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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
25th Harvest Week, Season 15
September 13th - 19th, 2010
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Partnership to Preserve the Season's Flavors
Discovery Program Update
CSA Packaging continued...& Webstore reopening 9/17
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
2010 Calendar

"... how amazingly empowering - to have the skill to seal a little bit of "summer delight" into a jar."  Tom

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
Apples (Sommerfeld and Galas)
Beets (Chiogga)
Broccoli (De Ciccio)+
Dry-farmed Tomatoes +
Hot Yellow Hungarian & Padron Peppers
Kale (Lacinato)
Sweet Peppers

Small Share
Apples (Sommerfeld and Galas)
Beets (Chiogga)
Broccoli (De Ciccio)
Dry-farmed Tomatoes
Hot Yellow Hungarian & Padron Peppers
Sweet Peppers

Extra Fruit
Cherry Tomatoes
Apples (Galas)
please go by what's listed next to your name on the checklist. Sometimes there are last-minute changes - thanks!

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

Partnership to Preserve the Season's Flavors
Over the last couple of years we've been fortunate to establish a wonderful and complimentary relationship with Todd and Jordan Champagne, owners of Happy Girl Kitchen- an artisan food preservation company, who share a very similar food and farming philosophy to ours. As a farm we want to provide you with the tastiest and freshest fruits and vegetables the land of this farm can provide.  Todd and Jordan's mission is to preserve the best of what small organic
farms along the central coast have to offer by "tucking their seasonal bounties into jars".  Happy Girl's logo sums it up well: "Preserving the local organic harvest one jar at a time" and "make food that feeds your soul"

When the season really gets going and the harvest is so abundant that some of it would spoil, Happy Girl Kitchen Co. is just a phone call away to help transform and preserve our seasonal bounty into a value added product.  

As Todd  so poetically describes: "The best way to continue eating locally grown produce (i.e. tomatoes) all year long is to nicely tuck them into a jar".   Working with food artisans such as Todd and Jordan, who learned their preserving skills while working on local organic farms, is a real pleasure. They are creative, flexible, skilled, infectiously passionate about food, and best of all, they enjoy sharing their secrets with everyone who is interested.
This last weekend Todd held two Tomato Preservation workshops here at the farm. Tomatoes, the "jewels of summer" (another of Todd's poetic descriptions) are reaching  their peak of ripeness, flavor, and abundance.  Especially dry-farmed tomatoes are abundant right now, all our extra fruit is going to Happy Girl where it is immediately transformed and rescued into jars as ketchup, salsa, crushed whole tomatoes, and tomato juice.  All our preserves are being stored to be offered during the off-season in our wintershares.  Other harvests we are preserving for off-season enjoyment are several kinds of berry jams and pickled vegetables such as dilly beans, sauerkraut, kimchee, carrots and beets.    

When I checked in with Todd on Sunday afternoon after the workshops were over, he was resting on a bench, visibly exhausted, but still energized and inspired from the community spirit present during the workshops. I got a sense of it when I dropped in to greet the group earlier in the day. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, the mood was not like that of a classroom but much more celebratory,  everyone was enjoying a delicious lunch, having conversations, food and salsa ingredients were cooking on the stove to be canned, and some jars were already filled with colorful heirloom tomatoes.  Looking at the jars I thought to myself:" how amazingly empowering to have the skill to seal a little bit of "summer delight" into a jar."
It is really unfortunate that food is becoming more and more commodified, relegated to something we fear. Almost every year the media has a heyday reporting on national recalls of contaminated food - usually originating from large factory farms, often undermining small scale agriculture producers who strive to promote what is good and wholesome about growing, eating and celebrating food.
Food is not just something we stuff down into our bodies but is meant to be shared with friends, family and the community we live in.  Supporting the local farmers and food producers will help bring the celebrations around food back into our communities. With every meal we can celebrate food that tastes naturally delicious, grown with care, harvested at the right moment, and brought directly to us the eaters.    

 The farm serves as a place for the community to enjoy sharing and celebrating food, to experience the cycles of the seasons, and recognize the earth as the ultimate source from which all our food comes from. Through our seasonal celebrations, community harvest days, field trips, children camps and many other on-farm activities the community has a place to stay connected beyond the weekly harvests we share.

There are two wonderful food and farm celebrations in the fall.  One coming up in a couple of weeks, which is our Live Earth Farm Discovery Program Fundraiser on September 25th and the second in October our traditional Community Harvest Festival held every year, on October 23rd.  

