13th Harvest Week June 20th - 26th 2005
Season 10
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“All my dawns cross the horizon and rise from underfoot. What I stand for is what I stand on.”
- Wendell Berry


What’s in the Family share:
Red cabbage
Cooking greens (chard, kale or collards)
Green onions
Baby red mustard greens
French breakfast radishes
Summer squash
Strawberries (1 basket)

and in the Small share:
Green onions
Baby red mustard greens
French breakfast radishes
Summer squash
(no fruit this week)
note: items in the small share will be less in quantity than in the family share.

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
3 baskets of strawberries and 1 basket of either raspberries or blackberries


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

As we all gathered last Saturday the farm was transformed once again into a place of celebration. With music, dance, and the seemingly never-ending excitement of all the children, we honored the generosity of the land by harvesting, milking, baking, and cheese making. We got our hands dirty and stinky as Doug, Steve, and Larry from The Banana Slug String Band led the "ancient" fertility ritual of making compost. Hungry and with our faces painted (some of us mostly with chocolate from dipping strawberries into a delicious chocolate ganache all afternoon), Kuzanga's marimba music called us to gather into what is our traditional "blessing circle." Six large tables filled with wonderful and lovingly prepared dishes of food was the highlight of our event.  For me it symbolizes that, as a community, we can make a difference towards achieving a world that eats healthy, sustainably grown food. The children once again launched us into the summer season by lighting the bonfire; it lit instantly even though it had rained more than an inch the day before. And finally as darkness moved in and the moon shone brightly, Linnea's enchanting firedance sprinkled a little magic and wonder into our hearts before going home. From all of us here at the farm, we wish everyone a wonderful summer season! - Tom.

Solstice Potluck Recipes Request!
Hello all, it’s Debbie, and as all of you who were at Saturday’s Solstice Celebration know, we truly had an incredible variety of fabulous dishes that evening! As a matter of fact, several people mentioned how great it would be if we could gather all the recipes from the Solstice potluck to share back with the CSA community... and so that’s what I’d like to do. If everyone who made a dish would email me their recipe (if you didn’t follow a recipe but can describe how you made it/what ingredients you used, that’s fine!), I will edit/organize them into one downloadable file which I will post on the website (I’ll also make it viewable online, so you don’t have to download anything if you don’t want to). Email your recipe to me at deb@writerguy.com. If possible, please send it within the next week while it is still fresh in your mind. I’ll let everyone know through this newsletter when it’s assembled and available. As a possible bonus, we may have a member willing to print out compiled copies for each member who submits a recipe (which I’d then get to you via your pickup site). Well... are you motivated now??

Kids Corner
If you haven’t heard about this already, this is a must see for all ages – a wonderfully funny adaptation of Star Wars called “Store Wars” depicting the conflict between corporate industrial food (the dark side of the farm) vs. organic food (the emerging rebellion to save the farm). You can watch it online at www.storewars.org/flash/index.html. Find out who will save Princess Lettuce and "may the farm be with you always." [Farmer Tom says, “Can I change my name now to ‘Tom Dirtwalker?’ Or perhaps ‘Tom Farmwalker’ would sound even more empowering.”] 

Farmer Tom's Crop Notes
Every year I write about one of my favorite crops: potatoes. These are excerpts from past newsletters. The sight of a lush, green, potato field dotted with white and purple flowers, to me, is one of the highlights of the season. Slipping your hand under the loose soil and pulling up the first new potatoes is like finding buried treasure. Do you know that the so-called "Irish" potato actually comes from the highlands of Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador, where it has been cultivated for over 5000 years? Potatoes were the staple of the Incas, who grew and ate hundreds of varieties. The Irish were the first to grow the potato extensively since it yielded 4 to 5 times more calories per acre than any of the traditionally grown cereal grains. By changing their diet, it allowed the Irish to survive without having to depend on the English grown grains. In war-torn Europe peasants planted potatoes as a kind of insurance since potatoes could be left in the ground through the winter and dug only as needed for daily consumption. This would allow peasants to survive the raids of soldiers during wartime: soldiers usually could not take the time to dig the field to get their food, and certainly they would not do so if grains were stored in neighboring barns. However in 1845-46, the year of the devastating Irish Potato Famine, late blight (Phytophtora Infestans), a common fungal disease that thrives under cool and wet conditions (i.e. Irish weather) wiped out most of the Irish potato crop. Hundreds of thousands died before public relief could be organized, and scores of thousands who survived emigrated to America. The harsh lesson of this famine was the importance of maintaining a diversified farming system, i.e. don't rely solely on one type of crop (monocropping). Although potatoes grow underground they are not really roots. They are the swollen ends of skinny underground stems called rhizomes. To stimulate their growth, about a quarter to a third of the plant has to be covered with soil, or ‘hilled up’ to stimulate the formation of ‘tubers.’ Today heirloom potatoes are making a comeback, with hundreds of varieties now available in unique shapes/colors, from purple, to knobby fingerlings, to round, red-skinned boilers, to oval, brown-skinned boilers.

