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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
13th Harvest Week, Season 16
June 27th - July 3rd, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
Seed to Bread Community Farm Day postponed to July 30th
Tom and his childhood chicken
Changing of the guard: Debbie's taking a sabbatical
Farm's Solstice Celebration Reunites Old Friends
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

" The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.
- Frank Herbert

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What's in the box(es) this week

Occasionally content will differ from this list (typically we make a substitution), but we do our best to give you an accurate projection.


The Family share will get larger quantities of certain items than the other two shares, so these items will be marked with a "+" sign.  

For any items not from our farm, we will identify the source in parentheses.

***Click here for a picture of how to tell share sizes apart at your pick-up site***

Family Share
Asian stir-fry mix (Mizuna/Tatsoi)
Red beets
Carrots (new crop; baby and bunched)
Fresh onions
Strawberries +

Small Share
Asian stir-fry mix (Mizuna/Tatsoi)
Carrots (new crop; baby and bunched)
Fresh onions

Budget Share
Collard greens
Fresh onions
Summer squash 

Bread Option

This week's bread will be whole wheat with flax seed    

Extra Fruit Option

2 baskets of strawberries and 2 baskets of either raspberries or blackberries! (Please always go by items/quantities listed next to your name on the checklist.)

Meat Chickens
Next delivery of meat chickens mid-July

Here on the Farm we get to witness the inevitable dynamic of Nature's transitions, through the seasonal and continuous life-cycles of our crops and animals. Everything is in constant flux, and much as we would like to control and predict this chaotic continuum, we are typically frightened by the inevitable truth that nothing is permanent, that the carefully assembled "produce cart" we hold dear will fall apart.

So when a couple of months ago Debbie announced that after 12 years it was time to take leave as the Farm's CSA coordinator, I felt a very strong tug on the core strands that support the fabric of this farm -- Debbie, who has built, nurtured and cared for the CSA program since its inception will be moving on! Debbie, who many have come to know as the voice of the farm will be no more! [Well, not exactly; see below]. No denying it, on one hand I felt a bit stunned, but on the other I am immensely grateful and deeply appreciative of Debbie's wholehearted dedication, hard work and innumerable contributions, all instrumental in the growth and development of this farm. Nothing is permanent, and as in nature, some of Debbie's many gifts and talents will move on so as to be of the greatest fulfillment to her, and I have no doubt to continued service to her community.
Debbie and Tom at Willow Glen Farmers Market in 1998
Debbie chats with Farmer Tom at the Willow Glen Farmers Market back in 1998
Debbie has agreed to help in this transition and stay involved as editor-in-chief for this newsletter, manage the farm's webpage, and be available as a consultant during her sabbatical. So the last couple of months we have been actively looking for someone interested in coordinating our CSA, and we are delighted to welcome Jason Wade on board; together with his wife Cassandra, they have been long-time CSA members. Although it is challenging to take on this position in the middle of the growing season, Jason is passionate about food and sustainable farming; his interests and previous work experience overlap in such a way as to match the multiple requirements of this complex position. Jason is already getting trained and will officially start taking the reins the 1st of July.

As we welcome Jason into the Live Earth Farm Family, we wish Debbie all the best on her new adventures ahead, hoping she discovers never-before-seen treasures to nourish and realize her dreams. I can speak for all of us when I say that Debbie will always be a member of this farm and its community, and that we are eternally grateful for all she brought to it.

- Tom

Seed to Bread Community Farm Day postponed to July 30th
The Seed to Bread Community Farm Day, originally scheduled for July 3rd, has been postponed to July 30th. The wheat kernels we planned on harvesting are not quite at full maturity, and in my estimate have another 2-3 weeks before they'll be ready for threshing and milling. So now is a good time to mark your calendar! This is a really fun event, where we harvest together, gather the wheat, thresh, mill, and bake to experience the full circle from field to mouth, baking a delicious crusty pizza in the farm's cob oven. By July 30th we'll also have fresh ripe tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil fresh from the field to add as toppings, and goat cheese from goats we can milk the same day.

