|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 is the source of any produce 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]
Gala and/or Summerfelt apples +
Mei qing choi
Peppers, sweet +
+ <----(remember: packed outside the box)
Gala and/or Summerfelt Apples
Onions (Phil Foster Ranches)
Heirloom tomatoes <----(remember: packed outside the box)
Extra Fruit Option
Apples, raspberries or strawberries, and concord grapes
Remember, always go by what's on checklist; things sometimes change after this newsletter goes out!
Fruit "Bounty" Option
Apples, raspberries or strawberries, and concord grapes
Remember, always go by what's on the checklist; things sometimes change after this newsletter goes out!
This week's bread will be plain rye
Over the weekend I was anxiously following the weather forecast predicting an extreme heat wave over Northern California. With temperatures over 95 degrees, our fog-loving crops such as the berries and leafy greens typically get stressed to the point that we lose a large amount of fruit and plants. It was a relief to wake up to a cool morning, the day of the Fall Equinox, and feel that the marine layer hugging the coast was going to keep temperatures tolerable. With the length of night and day being equal, we welcome the beginning of the Fall season.
Weather patterns will soon shift, the leaves on our plum trees are turning red , the apples are sweet, and trees, waiting to be picked, are straining from the weight of the fruit. What I like about seasonal transitions is that just when one gets too comfortable, thinking of having things under control, one has to change direction. Seasons don't fit into neat little boxes. One couldn't tell by looking at the harvest this week that we are facing any kind of transition. On the Central Coast seasons change more gradually, so ignore all the Halloween merchandise and enjoy our summer bounty of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, summer squash and basil for a while longer. For all who like to see and experience the first signs of fall here on the farm join us for our last "still feels like summer" Community Farm Day
this weekend. - Tom
Community Farm Day this Saturday Sept. 26th
This is the last Community Farm Day before our October Harvest Festival. Just like in previous Commmunity Farm Days you have the option of sleeping over from Friday to Saturday. We will start at 10o'clock on Saturday, by the firecircle, to go over the day's activities. It will be another day focused on harvesting, this time we will harvest Pippin Apples, Corn (Popcorn) and Dry Beans. Of course there are our usual add-ons of milking the goats, baking in the cob oven and pressing apples into cider. Please bring sun-protection, water bottles, proper footwear, your own snack and lunch. Usually the day ends around 4 o'clock. Please RSVP the farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Management System in the works
Yes, it's true! We are actively in the process of developing
a new CSA Management System, which will (hopefully!) make everything easier for
everybody. For members (and waitlisters!) the signup (and waitlist) process
should be much more streamlined and user-friendly. For us, the management of
membership and the administration of packing and distribution should be better
organized. Ultimately we hope to have not only that, but also email
communication, newsletters and website all connected in one system (right now, the parts are disparate, and I have to manage the interconnections manually, which is a lot of work and of course leaves room for error). For Farmer
Tom, there are even plans for some really swank field management tools (about
which he's very excited).
"Our Developers" are actually Benzi Ronen and Yossi Pik, of Farmigo
, a software startup with a vision to help not only Live Earth Farm, but CSA farms across the country with their CSA Management System. If there's one thing all CSA farms can use, it is a better tool to help with administration and coordination so they can focus on the farming part! I'm very excited about this too; they're doing something I've dreamed of doing for years but have never been able to pull off. They have the resources, the backing, and the technical expertise I lack, so it is great to be able to work with them.
But as in any process such as this, it must proceed in
steps, and we are only at the very beginning. We are working closely with Benzi and Yossi, and you will see the first blush of what we're working on
when it comes time to sign up: the process will be different than it has been
in the past (better, we hope!). We don't have a schedule yet of when the other
parts of the system will be up and running, but we will keep you updated
through the newsletter.
Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who participated in our
Pilot test of the "signup wizard." Your feedback is all being poured over, and
I expect most of you will see the direct impact of your comments. They were all
very much appreciated!!
Lastly, but most importantly: that personal,
direct connection between you and your farm is what makes Community Supported
Agriculture what it is, so fostering that connection is absolutely
at the heart of this new endeavor. We will never lose sight of that. Our hope
is that this new system will make it easier for us to strengthen that
connection. :-) Debbie
Preserves Option Clarification
A couple folks
have asked if the Winter Share
CSA box will still come with some preserves, like
it did last year. The answer is: yes! The "Preserves Option" is in addition
to that. Think of it kind of like our Fruit
Options during the regular season, i.e. the shares come with 'some' fruit, but
the Options add more quantity and diversity.
