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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
28th Harvest Week, Season 13
October 13th - 19th, 2008
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Celebration time...
What's Up in the Field?
Wanted: a FileMaker Pro programmer/developer (Mac platform) that cares about CSA and organic farming
Fun at the farm last weekend
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
Calendar of Events
"...Harmony with the earth is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The earth is one organism."
-- Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac

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
Apples (will be inside your box)
Arugula +
Chiogga beets
Broccoli (ours this time)
Lacinato (dinosaur) kale
Sweet peppers +
Hot peppers (Anaheim) - these will be included with a different item in your share;
   they will NOT be mixed in with the sweet peppers.
Bag of red slicing tomatoes +

Small Share
Apples (will be inside your box)
Chiogga beets
Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage)
Lacinato (dinosaur) kale
Sweet peppers
Hot peppers (Anaheim) - these will be included with a different item in your share;
   they will NOT be mixed in with the sweet peppers.
Bag of red slicing tomatoes

Extra Fruit
Apples, pears, and cherry tomatoes

Fruit Bounty "Extension"
Apples, pears, and cherry tomatoes

This week's loaf: Sesame Whole Wheat

Celebration time...
Saturday was a glorious day... clear, sunny, and warm; best of all, my fear of running out of pumpkins, never materialized. Judging from the "remains", everyone got at least one choice Jack-o-Lantern to bring back home. If pumpkins weren't the season's cornucopia, the apples more than made up for it. The apple orchard hung full of sweet fruit and all day I shuttled eager pickers to and from the orchard, who by my estimates, picked over 1300lbs.
Truly a Harvest Celebration - Congratulations! 

Straw-bales, pumpkins and kids!
The apple press was once again center stage. David, who complained of sore arms the next day, crushed and pressed with many willing helpers over 3/4 of a bin filled with Newtown Pippins. That's over 700lbs of apples!!!. The sweet delicious cider kept
flowing for the duration of the celebration.  A big high-five to David and the entire Cider-pressing team.

While some were cobbing the new oven, the bakers fired up old faithful "Toasty" back into action. "Toastie", the farm's first cob-oven, now 7 years old, may not be holding the heat as it used to, but the bread was still delicious. Baking is always a joint effort, Gillian likes the firing part, Jessica helped mix the dough and shape the loaves, and this year Tamara, a CSA member and also passionate baker, brought her own focaccia dough and helped do the baking. Tamara's focaccia was delicious, definitely worth getting the recipe for.  Thanks to the entire Baking Team!!

We are also "udderly" grateful to our two stubborn milking goats, Ivy and Moonshadow, who under Arminda's  gentle guidance and care have been generous milkers. We held two popular milking sessions on Saturday, some of you even got the hands-on experience. If you still think there is a career in this, let us know, we've got plans...!!!???
Although it always seems like an overwhelming effort to get the farm ready for a celebration, they are important to mark the changing cycle of the seasons, the food, the land, and even the subtle changes in our own lives. As Wendell Berry says much more eloquently: "The future depends on reconnecting with the natural world: knowing our food, regenerating our land, and strengthening our communities. We cannot isolate one aspect of our life from another."
As light gives way to darkness, we harvest and save seeds. Not all seeds we save are to grow crops, some carry the joy and magic of the community that brings this farm alive year after year. These are turbulent times for many of us, and I can only wish that through out this fall season the transformative forces reveal the seeds worth saving and the fertile fields to plant into.
What's up in the Fields?
Right now the clock is ticking before the rainy season starts, and a lot of preparations are underway to winter-proof the farm. The covercrop seed is ordered, the strawberry beds are ready for planting the early varieties such as Camarosas, garlic will soon need to be cleaned for planting and leeks and onions are also in line to go in the ground before the end of the season. Apricot trees are pruned, and much of the land is prepared to be covercropped for the winter. Strawberries are slowing down with the cold weather.  The last few days we had frost in the valleys marking the end of our summer crops.
Wanted: a FileMaker Pro programmer/developer (Mac platform) that cares about CSA and organic farming
Do we have any FileMaker Pro for-the-Mac gurus out there in our membership? We are looking for a programmer who knows FileMaker to help us with some upgrades to our CSA member database. Debbie knows our current system inside-out, and can do a modest amount of changes on her own, but could really use some help/advice for making a couple more sophisticated changes that would really streamline things. If you think you can help us out, please email Debbie at the farm - thanks!!
Fun at the farm last weekend
Just a few comments from folks who attended our Fall Harvest event! Pictures are courtesy of Cheryl Nuss.