For members who like to camp out from Friday to Saturday, we have limited space for about 10 tents, so if you're interested, please make your reservations now.

For the event itself, we request a donation of $10/person or $30/family, and if you are camping overnight $15/person or $45/family. Please RSVP by e-mailing farmers@cruzio.com or calling 831-763-2448.

- Tom

Wheat field, grain mill, braided loaf

Tom and his childhood chicken
Farmer Tom as a boy with his pet chickenWell, this is entirely too much fun! Tom unearthed his old family photo album with the picture of him at age 4 holding his pet chicken - the one fully half his size (read the story in last week's newsletter if you missed it "Childhood joy in abundance..."). He brought the album up to the office, where Dawne managed to scan the page and send it to me, so I could include it in the newsletter here. As my neighbor down the street from me would say, "Oh, fer cute!!"

- Debbie

Changing of the guard: Debbie's taking a sabbatical
I have to thank Tom for such a kind send-off. Of course I wrote this over the weekend before Tom sent me his blurb (last we talked the task had fallen to me to announce my exit) ;-) so there is some overlap - but there's also a nice balance; a verbal picture, if you will, of the kind of yin-yang of how we've worked together over the years, how we see things the same and yet differently. Here is how things unfolded from my perspective.

After more than a decade of managing pretty much all the non-farming nuts and bolts of Live Earth Farm's CSA program... I am going to be taking what I would like to believe is a well-deserved break! I'm calling it a 'sabbatical', but it really is a hybrid mash-up of a sabbatical and leave of absence; it will be a six month hiatus from day-to-day CSA management (no more hour-each-way commute between my home in San Jose and the farm in Watsonville -- yay!), but I'll still be editing the newsletter and consulting for the farm on an as-needed basis, as well as possibly working with Tom on some strategic planning. This week is my last in my 'old' role; my sabbatical starts Friday July 1st!

A little history. Back in 1999 when I took over from Constance, Tom's wife (who was the CSA coordinator back then), we had 125 members, one share size [our "Standard Share"], and 7 pick-up sites -- all but two of which were in Santa Cruz. Today we are closing in on 900 members, with two seasons, three share sizes, multiple options and fifty pick-up sites covering a territory that now extends from San Francisco and Oakland all the way down to Carmel. Over the years I helped design (and then regularly modified) three evolutions of FileMaker databases to keep track of our ever-changing CSA and its growing membership; our long-time members will remember back when all signups were once a year, via snail mail, with paper checks. How quaint and simple that all sounds now! As computers became more powerful and the internet more accessible, I had a programmer create an email plug-in to my database [I mean the farm's - felt like mine though, as I was the only one who used it!] so I could better communicate with all of you and keep track of those communications. Then in late spring of 2009 we were approached by the founders of a software startup in its infancy called "Farmigo"; they were looking to develop a web-based management system for CSA farms. Long story short, Tom agreed to take the plunge, and Live Earth Farm became their flagship farm - which meant yours truly not only had her brain picked for ideas for the new system, but was the primary real-time beta-tester for it as it came online. This is now the system we use today (and if I understand correctly, Farmigo is now used by over 100 CSA farms around the country).

I have been with Live Earth Farm through thick and thin and in so many capacities over the years I have lost track...  but my primary responsibility has always been to you, the farm's members - whether it be answering the phone and taking care of some site or delivery emergency, to honing pick-up protocol or policy, to coming up with recipe ideas for using what's in your box, to advocating for you whenever I thought the farmers markets were being given too much precedence.

With the continual growth and complexity of our CSA, however, this spring it became clear to me that I could no longer support everything anymore all by myself. My job had become unsustainable for one person, yet because I cared too much for it all and for all of you, I kept trying to do so. But my workdays had become too long, extending into nights and weekends, and this was cumulatively taking a toll on my physical health (too many hours either sitting in front of a computer or in a car commuting). So rather than crash and burn, potentially jeopardizing the whole CSA program which I largely coordinated on my own, I wanted to make a soft landing by planning an orderly transition to this sabbatical, and met with Tom to hash out the details. The upshot is, we're breaking my job up into four parts: CSA coordinator, website maintenance, newsletter editor, and recipe writing.

