33rd Harvest Week Nov. 7th - 13th, 2005
Season 10
  Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.



“For who but an optimist buries an unpromising object the size of a teardrop in the ground and believes that months later it will emerge as the very definition of beauty and sustenance, or both?”
– Joyce McGeevey, “Gardening from the Heart”


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:
Collard greens
Mystery item
Bok choi
Broccoli raab
Mustard greens
French breakfast radishes
Snow peas
Winter squash (acorn and sweet dumpling)

Small Share:
Bok choi
Broccoli raab
Mustard greens
French breakfast radishes
Snow peas
Winter squash (acorn and sweet dumpling)

Extra Fruit Option:
Apples plus ?? (to be determined on packing day, depending on weather)



no more events this season!

With the rain comes a sigh of relief, finally the stress of having to water every day is gone. The finish line is in sight, almost all our fields and orchards have been sown with cover crops and it is again the time to plant next years crop of strawberries, garlic, onions, and fava beans. The final sprint to prepare the farm for the winter is always the most exhausting, like the last few miles in a marathon. With the end of the season I experience joy, the seasonal cycle is drawing to a close and the possibility of rest feels real. Winter is a time to internalize, like a seed, the seasons growth and teachings. At the end of every season one can list the shortcomings of one’s hopes and wishes. Some crops never got planted, or too much of some and not enough of others. Late Blight and Early Blight got the better of our potato and tomato crop due to later than usual rains. Weeds, although kept in check most of the time, still got the better of some crops, especially on the new land we are leasing this year. On the other hand, the celebrations, school tours, new permaculture workshops and our annual Mini-Camp continue to inspire and expand the importance of the farm as a resource to its community. We are expanding our fruit production by planting more raspberries, blackberries and strawberries as well as diversifying our fruit planting to include oranges, lemons, tangerines, strawberry and pineapple guavas, concord grapes and kiwis. I am very excited to offer farm fresh eggs next season from our growing flock of chickens. We are also exploring the possibility of establish a cooperative farming relationship with Pie Ranch next year (a beautiful farm started by friends along the coast north of Santa Cruz) to add their cereal grains and dry beans to our farm shares. Establishing dependable relationships with other local farms may create the possibility for us to offer a winter share next year without taxing both the land and people (us!) through the wet winter months. Our preliminary thoughts on the winter share are that it would be less often (maybe only once or twice a month), and include winter veggies from our farm plus the grains and beans from Pie Ranch (soup mix? flour?) and possibly dried fruit from us as well. If the eggs keep going, we may include them. We might contact a local baker to see if the possibility of including bread to the share would work. The possibilities are many, and the concept is only in its infancy right now. One thing I do know is that with every season we learn a little more; mother nature will bring another spring, and we'll be fired up for another try. If you would like to provide feedback or send in any suggestions you might have that would help us plan for next season and beyond, we would greatly appreciate your input. – Tom

Field (and Share) Notes from Farmer Tom
Field (and Share) Notes from Farmer Tom
The fruit share will see a dip in diversity as we have no pears left. With the rains, strawberries and raspberries come to a halt, and right now our pineapple guavas are still very hard. So your fruit share will predominately consist of apples, mostly Fujis. In the share itself this and next week you'll be getting plenty of winter squash, and in the last share of the season (the week before Thanksgiving), everyone will get beautiful purple cauliflower, more green beans and maybe some green cabbage.

During the off season...
There are only two weeks left to the CSA season: this week and next week (i.e. from Debbie: the last deliveries of the season will be Weds 11/16, Thurs 11/17 and Sat 11/19. Okay, back to Tom). Since we still have an abundance of winter crops (beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, chard, and collard greens, as well as some late snow peas, apples, winter squash etc.), we'll continue harvesting for our winter farmers markets. I am considering setting up a self-service produce table in our barn on Wednesdays from 12-6. Although this would mostly be geared towards folks who live nearby, I’d be interested in feedback from the rest of our members. Would you be interested in the possibility of a rotating pick-up and delivery among fellow CSA members who live farther away? Of course we also sell our produce at the Downtown Santa Cruz Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Los Gatos on Sundays, so if you can get to one of those, you can still get your produce fix from Live Earth Farm.

