LEF logo (small)
Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
28th Harvest Week, Season 14
October 5th - 11th, 2009
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Healthy Inter-dependence!
Harvesting Popcorn among other things...
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
2009 Calendar

" Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
   the world offers itself to your imagination,
   calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
   over and over announcing your place in the family of things. "
 - Mary Oliver

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]

Family Share
Gala and/or Summerfelt apples
Collard greens
Eggplant +
Lettuce +
Peppers, sweet +
Spinach +
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes <----(remember: packed outside the box)

Small Share
Napa cabbage
Collard greens or chard
Green beans
Peppers, sweet
Heirloom tomatoes <----(remember: packed outside the box)

Extra Fruit Option
Weds: Apples, melons and pears
Thurs: 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
Note: this is the last week of the "bounty" option for folks who did not sign up for the 5-week extension.
Weds: Apples; melons or concord grapes; and pears
Thurs: Apples; raspberries or strawberries; and concord grapes or pears
Remember, always go by what's on the checklist; things sometimes change after this newsletter goes out!

This week's bread will be sesame whole wheat

Healthy Inter-Dependence

If one perceives the farm as a living organism, it is astounding the the number of functions and the diversity of helpers it takes to keep the farm operating as a" living whole". This is especially apparent right now as we juggle an abundant quantity and variety of both Summer and Fall crops.  There are few places in the world where in the middle of October one can harvest green beans, tomatoes, eggplants, basil, peppers, apples, raspberries and winter squash, as well as the large variety of leafy greens and root crops available almost year-round.
October, however, is also the time we start anticipating the first rains to arrive.
Fall on the Farm feels like the final sprint before reaching the finish line, where one starts tapping into the last remaining strength and resources of an already tired body. Besides the many ongoing chores and tasks, such as watering, weeding, sowing, feeding the animals, milking, going to farmer's markets, CSA deliveries, pruning, equipment repairs and maintenance.....(the list goes on), now is the critical time to finish all the plantings and field preparations for crops we want to harvest during the winter and early spring. Our last plantings of lettuce, broccoli, kale, cabbage and a second succession of leeks is scheduled to go into the ground next week. Just yesterday the berry nursery called that the first of three varieties of strawberries, the "Camarosas", are being shipped next week, which means, the field beds need to be ready for us to transplant before the Harvest Celebration on the 24th of October.
Like the body of a long distance runner towards the end of a long run, the farm's available energy reserves at this time of year are starting to run low,  a critical moment when we hope to receive the necessary boost to maintain a healthy farm organism. Last week when we asked you to renew your commitment as CSA members and invited you to sign up for our upcoming winter and  next year's regular season, the experience was truly amazing. Aided by our new on-line signup system, Debbie and I were able to witness how quickly so many of you renewed your membership. It felt like taking in a breath of fresh air just when we started feeling spent and tired.  Live Earth Farm's economy operates more like that of a living organism; it's based on an exchange, much like a breath going in and out, the two are interdependent.  We, all of us, are grateful for your continued commitment and participation in the  sustainability of our "Living Farm". - Tom

Harvesting Popcorn among other things...
I caught Taylor and Molly harvesting popcorn, we have quite a stand and hope to involve as many of you who are interested on the 24th, the day of our upcoming Harvest Celebration, to help braid it and hang it up for decoration and drying. Anyone interested to help setup please come a little earlier (~10AM) we can use a few more hands on that day.

- Tom

Below pictures from around the farm!!

Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
 recipe database

Well, it looks like I'll have to keep the 'zucchini brownie' recipe someone sent me until next season, as the summer squash appears to be done now that the temperatures are dropping. I'm still kinda swamped with "New CSA System" stuff, but wanted to at least give you one good new thing to try this week! - Debbie

