27th Harvest Week Sept. 13th - 19th 2004
Season 9
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"Give me any kid. In six weeks, they'll be eating chard."
- Alice Waters


What’s in the standard share:

Asian pears

Veggies and herbs:

Bok choi
Stir-fry mix
Summer squash

(Sorry, green beans will have to wait one more week.)

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Apples, Warren pears and strawberries



Sat. Oct 23rd
Fall Equinox Celebration AND Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza (combined)
3pm unitl dark

Excerpts from two articles below (SF Chronicle and Business Week) are pointing to what I believe is the beginning of a timely and exciting revolution. The effects of our daily dietary choices not only impact our own body but the body "politic" as well. Although the world's problems always seem too overwhelming to think an individual choice can make a difference, collectively the food choices we make do have far-reaching impact on a regional, even global level. What better place to start than by connecting our children with the magical process of growing and eating healthy, vibrant, and healing foods? – Tom

"Alice Waters is so confident about the power of good food, she regularly offers this challenge: "Give me any kid. In six weeks, they'll be eating chard." In July, Waters got 10,000 kids. She persuaded the Berkeley Unified School District to offer academic credit for lunch. The proposal, which the founder of Berkeley's pioneering Chez Panisse restaurant has backed with a $3.8 million startup grant from her foundation, is the first of its kind in the nation. If Waters is right, the approach not only will teach children to love Swiss chard, but also could revolutionize the relationship between schools and food. Over the course of the next two years, Berkeley educators will write a curriculum in which measuring a garden plot might become a math lesson. Kids could learn science by seeing how molecules expand to make a loaf of bread rise. Local, sustainable farms will supply food for school lunches, and, in turn, students can learn economics by studying the business of sustainable farming. And every school day, children will be taught the value of cooking a meal and eating it together. "This is not just changing the food in the cafeteria and making that an educational experience. This is for every single child. It's a core curriculum," said Waters, who trained as a Montessori teacher before she opened Chez Panisse in 1971. "Instead of just fueling up so we can live our lives, food has to be part of our lives, an enrichment of our lives that is connected to history and culture and time and place. And that must begin at the very earliest stage," she said. Radical idea - Supporters say the notion of infusing food into a school's academic curriculum is so radical and well timed that it could be just the thing that saves a nation in nutritional crisis."
[Full text of this article can be found in last Sunday's (August 29th) San Francisco Chronicle. Article title: "Food joins Academic Menu in Berkeley School District/Credits, not Calories -- Chez Panisse founder cooks up new 'core curriculum'")

Finally, more than 30 years after Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", Business Week touts the value of organics. See the power of our food dollars at work!!!

Business Week reports this week that "organic food sales hit $10 billion in 2003, up from $178 million in 1980" and that grocery stores are scrambling to meet consumer demand for organically grown foods. The article also poses the question "Is organic worth the extra money?" and concludes that "for pregnant women and children, the benefits are worth the extra price."

The article continues, "Few doubt that high doses of pesticides can cause neurological or reproductive damage. With infant reproduc-tive organs still forming and the brain developing through age 12, and with young livers and immune systems less able to rid bodies of contaminants, eating organic is more important for children and pregnant or breast-feeding women."

Crop of the Week
Asian Pears, also known as apple pears, salad pears or "Nashi" (Japanese for pear) describes a large group of pear varieties having crisp, juicy fruit. The type we grow is 'Shinko.' Very fireblight resistant, the fruit is round to slightly flattened with a beautiful bronze-russet skin. You may want to peel this pear since its skin is a bit tough. I enjoy slicing it into my salad, it is crispy and refreshingly juicy. These pears were grafted into our Warren pears to help with pollination and we have about 6 mature trees which bore fruit this year. So you probably won't find them in your box over an extended period of time, but if you like them they can be bought in Asian grocery stores or at the farmers market.

