natures creatures join to express natures purpose."
- Graham Swift
Whats in the standard share:
Veggies and herbs:
Baby chard/kale mix
Bag of freshly dug butter potatoes
Radicchio (red or sugarloaf)
Winter squash (spaghetti or butternut)
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
(nothing more scheduled for this season)
Eating by numbers. Recently
I read an article that started by saying, "Wouldnt it be nice
if the cashier gave you a printout of the pesticides in the food you buy
when you're at the grocery store?" There is even a website www.foodnews.org
that can give you an estimated total number of pesticides in the food
you selected. Are all these numbers from our scientific advances in biological
and nutritional sciences making a difference in our dietary habits? Are
we just eating by numbers? Isn't food much more than knowing how many
servings of fruits and vegetables we need, or what percentage of calories
should come from fats or what dosage of vitamins and minerals we should
ingest daily? It almost seems silly, as useful as this information is,
reducing food merely to fuel for our body and analyzing it as dietary
details to be digested, both physically and intellectually. Instead of
numbers we need more meaning, other ways of relating to food so that each
time we eat we have an enjoyable experience that nourishes our entire
being. As I was standing in line with my son to rent a movie, both sides
of the aisle were lined with plastic-encased processed sweets and synthetic
soft drinks making nutritional claims of being fat-free, low in cholesterol,
or high in vitamin C, giving the impression of being healthy. With all
the nutri-babble even the worst of the "fake foods" slip into
our diet. On the other hand, the food we grow and deliver to you every
week is not packaged and wrapped into a numerical nutritional analysis.
Often it doesn't look fancy, but it's real food that comes from the earth:
fresh, natural, whole, nourishing, healthful, and its original integrity
is intact. Eating this more natural, earth-connected food helps us to
heal our bodies, our emotions, our sense of spiritual connection, our
social link to one another, our communities, and maybe even our planet.
from last week, for the benefit of share-splitters] After a bit of discussion
with Debbie, Ive changed my mind and decided to extend the deadline
for the 2005 Early Registration until the end of the year, instead of
the end of the season. Our objective is to get as many members registered
as we can. By committing this year for next season, you will help us rent
some additional land to both diversify and increase or production for
next year, and, as I said before, help pay our bills through the winter
months and offer our workers year-round employment. Thanks for your support!
The nitty-gritty, from Debbie: You now have until Dec. 31st, 2004 to
sign up and still lock in the equivalent of this year's rates a
$75 savings since next year we will increase the standard share
price by $2 - from $23 to $25/week. Early registration is easy.
Just go to our website and click on 2005 Early Registration
and follow the (simple) instructions. Then mail us your deposit for $175
(which doubles as your payment for March and April's shares) and youre
done! If you don't have internet access, call me at the farm and I'll
set you up by phone (keep in mind I'm only on the farm on Tuesdays and
Thursdays; mornings are best). Note: the website may still say register
before Nov. 20th but it should be updated at the end of the season
to reflect Toms deadline extension.
Goat cheese, milk and
A warm greeting from Lynn at
Summer Meadows Farm! We've had a great year serving you with our goats
milk. God has blessed this herd; they are glowing with health, and he's
helped me through sunny days and tougher times to get all those cheeses
and yogurts and sweet milk out to you. As I write this my daughter Meadow
and I are basking in the sunny new pasture, freshly green from the early
rain, and laughing at the goat's antics as they kick up their heels, gallop
clumsily over the hills, nuzzle us for petting, and nibble on my writing
paper and the wicker bench Im sitting on.
Fall is breeding season, and the does are challenging each other for dominance
with their ritual head-butting. But this is also the time when I need
input from you in planning how many does to breed for next spring's milkers.
If you've owned shares in my does this year, will you be continuing next
spring? We'll serve you before new families. We have appreciated all of
you so much! Thank you.
For those of you who haven't participated before but would like to, I'm
planning to breed six new does so I can provide for new shares next year.
I have brochures for more info. Please contact Lynn at 831.786.8966 or
if no answer, leave a message on 831.345.8033 (or write to Summer Meadows
Farm, 405 Webb Rd., Watsonville, CA 95076). I do not have email.
