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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
17th Harvest Week, Season 15
July 19th - 25th, 2010
in this issue
What's in the box this week
"Art on the Farm" Day Camp a BIG success!
Scenes from LEF Art Camp
Nourishing Earth's Treasures
Still searching for host for 2nd Palo Alto site
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
2010 Calendar

" The natural world is the maternal source of our being as earthlings and life-giving nourishment of our physical, emotional, aesthetic, moral, and religious existence. The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human. To damage this community is to diminish our own existence. "
 - Thomas Berry, from "The Dream of the Earth"

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
Carrots +
Collard greens
Cucumbers (either pickling or Armenian slicing)
Green beans +
Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale
Lettuce +
Fingerling potatoes
Sugar snap peas + (Lakeside)

Small Share
Chard (new planting)
Cucumbers (either pickling or Armenian slicing)
Green beans
Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale
Fingerling potatoes
Sugar snap peas (Lakeside)

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

Extra Fruit
3 baskets of strawberries
1 basket of raspberries
1 bag of plums (Santa Rosa)

Fruit Bounty is 'on' this week (floating week #11 of 15)
3 baskets of strawberries
2 baskets raspberries

"Art on the Farm" Day Camp a BIG success!
LEFDP has a lot to boast about this week because we just finished our first weeklong day camp and it was huge success!  Taylor did an amazing job of planning a fun, educational, and creative week as her second year apprenticeship project.  Without her this dream would not have come to fruition, and boy did it fruit!

We had twelve 8 to 12-year old kids on the farm from 9am to 4pm Monday through Friday, with a campout on Thursday night.  Each morning the parents would drop off their kids at the farm, raving about how much fun their kids had the day before, and every afternoon the kids went home with amazing art projects plus some of the farm's bounty to share with their families.  Each day had a 'color' and a 'plant-part-of-the-day' which framed that day's activities, and we even squeezed in lessons about those plant parts as we explored the farm.  

On Monday we talked about roots, harvested roots, and started off with the colors red and orange.  We began building our forts, and had carrots and hummus for a snack.  As the week progressed, more and more of the campers arrived wearing the color of the day.  On stem day we harvested kale and potatoes and made kale chips and potato stamps, which we used to decorate flags for our forts.  Throughout the week we worked on totems, animal spirit masks, tie-dyes, garden signs, musical instruments, and the list goes on.  Each day we enjoyed a few healthy snacks straight from the farm, and along the way we learned about the form and function of each plant part.  

To top it all off, even Farmer Tom got involved, joining us with his kids David and Elisa for our camp fire and sleepover.  Tom and Elisa fell asleep in one of the centrally located forts, right after Azalyne and Trindle graced us with their fire dancing prowess.

The week culminated in an ice cream social.  The kids made three-berry sherbet to share with their parents while they showed off their creations.  We had a great time with this group, and are very grateful to our three peer mentors/counselors-in-training, Devon Voelkel, Krista Young and Claire Bruder.  Having the three teens with us was very helpful in managing our numbers, providing guidance in our tasks, offering great ideas and models for our various art projects, and simply making the whole camp experience more fun.

counselors-in-training at LEF Art-on-the-Farm day campA great week was had by all, and Taylor and I cannot wait to to build on the success of this year by offering three weeks of camp next summer, instead of just one.  We want to include more age groups too, so watch for a 5-7 year olds week, a 7-9 year olds week, and a 9-12 year olds week.  We will be offering a few peer mentor positions each week as well, so stay tuned!

- Jessica

the counselors-in-training 


And if you have read this far, here is my plug for supporting LEFDP:  By attending our fund-raising event on September 25th, becoming a sponsor, or simply making a donation you can help us make our programs available to the widest community possible.  For more information or to donate, see our website at www.liveearthfarm.net/learn.aspx.  We need and appreciate your support.  You can also contact me at LEFeducation@baymoon.com, or 831-728-2032.


PS - for CSA members whose pick-up day is Wednesday, your postcards did not go out last week, so please keep an eye out this week for postcards describing our September 25th fund-raising event and how you can get involved. If not inside your box, they will be placed in or near the binders at your pick-up site. Please take one!

