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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
5th Harvest Week, Winter Season 2008/2009
Weds. Jan 28, 2009
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Next Generation
A Terroir-ist Manifesto
What to do with the jars
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]

" Teach your children
  what we have taught our children-
  that the earth is our mother.
  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons and daughters of the earth"
-Chief Seattle
What's in the box this week
During the winter season there are no 'Family' or 'Small' sized shares - everybody gets the same size box! As usual though, content can sometimes differ from this list (typically we will make a substitution), but we do our best to give you an accurate projection.

[go to recipe database]

Winter Share
Apples, both Pippin and Fuji
Beets, red
Beets, golden
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower, Romanesco (1 lg. or 2 med.)
Kale, red Russian (2 bunches)
Onions (from Pinnacle Farms)
Fresh rutabagas, with their leafy green tops!
Pickled tomatoes & basil (LEF tomatoes and basil canned by Happy Girl Kitchen Co.)

Bread Option
This week's loaf will be multi-seeded whole wheat

Next Generation

If I have to identify one event that never fails to rejuvenate and inspire me in the off-season, it is the annual Ecological Farming Conference held at Asilomar in Monterey.  When I first attended the conference 15 years ago it was a catalyst for our young family (David was 1 year old) to leave the city and start farming. Although the conference has become very popular, with more than a couple of thousand people attending, it is a wonderful place to meet  and network with fellow farmers and friends I wouldn't otherwise see during the busy-season. 
What struck me this year was the number of young people who attended the conference. It may in part have to do with my own inevitable aging process, where the world around me is growing younger, but more importantly this time was the realization that a younger generation is emerging, inspired to engage in sustainable farming. I was excited to think of the potential future opportunities for this next generation of young farmers. Today only 2% of the population is engaged in farming and 45% of farmers are over the age of 45, that includes me.  Although megafarms will continue to be important in the overall food production business, I am hopeful that the real action to stem the environmental damage and human health issues is going to occur in the comparatively small scale food production systems now sprouting up everywhere.  The challenges are numerous, but I think there is an exciting future for young dedicated people to own and operate their own organic farms. New farmers understand that they need to make money, but they also understand that they need to be good friends, good neighbors, and good citizens. They also understand that farmers are the caretakers of the earth and their stewardship of the earth matters for the future of humanity. New farmers understand the purpose of real farming is far more important than just production and profits. If the promise of a more environmentally sound economy is to be fulfilled, it is our responsibility to reach out to these young people.
At Live Earth Farm it is through our educational programs that we want to contribute and inspire youth about professional opportunities and  lifestyles associated with building sustainable foodsystems. In the next couple of weeks we will post our 2009 on-farm events calendar on the website. Please contact us if you have suggestions or ideas that you want us to integrate this season. The purpose of community events is to build and nourish diverse relationships among all members of the farm while at the same time supporting our educational objectives where the farm is a resource to inspire children and young adults about food, farming and the natural environment. 

A Terroir-ist Manifesto
Debbie here. Freshly back from last week's Eco-Farm Conference, I was most inspired by Gary Nabhan (a well known author, lecturer, ethnobotanist and local foods activist) in a workshop I attended called 'Renewing America's Food Traditions.' He wrote this amazing poem and read it aloud to us, and I just had to share it with all of you, because it so aptly conveys why we're here, why we're doing what we're doing - why YOU'RE doing what you're doing (in participating in our CSA). So without further ado (but with a few farm pictures added):

A Terroir-ist's Manifesto for Eating in Place
by Gary Nabhan, January 2007

Packing the Shares
Know where your food has come from

through knowing those who produced it for you,
from farmer to forager, rancher or fisher
to earthworms building a deeper, richer soil,
to the heirloom vegetable, the nitrogen-fixing legume,
the pollinator, the heritage breed of livestock,
& the sourdough culture rising in your flour.

