(A rare shot of the entire family celebrating the 2007 Summer Solstice, it sure feels like a long time ago...)
Greetings from Farmer Tom
Much of our time spent together as a family is in the kitchen and around the kitchen table. The kitchen is where the gifts of the earth are brought in to be prepared, shared and enjoyed. It's a place where food is more than just food, it is sustenance for our bodies and our souls, it is where we feel connected and alive. When we sit around the kitchen table it becomes a place where both the mind and heart are free to express themselves, often to tell very different stories. We express our emotions, share our stories, frustrations, hopes and dreams. It is where we are spontaneous to sing, cry, scream, laugh, be silly, make mistakes, and allow ourselves to just be ourselves. We come together to share a meal, to pray and hold hands to give thanks.
The field team, happy it's slowing down!!!
LEF CSA coordinator "extraordinaire". Not enough "thank yous" for all you do...How about no more phone calls or e-mails until the new database is up and running...:-)
The Live Earth Farm team has worked tirelessly to care for and nurture this land in order to collect her abundant and healthy gifts. Every week you receive a sampling of our effort in the form of food which in turn becomes a part of your kitchen table and family meals throughout the season. The food we grow is the common thread that links us together as a community, and all of us here on the farm are grateful to belong to this nourishing dynamic.
With the wonderful rain this last weekend we feel we can slowly surrender to the seasonal transition. Although life on the farm is certainly going to slow down, there is still a considerable amount of activity that will prevent us from falling into deep hibernation. The winter plantings are maturing nicely, and we can expect to spend a considerable amount of time in the fields (rain, shine, or freezing cold) in the coming months to supply both our weekly farmers markets and our hardy and abundant Winter shares. Winter is the time to plant bare-rooted plants; in early December we'll put in our yellow and red raspberries, and by early February, weather permitting, we'll increase our Warren Pear orchard by another 150 trees. As soon as plants are fully dormant we'll start winter pruning. And there is no better time than winter to attend to much needed repair and maintenance chores for both our farm equipment and buildings. I promised myself that I will finally bring our original crawler-tractor (which we started farming with 13 years ago) back to life. "Maggie," as it has been nicknamed over the years, has been sitting out next to the goat pen; she needs new tracks and a hydraulic pump. Then there are the discs which need some welding, and the spades on our spading machine which need replacing. . . and the list is getting longer.
Just in case we start snoozing off because things become too quiet, Wavecrest Montessori Middle School and the Farm are continuing to implement what has been a very rewarding and engaging educational program this year. The Wavecrest students, who have been coming to the farm every Thursday, are starting to feel more comfortable integrating their time on the farm as part of their academic learning experience, making important connections between theory and applied, on-farm activities.
It is with deep appreciation and gratitude that we extend our wishes of Joy, Love and Peace to you all for the holidays and the cooler, darker months ahead. At the end of the season I always like to quote Black Elk who once said, "Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were." So, stay in touch, read our winter newsletters, and hopefully we'll see you all here on the farm again next year!
Last Week - Eeek!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Well I keep telling myself this is the last week of the season, but it doesn't feel like it! With the winter share following on the heels of Thanksgiving, and close to 450 signups already in for next season (about 90 are still literally in my 'inbox'), it hardly feels like the slowdown time Tom talks about. But I know I'll get there eventually.
For those of you who are doing the winter share, remember that the schedule of delivery dates is posted on the website. I'll be emailing all winter share folks soon (I hope!) with any final info you may need about the winter season.
If you're an existing member and you haven't early registered for next year yet, you may want to do so soon; around the end of the month I'll be opening up registration to people on our waiting list. Don't want anyone to miss out! ;-)
Enough business already; I hope you all have enjoyed this season as much as I have - it really was the best yet. Let's hope that next season turns out as good! And it is always such a joy to hear from happy members, to hear the stories of how being a CSA member has changed your outlook or your health, or that of your children. Thanks to all of you who have called or emailed me with stories and recipes. All are truly appreciated.
Winter share folks: we'll be in touch; everyone else, you will all still continue to get this newsletter, even though you're not doing the winter share. This way you can at least stay connected to 'your' farm during the off season.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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.
Lettuce (red leaf) +
Peppers [Lakeside] +
Winter squash +
Mystery item (Farmer Tom's choice)
Apples [Bobby Silva]
Lettuce (red leaf)
Mystery item (Farmer Tom's choice)
Apples [Bobby Silva]
Extra Fruit Option: Apples, pears, strawberries and pineapple guavas (guavas will be inside the bag of apples)
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Click here to go to the
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!
Hard to believe we have reached the end of another season already. And what a magnificent one it was! To finish out the season, here is one last 'what I'd do,' courtesy of longtime member Kirsten Nelson. - Debbie
What I'd do with this week's share
by Kirsten Nelson
The pears are so wonderfully ripe that I don't try to keep them long. My favorite thing to do with ripe pears is pear, candied walnut and blue cheese salad. This salad is pretty quick and very flexible; you can easily substitute other fruits for the pears. Candied walnuts are available at the store, but they're very easy to make. Sauté a small handful of walnuts (or pecans) in a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of sugar over medium heat. Watch carefully and stir constantly. As the mixture becomes a rich brown, immediately remove from heat and pour onto a heat-safe surface to cool (line with a Silpat or a sheet of waxed paper). Peel and slice the pears. Wash the lettuce. Add some blue cheese, some sliced onion if you have it, and toss with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil if you like. The contrast between the sweetness of the pears and walnuts and the tartness of the vinegar just explodes in your mouth.
Any extra pears and apples get eaten for snacks or weekday lunches at our house. Same for the pineapple guavas. The strawberries are an after-school snack on pick-up days. Any berries left (if there are any left!) get featured on the next morning's cereal.
As the days get shorter, I love the taste of roasted vegetables. For a night when everyone's home for dinner, I'd combine peppers (cut into 1-inch-ish square segments) and broccoli (cut into florets) with some of last week's garlic (chopped fine) and toss with a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, then roast them. It only takes about 20 minutes (check to avoid burning) at 350 degrees, and the sweetness of the peppers and broccoli comes through.
With the green cabbage, I'd make coleslaw, adding some carrots if I have any of last week's still left. Brussels sprouts are great just steamed with butter and salt, but for an occasional treat, I like to fry up a slice or two of bacon (cut it into small pieces first), and then toss in some steamed Brussels sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
My family loves kale, chard, and collard greens cooked in the pan with pork chops. Sauté some onions in a cast iron skillet to get it hot. Push onions out of the way and add pork chops and quickly brown on both sides. Then add the greens, cut into 1-inch-ish wide strips. Toss and stir to get the chops and onions more or less on top of the greens. As the greens start to wilt, top the chops with a little cheese -- blue or cheddar works well. Cover the whole thing with a lid, reduce heat to low, and cook until the pork chops are done. Try a dry Gewurztraminer with this. Yum! If I weren't doing pork chops, I'd opt for the greens, onions, and feta over pasta recipe in Debbie's recipe index (I like to add pine nuts too), which is a great meat-free main dish.
The butternut squash stores so well that I might hang on to it for Thanksgiving. I also love it with meatloaf. My favorite way to prepare it is to cut the squash up into 1˝- to 2-inch pieces (after peeling and removing the seeds), drizzle a little maple syrup and a dash of curry over them, then roast until they're soft enough to get a fork through.