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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
29th Harvest Week, Season 15
October 11th - 17th, 2010
in this issue
What's in the box this week
Farmer Tom goes up a creek
What's Up in the Fields
Are newsletter images coming through?
Fall Harvest Celebration - Saturday October 23rd
Fall Harvest Celebration - Taylor's tale of two contests!
More on the subject of eggs
Time to sign up for Winter 2010 and Next Year (2011)
Notes from Debbie's Kitchen [Recipes!]
2010 Calendar

" Plenty is so little whilst we dance in the middle."
 - Argisle

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 (Gala) +
Red cabbage
Dry-farmed tomatoes +
Green beans +
Red Russian kale
Mustard greens
Summer squash
Sweet peppers

Small Share
Apples (Gala)
Dry-farmed tomatoes
Green beans
Mustard greens
Summer squash
Sweet peppers

Extra Fruit
1 bag of mixed apples and pears Please do not take 2 bags of apples/pears, thinking you thought we meant one of each (apples, pears). Only take one bag (or the number of bags it says next to your name to take). - thanks!
2 baskets Raspberries
1 basket Strawberries

Bread Option
This week's bread will be three seed whole wheat

Farmer Tom goes up a creek
This past weekend my son David and I went on a backpacking trip, one I offered him for his 16th birthday back in May. Our destination was the Buddha Bowls, 5 miles upstream of the Arroyo Seco in the Ventana Wilderness, a 1.5 hour drive from the farm. The trip was inspired by Taylor, our 2nd year farm apprentice, who had just backpacked there a month or so ago. The experience was beyond all our expectations. Not only were we stunned by the beauty of the watershed, but also by the excitement of not hiking on a path, but rather being forced to find our way along the Arroyo's riverbed... which contrary to its name is not dry!  It required climbing along steep canyon walls, stepping and jumping from boulder to boulder, and several times just swimming through the river's deep narrow canyons which were carved out by the passage of water over millennia.  The entire time we were in the Arroyo we didn't meet another soul; it was a wonderful adventure for father and son to share. The not so pleasant side effect for me of course was the utter physical exhaustion, and facing up to the limits of my "aging" body. So... I am going to keep my side of the newsletter short (the pictures will tell the story). The farm, of course, did not stop while I was away, and so most of my attention now that I'm back is to make sure we are prepared for the next heatwave, which starts tomorrow.

- Tom

PS - all the pics are of my son David, of course.

Tom and David's hike to the Budda Bowls up Arroyo Seco

What's Up in the Fields
A couple of our crops have not fared well this year: you already know the apricot harvest was non-existent this summer, but the fruitset on the Warren pears was also poor, so cherish the pears you get in your fruit shares while you have them! The Concord grapes did not do so well either; the ripening has been very uneven, with grape clusters containing a mix of ripe and green berries, making them difficult to harvest (and it requires too much labor to pick off the green grapes). A few of you may receive grapes this week; we just harvested 120 lbs, and Tom says they were fairly selective so as to minimize the green grapes on the picked clusters. But that will be the last we'll see of grapes this season.

Heirloom tomatoes were, sadly, another disaster - most of the plants were lost to late blight, so we won't have any for the CSA shares this year. Cherry tomatoes were hit hard too, although Tom says one planting may produce another crop if all goes well. The good news is, we have a late crop of San Marzano paste tomatoes which should be coming in around the end of October, and we have of course been very fortunate to have a bumper crop of excellent raspberries this year. Expect to have raspberries through the end of October, and if the weather cooperates, we should also have strawberries until almost the end of the season. Tom says we may also include some of Steve Marsalisi's beautiful avocados in the fruit shares this fall (Steve's farm is just down the road from LEF).

Are newsletter images coming through?
I'm getting mixed signals from my newsletter-making program about whether the images I'm creating and inserting are coming through on your end. If you are NOT getting them, could you please email me at the farm simply with the subject line "newsletter emails not coming through"? If it's happening to lots of folks, I need to look into it and see what's up! :-) Debbie

Fall Harvest Celebration - Saturday October 23rd

Remember to take time to celebrate the Seasons - You are all invited to join us for our 15th Harvest Celebration on October 23rd.

Fall Harvest decorationsWe are in our final weeks of bountiful harvests as the season transitions, contracting and slowing down in preparation for the cooler, wetter, and shorter months ahead. As is our tradition, we always celebrate this important time of the season by inviting everyone in the community to our Harvest Festival. There will be plenty of pumpkins (at least 1-2 for everyone to take home), lots of apples for pressing into juice, and the oven will feed us with warm loaves of bread. Tractor rides, apple picking and of course our 2nd annual pie contest are all part of this event.  I am very excited that Taylor has organized the pie contest again this year (see below). I know: how about if everyone, instead of bringing a dish for the potluck, just bakes a pie? I don't think anyone would complain if our entire potluck table was filled with pies. I promise I will have the whipped cream ready! Okay, just kidding. Of course "real food", salads, kale/chard casseroles, pizzas, or ratatouille (just to name a few) are always welcome.

