22nd Harvest Week August 22nd - 28th 2005
Season 10
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“We can have the food system we want if we vote with our feet and our food dollars.”
- Michael Sligh, from "Fatal Harvest -The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture"


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:
Lettuce and/or bag of salad greens
Bag of arugula
Green beans
Mixed bag of tomatoes

Small Share:
Cherry tomatoes
Bag of arugula
Green beans
Mixed bag of tomatoes

Extra Fruit Option:
Strawberries, plus raspberries or apples or melons (depending on your pick-up site)



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

A Time for Change and New Opportunities. The time has come for the farm to pursue a more sustainable energy oriented operation. When I filled the tank of our diesel powered delivery truck last week I cringed; it was over $75 for just under 25 gallons. With the high fuel prices, especially diesel, alternative fuels such as biodiesel and vegetable oils are starting to look attractive. Since I don’t expect the cost of fuel to go down anytime soon (if at all), I am determined to gradually convert our diesel powered engines in our trucks and tractors to renewable fuel sources. Looking at energy efficiency at all levels of our operation will influence and most likely change many of our current practices, including the sources as well as the type of farm supplies we depend on annually. We have to increase the efficiency of our tillage, cultivation, and irrigation practices, as well as current methods of storage, packing and transportation. Our energy costs have tripled over the last couple years, challenging us to rethink everything we do, not just in terms of biological sustainability but energy self sufficiency as well. Although these changes won't be easy given our current dependence on conventional energy supplies, it will give us an opportunity to creatively explore new and more sustainable models of growing food. In today's world we seem to be faced with diverse and rapidly changing realities both at a local and global level. As a farmer I am convinced that the public is increasingly becoming disenchanted with large-scale industrial agriculture, and that local food systems will once again play an important role. For small scale farming operations, this translates into increased and new market opportunities.

This trend is already noticeable in the rapid growth of farmers markets, increased interest in Community Supported Agriculture programs, as well as more retail stores and restaurants promoting organic and locally grown produce. For the last 10,000 years agriculture has been local, and always played an important role in the health or downfall of human civilizations depending on the sustainability of their food supply. Corporate Agribusiness, which has only been around for about the last 50 years, has been operating on the notion that agriculture is global and that the technologies of agriculture can be applied universally anywhere on the planet. It has also assumed that our food system is global, and that strategies for feeding the world can be homogenized. But now with our increasingly overburdened ecosystems, whether by pollution or by the over-exploitation of natural resources, we are more aware and better informed as a global community that our local and regional farming systems are unique, precious and essential for our communities' well being. To a large extent this awareness has increased due to the explosive developments in information technology, allowing local communities to be connected and share their environmental, social, political, and economic struggles and solutions.

In a book titled "Fatal Harvest - The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture," Robert Manning (author of "Food's Frontier: The Next Green Revolution") is quoted as recognizing the complexity and diversity of a new emerging agriculture: "Solutions will vary with location. One size will not fit all ... and cultural practices will become increasingly important. Local information will drive the process. Farming will become more attentive to its broader environmental context, not only by degrading it less, but by tapping natural forces for assistance. ... Information and knowledge will no longer flow from top to bottom but will originate in and reverberate through every part of the system. The mistake of large scale monocropping systems and the philosophy of the current agriculture industry is that it tries to simplify agriculture that by its very nature is complex.” – Tom

Field Notes from Farmer Tom
Before school starts up again I will be taking a small vacation, joining my wife Constance and kids who are already in France with her family. So by the time you read this newsletter I will be gone (but only for a week), but I will be leaving the farm in the attentive and caring hands of Juan and his family, and of course Debbie, Amy, and Joe.

