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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
25th Harvest Week, Season 12
September 17th - 23rd, 2007
(paper version of newsletter discontinued)

In this issue
--Greetings from Farmer Ken... again?
--Live Earth Farm Kids
--Winter Share - yes!!
--What to do when there's a mix-up at your pick-up
--What's in the box this week
--Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
--Contact Information

"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December."
~ J. M. Barrie

Greetings from Farmer Ken... again?

Hi everyone, it's Ken again, doing my best to fill in for Farmer Tom. Tom and Constance are attending the memorial for Constance's mother Eliane, and again our good wishes are with them.  
Along the lines of remembrance, I think this week I will take you on a little trip in time... back to the farm about five years ago. Long-time members may see a familiar face or name, and new members can learn a little about the journey Live Earth Farm has taken to get where it is today.
Intern Dorle and child from 2001Dorle (on right), October 2001.  Live Earth Farm has been host to a number of interns over the years, and each has contributed his or her own energy and personality. Many of the interns work the farm stand at farmers markets, so they became a familiar face to us customers. Like the farm's current intern, Bernadette, Dorle was adept at managing the farm's goats, who I remember were really a handful.... and as you can see here, Dorle was also great when kids visited the farm.
 Linnea and Debbie
Speaking of interns, Linnea (left) with Debbie, November 2002. Linnea was on the farm for several years, and brought heat and light (literally) to farm celebrations with her fire dancing. Linnea, her friend Chelsea and Annie later comprised "The Girls" at the farm. The three of them tended their own garden up by the greenhouse, and it became a magical place.

Annie at the farmers market Picture: Annie at the Willow Glen farmers market, 2003.
Tom and fresh loaves of bread

2002 was also the year of the bread share. Yes, that year the farm offered to its members about 30 loaves baked fresh each week in Toasty, the farm's wood-fired cob oven.  Here's Tom with the first loaves, April 2002. The bread share made absolutely no economic sense, but it was fun to try (I speak as one that helped bake them on occasion). And the bread was wonderful.Charles and Sara with Toastie

Those of you who have visited the farm have probably seen Toasty, who is looking a bit ragged after so much use. Here's Toasty the Cob Oven in its prime, with Charles and Sarah, 2002. Charles and Sarah are long-time friends of the farm and it’s due largely to their vision and leadership that Toasty was built in the first place.  
When I think of Toasty being built, I have an indelible memory of Constance, at Charles' urging, mixing cob by stomping it with bare feet and squishing it between her toes. Happy Constance!To bring that memory full circle, here's Constance at Open Farm Day, May 2002, enjoying bread hot from Toasty's belly.   
And when I think of Constance, I also think of Peanut, the farm's pony for all those early years. Under Constance's watchful eye, Peanut faithfully did his job of introducing kids to farm life, as here, Peanut with trepidatious city kids, October 2001. Peanut the pony with a bunch of skeptical kidsPeanut also contributed to Toasty, as well-aged pony manure was one of the ingredients of the cob, or adobe, for the oven (which led some wit to rename the mix "Peanut butter"). It was sad when Peanut began to suffer from founder, a hoof disease, and in time he died and is now buried on the farm. Rest in peace, dear Peanut.
And so it is on the farm, as indeed it is everywhere... So much is interconnected. Plants and animals and people appear and give of their lives and energy and then move on, leaving behind a world changed (we hope) for the better. It's the dance that Farmer Tom so often speaks of, that we dance each week through him and the Live Earth Farm crew. It's the dance he and Constance are dancing now.  
 Young girl holding baby goat
And so, one last picture: kid with kid. Taken in 2003 but it could be any year, actually. Life ends, life begins. Seeing the impish little goat brings me back to Dorle, and the whole cycle begins again. 
  - Ken

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Live Earth Farm Kids

Attached are photos of our 7th month old daughter, Simone, and our dog, Fidel both enjoying carrots from our farm share. Anytime we are chopping something in the kitchen, Fidel runs in to see if it's a carrot. Simone is new to solids, but will soon appreciate the wonders of Live Earth Farm.

Thanks for all you do!
Liz and Steve Tanner
Simone and Fidel

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Winter Share - yes!!

Several of you have asked, and it's official: we're going to have the Winter Share again this year! Wait -- hold your horses, I'm not quite ready to take your signups yet, but we wanted to let everyone know it is indeed going to happen, so that you're mentally prepared to sign up when I put the word out! This time we are going to combine our Winter Share and 2008 Early Registration signups, so that you can do both at the same time. This will simplify my life as well as yours (I hope!). My new database is very close to being finished, so I still hope to be on course to send out the signup announcement in early October (to existing members only; people on our waiting list will be notified about a month later, to give existing members first shot at the share combinations of their choice).