"We had a great time at the harvest celebration Saturday.  My 4 ½-year-old and 2 ½-year-old milked a goat and picked lots of apples. The tractor ride was definitely my little one's favorite part, though.  Thanks!" - Jenny Lambert

"Yesterday we came to LEF for the first time, for the Harvest festival. We had a great time and were amazed at the hard work and thought put in to make the day enjoyable for us. It was also very beautiful and peaceful and I want to thank everyone who made the day possible, including Tom's son, who made the lovely apple cider for us." - Nandita Sarkar

"We sure had fun at the farm today!! Thanks for a great day out -- the kids thought that the tractor ride was the best! Of course the apples can not be beat. Yum!! Thanks for inviting us out to see where our veggies live!!" - Tracy Lovegren

Tom takes children of all ages for a tractor ride to the apple orchard.
Workin' on the cob oven and milking the goat!

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

Aside from some Anaheim chile info and a member's added twist to one of last week's recipes, I thought I'd run some of my favorites from the past - hope you enjoy them!  - Debbie

First, in response to last week's roasted beet-apple-rosemary dish, member Cristie Boone writes (added twist called out in purple), "I just wanted to say that I made your roasted beet/apple/rosemary dish tonight, and it was both simple AND delicious. My favorite kind of recipe! :-)  I also tried some with a little goat cheese added, and that was fabulous. I would never have thought to cook beets and apples together otherwise (which is silly, since I know beets and oranges go so well together), so thank you for the cooking suggestion!"

Anaheim chiles
Off the web: "Anaheim peppers also known as New Mexican chiles, can range in heat level depending on where they are cultivated, maturity level, and how they are prepared. Usually they have a mild to medium heat level. These chiles range in color from light green to red. As the chiles mature the skin turns red but can be used for cooking at any point. These peppers are commonly used in decorative chile hangings called ristras, which are traditionally made for storing for later use, but these strings of dried chiles have also gained popularity in some home decor."

So there's one thing you can do off the bat: if you don't think you'll use the chiles in a week or so, or if you'd like to store them for longer, just tie their stems together with string or thread and hang in your kitchen until they dry. Then you can break them off and crush them for use in cooking anywhere you'd add crushed red chiles.

I also understand these are the chiles (when still green) that are most commonly used to make the canned roasted green chiles you buy at the store. So... what does this suggest to you? What it suggests to me is: roast them and use them in a chili dish like chili-con-carne or chili-con-queso! Or chicken or cheese enchiladas. Whether they're red or green, go ahead and roast them, and then find your favorite chili or enchilada recipe and instead of using the canned chiles, use these babies! Yum!!

Okay, from here out, I'm featuring old favorite recipes. I'll highlight this week's veggies within them so you can scan. Let's start with:

Beet Kvass
We've been getting lots of beets lately, and that makes me happy because I can make lots of kvass, my new favorite thing to do with beets! Beet Kvass is a salty-sour beverage, a tonic; really hard to describe but quite delicious! And beautiful too - it is a rich, dark, clear magenta.

Here's what Sally Fallon has to say about it in her book called "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats":

"This drink is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are just loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments. Beet kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as an addition to soups."

Here's the link to the Beet Kvass recipe in the database. Oh, one more thing (last minute change from Tom just this morning/Tuesday): instead of the bag of red and golden beets, we're getting chiogga [pronounced "kee-YO-zha"] beets, which are the beautiful candy-striped (when sliced) kind. If the greens are good and fresh, cut them off and save them and use them anywhere you would use chard. And you can use chioggas for kvass too, no problem.

Scout Salad
This is an all-time favorite of mine featuring tomatoes (red or cherry) and arugula. It goes way back, and there's a story to go with it too! (Scout is a cocker-spaniel... a tomato-eating one. You'll see.) Here's the Scout Salad link.

Broccoli-Sardine Pasta
Whenver we get broccoli I make this recipe (no lie, ask my husband!). It's one of those recipes that's comfortable and satisfying. Especially as the weather gets cooler. It's got a teriyaki-like flavor to it, very simple and quick to make (probably why I make it so often!). Here's the recipe.