Scenes from LEF Art Camp
Scenes from 2010 Art Camp - 1
Above: in the redwood grove making seed packets; making kale chips; working on flower-part identification drawings
Scenes from Art Camp - 2
Above: tie-dying; painting totem-poles; Taylor reads to the group during lunch
Scenes from Art Camp - 3
Above: scenes from making plaster animal spirit-masks
Below: the whole group, gathered with their collective creations
Art Camp group on the last day
Taylor and Jessica               

Nourishing Earth's Treasures
freshly dug carrotsNot all carrots are created equal; some are sweeter than others, some grow crooked, others straight, and many of the heirloom varieties come in different colors besides orange, ranging from white to yellow, to different shades of purple and violet.  The carrot is one of the sweetest, most versatile and important root crops in kitchens all over the world. Carrot varieties are grouped according to shape and use. Some are long skinny with tapered tips such as the Danvers, others have blunt ends such as the Nantes,  some are short and chubby or even round as radishes. The carrot's ancestry is traced back to a "weed" (like most food crops) similar to Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota). During most of it's early history,  carrots were used as livestock feed and as a medicinal herbs. You will notice that some of our winter carrots were sweeter, longer, and less misshapen than the ones you've been getting in recent weeks. The current carrot patch is located in a field with variable soil conditions, some parts are sandy, where carrots will grow straight and smooth, whereas in other parts the soil has more rocks and is heavier where they will struggle trying to push downward any which way they can, hitting hard and heavier layers, causing them to split or create some very creative shapes.

Pulling carrots out of the ground is like unearthing treasure, and kids are not shy about biting into ones that still have some soil on them. It is probably the most direct experience one can have of where food comes from - i.e. directly from the soil. During last week's camp, children were buzzing with enthusiasm, being free to explore the many relationships that are alive on this farm, reconnecting with the earth, understanding the wonders of her nourishment. Taylor's picture's are better than any words in capturing what the children's experience was like.

- Tom

Still searching for host for 2nd Palo Alto site
As I mentioned last week, our Professorville site host is going to be moving out of the area the beginning of September, so we are still looking for a new site and host for somewhere in the Palo Alto area south of Downtown.

Interested in being a site host? Enthusiastic about connecting to your fellow CSA members? Have easy access (for both our delivery truck and for members picking up), a good shady spot out of the public eye to put the shares, and a willingness to allow people to access your home space once a week for the season? If so, please email me at the farm -- farmers@cruzio.com -- and put 'Palo Alto site' (or similar) in the Subject line, and we'll discuss further. Yes, there are responsibilities, but there are also perks! (You get your share for free!!)

- Debbie

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

Just going to jump right into recipes this week!
 - Debbie

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Green Beans with pan-browned fennel and onion
I made this up last week when I was staying over at the farm with the interns... very simple to prepare, and it came out awesome!

1 large or 2-3 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
1 large or 2-3 small onions, peeled and sliced thinly
bag of farm green beans
olive oil, salt and pepper

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, brown-fry (i.e. cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned) sliced fennel and onion in a generous amount of olive oil. Wash and trim green beans, cutting to desired length (or leaving whole). When onions/fennel brown-frying is almost done, steam or boil green beans until just al-dente (3 to 5 minutes, depending on amount of beans), then drain and add to pan with onions/fennel mixture. Stir and cook a few minutes more to mingle flavors. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Green beans w/pan-browned fennel and onion

Using that fresh dill
There is just nothing like fresh dill! One way to keep it fresh is to trim the bottom of the stems at an angle -- like you would for a cut flower arrangement -- and place them in a jar with a few inches of fresh water. If it is not too hot, they should be okay on your kitchen counter this way. Alternatively, you can loosely cover jar and fronds with a plastic bag and place in the fridge.

