grower of trees, the gardener, the man born to farming, whose hands reach
into the ground and sprout, to him the soil is a divine drug..."
- Wendell Berry, from 'Praise of Fertile Land'
Whats in the Family share:
Red Russian kale
Stir-fry mix (Asian and mustard greens combined)
and in the Small share:
Stir-fry mix (Asian and mustard greens combined)
(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
With the increased number
of delivery sites and expanded membership we had an exciting start last
week! Rain greeted us both Monday and Tuesday, keeping the strawberry
harvest small, but the greens loved it, staying vibrant and fresh. The
forecast predicts more unsettled weather over the next few weeks, making
it very challenging to stay on top of our planting schedule (see below).
For the next few weeks we are working closely with other local farmers
and for the time being will be supplementing your shares with some of
their organic veggies, to be sure everyone gets a good box.
Debbie did an extraordinary job keeping delivery and pick up snafus to
a minimum, I delivered to the wrong house in Morgan Hill, and some members
showed great signs of patience and perseverance to locate their shares...
still, we are off to a wonderful start! To help keep things running smoothly,
we make an extra effort to get pertinent information (about your shares
and CSA program) to you via e-mail, this newsletter, and via instructions
provided in the binders at your weekly pick-up site. Please read the information
we send you!
Sometimes, with our oh-so-busy lives, it may seem that CSA is 'just a
weekly box of veggies,' but really it is much more. I hope that many of
you will have a chance to visit 'your' farm sometime during the season
for our celebrations, mini camp, or U-pick days. And I hope, too, that
this newsletter will help you to establish a closer connection to the
farm, the food we grow, and the land that nourishes all of us. This is
our goal. Tom
Up on the Farm and in the Fields
love the vibrant green colors this time of year. The rain is a blessing
for the land and watershed, however as a farmer (and like most of my fellow
farmers in the Western United States) I have a mixed relationship with
the rain gods. We are used to growing most of our crops during the dry
season, relying on elaborate and controlled irrigation systems to grow
them. The earlier the rains stop, the sooner we can till the soil and
plant our crops. With the late and fairly frequent rains we've been having,
we are behind schedule with our early plantings. Sometimes we even plant
tomatoes by the first week of April. Our farm has mostly heavier clay
soils which drain slower than the deep alluvial and loamy soils in the
valley below, so if it's too wet we just have to wait. One thing I have
discovered over the years is that when spring rainfall patterns are unpredictable,
it is best to leave cover crops in the ground to speed the drying of our
soils. Cover crops, which stand 5 to 6 feet tall, are not only great soil
builders, offering valuable nutrients and organic matter, but right now
they also have the capacity to pull large quantities of moisture out of
the ground by a process known as evapotranspiration. Thanks to our jungle
of cover crops that has been pulling excess moisture out of the ground
since last week's rain, we were able to work all weekend to prepare enough
land to plant potatoes, cauliflower, bok choi, fennel, lettuce, and broccoli.
The cover crops have also turned into a favorite playground for my son,
where together with his friends they spend hours wielding stick swords,
slashing secret passageways through a thick jungle of fava beans, vetch,
are a few things which are new this year over last year, so even if you
are a veteran CSA member, please read:
First, we are using perforated plastic liners in the boxes. This not only
helps keep the produce fresher longer (as it sits at your pick-up site
waiting for you to come get it), but also, feel free to use it as your
'bag' to carry the produce home in. Although we ask you to not take the
box with you, we encourage you to take the bag/liner. We don't need it
Second, visually there is not a huge difference between the boxes we pack
the family and small shares in. The small share now uses the box we used
to pack our standard shares in, and I think this has caused some confusion.
But since we couldn't find a suitable smaller box (the next smaller size
was too tiny, and we don't want to cram the produce in), we felt it better
to err on the generous side, and make sure the produce in both shares
had plenty of head room. Both boxes have the same 'footprint,' but the
family share box is taller -- about 11" high; the small share box
is about 8" high.
