7th Harvest Week May 8th - 14th 2006
Season 11
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The history of ‘civilization’ has been a steady process of estrangement from nature that has increasingly developed into outright antagonism.
Murray Bookchin (quoted in Learning to Listen to the Land, by Bill Willers)


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

Family Share:
Lettuce (mix of small heads)
Baby carrots
Fava beans
Green garlic
Green onions
Cooking greens (farmers choice: either kohlrabi or chard)

Small Share:
Lettuce (mix of small heads)
Fava beans
Beets (loose)
Green onions
Cooking greens (farmers choice: either kohlrabi or chard)

Extra Fruit:
2 or 3 baskets of strawberries



Sat June 17
Summer Solstice Celebration
field tours 2 - 5
celebrations 5 - 9
with Kuzanga Marimba!

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

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

Sat. Oct 22
Halloween Pumpkin Pallooza

Check your Food Miles Odometer to reduce CO2 Emissions. When we fill up one of our tractors or farm vehicles with fuel nowadays, I can't help but think of the saying that “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” The latest increase in fuel cost is a direct reminder that the planet has been footing the bill for our lopsided consumption of natural resources, and we're becoming increasingly aware of the fact that it's time to pay back our debt. Thinking in terms of energy input and output to get food to our plates is probably the most accurate way to measure sustainability. Most of us take for granted being able to eat fresh produce from across the country and around the world all year long. When I wheel my cart down the grocery aisle I do enjoy buying Belgian chocolate, Italian balsamic vinegar, French cheese, Ecuadorian bananas, and I am not likely to think about ALL the costs associated with my purchases. Most of the time the amount of money we pay for our food does not accurately reflect the energy costs involved in producing, moving, stor-ing, packaging and mar-keting. Even less reflected in the price are the 'hidden' costs such as the health effects of highly processed foods, the pol-lution of water, air and soil, and the generation of waste. The price we pay in the store right now is merely determined by supply and demand or how much the customer is willing to pay. Long distance shipping is the norm today and according to a recent Sierra Club magazine article, produce in the United States travels an average 1,500 miles. With only 2% of the population involved in farming we no longer rely on our own farmers to fully supply a large number of food items. The typical American-prepared meal contains, on average, ingredients from at least five countries outside the United States. The higher the food mileage from field to fork, the larger the load placed on the environment. Locally produced, seasonal produce cuts food miles and can make environmental and economic sense – for both the producer and the consumer. According to a study by the Aldo Leopold Center in Kansas, buying locally grown food can cut emissions by as much as 90 percent.

School-lunch Poison. I was amazed when kids from a local elementary school pulled out their lunch bags during a field trip here on the farm last week. Not one item was fresh, unprocessed, or without some deceptive packaging and labeling regaling the taste and health of whatever artificially flavored inert and unidentifiable object inside. I felt like screaming about this criminality since we just spent two hours exploring the fields, gorging ourselves with strawberries and digging into the soil to understand where food truly comes from. I realized how formidable a foe the convenience food conglomerates have turned into. Children in our schools are given highly processed foods such as ‘Oscar Mayer's Lunchables’ that only contain two or three ingredients such as cheese, crackers, ham, or peanut butter and jelly; worst of all, these companies are luring kids to eat this junk by adding additional enticements in the form of candy, fruit-flavored high fructose drinks, or toys. If we agree with the saying "You are what you eat," then we know we have a crisis on our hands. Our children are eating foods where our money is NOT buying quality, taste and health, but instead supporting industries involved in processing, packaging, transporting and marketing. So to choose to buy locally grown, in season, organic fruits and vegetables not only makes economic sense but also empowers us to vote with our wallets by choosing one food item over another and showing support for whatever goes into the production of the item we buy. Since schools don't have the money to provide healthy lunches, it seems more important than ever to send our children to school with food coming from home rather than through a food industry that only has their bottom line in mind instead of the health of our children.  - Tom

Field Notes from Farmer Tom
Last week we finished planting all our potatoes, and the first batch of tomatoes are also enjoying their new freedom in the field after their long, over-crowded living situation in the greenhouse. Cucumbers and summer squash are also enjoying these warmer days, and by week's end we will be planting eggplant, peppers and basil. We are starting to see an abundance in the strawberry patch (finally!), and next week we will be supplement the veggies in our shares with mushrooms and sunflower sprouts, both grown by small, local, organic farmers just a few miles away from our farm.

