31st Harvest Week October 24th - 30th 2005
Season 10
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“The future depends on reconnecting with the natural world: knowing our food, regenerating our land, and strengthening our communities. We cannot isolate one aspect of our life from another.”
– Wendell Berry


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 re-spective list so you can eas-ily see the difference. Remember, small shares will generally have smaller quan-tities of the duplicate items. – Debbie)

Family Share:
Jerusalem artichokes
Summer squash
Asian cooking greens
Bag of small brussel sprouts
Chinese cabbage
Green beans
Baby lettuce (bagged)
Green onions (scallions)
Bag of peppers and/or eggplants

Small Share:
Asian cooking greens
Bag of small brussel sprouts
Chinese cabbage
Green beans
Baby lettuce (bagged)
Green onions (scallions)
Bag of peppers and/or eggplants

Extra Fruit Option:
Apples, pears (last ones of the season), and strawberries



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

On Saturday we enjoyed a beautiful Pumpkin Picking Day, and Wendell Berry's words of wisdom came alive throughout the day as many came to the farm, exploring and experiencing the land with its many nourishing gifts. Juan was already on the tractor at 7am preparing the soil between the swales on the hillside behind the house to be sown with cover crop seeds. We will grow perennial alfalfa for forage on one section, and the rest will be sown with fava beans, vetch, peas, rye and oats. This almost 2-acre hillside has been the focus of a lot of work this season. We dug a 1000-foot swale system which gently snakes along the hillside's contour lines. Swales are a common design feature in permaculture where the objective is to improve and regenerate the land by capturing water during the rainy season, reducing run-off and erosion, and creating a more diversified and permanent cropping system. We intend to start planting citrus, guavas, grapes, and kiwis as well as a variety of different herbs and beneficial insect-drawing plants. If you are interested in learning more about permaculture design for your own landscape we offer workshops throughout the year, and you can find them listed on our website. The last workshop for this year will be Saturday Nov. 5th.

Now it's 9am, I am feeding my daughter Elisa her second breakfast, and the first members poke their head through the kitchen door eager to pick up pumpkins and explore the farm. Soon more cars start arriving, the sun is starting to break through the fog, and I make sure the cider press is all set to go. It doesn't take long and the first apples are being ground and pressed into refreshing sweet cider. With Steve Volk at the helm of the operation, the cider just keeps flowing as fast as it is being consumed. I don't think the cider press ever stopped until most people had left and the early evening fog chilled the air; who knows, maybe hot cider might have enticed some to press more. I estimate we processed between 800-1000 lbs. of apples! The new chicken coop, and of course the cute fluffy two-week-old chicks were a big hit. When I went to check on the chickens with Elisa, some kids were crawling in and out of the coop excited to find freshly laid eggs, whereas others were content just cuddling the little chicks. Enough basil, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants were still left in the field to fill everyone's basket as they toured the farm. A small patch of yellow raspberries was soon picked clean once our young hunters and gatherers had discovered it.

There are still enough pumpkins left for anyone who would like to pick theirs up during the week. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet so many of you during our annual events and I hope you don't hesitate to visit and bring the kids to the farm outside of the regularly scheduled events. The above words by Wendell Berry come alive when I see so many people integrate the farm as a place to reconnect with nature, discovering where their food comes from, and most importantly sharing this experience together as a community. BOOOOOOOOOOO... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! – Tom

Field Notes from Farmer Tom
New in your share this week is the Chinese cabbage. This is delicious in stir-fries, or lightly steamed with other veggies. If you like it spicy, you can be adventurous and use some of the hot peppers still stored in your fridge and make Kimchee. The family shares are getting the more exotic Jerusalem artichokes. No idea where the name comes from, but I encourage you to use them soon, steamed or boiled, since they were harvested a few weeks too late and some of the tubers are a bit soft. Next week I expect to harvest broccoli raab (sometimes called rapini) and snow peas, as well as hopefully some more Chinese cabbage. The week after that expect the first winter squash. In the extra-fruit shares, this will be the last week we offer pears, but apples will continue, and sun-dried tomatoes and pineapple guavas will round out the rest of the season.

