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Live Earth Farm (Com)Post
18th Harvest Week, Season 16
August 1st - 7th, 2011
in this issue
What's in the box(es) this week
A Nourishing Day for the Farm and its Community
"Cooking-from-your-box" Class to be monthly
Wonderful NY times article - "That's Not Trash, That's Dinner"
Rebecca's Recipes
2011 Calendar

" ...Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms that hold us when we falter. A circle of healings. A circle of friends. Someplace where we can be free.
- Starhawk
(from 'Sharing the Harvest' by Elizabeth Henderson  with Robyn Van En)

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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
Pickling cucumbers
Green beans
Baby spinach +
Japanese white turnips
Asian stir-fry mix (tatsoi/mizuna)
Padron peppers
Sweet yellow Hungarian peppers


Small Share
Pickling cucumbers
Green beans
Japanese white turnips
Asian stir-fry mix (tatsoi/mizuna)
Padron peppers


Budget Share
Pickling cucumbers
Green beans
Asian stir-fry mix (tatsoi/mizuna)

Padron peppers
Sweet yellow Hungarian peppers 


Bread Option

This week's bread will be three-seed whole wheat    


Extra Fruit Option

Strawberries and raspberries... and possibly sungold cherry tomatoes! 


Meat Chickens
Next delivery of meat chickens will be next week, August 10-11-12.

A Nourishing Day for the Farm and its Community
For me one of the most rewarding aspects of Community Farm Days is that we get to work and enjoy the farm without being bound by the same busy schedules we adhere to most days of the week, rushing from one thing to the next. On the contrary, it is a moment where we intentionally slow down to appreciate and enjoy, as a community, the cyclical nature of growing and preparing food. Last Saturday's Community Farm Day felt like that -- a full circle experience, engaging in every step from harvesting the wheat (technically speaking we harvested triticale, a hybrid between wheat and rye) to baking and enjoying delicious freshly baked pizzas. It was what one might call a true Slow Food experience.

Triticale (or cereals in general) is not part of the farm's regular crop plan, but watching it grow over the last nine months has been an interesting experience. The seed was drilled directly into the soil in early November and germinated shortly after the first winter rains, making it an excellent alternative as a late season cover crop. By February the field of triticale looked like a lush pasture starting to pushing its grain spiklets through the tall grass blades. The crop then gradually changed colors, from green, to yellow, to a creamy light brown as the grain heads became fully mature and harvest ready.

Member-kid Logan 'outstanding' in the wheat field

There are several advantages of growing triticale. First it is resistant to rust, a common fungus among cereals, second it continues to grow well once the winter rains stop, and third, it effectively smothers both winter and summer weeds. The challenge is not so much in the growing, but rather in trying to figure out the most efficient way to harvest, process and market the grains. The Community Farm Day was a fun and eye-opening experience for figuring that out.  

Saturday started slow, with a typical drizzly cool summer morning. Only a handful of families, myself and Chella (our farm dog) were ready to start the harvest. Armed with hand-sickles we started cutting the stalks, stacking them into small piles and tying them into bundles. More and more people started to arrive as the morning progressed. At some point there were enough of us to have some people harvesting in the field while others experimented with different methods of threshing and winnowing the grain. Around midday we ended with enough cleaned kernels to mill about 20 pounds of flour, which the kids helped knead into pizza dough. Not knowing what to expect, I was delighted to see the dough had risen nicely, giving us the go-ahead to start making the pizzas.
We harvested the very first dry-farmed tomatoes of the season, as if mother nature knew we were making pizza. They got sliced up together with freshly harvested basil and peppers. While waiting for the oven to cool we roasted some padron peppers and served them as appetizers. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt they are irresistible! Even the children liked them so much that they didn't mind taking their chances of biting into a spicy one.

The cob oven, which had been fired up for more than 5 hours, was so hot that the pizzas only took a few minutes to bake. For over two hours pizzas of all combinations, sizes and shapes kept sliding in and out of the oven, feeding all the hungry harvesters who kept gobbling them up as soon as they came out of the oven.

I will let the pictures do most of the talking as they best describe the process and most importantly reflect the pleasure of working and playing together in the fields. Even if I can't calculate a monetary return just yet, I am convinced that a small crop of wheat as part of the farm's annual crop rotation is warranted, given the pleasure it provides in spending time as a community, experiencing the reality of our food system and the nourishing value it provides at so many levels. Sometimes I believe that creating more opportunities for everyone to enjoy a good meal everyday is the most effective catalyst for overcoming the challenges of creating a healthier and "happier" food system. Thanks to all who participated in last weeks Community Farm Day and please mark your calendars for our next one on August 27th, which will be all about tomatoes!!!

- Tom



Harvesting and winnowing the triticale 

 Above: harvesting and winnowing the wheat (triticale); below, making pizza dough (and pizzas!) and roasting padron peppers in the wood-fired oven. 


