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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
31st Harvest Week, Season 13
November 3rd -9th, 2008
in this issue
What's in the box this week
We can change the World with Good, Clean, and Fair Food.
What's Up in the Field?
Sign-up Clarification
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
Calendar of Events
Food equals pleasure
equals awareness
equals responsibility

-Slow Food's Mission

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 or mustard greens
Beets (loose/topped)
Celery root (Lakeside) +
Kale, red Russian
Sweet peppers (Thurs)
Poblano peppers (Weds)
Spinach +
Tomatoes +

Small Share
Celery root (Lakeside)
Sweet peppers

Extra Fruit
Apples, pears and quince!!

Fruit Bounty
**bounty share all done for this season**

We can change the world with Good, Clean and Fair Food.
Today, on election day, American citizens are linked into a giant collective network to exercise their right to vote. It is arguably one of the most important and influential collective actions anywhere in the world. The United States is still the most powerful nation and it's  presidency invokes the hopes and dreams as well as fear, frustration and anger of people worldwide. Judging from my recent trip to Italy where I was invited to attend Slow Food's Terra Madre Event,  the largest International gathering of Small-Scale Farmers and Food Producers, this election was viewed as pivotal to their cause. Terra  Madre or Mother Earth, is Slow Food's project to build an international network of food producers and representatives of local communities, cooks, academics and young people to establish a system of good, clean and fair food production, respectful of planet earth, the people who live on it and the diversity of their tastes, foods and cultures. In a world dominated by industrial agriculture, Terra Madre actively supports a small scale, sustainable, local model.

Michael Pollan so well pointed out in his Open Letter to the next "Farmer in Chief" that in order to tackle any of the many crisis on the next president's daunting agenda, food is going to be central to all of them. Although I was pleasantly surprised that Obama at least has demonstrated openness to the notion of sustainable agriculture and "local and regional food systems, it is unlikely that any of the candidates will push for bold change unless forced to do so. Therefore, it is important our vote stays active well beyond Nov. 4th. We do not only vote once every four years to make our voices heard. If all of us, as food consumers, cared that everybody can enjoy good, clean and fair food in this country, it would create an even more powerful network, one that votes with their forks, and could shape today's food policy here and all around the world.  The way we grow, purchase, prepare, eat and share food is the cornerstone to a healthy diverse sustainable lifestyle, culture and environment. The way we nourish ourselves is what defines the relationship among ourselves and with the rest of the living world. While in Turin I had many unique and wonderful food experiences. One night I must have had the slowest dinner ever,  almost 5 hours (and we were the first ones to leave), with 4 chefs,  one of them Tori Miller, who, I didn't know, ranked among the top 50 chefs in the country. He is the owner of L'Etoile, in Madison Wisconsin, and is well known to build his entire menu around food grown by small scale producers in his region. One morning, right on the grounds where the Terra Madre event was being held, I enjoyed a fresh dish of seasnails, cooked cassava leaves, and beancurd topped with a spicy sauce, prepared by a group of woman from Mozambique, Africa. For almost every main meal wine and cheese were served and no other culture boasts of as many different types of pasta and cured meats as Italy. The Terra Madre Event  was a wonderful gathering where food was the common language no matter where one was from.  I can't see a better way to influence  this country's food policy than by what food intrinsically stands for, culture, conviviality, and let's not forget pleasure. This way the act of eating can influence values, attitudes and emotions. "Bon appetite" and may the next president agree to the idea to grow his own vegetables by planting a garden on the White House lawn.
What's up in the Fields?
This week the extra fruit share is getting the ugly duckling among the pomefruits, quince relates to both apples and pears and has never received the attention it's cousins have. Quince cannot be eaten fresh, but cooked makes a delicious jam. We planted 50 Quince trees about three years ago, primarily to graft pears onto them this coming spring. Let us know how much you like them, since we can still adjust  how many we are going to graft over to pears.
In the last three weeks of the season the transition is to cold weather crops such as cabbage, cauliflower and brusselsprouts.
In the field we are busy planting garlic, strawberries, onion starts, and fava beans and tucking the fields in with winter cover crops.

Sign-up Clarification
Debbie here; I must apologize for some confusion around signing up for next season. First of all, when I say 'next season' I am referring to the next Regular season, not the Winter share... the winter share is its own separate deal. Anyway, a member rightfully questioned why I have been calling the process 'Early Registration', when in fact there no longer is a 'Regular Registration' period (she assumed 'early registration' was optional, and that she could wait and still sign up for her share later on). The wording is really a holdover from when we DID have an early signup period followed by a regular signup period (couple years ago). But with the explosion of demand for CSA shares we never make it that far, so I will consider this a lesson learned, and next year will drop the 'early registration' nomenclature! :-)

So, last call: if you are an existing member and want a share next season, please sign up as soon as possible (if you haven't already) or you may miss out...!
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
Click here to go to recipe database.

