22nd Harvest Week August 21st - 27th 2006
Season 11
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If we were not so single-minded about keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silence might interrupt this sadness of never understanding ourselves and of threatening ourselves with death.
- Pablo Neruda


What’s in the Family share:
Broccoli +
Green beans +
Kale or collard greens
Lettuce (red butter and deer tongue)
Sweet peppers (green corno de Toro)
Summer squash
Tomatoes (heirloom and/or Early Girl)
Sungold cherry tomatoes

and in the Small share:
Green beans
Kale or collard greens
Tomatoes (heirloom and/or Early Girl)
Sungold cherry tomatoes

... and if you have an extra-fruit option:
Strawberries, raspberries or blackberries, cherry tomatoes, and one of melons, plums, or early pears



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

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

new! Sat. Sept. 30
Seed-saving Workshop
10am - 12:30pm

Sat. Oct 21
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

Always Planning. It's the middle of August and we are already sowing our late fall and early winter crops. Timing is important, it is easy to get distracted, to think our summers are endless just as the tomatoes are starting to ripen, and forget to plant the crops that will mature in October and November. Right now the buckwheat, a summer cover crop, is being mowed and plowed into the soil where our fall and winter crops will be planted. The soil preparation is very important for both fall and winter crops since the rains create very different growing conditions. First the land is tilled more deeply to improve drainage by pulling long shanks (almost 2 feet deep) through the soil. We add compost and mineral soil amendments such as gypsum and rock dust, and finally, before shaping the beds, we carefully grade the field for optimal drainage. After that we use oversized listing shovels that push the soil up into rows that are subsequently shaped into beds. These beds will be taller so that that the winter crops don’t get "wet feet."

Next year’s strawberry plants have been ordered and I am excited about a new variety we’ve been experimenting with over the last two years called Albion. It is a day-neutral variety like our tried and very faithful Seascape (day-neutral means the plant's flowering and fruiting patterns are not affected by fluctuations in day length). Albion, which we grew right next to the Seascapes this year, has shown itself to be more vigorous, developing more foliage which in turn protects the berries during unusually hot days. We lost many berries to sunburn this summer, but the Albions were less affected than the Seascapes. Like most day-neutral varieties, Albion has a nice even production pattern. Another benefit to growing Albions is that, according to University of California Extension research, it is more resistant to Verticillium wilt, the most common soil-borne fungus affecting strawberries. This fungus is the primary reason conventional strawberry growers use Methyl Bromide, a highly toxic and ozone depleting gas, to fumigate the soil before planting their strawberries. But the main reason I like Albions is their excellent flavor: sweet, with a nice balance of acids. They are pretty addicting. Eat one and you instinctively want to reach for the next berry (I have a similar reaction when I eat the Sungold cherry tomatoes). The way to tell an Albion apart from a Seascape berry is that its seeds are set deeper into the flesh and its shape is a little more rounded at the tip. - Tom

Heads up... there will be a Winter Share this year!!
We’ve considered this idea in the past, and this year we are ready and committed to giving it a try. The farm will offer a limited number of winter shares, delivered to a reduced number of centrally located drop-off locations on both sides of "the hill." As soon as we have hashed out the details, Debbie will let you know how it will work. I think we are in a very good position to offer a wonderful assortment of crops. A winter CSA will also help support the farm financially in the off-season. So please stay tuned! Expect to hear from us in this newsletter and by email sometime in the next few weeks.

Seed-saving workshop
When you open up your CSA box this week, try to imagine that each one of those fruits and veggies is connected to a seed. From one little teeny tiny seed, a giant pumpkin vine, a plum tree, or a bitter dandelion leaf can emerge. It’s hard to believe that a small February handful of identical-looking seeds will turn into an entire August field of tomato plants, each variety with their own unique genetic and cultural history.

Want to learn more about seed saving? Please come to the farm on Saturday September 30th from 10am to 12:30pm and Amy, our seed-saving aficionado, will teach you about the science, art, and MAGIC of saving seeds. No gardening or seed saving experience is necessary to participate. Email Amy at aakaplan@gmail.com to RSVP. And if you have them, bring seeds to swap!