Early Register, get a discount, and lock in your 'extra fruit'!
Just a reminder if you missed last week’s newsletter: we’re now taking early registrations for next season. The ‘extra fruit’ option will be guaranteed to the 1st 350 members who sign up for it (we sold out of it in May this year), so if you want an ‘extra fruit’ option next year, I recommend early registering. And whether you want that extra fruit or not, our discount is another good reason to early regis-ter. Sign up early (before the end of January) and save $1/week off the cost of your share. Want to do it? Just go to our website and click on ‘Early Registration for 2006’ in the left-hand sidebar and follow the instructions. Don’t have internet access? Then call me on the farm on a Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ll get you set up! - Debbie

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
I know only the family shares will be get-ting the Jerusalem artichokes, but they’re so weird and unfamiliar to most folks I thought I’d pass along what I’ve learned so you’ll try ‘em instead of just look at them askance, scratch your head and then pitch ‘em into the compost. And thanks to Tom’s mention of it, I remembered that I sought out a recipe for kimchee last year when we received Chinese cabbage in our shares, but then we didn’t get it again... until now! I’ve always wanted to try to make kimchee, so I can’t wait to try it myself. (I’ll report back if I do.) – Debbie

Simply Cooked Jerusalem Artichokes
from Debbie’s kitchen

When I was out at the farm last week, Tom had harvested some of these babies and suggested I take a few home to experiment with so I could write about them for you. He also gave me a clue as to what not to do (he’d overcooked ‘em, so I asked him how long he cooked them for so I could have a better idea where to start when cooking them myself). Here’s what I did, learned and liked. Once again, simplicity reigns. Rather than try to find some recipe that combined ‘em up with a bunch of other things, I wanted to cook them as simply as possible, so that I could experience their actual flavor, unadulterated. And you know what? They have a marvelous taste. Faintly sweet, and just a tich artichokey; if you’ve ever eaten plantains, you know how they are faintly reminiscent of banana? A starchy banana? Well to my taste, Jerusalem artichokes are to regular artichokes (flavor-wise) about like plantains are to bananas. I know, I know – get to the cooking part! Okay: first, break apart the tuberous roots as necessary, i.e. if they are too tight to-gether to scrub the dirt out of the interstices (they look kind of like pygmy ginger root, all knobby and thin-skinned). Cut off any shriveled or funky parts and scrub off all dirt. No need to peel them. Meanwhile, put a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. When it’s boiling, add the cleaned knobs and boil for 10 minutes then drain and serve. Because of that tangentially artichokey flavor, I find they taste great with just a bit of butter and salt. Serve ‘em just like you would a side of potatoes. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

One more thing: Tom says he harvested them a bit late, so they are a bit softer than (I think) they would normally be. So it is possible that, in the future if we get them and they’re firm and crisp, they may take a minute or two more to cook. No biggie; just like potatoes or carrots, test ‘em by poking with a sharp knife. If it pierces easily, they’re done. If it only goes in partway then meets resistance, they may need a little more time.

Kimchi (or Kimchee)
from Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling
Makes 1 ½ quarts

“The favorite kimchi vegetable is Chinese (or Napa) cabbage. The Koreans ferment it in enormous quantities. They then pack the kimchi into huge earthenware jars, bury the jars in the ground up to the neck, and cover the lids with straw until the kimchi is needed. Kimchi almost always includes hot pepper, usually dried and either ground or crushed into flakes. Because the ground dried hot pepper sold in Korean markets is generally fairly mild, Koreans can use gen-erous quantities. Some of the Mexican (and New Mexican) ground peppers now sold in supermarkets are comparable. If you can't find ground pepper with a moderate heat level, you might combine sweet paprika and cayenne to suit your taste.” [Or, as Tom suggested, chop up some of those fresh serrano hot peppers we got a few weeks ago and use them! – Debbie]

3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pickling salt
6 C water
2 lbs. [one nice big head of] Chinese (Napa) cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares
6 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then slivered
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. Korean ground dried hot pepper (or other mildly hot ground red pepper)
[or a few tbsp. finely minced up serrano chili peppers, with or without seeds]

1. Dissolve the 3 tablespoons salt in the water. Put the cabbage into a large bowl, a crock, or a non-reactive pot, and pour the brine over it. Weight the cabbage down with a plate and let stand for 12 hours.

2. Drain the cabbage, reserving the brine. Mix cabbage with the remaining ingredients, including the 1 tsp. salt. Pack the mixture into a 2-quart jar. Pour enough of the reserved brine over the cabbage to cover it. Push a freezer bag into the mouth of the jar, and pour the remaining brine into the bag. Seal the bag. Let the kimchi ferment in a cool place, at a temperature no higher than 68° F for 3 to 6 days, until the kimchi is as sour as you like.

3. Remove the brine bag and cap the jar tightly. Store the kimchi in the refrigerator, where it will keep for months

[Note from Debbie: there are tons of variations to Korean kimchi so this particular recipe is by no means gospel, it just sounded like a good place to start!]

Tomato-garlic Beet Greens
a quickie from Debbie’s kitchen

Pre-cook beet greens in boiling salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and chop. Siz-zle some garlic in hot oil in a skillet or wok; add beet greens and some canned chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen) and heat through. Serve over cooked lentils and rice (If you use a rice cooker, drain a can of lentils and add on top of rice for last 5 min. of cooking time and they’ll heat while the rice finishes cooking. When done, stir lentils in).

*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.