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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
19th Harvest Week, Season 13
August 11th - 17th, 2008
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Who's farming who???
Slow Food Nation '08
Fall Equinox Family Cob Camp out
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
Calendar of Events
"Creative alliance marks the survival struggle of the world."  - Eric Alan from his book Wild Grace.
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, as are the source of any produce if not from Live Earth Farm (LEF). Occasionally content will 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]

Family Share
Arugula +
Broccolini +
Green beans
Kale, Red Russian
Peppers (sweet) +
Tomatoes (either a bag of red slicing or a basket of Sungold cherry)
Strawberries (see next to your name on checklist for quantities)*
Caneberries (see
next to your name on checklist for quantities)*
["caneberries" means either raspberries or blackberries]

Small Share
Peppers (sweet)
Tomatoes (either a bag of red slicing or a basket of Sungold cherry)
Strawberries (see
next to your name on checklist for quantities)*
Caneberries (see next to your name on checklist for quantities)*
["caneberries" means either raspberries or blackberries]

Extra Fruit
Strawberries, caneberries, and plums/apples! (see
next to your name on checklist for quantities)*

Fruit Bounty
Strawberries and caneberries (see next to your name on checklist for quantities)*

*The upper right-hand corner of checklist clarifies how much of each fruit item is associated with each part of your share combination, AND, under your name is listed your particular share combination. Exact quantities are listed next to your name.

Who's farming who???
The act of harvesting is the culmination of the growing cycle of a crop. It also represents the culmination of the farmers intimate relationship of nursing and raising a plant from seed to the point it is mature to serve as food for the larger human and animal community. The moment the hand harvests that portion of a crop destined to become food the act of farming, the growing of food, shifts to nourishment, the act of consuming food. None of our crops are harvested mechanically, it is the effort of the entire team of fieldworkers who week after week with their hands and bodies cut, snap, pluck, dig, and bunch the nourishing gifts you receive in your shares. August is the seasonal crescendo of the Farm's Harvest, the majority of crops are reaching maturity. It is physically the most strenuous period, when vegetables and fruit crops are all maturing simultaneously. 

The one crop which monopolizes everyone's attention more than any other, is the mighty Rose family. There isn't a season, a month, even a week that goes by where a member of this plant family isn't being courted. In return we harvest and eat their fruit year-round. Starting in March we eagerly look forward to the first red ripe strawberry, strawberries keep producing until late October early November, that's why some of them are called everbearing. After June's ollalieberry harvest, the Japanese plums and Blenheim apricots have their intense but delectable 3-4 week debut. By then blackberries and raspberries will have had enough time to mature and compliment the continuous everbearing strawberries. Together these three berries roll out the carpet for the fall harvested and abundant "fruit of paradise", the Apple, round, sweet, and perfect, with a tiny star of seeds hidden in the heart. Together with it's close cousin the sweet, sensuously shaped french butter pear these two members of the Rose Family are the queens among fall and winter fruit.  Just when the last apple varieties are picked, in late fall, there is one last little known and often forgotten member of the Rose family, the quince, which is harvested right around the time strawberries are again planted for the upcoming season.

Although the Rose family may get a lot of special attention, it is the combined dance of all the crop families, the legumes, nightshades, the brassicas and cucurbita, among others, with all their special lifecycles, which makes me wonder - Are we farming all these plant families or is it us who have evolved, only recently, to be in their service, and therefore, one might argue, being farmed by them. - It's ok if you think I am getting a bit delirious, I hope you all understand, it's August, in the middle of summer....  - Tom

Slow Food Nation '08
Over Labor Day weekend (Aug 29 - Sep 1) Slow Food USA will be hosting a monumental, food-centric event up in San Francisco, called Slow Food Nation. Regional purveyors of artisan foods from across the country will share their specialties; San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza will feature an urban garden (planted especially for this event!) and a farmers' market showcasing over 60 California farmers (including Live Earth Farm!); there will be workshops, lectures, poetry, art, music, theater... all in some way inspired by the land, the seasons, and the labors of love that are farming, beekeeping, harvesting, food justice - you name it! It's such a big event, it's hard to begin to summarize.

Want to know more? Click here for the link to their schedule of events. Slow Food Nation will take place at several venues around the city, and naturally you are encouraged to come 'on foot, by bike, or on public transit' (the Slow Food Nation website has transportation information under "Logistics").

On an inside note, our very own CSA member and site host Randy Robinson (owner of Vino Locale restaurant and wine bar up in Palo Alto), is a convivia leader of Slow Food Silicon Valley, our own local chapter of Slow Food USA. Slow Food SV is one of the original five chapters created in the US. The Slow Food movement "started in Italy in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world." (Sounds a lot like what we're all doing by being members of a CSA!) So go up for a visit (Vino Locale is walking distance from the Palo Alto train station), work on your 'slow', taste some fine local wines, taste his food creations (prepared with LEF produce!) and pick Randy's brain about Slow Food Nation! Then make your plans to attend...
Fall Equinox Family Cob Camp out
Saturday and Sunday September 20th and 21st - don't miss out!
Join us on the farm for the Fall Equinox and help us build a new cob oven and bench to replace "Toasty," our poor falling apart cob oven we originally built back in 2001. If you've been to any of our farm celebrations over the years, you've experienced Toasty in action, baking bread and pizzas and all sorts of stuff. But the last couple years, he's been showing signs of age, and the last few uses we've been sure we were seeing "Toasty's last gasp."

