"The great challenge is bringing life back into the wasteland, where
people live inauthentically."
- Joseph Campbell
Whats in the standard share:
Kohlrabi (red or white)
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
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 - final 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
opportunity 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 and children's activities,
but there is a last minute addition: Kuzanga Marimba will make
a special apperance and play for us! Click
here for address and directions to the farm.
Signs of a renaissance
in rural America. When I first set foot on this farm 10 years ago,
the Pajaro Valley, with its coastal mountains stretching along the eastern
edge, reminded me of Ecuador where I grew up. The landscape is like a
quilt: patches of green and brown fields, some forests (mostly on the
slopes of Mt. Madonna), creeks and rivers snaking through the valley to
the ocean, and houses dotting the landscape in varying densities. But
a closer look at this almost pastoral landscape reveals fields of mostly
large scale, chemical intensive farming operations. Watsonville, situated
in what is probably the most fertile and ideal climate for berry production
in the country, is dominated by strawberry, blackberry and raspberry fields,
handpicked annually by thousands of migrant workers. Over the last 50
years, the trend in farming has been away from small-scale family farms
towards large scale, high investment food factories, ten thousand or more
acres each, focused on growing a few monocrops. Today, small-scale farms
that once fed the nation are almost extinct. 50 to 60 years ago an estimated
40 percent of the population was involved in farming. Today it is only
about 1-2 percent. Now, WAIT A MINUTE! Why another story of bad news showing
how we as a society have screwed up once again? Don't we get enough alarming
information like this every day?? Yes, but there is hope: although there
are plenty of gloomy statistics, there are positive, exciting signs indicating
a possible end to the trend. Little attention seems to be paid, but more
homesteads and garden farms are popping up all the time. Just in our circle
of friends alone, a surprising number are planning to make (or have already
made) the move back to a rural lifestyle. Farms for sale are often bought
up by individuals or families that have urban jobs. My friends express
a deep desire to regain more physical control over their lives. They are
rebelling against the economics of power (i.e. corporate consolidation
and globalization), and are planning to make an income from the land as
well as non-farm sources. The values honored by these "new countrysiders"
(myself included) are the same that our parents, grandparents and great
grandparents. We want a different educational environment for our children,
where nature plays an important role, and there is a balance between fast-paced
urban lifestyles and schooling systems. We want an alternative to chemicalized,
hormone-ized, vaccinated, antibiotic-treated, irradiated factory food.
We want home-based businesses when possible, so that we do not have to
put our children in day care. More and more, small-scale food production
systems are showing up to take advantage of changes in consumer demands.
A surprising number of people are pursuing new and promising ideas of
food production, taking advantage of changes in consumer demand. These
new (or sometimes old, small-scale) farms, like Billy Bob's apples, Lynn's
goat milk and cheeses, or Joe Morris' grassfed beef, are just a few examples
where traditional and untraditional ideas merge, and new/old practices
are being perfected. Perhaps Im overly optimistic in seeing the
agribusiness oligarchy, in cahoots with a suppliant government, stopping
its bonanza of farm consolidation any time soon. But the cracks in this
system are widening and some very resilient new "pioneering weeds"
are emerging, showing new possibilities for the future. Community Supported
Agriculture is one good example, and is popping up all over the country!
So thank you all for being part of this small but important movement,
and help us continue to spread the word... we can turn the tide together!
Bob's Apple Juice UPDATE
like we can accommodate orders for apple juice after May 5th as well (see
last weeks newsletter). Just 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 (delivered with
your share), beginning the week after we receive your payment. Be sure
your member name is on the check somewhere, so we know who and which pick-up
location to deliver it to.
Crop of the Week
Last week I snuck into your
shares a leafy, lettucy-looking green which was not listed in the newsletter.
This somewhat bitter green is not a lettuce but is ESCAROLE, a broadleaf
endive which belongs to the chicory family, same as radicchio. With the
heat waves we've been having, escarole will quickly bolt, therefore you
will have them in your share again this week. The chicories are zesty-favored
and are more popular in Europe than America. You will often find them
cut-up in salad mixes and mescluns to give that delicious sharp bite.
