"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a 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:
Cauliflower or Broccoli
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Sat. June 19
Summer Solstice Celebration
field tours 2-5pm
with Kuzanga Marimba!
July 30, 31, Aug. 1
Children's Mini-camp, Friday eve. to noon Sun.
Sat. Sept. 25
Fall Equinox Celebration
with the Banana Slug String Band!
Sat. Oct 23rd
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza
Since the beginning of April,
most Mondays and Thursdays we've been hosting weekly field trips for local
school children. Although picking strawberries, visiting the goats and
riding bareback on Peanut are some of the main attractions, much of what
children experience walking around the farm is by touching, smelling,
tasting, or at times silently listening to what surrounds them. The starting
point of experiencing the farm is always food. I am convinced that a child
with a basketful of freshly picked strawberries, a stained shirt and mouth,
will have no problem understanding that food doesn't appear magically
on store shelves, as compared to some "hard to digest" rational
explanation from a teacher or book. Walking through the raspberry patch
last week a boy takes my hand and shows me a handful of juicy orange raspberries
and looking up to me he says, "I like to do this when I am older."
This spontaneous, almost innocent expression of a child's desire is a
constant reminder that through the actual experience of nature, whether
we are nurturing a plant in a tiny clay pot or on an acre of land, we
can maintain a healthy relationship with our environment. Tending a garden
or a small farm may seem like a pitifully small step towards making a
shift in global behavior, but it is these changes in the heart and our
consciousness that add up to make a difference.
This morning a group of local birdwatchers walked the farm and I was amazed
by the diversity of bird species that hang out here. Although I didn't
get to see many of the birds, Bonnie (who led the group) identified them
by their song and explained their nesting and feeding habits. I realize
that I am so caught up in the economics of food production that I forget
about the importance of the wilderness spots here on the farm. Watching
the birds, I am aware of the little wild sanctuaries we have: a small
grove of coastal oak and eucalyptus, the hedges surrounding the fields.
And our ponds are the home of many birds, insects, frogs, and larger animals
such as coyotes, deer, rabbits, snakes, as well as many native plants,
perennial shrubs, grasses and flowering plants. Although creating wilderness
habitat never fits into a financial equation, I know it feels nourishing
and strengthening when we are surrounded by it, and we feel removed, starved,
and cut off when its lacking. I know these wilder areas play an
important role in reducing pest and disease problems among the crops we
grow, and one could theoretically measure that, to justify them economically.
But shouldnt these areas exist anyway, since they were here before
us, forming the basis of this rich and fertile environment that we now
farm? To farm sustainably we need to learn to farm with the wild by including
and conserving native landscapes among the crops we grow. Maybe one day
food will not just be organically grown, but "wildly organically
Crop of the Week
for some "wild" vegetables? Believe it or not, many of the weeds
growing in your garden are edible. In fact, there are over one hundred
species of edible weeds in the United States. You can see what I am getting
at. Live Earth Farm is turning into an edible weed farm! We could call
them "wild vegetables." I am convinced some kids who won't eat
their spinach might show some signs of interest. Ready-mixed baby lettuce
in fact features a line of "wild vegetables" such as arugula
and dandelion greens. Some other ones you might have heard of occasionally
are "vegetable amaranth," purslane, lambs quarters, curly
dock, and plantain. Many of our common vegetables used to be weeds at
one time. They were simply improved with breeding to make them larger,
more succulent, and more palatable. As in years past I would like to introduce
you to a "wild vegetable" which has been eaten for centuries
in Europe, called purslane, and which grows readily among our other planted
vegetables. Studies have shown that purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty
acids and among vegetables, purslane has more omega-3 acids than any other
vegetable, and six times the vitamin E content of spinach. Purslane leaves
have a mild nutty flavor and are a popular salad ingredient in Europe.
They are eaten extensively in soups and salads throughout the Mediterranean.
In Mexico and among our workers, purslane is eaten in omelets, as a side
dish, or in soups and stews. Enjoy and dont be shy to try!!!