Hard to believe it's November already, and that there are only 3 weeks left to the regular season!! We have two new and unusual things this week: celery root, and quince (in the fruit shares only). Never cooked with quince before, but I'll tell you what I find out. - Debbie

Okay... let's start with the quince. I found an excellent, very informative page with recipes about quince, so rather than expound upon them myself (knowing nothing about them!), I recommend you simply go here and read what I read.

Quince info and poached quince recipe

I did talk to Juana in the barn today as they were packing shares, and she says to peel, seed, cut up and cook them in some water with sugar or honey until soft, and than mash them, like applesauce. Very tasty, she says. Also, if you simply put "quince recipes" into google, you'll find additional recipes, such as quince jelly, quince and apple strudel, quince pie...

Celery Root (Celeriac) info
If you're wondering what the heck that big hairy gnarly blob in your box is... that's celery root. Don't be put off by its alien appearance though; it is totally yummy and wonderful! Someone best described it as having the 'flavor of celery and texture of a turnip.' It keeps well, so if you don't get to it this week, don't panic. We're supposed to be getting potatoes next week, and the celeriac is great with potatoes (especially when cooked together and mashed).

Here are some great celeriac recipes which are already in the database:

Beet-celeriac bake (with picture!)
Celeriac, Carrot and Apple Salad
Celeriac and Apple Salad with Tarragon and Roasted Walnuts

and here are two new ones:

Celery Root, Radish and Arugula Salad with Mustard Seed Dressing
Serves 4
The original recipe, from Bon Appetit, called for watercress, but we don't ever have that... so I substituted the arugula ;-)

1 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
¼ C white balsamic vinegar [If you don't have that, just use regular balsamic]
½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 medium shallot, minced
1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 large bunch [or bag] of arugula leaves; about 3 C packed [original recipe called for watercress, stems removed]
1 celery root, trimmed, peeled, and coarsely grated
10 [more or less!] radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced

Stir mustard seeds in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and starting to pop, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Add vinegar, mustard and shallots; whisk to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper

Toss arugula-or-watercress in large bowl with enough dressing to coat lightly. Divide greens among plates. Combine celery root and radishes in same bowl; toss with enough of remaining dressing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top dressed greens with celery root/radish mixture and serve.

Celery Root and Apple Soup
from Bon Appetit's 'readers favorite restaurant recipes' - source: Back Bay Grill in Portland, Maine.
serves 6

¼ C (½ stick) butter
4 C of cubed peeled celery root [approximately one root bulb]
3 C of cubed peeled apples
1 ½ C chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 C (or more) chicken broth

[These next ingredients are for soup 'toppings'... clearly they would add a whole additional level of flavors to the soup, but if you didn't have chives or pancetta, you could serve the soup plain and it wouldn't be the end of the world!]

½ C chopped chives
½ C grapeseed [or other neutral] oil
pinch of salt
3 oz. thinly sliced pancetta [or substitute regular or Canadian bacon]

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celery root, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celery root are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 14 minutes. Add 4 C of broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celery root and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth by quarter-cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Soup can be refrigerated  and reheated next day.)

Make chive oil
Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth.

Prepare pancetta
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange pancetta slices in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until pancetta is browned and crispy, about 18 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble pancetta.

Warm or rewarm soup over medium heat; divide among bowls. Sprinkle pancetta crumbles over each serving and drizzle each with chive oil.

Member Cynthia Neuendorffer has been on a 'pink' kick - a few weeks back, she gave me a recipe for 'pink pasta veggies' (beets being the pink-ifier, naturally!), so hot on the heels of that, she sent me this next recipe for...

Pink Pancakes! (beet, carrot and sausage pancakes)
by Cynthia Neuendorffer
Makes about 8 pancakes

2 Italian sausage links
2 coarsely shredded beets
3 coarsely shredded carrots
1/2 thinly sliced onion
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 C flour

Brown and crumble sausage with onion.  Add beets and carrots towards end for slight sauté. Set aside to cool. Beat the egg in large bowl, mix in salt and pepper. Add in sausage and veggies. Mix in flour; stir to blend well.

Heat oil in heavy skillet. Add scoops of batter, flatten with a spatula and cook until brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Serve with plain yogurt or sour cream...  maybe feta too?

One more beet recipe (because we can never have enough!), and then I'll go on to some other things. This next recipe was in the June issue of the Local Harvest newsletter, part of a story focusing on ginger... but I kept it for the beets!