The debate continues
We have gotten feedback from both sides of the debate regarding whether or not to box or have available in bulk our weekly CSA shares. The ‘pro bulk’ people like the ease for the farmer, and the idea that they can just leave veggies they don’t want for others to take. The ‘pro box’ people make a valid point that the downside to bulk packing is that the last people to pick up their shares at any particular site get the dregs of fruit and veggies that have been picked over by everyone else who came before them. They indicate that at least when the produce is boxed, everyone gets equal treatment. If anyone has any bright ideas, suggestions or solutions, please do let us know. No decisions have been made.

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

Can you believe there are only nine weeks left to the season? How did time pass so quickly? The late summer and fall crops are coming in, and I don’t know about you, but I have been just loving getting eggplant every week! Must give everyone my recipe for Babaghanoush; I can’t believe I haven’t done this yet! – Debbie

Babaghanoush is a middle-eastern roasted, kind of smoky eggplant dip. Generally it is served cold, with bread (pita) or veggies for dipping, but I particularly love it when it’s still slightly warm, just after I have finished making it. Mmmmm.....

The recipe works best with larger, globe-style eggplant (less peeling involved), but I’m sure you could make it with the Asian eggplant too.

I learned how to make this from a chef I assisted many years ago in preparing a fundraising dinner for a non-profit. It is really quite easy to prepare. - Debbie

1 large or 2 medium-ish globe eggplants
Juice of 1/2 a fresh lemon (more or less)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
2 to 3 tbsp. tahini (I’ve substituted almond butter with great success)
1/8 tsp. or so ground cumin (optional) [I’ve forgotten to add this and it tastes just fine]

Roast eggplant whole over a gas or BBQ grill, or under a broiler, turning once or twice, until skin has blackened and eggplant has gone limp. Remove from heat to a plate or bowl (to catch any escaping juices) and allow to cool enough so you can handle without burning yourself. Cut off stem, and peel and discard blackened skin. Coarsely chop and then mash eggplant pulp in a bowl with a fork (adding back in any juice that escaped while cooling), until just a little lumpy. Mash garlic with salt, pounding to a puree. Add to eggplant mixture. Alternately add tahini and lemon juice, blending each time. Blend in cumin. Taste for seasoning, and add more lemon juice or salt or tahini to suit your taste (this is where I got hooked to the taste of it warm!). Serve it garnished with parsley sprigs, black olives and tomato wedges if you like, or as a dip with pita, baguette or cut vegetables, or in individual portions on a lettuce leaf, as a salad.

Stir-fry mix salad?
That’s right – it’s not just for stir-frying! I have found that, especially in these days of deer-rarified lettuce in our shares, the stir-fry mix of greens makes an excellent salad mix! Take your washed-and-spin-dried stir-fry mix (mostly mustard greens with some baby kale and the occasional bit of purslane), tear up larger leaves into bite-sized pieces (like you would any lettuce for a salad), and place in a big bowl. Whisk together some seasoned rice vinegar with a little olive or salad oil, plus some sesame oil. Toss your greens with this and serve! Simple, but good. You can also add some cut up tomato, and other savory-salady things if you like. Once I added a dab of grainy mustard to the dressing and this was good too. Give it a try!

Tomatoes with Yogurt and Basil
[submitted by member Sue Burnham]
from "The Tomato Cookbook"
serves 4

1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (red or yellow)
3 tbsp. butter
1 C plain yogurt
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
whole wheat toast triangles or slices of pita bread, for garnish

Drain away any excess juice from the tomatoes by leaving them on a sloping board or in a colander for 10 minutes. Melt butter in a skillet and cook the tomatoes gently for a few minutes, until just softened but not mushy. Remove skillet from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat the yogurt in a bowl until smooth, then stir into the tomatoes. Stir in the chopped basil, pour into a shallow serving dish and scatter pine nuts over top. Garnish with toast triangles or pita slices. Serve immediately or keep warm for a short time; do not attempt to reheat after adding yogurt. This dish should be served warm rather than hot.

Sue says, "I did not try to reheat the left-overs, but I did however lightly toast bread and put it cold on top. This was yummy the next day."

*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.