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

More wonderful recipes have been pouring in from members! It’s getting so that I don’t hardly have to hunt through my own files for ideas. - Debbie

Member Roxanne Graham says, “I experimented with a gazpacho recipe I got from my favorite restaurant in Chico, The Redwood Forest, in an attempt to use more vegetables from the box. I added carrots, substituted kale for the spinach, and increased the amount of cukes and cauliflower. It was divine! Here’s the recipe...”

Redwood Forest Gazpacho
makes about a half gallon

3-4 cucumbers, peeled
1 medium red onion
1/2 C green or red pepper
2 C cauliflower florets
6 mushrooms
1-2 carrots
1 bunch fresh spinach or kale (I used leaves from half a bunch)
2-4 heaping tbsp. fresh basil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
3/4 tsp. dried or ground thyme
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
6 tbsp. each: olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice
3/4 tsp. Tapatio hot sauce (or similar)
1-2 cans (46 oz. size) 100% tomato juice
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes or equivalent amount of fresh plum tomatoes

Chop vegetables. Pulse in food processor, then remove to a large bowl. Add all seasonings, sauce, and juice. I use one can of juice. Add more if you prefer a thinner soup. Stir well. (Rule of thumb: Let flavors combine at least 3 hours before serving.)

Member Odile Wolf sends a traditional recipe from Provence, France. This is how she makes it at her own home:

Pesto Soup
serves about 8-10 people, can be frozen. This is a full meal.

A big zucchini or a couple small ones
A couple of big carrots (I used a week’s bunch from my box)
Potatoes (again, I used a week’s bag)
Equal weight of green beans, soaked small white beans, and soaked cranberry beans (if you can’t find cranberry beans, improvise with some other beans)
Thyme, salt, pepper

The pesto:
A lot of garlic (I use about 20 cloves)
A big tomato (like an heirloom)
A bunch of basil
Olive oil (good quality) about 1 cup full

Finishing touch:
Big elbow pasta
3 kinds of cheeses shredded (swiss, parmesan, and cheddar)

Cut all the veggies (except tomato) in small cubes/pieces (approx. 1/2 inch). Cook them on medium heat, for a couple of hours with lots of water (it will be used to cook the pasta, so be generous), with the tomato (whole), and the thyme, salt and pepper. [If you want you can freeze or can this soup, but only freeze the veggie base, because the pesto isn’t too good cooked.]

Mash the garlic and the basil together until you obtain a paste. (Traditionally this is done with mortar and pestle, but you can get away with the food processor). Retrieve the tomato from soup base, peel it, remove the core, and mash it into the basil/garlic paste. Add the olive oil (if you have been using a food processor, do not use it then, otherwise you will get a weird mayonnaise mix). Cook the pasta in the soup. Check the salt. Just before serving, add the pesto to the soup. Serve hot and top each bowlful with some of the shredded cheese.

And lastly, a few ideas from member Sumana Reddy:

Sumana on Greens
I make a lot of Indian dishes with greens. Favorites with the kids are often sautéed onions and garlic with cumin seeds, chopped greens and diced tomatoes, then cooked with basmati rice and water to make a pilaf. I also often cook greens with a bit of broccoli and a potato, simmered in stock or water to cover, and spices such as cumin and coriander, then when all is soft, blend and make a thick green puree which we use as a dip for veggies or a spread like hummous. We also use greens and garbanzo beans with tomatoes and ginger, cooked into a stew, and eat this with rice or chaptis/tortillas.

...on Cauliflower
I cut the cauliflower into florets and dice the stems, then microwave them for a few minutes to soften. I sauté them in a little olive oil until cooked to preference, then sprinkle in some salt, pepper and a little turmeric. My children eat a lot of cauliflower prepared simply this way.

...and on Carrots
We dice carrots quite fine and first in a little oil sauté onion and ginger, a little green chile, then the carrots. I also make a sweet my 5 yr old daughter loves: Carrot Halwa. Boil 1C milk, add 2 C finely grated carrot and slowly simmer, stirring in a heavy-bottomed pot. I add 1/4C sugar and 2 tbsp. of butter (preferably ghee) and keep cooking. This is usually made soft, but we like it very chewy so we keep cooking it down. It's faster than I thought it would be the first time I made it, and people tell me you can do this in the microwave but I haven't tried it yet.

*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.