Third, the new family share boxes fold differently than the small share
boxes. The family box you simply turn over and push in the bottom and
it unlocks. The small share box you turn over and squeeze the flaps along
the short sides to unlock. See diagram on checklist cover sheet.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
Thank you to all who answered the call to contribute to this
weekly recipe section. Im keeping a list and will be contacting
each of you as the weeks progress. This week we have our first eager and
enthusiastic contributor, P.K. OMeagher. She gets a small share,
and so configured her contribution accord-ingly. Ill add a few recipes
for family share items she didnt cover. - Debbie
What I'd do with this week's
by member PK O'Meagher of Aptos
Mmmm, the small
share is looking good this week! While I agree with processing the lettuces
when you open the box ( i.e. rinsing, washing, drying, spinning, storing
in paper towels in plastic bags, etc.), I usually don't process my other
veggies until usage. I think it keeps 'em fresher!
The chard is always a wonderful item. I first came across chard in the
open air marche/market in Morocco. My English friend, Jan, taught me how
to prepare chard. Strip the leaves from the stems and chop the stems,
then stir/steam stems in a little olive oil. This softens them, and you
can either remove them from the pan or add the leaves which you have chiffonaded.
Tossing in a little of the fresh green garlic always pumps the taste up!
Dont cook them too long, as the crunch adds to the taste delight.
The carrots that we get with our shares usually come with the tops attached,
which I really appreciate. Ive heard the theory about removing the
tops to make the carrots last longer, but fresh carrots in our house dont
usually have a chance to wilt. My family seems to have a Bugs Bunny complex
they love eating the carrots with the green part dangling
so I'll just scrub them to get soil off (there's a lot of vitamin content
in the skin) and serve 'em right alongside the salads as part of the plate
The broccoli gets served raw also. I'll provide a fresh vinaigrette (lemon
juice, olive oil, minced green garlic ends, salt and pepper) in individual
ramekins, so as to facilitate dipping. Our vegetables are so fresh from
the field - so crisp, crunchy and delectable I often don't even
The strawberries that come from our area (another definite blessing from
these parts) don't usually make it past two days. That's because they
are gone! I'll rinse and stem them, and sprinkle a little amaretto liqueur
on them, serve 'em in an old fashioned ice cream dish with a spring of
fresh mint. Makes a delightful end to the meal.
Purée of Carrots & Apple with Mint
from "Recipes from the great chefs of Santa Cruz County"
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 1/2 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 lbs. of potato, peeled and diced
1 qt. chicken stock
1/2 C half and half
1/2 C heavy cream
1 tbsp. brown sugar
fresh minced mint for garnish
Combine first 8 ingredients and simmer till tender. Purée in blender
until smooth. Add half and half, cream and brown sugar, simmer to incorporate.
Thin down with more stock if necessary. Garnish with mint.
Orange Ginger Beets on Wilted Stir-fry mix* salad
made this one up last week! - Debbie
mix this week is a lot of mizuna and tatsoi with a variety of mustard
greens mixed in. The greens are fairly delicate, so hence the need to
only barely cook!
Roast beets, cool, peel and dice (to roast, rub with a little olive oil
and wrap in foil, or place in a pan with a little water and cover with
foil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes [more for larger beets],
until they pierce easily with a sharp knife). Have your mound of stir-fry
mix washed and ready, as the wilt process is very quick. Place
diced beets in a saucepan or small skillet with a little butter, orange
juice, honey, pinch of salt, and grated fresh ginger (or use some dried
ground if you dont have fresh). Over medium heat, simmer until thickened
and syrupy. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. In a wok-type skillet,
heat some olive oil, toss in greens and a splash of water; toss/stir til
just barely wilted, dress with a little champagne (or rice) vinegar. Mound
wilted greens on a plate and top with warm syrupy diced beets (and optional
slivered bits of jicama or maybe toasted nuts!).
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.