Those of you who regularly read this newsletter already know I turned the task of coming up with new recipe-content over to Rebecca Mastoris about a month and a half ago (thank you Rebecca; you're doing great!). I have also agreed to continue my role as editor of this newsletter (can't tear myself away from the farm entirely!), and to be 'on call' for updates to the website in the short-term, until a larger plan for it materializes sometime this fall.

Jason Wade, LEF"s new CSA coordinatorBut taking on the biggest chunk of my old job -- the task of day-to-day CSA coordinating -- will be someone new, someone I wish to introduce you to now. Please give a warm welcome to Jason Wade. As Tom mentioned, Jason is already a CSA member (which is good!), and I have been training him in all the ins and outs of CSA member management since about mid-month. He has absorbed a barrage of information with aplomb and perspicacity, picking things up quickly and already interacting with members. He is careful and thoughtful, and I know he will take good care of you. I hope in the early weeks that you will all cut him a little slack as he grows into this position and learns all the quirks and nuances of this farm and this community.

Right now I don't know what my job at the farm will look like six months hence, but I'm hoping to get some perspective on that during my sabbatical. Where and how might it be different -- perhaps better -- for all parties involved? We shall see. And finally: yes, there is a distinct possibility I may finally write that book about cooking with a CSA share...!

Take care everyone; and feel free to write me at the farm if you like - Jason, I know, will forward it to me. :-)

Debbie Palmer

Debbie Palmer waves goodbye to Live Earth Farm for now

Farm's Solstice Celebration Reunites Old Friends
Todd Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen and Aurelio Lopez of Surfside Chickens

This is a story of a long lost friendship coming full circle and reconnecting around the campfire at this past LEF Summer Solstice Party! Back in the golden summer of 2000, having moved out from the East Coast to study AgroEcology at the University of Santa Cruz, I moved onto an isolated tract of farmland in Hollister with my then girlfriend (now wife) Jordan. We pitched a tipi along the Pajaro River with the permission of the farmer we worked for. Turns out we weren't the only ones living out there -- coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats abounded, so we were relived when a black labrador appeared and decided to live with us, becoming our family dog for the next 8 years: Moondog. Our closest human neighbor, though, was Aurelio, a young man recently arrived from Oaxaca Mexico who, like us, was working on farms, carrying in water, and living by the river, off the map, and new to California. We shared a lot of traits and experiences, but not language, cooking over a campfire, struggling to understand each other; yet together we shared an adventure to be remembered.

As the summer faded and autumn rains approached Jordan, Moondog and I moved into the nearby town of San Juan Bautista, and parted ways with Aurelio. We proceeded to develop our concept of preserving the local harvest and founded Happy Girl Kitchen -- making pickles, jams, and tomato preserves from the bounty of nearby organic farms -- then moved to Aromas with the birth of our son Ry and later a daughter Jaya. We began producing preserves for the Live Earth Farm's winter shares a few years ago. Members may remember the apricot and strawberry jams, sauerkraut and kimchee, or dilly bean pickles?! That's us. Working with Live Earth Farm was a natural fit, as we really enjoyed the social aspect of the farm, especially the parties around the fire circle; it reminds us of the good ol' days!

So what a joyous surprise it was after more than a decade to see our old friend Aurelio around that solstice campfire! I learned that he had married too, and was also producing things for Live Earth Farm's CSA - only in his case it was eggs and meat birds. Seeing our paths converge again made me think back to the beginning, and then to how far we'd come -- all of us around that campfire.  Building community, like fertile soil, takes time, but a few years of hard work can reward us all with potent friendships that last; this is perhaps the most savory part of belonging to such a wonderful farm community as Live Earth Farm.