Toasty in his heydaySo we've decided to rebuild him, and so Live Earth Farm will be hosting a weekend-long cob building workshop and camp out to do the deed. (Pictured at left is Toasty in his prime.) The event will include hands-on lessons in cob building techniques using materials available right here on the farm.  A three year resident of the farm, Brian Barth will teach us how to build using natural materials, and longtime friend of the farm, Charles Limbaugh, will provide the oven engineering expertise like he did back in 2001.  If we are lucky, our very own CSA coordinator Debbie will again lead the artistic pursuit of a new oven guardian to finish it off.

Participants are then invited to share a potluck dinner Saturday evening, camp out on the farm, and enjoy a farm breakfast in the morning before we finish the oven on Sunday.  Your participation fees for this event will help fund the farm's fledgling nonprofit, the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program. Cost is $30/adult or $50/family, and we will be limiting attendance to 10 families.

If you are interested in participating or for more details, please contact Jessica (Live Earth Farm's Education Programs Coordinator) directly by emailing her. Signup deadline is Monday Sept. 8, or when we fill up.
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
Click here to go to the recipe database.

Welcome to the 10 or so new members we added last week! FYI, (everyone else already knows this) when I insert my own two cents in a recipe here, I always enclose it in square brackets [like this]. The italics, of course, is me too. ;-) Debbie

Some lucky members will be getting the first of the yummy Sungold cherry tomatoes this week (don't worry - there will come a time when we're all getting them in abundance!). But really, no one needs a recipe for them at this early stage - they'll get eaten up just like candy. But radishes are another story; people often ask me what else can be done with them other than just eating them, or putting them in salads. Well...

Yes you can eat the radish greens!
This little tidbit from member Alicia Woodrow: "Did you know that Indians eat radishes finely chopped *with the tops* as a stir fry with a bit of salt and turmeric? I love the tops just boiled as greens, American style. - Alicia

Here's an actual recipe for sautéed radishes-and-their-tops (an old Gourmet recipe sent to me back in 2003 by member Linda Caplinger) - it's very simple, and I'm sure you could experiment by adding the turmeric Alicia talks about, above. The original recipe calls for 4 bunches, so I've scaled it down for one bunch. And don't be put off by the 'fuzziness' of radish greens; that all goes away with cooking.

Sautéed Radishes (with their greens)
modified from a recipe in Gourmet Magazine, 2001

1 bunch radishes with greens attached
salt (preferably sea salt)
1 small garlic clove, minced
~2 to 3 tsp. chopped fresh chives

Cut greens from radishes and coarsely chop. Trim radishes and cut lengthwise into wedges.

Heat some butter in a heavy skillet [I think cast-iron works great!] over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté radish wedges with some salt, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes [for four bunches they said 12 minutes... I'm guessing much shorter cooking time with the smaller quantity]. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered.

Sauté garlic in some more butter in same skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add greens and sauté, stirring, until wilted, about 1 minute or less.

Return radish wedges to skillet and stir in chives.

[If you were going to try the turmeric option, I'd recommend adding some to the butter when you're sautéeing the radishes and/or their greens as opposed to after they're cooked; in most Indian recipes, the spices are sautéed in butter or ghee and then other ingredients are added... so that's my extrapolation for the day!]

Going through my member-submitted-recipe archives, here are two more, from long-time member and frequent recipe contributor Farrell Podgorsek:

Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

dried cranberries - orange flavored were good
pine nuts, toasted

approx. 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses (syrup)
vinegar to taste - I used champagne but any would work
1 tbsp. oil
salt & pepper

Pomegranate molasses (syrup) can be found at any Middle Eastern grocery. It is a wonderful product and great in salad dressings, and superb on lamb, especially when mixed with some chopped onion. [I agree with Farrell - it's great stuff!]

Bulgur Pilaf with Basil

Sauté finely chopped green garlic and leeks. [We're not getting green garlic or leeks right now, but finely chopped alliums of any sort - garlic, onion, shallot, etc. would do just fine.] Add some orzo pasta or any other shape, or spaghetti broken into small pieces and sauté until brown.  Add 2 cups stock or water and bring to a boil.  Add 1 cup bulgur and salt to taste, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes.  Add in 2 tbsp. finely sliced or chopped basil and 1 tsp. minced garlic.

