7th Harvest Week April 26th - May 2nd, 2004
Season 9
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.



To keep in mind during this election year:
"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it."
- Abraham Lincoln


What’s in the standard share:



Baby beets
Bag of baby chard
Fava beans or arti-chokes
Green garlic
Thyme or chives
Turnip greens

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



Sat. May 15
Open Farm Day

Sat. June 10
Summer Solstice Celebration, 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

Open Farm Day reminder!
Spread the word and encourage people to visit the farm Saturday May 15, between 2 and 6pm. It is totally free, and a perfect opportu-nity for members who haven't seen the farm to visit, as well as for those who are curious about us and our CSA program to learn more. As usual, there will be farm tours, children's activities, etc. Click here for address and directions to the farm.

A frequently asked question during field trips is about the size of our farm and how many of us it takes to care for it. It was 9 years ago when Constance and I (and our two-year-old, David), together with the help of two fellow graduates from the UC Santa Cruz Ecological Farming program took fork and spade and converted one acre of horse pasture into a garden with flowers, strawberries and vegetables. My hands were in the soil all day, and my mind continually sprouted ideas and dreams for the future as we stumbled through the process of creating a farm. Over the years we attracted young people who wanted to learn more, and people from Mexico who wanted to work. From the start the concept of Community Supported Agriculture was fundamental in keeping us inspired to gradually grow to our current size. We now farm 25 acres, with 12 people anchoring the day to day operations. 5 years ago in March, Juan Morales joined us after inquiring if I needed any help on the farm. He was literally a godsend, since I had just signed a lease to farm 10 more acres on a nearby field. Today, Juan and his family are instrumental in the running of the farm. Juan who arrived in the United States from Mexico in the late ‘80s, carries skills and knowledge about farming that has been passed down over generations in his family. Together we have made strides to fine tune our practices, making sure our goal is to become ever more sustainable -- improving the soil, reducing the amount of outside inputs, and always increasing the diversity and quality of our crops. Many people over the years have contributed to building up our farm and our CSA program. Debbie Palmer, with her many talents, has helped us in more ways then I can list in this short newsletter. Most importantly she keeps things humming smoothly in the office, taking care of all the complexities that arise with a diverse CSA membership and making sure administrative details are not overlooked. Debbie also edits this newsletter and inspires us with weekly recipes. Joe Rubin, who over the last 3 years has helped us with our farmers' market sales in Felton and Santa Cruz, is joining us full-time this year to also provide a helping hand with on-farm activities. Many hands and minds work to operate this farm, and I often scratch my head and wonder how a business that earns its annual budget by the pound can provide good wages, quality housing, health benefits, and a sense of ownership. I believe that we will not be able to achieve some of these goals unless we recognize the true value of sustainably grown food. In the meantime it's healthy to keep asking questions and to work towards possible solutions. - Tom

Billy Bob's (delicious! organic!) Apple Juice
Don't forget to place your orders for apple juice! Now that you've had a chance to taste the sample you all received with last week's share, you’re probably ready to go for it. Here's how it works: Send a check made out to Live Earth Farm for $35 (our mailing address is at the bottom of this newsletter) and receive one 48oz. bottle of juice a week for 10 weeks, beginning the first week of May (Weds. May 5th/Sat. May 8th), delivered with your share. We must receive your check by Monday May 3rd in order to process your order. Be sure your member name is on the check somewhere, so we know who and which pick-up location to deliver it to.

Summer Meadow's Farm Goat Cheese
Lynn's flyer about how to get a share of her raw goat's milk artisan cheeses (or just the milk!) – the one that came attached to Week 5’s newsletters – is now posted on our website. Click here to go right to it, or call Lynn on her cell phone (831) 345-8033 and she will mail you one (or just answer your questions!).

