LEF logo (small)
Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
15th Harvest Week, Season 16
July 11th - 17th, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
LEFDP Fundraiser "Celebrating Generations of Farmers" - Saturday September 10th!
Speaking of Generations of Farmers: an update from YFP
LEF's Latest Apprentice
Beautiful Berries Abound!
Local (Santa Cruz) screening of "Farmageddon - The Unseen War on American Family Farms"
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

" I have learned about the importance of organic farming and how it affects the local community.
- student at an LEFDP farm visit

Follow Live Earth Farm on Facebook:

Find us on Facebook

Or follow the Young Farmer Program (YFP) on their blog

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
Collard greens
Green beans +
Smallish leeks
Summer squash

Small Share
Collard greens
Green beans
Smallish leeks
Summer squash

Budget Share
Green beans
Smallish leeks
Summer squash  

Bread Option

This week's bread will be plain whole wheat  

Extra Fruit Option

2 baskets of strawberries and 1 basket of raspberries, and a bag of Santa Rosa plums 

Meat Chickens
Third monthly delivery of meat chickens this week! (13th, 14th, 15th of July). Don't forget to mark the weight on the checklist.

LEFDP Fundraiser "Celebrating Generations of Farmers" - Saturday September 10th!
Hello From the farm's Education Office!

Inside last week's share boxes you should have received an invitation to our annual food and wine pairing event in the form of a quarter page card. This event is not only the Discovery Program's largest fundraiser, it is also a very unique way to experience the glory of Live Earth Farm. The event is a celebration of the abundance of produce in our fields, and generosity in our community. All of the money raised through this event will support LEFDP's outreach to local, under-served students.

This is the 3rd year we have hosted the event, and every year is a little bit different. Our theme this year, Celebrating Generations of Farmers, will incorporate a commemoration of the agricultural heritage of the Pajaro Valley and the generations of farmers in the area into our food and wine pairing tour of the fields of Live Earth Farm. We can look forward to delicious, farm fresh food prepared by local chefs and paired with the best local wine. There will also be a children's program, a silent auction with some great local goods, live music, and for the first time ever: the event will be followed by a barn dance! The barn dance will take place in our beautiful refurbished, turn-of-the-century redwood barn and is open to the public. Be sure to let everyone know about the dance! You can come for the main food/wine pairing/silent auction event, or just the barn dance... or do both! (The cost of barn dance tickets is included in the purchase of tickets to the main event.)

Live Earth Farm's beautiful barn!

To see photos of last year's event peruse our picasa web album. To purchase tickets, click below or you can also purchase them through our webpage, or you can call me, Jessica Ridgeway, in the LEFDP office at 831-728-2032.

Event times:
Food and wine pairing, silent auction - 3-6pm
(Children's program available during this time, 3-6pm)
Barn dance - 7 pm

Main Event (includes barn dance) - $100
Barn Dance only - $10
Children's program (during main event; includes pizza-making!) - $20 per child

Ticket Options

LEFDP logo purple backgroundThanks everyone,
Hope to see you there!


Speaking of Generations of Farmers: an update from YFP
by Anna Vinitsky

Last week marked ten weeks for the Young Farmers Program CSA! [YFP] We started the beginning of May with nine members, but have since doubled to 18 members. And we now deliver to four different businesses throughout the downtown Santa Cruz area. I'd say we're becoming well established. We also have been going strong at the Willow Glen Farmers Market every Saturday. If you're in the area please come by and visit us! [The Willow Glen Farmers Market is Saturday mornings, 8:30 - 12:30, behind the Garden Theater on Lincoln Ave. in downtown Willow Glen. - Debbie]

It's been a really fun and educational experience for Jeff and I. We are more committed than ever to having our own farm one day, and this opportunity has not only provided us the experience but it has also given us the confidence that we can do it. Farming is by far an experiential learning process, so we have come a long way since we first started. Jeff has become an expert tractor driver, using implements with ease, disking and shaping the most beautiful farm beds. We have found tricks of the trade to reduce and prevent pests. And we can clearly understand the scale at which two people can work.

If you would like to learn more about our program or see pictures from our fields, please check out our blog: www.youngfarmerprogram.wordpress.com.