Bernie and goat; fresh chevre
Know where your food has come from
by the very way it tastes:
its freshness telling you
how far it may have traveled,
the hint of mint in the cheese
suggesting what the goat has eaten,
the terroir of the wine
reminding you of the lime
in the stone you stand upon,
so that you can stand up for the land
that has offered it to you.
our crew, spring 2008

Know where your food has come from

by ascertaining the health & wealth
of those who picked & processed it,
by the fertility of the soil that is left
in the patch where it once grew,
by the traces of pesticides
found in the birds & the bees there.
Know whether the bays & shoals
where your shrimp & fish once swam
were left richer or poorer than before
you & your kin ate from them.

Upper field under winter cover crop; Summer Solstice Celebration; Mogie
Know where your food comes from
by the richness of stories told around the table
recalling all that was harvested nearby
during the years that came before you,
when your predecessors & ancestors,
roamed the same woods & neighborhoods
where you & yours now roam.
Know them by the songs sung to praise them,
by the handmade tools kept to harvest them,
by the rites & feasts held to celebrate them,
by the laughter let loose to show them our affection.

Know where your foods come from
by the patience displayed while putting them up,
while peeling, skinning, coring or gutting them,
while pit-roasting, poaching or fermenting them,
while canning, salting or smoking them,
while arranging them on a plate for our eyes to behold.
Know where your food comes from
by the slow savoring of each and every morsel,
by letting their fragrances lodge in your memory
reminding you of just exactly where you were the very day
that you became blessed by each of their distinctive flavors.

When you know where your food comes from
you can give something back to those lands & waters,
that rural culture, that migrant harvester,
curer, smoker, poacher, roaster or vinyer.
You can give something back to that soil,
something fecund & fleeting like compost
or something lasting & legal like protection.
We, as humans, have not been given
roots as obvious as those of plants.
The surest way we have to lodge ourselves
within this blessed earth is by knowing
where our food comes from.

What to do with the jars
Several folks have asked if they can return the jam and tomato jars to us for re-use. We wholly encourage you to either re-use your jars yourself, or give them to someone you know who cans (or at the very least recycle them)... but please do not give them back to us. We are not in the business of recycling (we're too busy farming your veggies for you!), and so they would just be a burden for us to deal with.

<> ALL winter CSA deliveries are on WEDNESDAYS, so if you're used to picking up on Thursdays, you have to make the mental switch!

<> Pick-up schedule is NOT every week. Here's a repeat of the dates all winter share members got in an email (these dates are also on our website):

12/3/08 (already passed)
12/10/08 (already passed)
12/17/08 (already passed)
<3 week break over holidays>
1/14/09 (already passed)
<no share 1/21>
<no share 2/4>
<no share 2/18>
<no share 3/4>
3/11/09 = last winter share!

<2 week break>

Weds/Thurs April 1st/2nd = 1st delivery week of the regular season!

Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
Click here to go to recipe database.

This weeks veggies are more or less the same as last time, only we're getting extra kale, tomatoes instead of jam, and there are no lemons. But everything is still as fresh and delicious as always, and I don't know about you, but my fridge is empty and ready to receive, so without further ado, let's get to those recipes!! - Debbie

Member Laurel Pavesi wrote me recently saying, "we tried this [the following] recipe with collards and kale before Christmas and it was delicious!" and then went on to try it using her rutabaga greens. The verdict? "I didn't evaporate the liquid totally [in the rutabaga greens version], so we had a bit of sauce; I cooked two eggs on the top just before serving, and left the yolks just a bit runny - served it with grated parmigiano ~ ohh! my goodness, REAL MEN eat greens!  My husband enjoyed them!"

Braised Winter Greens
from Cook's Illustrated [minor edits by Debbie]
Serves 4

For best results, be sure your greens are fully cooked and tender in step 1 before moving on to step 2.

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 C)
5 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 tsp.)
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 lbs. kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed
1 C low-sodium chicken broth [any broth or stock would be fine]
1 C water
2 to 3 tsp. juice from 1 lemon
Ground black pepper

Step 1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 35 minutes for kale and 35 to 45 minutes for collards.

Step 2. Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon lemon juice. Serve.