The Celebration will start at 2 pm and go until 6. I will have a more detailed schedule of events in next week's newsletter. In the meantime mark your calendars. Hope to see you all here at the farm on the 23rd.

- Tom

PS - As always, we encourage you to bring your own plates and utensils, cloth napkins... even cups for cider, in order to minimize the un-recyclable waste of paper plates and such going into the landfill. Thanks!

Fall Harvest Celebration - Taylor's tale of two contests!
BOO! It's that time of year again...

If you haven't already marked you calendars, the Live Earth Farm annual Harvest Festival on October 23rd will be a most delightful of fall celebrations. Filled with hay bale tractor rides, goat milking demonstrations, apple cider pressing and potato sack races - it's fun for the whole family!

There are a few events, however, that I would like to invite the Live Earth Farm community to participate in to make this day extra special.

Last year's pie contestWe will be hosting our second annual Pie-Baking Contest! (See pictures at right, of last year's.) Dive back into your grandmother's dusty recipes and create your favorite homemade pie to be entered into this year's pie contest. A panel of pie experts will judge your pie based on a variety of categories, from most like mom's, to best crust, to most local pie! After what is sure to be an eventful tasting and awards ceremony, the rest of the community will enjoy the pies as the main desert for the potluck. Please bring pies to the judging area near the fire circle upon your arrival to the farm for the day's events.

So bust out your rolling pins and cover yourself in flour - it's pie-baking time!

Harvest Festival Pie Contest Categories Include...

Best Apple
Best Pumpkin
Best Savory
Best Crust
Most Local Pie - complete with a list of local ingredients!
Most like Mom's
Most Creative Filling Combination
Most Artistic Latticework
Best Kid-creation

New this year is Live Earth Farm's first annual Pumpkin Carving Contest! Head to the nearest pumpkin patch and pick out a beauty to enter into this year's contest. Pumpkin's will be judged based on a number of categories from spookiest carving to best Live Earth Farm themed pumpkin! All pumpkins must be pre-carved and delivered to a table by the fire circle to be judged on the day of the event. After a rousing judging ceremony, carved pumpkins will be lit and put on display for the potluck. So get creative and leave those pre-made carving templates at home, this year's inaugural pumpkin carving contest will be fun for the whole family. Happy carving!

Harvest Festival Pumpkin Carving Contest Categories Include...

Ken and Debbie's pumpkins carved in 2004Best Face
Best Animal
Most Creative
Best Live Earth Farm Themed Pumpkin

See you there!

More on the subject of eggs

Last week Tom talked about how Jim Dunlop and Rebecca Thistlewaite of TLC Ranch were throwing in the towel and selling their business. Jim did indeed write a detailed explanation as to WHY, in his latest newsletter to his customers. Rather than repeat it in our newsletter, though, I have instead uploaded his story on a simple web page, so you can read it here. Anybody who cares anything about sustainable farming should read what he has to say.

2011 Regular Season Eggs... only want half a dozen each week?
As you probably know, we are discontinuing the 'half-dozen' increment for the Egg Option starting with the 2011 Regular Season. (The Winter season will be the last of eggs available by the half-dozen.) But there's good news: we have a work-around! You can't get a half-dozen each week, but you CAN get a dozen every other week!

It turns out our new Farmigo system has the capacity to manage this, so I wanted to give everyone the heads-up. I have not set this up yet, but I will sometime this month, and then I will announce it in the newsletter (and probably send an email too). Once it is set up, if you have already signed up for your 2011 share, you can simply log in to your account and add this option to your subscription. If you haven't signed up yet, it will be available as an option through the signup wizard.

- Debbie

Time to sign up for Winter 2010 and Next Year (2011)
Our 'early registration' signup notification email went out to all CSA members last Wednesday. If you are a member and did not receive this, please let me know, and I will re-send it to you. [Non-members, please be patient! Your chance will come in November.] ;-)

The Winter Season begins the week after Thanksgiving (1st week of December), so don't wait too long to sign up if you want a Winter Share!

And although it doesn't start until next April, we are indeed also taking signups for the 2011 Regular Season. If you sign up now, there are 'early registration' discounts to take advantage of. Don't miss out!

Last week I went into detail about prices, schedules etc. for both seasons - if you missed that, you can click here to review the details.

- Debbie

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

It's been a long time since we've had cauliflower, red cabbage or mustard greens... let me see what I can scare up!  - Debbie

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

My favorite way to use mustard greens is as a salad green (see next-to-last recipe), but you can of course also cook them! Here is an old clipping from Bon Appetit, modified to work with the quantity of mustards you should be getting in your share:

Spicy Mustard Greens with Cumin
serves 4

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped [or use 2 of the small red ones we got in past weeks]
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tbsp. cumin seeds
1/4 tsp. crushed dried red pepper
1 large bunch mustard greens, coarsely chopped
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin seeds, and crushed red pepper; saute 2-3 minutes more. Add mustard greens to pot in batches and stir until each batch begins to wilt before adding next, about 3 minutes per batch. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until greens are very tender, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in vinegar. Transfer to a bowl and serve hot or at room temperature.