The Winter Share is going to have some exciting new 'ingredients' this year! In addition to the farm's veggies, we are going to have a carton (half-doz) of Jim Dunlop's delicious eggs from happy, pasture-raised chickens included in each share. Also, Tom has made arrangements with Happy Girl Kitchens (a part of Happy Boy Farms), to can some of our dry-farmed tomatoes and basil in their commercial kitchen, so each share will get one or two jars of this special treat during the winter season! Tom's planning on having other value-added items, like bread from a local baker, and... you'll just have to wait and see, and be surprised!

Other things to know about the Winter Share:

<> All Winter Shares are the same size, no "Family" or "Small", and no 'extras' -- everything will be included in the share, and they will all be the same. Size-wise, they will be generous, so, more 'Family-size-ish' than small. That's because the shares don't come every week, and so there will be longer stretches between pickups.

<> Like last year, there will be a limited number of pick-up locations [tentatively: Watsonville/LEF, Seabright, West Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley/Skypark, Los Gatos/Univ. Ave., Willow Glen, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale], and delivery will only be one day a week (Wednesdays). If you want a share but your pick-up location is not on the list, start talking to your fellow CSA members now (a perfect use for the Friends of LEF yahoo group!) to organize box-pooling: each member of your 'box-pool' can take turns picking up all the shares for the group. Folks down Monterey/Carmel way organized themselves brilliantly last winter, with each participant only needing to make the run to the farm to pick up the shares once - a great way to get to know other CSA members too, by the way!

<> There will only be 200 Winter Shares, and they will be sold first-come, first-served, upon signup and payment.

<> The Winter Share consists of 8 weeks (i.e. 8 shares) starting the Wednesday after Thanksgiving (Nov 28) and running for 3 weeks in a row (so, Nov 28, Dec 5 and 12), and then there will be a 3 week hiatus over the holidays. After the first of the year, the shares will be every other week, starting Jan 9 (so, Jan 9 and 23, Feb 6 and 20, and March 5). There will be a 4 week break between the end of the Winter Share and the start of the 2008 regular season.

<> The cost will be $250 and cover the entire 8 weeks.

So as I tell people who ask to be on our waiting list... keep an eye out for that all-important email from me in early October. Subject line will read something like "Live Earth Farm CSA - Winter Share and 2008 Early Registration"

- Debbie

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What to do when there's a mix-up at your pick-up

Everyone knows this rule: If your name is NOT on the list, do not take a share, because we didn't pack one for you. You will be short-changing another member if you do so. Instead, call us, and we will find out why and work things out.

What less people realize though, is if your name IS on the list but there are no shares left in your size, you may take a share anyway (and then call us at the farm to let us know, so we can remedy any inequities). If your name is on the list, you shouldn't leave empty-handed. We always leave the right number of boxes, but sometimes people take the wrong thing. Sometimes people forget to check off next to their name too, so don't assume remaining shares necessarily map to the number of un-checked boxes on the checklist. If you're on the list, take a share.

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What's in the box this week

Content differences between Family and Small Shares are in red; items with a “+” in Family Shares are more in quantity than in Small; anticipated quantities, if any, are in parentheses. Occasionally the content will differ from this list (i.e. we will make a substitution), but we do our best to give you an accurate projection.

Family Share:
Chinese cabbage
Green beans +
Lettuce +
Peppers +
Tomatoes +
Bag of apples and pears

Small Share:
Chinese cabbage
Cucumbers or summer squash
Green beans


Extra Fruit Option:
Pears, apples, raspberries and strawberries

"Strawberry Bounty" Option:
4 baskets of strawberries

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Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
Click here to go to my extensive recipe database, spanning 10 years of CSA recipes and alphabetized by key ingredient. Includes photos of most farm veggies; helpful for ID-ing things in your box!

This week, member Barb Beall has done an extensive and wonderful "What I'd do with this week's box", complete with recipes and even a short video! So without further ado... take it away Barb! – Debbie

What I’ll Do With This Week’s Box
by Barb Beall

After picking up my family share and extra fruit after work, I will take time that evening to sort the bag and store everything using Debbie’s excellent suggestions. I generally use the weekend to cook things ahead that can be assembled for quick meals during the hectic work week. Some of my “do ahead” tricks are:

• Slice the peppers and sauté with sliced onions in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. This relish stays good for several days and I may use it in tortillas with chicken or steak for a quick fajita dinner, or on a veggie sandwich with the grilled eggplant below.

• Slice some of the cucumber and combine with rice vinegar—these pickled slices are good on salads or with fresh sliced tomatoes, or on that veggie sandwich I mentioned.

• If I have a lot of basil, I’ll make some pesto, which I’d also use on my veggie sandwich, or in a pasta dish or on crostini, but I have to leave enough for the Ultimate Omelette (recipe below).

