking in this fashion until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in
color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. Chop a handful of
fennel greens [the fronds and tiny stems, not the thick stalks - Debbie],
enough to make about 1/3 C, with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside.
Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until pasta is al
dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pan with the fennel and the chopped
greens. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with the cheese,
finely grated or thinly shaved over the top.
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.