4th Harvest Week April 5th - 11th, 2004
Season 9
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"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces... I would still plant my apple tree."
- Martin Luther


What’s in the standard share:


Green cabbage
Green garlic
Baby leeks
Chinese chives (Weds.)
Thyme (Sat.)
Bag of Mizuna (a kind of mustard green)
Radishes (maybe)


(Remember, "Extra Fruit option" doesn't start until May!)



Sat. May 15
Open Farm Day

Sat. June 10
Summer Solstice Celebration

July 30, 31, Aug. 1
Children's Mini-camp, Friday eve. to noon Sun.

Sat. Sept. 25
Fall Equinox Celebration

Sat. Oct 23rd
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

A small step in the right direction: As I pull out of the farm at 5 AM Saturday morning to drive "over the hill" to start another season selling produce at the Willow Glen Farmer's Market, I noticed the same excitement I had nine years ago, when this was the first market we attended, and I had no idea how to sell the greens we carefully picked the day before. The anticipation of going to the farmer's market brings a lot of joy. It is like seeing old friends and reconnecting with customers who over the years have supported us. It is so much more then buying and selling produce at the grocery store. As Spring rolls in, I catch myself trying to understand the deeper meaning of the way we farm. I guess it's inevitable at the outset of every task. I realize that the plants we grow nurture not just our bodies but also relationships – the interdependence of people, the soil, and the food. Nurturing this understanding among young people is an important and exciting aspect of our farm. Here children experience that what they eat does not come from stores but actually from the soil – a place that, for me at least, seems more fascinating than all video games combined. Hosting field trips for schools, offering apprenticeships and organizing our seasonal celebrations is a small step for the farm towards becoming more of a focal point for education and community building, and also teaches how one's food dollars can gain a voice in the way food is grown, processed and distributed. Community Supported Agriculture or CSA is slowly gaining momentum all over the world. It first came into practice in the early 1960s in Germany, Switzerland and Japan and in the mid ‘80s started on two small farms on the east coast. Since then over 1000 community supported farms have sprung up all across the country. It is estimated that over 1 million households in the United States now support CSA farms. This movement is another indication how we are taking small steps in restoring our environment. As someone once said, "Each of us may be as insignificant as a ground beetle, but together the ground beetles of the globe keep it from being buried in a thick layer of rot." – Tom

Crop News
I just got off the phone with Debbie and she suggested I give everyone a little update about our crops – what to expect or not expect in your share over the next few weeks. As returning members know, kale has usually been a staple among our greens, and should be in the shares right now. However, with all the warm weather we had, the kale we've been growing all winter suddenly became the home of the first aphids of the season, and we had no choice but mow it down before they spread to other crops. New dinosaur (Lacinato) kale will be harvestable in 2-3 weeks, so don't worry... kale and spinach are on the way! You may wonder what happened to the rutabagas, too. We are finished harvesting them, and you received the tail end of the winter crop a week or two ago. Most likely we'll have it back in the fall. The carrots from now on will be bagged without their tops on. This does not mean they are old! We still harvest them the day we pack, however since they have deep taproots and the soil is compacted from the winter rains, pulling them out by their tops breaks them off. We don't want to leave perfectly good carrots in the ground just because their tops break off, so instead we harvest with a pitchfork.

Please continue to spread the word about our CSA program. Many thanks go out to all of you who have been helping us drum up membership so far, but we still have room for more. Word of mouth via our members is our best advertising. It can be as simple as giving our brochure to someone you think might be interested. Some people leave brochures or post a flyer at work. Help yourself to the brochures in the back of your checklist binder at your pick-up site, or call Debbie at the farm and she can send you a flyer or addi-tional brochures. And if you have suggestions of ways to reach out to new places and people, let me (Tom) know.