- Todd ChampagneTodd Champagne of Happy Girl Kitchen, surrounded by some of their beautiful products.
Happy Girl Kitchen

I came to the United States 11 years ago, at the age of 16, to find work. The hardest thing about being in this new place at first was not knowing the language; this made it hard to the open the doors I knew needed to be opened in order to make my dreams a reality. I was impressed by everything that I saw on my trip to Hollister, CA.  I saw huge farm fields and the way everything is grown with giant machines, and had the impression that farmers in this country were completely advanced in their farming practices. Not knowing exactly where I was going, I came to live next to the Pajaro River and to work on a small farm there. I paid close attention to all of this farm's practices, though, because they were so different than what I saw along the road; the crops they grew were different too.

It was in that place that I met Todd and Jordan, who came to live there as well.  We tried to communicate a little bit, but none of us spoke the other's language. Yet it was still so fun to hang out together until we all moved on. I eventually moved to Watsonville and began work on another small farm where I gained a lot of experience in organic farming.  After that I started getting involved in a local community of people who appreciated small farms and the hard work they do, and through this community I eventually met my wife, Sarah.  Sarah and I started to work together on what is now Surfside Chickens, and soon after began providing our pasture-raised and eggs, and this year, meat chickens, to members of Live Earth Farm's CSA.

Then about a week ago we went to Live Earth Farm's Summer Solstice Celebration, and who do we run into but Todd and Jordan! It wasn't until we talked a little bit about our past and all the things we had been through up to the present, that we realized we were both providing our products to Live Earth Farm.

- Aurelio Lopez
Surfside Chickens
Aurelio Lopez of Surfside Chickens, with some of his charges

photo credit: Rachael Olmstead, from a wonderful story about Surfside Chickens in the online magazine Eucalyptus

Rebecca's Recipes
Click here to go to Debbie's recipe database. Rebecca's recipes will be included in the database as well. [What happened to "Notes from Debbie's Kitchen?"]  


Greetings to all! Last Saturday I was at the Garden Faire in Scotts Valley, to do a demo on making emerald kale salad. It is so much fun to teach people about kale who have never tried it before, or claim they don't like it. I love to see the surprise on their faces when they eat it and discover they really enjoyed it! What fun! I get so excited sharing not only such goodness about the taste, but also how good it is nutritionally. How fortunate we are to receive this bounty every week from the farm. Please let me know how you are doing, and if the recipes are helping -- and of course if you have any requests or suggestions. It is such a blessing to share, and I hope I can get you as excited as I am about cooking, eating, and staying in vibrant health! Have a great week full of good cooking!

- Rebecca

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

Broccoli is the number one anti-cancer vegetable according to Saxon Grahm, Ph.D. It belongs to the cabbage family of anti-cancer vegetables. It is rich in carotene, and a one cup of fresh cooked broccoli has two and a half times the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C. It is one of the best sources of calcium, and contains no fat! It is excellent even when prepared simply. So here are some simple ways!

1. To prepare your broccoli, simply cut the broccoli into florets and peel the stems, then  slice into 1/4" pieces.
2. Place broccoli in a steamer basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for about 6-7 minutes, until just tender -- keep an eye on it; it is so much better eaten when just tender! [note from Debbie: I find about 5 minutes works great. Open the lid and check; the broccoli should still be a rich, vibrant green but yield with only the smallest resistance to piercing with a sharp knife. If the stalk resists more than that, or still seems uncooked at its core, put the lid back on and let it 'steam' in the residual heat another minute or two (i.e. no need to turn the heat back on). Just don't forget it - that's how you end up with mushy, olive-green broccoli! You can still eat it this way, of course; don't throw it out - just remember to watch more carefully next time!]
3. You can season with sea salt and pepper to taste and toss with fresh squeezed lemon juice (and a pat of butter, if you like) [or a drizzle of tasty olive oil, like the one I think Taylor is still offering via the web store?]

This next recipe is a classic.