We've loved having our families visit us! Some have tried milking the
goats, others made cheese with me. Meadow has even taken children for
rides on her horse! If you'd like to come visit, you're welcome to come
Something new: we will have chevon (goat meat) for sale this winter, as
we had many new bucks amongst the babies this year. These bucks are so
healthy and robust; they are still mostly milk-fed (supplemented with
grazing and alfalfa). These are happy, loved animals; the meat will be
very wholesome. No antibiotics or hormones in these guys! What does it
taste like? Think: similar to beef but much leaner; like venison without
the gamy flavor. If you're interested in a whole or half share of a meat-goat,
contact me. The meat will come cut, wrapped, and frozen. $165/whole. $85/half.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
As I was freezing veggie overage last week in preparation for the off-season,
I thought, "hmmm, maybe our members would like some freezing tips!"
Freezing broccoli and green beans
from Debbies kitchen
You can apply these basic principles to freezing other veggies as well,
but let me tell you what works well for broccoli and for green beans,
since weve been getting both these last few weeks.
For either veggie, youll need a large pot of boiling water and a
big basin or sink full of cold water standing by. First prepare your veggies.
Top and tail the green beans (and cut into segments or leave whole, however
you prefer). Cut the broccoli into florets, and I like to peel the fat
stem and cut it into bite-size pieces too (plenty of nutrition in the
stem; why let it go to waste?).
The vegetables need to be blanched before they are frozen. According to
Joy of Cooking, "enzymes continue to be active in vegetables even
after harvesting and, unless arrested, will bring about change which lead
to nutritional loss and off-flavors. Blanching greatly lessens enzymatic
To blanch, drop prepared broccoli or beans into the boiling water for
2 to 3 minutes (kind of depends on how much volume you have relative to
boiling water). I do it until they are bright green. Immediately drain
veggies and plunge into the cold water, swishing and moving them around
until they are completely cooled.
The next important step is to get rid of as much water as possible before
freezing. The green beans are pretty easy; you can drain them and pat
them briefly in a towel. I found I could de-water my broccoli with great
success using my salad spinner! Go two or three cycles in the spinner,
dumping the accumulated water each time.
And finally, freezing: dont just dump your veggies into a bag or
container and put in the freezer or youll just end up with a big
frozen lump that has to be cooked all at once. What I do which works great
is to spread the drained veggies out on a rimmed cookie sheet and stick
them in the freezer this way, then as soon as they are frozen hard, remove
them from the sheet and pack them in ziploc bags (remember to squeeze
as much air out as possible before sealing). This way the veggies dont
stick to one another and you can decant them in any quantity you want
and leave the rest in the bag for later use!
excerpted from an old Bon Appetit clipping (I thought you all would enjoy
"Of all the great if unheralded leaps forward for American
cooks, one of my favorites is the advent of widely available fresh thyme
as opposed to the dried kind, a coarse and coarse-tasting powder
reminiscent of snuff. If you dont believe me, just try this: Put
some olive oil in a pan and turn the heat to medium. Drop in three or
four cloves of garlic and about ten sprigs of thyme. Stir slowly. Then
breathe deeply. See what I mean now?
"Of course Thymes traditional use is not as culinary aromatherapy,
but rather as part of a boquet garni, tied up in cheesecloth, with bay
leaves and parsley and used to subtly flavor stocks and stews. It is also
often combined with other savory herbs, like marjoram. But I find that
its contributions are most notable when it is allowed to stand on its
"Take that fragrant garlic-thyme oil, for example. In the sunny Mediterranean,
where thyme grows like a weed, it would be put to all sorts of delicious
uses: sautéing chicken parts or chunks of [meat] destined for stew,
basting chicken or fish while roasting, or as a dipping sauce or in a
"Thymes distinctive flavor is an essential component of many
cold-climate dishes as well. It is, after all, the classic Thanksgiving
herb, traditionally added to everything from the stuffing to the potatoes
to the turkey." [The article continues, but this was the most appropriate
info for us! Debbie]
And a storage tip from me: Ive had thyme last for more than
a month(!) if I carefully snip off the fresh, leafy stems (discard woodier
parts) and enclose them tightly in a ziploc bag in the fridge. Do NOT
wash or wet them in any way before doing this. They need to be completely
dry (not dried as in dehydrated, just completely free of wetness) or they
will not last nearly as long.
Thyme and Garlic Cheese Dip
from Bon Appetit, same article
makes about 1 cup
1 tbsp. (packed) fresh thyme leaves
1/2 clove garlic
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 7 1/2 oz. pkg. farmer cheese, or an 8-oz. package of cream cheese
1/4 C sour cream.
Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until garlic is finely chopped,
occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Add cheese and sour cream; blend
well. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Transfer to a serving
bowl; chill at least 30 minutes.
"This dip has almost nothing else in it to mask the thyme flavor.
Serve with crackers, lightly toasted pita bread, and raw vegetable sticks."
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.