Jeff Boesch and Anna Vinitsky of Live Earth Farm's Young Farmer Program (YFP) 

LEF's Latest Apprentice
LEF's new Education Apprentice, Emily DunckerHello all! I just arrived at Live Earth Farm three weeks ago as the new Education Apprentice. I've traveled all the way from Massachusetts, where I grew up and more recently developed my passion for agriculture. For the past three seasons I have lived on Martha's Vineyard (a small island off of Massachusetts) and worked at The FARM Institute. While there I learned about animal husbandry among our 162 acres of pastureland, dug around in our 8 acre production garden, and facilitated our half-acre children's garden -- all the while teaching people about where their food comes from. I am very excited to be in California and at such a diverse and different farm. I instantly felt at home and am looking forward to all of the new things to do! See you all around the farm.
Emily Duncker


Beautiful Berries Abound!
a quick note from Taylor, LEF's Markets Manager and Web Store go-to gal

Live Earth Farm's succulent, sweet golden raspberries!

Summer is officially here and so are the berries! Just a reminder Live Earth Farm will be offering blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and golden raspberries for purchase through the Web Store for the next couple of weeks. Be sure to stock up on summer's sweet fruit while it lasts!

BB Hill Farm blueberries are also still available! If you're the last-minute type, you can still purchase any of these fruits tonight while the Web Store is still open and still take delivery this week! (You night owls can shop until 2am Tuesday morning.) FYI Blueberry season will last just a few more weeks so pick up a basket (or two or three) today. Starting next week we will also be offering blueberries in 1-lb clamshells as well as the 6-oz baskets. Hooray for berries!



Local (Santa Cruz) screening of "Farmageddon - The Unseen War on American Family Farms"
Not for everyone, and definitely not a comedy - but this is worth seeing for folks who want to continue learning about what's happening to local farmers and heritage food providers in this country. Although a $10 donation is suggested (see details below), no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Screening is at the GreenGrange in Santa Cruz. - Debbie

Farmageddon movie poster, Green Grange, Santa Cruz CA

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?"]  


Rebecca had a boatload of family house guests all last week on top of her full-time job, yet still managed to send me several wonderful recipes for the newsletter. I think we can cut her some slack for not having written an opening greeting; we all know her enthusiasm shines through in her recipes!

Debbie, for Rebecca

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

Serves 6 (makes about 12 rolls)

Kasha is toasted buckwheat, a gluten-free grain that is easy to digest. Raw sauerkraut adds a healthy bacteria that promotes digestion [note from Debbie: find live-fermented sauerkraut from Happy Girl Kitchen via our Web Store, or another fabulous source is Farmhouse Culture - available at several grocers Farmers Markets]. Booster foods nutritional yeast and dulse are added to the stuffing. You can find both at health food stores and some grocers. (Dulse is a type of seaweed full of nutrients, especially trace minerals that are so vital for our body's balance.)

Collard Rolls
1 C water or stock
1/2  C kasha
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 C raw sauerkraut
1/8 C [2 tbsp.] Dijon mustard
1 tsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 C pumpkin seeds, toasted and slightly chopped
1 tsp. dulse (optional)
sea salt ands pepper to taste
1 bunch collard greens

Honey-Mustard Sauce
3 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

Making the rolls
1. Bring water to a boil in a medium sauce pan, add the olive oil. Add the kasha, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove pan from heat, keeping it covered, to allow it to steam for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl.
2. Combine cooked kasha with the sauerkraut, Dijon mustard, pumpkin seeds, and nutritional yeast and dulse flakes, if using. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Steam the collard greens until they are softened, just a few minutes; check them to make sure they do not over-cook, you want them to be pliable for rolling, but not so cooked as to become fragile, or they'll rip easily. [I'd get a big pot of boiling, salted water going, then stick the collards in stems up; stems don't need to be cooked because you'll be removing them, but they're handy for pulling the greens out of the pot after a one or two minute plunge to soften - Debbie] Remove greens to a towel to dry.
4. Place each collard leaf on a flat surface for rolling [I would cut/trim off stem - Debbie]. Place a few spoonfuls of the kasha mixture in the center of each leaf; tuck in the sides and roll like a wrap or burrito. Place each roll seam-side down on a serving plate.
Making the sauce
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard and honey until blended. Whisk in the olive oil, adding more if the mixture needs to be thinner. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over the collard rolls.