1.Take your steamed broccoli (above) and --
2. Warm 3 tbsp. olive oil with 2 thinly sliced cloves of garlic in a large skillet until the garlic begins to color;
3. Add the pepper flakes (about 1/4 tsp. or to taste; they open up in heat when warmed), the broccoli, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until heated through.
4. Turn into a dish and cover with paper-thin shavings of parmesan cheese. The heat of the broccoli will soften the cheese and bring out its flavor.

makes about 1 quart

1 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 lb. broccoli [FYI we typically get about a pound in a bag - Debbie]
3-4 red potatoes
1 leek or onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
2 C chicken or vegetable stock (can use stock you might have made from some of your vegetables from your box!) [See Basic Found Vegetable Stock, or Karen Haralson's Mineral Broth, or Rebecca's Mighty Mineral Broth in recipe database ;-)]
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. curry powder
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 C milk (or substitute almond, soy, or rice milk)
1/3 C cheddar cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add broccoli, potatoes, leeks (onions) and shallots and saute, stirring frequently, over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Add 1 C stock, along with the herbs and curry, then cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Let the soup cool, then pour into a blender or food processor along with the mustard and process until it's a smooth puree (don't over process or the potato will become gummy).
4. Pour the puree back into the pot and add the remaining stock, milk, and cheese (if using), then heat slowly, stirring to blend well. When the cheese is melted, it's ready! Serve hot.

I have such a love for potatoes -- any kind, and just about any way you can fix them. This recipe really satisfies my potato cravings for awhile. Try some different toppings on them: salsa is good, hot sauce, raita, yogurt, marinara sauce... even fresh applesauce! YUM!!! I am going to make these after I finish writing these recipes!

The confetti of shredded carrot and summer squash adds eye appeal as well as enhances the flavor of the traditional grated potato version. These are baked in a hot oven until crispy, not pan fried in oil.
6-8 potatoes from your box
1 large onion
1 large carrot or 5-6 baby ones
2 summer squash or zucchini
1 C flour of choice
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
oil for brushing tops (I use olive oil)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Grate the potatoes into a large bowl (cover them with water so they don't brown).
3. Into another bowl, grate the onion, carrot, squash/zucchini. Drain the potatoes really well; press out any excess moisture in a colander.
4. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, and eggs, and mix well.
5. Using an 8 oz. scoop as a measure, form the mixture into eight approximately half-inch thick round pancakes about 4 inches in diameter.
6. Place on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops lightly with the oil. Bake for 29 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Ever thought of using those berries in a green salad? I love the tatsoi and mizuna in this salad. They are on the bitter side and add an exciting flavor and texture. These are two of my all-time favorites and are not that easy to find. Oh what an absolute treat! This is a good salad to use them in if you have not eaten tatsoi or mizuna before - the berries marry perfectly with them and the other greens. It is also simple, elegant, and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

1. Mix arugula, spinach and the Asian greens together in a large bowl (measure about one large handful of mixed greens per serving if using as a side dish).
2. Slice the strawberries (about 1 basket for a large salad) and marinate in 1/4 C balsamic vinegar for about 1 hour. Sometimes I add more than one basket of berries; it is really up to you)
3. (This is optional, but yummy.) Macerate 1 red onion sliced very thin in 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar for a least 20 minutes (this marination softens the raw onion's sharp flavor and also pulls out the minerals so they are more accessible).
4. Toast 1 C walnuts or pecans in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 6 minutes; watch them -- they have a knack for toasting even faster if you look away! When they are just browned slightly, remove them and place on a plate to cool.
5. Mix the berries with the greens and toss. Add the optional macerated onions, in any amount you like. Sprinlke the nuts in and toss. (You can also omit the nuts, or use them in any amount you desire). Season with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper and toss gently. You may want to add a bit more balsamic vinegar to taste.