Morris Grassfed
If you are a share-splitter who gets your box every other week (and don't see the newsletter on your 'off' week), please look up last week's newsletter and read about this truly healthful option for meat. If you have been seeking healthier (both human and environmental), more humane options for meat, this is truly the ticket. For additional info on pasture-based farming, check out this great website: www.eatwild.com. But then to actually hook up with our own local family-run grassfed beef rancher, go to www.morrisgrassfed.com. This is a high integrity operation. – Debbie

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

This week a variety of interesting recipes, but first, some info on mizuna (what’s that?). - Debbie

some tidbits gleaned from multiple web sources

"Elegant, deep green and saw-toothed leaves have a mild yet tangy flavor." "Dandelion-like jagged edge green leaves with a mild, sweet earthy flavor." "A salad green related to Chinese cabbage that provides a mild mustard flavor." "This tender green leaf lettuce makes an excellent mix for salads and soups. Mizuna is generally mixed with other lettuces to enhance the appearance, flavor, and nutritional value of salad. The leaves can be added to soups, simply add the shredded leaves at the end of cooking; the heat of the broth will cook them sufficiently."

Sesame Pasta Salad with Mizuna
from "Greens Glorious Greens" by Johnna Albi and Catherine Walthers [Debbie’s comments interspersed in brackets]

2 C mizuna leaves, washed and stemmed
1 carrot
1 red pepper (optional if out of season)
1/4 C scallions, thinly sliced
1 8-oz package udon noodles
2 tbsp. light sesame oil
1 tsp. fresh ginger juice (optional) [easily made by grating fresh ginger and squeezing it to extract the juice from the fibers.]
2 tbsp. tamari (soy sauce)
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
[and I bet some of those Chinese chives would be good in this recipe too!]

Chop mizuna into pieces about 1 inch long. [If the leaves are small, I'd just leave 'em whole.] Shred carrot. Slice the scallions on a diagonal. Core, seed and thinly slice red pepper. Boil large pot of water and cook udon noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles and rinse under cold water until totally cooled. Drain again. Place noodles in a large mixing bowl and toss with vegetables. Mix in oil, ginger juice, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve. [I expect this is good either warm or cold.]

Orange, Beet and Fennel Salad
modified from the "Share Organics" website

1 bunch of smallish beets
3 organic oranges
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced (save some of the fluffy tops for garnish)

Trim leaves above beet root. Boil for 30 to 45 minutes until tender. Cool under running water, cut off tops and tails, and peel [the skins slip off easily after cooking]. Cut beets in half, then slice into half moons. Peel and section oranges over medium bowl (to save the juices). Add beets to bowl with orange sections and the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle with minced fennel tops, then cover and chill for 1 hour.

Broccoli Dijon
also (modified) from the "Share Organics" website

1/4 C soft butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 green onions minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp. parsley, minced
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Fresh ground pepper
3/4 lb. rotini (or similar) pasta
2 C broccoli florets

Cream together first 7 ingredients. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook for 5 minutes then add broccoli. Continue cooking 3 more minutes or until pasta is done. Drain and place in a skillet over low heat. Add the mustard mixture and gently toss. Serve when evenly distributed and heated through.

Drying Fresh Thyme

from "Making and Using Dried Foods" by Phyllis Hobson

[Take Tom's fresh thyme sprigs and] Discard any soiled leaves, rinse, shake to remove moisture, and pat dry. Strip leaves from stems and spread in a thin layer on a tray and place in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Dry until leaves are crisp, 8-12 hrs. [It took me a few days – Debbie]

California Raisin & Fennel Relish

Member Jill McCoy sent us this recipe that uses fennel. She said it was from a California Raisin Board ad in Gourmet magazine, and that she made it and liked it.

1/4 C raisins
1/4 C fresh fennel, finely diced
1/4 C finely diced apple, sprinkled with juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 C celery, finely diced
2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients and toss well. Jill says, "This was great! I skipped the celery and used a dash of chipotle sauce. The recipe calls for using this relish with a sauteed pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto, atop a bed of arugula. When I made it, I skipped the prosciutto."

I think it'd be good with pork or lamb chops too. - Debbie


*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.