14th Harvest Week June 26th - July 2nd, 2006
Season 11
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"While the cat's away, the mice will work their little butts off."
- anonymous


What’s in the box this week: (content differences between Family and Small Shares are underlined/italicized)

Family Share:
Strawberries (1 bskt)
Green cabbage*
Broccoli or cauliflower*
Baby carrots

Red Russian kale
Lettuce (2)*
Mustard greens

Summer squash
or cucumbers**

Small Share:
Strawberries (Wednesday only, 1 bskt)
Broccoli or cauliflower*
Baby carrots
Red Russian kale
Lettuce (1)*
Spinach or Arugula
Summer squash**

*Lakeside Organic Gardens

**mostly from our farm, but some may be from Lakeside

Extra Fruit Option:
3 baskets of strawberries (Next week you should start seeing blackberries! We’ll be alternating weeks, starting with Wednesdays.)



Tues July 18
4 - 9pm
Forum on the Farm: "Integrating Spirituality with Building Sustainable Food Systems"

Aug 25, 26, 27
Children's Mini-camp, Friday eve. to noon Sun.

Sat. Sept. 23
Fall Equinox Celebration
3pm until dark

Sat. Oct 21
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

Hi Everybody! Tom’s away this week, taking a well-deserved vacation (river rafting in Colorado with his son, nephew, and a good friend, away from all connections to civilization), so Amy, Juan, and I are taking charge while he’s gone. Guess who got to write the newsletter? ;-) In a few weeks (mid-July) the tables will turn and it is I who will be gone for a week, leaving newsletter, membership management and packing lists to Amy and Tom (I’ll be reminding you of this when the time comes).

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind people that the “What’s in the box” list at left will not always map exactly to what you get in your shares. It is just the nature of the beast; Tom does his best to determine what in the fields will be ready for harvest later in the week, but circumstances in nature can change so very quickly – a hot or cold snap, a pest invasion (one year we had deer chomp up a substantial portion of our tender butter lettuce!). So if you think your share is missing something based on the list, look and see if you don’t have something else in your box that’s not on the list. Tom will always try to see you get your value’s worth, even though the contents might be different than you were expecting.

Meanwhile, ready for some amazing news? For the first time in our 11-year CSA history (drumroll)... Live Earth Farm has sold out of CSA shares! On June 1st we stopped taking new signups and started a waiting list. We’re at capacity now with 550 members, and so are only adding members if current ones drop out or choose not to continue after their trial. I see this as a testament to the power of knowledge; once people learn the truth about where their food comes from and learn of the value of CSA, they seek out a farm to belong to. Members come to us from so many sources now I’ve lost count. And we’re not alone; Two Small Farms CSA is near capacity too, and other, smaller CSAs have sold out long ago. I find it hopeful and encouraging, because a greater demand for local, sustainable, organic agriculture should compel more of our agricultural land to be converted out of conventional production to this healthier model for all. So thanks everyone, collectively you are making a difference! - Debbie

Crop Notes
Perhaps I had a bit of prescience when I mentioned purslane in last week’s ‘Debbie’s Kitchen’ – because sure enough, Tom has chosen to put it in our boxes this week! This is a fun veggie, very nutritious; here’s what he said about it last year: “Ready for some ‘wild’ vegetables? Believe it or not, many of the weeds growing in your garden are edible. In fact, there are over one hundred species of edible weeds in the United States.... We could call them ‘wild vegetables.’ I am convinced some kids who won't eat their spinach might show some signs of interest. Ready-mixed baby lettuce in fact features a line of ‘wild vegetables’ such as arugula and dandelion greens. Some other ones you might have heard of occasionally are ‘vegetable amaranth,’ purslane, lamb’s quarters, curly dock, and plantain. Many of our common vegetables used to be weeds at one time. They were simply improved with breeding to make them larger, more succulent, and more palatable. As in years past I would like to introduce you to a ‘wild vegetable’ which has been eaten for centuries in Europe, called purslane (or verdolaga), and which grows readily among our other planted vegetables. Studies have shown that purslane is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and among vegetables, purslane has more omega-3 acids than any other vegetable, and six times the vitamin E content of spinach. Purslane leaves have a mild nutty flavor and are a popular salad ingredient in Europe. They are eaten extensively in soups and salads throughout the Mediterranean. In Mexico and among our workers, purslane is eaten in omelets, as a side dish, or in soups and stews. Enjoy and don’t be shy to try!!! – Tom”

Member to Member Forum
• From CSA member Suzanne Rosen, who is on the board of directors of her son’s school: “The Monterey Bay Charter School, a K - 8th tuition-free Waldorf methods school, located in Pacific Grove, still has some openings for fall. The curriculum is developmentally age-appropriate, incorporates the Arts throughout, and teaches children to be responsible stewards of the earth. Call the office at (831) 655-4638, or visit www.mbcharterschool.org.”