1 bunch collard greens, de-stremmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
Peanut butter or almond butter
sea salt and pepper to taste
oil for sauteeing
stock to cover the greens (about 1-2 cups)

1. Saute the minced garlic in a saucepan with oil until softened, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the collard greens and mix in, sauteeing for about a minute.
3. Add stock to just barely cover the greens. Bring to a slight boil and reduce the heat immediately to low simmer.
4. Cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender (I check them after 5 minutes to test their doneness - you want them to be just tender, not overcooked).
5. When the collards are tender, remove them from the stock, reserving the liquid.
6. Reduce the liquid down a bit by simmering for about 5 minutes.
7. When the stock has reduced, add 1/4 C peanut butter or almond butter to the liquid and mix well. Add the collards back into the pan and heat until warmed, just a few minutes.
8. Serve in an oval bowl for a nice presentation. I like to have this just as a side or with brown rice or pasta. (Brown rice pasta is pretty delicious mixed with this, actually.) You can sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds on top for a nice crunch, if so desired. You can also substitute kale or spinach in this dish, or use them in combination. Just remember that the spinach will cook much faster than the kale or collards. Have fun!

Sometimes I use my peanut sauce instead of plain peanut or almond butters for the braised collards. If you try it, tell me what you think. I also use this sauce on my steamed broccoli and add cooked soba noodles to make a nice dish. Simple and luscious.

Peanut Sauce
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/4 C Tamari
1/8 C toasted sesame oil
1/2 C almond butter or peanut butter
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 to 2-inch piece of peeled ginger, finely minced
warm water to blend

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust flavors. I like a lot of garlic and ginger, so when you are mixing you might want to add it slowly, until you get the balance of flavors you like.
2. Mix in warm water slowly to loosen the sauce to desired consistency.
3. Sometimes I add diagonally sliced green onions or scallions for some zip!

This dish is easy to make and comforting, nothing like a mom's cooking to feel the love...

3 C grated squash
1/2 C red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or 1 shallot, minced
2 eggs, beaten
 1/4 C bread crumbs
1/4 C grated parmesan or asiago cheese
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg (this really adds a unique and lovely flavor)
oil for sauteeing

1. Saute the onion in a frying pan until wilted and translucent. Add the garlic or shallot and continue to cook until slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
3. Place the mixture in a greased glass baking dish of your choice and bake 30-40 minutes, until golden on top. It will puff up a little bit. You can test for doneness by inserting a toothpick or knife in the center. If it comes out clean, then it is done.
4. Remove from oven when done and let rest for only a few minutes before enjoying.
5. You can leave the cheese out if you don't eat dairy. I add extra shallots and garlic to heighten the flavor a little if I leave out the cheese.
6. My mom just told me not to "mess" with the recipe too much because you want to enjoy the flavor of the squash! I better pay attention while she is watching...

Makes 12 small servings (depends on how you use this)

This is a cleansing salad. The horseradish helps stimulate bile to maintain a healthy gall bladder, which is important for healthy digestion. Beets are rich in fiber, detoxify the blood, and also support the gallbladder. You can omit the horseradish if you don't like it or can't get it. Most of the markets carry it in the produce section -- near the radishes usually. It really sasses up this recipe and tastes great! I like to serve this as an appetizer on flax crackers (or any kind of cracker) topped with a tiny dollop of creme fraiche and finely chopped parsley. It tastes delicious and is a nice presentation. Hope you enjoy this one. It also make s a great snack or a topping for a green salad.

6 small beets, roasted (instructions below)
3 tbsp. freshly grated horseradish
1 small onion, minced
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. minced parsley

1. Wrap the whole beets individually in parchment paper, then with aluminum foil. Place them on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 45 or until just tender. You want them to be firm still, so they will grate easily; if they are mushy they will not grate well.
2. When the beets are cooled enough to handle, peel and grate them into a medium sized bowl. Add the grated horseradish and onion.
3. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl and pour over the beets, stirring to combine.
4. Stir in the fresh parsley and garnish with extra parsley if desired.

