good gardener always plants three seeds - one for the grubs, one for the
weather, and one for himself."
- C. Collins, Zen Gardening
Whats in the Family share:
Asian greens (mizuna and tatsoi)
Baby chard/kale mix
Green leaf lettuce
and in the Small share:
Baby chard/kale mix
Green leaf lettuce
(some items in small share may be less in quantity than in the family
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
[Extra fruit doesn't start until May]
Sat. June 18
Summer Solstice Celebration, field tours 2-5pm, celebration 5-9pm with
Kuzanga Marimba again!
July 29, 30, 31
Children's Mini-camp, Friday eve. to noon Sun. (curious? see details in
2004's Week 15 newsletter!)
Sat. Sept. 24
Fall Equinox Celebration
with the Banana Slug String Band!
Sat. Oct 22
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza
Another season has begun,
and spring on the farm brings an irresistible desire to dance with the
land once again. Every year she stands ready, in her spring dress decorated
with lush green cover crops and flowering fruit trees, like a dancing
partner, arms held out, inviting me to join her. Accompanied by the music
of hundreds of returning songbirds, no farmer or gardener can resist this
fertile embrace. I am committed the moment I plant my first seed. I step
into her arms with a promise to follow her lead, allowing her rhythm to
guide me, step by step, allowing her intelligence to be revealed and anticipating
her flavors and bountiful gifts over the course of this year's seasonal
concerto. We are delighted to be welcoming so many returning and new members
to our CSA, to join this dance in what is now our 10th season!
As someone once said, to be a CSA member is to take a small but important
revolutionary step. By not simply eating what is easiest and most convenient,
you are stepping out of the current food system and supporting locally
grown, organic, seasonal food. It may often mean learning to be flexible,
to try new things, to eat your greens, to lovingly wash, cut, cook, spice,
and savor things which can be grown at the time and in the place you are
Up on the Farm and in the Fields
I am writing this newsletter the Saturday before our season begins, I
am assessing what crops will be ready to harvest over the next few weeks.
Timing is everything, and knowing where the soil will dry out quickly
enough to plant the earliest crops is always a gamble. During the wet
winter months we always hope for a few dry periods in order to get an
early start. Although we had some nice spells of warm and dry weather
to till and plant, it mostly rained with enough regularity throughout
the season for the ground to stay wet too wet to sow and
plant early. Your first share will be filled with crops planted in December
and early January, such as the strawberries, which may still be a bit
tart given the lack of sunshine these last few days, and the green garlic,
which was planted in November. Crystal-balling the future content of your
shares I see... more green things, including fava beans, broccoli raab,
broccoli, lettuce, radishes, some red cabbage, and lots more strawberries.
To spice things up, thyme and chives will be included soon and, uh...
the crystal ball is getting blurry more next week. I am happy to
say, though, that plums, peaches and pears all bloomed nicely and set
abundant little fruit, the ground is ready to plant potatoes, and the
greenhouse is filled with melon, cucumber and summer squash seedlings.
Spring is here... let it grow, let it grow!!!
Speaking of growing, we sure did! We expanded our production area by leasing
10 additional acres this year, and increased our geographic distribution
by adding 15 new drop-off locations. Whew! For the first time we'll deliver
our shares all the way to Palo Alto and down to Gilroy on Thursdays, and
from Ben Lomond in the San Lorenzo Valley all the way down to Carmel on
Wednesdays. And we will continue to deliver shares to Los Gatos (East
Los Gatos) and Willow Glen on Saturdays, on our way to the farmer's market.
Believe it or not, we are starting the season with over 300 members...
with more members than we had at our peak last summer! This is a first.
But please don't let that stop you from helping to spread the word about
Live Earth's Community Supported Agriculture program, especially in locations
where we have only a few members. Our goal is 400 members, and I think
we can do it! Please call us if you have any ideas how we can better spread
the word in your community. If you belong to a group, school or association
that has a newsletter or elist, we'd be happy to provide you with information
to share if you think it appropriate. If you'd just like brochures to
hand to your neighbors, we'd be happy to mail some to you. Thank you everyone
for your help; we wouldn't be ten years strong and counting without the
dedication and participation of each and every one of you!
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Yessssss!!!! No more hurtin for good veggies! The off
season is entirely too long... Im so glad to be getting veggies
from the farm again!
Its a new season, and in honor of this, Id like to make a
request: of the foodies among you, are there any willing and interested
in a fun task? If I advanced you the veggie list, would you be willing
to email me a little what Id do blurb for the newsletter?