Important Message for Waitlisters!
I got an email from someone last week saying, "I've been on
your waitlist since 'like forever' and haven't heard from you. Can you tell me
if I'm still on your list? I really want to be a member..." Well, she had
indeed been on our list last fall, but I had emailed her last November about signing up (and I remove people from
the waitlist once I send out sign-up offers). She didn't sign up -- but not
because she wasn't interested: she somehow never saw that 'signup offer' email.
(The thing is, I can only assume that when people don't respond to the signup
offer, they are no longer interested - you can't force people to reply in the
negative, so usually lack of reply = lack of interest.)
Anyway, fortunately, I keep a back-up list of everyone that
has at one time been on our waitlist, so I went back and found her and she's
back in business. She will get a share.
Now there may be more of you in her situation, so I'd like
to make a request: I have emailed and offered shares to everyone on our waitlist up
to about mid-May of this year; if you've been on our waitlist longer than that and did not heard from me,
you may very well have also missed a signup email. If you think you may be one
of these people, please email me back and
let me know! I can search for you in my 'backup' list, and move you back into
the active waitlist to make sure you are notified this November about signup
for spring 2010.
|Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Please forgive me for having no new recipes this week. I am deeply involved in working with our developers on our new CSA management system, trying to see that all our ducks are in a row in time for the beginning of signup season... which is in less than two weeks! There is nothing new in this week's shares, so I don't feel like I'm leaving anyone in the lurch... especially when there's that extensive recipe database to refer to ;-) Thanks for your understanding! I hope you will take the opportunity to make up new and wonderful recipes of your own... and then email me with them so I can share them here next week! - Debbie
Here is the current schedule, and we will update the calendar here in the newsletter regularly. You can also get more information from the calendar on our website.
Community Farm Days
Every month from May through October, 9am - 4pm, on these Saturdays:
June 20th Farm - coinciding with our Solstice Celebration
October 24th - coinciding with our Harvest Celebration
Participants are welcome to arrive Friday evening and camp out overnight
to Saturday (except on the Friday before our Solstice and Harvest celebrations; we're too busy setting up). Please leave
your dogs at home too, thanks! The intent of Community Farm Days is
to increase the opportunity for members and their families to experience and
enjoy a slice of "life
on the farm" at different times of the year - kind of like our old
Mini Camp, but for members of all ages! Each month will have a different activity
focus, and will be announced in advance here in the newsletter. RSVP to Tom with the number of people attending and whether you'll be arriving Friday night or Saturday is requested. Call 831.760.0436 or email him at email@example.com
Canning workshops with Jordan Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen Co.
held right here on the farm, in the barn kitchen!
go to Happy Girl Kitchen's website to register
27th - Heirloom and Dry Farmed Tomatoes. Learn how to preserve
tomatoes safely working on the recipes of crushed heirlooms, stewed dry farms,
salsa and spicy tomato juice and take home 2 jars of each recipe totaling 8
October 17th - Apples, Pears and Quince. Learn how to preserve
fall fruits by making honeyed pears, apple sauce and quince jelly.
Delicious! Take home 2 jars from each recipe and we will cater
lunch for you!
November 1st - Pickles and Fermentation. Discover the world of
food preservation by learning how to make your own pickled beets, spicy
carrots, sauerkraut and kombucha. We will explore hot water bath canning
and live fermentation in this workshop and you will go home with your own
starter kits for kombucha and sauerkraut along with 2 jars of beets and
NEW!! Live Earth Farm Discovery Program for WEE ONES
3rd Tuesday of every month, 10:30am - Noon
(free for children 0 - 3 yrs; $5 - $10 per adult)
Mothers, fathers, grandparents, caretakers of any kind... bring the babe in your arms to experience the diversity of our beautiful organic farm here in Watsonville. We will use our five senses to get to know the natural world around us. The farm is home to over 50 different fruits and vegetables, chicks, chickens, goats, piglets, and the many wild members of the Pajaro watershed.
For more information, contact Jessica at the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program (831) 728-2032 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Harvest Celebration
Saturday October 24th
[and click here for a YouTube video of our Fall celebration!]