Making pizza (and roasting padron peppers!) in the wood-fired oven 

"Cooking-from-your-box" Class to be monthly
Last week's cooking class at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos with LEF CSA box ingredients turned out to be a hit, and was successful enough that Rebecca and Karen have agreed to hold a class monthly! So if you missed this one but would like to do it next time, go to Karen and Rebecca's Vibrant Foods Catering website and click on "Upcoming Events".

Classes will be the last Sunday of every month, with the next one being August 28th.


  Below: the infinitely variable quinoa salad, and chefs Karen (left) and Rebecca (right). 

Karen Haralson and Rebecca Mastoris of Vibrant Foods Catering 

Wonderful NY Times article - "That's Not Trash, That's Dinner"
Long-time CSA member and friend of the farm Traci Townsend is in the (most welcome!) habit of sending me apropos articles when she sees them in her online New York Times subscription. This one was particularly delightful, as it so appropriately features the trimmings we often throw into our compost piles. I'm always talking about 'cooking with what you have' and encouraging folks to not overlook goodies like the leafy green tops of radishes and turnips, the leaves of cauliflower, skins of potatoes and other veggie 'scraps', so this one's right up that alley. Enjoy! - Debbie

LAST week in Chelsea, Mich., as people wilted and vegetables flourished in the intense heat, Anne Elder ran through some of her favorite summer ingredients: pearly garlic rounds that flower at the top of the plant in hot weather, the spreading leaves of the broccoli plant, yellow dandelion flowers that she dips whole into batter and deep fries.

"When kids visit the farm, we give them cornstalks to chew," she said. Like sugar cane, the stalks contain sweet juice.

For Ms. Elder, who runs the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, the edible vegetable begins with the sprouts and does not end until the leaves, vines, tubers, shoots and seeds have given their all.

If home cooks reconsidered what should go into the pot, and what into the trash, what would they find? What new flavors might emerge, what old techniques? Pre-industrial cooks, for whom thrift was a necessity as well as a virtue, once knew many ways... (click here to read rest of article)

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?"]  


I am going to start out with a recipe I love to make and eat that is easy and versatile using the beautiful new peppers we are getting. - Rebecca

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

Use as many of the Yellow Hungarian and padron peppers you want, cut open, seeds removed (if you don't want them as hot), and sliced into strips
1 thinly sliced onion
olive oil to saute
sea salt and pepper to taste
Queso ano (a Mexican cheese I love, creamy and delicious.) If you don't have the Mexican cheese you can use any soft cheese, or simply omit it. (Sometimes I use a splash of heavy cream to soften the mixture.)
a pinch of oregano (I use Mexican oregano here, since this is a Mexican inspired dish)

1. Heat the oil in a saute pan and add the onions. Cook until wilted and starting to almost carmelize, about 5-10 minutes.
2. Add the pepper strips and saute until they are tender. While they are cooking, add the oregano to taste; remember, oregano is strong, so you don't need a lot.
3. When the rajas are really tender (they take about 10 minutes to really cook down), sprinkle a little cheese into the mixture and cook and stir until just incorporated and creamy. The amount of cheese is up to you and depends on how many peppers you use - you need just enough to make it creamy not so much that it overwhelms the peppers.
4. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl or on a plate to serve.

I like to use these as a condiment for tacos and burritos. They are also delicious in eggs or an omelet. Let your imagination play with these. They really spice up a dish and are so yummy.

Raw turnips have a refreshing, tangy flavor similar to a mild radish, and when cooked are pleasantly sweet. Those grown in the summer months are decidedly pungent, but mellow when cooked. When fresh and young, turnips can be used raw in salads, grated or julienned. When cooked with other foods they have the remarkable ability to absorb flavors, which makes them succulent and rich. Turnip greens can be cooked in the same manner as spinach. They do not make for good salad greens because they are too bitter and tough.

Raw grated turnip serves as a digestive aid and can clean teeth. Because of its sulphur content, it warms the body, while its alkalinizing nature helps detoxify the body. Raw turnip is superior to cooked from a health perspective, but cooked turnips are also a warming food and said to energize the stomach and intestines.The greens help cleanse the blood of toxins. Turnips have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties, and antibiotic and antiviral properties. They may also stimulate the liver and other tissues out of stagnancy.

serves 4-6

1 1/2 lb. turnips, quartered
sea salt and pepper
olive oil
2 rosemary leaves or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a shallow roasting pan or baking dish. Boil the turnips in salted water for 3 minutes then drain. Wipre off the extra moisture with a towel.
2. Toss with enough oil to coat them lightly, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Transfer them to the dish with the herbs and bake, uncovered, until tender when pierced with a knife and are browned, 25-30 minutes.

These make a great side dish and can also be mashed and served like mashed potatoes. You can cut the cooked turnips into cubes and saute them in a little butter and chopped fresh herbs such as the basil from the box or parsley and garlic. They are sweet and delicious and a great addition to a meal.

