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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
10th Harvest Week, Season 15
May 31st - June 6th, 2010
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Foundation of a Healthy Farm is its Community
Pick-up site reminders
Go easy on Tom and the Farm while Debbie is away
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen (recipes!)
2010 Calendar

" ...and forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair. "
 - Kahlil Gibran

What's in the box this week
Content differences between Family and Small shares are in red; items with a "+" in one size share are more in quantity than in the other. For any items not from our farm, we will identify the source in parentheses. Occasionally content will differ from this list (typically we make a substitution), but we do our best to give you an accurate projection.

Family Share
Collard greens or kale
Fava beans +
Green garlic
Rapini (broccoli rabe)
Summer squash
2 baskets Strawberries

Small Share
Collard greens or kale
Fava beans +
Green garlic
Rapini (broccoli rabe)
2 baskets Strawberries

Bread Option
This week's bread will be plain whole wheat

Extra Fruit
4 baskets of Strawberries

Fruit Bounty is 'on' this week (floating week #4 of 15)
4 baskets of Strawberries

Foundation of a Healthy Farm is its Community
Packing the SharesSaturday was a glorious day... clear, sunny and warm, a gift from the weather gods for farm members and friends to enjoy the season's first Community Farm Day. For us, the farmers, it was a refreshing change of pace from the seemingly never ending list of chores and tasks the farm demands now that days are long and the outdoor thermometer is rising. It is one of the great pleasures to work the land and run this farm with such an incredible team of co-workers. We are like an orchestra playing the Spring seasons crescendo as we approach the Summer Solstice only three weeks away. Timing is critical to prevent falling behind on the many interconnected schedules the farm demands of us. Under Mother Nature's variable and often unexpected direction we orchestrate planting and sowing schedules to coincide with field and soil cultivation, time weeding and watering schedules, harmonize harvest, packing with CSA delivery and Farmer's Market schedules, keep up with timely crop fertilization, and monitor pests to implement necessary control strategies.  Although farming can feel like a dynamic entanglement of priorities where there is always more work waiting to be done, the celebrations and community events scheduled throughout the season are always a wonderful way to step back to enjoy, celebrate and appreciate nature's many gifts as a community.

Farmer Tom shuttles people around the farm on the tractor

In the morning we all got busy picking strawberries; the patch was full with red-ripe yummy fruit, enough for everyone to eat and pick as much as they desired. Although the tractor trailer couldn't carry everyone, and some of you had to walk up and down some steep slopes (I apologize) most got to ride to see the farm's upper fields and help plant a long hedgerow of native plants. After lunch, the afternoon activities were more relaxed; there was milking of goats, and ricotta cheese-making, and before departing folks enjoyed hot slices of strawberry/cheese pizzas fresh from the farm's cob oven.

MIlking the goat and making pizza using goat ricotta

When we celebrate as community, the farm is transformed into something much more than a just a business; it is a dynamic and diverse set of living relationships which add up to much more than the sum of its parts. The farm is a place where land and people are attracted to each other to enjoy nature's beauty in the context of a productive nourishing food system.

Please mark your calendars for our next community gathering: everyone is invited to join us for our Summer Solstice Celebration on June 19th. Details will follow in next week's newsletter, but check out our website to get a sense of it from pictures and videos of Celebrations past. It is always the farm's most well attended event.


Pick-up site reminders
I would like to call to everyone's attention a few key pick-up site issues which regularly cause problems:

Address and directions to pick-up sites are NOT on the website.
If you have someone pick up for you, be sure to give them the address and directions. We do not post these on the website, to protect the privacy of our hosts (most of our pick-up sites are at members private homes. Yes they can call the farm, but if they call after we've left for the day, and can't find the pick-up site as a result, we cannot refund or replace the 'missed' share.

Take share from the correct size box.
If you have someone else pick up for you, be sure to explain to them the size difference between boxes. Wrong size share-taking happens more commonly when people are new to CSA and don't know the ropes. This causes problems for other members picking up at the same site, such as:

Only take what is listed next to your name, except...
Yes I know I beat this one into everyone's heads -- and I thank you all for heeding it -- however, there is one exception to this rule: it is when you go to pick up and your name is on the list and there are no more shares in your size (but there are still shares left). In this situation, it is okay to take the other size share. Do not count boxes and checked names; people sometimes forget to check off next to their names too, so you can't go by that. If your name is on the list, a share has been delivered for you, so if you don't take one, there will be a share left-over which must be given away. In this circumstance, we will not replace your share for you. We will, however, make up the difference if you were shorted (i.e. normally get a Family share but only Small were left) and you let us know. (If you normally get a Small and only Family shares are left, the person who took the wrong size share shorted themselves. You get to keep the extra they missed.)

