real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert
Whats in the Family share:
Bag of arugula
Bunch of chard or kale
Bunch of leeks
Bag of red and green mustards
Bag of stir-fry mix
and in the Small share:
Bag of arugula
Bunch of collard greens
Bunch of leeks
Bag of stir-fry mix
(items in the small share may be less in quantity than in the family share)
... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Sat. June 4 Permaculture workshop #1 - Water mgmt; swale design/construction
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 Aug 6
Permaculture workshop #2 - Design methods; ecological observation and
Sat. Sept. 24
Fall Equinox Celebration
with the Banana Slug String Band!
Sat. Oct 22
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza
Sat. Oct 29
Permaculture workshop #3 - Polycultures & agroforestry; food forest
design and installation
A group of students from Albion
College in Michigan visited the farm last week as part of an Environmental
Studies tour through California. Their focus was on comparing organic
and conventional farming practices, and how a small scale farming operation
like ours can stay viable in a global economy. As they were scribbling
down my reflections, I couldn't help but ask how many of them were considering
farming as a career. Not one raised their hand. Not one! I was stunned.
Normally a few shy hands go up. "Unrewarding," "high risk,"
"dirty" and "low paying" were some of the reasons
they gave as I probed deeper. Instead of lecturing them about how science,
art, and for that matter the whole of modern civilization depended on
agriculture, I had them pick strawberries. Maybe that would sweeten their
view of farming. As ecologically minded as these kids were, it was surprising
how remote farming had grown from their lives. I guess the statistics
don't lie when they say that less than 1.9 percent of Americans are currently
entrusted to feed the country. Slowly, it is coming to the attention of
more and more people that growing food is not just a convenience but essential
to our very existence. As our fearless leader would say, "it's a
matter of national security." Not that I expect many of you to read
USA Today, the Wall Street Journal or the Gilroy Dispatch, but Community
Supported Agriculture was featured prominently by all three papers last
week. However small the impact, maybe, just maybe, this represents a turning
of the tides, an awakening to the fact that the problems of farming and
our relationship with food is changing. Thousands of CSA members and their
farms across the country are a testament to this. Let's hope the trend
Notes from Farmer Tom
week you will have two similar looking items in your box, because in addition
to your regular green garlic I am adding spring leeks. I'd intended to
wait on offering the leeks until they sized up a bit more, but some have
started to bolt so they needed to be harvested. Because they are so similar
in appearance you need to distinguish them by other means. Try holding
them to your nose and you will quickly recognize the stronger garlic scent
(or as Debbie says, 'do a scratch-and-sniff test.') Also, the green garlic
is getting more mature now, and so it is slightly bulbous at the base.
Lastly, this week at least, the green garlic will be loose in your box,
whereas the leeks will be bunched.
You will also receive an assortment of different baby greens this week,
all of which I love to sauté or stir-fry, eat raw in salads, or
simply toss in with pasta or rice. The arugula and mustard greens (which
come in separate bags) both have a wonderful peppery taste when eaten
raw and only mildly so when cooked. The stir-fry mix has baby Asian greens,
some mustard greens and baby kale all mixed together, and there is enough
to enjoy them in different ways, either raw or cooked.
Farm Volunteer Day
are now Volunteer Day at the farm, so come on out and enjoy the farm and
help us out a little in the process! Last Friday Georgina, Steve Volk
plus kids, and Ash came out to help pack the CSA shares and prepare the
veggies for Saturday's market. It was lots of fun, and allowed our farmworkers
to catch up with important field work. So mark your calendars and come
join us for a future Friday afternoon on the farm! Please call Tom on
his cell phone (831) 760-0436 if you have any questions.
Creating and 'Exchange
Box' at your pick-up site
CSAs have exchange boxes at their pick-up sites. The way it works is that
if you do not care for a certain item in your share you can place it in
an exchange container so somebody else can take it, and if you like something
in the exchange container you are free to take it. Live Earth Farm does
not have a formal system in place for this; Tom leaves it up to each site
and its participating members to set it up. An empty share box can be
used to create a container for this purpose. He suggests that the container
be labeled so that it is not confused with the regular share boxes. Please
call Tom (831) 760-0436 if you have any questions.
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
This week, another member contribution. Lisa tells me, "Please give
our heartfelt thanks to everyone at Live Earth Farm. I've noticed the
boxes contain a lot of caring too. That means a lot to Mark and me."
What I'd do with this week's
by Lisa Bautista, Santa Cruz
Every Monday afternoon I check the farms website to see what we're
going to be getting. It's like Christmas every week. So I was delighted
to learn the contents of the box even earlier this week and share some
ideas with all of you. Mark and I are dedi-cated foodies and we're enjoying
our third season with Live Earth Farm. Because it is just the two of us
at home, we only get the small box, but we get double extra fruit.
