15th Harvest Week July 4th - 10th 2005
Season 10
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“Perhaps the reason for this love of nonhuman nature is that communion with it restores to us a level of our own human nature at which we are still sane, free from humbug, and untouched by anxieties.”
- Alan Watts


What’s in the Family share:
Green beans
Green onions
Summer squash
Strawberries (2 baskets)

and in the Small share:
Green beans
Green onions
Summer squash
Strawberries (1 basket)

(items in the small share will be less in quantity than in the family share)

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
2 baskets of strawberries plus plums, peaches 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

Happy Fourth of July! As I walked the farm this morning, I wondered what celebrating our independence from British colonialism 229 years ago means as we approach another 4th of July holiday. I am convinced that the Founding Fathers were motivated by the vast, seemingly unlimited richness and awe-inspiring beauty of the wild and untamed countryside. Both fear and fascination are trig-gered when we spend time in the wilderness. I remember some of my greatest experiences (and initiations as a teenager) were the times spent camping and hiking in remote wilderness areas. It was then that I experienced that sense of quiet inside and "bigness" out-side of myself. Conserving natural resources instead of exploiting them offers this country a physically and spiritually better future than the immediate cashing-out of our assets would. Just as it does not seem intelligent to put the California coast at risk for a week’s worth of crude oil, or invade our last wilderness sanctuaries in search of a little gold, silver or oil, so it doesn’t seem intelligent to pave over and poison the land that grows our food. I am alarmed how much our valley, the Pajaro – one of the richest food growing valleys in the country – is threatened more and more by development. Wouldn't it be smart if we as a people wrote declarations of "inter-dependence," where the land, rivers and oceans were protected from exploitation, creating long-lasting bonds of mutual enhancement where humans are functioning members, rather than conquering invaders. As a farmer my treaty with the land is to listen, hear what it says, understand what it can and cannot do and continuously improve my own shortcomings in this mutual dance. – Tom

Field Notes from Farmer Tom
As you can see the strawberries are picking back up again, so small shares are back in the running to receive fruit! The corn is knee high, green beans are starting to mature for the picking, and the first tomatoes are still, or can we say "only," 2 to 3 weeks away. The first melons are sizing up, so all we can do now is wait. The birds ate many of our tender little pumpkin seedlings so this means we'll have to sow again and protect them with row covers until they have grown enough to fend for themselves.

On the list, not in the box?
As you may have guessed by now, farming is not an exact science. And figuring out on a Sunday what will be ready for harvest later in the week can sometimes be a crap shoot. Crops that look like they’ll size up in time sometimes don’t, or the weather changes radically and lettuce bolts. Or radishes that were small and succulent for Tuesday’s harvest are already over-mature by Friday’s harvest for Saturday’s boxes. We do the best we can to plant crops in succession in order to have a steady supply of varied vegetables and fruit, but Mother Nature (and sometimes human nature) decides to do things differently than planned. To compensate for the occasionally unexpected, Tom will sometimes make last-minute substitutions. In other words, if you see something on the list which is not in your box, before you call the farm do a visa-versa check, i.e. look to see if there is not also something in your box which is not on the list! Last week, for example, Tuesday and Wednesday shares got beets because the carrots were not quite big enough, and Saturday shares got cauliflower and green beans instead of arugula and mustard greens, as both of those leafy greens had gotten over-mature by the end of the week. Tom will sometimes mention these last-minute changes on the colored ‘notes’ half-sheet in the front of your checklist, but there are times when he won’t get around to doing that, so you need to be flexible. In the end, he will always do his best to see you all receive a well-rounded seasonal box of produce, even if it ends up being a little different than originally planned.