Mind your children please.
If you have your child check off your name for you, make sure he or she checks off only your name. We have had more than one occasion where over-enthusiastic youngsters happily check off lots of boxes... this is not helpful!

Please do not let your children help themselves to fruit that belongs to other members. Make sure they eat only from your fruit after you have separated it from the bulk supply.

Please do not let your children throw fruit! One site host came home to smashed strawberries on the eaves, walls and driveway of her house. This is not acceptable.

When the fruit starts to change and is no longer just strawberries...
This is when it gets particularly tempting to take the wrong thing. Again, we deliver very specific amounts, so you are not welcome to 'substitute' one type of fruit for another. Please only take the quantity and type of fruit as listed next to your name.

Lastly, remember: our pick-up protocol is spelled out on a green page in the front of every binder at every pick-up site, so if you (or someone picking up for you) are ever unsure, just refer to that and you will be fine.


Go easy on Tom and the Farm while Debbie is away
Believe it or not, I am going to be away from the farm for the next three weeks. I've never been gone from the farm this long before(!), so I'm hoping everyone will 'take it easy' on Tom and the Farm while I'm away ;-) Our second-year apprentice, Molly, will be covering for me in the office, and Tom will be doing the newsletter. Debbie's Kitchen will be closed, however I am quite sure Tom would love to get recipe ideas which he can include in the newsletter while I'm gone, so if you have them - email them to the farm and Molly will see they get to Tom. Ditto for pictures. Oh, and lastly: newsletters will NOT get uploaded to the website until I get back, so you'll have to go by the ones you get via email until then. Thanks everyone!

- Debbie

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

Kohlrabi is definitely the new kid on the block this week, so I'll talk about that below. I am very happy to see we're all getting rapini (broccoli rabe) again, ooh - and cauliflower! And dill!! Okay, dill is in the small shares only, but hopefully Tom will have it in the Family shares next week? Anyway, all sorts of new goodies.

I'd like to start though by sending you to a great link I saw in last week's Roots of Change newsletter, entitled "The Crisper Whisperer: 10 Secrets for Making the Most of your CSA", from a weblog called "Serious Eats". The author, Carolyn Cope aka Umami Girl, summarizes all sorts of things I know I've talked to members about over the years here in the newsletter... but she has them all together in one place! - Debbie

The Crisper Whisperer: 10 Secrets for Making the Most of Your CSA
by Carolyn Cope

"As more and more of us join CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), the question of what to do with all that produce looms large. CSA membership can be a wonderful, rewarding experience, putting you in direct contact with the source of your food, giving you a say in how and what is grown, and providing an easy way to contribute to your local community. Best of all, even if you work in a cubicle all day and only dream of escaping to the country to start your own working farm, you can still head home to a meal made with beautiful, fresh local foods any day of the week.
But as the season wears on, the sheer magnitude of freshness delivered by a good CSA can start to overwhelm busy people with regular (or perhaps spectacular!) lives to lead. The good news is that with a little weekly preparation and planning and a few simple strategies, you'll rarely have a week where you can't use or freeze your whole haul." ... click here to read the whole blog (and the tips!)

freshly harvested kohlrabiAh yes, kohlrabi, the sputnik-veggie! At least, that's what I've always called it. First things first: as with any root or root-like veggies (kohlrabi is not actually a root veggie, as the bulb grows above ground), separate the leaf stalks from the bulbs before storing. Washed and stripped from their stems, the leaves can be used anywhere you might use kale. And as you know, there are LOTS of great kale recipes... I'd for sure cook kohlrabi greens the way I often cook greens: in boiling, well-salted water around 3 minutes, drain well, chop, drizzle with good olive oil, squeeze fresh lemon juice on top, and maybe sprinkle on a little additional salt or grated Parmesan. I bet the kohlrabi leaves would be great in the 'crispy kale' recipe too.