Kimchi (or Kimchee)
Again, another recipe for tasty, nutritious fermented food that uses Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, onion, garlic, ginger and chilies. Kimchi is a Korean spicy cabbage pickle, if you will. Great to have a little dish of this with any number of meals. Another digestive aid, like the kvass. Because it is a fermented food, it will take a week or more before you have your final product... but it's worth the wait! Here's the recipe.

North African Roasted Cauliflower
Long-time members probably roll their eyes when they see me mention this one... AGAIN! (Oh no, not again!) But there's good reason. It is hands-down my FAVORITE way to prepare cauliflower (and now that it's summer you can use fresh tomatoes on top instead of canned!). I challenge you to try it and tell me if it ain't the best cauliflower dish you've ever tasted! Here's the recipe.

Carrot-Apple-Raisin Salad
As the title indicates... this is a great (grated?) way to use apples and carrots! Kids love it - heck, your kids can help you make it! And it's very versatile; you can play with it a lot. How about carrot-apple-beet, or how about serving it on some of the lettuce or a bed of arugula? All these things would be good! If you've never made carrot-apple-raisin salad, now's the time to do so! Here's the recipe.

Greens for breakfast!
When I'm not making hot salad with my kale (probably a recipe I talk about at least as much as the North African Roast Cauliflower - more eye-rolling!), I love to do this with it. Basically you're making greens-fortified scrambled eggs, and there're some scallions in there too. You can play with this recipe too, by, say, leaving out the fish sauce and adding crumbled bacon, and maybe melting some cheese on top... but I tell you it is a great way to use those greens! Here's the recipe.

Eggplant on the waffle iron!
I'd completely forgotten about this one, so I'm pleased to have remembered the idea while I still have eggplant! It's simple and brilliant, and a great way to cook eggplant slices that can then be used in any number of other dishes like an "ELT" (eggplant instead of bacon), or Eggplant Lasagna... gee, I just realized I don't have a recipe for this. But who needs one? Just take your favorite lasagna recipe, and slip slices of waffled eggplant into the layers. No brainer! Here's the waffling technique described.

This one hardly needs a link to a recipe; it's the concept that I love (but here's the original recipe link, if you're interested). So simple. In essence, you just peel and chunk up Tom's delicious Warren pears, put them in a pan with just the tiniest amount of water (just enough to get simmering; the pears will provide their own liquid from there on out), cover and simmer them until they're soft, then mash 'em up with a potato masher. No sugar or anything need be added. You can leave it runny, or cook it awhile and thicken it. Just be careful and set a timer to remind you to check on them, say, every 5 minutes - I forgot once, and instead of caramelizing them like I'd intended, I charred them! Waaahhh! I wrecked my pan too -- charred fruit sugar is almost impossible to clean!

Okay, I lied... (about only doing recipe re-runs) - here's a new recipe, one my husband made and took to a vegetarian pot-luck last week, to much success. It was yummy too; I saved off a bowl for myself before he left:

Bell Peppers Lemonly Dressed and Cumin-esque
from 'Farmer John's Cookbook: the real dirt on vegetables'
serves 4

"This versatile recipe will add just the right amount of color to any dish in need of some visual pizzazz. What's more, the lemony cumin in the peppers will pizzazzify the flavors on your plate. You can use these as a sprightly bed for grilled fish or meats or pasta salads. They're great in sandwiches, on a bed of greens, or all by themselves."

½ C plus 1 tbsp. olive oil (divided use)
4 bell peppers, any color [that means probably more farm peppers, since ours are smaller. Make a guesstimate of how many farm peppers would equal 4 bell peppers in your imagination!]
¼ C freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
2 tbsp. minced parsley
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. honey (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced (about ½ tsp.) (optional)
¼ C finely chopped scallions or red onion
½ tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a lare skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers; sauté, stirring until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Let cool.

2. Combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, parsley, cumin, honey and garlic in a large jar. With the lid tightly screwed on, shake the jar vigorously until the oil and vinegar have combined and thickened.

3. Toss the peppers and scallions or red onion with the vinaigrette in a large bowl; add the salt and season with pepper to taste. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour.

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

Fall "Five Fridays" Mataganza Garden Internship - Oct 24 and 31, Nov 7, 14, 21
Cost: $50; email Brian Barth for more info, or call him at (831) 566-3336

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]