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie.
This week I heard from member Eva Knodt about last week’s Potato-Kale Soup recipe.  She says, “I tried it with the following mods: delete the sausage, add a cup of chopped leeks, after cooking run the whole soup through a blender. Add a couple spoons of plain yogurt, sprinkle with a bit of cilantro (or parsley) and serve. AAAAAAHHH! Try it sometime.” Once again, modifying recipes to suit your own tastes and resources is a habit I encourage. It’s easier than you think. Like Eva says, “Try it sometime.” Meanwhile, I just received this email from another member, Joel McKelvey, and I enjoyed his entire dialog, full of pointers, and so thought I’d pass it along in its entirety. - Debbie

Joel writes: I'm new to the whole CSA thing and I've been pretty distracted by the birth of my second daughter two weeks ago... as a result I've been pretty much kale-ified to within an inch of my life. Chardinated. Collarded. It's raining greens and the fridge was getting full!

Luckily, I have friends who know how to use the bundles of greens we've been getting in a yummy breakfast that even my greens-unfriendly family likes.

Because I wash and chop the greens (kale, chard, collard, whatever) and freeze (raw) loose in a plastic container in the freezer, they're easy to use on a sleep-deprived morning when I've been up all night with the baby. I do the same with the basil. Then I just pull out the frozen greens and basil and use them as-is when I need them.

Kale breakfast scramble
2/3 C of frozen or fresh greens (cleaned and coarsely chopped)
1/3 C frozen or fresh basil
1/2 lb. tofu
1 tbsp. (yellow) curry powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add frozen basil and greens until they get hot and sizzle. Crumble tofu into skillet and sprinkle the spices over. Heat through until the greens begin to crisp. Serve. This is also great with generous additions of other spices/leaves.

Joel continues: The addition of carrots, cilantro, and garlic to our share meant I made an old staple: garlicky carrot salad. I keep last season's lime juice in ice-cube form in our freezer for just such a use as this!

Garlicky carrot salad
(adapted from Moosewood Cookbook)
3½ C grated carrots
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 bu. Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (~ 1/3 -1/2 C)
½ bu. cilantro, coarsely chopped (~ ¼ C)
1 tsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 tbsp. lime juice
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

This is very simple recipe, just chop/grate all the ingredients and throw them together. Put them in the fridge to mellow and combine flavors for about half an hour, then eat! Lovely! I like to add fresh sage, watercress, or any one of a number of other complementary items, too.

I've discovered that I can do this salad in my food processor without having to wash the bowl between steps – start with the garlic and chop fine. Add the parsley, cilantro, oregano, oil, juice, salt, and pepper and pulse to coarsely chop. Switch to a grater blade and grate the carrots into the same processor bowl. Transfer everything to a glass bowl, mix to combine, then store in the fridge. Feast!

I also heard from member Jessica Gillis, who sent this next recipe, with her comments:

Italian Tomato Bread Salad
from “Tomatoes and Mozzarella” by Hallie Harron and Shelley Sikora.
Serves 4

1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2/3 C minced green onion
1/2 medium-size English cucumber, diced
1 tbsp. capers
3 medium-size ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
1 lg. garlic clove, minced
8 oz. day-old hearty Italian bread*
1/4 C lemon basil or regular basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
Olivada Dressing (recipe follows)

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss to mix well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Olivada Dressing
(makes about 1/3 C)

2 tbsp. store-bought olive tapenade
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator in a clean glass container for up to 3 days.

*Jessica says, “The bread is important – it needs to be a chewy “country” type loaf and is best torn up into large bite-sized pieces, which this recipe doesn’t mention. I always make the salad first then let it sit while I cook the rest of the meal. The dressing needs to soak into the bread but not to the extent that it is soggy and the bread falls apart. I might add chopped parsley too (since we have it). This is one of my favorite summer salads! I serve it with grilled meat, fish or veggies. I also like the idea of using tapenade instead of just chopped olives, which is what I usually use when I make tomato bread salad.”

*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.