And here are some more ideas from my clippings file:

Stir-fried broccolini, Vietnamese style
clipped from Bon Appetit magazine Feb 2008, source: Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian'
serves 6

4 tbsp. grapeseed oil or corn oil, divided [if I didn't have those I'd use something like safflower oil]
1 ½ lbs, broccolini [cleaned/trimmed as needed]
½ C water, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small dried red chilies (such as chiles de arbol), seeded, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add broccolini; sauté 1 minute. Add ¼ C water; cook, turning with tongs, until broccolini is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Add remaining 2 tbsp. oil to same skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until soft and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add chiles and garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add remaining ¼ C water, fish sauce, sugar and pepper. Return broccolini to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Rice with Green Onions and Cilantro
modified from an undated Bon Appetit clipping
[original recipe was for 12 servings]

1 C long-grain white rice
2 tsp. vegetable oil
¾ C chopped onion
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 2/3 C chicken stock [or vegetable broth - this would be a good place to use that 'found veggie stock' I talked about a few weeks ago!]
¼ - ½ tsp. salt
1 green onion, chopped
~ ¼ C chopped fresh cilantro

Place rice in a large strainer. Rinse under cold water and drain. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, thyme, and garlic. Sauté until onions are golden, about 4-5 minutes. Mix in rice, broth, and salt. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until rice is tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes [original recipe for 3C rice and 5C liquid said 20 minutes; I'm assuming a shorter cook time for smaller quantity]. Mix in green onions and cilantro. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired.

Cilantro chutney or chutni gashneez
an old SJ Merc. clipping, original source: "Afghan Food and Cookery" by Zoe Banchieri

[special note: I think there was a serious typo in this recipe - I could be wrong - but it called for only 1 tbsp. of walnuts, and 1 CUP of vinegar...! Those proportions seem out of whack to me, so I looked online and found some other versions of 'chutni gashneez' which called for ½ C walnuts and ¼ C lemon juice... so I've modified the below recipe according to my instincts!]

8 oz. [1 C] fresh cilantro [recipe says leaves only, but I'd use leaves and stems; they both have lots of flavor]
½ to 1 oz. hot green chiles, seeds removed, chopped
½ C walnuts [original recipe called for 1 tbsp.]
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ C white wine vinegar or lemon juice [original recipe called for 1 C]
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. raisins, optional

Grind cilantro, green chiles, garlic and walnuts, preferably with a mortar and pestle, making sure that they are mixed  thoroughly. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you could pulse them briefly in a food processor or grind in a blender. Add sugar to vinegar and mix well. Add vinegar mixture to cilantro mixture with salt and raisins. Mix again and place in a clean jar, screw on a lid and store in refrigerator.

[This is a condiment, a dipping sauce; good with kabobs]

And lastly, something on the sweet side... (FYI I made last week's raspberry-lemon pudding cake again a few days ago; oh it was so yummy!)

Raspberry-yogurt cake
another undated Bon Appetit clipping

3 C unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 ¾ C sugar
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice [grate the peel first, then juice it!]
1 ½ tsp. almond extract, divided
1 tsp. finely grated orange peel
3 large eggs, room temp.
1 C plain yogurt [sez low fat, but I recommend whole-fat organic, like Straus Creamery, or Lynn's goat yogurt. FYI apparently Trader Joe's house label whole milk organic yogurt is sourced from Straus Creamery, so a little bird told me...]
2 ½ C fresh raspberries (two 6-oz. containers)
1 C powdered sugar
1 tbsp. (or more) water
[the powdered sugar, water, and part of the almond extract is for a glaze - personally I'd leave that off; it's just more refined sugar and the cake is I'm sure plenty sweet and delicious without it. Just my two cents!]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan. Whisk 2 ½ C flour, baking powder, and ¼ tsp. salt in a medium bowl.

Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until creamy. Beat in orange juice, 1 tsp. almond extract, and orange peel. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in yogurt.

Add dry ingredients to batter, and beat just until blended.

Toss ½ C flour and raspberries in large bowl. Fold berry mixture into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake cake until wooden skewer inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool 30 minutes.

Invert cake onto plate and cool.

To make glaze: Whisk powdered sugar, 1 tbsp. water, and ½ tsp. almond extract in medium bowl. Add more water by half-teaspoonfuls as needed for thick glaze. Drizzle over [cooled] cake. Let stand until glaze sets.

For details on events listed below, please Click here to go to the calendar page on our website.

Fall Equinox Cob Building Workshop and Campout - Sept. 20 and 21
This event must be registered for; deadline for signup is Sept. 8 (or when full).
For more details or to sign up, email Jessica [Cost: $30/adult or $50/family; event will be limited to 10 families] See this week's story, above, for additional info.

Fine Farm Feast - postponed to 2009

Fall Harvest Celebration - Saturday Oct. 11th (more details as it gets closer!)

Banana Slug String Band Benefit Concert for our very own up-and-coming nonprofit, the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program - Saturday Nov. 22, 11am and 1pm at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz
Quick Links...

Contact Information
farm phone: (831) 763.2448
[see above text box for emailing the farm]