Chicories can be eaten raw or cooked. The outer leaves can be cooked like
chard in soups, pastas and casseroles. The inner leaves are a bit more
tender and make a vivid seasonal salad. Dress with a vinaigrette of olive
oil, mustard, garlic and balsamic vinegar. Additions include toasted nuts,
roasted red pepper, or goat cheese. All chicories are high in vitamin
A and have a good supply of vitamin C and calcium, but escarole is higher
in most nutrients than either radicchio or endive.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
If youve been with us before you know the sputnik veggie
(kohlrabi) stories and recipes. If it is new to you, please visit the
recipe database for inspiration (and pictures!). Meanwhile, escarole is
definitely new, so here are a few escarole recipes, plus what I can fit
in the space remaining. Debbie
No matter what recipe you are making with escarole, wash the greens carefully,
giving special attention to the bases of the leaves which often hold a
lot of silt. Spin them dry, and if they are not to be used right away,
then wrap them in a cotton (or paper) towel and store in a plastic bag
in the refrigerator.
I like to use escarole in salads (raw). It is especially good with citrus
(orange and grapefruit slices, and sherry vinegar-citrus juice-olive oil
dressing), but also with strawberries! Just today I mixed escarole with
other salad greens, scattered in sliced strawberries, toasted pecans,
crumbled feta, and some fresh mint (minced). For color and added sweetness
I tossed in some corn kernels (frozen, lightly nuked). Dressed all with
a fruity vinaigrette made from raspberry vinegar, a dab each of honey
and dijon mustard, pinch of salt, a few turns of black pepper and some
canola oil. Whisk together, toss together, and eat!
Escarole and Beans, plus...
There are LOTS of recipes out there with varying combinations of escarole
and beans, some with sausage and pasta, some with garlic and pepper. Here's
a kind of overview I compiled. Use this as a guide, and come up with your
1 2 heads escarole, washed carefully and chopped coarsely
1 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can white, cannelli, kidney, or other beans
salt and pepper
optional pepperoni or Italian sausage, sliced
optional parmesan cheese
Sauté the garlic (and optional sausage or pepperoni slices) in
olive oil. Add escarole, cook until tender (if the greens are dry, add
a splash of water). Add beans and heat through. Add salt and pepper to
taste. If youd like it with pasta, boil pasta separately then stir
in with rest of ingredients. Top with grated fresh parmesan if you like!
serves 3 (got this off the web somewhere!)
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 med. heads escarole, washed & chopped
1/2 C lemon juice
2 tbsp. capers
1 pinch salt
10 kalamata olives
ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add escarole; cook and stir until greens
begin to wilt. Stir in lemon juice. Add capers, salt, and olives; cook
and stir for another 15 seconds. Season with black pepper to taste. Serve
Fast Sauté of Fennel & Mushrooms
from the Victory Garden Cookbook
1 lg. fennel bulb, with leaves
1/2 lb. whole mushrooms
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash and trim fennel, then quarter and thinly slice bulb, discarding core;
you should have 2 1/2 to 3 C sliced fennel. Mince 1/4 C leaves and set
aside. Slice mushrooms the same thickness as fennel. Heat 1 tbsp. butter
and the oil, and when foamy, add mushrooms and cook over med-hi heat until
browned, about 3 minutes; remove and set aside. Add remaining butter and
fennel to pan, and cook over med heat until fennel is softened but still
crunchy. Add mushrooms and stir together for a moment. Season w/salt and
pepper and stir in minced fennel leaves.
Fennel, orange, red onion and mint salad
Combine thinly sliced fennel and red onion, orange segments (peel and
pith removed as much as possible), torn fresh mint leaves and kalamata
olives. Dress with olive oil and optional sprinkling of coarse salt. The
olive oil blends with the juice from the oranges to create a refreshing
vinaigrette! This is good!
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.