• Trim the green beans and steam for 4 minutes or so—I’ll add them to various dishes over the week or make Green Bean Hummus (which I love!) and make some variations to (ex: add some chili paste if you like heat), or toss them with one of my dressings.

• Grill a bunch of teriyaki chicken thighs to add to various dishes during the week, namely to Gingered Noodle recipe [eggplant, summer squash, Chinese cabbage, carrots], below.

• Another one of my secrets is homemade dressings and marinades. Store bought ones are often overpowering, and fresh dressings allow the produce to shine through. I generally make some dressings on the weekend for quick weekday salads.

Here are a few recipes I’ll use this week:

The Ultimate Omelette
When life gives you fresh tomatoes, basil, and chevre [and of course if you get the egg share too!], you must make an ultimate omelette! The flavors are absolutely sublime. This is so good we’ve been known to have it for any meal and an occasional snack. The key is the quality of the tomatoes—I would never consider making this with anything but the best and sweetest tomatoes (and we’re lucky enough to get them seasonally on a regular basis!) The quantities depend on how many omelettes you want to make--the recipe below is for one omelette

½ tablespoon butter
2 or 3 eggs, depending on how hungry you are, beaten
One medium tomato, thinly sliced and (optional) lightly salted
2 tablespoons (or so) chopped fresh basil
Enough 1/4 inch slices of chevre (goat cheese) to cover one half of the omelette (this is not precise because chevre resists slicing)
Salt and pepper to taste

To see how I make an Ultimate Omelette, click here for a small video.
[note to our readers from Debbie: this is Barb’s video, not something she found online! She and her husband made it just this weekend, using software he created. Talk about fresh and local!]

Arugula Salad with Strawberries, Toasted Almonds and Raspberry Vinaigrette
This is a favorite at my house. Sometimes I add whatever variety of lettuce we get, and some crumbled blue cheese. This would also be good with sliced pears. We’ve been known to add carrots, cukes, green beans, leftover meat and anything else to this salad for a complete dinner.

Lots of fresh arugula
Sliced fresh strawberries
Toasted sliced almonds

Raspberry vinaigrette:
4 tbsp. raspberry vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Grilled Eggplant with Sesame Seed Marinade
You can slice the eggplant horizontally or vertically depending on the shape you’re using. Modified from a Cooking Light recipe.

Eggplant, sliced ¾” thick [and summer squash, if you have it; I’m going with Debbie’s bracket thing.]
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (bake at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes on a shallow baking sheet, shaking once)
1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine rice vinegar through garlic. Brush the sliced eggplant with the marinade and let stand 15 minutes. Grill the eggplant (we prefer the barbecue) about 5 minutes on each side or until done, brushing with additional marinade.

Gingered Noodles with Chicken
Noodle bowls are always a quick, yummy meal. I’ll use leftover grilled teriyaki chicken from the weekend meal, and will throw in some grilled eggplant and summer squash and green beans if I still have some, in addition to or in place of, the ingredients below. Modified from a Cooking Light recipe. Serves 6.

2 tbsp. dark sesame oil
2 C thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3 1/2 ounces mushrooms) [the eggplant and summer squash could replace this]
1 C chopped sweet onion (about 1 large)
1 C chopped carrot
1 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
3 C fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) package uncooked soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
4 C thinly sliced Chinese cabbage (1 head)
3 C chopped cooked chicken
1/2 C thinly sliced green onions

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushroom, chopped onion, and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger; sauté 1 minute. Stir in hoisin and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add broth and noodles; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until noodles are done, stirring frequently. Place cabbage and chicken in a large bowl. Add noodle mixture to chicken mixture; toss gently to coat. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and green onions.

Pear and Apple Crisp
Modified from a recipe in Deborah Madison’s “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.” I try to serve this warm with vanilla ice cream.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2½ lbs. apples and pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp. butter cut into ½ inch chunks
¾ C brown sugar, packed
2/3 C flour
½ C rolled oats
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)

Using your fingers or the paddle attachment of a mixer, work the butter with the rest of the ingredients so you have a coarse, crumbly mixture.

Toss apples and pears with cinnamon, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. Arrange fruit in a 2 quart gratin dish and cover with the topping. Set on a baking sheet and bake until the topping is brown and juices from the fruit are bubbling, about 1 hour ten minutes.

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Calendar of Events
(see calendar on website for more info)

<> Sat. Jun 23 Summer Solstice Celebration (click here for a wonderful movie of this year's celebration!)

<> Sat. Oct 20 Fall Harvest Celebration

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Contact Information
email Debbie at the farm (for any farm or share-related business): farmers@cruzio.com
email Debbie at home (with newsletter input or recipes): deb@writerguy.com
farm phone: 831.763.2448
website: http://www.liveearthfarm.net