17th Harvest Week July 18th - 24th, 2005
Season 10
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“It is inspiration that leads us to new consciousness which in turn creates opportunities to help us move towards a hopeful and better future.”
- Tom Broz (aka "Farmer Tom")


What’s in the box this week:
(stuff that’s in one size share that’s not in the other is at the top of its respective list so you can easily see the difference. Remember, small shares will generally have smaller quantities of the duplicate items. – Debbie)

Family Share:
Broccolini or spinach
Mustard greens
Green beans
Summer squash

Small Share:
Cooking greens (kale, collards or chard)
Green beans
Summer squash

Extra Fruit Share:
Strawberries, plus some combination of caneberries, stone fruit, and/or melon



July 29, 30, 31
Children's Mini-camp, Friday eve. to noon Sun. (note: we're full up for 2005)

Sat Aug 6
Permaculture workshop #1 - Design methods; ecological observation and site mapping

Sat. Sept. 17 Permaculture workshop #2 - Water mgmt; swale design/construction

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

Sat. Oct 22
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

Sat. Nov 5
Permaculture workshop #3 - Polycultures & agroforestry; food forest design and installation

Over the weekend we went to visit our good friends Jered and Nancy and their 9 month old son Lucas. Three years ago Jered and Nancy plunged into farming on a beautiful piece of land near the coast, north of Santa Cruz. Their farm, Pie Ranch, is surrounded by the wild and pristine beauty of Big Basin State Park. Pie Ranch reflects not only a deep commitment and love for the land and for growing healthy food, but also a vision to inspire "tomorrow’s farmers". As we enjoyed a freshly baked slice of pie in their farmhouse (a large yurt), Jered and Nancy and their partners Karen and Mark (who live in San Francisco and work on the farm on weekends) shared with us their vision. Karen explained that Pie Ranch is a place for "pie in the sky" idealistic thinking to guide social change, such as helping an urban school get local produce for their cafeteria, or a neighborhood to get their "slice of the pie" to ensure their community’s food security. Jered chimes in enthusiastically about how in his experience, creating an environment that offers the pos-sibility of having an enjoyable and thoughtful engagement with good food can bring together individuals, families and institutions – from children to school boards – to create a more healthful and just society. Pie Ranch’s commitment to farm sustainably goes hand-in-hand with their commitment to dedicate the farm to educational programs that inspire youth (mainly urban youth) to transform their relationships to food and beyond that, work with their communities in building a healthier local food system.

As we walk their plots of wheat, and admire how well their inter-planted squash, beans, and corn are doing, I am in awe of the surrounding wilderness. There is no doubt that farming and wilderness are mutually compatible... in fact, intimately connected. Right here in front of us is a new paradigm showing how, in the human economy, the connection between wilderness and the domesticated can be properly maintained. The future of wilderness and farmland conserved side by side will come from model farms like Pie Ranch, which demonstrates first-hand how economically viable agriculture can be compatible with wild Nature. Pie Ranch is an emerging slice of hope, striving in its own way to preserve the natural health and integrity of the world's economic landscapes. Knowing about places like Pie Ranch helps to balance our frustrations with corporations’ globalized greed and their seemingly ever-increasing power through their control of politics and the news media, their dominance of science, and by biotechnology, which they are commercializing with unprecedented haste and aggression in order to totally control the world's land-using economies and food supply. – Tom


[scroll down for recipes/Notes from Debbie's Kitchen]

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
Well, heck, look at this – I’ve got a whole page to myself! I’ve come up with a few new recipes and some miscellaneous cooking pointers, but please don’t stop emailing me with your ideas. - Debbie

Arugula Salad with Blackberry Dressing
by Debbie Palmer

Made this one up just this afternoon for lunch. It just reinforces my belief that ‘fruit-cheese-greens’ almost always is a winning combination for a salad!

Lot of fresh arugula
Slivered fresh onion (I thinly sliced some of the white onions in this week’s box)
Slivered fresh mint leaves (optional)
Small handful of ripe blackberries
Balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
Toasted walnut oil (or any other type of salad oil, if you don’t have this. It was a recent discovery of mine, and I just love it!)
Feta cheese
Toasted walnuts (optional)
Freshly grated black pepper (optional)

In a large bowl (plenty o’ room for tossing!) combine arugula, sliced onion (and mint).

In a small cup, mash the blackberries well with a fork. Add some balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt, and the oil. Whisk together well with your fork, making sure those ber-ries are nicely ‘disintegrated’ in the process.

Toss greens with dressing, divide among salad bowls, and top with crumbled feta and optional toasted walnuts (and black pepper, if you like). Mmm-mmm! If you wanted to, you could even scatter on a few additional whole blackberries, but that’d be up to you!