It doesnt have to be just recipes, it can be stream of consciousness
ideas. You dont even have to be a good writer; Ill check spelling
and edit for you. There are other CSAs out there that do this, and the
members love it, because we all benefit when we learn how others use their
bounty each week. For now, just email me your name and willingness to
participate, and Ill contact you to coordinate. If I dont
hear from anyone, I may contact some of you that I know are good at this
but who maybe are just shy about speaking up. Okay, maybe Ill do
one to start... - Debbie
What I'd do with this week's
First things first: as soon as I get my produce home I always go through
everything and prepare it for storage so that it will last, as fresh as
possible, for the week. Its a nice zen exercise, and during the
week as you go to cook, youll be so glad you did this! Key rule:
dont stick wet veggies in a bag in the fridge; theyll rot
quickly. I start with the things that take the least prep time for storage,
and work my way down to any greens that need washing. Everything gets
stored in a plastic bag in the fridge, unless otherwise noted. The heads
of cabbage? Easy. Just wipe down if they have any moisture on them, and
put in a plastic bag and stick in your crisper drawer. The fresh thyme
is usually free of moisture and clean, so I just slip the bundle into
a small ziploc bag, squeezing out any excess air, then refrigerate. Carrots:
do NOT store with green tops attached or theyll suck the life out
of the carrots and leave you with rubbery unpleasant limp things. Trust
me. Either twist or snap the green tops off, or cut and leave about an
inch of greens above the stalk (thats okay). Again, wipe them down
if wet (I keep a supply of cotton flour-sack towels for veggie-moisture-removal
tasks), and then bag/fridge. The bunched greens, such as chard and kale
(as opposed to bagged greens well get to them in a moment)
are usually safe to just thwump gently against a towel or blot a few times
to remove excess moisture before bagging (I wash them more thoroughly
when I go to use them). Heads of lettuce I do similarly, though since
theyre more delicate, sometimes Ill just wrap them in a towel
and bag them right along with the towel. Beets: I store the leaves and
roots separately. Cut off leaves about an inch above the root. Wash the
leaves à là bagged greens below, and scrub/wash/wipe dry
the roots then bag/fridge. Green garlic, young onions, and leeks, things
like that, Ill carefully trim the roots off just at the base, trim
the greens down some if theyre ratty, and then wipe the stems (this
time with paper toweling) to remove any mud or membrane on the outermost
layer. Bag/fridge. Strawberries (if theyre not consumed before you
get home) I actually dump out and carefully repack, removing any berries
that have signs of rot (so they dont spoil the rest this
will not be a concern in the spring, but sometimes in the heat and abundance
of summer it can happen), placing the less ripe berries on the bottom
and topping with the most ripe so theyre eaten first. Cover with
a piece of waxed paper and secure with a rubberband, then refrigerate.
The Asian greens, the baby chard/kale mix, and any other leafies that
come in a bag: spinach, arugula, (I also do this with cilantro and parsley):
I place in a sink or basin of cold water and swish around gently but sufficiently
to dislodge any dirt or grit which will then sink to the bottom. Then
I remove them in small handfuls, separating and tossing any excessively
bruised or yellowed leaves (or the occasional weed!) and then place the
washed greens in a salad spinner. Spin two or three times, dumping the
water after each spin (remember you want to get rid of that excess
moisture!), then spread the greens out on a cotton towel (or paper towels),
layering if necessary, and then roll up and store in a bag, gently squeezing
the air out before sealing. It is this last preparation step, I promise
you, that you will be the happiest you did come mid-week! Fresh, washed,
bagged greens? Piece o cake (and a joy!) to use.
Okay, now what Id do with all these things: The Asian greens Im
fond of using as salad greens actually. Tear into bite sized pieces as
necessary (the stems are tender and tasty too), and use in any salad youd
make. A quick-and-easy is Asian greens tossed with a little seasoned rice
vinegar and oil, maybe adding a few drops of sesame oil if you have it.
You can build up from there, adding carrot and beet shavings (use a veggie
peeler), maybe some very thinly sliced young onion. Chard I love to simply
steam and serve with a little vinegar and salt. But it is also wonderful
to sauté up some green garlic or onion and then sauté the
greens in this (you could also use the baby kale/chard mix here), with
a sprinkle of salt. Or sauté some mushrooms with the onions or
garlic, or crumble in some feta cheese to melt at the last minute instead
of using salt. Beets I would roast in foil, then cut off the tops, slip
off the skins (when cool enough to handle!), cut into slices or bite sized
pieces, then top with a little butter and salt. Or place in a skillet
with a little butter, orange juice, honey, and grated ginger, and cook
until syrupy. Serve and enjoy!
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.