Serves 4

1 cucumber [peeling optional; if the peel is tough like a typical garden cucumber, you may want to peel it; if it is an Asian or English type cuke with a soft skin, peeling is not necessary. - Debbie]
2 plums
2 green onions
1 good handful fresh cilantro

1/4 C toasted sesame oil
1/3 C rice vinegar
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
splash of tamari or soy sauce

to make salad
1. Cut or tear up lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Slice cucumber into rounds, then into sticks (julienne), and set aside
3. Pit and slice 2 plums
4. Slice green onions on the bias [diagonally]
5. Tear cilantro leaves to make approximately 1/4 C
6. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
7. Add the Asian dressing to taste and toss lightly.
8. Sometimes it's fun to top the salad with crisp won-ton strips!

to make dressing
Whisk all dressing ingredients together and adjust to your taste.  You might need more oil; I just play with the taste until I get the balance I like.

Makes about 1 pint

2 pounds plums, pitted and diced
3/4 C sweetener of choice
1/4 C each: marsala  and orange juice (or all juice)
1 /2 tsp. each: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar
Leaves from 1 1/2 large stems of fresh rosemary, wrapped and tied in a piece of cheesecloth

1. Place all the ingredients in a large, heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, until the mixture is vey thick and coats the back of a spoon. As the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat to low and stir often to avoid scorching. Remove rosemary pouch.
2. Remove jam from heat and pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space at the top.
3. When completely cooled, cover and store in the refrigerator. Keep refrigerated when not using. It keeps for about 2 weeks.
[note from Debbie: if you want to 'can' this (i.e. make it shelf-stable), sterilize your lids and rings too, then close up jars soon as you fill them. Process in a hot water bath - check online for times - then remove. Lid "buttons" should pop down to demonstrate a sure seal. If you're just going to be making this and storing it in your refrigerator, you can put it into any clean jar; doesn't have to be a canning jar. ]

Serves 6

1 1/2 C cold water
1/4 C red wine
2 C strawberries, stemmed, plus extra for garnish
1/4 C raw honey
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. ground cardamon
mint or basil leaves for garnish

1. Measure water and wine into a container, and add 4 ice cubes to chill. Set aside.
2. Rinse the berries well, and place in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until very smooth. Add the honey and yogurt and pulse until well incorporated. Pour berry mixture into a serving bowl.
3. Gently whisk in the water and wine, straining and discarding any ice cubes. Stir in the cardamon. Serve very cold, garnished with a few strawberries and/or mint or basil leaves.
4. If you don't want to use wine you could substitute a juice such as cranberry or pomegranate.

This dessert soup is simply outstanding -- and quite healthful. The yogurt is loaded with probiotics, beneficial bacteria that keep your gut healthy and your digestive processes running smoothly. Probiotics also give your immune system a boost! You get bonus health points if you use the wine; it has resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant and antiaging compound. Enjoy!

Serves 6

1/2 C butter, softened
1 C plus 1 tbsp. organic cane sugar, divided
1/2 C ricotta cheese
3 eggs, separated
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. each: finely grated lemon zest and almond extract
1/3 C each: almond flour and instant polenta (Bob's Red Mill brand is good for both of these and is in regular stores)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 C fresh berries
1 C sparkling champagne or sparkling wine or fruit juice of choice (I like to use fresh squeezed orange juice with a squeeze of lemon juice)
fresh mint leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter six one-cup ramekins.
2. Beat 1 C of the sugar plus butter together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta cheese and blend well. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in the lemon juice, zest, and almond extract.
3. Stir dry ingredients together in a small bowl to combine, then stir into the butter mixture.
4. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining tsp. sugar and beat until glossy and stiff.
5. Gently fold beaten egg whites into batter until just combined (do not overmix).
6. Divide batter equally between the ramekins and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool until just warm, then invert onto 6 dessert plates.
7. While the cakes are baking, marinate the berries in the sparkling wine or juice. Using a slotted spoon, top the warm cakes with the berries and garnish with the mint.

Serves 6, about 1 cup each

Long strips of  raw squash absorb the lemony vinaigrette, making a delicious base for this salad. Serve right away after tossing with the dressing to keep the squash fresh.