Green Smoothies, redux
Apple Ginger Green Smoothie - a beautiful emerald green!!Okay, so I've tried these now, the ones that Kimberly Potts gave me the recipe for a few weeks back -- and they are really cool! Beautiful, tasty, easy to make (and clean up after). It finally dawned on me (duh!) that you don't have to be a raw-foodist or even vegetarian to like these babies. Just because you're an omnivore like me doesn't mean that you can't include something this simple and delicious in your eating repertoire. Doesn't have to even be daily, like the proponents suggest. I'm sure daily is fine, but the point is, people should definitely try this and see for themselves, like you might any other recipe.
This is what I've been trying (so far), and both my husband Ken and I have been enjoying them. I like them because they're helping me to use up the apples (of which I've acquired a backlog). So far I've made it with kale (both kinds), collards, and beet greens, and all have been great:
Green Smoothie with Apple, Lemon and Ginger
makes one large portion of about 20 oz. (a little over 2 C)
3 small apples or 2 large, peeled, cored (you can leave the peel on if you want to; in the end I've found the texture to be a little better without the peel)
A piece of ginger root, 1/8 - 1/4" slice, peeled, chopped (and the ginger it totally optional; you can leave it out if you want)
Juice from half a lemon
1 C water
2 to 4 leaves of kale, chard, collard greens, beet greens... you could use mizuna or spinach (though if I used either of those, I'd use more than '4 leaves'), pretty much any green (radish greens? carrot tops?). Rule of thumb: if the leaves are small, use more, if they're large, like collards can be, use less. Be sure to strip off and use the leafy part only of stuff like collards, kale and chard, not the stems. A good measure would be, say, 3 medium-sized dinosaur kale leaves. When I used beet greens, I used a handful because they were small.
Put everything in a blender and blend really well; work up to your highest setting so that everything is pureed really finely (I just have a two-speed Waring blender, so I start on regular speed 'til it's blended, then flip it up to high and let it run 30 seconds or so, until it is really nice and uniform).
Then pour it into a glass and... voila! Mainline that green goodness. ;-)
As Kimberly says, you can make green smoothies from most any fruit and greens, as long as you keep the proportions roughly 60% fruit 40% greens; I just started with the apple option because that's what I have lots of right now. When the pears come in, I'll try using them as the fruit. Ditto for pretty much any fruit we get (except maybe concord grapes, 'cause I don't know any easy way to get the seeds out before pureeing them. If you had infinite patience and lots of time and could seed them first, I bet they'd make a killer green smoothie though!).
A few salient pointers to keep in mind when making green smoothies (as gleaned from the additional info Kimberly so kindly sent me in the mail). Stuff in quotes is directly from Victoria Boutenko, the woman who wrote the book on green smoothies:
1) "When blended well, most of the cells in the greens and fruits are ruptured, making the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate."
2) If you're going to consume these on a regular basis, be sure to vary the greens you use. Don't make 'em with the same type of green day in and day out. It's okay to use the same fruit, but "almost all greens contain minute amounts of alkaloids. Tiny quantities of alkaloids cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. However, if ou keep consuming kale or spinach, or any other single green for many weeks without rotation, eventually the same type of alkaloids can accumulate in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning." [That last line kind of cracks me up - like there could ever be wanted symptoms of poisoning!! ;-)]
3) "Drink your smoothie by itself, not as part of a meal. Don't consume anything, even as little as a cracker or candy with it. You may eat anything you want approximately 40 minutes before or after you've finished your smoothie. Your goal is to get the most nutritional benefit out of [it]." I like to sip on mine as a sort of pre-lunch snack. Think "Elevenses", that meal 'after second breakfast but before lunch', of hobbit fame.
4) "Don't add anything to your smoothie except greens, fruit and water. I don't recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other ingredients ... most of these items slow down the assimilation of green smoothies in your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas."
5) "Don't use starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli stems, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, pumpkin, squash, okra, peas, corn, green beans, and others to your green smoothies. Starchy vegetables combine poorly with fruit and may produce what my children call 'gas 4 less.'" [Victoria's words, not mine; I don't have any kids.]
6) Keep it simple. "Don't add too many ingredients in one smoothie, such as nine different fruits and a dozen different greens. Try to keep your recipes simple to maximize nutritional benefits and to keep it easy on your digestive system."

I think that all sounds pretty reasonable. Have fun with your green smoothies!

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:
  May 30th
   June 20th Farm - coinciding with our Solstice Celebration
   August 1st
   August 29th
   September 26th
   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 thomas@baymoon.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
September 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 jars!
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 carrots.  Fun!

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)
LEF Discovery Program logoMothers, 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 lefeducation@baymoon.com.

Fall Harvest Celebration
Saturday October 24th
[and click here for a YouTube video of our Fall celebration!]

Contact Information
farm phone: (831) 763.2448