Live Earth Farm CSA Newsletter
17th Harvest Week, Season 12
July 23rd - 29th, 2007
-- "Summer time and the living is easy"...
-- The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization and why you should care?
-- Field Notes
Family Share: Lettuce, Radishes, Tatsoi (Asian Mustard Green), Green
Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, Dry-farmed and/or Heirloom Tomatoes, Broccolini,
Carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Sweet Peppers, Lacinato Kale,
Small Share: Lettuce, Radishes,Tatsoi Asian Mustard Green, Green Beans,
Cherry Tomatoes, Dry-farmed and/or Heirloom tomatoes, Broccolini, Carrots,
Beets, Sweet Peppers, Lacinato Kale, Strawberries
Extra Fruit Option: Strawberries, Bag of Plums & Peaches, Blackberries.
Strawberry Bounty Option: 4 baskets of strawberries
"It is useless to force the rhythms of life. The art of living
is about learning how to give time to each and every thing" Carlo
Petrini, Founder of Slow Food
This week's newsletter is created by yours truly, Farmer Tom himself.
Debbie is not feeling well and will temporarily have to rest and take
care of herself. Since I do not have Debbie's editing skills to create
the wonderful electronic newsletters we've become accustomed to, I will
keep it simple, no pictures and graphic design features. Also, Debbie's
kitchen corner is closed for the week, so if you need to be inspired
to figure out how to prepare this weeks bounty, please use the farm's
extensive recipe database accessible through the website, www.liveearthfarm.net.
The farm is like a living organism, when one member is sick or absent
we all feel it. It's an opportunity to appreciate the importance of each
individual member, their skills, talents, and dedication which together
keep this farm running smoothly. - Tom
"Summer time and the living is easy"...
There is no such thing as 'easy' here on the farm, especially in the
summer. One of the great pleasures of Summer is that it is sprinkled
with many joyous moments of juice gushing taste explosions. Savoring
the taste of summer in a juicy sweet sun-warmed peach or apricot, a vine-ripened
tomato, a plump blackberry or a juicy plum may be a simple pleasure but
it carries the essence of a complex and almost artistic process where
farmer and nature dance together. There are no art grants for farmers
but the ones who would deserve to receive them are those who aim to grow
flavor instead of yield. They are the ones who make it their life's passion
to grow the best tasting fruits and vegetables. One example of such a
passionate persuit for taste is reflected in growing dry-farmed tomatoes.
The popular Early Girl tomato has been discovered by Molino Creek Farms
several years ago to be the one and only tomato that is suitable to be
dry-farmed. Many factors and techniques factor in to obtain a good crop,
a few important ones include the right planting space, dry-mulching as
well as applying a number of slow-release fetilizers such as compost,
crushed oystershell, and foliar kelp sprays. Our coastal microclimate
has shown to be the most suitable for dry-farming. The plant is stressed
enough to achieve a concentrated flavor but not so much that it will
die. Chefs and restaurants often get the bulk of the credit for great
tasting food, however famous chefs such as Alice Waters, founder and
owner of Chez Panisse, will attribute much of her success to the fact
that the great taste of her dishes comes from using local and seasonally
grown fruits and vegetables. She has hundreds of connections with local
small scale and very passionate farmers who engage in "artistic" growing
practices to create unique flavors of selected varieties grown under
unique conditions and micro-environments. The Royal Blenheim Apricots
we grow although they grow much better in the hotter and drier interior
valley's here on the farm they were planted into heavy clay soils where
we never have to irrigate them and therefore develop a very intense sweet
flavor. My dad 10 years ago helped me plant these trees during a very
wet El Nino spring, he still remembers bucketing the water out of the
planting holes. On his 85th birthday in February this year he asked how
the trees were doing and he cried when I told him how much fun his granddaughter
Elisa was having picking and biting into fruit so ripe that the juices
where running down her chin.
The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization and why you should care?
Every five to seven years, the president signs an obscure piece of legislation
that determines how several hundred million acres of private and public
property are to be used, what sort of food we eat, and how much it costs.
This Bill which follows a precise set of rules spelled out by our government
gets very little input from anyone and is mostly put together by the
special interests of a handful of farm-state legislators. In reality
this 90 billion dollar Bill can do more than any other piece of legislation
to reform our current food system and by doing so we could improve our
country's environment and public health. For example it spells out what
our children will eat for lunch in school every day. Right now school
lunch programs are targeted dumping grounds of surplus agricultural commodities,
especially cheap feedlot beef and dairy products. Most important is that
we call our senator or representative to voice the wishes we have to
strengthen local and regional farming networks which provide sustainably
grown food, accessible to all income groups. Strengthen the farmer's
market Promotion Program and other direct farmer to consumer efforts
such as CSAs, farm -to - school programs and community food projects.
Support organic farming and research, expansion of conservation programs
to protect, waterways, wildlife habitats,and natural resources. For more
information about the Farm Bill there is an excellent Book by Daniel
Imhoff called Foodfight, published by Watershed Media. Websites include:
www.healthyfarmbill.org, www. sustainableagriculturecoalition.org. www.slowfoodusa.org/farmbill,
The spinach I was planning to put into the shares this week turned yellow
with the intense heat we experienced this weekend. The peppers are an
early pick to alleviate the plants from the heavy fruit load and prevent
them from braking or falling over. The yellow ones are sweet hungarian
wax peppers, and the green ones are bell peppers and the pointy pimento
peppers, which ones fully ripe have a wonderful rich sweet taste with
an intense red color. This weeks mix of tomatoes includes both heirlooms
and dry-farmed Early Girl tomatoes. The heirlooms are Red Brandywine
and Cherokee Purple both wonderful slicing tomatoes.