Ugly Green Beans 2
Many of you may already be familiar with the recipe for ‘crispy green beans’ or ‘ugly green beans,’ where you toss green beans with olive oil, salt, and lots of chopped garlic, and then roast them in a hot oven until they’re brown, wrinkled and ugly (but taste absolutely grand! Like garlicky green french fries!). Well I don’t know about the rest of you, but without air conditioning at home, I’m loath to fire up the oven in this heat, so I pulled out my trusty grill basket (it’s a square perforated iron thing; you’ve proba-bly seen them in cooking stores and such) and did my ‘ugly beans’ on the grill! Just put the prepared beans in the grill pan/basket on a medium grill and then stir/toss every 5 minutes or so until they’re browned to your liking. Sure keeps the kitchen cool!

Speaking of green beans (she says, as she was just preparing a bunch for the grill for tonight’s dinner!), fresh, cold, crisp, raw green beans are a yummatious snack! (I can’t help but snack on them whenever I’m preparing them for cooking, and my hus-band is forever coming into the kitchen to snack on my prepared veggies too.) So why not add them to your kids’ lunches (or your own, for that matter) alongside the carrots?

Speaking of the heat, the grill came in handy tonight for making:
Grilled Cheddar Potatoes
another Debbie original (like it was all that hard!!)

Scrub or otherwise wash the dirt off of a few potatoes (two of us split three fist-sized ones) and pop them into a pot with water to cover, and some salt. (Yeah, okay, I did have to fire up a burner, but it was a far cry from using the oven!) Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are done. Drain, cool ‘til you can handle ‘em, then cut in half. Coat potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (and pepper, if you like), then pop face down onto the grill beside the aforementioned green beans (directly on the grids, not into the grill pan). Grill 3-4 minutes, sufficient to develop those nice grill marks, then turn over for a few more minutes. Now here’s where you could put grated cheddar onto the top of the potatoes on the grill, but then that’d mean losses as the cheese melted and dropped through the grates onto the fire. So to keep as much cheese to myself (and spouse) as possible, I put the grilled potatoes onto our dinner plates then heaped on grated cheddar cheese and popped them into the microwave for less than a minute, just enough to melt it. That way all the left-over melty cheese stayed on the plate and could be mopped up with a bite of potato. Hmmmm.

Summer Squash with your Spaghetti
That’s right, I’m just going down the list, thinking of ways I’d use this week’s veggies (basically a ‘what I’d do’ scenario). So here’s one easy thing I love doing with the tasty summer squash in our boxes: wash, top and tail the squash, slice in half length-wise, then score the surface in a diamond pattern with a sharp knife. Lightly oil the squash halves, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite herb mixture. Then either grill them, or bake or broil them in your toaster oven, then serve them alongside your favorite spaghetti and tomato sauce. Slice off and eat a bite of squash along with a mouthful of pasta, sauce, (and freshly grated parmesan cheese)!

What about those beets?
Plenty of folks still look at beets and wonder what the heck to do with them. I was like that nine years ago, as a fledgling CSA member myself! Fortunately fear is not in my culinary vocabulary – instead there is curiosity and adventure!! Just because I haven’t cooked something before doesn’t hold me back.

So anyway, beets are good both raw and cooked (and don’t forget the greens – they’re good too!).

Raw beet strategies for me generally involve grating them into various and sundry salad affairs. Grated beet pairs nicely with grated carrot, and/or grated apple. I use a peeler and remove the very outer skin, then grate them. Some people like to just grate beets into their tossed salads; I like to mix them with the carrots or apples and dress them with a light, slightly sweet vinaigrette. If you mix ‘em with grated apple, you hardly need to dress them at all actually. If you’re in a hurry, just combine grated beet and apple and you’re done. If you have a bit more time, try combining a little cider vinegar and/or some fresh lemon juice with a dab of honey, a pinch of salt, and (option-ally) a fruity or nutty oil. Toss grated beet/apples (or beet/carrots... or beet/ap-ple/carrots!) with this. Then embellish from there: add paprika to the dressing. Add toasted nuts to the salad. Add some raisins. Serve the salad on a bed of washed butter or red leaf lettuce, or some other bed of salad greens. Top w/crumbled feta or a dab of mayo. You get the picture! The serve-on-lettuce-leaves technique is fun too, ‘cause you can use the leaves as scoops or boats or wraps and pile the grated stuff into the leaf, roll it up and bite into like a burrito.

I won’t talk about cooked beets here (too hot! Plus I’ve talked about this before, check my recipe database), but I will talk about using the leaves. Whenever I get beets in my share, I cut the leaves/stems off into a sink of cold water then swish around to remove any dirt, then pull out and save the good ones (culling out and composting the yel-lowed ones, or any that don’t look appetizing). You can use beet greens much like you would chard or other cooking greens. I like to cook them in boiling salted water for 3 - 5 minutes, then drain and chop them (leaves and stems!) [this is much easier than chopping them before cooking]. Then eat as you would cooked spinach. Simple. And good!

*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.