10th Harvest Week May 30th - June 5th 2005
Season 10
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.



"After all, what good is a country and
a flag if there is no more fertile soil, no ancient forests, no clean water, no pure food? If you really love your country, protect and restore some wildness. Sup-port local agriculture. Plant a garden. Those who work to protect and restore these things are the real patriots."
- Michael Abelman


What’s in the Family share:
Large bunch of basil
Green garlic
Mustard greens

and in the Small share:
Small bunch of basil
Green garlic
(items in the small share may be less in quantity than in the family share)

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries plus rasp-berries or blackberries*

*this week Weds members get the raspberries/blackberries, next week Thurs/Sat members get them (see field notes from Farmer Tom). Everyone gets strawberries.



Sat. June 4 Permaculture workshop #1 - Water mgmt; swale design/construction

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 Aug 6
Permaculture workshop #2 - Design methods; ecological observation and site mapping

Sat. Sept. 24
Fall Equinox Celebration
3-9 pm
with the Banana Slug String Band!

Sat. Oct 22
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

Sat. Oct 29
Permaculture workshop #3 - Polycultures & agroforestry; food forest design and installation

What's a bunch of carrots worth? Without a doubt, bringing young people closer to the land and letting them experience the art of growing food is one of the most inspiring things here on the farm. Schools, especially at the elementary level, are increasingly searching for effective ways to use school gardens to enliven their lessons in science, art and literature. I've been able to participate in a garden project where a parking lot at the brand new Martin Luther King Elementary School in Salinas has been transformed into an astonishing little Garden of Eden. This spring I helped plant strawberries with the 4th graders and last week the same kids, sixty of them, came out on a field trip. Once they were released from the bus they couldn't wait to explore "Farmer Tom's fields," especially the one filled with red, ripe strawberries. Free to run up and down the long rows, the kids harvested and ate until their faces were covered in red and their stomachs bloated by strawberries. We divided into smaller groups and I headed out into the carrot patch where our objective was for each kid to harvest one bunch to take to our afternoon market in Capitola. Before they got going I made one demo-bunch and asked what they would charge if they had to sell that particular bunch of carrots at the farmers market. I got a range of answers mostly between 50 cents to $1.50. It was time to let them dig! The soil was not moist enough to just pull the carrots out by hand but instead the carrots had to be dug out with shovels. It took a good hour to dig, sort, tie, wash and pack approximately 50 bunches. When the freshly washed shiny orange carrots all laid stacked on top of each other on the washing table you could see the kids admiring them. Again I took a bunch and asked the group what I should charge for them at the farmer's market and suddenly none of them would sell it for less than $2 and some even suggested as high as $5 a bunch. I was happy! They experienced with their own body, mind and spirit the real value of food. I remember Michael Abelman's words, "To me, you cannot talk of land preservation without talking about young people. Unless they are inspired to come back into this profession, unless we give them a reason to, unless they can make a living at it, then to talk about land preservation is a joke. You can preserve the land but you won’t have the people to work it." Abelman’s ultimate goal is to return a sense of honor to what is often seen as a menial job. "If we are ever to bring young people back into this profession, we must replace the sense of drudgery that this has obtained, and allow them to see it as a complex, sophisticated art that requires a lot of skill, craft and thought." Michael Abelman is the founder and director of the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens near Santa Barbara. He is the author and photographer of "From the Good Earth" and "On Good Land" two wonderful and inspiring books about good farming, good food, and surely an example how one small farm can make a difference. - Tom

Field Notes from Farmer Tom
We are starting to see a few summer crops such as zucchini, however the basil in the box this week is thanks to a bumper crop at Mariquita farm, part of 'Two Small Farms,' which is another CSA in this area. I ran into Andy last week, and he said he was so inun-dated by basil he could cut everyone an armful, so I couldn't resist and added it to this weeks share. Andy does most of his growing in the warmer inland area around Hollister, so thanks to him we are getting a preview of summer. The raspberries are having a small flush right now; this is not the main crop yet, so we will stagger the harvest over a two week period – Wednesday's extra fruit shares will get some this week and Thursday/Saturday's extra fruit shares will get them next week. A note on the lettuce: this week we are harvesting from a trial field where we planted several different (including heirloom) varieties such as red bibb, deer tongue, and baby romaine. They will be either loose or bagged depending on their size.

Mini Camp
We had such a great response for this year's Mini-Camp that it's already filled up! If you are still interested we can place you on a waiting list in case someone drops out. We are considering also organizing a bread oven rebuilding/farm camping event later in the season, so maybe whoever couldn't make for the Mini-Camp can participate then. We are looking at mid- to late-September [did you hear that Charles?!???!!!]. We'll keep you posted.

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

People are emailing me recipes all the time now; I’m accumulating quite a wonderful variety. Thanks to everyone! Here are a few. - Debbie

Shallot Vinaigrette
from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Member Jennifer Golden sent me this favorite salad dressing and says, "I highly recommend this cookbook! Loaded with ideas on how to use any and all vegetables, from the woman who brought us the Greens cookbook, it’s like Joy of Cooking for vegetarians (and those who eat like ‘em)! This is my most utilized cookbook."

1 1/2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
2 shallots (or substitute leeks from box)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
6 tbsp. olive or walnut oil (or mixture of two)
Combine vinegar, shallots, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl, and let stand for 15 min. (this sweetens and softens shallots or leeks). Stir in the mustard, then whisk in oil slowly, until dressing is thick and smooth. Season with pepper. Taste and adjust if necessary.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Here are two recipes from new member Odile Wolf who says, "Green chard grew wild in my grandma's garden in France. These family recipes were favorites of all my families’ kids." One recipe uses the leaves, the second uses the stems. - Debbie

Eggs stuffed with Chard leaves
Steam or boil chard leaves (save the stems for other recipe) until tender. Drain well, set aside. Meanwhile, hard boil some eggs and peel them. Cut them in half and arrange the whites in a gratin plate. Combine cooked yolks with chard leaves, and mash the mix. Stuff the whites with the chard/yolk mix. Cover (lightly) with white sauce (I usually put something pungent in there, like mus-tard or cayenne, as it can be a bit mild), and grated cheese. Bake in a medium oven until golden brown.

Chard Stems in Tomato Sauce
If chard stems are particularly large, you can peel them to remove strings.
Cut stems into 1 inch pieces.
Add some tomato sauce with garlic and bay leaf and cook for about 30 minutes.
The stalks will still be firm.
Serve with grated cheese.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Another random chard note: I was talking with a fellow CSA member while picking up my share the other week, and she says that chard leaves are excellent stuffed (think stuffed cabbage or grape leaves [dolmates], only use chard leaves instead!). I think this is an excellent idea! So dig up your favorite recipe for either and have at it! – Debbie

Lastly, here is a recipe submitted by another new member, Carmel Weifert, who says,"When walking past the aromatic garlic [on a recent field trip to the farm with my son's class] I was reminded that I should share this recipe with you all. We look forward to this soup every spring!"

Green Garlic Soup
adapted from a Cooking Light recipe

3 C green garlic, sliced
2 C chicken or veggie broth
fresh rosemary or thyme
1 tbsp. flour
2 C milk (Carmel likes to use 1%)
dash of ground nutmeg
2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind

1. Simmer the green garlic and herb in the broth, covered, for about 10 minutes. Blend in blender or food processor until smooth.
2. Put the flour in a pan and whisk in the milk. Add the garlic pureé and nutmeg, stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the butter, more herbs (if you like), and the lemon zest.

*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.