Monsanto Celebrates Farming (?!?)
I received an alarming email [this is Debbie] from an east coast CSA member that was originally sent to her by people from the Center for Food Safety. Apparently Monsanto and their Big Ag counterparts (National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Grains Council, American Soybean Association, National Cotton Council, and United Soybean Board) are sponsoring a 20-episode series on PBS(!) entitled “America’s Heartland.” If all goes according to Monsanto’s plan, these episodes will be broadcast weekly on 300 stations across the country and will no doubt extol the virtue of Monsanto’s preferred farming practices and products. According to Monsanto’s own promo, “America’s Heartland ... will celebrate our nation’s agriculture. Profiling the people, places, and processes of today’s agribusiness [my emphasis], the series will tap in to—and strengthen—the ties that bind us all together: the love of our land and the respect for the people who live on and from it, a national fascination with food, curiosity about unfamiliar places and ways of life, and the bedrock American values of family, hard work and the spirit of independence.” Respect my arse!! This from a company that is regularly suing small American ‘heartland’ farmers for patent infringement (when Round-Up Ready seed genetics are found on a farmer’s land even though they did not put them there – see documentary: ‘The Future of Food’ www.futureoffood.com), and in lieu of putting them out of business, having them sign non-disclosure documents so that they cannot talk with the public about what was done to them. The Center for Food Safety is putting together a sign-on letter requesting that, at the very least, PBS pulls from the series any segment that discusses genetically engineered food without also discussing in equal terms the many concerns the scientific, environmental and public health communities have about this technology. This is particularly disturbing since Monsanto owns the technology used in over 90 percent of all genetically engineered crops that are grown in the U.S., which, in turn, produce 55 percent of Monsanto’s revenue. The stakes for Monsanto in successfully promoting this new technology are extremely high, and the company has shown that it will go to great lengths to promote and sell its products. Please contact Craig Culp cculp@icta.org or Ellen Kittredge ellen@icta.org to find out about the sign-on letter, or call them at (202) 547-9359.

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
This week an extemporaneous ‘what I’d do’ contribution – Farrell didn’t have this week’s veggie list, but many are similar from week to week so I thought it would still be appropriate. – Debbie

What I'd do with this week's box
by member Farrell Podgorsek of San Jose

Here’s how I used my share in the last week or so. I had some leftover items from the previous week, and I split my share with another family so I may not have some items.

We have a salad of some sort almost every night. Lettuce, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, grated raw beets and celery all can go in. I try to wash the lettuce when I come home from the market. I wrap it in paper towels or a clean tea towel and place it in one of my refrigerator vegetable bins that I line with the plastic bags the farm produce comes in. I use another plastic bag to line my other produce bin. The vegetables stay nice and fresh for a much longer time. When we run out of lettuce, or for a change, I chop the vegetables and make a chopped salad. I like to add some herbs or parsley to this. For a before dinner snack, cucumbers are sliced and served with hummus. Dinner one night was Chinese Chicken Salad, using lettuce and celery. The wonderful Morris Grassfed Beef was on the menu twice last week. Braised Eye of Round was made into sandwiches with sautéed onions, accompanied by Kale, blanched for a few minutes and then sautéed with garlic, ginger and finished with some soy sauce. Also served on the side were potatoes, cubed and roasted with chopped garlic. Hamburgers another night were served with potato wedges steamed, and then finished on the BBQ. Zucchini was also sliced into wedges and BBQ'd. Broccoli was steamed and then dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette. For lunch one day I made a tasty bulgur salad. The bulgur was cooked with chopped onion, green garlic, leftover sautéed kale. The bulgur was cooled and then I stirred in some of the lemon basil. With dinner one night we also had Smashed Potatoes - cube the potatoes, boil with a few garlic cloves, smash in the pot until they are chunky, and stir in pesto made with the basil and garlic. YUM. Another night’s pasta dinner was enhanced with zucchini sautéed and added to a seafood marinara sauce.

Berries are usually enjoyed on morning cereal or yogurt.

We love to use dill. I add it to potato salads. It is also wonderful with cucumber salad.

Asian Cucumber Salad. Slice cucumbers. Lightly salt and drain in a colander. Stir in rice vinegar and mirin to taste. Top with sesame seeds. [note from Debbie: I recently found a neat product by Eden Organic: a “Seaweed Gomasio” which is sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt in a shaker you can use like salt. This would be a fun substitution for plain sesame seeds in Farrell’s salad.]

Cucumbers are also wonderful in a cool salad with rice or champagne vinegar and chopped mint.

Ken Podgorsek’s Potato Salad (created by my husband, Ken)

Potatoes - approx 1 lb.
Basil, marjoram, dill or any herb of choice
Garlic - 2 cloves
salt & pepper
cider vinegar, 2 to 3 tbsp.
1/2 an onion, chopped
Mayonnaise - about 1/4 C

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Cool until you can handle them, Slice. Add vinegar, herbs, garlic, onion, salt & pepper. Refrigerate until cool. Add mayonnaise. Let sit for 1/2 hour to meld flavors. This is more tart than creamy. I use just enough light mayonnaise to give it a hint of creaminess.

*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.