Mark and I eat a lot of salad, and theres lots to work with this
week. Our salad base would be any combination of the lettuce, arugula
and stir fry mix. We might top the greens with sliced strawberries, a
little thinly sliced green garlic or leek, and toasted pecans. This would
be great dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette. Another salad we like is
roast beets, goat cheese and toasted pecans dressed with a raspberry (or
other fruity) vinaigrette. Sometimes we make an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink
salad with cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, fresh beets and radishes topped
with a dressing (we love Annie's Naturals "Goddess").
Next I'd probably make some cauliflower soup. I'd sauté some of
the leeks and green garlic in oil and then add pieces of cauliflower (raw
or roasted) and spices (my two favorite spice combinations are below).
Then I'd pour in some veggie or chicken stock and simmer until everything
is soft. I usually pureé the entire thing for a smooth consistency
but it could be left chunky, if you prefer. The final step is to taste
and adjust with seasonings. As I mentioned, I have two ways to take this
soup either to Italy by using thyme and rosemary, or to India by
adding some fresh ginger and curry powder, then finishing with some coconut
milk and fresh cilantro. One note of caution: if you use roasted cauliflower,
the flavor is much more deep, complex and wonderful, but the color is
a muddy brown. The appearance can be brightened with some fresh chopped
herbs or grated carrot sprinkled on top just before serving.
Speaking of roast veggies, I see lots of ingredients for a beautiful roast
veggie platter. The leeks, cauliflower, green garlic, carrots and beets
would all work well. Just wash, cut into chunks, toss with some olive
oil and spread on a baking tray. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper (maybe
some fresh herbs too?) and roast until the outside is brown and the inside
is tender. Because veggies roast at different rates, you may want to group
items by density carrots, beets and cauliflower on one tray, leeks
and green garlic on another.
There are lots of greens this week too. Many of you have heard of spanakopeta
but I also make chardandbeetgreenakopeta! The beet greens and red chard
turn the filling a lovely shade of pink. Follow the standard method for
sautéing greens (I use the stems too). Once cooked and cooled,
squeeze out as much of the moisture as possible, then add some crumbled
feta, sautéed onions, a beaten egg and some black pepper. Wrap
in phyllo dough (instructions are on the package), brush the tops with
melted butter, sprinkle with grated nutmeg and bake. Left-over filling
is great in scrambling eggs and served with pita.
I love the kale we get from Live Earth! It has a faint taste of honey.
My favorite way to prepare it is to braise it (sauté in olive oil
and then add some stock and simmer) and then add some cooked sausage,
cooked potatoes and a dash of hot sauce. I'm still a bit unfamiliar with
collards and turnip greens but I made a wonderful pot of red beans last
year. I simply put about a pound of dry red beans and some veggie stock
in the crock pot with some sautéed onions and the greens cut into
strips. Cook all day and serve with cornbread.
mentioned veggie stock a couple of times. I always have some on hand because
I keep a lot of the veggie trimmings and scraps. Onions, celery, carrots,
sweet pepper and summer squash all work well in the stockpot. It's generally
a good idea to stay away from the cabbagey items (cabbage, cauliflower
and broccoli) and greens. Rinse off the trimmings and scraps and cover
them with water. Add a little fresh thyme, a couple of parsley sprigs,
a couple of bay leaves and some peppercorns and boil for about 20 minutes.
Strain, pour into containers and freeze.
I've saved the best for last -- the strawberries. Since we get double
extra fruit, we've been going through seven to eight baskets per week!
I use them to top oatmeal or yogurt in the morning for breakfast, or on
top of ice cream or chocolate mousse for dessert. They go in smoothies
and just into our mouths because they are so good. We also freeze em
for winter, plus I make a lot of jam ever since I found this easy micro-wave
jam recipe in a Sunset book: In a 2 qt. microwave container, crush about
3 1/2 C whole strawberries to make 2 C. Add 1 C sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh
lemon juice and let sit (even overnight) until juices form. Add 1/2 tsp.
butter (to minimize foaming) and microwave uncovered on high for 16 min-utes,
stopping to stir every two minutes. After 16 minutes, test consistency
by putting a spoonful of jam onto a small plate and refrigerating for
15 minutes. If you like thicker jam, reheat it to boiling and then microwave
for two minutes longer. Makes about two cups.
Theres one more important thing we do with our veggies. Even the
small box is sometimes more than we can use up ourselves, so we share
the extras with friends and family and encourage them to join the Live
Earth Farm CSA!
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.