Longtime friend of the farm and frequent recipe contributor Farrell Podgorsek sent me this recipe earlier this year for what she said was, "one of the best cauliflower dishes I have made. We loved it hot, and then again the following day as a cold salad."

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Lemon and Olives

Farrell says, "Roasted cauliflower, lemon zest and olives tossed with Orrichette pasta make a light but very flavorful dish. Cooked chicken added in makes a filling meal.  Make enough for a cold pasta salad. We mixed the leftovers with a small amount of mayonnaise, white balsamic vinegar and some more chopped shallots for a flavorful pasta salad. Use your favorite pasta shape. I liked the orrichetti since they are the perfect shape to hold the cauliflower and sauce."

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
zest and juice of one lemon
1 lb pasta shape - we used Orrichetti
1/2 C green olives., pitted and sliced
Cooked chicken, cut into cubes
chopped parsley or basil, to garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cauliflower on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Roast until cauliflower is browned and beginning to caramelize, about 30 minutes. You can lower the oven temperature and roast for a longer period of time; whatever is convenient. When cool enough to handle, remove to a cutting board and cut into very small pieces. Set aside.

To cook the pasta: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. When the water comes to a boil add 2 tbsp salt and pasta. Cook according to the directions on the box, cooking until al dente or just past. I prefer the pasta well cooked if I'll be using some for a pasta salad. It gets firmer as it sits in the refrigerator. [Save some pasta water for the next step!]

For the sauce: In a large saute pan heat 4 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and saute until beginning to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add olives and zest of the lemon and stir to blend. If adding chicken, now is the time to add it in to warm. Add about one half to 3/4 cup of the pasta water to the saute pan and stir to blend. when the pasta is cooked, add some directly to the saute pan and toss. Cook, tossing gently with tongs, until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce and everything is hot. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve in pasta bowls, sprinkled with some chopped parsley or basil to garnish.

Member Laurel Pavesi sent me this easy and delicious cabbage salad recipe:

5-Minute Cabbage with Ginger
from "The world's healthiest foods" www.whfoods.org
serves 2

1 small head of red cabbage
1 tbsp. lemon juice
5 tbsp. chicken or vegetable broth

Mediterranean Dressing
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 medium clove garlic, chopped or pressed
Ginger, sea salt and pepper to taste

Quarter cabbage, slice into 1/4-inch strips, and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the hidden health benefits of cabbage. Chop or press garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes. Sprinkle cabbage with lemon juice before cooking to prevent it from turning blue. Heat broth over medium heat in a stainless steel skillet. When broth begins to steam, add cabbage and cover. Saute for no more than 5 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss cabbage with the dressing ingredients while it is still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately.)

Here's another cabbage recipe, one I made up this spring. Very easy!

Chicken Salad with Cabbage, Walnuts, and Dried Apricots
I didn't write down specific quantities, but it's pretty flexible where that's concerned. I'll give you some general guidelines.

1/4 to 1/2 head red or green cabbage, chopped or shredded
1 carrot, grated
diced cooked chicken (amount not critical... 1/2 C to 1 C)
diced dried apricots (maybe 1/4 C, loosely packed)
broken walnut pieces
1 to 2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley

dressing ingredients
2 to 3 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp. roasted walnut oil (I just pour some in)
juice from half a lemon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. paprika
(I don't add more salt, as mayo has its own. You can though, if you want.)

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl; blend dressing ingredients in a cup and toss with salad ingredients to combine. Serve as is, or on a bedding of salad greens. (The mustard greens in this week's share would be perfect!)

Lastly, here's an interesting recipe using green beans, summer squash and basil!

Green Beans and Summer Squash with Sauce Verte
modified slightly from an undated Bon Appetit clipping
serves 6

The 'green sauce' gets its vibrant color from the basil, green onion, parsley and capers. Any left-over sauce can be stirred into couscous or rice, or served with grilled chicken or fish.

Sauce Verte
1/3 C (packed) fresh basil leaves
1 green onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. (packed) fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp. drained capers
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, peeled
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. green beans, stem end trimmed
3 to 4 small summer squash, halved lengthwise, each half cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch wide strips
3 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)

To make sauce: Blend first 7 ingredients in processor until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add olive oil. Process until coarse puree forms. Season sauce verte to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made a day ahead; cover and refrigerate.

To make the vegetables: Heat oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; stir until coated. Sprinkle with salt and 3 tbsp. water. Cover; cook vegetables until almost crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Uncover; cook until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough sauce verte to coat vegetables generously. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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 SOLD OUT
October 3 (Sunday) - Pickles JUST ADDED!
Nov 6 (Saturday) - Apples, Pears and QuinceJUST ADDED!

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
Oct 23 - Harvest Celebration and Apple U-pick - 2pm 'til 6pm

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