32nd Harvest Week Oct. 31st - Nov. 6th 2005
Season 10
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“... mankind and the planet are still better served by a social model constructed from the fabric of small independent farms, businesses, and communities interwoven into a social blanket of magnificent diversity and great natural strength.”
- L.R. Miller, from ‘Buying and Setting up your Small Farm or Ranch’


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. Re-member, small shares will generally have smaller quantities of the duplicate items. – Debbie)

Family Share:
Snow peas
Summer squash
Chinese cabbage (small)
Collard greens
Green beans
Mustard greens (red/green mix)
Peppers or eggplant
Mystery item (farm choice)

Small Share:
Chinese cabbage (small)
Collard greens
Green beans
Mustard greens (red/green mix)
Peppers or eggplant
Mystery item (farm choice)

Extra Fruit Option:
Strawberries, apples and sun-dried tomatoes



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

I love this time of year. The earth is ready to rest and so are we, here on the farm. I was sharing this sentiment with the 3rd graders who were visiting the farm last Thursday, and explaining how farm life is influenced by the lifecycles of the crops we grow and the seasonal rhythm they follow. Seeds become my favorite subject of exploration. The dead pumpkin vines on the ground are still connected to their vibrant orange fruit. Together we slice through their thick skin and admire the abundant treasure of shiny, slimy seeds inside this wonderful rich orange protective container. Although we may take the planting and growing of seeds for granted, they remind me that we work at the edge of a mystery of which we are all a part. Your box of produce is a weekly reminder of the lifecycle of a seed, along with its fragility, resilience and nourishing dependability. As we approach the end of the season, we are asking for your continued commitment to partake in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program next year; I compare this commitment to a seed which we can save during the dormant and slower winter months ahead, as a guarantee of continuity, to share another cycle of abundance and nourishment with all of you next year.

In December I have been invited to participate in an international conference focused on the growing importance of CSAs. I am excited about sharing the steadily increasing commitment and support our farm has experienced with a growing number of other local farms in our community. The ‘seeds’ are spreading around the world that we are better served by a diverse fabric of local, sustainable farms than we are by large scale corporate food systems. I believe that as these ‘seeds’ start sprouting, more and more people are going to have the choice to support food systems that aim to be ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable. I am grateful for your commitment to Live Earth Farm’s CSA, as well as for the opportunity to share my experience with others in the local as well as international farming community.

At one point as the children filled their baskets with peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes during last week’s farm tour, I asked them to leave their harvest adventure for a moment and come sit around me so that I could share a secret with them. A bit reluctantly they left the field, and only when I pulled out my pocket knife did I get some of the boys' attention. I sliced through a large purple eggplant, a ripe paste tomato, and a shiny red apple pepper. When I extracted the seeds from all three fruits and laid them out on my hand and asked why they thought the seeds looked so similar, it didn't take long for the answer. "They are related," one of the boys said. “That's right, they are family,” I confirmed, and with that secret revealed, we easily identified the wonderful relationships of other vegetables and beyond, including the soil, the animals, the air, the sun, the water and ourselves. Suddenly their harvest baskets were not just food but a universe of interrelationships, and with that we set off to bake pizzas and press apples into cider. As we continue our journey of understanding our relationship with nature, we must abandon the idea of superiority over the natural world. We are not the masters of creation; we are all interrelated as an expression of LIFE. If we could see that simple truth, which at times is not easy to realize, we would see that everything we do to other life forms we also do to ourselves. – Tom

Field (and Share) Notes from Farmer Tom
The ‘mystery items’ in your box this week are a result of a mix of different crops which, although we have plenty of, we don’t quite have enough to put the same thing into everybody's share. So you may see anything from paste tomatoes to broccoli to cauliflower, or perhaps even more Jerusalem artichokes. The sundried tomatoes in the fruit share are from both our Early Girl and Italian paste toma-toes, and are dried right here on the farm in our own solar dryer. The Warren pears are finished now, but the tomatoes are holding out (we hope), even though last week’s bit of rain may reduce their harvestable quantity. We have purchased 100 guava plants and 80 concord grape plants that we want to get into the ground before the winter rains; we hope to plant them on the swales along the hill behind our house. The Chinese cabbages are a little small, but still nice to stir-fry. Next week we will start loading you up with winter squash (hooray! sez Debbie). They keep well, so you can store them until Thanksgiving dinner or longer, for use during the colder winter days. And if you would still like to get a pumpkin for cooking, baking, or carving, we still have plenty to choose from here on the farm.