• From CSA member Heddi Craft: “Last fall I started the Educational Resource Center, a lending library of educational toys, games, and learning materials. Many of my friends and I wanted to get educational toys for our children, but they were so expensive and they were quickly outgrown. A few of us were also homeschooling (or planning to) and realizing how many things were out there, like microscopes, that would be great to have access to but not to own. Some informal sharing of toys between friends gave me the idea of creating a resource center as a vehicle for building a community of families living a learning lifestyle with their children, pooling our financial resources, and sharing learning toys with each other. The Resource Center works on a membership model, with families paying a quarterly or yearly fee so they can check out up to five items for a month at a time. (There are some work/trade scholarships available, too.) We have everything from microscopes to board games to an inflatable solar system to Spanish and French learning materials. We just moved to a permanent location at 224 Walnut Ave. Suite A, in Santa Cruz, about a block from the central branch of the public library. Hours are Wednesday and Saturday from 10am to 1pm and Thursday from 2 to 5pm. Come by to check it out or for more information, contact me, Heddi Craft, at 818-8178 or email info@edcentersantacruz.com.”

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.

Purslane Notes
A little more than a third of our members are new this year, which means you likely have never heard of, and never eaten purslane before. Purslane is a succulent-like plant, with oval, silvery green leaves along a fleshy stem. See pictures on the recipe database if you want, for reference. I like to pinch off the tenderer end-of-the-stem clusters and toss them into salads. Both leaves and stems can be eaten, raw or cooked. As with many things, I always recommend simply tasting it, raw and plain, just to see what it’s like. Let that guide you. To my palate I taste a hint of lemon. If you’re going to cook purslane, it doesn’t require long cooking. Probably akin to fresh spinach in timing. It can be chopped and added to scrambled eggs (sauté it with a little garlic or onion, maybe some herbs or a little cheese thrown in at the end). Add it to stir-frys or quiches or tomato sauces or what have you. Because of its succulent nature, I wouldn’t recommend trying to freeze it for later use unless it were cooked into a dish of some sort. I’d love to hear from past year members with any recipes or ideas on how you like to use purslane. Email me so that I can share it with everyone else, as I’m sure this won’t be the only time this season we’ll get it in our boxes!

Member Heather Zimmerman sent me this recipe, saying, “In case anyone else has more strawberries than they know what to do with here is my mom's famous fresh strawberry pie recipe.” I bet if you have frozen any of your berries, you could use the frozen berries for the ‘mash’ and save your fresh berries for, well, you’ll see. - Debbie

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Baked 9" pie shell, cooled (Heather gets the roll up kind from the dairy aisle, very convenient, easy, and good, she says)
2-3 baskets of fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1 C sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Place the best looking strawberries whole into the baked pie shell facing up.
2. Mash the rest of the strawberries with sugar and cornstarch.
3. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often until it becomes clear (rather than milky).
4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in lemon juice.
5. Pour over strawberries in the pie shell. Let cool and then place in the refrigerator until fully cooled. Serve with whipped cream. Best if eaten no later than the second day.

Looks like we’re getting the first of the summer squash this week! Here are a couple interesting recipes I found online, each modified somewhat to suit our CSA shares.

Miso-carmelized summer squash
Cut summer squash in half lengthwise (or in the case of pattypan, horizontally through the middle). Combine miso paste with fresh herbs – summer savory, tarragon, thyme, oregano, marjoram. Spread mixture thinly on cut side of squash and place, miso side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet (how about lightly oiled parchment on a baking sheet?) and bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Grilled Thai Summer Squash
¼ C chicken or veggie broth
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/8 tsp. dried mint leaves (or mince up a few fresh ones)
½ tsp. chopped fresh basil
½ tsp. finely chopped ginger root
½ tsp. finely chopped jalapeño (or crushed red chilies if you don’t have jalapeños)
1 tsp. soy sauce
A few medium summer squash, cut lengthwise in quarters

Combine all ingredients but squash to form a marinade. Place cut squash in a baking dish and pour marinade over them, letting them marinate 1 to 2 hours in the fridge. Grill squash on a not-too-hot grill (or near the edges) for 10 to 15 minutes, turning and brushing with marinade a few times. Remove squash from grill when golden brown and tender.

*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.