6 tbso, cold butter
1 1/2 C whole wheat pastry flour, or a mixture of flours (oat, spelt, rice, almond meal, unbleached white)
6 tbsp. ice water
5 C total of mixed berries: strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries (I use 3 C blackberries and the rest mixed)
1 C honey or brown rice syrup (you can lower this amount to your personal taste, depending on the sweetness of the berries)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4. tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/4 C arrowroot, cornstarch or flour (for thickener)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and lightly grease an 11 3/4" x 7 1/2" glass baking dish.
2. Place the flour in a food processor. Cube the butter and add it. Process with on-off pulses until the mixture looks crumbly. Add the ice water, 1 tsp. at a time, and process
briefly just until the mixture forms a ball. Don't over process. (If you don't have a processor, you certainly can do this by hand, cutting in the butter with 2 knives [or a pastry knife], then adding the water.)
3. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to fit your prepared pan. Line the pan with your dough.
4. In a large bowl, mix together all the berries with the spices, zest, and thickener. Let stand for 15 minutes to allow the juices to come out. If it is still very juicy add 1-2 tsp. more of thickener. [You can also use tapioca granules; when I do a berry pie with 3 C berries, I'll use 3 level tbsp. of cornstarch or 1 tbsp. tapioca granules. Be careful how much thickener you use; too much and your pie can come out kinda gluey! I guess I just like mine a teensy bit runny, or runny when warm, just set when cooled. - Debbie]
5. Pour the filling into the crust in the prepared pan.
[5a. I like to dot a pie with butter at this stage, but it is totally optional! - Debbie]
6. Roll out the other half of the dough and lay it over the berries, allowing it to drape slightly oven the sides of the baking dish. Fold and crimp the dough edges together. Cut 2-3 slits in the crust for venting.
7. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking for another 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the filling is thick and bubbling.

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 (LEFDP) activities 

Wee Ones

3rd Tuesday of every month, 10:30am - Noon [year-round]
(free for children 0 - 3 yrs; $10 - $15 per family)
Mothers, 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. RSVP requested.

Art on the Farm Camp 

Three weeks to choose from: June 13th-17th, June 20th-24th, or July 11th-15th
all camps from 9am - 4pm daily

(click here for cost and scheduling info)
We'll be engaging campers in creative expression among our 100 organic acres of fruits, vegetables, farm animals, and wild spaces. During the week campers will plant, harvest, and create in the kitchen and beyond; make cheese, make masks, print, paint, and sculpt with natural materials.

For questions about any LEFDP event or activities, contact Jessica at the LEFDP office: (831) 728-2032 or email her at lefeducation@baymoon.com.


Happy Girl Kitchen Workshops at LEF
(all workshops include an organic lunch, as well as take-home items from what is made that day -- these workshops are not to be missed!)

April 16 - Sauerkraut, Kimchee and Kombucha 

May 7 - Cheese

June 11 - Jam with Available Berries 

July 9 - Jam with Apricots and Berries (sold out!)
August 13 - Pickles
August 14 - Pickles
August 20 - Tomatoes
August 21 - Tomatoes

(to sign up for any workshop, simply click on its name, above)

Contact Jordan if you have any questions:
Follow Happy Girl on Twitter! @happygirl_co

Community Farm Days and Events

this calendar was revised 6/27/11; please note changes

April 23rd - Sheep to Shawl

April 27th - Community Night @ Saturn Cafe for LEFDP

June 4th - Community Farm Day - U-pick strawberries

June 18th - Summer Solstice Celebration

July 30th - Community Farm Day - From Seed to Bread
Aug 27th - Community Farm Day - U-pick tomatoes (our "Totally Tomatoes" day)
Sept 24th Sept 10 - "Taste of the Fields" wine and hors d'oeuvres fundraiser for LEFDP
Oct 22nd - Fall Harvest Festival and U-pick apples and pumpkins

Medicinal Herb Walks/classes on the farm

April 2nd - Herbs of Live Earth

May 14th - Herbal Basics of Stress Management

June 25th - Herbal Preparations

For more info, contact Darren Huckle at rootsofwellness@gmail.com or 831.334.5177 or visit his website at www.rootsofwellness.net

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