Last call of the season for Billy Bob's organic apple juice
We still have lots of cases of Billy Bob’s organic apple juice available for purchase! We sell it by the case (one case = eight 48 oz. bottles of delicious juice), and one case is $24 ($3/bottle). The juice stores for a long time as long as the jars are unopened, so it is safe to ‘stockpile’ (but do refrigerate after opening). Please place your orders for apple juice before the season is over so that we can de-liver them to you with your share. Just mail a check to our PO box for $24 per case (please write ‘apple juice’ in the memo field, and make sure the member’s name is somewhere on the check), then call the farm (831) 763-2448 and leave Debbie a message. She’ll confirm your order and arrange to have it sent to your pick-up site the following week (or at the earliest opportunity).

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
Member Hiromi Gryzmala of Willow Glen emailed me with some other wonderful ideas for that Chinese cabbage. Hiromi calls it ‘Hakusai’ in Japanese. And for anyone new to collard greens, I’ll pass along a little about them too. – Debbie

Hiromi's Hasukai and Meatball Soup
Hakusai (Chinese or Napa cabbage), cut into 2/3-inch-wide slices crosswise (cut the thick white parts separately from the green leafy parts. You add the leafy parts toward the end of cooking to prevent them from being overdone).
1 medium onion (sliced)
Chicken broth
Minced garlic or ginger for kick (optional)
1 small carrot, thinly sliced (optional, but nice for color)
Uncooked meatballs* (I use a chicken-tofu combination. Just work drained, smashed tofu into a meatball mixture made of ground chicken and sautéed minced onions, plus you can add the sliced green parts of green onions or leeks, shredded carrots, parsley, Chinese chives, etc. Form into small meatballs.)
Soy sauce or lemon slices for taste (add whichever you like toward the end of cooking. Do not leave lemon slices in too long, to avoid bitterness.)

Add oil to a soup pot and sauté the sliced onion for a few minutes. Add the hakusai (thick white parts only) and carrot (and garlic and ginger) if using. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Drop the uncooked meatballs into the broth one by one. Bring the soup to a boil and cook over medium heat until the meatballs are done, while skimming the foam constantly. Add the leafy parts of the hasukai now, plus soy sauce and/or lemon slices, to taste.

*If you are pressed for time, an alternative to making meatballs is to use Frankfurt sausages (I use Trader Joe's “Fearless” kind) and bacon slices (optional), with lemon slices.

Hiromi’s Hasukai and Miso Soup
Hakusai is also good with miso. Sauté potatoes, carrots, onions, daikon, and hakusai. Add dashi-based soup. Add miso and stir until it dissolves. Add crumpled or cut-up tofu into the soup. You can add pork slices or seafood to make a hearty soup. Spice up your soup by adding ground red-pepper before serving. The dashi (fish or kelp based soup stock; usu-ally comes in powder) is sold at Trader Joe’s. I use one with all natural ingredients (no MSG) which is sold at Mitsuwa, in San Jose. If any member is interested in all-natural Japanese seasonings and food, I am happy to help. [If you want to take Hiromi up on her offer to help, email me at the farm and I’ll forward your mes-sage along to her. – Debbie]

Multiple Collards Ideas
Excerpted from Mariquita Farm’s website and added to by Debbie

The flavor of collards' large smooth dark green leaves is more mustardy than cabbage and less mustardy than turnip greens. It's very pleasant, and can even be sweet. To prepare collards, bring a big pot of salted water with a glug of vinegar in it to a boil. Meanwhile, stack the collards and cut out their stems/the rib in the middle [I prefer stripping the leaves from the stems – grasp stem in one hand, leaf in the other, and pull – much easier than cutting them out with a knife. – Debbie]. Add leaves to boiling water and simmer to desired tenderness, 5 to 10 minutes, sometimes more if the leaves are large.

Collards are major players on the nutritional field, high on the list of vegetables thought to be cancer fighters.

Add ribbons of tender leaves to salad.

Drain cooked collards well (press out excess liquid with back of a wooden spoon), chop. Heat some butter and oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, add some minced garlic, stir in collards, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, until heated through, then add some lemon juice and toss well.

Dressing for cooked collards: warmed walnut oil, red wine vinegar, and chopped toasted walnuts. (From Belk's "Around the Southern Table")

Another method for serving leftover collards: Heat in a skillet with roasted peanuts and crushed red peppers. Brown diced ham in the skilled first, then add the greens, peanuts, and peppers, and serve over rice.

Main dish salad idea: Mix drained cooked beans with cooked collards and dress with oil and vinegar.

Simple Collards: Cook 3 cups (1/2 pound) collard leaves. Dress with 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tsp. rice vinegar, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Season with salt and cayenne or black pepper. Serve with rice and corn bread.

*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.