Greetings from Farmer Tom
Living with a new and exotic immigrant: LBAM
Once not too long ago, we were made
believe that DDT would safely eliminate Codling Moths in our apple orchards;
now we know the many lethal side effects this ‘silver
bullet’ approach to controlling nature had, and most likely still has,
today. Nobody likes to be sprayed on, no matter what the product or intent, especially
if information is incomplete and community involvement is rushed and bypassed.
It is warranted to question and oppose authorities who try to eradicate an insect
using emergency powers and avoiding more socially acceptable control methods.
I would favor the recommended use of pheromones to manage the Light Brown Apple
Moth (LBAM), since I am familiar with using pheromones myself in our apple and
pear orchards to control the mating of Codling Moths. However, we don't spray
and inhale the pheromones and the potentially toxic medium it is contained in
for aerial spraying; we only use traps and twist-ties placed in the trees. I
am completely opposed to these pheromones being sprayed over a large urban population,
without understanding the impact and efficaciousness of this approach. As a farmer,
my intent in controlling an insect is to minimize their damage to our crops,
knowing full well that with any living organism, whether an exotic new arrival
such as LBAM or a more established one such as the Codling Moth, all I am trying
to achieve is a favorable coexistence. To take a stance of wanting to fully eradicate
a living organism, at whatever cost, is an approach conceived in arrogance where
the underlying premise is based on a philosophy that nature exists for the convenience
of man alone. Such a narrow view of nature, coupled with the power of special
business and government interests creates a general sense of fear and mistrust.
I like what Pesticide Action Network, a non-profit group based in San Francisco,
required before any spraying takes place:
1. Scientific evidence documenting how and why aerial application of the pheromone
is expected to be efficacious.
2. Epidemiological or occupational health studies of effects of aerial pheromone
releases in Australia where the moth is originally from. In the absence of such
studies, independent assessment of public health/epidemiological literature and
of the illness reports from the Monterey aerial releases.
3. Findings from a recently initiated UC Davis research project on local environmental
impacts from the Monterey aerial releases.
4. Public presentations of all the studies and a comparative assessment of the
relative risks and efficacy of the range of least toxic alternatives available
for LBAM control.
5. Establishment of a broad based Environmental Justice-type committee, consisting
of local community members, growers (organic and conventional), local conservationists,
environmental groups and independent experts in entomology, toxicology and public
health, to collaborate in finding efficacious and ecologically and socially acceptable
solutions to LBAM control.
am sure that by abandoning our attitude of human superiority we can learn how
to share this earth with other creatures and, using our imagination and creativity,
do so peacefully and cooperatively. – Tom
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Hi, Debbie here -- I know I’ve been a big pusher of Michael Pollan’s
Omnivore’s Dilemma” (and if you haven’t read it yet, you must!
It’s great!!), but now I have a new book to recommend: “Animal, Vegetable,
Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. If you haven’t read any of her work,
you have missed out. Her writing is absolutely wonderful, and this is no
exception! It is, on the surface, a story of her choosing to feed her family
for a year as completely as possible from only local ingredients – mostly
what she grows and raises herself, but also from nearby farms and farmers; from
within her community, that is. Overall it is much more than just that story,
with sidebars by her husband, Stephen Hopp, on timely, related topics, and recipes
and cooking insights at the end of each chapter by her daughter Camille. Here’s
their website, if you’re curious, then if you want to read it, get a copy
from your local bookstore or library. I promise you, you won't be sorry!
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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
Chard or kale
Winter squash: sweet dumpling, butternut, and/or Kabocha or acorn
Avocados (Marsalisi Farm)
Winter squash: sweet dumpling, butternut, and/or Kabocha or acorn
Extra Fruit Option:
Strawberries, apples and pears
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Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
here to go to the
recipe database. Includes 10 years of CSA recipes and is alphabetized
by key ingredient. Also includes photos of most veggies; helpful
for ID-ing things in your box!
Hard to believe that the CSA season is nearly at its end! Only one more week
to go after this one. This week, member Laurel Pavesi shares her insights and
inspirations for ‘cooking within the box.’ A few other folks sent
in some timely recipes too, so I’ll include them after Laurel’s.
What I’d do with my box this week
by Laurel Pavesi
Well I’m a newbie – an enthusiastic newbie. At the beginning
of the season I was overwhelmed – now I’m more in the swing of things.
I’m still on a steep learning curve though, so I use the “swap” box
a lot. I check my sack of goodies each week to see if there is something
I might not use, and “donate” it to the swap box. Last week
I had the satisfaction of seeing another member pick up my ‘donations’ right
away! In this week’s box I’ll donate my kale, and if there are extra
carrots I’ll pick some up for my favorite carrot cake recipe.
I’ve received so many compliments on this carrot cake recipe. I’m
convinced it’s Tom’s delicious carrots that make the difference! I
use my food processor to grate the carrots so it’s not so much work. I’ve
even frozen this cake successfully. I freeze it first without wrapping
it, and once the icing is frozen hard I wrap it in freezer wrap or a bag. I
remove the freezer wrap before I thaw it and the icing still looks great!
Brown Sugar Carrot Cake
2 C flour (10 oz.)
2 C brown sugar (16 oz.)
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon (or more if you love cinnamon)
½ tsp. salt
Add and mix thoroughly:
1 C oil (7.5 fl oz)
Add, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition:
4 eggs (from our egg share!)