This next recipe is totally versatile and can be used with many combinations of CSA box veggies. In this case I've set it up to use what's in the box this week.

Serves 8

Quinoa is an ancient grain native to the Andes that, unlike other grains, is a complete protein with all the amino acids. With a fluffy texture and mild flavor, it serves as a perfect foil to a CSA box resplendent with the bounty of summer.

2 C water or vegetable broth
1 C quinoa, rinsed
1 C cooked green beans, cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 C chopped scallions
1/2 C toasted nuts of choice
1/2 C pitted, sliced ripe olives of choice
2 - 3 (or more) chopped radishes
1/4 lb. carrots, shredded (about 1/4 C)
1 sweet pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 C summer squash, diced
1/2 C chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 C chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 C olive oil
1/4 C wine or rice vinegar or fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. In a sauce pan, bring water or broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the quinoa, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until tender.
2. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes.
3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl  and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

I also like to add arugula and or spinach to the salad right before I serve it.

Makes 2 cups
Oh my, what can I say, this is just divine!

1 2/3 C strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
3/4 C sweetener
1/2 C unsalted butter
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 egg yolks

1. Put the strawberries in a saucepan with the sweetener, butter, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted and the sweetener has dissolved. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool down somewhat.
2. Lightly beat the egg yolks in a large bowl and then, while stirring constantly, slowly add the strawberry mixture in a thin stream. The mixture will thicken as you add it.
3. Transfer mixture back to the saucepan, return to a low heat and cook for 2 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the curd will separate!
4. Pour into hot, sterilized jars and seal while hot. Curd will keep in the refrigerator this way for up to 2 months. Once opened, the curd will keep, refrigerated, for 5 days.

serves 4

1 cucumber, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 large shallot, or garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil (you can use walnut oil if yo have it)
1/4 C tarragon, sherry, or white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. sea salt
4 C spinach or arugula leaves, or use the Asian stir-fry mix (my favorite!), or use a combination of all of them
1 head radicchio, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thin strips
1/2 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded (optional), and cut crosswise into paper-thin slices
1/3 C walnut pieces, toasted
freshly ground black pepper

1. In a food processor or blender, blend the chopped cucumber, shallot (garlic), oil, vinegar, and sea salt until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine the radicchio and greens of choice. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
3. Divide the salad among individual salad plates and garnish with the cucumber slices, walnuts, and a few grinds of fresh, black pepper.

1 lb. green beans
3/8 C olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 C walnuts
1/8 C olive oil or hemp seed oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 C panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten (optional)
1 tbsp. oil

1. Cook the green beans in salted water until just tender. Remove to an ice bath to halt additional cooking; drain and set aside.
2. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to a saute pan. Over low heat, cook the onions and garlic until onions are soft and translucent. Make sure they don't brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool.
3. Place the cooked green beans in a food processor and process until the beans have a consistency of creamed corn. Remove to a bowl.
4. Place the walnuts in the processor and pulse 6 times. Walnut pieces should be the size of peppercorns or smaller. Add to the green beans.
5. Mix in the onion and garlic mixture, adding the remaining olive oil. Stir well together with the walnuts and green beans.
6. Fold the panko and eggs into the mixture and form into burger patties. The entire 1/2 C bread crumbs may or may not be needed. The consistency should be a little looser than a regular beef hamburger.
7. Add the oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Place the burgers in the pan and cook on both sides. If you are not using the eggs as a binder, be careful when flipping the burgers, or they will fall apart.
8. Serve on bun of choice with lettuce or arugula or tatsoi or mizuna, and condiments of your choice!

Serves 4 - 5
This is a quick and easy, light summer soup. A great addition to an outdoor summer buffet.

1 tsp. oil
1 small leek, sliced lengthwise, rinsed well, and diced
2-3 C seeded and diced cucumber
fresh dill, minced (about 1 tbsp.)
sea salt
 2 C water
1 C rice milk (or your choice of alternatives)
2 tbsp. kuzu, arrowroot, or cornstarch (thickener) dissolved in 4 tbsp. cold water
juice of 1 lemon
fresh lemon slices for garnish
dill sprigs for garnish

1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leek and cook, stirring for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the cucumber, some minced dill and a pinch of salt and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
3. Add the water and milk of choice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook over low heat until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the thickener and cook, stirring, until the soup thickens slightly, about 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice. Chill thoroughly - at least 2 hours - before serving. Garnish with fresh dill and lemon slices.

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


"Cooking-from-your-box" classes

Join chefs and CSA members Rebecca Mastoris and Karen Haralson on the last Sunday of each month at Williams-Sonoma in Los Gatos for this fun and informative session on making great food from what comes in your Live Earth Farm CSA box.
For info about the latest class, go to Karen and Rebecca's Vibrant Food Catering website and click on "Upcoming Events" 


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