|26th Harvest Week||September 18th - 24th 2006||
|Want a printable copy of this newsletter? Click here for a pdf file of the paper version.|
doctor of the future will give no medicines, but will interest
his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and
in the causes and prevention of disease.”
What’s in the box this week: (content differences between Family and Small Shares are underlined and italicized; items with a “+” in Family Shares are more in quantity than in Small)Family Share:
Baby dandelion greens
Green beans +
Kale or chard
Cucumbers or summer squash
Kale or chard
Extra Fruit Option:
Berries of some kind (1 bskt), bag of pears, bag of apples
Sat. Sept. 23
Sat. Oct 21
Don’t forget our Fall Equinox Celebration is this Saturday, 3pm until dark. Bring a dish to share for our traditional potluck (and your recipes! says Debbie), blankets, jackets/sweaters, and if you have them, your own eating utensils, to cut down on non-recyclable garbage. See you all Saturday!
Are Bacteria our allies? Should you be worried? This time it's not hamburger meat, but spinach that got infected by one nasty strain of E. coli bacteria. For the most part, bacteria such as E. coli live in the environment and serve an essentially beneficial role in human health. E. coli bacteria, for example, are responsible for our source of Vitamin K and B-complex vitamins. However, bacteria are somewhat like humans, in that certain individuals are not very nice. Just like we know that some individual humans are outright dangerous, so too can some individual strains of bacteria indeed be "bad bugs," and the one found in last week’s bagged spinach is the well known strain E. coli 0157:H7 which releases toxins that damage the intestinal walls and causes bleeding.
You probably wonder if contamination like this can happen to you via the produce you get from Live Earth Farm. I would say no. The biggest difference is scale: the company Natural Selection (which is believed to be the one from which the contaminated spinach originated) bags millions of packages of ready-to-eat salad greens, including spinach, every week, and ships them all over the world. Although they probably follow rigorous safety and quality assurance practices, I imagine their size makes it difficult to prevent a "bad apple" from slipping into a bag. We don't grow baby salad greens. And we wash our vegetables under running water, not in a tub, so we don't have the potential for wash water to be contaminated or to spread contamination since the water comes directly from our well and is never reused.
Here are the main practices we use to prevent the possibility of contamination:
1. None of our soil amendments contain cattle manure. We ‘fertilize’ in many ways: soil is enriched through the use of cover crops and certified organic compost (made from green waste, not manure) and bonemeal; for certain crops we apply a ‘pre-planting’ certified organic fertilizer made from guano (from seabirds whose only source of food is fish, so no risk of E. coli contamination; the guano is carefully processed, pelletized and bagged). All organic soil amendments by law are certified by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute). We also dilute and use a liquid form of fish protein called “phytamin” in some of our drip irrigation. We also sometimes fortify our drip irrigation with kelp and “compost tea.”
2. We use only groundwater/drinking water to irrigate and wash the produce, never untreated surface water.
3. We have a small group of seasoned, well-trained workers who have access to clean, sanitary facilities, all with a hand wash. All workers are conscious of the importance of hygiene around the produce they grow, harvest and pack. All our workers wear disposable latex gloves for harvesting and packing your vegetables. These are changed regularly during the day.The main sources of harmful E. coli bacteria is cattle manure. We don't have meat or dairy cattle on any of our farmland, and we never use cattle manure anywhere in our fields. Most of the produce is picked, rinsed, and immediately stored in our cooler the day before it is delivered to your CSA pick-up site. One could argue that produce which is bagged and then transported over long distances has a higher possibility of contamination due to the number of times the product changes hands. Produce originates from several different farms, then goes through a processor, a wholesaler, a distributor, and a retailer before it gets to you. I believe that the safest and healthiest produce will always come from farms that have a direct connection to their local customers, at a scale that is inherently more wholesome. I welcome you feedback and I will do my best to ensure that you receive the healthiest produce our land can provide. - Tom
New this week are the fingerling potatoes, which are my favorite. I like to just boil them in salty water and eat them with a little bit of butter. The Family Share will get Napa cabbage this week, and next week probably the Small Shares will get it as well. Enjoy the pears and apples, as berry production is still a little low.A note on the Warren pears: although they are all technically ‘ripe,’ when you get them they may still be hard. (Pears are picked hard; if you leave them on the tree until they are soft to the touch, they will have a totally mushy core.) Also, the color of the skin has nothing to do with its ‘ripeness.’ So don’t go by color to determine if they’re ready to eat; use your sense of touch. When the pears have a little ‘give’ to them, they’re ready. The skins will be green for now, but later in the season they will start to turn a little more yellow. If the pears you receive need softening, simply leave them out and check them every so often until they ‘feel right.’ (If you’re in a hurry, put them in a paper bag with a banana to speed up the process.) Our first delivery of pears to you probably needed up to a week to soften to the touch, but as the season progresses, subsequent deliveries will be soft and ready to eat in just a few days. Near the end of the season they’ll be arriving ready to eat! By the end of the season you’ll all be connoisseurs of the pear ‘process!’
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
*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.