What's in the box this week
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Family Share: Lettuce, Carrots, Chinese Cabbage, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Peppers, Eggplants, Broccolini, Strawberries
Small Share: Lettuce, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Chinese Cabbage, Green Beans, Broccoli/ Broccolini, Strawberries
Fruit Share: Pears, Strawberries, Raspberries or Blackberries
Strawberry Bounty Share will starts in 1-2 weeks
Interconnected-her light shines bright.
After a difficult struggle with cancer, Eliane, Constance's mother, passed away last Sunday. Sorrow fills the heart as one stands in disbelief and in silence, facing an emptiness. The mind attempting to understand what the heart feels, struggling to make sense of this mystery. As a farmer I accept and live the cyclical process of death and rebirth as the Earth rolls around the sun and the seasons roll with it. We watch the leaves fall, endure the grip of winter and learn that spring will come again, but the loss of our beloved Eliane is permanent.
" Now is the time for this incredible transition, when love continues without a physical body...a new sense of emptiness, deep sadness and puzzlement that a loved one has united with the universe."
Constance's words of grieving brings meaning to the healing spiritual dimension in our lives. We are not just trapped in this physical body, alienated and alone. I find solace in the fact that in nature everything is transformational, matter moves through time and space, from one form into another, but it is never lost. I will always remember my mother-in-law as a deeply spiritual person, with a big heart, tolerant and generous, expressing great joy and tenderness. Her passing sheds light on the flourishing gifts of life she left behind, her three wonderful children and seven grandchildren. She has supported and inspired the farm from the beginning. The Live Earth Farm logo was inspired by one of her drawings, the little girl sitting on a sunflower holding her hands up as in gratitude and celebration for the bounty we receive from the land. Eliane loved Roses, her casket was cover with them as we bid her farewell. When we returned home, our entry to the house which is lined with Roses reminded me of her and I smiled as I thought of the big family of plants which the Rose is related to and which we grow so many of. Our sweet pears, juicy strawberries, delicate and flavorful raspberries, the plums, peaches, apricots and blackberries all belong to the same family called Rosaceae. I will miss Eliane but her spirit, I know, will continuously touch us and spread like an invisible web through every level of our existence.
Illegal Aliens and Lawbreakers?
" Illegal aliens, lawbreakers? These immigrants produced the great bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables over which we give thanks every day at our dinner table, and we call them illegal. Into their care we trust the most precious things that we have, the lives of our children, and we call them alien. Into their care we trust our parents and grandparents when they are too old and infirm and ridden with disease to care for themselves, and we call them lawbreakers. We tell them they should be ashamed for having broken the laws for coming to this country to work. ... let us look into our own hearts and souls and ask ourselves, who should be ashamed?"
This is a quote from Maria Elena Durazo, one of the nation's most prominent Hispanic Labor Leaders.
In farming, the farmworker is all too often unnoticed, politically vulnerable and frequently victimized. We all witnessed that again this summer, when our political representatives were unable to change the flawed and untenable immigration policy of this country. Farmworkers, over 700,000 in California alone are a critical workforce who deserve their basic rights as workers and human beings no matter where they are from or what their immigration status.
We have an incredibly talented, dedicated, and
hard working group of people who every day bring this farm alive and help us grow this wonderful food The dignity of
farm labor is the key to having a healthy and thriving farm. When we
talk about the farm's organic production methods we also need to include
all the people involved, so they are as healthy and cared for as any
other aspect of the farm. What would be the point of farming organically
if the workers were underpaid, overworked or treated without respect?
We pay all our workers well above the minimum wage and make every possible
effort to offer year-round employment, based on year-round production and
cash flow. Over the last few years this has allowed our family of workers
to purchase their own home, creating a more stable and decent living situation
for all. Although our goal is to provide comprehensive personal health insurance for our workers, at the moment, the costs are financially unsustainable. At the moment we can provide provide small loans, payed sickleave, and cover a limited amount of medical expenses beyond the required worker's compensation. Since none of our work is based on a piece rate (we pay at an hourly
rate), our employees don't scramble so fast that they risk permanent damage
to their bodies in the rush to make a few more dollars a day. To protect
the physical health of everyone is very important. Working on a farm is not
only more dangerous at times, but doing the same task repeatedly is both
boring and can be physically harmful. Given the diversity of crops and activities
we have here, everyone enjoys a variety of tasks during a given week. Harvesting,
weeding, pruning, planting, washing, packing, watering, plowing, delivering
the produce as well as selling at farmers markets are some of the many activities
that keeps the work very diverse. Working on a farm can be very strenuous,
so it is important to also try to have a good time, and recognize the importance
of good companionship and good humor. Finally, growing food for a known community
of members is more rewarding, giving more importance and recognition to all
the work performed here on the farm. Through your commitment as members in
our CSA you are directly participating in bettering the condition of our
farm workers. The responsibility of fairness and well-being is more integrated,
and not just resting with me, the farmer.
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.) Your first pears will need 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!'
Debbie's Kitchen is closed
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Debbie is off this week working on a kitchen remodeling project. So please use the farm's recipe database, I am sure Debbie will be back next week, and probably more inspired than ever. The link to our website is just below under Quick Links.