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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
5th Harvest Week, Winter 2006/2007
January 24th, 2007

In this issue
--Greetings from Farmer Tom
--Pictures from around the farm
--What's in the box this week
--Notes from Debbie's Kitchen

" We are different from other creatures, but not more aware. "
~ Anonymous

Greetings from Farmer Tom

windmill by pond

There is no way of predicting the future when it comes to farming. In September when I decided to offer a Winter CSA share I was worried about the rain but it didn't cross my mind that we'd have a whole week of subfreezing night temperatures. Overall the damage was light, since most of what we grow right now is winter hardy. The fennel froze and most of our mature cauliflower suffered some damage (you lucky winter share members will be getting the last of it, as we go through and harvest what survived). We covered the young citrus fruits we planted last year with blankets and therefore only suffered slight injuries. When nature hands us the unexpected, I like to walk or sit, and watch the tiny details all around me. It helps release some of my worries and makes room for a healthier perspective on events around me. I love my job; it allows me to step out of the business oriented analytical, concrete and conscious thought process and into a place of sensation. Working and observing the land, the air, the weather, smelling the compost or soil, watching a seed push the first leaves through the soil surface... all these things spark the instinct to move my feet and create a space for answers and a deeper understanding of the questions I have. I enjoy walking the fields during these cold mornings. It's a rare treat to see the farm become so quiet, everything temporarily suspended in a deep sleep. No one starts working before 9am and we stop working around 3pm, just before it gets cold again. We have never been able to sow carrots and beets at this time of year and I am a bit worried that we haven't received more rain. I can't recall ever having to water our crops in mid-January.

This week many of us at the farm (including Debbie and Amy) will be away attending the 27th annual Ecological Farming Conference down in Pacific Grove. So if you try to get in touch with us during the week, just be aware that we may not be able to get back to you until early next week. This conference is an event that I have attended every year for the last 12 years, to be inspired and recharged before the regular season starts up again. It is a wonderful gathering of people who are interested or actively engaged in advancing ecologically based food systems. It's a time to network with others ‘in our field’ and to learn about practical and economically viable practices in organic agriculture. It promotes and develops strategies to inform consumers and policy-makers about ecological growing practices and their direct impact on our health, the health of our communities and the larger natural environment we live in. If you want to learn more about the Ecological Farming Association check out their website at www.eco-farm.org.

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Pictures from around the farm

Sunrise around the farm
Sunrise pictures from Tom's morning walk on the farm.

fields of fava beans
LOTS of fava bean plants!

chard as far as the eye can see
Chard as far as the eye can see!

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What's in the box

2 lbs. apples (from Billy Bob's Orchard)
1 bunch of beets
1 head green cabbage
1 head red cabbage
1 bunch of carrots
2 to 3 heads of cauliflower
1 bunch of chard
1 bunch of kale
1 bunch of cilantro
3 small heads of lettuce

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Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
I'm all excited about attending the EcoFarm conference - it was such a huge shot in the arm last year; I can't wait to get rejuvenated again! I'm also excited about a cool item I have on order -- it's a special crock, designed for making fermented vegetables. I had the pleasure of being able to watch a traditional German (former CSA member) make sauerkraut from scratch last year, and have been dying to try to make it myself ever since. We're now getting the green cabbage, so once I've got the unit and have tested it out, I plan on passing on what I've learned. Fermented veggies are supposed to be very nutritious and good for the digestive system. So stay tuned!

Meanwhile, here are two recipes sent to me recently by a CSA winter share member:

Cauliflower Sauce with Whole-Wheat Penne
Recipe submitted by Jill McCoy, courtesy Rachael Ray
1 lb. whole-wheat penne rigate
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, cracked from skin and sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 head cauliflower, stem removed and chopped
1 C chicken stock
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
3/4 C grated Romano (3 generous handfuls)
Salt and black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta and cook to al dente. Drain and reserve 2 ladles of pasta water. (Jill says she didn’t think this recipe needed the pasta water, that it was just the right consistency without.)

While water is coming up to a boil and pasta cooks, make sauce. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with extra-virgin olive oil. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes, then remove. Add onions and cook 5 minutes then add cauliflower, chicken stock and the rosemary. Cover the pan and cook 15 minutes. Uncover the sauce, add 1 to 2 ladles of pasta water and mash the cauliflower with the back of a wooden spoon or potato masher. Add the pasta and cheese to the cauliflower and toss to combine. Season the dish with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Kale and Portobello Mushrooms
Recip submitted by Jill McCoy, courtesy Rachael Ray
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
4 portobello mushroom caps, sliced 
1 1/4 lbs. kale, stemmed and chopped 
Salt and pepper 
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste, about 1/4 tsp.
1/2 C dry Italian red wine  [it doesn’t have to be Italian... ! ;-) Debbie]

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add mushrooms and cook until dark and tender. Add kale and turn with tongs to wilt. Season the mixture of mushrooms and greens with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add wine and deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook greens 5 minutes longer then serve.

Jill said, “we put the leftover kale on a Boboli bread with some feta, and baked it for a few minutes. It was fabulous.”

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Contact Information
email: farmers@cruzio.com
phone: 831.763.2448
web: http://www.liveearthfarm.net