Warm Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts salad with mustard-caper butter
from 'Local Flavors' by Deborah Madison
Serves 8

2 garlic cloves
Sea salt
6 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ C drained small capers, rinsed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp. chopped marjoram [about half that if using dried, and rub it between your fingers to release the fragrant oils]
Black pepper
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 small head (½ lb.) white cauliflower
1 small head Romanesco cauliflower
[no problem using all Romanesco, and one big head 2 small will be fine]

To make mustard-caper butter: Pound garlic with ½ tsp. salt in a mortar until smooth. Stir garlic into the butter with the mustard, capers, lemon zest and marjoram. Season to taste with pepper. (Butter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp. before serving.)

Trim the base off the Brussels sprouts, then slice them in half or, if large, into quarters. Cut the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the cauliflower and continue to cook until tender, about 5 minutes. [I think the sprouts will cook quicker, so I probably wouldn't give them the extra 3 minutes! But that's just my opinion...] Drain, shake off excess water, then toss with the mustard-caper butter. Taste for salt, season with pepper and toss again.

I sure like the sound of this next recipe ~ a bit involved perhaps, but it sounds awfully yummy! Try making half the dough with red beets and half with golden, then cook some of each and serve them together!!

Beet Gnocchi with Rosemary
Bon Appetit, Oct 2004, from a restaurant called "Angeli Caffè"
8 first-course or 4 main-course servings

3 small beets, trimmed
1 lb. fresh ricotta cheese
1 lg. egg
¾ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2¼ oz)
1¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1½ C all purpose flour, divided

½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter
8 3-inch-long fresh rosemary sprigs

Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour [you all know how to do this by now, right?]. Cool 15 minutes, slip skins off beets; discard skins. Coarsely grate beets. Place ¾ C grated beets in a large bowl (reserve any remaining beets for another use). Stir in ricotta, egg, ¾ C Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix in 1 C flour. (Dough can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Place remaining ½ C flour in small bowl. Using a tbsp. measure as an aid, scoop dough into rounds and transfer to bowl with flour. Coat rounds with flour, then roll each into 1 ½-inch-long log. Hold in palm of hand and gently press centers with fingertips to make slight indentations. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet. (Gnocchi can be prepared 6 hrs. ahead. Cover and chill.)

Melt butter with rosemary in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Set skillet aside. [If you use cast-iron, be mindful of residual heat which could burn your butter and maybe take the pan off the heat just a skosh sooner, as it will continue to brown from the residual heat.]

Working in batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of simmering salted water until gnocchi float to surface, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook 1½ minutes longer. [Huh... I usually take gnocchi out once they float. Oh well, they probably know what they're talking about. ;-)] Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet with butter and rosemary. Heat butter and gnocchi over medium heat just to heat through, stirring gently to coat, about 1 minute. Transfer gnocchi to plate; sprinkle generously with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

Apple and Cranberry Crisps with Ginger-Pecan Topping
Bon Appetit, Oct. 2003
makes 4 custard-cup servings

This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

4 medium tart apples (about 1½ lbs.), peeled, cored, chopped into [roughly] ½-inch cubes
½ C dried sweetened cranberries
½ C sugar
3 tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
1 tbsp. all purpose flour

1/3 C (packed) dark brown sugar
[or 1/3 C sugar + 1 to 1½ tbsp. molasses worked in]

¼ C all purpose flour
¼ C old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
¼ cup (½ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
2/3 C toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

Vanilla ice cream [optional]

For filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter four 1¼-C custard cups or soufflé dishes. Mix all ingredients in bowl. Let stand until juicy, about 5 minutes. Divide filling among prepared cups. Bake until bubbling at edges, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare topping: Blend 1st 7 ingredients in large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until a coarse meal forms. Mix in pecans with fingertips. Crumble topping over hot apples. Bake until topping is golden brown, apples are tender, and juices are bubbling thickly, about 25 minutes. Serve warm with [optional] vanilla ice cream.

Contact Information
farm phone: (831) 763.2448