3 C finely grated carrots (1 bunch is about a cup)
¾ C chopped walnuts (approx)
½ C golden raisins (approx)
Pour into greased (I use parchment paper) 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees
F for 45 minutes (325 degrees for 45 minutes in convection oven). It’s
done when the center of cake reaches 200 degrees, or a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool on a cake rack.
Now the Cream Cheese icing!
8 oz cream cheese; softened to room temp
¼ lb. butter; softened to room temp
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
With the butter and cream cheese at room temperature, mix everything together
well. I use a food processor and pour in the powdered sugar after I’ve
blended the other ingredients first.
Now that we have dessert for a week, I’ll work on healthy foods.
Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts: I like to lightly steam
my broccoli with tarragon and use it in salads. I place about an inch or
two of water in a stock pot (you don’t want the water to rise above the
colander insert) and add a couple sprigs of fresh tarragon (I buy it at grocer’s
since I haven’t had much success growing it – it keeps very well
in the fridge). I
put the broccoli in the pasta/colander and insert it into the stockpot. Boil
the water and steam the broccoli for about 5-10 minutes depending on how well
done you like your veggies. I’ll do the same with our brussel
sprouts, but will steam them longer to make sure they are soft all the way through.
Once the veggies are cooked I sprinkle on rice vinegar and store them in the
fridge for use in salads or as a quick side dish.
Lettuce: We love Tom’s fresh lettuce and use it a couple ways. My
husband places fresh grilled fish on a bed of lettuce leaves – he especially
likes to use butter lettuce for this. And of course we use lots of lettuce
for salads. We’ll make a meal of our salads by adding a variety of
ingredients, such as: fresh herbs, cheese, nuts, chopped eggs, leftover
fish or meat, fresh or cooked veggies, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and dried or
fresh fruit! (Not all of the above at a time however!) We toss it all together
and use Brianna’s brand dressings – their Blush Wine Vinaigrette
is good on a delicate strawberry salad and the Saucy Ginger Mandarin dressing
is good on a heartier steamed veggie salad. (I haven’t graduated to making
my own dressings yet…) Oh, and by the way, I bought a HUGE metal
bowl to toss our salads. I first used one at a vacation rental – now
I can’t imagine my kitchen without it – it makes tossing a salad
so EASY and clean up a breeze.
Cabbage: My husband likes to steam the cabbage with a couple sausages
from the Corralitos Meat Market. He puts the whole head in a stockpot with
a little water, throws in a couple sausages, maybe an onion and some potatoes,
and lets it steam for an hour or more until the cabbage is tender through. Serve
with mustard and mayo.
Winter Squash: My mother just gave me this recipe from Cook’s
Country Magazine – I haven’t tried it yet, but I have some fennel
on hand so will give it a try this week. Tom and Debbie introduced us to
fennel and we fell in love with it, so I keep it on hand whenever I can find
it fresh at the market.
Winter Squash and Fennel
Butternut squash, approx. 2.5 lbs., peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
2 granny smith apples (I’ll use whatever’s in the box), peeled, cored
2 fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped fennel fronds (optional)
½ C dried cranberries
¼ C olive oil
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Adjust the oven rack to the upper middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss all ingredients in large bowl until well coated. Arrange mixture on baking
sheet and roast until veggies are tender and lightly browned (about an hour).
Here are some more brussel sprouts and winter squash recipes; the first two
were sent to me by member Cynthia Neuendorffer. The next two by member Peter
Deutsch. It never ceases to amaze me how varied and interesting cooking of the
same basic ingredient can be!
Brussel Sprout pasta
add onion and garlic
cook 3 slices bacon, crumble
chop brussels sprouts
chop chard stems
toss above into melted butter and sauté
add ~1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and white wine
toss in chopped chard greens and cook until just wilted
serve over pasta of choice (we did spinach/cheese ravioli)
cube raw pumpkin [any winter squash will do – Debbie] and coat with olive
sprinkle on ground clove and curry
roast in oven
prepare favorite pizza shell
top with tomato sauce and mozarella cheese
add black olives, roasted pumpkin cubes, spinach, and feta cheese
bake and enjoy
Here are Peter’s submissions:
Brussels sprouts with garlic and honey
from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2007
1 tbsp. butter
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, quartered and trimmed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. honey
Melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels
sprouts, salt, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 2
minutes or until lightly browned. Add 3 tbsp. water; cover and cook 3 minutes
or until Brussels sprouts are tender. Drizzle with honey; toss well to
from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian – “a wonderful cookbook, big
and expensive and worth every cent” says Peter
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely crushed
1 fresh hot green chile, sliced into very thin rings
1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
2 lbs. any hard winter squash (pumpkin, butternut, whatever), cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch
3/4 tsp. salt
1 ½ tbsp. light brown sugar
Put oil in a large, wide, preferably non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When
very hot, add onion; stir-fry until lightly browned. Add garlic, chile,
thyme, and cilantro; stir for a few seconds, until the garlic is golden. Add
squash; stir for a minute. Add 3 tbap. water, cover, turn heat to low,
and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until squash is just tender, stirring now and
then. Uncover; add the salt and sugar; stir gently, mashing the squash
lightly so you retain some texture. Serve hot.
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