If the bulbs are still fairly small, you may not need to peel them. If they are large enough to warrant peeling, make a cut at the top and, grasping a bit of the skin between a thumb and a knife blade, pull downwards towards the root end. The strips of skin will peel off (yeah, or you can just use a peeler). If you're not peeling, just cut off the leaves, slice and include in a stir-fry or gratin. I kind of like using them like jicama or celery, diced raw in tuna or egg salad, or sliced like you would radishes into fresh green salads. And of course you could just do the Weston Price treatment: boil or steam until tender, then serve with lots of butter and salt. Maybe sprinkle on some herbs (how about that fresh dill?).

Here's a new kohlrabi recipe:

Kohlrabi Stew
from Prairieland CSA in central Illinois
recipe by Tamra Stallings
Serves 4

1 tbsp. oil (olive is best)
1 large onion, slivered, or 1 c green onion sliced
2 large or 3 medium kohlrabi, peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 medium potato, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 C tomatoes, peeled and chopped (canned is fine)
4 C broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp. molasses
Saute onions in oil for several minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Variation: Tamra suggests removing the broth, thickening it to a gravy with a little flour, and adding chunks of fried tofu. For fall or winter, use the stew as a filling for a pot pie.

Fresh Dill is a marvelous thing! Snip it into yogurt or butter for putting on potatoes; use it on fish, in carrot dishes, on summer squash, in tuna salad (or similar). Dill will can keep anywhere from a few days to a week in a bag in your refrigerator, depending on if your fridge is nice and cold and if the dill is not wet when you store it; I also find using Evert-Fresh green bags helps things keep longer. On the other hand, if you don't think you're going to get to using your dill soon enough, consider drying it for later use. I've done this to good success.

Fresh Cilantro is always a staple in my refrigerator, so I'm happy whenever we get it through our CSA box. For the Family Share folks who are getting it this week, here's a recipe to try...

Ginger-Cilantro Rice
from an undated Bon Appetit clipping
serves 4

1 C long-grain white rice
2 1-inch long pieces of fresh ginger, peeled, each cut into 4 rounds, plus 1 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 2/3 C chicken broth
1 1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro [leaves and stems! the stems have lots of flavor!]
1 green onion, thinly sliced [use stems from our fresh onions]
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tsp. (or more) unseasoned rice vinegar

Combine rice and ginger rounds in large saucepan. Add broth; sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil, stirring often. Cover; reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is tender and broth is absorbed, about 18 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine chopped cilantro, green onion, and minced ginger in a mini food processor [or blender] Add both oils and 1 tsp. vinegar. Blend until almost smooth. Season cilantro oil to taste with salt, pepper and more vinegar, if desired.

Transfer rice to bowl. Remove ginger rounds. Mix in cilantro oil and serve.

Cauliflower is fine raw or steamed, however my favorite way to eat it is roasted. There two truly excellent recipes in the database for this: Mark and Mary's (Excellent!) Paprika Roasted Veggies, and North African Roasted Cauliflower. But you can also roast it very simply, just drizzled with a little olive oil and tossed to coat, and sprinkled with a little salt and herbs. How about that fresh dill? Here's a new roasted cauliflower recipe you can try if you've done the above two before and want to try something new:

Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Summer Squash, Anchovies, and Fried Croutons
modified slightly from a recent Bon Appetit clipping
serves 6

The author writes, "The croutons found their way into this dish thanks to the frugality of Italian cooks. Puglians don't throw anything out; any left-over bread is used in the pasta."

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into 1-inch florets
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) or medium-size shell pasta
1 1/2 C 1/3-inch cubed crusty country-style bread
3 medium summer squash, [any type], cut into 1/3-inch cubes (about 3 C)
3 large garlic cloves, chopped [or 2 stalks of green garlic, chopped]
7 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/3 C (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
2 tbsp. freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cauliflower florets with 1 tbsp. olive oil in large bowl to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread in single layer on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower florets are tender and beginning to brown in spots, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling generously salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, reserving 1 1/3 C pasta cooking liquid. Set pasta and cooking liquid aside separately.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in large deep nonstick skillet or large pot over medium-high heat. Add bread cubes and saute until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to small bowl and cool. Reserve skillet or pot.

Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to same skillet or pot and heat over medium-high heat. Add summer squash and garlic and saute until squash is golden brown and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add cauliflower and anchovies and saute until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add drained pasta, reserved pasta-cooking water, remaining 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1/3 C parsley, 1/3 C Parmesan, and Pecorino Romano cheese and toss to coat. Season pasta to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Divide pasta among 6 bowls; sprinkle with fried croutons, remaining parsley, and additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

Lastly, here's a recipe sent in by member Christie Boone for broccoli rabe. She says she's made it with prosciutto, with bacon, and with just Parmesan, and "it is all good."

Broccoli Rabe with Cannellini and Pasta
Serves four as a side, two as a main course
from blue-kitchen.com

1 bunch broccoli rabe, about 1 pound
2 to 3 thin slices of prosciutto, sliced into smallish pieces [about 1/2 to 3/4 cup]
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste-see Kitchen Notes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 15-ounce can Canellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 ounces small pasta (see Kitchen Notes)

Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile rinse the broccoli rabe thoroughly under cold running water. Trim off the bottom inch or so of the stems, plus lower leaves, if they are tough. Slice the stems and leaves into 1-1/2 to 2-inch sections. When the water comes to a boil, add the chopped broccoli rabe and stir to make sure it all comes in contact with the water. After 1 minute, drain broccoli rabe in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Set aside in colander to continue draining.

Meanwhile in a separate pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over a medium flame. Add prosciutto and saut  4 tablespoons olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, Add prosciutto and sauté until just crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant-about 45 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and toss to coat with oil. Add Cannellini beans and cooked pasta. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately.

Kitchen Notes
Heat things up a little.The crushed red pepper is a key ingredient in many Italian recipes. Adding 1/2 teaspoon gave the dish a nice, lively touch. Use slightly less if you're particularly sensitive to spicy foods; on the other hand, feel free to add more if you like serious heat.
Choosing your pasta. If you can find it, try using Ditalini (little thimbles): small, short pasta tubes. If not, small shells will work, as will orechiette. But keep the scale-and the amount-in proportion with the dish and its ingredients.
Making it vegetarian. You could just eliminate the prosciutto and be done with it. But I think the savory edge it adds is key. To replace it, grate some good quality parmesan cheese over the finished dish before serving.

Visit our website's calendar page for more details, including photos and videos of past events. This is a great way to get the flavor of what it is like visiting the farm!

Live Earth Farm Discovery Program for WEE ONES
3rd Tuesday of every month, 10:30am - Noon
(free for children 0 - 3 yrs; $10 - $15 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 LEFDP office: (831) 728-2032 or email her at lefeducation@baymoon.com.
Happy Girl Kitchen's 2010 Workshop Schedule at LEF
(all workshops are from 10am to 3pm and include an organic lunch, as well as take-home items from what is made that day!)
March 6 (Saturday) - Fermentation (sauerkraut, kimchee and kombucha)
April 10 (Saturday) - Cheese and kefir
June 6 (Sunday) - Cherries and spring berries
July 10 (Saturday) - Apricots, strawberries and blackberries
September 12 (Sunday) - Heirloom tomatoes
October 2 (Saturday) - Pickles

Contact Jordan if you have any questions

Art on the Farm Summer Day Camp!
July 12th - 16th
click here for more information

Community Farm Days Schedule

(All Community Farm Days are Saturdays unless otherwise noted.)
March 20 - Sheep to Shawl
May 29 - Three sisters planting in the field! Help sow pumpkins, corn, and beans (update 5/24: see Event Schedule, above)
June 19 - Summer Solstice Celebration and Strawberry U-pick
July 3 - Apricot and Strawberry U-pick
July 12 thru 16 - Summer Celebration Art on the Farm Day Camp!
Aug 28 - Totally tomatoes. From farm to fork, cooking with tomatoes and making farm-fresh cheese. Also U-pick raspberry and tomato day!
Sept 25 - LEFDP Second Annual Fundraiser
Oct 23 - Harvest Celebration and Apple U-pick

Cob Building workshop
June 6th and 13th in Santa Cruz
Sunflower Cob Building of Santa Cruz

Contact Information
farm phone: (831) 763-2448
education programs/school field trips: (831) 728-2032