Crop of the Week
You have been getting green garlic in your shares for several weeks now, and unless you have been using it, it is probably starting to fill your fridge. I hope you treat it as a staple just like you would onions or leeks. Garlic for me [Tom] is both a medicinal herb and vegetable. I love its rich and resonant taste. Although the garlic you are getting is still green, you can start to distinguish the succulent cloves. Using it minced, it is mildly hot and spicy. Sautéed, it has a robust onion taste, and when you grill it, it is almost sweet and nutty. There is more to garlic than just flavor. For one thing, garlic is quite nutritious. Ounce for ounce, it has more protein and fiber than snap peas (coming soon in 2-3 weeks) and more minerals than most greens. One can argue that it is hard to eat enough of it to count, unless you eat your weekly ration you get in the share!!! Garlic, as most know, also has proven medicinal value. Our ancestors had good sense when they regarded garlic as a charm against illness in their folk medicines. Like all members of the onion family (alliums), garlic contains smelly 'diallyl sulfides' that act like a sulfa drug and which give garlic its healthy traits. Research has shown that garlic can stop certain bacterial and yeast infections. 'Allicin' is another substance found in garlic which stimulates digestive enzymes, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, breaks down lipids in the blood stream, and may act like an antioxidant to build resistance against cancer. So use your garlic and you will enjoy both great taste and lasting health.

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

Oooh, fava beans or artichokes... I can’t decide which I’d be more excited to get! How about recipes for both? – Debbie

Fava and Fresh Ricotta Bruschetta
this recipe is courtesy of Two Small Farms (a compatriot CSA) member Lou Bustamonte:

"All I did was cook the favas in low heat in a tiny bit of water, peel them, then sprinkle them on top of some olive-oil-and-garlic brushed toasted Acme bread on which I had spread a nice helping of farm fresh ricotta. I added a little salt and pepper, and ate it. Amazing."

Fava, Thyme and Goat Cheese Pasta
I just made this one up today at lunch! Makes enough for 3 – 4 people. – Debbie

Fresh fava beans, shelled (~1C beans)
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
About 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
1/2 – 1 head green garlic, minced (~1/2C)
3-4 oz. fresh chevre (couple good spoonfuls)
Pennette or similar pasta (~ 1/2 lb. dry)
freshly grated parmesan (optional)
smoked albacore tuna, flaked (optional)

Start a pot of salted water to boil. Strip the thyme leaves from their stems and mince up a bit (should end up with about 1 tsp. or so of fresh thyme). Set aside. Drop favas into boiling water for 1 – 2 minutes then remove w/slotted spoon and set aside. Add pasta to boiling water and cook until done (save the water). If favas are big, pinch the skin and squirt out the emerald-green inner beans. If they are smaller the skins are fine to leave on. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and sauté the minced green garlic a few minutes, until it starts to get golden. Add thyme, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, the chevre, and about 1/2 C of the pasta water saved above. Stir and break up the chevre until you have a creamy sauce. Add favas plus cooked and drained pasta and stir/simmer a minute or two to combine the flavors. Serve as is, or top with optional parmesan and/or optional smoked tuna.

Debbie’s Favorite Artichokes
Y’know I just never get around to eating ‘em any other way... this is truly my favorite! A pressure cooker is a real boon for cooking artichokes, as it cuts the cooking time from about 40 minutes to around 10, thereby making the prospect of artichokes for dinner a non-daunting task. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just add more water to the pot and cover and cook longer!)

2-4 med/large artichokes
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
A few sprigs of celery leaves
Half a fresh lemon
melted butter (w/optional salt and lemon for flavoring)

Tom’s artichokes seem to be of the thornless variety, so you needn’t cut off the leaf ends. Wash chokes well by shaking and swishing them around in a sink (or bowl or pot) of cold water. Cut off stems to desired length and rub cut edge w/lemon (I also peel off and discard any leaves at the base of the stalk that are not tightly nestled against the head). Put about 1 – 1 1/2 inches of water plus garlic and celery in bottom of a pressure cooker and bring to a boil. Squeeze in remaining lemon juice and just toss the lemon half in there too. When liquid is boiling, place chokes in rack over boiling water, lock lid in place and bring to full pressure. Cook at full pressure for about 10 minutes. Release pressure valve/run pot under cold water to drop pressure so you can open lid. Serve artichokes with a dish of melted butter (optionally seasoned w/salt and lemon juice) for dipping. Don’t forget to have a ‘dump bowl’ handy for discarded artichoke leaves! (I'm assuming everyone knows that when you get down to the center of your artichoke, you scoop/scrape out the fuzzy 'choke' part then cut up and eat the stalk/heart. Yum!)

*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.