The tomatoes in your shares will be a mixture of different varieties, including dry-farmed Early Girls, Roma paste tomatoes, some heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Next week we'll have more sweet corn again, and most likely our first pears will be appearing in the extra fruit share. In the field we are planting and preparing for the fall and winter crops, and hoping for less fog and more sunshine

(scroll down for recipes)

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

Oh I had such a marvelous vacation! Spent a week in a small town on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. It is an incredibly beautiful, rugged and wild part of the world, and I’d go back in a heartbeat. But I understand that while I was away Tom didn’t put any recipes in the newsletters, so I guess I better get back to work! I’ll start with some recipes submitted by longtime member Farrell Podgorsek. - Debbie

Grilled New Potato Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Beans and Basil
from Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville
serves 4

2 lbs. small new potatoes
light olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 lb. fresh summer beans, any color/type
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1 handful salad greens (optional)
Basil-Garlic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Champagne vinegar
12 Niçoise or Gaeta olives

Toss the potatoes with a little olive oil, salt & pepper. Cover and roast at 400 degrees until tender, about 35 minutes. Cool. Cut into halves or quarters if large, then slide onto skewers for grilling. While potatoes roast, remove stem ends and cut beans in half and blanch in boiling salted water just until tender, about 3 minutes. Cool under cold water and drain. Cut the tomatoes in half or leave whole if small. Make vinaigrette. Grill potatoes until they're golden and crisp and grill marks appear. Slide off skewers and toss with beans, tomatoes and vinaigrette. Adjust seasoning, if needed, with vinegar, salt and pepper. Serve on top of greens and garnish with olives.

Basil-Garlic Vinaigrette
2 tbsp. champagne vinegar
6 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped.

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth.

Bulghur Pilaf with Basil
by Farrel Podgorsek

Sauté finely chopped green garlic and leeks. Add some orzo pasta or any other shape, or spaghetti broken into small pieces and sauté until brown. Add 2 cups stock or water and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup bulgur and salt to taste, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes. Add in 2 tbsp. finely sliced or chopped basil and 1 tsp. minced garlic.

Here is an amazing-sounding savory ‘cake’ sent to me by member Odile Wolf. I can’t wait to try it with this week’s box ingredients. Odile says, “Usually, in France, such cakes are eaten either warm or cold as an appetizer. My husband and I ate it warm with butter. It was yummy.” Both Odile and I worked on the metric-to-english measurement conversions (the original recipe was in metric). Since she has already made this, I trust her conversions. - Debbie

[update 9/5/05: Okay, I tried making this, and would change some quantities. Actually it came out just fine; it was very cake-like in texture, but I think I'd like it better if it were a little denser-moister. Suggested changes are in color, below, of how I'll probably make it next time.]

Savory leek and pine nut cake (click here for picture)
400 g leeks (6-7 big leeks)
150 g (~ 6 oz.) Roquefort or some kind of strong blue cheese
6 eggs
parsley (quite a bit) [about 1/2 C chopped]
salt and pepper [I didn't put in enough salt. I'd use probably 1 tsp. next time]
about ¼ tsp. nutmeg
40 g (~ ¼ C) pine nuts [about 1/2 C, and toast 'em!]
5 tsp. of baking powder [see flour, below]
1/2 liter (~ 2 C) of milk
500 g flour (~ 5 C) [I'd do 3 to 4C flour, w/1tsp. baking powder per C of flour]

80 g (~ 3 oz. or 2/3 to ¾ C) shredded Swiss cheese
Butter for greasing cake pan
[I think you could add more of either cheese and it wouldn't hurt either]

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour a cake mold (bundt or similar pan). Wash leeks well to remove any dirt from between layers, then cut into small pieces (use white and light green parts of stalk, not dark green leaves). In a pan over low heat, sauté the leeks in some butter until soft and you can cut through them easily with a knife. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, parsley, Roquefort, milk and salt (careful with the salt, as Roquefort is already salted). Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the egg/Roquefort/milk mixture and mix very well. Stir in sautéed leeks, pine nuts, nut-meg, pepper and Swiss cheese. Pour batter into prepared cake mold and bake for 35 to 45 minutes* or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. *when I did it with the 5 C flour combo, it was done in less than 40 minutes, so definitely time it for the shorter time and then check it. This is better than over-baking it!

And here is an unusual ‘radish dressing’ recipe given me by member Linda Caplinger 2 years ago! (found it in my files).

Radish Dressing
from Bon Appetit 1995

5 radishes, trimmed, coarsely chopped
½ C olive oil
2 tbsp. sherry wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey mustard (or make your own with 1/2 tbsp. honey, ½ tbsp. mustard)
½ tsp. minced garlic

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until thick dressing forms. Sea-son with salt and pepper. [Original recipe dressed a green bean/red onion salad. I’d try it on any salad greens! – Debbie]

*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.