New on the farm since last week – three new baby goats! Since all three were from one mama, there was a runt that probably wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t intervene and milk the mama goat and bottle-feed the little one. But strengthened by the nourishment, he learned quickly once we showed him what to do, and now is nursing on his own. All three are unbelievably adorable, so if you’re out this way and want to visit them, feel free to stop by!

Notes from Debbie’s Kitchen . . . . . . . . Have a recipe you’d like to share? Contact Debbie. All the recipes this week are fava-centric, so if you are looking for ideas for the other veggies, try visiting the recipe database on our website. Tons of recipes, all listed alphabetically by main veggie or ‘key ingredient’ as I like to say.  - Debbie

Fava Beans and Strawberry Salad with Pecorino
modified from a recipe I found online on the CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) website. Recipe is credited to Chris Cosentino of Incanto Restaurant and Bar [my notes and modifications are in square brackets – Debbie]
Serves 4

[This recipe calls for ‘rucola,’ which is an-other name for ‘arugula,’ a dark, spicy, leafy green we get in our shares several times a year. BUT, we don’t have it this week, so feel free to substitute some of the baby let-tuces Tom’s putting in the box instead!]

2 C shelled fresh fava beans
2 C strawberries
Wild rucola [arugula]
Pecorino cheese [or similar hard cheese]
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ C balsamic vinegar
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Coarse ground black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to boil, season with salt, blanch the shelled favas for about 1 minute then transfer to a seasoned ice bath so as not to over cook. Once cooled, re-move the skin* and discard. Place the favas in a mixing bowl, then set aside.

[*To remove the skin of fava beans, after they’re cooked, pinch a hole in the skin at one end of the bean and ‘squirt’ out the bright green inner bean.]

Wash the strawberries, then remove the green tops. Cut berries into quarters and add to the mixing bowl with the favas. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Add the rucola [arugula] [or torn up, bite-sized pieces of various lettuces], then dress with a splash of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil, toss to incorporate all the in-gredients then put on a platter or plate.

Using a peeler, peel curls of Pecorino [or Romano or Parmesan] on top and serve. [If you don’t have any of these cheeses, Feta cheese would be tasty too; just crumble on top instead of slicing.]

Fava Bean Crostini
from Randy Robinson, of Vino Locale (in Palo Alto – go visit them!! It’s a great place for locally-sourced wines and wonderful small-plate meals made from local and organic goodies, including produce from Live Earth Farm! They’re at 431 Kipling Street.

1 C shelled, cooked and peeled fava beans
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp. parmesan
½ C feta cheese
½ C extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
12 half-inch-thick slices of baguette

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. In a food processor, puree the beans with the garlic, lemon juice, thyme, cheeses. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Scrape the fava bean puree into a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.

3. Brush the bread slices on both sides with olive oil. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute per side, or until golden and crisp. You can also do this in a Panini or sandwich grill.

4. Spread the crostini with the fava bean puree and arrange on a platter. Top with crumbled feta

...and one more Fava recipe from member Alicia Bautista of Santa Cruz!

Favas, Green Garlic and Eggs!
“Here's what I do with favas. Shell, steam and slip them out of the skins (I use about 1 cup). Sauté lots of green garlic in olive oil and then add the favas. Crack up 2 or 3 eggs and beat them with a fork. Add them to the pan with the garlic and favas and swirl the pan to evenly distribute the eggs. Continue cooking until the eggs are done (cover with a pan to cook the top). Cut into wedges and finish with a generous sprin-kling of your favorite grating cheese (we love pecorino romano)."

*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.