Let's celebrate, hope you can join us!

Discovery Program Update

The school year activities on the farm have definitely begun.  Wavecrest, Santa Cruz Montessori's adolescent program returned to the farm on Thursday.  This week they will camp out for their Odyssey, spending all day Thursday and Friday on the farm.  On Friday I visited E.A. Hall Middle School to plan their visits to the farm.  On Tuesday the Blue Mountain Group, our resident home schoolers will return, and field trip season is open.  Yipeeeeee!


Our apprentices, and everyone who is willing, are working hard to get the Discovery Garden looking its best.  A recent major project has been skimming the ever pervasive Bermuda grass, before laying down cardboard and chicken feed bags under thickly mulched pathways.  We are so lucky to have such great resources available to us at Live Earth Farm.  It always feels good to give packaging and old trees one more life as weed repressing sheet mulch.  We know soon those old feed bags and wood chips will become food for the insects, and plants that make their home in our garden.  And eventually, that sheet mulch will become rich soil for future generations to grow food in, if the Bermuda grass does not take over (wink).


Discovery Program Fundraiser - Taste of the Fields Celebration - 9/25 (Tickets available through our Website or Farmigo Webstore)

Centered around that beautiful garden, the Taste of the Fields event is shaping up very nicely. 

There will be some amazing food prepared by talented chefs including:


Kabocha squash and arugula pizettes baked in our cob oven,

Lamb kebabs, paired with roasted eggplant ratatouille,

Herb spiked, chevre stuffed, dry farmed tomatoes,

 Grilled tiburon chile rellenos, and

 Triple berry tarts

Just to name a small sampling.  Our fine local wines will include Storrs Winery, Alfaro Family Vineyard, Savannah Chanelle Vineyard, Chronic Cellars and Peachy Canyon.  This year's silent auction looks great too!  We are offering a sailing charter, some beautiful art work, massages, gift baskets full of locally crafted goods, wine tours, and so much more!  We really look forward to creating a beautiful, delicious, and fun event, for our committed community to enjoy, which will in turn enable us to continue offering the awesome programs taking place on the farm this fall.

CSA Packaging continued... & Webstore reopening 9/17

CSA Packaging...
I received a lot of e-mails in response to my blurb in last weeks newsletter about packaging and the use of plastic. I appreciate so many of you taking the time to give me very thoughtful advice and input. Please continue to do so!
In the meantime I will research how to best move ahead and integrate a strategy which will adopt the use of reusable containers. First, I will look at the cost and how any new packing material might impact the convenience as well as the quality of the produce we pack and deliver to you.  My goal is to start using reusable bags during the Winter Season's CSA and evaluate how to best expand reusable containers to the entire CSA membership during our regular 2011 season.  Stay tuned and feel free to continue contacting me with information and advice. Thanks!

Webstore will reopen 9/17
With Debbie (our CSA coordinator) being out of town until tomorrow 9/14 we won't open the store again until this Friday.  Expect Tomatoes, Raspberries, Apples, and Strawberries to be available again.

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

I am still out of town the day this newsletter goes out, but I'll be back next week! Remember, in the meantime you can go to my recipe database... there are literally hundreds of recipes for inspiration! (There are also photos of many of the veggies, if you need to be able to ID something.)

- Debbie

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]
(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

Medicinal Herb Walk on the farm
Hidden in amongst the veges, lurking below the fruit trees, at home in the oak woodlands, and planted in the hedgerows, Live Earth Farm is chock-full of medicinal plants.  With literally hundreds of plants useful for treating common maladies and maintaining vital health, Live Earth Farm is an incredible place to go for an herbal adventure.  Come join herbalist Darren Huckle L.Ac for a fun, informative, and applicable tour.  We will identify, taste and learn how to safely and effectively use medicinal plants common in Northern California.  This is a stand alone class or a great entry to the monthly herbal series being planned for the 2011 season.  Bring a sun hat, water bottle, notebook and your questions for this fun filled class.

When: Saturday October 9
Time: 10:30 am - 3 pm
Cost: $45 per person

To RSVP or for more information contact Darren Huckle at rootsofwellness@gmail.com or 831.334.5177

In the spring of 2011, Darren will be teaching a series on identifying, preparing, and using herbal medicines. Feel free to contact Darren for details.

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