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
Only two more weeks... wah!! You can bet I’ll be working with Tom to the best of my abilities to make that ‘next year’s winter share’ a reality! This off-season business is always a hard transition. We’re going to try to keep in touch with most of you during the winter though; we hope to generate a few ‘winter newsletters’ – they’ll be electronic (sent via email), so nothing on paper. Okay, back to recipes! The first is a very interesting one I tasted at a Hallow-een pot-luck at a friend’s house. Raoul likes to cook, and just made this one up, he says. It was really interesting, because instead of cookies made from a batter or dough, these were just thick apple slices dipped in a few ingredients and baked. They were delicious! – Debbie

Raoul's Apple 'Cookies'
by Raoul Ramirez (recipe was described verbally; I fleshed it out. – Debbie)

plain yogurt
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Peel, core and slice apples (approximately ¼” thick). Combine some oatmeal and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix a little vanilla extract into some plain yogurt in another bowl or shallow dish. Dip apple slices first in yo-gurt, and then into oatmeal mixture to coat. Lay dipped/coated slices on a greased cookie sheet, sprinkle with a little cinnamon. Repeat with as many apple slices as you like. Bake for about an hour, until apple slices have softened and browned (the consistency was like a moist-dehydrated apple - Debbie). Cool and serve!

Sauteed Rapini (Broccoli Raab) with chickpeas
serves 2
from an undated SJ Mercury News clipping (edited to suit our CSA share)

1 “farm” bunch rapini (young, tender)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 med. cloves garlic, minced
One can (14.5 oz.) chickpeas, drained
½ tsp. crushed red chilies, or to taste

[Note from Debbie: you can either chop the rapini before cooking or after; sometimes it’s easier to chop after, but it really makes no big difference.] Cook rapini in a pot of boiling salted water about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside (and chop if you haven’t already). Sauté garlic in olive oil in a large skillet, stirring often, until it becomes a light golden color. Add cooked rapini and cook/stir to coat well with garlic/oil. Add drained chickpeas and crushed chilies and continue to cook/stir until all is cooked through. Serve hot.

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard
from an undated Bon Appetit clipping (modified to work with farm quantities, to serve 4 - 6)

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped peeled carrots
2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
5 C broth (chicken or vegetable)
1/3 C pearled barley
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1/3 C dried lentils
1 bunch Swiss chard, washed and chopped [with or without stems – Debbie]
1 tbsp. chopped fresh dill [if you have it; if not, leave it out or use 1 tsp. dried]

Heat oil in a large non-reactive pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and car-rots and sauté until onions are golden brown, about 5 - 7 minutes. Add garlic and stir 1 minute. Mix in cumin. Add broth and barley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice and the dried lentils. Cover and simmer until bar-ley and lentils are tender, another 25 – 30 minutes (check at 20 minutes for done-ness). Add chard to soup, cover and sim-mer until chard is tender, about another 5 minutes. Stir in dill [if using]. Season soup with salt and pepper, thin with more broth, if desired.

Simple Baked Acorn Squash
from Debbie’s kitchen

Okay, I know I can’t ignore the fact that we’re finally getting our winter squash! For those of you unfamiliar with cooking it, I recommend trying it this simple way first. As I always say, when you have delicious, fresh, organic produce, it really doesn’t need a lot done to it – the flavor is inherent. So try this simple version and see if you don’t enjoy the flavor of the squash for what it is!

Preheat your oven to medium (350, 375 degrees). Take your acorn squash and (carefully!) slice off the stem end as close to the base of the stem as possible (i.e. you don’t want to waste any of the flesh). Then slice the squash in half lengthwise (stem to tip). Scoop out and discard seeds and dark orange stringy part. Place face down on a rimmed baking sheet or glass baking dish; if you like you can wipe a little oil or butter on the cut edge so it doesn’t stick as much. Some folks like to add a little water to the dish to help ‘steam’ the squash; I’ve done it both ways (with and without water) and it works fine. Bake about 30 to 40 minutes, until nice and soft (if you open the oven and reach in carefully, with an oven mitt on your hand, you can gently squeeze the squash to see if it is soft. When it’s soft, when it gives a little bit under that squeezing, it’s done). Remove from oven, turn face up and serve. Tastes great with a little butter and salt. Eat by scooping flesh out of shell with a spoon!

Another way to cook it is face up: sometimes I’ll do it this way instead. Arrange cut squash halves in a glass dish face up. Here I’ll add some water to the dish under the squash. Score the inside surface of the squash in a kind-of diamond pattern, then add a dab of butter and a small spoonful of brown sugar, maybe a sprinkling of salt. Now bake, like above, and serve when soft and yummy!

Collards and Rice
(serves 4)
from the Victory Garden Cookbook

“This quick combination keeps all the nutrients in one pot.”

2 C chicken broth
1 C long-grained rice
1 tbsp. butter
½ tsp. salt
3 C loosely-packed chopped raw collards

Boil broth; add rice, butter and salt. Stir once, add collards by handful, stirring constantly. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until rice is done, about 20 minutes. Season to taste.

*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.