Double Ginger Roasted Beet Salad
by Lorna Sass (recipe copyright, Lorna Sass, 2008)
Makes 4 side-dish portions

You can turn this salad into a main dish by tossing in some diced, cooked chicken, brown rice or farro. Increase the dressing as needed. A few tablespoons of toasted pine nuts also make a fine addition.

1 lb. medium beets
2 tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 C thinly sliced scallion greens
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tbsp. walnut or olive oil
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Trim off the root end of the beets and scrub them. Wrap the beets in 2 or 3 packages of foil and set them on a baking tray. Roast until easily pierced with a skewer, about 1 1/4 hours.

When cool, rub off the peels if you wish. (Peeling is optional and purely aesthetic; I don't usually do it.) Dice the beets into bite-sized pieces. Set them in a bowl and add the crystallized ginger and scallion greens.

In a small jar or bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, grated ginger, and salt. Blend well. Pour the dressing over the beets and toss well. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

This next recipe does not use farm ingredients, but is designed to go with them!! Save this recipe for a Thanksgiving appetizer! I first tried it at my friend Alie's birthday party; a fellow guest made and brought them...

Gorgonzola Truffles served with apples and pears
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese
2 tsp. finely chopped onion
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ C finely crumbled, crisp cooked bacon
Apple and pear slices

Mix first 5 ingredients until completely combined. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour (up to 3 days). Roll cheese mixture into ¾-inch balls. Roll balls in bacon until covered. Chill for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with sliced apples and pears. [To keep the fruit slices from browning, drop them into a bowl of acidulated water - i.e. water with lemon juice in it - then fish them out just before serving.]

Here's one from my email files... and with only a cryptic email address and no name, I can't give credit to whomever sent it to me. Nor can I credit the source, as she says her sister gave her the recipe and she doesn't know the name of the cookbook. Oh well, I don't think anyone'll mind... I'll be adding my own two cents anyway!

Poblano veggie tacos
2 large poblano chilies
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, slivered [this is mostly for color; use whatever onion you have]
4 small zucchini, cut into half moons - about 3 cups [we don't have zucchini anymore... try substituting sliced radishes and carrots!]
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 C fresh corn kernels [we never get corn, so I usually get Trader Joe's organic frozen]
2 tsp. oregano dried or 1 tbsp. fresh
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Coarse ground black pepper
8 fresh corn tortillas
8 oz. fresh goat cheese

Roast, peel and chop chilies. Sauté onion, zucchini [carrots and radishes] and salt. Add corn, sauté some more, then add oregano, cilantro, lime juice and chilies. Season all with pepper to taste. Heat through thoroughly.

Heat tortillas in dry cast iron skillet. Spread each with 2 tbsp. goat cheese and top w/veggies. Serve immediately.

And if you're up for it, make some salsa fresca to serve along with!

Here's another recipe that uses cilantro... I'm on the fence about including it because of the non-local plantains (I don't know... does anybody grow them locally, like in California?), but what the heck. It sounds delicious! And it is from long-time members and regular recipe contributors Noah and Lauren Thompson.

Caribbean Black Beans with Sautéed Plantains
Serves 4 as a main course.

2 large ripe plantains (mostly or all black) [okay, I'll go out on a limb here and say if I couldn't find plantains I would substitute organic bananas! really!!]
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced [if you're like me, you still have some of these in your fridge from last week!]
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 C orange juice
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro leaves [the stems have at least as much flavor as the leaves... chop up both!]

1. Trim the pointed ends from the plantains. Cut them into 2-inch chunks. Using a pairing knife, slit the skin lengthwise in several places on each piece. Carefully remove the skin with your fingers and discard it. Cut each 2-inch chunk in half lengthwise. [Wouldn't it be easier to peel the plantains first, before cutting off the skin? Maybe you need to do it this way because the plantains are ripe and fragile.]

2. Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the plantains and cook, turning once, until quite browned but not burned, about 8 minutes. Transfer plantains to a plate and sprinkle with salt to taste. Cover to keep warm.

3. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil, garlic, and minced jalapeño to the skillet. Cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, orange juice, and lime juice and cook, stirring often, until the beans are heated through and have absorbed most of the juices, about 4 minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt to taste.

4. Spoon the beans into individual bowls. Top each portion with some sautéed plantains and serve.

And lastly...

Arugula Cilantro Pesto
from member Krista McClain

Krista says, "the exact ratio of greens doesn't matter much; just end up with 2 cups total."

1 C arugula
1 C cilantro
2 lg. garlic cloves
1/2 C olive oil
1/2 C grated parmesan
2 tbsp. pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Whirl it all in your food processor. We had it with tortellini. I actually made a double recipe and froze the extra pesto. Yummy!

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

Last regular season share - Weds/Thurs Nov 19/20

First winter season share - Weds Dec. 3

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]