2-3 medium summer squash
1 large fennel bulb, quartered and cored, frond reserved
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 C slivered red onion
6 tbsp. grated Manchego or Asiago cheese

1. Very thinly slice the squash lengthwise into long strips with a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or knife. Place the strips on a double layer of paper towels and let stand while you prepare the rest of the salad.
2.Very thinly slice the fennel bulb with a knife or mandoline. Chop up enough fronds to equal about 1/4 cup. Whisk oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the squash, fennel, fronds, and onion; gently stir to coat well. Serve sprinkled with cheese.


4-6 potatoes
1 large fennel bulb
1 medium onion (use the fresh onions from your CSA box if you have any left; they are perfect for this dish!)
1/2 C finely grated cheese of choice
1 C cream (I sometimes use almond milk)
1/4. tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
freshly groung black pepper

1. Pregheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Brush a large, shallow, ovenproof dish with melted butter or oil. Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Cut the tops off the fennel and thinly slice the bulb. Peel and thinly slice the onion.
2. In prepared dish. alternately layer the potatoes, fennel and onions, ending with a layer of potatoes on top. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Pour the cream over everything as evenly as possible.
3. Sprinkle with nutmeg and pepper, to taste.
4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

NOTE: To prevent the cut potatoes from browning before assembling the dish, place them in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. Drain and pat dry before using.
OPTIONS: When I have them, I also like to include a layer of thinly sliced apples in this dish. If you don't like fennel, you can substitute apple, although the fennel adds a wonderful flavor and texture, so I always use it!


Any greens from the fridge waiting to be used (kale, collards, spinach...)
1 leek, cleaned well, sliced lengthwise, then crosswise into half moons
1-2 small cooked potatoes (steamed or boiled), cut into small cubes
a few sprigs of cilantro and basil, to taste
GARLIC cloves to taste!
onions, if I have any left over from the CSA, chopped into small dice
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
sea salt and pepper
1 egg per person

1. Chop all the greens into bite size and place them in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large frying pan, heat some grapeseed oil; just enough to coat the pan. Add the onions and leeks and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the potatoes and saute for a few more minutes, then add the cut greens and garlic, mixing and sauteeing until the greens are wilted and tender. It is completely up to the individual as to when they are done... I like mine on the crispy side. Remove from the heat.
4. Add in torn cilantro and basil to taste, mixing well. Set aside.
5. Poach an egg.
6. Place a large helping of the greens mixture on a plate and top with the poached egg. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. If you have a favorite hot sauce or salsa, this is the time to  bring it on!

This is such an easy and satisfying breakfast, or even as a light evening meal. It is great way to use those greens that are left in the refrigerator which need to be eaten.

Debbie's Broccoli for Breakfast
Okay, just had to add my two cents here, on the heels of Rebecca's above recipe, as one of my favorite things to do is have greens for breakfast! This is an ab fab way to use up excess greens. My latest fave is broccoli (but you can use just about any green). I just steam up a pile while making a runny-yolk fried egg, then serve it on the side dressed with the usual: flavorful olive oil (the one Taylor's carrying in the web store right now is perfect for this), a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a sprinkling of sea salt (yup, that Monterey Bay Sea Salt would be good for this too, though of course any salt will do). I like to eat the broccoli dipped in the yolk, or with a bite of yolk and egg. Think of it like Hollandaise sauce on the hoof (hollandaise is in essence olive oil, egg yolk, lemon). For a little variation, I like to grate some sharp cheddar over the egg just before the white is set and put a lid on it, so the cheese melts while the white sets but the yolk is still runny. Finish things off by adding a few fresh red radishes; they add beautiful color, and are another wonderful veg for breakfast! (Remember that one of the kind of radishes Tom grows is called "French Breakfast Radishes"... ever thought about why?) ;-) Oh, and don't forget some fresh fruit! (Pictured is fresh grapefruit. We have a tree.) By the way, hullo to all from my sabbatical! - Debbie

Broccoli for breakfast with eggs

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 

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 7/4/11; 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 10th - "Celebrating Generations of Farmers" farm-fresh food and wine pairing fundraiser for LEFDP [click on link for more info and to buy tickets!] 

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