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Aaaaah, Tom and his weeds. Ill talk a little on purslane, then throw
in a few recipes for other stuff in the space remaining. Debbie
Thanks to the farm Ive had a lot of fun cooking with purslane (which
Id never had before CSA), and there are several good ways to use
it as well as pictures, if youre not sure what it looks like
in our recipe
database. It really is a fun and kind of irreverent veggie, as you
can indeed find it growing in your yard amongst the landscaping! Did you
ever eat sourgrass as a kid? It has a similar taste. Actually
there were some nubbins of purslane in my stir-fry mix last week, and
I just chomped em raw; they were nice and citrusy-sour. So dont
be afraid to break off a bit and taste it raw before cooking with it or
tossing it into a salad, just to see what its like.
When I use it in a salad, I like to pinch off the tender, smaller branch
tips, or individual leaves if they are bigger, but when I cook with it,
I chop up the leaves and stems together (the leaves are thick,
like a succulent, not leafy like a lettuce).
The other bit of purslane advice I can give is that when you DO cook with
it, it doesnt require much cooking. It has a lot of moisture in
it, and so cooks quickly.
Thats it! Have fun experimenting with it in salads and stir frys;
it is particularly easy to use in scrambled eggs with a little onion or
garlic sautéed along with.
I liked the sound of the flavors in this! Its from an undated SJ
Merc clipping of mine. - Debbie
makes about 5 cups
4 C chicken broth (or your fave substitute)
4 large carrots, scrubbed and chunked
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. curry powder, optional
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Dash of Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
Diced red-skinned apples for garnish [since we dont have apples
in our shares right now, obviously this is optional We will
have them later in the season though, so you can always come back to this
Place broth, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, peanut butter, worcestershire
sauce and curry powder in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat,
cover and simmer about 20 minutes, or until carrots are very tender. Cool
slightly. Blend in batches in a blender [careful!! hot stuff in a blender
explodes!] or food processor until very smooth. Add nutmeg, Tabasco, salt
and pepper. Garnish with diced apple.
(pasta with saffron-cauliflower sauce)
Yet another intriguing flavor combo from an undated SJ Merc clipping.
serves 4 as a first course
1 lg. head cauliflower, dark leaves and thick stems discarded but head
1 tsp. loosely packed saffron threads
1/4 C olive oil
1 med. onion, finely chopped (approx. 3/4C)
4 to 5 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 lb. buccatini or perciatelli pasta [I dont know what either of
these are, so Id just use penne or fusili, or whatever!]
1/3 C dried currants
1/4 C pine nuts
Freshly ground black pepper
Choose a pot that is large enough to hold cauliflower and enough water
in which to cook it. A 4-to 5-quart pot should do. Fill pot 2/3 with water,
bring to a boil and add 1 tsp. salt. Cook cauliflower at a simmer until
floret stems are tender when pierced by a knife but are not soft and mushy,
12-15 minutes. Pour off 1 C cooking liquid to reserve.
Drain cauliflower carefully and set aside to cool. When cool, break head
into large pieces. Soak saffron in 1/4 C of the cooking liquid and set
remaining 3/4 C aside to finish sauce.
Bring an 8-qt. pot of salted water to a boil.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add onion
and cook until translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add anchovies and stir to combine.
Add cauliflower florets. Stir to combine and cook 5 minutes. Add saffron
water, half the remaining cooking water and tomato paste. Bring to a boil;
adjust heat so sauce is simmering. Simmer 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir pasta into boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally,
until al dente, about 10 minutes.
Add currants and pine nuts to sauce and season with pepper. Continue simmering
sauce over low heat until pasta is done cooking. When pasta is done, drain
and place in a large serving bowl. Add half the sauce and toss until coated
(if there is not enough sauce to coat pasta evenly but lightly, add reserved
cauliflower cooking liquid little by little until there is). Serve topped
with additional sauce.
Gourmet Magazine, March 1997
2 tbsp. finely chopped flat-leafed parsley
1 tsp. minced garlic (about 1 large clove)
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and season with salt. Makes about 3 tbsp.
The sprightly flavors in gremolata, a traditional garnish for osso buco,
liven up lamb chops and bean dishes, but can also add zip to other meats,
soups, salads, grains such as rice, or even mashed potatoes.
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.