Try you dill...
· on steamed, buttered potatoes
· on steamed, buttered carrots
· mixed with yogurt and tossed with diced or sliced cucumber
· simply scatter dill frond bits across lamb chops, steaks or any other cooked meat just before serving
· minced into a dip made from sour cream (or yogurt), mayonnaise, and optionally some finely minced fresh parsley

Drying dill
Don't think you'll get to using it while it is fresh? It is very easy to dry! Spread some cheesecloth or a thin cotton flour-sack towel (or paper towels, I suppose, would work too) over a metal rack which is sitting on a cookie sheet. Pinch or cut fronds from thicker stems and spread fronds out on cloth as evenly as possible. If you have an old gas oven like I do with a pilot, you can just put this into the oven (prop the door ajar an inch or two) and leave for overnight or even up to 24 hrs or so... depends on how much dill you're drying. Check on it occasionally, and when it is dry, crumble it into a jar, close the lid and keep in your spice cabinet! If you don't have an oven with a pilot, preheat it to the lowest setting then turn off heat and place pan in oven. I've also read that you can dehydrate herbs in a microwave, but haven't tried this myself.

Kale Chips
The Lacinato kale is excellent for making kale chips, otherwise known as Crispy Kale. Here is my 'recipe' for making them:

Crispy Kale
If you haven't tried this yet, I recommend you do! They're a terrific snack or appetizer. Kids will love these too if they love crispy, salty chips (potato chips, corn chips etc). I originally learned about this (via a member) from Michael Pollan's book, 'The Omnivore's Dilemma', but added my own technique. In the original recipe, it says to spray the kale leaves with a misto-type olive oil sprayer. Well, I don't have one of those, but what I came up with works really well: pour a little olive oil into the palm of your hand (wash hands first of course) then rub your hands together, then massage the leaves with your oily hands. This gives them a nice light coating of oil. Then spread them out on an ungreased baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 9 minutes (as the original recipe states 'being watchful so they don't char). Note: this 'being watchful' part is important - they're thin, and can burn quickly! Another thing I do is cut out the thick stem (before cooking), and use just the leaves. Try to get the leaves in more-or-less a single layer on the baking sheet; you can crowd them a little, that's fine, but don't layer them on top of one another.

Stack the crisped leaves on a plate (cut them in pieces if you like with a kitchen scissors) and watch them disappear. Once you start noshing on them it is really hard to stop!

I almost forgot the sugar-snap peas! How about this fun recipe I found in my clippings file for:

Caesar Potato Salad with Sugar Snap Peas
from an un-dated Bon Appetit clipping
serves 6 to 8

1 1/2 lbs unpeeled assorted fingerling potatoes or baby potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
8 oz [or thereabouts] trimmed sugar snap peas
1 bunch radishes, trimmed and sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 C olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Steam potatoes on steamer rack set in large pot over boiling water until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add sugar snap peas and steam until peas are crisp-tender and potatoes are just tender, about 1 minute longer. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Cool slightly. Add radishes and onion. Whisk next 4 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Whisk in Parmesan. Season dressing with salt and generous amount of pepper. Add dressing to potato mixture; toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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 [year-round]
added for Summer: Weds July 21st and Weds Aug 18
(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 11 (Saturday) - Heirloom tomatoes JUST ADDED!
September 12 (Sunday) - Heirloom tomatoes SOLD OUT
October 2 (Saturday) - Pickles

Contact Jordan if you have any questions

Community Farm Days and Events 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 in Week 9 newsletter)
June 19 - Summer Solstice Celebration and Strawberry U-pick
July 3 - Apricot and Strawberry U-pick CANCELLED.
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 (see below)
Oct 23 - Harvest Celebration and Apple U-pick

LEFDP Second Annual Fundraiser - "Taste of the Fields"
Wine, Hors d'oeuvres, and silent auction on the farm
Saturday September 25th, 3 - 6pm
some awesome local chefs:
· The Butcher, The Baker, The Wedding Cake Maker
· Happy Girl Kitchen Co
· Cafe Ella
· Vibrant Foods (Rebecca Mastoris and Karen Haralson)
some great wine:
· Storrs Winery
· Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery
· Chronic Cellars
· Peachy Canyon Winery
· Savannah Chanelle Vineyards
and some beautiful art and music:
· Ashley Lloyd
· Groove Grass
· Josh Kimball Photography
Tickets are not available at the door and space is limited, so please get your tickets today! All proceeds benefit the Live Earth Farm Discovery Program 501(c)(3)
To order tickets, contact LEFDP at 831-728-2032, lefeducation@baymoon.com

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